Category Archives: Marketing

Suggested paid sources of keyword research

Paid sources of keyword research, which, if you have the budget, can take your keyword research to a new level.

One of my top sources of paid keyword research is my Google Adwords account, which I use to promote selected dating sites. As well as driving cost effective, targeted traffic (if you know how to set your PPC activity up right in the first place), Adwords builds up a comprehensive data set related to the keywords that you initially set up. Google will also suggest new keywords and give you insights into the long tail keywords that drove your ad to be shown. Adwords and Pay Per Click advertising is a whole different subject, which will be covered in future articles. The objective of this article is to illustrate how, over time, you can build your own private pool of keyword research data.

At the time of writing, since April 2007 when I first started to use Adwords, my Adwords account has generated 500m impressions and 3.5 million clicks, for 22,500 keywords. This is an amazingly valuable source of data, and is now my first port of call when doing keyword research. If you are using Adwords or you are thinking of starting up an account, the side effect of targeted ads is the history you can build up on keywords for future research. The other benefit is that in using an Adwords account for dating as a niche, your data set will be very focussed on the niche.

There are a couple of features that I’d like to highlight for you. The first is when you start adding keywords to an existing campaign. Google will auto generate suggestions.

Google's Keyword Tool

These suggestions will be broad match keywords based on a trawl of your site. I click “Add all from this category” but before adding them to my campaign, I copy them and launch Google’s keyword tool and analyse the keywords for “Phrase” and “Exact” match volumes as well. This is a useful filter to identify potentially high volume new keywords. It also avoids stuffing your campaigns with large numbers of low value, under-performing keywords.

The second cool feature I’d like to run through is “Keyword details”.  Select at least a week’s performance as your range, and from the main Keywords page, click on the “Keyword details” tab for your selected keyword (just along from “Add keywords”). Google will then reveal to you the detailed long tail searches that it considered to be relevant to your seed keyword and the search itself. Some of these can be high volume and / or high click through, so this dimension to your keywords is well worth checking every now and then. You can select the keywords that you want to add to your campaign from this list.

If I have a particularly expensive keyword, i.e. high clicks and low or no conversions, I ALWAYS  check the keyword details to see if there are any hidden gems or bad long tail keywords that I either add to my campaign or block as negatives.

The second source of paid keyword sources is via a WordPress plugin called SEOPressor, which I reviewed in my article on Optimising WordPress blog posts. This is a very specific source of LSI keywords which are used by major search engines to identify what a site or blog is about. You can read more about LSI keywords here, with an extract below of the definition of LSI and how search engines use them;

Search engines, such as Google, use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) as part of their search   analysis, when trying to decide what websites will show up in their search results. The goal of   every Search Provider is to provide the most relevant results for any query. For example, if a user searches for the term “flat tire”, Google must decide what websites or documents are most relevant and display them in the search results. LSI plays a key role in what is returned on search engine results pages” (source: http://lsikeywords.com/).

 

SEOPressor has a feature which will suggest LSI keywords to include in your blog post, relative to your target keywords. LSI keywords are not always returned, but when they are, they are relevant and increase your SEO optimisation score as recorded by SEOPressor. What I also look for are LSI keywords that I can lift and use in the metatags of my dating sites and blog titles, as well as including them in my blog posts.

The third source of paid keywords which I use is Market Samurai, which I covered in some depth in my articleKeyword Conundrum.  A very useful feature of this tool is that you very quickly identify negative keywords from the analysis you get back, For example, I was researching the keyword “American girls” which came back in Google as having a huge broad and phrase match search volume. I analysed it in Market Samurai and soon discovered that “American Girl” is a massive fashion clothing brand in the USA, which would completely distort the searches I was trying to identify as guys looking for American girls. Saved me a lot of time and wasted advertising.

In summary:

  • Paid sources of keywords research can enhance and improve your SEO performance, if you have the budget to invest;
  • Google Adwords, SEOPressor for WordPress and Market Samurai are the tools I use most at the moment as paid sources of keyword research.

Good luck with your keyword research, and best wishes,

Steve Bolton aka Dateblogger

Google Analytics – Analysis Tools

If you read my previous article on Google Analytics (GA), then you hopefully have already set up your own GA Performance tracking and are accumulating valuable performance data and insight into your dating site. This article will look at the available analysis reports that come as standard in the Audience section of GA.

