Google Analytics and Digital Marketing: The Basics

Digital Marketing and Google Analytics

Everywhere we look, we’re bombarded by advertisements — targeted posts that seem to read our minds, businesses offering similar products or services, sponsored features that receive top billing when we perform a simple Google search.

It’s an oversaturated, relentlessly competitive market, which means it’s essential for business survival that you maximise your exposure and place your services or offerings in front of the right audience. But how exactly do you do this? And for smaller businesses, how do you do it without breaking the bank?

A strong digital marketing framework using the power of Google Analytics will go a long way toward helping you stand out amongst your competition. And the best part? It’s easy once you understand the basics. Keep reading to learn how you can use Google Analytics to boost your digital marketing strategy and grow your business.

What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a data collection and insights service that enables you to track statistics (such as how many people visit a given product page on your website) and to fine-tune and optimise your website and online presence for performance and conversions.

Essentially, it tells you who’s visiting your website and tracks their behaviour within your digital ecosystem. It’s an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of every size and industry.

What does Google Analytics track?

Google Analytics tracks a slew of information regarding your website visitors, including location, age, gender, interests, purchase preferences, and device type (mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.).

Outside of this basic demographic data, it tells you which of your website pages they visit, how they navigate there (do they come from a Google search? a Facebook ad? a different page within your site?), how long they stay on a particular page and on your website as a whole, whether or not they click any links, and which actions they take (product purchase, newsletter subscription, etc.).

Why should you use Google Analytics?

First off: it’s free. And second? It’s a truly valuable tool in your digital marketing kit that can help you better understand your audience — what they like, what they dislike, what compels them to stay, what loses their interest — and subsequently refine your website (messaging, imagery, user journey and experience) in order to drive sales and traffic.

With Google Analytics, you can tell what’s working (social media posts and campaigns, keyword targeting, word-of-mouth) and allocate more resources to those channels and platforms — and you can stop wasting time, energy, and money on strategies that aren’t providing you with solid returns.

Getting started with Google Analytics: a breakdown

First, head to the Analytics landing page to create your account.

Click ‘Set up for free’, and choose a name for your account. Customise your data sharing settings, and click ‘Next’.

Analytics gives you the option to measure data on your website, app, or both. Choose the option that’s best for you, and click ‘Next’.

Here’s where you enter the website URL or app information you’d like Analytics to pull data from. Google calls these entities ‘properties’.

Accept the terms and conditions, and create your account.

You’ll see an ‘email communications’ pop-up; select your preferred option(s), and hit ‘Save’.

Analytics will then take you to the tracking code page. This code enables Google Analytics to track your data, and it needs to be added to each of your webpages. The method by which you do this depends on your hosting platform (WordPress, Shopify, etc.), and a quick Google search should give you the step-by-step instructions you need.

Once you’ve added the code to your webpages, you should immediately see data in the ‘Realtime’ section of the left-hand sidebar (marked by the clock icon).

Next, you’ll want to set your business goals. Goals are the critical actions you’d like users to take on your website, whether that’s purchasing a product, signing up for your email newsletter, reading a piece of your content, or anything of the sort.

To set a goal, click the ‘Admin’ button at the top of the dashboard, and hit ‘Goals’ underneath the ‘View’ column on the right-hand side.

Click the red ‘New Goal’ button, and either choose from one of the template options (things like ‘Place an order’, ‘Make a payment’, and ‘Create an account’) or create your own custom goal. You’ll add a goal description and details (follow Google’s instructions), and click ‘Save’.

You can have up to 20 active goals at any one time, and goal conversion data is stored in the ‘Conversions’ section of the ‘Realtime’ tab in the left sidebar.

Using your data and insights

Once you’ve got your account and goals set up, you can start using Google Analytics to refine and optimise your online presence and performance through digital marketing.

Analytics offers several different reporting categories, all easily accessed via the sidebar on the left of the dashboard.

The Audience category tracks basic demographic information such as age, gender, interests, and location. Change the date range at the top to view time-specific data (useful if you’re tracking the success of a particular campaign, messaging around a new product launch or content piece, etc.).

The Acquisition category tells you how visitors landed on your website or webpage (social network, organic Google search, etc.). If you have a Google Ads account, you can link it to your Google Analytics account (in the ‘Admin’ section) to measure the success of ads and keywords and to incorporate that into your analytics.

