Article Archive by Andrew Wetzler

October 6 2010

Cost per Acquisition Is not Usually Black and White

by Andrew Wetzler

We speak with clients and prospects all of the time who are very focused on attaining a particular Cost Per Acquisition “CPA” goal with their search engine marketing campaigns. It’s clearly valuable to put energy into that kind of tracking effort and adjust campaigns accordingly, however I believe that the data can be easily misinterpreted if there is not a process in place to account for sales that occur later when the lead source may be a bit muddier. In other words, it’s essential to be able to properly attribute “leads” that become sales at a later date back to their original lead source, not just the last touch that they received.

With Google Analytics and most of the other tracking / analysis tools, it’s easy to accurately attribute sales on ecommerce websites. It gets trickier when the selling cycle is longer, particularly when companies have a process in place to continue to market to individuals who have visited their sites, but don’t immediately “convert”. Is the sale credited back to the original marketing effort, to a remarketing campaign or to the email campaigns that prospects have been consistently receiving for the past several months?

There is no exact answer to this question, nor is the answer the same in every circumstance. More often than not, the answer is that attribution should likely be shared across multiple sources (contributing factors). That being said, it’s important not to adopt a myopic view when it comes to assessing your lead sources and figuring out where to trim (or add) additional resources to campaigns.

September 7 2010

Use Twitter to Personalize Your Information Pipeline

by Andrew Wetzler

Remember back when everybody shared the same homepage experience, be it on AOL, Yahoo, etc?  There wasn’t any personalization to the information, there was just a one-size-fits-all approach. As this was in the early days of the internet, there was hardly an understanding of what the future would hold for internet users, but it’s evident today that people have embraced the concept of having their online experiences tailored to them.

The first meaningful step in this direction occurred with the launch of iGoogle in April of 2007. iGoogle provided a framework upon which users could select modules to be included on a personalized homepage. More so than MSN or Yahoo, Google encouraged people to develop content that could be fed into the iGoogle platform, in contrast to a more restrictive philosophy adopted by Yahoo and MSN who maintained greater control over the content available.

Now we have Twitter. I’ll save for another post my thoughts on how businesses should best utilize Twitter to engage with their audiences. The point here, however is that Twitter enables people to exponentially personalize their experience online by “following” streams of tweets from individuals they are interested in hearing from and by tracking tweets on topics of interest (with saved searches, #hashtags, lists, etc.), be they pleasure, hobby or work related.

Regardless of whether you ever expect to participate in social media through tweeting, you should take advantage of the opportunity to listen to what’s going on through Twitter in a highly personalized manner. 

August 26 2010

Effective SEO Is Not a Haphazard Circumstance

by Andrew Wetzler

If gaining or maintaining a strong Natural Search presence for your website is in part your responsibility, then it’s essential to understand the additional elements that drive SEO results today.

The best way I can think of to describe the evolution of SEO is that the playing field has gone from singularly to multi-dimensional. The basics of intelligent site architecture and navigation still matter, as do keywords, content, meta data and alt tags, but there are so many other factors.

Google’s clear-cut direction for their search engine results pages is all-inclusive. Content is encouraged, be it blog posts, images, video, tweets, etc. The more relevant and frequent the content that a website contributes, the greater the likelihood that Google & Bing (Yahoo) will rank your site favorably.

That said, quality content is not self generating, which is the gotcha. It requires a roadmap and accountability for execution. Take your eye off the ball and you’ll go weeks or months without any meaningful addition to the breadth of your website.   Identify and prioritize the content you are intending to develop, assign responsibility for creating it to multiple team members and hold them accountable to due dates.

Lastly, another new aspect that needs to be taken seriously is the fact that Google is now evaluating your page “load time” as a component of their algorithm. So it’s imperative that the page be constructed in a proper way.   Otherwise, the content I am encouraging you to incorporate may hold you back more than it helps you.

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