How to hire your testing unicorn (without using magic)

When I was running my own testing program, I was in desperate need of an associate to help me manage my small (but mighty!) team. My single associate and I were launching tests left and right and we were unable to do anything other than focus on the day-to-day of the program. A job description […]

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When I was running my own testing program, I was in desperate need of an associate to help me manage my small (but mighty!) team. My single associate and I were launching tests left and right and we were unable to do anything other than focus on the day-to-day of the program.

A job description had been posted and the company’s recruiters were doing everything they could to find the right hire.

I remember reaching out to an old friend of mine to see if she knew anyone who might fit the role. I told her that I was looking (simply) for a data-driven individual with stellar communication skills and the ability to manage several complicated web projects at one time.

“Oh,” she said. “So you’re looking for a unicorn.”

“No, Susan… I’m looking for a Testing Specialist.”

Now, I don’t want to be too dramatic here, but this unicorn revelation did rock my world a bit. (It also made me want a bowl of rainbow sorbet with sprinkles… but I digress.)

When I finally overcame this existential testing crisis, I realized that I believed, deep down, that testing unicorns did exist. But I also knew that due to magic (obviously), I might never find one.

There were three main things I was looking for in my unicorn:

  1. Strong analytics skills and the ability to develop advanced data-driven recommendations
  2. Amazing communication skills – for helping stakeholders understand and action off of that data
  3. Organized and efficient project management skills for planning and managing the execution of test strategies

First, I had to assess which skills I already had on my team.

I took a look at my own skills and the skills of the team I had in place. To be honest, I’m much better at talking about analytics than I am at sitting behind a desk and doing a deep dive into the numbers.

My personal strength is in the communication realm of testing and my associate was an awesome project manager. So, it became pretty clear to me that there was a need for a strong analyst on our team.

Then, I had to decide what was teachable.

This is where things get controversial. Because teachable skills can really depend on the skills of the trainee, the trainee’s willingness to learn, and the skills of the trainer.

I did a quick poll here at Brooks Bell to see which skills my colleagues believe is the toughest to teach.

As you can see, many people here believe that good communication skills are hard to coach. And during my search for a Testing Specialist, I felt the same way.

I was pretty confident that I would be able to help my next hire become a better analyst or project manager, but I wasn’t so sure I could teach someone to communicate well in a stakeholder-facing role.

Finally, I had to decide if I could tweak my program structure

Depending on my next hire’s strengths, there were a few scenarios that I had to consider in order to structure my program without a unicorn. Here are a few examples:

If I decided to hire a strong analyst with weak communication skills

In this scenario, I would consider making this Testing Specialist role a non-stakeholder facing role. Because this person would not be project managing or communicating directly with stakeholders, they would be solely dedicated to analytics and free up the rest of the team’s time to focus on project management and stakeholder communication.

If I decided to hire a strong project manager with weak analytics skills

Because I believed that analytics skills were teachable, this associate could focus on project management in the beginning and slowly take on analytics work when they were ready.

If I decided to hire a strong communicator with weak project management skills

In this scenario, I would start by putting this associate in a stakeholder-facing role focused on analytics. After some time, I would begin training him or her on project management.

The magical lesson I learned

When I first approached this seemingly impossible task of hiring my next Testing Specialist, I was discouraged by the reality that I wanted so many specific skills in one individual.

But the truth is, Experimentation and Optimization is still a very niche industry, so finding a single person with so many abilities is going to continue to be tough for a while. That’s why I recommend first looking at the structure of your team, and then deciding which skills you feel comfortable teaching.

And always remember this: Testing unicorns do exist, sometimes we just have to help them find their wings.

Are you a testing unicorn looking for your next big challenge? Check out our monthly “who’s hiring” post for open positions in testing and personalization at top companies.


About the Author:

Sam Baker has eight years of experience running experimentation and digital analytics programs for major e-commerce brands. As a consultant at Brooks Bell, she helps global brands build and grow their testing programs.

In addition to her role at Brooks Bell, Sam is also an accomplished career coach, providing guidance to ambitious women looking to land their dream careers. Originally from Indiana, Sam now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and her dog.

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It’s time for the brand promise to evolve. Again.

Contributor John Nardone explains how being an empathetic marketer can help you with everything from managing data to conceiving of dynamite creative.

The post It’s time for the brand promise to evolve. Again. appeared first on Marketing Land.

With GDPR recently coming into effect, advertisers are once again fretting over their use of consumer data. In Europe, the fretting is beneath a regulatory cloud, with financial consequences for the misuse of EU consumer data.

Here in the US, we are not facing legislation, but GDPR, Cambridge Analytica and congressional hearings have nonetheless refocused us on the question of fair and appropriate use of consumer data.

It is a fundamental conundrum that’s faced marketers for years: how to manage the fine line of personalization vs. privacy. When does appropriate use of data flip over to inappropriate? When does personalization cross the line into “creepy?”

