Categories
Internet Marketing

Data-Driven Marketing

Data-driven marketing is the process by which marketers use data to gain insights into customer needs, desires, and behaviors, then use these insights to create personalized marketing strategies aimed at the highest possible return on investment (ROI). Made possible by the introduction of customer relationship management software (CRM), data-driven marketing allows marketers to enhance and personalize the customer experience by taking the answers to questions like whom, when, where, what and translating them into practical marketing strategies. 

Benefits of Data-Driven Marketing

Data-driven marketing is gaining popularity as both businesses and consumers benefit from the approach. Benefits include:

  • Efficient Media Buying: Analyzing data collected enables marketers to remove guesswork thus improving media planning and buying. This type of marketing facilitates the identification of the content that leads prospects through your sales funnel allowing you to decide where your time and budget are best spent.
  • Consumer Targeting: Data analysis results in a deeper understanding of the customer profile allowing marketing messages to be customized and shown to the appropriate audience. 
  • Relevant Messages: For most companies, generic marketing messages are over. Data-driven marketing enables you to be relevant, for your message to resonate with consumers’ interests. 
  • Multi-channel Marketing: Marketers can reach beyond email, extending their reach across multiple networks and ensuring that the message is consistently reaching each customer at the perfect place and time. Data helps you discover which channels are best to engage your audience now and in the future.
  • Improved Customer Experience: The data collected brings an understanding of customers’ triggers and pain points, allowing marketers to determine specific areas for improvement of the customer experience. 
  • Improved Product Development: With more data leading to a better understanding of your target audience, your business can reduce product failure rates by focusing product development on goods/services best suited for a particular market.
  • Prediction of Consumer Preferences: With the right data, you can pre-target consumers tailoring your marketing message while the customer is still in buying mode, delivering a one-to-one customer experience on a massive scale.

How to Begin Data-Driven Marketing

There are some basic principles that can help you start a data marketing strategy or improve your existing data marketing program.

  • Determine Your Goals: Decide what data is worth collecting. Focus on gathering information around key performance indicators (KPIs). Consider collecting information regarding your target market, customer and prospect data (persona, transactional data, online activity, social network activity) and marketing/social media analytics (click-throughs, impressions, conversions).
  • Adopt Automation: Use an automated process that allows for personalization and lets your marketing strategy function for you even when you’re not working.
  • Collaborate: Utilize processes that manage data ensuring that it is shared across your entire organization, reaching all departments and teams. 
  • Evaluate and Take Action: Using your KPIs, evaluate the data collected. Use this data to inform your market strategies. 
  • Consistently Monitor your data collection to identify which strategies are giving you the best results. Continue to draw conclusions and try new strategies to maximize the results of your marketing efforts. 
  • Explore Marketing Channels: Use data analysis to help you understand which channels are working for you and inform you of new channels and formats worth adopting.
  • Observe the Competition: Let your competitor’s successes and failures inform your marketing strategy. Learn from their mistakes. Adapt and implement what works. 

Data drives most marketing decisions in today’s competitive marketplace. Take the time to collect and analyze data and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly. Let data help you make better decisions regarding the timing of your advertising, customization of marketing copy and personalization of experiences for your target audience. Data-driven solutions are essential to successful marketing campaigns. 

Need help with your data-driven marketing strategy? Call CAYK at (403) 456-0072 or request a marketing proposal.  Allow us to be your very own marketing department! Connect with our tightly-knit team of knowledgeable digital-first consultants, each eager to help your business grow.

Categories
Google

Web Crawling, Click Fraud Detection, and Coffee. Oh My!

CAYK’s Current Research & Development Project  (Part 1) 

11,407,243 – This is our current count of websites that have participated in the Google Ad Network to date. (Websites that allow Google to place their ads on them.)

Now that you know that, how do you pick which websites to show your advertisements on? That’s a big number after all, and it’s the only representative of the ad placements that we’ve come across during this R&D project. After all, Google isn’t publishing that list anytime soon, so we’re left to build the list without their help.

