by Jayson DeMers

Creating and managing a website is a big step for a business, but just having a website isn’t enough. Establishing a web presence on the web is equivalent to constructing a building for your business in the real world; you can make it pretty on the outside and pretty on the inside, but that doesn’t guarantee any foot traffic, and it certainly doesn’t guarantee any patronage.

If you’re going to maximize the revenue potential of your site, you need to understand who’s coming to your site, why they’re coming to your site, and what you can do to increase those numbers. Fortunately, Google’s free Analytics platform gives you these kinds of insights in great detail. But you still need to know what you’re looking at.

There are tons of different metrics to track in Analytics, and it can be confusing if you’re a first-timer. Instead of trying to learn all the details immediately, narrow your scope to observing patterns in the Acquisition tab–this is going to tell you where your traffic is coming from. Here, you’ll find four major sources of traffic, from which you can gather valuable insights about your site:

1. Direct Traffic.

Direct traffic is measured by visitors who visit your site without any online source directing them to it. For example, if a user types in your URL directly or calls upon it from a stored bookmark, it’s considered a direct visit. Direct visits generally come from one of a few types of consumers–they could be people who heard about your brand offline, repeat visitors who wanted to come back, or even your internal staff checking the site for errors (though you can filter this last segment out entirely for more accurate data). You can improve this traffic by increasing repeat visits and stepping up your brand awareness efforts offline, though as you might imagine, the offsite route is a bit less efficient than other methods.

2. Organic Traffic.

Organic traffic refers to inbound visitors who found your site through search engines. Any traffic from Bing, Google, and other search sites is counted in this data. This is most useful for practitioners of SEO, who use content, links, and other strategies to increase their likelihood of ranking high for various relevant searches–higher organic traffic generally means greater success with the strategy. However, branded searches also count toward this total. If your site is new, this figure will undoubtedly be low, but you can increase this number by optimizing your site, producing regular content, establishing relationships with outside authorities, and getting active on social media. It takes time to develop the domain authority necessary to earn this type of traffic, but it can be a lucrative source in the long term.

3. Referral Traffic.

Referral traffic accumulates any visits that came from outside sources. If links to your site are available on external sources, users can follow those links to find your site. Link building in SEO (or through guest posting) are valuable for this. You might also earn links from local directories or industry directories, provided you submit your information to them. Getting a link published on a high-profile source with tons of traffic can route significant droves of users to your site, but the more valuable a link is, the harder it is to get. Keep a close eye on your link development strategy to increase referral traffic–you might also consider placing affiliate links, which cost a bit of extra money but can be valuable opportunities for getting new traffic. Some links might even crop up naturally if outside sites choose to cite your information–click into the Referral traffic section to see exactly which sources are generating the most traffic to your site.

4. Social Traffic.

Last but not least is social traffic, which can refer to any inbound users from social media sites. The more active you are on social media and the more attractive your links are (think about providing value to users rather than advertising your brand or products), the more visitors you’re liable to get. Over time, as you build a following, this number can skyrocket. If you click into the Social traffic area, you’ll be able to see exactly which platforms are generating the most traffic, and you can weight your strategy to favor those platforms.

Understanding and tracking these four sources of traffic, you’ll learn your users’ strongest preferences, and you’ll be able to cater to those preferences with your marketing strategies and ongoing site development.

As you grow more familiar with Google Analytics, you’ll be able to analyze user behavior on-site, track user demographics, use goals to maximize conversions and generate more revenue, and branch out to other analytics platforms and business intelligence tools to build an ever-clearer picture of your website’s traffic data–but none of this is possible without suitable initial traffic.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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5 SEO Strategies You Can Implement in Real Life

 

by Jayson DeMers

For the most part, everything you need for search engine optimization (SEO) can be completed online. There are two main areas of optimization to worry about: on-site optimization, which is the ongoing publication of content that introduces new material to your site, and off-site optimization, which involves building relationships and links that point inward to your domain. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can work on these two areas and see progress over time.

However, there are also some optional in-person or real-life strategies that you can use to boost your SEO campaign. For traditional businesses, this is an exciting possibility.

Real-Life SEO Strategies

Try using some of these in-real-life strategies to improve your SEO campaign’s performance:

1. Advertise your content through print.

The content you develop for your site doesn’t have to remain exclusive to your site. After all, you spent a lot of time on it and it’s appealing to your target audience. You can use your best copy in printed brochures, or use printed ads to direct your key demographics to your website to view your most popular materials. This will generate more interest in your on-site content from new demographics, who will then be more likely to share, comment, and engage with it, driving your visibility and effectiveness up.

