The life changing magic of tidying up your website content. Three wireframes hanging on hangers.

Does your website content “spark joy”?

In 2014, Marie Kondo wrote a book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Its premise is that asking yourself a simple question about every item you own would lead to a tidier and more organized home, and could have positive personal impacts as well. That question? Does this t-shirt/plate/book/stapler spark joy? If so, the item should be kept and put in its proper place. If not, it should be thanked for its service and given away.

Since then, the “KonMari” method of tidying has taken the interior design world by storm, featured everywhere from the New York Times to Martha Stewart to Goop, and inspiring a sequel, Spark Joy, in 2016.

So…what does a minimalist home tidying method have to do with websites?

Building a house is a common metaphor used explain the website creation process: Your site map is like the rooms, wireframes are like blueprints, showing the size and arrangement of those rooms, content is like the furniture and items you place in those rooms, and design is like the paint colors and decorative accents you use to make your home feel warm, welcoming and reflective of your style.

Websites and homes actually have more in common than you might think.
If you’re like most organizations, your “website house” is NOT tidy. Perhaps there’s too much content, or not enough, or it’s scattered across multiple places on your site. Maybe it’s too hard to find. Maybe it’s dated, or no longer accurate. Perhaps it doesn’t “spark joy.”

A crucial part of any website project, whether creating a new site or maintaining an existing one, is taking a hard look at your website and conducting a content audit. This can also be the most daunting part, because it means going through each and every page and determining its purpose and evaluating its content. Where do you start when your current website has ballooned to over 200 or 300 or 400 pages, some of which you didn’t even know were there?

It’s not an easy task, but I think we can take some cues from the KonMari method to make evaluating your existing content more manageable:

Tip 1: Go from easiest to hardest.
When tidying your house, Kondo advocates starting with clothing before moving on to other groups of items with more emotional significance, like photos or letters. Similarly, when reviewing your web content, start with the easier items, such as content you know is out of date or pages that don’t get any traffic in Google Analytics before moving on to more current pages, popular pages or content important to your leadership.

Tip 2: Evaluate all like items together.
Just like you could store shoes in several different closets in your home, your website probably has similar content on several different pages. Review similar content holistically, and you may find that you’re saying the same thing three slightly different ways on six different pages. Reviewing similar pieces of content together make it easier to spot redundancies and streamline content.

Tip 3: Ask yourself if the content sparks joy.
This is where things get a little new-agey, but we’ll use the term “joy” loosely here:

  • Is the content relevant to your target audience, and can it help them do what they need to do on your site?
  • Does the content engage your target audience in a measurable way, which you can see by checking pageviews, time on page and bounce rate in Google Analytics?
  • Does the content communicate an important message for your brand?
  • Does the content convert prospects to customers?
  • Do you refer to this content all the time, and send users to this page for more information when they have questions?

All of those make me pretty joyful!

If the answer to all of those questions is no, do you know why the content is on your site? Maybe it’s no longer needed.

Tip 4: Put it back in the right place.
Tip 4 is the hardest of all. A big part of my job as a UX Designer at KW2 is determining what the right place for content is, but content maintenance and organization doesn’t end at site launch. It’s not just putting the content in the right place once, it’s keeping the content maintained, up-to-date and in the right place by following a content governance plan so you don’t end up with an untidy site again in six months or a year.

Why should you tidy your website content?
There are many reasons you might want to keep your website tidy and reduce the amount of content clutter:

  • Streamlining your navigation helps your users find what they need and complete the task they came to your website to do.
  • It prevents user confusion or frustration and can reduce the number of calls or emails you receive with questions because it’s too difficult to find something on your site.
  • Eliminating duplicate or redundant content can have positive SEO impacts and help more users find your site in the first place.
  • It improves site performance and ease of use on mobile devices.
  • It simplifies the path to conversion, whether that means calling you, buying an item or enrolling in a course.

Ready to feel nothing but joy when you look at your website? Shoot us a note to talk about your content challenges.

