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 Alexa Skills, 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!
Data Driven Daily Tip 316 - The data shows that WordPress is the number one most used content management system in the world, according to Wappalyzer. :)
Yoast SEO is a plug-in that has more than 5 million active installations. That means this video blog post is worth my time. :)
Many businesses will have this problem with WordPress, Yoast SEO and Google Search Console. It's a weird quirk in one of the latest releases of Yoast (Yoast has multiple release updates weekly - and we keep all of our webhosting clients on the most current version).
When you submit a sitemap via Yoast SEO, the Category and Tag URLs aren't indexing properly, and are causing a coverage error in Google Search Console. The fix, is super easy. Listen. And you're welcome. :)
As you may know by now from following my content, I'm very passionate about using Alexa and other voice assistants like Google Home, for business use.
I'm also passionate about teaching all other businesses how they can become more efficient and effective, as well as reach their target audience better via Alexa, Google Home, other voice assistants and even podcasting.
But why Alexa so much? How many people use Alexa? How many businesses use Alexa?
What is the most used Voice Assistant?
What are the trends? Well, we have to give props to Voicebot.ai for these great stats around Amazon Alexa.
As of January 2019, Amazon Alexa makes up 62% of the Smart Speaker Market, with Google Home at 24%.
Watch the video for more of the stats we see as relevant and why.
Also, according to SEO Tribunal - More than 50% of searches will be voice searches by 2020.
and...Business.com, VoiceCon by VaynerMedia and Dave Isbitski of Amazon Alexa for these great stats around Alexa For Business.
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 90,000 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 podcast 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.
Whether you realize it now, or realize it years from now, your business needs an Alexa Skill. If not to reach your target audience, then to do business more efficiently and improve operations.
A year or so ago I found a tool called "Storyline." It promised building Custom Alexa Skills without coding. It didn't work.
In the last year, it has rebranded to Voiceflow and now works like a charm. Other Data Driven Daily Tips show how to use Voiceflow to create and test your Alexa Skill.
But when it came down to actually publishing the skill live to the Alexa Skill Store, I still wasn't ready to throw a party. But it worked, and now I am not only throwing parties, but I'm challenging myself to build at least one new Alexa Skill for business per week.
What is Voice User Interface Design or VUI? It's a new buzz word in the design world, and it has to do with thinking through and planning out the user experience related to a voice-based application, like an Alexa Skill, Google Home Action or a Chat bot of some kind.
While I suppose it could include AI (artificial intelligence), it actually really just can start with designing the experience behind a simple scripted conversation with the user.
A really nice software platform to build custom Alexa Skills and Google Home Actions (in Beta) without coding is Voiceflow.
Voiceflow has a great testing capability, where you can easily run through simulations and conversational scenarios to experience your Alexa Skill or Google Home Action before you publish it.
The Alexa Skills Developer Console also has a really cool testing feature. After you publish from Voiceflow to the Alexa Skills Developer Console, you can validate that it will work with Alexa by using your microphone and saying actual prompts, and hearing Alexa's reply.
What is Voice User Interface Design or VUI? It's a new buzz word in the design world, and it has to do with thinking through and planning out the user experience related to a voice-based application, like an Alexa Skill, Google Home Action or a Chat bot of some kind.
While I suppose it could include AI (artificial intelligence), it actually really just can start with designing the experience behind a simple scripted conversation with the user.
A really nice software platform to build custom Alexa Skills and Google Home Actions (in Beta) without coding is Voiceflow.
In this video, I explain/show how to use Voiceflow to design and create an Alexa Skill without coding.
This episode is me getting PUMPED on an Instagram Story about the launch of a shiny new Alexa Flash Briefing for entrepreneur Danielle McGee and her business Black Business Boom, highlighting Black-owned Businesses in Middle Tennessee. Enjoy!
Hey Alexa, Open Nashville Voice Conference.
The Nashville Voice Conference has launched the first ever Alexa Skill dedicated to communicating with attendees of an upcoming event, as well as speakers, staff and media.
“I believe we are the first, but I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong!” said Paul Hickey, Founder of Nashville Voice Conference and CEO/Founder of Data Driven Design.
“If you’re an attendee, a facilitator, staff working the event or media, you can actually go to Talk.NashvilleVoiceConference.com and interact with the Nashville Voice Conference Alexa Skill to find out key information about the event as well as personalized assignments.”
Do you know what Alexa For Business is? Do you know what a custom Alexa Skill is? You probably only think of Alexa for playing music at home or playing games, but you need to think of it for your business. Specifically, how you can train your large organization using a custom Alexa Skill only available to particular employees of your company. Listen in. I promise it's good.
Do you know what Alexa For Business is? Do you know what a custom Alexa Skill is? You probably only think of Alexa for playing music at home or playing games, but you need to think of it for your business. Specifically, how you can train your large sales force using a custom Alexa Skill only available to particular employees of your company. Listen in. I promise it's good.
This is the fully detailed, step-by-step version of Episode 214.
Starting from nothing, in Segment 1, I show you how to create a Gmail account.
In Segment 2, I show you how to use that Gmail account to create an Anchor.fm account, then create your podcast, your first episode, and get your podcast published on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more.
In Segment 3, I show you how to find your Anchor.fm RSS feed, create an Amazon Alexa Skills Developer Account, and submit your Anchor.fm RSS feed as your Alexa Flash Briefing Skill feed.
In Segment 4, I show you how to validate, test, and submit your Flash Briefing Skill to the Alexa Skills Store, and how to have you and your customers/clients/audience add it to your live device.
