Month: September 2016

Google Calendar Events in Google Maps

The latest version of the Google Maps app for Android adds more integration with Google Calendar. There’s a new upcoming tab in “Your places”, which shows a list of upcoming events, including your bookings and reservations from Gmail. Click an event to quickly see the location on the map.

There’s also a new “personal content” section in the settings, which lets you disable the integration with Google Contacts, Google Photos, disable location, location history and search history.

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The Keyword: Google’s New Unified Blog

Google has a new blog that merges 19 of its most popular blogs, including the Official Google Blog, Gmail’s blog, Google Drive blog, Chrome’s blog, Android’s blog and more. You can find it at blog.google and it’s called The Keyword.

“We wanted to make it easier for people to find news from Google about what we’re up to. With that in mind, today we’re launching the Keyword — a new destination for the latest news from inside Google, from Android to Translate. The Keyword is all the stuff we had across 19 blogs, in one place — so you don’t have to hop from one blog to another to find the latest update. If you’re looking for something from Google from now on, chances are it’s here,” mentions Emily Wood.

The most interesting thing about this change is that Google abandoned Blogger and uses a completely new blogging platform. There’s a section that showcases the latest tweets from Google’s main Twitter accounts, a list of the latest stories and news. You can filter blog posts by Google product or by topic and you can use the same filters for search results too.

Mobile Google Tests Trending Searches

Bing has a cool feature: just click the search box and you get a list of trending searches. Google has been testing a similar feature this year in the mobile search interface. It started as an experiment in the Google Search app for Android back in January and now I noticed the same experiment when visiting Google.com in Chrome.

Google shows 5 searches that are currently popular and most of them seem to be related to recent news. Obviously, Google’s results include a lot of news articles.

“The difference between trending and normal auto-complete is basically the difference of showing search suggestions based on years of query history vs the past 48 hours of search query history (in the most simplistic way),” says Barry Schwartz, who reported about this last month.

How to Setup Facebook Tracking

how to setup Facebook tracking

One things I’ve said over and over is if you can’t track what’s working with your marketing you should not be spending money on that traffic source.

It’s very common for me to see small businesses have some kind of tracking setup inside AdWords but very often on Facebook I see zero tracking setup.

I also see most small business owners making what I believe to be major mistakes with their marketing plans for Facebook or lack of a plan.

In this week’s hangout we will not be covering the major mistakes people make on Facebook but rather how to setup tracking as it’s the first step to marketing successfully on Facebook.

In the next week or so I’ll be going more into some of the pitfalls with Facebook marketing.

Before I begin the guide let me talk about why Facebook is so powerful.  The real advantage to Facebook over many other traffic sources is the platforms ability to target demographics and interests.  While you may not be able to find out user intent like you can with AdWords Search you are able to better target people who like very specific things.  I can target Males for instance between 54-64 who are fans of metal detectors or who have interest in metal detecting.  This is REALLY powerful stuff as I can customize my message and offer and speak directly to the audience I want to target.

For Small businesses this can be a big win when done right.  With local businesses who have clearly defined the audience they want to go after, you can build up your reputation and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.  It’s a great way to get known and have people remember you if you are consistent about delivering valuable content and you keep re-targeting the same audience.

Re-marketing can be very powerful as well and having the ability to re-market to those who have visited your website only ads to the value of Facebook.

This guide will cover Facebook and what is currently going on with the new Facebook pixel.

This Guide Will Cover

  • Old Facebook Pixel
  • New Facebook Pixel
  • Events
  • Custom Audiences
  • Business Manager Account

Like with Google Tags, Facebook just has 1 pixel that can do just about everything for you. The move to the new format is something Google has been doing for a while as well as Bing ads. The process and flow is almost identical in many ways.

The Old Facebook System

You formerly had 2 separate pixels that you used.

  • Conversion Pixel (Dozens of different pixels for every offer you had which means a lot of pixel codes )
  • Audience Pixel ( Your custom audience )

The New Facebook System

  • One Pixel to Rule them all

This is called a universal pixel.

So with this 1 pixel you are tracking Conversions and can create custom audiences. It’s just one piece of code placed on all your sites without the need for dozens of different pixel codes and changes.

Inside this pixel you are able to currently track 9 Standard Events. I’ll get to these in a bit.

If you have ever used Google Tags, this is the same thing that Google Tags does.

Setting Up Your Pixel

Go into Ads Manager inside Facebook and Select Tools then Pixels from the menu.

Ads Manager https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager/accounts/

setup facebook pixel

Now select the Create a Pixel Button

create facebook pixel

Now you will be asked to name your Facebook Pixel then select CREATE PIXEL

give-facebook-pixel-a-name

On the next screen you will be given your new Universal Pixel ID

Write this number down and save it.

Select Install Pixel to view your pixel code. This will look something like the below

creeate-a-facebook-pixel

<!– Facebook Pixel Code –>

<noscript><img height=”1″ width=”1″ style=”display:none”

src=”https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1695204957471755&ev=PageView&noscript=1&#8243;

/></noscript>

<!– End Facebook Pixel Code –>

 

As mentioned before. You will use the same pixel on EVERY page that you want to track an event on.

FaceBook Events

Facebook has 9 events you can currently track using the universal pixel. See https://www.facebook.com/business/help/402791146561655 . I do expect this to change over time and new events added in.

