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Marketing With Google Analytics: 4. Content Metrics

Sarah Jamieson - Thursday, April 03, 2014

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Here are some of the Content Metrics that are obtained from Google Analytics.

 

Top Content

You can discover the most-viewed pages on your site and information about how users interact with them. For example, a high:

  • ‘Time on Page’ may show content that is especially engaging to visitors.

 

  • bounce rate may indicate a landing page that needs to be more relevant to the ad that links to it.
  • number of exits from a funnel page may mean your process is not clear enough or the page is generating an error. (With this you can easily find and fix all your error pages by doing a Site Audit with Persuasionworks’ SEO Software.)
     
       

Content Drilldown

View your content by drilling down through your site folder / silo structure to view data for each page. See 'Top Content' above, for some examples of useful data.
 
 

Top Landing Pages

Discover the most popular pages that visitors use to enter your site (also called entry pages).

You can view effectiveness metrics like bounce rates and goal conversion rates. These indicate how successful your landing pages are at meeting visitors’ needs and leading them to complete your site goals.

You may need to better target your ads and landing pages to give your visitors what they want, and make sure you are telling visitors what you want them to do with a clear call to action.
 

Top Exit Pages

View the top pages that visitors exit your site from. The significance of this varies by page.

Exiting from a goal page, like a “thank you” page displayed after an order, means a goal conversion.

However, exiting from a non-goal page, especially a page within a funnel you’ve defined, means that page may be confusing to users, or generating an error.
 

Site Overlay

This is a cool intuitive feature that lets you browse through your site while viewing clicks, conversions, and revenue numbers for each link.

How could you make your most valuable links more eye-catching and effective?

Site Search

Gives you information about visitors who use your web site search. Visitors often use your site’s internal search tool as a form of navigation.

Site search reports provide information that you can use to improve results. For example:

  • New keywords to use in search marketing
  • Poor search results
  • Missing content.

 

Virtual Pageviews and Event Tracking

Use these methods to track the performance of technologies that don’t generate pageviews.

For example: Flash, video players, JavaScript, file downloads, and dynamically generated pages (e.g. PHP).

You can get useful information such as:

  • Number of times a video is viewed
  • Length of time to load video
  • Number of times a report is downloaded
  • Number of errors visitors get when completing a form.
       

AdSense

  • You can link your AdSense account to GA for integrated reporting:
     
    Top AdSense Content – See details of your web pages’ performance and track ad performance.

    For example, if you discover that some of your pages have a high number of pageviews but aren’t very profitable, you can focus on improving these pages.
     
  • Top AdSense Referrers – Shows how different traffic sources contribute to your income.
     
  • AdSense Trending – Discover trends in revenue at different times of day and different days of the week.
     
  • View revenue by user visits as well as page impressions. This gives you a more complete view of what visitors are doing on your site before they click your ads.
     
  • Break down revenue by visitor location, browser, and traffic source to learn more about your users so you can better tailor your site for them.
     
  • View traffic by AdSense impressions, clicks, and earnings rather than just by pageviews.
     

Next Blog:  Goals and Conversion

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Persuasion Point 6: Sales Letters - Persuasion & Favour Reciprocation

Sarah Jamieson - Friday, March 28, 2014

This  blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points

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Your sales letter or verbal sales pitch is an important culminating point of your reciprocal relations, persuasion strategy, and sales process.

Sales letters are the last of the major persuasion points that I show in my previous eight blogs – that is, my series beginning at Buyer Persuasion Points.

Selling to prospects with whom you have built a relationship - is much easier than a “cold call” prospect reading a sales letter.

By the time your prospects reach your sales letter you should have addressed a number of issues and ensured that you have established TRUST.

In this next series of blogs I want to review all of the persuasion psychology techniques mentioned in my colleague’s and my series of articles on Persuasion Psychology.

The sales letter itself is where you can really use those ideas - to make sales.

Persuasion process begins when you first meet your online prospect. See Seller Persuasion Actions. Then, you must use every possible avenue to state your persuasion message – in blogs, videos, web content, social networks, email campaigns and so on.

Then, last of all – you complete the persuasion process in your sales letter.

Your sales letter should NOT be written as a document in and of itself. It is really the last page of a series of documents all of which have a purpose which culminates in the sales page.

And of course, the whole educative, social, and eMail process should be consistent and work as a whole.

All prospects – no matter whether they arrive at your site through search engines, a social site, or PPC - should be presented with a message consistent with that search medium’s needs but also consistent with your overall persuasion strategy.