I had no idea if building my first Alexa Skill was going to work. But it did. Like a freaking charm.
It never happens like that. And when it does, it kind of feels like serendipity.
There are already more than 40,000 Alexa Skills in the Alexa Skills Store within the Alexa App (how you set up / customize your Echo, Echo Dot or other Alexa-enabled device like the Roav VIVA or Sonos Speaker), but now the Data Driven Daily Tip is in the mix.
While future posts will explain why the heck I’m spending time doing this, this post is all about “HOW TO ADD MY BRAND SPANKING NEW ALEXA FLASH BRIEFING SKILL TO YOUR DAILY ALEXA ARSENAL.”
But first, we can definitely review. Chances are, even if you have some familiarity with this space, you’re still asking yourself What The Heck Is An Alexa Flash Briefing? Read below from an earlier blog of mine.
But there’s also a kind of Skill that many content companies and media companies use that is much simpler and more common during this infancy of Voice.
And as you can imagine, these have my attention. These Skills are called “Flash Briefings.”
Top Flash Briefing skills include Wall Street Journal, Cheddar, CNBC and Fox News.
But even brands like the NBA have Flash Briefing skills.
What’s cool about Flash Briefings is that, as a user, you can customize your own.
For example, mine could be “weather in Spring Hill, Tennessee,” “Top Tech News from TechCrunch.,” “MLB Schedule Today,” and “Gary Vee 365.”
You customize your own by heading to your Alexa app, tapping the hamburger menu then, Settings, then Flash Briefing.
So now, you can get my Data Driven Daily Tip on Alexa. Here’s how.
1. Open your Alexa app on your phone.
2. Tap the hamburger menu on the top left, tap “Skills & Games”
3. Search for “Data Driven”
4. See this screen, and click “ENABLE.”
5. Once the Skill is enabled, tab the Hamburger Menu Again, then “Settings” then scroll down to “Alexa Preferences” and tab “Flash Briefing.”
6. This is how your Flash Briefing will play in order when you say “Alexa, Play My Flash Briefing” or “Alexa, What’s In The News?” Make sure Data Driven Daily Tip Plays First!
In this special edition of the Data Driven Daily Tip Podcast, I talk through an important concept that all business owners and entrepreneurs need to fully understand - the Minimum Viable Product.
The tendency when building a software application or even a website, is to try to include everything all at once. To prioritize everything, which basically means you're prioritizing nothing.
How do you build something that is basic enough for your initial beta user group to test, and what is the benefit of this vs. trying to build everything all at once.
I explain in this podcast. Also, keep listening past the sponsored reads, and hear the special FULL version of my interview with Amazon Alexa's Chief Evangelist, Dave Isbitski.
I love WordPress, because you don't have to be a hardcore web developer to do cool, tricky stuff, like make a main navigation menu link open in a modal window, also known as a lightbox.
How To Make A WordPress Main Menu Navigation Link Open In A Lightbox
In this video, I show WordPress Content Managers how to implement this sweet functionality free of charge, by using two plug-ins, one called Popup Anything, and another called Shortcode in Menus.
Check it out. Thanks for watching and listening and have a great day!
Small Business Owners and Marketers, are you looking to have a form on your website that gathers email addresses that you later want to turn around and send automated or manual email marketing campaigns to?
An amazing trio of tools is Mailchimp with WordPress + the Gravity Forms Plug-in.
Gravity Forms offers dozens of add-ons for email marketing platforms, including our favorite - Mailchimp.
This podcast shows you how to connect, integrate, hook-up, whatever you want to call it - the WordPress Gravity Forms Mailchimp Add-On with your account's Mailchimp API, allowing you to drop email address submissions from your website directly into the list you want!
I've used just about every single WordPress website hosting platform available, and recently switched to WPEngine after five years with GoDaddy Managed WordPress.
GoDaddy just had too many issues with server space, and was super slow, going down too often, and allowing too many "known issues" to take place.
And at one point, GoDaddy even deleted one of my sites for no reason.
The switch to WPEngine has proved to be the right move, among other things, the ability to use back-up points to swap across environments.
In this Data Driven Daily Tip, I walk through how to launch a new website in from development in a Transferrable environment (free of charge) to a production environment. Pretty tricky and cool.
On a rare occasion, you may not have access to an old Google Analytics account, but you're the one responsible for making sure that tracking code from the old website gets on the newly launched website.
Or, you already launched the website and forgot. How do you go back and get your Google Analytics Tracking Code once your new site has launched?
How do you find Google Analytics Tracking Code without having access to the original account?
This video shows you how.
Anyone with a website likely doesn’t think about verifying it with Google Search Console, let alone Bing Webmaster Tools, but even though Bing only makes up 5% or less of organic search related web traffic (according to our Data Download), it’s still super important to gain search engine visibility on Bing via verifying your website and submitting a sitemap. This video shows you how!
While it's true (the proof is in the data) that Bing only makes up about five or less percent of all organic web searches (ways that your web users find your website via SEO / organic search), it is still important to rank highly on Bing, and have solid search engine visibility on Bing, which is why, after verifying all sites on Bing Webmasters, we also take the extra 5-6 seconds to "Fetch as Bing Bot."
Fetching as Bing Bot allows us to ensure two things:
1. That Bing sees our site and indexes it
2. Analyze the code that Bing spits back to us to ensure it looks the way we want it to look to not only Bing, but also potentially Google
This video explains more.
