Paul Hickey is a business leader, digital strategist and web developer who is starting to get loud while documenting the journey of helping businesses grow. We talk Google Analytics, Social Media Content Creation, Facebook Ads, SEO, Paid Search, Web Design and more, as well as the occasional interview with business owners, marketers, educators, entrepreneurs and just overall badasses. Thanks for listening!
Hi WordPress Content Managers! If you're a small business owner or member of a small marketing team that manages content on a WordPress website, than you're who I'm referring to when I say "WordPress Content Managers."
Do you know about permalink settings in WordPress? These are the settings that make your URL or "slug" on all of your Posts.
These settings are crucial yet often overlooked
By default, when setting up a new site, WordPress adds the date to them, and sometimes, depending on the theme or hosting, they can get all muddied up with canonical data.
What you need to do is clean them up by removing the date and simply making the URL display the post name.
I've blogged so much about Alexa For Business, Alexa Skills and Alexa Flash Briefing Skills lately - including How to Build Your Own Alexa Flash Briefing, that I sometimes forget the simple, simple basics, like helping Small Business Owners and Small Marketing Teams actually set up their Alexa Enabled Amazon Devices in the first place. I want you to be able to use Alexa and the Echo Dot device in your office to make you a more productive worker, and the first step is setting up your device. This video helps show you how.
What exactly is the difference between posting on your LinkedIn Company Page and your LinkedIn Personal Profile?
Do small business owners need to do both?
In this special podcast, I talk about a couple key features that any size business should be aware of from a LinkedIn Content Marketing standpoint.
The audio is taken from my (every Monday at 9 a.m. ET) Instagram Live Q and A and my (every Monday at 9:15 a.m. ET) Facebook Live Q and A.
In this special podcast, I talk about a couple key features that any size business should be aware of from an Instagram Content Marketing standpoint.
The audio is taken from my (every Monday at 9 a.m. ET) Instagram Live Q and A and my (every Monday at 9:15 a.m. ET) Facebook Live Q and A.
One business owner asks if his mindset should be different when running Facebook Ads vs. Instagram Ads.
Another asks about an IGTV feature, and I break down the importance of posting 1:00+ minute long videos now on Instagram via IGTV.
The proof is in the data that those types of posts are working better than regular Instagram posts, leading me to believe that IGTV will be HUGE.
So let's say your business is running Google Ads (formerly known as Google Adwords) as a layer to your digital marketing strategy.
But let's say you have a product that is a little more niche than most. Let's say it's a special lighting product for campers. Bear with me, this applies to any business, really.
You want to show for as many searches as possible, but you want to only really show for relevant searches.
You want to show for as many RELEVANT searches as possible. Why?
Because you don't want to pay for clicks that are looking for cheap light bulbs for example.
Thus, you're likely to have a keyword strategy that has a lot of exact matches and phrase matches for things like "camping lamps" and such.
But you probably also want to weed out keywords like "cheap light bulbs."
You can set "cheap" and "bulb" or "bulbs" as negative keywords - as ONE example of likely several that you'd want to include for example.
While you probably need to think through your strategy, this video explains HOW to do it.
If you need more help thinking through the strategy or looking at data that can help, email me at email@example.com. Thanks and have a great day!
Welcome to Season 3 of Data Driven Tips! We kickoff with overall episode 150, where I share three solid audio clips from either Facebook Live / Instagram Live Question and Answer Sessions with my audience, or Live Access Sessions for Members of the Data Driven Academy.
What's the difference between Facebook Ads and Facebook Boosted Posts?
How to NOT be salesy in your Facebook Business Posts.
What happened to my ability to post content to my business page via the regular Facebook App on my phone? Why did it go away after adding my page to Facebook Business Manager?
Big news for all businesses and personal brands out there hoping to get the elusive blue checkmark on their Instagram profile.
The blue check mark signifies "verification" which comes with it a respect level that until recently, only Instagram has been able to dole out to specific profiles.
Now, however, any Instagram account, regardless of how many followers, can request verification.
Warning, it's not for the faint of heart. Seriously, this video shows only the first step. Props to Alex Tooby for her video here, that goes into more detail about what happens after the initial verification request.
"Hey Alexa, help my business" isn't necessarily a phrase you expected to hear when the smart speaker became available on June 23, 2015, and it's still probably not a phrase many expect to hear into the future, but I do.
The same way I've stuck with my Amazon Echo device that my mother-in-law bought me for my 34th birthday back in 2015, I've decided to stick with the idea or concept that businesses can use Echo, Echo Dot and any other Alexa-enabled device to improve their business.
It was when I realized there are these things you can add to your device called Alexa Skills - apps for Alexa, basically - except voice apps - but added the same way you add something from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store - that things changed for me related to my Echo.
I realized I could not only add Spotify and podcasts, but that I could also develop these skills myself, or with my team of developers at Data Driven Design. Boom, then I was in.
Alexa For Business: The Data
During 2018, 22% of Americans had smart assistants in their home, up from less than 1% in 2017. That’s huge, people. This is the next way to get your audience’s attention.
In 2019, there are more than 50 million smart speaker users in the world; increasing 15% each month. Not only that, but there are now more than 30,000 Alexa Skills, with businesses reporting a 43% lift businesses nine months after launching an Alexa-enabled product, and a 53% a percent boost on average almost immediately after incorporating an Alexa Skill into their current product. 54% percent of professionals surveyed say they’d use Alexa in the workplace to increase productivity.
This video covers the top five ways businesses can use Alexa to increase productivity in the workplace, courtesy of Business.com.
Nashville Voice Conference 2019
To learn more in person about how to use Voice Technology like Alexa Skills, Google Home Actions and Podcasting to improve your business, please visit NashvilleVoiceConference.com.
Why do all businesses need to start posting daily or at least regularly and with a consistent purpose on IGTV?
The proof is in the data, Instagram has just launched a new "share preview to feed" feature when uploading IGTV videos longer than one minute.
This video not only shows you the feature, explaining what it does, and how to use it, but also talks about the data proving that these kinds of organic posts are bringing in the most visibility, even more so than Instagram posts with hashtags, or even many paid placements.
Data Driven Daily Tip 268 - Google AdSense is the other side of Google Ads.
It's for publishers that post blogs or news often, and are working to build up traffic and monetize their site.
Google AdSense allows publishers (websites) to run ads, and get paid when users click their ads. AdSense has so many different placements, sizes, and features.
This video is Part 2 of how to run Google AdSense Ads on your sites, after your site is verified and approved to run ads.
Between parts 1 and 2, you'll have all the instruction you need to start monetizing your site with ads.
Here is part 1.
WTF Google? You're changing Google Groups? What's with these emails you keep sending to Small Business Owners about changes to GSuite?
Our clients have asked several times for clarification on what these messages mean and what they need to do. So I'm breaking it down in this video.
What do these changes to Google Groups mean to business owners?
Have you ever been working in a Google Doc, Google Sheet, or Google Slide, maybe collaborating with another co-worker, and changes were made to your document that you didn't want to have happen?
The document autosaved and you can't go back! Oh No!
This video shows you the revisions feature in all GSuite / Google Drive Documents.
You can go back and see all of your previous document versions and restore them It's an amazing productivity tool for Small Business Teams.
I know what you're thinking Small Business Owners and Marketers, you don't think you have time to post on YouTube, and you're not even sure why you should or what you should post about.
The proof is in the data.
If you can film yourself or your teammates going through your day, attending events, or even doing daily tips and how-to videos related to your industry, you will see the return on your time investment.
It will take consistently posting for a long period of time, like between 8-12 months, but you will build a following and a community of people commenting on your videos. Reply to every comment, and you will gain momentum and it will generate business for you.
Have a helpful attitude to your content, and expect 10-20 subscribers for a long period of time, but once you consistently post, and reply to every single comment, and once you get past 100 subscribers, you'll start gaining 2-5 more per week.
While this may not seem like much to your business, it really helps your SEO and organic visibility, which means your business gets found for searches related to your products and services, which helps your website come up at the top of Google Searches, which is what most marketers and Small Business Owners care about.
As well they should, because the data shows that Google Searches still make up more than 65% of web referrals.
Google updated its API requirements for Google Maps embeds on Websites, but many websites still have broken Google Maps / Location Finders.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that there could be a simple fix.
This video explains how to get a Google Maps API Key.
This is a great follow-up Data Driven Daily Tip, from a fellow agency owner in Croatia, who saw this video ... Her question is: My question is, how should we manage our clients on Facebook.
Should we create one Business Manager for our Agency and them create Ad Accounts to our clients and give them Admin access so they could add payment method?
Or should we create a new business manager for each client separately? Or something else? Could you help me with that?
All great questions. And I answer them all in this podcast.
Are you frustrated with your podcast following? Not enough listens or downloads? Or are you a Small Business Owner or Marketer looking to increase your exposure? The proof is in the data.
The best, easiest, simplest and most effective way to not only grow your podcast following but also save yourself time and increase productivity is to shorten your episodes down to five minutes or less, and to post them every day.
A year ago, I was doing hour-long interview style episodes with other business owners and influencers. It was fun, but it was hard work. I had to prepare, schedule, travel, film, edit, and publish, and all for ONE piece of content.
When most marketers and small business owners think of posting on LinkedIn, they think of posting on their own personal profile, which makes sense. Personal LinkedIn Profiles are easy to increase visibility with, as you can simply invite anyone to connect with you.
Then, when making posts, you’re able to gain a lot of visibility in the feed.
However, posting on LinkedIn Business Profiles is different. You can make the same kinds of posts (upload a video, photo, or write up to 1,200 characters, embed links to articles, etc), but your posts won’t have the immediate visibility that they would if they were posted on your personal profile.
This is a very similar concept to Facebook. The advantage to posting on a company LinkedIn page is that you can increase the desirability to potential employees and prospective clients.
You can also boost posts and run ads off of the LinkedIn profile, as broken down in this post.
But, like Facebook Business Pages, it’s hard to build a following. Unlike Facebook Business Pages, the data shows that simply posting daily on your LinkedIn Business Page actually works as a strategy to gain organic visibility and followers.
Watch the video above for the proof!
As a digital strategist and marketer, I'm not ever an advocate for one particular platform. I'm simply an advocate for what works.
Hence, data over opinions. Additionally, nothing I recommend have I not also done myself. Case in point, posting on Google My Business.
After posting on Google My Business for 10 days in a row, it's clear that the proof is in the data.
Simply posting daily skyrockets your business' organic search presence on Google Search and Google Maps results.
Watch the video above.
My love for Google My Business has been professed many times before.
Google Wants Businesses To Post On “Google My Business”
Small Business Marketing Tip: How To Make An Offer Post On Google My Business: Data Driven Daily Tip #200
SEO Tip: Benefits Of A Verified Google My Business Listing
SEO Tip: How To Verify Your Google Business Listing
If you follow my blog at all, you know that I typically talk about ways to generate web traffic via ranking high on Google, best SEO practices, and even social media content creation and advertising. I even get into tracking data via Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and digging into Google Search Console and Google My Business.
But there's one Google Product I haven't really blogged about much, and that's Google AdSense. I know this product very well from my days as a publisher. From 2006-2011, I ran an online publication that was able to generate revenue through a freemium content model. Part of that revenue was from advertising, mainly through Google AdSense.
AdSense is the other side of Google AdWords, meaning the sites that companies promote their sites on via the Google Ads Display Network, are the sites that publish those same ads on their site via the AdSense product.
Looking to monetize your web traffic by running some ads on your site? This video shows you how to get started with Google AdSense, create an account, grab the code snippet needed, embed it into your website, and what to expect next!
The data says that Instagram Stories are where your consumers and clients attention are. Regardless of your target persona, audiences are flooding to Instagram, and if you're not posting to your Story, you're barely visible on the platform.
The metrics I've tested to gain this knowledge are: Story Views vs. Profile Views vs. Follower Count.
If your business has enough followers (usually 10,000 or more), then you will be granted access to be able to add a "link" to your story, which allows the user viewing your story to be taken to a web page with more information about your business on it.