Website action Description Standard event code
View content Track key page views (ex: product page, landing page, article) fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’);
Search Track searches on your website (ex: product searches) fbq(‘track’, ‘Search’);
Add to cart Track when items are added to a shopping cart (ex: click, landing page on Add to Cart button) fbq(‘track’, ‘AddToCart’);
Add to wishlist Track when items are added to a wishlist (ex: click, landing page on Add to Wishlist button) fbq(‘track’, ‘AddToWishlist’);
Initiate checkout Track when people enter the checkout flow (ex: click, landing page on checkout button) fbq(‘track’, ‘InitiateCheckout’);
Add payment info Track when payment information is added in the checkout flow (ex: click, landing page on billing info) fbq(‘track’, ‘AddPaymentInfo’);
Make purchase Track purchases or checkout flow completions (ex: Landing on “Thank You” or confirmation page) fbq(‘track’, ‘Purchase’, {value: ‘0.00’, currency: ‘USD’});
Lead Track when someone expresses interest in your offering (ex: form submission, sign up for trial, landing on pricing page) fbq(‘track’, ‘Lead’);
Complete registration Track when a registration form is completed (ex: complete subscription, sign up for a service) fbq(‘track’, ‘CompleteRegistration’);

 

Many of these kinds of events can be duplicates of each other. For instance a Lead could technically also be “complete registration”. Don’t get too caught up on the terminology and differences.

To Create an Event you go to the Facebook Pixel section and then click the Create Conversion from the menu tab.

You have two Options

  1. Track Conversion With Standard Events as shown above
  2. Track Custom Conversions

Option 1 – Track Conversion With Standard Events

To setup tracking we modify part of the pixel to include the “Standard Event Code” for that specific page. This is shown on the right hand side of the above.

In our example code above for our pixel you can go to the middle section where we see:

 

document,’script’,’https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js&#8217;);

fbq(‘init’, ‘1695204957471755’);

fbq(‘track’, “PageView”);

</script>

 

The part that interests us is ” fbq(‘track’, “PageView”);” This is the basic Standard default event code. We can add to this code to include whatever it is we want tracked on that page.

When someone visits a page we want to track we would add in

 

fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’);

so our code would look like

fbq(‘track’, “PageView”);

fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’);

 

With “fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’);” in place we can now track people who have viewed our content.

We can continue to add and take away from this as needed. Let’s say the person viewed the content page and now went to the checkout page. Our code may now look like

fbq(‘track’, “PageView”);

fbq(‘track’, ‘ViewContent’);

fbq(‘track’, ‘InitiateCheckout’);

Now they checked out and on the confirmation page I would have

fbq(‘track’, “PageView”);

fbq(‘track’, ‘Purchase’, {value: ‘0.00’, currency: ‘USD’});

With the value being injected and manually or dynamically inserted. You will notice I removed the “ViewContent” and “initiateChecckout” event codes as they were already recorded and really don’t play a role.

For your website you now simply adjust the code as needed on your website to track the variable you want to track.

Option 2 – Track Custom Conversions

With this option you do not need to modify the FB pixel code in anyway. It’s automatic. This is the same way AdWords does their tracking conversions. It’s a great way to put one code on your site and then setup your funnels and conversions. The downside is you are currently limited to 20 custom conversion pixels and you are currently unable to delete these custom conversions.  I personally believe this will change and you will be able to ad more and delete the ones you no longer use but I have no knowledge of Facebook working on this.  It just seems like common sense that they are working to expand your options here as they are limited.

create custom conversion

We can see from the image above that I just need to select 2 things. 1 would be the RULE. My options here are URL Contains or URL Equals. URL Equals means it must be that exact url.

In most cases you will be using URL contains. With this option you can just put in part of the urls page to have it counted as that kind of event.

If I was pushing ads for a car mechanic then I could put in the brakes landing page in this section. I would select URL Contains and put in part of the brake repair url. With the code in place then someone who visits this page will be counted into my view content as a conversion.

The category option allows me to select any of the 9 Events currently available inside Facebook. For each event I want to track I would need to create another custom pixel. However I still only need to use the universal pixel code on my website and do not have to make any changes to that code.  This makes things really easy for people who are not tech savvy as they can just place their code once on their website in the footer or header and they don’t have to touch any more code.

Here are the 9 events again that you can track

View content Track key page views (ex: product page, landing page, article)
Search Track searches on your website (ex: product searches)
Add to cart Track when items are added to a shopping cart (ex: click, landing page on Add to Cart button)
Add to wishlist Track when items are added to a wishlist (ex: click, landing page on Add to Wishlist button)
Initiate checkout Track when people enter the checkout flow (ex: click, landing page on checkout button)
Add payment info Track when payment information is added in the checkout flow (ex: click, landing page on billing info)
Make purchase Track purchases or checkout flow completions (ex: Landing on “Thank You” or confirmation page)
Lead Track when someone expresses interest in your offering (ex: form submission, sign up for trial, landing on pricing page)
Complete registration Track when a registration form is completed (ex: complete subscription, sign up for a service)

It’s worth mentioning again that you can only have 20 of these custom events so you need to plan things out.  I have a kind of work around at the bottom that allows you to easily re-use the same custom conversion pixel over and over.

Create Custom Audiences

Being Able to create an audience can be very powerful. You can target people who

  • Visit Your Website
  • Visit a Specific Web Page
  • Visit Specific Pages But not Others
  • People Who haven’t Visited in a Certain Amount of Time

This really isn’t all that different from creating a Event Conversion with using “View Content”. This works very similar to AdWords and if you are using AdWords to drive traffic to your website you can also include the Facebook pixel on your page as well to re-market to those same people on Facebook.

Another major benefit is being able to re-target those who have already clicked your facebook ads.

I’ll talk more about the major benefits and how best to use these custom audiences in the next few hangouts so be sure to subscribe to learn how I recommend putting this information to use.

Back on track to creating custom audiences on Facebook.

To do this go to the Facebook Pixel Tab and select Create Audience from the Menu.

If I wanted to track people who visit my site marketingplaybook.co I would select Visit a Specific Web page and then put in marketingplaybook.co as the URL. Then name the audience and as long as my pixel code was on my website everyone who visits would be added to this custom audience.

facebook create custom audience

Now with the pixel in place I can remarket to my website visitors for 30 days. The max duration currently is 180 days.

Lookalike Audiences

It’s important to quickly talk about lookalike audiences.  This is one of the main tools I use to really go after new leads based upon those who have converted on my website or those who seem highly interested in my content.  You can create a lookalike audience based on any EVENT or any custom audience you create.  These are people who Facebook thinks closely match those already on your list.  They will search through thousands of different data points and see what people have in common and then go out and find others who have those common data points. This works similar to have SimilarToo Audiences work on GDN.