It’s not difficult to rule out large portions of available ad placements with the tools provided within the ad management platform. However, even a small targeting change often wipes away millions of domains without actually knowing with any degree of certainty whether or not they would have otherwise brought value to a client’s advertising campaign. Worse is that the placements that remain after targeting updates haven’t actually been vetted. While this is the nature of the industry, it’s certainly not good enough for us.

Data-Drive Marketing vs Research and Development
Where lies the line between the two?

By the very nature of digital advertising, every online advertising decision is bordering on a big data project. Selecting advertising placements is a great example of this phenomenon, with millions of websites that can be targeted, how do you decide which are worthy of advertising funds, and which are not? It may be a bold approach, but we’re working towards vetting each one individually.

It starts with tracking down domains participating in the ad network. This means first crawling as many sites as you can and gathering previous crawl data wherever you can find it. Of the 248,555,113 domains in our overall database (248.5 million!), approximately 4.6% have had tell-tale embed scripts or DNS calls that show participation in Google’s Ad Networks.

The scope required to do anything on this scale has led to a long journey of learning with the singular purpose of doing the best job we possibly can for our clients. It’s been actively worked on (nearly every single day, (weekends too!), for over a year! In our upcoming mini-series, we will break down some of the key milestones of this project, speak to the many hurdles and challenges which needed to be surmounted, as well as help explain how these learnings are already bringing value to our clients!

Categories
Featured Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization Through the Ages

The way we use the internet has changed in countless ways over the past couple decades. SEO is no exception. As one of the most important aspects of your marketing plan, it’s a good idea to be as knowledgeable on the subject as possible. Here’s a little breakdown to get you acquainted.

Beginnings

With the development of search engines in the early-mid ‘90s, webmasters found that greater visibility in search results was advantageous to their business. In 1996 the concept of “search ranking” was born from Google’s PageRank, an algorithm determining the importance of a web page by the quantity and relevance of links to and from that page, as well as its keywords. A year later, the term “search engine optimization” was popularized to describe the process of improving a page’s rank by optimizing the quantity and quality of its links and keywords, or a number of other strategies.

Then and Now

Since the outset of SEO as a concept, the number of search engines available to the public has increased drastically. So has the diversity of content types, such as visual content, audio, or industry-specific “vertical” searches. These factors, in combination with the game-changing emergence of social networking, have led to an overall shift in focus toward critical understandings of user personas, the importance of user experience, and other intuitive factors that become powerful when combined with hard data. This idea of diversity in many contexts will continue to influence the way SEO evolves.

What Lies Ahead?

It will become increasingly important to stay vigilant regarding the types of content users are searching for vertically, what engines they are using, and what platforms they are searching from. The growth and importance of mobile SEO is only getting started, and the prevalence of spam and harmful SEO practices between competitors are also rising issues. In the face of so much variety and competition, business owners everywhere will benefit from building a unique, high-quality experience for the user which is specialized to their needs and context in measureable and actionable ways.

We at CAYK are here to offer our skill and expertise to any aspect of your digital or traditional marketing plan. Anything from a direct marketing campaign to an overhaul of your blog or website, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Give us a call at (403) 456-0072 today!

Categories
Google

How Important is Speed: Do Websites that Load Quickly Gain an Advantage in Organic Search?

Does the speed of your website actually matter? Can you lose users’ interest due to incessantly slow load times? The answer to both of these questions is a definitive “yes!” Your website’s ability to load quickly is paramount to retaining interested users.

Quick-loading websites have been found to outperform slower sites on nearly every front, including search ranking, user experience, and user engagement. Websites that load faster also tend to deliver higher conversions and more significant revenue.

Finding Optimal Speed

While it’s obvious that a faster load time will benefit your site, it’s important to be realistic with your goals. If you can get your website to load in under 1 second, that’s great! If not, you should shoot for a load time of, at least, less than three seconds.