The answer to the privacy vs. personalization challenge shouldn’t be difficult for responsible and thoughtful marketers. If they want to know whether their use of data is appropriate, marketers just need to put themselves in the shoes of their consumers.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes

Good marketers should always be empathetic and attentive to the needs of their consumers, but in a data-enabled environment, they should aspire to go a step farther. They should strive to deliver some value in return for using that consumer’s data and for her attention.

In other words: It can’t be about the needs of your brand (i.e., more sales!). The message you deliver to the consumer, and the way in which you deliver it, must serve the consumer’s agenda, not your own. If marketers can adhere to this very basic premise and allow attentiveness and empathy to guide their strategies and communications, concerns about inadvertently crossing into the realm of data creepiness will be largely assuaged.

While the above concept might sound obvious (albeit rarely put into practice), it’s only in recent years that the dynamic messaging capabilities needed to deliver on this premise have become available.

As industry columns like this one are quick to remind readers, we know more about the individuals seeing our ads than ever before. Now, it’s time for our brand promises to be expressed in ways that reflect that knowledge.

A singular brand promise, tailored to the individual

The brand promise has evolved significantly over the past 70 years. Pre-1950s, most brand promises were straightforward. They stated what the product did. Detergent makes your clothes cleaner. Deodorant makes your armpits drier. Car wax protects your car’s finish. Simple, sure. But certainly not personal.

In the ensuing decades, the brand promise evolved. It took on meaning relative to the consumer. Advertisers shifted away from product features to focus on end benefits. Yes, deodorant keeps you drier, but why? So you can be more confident. That’s what really matters to consumers.

But over the past decade of digital and programmatic innovation, distribution has come to outweigh the message. As marketers, we became infatuated with the precision with which we could reach consumers — to the point that we forgot to pay attention to the messages and the creative with which we were reaching them.

Thankfully, we’re headed for a correction in that ever-swinging pendulum, one that brings empathy and humanization of the consumer to the forefront in ways that were not possible in decades past.

In today’s world of personalization, the empathetic marketer has the opportunity to evolve the brand promise yet again by translating it to the individual. And that’s where some serious creative magic can happen.

How awesome creative can be

In the world of the personalized brand promise, deodorant doesn’t just make you dry. It doesn’t just make you confident. It makes a 46-year-old father of two more confident when he meets the parents of his daughter’s new boyfriend. It makes the 27-year-old account manager more confident when she gives her first company-wide presentation. If context matters, then the context of the individual matters the most.

In the hands of an attentive and empathic marketer, data can enable a new, more personally relevant expression of the brand promise. Not only can we speak to a product’s end benefit, but we can speak to that end benefit as it applies to an individual at a given moment in time.

The creative possibilities enabled by the personalized brand promise are limitless. But to get it right, we must first embrace empathy as our key guiding principle in connecting with consumers in the moment.

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Attention + intensity: Tips for navigating the new age of media strategy

Contributor Mark Williams says marketers must evolve the metrics they monitor to keep up with the changing media-consumption environment.

The post Attention + intensity: Tips for navigating the new age of media strategy appeared first on Marketing Land.

As marketers and brands have seen, the prevalence of digital video has transformed how consumers access media and content.

Essentially, video is not the future, it’s the “now”.

According to Cisco, global IP video traffic will represent 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 percent in 2016. Consumers no longer want to read about a brand  — they want to visualize it.

In 2018 and beyond, we’ll see a big shift from before, when advertisers were looking to buy reach and frequency with traditional media, to now, where advertisers will want to capitalize on intensity through the maximum amount of reach and frequency. In a post-pivot-to-video world, it’s time to change your video and media strategy, especially how you measure it.

To tackle all of the changes and innovations in media and digital marketing within the past few years, and especially to gear you up for the further integration of video, here are three tips for navigating the new age of media strategy.

1. Measure your audience with intensity

Rethink your approach to measurement. It’s not just about clicks and views. Viewability and reach are no longer the main indicators of success because they don’t measure how an audience is connecting with the content.

Instead, track deeper actions. Update your key performance indicators (KPIs) with different engagement metrics, such as watch time, engagements, earned metrics and follower acquisition, to track whether or not your intended audience actually viewed your message and reacted to it.

Watch time is one of the most valuable metrics to track in order to gauge whether or not audiences are actually watching your content. It’s also the most important factor for platform algorithms. If you track minutes watched, retention rate and the average percentage of those who watched through, you’ll have a better idea of how you are captivating the audience’s attention, and at what level of intensity.

Tracking engagements (e.g., likes, shares and comments) is also a key indicator of your strategy’s performance. Engagements and engagement rates indicate that fans are making a decision beyond simply watching your content. If they’re sharing, starting up a conversation, or compelled by a call to action from the content, you can measure the intensity with which your audience is consuming the material.

Also, be sure to watch your follower/subscriber acquisition. Growing a fan base is essential to the marketing efforts of advertisers, and it is important to identify what content brings in new followers so that you can focus your content strategy to consider these insights.