That is, don’t present sales messages IN your social network and search content– but rather guide your prospects to the sales pages through email and persuasion principles.

 

Favour Reciprocation

It’s quite possible that your prospect’s journey to the sales letter has been initiated by some form of FAVOUR you have done for your prospect. We are all deeply conditioned to treat favoursor gifts as something we must reciprocate - so it does not hurt to have your prospects feel that they owe you a favour.

Reciprocation is a valuable tool in getting prospects to the sales letter.

You can do so via all sorts of gifts and free samples. Helping a prospect in some way or giving them a personalized service of some kind should engage the reciprocation rule in a strong way.

If you’ve done a favour for your prospect he or she will feel indebted to you - until that favor can be repaid with one of their own. This often means buying something from you.

With some prospects, the feeling of indebtedness is quite unpleasant and can often trigger a LARGER repayment than the initial small gift would suggest. How you trigger indebtedness in your prospects is a matter for you to think about long and hard.

Another way to employing the reciprocity principle is by making a concession to your prospect.  Concessions work in a simple way. It may well be that the initial offering to your prospect is quite high priced – but you can offer your prospect a “personalized special” which is a very steep reduction.

The smaller less expensive offering can be presented as a concession. The concession activates the feeling of obligation to reciprocate. Of course, your lower-priced product may actually be the target of the sale all along.

If prospects are then presented with a lower price - that price can be presented as a concession – which should activate the reciprocity rule.  So, think about how you present pricing – before the prospect gets to the sales letter.

Show Expensive Items FIRST

There is extensive proof and data that showing the most expensive price FIRST results in higher sales if a less expensive alternative is later provided.

If you have two expensive items and an expensive item is offered first, a lower-priced article that is seen immediately afterwards is perceived of as considerably less expensive.

With the internet, it’s super easy to test different versions of a concession – for example, does a 30% discount produce more sales and profits than a 15% discount?

You can have many different sales letters for the same product – just create a special link for each concession as it’s created. It’s a win for you because if the prospect buys at the higher price then you’ve done well.

You can also employ the concession persuasion principle in your ultimate pricing on the sales letter. You could start out with a somewhat exaggerated but still plausible price – from which you then “retreat” by offering a discount – over say the next day or so or other time limit.

There is also plenty of data to show that concessions on the part of a merchant increase customer’s satisfaction with the purchase. Thus reducing product returns.

The favor reciprocation principle is easy to misuse and so it should be exercised in an ethical manner.

In the next Persuasion Point blog I look at “Commitment and Consistency in Sales Letters”. 

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Persuasion Point 5 (a): Calls to Action - Join an eMail List

Sarah Jamieson - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This  blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points

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This blog is about those prospects you have deemed ARE ready to buy.

Up to this point I have suggested that your marketing efforts should not be openly related to ‘sales’. But of course your entire marketing process is about SALES. It’s just that in the earlier Persuasion Points prospects are not ready to read or hear your sales message.

There is not much point in leading a prospect to a sales page if they are not ready to buy. The result is well, - they won’t buy!

Naturally there comes a point where that sales process must openly be about what you are selling. Ideally the prospect will already be in one of your ‘information’ eMail Marketing lists.

Accordingly, I suggest that you separate your social networks, search engine content, and PPC from the point where the information process openly becomes a sales process.

I’ve found this much easier to do in an eMail campaign. But of course you should test where best to start your “open” sales process.

But of course you also need to cater to those prospects who simply want to buy NOW. Most of these ‘buy now’ prospects will arrive via PPC. The image below shows the two types of prospect eventually reading your sales material:

 

Each of the green dots is a persuasion point. For more on going direct from PPC to Sales Letter see: Sales Force Automation.

The Role of eMail and Persuasion

One of the biggest mistakes web site owners make is not capturing the names and email addresses of their visitors so they can follow up later.

Even sites with high conversion rates lose the vast majority of visitors. Distraction plus lack of trust, information, and time to read and consider the offer all contribute to this.

The bulk of web site visitors do not buy anything on the first visit. The average web site conversion rate is around 1-2%. That means up to 99 out of every 100 visitors leave your site without buying, and most will never return!

When someone visits a search engine or a social site, they are usually actively seeking information about something. In my experience, people seeking information are much more willing to take action, for example, opt-in to your email list or buy from you - if you fulfil the need they are trying to meet. By contrast most offline advertising is incidental to what the user is trying to do, read the paper, watch their favourite TV show, listen to radio music and so on. Products that are advertised offline may fill a user need, but the users’ response rate will be lower because they are not ACTIVELY searching for a way to meet the need.

