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The Changing Composition of Google's SERPS

Published March 30, 2017
The only thing constant is change. It’s a truth of life, and a rule that Google lives by, from regular major updates like Panda and Penguin to its frequent minor algorithmic tweaks that happen nearly every day.
There are often visible changes, alterations to Google’s search results designed to enhance our ability to find what we want more quickly. Increasingly, we’re seeing results that aren’t simply a page of links with descriptive snippets. This changes the way we find information as searchers, but it must also change the way we think as digital marketers.
In today’s article, we’ll cover the diversified composition of Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and how we must adapt our strategies to embrace these changes.

 

 

A Google Analytics Checklist for Healthy Data

Published March 22, 2017
You know that accurate tracking is key to proving your worth as a digital marketing professional. You’ve set up Google Analytics to track visitors from their first point of contact with the site to the time they leave. Yet when was the last time you double-checked your analytics configuration to ensure you were actually looking at the most accurate data possible?
While Google Analytics presents itself as a relatively “plug and play” interface, errors can make their way into tracking if you’re not paying careful attention. You may miss data for select pages on your site, or spam referrals may creep in.
In addition, you may not be using Google Analytics to its fullest potential. For instance, can you properly segment traffic from ad platforms? Are you able to determine what pages drive the most leads? You should make sure that you’re fully taking advantage of custom features in order to maximize the proof you have for your work.
In this article, we’ll walk through a checklist of key areas in Google Analytics, ensuring that you are both looking at accurate data and using the platform to track every action relevant to a website’s success. Start by making sure you’re tracking the people who land on your site in the first place.

 

 

How to Create Google Display Ads

Published March 21, 2017
A Google Display Ad is a pre-designed ad that appears on one of the websites in Google’s extensive network of participating websites. These ads have the ability to appear in front of users while they are shopping, doing research or even watching videos of dogs doing tricks. They appear in front of potential customers where they are actively browsing online and can be very effective in gaining attention and clicks.
But, only if they are done well.
In a previous article, we covered how to build a successful display Google AdWords campaign. In this article, we’ll delve more deeply into how to create the display ads that run within your campaign, while also providing advice for the most effective ads.

 

 

Megalytic Expands Support for Facebook Ads Metrics

Published March 21, 2017
Over the past month, we've been working to expand our support for Facebook Ads Metrics. Megalytic is committed to providing best in category reporting capabilities for Facebook Advertising analytics. Today, we are pleased to announce support for the following additional metrics.

Marketing Reporting Technologies: What are the Options?

Published March 17, 2017
Numbers may not lie, but how we present them can make all the difference. Data can easily become overwhelming for people who don’t love wading ankle deep in spreadsheets. That’s why part of a marketer’s job is finding the right way to report metrics that are clear, concise and informative. Fortunately there’s technology that helps our data tell its story.
Whether you’re measuring performance for a large or small business, accurate reporting is crucial. You need to start with a framework for thoroughly tracking how people got to your website, what they viewed, and what led them to convert (or hindered them from converting) into paying customers.
An overwhelming array of options faces marketers today. Of course, you can start with Google Analytics, the free go-to web tracking solution in use on millions of websites. While a properly configured Google Analytics setup will take most businesses a long way in monitoring online performance, it can’t solve all the problems faced by marketers.
How do you connect the dots to a transaction that occurred via face-to-face interaction months after an online form was submitted? How can you create a simple report template that makes sense to your CEO when a Google Analytics dashboard isn’t enough? In this article we’ll look at your different options along with how and when to use them.

 

 

How to Launch Your First AdWords PPC Campaign

Published March 9, 2017
There’s a first time for everything.
The first time you tried caviar and discovered it’s an acquired taste. The first time you drove a new car and figured out just how sensitive the brakes are. Every time you try something new, there’s a learning curve and nothing is perfect right out of the gate.
In PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, when you’re diving in for the first time, the amount of information can quickly become overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through getting started.
While there are countless settings in the backend of Google AdWords to fine-tune campaigns, you should begin by seeing the setup process as a series of high-level steps. You won’t become a seasoned PPC account manager overnight. That takes time and experience. But you can begin wading into the waters with an AdWords account and building a basic campaign.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to work with a client to understand their goals and plan out a paid search campaign. Let’s start by talking with your client about their business.

 

 

Effective Marketing Reports for Finance Clients

Published March 2, 2017
Everyone wants to get their money’s worth when it comes to collaborating with a marketing firm. But when you’re working with clients whose whole world is about money, the ability to tie data to dollars is especially crucial. There are certain nuances of the finance vertical that come into play when you report, and it’s important to be sensitive to rules and process, without ever losing sight of how everything affect the bottom line.
Digital marketing for clients in the finance industry often involves long turnaround times for copy approval, heavy regulations on what you can and can’t say in a web setting, and multi-step lead cycles for measuring return. However, clients in this realm can see great value from online efforts when they are done well.
Even when you have a solid plan to build a finance brand’s revenue online, you need to know how to report on the work you’ve done to prove success. Clients in every niche can love their data, but no one relates to numbers quite like clients in the finance world.
Clients in financial niches may include financial advisors, certified public accountants, mortgage brokers, insurance companies, and banks. While each of these may differ in end marketing goals, we’ll touch on a few crucial report elements that relate to anyone in the financial services realm.

 

 

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?
The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.
Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.

 

 

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of digital marketing is the ability to understand exactly how your customers are finding you. It informs every single part of integrated campaigns and helps determine which efforts are working and which ones need to be revisited. Google Analytics allows you to zero in on the performances of different marketing channels to evaluate everything from brand awareness to social media messaging. To get the most insight from that data, it’s crucial to understand exactly how Google sorts your traffic.
Channels in Google Analytics are high-level categories indicating how people found your site. While the Source/Medium report shows you in more detail where people came from, Channels are broader, more “user-friendly” names lumping visits together in buckets useful for high-level reporting categories.
For instance, Facebook Sessions often show up in multiple ways in the Source/Medium report. They may appear as facebook.com, m.facebook.com, and l.facebook.com, all of which are variations of the same source. The Channels report will include all of these in the Social bucket, so you can see less granular, aggregate numbers on social media performance.