Attention Marketers and Small Business Owners - did you know you may be missing out on learning valuable information about your web users by not having your Demographics and Interest Reports Enabled?
By just toggling one switch in Google Analytics that takes about three seconds, you can start to aggregate data on who your web users are; how old they are, what kinds of websites they like to visit, what their hobbies and interests are and more.
But it's critical to do this as soon as you have Google Analytics installed on your website as you cannot gather retroactive data.
This video shows you how to enable demographics and interest reports in Google Analytics.
Have you ever Google'd your business, then wondered why you're looking at search results on the right hand side of the page that have nothing to do with your business at all?
Like if your address is being used for someone else's business, or if it is your business, with incorrect information?
If you're thinking what I'm thinking, this definitely has to do with your Google My Business listing. But why would someone else's listing show when you Google YOUR BUSINESS? Your name? Your address? Someone else's business information?
Here's what you can do.
Digital Marketers, Small Business Owners and Web Developers, you may all be wondering the same thing (and based on the amount of questions, comments and feedback I get regarding Google Analytics and Google Ads, there's a good chance you probably are) ...
Why aren't my conversions showing in Google Ads? Specifically, they are showing in Google Analytics but NOT Google Ads.
Well, the answer may surprise you - Google doesn't automatically show them in both places, even when your accounts are linked. You actually have to go into Google Ads and import your Google Analytics Conversions. This podcast explains how!
Have you recently tried to find your sitemap in your WordPress Website using Yoast SEO, but can't find it anywhere?
Recent plug-in updates to Yoast have changed where this is located and it's not easy to find anymore.
This video shows you how to find it. The importance of it is so that you can submit the sitemap URL to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
Data Driven Daily Tip 300 - Google Analytics Accounts are free with GSuite and with regular Gmail accounts. To activate yours, go to analytics.google.com and log in with your credentials. With your email account, you'll get access to 100 different Google Analytics Accounts.
But if you're like me, those fill up fast. There's an easy way to free up accounts. Don't delete them! You can remove your own access without hurting the account itself. Here's how.
At Data Driven Design, we love change. It's our sixth differentiator. And it's a good thing we do, because Google is changing Google Search Console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools) all of the time. It used to be that you had to verify your domains for each domain prefix, www., http://, https:// etc., but now, there is a new feature called "Domain Properties" that takes care of all of them at once.
This is now highly recommended, but the verification process is different than before. You need to create a TXT record in your DNS settings now. It's simple to do, but can take up to 10-12 hours to propagate and for Google to see the verification. This video shows you how to verify your site with Google as a Domain Property.
I don't get hit with a lot of spam on my WordPress forms, to be honest, but some websites do, big time. And believe me, I know first hand that small business owners have no time to deal with spam from their new WordPress websites.
For a service provider like Data Driven Design and other agencies, spam can ruin the client experience, leaving a bad taste in their mouth, which is why this Data Driven Daily Tip talks about one of my favorite WordPress plug-ins, Gravity Forms, and how to implement Google reCAPTCHA once your site has gone live.
A common use case for Web Designers and Developers to need to figure out a client's old IP address after maybe not planning for it, would be something like trying to bring back a clients old website to take a look at the content after pointing the A Record to the new site.
Or, if you're like me, a couple weeks ago, I actually went in during the middle of the night to migrate a client's website, and pointed the WRONG A RECORD! Whoops.
I needed to retrace my steps, but hadn't documented what I was doing. So I needed to figure out how to get the old IP address.
Thank goodness I found SecurityTrails.com and brought their website back up immediately, as shown in this video.
In a recent Data Driven Design Q and A session with followers, I was asked, "how can my business build a Facebook Messenger Bot?"
While it's a great question, if you've never built a Facebook Messenger Bot, or managed a chat bot before, I'd recommend starting by utilizing Facebook Ads' ability to place a Facebook Ad with a Messenger Objective that has the ability to add an automated Bot reply.
This article shows you how to do it, and it's a good place to start, because you can target an audience, spend $15, have a quick automated conversation set up with people who engage with the ad, and see how well it works for your business.
One question I've been asked a ton recently, and seemingly 40% of all web projects is about adding an automated chat feature to a website.
1. Paul, does it work?
2. Paul, how should we do it?
The answer to the first question is, yes, it CAN work, but you have to nurture it just like your other digital marketing and customer service initiatives in order for it to work.
For example, an office receptionist can work, if he does his job well, paying attention to people who walk in, asking them immediately how he can help, offering them something to drink, asking about how their day is going, and then directing them to the right place, and even occasionally asking them for their contact information so they can follow up.
If you treat your chat bot initiative on your website in this manner, it can be one of the greatest customer acquisition tools in the history of digital.
However, if your office admin (in this analogy), is NEVER at his desk - always off doing something else - and when he actually is sitting at his desk he's too busy to look up from his computer, your chat bot initiative will FAIL.
To answer question 2, I'm fond of a third party service called TIDIO.com.
One of the things about having a WordPress website is that there are several factors that control your website's health, well-being and performance.
One of them that controls your site's compatibility with Plug-ins - among other things - is the version of PHP that you're running.
Now, if you've been on a Managed WordPress host like GoDaddy, BlueHost, HostGator or even WPEngine for several years, there's a good chance your website is running an older version of PHP, like 5.0 or 5.2.
WPEngine is the only host that is requiring updates, allowing you to test on a one click staging environment, and identifying incompatible plug-ins that will break once they upgrade your site.