Online, you can position your message at multiple “key information points” where people go to search for a solution to their problems. For example: In the search engines, you can be the most relevant search listing or PPC ad; in social sites (forums, article directories, Facebook, etc.), you can be the helpful friend giving free advice; on related sites, you can show up as a relevant advertisement.

This hunger for information online also creates the opportunity to build a relationship with users - through repeated contact to deliver information. Online marketing is all about relationships, so this is a big advantage.

Online market research surveys let you find out exactly what information different market segments desire, and the language they themselves use to talk about it. It’s akin to reading prospects’ minds. You can then create content that is ultra-relevant and desirable for each segment. Information marketing is all about talking their problem before your product.

And because you understand their problem so well, and offer relevant information, you build trust. This can position you as the only choice in the market when you eventually deliver your sales message.

On the internet you can get your message in front of millions of people and can potentially generate huge amounts of traffic and sales. At the same time, you have unprecedented ability to target your message to the people who are most likely to buy, and then to quickly measure virtually everything they do.

With online marketing you have instant access to sophisticated statistics like click-through rates, conversion rates, ad and keyword stats, email open rates, split and multivariate tests and so on.

This kind of targeting massively increases your sales conversion rate. When you use people’s own language and the exact features and benefits they’ve told you they want, you are telling them exactly what they want to hear - in order to BUY. In my experience this usually equates to a large increase in sales.

This is very different to offline marketing, where market research is very expensive (e.g. focus groups), making it hard for small businesses to benefit from research.

In addition, offline segmentation is a tough process. You can only target your offline message to a relatively broad group, based on the demographic profile of the average viewer of a certain TV show, reader of a certain magazine, and so on.

So, persuasion begins in search engine and social network content – then flows through into the eMails that you send out to your prospects. It must be a slow and well thought through process. Don’t start your sales messages immediately your prospect opts-in to your list.

Take your time and build the relationships – then give out the sales message. It has to be a “natural” process – not forced. It has to flow in a logical way.

Yes, it is time consuming and difficult. But remember this, once you have set up your content > sales process it’s pretty much automated. 

I often read that you must get your message out seven times before it is effective. That’s not been my experience. I think the important issue here is not some magic number of email messages, but rather of simply letting your prospects get to know you and creating a reciprocal relationship – over a period of time. 

Computer screens are pretty faceless and it’s difficult to have eye ball conversations with prospects. On the face of it, then, you would think that it’s easier to build relationships OFFLINE.  My experience however, is the opposite.

The internet is not as faceless as it first appears. You CAN build relationships online – very quickly and relatively inexpensively.

I mentioned above that providing information and content is a great way to build relationships. Of course writing articles and making videos for the social networks takes time and this is a cost to you – but often you can do it at minimal cost.

In any event, when your prospect is deemed ready to buy – you must refer them to a sales letter which is the topic of my next blog.

Persuasion Point 5: Prospects Respond to an Action Call

Sarah Jamieson - Tuesday, March 25, 2014

This  blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points

In this series of blogs on Persuasion Points, have shown that there a number of points at which an online business can influence and persuade searchers and prospects. Persuasion Points are predictable and can be discovered through market research.

These points are excellent places at which online sellers create and begin ‘reciprocal relationships’ with searchers. The right types of reciprocal relationships eventually lead to sales.

I have earlier discussed the following entry Points: 

  •  Prospects have a need or desire
  • Prospects start researching online 
  • Prospects start an educative process
  • Prospects engage in social relationships.

Thus, knowing the ‘Persuasion Points’ of buyers in their marketplace a business can then “convert at all the bases” so that the entire search-to-sales continuum is covered.  To put it another way – you should publish content that allows searchers to FIND your business no matter which Persuasion Point the searcher enters the search-to-sales continuum.

I now move to the fifth of these points – Prospects Respond to a 'Call to Action'.

When a prospect wants to solve a need, desire, or problem they’ll often seek or encounter an online ‘call to action’ offer. This is where many sellers BEGIN their sales process. You of course know better!

In online jargon, sales relationships are often referred to as “direct response”.

What is direct response?

It’s an offering that demands a direct response. For example, the seller / marketer seeks an opt-in to an email list or directs you to a sales letter then seeks a buy response. Thus for more information the prospect may: click on a Google Adwords, join an email list, click from an email to a sales letter, click a BUY button on a sales letter and so on.

All eBusinesses MUST incorporate direct response attributes which is another way of saying you need a sales process.