In the past Facebook allowed you to create lookalike audiences that where on your email ist, phone number list, facebook user id list.  Now you can create look alike audiences based upon website visitors, conversion pixel and facebook fans.

For me personally I LOVE to target lookalike audiences based upon conversions.  If I am building an opt-in list I will track all those who convert and once I get over 100 conversions I can create a lookalike audience based on the top 1% of people in my location.  This will put my offer in front of highly interested people.

I also create lookalike audiences based upon website visitors but for many people this option varies.  Those who visit your website may not be highly targeted.  A better way to do this is just create a lookalike audience based upon those who have clicked an ad to get to your website.  With this method you have a little more control of people who are going on the list and they should be a more engaged audience.

Retargeting AKA Remarketing

With Your Custom Audience(s) setup and in place you can now start to remarket to those who visited specific pages of your website or those who performed specific actions on your website.

with Facebook you can do things now like Dynamic Product Ads which is remarketing to people who have visited specific product pages or categories and have Facebook automatically retarget those people and send them back to the product page when they click the ad.  I won’t go in-depth on this as Jon Loomer has a great guide covering this at – http://www.jonloomer.com/2015/02/23/facebook-dynamic-product-ads/

The biggest advantage here is being able to get back in front of those people who have already visited your website either organically or from a Facebook ad or AdWords ad.

In next weeks hangout I will cover more in-depth examples or how small businesses can take full advantage of Facebook and talk more about remarketing

Create a Business Manager Account

Creating a business manager account is easy and ads a layer of segmentation to your campaigns. You can for instance create multiple new accounts inside the Business Manager if you want to run many Tee-spring ads and separate each account out by the niche. This is a nice and easy way to do things.

This also allows you to create more custom audiences as you are limited to how many custom audiences you can currently create. With this method you could have all your nurses campaigns inside 1 account and use the exact same custom audience for all of them.

Another benefit is being able to add employees or outsourcing some work and not giving people full access to all your accounts. You can limit what access they have to different accounts.

Step 1. Go to https://business.facebook.com/ and select the Create Account Button. You must already be logged in via a personal account.

Step 2. Choose Your business Name.

Step 3. Enter in your details such as your e-mail address and name.

To setup new accounts select business Manager and then click the green button that says “add New” then select Account”

I do not see any documentation on the number of accounts a Business Manager can create. I’m sure with Facebook that there is a limit somewhere in place currently.

 

Extra Thoughts

Because of the limit on the amount of Custom Conversions you can have it’s not a bad idea to kind of think out how you can reuse certain elements if you are not using events.. For instance if I was re-marketing to people who clicked my Facebook link I’d probably use a similar phrase inside my URL.

An example of this would be if I was a mechanic and sending people to my oil change page.  I could technically use that same audience to target other similar services on my other pages.  If I were to do this then all the pages I wanted to place this custom conversion pixel on should have a section of the url that is the same.

Such As

http://www.marketingplaybook.co/oil-change-1956

http://www.marketingplaybook.co/ac-charge-1956

http://www.marketingplaybook.co/brake-inspection-1956

In the above urls I have added in “1956”  This is a unique name that I’m using on the url for these pages and when I create my custom pixel I can use this to fire the custom audience pixel by including it in the section “Urls Contains” when setting up the custom acquiescence pixel.

Save

Save

The post How to Setup Facebook Tracking appeared first on MarketingPlayBook.co

Tips to Help You Start a Successful Blog

While the idea of starting a blog can be quite appealing, if you have never done it before, you may have no idea where to start. The fact is, you are not alone. Most people who embark on the endeavor to begin a blog have to learn from the ground up.

There is good news. Starting a blog and actually making it successful is much easier than you would have ever imagined. Some tips, help and steps you can use to begin your own blog can be found here.

Hosting and Domain

One of the first things you need to do is register your domain name. There are countless places you can do this. When registering your domain name, you just choose what you want your blog to be called and then pay the fee. In many cases you don’t even have to set up your WordPress site first, since this can all be handled on the actual setup of the domain.

Choose Your Theme

The majority of blogs today run on WordPress. This is easy to use and provides you with a professional looking blog site without a huge cost. When you install WordPress you will have to choose a theme. This is what creates the style and look for your blog. One of the best features is that you don’t have to be a coder to use WordPress – virtually any average Joe can successfully set up a blog site with this platform. There are both free and paid themes to choose from, so be sure to browse around until you find something that sticks out and that you like.

Spend some Time Modifying Your Blog

Once you have set up your domain, hosting and your WordPress, you can spend some time tweaking the way the layout looks. You can install Widgets and other features that make the blog unique and that create the look you really want.

Write a Post

Once you have published your newly made blog site and it is live, you are set to write your very first blog post. Talk about something you are interested in and that you will be able to write in an engaging manner. Don’t choose dull or boring topics that don’t really excite you. If you do this, no one will read them.

Don’t Forget About SEO

When trying to write your post be sure to structure it in a way that will actually help your new blog site rank in Google. For example, you need to pay attention to factors such as SEO, meta tags and descriptions and other factors that Google wants to see. If you fail to do this, your blog will not make any traction, which means that it will have limited visibility. WordPress offers a plugin that is called Yoast, it is free. This will help you check the SEO “goodness” of your blog. If something does not add up, then the plugin will make suggestions on how you can make it better. If you are new to blogging, this can be extremely beneficial.

When you take some time to set you blog up right, you will find that you can actually gain traffic and peak people’s interest to stop by often and see what you have to say. When you really put some effort into creating this blog, you will find that success is just a short time and a bit of effort away. Don’t underestimate the power of a quality blog – it can help you have your voice and opinions heard and may even make you some money.