This section gives an insight into your visitors’ location and language, how they reach your site and how they engage with your site. The standard overview page looks like this:

Immediately, you can see the value in this data – the graph indicates visitor trends over time against a comparative period and allows you to compare two metrics alongside each other. Select the date range and comparative period in the “Date” section on the top right of the screen. Select the metrics to compare in the top left of the screen, just under the “Overview” tab.

Demographics

The number of visitors to the site is compared to a previous period set by you so that you see trends, how many pages were visited, and the average visit duration. You can also see the number of new visits to your site and what proportion of the total they were.

Under “Demographics” (bottom right), you can get an overview of visitors by “Language”, “Country”, “System” and “Mobile”.

  • The language profile is important if you have a multi-language site – are you accommodating the majority of visitors with their respective language pages on your site?
  • Under the country section, check out the geographic analysis by city – are there opportunities emerging from the data to target city specific web sites?
  • If you have Pay Per Click campaigns targeted at specific countries, are there any countries driving traffic organically that are worth targeting within a paid campaign?
  • What proportion of visits are coming from mobile devices, and should any PPC campaigns be targeted at mobile traffic only?

So just from this one initial screen, at a very high level of analysis, there are already some key questions emerging, which could lead to new geographical, language and device targeting.

Visitors Flow

The “Demographics” screen will give insights into which visitors from which country are spending the most or least time on the site, therefore which territories have the greatest engagement on it, this is important for PPC targeting in particular.

Under “Behaviour”, you can see an analysis of “new v returning” visitors and an analysis of “frequency and recency”, which shows a count of visits with a breakdown of multiple visits and the number of days since the last visit by returning visitors. The returning visitors and number of repeat visits is an indication of conversions and site activity. The “engagement” analysis shows how long visitors stay on your site, which is an indication of the relevance of the site to the initial search. If this indicator is deteriorating, it is a sign that the quality of the search terms either in natural search, paid or both are less relevant so need addressing/reviewing.

One of the most revealing standard sections, in my opinion, is the “Visitors Flow” – when your visitors touch down on your site, which could be on any indexed page, what do they do? Do they exit and search for something else? Do they click on a link on the page and explore further? How many pages do they look at? “Visitors Flow” will give you this insight and will give you an indication of which pages work best to keep the visitor on your site:

This analysis shows which of the pages are the most engaging and keep visitors on the site – the longer you can keep them, the better chance you have of converting them. Can we find this out for sure? Watch out for a future article on Conversions!

In Summary

  • The basic standard reports are excellent for meaningful insights into key dimensions of your marketing efforts;
  • Regular review and assessment is essential to monitor trends and identify commercial opportunities to test;
  • If you set up GA for your own site a few weeks ago, go there now, check out your stats and start thinking and doing!

The next article will explore the “Content” standard reports. Good luck!

Steve Bolton aka Dateblogger

 

Google Analytics – a “must have” tool for site performance insights

When setting up a dating site, there are a number of key performance criteria that you need to keep visibility of and that must be managed effectively to continually drive performance improvement. If you are serious about building your dating site’s brand, quality of conversion and profitability, then on-going analysis of your site’s performance must become a routine discipline.

The lifeblood of all websites is traffic, but which types of traffic convert best for you? There are a number of sources of traffic that you can generate:

  • DIRECT traffic from SEO (search engine optimisation) requires time, effort and focus on both “on page” and “off page” elements;
  • PAID traffic requires a budget and on-going test and control of ads and keywords to strive for the best return on investment;
  • REFERRAL traffic requires time and effort to write blogs, articles and forum posts linking to your site, as well as social activities on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

The best free tool, in my opinion, to gain visibility across all of these activities is Google Analytics (GA). So, how do you set up Google Analytics on your site?

Google Analytics Setup

You will need a snippet of code, which is generated when you add your site to a Google Analytics account. Read this article from Google Analytics on “How to set up the web tracking code”, it is very straightforward. Copy the code snippet, and in the admin area of your dating site, under “Tracking Codes”, scroll down the page and add the code snippet into the “Every page code” box. Press “Save” then “Publish”. Once your site is published, it will take a day or so for Google Analytics to start collecting data, but it is well worth doing.