I refer to this as the "Instagram Story Swipe-Up-To-URL" Feature. If you have enough followers to have this enabled, you have no excuse not to be posting 3-6 :15 second story slides per day on Instagram that link to various products, services and landing pages about your business.
But there is yet another way to gain visibility now at a low cost per audience attention, and that is to run Instagram Story Swipe-Up Ads.
This is done through Facebook Business Manager / Facebook Ads Manager, and this video shows you how, along with this earlier Data Driven Daily Tip.
To run an Instagram Story Swipe Up Ad, you'll need to do the following:
1. Log into Facebook Ads Manager.
2. Choose any Ad Objective (but I recommend the Consideration Column and something like Traffic).
3. Name your ad, upload an image that is 1080 x 1420 px. Here is a link to the official guide on Instagram Story Ad Creative Dimensions and Guidelines from Facebook.
4. Have fun filling out your Website URL Link, ad Text, and Budget, and then click Confirm!
I've been using Facebook Ads SUPER ACTIVELY since 2016. I mean, I've run every single kind of Facebook Ad known to man or woman, and I continue to be a practitioner of the Facebook Business Manager, Facebook Ads and Facebook Events Tracking Platform.
It really is and / or should be integrated into everything every business does digitally, and I know that makes some old school IT and HR/Ops people cringe, but it's just the truth.
There are many examples of how Facebook Ads is an amazing brand building and customer acquisition platform, but the one I'm focusing on in this video is how to Narrow Down Your Target Audience for an ad/audience.
For example, you may be a convenience store trying to appeal to "Mom's On The Go" in a particular geographic region of say, Tennessee. :)
You may also be running a sale on say, AquaHydrate, a fitness water product.
You can literally build an audience targeting all Women in Tennessee, then narrow it down to Mom's of Kids Age 8-10, then narrow it down to "with an interest in Fitness," then narrow it down to "interested in fitness waters" or even the brand AquaHydrate.
Granted, your audience is going to get smaller and smaller the more you narrow it, to the point where it could get TOO NARROW and Facebook Ads will tell you your audience is too small and you need to re-expand it, but this is the era of marketing we're in now, and you need to familiarize yourself with it. It's amazing.
Google Domains Tip: How To Forward A Domain Name And Why You'd Want To: Data Driven Daily Tip 256
As you can imagine, having built and launched websites for more than 12 years, I've come across all kinds of domain name registrars and web hosting companies.
One of the newest ones that I've come across, and seems to be more and more popular, is Google Domains. My understanding is that it's a new(er) product offering from Google, and makes sense as part of the GSuite for Businesses, which I'm a big fan of and have blogged a lot about.
So having used Google Domains frequently now over the past year, I can tell you that one thing that isn't as intuitive as you might think, is how to simply forward a domain name from one to another.
Why would you WANT to forward a domain name?
Many reasons, including:
- Marketing purposes - maybe you have a URL like myawesomepodcast.com, and you want to simply forward it to your URL on anchor.fm
- Company name change. Maybe you want to rebrand from SallysSkinCareNashville.com to SallysSkinCareUSA.com or something similar. You can easily forward one to the other so that your users find you in both places.
- Many entrepreneurs I know literally have 50-100 domain names in their accounts that are being unused, and are variations or misspellings of their primary domain URL. I'd strongly advise all of them and all of you to take the time to forward those to your primary URL. This will result in an increase in web traffic - even if a tiny one, it could still help!
This video shows you HOW to forward a domain name using Google Domains.
How to use Google Analytics INSTEAD OF Google Optimize, to run A/B Tests or Experiments on your website.
Now, WHY would you want to use Google Analytics, instead of Google Optimize?
I've blogged and vlogged a lot about Google Optimize and have used it a ton for both Data Driven Design and our clients, and it is an amazing A/B testing tool.
But Optimize is meant for true "experiments" like deciding with design or content elements within a page work best at converting users.
Typically, this works best for "higher traffic sites" with already low bounce rates, because higher traffic sites with already super high engagement rates really need to get super detailed into further optimization using data.
Optimize also works well for sites seeking higher traffic, with already strong engagement rates but looking to decide things like:
- Which headline or sentence should I use as my web copy?
- Which color should a Call To Action button be?
- What should that button say?
- Which of these two or three photos would best engage users for a particular space?
What Google Optimize DOESN'T DO WELL, that Google Analytics does well for A/B Testing, is allow you to create completely separate layouts and test them against one another. This is done through simply creating a variant or multiple variant pages at different URLs.
So your variants are PAGES, not ELEMENTS OF A PAGE.
This is excellent for website redesign projects in which your business might be debating over two or more homepage "concepts" or running marketing campaigns to landing pages and what to do some initial testing around which one to spend the most money against.
Watch this video to see how to set up these kinds of experiments in Google Analytics and get them live on your website.
I've been building a lot of Membership websites for clients over the last couple of years, mainly using WordPress and exploring the best membership plug-in options, which I've documented here...
My number one choice is MemberPress. As such, I wanted to show you real quick how to set things up to have your Members hit the page you want them to hit upon logging in.
In other words, this is how to redirect your users to a custom URL upon log-in, using Memberpress.
I've blogged a lot about the Facebook Tracking Pixel, and posted dozens of videos about Facebook Ads, and now I'm starting to get follow up questions from the Data Driven Daily Tip community. I love it.
This is another Data Driven Daily "Follow-Up Tip" courtesy of @Tarek Sidani.
His question is here, based on this DDD Tip.
And after doing a bit of research, I like to start with something super simple to answer Tarek's question, that many of you may be wondering, and that's how to track YouTube embed video views on your website with the Facebook Tracking Pixel, so that you can remarket via Facebook Ads back to an audience of people who you know have viewed the video.
Great question Tarek. Here's my take on the simplest way to get this done on your website, YouTube, and Facebook Ads. :)
I hope this helps, and have a great day!
The thing I absolutely love about building Membership Websites using WordPress is that any subject matter expert can build their own business. For example, you may be the #1 aficionado on comic books, baseball cards, fitness supplements, or things to do on Thursday nights in small rural towns.
Or, you may have an amazing client services business that you want to scale into a premium consulting offering that you want give access to high end clients via a membership site.
Or, you may be the administrator or moderator of a user group for a particular type of software.
It doesn't matter what type of business you have, chances are, a premium membership website would be a fit for you, and the good news is - they're NOT hard to build.
In fact, I wish I would have done a better job of this back in 2006-2011 when I built my fantasy football premium membership website.
Don't get me wrong, things can get complicated, depending on what type of CRM integration you want, but they don't have to be too hard.
Here's more information on which WordPress Membership Solutions / Plug-ins we've used and why we prefer MemberPress over all of them.
And, this Data Driven Daily Tip looks at something super important that you need to know when setting up Stripe payments in MemberPress that is NOT well documented in MemberPress documentation.
If you do not manually create an API endpoint for your Stripe Webhook, your users will get an error message when trying to access their content, even through their payment went through.
Listen to the audio, and you're welcome. :)
This is my favorite kind of Data Driven Daily Tip. I'm calling it a "Follow-up Tip."
It also encompasses my favorite thing about digital marketing.... THINGS CHANGE ALL THE TIME.
I wrote a blog a few months ago about the important difference between Facebook Ads Metrics (Website Conversion Value) and (Website Purchase Conversion Value).
Since then, Facebook has changed the way that they allow analysts and marketers to add these metrics. They've made it easier.
They've removed the "Website Conversion Value" and basically just made one metric that only accounts for the value of real purchases by default.
This video breaks down how.
Thanks to Bennett Hardeman who found this article and wrote me directly to ask this question: Where Did Website Purchase Conversion Value Go?
How To Use WordPress and Gravity Forms to Show Users Different Confirmation Pages and Route Emails to Different Employees. Data Driven Daily Tip 250.
We've had several clients with multiple business locations ask us how they can automate feedback for a particular store or office location directly to the manager or supervisor of that location, based on a client or customer on the front end selecting that location.
We've also had several clients ask how to show a different message or lead users down a different path based on a particular option they choose on a form.
Like a "Choose your own Adventure" book. I loved those as a kid. Well, one of the cool things about Gravity Forms is that you can use Conditional Logic on the Notifications Level and on the Confirmation Level to make all of the above happen.
This podcast explains how. Enjoy building in WordPress and Gravity Forms!
Data Driven Daily Tip 249. Small Business Owners are some of the hardest working people I've ever met. Which is why it confuses me why some get so mad when I tell them the best way to get to the top of Google is to blog every day.
Nobody knows their business like a Small Business Owner, right? They eat, sleep and drink their business. Their business is their child, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
A Small Business Owner's blog should be their place to brag about their child, and document their child's challenges, growth, struggles and victories.
The second thing that makes Small Business Owners eyes roll is when I tell them that after blogging, repurposing their blog posts into 3-5 social media posts per day is the next best thing for their digital presence, SEO and net new customer acquisition.
Up first, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn and Medium.
And in the next wave, YouTube, Podcasting and Google My Business.
If you're writing a blog for SEO purposes, you might as well go straight to the number one search engine in the world (where websites still get more than 95% of their organic traffic), and use it's social media platform (Google My Business) to post about your business.
Your posts get a ton of visibility when people search for your business name, and posting daily increases your business' chances of showing on Google Maps search results for non-branded phrases related to your products and services.
This video shows you how to make posts on Google My Business, from simply telling people what's new, to posting events, offers, and promoting products.
The data shows that when you do this, you generate a ton of SEO value for your company.
So come on Small Business Owners, start (or keep) putting the same effort into your digital strategy that you do into your daily grind.
WordPress Has Great Plug-ins To Add Schema.org Structured Data to your website.
Our favorite, for many reasons, is WP SEO Structured Data Schema Pro.
The main reason we like it is because it adds Schema options to each page at the bottom, similar to Yoast SEO.
It also adds it to each post. Adding Schema is important for your website's search engine optimization (SEO), because it tells Google and other search engines what each page/post is about.
For example, this allows you to optimize your website by simply selecting any of the following tabs, and filling out the accompanying fields - Blog Posting, Aggregate Ratings, Article, Book, Course, Event, Job Posting, Local Business, Movie, Music, News Article, Product, Recipe, Restaurant, Review, Service, TVEpisode, Video, QAPage.
The fields that can be filled out are customized to each category and the WP SEO Structured Data Schema plug-in acts as a guide to implement the proper Schema for each page and post to enhance your SEO.
However, we noticed recently that Schema was missing on some of our websites' custom post types, things like Events pages (location was missing) for example. So, this audio covers how to add Schema to custom post types via upgrading to the Pro version of the WP SEO Structured Data Schema Plug-in, configuring it, and submitting it to Google Search Console.
Data Driven Daily Tip 247 - How To Tell If A Location Has A Google My Business Listing and How To Link To It.
Remember Google Places? Remember Google Local? Google Plus? Google Maps?
They're now all the same thing, thank God. If you've heard the term "Google My Business," it's actually a really good thing for your business. Your Business' Google My Business listing gets a ton of SEO real estate on Google's search engine results page when users are searching for your business name, address, phone number or even keywords related to your business that do not include your business name. For example, "coffee shops in rochester hills, mi" triggers maps results first. These Maps results are triggered by and tied to optimized Google My Business listings.
I've blogged at length about Google My Business, but also have created this video for those of you small business owners or marketers of emerging brands who may not have any idea the status of your business listings as it relates to Google My Business.
If you have one location or 500+ or anywhere in between, here's how to find out the status of each of your locations' Google My Business Listing.
WordPress and Search Engine Optimization Help
Is your WordPress Website getting totally spammed with comments? Are your blog posts seeing any kind of legit comments from real readers? If your answer to the first question is yes, and your answer to the second question is no, then you can and should definitely turn off comments in WordPress. Here's how.
1. Go to your WP Admin
2. Go to Settings > Discussion in the left hand menu
3. Uncheck - "Allow people to post comments on new articles"
4. Save Changes
Top Forms WordPress Plug-Ins
One of our favorite WordPress Plug-ins is Gravity Forms. It not only allows simple form building, but it has great styling capabilities, and the ability to extend into many integrations with CRMs and Email Marketing Platforms.
