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Posted on: April 8, 2013 by in Call Tracking
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A recent study conducted by the CIM and Deloitte found that about 56% of companies rated their marketing measurement capabilities as basic or non-existent. This is a staggering figure. In the economy today that is so focused on costs and budget cutting it seems that monitoring response rates should be a top priority for every marketer and marketing company. Today, implementing a measurement system for marketing efforts has never been easier or more cost effective. This article will point out some key steps when it comes to marketing measurement efforts so that you do not end up being part of the 56%.

Effective marketing measurement is pertinent for any organization because it explains the return on investment from marketing efforts. Companies should always follow the strategy of “plan-do-review”, which means they plan their efforts, do their efforts, and then review to see if it worked or not. However, most often the first two parts are done effectively but the review section is either ignored or not enough information is available to help marketers make the right decisions. If you ask any marketer manager whether or not their campaign was a success they will often struggle when attempting to provide data that backs up their conclusion. When it comes to successful review the first step is identifying the key performance indicators at the start of a campaign.

Here are a few examples:

  • Inquiry levels
  • Demonstrations of product
  • Activity on website
  • Conversion of sales

Once success factors are identified then they need to be broken down further into parts that can be reassured against a response mechanism. The list below is an example:

Inquiry levels can show existing and new consumer data capture in the form of:

  • Phone Calls
  • Contract Forms
  •  Email responses
  • By mail
  • Product demonstrations

From there processes need to be enacted in order to place a record when a demonstration has occurred.

Here are a few examples of how to measure activity on a website:

  • Unique users
  • Page impressions
  • Time on site
  • Most visited pages
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversions
  • Sales conversions

These are some questions you should also be asking:

  • What is the sales target for this activity?
  • What is the increase in sales amongst existing and new customers?

You should then attribute a sale to a specific marketing activity.

Once the key marketing indicators have been decided, the next step is to implement tracking systems and processes that will be able to measure whether or not a marketing effort has performed successfully. There are multiple ways in which this tracking can be accomplished.

Phone Call Tracking

Phone tracking is very easy to start and with advanced reporting features it contains a great deal of information that can be captured quickly in order to show the success of a campaign. Not only can phone tracking determine how different medias perform, but it is also possible to link sales back to certain phone calls. By using call recording to track a team’s conversion rates they can then be monitored and allow for suitable coaching to take place in order to increase the sales rate further. Phone tracking is the basic requirement for any business that wants to get a better idea of how their marketing is doing.

Email Tracking

When it comes to Email tracking, email response is easier to monitor. Both inbound responses and inquiries to email marketing campaigns are easily measured by hosted systems or in-house teams for CRM. It’s important to understand the speed of response for an inbound inquiry. The sooner a company is able to respond to an email inquiry the more efficient they will make themselves seem to be which can lead to a higher opportunity of converting a sale.

Tracking Demonstrations

The problem with tracking demonstrations is that in order to know the amount of demonstrations made it actually requires a staff member or employee to enter the recorded activity. The more people that are required to record their activity the less reliable the information is. For this reason a strong process set in place to monitor demonstrations is needed.

Tracking Website Activity

As a simple basic minimum all companies should at least be using Google Analytics to monitor how their site is doing. If you have an ecommerce site then it should link sales back to the keywords and it should also identify where people leave the site. If you are performing in a market where customers are likely to use the phone to purchase services or produces then the numbers should set up in a dynamic website tracking style which will allow you to see which keywords and URLS are generating phone inquiries and sales.

Tracking Sales

When it comes down to it any and all marketing activity is set up in order to boost and support sales. This means that during and after campaigns sales date should be studied to see whether or not there is an increase in existing and new customers. Whenever possible this data needs to be linked back to the marketing activity in order to show how a sale came from a single piece of marketing. This can be done by linking consumer’s names to their phone calls, website activity, and email inquiries.

Any campaign can be changed in order to right marketing initiatives that are not generating enough or the needed kind of responses. By cleaning up the response analysis using phone call tracking and website analytics your campaign and be fixed mid-way through in order to improve response rates and save upwards of thousands of dollars on wasted campaigns.

One of the important yet overlooked key steps for any marketing is to make sure and test all measurement systems in order to ensure that the processes are being followed effectively allowing for timely data and success. A key component of successfully monitoring a campaign is ensuring that all data is collated quickly and efficiently during the campaign which allows for tactical changes and at the end to make sure that a proper review is done.

