Why You Need to Check Your Site Analytics Daily

Ecommerce managers have a lot on their plates, and you’re probably no exception to that rule. As someone who spends my days working with ecommerce teams, I know how stretched you are, and so I’m not quick to recommend that you take on new tasks. But there is an exception to this rule: If you don’t check your site analytics daily, start doing so immediately. Trust me, this small amount of extra work can (and probably will) save you an abundance of time, sales and frustrations later on.

Daily health checks are especially important if you’re doing any sort of digital marketing, running a social media campaign, or making any kind of tweak or technical change to your site. Since there’s little change that you’re NOT doing one of those things on a continuous basis, make a review of your site analytics part of your daily routine to ensure there’s nothing amiss with any of your initiatives.

Here’s why: Let’s say you make a small change to where your email signup button or link is located. That tiny tweak may end up causing numerous problems for your visitors, resulting in fewer signups (and consequently, fewer opportunities to market to new prospects). This isn’t just theoretical; I’ve worked with clients who’ve gone a long time without realizing they were missing new email signups.

Fortunately, checking your site analytics doesn’t have to be a burden. I highly recommend to all clients setting up a custom report in your analytics program, whether that’s Google Analytics, Magento Business Intelligence or Adobe Analytics. All of these solutions will generate and email the reports to you automatically, so you don’t even need to sign in to your analytics console.

Types of Analytics to Check

Obviously, the metrics included in your report should be those that are most important to your brand. That said, I do recommend that all ecommerce managers get a top level report of all your channels, and include top KPIs such as traffic, conversion rate, number of transactions, revenue, social sign ups, etc).

Additional reports for specific channels are also warranted. For instance, if you spend a lot of money for paid search, you’ll definitely want to receive a dedicated paid search report that provides additional metrics, such as your cost per click, competitor percentage, and so on.

Avoid Unpleasant Surprises

Here’s a promise I can make: checking your site analytics daily will help you avoid rather unpleasant surprises. At Something Digital we’ve seen numerous instances where a client launched a new site and then monitored sales by looking at their Magento dashboards. At first glance the site looks as if it’s performing as planned, as evidenced by new sales coming in. A few days later they check Google Analytics only to discover that their GA tracking code wasn’t setup correctly and is reporting 0% revenue for those past few days. This is critical site data that should be used to optimize the site but is lost forever.

We’ve also seen costly surprises crop as a result of changes made to critical processes, such as the checkout page. Ecommerce managers, eager to boost conversion rates, optimize their checkout pages without realizing that a technical issue is causing problems for users at a specific stage.

But a glance at the site analytics will clearly show that visitors are encountering problems at a specific stage in the checkout funnel, and you’ll know exactly where to focus your efforts. I remember a client coming to me after spending an enormous amount of time trying to identify why sales were falling, when the answer was waiting in his Google Analytics all along.

Checking your site analytics is the first place to go when troubleshooting technical issues on your site. I’ve seen clients waste a lot of time digging into other areas when they could have looked into their analytics platform and instantly seen what the problem was.

Setting Up Custom Report in GA

Most clients use Google Analytics and it’s incredibly easy to create a custom report for your site analytics. To begin, Google offers an online tutorial that walks you through the process. Google’s new Data Studio turns your site data into dashboards and reports that are easy to read, easy to share, and fully customizable, and offers a gallery of reports to choose from.

Moreover, other ecommerce managers have created and shared their custom reports which you may be able to use as a starting point for your own. In other words, creating a custom report may be as easy as finding a report template to import into your profile.

I hope I’ve convinced you to begin checking your site analytics on a daily basis. It’s the single most effective way to ensure your site and marketing initiatives are performing as planned, and to identify and resolve issues if they’re not. If you’re having issues with you analytics or want more information reach out to us, we’d love to help!

Written by: Lindsay Pugh, Digital Strategist

Ranking poorly in SERPs? A Checklist for Uncovering the Underlying Issues

There’s nothing more frustrating than creating great content that’s never read by the people you wrote it for. How do you find more readers? The best strategy is to make it easier for people to find, and that means focusing on the search engine results page (SERP).