The Behaviour category offers insights into your website performance and content — such as how quickly your site loads, which pages are the best-performing, and which pages are the worst-performing. It’s highly useful in determining which pages or sections of your website you might need to spruce up in order to keep people within your ecosystem.

And finally: the Conversions category tracks the success of the business goals you’ve set up.

Each report comes complete with layers of detail, so you can go as in-depth on your performance and analytics as you want.

Want some help tracking your digital performance and implementing Google Analytics? Book a strategy session with Harper!

Google Analytics can be a bit daunting — but we can help make it easy. At Harper, we specialise in helping businesses develop digital marketing strategies specifically tailored to their needs.

If you’d like some help setting up Google Analytics for your business and understanding how you can use the data and insights it collects to improve awareness, increase sales, and grow your business, then book a free digital strategy session with us here.

Let’s do things differently this time

Working From Home

This seems a bit familiar.

You’d be forgiven for experiencing a bit of deja vu in light of Lockdown Light for NZ, and Lockdown 2.0 for Auckland… 

Rather than fret, we’d thought we’d put together a few learnings from the last experience as it relates to your digital marketing, recognising that despite the inevitable pressure it places on businesses and certainly healthcare, there is still some opportunity to use this time fruitfully. 

Are your offers not valid/appropriate right now? Switch your messaging

Marketing that is focussed on services requiring in-person meetings is a little off for the next few days, maybe even weeks. So whether you’re a daycare seeking to grow enrollments, a beauty clinic seeking appointments or a service technician securing service work, for the short term it would be worthwhile changing your marketing to a brand focus. 

What does this mean? In a nutshell: Helping your target audiences to understand how their lives will be improved by using your services. 

Brand marketing seeks to explain:

  • Who You Are
  • How You Help People 
  • What Makes You Different

One thing about spending time at home is that people turn to the internet for information and research. Brand marketing positions your business and staff as the experts in your field in front of your potential customers. If the message is compelling, your clients will remember you when they’re in the buying frame of mind down the track (especially if you help them with remarketing, and align your search campaigns accordingly).

Brand marketing is an important part of your marketing mix to ensure you’re attracting potential clients in the awareness or consideration phase of their buying process since not everyone is ready to buy instantly…

How could this work for my business >

E-commerce business? Increase marketshare

Nearly without exception, our e-commerce clients experienced high if not their highest sales during April and May 2020 (i.e Lockdown 1.0). With so many eyeballs relying on digital information and channels for purchasing, now is a great time to give your budgets a boost. 

How to evaluate if this is the right option for you:

  • Do you currently have a good cost per lead? This is a good sign that your campaigns are at the right cost v volume to increase. 
  • Do you have capacity? Obviously a key factor is stock on hand or capacity. If you have plenty, now is good. 
  • Can your business continue to deliver with social distancing? If not, it may be worthwhile offering an incentive to purchase now and receive later, or as a minimum, ensuring your delivery timeframes are crystal clear. 

I’d like more sales over this period >

Too busy / no stock but want to keep current and improve pipeline?

We get it, not every business is looking for more immediate work. However, doing nothing until the current work dries up is also not a good idea. Search Engine Optimisation campaigns run over the long term, and provide ongoing assistance to improve your business’ organic listings and presence so you’re well positioned for a steady stream of organic enquiries over the longer term. An SEO campaign helps to:

  • Keep your website’s technical aspects up to date and in line with Google’s ever-changing ranking criteria
  • Ensures website content (both on the live site and behind the scenes) is most up-to-date with keywords that are important to you
  • Shares your website with a highly trusted network of quality websites in order to improve your domain ranking
  • Quarterly, a blog suitable for sharing (and boosting) on your social channels is produced for you to stay current with helpful content for your audience (and Google’s bots love this too). 

Is SEO right for me? Chat to us >

My Website Needs a Birthday

Your marketing can be EXCELLENT, OUTSTANDING, HIGHLY EFFECTIVE, but can fall over if your website doesn’t convert for you. Your website should make life easier both for your customers and for yourself to do what you do. If you are missing some key technical elements – like information capture or customised quote request functions – then now is good to chat about sorting this to improve your marketing ROI.

The government announced some great tax benefits which could make this a whole lot more affordable for you.  If your website isn’t up to task, then let’s sort it. 