This is the summary page for one of my sites, which I have optimised for SEO. I have blog posts as reviews of the site, and I have a Google PPC campaign running on it:

Traffic Sources Overview

From this analysis for April 2013 compared to the previous month, I can see the traffic profile by hour and the mix of Direct, Referral and Search traffic. By clicking on the “All Traffic” tab under “Sources”, I can see where the traffic has come from – for example, I can see that of my 8,794 visitors in April, 5,206 (59%) came via my Google PPC campaign. In the previous month, I had 7,288 visitors via Google PPC (63% of total visitors) – I expected this as I reduced my maximum cost per click in April on my campaign, as I wanted to see the conversion benefit from my higher investment in March come through in paid conversions. When I see the benefit, I’ll increase my cost per click maximum again. If not, I’ll work out the cost per click I am willing to commit to against the level of paid conversions that I get in return.

My direct traffic will be a combination of existing members visiting the site and new visitors finding the site through natural search. I can see which page the visitors touch down on first, how long they stay on the site, and the percentage of new visitors on each landing page. For example, the number of new visitors who land on the registration page is 90%, which is great, as that’s where you want new visitors to be! On the login page, the number of new visitors is lower at 50%, which is still high but can be managed by how you prioritise your pages in your sitemap.xml file.

My referral traffic is from my other dating sites, blogs and syndicated RSS feeds. I can see how the referrals from my other dating sites create additional traffic flow and justifies the effort to add links to relevant sites in the footer of your dating site. I can also see the click throughs from blogs that I have set up to review my sites on both WordPress and Blogger.

For all these visitors, I can drill down by “City” to find other potential niche dating sites to set up, which I will do as subdomains of the main site, mainly because subdomains are free as part of my hosting package.

In Summary:

  • Google Analytics, in my opinion, is the best free performance analytics tool available;
  • It takes minutes to set up an account and to get the tracking code snippet to insert into your dating site;
  • Once your site is published, GA will start to accumulate valuable insights into many dimensions of your site’s performance.
  • Monitor and analyse your traffic flows, interpret them and act upon new findings as they emerge.
  • Set GA up now!

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Steve Bolton aka Dateblogger

The State of B2B Social Media for 2013 Roundtable

I attended an excellent roundtable at B2BMarketing.net last Friday on ‘The State of B2B Social Media for 2013′. It was a very helpful experience, and I was able to learn a lot from B2B Marketing. The Social Media Benchmarking Report was produced by B2B Marketing and is designed to provide an insight on key social media trends and activities in B2B businesses. I took some notes on the topics presented that I deemed would be helpful to all of us marketers and business owners in light of social media in the business.

Here is some of the information I gathered from the presentations to assist us with our social media marketing strategy.

Which social media channels can be the most useful in business?

These are the highest ranking and where the most traffic is drawn from in social media:

  • Twitter 85% – Very simple yet effective in promoting brands and giving them exposure online. This is a great channel to connect with journalists and reviewers to write about your dating business.
  • LinkedIn 82% – This is an excellent channel for establishing new connections and getting contact details for contacts in your niche.
  • YouTube 77% – The most popular video uploading site in the world. YouTube makes a great social media marketing strategy. People will easily remember your business from tutorials, vlogs and infomercials. Video content is the most popular on social media.
  • Facebook 71% – Millions upon millions of people all around the world have a Facebook account. Social media is even easier when people share and like your pages. It’s a great way to establish an audience and a great site to promote your brand with a Facebook page to millions of people.
  • Google+ 36% – Google is the largest and most popular search engine. It is predicted to become the most useful social network. B2B Marketing suggests you should be running Google Plus in the background now. Google has spent millions on Google Plus, and they will not let this social media channel fail. B2B suggests you should be using Google Plus as part of your social media strategy, and put in the ground work now as this is going to be massive in 12 months time. By creating content on this social media channel, it will help bump up your Google organic search engine results. Also, they recommend adding a profile picture as part of your author’s signature as this really shouts out your content, and your content will rank higher in the search engines.

What role should technology be playing in the B2B platform?

Technology has served us well in the past and continues to do so even to this day. It has been a great help to B2B marketers for the past decade. Though you should not solely depend on technology and social media for the future of your business, you can take advantage of it to make your business expand. It’s easier to connect to others with the technology we have today, it’s easier to make contacts and create business opportunities. Technology and social media has immense potential in B2B, that is why most businesses make use of it to target more audiences worldwide.

