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Revolutionary Basics: Neuro-Persuasion from the MN Search Summit

In July, I attended the MN Search Summit, a one-day conference covering aspects of SEO, SEM, content and more with Associate UX Designer Ann Marie Steib. It’s attended by search engine marketers in the Midwest and features amazing industry thought leaders like Rand Fishkin (The “Wizard of Moz”) and Larry Kim (Founder of WordStream).

My first (and favorite) breakout session of the day was Roger Dooley talking about Neuro-marketing/Neuro-persuasion. He spoke on some of the traditional psychological frameworks we use to guide marketing strategy, but urged that no single theory explains all consumer behavior. The bottom line? The importance of testing is paramount to marketing success.

As a major sucker for good problem-solving framework, I’m sharing with you Roger Dooley’s Persuasion Slide. This is broken into four elements that must work together to guide behavior change in your prospects:

Element 1: Gravity

The most basic element of using any slide, gravity, equates to working with your potential customers to help them accomplish what they want.

  • According to Dooley, “gravity is NOT ‘fill out this form, etc.’ but IS ‘we will help you accomplish what you want.’”
  • Takeaway: Always work in the direction of your customers’ gravity. Never try to work against gravity – it won’t end well.

Element 2: The Nudge

The push down the slide.

  • The nudge is how you get your potential customer’s attention. It’s what gets the customer thinking about your brand as a way to fulfill their need.
  • Examples include email, banner ad, video ad, etc. Below is an example of what Dooley uses as the nudge on his website:
Roger Dooley website popup
  • Takeaway: Make sure the nudge happens, and at the right time. In Dooley’s website example, he might wait to display the pop-up until a user has viewed three pages of content on his site, indicating a visitor that’s more engaged in reading his content.

Element 3:The Angle

The steeper the angle, the faster you slide. Thus, the more motivated the potential customer is, the faster conversion occurs.

  • Motivators increase your potential customer’s likelihood of conversion. Motivators can be conscious or non-conscious:
    • Conscious: features, benefits, price, discounts, etc.
    • Non-conscious: emotions, psychology, and “brain bugs”- things that we subconsciously choose that may not be logical. Font choice was an example of a non-conscious motivator. In Dooley’s example, customers were willing to pay much more for a product that featured a typeface with a luxury feel.
  • Conscious and non-conscious motivators work together. Much of consumer behavior is irrational, so appealing to emotion (through non-conscious motivators) is important, but so is making your user believes their decision was a rational one (by using conscious motivators like discounts).
  • Takeaway: Consider what motivators you can include in your messaging to increase your potential customer’s “angle”.

Element 4: Friction

Think about an old, rusty slide on a poorly-maintained playground. It’s going to hurt, and you might opt for the swings instead.

  • Friction on the slide is a difficulty the potential consumer faces that’s either real or perceived.
    • Real friction examples include long form fields and difficult website process or instructions.
    • Imaginary friction examples include hard-to-read fonts and visual design, and long blocks of text.
  • Dooley called fixing these mistakes the “cheapest way to increase conversions”.
  • Takeaway: Analyze your product/offering, and website and marketing materials for potential friction, then have your agency do the same. Fix everything that creates friction against potential conversion.

The Persuasion Slide framework is an insightful way to begin tackling marketing problems. I look forward to reading his book, Brainfluence. You can also watch Dooley present here.

If you have an interest in other brain-based behavior change frameworks, I recommend B.J. Fogg’s Behavior Model. I was lucky enough to catch a presentation by Fogg a few years ago, and he’s one of the best speakers I’ve seen to-date. His behavior model is easy to understand and easy to begin implementing right away.

 

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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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The Eight Benefits of Leveraging an Experiential Marketing Execution in Your Strategy

It’s no surprise that we, as marketers, are always looking for new ways to disrupt the market and landscape to better reach our audiences. Many of my closest peers and professional connections know that I have a special interest in experiential marketing (in a basic sense, immersing your audience in your brand). Heck; I’ve written about it in our blog once before, here.

My previous post was one focused on educating and sharing a new perspective of learning about a newer strategy that’s on the rise in the world of marketing. Outside of the “experience,” however, what really are the benefits and selling points of this strategy and why even consider it? This time around, I explore some of the most notable benefits and why you should give it more thought in the future.

Experiential Marketing Benefits:

  1. Truly convey messaging and tone: Instead of saying it, showcase and deliver it. In this case, don’t just say it, but spray it.
  2. Show brand in a new light: If people end up expecting the same thing from your brand, new and bold tactics can surprise your audience… for the better.
  3. Make your brand human and relatable: Show that your company isn’t only in it for the money. You’re invested in your audience and can connect with them on a personal and informal way.
  4. Taking creativity to the next level: Guaranteed that you will stand out from competitors with new and exciting tactics.
  5. Tap into growing technologies & news: Location-based apps and advertising is constantly evolving. Leverage that for a more personal touch and show that your brand is on the forefront of emerging technologies and in tune with industry developments.
  6. Expand portfolio of marketing tactics and mediums: break out of the same old direct mailers and e-mail marketing to increase the breadth of your company’s marketing portfolio
  7. Establish and build brand loyalty: I’ve seen lifelong brand loyalists switch brands because of experiential marketing tactics. Show the unparalleled benefit and people will follow.
  8. Brand recall/unaided awareness: “remember that time that company did that really cool thing that one time?” Yeah, people will talk about your brand without overt advertisements or prompts.

When it comes to event marketing, some of the results are staggering. In regards to sampling, grassroots activations and large-scale mobile tours, consumer participants react positively to a brand in such a way that they want to stay involved with the brand. Just take a look at some of these numbers:

  • 98% of consumers exposed to a product or service at a brand event will positively mention it later, with two-thirds specifically mentioning the brand.
  • 93% of participants allow brands to stay in touch with them via promotions, email and other advertising.
  • Almost 50% of participants end up purchasing sponsored products.

