Automation. It’s being discussed everywhere from self-driving cars to Bing’s Associate Account Manager in a Box. While some fear it and others welcome it, it’s already been around us in the digital marketing space for a while. If you’ve created automated PPC reports, used automated bidding rules, or ever relied on things like […]
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Highly data-driven organizations are three times more likely than others to report significant improvement in decision-making.1 Yet, 62% of executives still rely more on experience than data to make their decisions.2 When the stakes are high, decision-makers need information they can trust, easily consume, and understand.
Below are three ways marketing organizations can take action on their data to better support decisions:
Whether you have trouble connecting teams or data sources, silos can prevent your marketing organization from reaching current and potential customers. Data silos prevent you from gaining a holistic view of the customer journey. Organizational silos slow down the flow of information and ideas. What’s more, organizational silos are the number one barrier to improving customer experience.3
Outline a data strategy to organize and integrate information sources so you have the complete picture to your customers’ journeys. Collaboration and communication between departments is also key. Better yet, make sure marketers and analysts all have access to the same data sets and technology.
Good data storytelling means making data easy to process. By taking the time to visualize your data, you’ll be able to tell a compelling story at a glance.
The goal of a revenue chart, heat map, or bar graph should be to simplify a complicated idea or communicate a body of information in seconds. Tools can help make data quickly actionable by taking multiple data sources and turning them into interactive reports and dashboards. Focus on reducing misinterpretations of your data and making it easy for decision makers to act.
If the data can’t be understood, its insights cannot be acted on. But just as important, if the data and ideas are not shared with the right people at the right time, decision makers can’t fully leverage the power of marketing data.
“Real-time data is critically important. Otherwise, business leaders may be making decisions off data that is no longer relevant. The business landscape changes so quickly, and stale data may inadvertently lead to the wrong decision,” says Suzanne Mumford, head of marketing for the Google Analytics 360 Suite.
Look for solutions that offer data visualization and built-in collaboration capabilities so you can start practicing all three steps right away:
- Organize workflow and integrate data from multiple sources
- Visualize information by creating easy-to-digest, interactive reports
- Share insights by setting up dashboards with real-time collaboration
The companies that shine at optimizing the customer experience go beyond analytics and measurement. The whole organization collaborates in order to connect the data dots and communicate the meaning and impact of insights surfaced. Leading marketing organizations build a culture of growth — one that uses data, testing, and optimization to improve the customer experience every day — and share insights in ways that everyone across the organization can understand and act on.
Download “Measuring Marketing Insights,” a collection of Harvard Business Review articles, to learn more about how to turn data into action.
A version of this article first appeared as sponsor content on HBR.org in August 2016.
1 PwC’s Global Data and Analytics Survey, Big Decisions™, Base: 1,135 senior executives, Global, May 2016
2 PwC’s Global Data and Analytics Survey, Big Decisions™, Base: 2,106 senior executives, Global, May 2016
3 Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, “Marketing in the Driver’s Seat: Using Analytics to Create Customer Value,” 2015.
Posted by Karen Budell, Content Marketing Manager, Google Analytics 360 Suite
Basic metrics tell the story of paid search performance but what if you want to dig deeper? You’ll need to go beyond the basic segments and reports.
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By now, large multi-location brands hopefully understand the importance of a local digital marketing strategy to ensure their many locations can easily be found online and help generate local leads.
Are your deliverables
- A huge list of problems, or
- A pathway to insightful solutions?
Are you calling your clients out on what they’re doing wrong in your deliverables or are you supporting their intents to reach their business goals through your very specific expertise? The differences can be so slight but so powerful.
At SEOgadget we have a sort of unspoken Think Bigger mantra. We start every project with an understanding of the business model, the competitive landscape they’re in, and the goals that the business is trying to reach. We structure everything we do with that client, from consulting conversations to research-based deliverables to audits and marketing strategies, around helping the clients meet and exceed those business goals. With every deliverable we ask ourselves if and how this is empowering them to be better, stronger, more informed, and ultimately lend towards their goals. If it’s not quite there yet, we keep working on it until it is. Sometimes that’s expensive for us, but it’s our duty.
We (and personally I) really want to see our industry thought of more as valuable and helpful more than distrustful and self-serving. #SadFace.
So to help, here’s a list of ways you can #ThinkBigger on various types of projects. Before you send deliverables off to your clients ask yourself these questions about the deliverable, and most importantly – is what you’re sending them empowering them?
- Spitting out lists of keywords with the search volumes.
- Intent: Does the keyword research consider the various types of intent that their target audiences have for any query category? For example, the intent around “laptop security” can be locks for an individual’s laptop or securing network data on employee laptops. Look at what appears in SERPS (indicating what type of intent most searchers have by the types of results) and be realistic about expectations for the term.
