Avoiding Call To Action Errors – A Small Business Trends Infographic

Our friends at Small Business Trends, created an infographic that highlights how call to action (CTA) is sometimes not much of  a call and creates little action.  CTA is an essential component in analytics. CTA is what creates a click, and drives the purpose behind an analysis.  What traffic actually clicked? What’s the significance?

Moreover, CTA must be optimized.  The phrases used as a CTA are tested in A/B tests.  Improving CTA is linked to driving downloads of an app or purchases from a cart. And there are a lot of factors to what makes a CTA successful.

Take a look at the infographic below to learn how businesses drop the ball on CTA.  For more small business news, follow Small Business Trends.

Calls to Action Data

The difference between curation and content marketing

Ask any marketer, and they’ll say it without a moment’s hesitation. Content marketing is all the rage. It’s safe to guess that the internet is filled with an overabundance of content, to a point where content given with a strategy has become essential to marketing success .

But while interest in creating content is high, deciding how a business develop a strategy for curation should be equally high. Curation is important in sharing content relevant to your strategy or purpose online.

What’s the difference between curation and content strategy? To answer, let’s look at how curation and content are created differently to understand how they are managed differently.

First let’s look at how curation differs from content marketing. The difference lies in the details behind where the content is sourced. Those details dictate the value that the content provides for a digital strategy.

Content marketing is media created to generate brand awareness as the media is shared online. Each article written, every picture taken, or every video recorded is meant to implicitly support a topic of interest related to a business. Much of the value comes from the effort in creating a volume of content to create an impact for SEO.

For example long tail content is created based on constant analysis of a website against search patterns. The end result is that the media can draw links for SEO purposes, as well as creating new topic ideas that can leverage long tail discoveries when potential customers research on keywords of interest to your business.

Curation differs in where the content is sourced. It involves sharing content from other sources that have similar interest to that of your business.

Flipboard, Reverb, Networked Blog and Paper.li, are all tools which permit curation planning and execution. They are designed to share content automatically on your feed, be it social media or a blog. Because these tools share automatically, you must be meticulous in selecting content for quality related to the subjects of interest.

To be meticulous and to build an audience that makes your analytics worth measuring, keep your target audience in mind – know and appreciate the details about their interests. Content is a general term, but its sources do not have to be general. Using curation and content marketing techniques together will tie the effort around the subjects that are important to potential customers – and subjects which will establish your business as a resource worth doing business with.

For more ideas on refreshing content, take a look at this Zimana post on developing evergreen content.

You can also check out this DMNews post on planning content using Google Analytics reports.

Social Media Tips: 10 Best Ways To Generate Traffic for Your Blog

Boston Traffic Social Media
Boston traffic is a great metaphor for traffic flow, but for digital, you must make plans to make that traffic happen. Social media is perfect for those plans.
After every website launch, there should be a plan for generating traffic to a site. Especially if that site is a blog.
So the magic question is: How does one build visitor interest in their blog?
Well, fortunately a lot of ways exist to build traffic.  The key for selecting the right way is to  for a small business or organization, here are a few starter was to get that traffic going!
  • Submit site posts to content aggregator – AllTop, Growth Hackers, Hacker News and inbound.org are starting places to share content, Many of these will syndicate content, meaning that the posts will show on their networks. Allot, for example, will tweet posts
  • Create a video version of a blog topic – from YouTube to Facebook Live, you can create a live version for
  • Social Media sharing syndication is a long word, but it serves an important purpose.  It can automate new posts and ensure that they are available for other to see later.  dlvr.it and IFTTT are examples of these syndication tools.
  • Dedicate an email to a post topic – share a snippet of content can create interest in a new blog
  • Share for community participation and events – People research the communities profiles online in Twitter and Google Plus.  MeetUp is also a good site for meeting announcements, and learning about a group through the images they share.
  • Repackage content as a presentation. The slides can then be hosted as a Slideshare presentation or as a pdf which can be downloaded at another site.
  • Guest Blogging – appearing on other blogsites is still a good way to generate interest on your own, provided that the hosting site is a high quality site.
  • Appear on podcasts or video newscast, mentioning in talk about a related blog post. Doing so can be as effective as providing a link from a guest post.
  • Talk about tools of your trade, such as this post for Small Business Trends. Solution providers of those tools will appreciate your mention and post a link to the podcast (or blogpost).
  • Posting a link in a Reddit community relevant to your site or topic.
  • Create a slideshare version of the post, highlighting a few key points from the post.  Doing so will give another set of content that can complement a post without mimicking all the content.  So for example, a slideshare of top 10 tips for a better website could complement a post on why a site update is important to a business.
One follow up idea – make sure you are periodically checking the demographics and affinity reports in Google Analytics.  Doing so can reveal a rough estimate on the traffic quality that is arriving onto your site.  Checking the results in the affinity reports can verify traffic quality as it relates to your site topic.  The Affinity Report results can also spark some ideas for your blog topics.  Just look for what is consistent in a 30-60-90 day period (You can also decide to work on countering the resulting topics, if they are not what you want.
Overall there are a lot of ways to make traffic to your site with social media!

Analytics Tips: Using Affinity Reports and Second Dimensions In Google Analytics to Learn Consumer Interests and Mobile Strategy

Google Analytics Affinity Report

Segmentation has always been the raison d’être for analyzing data. After all, analytics is greek for “breakdown”, and businesses are trying to breakdown data into segments that can reveal ideas to serve customers easily. Understanding data segments reveal the kind of customers who are discovering your online media…and thus, discovering if your business is a good one to do business with.