Even if your website needs seven seconds to load, you won’t lose significant attention from users. That being said, you’ll still benefit from improving that load time. If your website needs more than 10 seconds to load, you’ll notice a significant diminishment in the number of users visiting your site and the overall revenue you can accrue from mobile sales.

Interesting Facts About Load Times and User Behaviour

While people are typically comfortable with load times up to 10 seconds, you might be interested to know that an astoundingly high percentage of users, 47%, expect web pages to load in under two seconds. In addition, 57% percent of people that visit your website will leave if your page fails to load in three seconds or less.

Interestingly, a recent study also determined that 75 percent of online customers will opt for a competitor’s site as an alternative to waiting an inordinate amount of time for your website to load. On average, two seconds has been found to be the preferable wait time when allowing websites to load.

Some websites have benefited from installing a progress bar that notifies users of the website’s “percentage loaded.” Studies have actually shown that a well-designed progress bar can extend load wait times to a maximum of 38 seconds.

That being said, faster has unanimously been found to be better. In a larger study between websites that load in 1 second and those that take up to three seconds to load, those with longer wait times have been subject to a 50 percent higher bounce rate, 22 percent fewer page views, and, perhaps most importantly, 22 percent fewer conversions.

Google’s Recommendation

When ranking sites for its’ search engines, Google prefers wait times of one second or less. As the web continues to speed up, Google will continue to value websites with faster load times more highly than those that take too long to load.

Even for mobile devices, Google recommends that designers make sure their pages will load in less than one second. This ultimately helps to ensure that users don’t abandon web pages because of their inability to deliver content in a timely fashion.

If you’re looking to speak to someone about your specific website needs, please don’t hesitate to give the marketing professionals at CAYK® a call at <span class="**403-456-0072**-CAYK">***403-456-0072***</span> today!

Categories
Featured Google Search Engine Optimization

How Significantly will Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update Impact your Website?

Is your website already designed to be mobile-friendly? Are you prepared to conquer the upcoming changes in Google’s search algorithm? If not, it’s not too late! You still have about two months to make changes to your site before the new search algorithm goes into effect.

While Google making changes to how it ranks websites in their search results should be nothing new to you, the update that will take effect on April 21st is set to be one of their most significant modifications to date.

What the Update Means for your Website

Google’s recent announcement of an anticipated algorithm change that will favour mobile searchers means that Google’s search results will now rank mobile-friendly sites higher than their non mobile-friendly counterparts.

If your site lacks critical mobile-friendly characteristics, it will most likely fall in Google’s search results when the new algorithm goes into effect. Alternatively, sites that make changes to become more mobile-friendly will likely move up in Google’s search results.

If you run an indexed application, Google will now serve up information from your app in search results for signed-in users that have your app installed on their device. Your search engine ranking will also be somewhat determined by the quality and relevance of that information.

How to Make your Site More Mobile-Friendly

Seeing as how your search ranking will surely fall if you do not do so, adapting your site to be more mobile-friendly is essential. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can do so without completely redesigning your website.

One of the ways to improve the mobile-friendliness of your website is to allow Googlebot access to JavaScript, CSS, and Image files. This will give Google’s web crawling bot the ability to crawl these properties of your website to more effectively index your content correctly for improved overall rankings.

If you’re attempting to integrate mobile and desktop versions of your website, accurate redirects are a must. In other words, if mobile users are searching for a desktop compatible URL, your site should effectively redirect the user to the mobile-friendly version of your site.

As an Internet user, you’re most likely familiar with receiving a frustrating “Page not found” message when searching for a specific page you’re interested in. While the page might exist on the desktop version of your site, you also need to be sure that its’ equivalent exists on your mobile-friendly site.

Because most mobile users will typically wait less for a page to load than their desktop counterparts, it’s also essential that your mobile-friendly site loads quickly and completely. If you fail to do so, momentarily interested users will lose interest as soon as they gained it.

Text size and font choice are also two very important criteria when designing your mobile-friendly site. Because mobile devices are obviously much smaller than desktops, you must be sure that your site can be read on multiple different-sized screens.

