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Google Analytics is an essential tool for webmasters and marketers looking to take control of their marketing efforts and increase both revenue and engagement. Now, Google is taking the platform even further with the introduction of the new enterprise-oriented measurement platform, Google Analytics 360 Suite.

In an announcement posted this week on the blog Inside Adwords, Vice President of Analytics, Display, and Video Products Paul Muret said:

“Sophisticated marketers who use analytics platforms are 3X more likely to outperform their peers in achieving revenue goals. It’s no wonder enterprise-class marketers have been telling us they need more from their marketing analytics tools. Many toolsets can’t cope: They’re too hard to use, lack sufficient collaboration capabilities, are poorly integrated, and require hard to find expertise.”

Muret also told Marketing Land that marketers are “trying to engage with brief moments of engagement” referring to so-called micro-moments. “If the value is not delivered” within the brief window of time, “consumers will quickly move on.”

The new platform is intended to deliver an enterprise-oriented analytics service that is both comprehensive and easy-to-use while focusing in on those brief moments of engagement and opportunity.

Google has remained mum on if there are any new data sources feeding into the Suite, and cross-device tracking remains the same. Rather, Google Analytics 360 Suite is intended to expand upon Google Analytics Premium, its previous enterprise-oriented analytics platform.

The suite includes four new tools, as well as two old mainstays:

Google Audience Center 360 (beta). This powerful data management platform (DMP) helps marketers understand their customers and find more like them across channels, devices, and campaigns. It offers native integration with Google and DoubleClick, plus it’s open to third-party data providers, DSPs and more.

Google Optimize 360 (beta). This website testing and personalization product helps marketers deliver better experiences. Marketers can show consumers multiple variations of their site and then choose the version that works best for each audience.

Google Data Studio 360 (beta). A new data analysis and visualization product that integrates data across all suite products and other data sources ― turning it into beautiful, interactive reports and dashboards. Built-in real-time collaboration and sharing is based on Google Docs technology.

Google Tag Manager 360. Built from our industry-leading tag management product, it empowers enterprise marketers to move faster and make decisions with confidence. It offers a simplified way to gather site information (all those tiny bits of code) and powerful APIs to increase data accuracy and streamline workflows.

Google Analytics 360, formerly known as GA Premium, will roll out exciting new capabilities throughout the next couple of months as investments continue to grow. It will serve as the measurement centerpiece by analyzing customer data from all touch-points and integrating with our ad products to drive marketing effectiveness.

Google Attribution 360, formerly known as Adometry, has been rebuilt from the ground up to help advertisers value marketing investments and allocate budgets with confidence. Marketers can analyze performance across all channels, devices, and systems to achieve their most effective marketing mix.

All these tools are available on the dashboard, and Google has said the platform also includes a broad set of integrated third-party providers, such as customer relationship management platforms.

The individual products will be offered à la carte, under to-be-announced pricing. Google Analytics Premium and Adometry will be relaunched under the Google Analytics 360 Suite platform “in the coming months.” Google Analytics Premium and Adometry customers will also be offered access to the new tools in a limited beta test in the future.

Valentine’s Day is just over the horizon, and many people are just starting to plan their romantic evening and searching for the perfect gift for their sweethearts. For many industries, such as flowers and gift cards, this week is their biggest shopping period of the year.

The US floral industry alone is predicted to rake in $3.3 billion by Valentine’s Day. Whether you sell romantic gifts online, provide romantic getaways for couples, or are a local restaurant, now is the perfect time to boost your holiday sales.

This infographic from The Shelf can help you make the most of the romantic holiday with insight into shopper behavior and the best ways to enhance your online marketing strategies for Valentine’s Day.

You can see the infographic below or at The Shelf’s site.

ValentinesDayInfographic

Google is always changing. Over just the past few years, the way search works has changed radically – moving to a more user-based model and mobile-first mindset.

This shift in attitudes has changed how the world’s most famous search engine works down to its very foundation, with the intent of moving away from a system that started with information and aimed to connect it with its audience. Instead, Google has made it its philosophy to start with the user and aim to provide the best search results for them.

SEOBook recently shared an infographic to visualize how Google’s search engine works in 2016. It shows that in SEO and Google Search, you can’t rely on the same methods from 2013 to keep your business growing online today.