Original post: Tips to Help You Start a Successful Blog

Bing Ads Walk Through – Comparing to AdWords

bing ads walkthrough and Adwords comparision

Today we are doing an overview on the features inside Bing ads and comparing some of these features to AdWords. I will start off with why I use Bing ads then go into some of the differences between Bing ads and AdWords and finish over with a light walkthrough of the Bing Ads Platform.

Nearly all businesses who start doing PPC tend to start on AdWords because it’s very well known and Google has the clear majority of the market share. The downside to this is AdWords is more expensive and in probably about 80% of my campaigns Bing ads actually has a higher conversion rate so it makes a lot of sense to get start on Bing ads first over AdWords.

What I normally end up doing is creating the Ads inside Speed PPC which I have mentioned before and then place that ads into AdWords Editor. From there I upload to my AdWords account and then inside Bing Ads I then import from AdWords. In this manner I only have to setup the campaigns once and importing in Bing Ads is really straight forward.

Here is this week’s hangout video. We do live hangouts every Wednesday at 2 PM CST. If you want to get an invite then join our newsletter and every Monday I will let you know the url to the live hangout. You can also join our private Facebook group or Facebook page to get the invite. See the community page for more information – http://marketingplaybook.co/connect/

Why Use Bing Ads?

Bing ads has 31% of the U.S. market share for search. This number includes the Bing Powered sites such as Yahoo, and this probably also includes data from Iphones because Siri uses Bing as it’s search engine.

From my personal experience with Bing ads you will get a 30% lower Cost Per Click (CPC) give or take 10% and most likely have a higher conversion rate as well. At the end of the day I am normally 50% more profitable on Bing ads then I am on AdWords.

While Bing Ads does say they have 31% of the market share I would say the volume seems to be closer to 10% the volume that you get on AdWords. So while the volume can be substantially less the overall ROI more than makes up for this.

I personally Find Bing Ads to be more transparent in their operations over AdWords as well. AdWords has gotten a ton better in just the last year but Bing ads has had the ability to call them up and speak or chat live with a representative for years now. Basically if you have a problem Bing ads can help you solve it fast.

For more information on search demographics check out – http://ads.bingads.microsoft.com/en-us/audience

I do want to say that the overall audience on Bing ads tends to convert better. By default Windows operating system uses the web browser Edge which has Bing as the default search engine. Before Edge was called Internet Explorer.

My parents for instance are great examples of what happens. They get their PC turn it on and connect to the internet and never change any default settings. Both use Bing and use Bing predominantly. I ran into this all the time when repairing computers. Those in the older demographic where just using Bing or yahoo. Because of this I think that is why I tend to get a higher conversion rate because I’m promoting to an older audience that probably have a little more money to spend.

Bing Ads and AdWords Comparison

At the end of the day both companies do the same thing. They provide search results. I won’t go into who’s search results are better but I will try and cover some of the quick differences.

Demographic Bid adjusting

With Bing Ads you can increase your bids based on Gender and Age. This is something AdWords says they are coming out within the next year but Bing Ads has been doing it for a long time already.

If you know your customer Avatar and they fit in with a certain age range then you can have a lower default CPC bid but bid adjust on a gender or age group.

Device Bid Adjust

AdWords just recently has allowed you to bid adjust on tablet and PC traffic along with Mobile traffic which you could do for a while now inside Bing Ads. The gap is now closed but it’s worth mentioning

Bing Ads has had the ability to bid adjust on mobile as well as Tablet traffic for a long while. You can only negative bid adjust by -20% on tablet but at least they gave you some option.

Generally a Lower CPC

I talked a little about this already. Generally I see a 30% cheaper cost per click give or take 10% on Bing Ads.

More Control on the Ad group Level and Campaign Level.

Bing Ads Allow you to adjust the time zone for each campaign while AdWords has a single account time zone. This is not a big issue for most small businesses but if you do a lot of international targeting like me it’s hard at time trying to adjust manually inside each campaign.

Inside each ad group you can set a different location, ad scheduling and language as well as Network/Display targeting.

More Control Over Search Partner Targeting

With AdWords it’s all or nothing. You can include search partners or exlude them. You have ZERO clue who these partners are and it’s impossible to optimize for search partners inside AdWords.

With Bing ads you can include search partners and run reports and see EXACTLY what search partner sites are converting and which ones are not. From there you can negative out the websites in the Website Exclusions section. When you run a report you will need to include the “Website URL (publisher)” to see what sites are showing your search based ads.

Image Extensions

Something relatively new inside Bing Ads is the option to have image extensions. I have not fully tested this out and only have it on a half dozen campaigns at the moment. I get very little impressions on the image extensions but it’s still very interesting and something AdWords is not doing yet.

Quality Score

You have two different levels of quality score inside Bing ads. 1 at the keyword level just like with AdWords and the other is at the Ad group Level. I still only focus on QS at the keyword level so I can’t say this is a benefit but if you group large sets of keywords together this can be helpful.

Exact Search Query Token

I know many small businesses do not need to use tokens but I come from the affiliate side of things and more often then not I can’t place a pixel on the confirmation page. Because of this I need to pass the exact keyword that is leading to a sale into my tracking program. Bingads allows you to use {QueryString} which tells you the exact searched keyword.

Negative Keywords

Bing ads does not use broad negative keywords but exact and phrase. This works out to be close to the same thing but worth mentioning.

Area’s where Bingads is still behind

Content Network / Display Network

The content network on Bingads really sucks. Quality is good but there are no tokens you can pass to know where a sale came from. If you are a small business this is not a big deal as you control your site and can place the conversion pixel in place. This is good news for smaller businesses as affiliates like me do not play much with Bing Content ads so the market really is open.

Call Tracking

AdWords is leaps ahead of Bing ads in terms of call tracking. Bing takes longer to provision you a number. The reporting is also way off. I have a really hard time tracking sales calls inside the Bing ads platform. It’s doable but you won’t get the same accuracy as with AdWords.

Conversion Pixels and Custom Audiences

Bing ads went through an update last year that honestly is better for Small businesses but made it a lot harder for affiliates like me to track sales. This is still a great move because it’s small businesses that bing ads should focus on.

