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What to Know about A/B (and C) Testing

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What to Know about A/B (and ...
What is A/B testing, also called “split testing”? It’s another way to test your marketing strategies, or web campaigns side by side to see which one performs better and converts into the action you want taken, such as a sign-in, an email lead, or sale. Let’s say you want to know which day of the week an e-newsletter will get opened by the most people. You can send similar emails on different days (or different times of day) to see if the timing impacts the open rate.

A/B testing will allow you to make more fact-based decisions rather than guessing about what works and what doesn’t. It’s another way to review the performance of your marketing strategy.

But I would even go further. What if your less successful case of A/B testing can be improved to exceed the conversion rate of your more successful case?

I suggest doing A, B and C testing:

You start with three test cases: A, B, and C.
Let the campaigns run for a duration of time.
Compare the result of A, B, and C.
Drop the worst performer and add case A+ (assuming A did the best) to see if you can do even better with the best case.
Now you have A, B and A+ to compare.
Repeat this cycle until you figure out the top-performing case.

Sometimes you won’t narrow it down and make a final decision on which test case works best. You may end up increasing your budget and efforts to include all three marketing strategies, or you may decide to do just one or two on a larger scale. Whenever you reach the comfort zone of good results, you can increase the budget to launch the full-scale action.

The point is this: Analyzing your marketing strategies and actions, and readjusting them over and over must be performed in continuous cycles. Never stop this process if you want to keep learning and marketing your products and services successfully. A/B/C testing can help you continue this cycle.

With online marketing tools such as Google AdWords, Facebook, etc., you can easily manage and control your test cases until you figure out your perfect (or nearly perfect) formula.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #GoogleAnalytics #WebAnalytics #WebTools #ABTesting

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How to Set Up Google Analytics

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How to Set Up Google Analytics
If you really want to get serious about setting up analytics to understand and track your web performance, you might think about using Google Analytics. In fact, this is the perfect time of year to set it up so you can start fresh in the New Year and collect a full year of data in 2017. Without analytics data, you’re in the dark as to how to improve your online performance and you could be missing out on growth opportunities. Let’s discuss how you can get started with Google Analytics.

First, you need to have a Google account. If you already have a Gmail account, you could use that account, but if you are using it for personal use you might want to create a separate account for your business. Once your business account is set up it can be used for analytics, but you can also tap into some other handy web tools like Google Webmaster Tools and AdWords. The best part about it, all of this is free to you!

Once you have a Google account, you can login to Google Analytics and select the Admin tab from the menu. It will show you three steps: 1) Account, 2) Property, and 3) View. Set up Account and Property first, and then click “Tracking Code” under “Tracking Info.” There you will set up web and mobile app tracking to obtain the code for your site. Once you get the tracking code, you need to embed it within your site. Either you need to do it, or you need to contact someone who can help you do it.

You can also configure items such as Goals so you can see your conversion rates. You can even add filters that discard any traffic to your website that comes from within your own company – because the point is to track new site visitors, not the people who work for you. Google has a simple video on YouTube explaining how to set up Google Analytics.

If it all sounds like a big hassle to set this up, and you’d rather not do it yourself, call us! This is what we do. Let PSPinc help you get set up with analytics and open your eyes to a wealth of new data that can help your business grow.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #GoogleAnalytics #WebAnalytics #WebTools #YouTube

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More Helpful Online Analytics Tools

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When it comes to measuring your marketing efforts online, Google Analytics is best known for its analytics capabilities, but you do have other choices that are available to you for free. Today we will introduce some of them.

For your site ranking:

There is a free and interesting site called Alexa.com, which is now a subsidiary of Amazon.com. It measures your site’s ranking (popularity) in the world, or in a specific country. You simply go to alexa.com, type in the domain name, and it will give you the traffic statistics for that website.

PSPinc has a popular free Japanese learning site which was ranked 251,277th place as November, and 32% of its traffic comes from United States. It also shows things like bounce rates, related sites, average daily page views, and duration on the site per user.

For your mobile performance:

Analyzing your site’s performance shouldn’t be based solely on traffic; you should also assess its quality. And a big indication of a good quality website is how user-friendly it is on mobile devices. Google has repeatedly stated it gives more favorable search engine results to sites that are mobile friendly.