The science of SEO is designed to do just that by reverse engineering how people look for answers on the web (i.e. “search”). It encompasses:

  • Content analysis, and persona development to ensure you write for the person most likely to search for and read your content
  • Keywords and related keywords that will raise your content higher in the search engine results page
  • Site taxonomy, to ensure your pages don’t compete against one another, and preventing your content from “surfacing” (i.e. get a high ranking in the search engine results)

 

Why Content Ranks Poorly

If you’re not getting the traffic you hoped for, begin by pinpointing the problem areas.

1. Identify the problems – Begin by understanding how your pages actually perform using your website analytics tool. Are they getting good traffic? Do visitors spend time on them, or do they leave just as soon as they land? Prioritize the specific pages that are underperforming.

2. Perform a keyword analysis – Once you’ve identified the pages with the best performance identify the keywords that are driving prospects to it. A keyword analytics platform, such as the Magento SEO extension, or SEO Centro, will streamline this process, allowing you to compare the performance of two pages with the same keyword in a single view. Consider deleting the page with the weaker performance.  If you want to keep pages with weaker performance, consider using a related keyword or LSI term in its URL, title tag or H1 tag.

3. Look for duplicate content – Duplicate content is the enemy of SEO. The goal of a search engine is to identify the page that is most relevant to the user who performed the query, and search engines don’t respond well when multiple pages target the same keyword. How does they know which is the most important, and should be served up to the user? In many cases, the search engine responds to that confusion by lowering your site in the search results rankings. To combat this challenge, identify pages that compete with one another by using the same keyword in the URL, title tag or H1 tag.

4. Use Backlinking – Search engines need to look at a variety of signals to determine if a how a page should rank. Backlinks, which occur when another website references your webpage via a hyperlink, is an important metric for Google. In a sense, they’re popularity signals for the search engine, so you should try to get as many backlinks from as many quality sources or related bloggers from within your industry as possible. Social sharing will boost your backlinking profile, so be sure to make it easy for your users to share your webpages on social media.

Fixing Underperforming Pages

1. Republish content for freshness – Your web page may have great content, but if it hasn’t been updated in a few years, search engines will see it as old.

2. Add new content, or update your page – It’s a good idea to review your content on a regular basis and update as needed. For instance, your industry may have adopted new business terms, and refreshing your page to reflect them will boost your rankings.

3. Quick fixes – If you truly have nothing new to add, consider turning headers into questions searchers ask (e.g. When is Tom Brady’s birthday)?

Tips for Getting Your Content Found: Before You Write

1. Research Keywords & Latent Semantic Indexing – The first step is to gain a better understand the current level of interest (or demand) for that topic in the market. Keywords help you gain that understanding. Let’s say your company has introduced a line of meal kits. The first step is to assess the demand (i.e. or number of times) people enter “meal kits” into a search engine.

If the keyword generates a lot of volume, you’ll know it’s a hot topic. The same holds true for latent semantic indexing (LSI) terms. LSI terms are keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword (e.g. vegetarian meal kits, farm-to-table meal kits, etc.).

LSI terms provide important insight into the direction the market is going. If they’re popular enough, you’ll want to include them in the content you create. You can also use these terms for future blog posts or other content, as well as to inform your company’s product roadmap.

2. Create a Taxonomy and Keyword Strategy Before You Write – Taxonomy refers to how your company classifies the main topics that relate to your business, products and services, so that users can easily find them via a search. For instance, let’s say you have many styles of mobile phones on your site. Your taxonomy will include  mobile phones, and within that folder you may have separate pages for Samsung, Motorola and so on. This is taxonomy.

The trick to successful taxonomy lies in identifying the main topics to emphasize, as well as the relevant sub-topics for each main topic. If your site only sells mobile phones, then “Samsung Galaxy” and “Google Pixel” may be appropriate main topics. If your site offers a broad range of devices, than these terms will be better suited as sub-topics to “smartphones.”

From a URL standpoint, it’s important to give each page a name that describes the content it contains. For instance, if you create a page about portable smartphone charges, don’t simply call it “smartphone.” Doing so will result in attracting traffic that isn’t relevant to your products.

