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.

 

Digital Signage Augments Branded Search

There’s no doubt that online search remains a popular medium among customers in finding information. But with altered considerations for social media combined with updated online presence options, there can be doubt in how a bank should proceed to strengthen its appearance in a search engine.

One way to build customer recall is to develop a strategy for supporting branded keyword terms. Branded search results in an analytic solution is an expression of your customers’ recollection of your business online. Your bank should consider its brand strength – how can its current notoriety be used effectively.

The newest capabilities in paid search in Google and Microsoft’s Bing have linked ad services to other Bing and Google related platforms. The end result for paid search ads is an expanded relevancy towards intended customer segments and purposes. Google Adword Express, an Adwords extension, links your ads to Google Maps, highlighting its location. This provides a larger display on a computer screen, encouraging your customer to seek a bank branch if it is in a convenient location and increases the likelihood of clicking on an ad.

With regard to branded keyword terms, banks that have a long established relationship with its communities can put together a paid search strategy for extending branded search terms to these newly introduced services. Doing so would catch the segment of customers who are familiar with the bank but may not know what other services are provided. Features such as the aforementioned Adwords Express can be combined for provide further value online.

Branded search can be further augmented is an alternative appearance of services via a dynamic keyword insertion, a feature in which different keyword within an ad group appear in the ad based on the search query. The advantage can be grouping services together for a certain segment of customer, as well as creating a targeted campaign by context. So an ad for a “Bear Bank” offering home mortgage can have alternating text – refinance or first mortgage – in the title. A thought to consider is that words with similar meaning may differ in result appearance across search engines, so using additional tools such as Searchmetrics Suite and Wordstream can provide advanced keyword suggestions beyond the standard Google, Yahoo, and Bing accounts.

Digital signage ices the cake for many branded keyword programs by establishing customer recall of branded terms and intended service keywords in its media. The display’s impact occurs before the customer later decides to research services online. Customers will then recall the bank name and associated wording.

Once an ad campaign has been run, your analyst should confirm the impact from the results in a placement performance report. This report compares results across the campaign networks to identify and exclude poor performing ads based on networks. An online survey can be used at the landing page to assess if visitor did a search and had seen a digital display running. Influence from running a signage campaign can then be assessed, with a choice to pause the display message if the lift in click through rate is not significant.

Considering strategies to enhance paid search has a pay off. Recent white papers and studies are suggesting campaign sophistication in deploying paid search such as Google’s announced study back in 2012 that a combined paid and organic search usage can lead to a higher CTR. Enhancing branded search traffic with digital signage is one way in which a paid search campaign can lead to further payoff.

When to engage mobile customers: The Basics On Dayparting Ads

Time seems to be scarce with each day of a marketing campaign. But the answer in gaining some time back lies in targeting an effort at the right time. Dayparting is one nuanced way to connect to customers in the right time. Moreover, it can aid planning with digital signage by determining when messages can be most helpful to retail customers.

But first, let’s review a definition for dayparting.

Dayparting is the segmentation of marketing campaign responses by time period. The goal of dayparting is to match marketing efforts to time periods that are a best fit for potential response to a campaign message.

A little history on dayparting: first kind of contextual marketing, dayparting is a byproduct of radio and television programming. Programs included commercials tailored to the audience – If you recall seeing a Tide commercial during daytime soap operas, even their name stemming from Proctor and Gamble sponsorship in the 1950s, then you get the idea of dayparting pretty easily.

But the internet developed with a widely held belief that online advertising equated to advertising all time – if you have a website, people will “see” your business all the time. With smartphones becoming more and more shopping devices and tablets used alongside the TV viewing, the idea of selling around the clock online is morphing into discreet periods. Dayparting advertising has transferred from old media to the internet due to new features in less expensive advertising channels like paid search. Moreover, analytics solutions have begun to incorporate dayparting measurement capability.

What created this trend? In a word, mobile. The increasing acclimation of consumers to smartphones, netbooks, and tablets, combined with more public internet accessibility in places once considered offline, has shifted the way in which people arrive to a website. They engage, and the access is technically available around the clock, but genuine mobile connections are being made at hours different than behind a laptop. While much of the initial data is shopper-oriented, the retail behavior will surely filter into other tasks, such as account transactions and viewing sites through mobile devices.

Digital signage can easily use dayparting methodology for events such as announcing an upcoming bank branch seminar or cross-advertising events at various retail locations. To time announcements of events, dayparting display messages can be coordinated with mobile ads and SMS that lead to mobile sites.

Beyond reducing the amount of printing and shipping static materials to announce new events and limited-time offerings, dayparting on digital signage can provide the right message announcing event times and locations, services that customers can access on their mobile phones, or increase visibility of reminders. The end result is an increased likelihood of a customers using a retailer’s services that very day. Google in its 2011 study The Mobile Movement noted that 88% of respondents take action within hours to within the day of receiving local information in a smartphone. Dayparting signage marketing messages to drive customers to nearby branches can lead to increases transactions.

When I wrote this post originally for Digital Draw, I noted a comment from one of my colleagues, Daniel Berthiaume, that marketing managers “put a little extra into an analytical system to determine how often to refresh the content”. Combining digital signage with dayparted ads can provide solid means for that little extra by using mobile ads and sites.

For additional perspective, check out this Zimana post on dayparting.