Atom vs. Visual Studio Code

Atom and Visual Studio Code offer similar HTML editing experiences. You get a modern interface with easily installable plugins presented in a…
The post Atom vs. Visual Studio Code appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Atom and Visual Studio Code offer similar HTML editing experiences. You get a modern interface with easily installable plugins presented in a...

The post Atom vs. Visual Studio Code appeared first on The Daily Egg.

HubSpot vs. Mailchimp

The average marketer has to juggle numerous tasks, including sending emails, monitoring marketing campaigns, creating feedback reports, and measuring the campaign’s ROI….
The post HubSpot vs. Mailchimp appeared first on The Daily Egg.

The average marketer has to juggle numerous tasks, including sending emails, monitoring marketing campaigns, creating feedback reports, and measuring the campaign’s ROI....

The post HubSpot vs. Mailchimp appeared first on The Daily Egg.

Redesign of a Failed Mobile Onboarding Flow

Before signing up for a mobile app, users usually get a brief overview of its benefits. This introduction is known as onboarding. It helps kick off the user experience, so they know what to expect. Many usability issues can degrade the onboarding exper…

Before signing up for a mobile app, users usually get a brief overview of its benefits. This introduction is known as onboarding. It helps kick off the user experience, so they know what to expect. Many usability issues can degrade the onboarding experience, such as low text readability and hidden visual cues. Here’s an example […]

The post Redesign of a Failed Mobile Onboarding Flow first appeared on UX Movement.

How to Navigate & Attract New Leads in The Dark Funnel

95% of B2B buyers are not ready to buy your product right now. They’re having conversations with colleagues, researching on social media, and listening to podcasts about the product or industry and learning where your brand fits in. Demand generation helps you influence buyers where they’re having those conversations and in those unattributable spaces. It’s […]

The post How to Navigate & Attract New Leads in The Dark Funnel appeared first on CXL.

95% of B2B buyers are not ready to buy your product right now. They’re having conversations with colleagues, researching on social media, and listening to podcasts about the product or industry and learning where your brand fits in.

Demand generation helps you influence buyers where they’re having those conversations and in those unattributable spaces. It’s an inbound model that develops your authority and brand affinity over time—it can be a long game to get results, but it helps you stay in play.

Those places where your buyers are being actively influenced by the marketing activities you cannot track are called: the dark funnel.

In this post, we’ll uncover the dark funnel and show you how to win customers on the channels companies often overlook. 

What is the dark funnel?

The dark funnel refers to the different places where buyers engage and make decisions that marketing teams can’t attribute. 

When B2B buyers are considering a purchase, they spend only 17% of their time meeting with potential suppliers. Most of their time is spent researching independently online and offline and meeting with the buying group. 

Screenshot of Pie chart showing distribution of buying groups' time by key buying activities

By the time you see intent data, much of the buying process is already complete.

According to Walker: 

“B2B buyers are discovering, researching, and evaluating products in places companies can’t track.”

These places include: 

  • Communities and groups (e.g., Slack, Facebook Groups, Discord, Reddit, etc.)
  • Social media platforms (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, etc.)
  • Content platforms (e.g., Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Twitch, etc.)
  • Word-of-mouth interactions (e.g., text messages, DMs, video calls, etc.)
  • Events (e.g., industry conferences, marketing meetups, VC groups, etc.)

The parts of digital marketing we can track—email marketing, paid social, content syndication—are the tip of the iceberg. The dark funnel is everything happening below the surface.

It’s an acknowledgment of the changing customer experience. Buyer journeys have become so convoluted that the linear sales funnel mapping the path from awareness to consideration to purchase is no longer sufficient to give you realistic insights into the buying process. 

The dark funnel is the hidden steps in the buying journey. It more accurately mirrors a buyer’s movements before they reach your demo page.

This is especially important given the recent shift in data privacy, with the phasing out of third-party cookies and Apple’s update asking apps not to track users.