But GoDaddy Managed WordPress makes it easy to upgrade as well.
This video shows you how.
A super interesting question popped up during one of our recent Data Driven Academy Live Access Sessions. Member Kelly Savoca of CottonandMoss.com asked, I'm thinking of only picking two social media outlets to go deep into putting content out on, due to time constraints, which two should I pick between FB, Insta and Pinterest.
Listen to our answer here.
Pinterest has an advertising platform with the ability to run ads and sponsor pins, but the greatest and most powerful thing we've seen when analyzing web data on Pinterest is that simply being active on the platform drives traffic from your Pinterest page to your website.
We explain in this video taken during a Data Driven Academy Live Access Session - www.datadrivenacademy.org.
Pinterest is an often overlooked platform as it relates to garnering web traffic and driving conversions for brands. But if your company is creating content for platforms like Instagram and Facebook, the reward of also creating a version for Pinterest should definitely be worth the time.
We discuss further in this audio from our Data Driven Academy Live Access session - www.datadrivenacademy.org
There's no coincidence that I'm posting this on YouTube and embedding it in my website. :)
Kelly Savoca of CottonandMoss.com asked a great question in a recent http://datadrivenacademy.org Live Access Session for Data Driven Academy Members.
Should I be using YouTube or Vimeo to embed videos in my website?
Her concern was related to the "suggested videos" at the end of YouTube Videos. Check out my answer. It's pretty compelling.
One of our principles at Data Driven Design is "don't overthink it."
Many small businesses, marketers and content strategists totally over think their content.
How many words does it have to be? How many photos does it have to have?
Who cares? None of that matters. The only thing that matters is POST FREQUENCY!
Find more ways to increase the frequency of your posts and blogs.
Watch this video for tangible tips on how to do this.
It will increase your web traffic when you execute. The proof is in the data.
In this fun interaction with Kelly Savoca from CottonandMoss.com during one of our http://datadrivenacademy.org members live access sessions, Kate Hickey and I debate whether or not your content actually NEEDS photos.
I highly recommend you listen! :)
Did you know that the data says in order to get conversions on your website, your visitors need to return anywhere from 3-5 times?
This means, if you think you're going to sell people products or services the first time they visit your website, you're sorely mistaken.
As a result, you need to implement many strategies to get people coming back to your website, among them, deploying Facebook Ads to people who have visited your website in the last 30, 60, 90 days.
This is also known as Facebook Remarketing, and this video shows you how to set create remarketing audiences in Facebook Ads Manager.
Taken from a live access session of http://datadrivenacademy.org.
Believe it or not, starting a new eCommerce website and getting conversions is one of the hardest things to do. Improving your website design and functionality is only about 20% of the battle.
Assuming the product(s) you're selling is/are good and there's a market for them, you'll now need to begin the battle of building enough awareness for your brand to drive enough web traffic to your site, then eventually convert that web traffic.
The data shows you'll need at least 100 unique visitors per day, and to keep them coming back 3-5 times to finally start to see some eCommerce conversions.
Depending on your time and budget, this can take years.
I break it down in this video for www.DataDrivenAcademy.org members.
This video is from the Data Driven Academy - http://datadrivenacademy.org - live access session with myself, Kate Hickey (digital strategist at Data Driven Design) and Kelly Savoca, owner of CottonandMoss.com (and Data Driven Academy Member). In this video, we discuss what a good cost per click on Facebook Ads is.
Regardless of the size of your organization, WordPress is an amazing Content Management System to fit your needs. Not only is everything possible from a design and functionality standpoint, but hosting is streamlined and secure on several easy to use platforms.
Perhaps one critical component that gets overlooked in WordPress is just how easy it is to update content everywhere. It's a MAJOR plus and selling point of the platform, and regardless of if you have 2 people or 200 people who have Admin access to your site, you may want the ability to limit what certain people can access and change.
In this video, I demonstrate how to use the "User Role Editor" plug-in - https://wordpress.org/plugins/user-ro... - to essentially limit and somewhat customize Admin access levels and permissions in your WordPress site!
WordPress Designers and Developers are capable of making almost anything happen from a User Experience Design perspective, but sometimes fancy things cost extra money and time. Fancy things, for example, like having an animated GIF be an alternate rollover image or "hover state" for a regular image. So when you hover your cursor over it, and alternate image shows of it moving.
But I've found a way to implement this within my favorite WordPress theme, Enfold. Using the Code Block element in Enfold, paste this code in...
https://datadriven.design/product/skin-test-1/"><img onmouseover="this.src='https://datadriven.design/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/balm_dotcom_cherry_hover.gif';" onmouseout="this.src='https://datadriven.design/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-16-at-7.38.18-AM.png';" src="https://datadriven.design/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-16-at-7.38.18-AM.png" alt="what-ever-you-like" />
Then replace the URLs of your images in the media gallery like I show in the video on this page.
Now, the reason I set out to do this was for a WooCommerce product grid that a client wanted to try to achieve. There is a plug-in called "Product Flipper" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhhzbaK_Fvg - but that wouldn't work for me, because I needed the GIF to animate. Product Flipper is great for a regular hover state, but not for an animated hover state like my solution.
So in Enfold, simply create your own product grid like I do in this video using the different elements including "Code Block" to display your products. This way, you can also control what gets shown on mobile.
WordPress Content Managers and Marketers and Small Business Owners who use WordPress may need this tip. And even experienced developers and Website Builders should know about it.
