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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
Online Marketing

Understanding Inbound Marketing Automation

Knowing the Distinction

These days, a brand’s online presence and marketing strategy are spread out to many different venues. This means that a traditional approach to marketing automation, one that generally tends to be too focused on email and sets up a system of conditions and marketing actions that can be too rigid, is a bit outdated. The distinction lies in understanding that your automated marketing actions need to be holistic, taking into account all the diverse factors that define a lead and how they are drawn to your brand. That’s what inbound is all about!

Why It Works

Combining marketing automation with inbound techniques should bring out the best of both worlds and compensate for the limitations of each. Marketing automation may be great for tailoring your marketing actions to the data you gather from established leads, but how do you establish those leads in the first place? With a strong set of inbound tools like SEO, content, and social media! Meanwhile, inbound marketing may be great for drawing an audience towards you, but how can you gain a concrete, data-driven understanding of the people in that audience and nurture your leads with the right actions that produce conversions? That’s where marketing automation comes in.

A Dynamic Approach for a Dynamic World

We often emphasize the importance of looking at digital marketing as a holistic system. Rather than thinking of everything in terms of either/or, which can force you to choose one tool over another, there’s a better way to navigate today’s dynamic marketing environment. The best aspects of old tools can be combined with those of new strategies, and the union of marketing automation with inbound marketing is a perfect testament to this. Your audience isn’t comprised of numbers, but knowing and utilizing the numbers is critical if you want to convert those visitors into new and happy clients!

If you want to harness the potential of marketing automation, it’s only right that you make your strategy as flexible as today’s inbound marketing environment. The CAYK team will help you implement this philosophy in a way that’s right for your company, so call (403) 456-0072 today!

Categories
Online Marketing

Marketing Automation Without CRO? It Could Be a Waste of Time!

We’ve given you a look at some key considerations when it comes to marketing automation, but many of the best tools offer the greatest results when combined with others. Marketing automation and conversion rate optimization, for instance, is a match made in heaven!

What’s Conversion Rate Optimization?

If you’re familiar with search engine optimization, you know that it aims to maximize the visibility of your site and overall brand in search results for certain related terms. CRO, on the other hand, is dedicated to maximizing the effectiveness of your site in securing conversions. Whether you want your site visitors to create an account, contact your business for an appointment, or perform any other desired act that ideally leads to the establishment of a new client, CRO practices are designed to ensure that it happens.

The Focus of Your Efforts

A significant portion of marketing efforts are focused on things like social media and PPC. While these are two vital components to any marketing strategy, it’s important not to forget where the moment of conversion most often arises. Marketing automation strategy can be applied in many avenues of digital marketing, but if you don’t harness its power for your landing pages, your conversion rates may never see the growth you want. This is why exploring automation technique could be a waste of time if you don’t address the most important venue for finally confirming a new client: your website.

Combining Two Powerful Strategies

You’ve probably learned from recent CAYK blogs that marketing automation is great for dynamically shaping your strategies to the characteristics and behaviour of your leads. This is precisely why it is the best friend of a smart CRO. Maximizing conversions is made far easier when you have high-quality analytics on your leads and can tailor the many elements of your site to the insights you gain from those analytics. The more relevant your landing pages, the better they meet the needs of your visitors. How do you achieve real growth? By utilizing the data to know your leads and by implementing the right tools to give them what they want!

The potential of marketing automation and conversion rate optimization is one of the most important aspects of digital marketing to keep an eye on today. CAYK is here to offer you a comprehensive strategy that will give you real results, so call (403) 456-0072 to get started!

Categories
Online Marketing

Taking Advantage of MailChimp’s Free Marketing Automation

With so many different marketing tasks to keep up with in your strategy, things would be pretty overwhelming if it weren’t for marketing automation. Some automation solutions are more affordable than others, but thankfully the email campaign service MailChimp has you covered!

What is Marketing Automation?

Like any range of digital technologies, the thing that makes online marketing so powerful is its ability to streamline what you do and bring you to your goals more efficiently. Live chat connects leads and clients with businesses, social media brings communities together in personal and immediate ways and so on. However, when we take this principle of efficiency to another level, we get marketing automation. This is a practice that aims to make certain marketing actions self-sustaining so that you don’t need to carry out every little individual task on your own. This can either take the form of automated emails sent in response to a certain condition, or it can reshape the experience of your website to respond to visitors in a more dynamic way.

MailChimp’s Automation Tools

You’re probably familiar with MailChimp, which is a “freemium” service that has specialized in email campaign management for many years. However, in addition to its email campaign tools, MailChimp has also offered a few other digital marketing tools for advanced paying users. Recently, the company has made its advanced automated marketing features available to those who are using their basic free package. If a customer has left something in their shopping cart without purchasing, for instance, businesses using MailChimp can configure it to send an automated reminder email after a certain period of time. You can even configure more specialized custom automations.