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Changing the Channel on Ad Avoidance

You rarely hear someone say, “man, I love ads.” That’s partly because liking ads is something that’s not socially acceptable to own up to, like enjoying the music of Nickelback or being a Chicago Bears fan. But it’s also because a lot of ads kind of suck, and people* will do everything in their power to avoid them.

It began after the golden age of marketing, when every family in the country gathered around the TV every night to watch the same program, that the glow of shiny advertisements began to dull. People realized ads were bad, ads kept them from content. Hearing the first few seconds of a well-known jingle sent fingers clicking to new stations. Eyes began to gloss over newspaper and magazine ads. DVR devices promised viewers they would never have to watch another ad again! The industry was aflutter with cries that TV advertising was dead. But it isn’t. It’s different, but not dead.

Now, the digital ad blocker has risen. According to PageFair and Adobe’s 2015 Ad Blocking Report, 16 percent of the U.S. population blocked ads during Q2 2015. This led to an estimated $10.7 billion in lost advertising revenues in 2015. Obviously, this is a big deal.

While it remains to be seen how the industry will officially address ad blocking, let’s take a look at the reasons people block digital ads, and who I think should buck up and deal with it:

  • Reason #1: Load times/data usage. Who wants to hit their mobile data limit 10 days before the end of the month, just because the page had to load one too many ads with expandable, in-banner video, five social media integrations and a map of the closest retailers?
    • Who should solve this? Advertisers. Make less-intrusive, faster-loading ads that are still interesting. If your product and messaging are intriguing, and you have quality creative, there’s no need for gimmicks. Just make better ads, guys.
  • Reason #2: Clutter. Scrolling through a post that stacks ad after ad is just a poor user experience.
    • Who should solve this? Publishers. Monetizing your site is important. But if you’re providing really good content, either users should be willing to pay for it, or advertisers should be willing to pay for it. Sometimes that extra ad money isn’t worth losing a frustrated reader.
  • Reason #3: “There are ads everywhere else I go! I’m bombarded every day, in every medium! Just let me control what I can.” Ads really are everywhere. I get it.
    • Who should solve this? You. I feel your pain, but the only way you’re going to fully avoid any advertising is by pulling a Walden. If you want to consume media, you have to pay for it in some way. There’s no such thing as a free lunch.

A lot will have to change to create a more pleasant web ecosystem for everyone. It’s important to consider the psychology behind why people avoid ads to ensure we’re creating the right solutions. Now, I’m going back to working on some ads that don’t suck.

*Here, and most other places, “people” are defined as anyone outside of the ad industry.

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Why Facebook Matters to Brands That Don’t Even Need It

It’s difficult to escape the Zuckerrealm. Even if you’re one of the few brands that can’t find its target on Facebook, it is hard to ignore a platform that has evolved so elegantly for over a decade. Facebook was by no means the first social platform, nor is it necessarily “the best” for your brand, but the amount of data analysis that occurs behind the screens at Facebook headquarters can be used by all marketers when it comes to keeping tabs new technology and social channel trends. When Facebook acquires a new company or releases a new feature, marketers should pause, take stock of this new Facebook development and use it to adjust their social or digital content strategies.

We don’t recommend that all brands have a Facebook presence, we tend to do the opposite. Even though 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases,[1] We advise clients to stay away from any social platform they cannot properly maintain or isn’t integral to the day-to-day life of their target audience. This means “no Facebook for you” if you’re a company that has a primary target under the age of 13. Heck, if you’re looking to acquire fans under the age of 18, Facebook probably isn’t the right place for you.

Even if it’s not the right social network for your company, Facebook changes are still important for you, as a marketer, to keep track of. Facebook features and purchases indicate to the public how the teens and young adults are behaving online.

As with many Facebook purists, I was highly annoyed when I had to download Facebook Messenger app separately from the Facebook app and people started chatting me – I thought I was done with these chat shenanigans when AOL Instant Messenger stopped being a thing. What I should have been thinking as a marketer was “use of Facebook chats has been rising and it seems like Facebook may be trying to compete with the rise of Kik and Snapchat use among teens.”