It is great for not only lead generation, but also submission routing based on conditional logic, and allows for multiple if / than scenarios.
It also extends into WooCommerce and other plug-ins.
One of the most simple things you can do in Gravity Forms that provides the most value is downloading form submissions into a CSV file for safe keeping and tracking. This video shows you how.
Or read here:
1. Log into your WordPress Admin
2. Go to "Forms" on the left hand side of the page - hover
3. Select "Import/Export"
4. Select your form from the dropdown
5. Check the "Select All" checkbox
6. Click the blue "Export" button
7. BOOM! You're all set.
Have you ever searched for a website, hopefully not your website, and seen a "THIS SITE MAY BE HACKED" message on the Google Search Results page? If it's your site, it can be devastating, but it's actually pretty easy to fix. This podcast tells you how.
Here's what you'll need:
1. FTP Access to your website.
2. A Google Search Console Account.
3. A web developer that can clean up malicious files and scripts.
Here's what to do to Fix the SITE MAY BE HACKED message on Google Search Engine Results:
1. Register and verify your site in Google’s Search Console
2. Sign in to Search Console and check the "Security Issues" section to see details of sample URLs that might be hacked. Fix the security issue that allowed your website to be infected. Otherwise, your site is likely to be reinfected.
3. Read our resources for hacked sites for detailed information on how to fix your website.
4. Request a review in the Security Issues section in Search Console when your entire website is clean and secure. After we check that your site is fixed, we'll remove the "This site may be hacked" message.
5. For a comprehensive list of what you can do if your site was compromised, please refer to the Google Hacked! guide.
6. Use Fetch as Google after fixing your site, and verify that the page appears the same to Google as it does to a user. If it doesn't, that is considered cloaking, which is a violation of our guidelines.
7. When you're sure that your site is no longer compromised, select Request Review on the Manual Actions report.
8. After you’ve submitted a reconsideration request, be patient and watch for review status messages in your Search Console account — we’ll let you know when we’ve reviewed your site. If we determine your site no longer contains problematic content, Google will remove the compromised warning from our search results.
ECommerce Marketers and Small Business Owners, this one is for you.
Facebook Ads is a super-robust platform with the ability to do a lot of custom audience targeting to people who fit the exact audience profile likely to be interested in your product, as well as buy your product. And if you have a product or a suite of products that lends itself to repeat purchases, the Facebook Purchase Objective Ad is perfect for you.
This video teaches you how to run a Facebook Ad to the most likely people to buy from you - those who have already bought from you in the past.
Here's how to follow along if you'd rather read instructions:
Step 1: Log into business.facebook.com
Step 2: Select your Ad Account
Step 3: Click the green button with the plus mark that says "CREATE."
Step 4: Select "Conversions" from the ad objective column.
Step 5: Select "Purchase" from the Objective at the top of the ad.
This will run your Facebook Ad to people that have already purchased items from you.
Keep in mind you can also customize your Facebook Tracking Pixel to run ads to people who have purchased a specific product. Like socks that go with shoes, or jeans that go with a t-shirt, or a skin care product that goes with a supplement.
Or, a refill of a supplement that you know they'll need more of after a certain time period. :)
One of the many things we love about WordPress is the extension of free functionality via useful plug-ins, for example, the Smart App Banner.
Oh you! I said Smart App, not Smart Ass. :)
What is a smart app banner?
You know those things you see at the top of some website when you're "surfing the web" on your mobile phone?
Come on! Yes do you! These things...
It's a website's way of saying, "look dude, you're on your mobile device, so we want to let you know you can have a WAY BETTER EXPERIENCE on your phone if you download our mobile app instead of using the browser version of our website.
Of course, you'll only see these Smart App Banners in the Safari (Apple-owned) Browser on iOS (Apple-owned) devices, because you know, Apple.
So, while we don't really have much data on how Smart App Banners do, we can only assume that they really help increase app downloads.
And there is a super easy way for Wordpress Designers and Wordpress Developers to implement a smart app banner to try and see how well it works.
The Smart App Banner Plug-In is one we've used for a client recently that has a mobile app and their main business goal is to generate downloads.
If you're NOT using a WordPress Website to promote your mobile application, Branch.io has a great article here about how to implement a Smart App Banner.
Hola mis amigos de negocios! Translation: Hello, my business friends. It's true I've talked and written a lot about the data showing that Facebook Ads have a better CPM and Cost Per Click than LinkedIn for B2B Advertising.
However, it's important for your business to have a consistent LinkedIn presence, and even to take a look at advertising on LinkedIn, especially since the B2B targeting is so strong.
So with LinkedIn having changed their Campaign Manager recently, now is as good a time as any to dive in and show you some of the basics.
Let's get started.
1. How to find LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Open LinkedIn.com and log in. In a separate browser tab, open https://www.linkedin.com/ad-beta/account. This will take you to LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
The first screen you see will generally look something like this...
2. Link Your Campaign Manager Account To Your LinkedIn Company Page
This is not something that LinkedIn does automatically for you. Here's how to do it:
Go to the top right hand corner of your campaign manager and click the gear icon, then "Edit Account Details."
Click, Associate Company Page with your Account, then type in the company page's LinkedIn URL.
3. Can you Manage Multiple LinkedIn Company Page Ad Accounts?
Absolutely. Here's what that looks like:
4. Here's how to add admin privileges to other users to your LinkedIn Ads Account.
First, add them as an admin to your LinkedIn Page
Do this by going to your LinkedIn Page, in my case - https://www.linkedin.com/company/data-driven-design-llc/, and clicking the white button with blue font that says "Manage Page"
Then, go up to the top right of the next page, click "Admin Tools," then "Page Admins" from the dropdown.
Then, type in the new admin's name in the box, click them, and click "Save Changes."
5. Now, you can finally add these admins to your Campaign Manager / Ad Account.
Go back to your ad account - https://www.linkedin.com/ad-beta/accounts, and click the gear icon again, then "Manage Access," then, "Edit," then "+ User Permissions," then type in or PASTE in the URL of the person you want to add as an admin.
6. Now You Can Begin To Run A Campaign by clicking "Create Campaign," "Create Campaign Group," filling out your timeline and budget, then clicking on the "Ads" Tab, and assigning an Ad to a Campaign Group and running either a Text Ad (which is like the equivalent of a Google Adwords Ad except on LinkedIn), Sponsored Content (which is like the equivalent of a boosted Facebook Post / Ad), or Sponsored InMail (which we don't recommend).
After following all of these steps, you and your entire team will be able to have the proper visibility into the performance of the ads, the ability to review the data, see what's working and make adjustments.
Smart businesspeople will use their WordPress website as a true sales tool, NOT JUST a lead generation tool.
When most people think of "Return On Investment" related to their new website redesign project, they think of "how much net new web traffic is this site going to give me."
That's fine, but the reality is that's probably only 10% of the value you could actually be getting out of your website redesign project if you're thinking of it in the right way.
Case in point, advanced functionality in terms of a sales tool exists. And not the kind of sales tool that brings in new customers, but the kind that actually helps you close the deals with your current prospective customers - perhaps far more important than the former. :)
I'd like to introduce you to two WordPress plug-ins that are essentially extensions to the Form plug-in that we use on all of our website projects, Gravity Forms.
Recently a client asked if we could help them create "fillable PDFs" on their website that could be submitted via their website from the user. Enter Gravity PDF.
I got an email the other day from one of our clients asking me what the heck a Google Beacon is and if I knew anything about why they received one on the mail randomly.
All I know is, we run Google Adwords Express Campaigns for them, also known as Smart Campaigns for Small Business under the new Google Ads Branding.
So I did what any good digital marketer does, research, followed by practice.
And here's what I learned: Google Beacons can be placed at your business location(s) to help get you more reliable data regarding "most popular times." They do this by communicating with your customer's mobile phones which have location services enabled.
biziq.com says that some businesses have been running Google Ads campaigns have been receiving some randomly to set-up and test the functionality and use (Beta cases). So that explains our client getting one, or your business randomly getting one.
Even though that's kind of weird, the more important question is "what the heck is a Google Beacon?"
According to Google, If your customer has enabled location services on their phone and depending on the number of customers who visit your business, the Google Beacon can send an increasing variety of types of information to your customer’s device such as:
Customer reviews and other content such as photos from people who’ve also visited your business.
Prompts for them to review your business on Google.
Your business’ location on Google Maps when they’re nearby.
Other information features as Google ads them.
Google Beacons improve the location insights Google provides your business.
In addition to sending information to your customers right to their mobile device when they’re near your business, by using a Google Beacon at your business, Google can provide you with better insights and analytics information as part of their Locations Insights pilot program. The location insights that Google can provide you with include:
Information on when people visit your business including when your busiest times are.
Information about the length of time customers spend at your business.
Information on the frequency of customer visits and one the percentages of multiple visits by your customers.
I'm HUGE on getting a ton of this kind of data from Google My Business, and it seems like Google Beacons are basically a way of garnering additional data as well as ensuring it's the most accurate it can possibly be.
For more on how to set up Google Beacons, I recommend visiting this link from Google's Developers Documentation.
Additionally, Beacons provide a high quality context signal that allows you to mark a particular place in the world, improving place detection. Google can use that signal to improve your business' presence on Google Maps. Click here to learn more about Google Place Visits.
With the Nearby Messages API, you can build apps that detect beacons and retrieve messages that have been associated with them. Examples include showing the bus schedule when your user is waiting at a bus stop or providing ticket availability at a theater kiosk. When using the Nearby API
Raise your hand if you know what a heatmap of your website is!
It's okay if you have no clue, that's why I'm here, friends. :)
A heatmap is a recording of a visualization of your EXACTLY where users have clicked and scrolled to most often over a certain period of time.
This video shows you how to implement a heatmap on your website, and talks a bit about how to read the data.
After all, getting the data is half the battle, but interpreting and making decisions on how to use it is the other half.
The world of Google Webmaster Tools has changed. It used to be super easy to find "Fetch As Google" or "Robots.TXT" tester in the old platform, but now that Google has changed their SEO Tool to Google Search Console, it is harder to find these tools. This video not only shows SEO Analytics and Web Developers how to find the tools you were used to seeing in the old platform, but it shows Small Business Owners and Marketing Directors what to do when they get a "Coverage Issue" email from Google.
So if you have received emails that look like this...No pasa nada. Just click "View Issue Details" and follow along to the instructions in this audio.
It's all part of the plan. Google Search Console is like that second grade teacher that you loved that told you how to fix the problem you got wrong on your homework, so ultimately, you pass the test and get better.
I’ve written at length about how tools like WordPress and GoDaddy Managed WordPress can help save time, money and help companies gain efficiencies.
Especially WordPress Design and Development companies.
I admit, I use hyperbole quite a bit, but I also religiously try to stick to the data, and the data is saying that nearly $770 million will be spent on podcast advertising by 2020, which suggests a massive trend towards user attention being on audio, podcasts, and Alexa-enabled devices, and there is data to prove it.
22% of Americans have smart assistants in their home, up from less than 1% a year ago. That’s huge, people. This is the next way to get your audience’s attention.
Amazon’s Alexa (Echo Device) holds 71% of the voice market, followed by Google Home at 18%, Microsoft Cortana at 10% and Apple HomePod at less than 1%.
88% of 12-24 year olds listened to online audio in the last month.
Estimated hours of weekly online audio that will be consumed in 2018: THIRTEEN HOURS AND 40 MINUTES PER WEEK.
That’s insane. Name something else other than sleep or work that you do that often each week.
And now, just like you can target your exact customer personas and demographics and interest groups on Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and Google Ads, you can also target them via Audio Podcast Advertising, thanks to Anchor.fm.
Not only is this something that Small Business Owners and Marketing Directors at emerging brands need to look at as part of their paid advertising strategy, but it's also something that those same people can look at as a monetization strategy for their content.
To learn more about how it works, watch the video on this page, click here, or submit this form.
Data Driven Daily Tip 234 - What if I told you you could, for around $1-$2 per person, get qualified real people to "follow your business."