2. Rethink content strategy: Transform ads + make content relevant

Given the prevalence of ad blockers, it’s clear that interruptive advertising doesn’t work anymore. Instead, we’re seeing high performance through integrated brand messages. To do this, make your content relevant to your consumer.

Embed your campaign initiatives into publisher sites through partnerships to make for a smoother and natural integration of your advertising.

Consider integrating with influencers. Research conducted by Fullscreen (my employer) and MediaScience found that the percentage of viewers who would recommend a brand after watching a branded video from an influencer was 13 percent higher than the percentage for a TV ad.

Test different content strategies to see what resonates best with your audience, and for a more specific segmented analysis, A/B test different interest sets and demographics to inform your marketing plan.

3. Tailor by platform

To keep your marketing strategy specific and efficient, optimize content and advertising to reflect the platform. Utilize metadata by making campaigns that align with proper titling and tagging across all of your platforms. Keep your branding design consistent to ensure that your content is distinguishable. Ensure that your creative is designed for the specific tech specs of the platform where it will live.

Gone are the days of the one-size-fits-all approach. Facebook creative must be treated differently from Snapchat and so on. Perhaps most importantly, the creative must feel endemic to the platform — which explains why repurposed television commercials have some of the lowest engagement metrics.

Identify and maintain a consistent publishing schedule that is tailored to times when platforms reach the highest number of eyes, not only to maximize viewership and engagement but also to help consumers know when to expect your content.

Further, aim to promote circular traffic: Utilize the platforms through their available interactive elements so that you can cross-promote across all channels.

When tailoring your content for specific platforms, you also want to pay attention to how the platform is accessed.

Take a look at the platform functions, according to recent data from each platform and Statista, YouTube is accessed 50 percent of the time on mobile, whereas Facebook is at 95.1 percent and Instagram is at 100 percent.

This means that when creating content for YouTube, you should pay equal attention to mobile and desktop access, whereas Facebook and Instagram should lean more heavily toward mobile usage.

In closing

You’ll want to keep these three tips at the forefront of your digital marketing and content strategy so that you quickly adapt your brand to the changing video and media environments of today.

Remember, the overarching difference in paid media targeting online versus traditional targeting is the more refined, specific targeting of individuals, which ultimately leads to higher attention and intensity, as well as greater returns.

With all of these advancements, online media has many new metrics which you absolutely must utilize to expand your reach and retention far beyond that of traditional paid media.

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Tips for measuring marketing impact to prove ROI

Contributor Kristie Colby explains how to align your systems so that you can track prospects’ interactions all the way to the sale and beyond.

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Marketers can struggle to prove the value of their programs when there isn’t always a direct response or purchase. This is especially true for B2B marketers focused on lead generation programs with long, complex sales cycles. So, how does a marketer faced with such a challenge assess the impact of their marketing efforts, prove contribution to revenue and demonstrate ROI?

Understand marketing objectives

Most marketers have several different goals that drive their strategies and programs. Typically, we are allocating resources across multiple programs and channels to meet the following objectives:

  • Brand awareness and market positioning.
  • Lead generation.
  • Lead nurture and sales enablement.
  • Target account acquisition (via Account Based Marketing).
  • Customer loyalty and growth.

Each of these efforts will involve multiple touch points that have varying levels of impact on a prospect or customer’s decision-making process. But what is their ultimate value to the organization?

Critical success factors to measure marketing impact

Here are some of the items that need to be addressed in order to assess the value and contribution of marketing programs:

• Acquiring customer data. Marketers must have the technology and infrastructure in place to record meaningful information about various touch points that contribute to lead generation and customer acquisition. These systems do not rely solely on what the prospect might provide. For example, online registration forms might capture name, email, company name and phone number. In most cases, a marketing automation platform is used to supplement prospect-provided data.

TIP: Most marketing automation systems provide cookie data that can be appended to lead records automatically. Then, when that lead takes a specific action that is important to the marketing program, the engagement can be recognized and possibly addressed with proactive campaigns and programs.

• Ensure consistent parameters. The entire organization must utilize the same parameters and field values to record information related to lead/customer acquisition. They must be categorized with meaningful and actionable values that can be captured by the technology and systems in place. Most companies use a combination of UTM parameters that can be captured by hidden fields on forms and lead source details that can be programmed into a form or labeled within their own parameter.

TIP: Two parameters that must be consistently used by sales and marketing across all programs are utm_medium=[insert medium] and utm_source=[insert source name]. This allows proper channel grouping for the medium (marketing medium of the tagged URL — paid search, social, email, for example) and aligned source values (where the visitor clicked on the tagged URL — for example, Google, Facebook, newsletter).

Often, organizations don’t have total alignment on how to use and populate these parameters, and this can cause data errors and inconsistencies. Taking time to map all lead fields with values that can be used consistently is essential to evaluating marketing programs and their impact on revenue.

• Fully integrate systems. In order to maintain data integrity, sales and marketing systems must be aligned to share all of the data being acquired over time. Specifically, marketing automation and CRM systems must utilize the same fields, populate those fields with common values and pass these details back and forth as data is acquired. Data in these systems must sync as leads move through the sales cycle.