- Insights: Can you “read” through the keyword research, treating it more like market research than search volumes, to see what deeper stories these queries say about their needs? What can you learn about people’s needs by the overall types of queries you see?
- High vs Low-Converting Queries: Are there types of queries that are more likely to convert and queries that are relevant, but less likely? Let them know.
- New Opportunities: Are there related themes that may not be directly relevant but might lead to opportunities for the client that they hadn’t thought of? Let them know.
- Location: How do people search differently by location? For example, other than California, where else are people searching most for the San Francisco Airport (SFO)? Or what are the most popular categories of searches in New York vs. Los Angeles?
- Spitting out lists of site issues.
- Root cause: What’s causing site errors or duplication? Is there a bigger story? This is almost always the most important question to ask yourself – what’s behind this problem and how can you help the client fix the problem at the source? For example, low sitemap indexation is not the main problem. There is a reason behind that. Find it. Or UGC content being spammed with Viagra content and links – that’s not the main problem. The main problem is that the content is allowed, either through the CMS or the lack of moderation.
- CMS vs human error: Is there an issue with the content or code or a lack of flexibility with the current CMS? Can they get around it?
- Simplify: For WordPress sites, can a few tweaks of the Yoast plugin fix a whole bunch of issues? (Let them know!)
- The production team: Do the engineering and/or editorial teams need a little empowerment themselves (provide resources, training, tools, etc)?
Low site indexation is only the clue to the problem in the image below.
For this particular site these were the problems that caused Google to ignore a lot of the pages in the XML sitemap:
- Some areas are individually blocked via robots.txt
- Duplicates are included.
- Some canonicals point to the wrong destination.
- Some pages return a server response of 404 Not Found.
- An architecture that suggests build these pages and they will come. (Will we ever forget Panda?)
- Parts of a site: What are the core site pages, the media assets, and the informational pages?
- Expectations: What impact will building each these pages have?
- Realistic with resources: What resource do they have to create them?
- Prioritization: Knowing those things, what priorities should each page take?
- On-page content: What kind of content should be on the pages?
- Content source: Where will the content come from?
- Related content: How should they cross-link?
- Architecture vs. navigation: How should the navigation change based on any new pages?
- Sitemaps: How should they handle sitemaps?
- URL structure: What should the URL format be (now and in the future)?
- Create content because people are searching for it.
- Write blog posts because they’re good for SEO.
- Why you: What is the core value proposition of this brand and how will that come through immediately on the page or in the asset you’re building?
- Targeted content: What are the various types of intent that someone landing on any page might have?
- Targeted conversion: What are the primary business goals related to this page type and how do we make sure there is a clear call to action on the page?
- Related on-page content: How can the page route people to the right path regardless of intent?
- Related content paths: What type of related content is most relevant if the visitor is either done with this page or interested in something like this, but just not exactly this?
- Funnel CTAs: What calls-to-action can take the visitor down the next path in the research or purchase process?
- Trust: Are trust factors important, and if so, how will they be portrayed?
- Being the best: How can we do something more valuable than what’s already out there?
- Linkability/shareability: What would make this page absolutely awesome to the visitor? Tools? An explainer video? Diagrams? 3D product visuals? Social proof?
Don’t Bring Problems, Bring Solutions
Nobody likes a complainer. Everybody likes a problem-solver.
So, think about it: Are your deliverables just dumping problems into your clients’ laps or are you approaching what you do from a product-enhancing, business goal-driving solution? That’s what we do here at SEOgadget. It feels good to help our clients’ businesses grow, it keeps our employees feeling accomplished and rewarded and it’s what makes the difference between a regular SEO consultancy and a progressive one.
Get yourself into this mode of thinking for everything that you deliver. Solve problems. Empower others. Think bigger.
Think Bigger: 28 Ways to Be a Better SEO, 4.5 out of 5 based on 15 ratings
Forecasting SEO trends for local is quite difficult – primarily because I know in my heart of hearts that local SEO isn’t a trend, phenomenon or fad. Local – along with personalized search – is a necessary evolution to truly optimize the search experience for users across the globe. It is a mindset that SEO professionals can’t “arrive to” late.
Google’s recent Hummingbird algorithm and the arrival of KitKat are forcing agencies and brands to stretch their search marketing minds and strategies even further – for the better.
It was over a year ago that I first wrote about do not track legislation, and luckily for most organizations the browser-provided imperative is loosely supported or regulated today, with very few sites adhering to interpretation and compliance of the preference.
When it comes to sharing on social media sites, you can be free from the real-time grind of sending as you type. There’s no need to do all your social media posting while sitting at a screen, thanks to a number of apps that do the job for you.
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