Articles written in March, 2007

March 30 2007

Just Where Do You Think You’re Going?


MoreVisibility Analytics Blog

Listen, let’s be realistic here. You will never have 100% of the visitors to your website all convert, or all fill out your form. It’s just impossible, even if you have the best website in the history of the internet. People like to “window shop” or comparison shop before they actually purchase something. But, we all knew this already.

Now that we have that out of the way, I can tell you that you probably can improve upon the percentage of visitors who are leaving your website altogether, and probably improve upon the percentage of visitors who eventually convert. In fact, it’s not a probability, it’s most likely a fact, jack.

So, how do you do it? The first thing you’re going to have to do is take a good look at the pages on your website. Are they what’s called “user-friendly”? Does it take forever and a day to load? Does it not offer a lot of useful information? Does it display 5 pop-ups, including my favorite “Click YES to bookmark this site!” JavaScript message?

In some cases, you may be doing everything correctly, and still not see the conversions you’re looking for. But, thanks to the good people at Google, and special thanks to the good people on the Google Analytics team, we can see what users are doing on each individual page. With one report in particular, you can see the exact number of Exits on each page, and what the Exit Percentage is on each page of your website. It’s a very easy report to look at, and it’s located here:

Content Optimization >> Navigational Analysis >> Top Exit Points

A few notes to keep in mind about this report:

1. Because your homepage is usually, by far, the most visited page, you can make a “logical assumption” that it will also accumulate the most Exits. This doesn’t automatically get your homepage off the hook, but if you have a good, clean, properly formatted / tagged / optimized homepage, you shouldn’t worry too heavily if your homepage leads in Exits.
2. Hopefully for you, your Conversion Page (“Thank You” page) will be at least in the top 5, or top 10, if your site has a lot of pages. While reaching the Conversion Page of your website is your ultimate Goal, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be the very end of the user’s experience with your site. Add some links or a nice graphic on the actual Conversion Page, inviting the user to stick around for a little bit.
3. You can Cross-Segment each Exit Point by any number of variables. This is very useful. For example, Cross-Segment your homepage by Browser, or by Platform. Maybe something on your homepage is causing visitors using a certain Browser type, Platform, or even a certain version of Flash that is interfering with the user’s experience?

Enjoy, and Good Luck!

March 29 2007

Pay Per Action and “The Age of Results”


Google’s expanded testing of Pay Per Action (PPA; aka, Cost Per Action/Acquisition or CPA) ushers in the potential for a whole new era of customer-centric search engine marketing. In this new model advertisers only pay (and publishers only profit) when users follow through with a pre-determined action/conversion. This shift from paying by number of impressions or clicks could have huge ramifications for the ways that SEM campaigns are created and managed and the way companies design their sites and landing pages.

The importance of customer-satisfaction in SEM has hit an all-time high with Google’s continued roll out of the Quality Score — where ad and landing page relevance directly impacts minimum CPC (cost per click). As if the increased minimum cpcs for poorly constructed campaigns or results weren’t enough to send advertisers rushing to revamp their landing pages and make channels to conversion shorter, easier, and much more user-friendly, now PPA enters the scene.

PPA is being heralded not only as the possible click fraud killer, but also as a beacon of freedom that will re-energize SEM and allow advertisers to be more creative, more daring, more compelling, and ultimately deliver more value to their customers.

With PPA the SEM paradigm is shifting from sheer traffic to a focus on user experience and an “age of results”. Unlike in CPC where, since every click is costly, campaigns have to be tightly built and monitored to ensure advertising budgets are wisely spent, with PPA the advertising gained from impressions and clicks is “free” so companies have a lot more room to experiment with campaigns, landing pages, etc., without any risk or loss of investment. The potential for customer satisfaction grows exponentially with this new model as campaigns and landing pages will have to take into account the user’s needs in order to maximize their full potential and in order for marketers and publishers to profit from the campaigns. In short, with PPA everyone wins when the customer is satisfied with his/her online experience, so sites, campaigns, and product offerings must be user experience-centric rather than traffic-centric.

March 28 2007

Video Search and the Future Of Search Engine Marketing


According to Online Media Daily, ClipBlast has a web video-search platform that makes video search a more efficient process. In addition, it provides a link directly to original content providers in order to avoid copyright lawsuits like those that YouTube are currently facing. Providing links back to the original content provider could also have a positive effect for advertisers because searchers who originate at the ClipBlast site could result in increased traffic back to the original content provider’s site.

What role do you think video search is going to have on Search Engine Marketing in the near future? Do you think videos will become just as crucial to online marketing as other advertising mediums such as banner ads or e-mail blasts? Why or Why not? Let me know what you think by posting your comments.

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