Furthermore, this integration allows marketers to personalize the experience they are creating for each prospect and measure the impact of individual touch points. One example of this type of data integration and how it effectively enables a personalized experience is for leads that have been qualified and sent to sales.

TIP:  The ability to understand the marketing touch points a prospect previously engaged with will help sales reps set the proper tone and context for their initial sales discussion. The prospect’s specific challenges and requirements can be addressed with helpful, relevant content throughout the nurturing process and tackled head-on in sales discussions.

Later, when (hopefully) that prospect becomes a customer, the marketing automation system will route the record to a customer list and begin customized programs focused on loyalty and retention.

Now, with these three critical infrastructure items nailed down, marketers can focus on developing different types of reports to measure and analyze the impact of their programs.

Analysis and insights

With more data comes the power to analyze and assess marketing programs in multiple ways. As leads move through the funnel, I recommend that marketers consider and analyze their results based on these three views:

  • Acquisition (initial lead source).
  • Attribution (across channels and touch points).
  • ABM (target account engagement).

By analyzing marketing data in these three ways, a marketer can start to:

  • Understand the relative impact of various marketing programs.
  • Allocate resources based on the efficient acquisition of qualified leads.
  • Determine the best approach to attribution modeling.
  • Quantify marketing’s contribution to pipeline value and revenue.

Why is this important? These insights allow marketers to better allocate resources, reduce waste and further accelerate sales.

Here is an example of how a marketer might utilize these insights to better focus their resources and drive sales. Let’s assume their organization has a long, complex sales cycle and therefore, had determined they wanted to take an ABM approach to a segment of their marketing programs. Beyond creating the target account list, the marketer will want to understand and measure engagement with multiple stakeholders within that target account.

It is likely that several different contacts within the account will participate in the process and engage with marketing programs over time. A clear understanding of which decision-makers are engaging, when, and how, will be much more insightful, when viewed in aggregate from the ABM perspective with attribution, than if each contact were viewed as an individual, independent lead and not treated as part of the whole. This ABM view will allow sales and marketing to communicate more effectively and efficiently with prospects based on all of the observed behaviors of the group of target account stakeholders.

Prove marketing ROI

Today’s marketers must demonstrate a clear, measurable contribution to the bottom line. This means you must be able to track and measure impact (in an integrated fashion across all sales and marketing systems), and you must be able to analyze all of this data holistically to draw insights, properly allocate budget and demonstrate ROI. This data-driven approach is critical to the success of any marketing team.

The ability to validate programs and confirm impact might seem like the unattainable holy grail for some marketers, but with this data and reporting in place, the holy grail is within your reach.

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Super Bowl ad rankings: Trust your gut or employ rational thinking?

What’s the “right” way to measure the success of your advertising? Contributor Peter Minnium says the answer is “it depends,” and goes on to explain why.

The Super Bowl is the single most viewed televised event in the US. Every year, more than 100 million people tune in to see who will be crowned NFL champion. There is no bigger or brighter stage for impactful ad content, so it is no wonder that a 30-second commercial this year sold for an average of $5 million. With the stakes that high, brands fight tooth and nail for audience attention and, like most consumers, they want to make sure they get their money’s worth.

Though the need for strong evaluative metrics is clear, the means of selection is less evident. Ad Meter, Real Eyes, YouTube, Ipsos (my employer) and many others all created rankings of winners — but each used a different system and got different results. This year, Amazon’s Alexa ad crowned USA Today’s Ad Meter rankings, while Tide, which did not even make the Ad Meter top 10, won out in the inaugural neuro study conducted by Ipsos.

When you’re right, you’re right

While your first instinct may be to assume that one of these studies got it wrong, the divergence in these ratings represents differences in testing approaches, each reflecting a distinct goal and research philosophy. Though methodologies vary, the most dramatic distinctions arise between studies that evaluate audiences’ conscious responses and those that measure nonconscious reactions.

Behavioral science research has revealed that people employ two kinds of information processing: System 1 and System 2. The former is automatic, rapid, efficient, and often operates below our conscious awareness. It can be thought of as our intuitive “gut” reactions and feelings. By contrast, System 2 is controlled, analytical, and deliberate. It is only active when we have the ability and the motivation to consciously process information.

System 1 and system 2 in the spin cycle

These different systems come into play at different points in consumers’ exposure to a brand’s narrative. In the early stage of a product’s lifecycle, the best communication strategy may be to inform and educate prospects as to the new product’s superiority to other existing solutions. Emotional appeals may not reach a skeptical consumer, but providing viewers with the information they need to make an informed judgment can help win them over.

After the early stages of a product’s lifecycle, when the shine of the new has fallen away and other products have caught up in terms of rational benefits, it’s the brand’s image, relative appeal, and closeness that drive consumer choice. Lists of product benefits and demonstrations of their relative strengths become burdensome to viewers, while emotionally-stirring or visually-exciting ads can captivate their attention and maintain their interest.