Let’s get my website back on track >

We are working closely (but remotely) with all our clients to ensure the best possible outcomes from these changing times. If you aren’t sure what the right approach to take is, then let’s spend 15 minutes discussing your business and how we can help to position you for long term success. 

How Video Ads Can Boost Your Digital Marketing Strategy and Attract More Customers

Digital Marketing Agency - Video Ads

Now more than ever, we live in a world dominated by visuals. The signs are everywhere: the proliferation of social media, the rise of curated content such as infographics, a general decline in the amount consumers are willing to read, and the popularity of platforms like YouTube (where people watch over a billion hours of video every day).

Strong visual content, particularly video ads, has been proven to increase brand awareness and boost conversion rates — so why do many companies, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses, still resist it? In this quick guide, we’ll explain how video (and especially YouTube) can help you attract more customers and grow your business, and we’ll outline a few tips to help you do just that. Keep reading to learn more!

For a robust digital marketing strategy, look to video ads

Once upon a time, the realm of video advertising was the purview of big brands — the ones with the deep pockets and extensive resources to put together flashy and expensive campaigns. But with the advent of wide-reaching channels such as Youtube, that’s not the case anymore.

Unlike TVCs (television video commercials), YouTube advertising is affordable, measurable, and targeted, allowing you to hone in on your key demographic and reach them at every point in the buying journey.

But why exactly is video such an effective digital marketing tool, and why should you invest in it?

Video ads have what’s referred to as a ‘halo effect’ — meaning that, although a customer might not make a purchase immediately upon seeing your ad, the impression of the ad lingers and frequently leads to purchases down the line.

Video is also a key piece of the purchase-journey puzzle, with 80% of consumers switching between browser searches and videos when they’re researching a buy. Think about the videos that line the top of the page when you Google a product or product category — and now consider the opportunities you’re forgoing there if video advertising isn’t a part of your strategy.

Next, let’s talk conversion rates and customer acquisition costs. According to Google Data, businesses that run YouTube ads as well as Google Search ads enjoy 3% higher conversion rates and a 4% lower search cost per acquisition than those who stick solely to Search ads.

If you think about it in terms of sheer opportunity, video marketing offers an exponentially vaster space in which to grow your business. We’re talking billions more opportunities, particularly when it comes to YouTube. Here’s what we mean.

Digital marketing and YouTube ads

Need more convincing on why video ads are a good investment? A quick look at YouTube’s statistics should do the trick.

The video platform clocks in at two billion logged-in users each month (more than a third of the internet) who watch over one billion hours of video each day. According to a 2018 video marketing survey conducted by Brightcove, more than 50% of customers actively engage with a brand after viewing a video ad — and according to the Pew Research Centre, YouTube is used by nearly three-quarters of adults and a whopping 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

YouTube also has the unique distinction of being used with ‘search intent,’ meaning consumers navigate the platform by specifically searching for what they want. Advertisers can then take advantage of this using YouTube’s Custom Intent Audiences feature, which allows them to reach viewers who’ve performed specific searches.

4 tips to make your video ads stand out

It’s no secret that audience attention spans these days are dwindling and that people have little patience for ads. YouTube allows users to skip an ad after five seconds (unless the marketer has paid for a non-skippable ad) — so when it comes to making your own particular video, aim to hook a viewer in the first five seconds and to keep the entire ad between 10 and 12 seconds long. It’s likely that viewers will hit ‘skip’ after five seconds anyway, but if you can make that time compelling, it’s also likely that the halo effect will linger longer and lead to a conversion.

Your ads should be punchy, creative, and true to your brand. Though viewers are more likely to have the sound on when they’re watching a YouTube video than, say, a Facebook video, it’s better not to rely on audio to convey your message. Instead, use a mix of arresting visuals and on-screen text to tell your story.

And speaking of story? Always ensure you’re talking directly to your target audience. There’s no use spending time and money to create and run a video ad if the message doesn’t resonate with the people you’re trying to reach.

Lastly: make an emotional connection. Audiences are far more likely to remember and respond to an ad that made them laugh or cry — so do your utmost to deliver maximum emotional impact.

Want to boost your digital marketing? Book a strategy session with Harper!

At Harper, we build your marketing strategy around your unique business needs. We start by pinpointing and assessing your goals and the message you want to convey, and then we determine the best and most cost-effective ways for you to reach your target audience.

Whether it’s through remarketing (targeting engaged consumers who’ve already visited your page) or awareness-based campaigns to get new products in front of your key demographics, we’re committed to building a custom digital marketing strategy that’s tailored just for you.