When you can’t accurately track, you need to work harder to know where to interact.    

Dark funnel marketing is a shift in mindset 

B2B companies are married to traditional marketing attribution models because they give credit to what’s working. It’s easier to secure a budget from stakeholders if you can show the number of conversions from email marketing or display ad campaigns. 

Dark funnel tactics don’t offer that same luxury. Because of this, hidden channels are often overlooked. 

“Most companies won’t accept them [dark funnel channels] because Gartner and Salesforce haven’t written an ebook on them. Or they’re just mailing it in and not doing it well enough to see results. These are the channels where your buyers are, and every other company isn’t doing well there, which creates a massive opportunity for you.” – Chris Walker, CEO of Refine Labs [via Revenue Champions

Taking advantage of the dark funnel requires a shift in thinking around attribution. The focus has to be less on how buyers clicked through and more on how they find you. 

Google recognizes this with its move away from last-click attribution and over to machine learning. 

Communicate with buyers where they are, rather than relying on channels you can track. Invest in conversations to learn more about your audience’s motivations and understand how trends change over time. This will help you develop strategies that resonate. 

Does this mean you should divorce yourself from attribution completely? 

Far from it. While software plays less of a role in giving credit, you can establish where you’re having success with qualitative research

Use surveys to ask customers about the route they took to reach you. 

Here’s an example of a simple customer survey from HubSpot:

Screenshot of Simple Customer Survey from Hubspot

Adding this to a demo request form or landing page will give you insight into where conversations are happening. 

Qualitative research can also be gathered during sales calls. These present the opportunity to dig into more specific data that can help shape future campaigns, such as: 

  • How buyers self identify
  • What problem were they solving
  • How they approached the buying process (what kind of comparisons they made, which other sites they looked on, etc.)
  • Any friction they faced in the process

Start from the end and work backward

Going by Gartner’s results, if over 80% of a customer journey is spent navigating dark channels, by the time they reach your website their research is almost done. They’re arriving with intent to buy.

Your job now is to help them over the final hurdle by reaffirming their belief that your product is the right choice and making the conversion as easy as possible. 

As Chris Walker points out:

“There’s no sense in starting a podcast or trying to run LinkedIn ads at high spend if when someone gets to your website, they don’t convert, and they can’t get in touch with the person they want to talk to. They won’t be moving, so they won’t be buying.” [via Revenue Champions] 

Before investing in dark funnel marketing, optimize your website and landing pages. 

Start by looking at quantitative data from your Google Analytics to find out how your web pages are performing, as well as how much traffic and how many conversions they get. 

To get an idea of how people use your site, look at device mix, bounce rate, and top performing and top exit pages. Use heat maps to see how users interact with individual pages. 

This will help identify any performance and compatibility issues, including where and what is good, and what needs improvement. 

Use this data alongside qualitative research from your sales team. Unbounce’s former CRO Michael Aagaard recommends asking customer-facing staff the following questions: 

  • What are the top three questions you get from potential customers?
  • What do you answer when you get these questions?
  • Are there any particular aspects of the product/offer that people understand?
  • What aspects of the product/offer do people like the most/least?
  • Did I miss anything important? Got something to add?

Hone in on friction points and run A/B tests to improve usability and conversion rate. 

If you don’t have enough traffic or lack the resources to run A/B tests, focus on these nine key principles of conversion rate optimization

  1. Speed. Review page speed on Pingdom. Lower load time by reducing image file sizes, using caching, and using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
  2. Singularity. Stick to one goal and one offer per page.  
  3. Simplicity. If an element on a page doesn’t get a visitor closer to action, get rid of it.  
  4. Clarity. Build pages around the reason a visitor arrived and the needs of the target audience. Keep language simple, lead with benefits, and make pricing and CTAs clear. 
  5. Identification. Optimize every page for a single target market. 
  6. Attention. Create interest by answering what your product will help the reader achieve in your headlines, supporting copy, and hero images. 
  7. Desire. Use social proof to make your product more desirable. 
  8. Fear. Use the PAS (problem, agitation, solution) copywriting formula to play to buyer fears and introduce your product as the savior. Add scarcity and urgency to your pages using availability and time-based countdowns.
  9. Trust. Use client logos, awards, accreditations, press coverage, and testimonials to build trust and credibility. 