Bing ads uses UET (Univerasal Event Tracking) . You place one code on your website and you setup rules for when the pixel should fire. This is most likely an order confirmation page or Thankyou page of some kind. This works similar to how the new Facebook pixel works. Still the options are very limited.

With this being said it’s still a lot harder to setup custom audiences and get the conversion pixels in place. You have less options and the system overall is bulky and complicated. AdWords has a strong lead on Bing ads in this department with the introduction of Google Tags

We like to think of AdWords as being way ahead of Bing in terms of technology and features. This is true in some cases but in many areas Bing has lead the charge and has allowed for a more open advertising platform with clearer rules and far more support and help for advertisers.

Bing ads Walk through

This is a bit of a copout but I’m going to refer you to the video in this guide. It’s far easier to just go through the video.

The post Bing Ads Walk Through – Comparing to AdWords appeared first on MarketingPlayBook.co

10 Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of WordPress Google Analytics

The importance of statistics is undeniable. They give us valuable insight on the website traffic and how visitors interact with it. By analyzing and getting deeper into your website stats you can significantly improve its performance, accelerate its growth and better serve your visitors.

If you’re looking for good analytics tool you’ll most probably end up by choosing Google analytics, the free and most complete analytics tool offered by Google.With its second to none tracking and monitoring functionalities it’s the first choice for millions of users and website owners. Another great thing about Google Analytics is that it’s pretty flexible, which allows you to obtain individual statistics and maximize the benefits of the tracked information.

The partnership of Google with WordPress made it easy to bring GA to WordPress powered websites and get tracking reports directly from the website dashboard. Moreover, with the available plugins you also get tons of tracking customization options to make your data more valid and useful. Below, you can find 10 tips that will help you maximize the benefits of WordPress Google Analytics.

analytics-plugin

1. Add Google Analytics to WordPress

Adding Google Analytics to your WordPress website comes with a bunch of advantages. It will allow you to access your website stats from the comfort of your WordPress dashboard, and ease you from the hassle of checking your GA account separately every time you need to get a glimpse of your website stats. There are a lot of tools out there that will help you to add Google Analytics to your WordPress website without touching a line of code. And Google Analytics WD plugin is one them. It’s the official member of  Google Analytics Technology Partners Program, and makes GA integration with WordPress a breeze. The plugin comes with all the advanced tracking and reporting functionalities that GA provides, and makes it way easier to collect and monitor the data.

Google Analytics WD comes in FREE and PRO versions, both offering a set of most needed analytics features. Find the plugin demo here, and see how it tracks and collects data.

2. Get a more accurate picture of your stats with data filtering

Of course, there can be data from specific resources that you might not want to be included in the tracking reports. Using filters is a smart way to improve the accuracy of the collected data. With data filtering option of the Google Analytics WD you’ll be able to filter out the traffic from specific IP addresses, countries, regions, and cities.

3. Exclude specific tracking

Tracking exclusion is a form of data filtering which allows you to exclude tracking based on specific roles and user accounts. Any activity and interaction performed by them on your website will be ignored and you’ll get a valid data on your website performance. You can exclude interaction tracking for site administrators, editors, authors, contributors, subscribers, admin and user accounts.

4. Get the most out of custom reporting

With the sheer volume of the data that Google Analytics provides, sometimes it’s overwhelming to figure it all out. Plus, there can be specific data which is not automatically reported by the plugin, but you’d really like to track it .This is where custom reporting functionality of Google Analytics WD comes to rescue. You can set custom reports for any metrics and dimension and access them directly on the plugin reports page. For example, you can set pageview as a metric and session duration as a dimension, and track how much time your visitors spent on viewing pages.

Google Analytics also allows you to export the tracking reports to CSV and PDF formats, and forward to specified email recipients on a scheduled basis.

5. Display frontend reports

With Google Analytics WD you can enable displaying reports on the frontend of your website and give access to them to specific users, such as site administrator, editor, subscribers, and contributors. This is a great option to enable those users to access individual page or post reports right on the frontend while working on the pages. This saves a lot of time and keeps them focused on their work.

6. Set reports for custom dimensions

You can maximize the benefits of your stats by tracking specific data that you have on your website. That could be the tracking which of the authors is the most popular among your readers, or what type of posts your readers like to read the most. With Google Analytics WD you can track custom dimensions based on logged in users, post type, category, tags, post author, post publishing year and month.

7. Measure how often your visitors complete specific actions

You website visitors perform thousands of activities on your website every day. With some additional setup you’ll be able to track targeted activities and get notified as soon as they are accomplished. You can set visiting a certain page as a goal, or measure how many of your visitors proceed to checkout on your shopping website. For setting and managing goals you’ll have to provide its name, select one of the goal types (destination, duration, pages/screens per session) and configure the options for the goal type. The plugin collects data based on the configured options, and keeps you notified by sending you an email or pushover notification.

8. Set alerts for specific conditions

Google Analytics WD comes with an advanced option to send you alerts and pushover notifications when a specific metric meets the predefined condition. It could be the highest/lowest number of the traffic, bounce rate range, and average session duration. For example, you can set to get an alert or pushover when the number of your website visitors exceeds a specific number. The alerts and pushovers are sent based on the selected period, either daily, weekly or monthly.

9. Track your sales stats

You can link your Ecommerce account to Google analytics WD and track your sales stats based on revenues, transactions, time to purchase, product name and category and sales performance. It’s a time-saving option for tracking your sales stats.

10. Google Adsense and AdWords reports

If you have authorized accounts on AdSense and AdWords, Google Analytics WD will enable you to view relevant information tracking within the reports page of the plugin. All you have to do is to link your accounts to the Google Analytics and access the tracked data from the WordPress dashboard.

Google Analytics WD is a powerful tracking tool. The data that it tracks includes tons of valuable information that you can use to improve your website performance. So, why not use these useful tips and get the most of your website stats.