Want to learn how video can help you meet and exceed your business goals? Head here to book a free strategy session with us!

The Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimisation: Practical Tips to Improve Your SEO Rankings

SEO company

Imagine you’re a tailor. You depend heavily on local business, and your area’s home to several competitors. When a potential customer searches for ‘North Shore tailor,’ say, how high on the page do you come up? Are you above your competitors or below them?

Strong search engine optimisation, better known by its abbreviation SEO, can be the difference between a thriving business and one that’s just scraping by. In this post, we’ll define SEO and outline the fundamentals of the concept in order to give you a solid foundation on which to build your own SEO practice. Read on to learn more!

What is SEO?

We like to visualise SEO as an iceberg, with the above-water tip representing the visible ‘on-the-page factors’ and the unseen, below-the-surface chunk representing the ‘off-the-page’ factors (more on both those terms later).

As the name suggests, SEO involves optimising each aspect of your website to make it more attractive to search engines, in turn encouraging them to rank you higher when a user performs a relevant search. It’s sort of like free publicity in that there’s a difference between SEO rankings (organic traffic) and paid advertising — so if you’re not doing whatever you can to improve your SEO, you’re actively passing up unpaid traffic that’s likely going to your competitors.

How does SEO work?

SEO begins with search engines crawling every webpage, collecting information, and using their own unique algorithms to spit out search results they feel will be most useful to the searcher.

For the likes of Google and Safari, this last piece — providing users with the most accurate search results possible — is the goal of SEO, which means your goal as a business must be to help the engine do just that.

Each browser’s SEO algorithm differs slightly, but in general, the key to higher rankings lies in ensuring that your website has all the pieces necessary to appeal to search engines. So what exactly are these pieces?

Let’s explore.

SEO Rankings - Search Engine Optimisation

What factors influence your SEO rank?

For robust SEO, lead with content. The more frequently you publish fresh, relevant content (blogs, ebooks, downloadable resources, infographics, etc.), the more weight search engines will ascribe to your website. Remember: search engines want to provide their users with value, so they’re looking for organisations that can help them do that.

Within that content, emphasise your keywords. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customer; using our tailor example from the beginning, what’s your audience searching for? Is it ‘North Shore tailor’? ‘Best tailors in the Auckland area’? Do some research — and once you’ve identified the keywords and phrases you want to rank for, build them into your content.

Content and keywords represent two components otherwise known as on-page factors. The parts of SEO that are within the control of the page owner, on-page factors also include website structure and logistics (Do your pages load quickly? Does the flow of your site make sense in the context of user experience?) and behind-the-scenes workings such as title tags, meta descriptions, and hyperlinks to your products and other content.

Off-page factors are largely outside your control and are driven by a search engine’s desire to provide users with reputable, trustworthy search results. They include things such as link building (carefully curated links to your site from credible publishers) and social engagement (shares from quality accounts and influencers, number of likes and comments on your posts) — and though you can’t directly manage them, you can improve your off-page factors by fostering relationships with worthy partners and building a loyal customer base.

What practical steps can you take to win at SEO?

SEO can seem intimidating, but if you break it down into its simplest form — making your website as helpful and relevant to your audience as possible — it’s much easier to implement actionable changes. Here are a few quick, practical tips to help you win at SEO:

  1. Research the most relevant keywords for your specific industry, and build them into your site and your content. Publish fresh content designed around your keywords on a regular basis.
  2. Overhaul your website’s metadata to optimise it for search terms.
  3. Within your own content, hyperlink pertinent words and phrases to other content pieces you’ve published. Expand on this internal link network by establishing an external network, done by building relationships with trustworthy partners and having them link back to you.
  4. Keep an eye on where your competitors rank for your industry’s keywords, and note what they do well in terms of SEO. Use these benchmarks to improve upon your own SEO factors.
  5. Plan a robust content schedule to ensure you’re regularly putting out valuable information.

A quick wrap-up

It’s critical that you view your SEO strategy as an interconnected web in which each part strengthens the others. If any one component is weak (i.e. if you have a sub-par content game or haven’t put work into improving your page titles), the entire strategy will weaken as a result — so your best chance at success is to optimise each piece of the puzzle to the best of your ability.

Want to see how your SEO stacks up? Talk to us about a free SEO benchmarking audit, or head here to request one.