When it comes to implementing a monitoring system a top challenge is that it shows a company an all over view of how their customers are interacting with their business. Meaning that they will be able to see how effective they are when it comes to answering phone calls and responding to emails. Some of the data found can be quite depressing as companies may discover how badly they are responding to inquiries. The marketer will sometimes find out that a campaign itself was a success but that conversion rates were very poor. If this happens it means that a review as well as tightening up of the sales process needs to occur, otherwise any money that is spent on marketing is being wasted. Tracking analysis can figure out how much it costs in order to generate each lead. This should be taken into consideration when looking at the sales process as it will help hone in on how to improve the response handling.

This article demonstrated that by putting into motion some simple steps it is not all that complicated to implement monitoring systems that will enable you to control and understand your marketing effectiveness. Be prepared for shock due to the lack of process for managing inquiries via email and phone successfully. However, once the problems have been identified they can be fixed in order to ensure that you do not become part of the 56% who have no monitoring systems in place and are marketing blindly.

Posted on: July 22, 2010 by in Internet Marketing
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People are using Google and other search engines to find things locally these days.  In fact, the internet is being used more than ever to find things for people.
We found these interesting statistics from various sources so we thought we would share them with you:
  • 97% of American internet users use the internet to shop of which 57% characterize their behavior as shop online, purchase offline (NPD Group)
  • 90% of online commercial searches result in offline bricks and mortar purchases (proprietary research / comScore)
  • 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP / comScore)
  • 80% of budgets are spent within 50 miles of the home (DMA / proprietary)
  • 74% of internet users perform local searches (Kelsey Group)
  • 73% of online activity is related to local content (Google)
  • 66% of American use online local search, like Google local search to loc
  • 61% of local searches result in purchases (TMP / comScore)
  • 54% of Americans have substituted the internet and local search for phone books (comScore networks)
  • 35% of all searches are local (DM News)
  • 25% of internet searches have a purely local, commercial focus (Kelsey-Bizrate)
So what do you need? First you need quality content on your website.  You’ll also need lots of back links pointing to this quality content, so try submitting articles and press releases out to important websites you know of.  You’ll want them going out to directories, social sites like twitter and facebook, and make sure you use keyword specific anchor text links, and categories where necessary.
This is all stuff you’ll want to keep going month after month.  One or two months may get you to the top, but staying there is the key.  Once you’re up there and staying there, your traffic will increase in ways you couldn’t imagine before.
Posted on: July 15, 2010 by in Search Engine Optimization
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Your local business needs Search Engine Optimization, bottom line. SEO can be the key to a whole new world of increased traffic. The biggest reason you need it: your competitors are doing it. You can’t keep up with someone if you’re not doing as much or more than they are to market. And we’re not going to sit here and let you get shown up by that guy down the street. People are using Google more than ever to find local information, and we’re going to help you utilize that.

People don’t use phone books anymore. No more big book of yellow pages sitting on the counter. People are using the internet and search engines like Google to find everything they need in their area. Did you know there’s 2.6 billion searches done online a month? Doing SEO for your business can be less than the cost of advertising in a phone book and newspapers, plus it’s more effective.

So how does Google or other search engines know you’re best? It’s pretty simple, really. The search engines read your website and notice when certain words are repeated. These are your keywords. Google, or whichever, then takes your site and indexes it under those keywords. The sites are put in order of importance. The search engine decides the importance by basically seeing who else is talking about a particular website, or in other words, how many backlinks their are out there. That way, only the most reliable websites come up first for any particular keywords.

You want to be on page one, no doubt about it. Page one is where it’s at, and where you need to be. Most people don’t even go to the second page, let alone the third or fifth. SEO is becoming highly competitive, and your competitors are using SEO now, so you want to make sure you get ahead and start doing SEO immediately.

Once you start doing SEO you need to keep it up on a monthly basis. Once you get to the top, you can be knocked down, but not if you’re keeping a good solid SEO strategy moving. Don’t let your business fall behind your competitors.

Posted on: July 9, 2010 by in Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization
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Since June 2nd, a lot of people have been saying that the Impressions/Clicks have dropped for their website, according to Google Webmaster Tools, and for no reason.

So what happened? No one really knows. A notable decrease in clicks has been reported, while no notable amounts of traffic or revenue are lost. Google Analytics even shows that traffic is normal. Is it some sort of glitch in GWT? Should anyone be worried?