These nine principles aren’t the be-all and end-all of CRO, but they’re low-hanging fruits that you can begin optimizing immediately. Following them will help you create pages that convert dark funnel traffic.

How to attract leads in the dark funnel

To win over buyers in the dark funnel, you have to bring your product and brand to your audience, not the other way around. This is how you’ll build relationships and drive conversations that convert prospects into sales-qualified leads. 

But being in the same circles as your target market means nothing if you’re not engaging with people and giving them a reason to care. Here’s how to make your presence count. 

Build your personal brand to get closer to your audience

Conversations in the dark funnel are people driven. In most cases, it’s not possible to join a community as a brand. Even if it were, you can’t expect people to warm to an entity in the same way they would the person behind it. 

The same goes for social media. While most people follow their favorite brands, the meaningful conversations—where products are reviewed and recommended—are all peer-to-peer on dark social, where they can’t be accurately tracked. 

To build awareness and demand, build your personal brand to build your corporate brand.

Use your industry knowledge and expertise to become a trusted expert. It’s a tactic used to great effect by SaaS founders like Noah Kagan, who has used his YouTube channel and guest blogging to grow AppSumo. Likewise, Rand Fishkin’s regular blogging and guest speaking helped make Moz the world’s number one SEO suite. 

Another great example of a strong personal brand is Backlinko and Exploding Topics founder Brian Dean. 

Brian isn’t a company owner working behind the mask of a brand; he’s the face of Backlinko. 

Screenshot of banklinko Homepage

He regularly shares informative long-form blog posts on SEO and link-building via the Backlinko blog. 

Screenshot of Backlinko Blog Post about SEO

He also shares helpful tips via a newsletter and LinkedIn, where he takes time to engage in the comments. 

Screenshot of Brian Dean Sharing Tips on LinkedIn

This is a crucial element of personal brand building and dark funnel marketing. It makes Brian an active member of the SEO community and positions him as an authority. More importantly, it gives him a reputation as someone who cares and is genuinely helpful. 

His active presence helps keep him and Backlinko front of mind. When the time comes for someone to seek out help with SEO, Brian and Backlinko will be at the front of the line. 

His approach has helped Backlinko grow to over one million visitors a month with a newsletter that boasts 173,000+ subscribers. 

Sprout Social research shows that 70% of people feel more connected to a brand whose CEO is active on social media, and 39% believe their presence offers better insight into a brand. 

Similarly, 72% of people feel more connected to a brand when its employees share information on social media, with almost two-thirds saying it helps them feel like there are real people behind the brand.        

Cultivate an identity separate from your brand, and encourage your employees to do the same. Get in front of your audience, share valuable insights, and build relationships to boost engagement. Be helpful for the sake of being helpful, and mention your brand only when it’s genuinely relevant.

You’ll soon grow your personal brand and your brand audience will grow in kind.    

Create and share content that helps people solve problems

Few of the channels that make up the dark funnel will be new. The problem is that, because of attribution software, brands often use them in the wrong way. 

For example, a brand may use LinkedIn or Facebook to capture email addresses so that they can give credit to those channels. But they’re missing out on the conversations in comment sections and groups. 

This is where people share content and make buying decisions. And it’s where you can shape the narrative around your brand

However, while your end goal is to get people to visit your website and convert, your aim for content is to create demand and educate your audience.

As Chris Walker explains: 

“I’ll share to educate so that the more my buyers consume my content, the more they understand, the more they are going to consider our product and ultimately choose our brand.” [via Revenue Champions]

Avoid gated content and focus on giving your knowledge away for free. 