3. Use Buying-Journey Personas to Drive Content – What do keyword searches reveal about the consumer’s intent? Some keywords are used when people are just beginning to research a topic; others indicate a more mature understanding of the topic. By continuously tracking keywords and user online behavior, the SEO industry has learned how to use keywords to develop buying journey personas.

Once you’ve created a list of appropriate keywords and LSI terms for your company, you will be in a position to assess where likely readers of your content are in their buying journeys. This insight will help you craft highly relevant content for the reader.

For instance, if the keyword indicates the consumer is in the early stages of the buying journey, you will want to cover basic information on the topic. If they’re later in the later stages, you can assume they have a solid grounding, and can dive straight into the nuances or complexities they’ll need to consider.

Content marketing is a great way to attract new prospects to your brand — as well as establish your company as a leader in your space. But it only works if people who are important to you can find it. This isn’t a matter of luck, it’s straightforward science. With a bit of upfront planning and thought into the taxonomy, keywords and LSIs you use, you can turbocharge your content marketing.

Dark Social Webinar Recap

Missed our webinar but still curious about dark social and its effect on your site? Check out the full webinar and a little information on what dark social is below.

  • The term “dark social” was coined by Alexis C. Madrigal in this Atlantic article. You should think of dark social as social shares that are difficult to measure. For example, when one friend sends another a link via email or text message. While this should be counted as social traffic in Google Analytics, it’s usually funneled into the “direct” channel.
  • Dark social is important to segment out and look at because it can help you optimize your overall social media strategy. According to RadiumOne, “84% of consumers’ outbound sharing from publishers’ and marketers’ websites now takes place via private, Dark Social channels such as email and instant messaging.”
  • It’s also important to try to separate this out so you can get a better sense of what your direct channel actually looks like. How many people are directly typing in your url or coming to your site via bookmarked pages?

 

 

Download the Dark Social Webinar Presentation.

If you’re looking for a few dark social resources, check out the ones below.

Debunking the Myths of Dark Social

Introducing: Dark Social

The Dark Side of Mobile Sharing

Unlock the Value of Sharing this Christmas

WEBINAR: DARK SOCIAL MEDIA

The SD team is hosting a dark social webinar on November 9, 2017 from 12:30-1:30 PM ET. So we know you’re probably thinking, ‘What is dark social and why should I attend?’ Here’s a quick primer:

  • The term “dark social” was coined by Alexis C. Madrigal in this Atlantic article. You should think of dark social as social shares that are difficult to measure. For example, when one friend sends another a link via email or text message. While this should be counted as social traffic in Google Analytics, it’s usually funneled into the “direct” channel.
  • Dark social is important to segment out and look at because it can help you optimize your overall social media strategy. According to RadiumOne, “84% of consumers’ outbound sharing from publishers’ and marketers’ websites now takes place via private, Dark Social channels such as email and instant messaging.”
  • It’s also important to try to separate this out so you can get a better sense of what your direct channel actually looks like. How many people are directly typing in your url or coming to your site via bookmarked pages?

 

In this webinar, we’ll talk about how you can track Dark Social, along with some useful tips on how to use Dark Social data to further optimize content on your site.

If you’re interested in attending the webinar, please sign up here. If you have any specific questions you’d like us to answer, please submit them here.

Why Every Ecommerce Team Should Be A/B Testing

Most people would never commit to a winter coat or a pair of slacks without trying them on first. Why wouldn’t website managers and ecommerce teams apply the same rigor to website changes?

To Lindsay Pugh, Digital Marketing Analyst here at Something Digital, it’s a question of good website stewardship. A/B testing is the best way to ensure the changes you make will achieve your goals. Foregoing the exercise can needlessly cost you money over the long haul.

Still, for many people A/B testing is intimidating, which is why we sat down with Lindsay for a frank talk on A/B testing.

Q: Why is A/B testing important?

A: A lot of people act on hunches. They’ll say: I think we’ll get more conversions if we change this button from black to pink. They may ask around and their colleagues will tell them it’s a great idea. But it’s all just speculation. What if your site visitors don’t respond to that change? Or ignore that button because it’s pink?

