Seach, Social & Content Marketing Blog

Call Tracking: An Intro to Measuring Offline PPC Conversions

March 28th, 2013 • By:  • PPC Advertising

One of the distinct advantages of online PPC campaigns is the ability to measure the effectiveness of campaigns as they relate to certain ads, ad groups or even keywords. You can analyze these factors to understand which ones result in high click-through rates, and ultimately conversions or sales for you. These numbers are fairly easy to keep tabs on, because web analytics allow marketers to see exactly when and from where these clicks led to a conversion. But what about when one of these ads eventually leads to an offline action such as a phone call or a trip to a physical storefront?

Thankfully, you can utilize call tracking tools to gain a better sense of consumer behavior and how your campaigns directly influence your customers’ offline actions. Integrating call tracking gives you information that would otherwise go unmeasured if you relied solely on online conversion tracking tools. Being able to see online and offline conversions will allow you to better tailor existing and future campaigns for your target audience.

Utilizing call tracking tools is simple and you have two options for administering them into your campaigns. You can start by adding distinct phone numbers to your PPC ads. Depending on how you plan to measure conversions, you will assign a specific phone number to either an entire campaign or an individual ad.

Once the number has been designated you can choose to include them by either inserting them into the actual copy of the ads. Some online marketers find this option restrictive because including the number cuts into Google’s 35 character per line limit, or Bing’s 71 character overall ad limit. Do keep in mind that including a standard phone number in this format eats up 12 of your overall characters, which could otherwise act as valuable copy space to describe your good or service to customers.

In order to satisfy users who want to avoid filling ad copy, Google offers call extensions as an alternative. This allows advertisers to feature the designated phone number in addition to the existing ad space. This option can also prove attractive for potential customers using cell phones and tablets because they can click-to-call, creating an easy avenue for contact. Unfortunately, Bing does not have an equivalent feature at this time.

If you are already using display ads in addition to text ads, you can include the phone number directly into the visual design of the ad. You can also link this number digitally so that phone calls resulting from that ad get tracked as a lead.

Google also offers a unique service called Call Metrics, which is specifically for tracking phone calls. Unfortunately this kind of tracking does not measure the online conversions at the same time, so you’ll need to do some manual reporting to get the big picture about how your campaigns are performing overall.

Your other option is to include the unique number directly into your website’s pages (rather than just on a campaign or individual ad). You will need to install a Javascript snippet into your site’s code. Whenever a potential customer clicks through to your site, their visit will be assigned that unique tracking number. As the potential customer clicks through the pages of your site, the number will continue to trail their activity.  When they do finally make contact, this feature enables you to look back and know exactly which page or offer triggered their eventual phone call.

You may need to experiment with these tracking tools before you can determine which data is most informative for you. When you find your favorite way to analyze this information, you’ll be able to better craft your campaigns based on your understanding of successful keyword choices, ads that attracted the most phone calls or which campaigns attracted the most conversions over a period of time. Knowing these valuable details will make your business more successful in the long run.

 

The Authoritative Resource List for the Semantic Web

March 28th, 2013 • By:  • Search Engine Optimization

The Authoritative Resource List for the Semantic Web Movement

You’ve likely used terms on search engines that you thought should produce the information you’re looking for, only to be disappointed that the sites that show up couldn’t be farther from what you’re looking for. The principles of the semantic web movement can help search engines and end users find what they’re looking for a bit better by converting the web into a more structured format. Currently, the web is made up of unstructured and semi-structured documents. Problems occur when users try to find the information they’re looking for, because search engines attempting to help have a hard time understanding content on the web.

As SEOs, it’s important to understand the core principles of the semantic web and make changes to the structure of your site for this “utopic vision” of a better web experience. In addition, a proper understanding helps with all aspects of SEO best practices. Understanding how a search engine crawls and indexes your pages and what semantic content looks like will aid in the technical aspects of SEO. In this post, you’ll find 40+ resources to help you understand more about the semantic web.

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Pinterest for Men [VIDEO]

March 27th, 2013 • By:  • Social Media

Pinterest for Men

Who says Pinterest is just for women? Well, a lot of people do in fact, seeing as 82% of Pinterest users are women. But we got to thinking; what about that other 18%? With over 40 million users (and that number growing every day), to disregard the male population isn’t helping brands hoping to tap into the large (and often under-targeted) demographic on one of the top referrer sites on the internet. With that conclusion made, now what? Men interact differently with Pinterest than women do, so if you are a brand active on Pinterest, there are many things to consider. In order to become an authority and resource on Pinterest for men, we’ve created this video to help you on your journey.

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How To Easily Produce Multimedia Content: A Behind The Scenes Step-By-Step Guide

March 26th, 2013 • By:  • Content Development

How To Easily Produce Multimedia Content A Behind The Scenes Step By Step Guide

This is a special guest post from writer Antoine Bonicalzi, founder of The Content Production Line.

There’s no doubt that content marketing is the way to go online. You produce high-quality, educative, relevant and interesting content, you find a way to distribute it and good things happen.

Your content is what allows you to grow an audience and to position yourself as an expert in the eyes of this audience. Your content is what you share on social media and it helps your site rank in the search engines.

You may even sell some of that content as part of online courses or membership sites.

At the moment, you may be looking to create:

  • A free report (pdf) to give away as an ethical bribe to join your mailing list
  • Text content for your email autoresponder sequence or your blog posts
  • Audio and video content for high perceived value free offer or paid digital products
  • Fresh content for your membership site
  • More…

You may even need all of the above. In an ideal world, you would create multimedia content on a regular basis.

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First Impressions: How Are People Interacting & Reacting to Your Brand’s Website? [INFOGRAPHIC]

March 21st, 2013 • By:  • On-Site SEO

First-Impressions--How-are-people-interacting-and-reacting-to-your-brands-website

The functionality and design of a company’s website is a crucial element in its success. You may have done all the work to optimize your content and be more easily found on search engines with keyword research, consistent blogging, etc., and that’s great. But, you must also consider the first impression your visitors receive when they land on your site in order to really see results in the long run. In this infographic, learn how visitors approach your website, what they focus on, how they interact with your content, and the importance of usability in on-site optimization.

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