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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

Important Considerations for Hiring a Marketing Agency

Deciding to move your marketing in a new direction always comes with a lot of options and even more considerations. One of the larger decisions comes down to whether or not you rely on a singular professional within your organization, or if you need to outsource your marketing efforts to an established agency. When it comes to online and digital marketing, you can’t go wrong with hiring a team to take your business to the top.

Be More Profitable While Spending Less

Once the upcoming minimum wage increase comes into effect in Alberta, the cost of hiring a single minimum wage employee for a full time position will be over $35,000. This expense includes CPP, EI, twelve statutory holidays, and vacation pay. Hiring a more qualified or experienced individual, like a marketing manager, will involve much higher wage expectations. In some cases hiring an agency will cost a business significantly less than a single full time staff member. Besides, when was the last time your employee submitted an ROI evaluation on the cost of their salary?

Gain Access to Multiple Talented Individuals

One person has some skills, but an agency has many. Consider having a single full time employee to manage your online marketing. If they are a talented designer, they’re probably not a skilled programmer. If they are a skilled programmer, they probably do not claim to be a professional writer, and if they are a writer, I bet that they don’t have decades of experience in marketing. Why hire one person, and get one skillset, if you can hire an entire team?

Get Better Results With Less of Your Time

If you hire one person, you also need to manage that person. Working with an agency should be as seamless as working with your most productive employee. They should be coming to you with recommendations, strategy, and reports. What they should not be doing is consuming your valuable time by requiring your direct supervision to ensure that your goals are being met.

By working with an agency like CAYK Marketing Inc., you get a team experienced in the latest digital marketing trends, knowledge in search engine optimization, social media management, conversion optimization, Marketing Automation and, at the core, website development. Our staff is certified in Google Adwords and Analytics,and we have Hubspot and Sharpspring Specialists on board, not to mention decades of experience online, even many years before Google was founded. This means we know how to market a business, run ad campaigns, review data, and optimize your marketing processes. Beyond everything else, we employ a whole team of designers, programmers, and over a dozen writers.

You get more talent, save management time, and can actually measure results of your efforts, all while potentially saving on overall expenses. If you’re interested in hiring an agency to take care of your online marketing, feel free to contact the CAYK team for a consultation.

Categories
Internet Marketing Online Marketing

How Do Inbound Marketing and My Website Work Together?

A successful marketing plan is a large, complex machine, with many moving parts all working together to help you grow. When it comes to generating and converting leads, one of the most important elements is your website. So how exactly does it empower your inbound strategy?

Understanding Inbound

One of your primary marketing goals should be to accomplish a substantial and consistent flow of new leads and combine it with a high and steady rate of conversion. The first step of this process is determining how to bring in those new leads in the first place. For quite some time now, one of the go-to frameworks for making this happen has been inbound marketing. Modern digital marketing isn’t just about inserting your presence into the lives of potential customers, it’s about contributing something of value to the web so that you’ll be found when people are searching for something that is relevant to their needs.

The Many Functions of Your Site

Potential customers need good reasons to seek out and continuously experience your brand. In this regard, there are few things that can benefit your strategy more powerfully than your website. Having thorough and concise information on your products or services is essential, but it’s only a portion of the full picture. For instance, writing and routinely updating an informative and engaging blog will supercharge the value and draw of your website. Not only this, but you’ll need to have a mobile-friendly site that is expertly designed on a visual and technical level so that it’s intuitive to navigate and will have a wider presence in search results.

Working in Synergy

After understanding the broader importance of inbound marketing and the utility of your site in generating appeal and search visibility, the next step is to appreciate how the two can operate with other tools. Inbound marketing isn’t just about your site, as social media also plays a critical role. When you establish a strong social media presence with the right quantity and quality of engagement with your community, directing attention to your site by linking to its content in social posts can be a strong model for driving inbound traffic. When individual components are up to par and empower one another in the right ways, that’s a recipe for success!

You won’t get the most out of the inbound philosophy without a top-notch website. Not only can CAYK provide you with exactly that, we can go above and beyond and offer a comprehensive holistic marketing strategy that will help your company thrive. Call us at (403) 456-0072 today!

Categories
Internet Marketing

Are You Getting Untrustworthy Marketing Advice?

Digital marketing is a competitive field, and everyone has their own approach to helping businesses succeed. However, an agency that approaches you with certain motives may not have your best interests at heart. From false data to false promises, here’s how to spot them.