In internet marketing, the terms “direct response” and “direct market” appear to mean the same thing. But there are qualitative differences. So, I want to briefly discuss two aspects of direct response marketing

1. The direct response as internet marketing ‘norm’

The use of the direct market model EXCLUSIVELY – without the benefit of surveys, prospect segmentation, SEO, and Social Marketing is the most prevalent online business model and is widely taught by internet marketing gurus as the only eBusiness model that works!

Because it holds a ‘normative’ position, this type of direct marketing causes many systemic dysfunctions in markets.


When I was learning internet marketing, I used the direct market model exclusively and extensively. The old model WORKS – though it is expensive to operate and you need to be very wary of advertising costs – especially Adwords. 

Strictly speaking direct response by itself is a MARKETING system, but many eBusiness owners would consider direct response as their primary eBusiness “model”.

This form of online marketing is practiced by many large corporations and individuals who appear to function from a “making-money” point of view. This type of activity may eventually lead to a form of systemic dysfunction in particular marketplaces.    
For example, in the “internet business” market, GREED and “making money” drip through the pages of endless emails and sales letters.

Wary buyers eventually turn off the hype and conversion rates drop below 1%. Put another way, 99% of potential customers are not really “listening” and the cost of doing business in a market becomes prohibitive.

The direct marketing standard is actually an offline business model. I’m sure you’ve encountered this model. All that junky paraphernalia stuffed into your mail box is one part of the model. The online model uses the same techniques adapted to the internet.

It works, but it’s becoming less & less effective, more & more expensive - especially now that Google and other search engines are shifting their search algorithms towards shared social relevance.

2. ‘Call to Action’ as a necessary part of a sales process
 
This facet of direct response is simply the sales process part of my system. It is the fifth of the Persuasion Points that I show above.  

All online businesses must have some form of direct response ‘call to action’ sales process. This is one of the advantages of running an internet business. It is relatively easy to set up these systems – such as obtaining an eMail opt-in, directing prospects to a sales letter and so on.

The model allows a great number of areas in which persuasion principles can be built into your sales process.

The internet is a wonderful place to establish “like-minded” communities. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive. When you “sell” in a community environment – you are tapping into a long-established way of doing business.

Picture a hardware store in a small town - run by a Mr. Jones. When you want help to fix a leaking roof you go to Mr. Jones. He advises you how its done and provides all the necessary materials. He does not try to “sell” you a bunch of unnecessary goods.

You have a reciprocal relationship with Mr. Jones. He advises you and he knows you’ll buy what’s necessary to do the job. Reciprocal relationships - this is the best way to sell.

For more information of how our Persuasionworks system functions please see: Online Marketing Strategies.

In the next blog I’ll look more closely at various ‘calls to action’.

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Persuasion Point 3: Prospects and the Educative Process

Sarah Jamieson - Sunday, March 23, 2014

This  blog is adapted from a series of articles I wrote with my colleague James Atkinson entitled: SEO Strategy: Buyer Persuasion Points

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When prospects want to solve a problem or need, they initially WANT information about that topic. The information helps them solve the problem.

This is the third  of the Persuasion Points that I list in earlier blogs. This the point at which you begin to create reciprocal relationships – that ultimately lead to a sales process.

People go online to find out about things – to educate themselves about all sorts of subjects. Before you begin to write content that educates you should conduct a survey to help you discover exactly the distinct segments of your market, what each segment wants, and what drives them to buy. Thus, market research creates a blueprint for your products and marketing messages. It is the foundation of all successful persuasion and marketing. See Prospect Segmentation.

When searchers seek information they are NOT particularly receptive to advertising or sales letters – they are looking for information.

This is a golden opportunity for you to engage your market as they search for solutions. You can use your content and interactions with them to shape their views of the market and position yourself as an authority in that market.

Most of all, you can gain prospects' trust. Trust is the foundation that must be in place before you make a single sale. That’s why web sites spend so much time on testimonials, credentials, sales numbers, proof screenshots, and so on. It all builds trust.

In this pre-buying stage, prospects are most responsive to non-sales content that builds trust – things like informative, useful and relevant blog posts, videos, and articles.

The Power of Content

Your survey should have already pinpointed the exact problems that your market wants to solve, thus providing you a golden opportunity to help prospects – and position yourself as a trusted authority at the same time.

You can publish the content on your web site, blog, and social networking profiles. The content may be text, videos, audios, images - any medium really that is going to grab your prospects’ attention.

Your main vehicles to get visitors to your content are the search engines and social networks. You need an integrated strategy to position yourself high on the search engine organic results and to make yourself highly visible in the social networks.