Picking the right tool for measuring effectiveness

Just as the stages of a product’s lifecycle should inform the choice between educational and emotive advertising, a brand’s needs dictate whether an understanding of an ad’s System 1 or System 2 impact is most relevant. When making this determination, it is important to consider the strengths and limitations of viewer self-reporting. While System 2 studies may yield more thoughtful responses, they can overlook nonconscious viewer engagement.

Like most research techniques, the Ad Meter evaluates participants’ articulated response to individual ads. It relies entirely on viewers’ conscious assessment of the ads with self-recruited panelists scoring each ad on a 1 to 10 scale. As marketers we are very familiar with these types of survey questions: “Which ad did you like best”, “Which ads did you dislike”, or “Which ads were most memorable?” These are all examples of System 2 processing.

Measure reactions with the blink of an eye

Methodologies that measure System 1 processing of ad content may be less familiar, but they can be powerful. Neuroscience has armed researchers with an arsenal of techniques, including EEG (electroencephalogram), Facial Coding, Eye Tracking, and Biometrics. The merit of each of these approaches is determined by the importance of recreating a natural viewing environment and which level of analysis most directly answers a brand’s questions.

  • EEGs measure fluctuations in the brain’s electrical activity using a headset. They provide great temporal resolution by matching voltage spikes and waves to the introduction of stimuli and can be read at fast speeds, giving almost immediate results. However, EEGs struggle to simulate a natural viewing environment, as respondents are required to wear a headset and must be mindful of moving while participating in the study.
  • Facial coding reads emotions from facial expressions — happiness, surprise, sadness, disgust, fear, and confusion. It can track minute changes in mood, revealing if a scene is having the desired effect. Capable of distinguishing between a sincere and an insincere smile, it can provide great insight about the true emotional state of viewers when watching ads, but participants need to sit in front of a camera and remain focused on the content.
  • Eye tracking measures the movement of a viewer’s gaze across the screen and allows practitioners to see through the audience’s eyes. It is one of the best ways to determine what attracts and captures a viewer’s attention, though it does little to explain what (if anything) the viewer is experiencing. Eye tracking also requires participants to sit in front of a specialized camera, which, while less intrusive than an EEG, is still short of a natural viewing environment.
  • Biometrics can be measured in many ways, including Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), also referred to as skin conductance or electro-dermal activity. When the viewer becomes excited, sweat production increases, making it possible to directly monitor the impact of stimuli on the viewer. Measuring GSR is far less disruptive than other System 1 tests, as it does not require cumbersome equipment or severely limits participants’ movement.

Tides of sweat make for winning ads

GSR was chosen for Ipsos’ study because it was deemed the best way to collect System 1 data while preserving the natural viewing environment so important for the Super Bowl. The human body has the highest number of sweat glands in the hands and feet, making them ideal sites for testing. In the interest of both maximizing accuracy and minimizing disruption, a wearable Shimmer GSR device — designed to be attached to participants’ fingers — was used.

Image via Shimmer

Participants enjoyed the Super Bowl in the comfort of a small theater, while the devices tracked their levels of excitement. When Alshon Jeffery reached for a one-handed catch, Eagles fans tensed in anticipation. Their heart rates spiked, and sweat production increased, as part of their bodies’ natural response. Every time David Harbour delivered his soon-familiar line–” It’s a Tide ad” –their amusement was nonconsciously expressed the same way.

It all comes back to the brand

The ads in this year’s Super Bowl were tested and ranked by no fewer than six companies using various System 1 and System 2 methodologies. Each was “right” for a specific context, delivering a unique perspective on the ads’ impact on viewers. Smart marketers and their agencies know to choose a methodology based on their specific objectives and are paying increasing attention to the needs of their communication to engage System 1 and System processing.

Making Marketing Analytics Simple And Easy To Understand

Does the thought of marketing analytics make you cringe? Does it seem overwhelming and time consuming? Many business owners find analytics and reporting a cumbersome task and one they put off until absolutely necessary. If this is you, or you’d like some advanced tips on measuring data, this is the article for you. We look […]

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Making Marketing Analytics Simple And Easy To Understand

Does the thought of marketing analytics make you cringe? Does it seem overwhelming and time consuming?

Many business owners find analytics and reporting a cumbersome task and one they put off until absolutely necessary. If this is you, or you’d like some advanced tips on measuring data, this is the article for you.

We look at making marketing analytics simple and easy to understand so it’s something you want to do, not grudgingly have to do.

First, let’s define marketing analytics.

Marketing Analytics Is…

Marketers (and business owners) use marketing analytics to evaluate the success of their marketing initiatives.

These analytics make up the processes and technologies to measure their performance.

Bottom line – marketing analytics tell you if your marketing programs are working.

You want to gather your data from all of your marketing channels and consolidate it into one common view. From here, you can decide how to drive your future marketing efforts.

To increase your lead generation and ultimately your conversions, you’ve got to know how to interpret your data.

Many business owners think marketing analytics are best left to the experts. We’re here to tell you that you are the expert. No more worries about metrics. You can do it.