Refine Labs do this with podcasts dedicated to demand generation and growth. 

Screenshot of Refine Labs Podcasts Page

In each episode, Chris Walker, his team, and guests share their experiences to help marketers and company founders work smarter and build better. 

Like Brian Dean, this positions them as subject matter experts, making people more likely to pay attention. It also creates authenticity in Refine Labs.

Episodes of the podcast are shared to all major podcast platforms. They’re also filmed and uploaded to YouTube, with soundbites shared across LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok.

Screenshot of Refine Labs Tiktok Video

Repurposing means the content works harder and its value spreads further into channels and communities where Refine Labs’ audience is engaging.  

It provides value without asking for anything in return. This is what builds trust, attracts followers, and secures recommendations.

Groove takes a similar approach with its blog. Rather than using its platform to push its product, it intentionally focuses on topics that benefit its audience. 

Its mix of company founder stories and helpful customer support posts are told in an authentic, personal, and sometimes vulnerable way that’s fresh and different from other industry content. 

Screenshot of Groove Blog Page

This mix helped Groove build a $5 million a year business in three years by being helpful and relatable. When we relate to something, it resonates and we’re more likely to talk about it.

Start from the position of delivering value. This will help you create demand and growth through organic social and content marketing

Once people recognize and trust your brand, lead magnets can be shifted to paid marketing and retargeting. This way, when people see your ads, they’ll be more likely to take action. 

So, where do you find ideas for value-driven content? 

The answers lie with your customers.

Listen to your audience and let them shape your marketing

Competitive analysis is a crucial part of any B2B marketing strategy. It helps you position your brand and product, and it sets you up to outshine the opposition. 

In the dark funnel, what other businesses are doing matters less. Focus squarely on the customer. 

Ask: What is the customer looking to do?

Groove looked to answer this when growing its blog. 

“…we decided to rebuild our content marketing strategy from the ground up with an eye towards what could actually help our market, rather than what we thought might look nice on a blog.

We tried to understand what people actually wanted that we could deliver in our content.

We asked them about their challenges and goals, and what they wished they had that they didn’t already have.” [via Groove]

Use voice of customer research to understand motivations and intent. Learning from existing customers will give you an understanding of what people want and expect from your brand and content, as well as what compelled them to choose you. 

It will help you identify why people visit your website, listen to your podcast, or read your blog posts, so you create more of the same. 

Supplement this by looking at what your audience is talking about online. What questions are they asking? 

A simple search in a tool like Quora or Answer The Public will give you insight into problems your audience is trying to solve. 

For example, a Quora search for “how to create demand for my product”, with results filtered by “Past month” brings up a host of related questions. 

Screenshot of Quora search for “how to create demand for my product”

Use these queries and answers to fuel your content. There’s no better way to endear yourself to an audience than giving them solutions to real problems they’re having. 

Social listening can be used in a similar way to monitor and analyze the conversations being had on social media. But don’t do everything from the outside looking in. Remember, a lot of the discourse in the dark funnel can’t be monitored. 

66% of buyers want more meaningful experiences with brands. Invest time in one-to-one conversations; listen to feedback, answer questions, and address concerns. 

For example, writer Julian Shapiro regularly posts and nurtures conversations on Twitter.

Screenshot of Julian Shapiro Twitter Posts and conversations

Not only does this help him build relationships and better understand his followers, it enhances his reach and reputation.  

According to McKinsey, over three-quarters of consumers are more likely to buy more and refer others to companies that offer personal interactions.

Stay close to your audience to meet their needs and ensure engagement around your brand is positive.

Deliver consistency at every touchpoint  

Demand gen takes time. Reaching the point where you’re the company on people’s lips is a long-term strategy that’s as much about how often you show up as what you show up with. 

According to Forrester research, the new number of B2B buying interactions post-pandemic is 27. Buyers are going everywhere there’s information and gathering as much of it as they can before making a decision. 

Publishing something new once a month gives you little chance of keeping pace with how buyers are discovering and researching options. 