If I said, hey Small Business Owner or Director of Marketing for X, Y, Z brand, I'll get thousands of new people that are interested in your products and services to follow your blog or subscribe to your e-newsletter for $1-$2 or sometimes less, so that you can always send them messaging that they will engage with (as long as it's quality content) and your audience will only grow, widening the top of your funnel and eventually getting them to purchase your product or service?
You know, in simple terms - what if I said I could "get more people who are interested in your product or service to walk into your store, look around, and allow you to send them promotions all the time to get them to keep coming back and looking?"
Great right? Now, what if I told you that you didn't have to pay us to do it for you, all you had to do is take our word for it and learn how to do it yourself from right here?
Lastly, would you still be interested if I told you it had to do with Facebook?
Say what you will about all the Facebook news related to privacy and scandal, etc. The reality is that it's one of the top two marketing platforms in the world.
The other, debatably, depending on your business' target audience, is also owned by Facebook, and is known as Instagram. In this Data Driven Daily Tip video, I go further into why this is and how to do it.
How to run a Facebook Page Promotion (Like Campaign).
If you truly care about growing your business, you'll leave your personal opinions on Facebook at the door, and you'll listen to the data and run Facebook Ads and Page Promotions.
Data Driven Daily Tip 233 - It's actually super convoluted to use Facebook Business Manager to manage your Facebook Page(s) and Facebook Ads Account(s). But as a social media marketing agency and digital strategists that manage accounts for several clients and are constantly requesting access and navigating the process, we also understand the value of using Facebook Business Manager.
It allows brands to have multiple employees or agency strategists play a role in collaborating on Facebook and Instagram Ads.
You may have one person or agency be in charge of determining an ad objective strategy or budgeting optimization strategy.
You may have another person managing overall spent and ROAS.
It would also make sense to have another producing creative and A/B Testing.
Facebook Business Manager not only allows for this type of collaboration between brands and agencies, but it also protects the brands from who can access their data and control their assets.
Because it's super hard to type out the process of adding a Page Admin and even harder to type out the process of adding an Ads Account Admin, I've created this video for anyone needing help, and for current and future clients. :) Welcome.
Remember, while this process may seem annoying at times, before Facebook Business Manager existed, there was no way for two Facebook users to collaborate within the same Ads account. So unless you want to waste your time using multiple credit cards for spend and manually adding together budget and performance numbers from multiple Facebook Ads accounts, just get into using Facebook Business Manager.
And once you're set up, life is super easy.
This is one of the more utilitarian Data Driven Daily Tips, but it's a super important one. Many Small Business Owners and marketing directors don't ever log into Google Analytics, so they don't even really know how to manage the users on their account.
B2B Marketing Begins on LinkedIn, and to do it really well, including running targeted ads to the companies you want to win business from, or the employees you want to hire, installing the LinkedIn Pixel helps you get the frequency you need from the audience that is most interested in you and qualified to become a true lead or eventual customer.
Step 1 is to visit - https://www.linkedin.com/ad-beta/accounts
Step 2 is to click on Account Assets
Step 3 is to click on Conversions, then grab your pixel code snippet into the global header of your website.
Marketers and Small Business owners, you know what Remarketing and Custom Audiences ARE, you just don't know how to implement them.
You know, what they DO, you just don't know how to make it happen for your business. We do.
When a visitor comes to your website and shows interest in a particular product or service, then leaves, comes back, leaves, comes back, sees an ad for you, comes back, leaves, sees another ad, comes back and FINALLY purchases.
You've seen the ad for the service or product that you visited the specific landing page for just days earlier.
You've seen the ad on Facebook, and you've seen it on Websites. How does it get on Websites???
Through Google. This video explains how to set up Google Ads Remarketing Tags on your website and Configure Custom Audiences to bring interested, qualified visitors BACK to your website to convert.
After all, the data shows it takes a user 3-5 times seeing a product/service before they actually fill out a form to get more information (aka, become a lead) or buy a product.
Data Driven Daily Tip 229 - Marketers and Small Business owners, you can put your ads EXACTLY where you want them.
Want your ads to show in front of the most popular YouTube videos? Want them to show before "The Ellen Show" or "Dude Perfect" on YouTube, or even those weird ones with people opening up toys (I know, they're called unboxing).
Know that your audience views particular websites like the Wall Street Journal or CNN.com?
You can use PLACEMENTS in Google Ads to run your video, contextual or display ads through the Google Ads Display Network.
This audio explains exactly how this works; oh, and yes you can combine your PLACEMENTS with CUSTOM INTENT AUDIENCE TARGETING.
It's super easy to send an email marketing campaign. But it's not super easy to be really strategic and maximize the value you get out of sending said email. The perfect example is a mistake I see marketers make all the time, and talk about them potentially making a lot more.
Don't skip over the opportunity that Mailchimp gives you to A/B Test the Subject Line of every single campaign you ever send. Seriously. It takes a few extra minutes out of your day, it costs you no additional money, it increases your open rates and click through rates, and it gives you valuable data to shape your brand messaging.
Case in point, an email that I just sent to 43 attendees of an event we recently held. I've shown you HOW to A/B Test the subject line of a Mailchimp Campaign here, and now I'm going to show you how to read the data and the results in this video.
Use one subject line that is very standard and utilitarian, then test that against one that's more what you'd actually say to a friend that you wanted to open the email. Write them both out, send the campaign, and view the data.
The data will tell you if the utilitarian one was more effective than the friendly one. If it was, it means data saved you from yourself and you need to keep trying and testing your company's playful voice, AND that this particular audience didn't resonate with said playful voice.
If you choose not to test, you risk super low open rates, click throughs and even worse, you get no extra collateral value out of your campaign - like "did this tone/voice work for this audience?"
Always take the opportunity to let data help you convert and craft your next marketing actions.
Do you have a Shopify Store? If so, I've got some good news that you might not know about. It's super easy, AND FREE, to drive a few extra conversions this month.
The data shows that when you re-market to people who have abandoned their shopping cart, but haven't purchased, they're 65% or more likely to convert, especially with a personalized email of some sort.
Most eCommerce Web Developers and Marketers think so much about marketing automation and fancy tools that they forget the simple stuff.
Look into your Shopify backend, and click on "Customers" and "Abandoned Checkouts."
If your store has a ridiculous amount, pull this down into a CSV file and upload it to Mailchimp or your EMail Marketing Platform and send a less personal but more efficient call to action/reminder to come back to your store and purchase their items.
You can even link directly to their cart, and likely their browser cookies will remember them and still have their items on board and ready to checkout.
If you have 100 or less abandoned carts, we recommend just a real personal 1:1 email offering amazing customer service in the form of personal help from the owner of the company.
"Thanks for shopping, sorry you haven't found what you're looking for yet, but let me know if there's anything me or a member of my team could do to help you out" would go a LONG way towards a conversion.
Data Driven Daily Tip 226. So I know that if you're a marketer or small business owner running any kind of Facebook Ads, using the Facebook Pixel, you're confused AF by this email you just received sometime around October 5, 2018.
The email references the fact that starting October 24, 2018, Facebook will be offering businesses the ability to use First-Party Cookies instead of Third-Party Cookies, but WTF?
It doesn't explain the difference, and it doesn't tell you that if your Facebook Pixel is associated with a Facebook Ads Account, it doesn't matter, you HAVE to use the Third-Party Cookies, but now you also have the option to use First-Party Cookies.
So in essence, NOTHING REALLY CHANGES.
All things stay the same for Advertisers using the Pixel. You don't have to do anything, but according to the Facebook Help Center link in the email they sent you, you can do something if you want.
The options for using cookies with your Facebook pixel are:
Use the Facebook pixel with both first and third-party cookies
Beginning on October 24th, 2018, this is the default option for Facebook pixels. With this option, you will use first-party cookie data with your Facebook pixel, in addition to third-party cookie data. This option is recommended if you use your Facebook pixel for advertising, because using both first and third-party cookies will enable you to reach more customers on Facebook and to be more accurate in measurement and reporting.
Use the Facebook pixel with third-party cookies only
You can disable first-party cookies and use the Facebook pixel with third-party cookies only. With this option, your Facebook pixel will be less effective in reaching customers on Facebook and less accurate in measurement and reporting.
Here's HOW you can make your change...
How to check your pixel and cookie settings
Log into your Facebook advertising account, and goto Events Managerlocated in the main menu under Measure and Report.
Select your pixel, then click onto Details button on the top right-hand corner to check its settings.
Under Pixel and Cookie Settings, edit or confirm your preferences. If your pixel is associated with an ad account you will not see Pixel Usage settings.
If you choose to edit Pixel Usage, you will have two options: Advertising and Analytics, and Analytics Only.
But if you run ads, you have to use Third-Party Cookies, so you can't really make any changes.
So now that we know the email can be disregarded, what do we do with the fact that we now feel the burning need to know the difference between first-party cookies and third-party cookies?
Well, I'll break it down for you, but I assure you it's really not that exciting.
First-party cookies are owned by the website a person is currently viewing, while third-party cookies belong to a website other than the one a person is currently viewing. Compared to third-party cookies, first-party cookies are more widely accepted by browsers and stored for longer periods of time.
First-party cookies allow you to do things like place multiple items in a shopping cart on an eCommerce website.
Third-party cookies allow you to do the things within Facebook Ads like use your Facebook Pixel to run re-marketing ads to people who have v
Data Driven Daily Tip 225 - Attention marketers and small business owners, Google has changed the way we need to track Mobile App Analytics.
What The Ef Google? Why do you keep changing things on us?
Google's newest change (without telling anyone), is how to set up analytics tracking on mobile applications.
Out with the old Google Analytics SDK, and in with the new "Firebase" Product and Firebase SDK.
The bad news - your old Google Analytics mobile app data is kind of irrelevant and you should set things up in Firebase.
The good news - Firebase looks WAY better than the old Google Analytics for Mobile Apps, as it features "events," "conversions," "audiences," "user properties," but even better...
Firebase features A/B Testing and Experiments.
AND, don't worry, this is all accessible through your Google Analytics Account. It does mean you'll have to set up a Firebase Account though, and do the integration yourself.
This video shows you how to get started, add your developer to get the SDK in the app, and integrate Firebase with Google Analytics.
Here are the general steps to setting up Mobile Application Analytics Tracking within Google Firebase integrated with Google Analytics.
1. Open Google Analytics and go to Property View, Create New Property, click on LEARN MORE about Firebase.
2. Click - Get started with Google Analytics app reporting.
3. Create an account. Go to firebase.google.com to create a Firebase account and download the corresponding SDK. To learn how to use the SDK in your app, refer to the Firebase documentation on Google Developers.
4. Add your developers to your account.
5. Download and install the SDK to your app. "Click Dashboard."
6. Link Firebase back to Google Analytics.
Data Driven Daily Tip 224. Attention marketers and small business owners.
If you own an eCommerce website and are selling products regularly online, you need to have eCommerce tracking set up in Google Analytics.
This is typically super simple to do with Google Analytics, but sometimes there's some additional coding required on your website so that the data flows properly.
Luckily, for WordPress Woocommerce merchants and website owners, this process is made super simple by the WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration Plug-in.
Follow the steps outlined in this video and you'll be good to go to start tracking your transactions, revenue and eCommerce conversion rate in Google Analytics.
You want this set up correctly because it will also allow you to make Data Driven Marketing decisions related to how many transactions and purchases your marketing efforts are generating for you, such as Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Email Marketing and SEO.
The Step-by-Step Process Outlined In The Video Is Below, Thanks To OM4.com.au.
Go to Google Analytics, click on your website, then click on Admin, View, Ecommerce Settings then configure the following:
Set “Enable Ecommerce” to On.
Set “Enable Enhanced Ecommerce Reporting” to On.
Save, then click on “View Settings”
Set the “Currency displayed as” setting to match your WooCommerce currency.
Save your Analytics View settings.
Return to your WordPress dashboard, and install and activate the WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration plugin. This free plugin is written by WooCommerce core developers, and allows WooCommerce to send your transaction/sales data across to Analytics.
Go to the WordPress Dashboard, WooCommerce, Settings, Integration, Google Analytics and configure the following settings:
enter your UA-ID (you can find this in Google Analytics, Admin, Property, Property Settings.