To create your report, you want to attend to these items first:

  • Ask yourself what you want to learn.
  • Find the report that answers that question.
  • Put it into your overall marketing analytics.
  • Include a balanced assortment of reports.
  • Assess your strategies.
  • Then, you can use your report to change or revise your marketing strategy.

Here’s how to make marketing analytics simple and easy to understand.

Take Little Bites

When gathering your data, you often have access to multiple metrics. In the beginning start small.

A good place to begin is with page views, conversions and visitor information.

You want to track the most important information first. After you get accustomed to analytics and reporting, you can dive deeper for more metrics.

Marketing experts put much of their emphasis tracking conversions. Why?

This is a much more accurate number for you to gauge your success. Conversions track actual customers doing something on your website, like signing up, downloading information or buying something.

Your conversion rate focuses on dollars and the value of your visitor.

Be the Master

The true analytics expert knows which metrics and data matter and which ones don’t matter so much.

The fact is you don’t need to track everything. It’s too hard to stay on top of it all.

For example, if you want to focus on lead generation, your most important data is page views and your opt-in rate.

Understand Your Data

It also helps to narrow your focus to the most relevant metrics so you know what data to capture.

Here are some areas to look at depending on your business:

Ecommerce businesses can look at conversion rate, total revenue, orders completed, average order value, drop off rate and where that happens and full on cart abandonment.

A business to business company might look at page visits, page views, conversion rate and leads generated.

A business to consumer company might focus on conversion rate, click-through rate and orders completed.

Remain Objective

It’s easy to selectively look at your data and search for things that confirm a hypothesis. You might have something in mind you want to confirm and find data that validates it, but that leads you to ignore all of the contrary information.

Don’t get caught up looking for metrics that confirm what you expect and disregard all other data.

Be objective and look at the data from multiple angles.

For example, many people think a high bounce rate is due to the fact that visitors didn’t like your page. But you have to ask these questions:

  • What is happening?
  • Why is it happening?

Your first instinct is to attribute a high bounce rate to people not liking your page. Yet, there are many other reasons your landing page may have a high bounce rate:

  • Your content is superb and meets the users’ needs, and you only have one call to action that people take and then “bounce” off.
  • The landing page was simply to collect an email address, thus they bounce when they were done.
  • Your page load time is too high.
  • Your page doesn’t meet users’ needs.
  • Users landed on your page from a Google Ad campaign, and your page didn’t match the ad.

The goal is to assess why you have a high bounce rate before arbitrarily deciding you have to redo your entire page.

Know the Value

You’ve probably searched Google for “What’s a good conversion rate?” That isn’t necessarily the same information for everyone.

You want to understand the value of your analytics for your industry. Don’t stack your business up to businesses in other industries because their “good” conversion rate may not be yours.

Your Google search should instead be for, “What’s a good conversion rate in my industry?” Once you’ve narrowed down the field, you really can compare rates.

Comparing to unlike industries sets you up for misplaced expectations.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to make marketing analytics simple and easy to understand, we want to leave you with a few more thoughts.

Take advantage of these advanced ways to break down your marketing into analytics you can understand.

If you don’t, you’ll end up with a bunch of marketing information cobbled together that has no relationship with one another.

To make the best decisions for your business, you have to take your entire marketing picture into account.

This means your social media insights, your Google analytics and your emails stats. It means taking a look at all of your marketing efforts in one place so you can decide how to proceed.

Use your marketing analytics to make sound business decisions and drive your future marketing. Use them to refine and test your lead generation to increase your profits.

Tie your marketing efforts to your leads to your bottom line, and you’ll quickly see what’s working and where you can improve.

So, say goodbye to marketing analysis paralysis. Use these advanced tips to make it work for your business.

Are you ready to squeeze more profit out of your website by analyzing your marketing metrics? That’s terrific! We’re here to help you optimize your website so it works fluidly for your website visitors. In fact, we promise you we’ll do just that.

 With our guarantee, you can rest assured we will increase your profits through landing page optimization.

 If you’re ready to work with the leader in landing pages and conversion rate optimization, contact us today.

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Average Session Duration- What is it and Why Bloggers Should Care

There are a lot of stats to look at when viewing Google Analytics and average session duration is one of them. This article will cover what is average session duration and why bloggers should care about it. Even if you’re not a blogger, you may want to read in on this. Average Session Duration –…

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average-session-duration-200x200There are a lot of stats to look at when viewing Google Analytics and average session duration is one of them. This article will cover what is average session duration and why bloggers should care about it. Even if you’re not a blogger, you may want to read in on this.

Average Session Duration – What is it?

According to Google,

Average session duration is total duration of all sessions (in seconds) / number of sessions.

A single session is calculated from the first time someone views your page, to the last page view of that person. So, if someone enters your site and visits a few places, say 5, on it that takes them 10 minutes, then their session is 10 minutes, or 600 seconds. If their session is one page and only 30 seconds, then their total session is 30 seconds.