The Traffic Audit

Dishonest marketing agencies employ a number of unsavory strategies to get new clients, but there’s one in particular that we’d like to focus on. If you run a small business, you may at some point be approached by a marketing team offering to run a free test of your site’s rate of visitor traffic over the past few months, purporting to use auditing tools like Alexa or SEMrush. This could be via phone, email, or an online form. Following the test, you’ll probably be told that your traffic has not improved across the time they tested it for, and that with their services you’ll see the increase that you want.

What’s Really Going On?

The shock of learning that your site is underperforming could make it tempting to believe them. However, there’s a pretty high likelihood that this assessment of your traffic isn’t entirely truthful. In fact, they may not have even run a genuine audit in the first place. If you’re already working with a different team, this deceptive agency’s motive is first and foremost to distance you from that team so that they can step in. They simply want to get you as a client, not to help your company with its marketing efforts out of a genuine desire to see you succeed.

Transparency and Results

As surprising as it may be to hear that marketers get up to these kinds of things, it’s unfortunately not uncommon. It highlights a key underlying issue behind many marketing practices: Transparency matters more than some are willing to admit. A marketing team has a responsibility to work with its clients in a way that offers all the information they need on a routine basis. This is why CAYK believes so strongly in the importance of 30-day and 90-day account reviews. It demonstrates not only that we have the ability to get you results, but that we have the integrity to provide you with the experience you deserve!

Don’t be fooled by deceptive tactics. A marketing agency that doesn’t practice honesty and integrity won’t have your back when it matters most. To find out more about how we structure our marketing plans to put your needs first, get in touch with CAYK at (403) 456-0072 today!

Categories
Online Marketing

Are You Making Any of These Marketing Automation Mistakes?

Marketing automation involves a number of tools and strategies that can be powerful allies for your business, but only if you utilize them correctly. The occasional misstep in implementation is one thing, but some mistakes can significantly compromise your automation approach.

Neglecting Key Inbound Strategies

In order for your marketing strategy to bring you new business, you need to generate leads. Marketing automation excels at understanding existing leads and nurturing them so that they are guided through the purchase funnel to become loyal clients, but this is only part of the overall journey. If you put time, money, and effort into automated marketing actions without developing the inbound-focused aspects of your strategy that will bring leads to you in the first place, all that automation will only do you so much good. From your content to your social media, have your bases covered!

Falling Short on CRO

As good as marketing automation is at lead nurturing, it won’t maximize your conversion rates all on its own. For this you need to ensure that you have all of your sharpest CRO tools in the shed and that you use them the right way. Know your KPIs, know your audience, and have a detailed understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your site. How well-placed and well-written are your CTAs? How smooth is the navigation of your site, and can your leads intuitively get to where you need them to go? Failing to take elements like these into consideration can mean wasted efforts when it comes to your automation.

Trying to Do It Yourself

Building an inbound-centred marketing automation strategy that places necessary focus on your site and its CRO is a complex and potentially overwhelming endeavour. There are many different metrics to keep tabs on and decisions to be made on a routine basis. It’s definitely not an aspect of digital marketing that should be approached as a DIY project. Instead, the best way to get it right is to join up with a marketing team who can meet with you regularly, set actionable goals, and communicate smoothly with you throughout the process. This will help you avoid even the most common mistakes out there!

With the growth of new and exciting inbound philosophies in digital marketing, a revitalized perspective on marketing automation has changed the way businesses use it to bring in new clients. Give CAYK a call at (403) 456-0072 to find out how we can make it work for you!

Categories
Online Marketing

Knowing the Limits of Marketing Automation Software

As demonstrated by last week’s blog, finding affordable, effective marketing automation solutions is as easy as ever. Meanwhile, important questions arise when you look deeper into automation techniques. For instance, is it really the software itself that defines your success?

The Basics

What is the basic functionality of your average marketing automation strategy? On a general level, it’s helpful to think of automated marketing actions as being activated either at a regular interval defined by you, or when a certain condition arises, also defined by you. The ideal marketing automation solution will respond dynamically to your leads, learning as much about them as possible and allowing you to target more effectively. You’ll then be able to trust your site or email campaign to follow up on the right conditions with the right actions, producing a more personalized experience for leads as they move through the funnel.