Stay front of mind by developing a messaging strategy and consistently sharing new content. For reference, Refine Labs puts out three podcasts every week. 

Anyone encountering the brand for the first time can immediately see that it’s active and content is fresh and relevant. Its audience is also never short of something to share. 

CXL founder Peep Laja is similarly active in the CXL Conversion Optimization, Analytics & Growth Facebook Group

While the group is a space for members to connect and chat under the umbrella of the brand, Peep understands that CXL is the reason people are there and often jumps in to kickstart discussion and answer questions. 

Screenshot of CXL founder Peep Laja answering question on FB Group Post 

And if Peep isn’t in there, other members of the CXL team keep engagement high. 

Screenshot of one of the CXL team's members, Juliana Jaxx, keeping engagement high on Facebook

Dedicate some time each day or week to actively participate in groups, reply to comments and create fresh content. As you’ll be relying less on marketing automation software, it’s important to save time and resources where you can. 

Rather than spend multiple hours a week creating original content, set aside a block of time to make pillar pieces that can be used to fuel other content and reach new audiences. 

Refine Labs breaking its podcasts down into micro-content that is shared across social media is one example of this.  

Close is another. A big contributor to the brand’s growth is its ability to milk content for all it’s worth. 

Close creates a ton of raw material and remixes it for different channels. Take this video on developing a customer intimacy strategy:

Screenshot of Close Youtube Video about developing a customer intimacy strategy

Close took that recording and turned it into a blog post

Screenshot of Close Blog Post about developing a customer intimacy strategy

In another example, it took a long-form YouTube video on The Great Resignation, repackaged and distributed it as a shorter video for Facebook followers:

Screenshot of Close Facebook Post on The Great Resignation

One pillar piece can provide weeks or months’ worth of content without getting stale. But consistency isn’t all about content frequency. It’s also about how you present yourself and your brand.

Take Gong. The content you see on the company’s website is mirrored in social media content. 

This blog post, for example, features Gong’s purple, pink, and green brand colors and chatty tone of voice. 

Screenshot of Gong Blog Post showing purple, pink, and green brand colors and chatty tone of voice

Those same colors and tone are ever-present in its LinkedIn content:

Screenshot of Gong LinkedIn Content showing purple, pink, and green brand colors

And on Instagram:

Screenshot of Gong Instagram feed showing purple, pink, and green brand colors 

This makes Gong stand out. Its style is recognizable, which creates familiarity and fosters trust. 

Create consistency in your tone, messaging, and branding by following brand guidelines. These provide the framework for marketing teams and sales teams to follow to maintain a united front. Brand guidelines should include:

The goal with consistency is to make yourself memorable in presence, look and sound at every touchpoint. Do this so that when buyers seek out new product or service recommendations, you’re the company securing referrals. 

Conclusion

Opinions about your brand are being shaped and shared every day in the dark funnel. Being part of the conversation gives you the chance to tip the scales in your favor and get ahead of brands ignoring this hidden traffic. 

Focus on your customers. What makes them tick? Show your human side and build your content marketing funnel around solving problems.

Value will translate to direct traffic from B2B buyers who spend most of their time gathering information from their circles. When it does, look at the big picture rather than specific metrics. Are sales reps enjoying more meaningful interactions with people who are ready to buy? Is revenue growing? These are signs that dark funnel marketing is paying dividends.

The post How to Navigate & Attract New Leads in The Dark Funnel appeared first on CXL.

The Cleanest Zero-Clutter Page Layout for Shopping Carts

If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’re probably familiar with how cluttered shopping cart pages are. It’s not always easy to verify the items you’re buying when lots of text and buttons compete for your attention. A clutt…

If you’ve ever bought anything online, you’re probably familiar with how cluttered shopping cart pages are. It’s not always easy to verify the items you’re buying when lots of text and buttons compete for your attention. A cluttered page layout increases the user’s cognitive load. As a result, it takes them more time and effort […]

The post The Cleanest Zero-Clutter Page Layout for Shopping Carts first appeared on UX Movement.