You can go to Google's Mobile-Friendly Test Page and type in your website address. It will tell you if your site is mobile friendly and also show you how it appears to mobile users.

For your domain history:

Archive.org is a non-profit digital library of all previously published websites. You can enter a URL into the search field and find out a lot about its history and when it came into existence. Archive has captured the history of over 270 billion web pages across a 20-year span. The site was founded in 1996 and our website pspinc.com was first captured and stored in their database in December 1996!
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #GoogleAnalytics #WebAnalytics #WebTools

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Key Terms to Measure Social Media Performance

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Key Terms to Measure Social...
Some of the terms used to measure your key performance on social media will look different than what you use to analyze your website. Here are a few terms you should understand when assessing your social media performance...

Distribution:

How much exposure did you get through social media? How far and wide is your distribution? For example, how many additional fans, followers, or subscribers have you gained? Obviously it is good to have a bigger reach, but you also want to make sure you have the right audience captured in the pool of people to whom you distribute your message.

Engagement:

Once you built your following, how often did you engage them? If you have 1000 followers on Twitter but you don’t tweet them daily or even weekly, you give them nothing to engage and retweet, therefore limiting your capability to gain new followers. When followers like and retweet something you post, they are broadening your distribution by exposing you to their followers and so on. If you never post, don’t expect to broaden your reach.

Conversion:

Once you get the distribution and engage the users, the next important factor to assess is conversion: How many users from Facebook or other social media took the next step to contact you, hence, converting into a lead? For example, if you got 1000 likes on a Facebook photo, how many of those users turned into a lead? Conversions are much harder to track because you have to rely on your offline customer service to constantly ask and figure out where the lead came from, but it’s a good system to put in place nonetheless.

Ask yourself: What is your goal and objective for social media in 2017? And what would it take to get the distribution, engagement, and conversion in order to succeed? As you make plans, remember that it may not be easy to judge whether your effort to engage on social media has paid off just by looking at one statistic, so be patient and look at the numbers from a holistic view.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #SocialMedia #Facebook #Twitter #LinkedIn #Google

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Set your Social Media Expectations

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Set your Social Media Expectat...
Most likely your company’s social media sites are more interactive than your website. People react, comment, share, and use social media to approve, disapprove or voice their concerns. That was the point of Web 2.0 - the birth of our dynamic, two-way websites where users are empowered to participate. You can read more in my previous blog about SNS and Web 2.0.

So with all that dynamic activity available to you via social media, how do you measure its performance? First, you need to define your goals and objectives. You can’t evaluate your company’s performance on social media without having an objective in place. Without a goal to reach, your evaluations are hollow.

If you do have goals and objectives set for social media, you will be ready for my follow-up blog articles. If you have not set them, continue reading and allow me to guide you toward putting them in place so your posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter become more meaningful.

Let’s talk about goals and how you want social media to benefit your business.

First, think about how you engage with your customers now. What do you want them to perceive? What is the messaging you currently use to brand your company? Now apply the same thought to your social media communication as you set your goals.

Here are some samples of what a social media goal might look like:

- Get our restaurant reviewed by customers in order to create buzz marketing.

- Be an expert advisor on financial analysis for individuals ready to retire.

- Be the advocate on a new technology.


Once you have your goals, let’s put into place some realistic objectives. Your objectives are the means for you to reach your goals; they have to be more specific and measurable.

To get people to talk about the restaurant and create a buzz around it, your objective might be getting people to write reviews. How many reviews would you like to have? Do you have a specific social media outlet in which you prefer to get reviews? How many reviews do you think can you gain in 1 month, 2 months, or 3 months? What is your strategy, as far as, how will you ask for reviews from your customers?

To show off your financial advisor expertise on social media, what kind of content should you create and share? (Perhaps you should follow some other pages that give excellent data for you to share.) How many likes or shares would you like to get for each post? How many new followers would you like to get in a month?