For any free plug-in downloaded via the WordPress Admin, such WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, My Custom Functions, Header and Footer Scripts Inserter, Use Any Font (all of which are plug-ins we use often), as well as hundreds of thousands more, there is an easy way to roll back to previous versions.
Why would you want to roll back? Well, plug-in updates are 99% of the time good, but 1% of the time can cause things on your website to break. You may deactivate plug-ins to to determine which one(s) caused the issue, but that still leaves you without the intended functionality that the earlier version of the plug-in brought to the table. This is where WP Rollback - yet another plug-in whose sole purpose is to let the WordPress Admin (aka - you) rollback to previous versions of other plug-ins. This plug-in has saved me a couple times, as you can imagine - since we manage hundreds of client sites here at Data Driven Design.
What is "Advanced Floating Content?" Well, it's the name of an amazing WordPress plug-in, and it's a great way of describing content that can be added to a WordPress site to either float, animate, or stick in place as a user scrolls your website.
It can be used to create any number of design features, including Lead Generation overlays, Calls to action that stick as your user scrolls, and even links to your company's phone number that follow your user around your website.
But more than that, the Plug-in, Advanced Floating Content, is $23 on Envato Market, and is worth every penny.
You can style it to make it look exactly like your web design, with gradients, borders, images, and you can control the exact placement on all devices in a pixel perfect manner, with NO CODING.
I'm all about this. In this video, I show you a couple examples of what you can do with this plug-in, and how to get started using it!
Happy marketing and web designing peeps!
Here is the link to Advanced Floating Content.
Data Driven Daily Tip 291. As a marketer, haven't you ever wanted to make your content more personal to your audience? The data says that the more you can personalize your content and make it relevant to the user reading it, the better you can increase your engagement and conversion rates.
As, such, I've found the least complicated way to display unique content to your audience based on geolocation.
In the past, this would have either had to have been done via some complex coding or via an expensive third party tool like Visual Website Optimizer.
Now, using WPEngine's GeoTargeting Capabilities, you can create an account with WPEngine and upgrade your account for $150 for the year, to get access to a premium plug-in called WP Geo-IP, that allows you to use shortcodes to only show content to particular geographic regions such as cities, states, zips and countries.
In this video, I break down exactly how to do this, and use an example where I only want to promote the Nashville Voice Conference on our website to people in the State of Tennessee.
Data Drives Design. The Proof Is In The Data. Data Over Opinions. Stop wondering how your business is doing. Google Analytics is powerful stuff.
Here's how I get my Google Analytics, and how you should too.
Spend 10-15 minutes (or 30) a month looking at Audience, Acquisition and Behavior reports.
I asked Amazon Alexa Skills Marketing Employee #1 Dave Isbitski about Alexa Blueprints. What are they? Essentially they're a way to use a free, visual dashboard to create your own Alexa Skill. This is something all businesses should be aware of.
What is an Alexa Blueprint?
Dave says “one of the things I’m most excited about that has been happening in the last 18 months or so are Alexa Blueprints.”
You can go to https://blueprints.amazon.com and create an Alexa Skill in minutes.
Blueprints is a visual tool for creating a Skill. Now you can share them and publish them to the Alexa Skills Store for anyone to download and use. This can be a great tool for brands and businesses to connect with customers.
So an Alexa Blueprint is a visual tool for creating an Alexa Skill. Brilliant.
You may have previously read some of my blogs about GoDaddy Webhosting. They have an amazing managed migration tool, as well as the ability to spin up development / staging servers, however, the Proof is in the Data, WPEngine has better Uptime and Speed than GoDaddy Managed WordPress.
Both solutions are "Managed WordPress" which means you don't need to be a Web Developer or WordPress Developer to manage your webhosting, from set up, to back-ups to staging environments and SSL, it's all taken care of for you.
We are solutions providers at Data Driven Design, and the data is starting to tell us after 3-4 years of hosting our clients' websites on GoDaddy Managed WordPress, that it may be time to upgrade to WPEngine.
WPEngine costs significantly more, and we're willing to eat that cost for our clients to have a better experience. As a result, I wanted to show all of you out there how to migrate your WordPress sites to WPEngine.
I hope this helps!
Attention Marketers and Small Business Owners: the data is overwhelming that you should not bombard users with pop-ups that prompt them for their email addresses upon immediately accessing your website.
To many it feels intrusive. They've visited you, and you're already asking them for something. Gross.
BUT, there is a web design / digital marketing tactic that the data says works EXTREMELY well, that is non-intrusive.
If you've ever been to a website, browsed around for a minute or three, then moved your mouse to close out that browser tab or enter another URL into the address bar, there is a slight chance that you are prompted at that moment - the moment you try to exit the site - for your email address.
This, my friends, is called an "Exit Intent" pop-up, and this video shows you how to install one on your WordPress website.
Things you'll need:
1. A WordPress Website
2. The Pop-Up Builder Plug-in for WordPress
3. The Gravity Forms Plug-in for WordPress
We always say that high school kids can build websites. Why would a small business or mid size brand with a small marketing team pay a professional team like Data Driven Design to do it for them? This is one of the many reasons why. We are thinking about how to help you use data to grow your business and acquire new customers.
The physical act of launching a website is kind of like changing the oil in one's car. It's SUPER EASY if you've done it multiple times, or do it every day, like a Quick Lube place or something. But it can be really intimidating, nerve wracking and even scary if you've never done it before.
