Velocitize your web marketing

Author Archives: Mike Fleming

Usability Audit: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of

Ikea usability audit

Sometime amidst all the content about “how to do x” and “x steps to world domination,” it helps to just take a tour through something.  It helps to take a real-life living, breathing (OK, websites don’t breathe, but you get it) example and dive deep into it.  Examine it.  Poke and prod it.  That’s what I’m going to do here.

Instead of talking theory about how to have a better website, we’re going to tour one together.  In the midst of all the data there is to analyze, sometimes you can learn the most just by going and using a site.  Click things.  Download things.  Search for things.  Usually, you find enough issues to keep your team busy for a while.  You should also come away with questions about many things that can lead to testing.

For this tour, our team randomly chose a big brand they were interested in and told me to lead you on a tour of it.  They chose IKEA.  If you’re unfamiliar with this brand, they are a multinational group of companies that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture (such as beds, chairs and desks), appliances, small motor vehicles and home accessories.  Most of the women I know love it.  Here’s the United States version of their website, which is what I focused on.

Here we go!

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Which PPC Campaign Types & Platforms Should You Choose? (Search Vendors Edition)

PPC Campaign types

You’ve got an online advertising budget. You want more of the right customers. But where should you go first, second and third? There are so many options available that it can be overwhelming, even for someone like me who follows the industry day in and day out. What platform should you choose? What kind of campaign should you choose? I’m here to help answer those questions.

I’m going to provide you with a general overview of the current campaign options available through the different PPC platforms. In this post, I’ll start with the search vendor platforms. Note: This is not meant to be a comprehensive look at each campaign type. It’s simply meant to give you some direction for what’s at your disposal and which options might be the best fit for your business. After getting a general feeling for these, you should dive deeper into researching proper set up and good strategy for each.

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The Only 2 Things You Need To Do Right To Have A Great Website

Two things you need to do to have a great website

There are only two things you need to get right to have a great website. The first is – meet your users’ expectations. When they arrive on your site, are they content they’ve arrived at a place that’s going to meet their needs, or are they not quite sure? Do you have exactly what they came to the site for, or do they need to look somewhere else?

The second is – make it easy to use. When they go to use your site, do certain elements confuse them and leave questions in their heads? Do they ever get frustrated? Or do they find it easy and time-efficient to complete whatever tasks they came to the site to complete?

Meet users’ expectations. Make it easy to use. Do those two things well and you’ll have a great website. Do them not so well, and your business will suffer the consequences.

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Awesomize Google Analytics (Part III) – Filter Your Data


Setting up Google Analytics filters

Welcome to Part III of awesomizing your Google Analytics account!  If you haven’t already, make sure you go back and check out Part I and Part II  before implementing what’s in this post.  It will save you some trouble because awesomization (awesome + customization) is a process.  But once you have a great account structure and you’re collecting valuable data that’s specific to your website, you’ll want to filter out some data that comes into your reports after you install the standard global analytics tracking code.

SifterThe tracking code isn’t partial. It just does what it does.  Therefore, it’s going to collect all of the data it can when it fires — whether you want all of it or not.  Chances are, you don’t want all of it, so it’s good to have what you don’t want taken out of your reports so you don’t come to false conclusions regarding what you observe.  This will happen if you’re unaware that your data was polluted by something you didn’t want there.

Here are some popular types of data that many businesses want filtered out of their Google Analytics accounts (or specific views within their accounts).  Read through them and consider what might be appropriate specifically for you.

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Getting to Know Bing Ads Universal Event Tracking

Bing Ads Universal Event Tracking

Bing Ads has rolled out a new system of tracking valuable actions that result from the ad campaigns run on their platform.  It’s called Universal Event Tracking (UET).  With one snippet of code placed across your entire website, UET tracks not only macro-conversions like sales or leads, but also does the following:

  • Tracks micro-conversions like visit duration, bounce rate, pages per visit or meaningful events (events require a small additional script, see below).
  • Tracks dynamic revenue numbers for sales with different values.
  • Abandons cookies for identifying users in favor of user IDs.  User IDs provide the ability to track users across devices as far back as 90 days.  The downside is they can only do this when they “know devices belong to the same user” (BingAds’ words).  Translation – it can only work for users logged into their Microsoft account.
  • Allows for remarketing functionality rumored to be released to all advertisers in late 2015.  Most sites use Google Analytics to create their remarketing audiences.  But these audiences aren’t available to be used in BingAds.  Therefore, Bing had to create a way for audiences to be created if they wanted to offer remarketing campaign capability.  This is their solution.  If you get this set up right away, users can start being tagged before remarketing capability even gets launched.  When it does, it will put you ahead of the curve.  To start, you’ll only be able to do search remarketing ads.  This means you can target users who have been to your website previously and are doing subsequent searches within their search network.

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Awesomize Google Analytics (Part II) – Collect Site-Specific Data

Google analytics setup

Welcome to Part II of awesomizing your Google Analytics account!  If you haven’t read Part I of this series yet (Create a Great Account Structure), I would encourage you to do so.  While you don’t necessarily need to implement my recommendations in order, having a good account structure in place first helps keep you organized as you implement the rest.

Our second way to awesomize (awesome + customize) your account is . .  . collecting site-specific data. As I said in Part I, there’s certain data that doesn’t come with the out-of-the-box version of Google Analytics.  It needs to be customized because you are unique.

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Awesomize Google Analytics (Part I) – Create A Great Account Structure

It's important to set up Google Analytics account structure to fit your business' unique needs.

If you’re not taking full advantage of all that your Google Analytics account can do for you, you’re leaving strategy-changing, business-changing insights on the table.  Sure, you’ve inserted the standard tracking code and are collecting the standard data.  But your business and your website are not “standard,” are they?  No, you’re one of a kind!  Your account should be also.

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Is Bad Website Navigation Costing You Customers?

Bad website navigation can cost you customers.
Tons of time and attention are given to website content, optimization and a number of other web marketing aspects. What often gets ignored is website navigation, which is shame because it is actually one of the most important parts of your web presence. Get it right, and your navigation will guide visitors easily through your site and to their (and your) ultimate goal. Get it wrong and the only place you will guide visitors off your site.

So HOW can bad navigation cost you customers? I count the ways (six of them to be exact) in my latest article for SEMRush.

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10 Time-Tested Ways to Convert Website Visitors Into Customers

How to convert website visitors

You’ve put a lot of time, money, and energy into your website.  You’ve spent hours discussing (probably arguing!) over opinions about details like design, layout, and functionality.  You’ve agonized over major decisions that you know will have an important impact on the business. You hope you’ve made the right ones.  You hope there aren’t details you’re missing that will hinder its performance and turn off your target market.  You hope it persuades your visitors that you’re worth doing business with and that you really are better than your competition.

Does it?

Here I present to you some effective tactics that websites can do to persuade visitors, which you can use to analyze if yours is up to par.  Also, they will spark ideas on how you can improve.

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