Rumor has it that it’s because of Google Caffine, but there has been no official report from Google as to why this is happening. There have been reported cases of legitimately lost traffic and revenue, but most say that their traffic and revenue is the same while GWT says their Clicks/Impressions are steadily dropping by day. We feel that the reported cases of lost traffic and revenue must be a coincidence and be caused by something else.

Make sure you watch your Webmaster tools and Analytics and make sure everything is going okay for you. You don’t want to be caught off guard, reading about a glitch and then ignoring it when it happens only to lose revenue. No one knows for sure what the deal is, so don’t take any chances at all! Just keep your normal SEO operations moving and keep watching your traffic and rankings.

Posted on: July 2, 2010 by in Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization
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Do you realize how easy it is for any small local business to outrank a Fortune 500 business in Google? Do you realize that you could be that small local business? Imagine getting more traffic than a Fortune 500 business site. Now, imagine what that would do for your business! It’s simple, keep reading and check it out.

The Fortune 500’s are failing. Do you know why? Poor SEO strategies. Their strategy is to spend millions a day on PPC campaigns. They’re blowing all this money on advertising that doesn’t even work. Did you know that 50% of Fortune 500 companies have zero search engine visibility? Only 25% show up in a top 50 search for their own product, service, or keywords! That’s terrible. How do they manage to even stay Fortune 500?

You can easily beat that. it’s easy. All you need is a solid Local Search Marketing plan. All you need is a good internet marketing, team and a realistic budget!

Posted on: June 30, 2010 by in Social Media Marketing
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Google Buzz has been out for a while, but most people probably haven’t heard much about it. It’s not something Google is pushing very hard, but is definitely cool. If your business has a twitter (which it should), then it should also have a Google Buzz account. It connects right up to a Gmail account, and you can set it up to auto-post anything your twitter, flickr, wordpress, and other sites post. This is convenient because it’s essentially set-and-forget!

Some of the features included are that it is fast communication, like twitter, and you can keep it public or private, just like twitter. It has not only Flickr and twitter sharing but it will even share youtube videos that people can watch straight from their Gmail, unlike twitter which makes you click through a link to view a picture or image. Being that it’s linked to your Gmail, people will watch these things in their Gmail so it’s very convenient to check. It’s mobile compatible and location oriented so you can post where you’re at automatically. It also uses an autofollow function. The auto follow function keeps track of who you communicate with the most. This gives your customers and clients a new avenue in which to communicate with you, which is always great. Customers and clients like it when they feel like you are catering to them personally all the time.

There’s a wordpress plug in, too, if you have a blog or wordpress site that you want to integrate with Google Buzz. You can check it out here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-google-buzz/. If you use WordPress for anything, than this is a must have!

So, do you think it’s worth it? Of course it is! There’s no reason not to use Google Buzz.

Posted on: June 26, 2010 by in Search Engine Optimization
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On May 1st, Google implemented a change that stopped indexing long tail keywords. Is this a big deal? Some think it is. We don’t, however. Good SEO will beat such a small change any and every day of the week.

So why did they do it? Well, only Google knows for sure. It’s a small algorithm change and they are known to make more than one change every day that most people don’t even notice. Speculation says that it has to do with helping Google Caffeine works it’s magic quickly. If long tail keywords were slowing it down, it’s understandable why they would nix them out of the mix all together.

Were you affected? You’d be able to tell by checking on your rankings or if your traffic has decreased. Use whichever ranking tool you use to check, and check your analytics to see if ranking has dropped. If one or both happened, and it was on or shortly after May 1st, then you were affected by this. Many and most of you won’t be, and the ones who are will only slightly be affected.

What can you do? Just wait it out. There’s no reason to blindly go changing things, just stick with your normal plan. As previously stated, there’s hundreds of changes made a year that you don’t even notice. No need to freak out about one just because it’s been mentioned around the web. If you’ve been drastically affected, well then you need to check all your resources and make sure it’s not just a coincidence and something else has happened around the same time. Don’t want to point the blame the wrong way.

In the end, high-quality SEO plans will triumph over any small change Google makes to the algorithm. Just keep your SEO going as usual

Posted on: June 25, 2010 by in Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization
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Enlisting outside help should be on your SEO to-do-list. You can’t be expected to do everything your self, and you’ll need to hire SEO Consultants just to help out a little. Here’s the top seven reasons why to hire SEO consultants.

1. You Need Specialized Expertise

Some people know certain SEO niches better than others. Some people know Social Media better, some know content generation and backlinking better. It all depends on a person’s specialties. You can’t be expected to know everything your self!