You can see the infographic below. If you can’t see the small text, a larger version is available at SEOBook.

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Apps

Android users will soon be able to install apps to their smartphones directly from Google search results. According to Android Police, Google has begun testing the new feature which will let users bypass the Play Store and directly install an app by performing a Google search.

To try out the feature, open the Google app on any Android phone and search for any app you want to install. Within the Google card, which previously directed users to the Play Store, you will now see an Install button.

If you press the Install button, your phone will ask for the normal permissions that appear with all Play Store app download. If you accept, the app will immediately begin downloading and installing.

The feature hasn’t been rolled out to all Android phones, so there is no guarantee you will be able to directly install the app. Many users are still being directed to the Play Store.

Ryan Whitwam of Android Police speculates the feature is just in testing currently, and will see a wider rollout in the future. He also suggests the feature is likely to be available only in the Google app and not through Chrome.

Every business wants to grow, but acquiring new customers isn’t easy. If it was, every business would be a success.

Thankfully, the internet has made it easier than ever to connect with new potential customers and grow your audience. The catch is that you can’t keep using the same strategies you relied upon in a few years ago. Instead, you have to get a new strategy for the digital age.

To help you get started forming a new winning strategy for customer acquisition in 2016, Eliv8 has shared an infographic that will help you effectively grow your business.

You can see the infographic below, or at Eliv8’s website.

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The holiday shopping season is in fever pitch, which means most business owners and marketers are going full-steam-ahead on their online marketing strategies to rake in their piece of the $650 billion predicted to be spent this year.

So how can you get in on the action? Pixel Road Designs recently shared an infographic that can give your holiday marketing strategies the extra boost they need to make this holiday season a huge success.

Check out the infographic below, or at Pixel Road Designs’ website here.

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Businesses are increasingly using Facebook to advertise their business to one of the largest audiences in the world, but a new survey suggests many businesses are forgetting social media is a two-way street.

According to a Sprout Social study, the majority of retailers are ignoring their customers’ requests on social media, a finding which is very troubling considering consumers are turning to social media to seek customer service and find information about businesses.

The statistics from the Sprout Social Q4 2015 index say retailers failed to respond to over 80 percent of consumer questions and requests on social media over the last year. Perhaps surprisingly, retailers were least likely to respond during the holiday shopping season. Throughout Q4 of 2014, only 16.35 percent of customer queries to retailers received any form of response.

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It is understandable that retailers are swamped during the holiday season, and may not have the extra man-power to closely watch social media. However, totally ignoring your customers on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms can create a tidal wave of unhappy customers and lost potential buyers.

Retailers saw a 21-percent increase in inbound social media messages in the last quarter of 2014, but the majority of those went unanswered.

“Social media is an integral part of consumers’ daily lives and a critical communication channel for brands to engage in conversation with their customers during the holidays,” Sprout Social CMO Scott Brandt said in a release. “Whether answering a product question or confirming a customer’s gift order, brands have an opportunity to positively influence awareness, customer loyalty, positive sentiment and seasonal sales through social media engagement.”

One problem appears to be that retailers aren’t paying attention to where their customers are trying to reach them. In the past, Twitter has been the primary social media platform for customer service related questions and requests. However, Sprout Social’s study suggests a shift is occurring as more shoppers rely on Facebook to contact brands.

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It appears retailers haven’t picked up on the shift though, because the new statistics show retailers sent out 114 percent more messages on Twitter in the last six months.

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“It’s worth taking a deeper look at customer service on Facebook since it is generally where people are seeking answers from retailers,” said Brandt. “Bottom line: You should be able to improve your response rates and times if you understand where people are reaching out to your brand in the greatest numbers.”

For more interesting findings from the study, download the full Spout Social Index for free here.

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Last week, during Recode’s Code/Mobile conference, Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search, announced that over half of all searches conducted on Google each month are coming from mobile devices.

Mobile has quickly become a dominant force in search, but it has only overtaken desktop in both search and ad volume over the past year.

For this count, Google is not including mobile devices with screens over 6 inches in size, such as tablets. According to the company, Google is primarily counting mobile views as those coming from smartphones.

During his announcement, Singhal explained how the definition of search is changing as the way people interact with their devices and the internet evolves:

“Search as we think about it is fundamentally how you will interact with computing. Computing may live in a 4-to-6-inch device, it may live in a desktop, it may live on a 1-inch round device.”

