Archives: Strategy

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is a powerful resource for site managers and SEOs. It provides a look at how Google indexes your site and provides insight into site performance. If you are serious about improving your site and its rank in search engines, this tool is a must. Below, I discuss five ways I use GWT to improve search performance.

I primarily work on my own. This means that I am developing and executing marketing plans on my own, all the while, patting myself on the back and thinking, “Killing. It.” This situation is great some days, when I want to be heads-down, getting things done. But, other days, when I want and need feedback, it becomes difficult.

inbound marketing strategyThe time when I experience the pains of this most is when I’m working on strategic planning for my organization. I have gone through so many iterations of the strategy — changing formatting, presentation, plans, and measurement metrics. Each version is an improvement on the last. I recently put together a quarterly marketing strategy that I feel pretty good about. I’ve decided to share it as a template, in hopes that people might use it for their own planning and maybe even provide me with the much desired feedback I’m seeking.

To provide context, I’ll walk through the components of the plan and the intention for each area.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I adore Google. Seriously. They are brilliant. Recently, they released a databoard.

“What’s a databoard?”

I’m so glad you asked. It’s a new tool that allows users to create infographics using data points that Google has gathered through studies on a number of digital media related topics. Topics range from mobile to YouTube to HTML5.

I used the tool to compile a series of facts illustrating the impact of digital marketing on donor behavior. Check out my full infographic.

Ms. Jackson if You're NastyI am admittedly a HUGE Janet Jackson fan. When interviewing for my first job, the potential employer asked, “What job would you have if you could have any job?” I answered, “Back up dancer for Janet Jackson.” I think they hired me with the hope that I would endlessly entertain them with random fits of dancing. Their hopes were satisfied.

While I’m not sure how much Ms. Jackson cares about content marketing, she does inspire the question, “what have you done for me lately?” This is a question you should constantly demand of your content marketing efforts. Answering that question requires setting expectations, monitoring performance, and refining efforts to get closer to achieving goals. Like many marketers, I monitor performance by referring to the areas I think are most important and looking at the key performance indicators (KPIs) within those areas to find out what is working and what could use more attention.

As I mentioned in my last post, over the next month, I will be illustrating ways to use the updated segments tool in Google Analytics (GA). My first example focuses on studying a very specific target market to inform and improve your online marketing efforts.

For every business, there are ideal customers. These are the people who fall within your target market, have great brand loyalty, who are likely to make repeat purchases. Your business likely wants to acquire and keep as many of these as possible.

To do that, it’s important to ensure that their experience on your website is a simple and enjoyable one.  Thanks to GA’s new segments tool, we can examine the site behaviors of this segment and their sources.

Multi-channel marketing requires thoughtful tracking and measurement. For a single campaign, a marketer will use social media, email, display advertising, search advertising, media buys, and more to drive interest and conversions. All of these online channels result in varying levels of performance. To determine which channel is the most effective, there needs to be a clean and clear way to track results in order to make informed choices on where to spend time and money.

While there are several analytics tools out there, for many, Google Analytics is the go-to tool for tracking and measuring online performance. When using Google Analytics, incorporate UTM parameters into your strategy. The term UTM stands for Urchin Tracking Module and is the format that Google uses to track unique URLs.

Here, I discuss the basics, benefits, and best practices for using UTM parameters in organic search marketing efforts.

This past week, I attended an all-day seminar put on by my favorite brand ever, Google. The Google for Entrepreneurs (GFE) team came to Denver to present on how startups and small businesses can use Google’s tools for everything from product development to advertising. I will admit that because this was a free event, I expected strong sales-ey undertones. What I got was a series of really helpful sessions, hosted by inspiring and educated people.

Google For Entrepreneurs

The schedule included a business and a technical track. I chose the business track. I am pretty fluent in Google’s business tools — I’m deep in Google Analytics everyday; I’ve used Google AdWords for several search and display advertising campaigns, and I’ve managed the Google Apps for Business tools for a couple of small businesses. Because of my experience, I was concerned that I wasn’t going to learn much. I was wrong.

Recently, I got together with some friends who are thinking about starting a business. We were discussing their plans and the opportunities. There appeared to be a lot of opportunity, but what I came to realize as we were talking is that they hadn’t yet determined their value proposition.

My immediate reaction was to have them stop everything <screeching car tires> and go no further until they had defined their businesses’ value.