A/B testing validates these things with statistically significant numbers. It stops you from essentially implementing your opinion by letting you know quantifiably whether the change is good, or if it will cost you more money in the long run.

Q: Let’s say you want to deploy A/B testing this quarter…where should you begin?

A: Start by assessing your site and identifying problems. For instance, are there sections of your site where engagement is disappointing? Areas or functions you suspect are problematic?

I worked with a client who was disappointed that visitors just weren’t engaging with their social media icons. So we tested adding the icons to the header as well as the footer and got important insight. These are really smart applications for A/B testing.

Q: Why doesn’t everybody A/B test?

A: It’s a combination of not enough bandwidth, money, or a good handle on how to use the technologies. Someone may install a free copy of Optimizely and then feel overwhelmed at the prospect of learning a new platform. So they decide to not bother with A/B testing.

Q: That brings up a good question: Is A/B testing difficult, time-consuming and expensive?

A: Not at all! First, I really want to emphasize that A/B testing is very easy to do, especially after you’ve set up your system and learned how the platform works. It’s not the daunting, time-consuming task people assume it will be.

And as for expense, there are definitely some costs involved, especially if your site traffic volumes exceed the free versions of A/B testing solutions. But what you really need to consider is the ROI. No site owner wants to make changes that confuse or dissuade potential customers. You want to put your best foot forward, and A/B testing helps you do just that.

Q: How do you know when a change you’re testing is statistically significant?

A: That’s the benefit of using Optimizely or any of the A/B testing tools out there. These tools will only stop a test when they deem you’ve reached a statistically significant result. They use algorithms to automate the process, and can determine whether the change under consideration accomplished your business goal.

Q: That’s the second time you  mentioned Optimizely, which begs the question: Are A/B testing tools a requirement?

A: They certainly make the process efficient and reliable, which is why we recommend them.  There are a lot of options on the market. At Something Digital we tend to use Optimizely, which at this point is synonymous with A/B testing. But Google Optimize, a newer product, is also good, and we’re happy to use that if the client prefers it.

The reason why these tools are helpful is that they’ll split your traffic randomly, allowing you to test a change in scenarios where all variables are equal. Let’s say you want to test a button-color change yourself, with no help from a software solution. You’ll probably change the color for one day, collect the data, then change it back the next day and collect the data again. Next you’ll compare the two datasets.

The problem is that a lot can change from one day to the next. You might have different promotions running, you might have a different composition of visitors to your site due to an affiliate partner’s promotion. It’s difficult to sync up all of the different variables so that you actually test the data in the same environment.

A software solution like Optimizely will ensure your A and B test elements are running concurrently, using all of the same variables. These programs ensure traffic is sent randomly to test the change. This leads to truer, more reliable results.

Q: Let’s say you want to make that button-color change…do you need to change that button in your site?

A: No. With Optimizely you receive a pixel which you implement on your site, and all changes are made via that pixel. Within the platform you have access to screens that let you preview the changes to your site. You can create multiple versions of what you want to test. There’s no need to hardcode the text elements into your site.

Q: Is Optimizely user-friendly?

A: It’s not too bad, especially if you have an understanding of how HTML and CSS works (or you’re good at Googling!). For complex tests you may need the help of a developer.

Q: Are there things that shouldn’t be A/B tested?

A: There are some complex process changes that are difficult to A/B test. If you plan to re-architect your site navigation A/B testing will be difficult, because there are too many elements changing all at once. We recommend A/B or multivariate testing when you have a few, isolated elements to test.

Q: Google has been making changes to its browsers, and plans to block website elements it believes are bothersome to users. Can A/B testing help site owners prepare for that?

A: Companies that rely on a pop-up to solicit email sign-ups should definitely plan to A/B test some alternatives. They can start now by testing an email drop down.

It’s not clear at this point if Google will completely ban pop-ups. They may just ban ones that take over the entire page, or don’t allow the user to close it. A/B testing allows companies to prepare for that eventuality and have a fully-tested alternative in place.