And just like the possibility that you put the wrong kind of oil in your car, there's always the possibility that you look in the wrong spot for your DNS settings, which most times are hosted in the spot as your domain name, but not all the time.
Case in point, Cloudflare and GoDaddy. Your domain name and maybe even Webhosting, might be with GoDaddy, but your DNS settings might be with Cloudflare.
This video explains the how to launch your website if this is in fact your scenario.
In this episode of the Data Driven Daily Tip, I get super passionate about Marketers and Small Business Owners getting into their Google Analytics accounts and understanding what’s happening with their web data to make data driven decisions.
While I’ve put out plenty of content in the last few years about what business owners and marketers should look at in Google Analytics (in just 30 minutes a month you can make a huge difference), this Data Driven Daily Tip makes it even easier to check your web data.
1. It’s about how to set up automated email alerts from Google Analytics Web Properties.
You can get your web traffic updates sent directly to you.
2. I talk about our new Alexa Skill called Ask Data Driven Design, where you can now just ask Alexa how your web traffic is doing.
Now there’s even less of an excuse to know how your website is performing!
What Is Alexa For Business?
“While Alexa was started as a Consumer Product, it has evolved into a couple different areas.
Business Skills, like the one Data Driven Design has built to allow clients to ask Alexa how their web traffic is doing…
Skills that are only available to employees of a particular business. This is what Alexa For Business is.”
Alexa For Business gives the IT department of companies a way to manage and control access to a company’s internal only Alexa Skill or suite of Skills to employees that need/want access.
Can An Alexa Skill BE A BUSINESS, or Should It Be An Extension of a Pre-existing Business?
From my interview with Amazon Alexa's Chief Evangelist Dave Isbitski
It can be either for sure.
1. Account Linking – businesses can use their existing APIs and accounting systems, etc. to link up with a voice-based Alexa Skill. That’s how something like ordering a Pizza online works. The user already has an account, the user just says it, and the Pizza company with the Alexa Skill just charges through their pre-existing system.
2. Amazon Pay Integration – small businesses can sell things online and use Amazon Pay.
Dave adds: “what’s interesting about the Amazon Pay Integration is meeting your customer in the moment. Let’s say I have a podcast about running shoes, and I could say on the podcast “would you like to buy these right now for 50% off on Amazon.”
3. In-Skill Purchasing – Games do this, selling power-ups and turns, etc.
“Another interesting example is working maybe with an age demographic that skews higher,” Dave says. “Let’s say your business fields a lot of calls, and it’s a huge cost center for your business, when in fact, if they could just talk to you, that would completely solve it!”
Perhaps the most interesting part of the conversation for me, happened when Dave started talking about the fact that current data and analytics from websites and mobile devices are only really based around what the brand or business has allowed the customer to do.
“The top three things users do in my mobile app are these things. Right, because those are some of the only things you’ve allowed them to do. With Alexa, it’s different, you can get data around what they’re asking you about. For example, you may give your customers 100 different conversation paths. When you see a drop off at a certain point, you know your customers were looking for something that wasn’t there. You learn as you go, and you improve, in a very different way than with web and mobile apps.”
As always, the proof is in the data. Your business will need an Alexa Skill sooner than you think, which is why Data Driven Design is bringing the first ever Voice Conference to Nashville.
LEARN HOW TO IMPLEMENT ALEXA SKILLS, GOOGLE HOME ACTIONS AND PODCASTING TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS MORE EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE.
43% – the lift businesses see nine months after launching an Alexa-enabled product
53% - the percent boost businesses see on average almost immediately after incorporating an Alexa Skill into their current product
54% - the percent of professionals surveyed that say they’d use Alexa in the workplace to increase productivity
30,000+ - the number of Alexa Skills globally
50 million+ - the number of smart speaker users in the world; increasing 15% each month
Find out more at NashvilleVoiceConference.com
Have you ever scheduled a post in WordPress that didn’t go live? Maybe you were on vacation and scheduled a blog post, and then when you checked, there was a “Missed Schedule” message next to it?
It’s happened to me frequently, but not consistently.
Basically, it has happened randomly. And thanks to http://dominiquej.com/wordpress-misse… , I finally know why.
One of our clients experienced this problem, and after looking into it, we’ve found the solution!
Using one of these two plug-ins should do the trick.
I explain in this audio.
Alexa Skills are starting to make more and more sense for any kind of business to have. Data Driven Design is getting asked to brainstorm how many of our clients can partake in building a voice-based extension of their product or service to be available on Alexa, Google Home, and other "smart speakers."
A great question recently came in from a subscriber, who is a Wedding Singer. He wants to know how his business could benefit from a custom Alexa Skill.
I took the opportunity to answer his question in our weekly Q&A session, live on Facebook at 9:15 a.m. ET on Mondays.
During one of our weekly Data Driven Q and A sessions with partners and clients, Gaye Lynn Wilson, VP of National Pro Fastpitch, asked a great question - how should our business leverage TikTok to promote an upcoming event?
In this case the event she was referencing is the 2019 NPF Draft, scheduled for April 15 in Nashville, TN.
First of all, to set the stage for my answer, I talk about TikTok. What is it, exactly? Well, if you had heard of the lip syncing app Musical.ly, TikTok purchased Musical.ly and now basically is Musical.ly.
TikTok, according to Variety and courtesy of FangDigital.com, has more than 80 million US users, and almost 800 million users when you include its international audience.
And if you remember the six second video app Vine, TikTok is like Vine, combined with Carpool Karaoke (a short on the Late Late Show with James Corden).