Tips on using B2B Social Media Marketing

Businesses use different social media platforms for different demographics. It’s important to break down the platforms so you have clear goals on what you want to achieve from each platform. Don’t do random attacks on marketing, have a clear strategic plan to follow. It’s important to ask yourself why you are doing this. What goals you want to achieve? What are you going to get out of it? When you achieve results, your business will grow.

B2B Marketing recommends writing an excellent piece of content each month rather than average content every week. You need to tailor your content to your audience’s needs. Don’t repeat the same message that people are saying in the market. Find out what interests your audience and push this content through the social media channels.

In conclusion of the role of social media in businesses, I have come up with this statement. Social media is indeed important in growing and expanding our businesses. With the help of social media, you can establish core relationships with more than just business partners; you can expand those relationship and open opportunities to meet people online who can be a beneficial alliance to your business. Via social media interaction, you can set the foundations for valuable business relationships and drive traffic to your website making a massive impact on your online business.

Please, see the attached info graphic for you to view on ‘The State of B2B Social Media for 2013′ fromhttp://www.b2bmarketing.net

The State of B2B Social Media for 2013 Roundtable

How to determine which of your keywords bring sales on your sites?

Google Pay-per-click marketing enables you to advertise on Google, getting your message out to a vast audience of internet searchers.

It is not that difficult to add Google AdWords codes to track conversions on your sites. But do you know that it can also determine which of your keywords generate more sales on your sites? With this knowledge you will be able to deactivate the keywords which burn your money without bringing you a single penny on your ROI.

How do you start tracking which of your keywords brings sales? It’s quite easy, just follow these simple steps.

  • Contact your account manager. Send a request to activate Get-parameters report for your account. Your account manager will then activate this report. When it is done, you will see the new section appear in the report section.
  • Add get-parameters to the link you’re sending your traffic to from your AdWords campaign.Here’s an example of the link to use: http://yourlandingpage.com/?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=senior&utm_term={keyword},utm_source: the name of your traffic source (In our case, Google)
    utm_campaign: the name of your campaign (you can label it so you could point out which of your sites the report is referring to. E.g. “Senior” for senior niche market, etc.)
    utm_term: the most important get-parameter here is. As you can see {keyword} macro is tracking this get-parameter. This macro will fetch the keywords that brought the members to
    your site and display them in the reports on your Dating Factory admin panel.

Remember, the more you drive traffic through the link with get-parameters in it, you will gather more data on your keywords performance thus giving you more reliable your stats.
By using this simple technique, you will get your ROI faster as you’ll be spending less on your PPC campaigns.

Take note: Never hesitate to ask your account manager for assistance when you need it.

Nick Dovgopolyy
Senior partner manager

Comments (7)

  • Steve Bolton says:

    Thanks Nick, great tip – does the code just apply at ad level – what about individual keywords pointing to say the registration page and or different language pages, which supercedes the ad url link? Does the code just append at the end of each link?

  • Nick Dovgopolyy says:

    Hi Steve, yes, you need to add this code to every link if you want to see your keywords performance.

  • Steve Bolton says:

    Be aware that adding the extension to existing ads in some instances will temporarily “disable” them whilst they are reviewed by Google – I have set up new ads with the tracking extension, (i.e. copy the old ad and add the tracking code extension), and will pause the old ads when the tracking versions are approved.

  • Steve Bolton says:

    Thanks Nick, thought that would be the case, cheers.

  • Nick Dovgopolyy says:

    Steve, thanks for your input.
    Yes, it is better to create another ad(s) similar to one(s) you have currently running and place the links with the extensions there. When you see them approved, you’ll be able to switch to these new ads.

  • Siva Ganesamoorthy says:

    Thanks for this wonderful article Nick. I was actually going to put this in as a request for development but I’m glad to see that this is now there for use!

    I think it is also important to point out that {keyword} isn’t the only variable that can be tracked via this method. Please see https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2375447?hl=en-GB

    This is Google Adwords’ ValueTrack parameters. It allows you to send the keyword matchtype, device etc. After the 22nd of July, it will even be more important for Adwords Advertisers to be able to use this feature once Enhanced Campaigns has been fully rolled out. Tying this in with Google Analytics will at least regain some control that is being lost by the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns.

    At least you will be able to see sales that are attributable to mobile and sales from desktops and tablets. Analytics will give you the other funnelling information that is desired.