Defining your goals and objectives will bring some depth to your social media performance, and give you something to work for, so make sure you start there first.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #SocialMedia #Facebook #Twitter #LinkedIn #Google

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More Website Analytics Terms Defined

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More Website Analytics Terms...
In last week’s blog about website analytics, we talked about visitors, page views, duration of stay and bounce rates. Let’s continue that conversation today with more about the language of website analytics:

Sessions:

This is a more comprehensive duration of stay statistic. For example, a visitor comes to your site, spends 5 minutes there, and views 3 pages. The same person comes back the next day, spends 2 minutes there, and views 6 pages. You had 2 sessions from the same person and the total session time was 7 minutes.

Language:

This is somewhat obvious; it indicates the country and language visitors use. Many of the statistics tools, including Google Analytics, use the ISO standard codes to display language. For example, English speaking U.S. visitors will show “en-us,” whereas English speaking British visitors will show as “en-gb.” You can find these combinations on Google. This information helps you understand where your visitors are coming from so you can adjust your content accordingly, or adjust your marketing strategy to target a certain demographic.

Referrers:

This tells you the source of your traffic. It is important to know how people found your site, and the websites that “referred” them there. When people type in your website domain address, they get “direct” access to your site, but if they came from another site, maybe from your blog, or from Facebook, these are called “referrer” sites. In Google Analytics, referrer information is stored in a section called “Acquisitions.” Acquisitions will show you how you acquired these visitors to your site.

There are other stats you might find interesting as well, one which shows the browsers people use, such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox. Another stat shows you which devices people use, such as a PC, smartphone or tablet. Knowing the devices could prove helpful when you’re considering how to optimize your website design for easy viewing across all devices.

In closing, remember it’s very important to understand the 5 W’s of your online business so you can plan your marketing accordingly. The 5 W’s include the who, what, when, where and why. Who is your target audience, what are they looking for and what is their behavior on your site, when are they visiting your site, where are they coming from, and why would they buy from you over others? Having this information, from web analytics, will help you make better informed decisions so your business can thrive.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #GoogleAnalytics #WebAnalytics #WebTools

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Important Web Analytics Terms - Cont.

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Important Web Analytics Terms...
In last week’s blog about website analytics, we talked about visitors, page views, duration of stay and bounce rates. Let’s continue that conversation today with more about the language of website analytics:

Sessions:

This is a more comprehensive duration of stay statistic. For example, a visitor comes to your site, spends 5 minutes there, and views 3 pages. The same person comes back the next day, spends 2 minutes there, and views 6 pages. You had 2 sessions from the same person and the total session time was 7 minutes.

Language:

This is somewhat obvious; it indicates the country and language visitors use. Many of the statistics tools, including Google Analytics, use the ISO standard codes to display language. For example, English speaking U.S. visitors will show “en-us,” whereas English speaking British visitors will show as “en-gb.” You can find these combinations on Google. This information helps you understand where your visitors are coming from so you can adjust your content accordingly, or adjust your marketing strategy to target a certain demographic.

Referrers:

This tells you the source of your traffic. It is important to know how people found your site, and the websites that “referred” them there. When people type in your website domain address, they get “direct” access to your site, but if they came from another site, maybe from your blog, or from Facebook, these are called “referrer” sites. In Google Analytics, referrer information is stored in a section called “Acquisitions.” Acquisitions will show you how you acquired these visitors to your site.

There are other stats you might find interesting as well, one which shows the browsers people use, such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox. Another stat shows you which devices people use, such as a PC, smartphone or tablet. Knowing the devices could prove helpful when you’re considering how to optimize your website design for easy viewing across all devices.

In closing, remember it’s very important to understand the 5 W’s of your online business so you can plan your marketing accordingly. The 5 W’s include the who, what, when, where and why. Who is your target audience, what are they looking for and what is their behavior on your site, when are they visiting your site, where are they coming from, and why would they buy from you over others? Having this information, from web analytics, will help you make better informed decisions so your business can thrive.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #GoogleAnalytics #WebAnalytics #WebTools

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UW 2016 Impact Awards Dinner

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UW 2016 Impact Awards UW 2016 Impact Awards Lenny Wilkens and PSPinc cus... Lenny Wilkens and PSPinc customer
Last night, PSPinc joined the University of Washington Foster School of Business Consulting and Business Development Center for their 2016 Impact Awards.