Whether you’re looking to gain a firm grasp of market share, refresh your brand, or even better connect with your audience, this avenue of marketing can open up new doors that will excite your marketing team and leave a lasting impression on your audience.

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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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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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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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3 advertising tools to connect with customers in 2015

Entertainment has come to the forefront in new ways. And therefore, so too has advertising. Regardless of company size or budget, it’s important to stay on top of every tool in the advertising tool kit. How can you spread brand awareness? Tell stories. Listen. And join the conversation. Here are three advertising tactics to keep in mind during 2015.

Telling longer stories through video. In an age of bite-sized content through Vine, Instagram and Pinterest, some brands produce ads that fit faster and shorter media. But with the trend towards fast and short, longer-form ads still work. YouTube reported that its top ten ads of 2014 have an average length of three minutes. Taking minutes instead of seconds to develop a story around your product or brand can garner attention like nothing else. Last year, World Cup fans watched over one billion minutes of World Cup ads alone on YouTube. Beats by Dre packed a punch with its ad that chronicled “the game before the game,” exposing the human side of global sports figures. Thailand mobile operator True move-H has inspired millions globally with its powerful stories of giving unconditionally. Lesson learned? In this age of “instant” entertainment, consider an online video presence to tell longer stories and make deeper connections.

Keeping an ear to social media. Remember the iconic “Oreo moment” a couple years back, during the Super Bowl blackout of 2013? Real-time marketing is not new, but now it’s becoming a requirement for some brands today. Brand newsrooms – teams on-hand to instantly react – are becoming more popular to harness the “It’s happening now!” moments. Nationally- or globally-televised events are not the only opportunities either. Being always-on is time-consuming and difficult to do well. But it means you can foster good will among a customer base, like Citi Bike and JCrew did for a fallen biker. Social listening and reacting even in small ways, is customer service with incredible potential.

The new social media. Snapchat. Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp. Viber. Tango. Kik. Even Vine. They’re all at the forefront of messaging apps. If mobile is the new frontier, then messaging apps are the covered wagons bravely trekking ahead. BI Intelligence reports messaging apps as the fastest growing category within mobile apps. These apps highlight the divide between social networks for communicating with family, and more private options for communicating with friends on-the-go. The tough part is staying in the loop in terms of brand presence. These are new platforms, unsaturated with ads. But they’re not necessarily off-limits to brands. Virgin Mobile does a nice job with this by soliciting already Vine-famous users to “take over” their Vine channel for a period of time. These users create content that appeals to a captive audience, and Virgin Mobile spreads further awareness of its brand. First, you need to investigate your target audience’s presence on the platform. Ensure that social interactions on the network relate to your business goals. Then carefully strategize how you will interact with your target audience for your brand to join the conversation and spread brand awareness.

Staying up to date on the latest advertising options helps your brand stay authentic and relatable to your customer base. These days, that often means entertaining to remain memorable and valuable to your audience. Which outlets are right for 2015? Let your budget and your audience decide.

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Fundamentals of SEO – Part 1: Using Analytics to Define Successful Searches

We see a lot of clients who want and need help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Moz, one of the leading SEO experts, describes SEO as “the practice of improving and promoting a web site in order to increase the number of visitors the site receives from search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to you on the web.” This series will focus on the “words on your page,” or “On-Site SEO.”

This article is Part 1 in our series on Building a Great SEO Strategy. The series will focus on on-site tactics to help your company or organization with SEO. Part 1 focuses on how Google Analytics can provide the fundamentals of a great SEO strategy.

At KW2, our SEO team looks at data in Google Analytics to find out what the client’s current site users have in common to provide a starting point for SEO. Let’s examine further at what data we look at, how we help businesses define their SEO objectives, and how we build keyword categories to help our clients enhance their online presence for future success.

Weeding Out Searches That Include the Company Name

We put the most value on the search terms that do not include the company or brand name, since these words are what someone searches for when they aren’t already familiar with the company. These are the kinds of site visits and search terms our team wants to learn more about, so we can use information to capture more searches like them.

This information helps us find common trends among new visitors and their behavior on-site. Keep in mind, the way someone interacts with a website is very different depending on whether they have been there many times, or never before. For many of our clients, one key area of growth is the website’s ability to bring in new potential customers. Therefore, we want to understand as much as we can about someone who landed on KW2 by searching for “local advertising agency,” and we place less emphasis on someone who landed on our site after typing in “KW2 Ideas in Madison Wisconsin.”

Time On-Site and Bounce Rate by Keyword

Once we’ve narrowed our Analytics view to people who just learned about the organization (“advertising agency” rather than “KW2”), we sort the remaining keywords to find those with the best time on-site and the lowest bounce rate. This information helps us find out—of the people entering terms that bring up the site—which of these people thought the site’s content was relevant to their search, and which of these people exited because they did not find what they were looking for.

If a keyword consistently results in a high bounce rate, we can assume that users have something different in mind when they enter that keyword. For a more detailed look at what this looks like within Google Analytics or how we’d suggest improving it, check out our blog post that illustrates a working example.

On-Site Actions and Goal Conversions by Keyword and by Keyword Category

Next, KW2 uses site analytics to find out which keywords (or categories of keywords) consistently produce desired on-site user actions. Do searches within one category of terms consistently bring in new social media follows? Does one keyword category usually result in the visitor filling out a contact form? If so, KW2 suggests exploring these terms more to bring in similar types of traffic.

 

Want to learn more about how to use Google Analytics to find out about how potential customers are searching for you? Contact Us or leave a comment below.

Next up in our series on Building Great SEO Strategies:

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