2. Network with more people.

You could also work on attending more professional networking events and meeting more people when you get there. These are easy opportunities to meet more people who are interested in expanding their personal networks of contacts; almost everyone you meet will be willing to connect on social media, which will instantly increase the diversity and volume of your audience. Assuming you meet 10 new people at every event and attend one or two events a week, you could easily rack up 1,000 new followers a year–and that’s not even counting the additional contacts those new contacts will give you.

3. Get mentioned in major publications.

It’s also a good idea to try and get your business featured in local publications, even if they don’t have an online presence. Though newspapers are slowly dying, they remain a viable medium for some demographics and can be easier routes for mass visibility than some online sources. Do noteworthy things in your community and build a relationship with at least one journalist who works for a local publication. There are a few easy ways to find a reporter’s email address, so pitch them a few interesting ideas and get yourself featured.

4. Attend local events.

You could also increase visibility for your business by attending more local events. For example, if there are street fairs and festivals going on, make sure your business is represented at a table or even help with the event. This will help build your notoriety in the local sphere, which means you’ll attract more local followers, get featured in more local publications, and earn more online visibility and local relevance, even if you aren’t directly trying to build it. Stay plugged into your community to learn what’s going on at any point in time, and don’t be afraid to get things started–odds are, other business owners would jump at the chance to get involved with a budding event.

5. Draw more people to your site through traditional ads.

Remember, more traffic is always a good thing for SEO. It means that more people will be reading, sharing, and linking to your content, you’ll develop a bigger reputation, and as long as they’re engaged, Google will view your site as having a higher domain authority. You can also drive traffic to your website through traditional advertising methods, such as TV spots or billboards. These tend to be more expensive than long-term digital investments like content and social media, but they’re worth it if your business needs the extra SEO boost from an offline angle.

The Importance of Creativity

Why bother with these in-person strategies instead of just relying on the known off-site and on-site tactics? At first glance, these tactics may seem like they add extra effort without much of an extra payoff, but there’s always an advantage in pursuing more creative SEO strategies.

Your biggest threat in SEO is competition; one competitor outranking you for an important keyword term could disrupt your entire campaign. Therefore, you’ll have an edge when pursuing any tactic that differentiates you from your competitors.

As long as you keep targeting the right keywords, the right audience, and the right overall direction, these creative additional touches can be just what you need to get ahead. Keep challenging yourself and your team to pursue these new directions and help your strategy stay alive.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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5 Strategies for Better Team Coordination in SEO

 

by Jayson DeMers

When most entrepreneurs and marketers think about refining their SEO strategies, they focus on the conventional best practices that constitute a successful optimization approach, such as their on-site optimization, ongoing content marketing strategy, and link building campaign.

However, there are also more collaborative, qualitative, and personal factors to weigh when it comes to execution of your campaign. For example, how can you make sure every member of your team stays coordinated with the rest in their mutual efforts to optimize your site?

Why Coordination Is Essential in SEO

Depending on the size of your organization, SEO could theoretically be executed by a single person. In a small business, building a foundation with on-site optimization, content, and an introductory link-building campaign could be handled by a single person doing full-time work.
But it’s more common to see several people working together in close coordination to achieve exceptional results on behalf of a firm. That coordination could make or break your campaign in the following ways:

  • Deadlines and execution. First, the obvious: SEO is an interconnected series of tactics, and if you’re going to execute them in conjunction with other people to achieve a final goal, you need everyone to work on the same interim deadlines and benchmark goals.
  • Cross-disciplinary coordination. Even if you don’t have both generalists and specialists in the SEO field working together, your SEO will still be influenced by people in multiple departments. For example, your designers will need to know how to design websites with SEO in mind.
  • Camaraderie and workload balancing. It also pays to keep your SEO team working close with one another so everyone maintains high morale. This will be beneficial when one specialist inevitably gets saddled with more work than another: You can bring the departments together to rebalance the individual workloads.

How to Stay Better Coordinated

Now let’s take a look at how you can help your team become better coordinated in practical terms.

1. Use more efficient forms of communication.

Modern technology offers a ton of advantages, and you need leverage as many of them as you can for your team. As pointed out by Dialpad, millennial workers tend to be closer to the cutting edge of new communications technology, but that doesn’t mean the rest of your team has an excuse to stick with older technologies. Whether you’re using an in-house team or some members are working remotely, give yourself flexibility by keeping your team using multiple forms of communication, from phones to cloud-hosted management and collaboration platforms, and chatting apps.