How To Get More Google Reviews

Get More Reviews

By now, you probably know the importance of having reviews against your Google Business listing. But it can be tricky to encourage your clients to review you, as there are quite a few steps involved.

To make it super easy, you can create a short cut link that directs people straight to your listing and opens a new review.  Here’s how you do it:

Step 1: Find your “place ID”

To find your place ID, go to this link.  Search for your business name, then copy the ID code

Step 2: Create your link

Your unique url will look like the below, but you’ll replace [YOUR UNIQUE CODE] with the Place ID generated above.

https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=[YOUR UNIQUE CODE]

Here’s what ours looks like:

https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJm_-KvL84DW0Rwv48jaffH_8

How to Increase Brand Awareness and Boost Profits with Google Shopping

Google Shopping Ads

If you’re a retailer with an online presence, chances are you’re constantly looking for ways to increase your brand awareness, build your customer base, and sell more through the myriad channels available in today’s marketplace. Whether it’s via your website, a distributor, or social media, there’ve never been more opportunities to get your products in front of potential customers — but how do you ensure you’re taking advantage of the right channels? The answer: invest in Google Shopping.

What is Google Shopping, and how does it work?

Those products that appear at the top or along the side of the page when you search for something like ‘black Nike hoodie’? That’s Google Shopping.

Google Shopping ads account for a whopping 76.4% of all retail search ad spend, and they generate higher click-through and conversion rates than any other pay-per-click advertising method. A cost-effective way for you to market your products, Google Shopping uses Google Ads (where you build your shopping campaigns and set your bids) and Google Merchant Centre (where you build your product feed) to create ads that then show up when someone searches for your specified keywords.

How can you win at Google Shopping?

If you do Google Shopping right, you can minimise your spend, maximise your profit, earn valuable repeat customers, and take your brand awareness to a new level. So what’s involved with doing it right?

First: as far as Google is concerned, your product feed (which you manage in Google Merchant Centre) is the most important aspect of Google Shopping. That’s because in order to generate your Google Shopping ads, the search engine needs to be able to pull from a clearly defined, precisely detailed product feed.

You’ve got two options when it comes to building your feed: do it manually, or offload the work to an extension. The former likely makes the most sense if you’ve got a smaller product offering — but either way, you need to ensure that your product title is accurate and optimised for search queries and that your product descriptions are captivating and thorough.

This leads us to tip #2: put yourself in the buyer’s shoes when it comes to those search queries. Say, for example, that you’re a housewares retailer offering a variety of goods such as bath products, kitchen appliances, and home furnishings. You’re writing the title and description for one of your bestselling SKUs — let’s call it a bath mat — and wondering how best to describe it to achieve a high ranking on Google Shopping.

So imagine you’re a potential customer. What would you search for in order to land on that product? ‘Decorative blue bath mat’? ‘Plush floral bath mat’? ‘Shag runner bath mat’? Whatever the case, project yourself into the customer’s mindset and tailor your keywords and descriptions to that mindset.

And speaking of those bestselling SKUs: tip #3 involves being purposeful about what you choose to sell on Google Shopping. Depending on your budget, it may not pay to advertise your entire catalogue; instead, focus your efforts on products people are likely to repurchase or goods with the highest margins.

Now that you’ve decided which products to sell, it’s time for tip #4: be strategic with your bids. Rather than setting the same bid for all of your goods, go a little higher on the products that sell faster — and then monitor your feed to see what’s working and what’s not, and adjust your bids if your products aren’t generating the number of clicks you’d like.

The bottom line on Google Shopping

Google Shopping provides you with an easy-to-use, intuitive sales channel that gets your products in front of potential customers as soon as they hit the ‘Search’ button. Fine-tuning your strategy and learning how to adjust keywords and bids may take a bit of work — but when you remember that Google Shopping dominates retail search ad spend (with nearly 80%), it’s easy to see why the time and financial commitments are worth it!

Harper Digital are Google Shopping Experts

Keen to test the benefits of Google Shopping for your retail business? We can help with everything from configuring your Google Merchant Center feed, to setting up and optimising your Google Shopping campaign for maximum return on investment.

Contact Harper Digital today for a complimentary strategy session, and see how Google Shopping could help your business grow.

Alexa, How is Voice Search Shaping the Future of SEO?