DON’T enable standard tracking (this is already added via GADWP plugin in step 2 above)
Tick “Enable Universal Analytics”
Tick “Purchase Transactions”
Tick “Add to Cart Events”
Tick “Enable Enhanced eCommerce”
Save the plugin’s settings
Data Driven Daily Tip 223: Attention marketers and small business owners.
Stop wasting time thinking about how often you should send email blasts to your contacts. Instead, just get started.
Step 1 is to create a free Mailchimp.com account if you don't already have one.
Step 2 is to log in and connect it to your Gmail or GSuite account.
This can easily get hundreds of contacts that you already have permission to email into your account. This audio explains how!
Don't worry, I'll be always posting more on how to grow and nurture your lists via email marketing.
This is just to help you build momentum and move in the right direction. Once your lists are created, you can start thinking about what kinds of content to build that will resonate with each of your lists or tags (more to come on tags), and then test your frequency and content.
I've started to write quite a bit about all the different things I really like about the new Google Ads platform.
One new feature with the ad creation that this video walks you through is, Google Ads has added:
1. A third headline, meaning now you have 90 characters in your headlines instead of 60.
2. A second description line, meaning now you have 180 characters in your descriptions instead of 90.
This is important because if you are running old campaigns that have only two headlines or only one description, your quality score will be bypassed by your competitors that are taking advantage of this extra copywriting space.
Not only does this extra room to write give marketers a chance to get across more of their value proposition, but it really helps your quality score, meaning you could outrank your competitors without having to bid as high as them.
Google has made this change without really announcing it, so we wanted to bring it to your attention.
I'm a huge fan of the new Google Ads. It's the replacement to the old Google Adwords.
This podcast takes an in-depth look at what's like to start to set up a campaign now.
Some things that have changed / improved include: Ad goals/objectives (huge for relevancy), audience targeting (the best feature), and the ability to set sitelink extensions from the start of a campaign (this improves quality score).
Don't worry, you're not alone. You're clearly smart. You're a successful small business owner OR an extremely intelligent marketer at an emerging brand or mid-size company, possibly the director of marketing, VP of Marketing or even VP of IT - but you don't exactly know what Google Webmaster Tools is.
It's fine. That's why we're here.
You wonder - is it the same as Google Analytics?
Is it the same is Google Search Console?
WTF? Why does Google have so many tools?
Let me help. This podcast explains! :)
It's not every day you find watershed improvements in your web data that you can immediately attribute back to 1-3 simple action items you recently took on your website, but since we're constantly tweaking and testing, it just happened to us, and we feel the need to share it with you right away.
Now, to many of you already familiar with the impact of Page Speed Load Time on SEO Rankings (which goes along with Optimization for Mobile Web), this won't come as a surprise.
But, in our true style, we don't just believe all we read. We test, we analyze and we make data driven decisions.
So, here's what we did to improve our website's engagement levels by 95% OVERNIGHT.
1. We eliminated some unneeded content on our long scroll homepage. Data showed us originally that the wide format, long scroll homepage was most effective to lower bounce rate, increase pages per visit and average session duration, all of which increase conversions, but when content isn't being looked at our clicked on (insights we gained from heatmapping data), it needs to go. Seriously. It needs to go because getting rid of it minimizes the amount of images and words that the webpage needs to load, and increases the Page Speed Load Time, which keeps search engines, and most importantly, VISITORS, happy and engaged.
2. We changed a hero image with words at the top of our homepage to JUST WORDS. We got rid of the image. The image wasn't relevant anymore to our business, and we didn't have a replacement, so we said "screw it, let's see if this works," - well it has, to the tune of a 95% better bounce rate.
Now, we've also recommended moving background imagery based on data. Moving background imagery takes up far more bandwidth than even imagery, so this may seem counterintuitive based on other blog posts and reports, but remember, data has to be examined on a case-by-case basis. Every website is different, loads a different amount of content, main navigation items, images, and has a different target audience.
However, regardless of vertical, we know that if your website is loading slowly or has a high bounce rate, implementing #2 on our list will help.
3. We removed a "preloader." A "preloader" is a fancy graphic that shows before the page loads. We are immediately going to all of our clients with preloaders and sending them this post.
This is typically something easy to turn off. It's one more thing that the server doesn't have to load (making the page load faster), and as we all know, every split second that a user has to wait in order to see what they came for increases the chances that they'll bounce.
Not only have the web engagement numbers been extremely more positive since these changes, but even more leads have come through our website forms, which is what we all need, right?
Business owners and CEOs have asked me for years (more than a decade), how they can get to the top of Google Search Engine Results pages for keywords related to their business, services and products.
This is constantly changing, but through practitioner-ship and analyzing data (a fancy way of saying trial and error), I have data driven proof that says two things are working extremely well in achieving the goal that all SEO Companies and all businesses strive for:
1. Creating content every day. Here's how.
2. Posting every day on a verified Google My Business Listing.
3. Posting content every day on a YouTube Channel.
Listen in for the details.
If Facebook Ads aren't working for your Service Based business, then you're doing it wrong. Period. We've been running Lead Generation ads for our clients with Service Based businesses, targeting their exact audience based on Facebook Job Title Targeting, and it's working.
There's a specific type of ad in Facebook that's actually called a Lead Generation Ad.
This is working better than running a traditional ad and expecting the user to click through to a landing page to submit their information via the "old fashioned Hubspot way" for example.
Why? Because the data shows more and more Facebook users are on their mobile devices, and simply will not wait for web pages to load that take them outside the Facebook App to external websites.
Gone are the days of expecting the user to click through to a landing page, although you should still build them and test the traditional ads against these lead gen ads, just to be sure!
This episode walks you through how to create a lead generation ad in Facebook.
Let's say you're planning a family vacation. You've obviously searched on Google countless times for cruise lines, hotels in Orlando, or even attractions in Jacksonville.
Then, when taking a break from your vacation planning, have you ever watched a YouTube video, say on how to fix your car, how to unclog your sink, or even simply watched Football highlights or EllenTube?
Stay with me. If not, let's just say for the sake of this blog post that you have.
So in all of this internet activity, have you noticed that you've started to see ads for family vacation destinations that have NOTHING to do with Football highlights, or unclogging your sink?
In other words, your Google Search History is now being reflected in your YouTube video leisure time.
Google owns both platforms, and has figured out a way to make this extremely effective marketing happen.
In happens within Google Ads (the new Google Adwords) and it allows you to run video ads on YouTube in any number of ways.
The new Google Ads platform is pretty sweet. I'm big into it, and as I continue to dive in, there will be more and more content on how businesses can use it to grow their revenue.
However, as you can imagine, in order to truly track the effectiveness of ad campaigns and make real data driven decisions, all conversion tracking has to be set up properly.
One of the things we want to be able to do is run video ads on YouTube, and we want these ads to send traffic to our websites, but also generate leads and purchases on our site.
In order to track the leads and purchases part, we need to set up Google Ads Conversion Tracking Properly.
Like Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, it's just one more code snippet, but it can be done either via WordPress, or via Google Tag Manager (instructions here on how to set up Tag Manager and create tags).
This episode tells you what you need to know about setting up conversion tracking in Google Ads and integrating it via WordPress or Google Tag Manager. Below are some screenshots of what this looks like.
How To Automate Your Website Email Form Submissions Into Your Marketing Lists (Using WordPress, Gravity Forms & Mailchimp) Data Driven Daily Tip #214. Why have I been wasting my time copying and pasting email addresses into Mailchimp lately?
We've had people signing up for events and presentations that we do around Nashville, and I receive them through the backend of our website. For some reason I've been copying and pasting them in from the emails I've been getting into our Mailchimp account.
I know full well that I have the tools, set-up and skills to automate this process and save myself 30 minutes or so every day.
Alright, I'm finally doing it. I'm finally using WordPress, Gravity Forms and Mailchimp to automate this for myself, just like we do for our clients all the time.
This video shows you how it's done.
Whew, now I'll get a ton of time back in my week. The relentless pursuit of productivity continues.
You may be frustrated by past Google Adwords Campaigns not working. It could be because you were missing a tiny yet critical element - linking your Google Adwords Campaigns with Google Analytics.
Now that Adwords has changed to Google Ads, it's become even more critical that this step get done for any business running Google Ads.
When you link the two platforms, you can optimize Google Ads campaigns for conversions, not clicks. This is preferred, because you can define a "conversion" as whatever you want it to be in Google Analytics.
It could be an eCommerce transaction, an "add to cart," or a lead generation form submission, email opt-in, or even something like a button click or a specific amount of time on a page (let's say 2x the average, for example).
With Ads/Analytics account linking, Google's algorithm will then show your ads to people more likely to not just "click your ad," but go to your website and actually do what you want them to do.
Reason #1 to link Google Ads and Google Analytics is to spend your money wisely.
Reason #2 to link accounts is so that you can see Bounce Rate, Average Session Duration, % of New Visits, and Pages per Visit from Analytics directly in your Google Ads views. This is helpful when making data driven marketing decisions within Google Ads.
Reason #3 to link accounts is to get a full Business Intelligence Dashboard right within Google Analytics. Account linking sends Google Ads data to Google Analytics, so that you can compare your Google Ads campaigns against other marketing efforts like Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, SEO efforts, Email Marketing and more.
Additional reasons to link accounts can be found here, and the above video walks you through exactly how to get this done.
How To Set Proper Location Targets & Exclude Locations In New Google Ads: Data Driven Daily Tip #211 - It's super frustrating to run Google Ads, spending your time and hard earned money as a small business owner or emerging brand marketer only to find that most of your traffic is coming from the absolutely wrong Geo-Location.
Are you paying for clicks that will definitely not benefit you?
Targeting Your Geolocation In Google Ads Isn't Enough!
You need to watch this video to ensure you understand the intricacies of how to not only target your geolocation in Google ads, but how to implement location exclusions properly.
The new Google Ads is here, and a lot about the platform is intuitive, but not this piece.
Thanks to the readers / viewers / listeners who wrote in to request this Data Driven Daily Tip!
How To Properly Implement Location Exclusions In Google Ads
From Google: How to exclude individual areas:
Setting up location exclusions is very similar to setting up location targeting—just enter the name of the area that you'd like to exclude.
To exclude areas within the locations you've selected:
From the page menu on the left, click Campaigns.
Click the name of the campaign you wish to edit.
Expand the “Locations” section from the settings menu.
There are two ways you can exclude a location:
Search for the area that you'd like to exclude in the search box and click Exclude.
Click Advanced search, search for the Location you'd like to exclude, and click Exclude. Click Saveafter excluding the location.
Click Save to save your settings. Your excluded locations will appear under the heading "Excluded locations."
If you select "Show locations on map," your excluded locations will also appear with a red outline on the map.
Data Driven Daily Tip #210 - We're redesigning our logo. We can't decide which logo to pick between the final two options. This is obviously a very important decision for our company and we've gathered feedback and input internally and gone through a couple rounds of strategic revisions to get to this point. Sound familiar?
Well, instead of simply using our opinions, since we believe in Data Over Opinions, we're going to get a couple key data points. One, is going to be a Facebook Poll, and we'll possibly run an Ad or two to get some additional feedback.
But the real interesting data point will be how people actually interact with our website based on which logo is shown.
This means, we're going to run an A/B Test on our website, using Google Optimize.
Optimize will serve our current (Original) logo to one-third of the web users that hit DataDriven.Design, serve new logo option 1, which we're calling "Pixel D" to another third of our web users, and serve new logo option 2, which we're calling "Smooth DD" to the other third of our web users.
This will be done randomly, and this video shows the step-by-step process of how to use Google Optimize to set up an experiment.
It walks you through how to not only create variants, but also how to set up objectives so that you get key data to make your decision.
A/B Testing like this should be done to a certain extent on every website, testing colors, imagery, calls to action and more.
We always recommend only doing one A/B test at a time per page, and running the test for at least a week to a month (depending on how much web traffic your site gets) before looking at the data to declare a winner.
This podcast episode documents the long but rewarding process of installing Google Optimize into your website so that you can run awesome experiments and get real data to optimize your website, and not guess or use opinions.