A Helping Hand

Opening up the accessibility of automation tools to its free user base is a significant move for MailChimp. It means that a wider range of businesses will now be able to carry out professional and effective automated marketing tasks that can mean the difference between a lost lead and new loyal customer. People who were previously unaware of this strategy can now familiarize themselves. That being said, it’s important to bear in mind that these free features are still limited. They provide an excellent introduction to marketing automation, but to bring your high-tech strategy to the next level, joining forces with a professional marketing team is the way to go!

Marketing automation is just one of many different aspects of digital marketing becoming both more sophisticated and accessible for business owners everywhere. With the combined experience of everyone at CAYK, you can always go further! Call us at (403) 456-0072 today.

Categories
Internet Marketing

Say Thanks to Your Clients Over the Holidays

Despite what many might assume, modern marketing isn’t just about stuff like analytics and content. It’s also about connecting with your clients in a genuine and meaningful way. The holidays are perfect time for this!

Why It’s Important

You’ve probably heard people say that things like social media are detracting from real-life interactions and relationships between people. Oddly enough, the opposite tends to be true. For example, when using these forms of communication for marketing your business, you’re able to directly and instantaneously connect with people who you may not have been able to otherwise. Then, when you meet members of your community in person, you’ve already established some form of rapport. Relating to your audience on a fun and personal level during the holidays is therefore a great way to bridge the gap between your online community and your real-world community.

A Few Ideas

Making special limited-time offers is commonplace and useful, but it’s not advisable to rely on this as your only approach. One tried-and-true method is to send out greeting cards. These can be paper greeting cards by mail or a holiday-themed mailout. Either way, it should be a fun, seasonally-themed display of appreciation for their business and enthusiasm for the future. This can be accompanied with social media posts wishing everyone happy holidays. Don’t forget that no holiday post is truly complete without great photos of your staff in the workplace, especially if you’ve decorated it for the season!

Going the Extra Mile

Engaging with your clients may be a more prominent prerogative during holidays, but it should be something that you and your company have in mind year-round. You’d be surprised by how many possibilities are out there that will allow you to show appreciation for both established clients and your target audience in general. You should always use email and social media to directly thank individual clients for their business, but also to show your thanks when you reach certain milestones. Whether it’s the number of likes on your company’s Facebook page or the number of years you’ve been in business, you couldn’t have done it without them. Make sure they know it!

If a business can unite great community relationships with smart marketing techniques and technologies, they have a real winning combination. CAYK is here to help you make this happen and more, just call us at (403) 456-0072 to find out how!

Categories
Online Marketing

Herding Cats: Why Doing Everything Without a Marketing Team Is So Difficult

If you own a business, you probably have plenty of experience being in a leadership position. One thing that can get a bit overwhelming is delegating between large numbers of people. Believe it or not, the same can be true of your marketing plan.

What Successful Marketing Requires

These days, the range of skills and tasks required for good marketing is more diverse than ever. This is because the modern world of business demands that you cover as many bases as possible. A website, an active social media presence, images and video production, pay-per-click campaigns, and a consistent brand are all examples of how your marketing plan may be divided into projects of varying types. The best campaigns will dedicate a substantial amount of time and expertise to each individual component so that the whole package can truly elevate your business.

The Individual Specialist Approach

One way to accomplish this for your company is to seek out the skills of many individual specialists. In theory, each individual specialist is good at what they do because they’ve devoted time to that one task rather than covering a wider range of knowledge. Unfortunately, there are many problems with this scenario, and two stand out in particular. Firstly, the costs can add up qutie a bit, as specialists tend to use their skills as a way to justify higher rates. Secondly, you’ll be responsible for a lot more delegation and organization than you might have time for. Effectively, you’ll have a whole other branch of your company to run!

The Unified Team Approach

Alternatively, you can seek out and establish a relationship with a team that covers the full range of necessary marketing endeavours for your business. The major advantage here is that a fully qualified agency is its own self-managed entity. They can be trusted to provide a package that will give your company the marketing edge it needs without requiring all that extra work on your end. The best teams will shape a strategy for you depending on the unique circumstances and requirements of your business, communicating with you throughout the process to ensure an excellent experience. Sounds a lot better than herding cats and dealing with a handful of expensive independent contractors, doesn’t it?

Are you ready to outfit your company with a team that will provide a comprehensive marketing solution you can rely on? Get in touch with CAYK at (403) 456-0072 today to get started!

Categories
Website Development

How CAYK Can Help You Successfully Launch Your New Business

The CAYK team has worked with a number of individuals who have just founded their business. If you want your company to be a successful endeavor, starting off on the right foot will make all the difference. We can help make it happen!