Service providers, like Dentist - Dr. Chithra Durgam DDS have used Musical.ly, now TikTok to promote their businesses, and Sports and Entertainment companies like NPF can definitely leverage their assets in terms of players, mascots, cheer squads, coaches, etc. to create short, fun videos with music that are relevant to their brand.
The example I talk about in this video refers to using the players "at bat" song or future "at bat" song, in the case of NPF draftees, and having them create short music videos where they lip sync to their future at bat song.
What I don't mention in the video is that it could also be used to take highlights and simply chop them up in post production to make them shorter, like top 10 plays, but only showing 1-2 seconds of each play.
I think the biggest thing to remember though is that leveraging TikTok is just like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Pinterest and others.... IT'S ABOUT CREATING THE CONTENT CONSISTENTLY and making it relevant and native to the audience on each platform.
It's not about simply "being on a platform to check the box." It's about meeting your audience where they are, with a message that's relevant to them and doing it consistently over the long term.
The actual question is:
How can you repurpose your current content to consistently make it relevant to an audience on TikTok that you're ready to engage with over the next 24-36 months?
For almost three years I've been making Data Driven Daily Tips, useful pieces of information for Small Business Owners and Small Marketing Teams to learn Web Design and Development, Digital Marketing, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Blogging, Content Creation, Instagram Growth Strategies and more.
There are almost 300 "DDD Tips" now, and they've taken many forms. Originally shot on Instagram Stories and saved down and uploaded to YouTube, and reposted in blog form on the website with written transcriptions, the "tip" has now evolved into a simulcast YouTube Video and Podcast with audio ripped down and published via Anchor.fm. The YouTube video now is post edited into IGTV format requirements to ensure omnipresence on all socials, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Medium.com
This latest version of the "tip" is a first. It's our first with a guest. And this guest is an important one, so we took about 45 minutes together via Zoom Conference. Myself from my office in Valencia, Spain, and Dave Isbitski, Chief Evangelist for Alexa at Amazon and Alexa Marketing Employee #1, I assume from his office in Seattle.
Here are the main highlights of our conversation:
On helping brands figure out "what does this all mean?" - "Alexa is not a smart speaker revolution, it's about connecting with your customers."
Talking about what it's like to help build a community of Alexa Developers via the Alexa Developers Console and the Alexa Skills Kit. Also, the Alexa Voice Service. -
Alexa Voice Service is where you put Alexa into things. This can be done with Windows machines, Sonos speakers, Cars, Headphones, Homes, etc. So Alexa Voice Service basically extends the amount of Alexa-enabled devices that exist. Right now, I think of Echos and Echo Dots as Alexa-enabled devices.
This is a great Web Design and Development tip for anyone with a WordPress website who wants to add fonts to their theme.
Downloading a Google Font and adding it to your WordPress theme is super easy with a plug-in called Use Any Font. This video shows you exactly how to ensure your branding is on point by not limiting to your WordPress fonts to the ones already in your theme.
Add more fonts to your WordPress theme easily!
A while back, I posted a Data Driven Daily Tip on How To Hyperlink Directly To A Timestamp On A YouTube Video. It garnered solid feedback as one of my more "practical" and "useful" tips for anyone, regardless of role, probably because it crosses over outside of business, and into the mainstream of "anyone who ever wants to share a particular part of a YouTube video."
But one of the pieces of feedback I received was "I think an even greater tip would be explaining how to embed your youtube video in a website, and then, create a (text) timestamp on your website, when a user clicks on that timestamp on the webpage, the video skips to that time in the embedded video" - so here is my version of that.
Google My Business is a little known platform. Even the most savvy marketers overlook it constantly. It probably gets a bad wrap, as it used to be Google Places and Google Plus, but Google has given it a ton of credence in terms of SEO value for businesses that have verified listings.
In fact, businesses that post consistently on Google My Business get a HUGE SEO BOOST - the proof is in the data.
But this Data Driven Daily Tip is extremely utilitarian. If you're a Small Business Owner or a member of a Small Marketing Team, you should be collaborating on Google My Business, allowing teammates to post for you, add photos to your page, update your information and look at the data.
Here is how to add users to your Google My Business Account.
Back in the day (like 2005-2017), Google Adwords made it pretty hard and confusing to create accounts that allowed agencies or companies to manage multiple Google Adwords Accounts under one "umbrella" or "Master Client Center Account."
In fact, it was so hard to do so, that Google seemingly dumped anyone with a Gmail or Google For Business (now GSuite) account directly into a regular Google Adwords Account when they signed up for Adwords.
This then prevented them from becoming Master Client Center Accounts.
If you're confused on what I'm talking about, picture logging into a Google Ads Account and only being able to manage your own account.
A Master Client Center Account, now called Google Ads Manager Accounts, allows you to manage multiple Google Ads Accounts, meaning you can have multiple payment methods on file, and collaborate with other people managing the same account.
With the current version of Google Adwords, called Google Ads, not only do you not get stuck in a regular Google Ads account when you sign up, but you can even retroactively make your account a manager account.
This podcast, and this link, explain how.
Small Business Owners need to understand the importance of local business listings. In the entire history of the internet, any business has been listed on thousands of directories, whether they want to or not.
The reality is that much of that information is inaccurate. From phone numbers to addresses to hours of operation and web URLs.
Not only is this a detriment to the business owner, but this inaccurate information actually hurts your Google SEO ranking. Google's algorithm crawls the local business directory sites and ranks websites with consistent information higher than those without consistent information (well, let's just say accurate and CONSISTENT information increases your business' chances of ranking high on Google.