This is also known as A/B Testing. While there are several third party tools that allow non-web developers and content managers and digital marketers to set up website experiments, such as Optimizely, Hotjar, VWO and Crazyegg, we are electing to use Google Optimize for it's easy integration with the rest of the Google Suite of tools, like Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, which reminds me, before we get started, you'll need the following.
1. Google Analytics Installed On Your Website (Click here for How To Install Google Analytics)
2. Google Tag Manager Installed On Your Website (Click here for How To Install Google Tag Manager On Your Website).
3. Some knowledge of how to create a Google Tag Manager Tag and Trigger (Click here for a great piece on how to create a Google Tag Manager Tag and Trigger).
We will definitely have more content on how to read your experiment result reporting and make data driven decisions based on those reports, but for now, you're off and running with Google Optimize installed on your website.
Data Driven Daily Tip 208: This video gives a solid overview of the Custom Report functionality in Facebook Ads Manager. Why is this important?
1. If you're a small business owner, this should be your easy, go-to tool to compare the data across all of your Facebook Ads and Campaigns to see not only which are performing best, but also, which Times of Day are working best, which Days of Week are working best, which Audience Segments are cheapest to acquire as new customers and on and on.
2. If you're a strategist or analysts at a digital agency, or a marketing director or VP of Marketing, you can easily examine this key data to make data driven next marketing decisions.
3. If you're a software developer, you can pull down CSV files and create easy pivot tables / interactive reports to impress your co-workers and clients.
You're welcome. :)
B2B Marketing Series: Why Can't I Find Certain "Employers" or "Companies" In Facebook Ads Manager? Data Driven Daily Tip 207
B2B Marketing is not that much different from eCommerce Marketing, really, from a tactical perspective that is.
Facebook Ads is the best example of a platform that is tailor made for doing both very effectively. Our Facebook Ads eCommerce Series gets into that in detail.
But every once in a while, a specific scenario pops up that is solely for B2B Marketers.
Recently, I reported that Facebook Ads has reinstated the Employer Targeting Feature.
But a great question recently came in from a reader:
I don't wish to take up too much of your time, but have read an article of yours and have a question.
I am trying to target music industry people on Facebook and in the 'Employers' section, companies such as Polydor, Universal Music, Sony Music etc do not appear whereas other types of companies do. Any reason for that?
Thanks very much"
Great point. It's actually not that easy to find ALL of the Employers you want to target with an ad.
-This is because Facebook Removed 3 million "terms" / "employers" due to their "Community Guidelines" and has been adding them back slowly but surely.
-The good news is, I've found some tactics that will still help B2B marketers do what they're looking to do. The video above explains, as well as the brief explanation below.
1. When Creating Your Ad, go to Detailed Targeting. Click "Browse"
2. Select "Demographics" > scroll down to "Work" then > "Employers"
Start typing in "Sony Music" - notice it doesn't show, but when you stop at "Sony Mus" - then "Sony Music and Entertainment" shows. So the search is awkward.
Boom, add it.
Once you add it, click suggestions and you'll see a TON more similar "Employers" show, in this case "Atlantic Records," "Interscope Records," and more. The more you add, the better your suggestions get.
Add / Remove, Add / Remove until you've built your audience.
On the Polydor Records example, you'll notice that they don't ever show under Employers, which means they were removed, per above and not added back yet, but building an audience of Job Title + Interest > Polydor Records (which exists) can still build you a very targeted ad likely to hit your audience (although not as exact). Same thing with "Universal Music," which shows under Interests but in much more granular categories, like Universal Music Nashville and Universal Music Motown, etc.
Data Driven Daily Tip #206 - There's nothing quite like finding out that Wednesday is the best day of the week for your business to run Facebook Ads, because you're paying one quarter of the price for link clicks on that day than other days.
Or finding out that you're paying half the cost for Males age 35-44 to like your page vs. Females age 35-44 to like your page.
It's super silly not to ALWAYS USE DATA to drive your next marketing actions. That's why we constantly practice what we preach and show marketers and business owners how to do it also.
Facebook Ads is a super robust platform, which is why we're continuing our Facebook Ads eCommerce Series by calling out the top hidden tips we, as true practitioners of the platform, are constantly finding.
This video shows you how to use Facebook Ads Manager to find "Performance" which you can use to sort by Time, Delivery and Action categories to analyze your data in a plethora of ways.
This is the easy part. The hard part is mastering the artform of actually turning the insights into "next marketing actions." Watch the video, but keep in mind this can also be done at the Ad Set and Individual Ad level if you want to get super-granular. :) Happy eCommerce Marketing.
Facebook Ads for eCommerce Websites: Your Problem Could Be Bid-Capping (Data Driven Daily Tip #205). One of the best content strategies is to have an open dialog with your audience, no matter the size.
For example, my audience is tiny. To say "niche" is to be extremely nice. Small Business Owners, Marketers and Digital Strategy Geeks.
For example, I've been posting videos on YouTube for a little over a year, and am just starting to get some traction.
This video was posted on December 15, 2017, and just got a comment. A great follow-up comment, and thus the purpose of this blog post and new Facebook Ads series.
It's a tiny setting in Facebook Ads.
You get these insights from being a true practitioner; from loving your craft; and from tasting all sorts of techniques and settings within platforms like Facebook Ads.
So "Bid Capping" is the actual micro topic of this post, and how to turn it off in Facebook Ads was the question. The video above has the answer.
Thanks to "Funnel Copy Tips" for the great comment/question.
The purpose of this post is two-fold:
1. To officially kickoff my Facebook Ads eCommerce Series. More to come.
2. To reiterate my point about how CEOs, Small Business Owners and Executives can make content. Don't worry about being fancy. Just put it out there. The traction should follow if you stay consistent, and keep your content educational / helpful in some way to your audience.
So here's Bid Capping and how to turn it off / on. More to come!
(Data Driven Daily Tip #204) Thank you Smash Balloon. When a WordPress plug-in really works, IT REALLY WORKS.
Smash Balloon's FREE Instagram Feed plug-in, is what we've started to use on all of our client websites that want to have an Instagram Feed.
It's easy for Digital Marketers and WordPress Content Managers to do on their own. You don't need a web developer. This podcast explains how.
Podcast Episode 81: Executives & Small Business Owners: You Need To Blog Every Day. Here's How (Data Driven Daily Tip 203). Attention Executives and Small Business Owners: Blogging Every Day for Your Business should be like brushing your teeth. Seriously. When you were a kid, you were scared of brushing your teeth, and you hated it, and let's be honest, that's how most of you feel about creating and publishing business content every day in the form of a blog.
But aren't you the same people who for the last 10 years have asked people like me "how can we get to the top of Google?" and "how can we grow our web traffic" and "how can we get more people to convert on our website?"
Well, some of you haven't. Some of you have simply asked me how I do it (blog every day that is).
Regardless, I'm breaking it down here.
Why? Because I work 60-80 hour weeks just like you, running my own small company, and for the last year, I've created content and blogged every single day.
Not only that, but I've repurposed the blog content into video, audio in the form of podcasts and daily tips, so as to have a presence on:
So What? Well, these efforts have helped grow our web traffic by 525%, with Google, Medium, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter all leading the way at driving the traffic.
And see that increase since July 2018 all the way through October 15 (today)? Yep, blogging every day is like writing a small check into your top returning investment account every day.
I know a lot of people may read this blog and watch this video and think (pfewhat? it took him a year to get to 100 subscribers?) That's NOTHING, and it took him a year?
Yep. And I'm proud of it.
1. I put out an average of one video per day. While doing my other full time jobs, running a successful company, building an amazing team, and being a great husband and father of two phenomenal kids. Kids that I actually know well and spend time with. And helping my clients grow their businesses.
2. I went through many different ways of capturing and editing video. Some days I'd record myself on my phone in a meeting using a case that sticks against the wall. Some days I'd record myself using my laptop (sometimes in a meeting, sometimes sitting looking at the camera). I did this / continue to do this, all while actually working 60-80 hours per week.
Sometimes I'd use Instagram stories as the main way of capturing the video content (and editing the video content) and I'd send it directly to YouTube (vertical and everything).
Sometimes I'd be driving in my car, sometimes I'd just have finished a run and be super sweaty and gross, sometimes I'd be walking, sometimes I'd be sitting at my desk feeling gangster and purposely bumping rap music into the background.
3. I'm fully aware of the fact that the video quality and audio quality isn't always the best. I've moved from Nashville, TN to Valencia, Spain, and run a business of 10 people that are a fully distributed senior level remote work team. We all work from home. Sometimes there is now my dryer in the background. Sometimes there is city background noise. Sometimes kids screaming, often music playing.
I now like to shoot some of them around the city, so the audio quality isn't always going to be the best, and I've had some people point out to me that it's "Busch League" that I'm sometimes wearing a backwards baseball cap and a "dirty t-shirt," but as I point out in this video, it doesn't matter to me.
The reality is, I love making this content. It fuels and fulfills me, and it makes me a better person, and a better digital strategist and business owner. It challenges me to provide even more value for our clients and our team.
Our team strives to be the most knowledgable, friendly and easy to work with. That's just us. And these videos are just me.
I'm never going to stress over getting the lighting, audio and video perfect, and I'm never going to change my outfit for the camera.
Finally! I have an answer for all businesses who need to use digital data to justify / quantify the success of their event related marketing and sales / business development efforts in terms of pounding the pavement with meetings.
Like, real data, not anecdotal stuff.
For example, if you have a booth at an event, you absolutely need to make sure all of your sales people are having booth visitors scan your company's Instagram Nametag and follow you right away either from the digital display on the screen of your booth, or right there off of your employee's phones.
No personal information exchanged, and it takes a fraction of the time it takes to sign up for your email list or fill out a web form on a mobile device.
Instead of the booth visitor giving you a fake email address, they actually follow you on Instagram, and you can then see who they are and message them there rather than jam their inbox with spam.
For the first time, we can relate Instagram followers to In-Person Real Life meetings.
Small Business Owners and Marketers need to know about Instagram's new Nametag feature, explained perfectly in this video.
Another use is for 1:1 business development / sales meetings. Business cards are still floating around out there, but the Nametag feature could completely replace it. Business cards are expensive and are thrown away. Training your employees to scan IG Nametags is simpler, more cost-effective, and immediately puts the new contact in your marketing funnel.
The Nametag feature is also extremely relevant to personal brands, or super talented musicians, gymnasts, dancers or street performers that want to get some love for being on people's Instagram stories all the time. :)
A Great Small Business Marketing Tip. I've written a lot about the importance of Google My Business, how it's the number one most important Small Business SEO strategy and even something all marketing directors and VPs of Marketing should pay attention to regardless of the size of their company.
I've even gone in depth about why it's important to post photos on Google Maps.
Now, it's time to take a look at the different post types you can make in Google My Business, and why it is a tool that all businesses can use to create offers, promote products and events, and direct people to their storefronts. This audio elaborates on how to improve your business SEO.
Does Your Digital Agency Know How To Get Your Business To The Top Of Google? Data Driven Daily Tip #199. Google has clearly decided that maps results will outweigh web page results for local business searches that don't include the company's name (also known as non-branded or un-branded searches). These are the searches you want to rank for, because they bring in net new customers for your business, vs. customers who already know you and are simply looking to find you. Those customers will make a search with your business name in it and will find something like this.
So I was just getting ready to send out an email marketing blast to a group of 206 marketing directors, VPs of Marketing and CMOs who attended a webinar that I gave recently.
The follow up email was to give them a FREE GOOGLE ANALYTICS ASSESSMENT to help them use data to improve their website.
There was only one problem! I forgot to set up an A/B Test of the Subject Line.
This is very important, so I scrambled, paused the scheduled campaign, and reworked it to send the A/B Test. This audio explains how!
Ep.75: Attention Marketers: Does Your Web Developer Know About Facebook Events Partner Integrations? It's a tool within Facebook Business Manager that makes it super easy for the non-technical marketing person to easily integrate their website conversions, eCommerce or Lead Generation, or even custom events like button clicks and scroll-to-stops, modal window opens, etc. - and, perhaps the best, CRM lead generation integration, ALL BACK TO FACEBOOK ADS!
