Being that I have been in the SEO/SEM industry for almost 5 years, I am not surprised by how much Social Media has grown. Social Media is being utilized on a daily basis and not just by the savvy searchers who constantly blog or the commonly used networks like MySpace, YouTube and Facebook either. Case in point – I recently spent the day with a friend who has a precocious 7 year old daughter. To put it mildly, this 7 year old has become a social media guru! She now belongs to Club Penguin, which is self-described as “a snow covered virtual online world for kids”. What more could a 7 year old desire?
Disney acquired the social media network in August of 2007. Through this network, kids can purchase virtual clothing, furniture and even pets for their penguins. Kids can play on the site for free; however, certain features, like furnishing an igloo (which becomes essential, of course) and chatting with other penguins will require the parents’ trusty plastic card! Very smart indeed, although my initial reaction was wait just a second, this chatting could certainly go awry if parents are not constantly aware and monitoring the context of the chat. Not to worry, mom and dad! Club Penguin thought of everything. The network was designed with safety in mind and thus, offers what is known as Safe Chat. Safe chat limits what can be chatted back and forth by providing the children with a predefined menu of choices.
Social Media is everywhere! From Blogs, to Press Releases, even to Club Penguin! The fact that a 7 year old belongs to a social networking site is enough to make anyone realize that social media is growing and an integral dimension of the internet today. In addition, keep in mind that there are huge SEO benefits to be gained from social media. The engines love fresh content to crawl on a website. It’s definitely time to jump on the Social Media Bandwagon!
“What happened, I don’t understand what’s going on?” These were the first words I heard from my co-worker one morning. “Look at the Google Analytics,” she said. As I looked at her screen I saw the Google Analytics line chart heading south and then hitting a plateau. The chart was showing that the client had consistently been at 200 clicks for the month and then the clicks had dropped down to the 100’s and stayed there for the last week of the month.
I started thinking of everything that could have caused the client’s clicks to be cut in half. We had lowered the budget because the client was trending to go over, paused keywords that the client had felt were unproductive and removed certain geo-targeted states, but nothing was able to account for the significant decrease in clicks. As I looked at the Google Analytics chart it showed that the decrease in clicks had occurred on a certain date and then the next day it had hit a plateau. Whatever had caused the decrease had remained consistent because the clicks were still in the hundreds.
We pulled the Google Analytics data from the month before and the clicks were all in the 200’s. So what caused the drop?
I keep notes on the changes I make to client’s campaigns. That way I can go back and track what worked better for a client or what had no affect. Based on Google Analytics, the changed had started on one of the last Thursdays in the month. I went back and checked my notes. I had lowered the budget, but I had also changed the keyword type from broad match to phrase match. Bingo! That’s what caused the change. I went in and changed the keywords back to broad match and sure enough the clicks went back up to 200. Whew! Thank goodness for Google Analytics. What would have happened if we didn’t utilize Google Analytics? We would probably still be trying to figure out what caused the change. Moral of the story, you should have Google Analytics or some analytics program in place, as you never know when it’s going to answer the famed questions of Why, When, What & How?
I was driving home from work the other day and as luck would have it the radio station I normally listen to was playing commercials. I was interested in the commercials to see how many of the businesses advertising on the radio mention their web address. Now, I am a workaholic so I am always thinking about things like this, but more so this particular afternoon because of a conversation I had with a client right before I left the office.
We were discussing ways in which to expand their marketing initiatives by leveraging what they were already doing to advertise their business. I asked them if they put their web address in all of their offline “traditional” advertising. I was surprised to find out they rarely mention their website unless it is a pure internet marketing campaign. Sure, with their Pay per Click campaign we manage for them their website address is prominently displayed in their ads on Google, Yahoo, and MSN search engines for example. But they spend advertising dollars (and large amounts I might add) on local radio and cable television. While they make an effort to provide their physical business address, the areas they service, and their main telephone number, they didn’t mention their web address. Of course, my first recommendation was to add their web address to all marketing copy no matter what the platform. Just because a potential customer is not in front of their computer while watching TV or driving their car doesn’t mean they won’t use the internet to research a company before they decide to do business with them. In fact, many studies show customers will usually go to a website after they heard an ad on the radio or saw a television ad to get more information. According to Dieringer Research Group, as reported by eMarketer, US consumers spent $137.6 billion offline after first getting product or service information online. The survey also determined that 25% of consumers have changed their opinion about one or more brands after having seen some form of online marketing. This data further suggests that getting people to your website is an important aspect of your overall marketing strategy, regardless of where you put your advertising dollars!
Let’s face it, you can only provide so much information about your company in a 30-45 second radio or television spot! Your website, on the other hand, can be a wealth of information for a potential customer and you are not limited to the time restrictions of a radio or television ad. You have their attention now…make the most of it!