As they continue to consume your content, you should be influencing and shaping the views of your prospects and placing yourself in a position of strength – as a trusted authority.

Producing lots of excellent, useful free content can be highly persuasive and enables you to activate a number of the influence principles discussed in our articles section. When you are genuinely educating people about how to solve their problems you can do this without the pressure of the sales environment.

Positioning yourself in this way provides a number of advantages. From free content pages you can get followers to join your email lists - so you can communicate with them whenever you choose.

Pre-existing relationships result in more sales, less resistance, and no need to use hard sell tactics.

Because they already like and trust you and see you as an authority, they will naturally give you their business. In so doing you can position yourself as the best choice when your prospects are ready to buy.

Relevant Content Leads to HUGE Traffic and Sales

Search engines know that users are only interested in one thing: relevance. You’ve got to give the search engines what they want – relevant content that meets searchers’ needs. See The Relevancy Regulators.

Once you do that, the search engines give you what you want – lots of targeted visitors.

The same rule applies to social networks. You simply can’t fake your way to social prominence using sales messages!

The only way to harness the enormous power of the search engines and social networks is to follow a strategic plan to provide - on a regular basis - two things:

  • High-quality, relevant content
  • Relevant social interaction

The prospect’s information search starts long before the sale and often continues well after the first sale for as long as the person remains interested in the market.

They Google it, and in many markets they identify and read / watch the new information on their favorite content sites daily, or sign up for email lists so they can get content delivered regularly.

In my previous blog, I’ve explained in "The Search Continuum" how you can take advantage of the prospect’s search for information. We can now influence prospects throughout the buying process which can be presented in different places – for example:

  • Pre-Buying Education Content

    This is the stage where prospects have identified a need and are searching for information and solutions. They are still forming opinions and assessing which features and benefits are important. The keywords prospects enter in the search engines at this stage are called “information” or “educative” keywords.

Virtually all traffic originates from a search engine or social network!

The pre-buying stage is important because information gathered at this stage actually creates buying decisions. In the past, prospects would have gathered this information from their circle of friends, but now the information search has moved online.

Thus, the internet allows you to put your message in front of prospects and shape their perceptions of the market.

So what’s the best way to influence prospects?

At the pre-buying stage prospects use search engines and social networks heavily because those sources are believed to provide unbiased, transparent, and non-sales information.

It is for this stage that you create high-quality educative content. The results of your earlier survey should provide the answers to questions that prospects are seeking.

Your answers are then perceived to be ultra-relevant to prospects’ needs.

During the pre-buying stage, prospects are researching the market and the available solutions. At this point, they aren’t ready to buy yet, so ads and sales letters that aim to get an immediate sale won’t be effective. Something more subtle means are needed – influence and persuasion. Using your survey, you’ll find out exactly the topics people in your market are desperate to know more about.

Use this knowledge to create irresistibly relevant content that speaks directly to prospects. The content must be free and have no apparent sales message. Your goal is influence: to position yourself so that when they are ready to buy, they naturally come to you.

Sales Eucation

This is the educative process that directly leads to sales. I try to keep my pre-buying educative process separate from my sales education process.

Probably the easiest way to do this is to run sales education via autoresponder email and video campaigns. But of course this is a matter for your own online business model. In addition, WHEN you start your sales education is also a matter for your own business model.

The Sale

This is the process that directly leads up to the sale.

It includes direct response elements designed to make the sale, like ads and your sales letter.

The survey will tell you the “buying”keywords that can lead to an immediate sale so you can put your ads in front of the prospects who are ready to buy right away.

The Backend

Many online business models rely heavily on the backend – that is, they’ll take a loss on creating a customer through say Adwords in the hope that the customer will buy more products on the backend. Because you can contact customers directly by email, marketing costs fall in the backend. Thus, conversion rates are higher when you sell to existing customers.

Your content goal in the backend is to continue building strong relationships that create powerful loyalty to keep your customers buying. I suggest you strengthen your relationship with customers with lots of quality content and personal contact.

As you continue to create first-rate content such as blog posts, articles, and videos and distribute them socially, you’ll achieve some important benefits. You will:

  • Deepen your relationship with your customers
  • Increase familiarity, an important component of influence
  • Control mindshare
  • Remind them of your unique benefits
  • Strengthen their loyalty
  • Increase their willingness to buy from you again.

All of these are important embellishments to your overall persuasion and sales process strategy.

In my next blog I'll look at Persuasion Point 4: Getting Sales From Social Networks.

 


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