We're talking a three to five minute set-up process to get your Shopify Store, WordPress WooCommerce Store, even Magento, BigCommerce stores hooked up directly into your Facebook Ads reporting dashboard.
It even includes CRMs like InfusionSoft, SalesForce and Zoho, and of course, Google Tag Manager.
Not only does this allow you to SEE THE DATA that is most valuable to you, but it allows you to RUN future Facebook Ads that are optimized to the actions that you want.
Here is a video that explains it all, followed by screenshots from the Shopify Integration Process (we just picked one).
Continuing on in our Facebook Ads Manager / Facebook Events Manager / Facebook Pixel content series, it's important to truly understand why some Facebook Ads work better than others.
Now that you know how to set up the Facebook Pixel, and how to access the Events Manager page and think through how to use the data, it's time to get into how to create custom conversions.
When you take the time to have a layered digital marketing strategy that includes Facebook Ads, you need to use the data from the pixel to run ads that are super targeted, which can be set up as Custom Conversions inside Facebook Events Manager.
The video below shows not only how, but also talks about why you would want to do this, for example, if I'm trying to sell more WordPress Web Design and Development Services, I can run ads to people who have viewed my Web Design and Development Services page, and I can even run ads to people who have not only seen that page, but who have also filled out the lead generation form on that page.
A little something in their Facebook feed or Instagram story to say, Remember us? :)
Think of what this could do for your business.
How To Use Data From Your Facebook Tracking (Facebook Events Manager Data Overview): Data Driven Daily Tip 195. So you installed your Facebook Tracking Pixel a few months (or years) back, right? But have you done anything with it yet?
I mean, have you looked at the data it's giving you, or have you thought about using that data to inform the type of ads to run, and better yet, the creative on the ads?
Or, the types of calls to action you could add to the pages that the pixel is telling you your users are most interested in?
There's a whole world of marketing data available in Facebook Ads Manager, specifically folded under Facebook Events Manager, that I want to make you marketers and small business owners aware of.
It can get overwhelming, so we're going to go one step at a time, with this step simply being how to access your data.
Go to business.facebook.com/events_manager and follow along.
While most people think of LinkedIn for B2B marketing, I've made it well known that the data shows that when paying for advertising space, Facebook Ads are the number on spot to market your B2B product or service offering from a cost per customer attention and cost per customer acquisition standpoint.
To that end, it's important to note something that has flown under the radar. The much publicized removal of "employees of" job title targeting from Facebook Ads a little under a year ago, is being reinstated. According to Facebook's official developers page, Professional Target Options are back:
We continuously review our targeting options to help you reach the people that are the most relevant to your business. We're excited to share that new interest segments to reach professional audiences that are now available in our ads interfaces. Additionally, we'll also be doing a phased rollout of a number of reinstating targeting options for Job titles, Employers, Field of Study & Education
Data Driven Daily Tip 193 - If you own a Shopify eCommerce Store, you're likely interested in running digital campaigns, and very interested in understanding what drives the most qualified web traffic and conversions to your website:
Instagram Content and Ads?
Where is the opportunity? Where is the whitespace for growth? While our Digital Strategy Roadmaps are a great service offering to answer these questions, from an ongoing digital marketing execution perspective, you need an accurate way of aggregating your data over the long term to understand what's working.
Google Tag Manager is a tool that you need to install to set up your data gathering properly within Google Ads and Google Analytics and other platforms.
Setting up Google Tag Manager on your Shopify site is critical.
How To Create A New Google Analytics Account and Put Tracking Code In Your WordPress Website: Data Driven Daily Tip 192. It just kind of dawned on me that as much as I talk about data, Google Analytics and WordPress website design and development, sometimes I leave out the simplest part - making sure that you have Google Analytics installed.
The data is overwhelming on the amount of people who DON'T KNOW how to set up a Google Analytics account and install it in their WordPress site.
You're not alone.
It's super simple.
One of the many reasons I love WordPress is because regardless of your skill level, you can contribute, learn and contribute more.
Seriously, even if you've never updated a website before and don't know the first thing about coding, you can learn to manage content.
Our team has trained hundreds of Administrative Assistants, non-technical Marketers, interns, VPs, IT personnel and even small business owners alike how to update all of the content and even SEO metadata on their WordPress websites.
We believe that you should have access to update all of the content on your own website, but we also know that it's risky to hand away the "keys to the kingdom" so to speak to another person who could "mess things up."
That's why this tip "how to create a staging server on your GoDaddy Managed WordPress Account" is so useful. You can go in and clone your site, and give yourself basically a safe playground area to try things and see if they'll work on production (your live site).
We've been bullish on Instagram since early in 2017 when we realized the sheer volume of active users and the amount of attention those users are giving to the platform.
We're big on building up your company's content strategy, then deploying pieces of it consistently on Instagram.
But more and more useful marketing tools keep popping up within the platform, for example, when a post is performing well, Instagram will show you a message in your feed to promote it. There are four main options to promote your post on Instagram now.
Attention WordPress Developers & Marketers: Data Driven Daily Tip 189 - Our WordPress Development Team (special thanks to "Chris Tooma"), has been on top of this one for a while now, and today I woke up to write my daily blog and saw this message in my WordPress Dashboard after a recent upgrade to WordPress Core version 4.9.8. AKA - Gutenberg is HERE! WordPress Content Managers and Content Marketers Don't Need to install it yet, but CAN install it if they're on WP v4.9.8 like all of our clients are.
Data Driven Daily Tip 188: One more important one that the data says is extremely important is - when posting Instagram Stories, each :15 story post should have a relevant hashtag in it. It should be done via the Hashtag Sticker within stories.
We randomly decided to start using the hashtag sticker in our stories, and the data shows that the visibility of our stories exploded from around 20-25 people viewing our story to upwards of 450 people viewing our story.
While location stickers can also help increase your story's visibility, you can't always control your location. But you can control how strategic you are with your hashtags!
Believe it or not, the number one excuse (after "we don't have enough time to do that") from brand marketers and small business owners as to why they don't consistently post on Instagram is: "we don't know what to talk about, we're not that interesting."
This is AFTER they've finally realized that the data overwhelmingly proves that their target audience is in fact on Instagram.
So the helpful, strategic and tactical response to their excuse is, let me put something in context for you and show you something cool.
1. The context. If you have a business, you have an interesting value proposition and story to tell against it. If you don't tell that story, then you for sure have frequently asked questions. You have questions that you ask to your co-workers, and you have questions they ask to you, and you have questions that your clients or customers ask about your company or to someone specifically in your company.
This needs to be part of your content strategy.
2. The something cool.
Data Driven Daily Tip 186 - Have you ever sent someone a link to a video on YouTube and then explained to them that they need to skip to the 50 second mark, or wait to watch or pay attention until a certain point in the video?
Did you know there's a simple way to simple edit the end of a YouTube URL so that it automatically drops the user to a certain point in the video?
See the =50s at the end of the URL below? that's telling it to drop the user to the 50 second mark of the video upon click/page load.
Data Driven Daily Tip 185: For months I was podcasting about once or twice a month, very long form, interview style. It was a good start, and gave me some stuff to talk about, however recently I decided to change my strategy to see if listenership improved.
I increased frequency to basically daily, or at least 4-5 times per week, and made the episodes shorter, like 2-5 minutes in length.
See how the data shows the listenership skyrocketed? Not only do you need to start a podcast, but you need rework your strategy. It's not what's next, it's what's NOW.
Data Driven Daily Tip 184: What Is Medium.com? It's a free place to blog from daily to weekly to monthly, but as long as you're doing it consistently, it will do your business well.
As of 2016, more than 60 million active users were on Medium, and we have reason to believe that audience size has close to tripled in the last two years.
On top of that, our own web data shows that companies who blog on Medium regularly see the most qualified website traffic from it as a referral source, with more than double the average engagement from web visitors vs. other backlinks.
Translation: Blogging on Medium.com regularly with a byline backlink to your website results in more engaged users to your website, which will eventually mean more qualified sales and leads.
We recommend Medium.com to all of our digital strategy roadmap clients.
Now, here's a key way to grow your following on Medium.com. Listen to find out!
What’s the difference between the Facebook Ads metric “Website Conversion Value” and “Website Purchase Conversion Value?”
A heart attack, initially. 🙂
You see, when you go in to analyze the performance of your Facebook Ad in terms of generating sales to your eCommerce website, you need to go in and click the blue “plus” (+) icon to the right of your columns and “Modify Columns,” then you always need to add two columns.
1. Return on Ad Spend.
2. Website Purchase Conversion Value.
You see, if you add “Website Conversion Value” you get a MUCH BIGGER NUMBER, that does not represent your actual eCommerce Sales, but rather an arbitrary potential number defined by your Facebook Tracking Pixel Set-up.
If you want to customize this more mid-funnel number, it’s not a bad idea, here is some discussion.
But you don’t have to do anything, you just have to add the correct column. 🙂
Hit me up with any questions on Facebook Advertising at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm HUGE on what the data says is working for your marketing strategy. The data doesn't lie. So this may seem confusing, but I'm really not concerned with the headlines recently that Facebook lost $125 billion last quarter.
It's really irrelevant to your marketing strategy, especially when Facebook Ad - when done correctly - result in the lowest cost per customer acquisition and highest return on ad spend across all media channels, let alone digital media channels.
I have a ton of respect for the AdHawk Blog and Newsletter, but they got a little overboard in giving so much love to this article, which says "only" 2.23 billion of Facebook's 3 billion users are (active on the platform). Seriously?
Only 2.23 billion?
Name me another marketing channel that you can reach your target audience for $1 or less per, that has a prospective audience of 2.23 billion?
LOL. It's freaking laughable.
IGNORE THE HEADLINES. Be a practitioner.
ATTN MARKETERS: (from CMOs to Small Business Owners)
Whenever social media platforms start launching features to combat one another (feature wars), it's usually an amazing opportunity for marketers. In 2015 it was Instagram adding "Stories" to copy Snapchat.
User attention FLOCKED to Insta Stories, and hasn't wavered since. Now, it's the launch of IGTV to dominate YouTube.
Well, less than three weeks later, YouTube launched a very subtle "messages" feature to help extend organic reach of videos, and keep people native on the platform.
Here's how to marketers, from CMOs to Small Business Owners, should use this.
How To Create A Paypal Button and a Confirmation URL for Google Analytics: Data Driven Daily Tip 180. ATTN MARKETERS: (from CMOs to Small Business Owners)
So this one is pretty effing cool in my humble opinion (I know, I know, Data Over Opinions, right). But this opinion of mine (on how cool this is) actually puts you all in a place where you can get more data than ever!
You see, one problem I’m helping you solve in this Data Driven Daily Tip is HOW TO create a Paypal payment button to embed into your website.
But the more strategic, more critical business function that I’m showing you here is, how to create a URL that redirects your customer back to your website to track conversions.
Then, how to set up a Google Analytics goal off of that URL. What am I talking about?
In plain English: this video shows you how to set yourself up to understand where your Paypal payments on your website are coming from (i.e., referral traffic, social media posts, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, SEO, etc.
So you know I’m a total geek, but even I stop sometimes and say “WTF Google? Why are you making things so complicated.”
But, we can’t sit and complain about it, we have to just figure things out, so case in point – WTF is Parallel Tracking and why are Google Adwords and Google Adwords Express Advertisers getting email notifications that they need to switch to Parallel Ad Tracking by October 2018? Here’s what you need to know:
Parallel Ad Tracking Is – A change in the way tracking code is served, that increases page speed load time, and security. More here.
Here’s How to Switch to Parallel Tracking – Log into your Adwords Account, click “All Campaigns,” the “Settings,” then “Account Settings,” then “Tracking,” then toggle “Turn Parallel Tracking” to “On.” Then run the test by clicking the test button.
If you’re only running Google Adwords Express Ads, you won’t see any of this, but Google Adwords Express (Soon to be Google Ads Smart Campaigns) Advertisers do not need to do anything!