 

Looking for help with A/B Testing on your site? Or have questions for us? Contact us now.

Magento BI and why you need it

As a Magento Enterprise Solution Partner, clients often look to us as experts and expect us to know about all of the upcoming features and smartest strategies that are specific to the platform. Lately, we’ve received many questions about Magento Business Intelligence (aka Magento BI). In this blog post, I’ll run through some of the most common questions we’ve received in the past few months.

Q: What is Magento BI?

A: Magento BI is an analytics platform that allows merchants to gain advanced insights from transactional data. In 2016, Magento acquired RJMetrics, an ecommerce data analytics software company. After this happened, Magento began to focus more on merchants’ analytics needs. Here’s how RJMetrics describes Magneto BI:

“A cloud-based visual analytics and data warehouse manager, Magento BI is the easiest way to coordinate, visualize, and analyze all your data from disparate sources. Because everyone can view and collaborate on the same data, Magento BI makes it easy for your organization to maintain a single source of truth.”

Q: Magento BI sounds cool, but I already have Google Analytics. Why do I need both?

A: Magento BI does sound similar to Google Analytics at first glance, but there are a few important differences. First, Magento BI actually syncs with Google Analytics and leverages that data, along with data from many other platforms: Facebook Ads, Mixpanel, NetSuite, Salesforce, Trello, and Zendesk (to name only a few). As a marketer, this is HUGE. Instead of checking each separate platform, all data is collected and available to analyze in Magento BI. You no longer need to worry about running cross-platform comparisons when Magento and Google Analytics sales data doesn’t match. If you’re the type of marketer who still likes having separate dashboards for all data sources, don’t worry! You can still keep everything separate in Magento BI if that’s how you like to analyze data.

The second big difference between Magento BI and Google Analytics is the ability to calculate customer lifetime value. Have you ever tried to do this with Google Analytics? It’s impossible and involves a ton of guesswork and inaccurate calculations. If you want more information about why Google Analytics is not the right platform for this type of analysis, read this post by Annie Cushing from Annielytics. Since Magento BI syncs all data sources, it’s possible to calculate and compare acquired customer lifetime value and the cost of each acquisition by channel. This is super valuable if you’re trying to figure out how much to spend on a specific ad network. Maybe you work with a digital marketing agency and feel like they’re throwing away money on your PPC campaigns. Simply analyze your data in Magento BI to figure out if they’re spending recklessly. For marketers and merchants, Magento BI is a powerful tool.

Another cool thing that sets Magento BI apart is the ability to predict future purchases by analyzing historical data. If Magento BI says, “hey, this specific customer is probably about to make a purchase,” your marketers can jump into action and make sure that purchase happens and that the AOV is as high as possible.

Q: How much is Magento BI?

A: Magento BI Essentials starts at $100/month and is based on your store’s Gross Merchandise Volume. Check out this calculator tool to get a better idea of how much it might cost for your business.

Q: I’m a merchant and don’t have a data scientist on my in-house marketing team. Does Magento BI still make sense for my company? Will we be able to correctly utilize it?

A: Yep! Magento BI was designed for marketers and merchants, not data scientists. As previously mentioned, a demo and some training will definitely be helpful and give you the tools you need to start using the platform correctly. Once someone demonstrates the primary features, the platform is fairly intuitive and very visual, so anyone used to Google Analytics shouldn’t have a problem picking it up quickly. If, by chance, you do have a data scientist (or someone who knows SQL) on your team, all the better! BI has some great features that more advanced users will love.

Q: Tell me more about these advanced features.

A: If you know SQL, the SQL Report Builder is probably the coolest advanced tool that Magento BI offers. To learn more about it, check out the RJMetrics Help Center guide.

Q: I see that Magento BI has the ability to perform Cohort Analysis. What the heck is that?

A: It’s really cool. A/B testing is great for measuring the performance of small on-site tweaks (like the impact of changing a button color), but not so great for more complex changes. RJMetrics uses this example:

“If you improve your SLA on all customer support requests from 24 to 3 hours, running a before-and-after cohort analysis will show you the impact that this change has had on customer loyalty and repurchase rate.”