Voice search is no longer the work of science fiction. It’s real, it’s here and it stands poised to transform the search game as we know it. What’s driving this trend? What does the future have in store for voice search? And how can businesses and marketers prepare themselves for the revolution?

The Rise of Voice

SEO Company

Voice recognition technology might seem like a modern innovation, but it’s actually been around in one form or another for more than 60 years. Back in 1952, Bell Laboratories designed a system known as Audrey, which could recognise spoken numbers. A decade later, IBM introduced Shoebox, a computer that could understand 16 basic words. And in 2008, the technology finally went mobile, when Google released the Voice Search app for iPhone.

Fast forward to today, and consumer adoption of voice search is skyrocketing. Between 2008 and 2016, the volume of voice searches increased 35-fold, according to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report. In 2016, about 20 percent of Google app searches were voice searches. And in 2018, 91 million people in the U.S used voice technology at least once a month, according to figures from eMarketer.

Looking at the timeline, it’s clear that voice search didn’t arrive overnight. So why are consumers only now starting to get interested in voice search? There are two main reasons:

1. It’s Everywhere

The explosive growth of voice search mostly comes down to the fact that the technology is now supremely accessible. Voice search has been successfully integrated into a huge range of mainstream consumer products, with smart speakers (such as Google Home and Amazon Echo) leading the charge. In fact, smart speakers sales grew 300 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to figures from Strategy Analytics.

Of course, it’s not only smart speaker manufacturers who are getting in on the action. Just about every major tech company is leveraging the power of digital personal assistants and voice search. You can ask Siri to send a text message for you while you’re driving, tell Google Assistant to read you the news, use Cortana to update your calendar and command your Xbox to start streaming Netflix. Voice search is no longer about the novelty factor; it’s a useful, efficient and convenient feature that is quickly becoming a normal part of everyday life.

2. It’s Getting Better at Understanding Us

The way we communicate verbally is very different from the way we write and type. We’re less formal, less specific and more verbose, which stands in stark contrast to the keyword-laden,  ultra-concise queries we’d usually type into a search engine. This has been a bit of a sticking point for voice search, as the technology has traditionally struggled to separate meaningless human chit chat from user intent (i.e. what we’re actually searching for).

Thankfully, this is (mostly) a thing of the past. The AI that powers voice search has become exponentially smarter in recent years and is constantly getting better at understanding context and user intent. In 2017, Microsoft’s voice recognition software achieved an error rate of just 5.1 percent, which put it on par with human error rate. Consumers are feeling more inclined to use voice search because they can use natural, conversational language and still get accurate results.

How Can Businesses Prepare for the Revolution?

    1. Use schema markup: Schema is a type of on-page data markup that helps search engines better understand your website and content, and therefore the services your company offers. This type of structured data can be used to increase the chances of your business being found for local voice search queries.
    1. Focus on long-tail keywords: Short-tail keywords fell out of favour a long time ago, and voice search may well be the final nail in the coffin. As we’ve learned, users are more likely to ask long, complex search strings when using voice search. With this in mind, focus on using long-tail keywords that are very specific to your business.
    1. Incorporate FAQS into your content: Voice search is conversational. An easy way to naturally replicate this style is to use FAQs to answer common questions that your audience might have about your business, services or industry.
  1. Rethink your SEO strategy: The world of SEO is constantly changing. This might be the perfect time to audit your current strategy and rethink your current digital marketing spend.

Curious about what you need to do to optimise your business for voice search? Book your free strategy session to get a better understanding of how the voice search revolution is going to affect you.

How do I know my marketing is working?

How do I know my marketing is working?You write a witty Facebook post.

You spend hours crafting the perfect promo email.

You retweet somebody influential in your space.

You do blogs. Ads. Google ads. Facebook ads. You attend various networking groups and wax lyrical about your company’s services to anyone who will listen. No rock is left unturned in your pursuit of marketing excellence.

Yes, it’s time consuming, and yes, there’s a fair amount of spend involved, but it is driving traffic to your site, and that has to be considered a success… right?

Maybe.

Obviously, increased traffic is a good thing, but whether or not it is a true indicator of performance really comes down to how you define success as a business.

Defining success

In recent years, marketing has become less of an art and more of a science. The days of vague measurements of brand sentiment are long gone, replaced by an endless string of ones and zeroes that allow businesses of all sizes to calculate performance at an incredibly granular level.