The Consulting and Business Development Center takes business education out of the classroom and puts it to work in communities across Washington. We had a great time at the event last night and we are proud to have helped sponsor it.
#blog

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Understanding your Website Traffic - The Basics

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Understanding your Website Tra...
December is a good month to review your company’s performance so you can plan ahead for the coming year. That should also include having a good understanding of your online performance. In the coming blogs for December, I’ll introduce you to the information and tools that can help you collect and assess your website traffic.

Oftentimes, we measure our website performance from the number of purchases, sign ups, or phone calls from it. But what if your site can improve those numbers by tweaking some content? In order to do that, it would certainly help to understand how people are coming to your website, from where, and how they behave once they get there. Is your traffic coming from social media sites like Facebook? Or from Google searches? How long do people typically stay on your website? What are their click habits once they’ve landed on your site? What pages do they gravitate to, or rarely click on?

Many web hosting companies, including PSPinc, provide basic web statistics for your website. If you don’t have access to that information, it may be time to switch your hosting company, or take the matter into your own hands. The most commonly used tool for tracking website analytics is called Google Analytics, in which a tag will be generated for you to embed within your homepage source code.

Many web analytics tools such as Google Analytics use the same basic terms, which you should know when it comes to assessing your company’s web performance:

Site visitors:

This is how many people landed on your website. Typically stats indicate the “total visitors” and “unique visitors” for a day, a week, or a month.

Page views:

This is how many pages people saw on your site. If 2 people visited your site, one saw 2 pages and the other saw 5 pages, your stats should reflect 2 visitors to your site with a total of 7 page views.

Duration of stay:

This is how long people are browsing your site, which is the duration of their stay. It is said that people generally decide in less than 30 seconds to stay on a web page, or navigate elsewhere. So if your website doesn’t give a great first impression when someone lands on it, you may be losing potential customers.

Bounce rates:

This indicates how often people are leaving from a specific web page. For example, if there are 10 visitors to a page, and 3 of them left from that page to go to another website, your bounce rate for that page is 30%. If you have a high bounce rate on certain pages, you should analyze why people are leaving and what can be improved. Perhaps you need a call to action or a more user-friendly shopping cart function, as an example.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #GoogleAnalytics #WebAnalytics #WebTools

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4 Ways to Measure your Social Media Performance

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4 Ways to Measure your Socia...
Hopefully by now you’ve set up your business’ social media accounts and started engaging customers. The next thing you need to do is measure your performance so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. Like all other online marketing strategies in business, social media requires your constant attention and fine tuning to be an effective marketing tool. In this conclusion to our social media for business series, we will explain how to measure the success of your social media strategies using four basic measurement metrics.

1) Exposure. How many people saw your posts? There are different ways to get that information depending on the media, but exposure is measured by number of visits, views, followers, or fans. Many of the social media sites today provide the “insights” or analytics tools so you can compare various posts to each other and see which ones performed better than others.

2) Engagement. How did people behaved after they saw your articles? Did they share it, click to read more, like the post, or even add a comment? This is the kind of engagement you should look for analyzing what you post. When someone publishes a review on your social media, that’s another way users behave and it counts as an engagement.

3) Influence. Are you seeing users become brand evangelists for your company? These are people who have gone a step further to influence purchasing decisions from your company by posting positive reviews on social media, or perhaps they “share” one of your posts and recommend you to everyone who follows them. Other interested customers may respond to those reviews or recommendations by purchasing the product or service, thus creating the perfect social media cycle for your business. You can’t ask for a better scenario than others networking on your behalf and singing your praises.

4) Action. When someone takes the next step to inquire about your business online or request a price quote, or even purchase your products and services, that’s considered an action. This metric may not be easily measured depending on your business model because some customers may inquire offline, such as walking into the store or calling on the phone. That’s why it’s a good idea to train your team to ask “Where did you hear about us?” every time a potential customer asks about your business.

Measuring your social media performance is not your end goal, but rather a way to learn more about what engages people and what doesn’t. It can tell you a lot about your business too, through the eyes of the customer. Use the information you collect from your social media analysis to adjust your strategy, your campaigns, and your message accordingly. Learning from your customers and garnering their feedback is crucial to the success of your business and social media is a great platform to get that information.
#PSPinc #Blog #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #SocialMedia #Facebook #Twitter #LinkedIn #Google

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