2. Set both individual and team goals.

Focused teams are able to work more productively because they know what they’re aiming for. It’s crucial to establish both individual and team-based goals. For example, you might encourage your entire team to work toward a certain rate of growth in organic visitors, with individual goals for your team members, such as getting featured on a number of new publishers or developing a certain kind of content. This will help keep things moving toward a destination while compensating for any individual weaknesses you encounter.

3. Identify and document consistent brand standards.

Some areas of SEO get pretty technical, but much of the ongoing work–such as content development and guest posting–will rely on the strength and consistency of your brand to succeed. Because of this, it’s a good idea to document your brand standards formally and make those available to everyone on your team.

4. Have overflow policies.

An oversized workload can depress anyone; when one individual has too much to do and another not enough, your team can’t possibly function efficiently. To avoid this potential hitch, it’s a good idea to have overflow and workload balancing policies in place. For example, you could encourage your team to openly admit when they have too much on their plate and have a line of delegation in place to coordinate task reallocation efforts.

5. Cross-train your workers.

Every member of your team, both in the SEO department and in surrounding sections, will have an area of specialty. But it’s worth making the effort to cross-train everyone on what all (or at least some of) the rest are doing. This approach allows outside workers to step in and take over the tasks of others (and thereby assist your workload-balancing efforts). It also keeps each worker abreast of what the others are doing and leads to a heightened sense of group awareness and focus on team goals.

Together, these strategies can help your team remain in closer coordination, and working harder on the goals that will drive your business forward.

You’ll also need to be prepared for a degree of difficulty; it’s never easy to coordinate an entire team of differently minded and differently skilled people, so you’re bound to run into difficulties trying to keep everything and everyone together. Try to remain as adaptable as possible.

Be sure and visit our small business news site.

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Come to San Francisco this August 29-31 as we bring together the leading minds in digital marketing for not one, not two, but three separate events, each focusing on a different aspect of digital.

Here’s a rundown of what’s coming up, some of which requires a fee and some which is completely free  – so no excuses!

1. ClickZ Live San Francisco | August 29-31

ClickZ Live is our original digital marketing event series (you may remember us as SES Conference & Expo) that has been running for over 20 years.

Taking an advanced deep-dive into all aspects of digital marketing our all new accelerator session will enable you and your team to execute your campaigns faster, smarter and more efficiently than ever before.

Training workshops take place on day one and the main event with over 40 trainers and speakers takes place on August 30-31 .

Topics: Mobile, SEO, PPC, Content, Analytics, Data, B2B, Email, Social, Attribution, Conversion Rate Optimization

Speakers include:

CZLSF Speakers

Pricing & tickets:

Passes range from $695 for a day pass to $1,495 for the full three days. (Prices rise on August 12)

Find out more here.

2. Shift San Francisco | August 30

Launched in London in May, Shift is our latest series of events which focuses on digital transformation, disruption and leadership.

Bringing together senior marketers and business leaders Shift’s agenda will look at how you can harness, protect and grow your business by tackling digital disruption head on.

Topics: Responding to Disruption, Unlocking the Trapped Value of Digital, Building a Company that Stands Out, Disrupts and Changes Lives, Marketing in a Digital Age, Conquering the Data Mountain, Digital Transformation Survival Guide

Speakers:

Shift Speakers

Pricing & tickets:

There are a limited number of complimentary VIP passes still available to senior client/brand side marketers.

One day passes are $995. (Prices rise on August 12)

Find out more here.

3. The ClickZ Intelligence Forum | August 31 – FREE

Join the ClickZ Intelligence team and special guests from Google and Southwest Airlines (plus more TBC) for an exclusive look into the latest trends and actionable tactics to succeed in the digital world.

Drawing insights from a series of in-depth reports and research published by our analysts, this half-day forum will provide you with a comprehensive overview backed up by in-depth analytical research and statistics of the latest opportunities and trends you need to be aware of.

Topics: Telling your Story through Data, The Art of Digital Engagement, The Latest Trends in Digital, VR & AR, The Future of Digital

Speakers:

ClickZ Intelligence Forum

Pricing & tickets:

The ClickZ Intelligence Forum is open to all, however there are only 100 places available. Places are filling up fast so request your pass today!

A wait-list will be available.

Find out more here.

Photo credit: jfew via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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Join a smorgasbord of marketing experts, analysts, trainers, unicorns and data scientists

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What’s so great about digital marketing anyway?

 

Do you work in digital marketing and do you love it? Are you new to the industry and feeling overwhelmed by it? Either way, all this constant change means people in this industry are always learning and sharing their ideas.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the digital world is all around us. For those people still trying to fend off the ‘future’ by disengaging from the digital world, the tide is turning. It’s now getting harder and harder to do everyday things like pay a gas bill, book a holiday or apply for a job without some kind of digital presence.