So I’m huge on two things:
1. Starting sentences off awkwardly with “So” or “And,” and …
2. Pressuring all marketers, from CMOs to Small Business Owners, to use Google Analytics for 30 minutes per month.
Whether or not you follow my step-by-step process outlined in the Data Driven Academy, of looking at Audience, Behavior, Acquisition and Conversion Reports, one thing I haven’t talked about yet but need to more, is the Intelligence Feature in Google Analytics.
The Intelligence Feature essentially analyzes your data, thinks for you, and shows you “what you need to know.” Now, it’s definitely not a perfect science, but it’s a great starting point for familiarizing yourself with just how much this free tool, Google Analytics, can help you optimize your digital presence and ultimately grow your business.
Email me at email@example.com with any questions.
Thanks for reading, watching and listening, and have a great day!
I’m a huge fan of using platforms the way that the platforms say to use the platforms. So today, I want to lift the hood into a part of Instagram that I guarantee most of you if not all of you haven’t seen yet.
As content strategists, we’ve given clients and Data Driven Academy attendees the following advice over the last 12-24 months:
On Instagram, document over create, show behind the scenes content. Don’t worry about curating everything or making everything look perfect before you post.
Repost Content and repurpose other people’s content while giving them credit.
Connect with other accounts by searching popular content, including accounts and hashtags related to your business and interact with those accounts.
Comment on their posts, DM (direct message them) to increase visibility to your account and grow your following.
Don’t underestimate the power of a nicely completed business profile, complete with Hashtags, Emojis, and of course, contact information!
Do you have an online store? You know, like Shopify, BigCommerce or even WooCommerce?
Get ready, because there are some serious things you need to know about the most effective digital marketing practices to generate sales on your website.
In short, Instagram and Facebook are where you need to be, running ads specifically.
Get the following ready:
Facebook Business Manager / Facebook Ads Manager Account
Your Shopify / BigCommerce Log-in
Your Instagram Account
You need to set up the following:
Shopping Bag Link in Instagram Stories
Instagram “Collections” Ad Campaigns
Facebook “Product Catalog” Ad Campaigns
You’ll need to Connect Your Facebook Product Catalog with your Instagram Profile, something we’ll show you how to do in the Data Driven Online Academy.
Most people don't think about Google Analytics at all, even when they know they should (see more here about spending 30 minutes a month in Google Analytics), but even those that do think about Google Analytics only think about it related to their website's data.
But what about mobile apps?
Did you know how easy it is to ensure you have your downloads, active users, most popular screens, user / behavior flow and even custom event tracking set-up via Google Analytics?
Check out how to download the Google Analytics SDK (Software Development Kit) for your mobile app to give to your custom software developer to make sure they properly install Google Analytics on your iOS / Android Application!
Get ready, you’ll need the following for this one:
1. A WordPress Website;
2. A Google Analytics Account;
3. A Google Tag Manager Account (don’t worry, it’s easy – you just go to google.com/tagmanager and log in with your existing Google Account or GSuite Account).
What’s the point? Well, you want to make data driven marketing decisions, right?
Like, you want to know NOT ONLY HOW MANY CLICKS you got on that key “Download Now” button on your homepage, but you want to know WHERE those link clicks came from, right?
Like, how many came from your Google Adwords Campaigns, how many came from your Facebook Organic Posts, your Boosts, your Facebook Ads, your Instagram Profile, your LinkedIn posts – get it?
Cool, listen to this audio and you’ll be on your way to setting up your very own digital business intelligence tracking dashboard.
Thanks for listening, and have a great day!
I talk about it all the time. I live by it. My team now has fully bought in and sees the value. Clients are actually regurgitating my own words back to me in meetings. It's taken about 4-5 years, but it's all happening.
Our Web Design and Digital Marketing Process is working for our clients, and for us.
It's a total contradiction, simple but complex at the same time. Using data to drive design. Using data to drive action. Stop debating, start doing.
Like any good digital agency, the proof is in the experience and the work, and the results.
We're so in it, on a daily grind basis, that I've finally started to take some time to lift the hood and show our process.
This video shows how we use Google Analytics to make real improvements to websites and marketing strategies that result in clear action items.
Simple ones. Not expensive ones.
Once these action items are implemented, then the engagement levels improve, and the leads and sales are generated.
It doesn't happen overnight.
In this episode, you hear audio from Data Driven Daily Tip 172, where I break down the data that exists inside Google My Business and how it can help you from a marketing and operations standpoint. Specifically, I talk about how to download a report that shows search data, map analytics and even foot traffic if you have more than one local business location.
When it comes down to it, I’ve basically made a career out of using free tools to build shit. 🙂 Seriously, Google Analytics and WordPress are the first two PERFECT examples.
Could it be that Google My Business is next?
There’s a TON of free data that can help your business within this platform. All you need is a verified listing.
But if you’re a business with more than one listing, how do you get this data from your 2-300 locations (or more) in one cumulative report.
There seems to be a lot of confusion among business owners about which SEO tactics are the lowest hanging fruit for them to tackle.
A number 1 is a verified Google My Business Listing. But even for those of you marketers (from CMOs to Small Business Owners) savvy enough to verify your listing and pay attention to the data and capabilities around it, you may have noticed that you get pinged with updates to your listing.
Where do these come from?
Well, a lot of the time they come from User Contributions. Yes, that's right, Google allows any user to make contributions to a Google My Business Listing (verified or not) and even rewards them for it.
This episode breaks it down.
Are you in college and looking for a career path? Whether or not you like sports, or are interested in a career in professional or college sports, there are some solid learnings in here for you. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with three really solid current college students that have made a wise decision to do a summer internship with a professional sports league based out of Nashville, TN. I was invited to share my story of how I made a decision at age 19 to start my career. It was fun to share my experiences and my path with the Detroit Pistons, from cleaning out closets to being trusted to keep the official scorebook for the NBA. From 100 people in the 22k seat arena to the Malice at The Palace and it's impact on my career. Please listen and enjoy!
Small Businesses want to know how to generate web traffic. SEO and blogging are still extremely effective ways to get found, and convert visitors into customers. More than 65% of Web Traffic still comes in from Google Organic Search (Blogging and SEO). In this episode of my podcast, you hear real audio from a client call about the technical side of Organic Search (Search Engine Tiles, Meta Descriptions and Schema), as well as the Strategic Content Marketing side (Blogging, Partnership Creation, Link Building and Social Media). I use a fitness analogy to break down the concept that just like getting fit is accelerated by both eating well AND working out, getting found on Google is accelerated by both having technically sound SEO strategy, and creating relevant content for your target audience and distributing effectively on a consistent basis.
What Does General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Mean For Websites? So, GDPR, huh? :) I'm thinking that you either fall into one of two camps on this.
Either you're familiar with this, or you're not.
Regardless of what camp you fall into, and regardless of if you're a small business owner, marketer, web developer or whatever, this will be one of those things that EVERYBODY will ask you what you should be doing about it.
First of all, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a law that goes into effect today in the European Union, but it effects most businesses in the world because there's always a chance that an EU citizen or business could provide you their user data through your website.
Having said that, some companies have done a better job than others at scrambling around to prepare for ensuring GDPR compliance on their digital presence.
I'm trying to keep this simple.
Here's my guide.
I was fortunate enough to attend VoiceCon in NYC, hosted by VaynerMedia. The conference focused on Digital Audio, Podcasting, Alexa Skills, Google Home Actions and more. Among the line-up of speakers were Justine Bloome (Chief Strategy Officer, VaynerMedia), Naomi Makofsky (Global Product Partnerships, Google Assistant, Google), Devin Nagy (Director, Technology and Emerging Platforms, Diageo), Mike Mignano (CEO, Anchor), Ryan MacInnis (Director of Marketing, Voysis) and Speakers: Avery Durnan (Vice President, Media Platforms, VaynerMedia), Susan Canavari (Chief Brand Officer, Chase), Gina Garrubbo (President and CEO, National Public Media), Ken Lagana (Head of Sales, Panoply).
I was able to ask a couple important questions related to advertising on podcasts, and securing your brand name within a Google Home or Alexa Skill.
In 2006, my beautiful wife Kate (sorry, I always refer to her that way, but she is a beautiful person, so I can't NOT refer to her that way :) said that she wanted to run a marathon. It was on her "bucket list."
I was totally out of shape - like 55+ pounds overweight. Seriously. I had no business training for a marathon. But I was only 25 years old, and definitely need to get off my ass and do something physical. I was a hard worker - at work for the Detroit Pistons - but long hours at the arena and traveling with the team were my excuse for eating buckets of Thai food, Pizza and totally letting myself go physically.
I'd sleep in until sometimes 9 a.m. on workdays, again, because of the late nights at the arena. I rewarded myself with junk food for "working so hard" at my job, and let's be honest, it's fun having an "eating buddy," and I was definitely Kate's eating buddy.
Here's how I went from a ridiculous 6 hour marathon time to breaking 4 hours 12 years later!
This is a special episode. Audio ripped from a phenomenal talk my wife Kate Hickey and I had with 80 high school students in Spring Hill, Tennessee about how they can start now to build their careers in marketing, engineering or any other field they might be interested. I was super pumped to have the opportunity to talk to this group of students. A must listen for anyone with a high school student or college student (or any high school or college student).
Over the past year, it's become increasingly clear - regular old email marketing just isn't really working that well anymore. B2B marketers that bought lists back in 2007-2010 and mass emailed prospects to try and convert just aren't having the same success. Why? I break it down on this episode.
I sat down with Will Acuff, co-founder of CornerToCorner.org, an amazing non-profit in Nashville, TN that has built a successful entrepreneurship program, graduating dozens of entrepreneurs each year that are increasing revenue by 20-30%. Will is full of energy, intelligence and his passion is infectious. You can't miss this show.
It's on and poppin'... the full episode with Sloane Scott of Punching Nun Group - smarter strategic marketing - out of the Nashville / Franklin, TN area. Sloane is a digital marketing pioneer and self-proclaimed "#2" with extremely hard work ethic and amazing experience as an entrepreneur and businesswoman. She had an amazing way of articulating all the points I was trying to make in a much better way in this episode. Tell me what you think!
Sometimes, when you're seeking answers to questions about your life, business, parenting, family, the pursuit of happiness, making money or how to spend your free time, you have to simply take action and either get those answers from "successful people," "people you'd have dinner with," or you have to freaking "just do it" and see how it goes. I mean, stop dwelling on the question, and seek the answer or just do until the answer finally comes to you.
I've written recently about some life stories, and I'm going to continue to. Here's one in a little different format, transcribed from my business meeting with Gary Vaynerchuk, a man on my "Mount Rushmore."
I learned a ton from this experience, but here are three main points:
- Whoever is closest to the customer always wins
- When you hedge, you give up your leverage
- Never let anyone else dictate the outcome of your success
But I think the biggest takeaway, that I wasn't expecting, quite simply is, I learned the TRUE IMPORTANCE OF BUI
🔥🔥Episode with Emily Gold, Founder and CEO of Twice Social. The former fashion model turned social media influencer and I break down trends and news in digital media including Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Episode 37, with attorney Thallen Brassel. Did you know that whether you’re an Instagram Influencer or large corporation, you should be protecting yourself against FTC regulations related to Social Media and Digital Marketing? Attorney Thallen Brassel stopped by Data Driven Design to be a guest on the podcast. You don’t want to miss this episode!
Such a common problem in the SEO Client Services Game is a lack of communication with the client about what's really happening. Too many SEO Service Providers simply send a report every month and don't communicate. This is the easy way out, and the quick way to recurring revenue for the provider, but provides no value and is a complete rip off for the client. The client needs to know exactly how the SEO Services are helping their business and what's being done tactically to drive quality web traffic on a consistent basis.
Why have Black Friday and Cyber Monday basically become blatant invitations to unsubscribe from email lists? I examine the data and the psychology behind this, as well as what brands and small businesses should be doing throughout the year to avoid falling into this trap.
Is Keyword Ranking really as important as you think it is? This episode talks about why the actions and formula behind driving Keyword rankings are way more important to driving business than the Keyword rankings themselves. You have a business for a reason, let’s focus on that!