Remember when Facebook acquired Instagram in April of 2012 for the hefty price tag of $1 billion? While some scoffed, the savvy took note that social media users were starting to respond more actively (specifically with their wallets and attention) to visual, rather than text-based, experiences. In fact, according to NewsCred, posts with videos attract three times as many inbound links as plain text posts.

The most recent acquisition affecting your digital strategy are Facebook’s investments in virtual and augmented reality companies since early 2014. In early October, Mark Zuckerberg released a statement about their recent string of purchases and how the technology can make personal experiences easier to share. Those who attended CES last week heard more of the same. Those ahead of the social curve should already be thinking about how to further personalize their brand experience for their target audiences. In the next five years, it will not be about simple retargeting or use of algorithms to autofill someone’s name in an email – it’ll be about placing your product in your target’s daily life.

Facebook was not the first social platform and isn’t necessarily “the best” for your brand, but it is affecting your social strategy. It’s your choice to use the resources Facebook puts toward research and data mining to stay ahead of the social strategy curve or be forced to constantly play catch up.

[1] http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/01/17/20-social-media-facts-and-statistics-you-should-know-in-2014/?utm_content=buffer268a7&utm_medium=social&utm_source=Webbiquity.com

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Accessibility Illustration with Three Open Doors

Making the Web Accessible for All – Part 3: A Checklist to Improve Your Site Today

In this series, we’ve explored why accessibility is important and what barriers your audience could be facing as they attempt to use your website, such as visual impairments, color blindness or inability to use a mouse. If you tested out your site using a screen reader or voice browser, you’ve probably learned that your site is not fully ADA and Section 508 compliant.

So, what can you do right now to improve your website for all visitors?

There is no quick fix or single tool that will instantly “accessible-ize” your site. Accessibility is best achieved when considered, checked and re-checked throughout the web design process, and should be a foundational philosophy of any website project. At KW2, there are dozens of steps taken throughout the process to ensure each website we create meets the needs of all users. And, once a site is launched, an ongoing effort must be made to ensure a site remains accessible every time a new piece of content is added.

However, your next website redesign may not be on the horizon, or you may lack the time or technical resources to fully audit and fix every accessibility issue on your current site. You can still get closer to compliance: there are four big things you can do today that will improve your users’ experience with your current website:

 

1) Run a general audit

Google Accessibility offers Accessibility Developer Tools, which is a Google Chrome plug-in you can install to run an accessibility audit on any page of your site to identify major issues.

✓ Run an accessibility audit using Accessibility Developer Tools to identify major issues

 

2) Determine what helpful information is missing

Screen readers and voice browsers rely on HTML tags and meta information to help users navigate your site and content. Download a free SEO spider tool like Screaming Frog, which will crawl your website and find each page, its status, title tags and more. Make sure each page has:

✓ A meaningful title tag that explains what the page is with unique and important information front-loaded

✓ At least one headline marked up as H1

✓ Properly tagged subheads (H2, H3, and so on)

Every image on your site should also have an alt tag that is both meaningful and functional (for example, “Search” rather than “Magnifying Glass”). You can view any image’s alt tag by hovering over the image, or to find all image alt tags on a given page, install the Firefox Accessibility Evaluation Toolbar.

✓ Use the Firefox Accessibility Evaluation Toolbar’s Text Equivalents menu to find a list of all image alt tags

✓ Look for missing alt tags

✓ Look for blank alt tags (alt=””) or tags that don’t accurately describe the image

 

3) Make sure your website’s text resizes

Most browsers give users the option to increase or decrease their default font size. Using the browser of your choice:

✓ Change your font settings to confirm that the type size on your pages changes

For example, here is the New York Times’ homepage with text set to Medium (left) and Very Large (right):

New York Times Homepage Comparing Font Sizes

 

4) Make sure your text is legible against the background color of your site

Color contrast, or the difference between the color of the text on your site and the background color, can be an issue on many sites. For small text, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) recommends a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1. For larger text (18 px or more), the contrast ratio must be at least 3:1.