Original post: 10 Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of WordPress Google Analytics

How to Make a Full-Time Income by Selling Digital Goods

A few months ago I published an article titled How to make a full-time income by adding a storefront to your blog. It gives a general overview of monetizing your blog by adding a storefront.

Today, I’ll explain how to start selling digital products specifically and make a full-time income through it.

The best thing about creating a digital product is that it is easier than creating physical ones. In fact, even if you’re not a tech-savvy person, you could start creating and selling digital products like ebooks with ease.

After all, you don’t necessarily need to have a massive following, in order to build a solid income if you’re selling a product online.

In this post, I’ll show you how to start making a full-time income by selling digital goods online in two ways- selling on marketplaces and selling on your own blog.

Sell on marketplaces

If you’ve ever sold a product online, you might have known that selling is a tedious task; especially finding potential buyers and putting your digital products before them. This is especially true if you’re a newbie seller and not a well-known face in your niche.

For that reason, many sellers prefer selling on marketplaces to selling on their blog.

As thousands of potential buyers are there on marketplaces, the main benefit is that the product visibility will be high. Moreover, you can sell it to people who are not actually your blog readers.

For instance, if you’re an ebook publisher, marketplaces like Amazon.com, Lulu.com and BarnesandNobles.com could be the right choice for you.

If you’re a WordPress theme developer you may use marketplaces like Themeforest.net, MojoThemes.com and WPEden.com etc.

So the basic idea is to find the right marketplaces to sell your products.

How to sell?

If you’re looking for an inspiration to get started as a digital publisher, let’s take a look at the success story of a Kindle bestseller, Rachel Abbott and learn how she successfully leveraged marketplaces to sell her digital goods. Though this case study is about making a full-time income by selling ebooks, the same strategy is applicable to selling any digital goods on marketplaces whether it is a WordPress plugin, software, stock photos, etc.

Lesson #1: Always get the basics right

Create a product with a strong concept. Get a professional looking cover if you’re releasing an ebook. For other digital products like themes, software or plugins, you may need to display screenshots and other graphics that easily grabs the attention of your potential customers.

Make people want to buy it by writing a great description while listing it on marketplaces.

Lesson #2: Create a marketing plan and stick to it

No matter how good your products are, none of your products sell themselves even if you’re using a popular platform like Amazon. However, with the right marketing strategies, you could succeed in selling.

Rachel uses Twitter as her primary marketing channel. She used to engage with like-minded people on Twitter by using tools like Twitter Adder and Triberr. This helped her to spread the word out about her products, which in turn increase the visibility of her listings.

With that said, you shouldn’t necessarily focus solely on Twitter for getting exposure especially if you’re not a regular Twitter user.

For example, publishers like Joanna Penn used to use her blogs to increase exposure of her products listing. Instead of reaching out to like-minded people on Twitter, she used to conduct interviews with popular self-published authors. And because there is a good chance that those authors would tweet about the interview or offer a backlink to it as well as products listing, this is a nice strategy to build some exposure to products listings.

Instead of blindly following others technique, make sure to stick to your marketing plans. Though it is OK to make mistakes when you’re selling a product for the first time, take those mistakes as lessons while creating your future marketing strategies.

Lesson #3: Get some great reviews quickly

One of the main reasons for the success of Rachel is that she got some great reviews quickly in the early days of her product release.

Identify potential blogs in your niche and ask them politely to review your product. While you couldn’t expect everyone you outreach to write a review, this strategy can be very effective to get some reviews and increase exposure for your listing in the early days.

Needless to say, in order to bring in sales, you’ll need to prepare yourself to work hard.

Turn your website into a digital store

One of the best things about creating a digital store is that you get the full control of what you’re selling.

For instance, if you’re selling products on marketplaces, you’ll need to adhere to their guidelines and they’ll take a significant profit share from what you make.

And if you carefully analyze the strategy of most of the best sellers out there, you’ll identify that in order to make a full-time income, you may need to produce multiple products for low prices. It’s because high priced products are harder to sell especially if you’re new to the market, which in turn forces you to create many products.

On the other hand, if you’re selling your digital goods on your own store, you don’t necessarily need to sell them for a cheaper price. Because you’ve full control over what you do, all you need to do is to grow a loyal following base and start selling your products to them.

Let’s take a look at how to make a full-time income by selling self-hosted digital goods.

How to sell?

While creating and selling an ebook is one of the easiest ways to get started with selling a digital good especially for a non-tech savvy person, your choices are not limited to selling ebooks as long as you can build a following and sell your products to them.

Create a digital store: If you’re already running an established WordPress blog, all you need to do is to add a digital storefront on your blog. For this, simply install a free plugin Easy Digital Downloads on your blog.

Choose a theme: If your current theme doesn’t support EDD plugin, you may need to install a new EDD supported theme. However, if you’re really fond of your current theme, chances are you might not want to change the theme. If that’s the case, try adding a new subdomain, install WordPress on it and an Easy Digital Downloads theme like Olam that lets you create a digital storefront with ease.

In fact, Olam is specifically built for creating a digital marketplace, so it’s very likely that you’ll find almost everything you need to build a digital storefront in it.

Build an email list: One of the biggest mistakes most publishers commits is that they undervalue the importance of building an email list. Try creating a landing page and start building an email list before you start creating your product. This will help you build a momentum about your products amongst your potential buyers.

Drive traffic to your landing page and start growing a massive follower base: There are many ways to build huge traffic to your blog as well as your landing page. If you’re looking for some inspirations, read one of my articles that explain how to drive huge traffic overnight to your blog.

Start selling: Once you build a massive follower base, it’s the time to start selling your products. List the products on your storefront and direct traffic from your email list.

Over to you

Have you ever sold digital goods? What would you prefer- selling products on marketplaces or selling it on your own blog?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

About the author: Shahzad Saeed specializes in content marketing for startups and small businesses. He writes on marketing, CRO, ecommerce and design. You can hire him for your next writing project.