The average session duration is taking the total time of the session divided by the number of sessions during a specific date range.

Average Session Duration – Why Bloggers Should Care

Average session duration can be influenced by bounce rate, page views,and sessions, but for some, this could be a indicator of how much people like to stay on specific areas of your website. For bloggers, this allows them to know if an article has been well received.

Google loves long form content. This has been said over and over by many leaders in the SEO industry. However, Google also has suggested that content in a post be at least 300 words.

Well, 300 words doesn’t take long to read. If you’re a blogger that constantly published content that ranges around 300 words, you’re not really beefing up the potential of time that your readers are spending on your website. Often, the reader will skim through in under a minute, possibly comment, and then leave.

Rather than giving the reader a “wham bam thank you mam” experience, why not do some of the following to possibly increase the average session duration, and thusly your reader’s interest in remaining on your website:

  • Create a series of posts and interlink them. People who have an interest for the topic will click to each topic and stay on the site longer.
  • Always find ways to link to other relevant posts in your website. Whether it’s a specific term that you explain or some other relevant content, this gives the reader a possible option to be curious enough to click that link and read more.
  • Have cornerstone content that is lengthier and filled will several methods in which the reader can digest your content. Aside from long form text, don’t forget that you can add images, video and audio to expand upon your point. Cornerstone content is usually quite lengthy (more than 1500 words), and sometimes may even seem like it should be in an ebook.
  • Don’t forget to link to your services, encourage visitors to comment, or ask readers to subscribe to your newsletter. It’s your website, don’t be shy. All of these encourage some type of positive action that brings them to another place on your website.

Most bloggers will probably look more at their page views, but seriously, if you’re setting goals on individual pages, you may want to also focus on whether people are staying on those pages or going to the places you want them too.

Have you taken the time to look at your site or individual article’s average session duration?

The post Average Session Duration- What is it and Why Bloggers Should Care appeared first on Diamond Website Conversion.

How to link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics

You can link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics? Why yes you can! In doing so, it allows you to integrate all the services of each into one big tool to measure the behavior of your site’s traffic. This allows you to dig deeper into how people are searching your website so you can see what…

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how-to-link-webmaster-tools-with-google-analytics-200x200You can link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics? Why yes you can! In doing so, it allows you to integrate all the services of each into one big tool to measure the behavior of your site’s traffic. This allows you to dig deeper into how people are searching your website so you can see what they are looking for the most. Aside from their capabilities, the great thing about having both of these tools are that they are absolutely free. The only thing you need to do in order to take advantage of them, are to sync them together.

This article will show you how to link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics.

How to link Webmaster Tools with Google Analtyics

Before you can link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics, you need to sign up for a Google account. After you have a Google account, you need to sign up for Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. You will need to submit your website to each of them and add their tracking code onto your website.

The best tool to add the tracking code from Google Analytics or get your site crawled by Google Webmaster Tools, especially for WordPress users, is to use Google Analytics for WordPress, and WordPress SEO by Yoast, both of which are handy plugins.

After you’ve installed the tracking codes, either manually, or using the recommended plugins if you’re a WordPress user, then you need to link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics.

Step 1. You can link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics by going to the Google Analytics tab called Admin. After you’ve clicked to go to the Admin section, there are 3 columns. Look for the middle column that says Property. You want to click on the link that says All Properties. (Note: Right click on the image below to open in a new tab or window in order to see how you can navigate to where you need to link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics.)

link-webmaster-tools-to-google-analytics

Step 2. On the All Properties page, if you scroll, you’ll see all sorts of Google properties listed. You will want to find the Google Webmaster Tools section.

webmaster-tools-all-property-page-in-google-analytics

Step 3. Fill out the form and hit save. On this page you’ll want to also decide if you want to enable features like Demographics and Interest Reports Advertiser Features, and In-Page Analytics.

The Demographics and Interest reports basically collect information on your visitors in regards to age, gender, and their interest. The Advertiser Features give you options not available in regular use of Google Analytics and give you the ability to remarket with the platform, as well as have DoubleClick integration, reporting on Demographics and Interests, and reports on Google Display Network Impression.

As a note, while in this step, please make sure that you’ve hooked your website up to Google Webmaster Tools. The website has to be verified or this will not work right. Click save when you’re done.

webmaster-tools-link-to-google-analytics

The process in how to link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics doesn’t take long at all. If you’ve already hooked your website up with each Google property, then it’s pretty easy to do.

Have you linked your Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics?

The post How to link Webmaster Tools with Google Analytics appeared first on Diamond Website Conversion.

How Important are Pageviews for Bloggers?

If you’re a new blogger or have been around the block some, pageviews are really important. If you’re not paying attention to your website’s stats, then you’re missing out on a lot of things that could make you money. Money or any return on investment is important for a lot of bloggers, whether the blogger…

The post How Important are Pageviews for Bloggers? appeared first on Diamond Website Conversion.

how-important-are-pageviews-for-bloggers-200x200If you’re a new blogger or have been around the block some, pageviews are really important. If you’re not paying attention to your website’s stats, then you’re missing out on a lot of things that could make you money. Money or any return on investment is important for a lot of bloggers, whether the blogger is a professional or writing on a website as a hobby. In this article, we’ll cover how important are pageviews for bloggers.