The news was leaked by John Mueller on Google+ this week, while offering a warning to those who have yet to make their sites mobile-friendly:

“More than half of Google’s searches are now coming from mobile. If you haven’t made your site (or your client’s sites) mobile-friendly, you’re ignoring a lot of potential users. “

According to Search Engine Journal, Google also announced it has indexed over 100 billion links within apps, showing how Google is growing beyond the traditional idea of the web page.

Twitter Banner

Google made big news earlier this year when it declared it would favor sites that switch to HTTPS, and now Twitter is taking a similar path. A member of Twitter’s development team published a thread on the Twitter Community forum explaining the company’s future plans for HTTPS and setting a deadline for the company’s switch the HTTPS.

Starting October 1st, Twitter will begin utilizing HTTPS for all new outbound links, meaning any new link you share will be packed in “https://t.co”. This way Twitter can securely send users to their intended destination, even when the destination page is not an HTTPS link.

Similar changes have been made by popular sites such as Reddit and Wikipedia, however in those situations the sites began using HTTPS site-wide.

This will also have the added side effect of increasing URL lengths in the future, depriving you of one more character to write with when sharing a link.

This also causes issues with tracking referral traffic to non-HTTPS sites, as Twitter explains non-HTTPS sites may see an apparent decrease in referral numbers.

“Web browsers drop the Referer header from a request by default when downgrading from an HTTPS t.co link to an HTTP destination in compliance with the HTTP specification for the Referer header… Based on our estimates you may see a 10% drop in traffic attribution from Twitter as a result of this security change.”

The company also warns that sites will see a steady decrease in referral traffic recorded from Twitter in the future, as users update to the latest browsers that support this policy.

3872691762_723d015a2aAny business owner who has ever received online reviews – whether they were negative or positive – can tell you the power online reviews have in influencing how others perceive your brand. All it can take is one glowing or irate review on a popular service such as Google or Yelp to make or break your business.

Most business owners will also tell you the most likely person to leave a review is an angry customer, but a new survey from Mike Blumenthal published on GetFiveStars suggests those business owners may be wrong.

While it is true that extreme reactions are the most likely to result in reviews for your business, the evidence suggests consumers are actually more likely to reward excellent service than they are to attack businesses which provided a bad experience.

Blumenthal surveyed over 600 consumers that self-reported being active online reviews, asking when and why do you typically leave a review for a local business, and the findings show that few reviewers see calling out exceptionally bad service as their primary motivation.

In actuality, most reviewers actually see their reviews as a means to help inform the community, the business, and other consumers.

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For the survey, Blumenthal and colleagues allowed the respondents to answer in their own words, which were then categorized into the following categories:

  • When Experience was really Good or really Bad
  • Only When the Experience really Good
  • Only When the Experience was really Bad
  • To Help Other Consumers
  • To Help Business/Community
  • To Inform Business
  • Other

While the largest cohort of consumers was defined by extremes with a third of respondents only writing reviews based on really good or really bad experienced, the second largest group is entirely characterized by individuals who only use reviews to celebrate excellent service.

Importantly, this group was not much smaller than those who were motivated by extreme experiences on both ends of the spectrum, suggesting business owners are more likely to get positive reviews for good experiences than they are to receive poor reviews when they drop the ball.

To put this in context, 25% of active reviewers reported leaving reviews only when the experience was overwhelmingly positive, but 5% of reviews only leave reviews for truly poor experiences. That means the average reviewer isn’t the perpetually angry critic they are often portrayed as.

The truth is the vast amount of reviewers aren’t out to get anybody. They view themselves as integral parts to the current business ecosystem and an important part of society.

Ultimately, the reason online reviews may seem overwhelmingly negative is because it is simply much more difficult to provide exceptional service than it is to provide a terrible experience. That doesn’t mean it is impossible.

As a business owner, you should naturally be striving to provide the best service possible. If you are doing that, all you have to do to start drawing in scores of positive reviews is make it easy for your consumers to give you feedback and be sure to listen to their needs. If your customers feel like you are listening and responding to what they have to say, you should expect to see great reviews flooding in within no time.

Read the full report from GetFiveStars here.