How to Track the Success of Facebook Advertising

Without conversion tracking tools provided by Facebook, it is hard to justify spending advertising dollars on Facebook ads. However, with a little bit of creativity you can gage how Facebook ads are working for you. Here are a few suggestions you may want to try out as you test pay per click advertising on Facebook.

  1. If you sell products, do a unique coupon code for Facebook and put it in your ads. You’ll be able to see in your store control panel how many times that coupon code was redeemed. Check your sales against your Facebook ad spend to see if continuing to advertise on Facebook makes sense for you.
  2. If you sell services not products, send your Facebook ad clickers to a special landing page, embed in the page a contact form with a subject line that says “Lead from Facebook.” This way you’ll know for sure that the when you get that form that the lead was generated by a Facebook click.
  3. Create a special gift pack to sell in your store that you only advertise on Facebook. This way if you cannot do a coupon code, you can at least get an idea if your investment in Facebook advertising is generating a return.

If you are advertising on Facebook using pay per click advertising, you do need to watch your Google Analytics account to check to see if you can identify a volume of traffic from Facebook. If you see a spike and you are advertising, it makes sense to assume that Facebook is generating these additional exposures.

Many business owners want to advertise on Facebook, especially in the upcoming holiday season, but without true conversion tracking tools we can only hope and guess that Facebook is the “right” place to be. Find out more about our Facebook ad services.

If not knowing if a pay per click service is working for you is too problematic for you, consider using our Google AdWords services. With Google AdWords conversion tracking, we can KNOW what sales have been generated by clicks and can even measure phone calls. Find out more about our Google AdWords services.

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Five Years Ago I Had Great Organic Placement

I have had a rash of prospects tell me that their organic placement has dropped so much after they paid a ton of money for a new website that they want to repost the website they had five years ago to get their old traffic and Google.com placement back. Sorry, but there is no time machine that will take us back to the time you placed highly on Google.com.

A website is not a brochure; you create it once and then hand it out for years. It is a work of art, a puzzle, a tool, a selling machine. It needs care and it needs content updates. What worked three years ago and five years ago certainly does not work now. Even if we could reload a website that performed well five years ago on Google, it would most likely not perform in the same place today.

The Web has changed dramatically in the time that I have been providing professional services and it has significantly changed in the past three years and seriously changed even this past year. What is important for website owners to understand is that now the content is crucial for organic placement, but more than that, it cannot just stop at great content.

A well placed website (in the organic search results) needs:

  1. great content that provides features and benefits
  2. content that is informational beyond what you sell and service
  3. regular updates of interesting articles, white papers, and informational updates
  4. social networking work off site on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+
  5. a blog that is updated a minimum of three times a week and  deep links to pages in your website

That in a nutshell is a web authority site! A website that is beyond a brochure but provides real help and information for readers not only on services and products that are sold but on topics and ideas. This is no five page website that’s for sure.

It takes time and money to build and maintain a web authority site, but the rewards can be big. With a site that is well placed organically, you may not need to spend quite so much in advertising to get traffic to your site. The older your authority site is, the more links you will naturally earn which will continue to improve your placement as well. Additionally, the depth of information you have on your website will let prospects know you know your business and are the go-to person for their needs.

What used to work five years ago for organic placement certainly will not work now, but quality content and information-rich web pages will never go out of style. I invite you to visit our “authority website” and see if we can help you too.

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The Google Analytics Whiners Need to Stop Now

Even on this past Friday the spillover comments about Google blocking referrer data into Google Analytics for signed in users was ramped up from just being irritating to the full rant level. Here are some of the titles of articles that I have read to give you an idea of how rabid people in my industry are getting about this topic.

Dear Google, This is War

Google Whores Out Users With False Privacy Claims

SEO Under Attack – The Google Analytics Keyword Data Apocalypse

Now We Will Need To Pay To See Keyword Referrer Data?

Google Turning the Lights Out on Organic Data

These are just a few of the articles on this topic that I wrote about this past Monday’s from an announcement that Google made last week that talks about Google turning off the referrer for signed in Google users when they do a search. My comments to all of these writers and whiners is Google is not a non-profit. Everything they do is for money. We cannot forget this. Google.com and Google Analytics are their platform’s their intellectual property, their rules, searches their way!

I want to bring to everyone’s mind that Google Analytics used to be called Urchin and monthly subscription to the service was in excessive of $100 monthly for data and tracking. Google bought Urchin and every webmaster around the world signed up to get the code and get Google Analytics for free. Now that Google has decided to remove some of the data from THEIR free tool the world is falling over itself whining about the loss and trying to brow beat Google into giving it back.