Of course, being able to harvest this information is more or less pointless if you’re not applying it any meaningful way (i.e. using it to track performance and make business decisions), which means that marketers need to be mindful of their marketing goals now more than ever. Without clearly defined objectives, there’s ultimately no way of knowing whether or not your marketing is working. And the benefits are clear – marketers who set goals are more than four times more likely to report success than those who don’t!

So, what does marketing success look like for you? The answer to this question will naturally vary from company to company but, generally speaking, most businesses will have four major marketing goals:

  • Building a brand
  • Generating leads
  • Converting leads into sales
  • Establishing customer loyalty

After defining your specific goals, it’s a matter of setting KPIs to gauge performance and tracking whether your marketing efforts are moving your business toward your own unique definition of marketing success. This brings us to our next point…

Tracking performance

You might be surprised to learn that only 1 in 4 marketers are able to measure and report their contributions to the business. While there are probably a few factors at play here, one of the main reasons why so many businesses still struggle to gauge marketing performance is because they’re simply keeping track of the wrong things (or not tracking them altogether!). Here are a few tips to help you avoid becoming part of this statistic:

1. Track everything that can be tracked

For marketing analytics to be useful, they need to be tracked and analysed over the course of months and years. A snapshot of data from a specific point in time can be useful, but it may not be an accurate representation of long-term trends.

With this in mind, it’s important to start tracking and monitoring everything that pertains to your marketing goals. Google Analytics is one of the simplest (and most affordable!) ways to track website and app analytics, and Google offers a variety of tools to help get you started. Social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feature their own analytics tools, but there are also third-party tools that provide greater functionality.

At Harper Digital, we offer our clients a live reporting dashboard that combines data from all sources and gives a snapshot of activity, allowing visibility into what’s being generated by each medium.

2. Assign a value to each step of the funnel

As you are probably aware, the purchase funnel is a model that illustrates the customer journey toward purchasing a product. Something that is less widely known is that each step in this journey can be translated into a dollar amount, and should ideally be assigned a monetary value based on the conversion rate of each individual step.

For example, let’s say your company sells a product worth $100. Thanks to your analytics (remember step #1!), you know that your sales team can close 10 percent of people who download your e-book, which means you can assign the action of downloading an ebook the value of $10 (i.e. 10 percent of $100). Similarly, if you know that 2 percent of people who opt in to your newsletter will buy your product, you can assign that action the value of $2. Monetising each step provides crucial insight into which parts of the funnel are working, and where you should be concentrating your efforts.

3. Compare attribution models

An attribution model is a set of rules that determine how credit for conversions are attributed to different marketing channels. Credit is usually given to the Last Interaction (the last action a customer takes before converting), but that may not necessarily be the right model for you.

For example, if your company is relatively new and your marketing efforts are primarily focused around brand awareness, you may find that the First Interaction attribution model is more suitable. Alternatively, if you believe that your marketing efforts become less valuable as time goes on, you may find that the Time Decay attribution model is a better fit. It’s important to take the time to assess different models to see which one is most applicable to your business.

Using data to achieve defined goals

Successful digital is attainable for companies of all sizes and budgets. Essentially, it boils down to defining your marketing objectives, setting KPIs to achieve those goals, and using data to measure your progress. Marketing with intent and taming the power of big data are key for every business that wishes to make the most of its marketing efforts.

If you’d like to explore this further, hit us up for a complimentary digital strategy session where we’ll work with you to come up with the best approach to measuring your business’s marketing activity.

Harper Digital named finalist in 2018 Google Premier Partner Awards

Harper Digital is honoured and thrilled to be named a Display Innovation finalist in this year’s Premier Partner Awards, presented by Google Partners.

The Premier Partner Awards honour innovation in digital marketing across Search, Mobile, Video, Display, Shopping and Growing Businesses Online.

Our award submission included a profile describing our recent work for Voodle, who were looking to promote sales of the newly released Wellington edition of Monopoly, and turned to Harper Digital for guidance and assistance.

We took care of every aspect of the strategy, from designing and building a dedicated landing page, through to designing the Banner ads, and building and optimising the Display & Search campaigns in collaboration with Voodle.

Over the course of the 2 month campaign we served in excess of 1M impressions for a completely new brand and generated almost 7,500 visits to the Wellington Monopoly website.  The momentum and brand awareness this created in the market helped Voodle move 4,200 units of the product with a retail value of $250,000 through their retail network, thereby exceeding their sales target by 280%.