Today’s Software

While the above is all well and good as a fantasy, it’s important to know how to separate the imaginary best-case scenario from the practical, actionable aspects of the technology. For one thing, a lot of today’s marketing automation technology focuses on things like email campaigns, which occupy the outbound end of the marketing spectrum. While this is an important and helpful part of any strategy, the fullest potential of automation lies in its integration with inbound marketing strategy. When something as dynamic and complex as an inbound strategy enters the mix, you can be sure that no single software solution for marketing automation will be your magic bullet.

Recipe for Success

If the automation software alone won’t necessarily guarantee you the best results, then what will bring you closest to that ideal solution? As always in digital marketing, it’s the person using the technology and the way in which they use it that will mean the difference between failure and success. Inbound marketing automation can take the effectiveness of your site — not to mention your overall customer experience — to another level, but only if you have the right people by your side to make it work. Opt for a team with maximum inbound experience and you’ll have a real recipe for success!

Even the most impressive strategy can fall flat when not implemented with the right tools and commanded by the right person. CAYK is here to help you and your business navigate today’s modern marketing world with skill and tact, so call us today at (403) 456-0072 to get started!

Categories
Internet Marketing Online Marketing

Hashtags: Where to Use Them and Where to Rule Them Out

It’s hard to think about social media without also thinking about hashtags. Their use has become practically universal across all the biggest platforms. However, they don’t function the same way on all networks and their use is more advisable on some than on others. Let’s find out why.

A Little Background

Twitter is certainly one of the primary platforms that has become known for hashtag use, but it’s not where they originated. The “pound” symbol was actually implemented in the ‘90s to signify the designation of different discussion groups for the online chat protocol IRC. Several years later, a former Google designer named Chris Messina suggested the use of the pound symbol for sorting discussion groups on Twitter. Not long after this idea caught on, it was fully implemented on Twitter and spread to other platforms, quickly becoming the popular tool for grouping and trending that we use today.

Smart Usage

On many platforms, a good command of hashtag use will contribute to your success. That being said, it’s important to keep in mind that simply “using them” isn’t a comprehensive strategy for understanding their function. For one thing, excessive use of hashtags on any platform is guaranteed to get you in trouble. They can easily become disruptive to the flow of your content. As soon as a follower notices an excess in hashtags, they’re no longer thinking about your content. Instead, they probably see your efforts as a bit heavy-handed and insincere. Do research on the hashtags you plan to use in a post and only use the ones that are popular and functional enough.

Different Results in Different Places

Using hashtags on Twitter is a great idea, usually by applying a couple per tweet. They are also highly advantageous on Instagram, with 3 to 4 typically being a safe bet. Their use on Facebook, however, should be restrained, if not avoided altogether. Facebook has not refined its hashtag-related search result system enough to make for popular or functional use. In most places on Pinterest, they aren’t even made clickable, and when they are, search results for related boards aren’t guaranteed to actually connect well to the given hashtag. No matter what the platform, always remember that too many will significantly decrease your engagement!

How do you use hashtags in your marketing approach? This is just one small aspect of social media strategy that is essential to master when sharpening the brand and visibility of your business. CAYK can help you with this and more, so give us a call at (403) 456-0072 today!

Categories
Online Marketing

Marketing Strategy Showdown: SEO or PPC?

A holistic approach to marketing means applying a well-organized, comprehensive set of tools to attain your goals, but sometimes a decision needs to be made that will prioritize one method over another. For instance, in a friendly match between SEO and PPC, who would win?

Round One

Let’s say you want to bring in more traffic to your website, and you want it to be of high quality. You want those visitors to not only come back, but also to feel that you are the best possible choice for them. How do you make it happen? Good SEO practices, such as properly written URLs, page names, anchor text, and excellent shareable content can be powerful allies here. That being said, they take time to kick in, and although SEO can work wonders for the right goals, it’s prone to struggle if it has to do all the work.

Round Two

Imagine that you’ve found your organic search visibility too temperamental to be relied upon entirely for the growth of your business. You want visibility that will be measurable and immediate, and you want it to bring you that precious traffic we mentioned earlier. Better yet, that traffic should be directed to particular places on your website. Last but not least, you want to be able to consult the numbers and adjust your plan as it moves along. PPC wins this round! With smart bidding and strategic skill, a strong set of AdWords campaigns can lock down all of the above.