It’s time to get real and realize that Google is a platform that pushes advertising. Google will do whatever it takes to keep other advertisers from scrapping its referral data so they [other advertisers] can use the information to make money. Google will work hard to protect itself from privacy lawsuits as they cost money and hurt their [Google’s] reputation. Google is not providing a search engine or organic results for free, it provides them so you will click their ads so they make money.

Stop whining and start checking to see if there is another statistical tool that will give you what YOU want. I think that you’ll be hard pressed to find one that is free and provides the data that Google Analytics has. Oh, wait, there is always Web Trends and Hub Spot available… but for a price.

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Google Search Goes to Secure Encryption Causing SEO Headaches

Google announced this past week that for all signed in users it will now show search results with an https:// address. This means that if you are signed in to Google+, Gmail or any other Google Properties when you go to Google.com the page will default to https://www.Google.com.

So what you say, “no big deal”, well here’s the rest of the story…

“Today, a web site accessed through organic search results on http://www.google.com (non-SSL) can see both that the user came from google.com and their search query. (Technically speaking, the user’s browser passes this
information via the HTTP referrer field.) However, for organic search results on SSL search, a web site will only know that the user came from google.com.”

This is very important news for website owners who are using Google Analytics to track traffic on their website and for the SEO firms that you may employ who may be tracking keyword information. You can read the full article on the Google Webmaster blog.

The bottom-line is that Google is not going to show the search terms people used to find your website when doing organic searches. This information has been incredibly valuable. One, it let’s you know what keyword search activity has helped people to find you so you can build on these successes; two, it allows you to evaluate your current SEO strategy to adjust if needed; and three, it allows your Google AdWords account manager to harvest additional keywords to help your AdWords program perform better.

Google does go on to say that they are making the change to protect a user’s privacy but annoyingly enough they are showing the full data in Google AdWords accounts. As a result webmasters all around the world have gone crazy over this news. Here is a link to a site that has archived a few of the most interesting articles on this topic if you would like to read more.

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Branding Yourself is the Way to High Organic Placement

What website owners used to do to get organic search placement simply does not work anymore pre or post Panda! I’ve found a great article that really says it all when it comes to explaining why. I think you will find it interesting reading.

These are things that have worked in the past for organic placement (some are really old) that do not work now:

  • keyword stuffing into html comment code
  • keyword dense domain names
  • home page with a high level of keyword density on one or two phrases
  • submitting your website URL to hundreds of directories
  • link to your website from forums or blog comments

Now what works is to consolidate your web efforts, no more spin off websites that are keyword dense on one service and are only five pages deep and no more websites that just have a listing about what you sell or service.

What works for placement today is:

  • an information rich website with content that is updated frequently
  • a website that blogs on domain that earns inbound links slowly over time
  • a larger website meaning more pages that inform customers and educate them
  • a more text oriented and less graphically complex website that has a super speedy load time
  • a website that uses smart architecture that allows for keyword named directories
  • smart activity in social media like Twitter and Facebook pointing back to the parent website

It’s time to consolidate your efforts and market your business and services as a brand. A brand that has a strategy to inform, entertain, and interact with prospects and readers while providing unique information written with an eye on selling your product/services features and benefits. Need someone who can do just that, check out our website for more information.

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Search Engines – What You See Is Not What I See

Just this past week I’ve had two prospect call saying they need to be number one on Google and what would it cost to get them there. Sigh, this is a “brave new world” people! What you see on a search engine is not what I see, nor what your neighbor sees, nor what someone in California sees. There is no longer owning top organic spots. We used to be able to do this, but not any more.

Welcome to the new world of personalized search history and pervasive cookies. In many ways, in regards to personally satisfying search results, personalized search is a huge step forward. It makes results focused on what you have searched for before and is targeted to your location. What it makes for website owners is a big headache.

To learn more about this topic, I recommend that you read this interesting and insightful article that explains in depth why what you see will be different than what I see.

Search engines collect users’ browsing history in 2 major ways:

(1) by tracking signed-in users’ activities and
(2) by planting cookies into signed-out users’ browsers.

So even if you’ve signed out of your Google.com accounts, Google still knows who you are and where you live and continues to deliver personalized results. Besides logging out of all Google accounts, logging out of all social media accounts, clearing your browser of all cookies and your cache what you see then on Google.com would be data that no one else may ever see as they are logged in to everything!

Top placement organically is now a target you can strive for, but one that is hard to document and reproduce across varying users platforms due to our new world of personalized search.

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