✓ Use Web AIM’s Color Contrast Checker to make sure your site’s text meets the ratio of 4.5:1

✓ If it does not, and you need to find a new color, try Colorsafe, which will give you a full palette of options based on your background color, font and font size

Creating and maintaining an accessible, usable website is a constant, evolving process. Each time you create a new page or upload a new image, it’s important to check the WCAG guidelines to ensure that anyone who wants to use your site can.

If you need help evaluating your website, or would like to learn more about building a site with accessibility in mind, please drop us a line to discuss!

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Millennials, Strategy and Segmentation: How to Get it Wrong

Finally, millennials are getting some good press. Although it’s easy to stereotype this group of young adults as technology-obsessed, financially-frivolous extroverts, a recent Carat survey (among other sources) state that only 42% of millennials are that KIND of millennial. The other 58% fall into different sub-groups, each with vastly distinctive goals, values, and outlooks. Millennial-loving marketers have come across a major “ah-ha” moment, and as a member of this demographic and an advertising practitioner, I say it’s about time. Some audience groups that are also commonly generalized in advertising include moms, the elderly, and the evolving family unit structure. The portrayals of these segments in advertising haven’t changed much in the last fifteen years, despite massive changes in culture and consumer behavior.

So what can this tell us about strategy? Understanding segmentation is key. The more you assume and generalize about a target audience, the greater chance there is for missed communication, unsuitable media placement, or a faulty tone. So dig deeper into target audience subsets and segments by conducting more in-depth research to understand them and their habits both on- and off-line. Incorrect generalizations can often come from only assessing the digital data. If a millennial visits a food blog four times in a month, does that make them a foodie? Or just a hungry guy killing time on their lunch hour? Examining digital data only goes so far, and it’s important to remember that even the “technology-obsessed” have lives off-screen.

Qualitative data digs deeper, leads to stronger insights, better targeting strategies, and more effective creative work. You’ll resonate with your audience on a deeper level. Living during an era when advertising is consumed more cautiously, authenticity and understanding make your communication more real to the target. Take a note from the continuously stereotyped millennials, moms, grandpas and blended families: shoot for understanding their habits both on the web and out in the everyday world to form a well-rounded strategy that truly resonates segment by segment.

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Website Traffic to Data Conversion: Google Analytics Tools You Need to Apply Right Now (Part 3)

Well folks, it’s here: The final post that will round out our three part series on Google Analytics tools you need to use now. Make sure you check out parts one and two to help give context to this post.

A major component to our digital and Analytics strategies is Conversions. In our Planning process, we look at all the content clients want to include in a new website and create desired user paths with micro and macro Conversions. These “micros and macros” closely relate to Goals, but focus on actions across multiple pages, rather than individual website pages.

In the last post, we used photography equipment as an example for defining Goals. Let’s use the same scenario to explore Conversions: Selling camera equipment on your site is your macro conversion, the ultimate action on your website that you want your audience to complete more than any other. What helps lead to that sale? Micro conversions for selling your premium lens can include watching a features video, reading customer reviews, or anything else that could lend itself to the purchase.

This path to conversions is tracked with the Goal settings created in Google Analytics, along with other tools at your disposal like the Goal Flow report and Multi-Channel Funnels report. Though Google Analytics is an amazing thing, it does have limits. It helps gather this data, but it still does not put all the numbers together and provide insights to your data. That’s where the experience of reporting comes in.

Data may mean only so much to people. Being able to translate and convey it to others in an understandable format is a must. We have a number of clients to whom we deliver Analytics reports, and they love it. We take the time to assess these Goals and Conversions and put thought to it. We pull out insights and information to help lead digital, and even traditional, marketing strategies.