Surprising Digital Maturity Adoption Trends for B2B Marketing

When searching for leading examples of one-to-one marketing, experience personalization, and customer engagement channels, few would start with B2B companies. In many key areas, B2B organizations have lagged more than other business models and industri…

When searching for leading examples of one-to-one marketing, experience personalization, and customer engagement channels, few would start with B2B companies. In many key areas, B2B organizations have lagged more than other business models and industries with digital transformation maturity.

The Surprising Science of “Manifestation”

Manifesting is bull. There, I said it. According to Oprah, manifesting is bringing something tangible into your life through attraction and belief—i.e. if you think it, it will come. It encourages people to bring a goal to life by making vision boards,…

Manifesting is bull. There, I said it. According to Oprah, manifesting is bringing something tangible into your life through attraction and belief—i.e. if you think it, it will come. It encourages people to bring a goal to life by making vision boards, writing in manifestation journals, chanting positive affirmations, and speaking it into existence.

The post The Surprising Science of “Manifestation” appeared first on Nir and Far.

The Role of Video Content In User Experience

Video content is a type of content that is designed to be watched by users. It can be used to promote a product, service, or brand or to entertain and engage users. Video content can be created using various methods, including animation, live action, o…

Video content is a type of content that is designed to be watched by users. It can be used to promote a product, service, or brand or to entertain and engage users. Video content can be created using various methods, including animation, live action, or a combination. Video content is generally more engaging and entertaining […]

The post The Role of Video Content In User Experience first appeared on Loop11.

SEO is math

Looking to prove the value of SEO? Put math behind your budget asks by measuring the traffic potential for an SEO investment.

The post SEO is math appeared first on Search Engine Land.

SEO often doesn’t get a fair seat at the table when marketing budgets are determined. 

Even though SEO is marketing.

As we’re approaching a time when many companies are having meetings in their conference rooms to determine budget allocations for the upcoming year, I want to help further the case as to why SEO should have a voice in the room (and budget in your marketing plans).

But first, let me address a bit more why I feel SEO doesn’t get its fair shake.

Proving the value of SEO is complicated

SEO can be a challenge for some in marketing departments to wrap their heads around. There are many moving parts and it’s not as easy as PPC when you understand exactly how that works. 

With PPC it’s generally a matter of:

  • Choose keywords.
  • Write/ place ads.
  • Pay when someone clicks.
  • Send that click to a landing page of your choosing.
  • Report on results (sales/leads).

It’s true. SEO is more complex than this. And, because of its complexity, I will often instruct prospects to think carefully about not just when to invest in SEO, but whether SEO is even a really viable investment in the first place. Often, the answer to these questions is “it depends.” 

Remember, an investment in SEO doesn’t just revolve around hiring an agency or an individual in-house to oversee and drive the strategy.

Unlike PPC, there are many other considerations, including:

  • Web design and development that may be required, such as:
    • Creating a new architecture / navigational structure.
    • Creating new page templates to better support SEO.
    • Creating a blog/resource section on your website (if you don’t already have one).
  • Content, such as:
    • Page content.
    • Resourceful content.
    • Thought leadership, white papers or webinars.
  • PR and legal reviews:
    • Ensuring that content meets with company compliance needs (especially for medical/pharma/legal/insurance industries and other highly regulated industries).

Case in point: My agency has a client who’s engaged us to aid in the re-structuring of their website (including an audit of their existing presence versus that of a competitor).

The work coming out of this audit resulted in 130 hours worth of web development requirements this client needs to see through to completion in order for the investment that they’ve made with us to be substantiated. 

I highly recommend that you consult with a trusted friend/partner who has experience in SEO to help you to make this determination. Many SEOs (the nice ones 😊) would be happy to provide a free analysis/opportunity assessment. Take advantage of the advice.

