Posted: May 15th, 2009 | Author: Tom Lewis | Filed under: AdWords, Google, Google Analytics, SEO | No Comments »
As someone who specialized in helping clients get the most of their inbound marketing programs, I’ve always realized that inbound marketing is part of a marketing mix and should not exist on its own. Yesterday’s Google crash has been written up by some other marketers out there, but not many have taken the position that you should not be 100% reliant on any one marketing program.
Google handles well over 60% of all web searches and that, in combination with its other services means that a failure at Google can affect: email, chat, AdWords ads, chat, banner ads, YouTube, Google Voice, Google Analytics, and many other functions that include communications, advertising, and measurement. Sure, you might say, you should also have Yahoo! search ad campaigns, and ok, that might get you some other exposure but what I’m trying to communicate is that AdWords and SEO shouldn’t be what your organization relies upon exclusively.
Some changes in Google’s indexing algorithms last year prompted AdWords guru, Perry Marshall, to tell his followers via podcast that they needed to diversify their marketing efforts. Changes in indexing can severely affect a website and its AdWords campaigns for weeks or even months. What would happen to your organization if you stopped receiving web traffic from Google for a month or two?
There are regularly infrastructure outages that can affect cities, states, regions, and even hemispheres. Everything from a trawler cutting a transocean cable to a squirrel frying itself at a powerstation can knock drop your website off the map or your connectivity to the web for hours and days at a time. What will happen to your business processes if you don’t have connectivity or if your ISP goes down?
This is more than about having a contingency plan to get back online as quick as possible (which you all have no doubt) – it’s about recognizing that people interested in what you have to offer need to be able to exposed to your messaging and be able to reach you in avenues other than the internet.
Infrastructure issues aside, your target audience needs to know that your organization exists beyond the web and since they exist beyond the web, you need to know what magazines they are reading, what social events they go to, and establish a presence there. It goes without saying that you will have this all backed up with great SEO, a killer website, and sharp branding. The flow goes both ways – someone who has seen you online in all the places they look: websites particular to their subculture, your website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., will be reassured when they see your ad in “The Journal of ____” as well as the fact that you are a sponsor of _______ social event and that you have real people attending who can have real conversations with them.
You need to have a quiver of arrows, SEO is one of them, AdWords is another, but you need more than just those two unless you have a bank account that can handle the web not working for you for days to weeks at a time. It’s guaranteed to happen.
Posted: March 6th, 2009 | Author: Thomas Attila Lewis | Filed under: AdWords, Google, Google Analytics, analytics | Tags: Advertising, AdWords, Customer Centric, Entrepreneur, Google, Google Analytics, Lead Generation, Match Type, STCC | 1 Comment »
It seems like a million years ago but back in December I did a presentation about web analytics for members of a local technology collaborative. One of the members of the audience was Diane Sabato, a professor in the business school at Springfield Technical Community College. Diane is also very involved with STCC’s Entrepreneurial Institute and has tailored one of her classes so that groups of students team up to help real businesses establish online lead generation using Google AdWords. This was the first time I went onto the old Springfield Armory part of the campus – what great history and what wonderful architecture, I can’t wait to go back and get a tour.
Knowing from my presentation that, as VP of Marketing, I manage several Google AdWord campaigns for Atalasoft, Diane asked me to speak to her class to give them an overview of the platform so this last Tuesday night I dropped by and ended up spending the evening with her class discussing mainly AdWords but also digressing into web analytics, and even Twitter.
I had prepared an outline (below) that was to cover about an hour of Google AdWords basics, but questions from her class led to us creating an actual campaign from scratch as well as answering business-specific lead generation strategies for their clients. The majority of her students asked questions, some of them asked several. I think the informal tone went well and I saw only a couple heads nodding by the end of the 3 hours that we spent together, and I don’t blame them. I can’t thank Diane and her class enough for their time, their patience, and their incredibly focused questions. [If any of the class reads this post, please feel free to email me with follow-up questions: tomdog "AT" gmail.com]
- What are AdWords? AdWords are for Lead Generation – they aren’t really a part of the Traditional Advertising Mix. Your ads will only be presented to those who are looking for the specific keywords you are targeting. The size and format of the ads prevent any real branding.
- Are there other adwords options? Why go with Google AdWords? Google gets 58.9% of all search queries worldwide, they are distantly followed by Yahoo! at 22% and then MSN at 9%. Take care of the majority of search first – everybody is pressed for time, if you have the bandwidth to take care of these other lead generation venues, their priority is secondary.
- How can you connect AdWords to your business? You will be compiling lists of words that should be core to business. These are terms that shold be integral to the business and its customers.
- We’ve heard the term: Customer Centric. The premise of AdWords is as customer-centric as it gets because it is the customer who is in control, it is the customer who will be typing the words, as they perceive them, about their needs, as they perceive them.