If you’re the marketing person in your organization leading the review of your site’s Analytics, consider some of the tips we use at KW2:

  1. Set a schedule – Many times, an Analytics reporting schedule will coincide with your marketing campaigns, fiscal years, and quarterly reports, but make sure you get Analytics assessments on the books for your team and/or manager, and stick to a regular schedule to review.
  2. Create an easy-to-digest report – Whether it’s in a Word document or presentation deck, keeping things consistent every reporting period makes it much easier to compare data over time from one report to another.
  3. Stay updated on Analytics – We’ve been called Google Analytics Gurus by our clients after they see what we do, but we work hard at it. Although we have several folks who are certified, Analytics are always changing as technologies develop, new tracking methods are being discovered, and more. Make sure you take the time every now and again to learn the latest features and tactics out there, as they’ll change and evolve as Google continually enhances what Analytics can do.

As you can tell from this and the previous posts, there’s a lot to Google Analytics. It’s a deeply engaging and immersive world of information, so knowing what to look for, and tying the data sets to one another is quite valuable to your marketing efforts. And yes, like many great marketing tools, it can be time-intensive.

You’re a busy person, and we want to be sure you’re gathering this data efficiently and quickly so you can focus on the other things at hand. If you’ve got a hunger for Analytics and are interested in more, feel free to give us a call or drop us an email.

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KW2’s Guide to Paid Search: Part 1 of 3

How do I make kale chips? Should I go with an Apple Watch or Android Wear? How can I increase sales on my website? Across the planet, we search trillions of things each year across a sea of topics. Some searches are focused and functional. Others are more exploratory. So what does this mean for your business? The answer is simple: opportunity.

Paid search advertising puts you in touch with customers who have expressed a need, evidenced by their search. We can think of these users as qualified leads. In this three-part series, we’ll explore important concepts every marketer should consider before embarking on a paid search campaign. Some businesses are savvy to the many benefits of investing in a pay-per-click (PPC) strategy, but many are looking for new ways to reach quality leads.

First things first. Toss out your industry slang, your company lingo, and what you assume users are searching for related to your service or product. Identify how people search (their verbiage) and what they search for (perhaps more general in scope than you think). It’s important to acknowledge the potential gap between what you offer and what users actually search for. That’s okay. The key is to find the sweet spot—the overlap between the two. Paid search is a great way to serve attractive, relevant ads to an already-searching audience. It can help boost awareness as an ancillary benefit, but it’s not a tactic designed to explain a complex process or offering. Think of paid search as a highly effective foot-in-the-door.

The most basic elements of a paid search campaign are the keywords on which you bid. The catch (and difficulty) is finding the right ones. If you’re a new shoe company bidding on “gel flexor 15s,” but folks are actually searching for “nike free running shoe alternatives,” chances are good that you’re missing out on reaching your target consumers.

That’s why KW2 begins with Keyword Research, an in-depth analysis of your industry, your company, your offerings, and the volume and competition of potential search terms. Our first deliverable to you is a comprehensive list of search terms and phrases that are most relevant to your target and most affordable for you.

In part two of this series, we’ll explore how to nurture a live paid search campaign, reviewing some key optimizations essential to campaign health and continued improvement. Can’t wait? Give us a call at 608-232-2300 or email hello@kw2ideas.com to speak with a paid search expert at KW2.

And still looking for that kale chips secret? Here you go: remove the stalks, don’t skip the olive oil, and keep the temperature low for even baking. Perfect kale chips. (We searched.)

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Web Accessibility Part 2: Opening Doors to All Users

Making the Web Accessible for All – Part 2: Common Barriers Faced by Users

The first article in this series focused on why you should consider accessibility a fundamental component of your next web project. Reasons for creating an accessible website can vary – you may want to avoid excluding one in five users, or you might have an aging target customer demographic, or you may have recently learned that your site must be accessible per ADA or Section 508 guidelines. Whatever your reasons for considering web accessibility, understand that it’s a critical part of providing each and every user of your site with a good experience.

Now that we’ve covered why your site should be accessible, let’s focus on how different types of disabilities can impact your customers’ ability to use your website, and what you can do to make it more accessible to everyone.