Original post: How to Make a Full-Time Income by Selling Digital Goods

AdWords Call Tracking On Website and Call Conversion Setup

call tracking adwords website

Do you have trouble tracking calls leads on your website?

As a followup to last weeks hangout covering tracking I wanted to do a specific hangout covering exactly how to setup call tracking on your website.

I can’t stress enough how important call tracking is for optimizing campaigns inside AdWords.  With service based companies this is a MUST as most service based companies do not selling anything directly on their website but really heavily on calls to drive sales.  Tracking these calls is vital to knowing what keywords are producing leads and what keywords are a waste of money.

I would estimate that 90% plus of service based companies out there are not currently doing call tracking on their websites.  I have no real stats to prove this number but from the many accounts I look at I can say nearly all don’t implement it.  It’s no wonder why so many companies struggle to get profitable on AdWords and give up.

The year over year growth for mobile devices doing searches for services that are local is close to the 50% range.  That means your customers are actively out an about and not near a computer and they will search for things like, Dentist, car repair, carpet cleaning, roofing, pluming ETC…  You not only need to be competing in this market but you also need to be one of the few who are actually optimizing your ads and keywords for what is driving sales.  That is what this weeks hangout is all about.

As with all our hangouts here is the video for this week.  We hold live Hangouts every Wednesday at 2PM CST.  If you would like to attend then join our newsletter and our private Facebook group. See more details at http://marketingplaybook.co/connect/

What is Call Tracking?

Call tracking simply tracks calls made to your phone number using a Google forwarding number.  This can be done in a variety of different ways and you have multiple options for what is counted as a conversion.

In most cases with AdWords you will setup call tracking in 3 different ways.

  • Call Only Ads
  • Call Extentions
  • Calls From Website After User Clicks Your Ad

Two of these are inside your campaign and the third is going to be on your website.  Most people can easily figure out the first two but implementing the code on your website seems for many to be difficult.  We will walk you through all 3 examples.

Conversion Tracking Setup

Before we get into the 3 different methods lets first cover what a conversion may look like.

Currently you can’t really tie in the phone call and provide feedback as to what calls lead to sales and what calls are just inquires.  Because of this you will need to first establish what a phone call is worth to you based upon your current conversion rates and then assign that value to a call duration or to just any call that comes in.

Let’s say your average NET profit per sale is $50 dollars or that your life time value in the first 6 months of a new customer is $50 dollars.  If you land 20% of all your phone calls and convert them on average into sales then you have a 1 in 5 call conversion rate.  This would mean for every 5 calls that come in your net a total of $50 dollars.  This means your conversion value per every phone call should be $10 dollars.  That is what a call is worth to you as you land 1 in five calls.

So your CPA (Cost Per Action) is $10.  We need to setup a conversion value of $10 dollars inside AdWords to let AdWords know how much each call is worth.  This also helps us establish what our Max bid price can be which in this case would be $10 dollars.

To set this up we will go to Tools inside AdWords and click on the Conversion Tab

1-conversion-setup-calls

Next we will select the red + Conversion button

2-conversion-setup-add-conversion

Now we will select Phone Calls

phone call conversion setup

We now will be given 3 different options to choose from for setting up call tracking.

  • Calls from ads using call extensions or call-only ads
  • Calls to a phone number on your website
  • Clicks on your number on your mobile website

call tracking options

In this case we will start by choosing the first option as we want to first setup a call extension and a call only ad.  However will will also be using the other 2 options as well later in this guide.

Now you will be naming your conversion.  This could be any name you want.  Normally I try to name the conversion something so I understand what the conversion is for.  In this case I just said clicks-from-ads.

conversion setup

I also set the value as $10.00 because that is the value of the average phone call to my business.

6-conversion-setup-confirmation

We are now asked to setup withe a call extension or Call Only ads.  I’ll go ahead and select call only ads

Call Only Ads

Call only ads are setup on the adgroup level just like normal text ads.  With Call Only ads you will only show on devices capable of making phone calls.  When a user clicks on your ad you will be charged and they will be given your number and most will result in a phone call direct to your business.  You do not send people to your website when using call only ads.  The only option is to place the call to you.

You can use your own phone number in call only ads but if you want the calls to be tracked you will need to use a Google Forwarding number.  In this scenario either a local number or 1800 number will be shown and when dialed the call will be forwarded to your business number.  This is how Google AdWords is able to track your phone calls.

Here is an example of what a call only ad can look like

call only ad

Setup a Call Only Ad

Now that we already have our conversion tracking setup for the call we can easily track conversions.

Inside your adgroups click the Ads tab and select the red + Ad button and choose Call Only Ads

7-call-only-ad

Now we need to setup the ad with our business name, phone number, description 1 and 2, as well as the display url and the verification url.  The verification url is the page that has our number on it for the domain we are listing as our display url.  This is needed to verify that you do indeed have that number associated with your businesses.  With out this anyone could technically pretend to be you.

call only ad setup

You can see from the above that I choose to use a Google forwarding number.  This is so I can track what keywords lead to calls.  In addition to this I also selected the conversion pixel we setup earlier called “click-from-ads”.

I normally do advise you enter in call only ads into their own adgroup because AdWords never really gives them a proper chance when competing against regular text ads.

Call Extensions

Call extensions we have covered in-depth in other hangouts and in the AdWords PPC Search course guide.  I will refer you to those hangouts and to the search guide.

A Call extension is an ad extension that shows with your regular text ad along with your number.  It extends the ad and allows for more information to be shown.

Here is an example of a text ad with a call extension

text ad with call extention

With a Call extension option people can view your website through your regular text ad or they may just click on the call extension to call you.

To setup a Call Extension go to the Ad extensions tab and in the drop down sub menu select Call extensions

ad call extensions

Now you will select the red + Extension button if you don’t already have a call extension setup that you want to add into the campaign.

call extensions button

Next we will select + New Phone Number if you have not setup a phone number yet.

call extensions phone

Next you put in your phone number and select the option to use a Google forwarding number just like we did in the last example.  I also selected the custom conversion action we setup earlier of clicks-from-ads

example call extension setup

You also have the option of having the extension show more on Mobile devices by checking the device preference box for mobile.  Personally I love having it there on desktop searches and as we are using call forwarding it really does not matter.