- AdWords force you to think about the customer. Who are these potential customers? Where are they geographically/socially/domographically? How do these prospects talk about themselves, their needs, and the products/services they are interested in? Where do they hang out online? You will have to create customer profiles and customer roles.
- How to get started with Google AdWords:
Don’t be intimidated
You are in control
There is nothing that you can do that is “wrong”
You won’t spend any of your budget until you are ready to
The sooner you open up the interface and start a “fake” campaign, the better
- Start a New Campaign
- Placements vs. Keywords (Content vs. Search) = Do not do placements as a preliminary project
- Start With Keywords
- Choose via language (English I am assuming)
- Choose via location: you will be in better shape if you can do some geo-targetting of your campaign(s)
-Create an Ad:
Headline (25 char)
Description Line 1 (35 char)
Description Line 2 (35 char)
Display URL (35 char)
Destination URL (1024 char)
- Keyword Input (you will need to work closely with your clients to get their keyword list, this is their homework):
Put in your list and pay attention to the “suggested keywords” that appear in the right column
Add the appropriate “suggested keywords”
Pay attention to and review Match Types:
keyword = broad match
“keyword” = match exact phrase
[keyword] = match exact term only
-keyword = don’t match this term
- Hopefully the URL your ad links to will have some kind of action or goal on it: Product/Service Page, Newsletter Sign Up Page – you and your customer/client will need to find some way to measure the success of your ads [As you get more sophisticated, web analytics with conversion measurement should be employed]
- Don’t be intimidated. Just get started. Read as much as you can about the basics. Ask questions.
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Posted: November 12th, 2008 | Author: Thomas Attila Lewis | Filed under: Daily Dilly, Google Analytics | Tags: Eric T. Peterson, web analytics, web analytics demystified | No Comments »
Eric T. Peterson had a great post today about how recession-proof the field of web analytics might or might not be. Not only does Peterson provide an overview of the business functionality of web analytics, as well as industry trends and marketing survey, he also provides a ton of links and a mini action plan for those interested in/devoted to the practice.
Peterson states that the recession-proof-ness of the web analytics profession might be overblown, despite the huge contributions to ROI, as well as showing the path to business opportunities. I could very well agree with this because one can see the mistakes that so many businesses are making during this period of economic contraction. The fact is that companies can not manufacture or otherwise innovate their way out of a recession – they market themselves out of a recession. The problem is that since marketing initiatives, promotion, ad buying, etc. are not fixed costs like salary or product inventory, they are frequently the first on the chopping block.
It’s a predictable pattern. Slash marketing budgets in order to save jobs, only to watch business contract further, thus resulting in inevitable layoffs. How about otherwise cutting salaries across the board, or eliminating some production positions, but expanding marketing efforts? You won’t maintain sales by communicating to fewer people. That has never worked in the history of business. You can only maintain/expand revenues in a downturn by connecting with more people, not less.
Business owners and management boards, pay heed and don’t fall into what has become a typical business downward spiral. If you choose not to, just pay attention to the companies that not only survive, but who excel and expand during these tought times – I guarantee you that they expanded their marketing efforts.
Posted: October 2nd, 2008 | Author: Tom Lewis | Filed under: Daily Dilly, Google Analytics | Tags: Adriana Iordan, Bostonist, Business of Software, Google Analytics | No Comments »
Today’s most actionable post comes from Avangate’s Claudiu Murariu: 4 Tools to Get More from Your Google Analytics
Of the four tools offered, these two made the most sense:
- “Google Analytics Report Enhancer by RoiRevolution. Brings up tens of new reports in Google Analytics. It also calculates for you “True Time on Site”, which is the average time spent on site, excluding all bounces.
- Google Analytics Downloader by Juice Analytics. Adds a highly valuable button to your keywords and referrers reports, stating who sent you unusual traffic. Really great info can be brought out of it.”
On that post there’s also a link to Avangate’s Analytics miniBible for Software Vendors which is well worth reading. I was introduced to Avangate by Adriana Iordan who began following my Twitterfeed at the Business of Software Conference in September. Check out the article I wrote on that conference at Bostonist.
Posted: September 26th, 2008 | Author: Tom Lewis | Filed under: Google, Google Analytics | Tags: Google, Google Analytics, HubSpot, ProMarketers | No Comments »
Just a quit post today. Has anyone seen the Google InQuotes interface? One of the great things about Google is that they have no problem putting the time into creating something like this without monetization as the primary goal of creating it – there is not a single ad on that page despite the obvious benefit of providing it.
For you Analytics freaks, the “official” Google Analytics blog has its first post today from one of their certified consultants regarding the set up of Profiles.
If you aren’t a member of the HubSpot-sponsored ProMarketers group (available via LinkedIn and Facebook), you should consider signing up. They’ve organized a couple of events in San Francisco and Boston.