Today, I’m going to assume that we’ve determined that there is an opportunity for SEO to provide value for your business. Undoubtedly, if you’re in the conference room trying to determine what – if anything – to budget for SEO, you will want to better understand:

  • The size of the opportunity.
  • The size of the investment needed to get you there. 

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Size of the opportunity

When determining the "value" of an SEO effort, there are two sides to the coin. 

One easy metric is to consider "replacement cost" of the traffic. If you were to buy this same traffic via PPC (that you’re considering targeting via SEO) what would it have cost? Semrush makes this available via their "Traffic Cost" metric:

Semrush traffic cost metric

This can sometimes be a big number, as we see for Search Engine Land. You may find that many of your competitors are realizing this kind of value, yet you aren’t. 

That may be as far as you need to go to make your case to the board that SEO is "worth the investment." That’s one way to measure it. 

Understanding the traffic potential of SEO efforts

But if you’re a mature marketer, you will try to move beyond just "click value" to something more meaningful. 

  • Tangible value.
  • Sales.
  • Leads.
  • Downloads of white papers. 
  • Sign-ups for webinars.

How you measure this will depend upon whether your business is ecommerce or B2B/lead gen. For both verticals, you'll need to do two things:

  • Identify the possible keywords that you’ll want to target.
  • Determine what it might take to compete (i.e., site structure/link acquisition).

Since I’m assuming that you’re a marketing head and perhaps not an SEO, here’s how I would quickly suggest you conduct this type of assessment. 

Using Semrush (subscription required), navigate your way to the Organic Research section. Here, you can enter the domains/website addresses for direct competitors who you believe are doing well with their organic presence. 

Once you’ve found a competitor who appears to have a significant organic presence, click into the Top Organic Keywords section and click View all organic keywords.

Semrush "View all organic keywords"

You will now see a complete list of your competitors’ keywords. But this will also include your competitors’ "brand" keywords (their company name, etc.). You need to filter this:

Semrush organic keywords advanced filters.

Still, though, this data isn’t great. It’s showing us any keywords that our competitor is ranking for within Google’s top 100 results.

Let’s make this more meaningful/useful by reducing that number down to rankings "which matter" (that’s a subjective metric). In this case, I’m going to only concern myself with the top 20 ranking keywords:

Semrush top 20 organic keywords

Now I have a workable list of keywords that I know are driving significant organic search traffic to my competitor(s):

Semrush keyword list

This shows me that:

  • There are 19,029 keywords ranking in Google’s top 20.
  • The "local guide program" is driving a large share of traffic to my competitor.
  • The "seo" keyword would have cost me approximately $6.20 cost per click if I were to buy that traffic via Google Ads. 

And, as mentioned previously, we can see the "value" of this competitors’ non-brand organic traffic, based on the "replacement cost" ("Traffic Cost"):

Semrush Traffic cost.

If you’re highly ambitious, this is the next step that you can take. Download the Top 20 Rankings list into a spreadsheet. 

Semrus top 20 keyword export.

Create columns into your spreadsheet to make some assumptions (i.e., Ranking Top 3; Ranking 4-7; Ranking 8-10; or you may want to get as detailed as to estimate each top 10 position). 

Since we have the estimated monthly search volume for each keyword, you can now multiply those numbers by the potential click-through rate of each potential/future rankings. 

Thanks to Backlinko’s work on average CTR in the Google SERP, we have some estimates:

Google Organic CTR breakdown by position.

SEO is an imperfect science. But this at least gives you some visibility into the traffic potential that exists for an investment. In short, it puts some math into the projections

Assessing SEO opportunities in ecommerce and B2B/lead gen

Now that you have at least an idea of the traffic potential, we need to break out the tasks for determining what potential "real" value might exist, in terms of things that are more tangible (sales/leads, etc.). 

For the purposes of this article, I’ll be focused on either an ecommerce website or a B2B/lead gen website.