From Yelp, to FourSquare to Facebook to WAZE to Bing to many others, there are tools like Moz Local and Yext that "clean up" your local business listings via one time submissions.
This isn't the whole puzzle, as Google My Business is still the biggest piece. But behind Google My Business, I highly recommend Small Business Owners and marketers with many local listings consider Yext or Moz local.
If your business wants to create a blog or news feed that users can subscribe to via email, this is the best way to do it.
You'll need the following:
1. A WordPress Website
2. A Ton of Content (blogs/news articles)
3. A Mailchimp account
Many WordPress RSS plug-ins aren't supported anymore, but all WordPress sites have an automatic built in RSS feed at domainname.com/feed
Mailchimp has a special RSS to Email feature you can use to send updates to your lists automatically on your schedule after you make new posts to your WordPress site.
Every business wants to run ads that work. Every marketer wants to generate sales or leads via ads. As such, my job is to constantly test and try various types of digital marketing tactics.
I've run just about every different type of Facebook Ad that exists, five times over in the last three years.
Well, just when I start believing that, Facebook adds something new.
Here is how to create a Facebook Ad (or boosted post - it works for either) with a Facebook Messenger objective (an ad geared towards getting Facebook users to send messages to your business) but with a Chat Bot reply that you can customize.
In other words, you can have an automated conversation with a lead from within your ad, then come back to check it later to see if it's something you should follow up on.
Why do star reviews show up in Google Search Engine Rankings? Not the ones on the right hand side of the page for Google My Business Profiles, but rather the ones in the main results.
You may have noticed more often than not, star reviews show for Facebook Business Pages or for Yelp Pages, but not as often for the actual web URL of the business (primary domain / website).
Why is this? And how can you get your reviews to show in the Search Engine Results pages under your website's hyperlink.
There are four main things to do according to hitsearchlimited.com and they all sound right to me.
I know about them, and I break them down in this video.
1. Encourage your customers to submit Google reviews
2. Sign up for a review site and start encouraging your customers and clients to review your services
3. Add the relevant schema to your website
4. Get busy improving the authority of your site by creating great content, outreaching this content and making sure your site is SEO technically tip top
I get asked to look at a lot of different kinds of blogs, especially blogs that use WordPress. Having built and managed content on close to 500 WordPress sites over the last 12 years, I've seen close to "it all" when it comes to WordPress Content Management.
But one thing I seem to keep seeing lately is a lack of professionally displaying the author's name on posts. Specifically, I tend to see the WordPress username displayed as the author name.
There is an easy way to fix this / change it globally. Go to your WordPress Admin and click "Users" on the left hand side nav menu.
Then select the Author's name from the user list. Add a First Name and Last Name. Then update the user, then go back in and select "First Name Last Name" from the drop down that says "Display User Publicly As" --- and BOOM, you've fixed the problem globally.
I never know what clients are going to ask me about Search Engine Optimization, but inevitably, a couple times a year, someone asks me “what are those nicely tabbed six links to subpages under the homepage on Google Search Results?”
The answer “Organic Sitelinks.”
The inevitable follow up question: “can we control them?”
The answer “No, with one exception.”
The video explains, but here’s more from Google on Sitelinks:
The links shown below some of Google’s search results, called sitelinks, are meant to help users navigate your site. Our systems analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.
1: The main search result
We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them.
At the moment, sitelinks are automated. We’re always working to improve our sitelinks algorithms, and we may incorporate webmaster input in the future. There are best practices you can follow, however, to improve the quality of your sitelinks. For example, for your site’s internal links, make sure you use anchor text and alt text that’s informative, compact, and avoids repetition.
The forgotten social media business platform, far and away, is Pinterest.
We've seen some amazing data ourselves from clients' Google Analytics accounts showing that Pinterest is a solid web traffic generation source for many different kinds of companies.
But there is even more data out there that not only supports that, but leads us to believe that Pinterest should become a MAJOR part of businesses' social media and overall content marketing strategies now more than ever.
Pinterest certainly seems to be the forgotten social media marketing platform for businesses, here's why:
70% of all pins saved on Pinterest come from businesses.
200 million people are now on Pinterest, as of September 2017. That’s a 40% increase from the previous year.
2 billion searches are made every month on Pinterest.
87% of pinners bought something because of Pinterest.
I get it, it's an "extra thing to do," or it's "in the way" or you feel like you have to "look good on camera" or you don't know what to say or you feel silly or don't know how to hold the phone, or whatever, but the proof is in the data - your business needs to get over the fears, hurdles obstacles and excuses and GO LIVE ON FACEBOOK!.
I also blog and talk about posting on Facebook 3-5 times per day on your business page, and going live not only helps you accomplish that, but Facebook Live videos get 2-3 times the amount of Reach and Engagement as normal posts or video posts.
Don't know how to get started going live on Facebook?
Here are a few suggestions.
1. A weekly Q and A show where you read and answer frequently asked questions about your industry
2. A weekly behind the scenes "did you know" piece about how something is done or made at your company
3. A weekly feature on an employee, co-worker or client where you simply have them say hello and explain what they do at the company Content like this makes your business relatable and humanizes it. These factors make people want to do business with you.
The proof is in the data. Going live on Facebook works as part of your overall content strategy, and you can rip down the whole video and edit it into smaller pieces for future posts!
So it's always time well spent.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 im