How Important are Pageviews for Bloggers?

What is a Pageview?

In many web analytics platforms, pageviews is a statistic that is commonly measured. Simply, a pageview is how many times a page has been seen. Yes, it’s really that simple of a definition. There are some technical ones, and Google has one specifically defined for those that use the Google Analytics tracking code.

Pageviews as defined by Google Anayltics:

A pageview is defined as a view of a page on your site that is being tracked by the Analytics tracking code. If a user clicks reload after reaching the page, this is counted as an additional pageview. If a user navigates to a different page and then returns to the original page, a second pageview is recorded as well.

A Pageview is Just Another Number, Right?

It’s a number, but not just any number. Pageviews are a very important number to bloggers because it’s one of the statistics that bloggers need to give to potential advertisers that are interested in placing ads on their site. Advertisers aren’t going to pay you to put up an text link, banner ad, or sponsored post without knowing your website’s stats.

A lot of times, the more pageviews you have, the more you can ask of an advertiser. Usually the stat they want is your monthly count, however, a lot of web analytics systems can be broken down into daily and weekly amounts.

As a note, aside from the pageviews, knowing what the majority of the audience is (gender, age range, and location), and keywords are also important numbers to pass to advertisers. For every pageview you get, web analytics platforms like Google Analytics tracks these details for you! 🙂

Pageviews versus Unique Pageviews – What is that?

Other than making money, it also allows you to see the progress of your own website. In fact, aside from pageviews, you also get a number for unique pageviews too! Unique pageviews are when the page has been visited once by a user. For example, if you visit a website and go through 6 pages after visiting the home page, and then return back to the home page when done, that is 7 pageviews, and only 6 of them are unique.

In fact, in Google Analytics, this is measured as a stat, and this is a good indicator of figuring out why your users left your site when you know where they exited the site.

So, really, how important are pageviews for bloggers? If you’re looking at your stats for pageviews for the first time, then you’re looking at a lot of potential for the future.

Do you know your pageview stats? If so, are you using your pageview stats to your advantage?

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Google Analytics: How to Set Up a Simple Goal

Google Analytics provides a great feature for website owners to be able to track specific campaigns, also called a goal. It can be places on pages, forms, or anything you are wanting to track for to see if a campaign has an effective website conversion. It also tracks how the visitor arrived to the area…

The post Google Analytics: How to Set Up a Simple Goal appeared first on Diamond Website Conversion.

google-analytics-thumbnailGoogle Analytics provides a great feature for website owners to be able to track specific campaigns, also called a goal. It can be places on pages, forms, or anything you are wanting to track for to see if a campaign has an effective website conversion. It also tracks how the visitor arrived to the area you want to convert.

This works great after you’ve tried A/B Testing so you can verify the results from live traffic. In this article, you’ll learn how to set up a simple goal in Google Analytics.

Google Analytics: How to Set Up a Simple Goal

Please note, if you haven’t added your site to Google Analytics, then you can’t take advantage of the goal tool until you do. Aside from adding your site to Google Analytics, you will also need to apply the generated tracking code to your website.

The first step is in creating a simple goal is by clicking on your site in the Google Analytics dashboard. On the right hand side, scroll down to the area called Conversions. If you click on it, the area will expand and show you other links. Look for the area called overview as shown below.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-1

Now, you can either do this and be led to set up a simple goal or you can also click the Admin tab at the top. Image is below. In order to view the image larger and much better, you will have to right click on the image to open it in a new tab or window.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-2

On the last column under View, is an area called Goals. You’ll click that and be led to the page that has an area much like the image below.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-3

Click on the red button to create a goal. Once you have, you will need to name your goal and tell it hat type of tracking you want. In the case of this tutorial, and it being how to set up a simple goal, we’ll choose the first option called Destination. This is great for contact forms or lead generation forms. Once you have selected the option on how you want to track your goal, then click the blue button that says Next Step. See the example image below to see how you should proceed.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-4

In the next step, you tell it what page you are wanting to land on. You do not put the full URL. See the image below for how this step should go.

googleanalytics-goals-screenshot-5

Before hitting the blue button that says Create Goal, make sure to click the link that says Verify this Goal. This helps to make sure that your goal will work and checks it against your previous 7 days of stats on Google Analytics. In the case that you just joined and don’t have 7 days of stats, then proceed by clicking the button to create the goal. You can always check after a few days if the goal is actually working.

Once this has been set up, you won’t have to mess with it any more. You can just sit back and analyze how your goal is doing. Simple, right? There are other ways you can set up a goal in Google Analytics, like how long visitors are staying on your site (called Destination), by how many pages visits (Pages/Screens per Visit), or Event (like from watching a video.)

Have you taken advantage of setting up a goal in Google Analytics? Did you find it easy?

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