2. You Can Learn A Lot From An Outside Expert

Even if you’re an SEO expert, you can’t be expected to know everything. Having an extra brain around with extra ideas is always a plus. Some people have done things you haven’t before.

3. You Should Double Check Your Strategies Before You Start Them

While building a strategy, it’s easy to forget something, put something extra in, or just do something wrong. Usually a second or even third person to review it before implementing it can help. The outside SEO Consultants can catch any mistakes that are made.

4. Benefit From Collaborating With Other SEOs

Don’t you find it refreshing to work with other people? I know I do. Sometimes it’s tough doing things by your self. Get some help with a consultant and take some stress off.

5. A Consultant Can Help You Talk To The Higher-Ups

One of the hardest things to do is get approval and funding by your superiors to try new things, or do the things you already know will work. A second voice to help convince your superiors that what you’re doing is right is more than a good idea, it’s a fantastic idea!

6. SEO Is Too Much Work

SEO is a lot of work, and no one should have to bear that burden alone. With outside help, responsibilities can be delegated and the stress load can be removed so that no one person is stressing out over a lot to do. Things will also get done a lot faster.

7. An Outside Point Of View On Unforeseen Issues

It’s possible that you haven’t experienced everything yet. No matter how long you’ve been in the SEO business, there’s a good chance you haven’t seen it all. Luckily, a consultant may have seen the particular issue you’ve run in to. They’ll know exactly how to fix it and things can run smoothly!

Getting an outside consultant isn’t wrong, it’s actually encouraged. Do what you feel is right and what is needed the most for your SEO campaigns.

Posted on: May 26, 2010 by in Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization
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Have you heard Google ranks sites higher if they have a higher registration period? There’s been a lot of talk amongst the SEO industry that says this is true.  They’re saying that a domain they registered for ten years got indexed up to fifteen times faster than the domain they registered for only one year, and both domains had similar content as to not throw off their tests.  Fifteen times faster is a lot!

The way they say it works is that Google sees people investing in long term sites and likes it. When someone registers for only one year, it’s a good chance that they’re just spamming.  A ten year lease on a domain is going to show that they plan to stick it out for the long term.

Well guess what?  It’s not true.  They’re idiots and liars.  It doesn’t work that way.  I don’t know where they got this “fifteen times faster” thing, but they’re either terribly mistaken or just plain lying.

Understand, Google can’t see that information.  It’s between you and your provider.  Even if you put that stuff out in the open for the world, and Google, to see, they’re not looking for it.  Sure, in the past they’ve said they might take it into consideration, but as of right now, they’re not even looking.

Don’t worry about investing the amount of money needed on a ten year lease, unless you’re comfortable and plan on investing in a ten year lease.  Don’t do it because this guy says to, or because your provider says to, do it because you want the domain for ten years.

Posted on: May 21, 2010 by in Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization
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Previously, Firefox was the best browser for handling things like SEO because of the Firefox extensions.  Unfortunately, Firefox is very bulky.  There is a solution! Google Chrome is not near as bulky as Firefox, and now has a growing list of extensions.  Go ahead and see for your self.  Open up a website you spend a lot of time on in Firefox.  Then do the same in Google Chrome.  Check your task manager and see which is using more memory.  Now, check out this list of SEO Extensions for Google Chrome:

  1. SEO Site Tools – On-Page and External metrics; Social Media information; Metrics and numbering on Yahoo, Bing, and Google SERPs; Extends WMT, YSE and GA with metrics.
  2. SEOQuake lite – Displays the Google PageRank and Alexa rank of any webpages in your browser. Also shows no-follow links.
  3. SitezMeter – Displays traffic charts from Google Trends and Alexa, as well as ranks.
  4. Site Information Tool – Shows information about the current page like PageRank, Alexa rank, IP info, server response headers, whois and other SEO parameters.
  5. Chrome SEO – Includes Keyword Research Tool (Alpha Version), Highlighted NoFollow links, number of Pages Indexed, number of Backlinks, Current Traffic and Rankings, Social Bookmark counts, Cached Versions of the page, and Domain Details like DNS, IP, Whois, Server Location.
Here’s two other extensions you may find useful:
  1. iMacros – Set up macros to fill out or do repetitious things in your browser.
  2. Session Manager – Lets you save sessions of your opened tabs and windows, and to quickly re-open them whenever you like.
Now that Google Chrome has some SEO extensions, you have no reason not to make the switch.