Call Tracking For Your Website

Call tracking for your website is a great way to track those who click on your ad and then make a phone call from your website.  I commonly use this in combination with call extension ads because not every user will click on the call extension button  Some will first click your text ad and visit your website.  When this happens you need to be able to track what keyword lead to the phone call.

The process is rather simple.  When someone clicks on your ad and landing on your website a piece of code detects that the reffer was from AdWords.  Now it will replace your existing phone number with the call forwarding number from AdWords.  When a call is placed AdWords can track that back to the person who made the call and from there back to the keyword that triggered the call.

This is a great way to really get that full picture when you are a service based company and you don’t have sales or optins forms on your site.

These calls are tracked using 2 main pieces of code. We get both of these from setting up a conversion pixel.

To do this go to Tools from the top menu inside AdWords and select Conversions

1-conversion-setup-calls

Next we will select the red + Conversion button

2-conversion-setup-add-conversion

Now we will select Phone Calls

phone call conversion setup

We now will be given 3 different options to choose from for setting up call tracking.

call tracking options

This time we will be selecting calls to a phone number on your website

In the below image I named the conversion calls-from-website-90-seconds.  This is so I can easily tell what the conversion is and the purpose of this conversion.  May value is set at $10 and I set the call length for 90 seconds.

calls from website

Select Save and Continue and you will now be given 2 snippets of code.  The first is your conversion tracking tag.  This is a java script that you need to place in the header of your website. This could be on the entire website or just a specific landing page.  For more details see https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6095883?hl=en&authuser=1#add_tag

In the live hangout video I show how I added this into my WordPress theme

call tracking jave code install

The second section of code needs to replace the section on your website where your current phone number is shown.  For more details see https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6095883?hl=en&authuser=1#gfn

call tracking code

This second code is where it get’s really confusing for people so let me just pass you the easiest options you have.

The first is to use a really simple replace script.  This is

<body onload=”_googWcmGet(‘number’, ‘1-800-123-4567’)”>
<span class=”number”>1-800-123-4567</span>
</body>

The number 1-888-123-4567 is just a holder phone number.  you would replace it with your phone number.  When someone from an AdWords ad lands on your site with this code on it along with the first code then the number will be replaced with the Google Forwarding number.

The other option you can use is a little more complicated but great for when you use hyper linked numbers like I do.  Basically I want people to be able to click on the number and just call.  With this you have to first ad this top code into the header of your site between <head> and </head>.  Anywhere between these to tags and you are good.

		    var callback = function(formatted_number, mobile_number) {
		      // formatted_number: number to display, in the same format as
		      //        the number passed to _googWcmGet().
		      //        (in this case, '1-800-123-4567')
		      // mobile_number: number formatted for use in a clickable link
		      //        with tel:-URI (in this case, '+18001234567')
		      var e = document.getElementById("number_link");
		      e.href = "tel:" + mobile_number;
		      e.innerHTML = "";
		      e.appendChild(document.createTextNode(formatted_number));
		    };
		  
The // in the code above means it's not read and skipped over. It's there so you can understand what the 
code is doing. You can remove it if you want. With this code we are saying to find
1-800-123-4567 and +18001234567 and replace them with the _googWcmGet value passed from Google.

The second part of this is now we need to tell Google where to replace the number on our page and for
that we will paste in the below where our current phone number is

		<body onload="_googWcmGet(callback, '1-800-123-4567')">
			  <a href="tel:18001234567" id="number_link">
				1-800-123-4567</a>
		</body>

You can use this second code anywhere you want your phone number or the Google forwarding number to show on your site.

Testing the Call Forwarding Number on Your Website

Testing the number is vital because you need to know things are working.  Sadly the only way to test is to click on your own ad.  This means you need to pay for a click but it’s well worth it to verify things are working.  After you setup the conversion pixel and implement the code on your website I would wait around 6 hours just to ensure everything is setup on Google’s end.  They say 1 hour but I’ve had it take a few hours longer so just be patient and wait several hours then do a search in Google for a keyword you are bidding on and click through the ad.  Your phone number should be replaced with a Google forwarding number.

Now you have the ability to fully track call only ads, calls made from call extensions and calls placed from your website that are from ads clicked from AdWords.  You can now go forth and take over your local market because nearly all your competition currently is not tracking all three of these variables.

If you found the article helpful be sure and share it and don’t forget to hit up the Connect page on top to connect with us on Facebook and other media outlets.

 

 

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Google Destinations, Now for Desktop

Google launched the “plan a trip” feature for mobile phones back in March and now it’s available in the regular desktop interface, as well. “Destinations on Google helps you discover and plan your next vacation, right from Google Search,” informed Google.

Search for a continent, a country or state you’d like to visit and the Knowledge Graph card has a “plan a trip” section which includes a travel guide, information about hotels and upcoming events.

The travel guide link sends you to a new Google Destinations site which shows beautiful photos, a short description of the place, links to Google Flights, Google Hotel Finder, a trip planning feature, a list of suggested itineraries, top sights, videos, related places, information about climate and the most popular months to visit the place you picked.

Google displays a list of popular itineraries which are generated from the historic visits of other travelers.

The trip planning feature is quite clever. Google shows “highs and lows for the next six months, so you can find the right price tag for you. And as you slide left or right, the results instantly update with real-time fares and rates, pulling from the trillions of flight itineraries and hotels we price every day on Google Flights and Hotel search. You can also customize results further with flight and hotel preferences, including number of stops, hotel class, and number of travelers.”

Google Destinations also works for queries like [asia destinations], which shows popular destinations and lets you filter them by interest: beach, culture, golf, hiking, nature, scuba diving, shopping, skiing, wildlife.

{ Thanks, Mukil Elango. }