While analyzing whether or not a specific change was successful, cohort analysis allows you to group users based on behavior and then market specifically to them. To learn more, check out this RJMetrics site, specifically devoted to cohort analysis.

Q: Alright, you’ve convinced me. How do I get started with Magento BI?

A: Contact your Magento rep if you’re interested in setting up a demo or free trial. There is a bit of a learning curve for BI, but your rep can walk you through everything and answer any questions you may have. If you already have Magento BI and are confused about how to use it, feel free to contact Something Digital. We’re always happy to help.

Written by: Lindsay Pugh, Digital Marketing Analyst

 

Looking for Insane ROI? Invest in Email Marketing

If you run an ecommerce site and aren’t currently investing in email marketing, you need to rethink your digital strategy ASAP. Of all marketing channels, email typically has the best ROI and is an essential component to any good, comprehensive digital plan. Don’t believe me? Maybe these metrics will convince you:

– 89% of marketers say that email is their primary channel for lead generation (Mailigen)
– 80% of retail professionalsindicate that email marketing is their greatest driver of customer retention (eMarketer)
– Across every demographic, email was the most popular channel. 64% prefer email to communicate with companies (MarketingSherpa)

Email is a powerful marketing tool – for both retention and acquisition, B2B and B2C –  and learning how to use it correctly is essential for success in 2017.

When clients come to us for email marketing advice or services, here are some questions they typically ask, along with the SD team’s answers:

Q: I want to invest in a new ESP, but how do I figure out which one is best for me?

A: We’ll help you figure out which ESP makes the most sense after reviewing some of the following metrics: email list size, email marketing budget, current email metrics (open rate, click-through rate, segments), and overall content strategy. If you have a small budget and limited team members to handle design, strategy, and execution, we might recommend an ESP like MailChimp (with an add-on like Windsor Circle) to get you started. If you’re already on MailChimp and looking to increase your budget and develop a more complex, layered strategy, we might recommend an ESP like Dotmailer, Listrak, or Bronto. We won’t know for sure until we do some analysis and learn more about your brand.

Q: I’m currently using a sophisticated ESP, but I’m not seeing the results I expected. What am I doing wrong?

A: There could be a number of issues with your current ESP (maybe technical, maybe strategy-based), but here are some common ones we’ve seen in the past:

– You’re not sending enough emails. Brands often worry about inundating customers with too many messages and shy away from a daily send schedule.
– You’re not segmenting. The ability to segment email lists and individualize email campaign messaging are the most effective personalization tactics for 51% and 50% of marketing influencers respectively. (Hubspot)
– You haven’t kept up with list maintenance. If your list is full of customers who clearly aren’t interested in what you’re offering, it’s no wonder you’re not getting the engagement you need.
– You’re not utilizing your ESP for transactional emails. Transactional emails have 8x more opens and clicks than any other type of email, and can generate 6x more revenue. (Experian)
– You’re dealing with an undiagnosed technical issue that’s preventing you from properly utilizing your ESP.

Q: I have an internal design and content marketing team, but I really need help with strategy. Can I hire SD to help with segmentation, planning, and execution?

A: Yes! We’re available to help in any capacity. If you already have a team who handles content creation, hire us for just strategy. If you need full service, we offer that, too. If we haven’t worked with you before, we would suggest beginning any engagement with complimentary design and strategy email audits. Once we have a better idea of what you’re currently doing, we can formulate a plan to help you best utilize our services. Shoot us an email and we’ll get back to you with next steps.

With an ROI of around 4,300%, email practically pays for itself (Copyblogger). Ensure that your company is taking full advantage of everything email marketing has to offer.

Written by: Lindsay Pugh, Digital Marketing Analyst

 

*Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC3.0 BY

 

 

Tips & Tricks for B2B Digital Marketing

Finding the right audience for digital campaigns is challenging for all marketers; however, it’s especially tough for those who run B2B websites where a log-in is required for purchase. At Something Digital, we often have clients looking to us for solutions on how to solve this audience targeting issue. After years of refining our approach, we’ve put together an overview of our 3 top tips for success.