Different disabilities create unique challenges that make it harder for the user to navigate and interact with your website. We’ll provide an overview of three categories of disabilities—Vision, Hearing and Physical—and how each could impact disabled users on the web.

Vision
Your users may be affected by a wide range of visual impairments: complete blindness, the inability to focus, increased sensitivity, or even lack of contrast or glare. Approximately 8.1 million people in the U.S. reported having difficulty seeing in the 2010 U.S. Census, including 2 million who were blind or unable to see.

Users who are unable to see rely on screen readers to provide navigational cues, as well as text and image content. You should ensure the following features and functionality are present for blind users relying on a screen reader to use your site:

  • Page titles should be clearly written and convey the content on that page
  • Links and buttons should be properly marked up to ensure it’s clear that they are links
  • Images should have meaningful alt tags, and more complex images such as diagrams or infographics should also have their content provided as text elsewhere on the page
  • Form fields must be properly marked up and have clear, understandable labels

Try downloading a screen reader and using it as the sole means of navigating your site. Can you navigate to the pages you’d like to visit? Do you understand all the content, including the content provided by images? If not, you could be losing 20 percent of your customers to sites they can use more easily.

  • Other users might be able to use your site without a screen reader, but have other visual impairments, such as decreased sensitivity to contrast. These users will need:
  • The ability to control and increase the size of your website using a browser’s built-in zoom features
  • The ability to control and increase the text size of your website using browser preferences
  • Text with enough contrast from the background – for example, lighter gray text on a white background can be very challenging for some users to see

Hearing
Hearing impairments affect 7.6 million people (2010 U.S. Census), and this impairment can be especially common in older users. Users with hearing impairments may be unable to discern voices from background noise, hear higher pitched sounds, or just be unable to hear your site’s video or audio files at all.

If your website relies on audio or video content to communicate with users, you should provide:

  • The option to turn on captions within video content
  • A text transcript of audio or video content
  • The ability to control video volume

Additionally, when creating audio or video content, make sure speech is slow and clear, and avoid recording in locations with a lot of background noise to help users discern speech more easily.

Physical
Some of your site’s users may have physical disabilities that reduce their fine-motor control and hand-eye coordination, or simply make controlling a mouse painful and difficult. They might have a hard time clicking on small areas, or difficulty with the coordinated gestures required by a touch interface, such as pinching or multi-finger dragging.

To help these users navigate your site, create:

  • Keyboard alternatives for all mouse actions
  • Larger click targets
  • Forms a user can tab through to complete
  • A site users can control using a voice browser

The good news is that your site may already be partially accessible. Clean, semantic HTML and web best practices such as creating meaningful title and alt tags can take you a long way down the path to a fully accessible website. After testing your site with a screen reader or using voice controls, you may find that you pass some accessibility compliance checks, but not others, and that’s a good first step.

In our final installment of this series, we’ll provide a checklist and tools you can use to ensure your site is truly accessible to all. Or, if you need help assessing, drop us a line!

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Tips for an Unskippable Pre-roll Commercial

More than ever, the onus is on advertisers to prove their commercial is worth watching. According to YouTube, 70% of audiences skip pre-roll advertising after 5 seconds. Could this be because too many TV ads are simply repurposed for digital media? TubeMogul’s 2014 Video Advertising Playbook reveals that custom web creative has an edge when it comes to influencing purchasing intent (1.4% vs. .8% of repurposed TV ads). So, how do you prove your commercial is worth watching? Consider the following examples and tips to make your pre-roll commercial unskippable:

1: Put the customer first

Recognize that you are interrupting your customer’s focused search with an unsolicited message. Online viewers are in a control mindset with their mouse in hand. They have a negative perception about the interruption before they even know the brand. So, how do you turn that around for your audience? See how Burger King connected with young men by relating to their pre-roll pain:

2: Make the first 5 seconds count

Remember the days when 30 seconds seemed like a short time to get message across? Now, we have 5 seconds to do something that connects with the viewer. Whatever you do in the first 5 seconds of your message, it must answer the question: “What will make this ad unskippable?” See how Madagascar 3 hit home with young children, front loading their spot with a winning combination: address the audience + ask a question + several fast cuts:

3: Do something worth sharing

Sharing your brand message with video is easier than ever via digital and social connections. All you have to do is give your audience something worth sharing. Give the audience a slice of entertainment that relates to your message. See how Kmart connected with their conservative shoppers and managed to stay on brand with an unexpected and sharable pre-roll ad laugh:

4: Ask for engagement

It should come as no surprise that viewers “skip this ad” with a ticker and button appearing right before their eyes. See how this job search website from the UK reaches into the psychology of their viewer with this over the top ad that asks for engagement:

I challenge you to assess your pre-roll creative differently than traditional commercials. Put your customer first, demand their attention in the first 5 seconds, do something worth sharing and consider asking for interaction. Following this new formula for digital commercials may force your brand into unexplored territory. Find a way to incorporate these ideas, while still being true to your brand.

I leave you with one final pre-roll commercial attempts to be the most unskippable to raise money for the ASPCA. Did they go too far? You be the judge. . .

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Goals: The Google Analytics Tool You Need to Apply Right Now (Part 2 of 3)

In part 1 of our three-part Google Analytics Tools You Need to Apply Now series, we discussed Views and Filters. We looked at how using these tools mean a world of difference for the data you collect on your site’s performance. In part 2, we’ll look at another tactic that can give definition to, and truly transform, your website’s data. That tactic is called Goal Implementation. Even if you aren’t in the business of selling things, Analytics Goals allows you to set a monetary value to actions that may not be e-commerce in nature.

 

What is a Google Analytics Goal?

Goals are definable actions on your website that can help you see specific successes for your website. There are four common types of Goals that can be defined. They include:

  1. Destination Goals: Tracks when a user visits an important page
  2. Duration Goals: Tracks when a user meets a length-on-page criteria you set
  3. Event Goals: Tracks when users perform an action on your site (eg. download a PDF or play a video)
  4. Pages per Visit Goals: Tracks a designated number of pages viewed

Potentially, every page of your website could have a goal. Assigned to each Goal is a Goal Value. Defined by you, a Value is a monetary amount you assign to an action that can be important to achieving your website’s goal(s).

 

Let’s look at an example: your business manufactures camera and video equipment. Your premium long-range lens sells for $3,000. You’re confident that at least 25% of your customers make a purchase after reading the PDF brochure of information. You can translate that 25% of $3,000 to $750 and assign a $750 Goal Value to the PDF download link on your website.

Another user action, like reading reviews, could assist with product purchases as well. However, they might not be as effective at selling, compared to your brochure. You might assign a $60 Goal Value to the action of reading a review. If you feature a review from an industry expert, it might be appropriate to assign a higher Goal Value, like $120, to that review. The values in this example are arbitrary, but it helps you see how weighting user actions on-site helps you evaluate which lead to the most sales.

This is just one tool in Analytics that can help you understand how many people buy your products based on website actions. Comparing your total monthly product sales to your assigned Values is an indicator of how much your audience values your brochure or reviews when considering or making a purchase. Reviewing these each month can tell you how valuable a particular action is on your website, and how important it is to your business objectives over time.

 

Are people leaving your site from a particular page or after a unique action? Then it’s time to look at re-vamping your content to something that will keep your visitors on your site and interacting with it. Google Analytics offers supplemental tools such as Goal Flow and Multi-Channel Funnels reports. Each report will show your users’ paths and steps taken on your site, even over multiple visits. These help you see the best return on your website’s content over time, especially if you have an SEO strategy in place.

Integrating and tracking Goals will require a little programming and setup within Analytics, but let me tell you, it’s worth it. Take a look at your website content and see what Values you would assign to the marketing areas on your site. Let us know what you find and if you have any questions. Our digital experts can help with that strategy.

 

Stay tuned for part 3 of our Analytics tools series, where we’ll share a little insight into the strategy we use at KW2 to tie information together, and pull out the most important and relevant data and insights for a website.

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