As Google makes another important change to their search algorithm, it’s important that your website doesn’t get left behind. If you’re looking to discuss your company’s online marketing needs, be sure to give CAYK® a call at <span class="**403-456-0072**-CAYK">***403-456-0072***</span> today!

Categories
Internet Marketing

How to Avoid Pulling the Plug on Your Internet Marketing Plan Too Soon

One of the great myths of Internet marketing is that you should expect to see results very quickly. Granted, promoting your business online can be much faster than traditional techniques like telemarketing or direct mail, but even the most well-researched and engineered campaigns don’t work overnight.

This is understandably difficult for business owners and other clients to understand, and also raises a tough issue: How do you give your campaign enough time to work without investing too much into something that’s never going to work? In other words, how do you avoid pulling the plug too soon, or hanging on to a losing Internet marketing strategy too long?

In most cases, the best solution is to look for indicators of progress that aren’t necessarily as obvious as a quick revenue spike would be. Some of these might include:

Traffic to your business website. If more people are viewing your business website than before, it’s likely that new leads and sales will also catch up before too long.

Phone calls from new potential customers. This is another sign that people are checking out your website and like what they see. Even if they aren’t buying right away, they might schedule appointments or ask for more information.

Emails to your company. If someone takes the time to email you and ask follow-up questions, they probably have a strong level of interest.

New comments on your blog. Although this isn’t as straightforward as a sales inquiry, lots of comments on your blog show that people are paying attention to your thoughts and ideas. Ultimately, that can only mean good things for your Internet marketing.

An increasing search engine rank. Lots of businesses get impatient because they want to rank first on Google, but steady improvement is a good sign, even if it doesn’t earn you a prime search engine spot right away.

Improvements in any of these areas could show that your Internet marketing plan is moving you in the right direction. You don’t want to make rash decisions when you’re already doing the right things, so use these indicators to gauge your step-by-step progress and make the best decisions going forward.

By David A. West  Join me on Google+

Categories
Internet Marketing

7 Internet Marketing Mistakes Calgary Businesses Are Still Making in 2014

Sometimes, working with Calgary business web design can be a little bit frustrating. Even though we try to teach business owners and executives important lessons about Internet marketing, it’s still surprisingly common to see some of the same mistakes being made again and again.

Here are seven of the most prominent and costly:

1. Using old templates for success. What worked before isn’t a sure bet to work now, especially if you’ve been counting on old ideas about search engine optimization and social media. You don’t have to follow fads to succeed in Internet marketing, but you do have to be aware of the major trends.

2. Letting their business websites get stale. When the look or content of your business website no longer seems current, or accurately reflects what your company does, you take away the power of one of your most important promotional tools.

3. Not timing their contact correctly. Your most important customers will forget about you if you only contact them every few months, but they don’t want to hear from you every other day, either. Figuring out the right timing for things like email newsletters is critical.

4. Getting all leads and sales from one or two channels. You should never be dependent on any one source of customers online, even if that source is the almighty Google. Take care to diversify your approach.

5. Failing to build relationships with social media. Social media isn’t just for sharing vacation pictures; you can use it to answer customer questions, develop relationships, and enhance buyer loyalty. But, that’s going to require a little bit of time and intentional effort.

6. Using tactics instead of campaigns. In Internet marketing, “a little bit of everything” is better than doing nothing at all. A focused approach to meeting and grabbing the interest of good customers is a much smarter strategy, however.

7. Not getting the right creative help. When you’re working with the wrong creative team, or not at all, you’re making it much harder than it has to be to make your business website a success.

When you need top-notch Internet marketing advice from a team of experienced experts, turn to CAYK® and see what our responsive marketing concepts can do for your company.

By David A. West  Join me on Google+

Categories
Online Marketing Uncategorized

5 High-ROI Internet Marketing Tools for 2014

In a recent post, we reminded business owners and executives that Internet marketing plans should consist of a lot more than a simple checklist of items to do or try. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain ingredients that almost every business should be taking advantage of.