1. Try remarketing for dynamic search ads (RDSA). If your site has barred entry (i.e., it’s only open to a specific, highly qualified user), you obviously don’t want to target those who don’t have the ability to make a purchase. For example, if you sell home furnishings that are only available to registered interior designers, it makes no sense for you to target consumers.

If you were running a traditional search campaign and targeting users with product-specific keywords, you might still pull in quite a bit of unqualified traffic. With RDSAs, you eliminate this problem.

You can create a remarketing list for users who have logged in to your website and browsed, but failed to convert. Let’s pretend you’re running a home furnishings website and want to start using RDSAs. Some users looked at your “lamps” category page and then went to Google and searched for “black marble table lamp.” Since you have a “table lamps” category and remarketing list, you’re able to show that qualified user an ad for your product.

By using dynamic RLSAs, you can ensure that the header copy and landing page most accurately reflects the user’s search terms. To learn more about how to set up these ads, check out this article from WordStream.

2. Utilize advanced audience targeting options to run prospecting campaigns on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook audience targeting has gotten quite sophisticated over the years and it’s now possible to create advanced audiences that meet several different criteria.

If you’re only trying to target interior designers, you can set up an audience of people with jobs in the interior design trade. You could also target people who went to school for interior design or work at a specific company. Or maybe you want to target people who ‘like’ one of your competitors. The opportunities really are endless.

One additional benefit of running Facebook ads is the advanced metrics reporting. You’re able to see cross-device conversions, last-click conversions, and impressions-based conversions. It’s always valuable to track users who viewed one of your ads and later converted through a different channel.

3. Bid on your brand terms in AdWords, along with any other specific brands you carry. This last tip might seem pretty obvious to a digital marketer, but I’m constantly surprised by how often brands neglect to do this. If other stores carry your products, they will absolutely bid on your brand terms, especially if you aren’t already doing so.

The argument I often hear from clients is, “why should I bid on my brand terms when I rank so well organically?” When that argument is made, I always pull up this example:

Jeffrey Campbell is the #1 organic search result for “Jeffrey Campbell sandals,” but there are enough ads that it’s far down on the page and difficult to notice (especially since the listing is missing structured data and a meta description).

If you’re a B2B company and only trying to target qualified users, you absolutely cannot afford to miss out on the people who are already familiar with your brand and ready to buy.

We hope these tips provide a solid framework to help you get started formulating a B2B digital marketing strategy. If you need additional help, feel free to contact us.

Written by: Lindsay Pugh, Digital Marketing Analyst

Copy Writing Icon

Using Your Words Carefully – Part 1

We’ve put together a list of tips and best practices to help you become a ‘web copy writing God’. Below you’ll see why it’s important to approach content strategy from a user perspective. Follow our tips to ensure your business goals and target customers needs are equally met.

When planning website content, the first questions to ask yourself are:

– What conversions do I value?
– What do I want customers to do?
– How do I want customers to feel?

But remember: Websites succeed when customers succeed. It’s not only about what designers, content strategists, or stakeholders want.

When customers visit a website, they’re initiating a conversation. Talk, listen, and respond to them.

For a successful user experience (UX), ask your customers:

– Who are they?
– Where are they coming from?
– How do they feel right now?
– How are they accessing the site?
– What do they need?

Then ask:

– How can I help them fulfill their needs?
– How will they feel navigating the site?
– What will make them feel more comfortable and safe?
– How will they feel when they accomplish their goal?

If you get to know your customers, you can anticipate their needs and better meet their expectations. You can plan content that:

– Meets them where they are
– Guides them through workflows easily, quickly, and transparently
– Communicates what you want to help them accomplish
– Instills confidence

There is plenty of data to identify which demographics most frequently visit your site, but customers identify themselves as more than their age, gender, ethnicity, and residence. They are real people with complex lives.

A key step in content planning is creating personas, specific examples of customers who use the site and their backstories. With personas in mind, you can tailor copy that personally and effectively speaks to your core customers. Personas are an especially useful tool if a website lacks substantial analytics data because you can make decisions that appeal to a defined target audience, if not a sample of actual users.