Ecommerce opportunity assessment

If you’re an ecommerce website, you should have a general sense of:

  •  Conversion rate into a sale.
  • Average (net) value of a sale. 

Knowing these things, you can run some estimates on how much you might make based upon varying degrees of traffic increases. 

For instance:

  • 10,000 visits per month x 1.5% conversion rate into a sale = 150 sales. 
  • 150 sales x $300 average net value of a sale = $45,000 per month. 

Knowing this potential real value, you can then assess if the investment that you believe will be required in an SEO effort is "worth it." 

B2B/lead gen opportunity assessment

If you’re B2B/lead gen, you should have a sense of conversion rate into a lead (and hopefully you’re tracking form submissions, phone calls, chat/messaging apps and other "leads"/conversion types). 

Working with this and your internal data on conversion rates from lead to qualified lead and qualified lead to sale, you should be able to calculate the potential ROI. 

Taking the same traffic potential above (10,000), here’s what that calculation might look like:

  • 10,000 visitors x 5% conversion rate into a lead = 500 leads. 
  • Let’s say that ½ of those leads are qualified (500 x .5 = 250). 
  • Then, let’s say that we convert 40% of our qualified leads into a sale (250 x .4 = 100). 
  • So, we have 100 potential sales from the SEO investment. 

What’s our average net value of a sale? 

Every business is different. We have a client whose average net value of a sale is $400,000. That makes the ROI argument pretty easy to make. 

But let’s say that your average net value of a sale is $400. With 100 sales x $400, that’s $40,000 in net value from your SEO investment.

Knowing this, you can determine how much you can profitably invest into an SEO effort.

Putting the math in SEO

These formulas are far from perfect. But they provide an opportunity to put math behind what you’re asking for in an investment into an SEO effort. 

You should also caution those involved that SEO is not a quick fix. It may very well be that you’ll spend the first months of the effort in deep research before big changes occur. 

As mentioned above, other hard (internal) costs could be involved, such as a restructuring of your website, content additions, page additions and PR/thought Leadership items. Do your best to account for these things.

While there are certainly times when I have strongly recommended against a company investing in an SEO effort, it’s more often that you’ll know me as a champion of the channel. 

The post SEO is math appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Google Analytics 4: A breakdown of Demographic and Tech details reports

Google Analytics 4’s navigation might look bare compared to Universal Analytics. But here’s where you can find hidden reports in GA4.

The post Google Analytics 4: A breakdown of Demographic and Tech details reports appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Google Analytics 4 may look simple on the surface, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Did you know that there are multiple reports hidden in GA4?

Out of the box, the left-side navigation in GA4 looks pretty bare.

There are only 18 reports vs. the 90+ (not including integration reports) in Universal Analytics. 

But contrary to popular belief, GA4 actually has a lot of the same reports built in.

The best examples of this are the GA4 Demographic details and Tech details reports.

Where the reports are in Universal Analytics

In Universal Analytics, these are all separate reports and each report is separated into subcategories as seen below.

Universal Analytics - Various reports separated in subcategories.

On top of this, UA sometimes has additional dimensions you can choose from.

For instance, you can switch to “City” instead of “Country.”

But this made it confusing to know whether a report was standalone or another dimension in a single report. 

Universal Analytics - Individual report or primary dimension change?

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The Demographics details report in GA4

Instead of multiple reports and a primary dimension change, GA4 combines all logical demographic dimensions into a single report, the Demographic details report.

The Demographics details report in GA4

The Tech details report in GA4

The same goes for the Tech details report.

The Tech details report in GA4

Here, you get 10 reports in one, including:

  • Browser
  • Device category
  • Device model
  • Screen resolution
  • App version
  • Platform
  • OS version
  • Platform / device category
  • Operating system
  • OS with version

Now that you know where some of your favorite and most used reports have moved to, hopefully, GA4 feels a little more comfortable.

The post Google Analytics 4: A breakdown of Demographic and Tech details reports appeared first on Search Engine Land.