 

 “The results were far greater than we would have ever anticipated for a relatively small investment”

explains Hagen Bower of Voodle Limited.

 

Harper Digital is part of a select group of digital specialists that Google celebrates as Premier Partners. To qualify as a Premier Partner, digital marketing agencies and professionals must pass a series of exams and prove their expertise in using and applying Google’s advertising products.

Premier Partner Awards 2018 winners will be announced in December 2018 at g.co/premierpartnerawards/aunz.

Integrating SEO and PPC to maximise results

An age-old question in the world of digital marketing is “Which is better: PPC or SEO?” And our response is almost always “It depends, but usually both.” While this may sound like a bit of a cop out, there really is no one-size-fits-all answer – it all comes down to what will work best given the unique factors that make up your industry, company and product or service.

What we can say is that a two-pronged approach will offer the best results most of the time for most businesses.

Why?

Digital Marketing Analytics

Well, SEO and PPC are complementary marketing models, each with their own pros and cons. When used in conjunction, they can effectively bolster the other’s weak points, maximising your chances of hitting all your business goals in the short as well as the long term. Read on for a quick primer on the basics principles of SEO and PPC and find out how you integrate them into your marketing strategy.

 

What are the benefits of SEO?

SEO is the practice of raising the visibility of your website via organic (unpaid) search engine results. About 67 percent of all clicks on search engine result pages go to the top five listings, while the first page receives around 95 percent of web traffic. To get in on this action, you need your brand to appear as high up the results page as possible when a prospect types a business-related query into a search engine.

  1. Long-term visibility

Perhaps the great advantage of SEO is its longevity. Unlike PPC, there’s no expiry date on SEO content, making is sustainable and – if executed correctly – very profitable over the long term.

  1. Strengthen brand

Smart SEO content not only helps clients find your company on search engines but can also play a key role in positioning your brand as an authority in your space. Blog posts, FAQs, and how-to guides all lend credibility to your brand, which can increase your chances of conversion.

  1. Cost effective

It does take a while to start seeing results with SEO, but after the initial groundwork has been laid the clicks are more or less free. SEO traffic is organic, meaning there’s no direct cost per click or lead as there is with PPC, which makes SEO more financially sustainable over the long term.

 

What are the benefits of PPC?

Whereas SEO is more of a long-term investment, PPC is geared toward getting results in the here and now. PPC allows you to immediately get eyeballs on your product or service, and highly customisable targeting options ensure your efforts are focused in all the right places.

  1. Instant visibility

Launching a new product? Need instant feedback? Running a flash sale? Sometimes you simply don’t have the time to build up a marketing campaign. PPC excels in these situations, giving your brand an instantly visible platform.

  1. Better analytics

Search engines do a pretty good job of concealing organic search metrics in the name of user privacy. However, the same rules don’t apply when it comes to PPC, giving analytically savvy marketers deep insight into which keywords are converting, ROI and more.

  1. Budgeting consistency

While the leads generated by PPC do come at a cost, the ability to cap daily spend ensures the marketing budget doesn’t get out of hand. Combined with smart, localised keywords, PPC really can deliver fantastic ROI.

 

A case for using both SEO and PPC

As you can see, SEO and PPC have their own strengths and weaknesses and work best when used in synergy. PPC offers instant results and the information you gain from PPC campaigns (whether it’s A/B testing, analytics information or keyword data) can be used to fuel deeper SEO strategy. Using a combination of SEO and PPC also strengthens your contact points, allowing you to more effectively guide prospects through the funnel from initial awareness all the way to conversion.

So, SEO and PPC should be used in tandem. But how can you start applying them to your business?

While SEO is a pretty deep field, the good news is that there are many things you can do yourself to start optimising your website. Applying the fundamentals of on-page SEO (keywords, meta tags, SEO-friendly headlines and more) are critical for helping search engines understand what your website is about, which in turn can help you climb the results ladder.

In addition, creating a Google My Business listing, maintaining a Facebook business page and establishing your company in local online directories can add more authenticity to your brand, which can further boost visibility. Finally, working toward developing a backlink strategy (that is, links on other websites that point to your website) can also do wonders for your search engine rankings.

 

Curious about how SEO-friendly your website currently is and how you could improve? Register for a free SEO site audit and we’ll give you a comprehensive report revealing how you can better optimise your website, as well as a free 30 minute strategy session.