In some parts of the world – like China – you can’t even get a taxi these days unless you are connected to the internet.

In the words of Bill Heslop: “You can’t stop progress.” That quote might be lost on anyone who is not Australian, but in the two years since I attended my first ClickZ Live event, the digital landscape has changed phenomenally and there are no signs it’s going to slow down anytime soon.

How digital marketing today goes beyond goats screaming like humans

Have you ever Googled “goats screaming like humans”? This was a key theme of the opening keynote at ClickZ Live Hong Kong in 2014. It was delivered by Jason Oke who at the time was the regional managing director, Asia-Pacific, Red Fuse Communications.

ClickZLive_Goats screaming like humans_Google_600

I haven’t forgotten this presentation because essentially, Oke was saying that if you were a brand like Coca-Cola, your marketing competition was no longer Pepsi.

Your biggest worry as a marketer was thinking about how to engage the distracted consumer from the endless hours of content around cats that do all sorts of strange things, dogs that know when they are in trouble, and goats screaming like humans.

ClickZLive_Cats That_Google search_600

Here’s one of many YouTube videos devoted to the goats. This one has had more then 30 million views.

And it didn’t stop with the goats. The viral nature of these videos prompted a range of further uploads of goats interspersed in the music videos of Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Whitney Houston.

Yes, in 2014, these goats had digital marketers staying awake at night.

Oke’s message was short and blunt. In 2014, the party had moved online, and a brand could either attend the party, or remain unnoticed in the shadows.

What’s the marketing value of a contact lens that can measure glucose levels?

At that same conference, ClickZ Asia contributor Mandeep Grover talked about the revolutionary opportunities for marketers around wearable technologies and the Internet of Things.

He talked about the capabilities of some of these new technologies where, for example, a contact lens could measure the blood sugar levels of a person from their tears. Was he talking about the ‘future’? No. This was technology right here already, in the now.

ClickZ Live_Google contact lens_600

*Source: Google

This sort of technology, alongside other health initiatives like fit bits, is a boon for marketers in terms of the additional data they can collect from individual consumers. Imagine the kind of personalized policies a health insurer can now market to individual consumers, based on that data. Yes, big data has been a key theme for some time now, but now that the industry has got better at collecting, and refining it, what should marketers be doing with it?

David v Goliath – staying relevant through digital partnerships

Finding clever ways to use this data to engage with consumers on a very personal level is every marketer’s dream. And those doing it well are startups. They are small and agile and can constantly evolve to meet changing consumer needs and purchase behaviors. Which is why clever businesses are working hard to partner with them. A keynote case study at our Hong Kong event in 2015 looked at AIA’s accelerator programme in Hong Kong.

The insurance industry is one of several sectors at particular risk of losing relevancy to disruptive technologies.

Alyssa Tam, director, AIA Edge, AIA Group, said a key objective of the AIA accelerator programme was to be able to learn and understand what was happening outside.

“Because at the end of the day, we want to stay relevant. We are a very successful company, and we want to continue to be that for the years to come,” she said.

Using data and mobile to ‘power moments that matter’

Which brings us to 2016. What do screaming goats, micro-chipped contact lenses and big business partnering with startups have to do with all of this? Digital marketing is constantly evolving. It means people in the industry, new or old to it, are always learning, exchanging ideas and sharing the challenges that so much constant change brings about. In 2016, key trends have gone beyond mobile being a point of engagement for brands, but how to use the device to enhance consumer experiences – and how to deliver a service in an ‘always on’ world.

At ClickZ Live Hong Kong this year, Brian Wong, the 25-year-old founder and CEO of Kiip will be discussing just that – how the connected consumer is changing the face of advertising. His startup helps connect brands with consumers at their most receptive – being rewarded in a moment of achievement.

His app is a great example of the integration of mobile, data personalization, and the disruptive force of the startup community.

Wong is one of more than 50 chief marketing officers, industry specialists and digital marketers from some of Asia’s biggest names in the industry joining us ClickZ Live Hong Kong on August 3&4 at the Mira Hotel.

Video marketing, digital disruption and transformation, B2B and B2C marketing, ecommerce, omnichannel strategies, digital communications, brand strategy and programmatic buying are just some of the other key themes you’ll learn more about at our amazing event.

Hope to see you there.

For more information on ClickZ Live Hong Kong, to download the agenda or buy tickets, visit our event website here.

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What’s so great about digital marketing anyway?

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