Design and Web Development

One of our specialties here at CAYK is in designing the visual identity and web presence of your business. Firstly, every business needs a logo or wordmark. You’d be surprised how much information you can fit into a single graphic that will convey a strong sense of your company’s philosophy and attitude. The same can be said for the design and construction of your website. While our digital marketing strategies will equip your website with everything it needs to succeed as a commercial asset, we will also make it look great and design it so it’s easy to use. Once you’re outfitted with a logo and site, your company will possess a level of legitimacy that helps you stand out from other newly formed businesses.

Branding and Promotional Material

Your logo or wordmark is critical, but it is only one component of a larger branding strategy. We’d love to help your new business establish a unique and recognizable signature characterized by design choices, writing style, your approach to your industry, and more. It’s also important to combine this brand with promotional material that will get the word out about your company. Whether it’s print items or special offers, we can establish a name for you and a wider awareness of what you have to offer.

Reaching Out

Of course, getting things started properly isn’t just about communicating with people through the web and traditional modes of marketing. It’s also about actively engaging with the community. This is an aspect of building a new enterprise that many often forget to make a priority. From sponsoring a local sports team to hosting a fundraiser, there are many possibilities. With our expertise in local engagement and community growing, we’re there to assist in solidifying a mutually positive relationship between your business and those around you. Once you have all the pieces together and all your bases are covered, your journey as a business owner has only just begun!

If you’re about to get your new business off the ground, our team would love to guide you towards success. Give CAYK a call at 403-456-0072, and we can help make your vision a reality!

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
Internet Marketing

Does Working With an AdWords Certified Professional Raise Your PPC Costs?

Recently, two members of the CAYK® team became Adwords Certified Professionals. Does that mean working with a company like ours to manage your pay-per-click search advertising is going to cost you more?

The short answer is “no.”

Unfortunately, many of our lesser-qualified competitors actually charge more than we do to help with your AdWords campaigns. In a bigger sense, though, this is the wrong question to ask – after all, would you go to a doctor or skydiving instructor who didn’t have the proper credentials just because you could save a little bit of money? Of course not — so why put your marketing at risk by making the same kind of mistake?

You Should Do Whatever You Can

The reality is you should do whatever you can to get the best AdWords vendors and consultants possible. What this comes down to, as always, is the difference between spending and investing.

You can always save money when you’re looking to spend less. But shorting your business by making the wrong investment only ends up costing you more cash later.

Target Your Best Prospects More Effectively

When you have someone who knows AdWords inside and out helping to organize and optimize your campaigns, you target your best prospects more effectively, create ads that are compelling to them, and get the most from every dollar you spend with efficiency and high-quality scores. On the opposite end of the spectrum, those companies making common AdWords mistakes pay more for every click and convert fewer viewers into buyers.

When it’s the bottom line you’re worried about – and that should always be your primary concern with any form of online advertising – it’s always a good idea to get expert help, especially if you aren’t going to pay anything extra for it. Why not get in touch with our team today and see how we can help you get more from your search advertising efforts?

Categories
Internet Marketing

One Surprising Way to Improve Your Internet Marketing

Looking for an offbeat and unconventional way to improve your Internet marketing campaigns this fall? Try something radical – ignore Google and search engine optimization as a whole for a couple of months.

Before you start wondering how we’re going to defend ourselves against such heresay, note that we aren’t suggesting you give up the world’s largest search engine and its billions of users permanently. Instead, we are recommending that you take a break from obsessing about keywords, links, and algorithms.

If you were to do so, even for a limited amount of time, you might benefit from a handful of interesting side effects:

Better blog posts and other content. It’s easy to get blinded by keywords and links when you’re putting together posts, but that’s not what attracts readers (and ultimately those readers give you SEO results). By ignoring SEO, you can pay attention to producing clear, compelling posts that attract attention organically.

More focus on other Internet marketing avenues. A lot of the companies we work with fall into the trap of ignoring things like email marketing and PPC because they already have a profitable SEO effort in place. Who says you have to give up one just to enjoy the other?

Stronger social interaction. The same goes for social media, which often takes a backseat to SEO even though it can be just as powerful. Plus, the stronger your social following is, the more likely you are to enjoy a high Google page rank.

Ultimately, the goal would be to take these advantages and not just profit from them, but use them for a more comprehensive search engine optimization plan going forward. So you see, we aren’t asking you to give up SEO at all… just to consider not prioritizing it so heavily that you miss the forest for the trees.

Some things are just crazy enough to work, and we encourage you to give our non-SEO search-boosting plan a try this fall!

When you need the best in responsive Internet marketing, turn to CAYK® – Calgary’s most trusted team!

By David A. West  Join me on Google+