But when it comes to data segments created from traffic sources to a site or app, mobile data drives the heart of the analysis especially if there is an Internet of Things influence in the strategy, such as beacons in a retail location.

So how can a business direct its analysis to make an IoT strategy better?

The best answer comes from combining Affinity reports and second dimension to know where people are coming from when they arrive to your site and to learn how people journey in general.

Affinity reports are useful in discovering new sites and topics that customers hold an interest.The Affinity and In-Market Reports offer lifestyle (Affinity) and purchase-intent (In-Market) topics that attracted an audience to a measured site or app.

But sometimes reviewing Affinity report results on one dimension does not reveal a pattern or a trend that tells the user something meaningful.   Selecting a relevant second dimension can help reveal more information to help the user see a pattern and make decisions.  (This Zimana post talks about second dimension selection in more detail.)

So where to start first?

Go to an Affinity Report and determine what topics are typically of interest to your site traffic.

Next set the Second Dimension in Affinity Reports to one of the following, based on the purpose of what associated information appears with the results in the Affinity Report:

Device

  • Devices highlight  the topics are accessed through a tablet or smartphone.  The highlights can spark ideas for planning AdWord campaigns for mobile versus desktop/laptop.

Time

  • The time selection highlights if the topics in the affinity report are accessed at a particular time.  The highlights can spark ideas for planning adword campaigns for when people view the ads the most.  You can examine time to see if people are arriving during a particular part of the day, or if there is some variation in topics between time periods.

Age Range

  • Can give an ideas of topics and source sites that are age appropriate  – useful for sites contain content suitable for children, young people, or a certain age demographic for the site owner. Use age range to know you are seeing activity from the intended group.

Verifying attribution can help you see if your media usage is in step with an target audience or within your industry.  You can do so with the Google Customer Journey Tool (I explain how the tool works in my CMSWire post – Pierre). The purpose of the tool is to see how customers general use different channels in a sequence before they purchase.

After planning the strategy marketers can set the reports that will be accessed frequently. Dashboards permit a view the most important reports in a glance, while Shortcuts permit faster access to the reports you use most often.  Dashboards can be viewed in the Google Analytics app easily.

 

Digital Retail Tips: 5 e-commerce site sales mistakes to avoid

E-commerce has become an essential component to retail, but it also can introduce a number of missteps to allow a customer to make a sale.  These 5 tips highlight the flaws that can appear (and some tips in avoiding them with e-commerce analytics).

1. Making online activities difficult for the customer to complete.

E-commerce sites can get a bit complicated when tasked to carry a multitude of products.  Any commerce site will require some adjustment to ensure that customers can complete purchase easily.

Thus a key analysis is to examine the visitor flow reports to determine which pages keep the purchasing behavior simple. Highlight where visitors are exiting a page, and examine the content on that page for improvement ideas.

Page speed can also be examined, to determine if images or scripts are creating page load issues. Slowly loading pages can persuade visitors to leave a site. Page load service Yottaa discovered in its analysis that a 1 second delay in page load speed can lead to a 7% decline in conversion, which means lower sales.  Check out this Zimana post for more on page load tools  and this post on tips to improve page speed for e-commerce.

2. Not targeting the right customers

To attract the right customer to the site, use the Demographic reports in Google Analytics to monitor how site traffic best matches the intended audience.  The age group reported should reflect the expected customer base.  For example, a music site offering downloads should reflect younger customers if the bulk of its music sales are the hottest acts that appeals to teens and younger adults.

3. Advertising that eats into low margin products 

Selling low margin products online does not eliminate the risk of selling at a loss. If those items require paid search to be highlighted, then the advertising costs can exceed the margins from each sale.   For example, if an AdWords campaign costing $2-$3 a click exceeds a $1 margin of an advertised product, then a retailer is spending more than what it makes on that product.

Periodically analyze the average order value of each purchase, and examine sales by SKU.  Is there a better way to offer the product – by advertising a low margin product as part of a package rather than as a solo purchase.

Moreover, analyze conversions from AdWords campaigns – are the click throughs leading to sales? Use Smart Goals to help plan the identify visits that are “most likely” to convert.

Follow up with bidding alerts in the AdWords manager to stop campaigns when bid cost exceed a planned amount.

4. Not carrying what customers are looking for.

Using the site search reports can highlight the terms in which customers are constantly looking for.  The terms will likely be brands or products not offered.  Frequent appearance of such terms indicate potential interest; Time after search metrics can indicate if people are remaining on-site after a search, or leaving immediately after a query, implying a dissatisfaction and that the item should have been offered on the site.

This CMS wire post can explain more about how site search reports can be best analyzed.

5. Annoying your customers with hidden costs.

No customer like surprise details about a transaction when they shop online, so a good e-commerce site should highlight complete  purchase information at the check out stage.  A product page should set expectations of what the customer will expect when purchasing.

Monitoring the check out metrics in the commerce report can provide an indication if customers are consistently leaving the check out process.  There are two steps that can address traffic decline.

One way is to set up a survey to trigger at the shopping cart when the customer drops out of the cycle.

Another way is setting up an A/B test to compare content can highlight what images or descriptions better resonate with customers.