To help you ensure you aren’t missing out on any of the basics, here are five high-ROI Internet marketing tools for 2014:

1. Standout web design. Does the quality of your web design still matter, at a time when everyone has a professionally created business website? It matters even more, for those same reasons. Great design still stands out, and you want your web layout to attract attention from customers.

2. SEO. Even though search engine optimization is undergoing some changes, Google is still your most important source of leads and targeted traffic.

3. Social media. Using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you can create new relationships with key decision-makers and increase brand loyalty at a very low cost.

4. Responsive web design. Responsive websites add mobile web compatibility to your business, which is something no organization can afford to ignore. More and more buyers are going mobile, so your company should be ready.

5. Email marketing. With a strong email marketing campaign, you can keep in touch with your most important customers, alert them of any new products and specials, and remain on the top of their minds when they have a need for what you have to sell.

While some of these Internet marketing methods have been around for a while, and others are relatively new, they are all different and effective in their own way. So, make sure you’re not missing out on anything important this year, and call us today if you have questions on putting these tactics to work for you.

By David A. West  Join me on Google+

Categories
Google Social Media Uncategorized

How to Track the Deliverables of Responsive Internet Marketing

If you have done business with us recently, then you already know how excited we are to be able to bring responsive Internet marketing plans to so many companies in and around Calgary. One of the things we focus on with responsive marketing, of course, is continual improvement, rather than simply “sticking to what we’ve done in the past.”

In other words, we try to put our attention on the deliverables, rather than the individual pieces of an Internet marketing plan itself. But, what do those deliverables actually look like?

Here are a few of the things we pay close attention to:

Search engine positioning. By adding new content to your website, we help make it more attractive to Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Improving your search engine positioning is an important first step towards attracting more traffic, and eventually more online customers.

Social media following. If people are adding you to their lists on Facebook and Twitter, that’s another outlet for promoting your business and marketing messages. A strong social following makes it easier to find customers and build loyalty.

Email newsletter subscribers. When you have lots of valid, opt-in email addresses on your newsletter’s distribution list, you have a virtually free way to contact thousands of customers, and potential customers, all at once. That makes promoting new discounts, products, and ideas a snap.

Actual new customers. Naturally, keeping one eye on new sales and account openings is important, as well, since that’s the ultimate goal of your Internet marketing plan.

By looking at these kinds of figures, we can get to the heart of responsive Internet marketing and see what’s actually working – and even better, adjust our plans over time if needed. That way, we can always be sure that you’re getting the most for your money, and your Internet marketing campaigns are moving in the right direction.

Categories
Uncategorized

Is Your Calgary Internet Marketing Company Changing With You?

Several years ago, a monumental shift took place in the Calgary web design industry: Companies like ours started realizing websites alone weren’t enough, and began offering bundled Internet marketing packages to clients.

Since then, designers and business leaders alike have come to see that it takes a lot of different elements, working together, for a website to be successful. Some of the most common and important include:

  • Company blogs
  • Search engine optimization campaigns
  • Social media marketing
  • Internet advertising
  • Content changes and additions

However, as important as each of these pieces is, the exact ways you use them to reach your Internet marketing goals can change dramatically over time. As an example, one business might want a heavy dose of search engine optimization in the beginning, but could shift their attention to social media down the road once they start receiving lots of search traffic.

The point to be made is that your Internet marketing partner should be changing tactics and ideas as your goals change from one quarter or year to the next. And, if they aren’t adjusting their techniques, it’s going to be a matter of time before you start seeing declining results.

We recommend that you only work with businesses that embrace responsive Internet marketing, the way our team did a few years ago. These types of plans don’t just spell out what we are going to do for our clients now, but also when we need to meet with them to reassess in the future.

You don’t have the same business you had a year ago, and you probably don’t need the same Internet marketing plan anymore, either. Why not get in touch with us today and let us put a system in place so your marketing can evolve with the rest of your company?