Overtime

What if you select a sole winner and devote as much time and energy to it as you can? You may have chosen to invest in a heavy content plan and a rigorous overhaul of your on-page SEO factors. Or, you may have put a bulk of funds into a number of AdWords campaigns, hoping that most of them will deliver. In either of these scenarios, you’ve unfortunately lost. SEO and PPC are two of the best tools in modern marketing, but they don’t fulfill their potential unless they’re used in tandem, complementing one another to comprise a formidable holistic strategy!

What marketing methods would you prioritize for the needs and aspirations of your business? The team at CAYK is here to help you apply the tools in a way that gives you the most effective results possible. Get in touch with us at (403) 457-0072 to find out what we can do for you!

Categories
Online Marketing

Content Matters: Your Clients Are Reading Your Website

Your marketing plan can’t live up to its potential unless you have great visibility in organic search results. Without high-quality content, this will only be a pipe dream. So what does “high quality” mean exactly? For one thing, it needs to be accessible not just to you, but to your clients!

Walking in Their Shoes

You know a thing or two about what you do. From your perspective, all the basic information surrounding your profession is pretty intuitive. So let’s say you start writing a blog to fill your company website with content that will boost your traffic, organic search ranking, and notoriety. The last thing you want is for someone to visit your blog hoping to learn about your products or services only to be confronted with insider jargon. If you don’t start from the ground up in terms of what topics you delve into, you’ll lose your leads quick. This is why ensuring that your content is accessible to the layperson is so critical.

The Value of a Professional Writer

There are many aspects of your marketing plan that you can (and should) be directly involved in. However, not only are you probably too busy to write all that copy yourself, there is a need for a certain tone and style designed for a more universal audience. This is where the value of a professional content writer lies. When you partner up with a marketing team to put together a digital marketing solution, part of that solution is combining the knowledge you have about your business with the skills of a writer who can translate that into valuable, approachable content for potential and established clients alike.

A Collaborative Process

What is the nature of the collaborative dynamic between you and the writers you’ve entrusted with your content? Instead of writing the web copy yourself, work closely to ensure that your writers know the key pieces of information that you want your leads and clients to grab ahold of. If you’ve chosen the right Calgary marketing agency, they’ll be able to use that information to build a picture of what you do, one that is accurate and detailed while also being helpful to someone who hasn’t worked in your industry!

Is the content on your company’s website accessible to your audience? Creating excellent content with a universal touch isn’t always easy, but it’s one of many marketing tasks that the CAYK team can help make easier. Call us at (403) 456-0072 today for more information!

Categories
Internet Marketing Search Engine Optimization

There’s More to Marketing Than Just PPC

We love the versatile and detail-oriented nature of an AdWords strategy, but the current digital marketing landscape is far too rich and varied to focus entirely on PPC. We’d like to run through the other superstars of the marketing arsenal so that you know what you have at your fingertips.

SEO and Search Marketing

Trying to buy your way onto search results pages with PPC isn’t the wisest or most cost-effective strategy for visibility. You’ll need to support your AdWords campaigns with diligent SEO practices so that your organic reach can compete with those of other companies. Great content with plenty of variety, smart on-page SEO, and other methods are very important!

Social Media and Community Management

No marketing strategy is complete without consideration of your wider audience, particularly with regards to how different leads and clients are linked together into a larger online community. Managing this with holistic yet detail-oriented application of social media platforms is the way to go. Engage with your followers and maintain a familiar, personal touch!

Blogs and Content

This is an important component of SEO, but its territory is rich enough to be examined in its own right. Your blog needs to strike many balances. It must provide detailed expertise while remaining accessible, have depth and variety while staying concise, and be consistent and reliable without boring your readers. Explore video content, written content, graphics, and more!

Inbound Calls and Live Chat

Many of the factors we’ve listed can be regarded as modes of communication with your leads and clients, but it’s the phone and live chat window where the most direct and personal correspondence will take place. Teaming up with a skilled team of inbound call and live chat operators will ensure that each exchange adds up to a competitive client experience.

Smart Branding

Even if you’ve covered all of the above, you’re missing one more key ingredient: branding. Utilize every resource you can to built an attractive, approachable, and distinct brand for yourself. Everything from the design of your site to how you use modern forms of content like video will contribute to an image that will be remembered, respected, and preferred!

With so many tools at hand, it’s inspiring to imagine all the possibilities available to you. CAYK aims to help you explore and utilize the best methods available, and we do it with the unique attributes of your business in mind. Get in touch at (403) 456-0072 to get started!