Ultimately, from a business standpoint, you value conversions, you want customers to complete certain tasks, and you want them to feel good about it. But to achieve that desired outcome, you have to put ego aside and communicate directly, specifically, and compassionately.

Now, imagine you’re having real face-time with your best friend. As a model BFF, your role is to ask her what’s on her mind, what’s missing in her life, and what you can do to help her. And you will go to extremes to show her that she’s the center of your attention.

Approach customers with the same intention. No, the delivery may not always be so casual depending on the service your website provides, but you should be communicating to users as if one-on-one. Standout copywriting speaks to individuals.

Like a friend offering wise advice, smart copy:

– Gets to the point quickly
– Uses active verbs
– Is concise, clear, and consistent
– Anticipates and answers questions
– Has a distinct voice
– Puts customers (or others) first

Getting real with your customers is just the first step. Next week, in the second installment of ‘Using Your Words Carefully’, I’ll be sharing practical applications of these six copywriting rules as well as design strategies to make your content shine. Stay tuned!  

Written by: Gina Angelotti, Interactive Designer 

Cyber Weekend Graphic

Cyber Weekend 2016: How did you Perform?

In this post, we will look specifically at the busiest period for most ecommerce sites during the year: Cyber Weekend1. In 2016, Something Digital’s clients saw 18% overall revenue growth YoY, mainly thanks to email, mobile, and affiliates. In 2017, we anticipate a continuation of the same trends, with growth occurring over the month of November as a whole instead of just Cyber Weekend. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the metrics, trends, and 2017 predictions based on SD’s clients.

Cyber Weekend 2016 Metrics Overview

– 28% growth in traffic YoY
– 18% growth in revenue YoY
– 14% growth in transactions YoY
– 22% growth in AOV YoY

Cyber Weekend 2016 Mobile Metrics

– 39% growth in traffic YoY
– 45% growth in revenue YoY
– 33% growth in transactions YoY
– 76% growth in AOV YoY

Mobile Ecommerce Metrics Increase 2016

If we only look at clients who have mobile responsive sites, those mobile metrics increase twofold. In previous years, the growth in mobile traffic far outweighed the growth in mobile revenue, so it was nice to see a reversal of that trend. As responsive web design continues to improve and shoppers gain more trust in mobile purchasing, that growth metric will continue to improve.

Additional Highlights

– Monday was the best revenue day
– Affiliate and email were the best channels
– The average discount offered increased by 43%

General trends

Site Search Ecommerce Metrics 2015 - 2016

– Mobile growth was significant across all clients, but especially those with responsive sites

– On average, Cyber Monday outperformed Black Friday for 75% of our clients (this delta was smaller in 2015)

– In general, social media traffic increased over Cyber Weekend, but sales trended flat or down from 2015. Social wasn’t a big revenue driver for any of our clients.

– Site search was an integral revenue driver over Cyber Weekend. Sessions with site search saw an 80% higher conversion rate than those without it.

– Clients that offered fewer discounts in 2016 saw an average decrease in revenue of about 10% YoY

Based on the data that we’ve seen this year, along with a number of white papers and blog articles from other agencies, we’re predicting a few general trends for 2017

Cyberweekend Ecommerce Metrics Trends

– Cyber weekend will stretch to include the entire month of November instead of just one long weekend. In 2016, our clients saw increased KPIs starting as early as Halloween. In 2017, we anticipate promos to stretch more evenly over the entire month of November

– Email will become an even bigger revenue driver as more clients adopt predictive technology and personalization

Omnichannel Experience

– Marketers will benefit by erasing the distinction between mobile and desktop users. Mobile and desktop go hand-in-hand and the distinction between them is completely artificial. Focusing on good mobile might not increase revenue that significantly on mobile, but it will continue to contribute to higher desktop conversions. In 2016, we saw a strong correlation between high percentages of mobile traffic and high overall conversion rates – we expect this to increase accordingly in 2017.

Articles Consulted

The Ultimate List of E-Commerce Stats for Holiday 2016
10 Ecommerce Trends for 2017
Cyber Weekend Statistics and Shopping Trends 2016 [Infographic]