Thursday, April 23, 2015

WEEKS 15 & 16: Learning Google Analytics, StatCounter & Web Analytics Tools/Learning Google AdWords/Final Projects & Social Media Marketing Plans

SUMMARY:

For the final weeks of the semester, we will:
  • Learn about website analytics tools (such as Google Analytics and StatCounter) that enable better understanding of site/campaign traffic, referral and behaviour patterns.
  • Learn about best practices in building an official Facebook and Google AdSense campaign.
  • Finish our semester-long campaign website and related social media channels.
HOMEWORK:
  • Work on your final exam, due no later than the end of the day on Tuesday, May 5.
  • Continue to work on your Social Media Marketing Plan, due Thursday, April 30.
  • Continue to Facebook and Twitter updates frequently (several times this week) and attempt to build a larger follower/fan count by outreach to friends and family, as well as activity on like-minded social media pages.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Understanding Google Analytics

Would you like to know more about the Web traffic click-through patterns and keyword referrals on your site? Google Analytics is a free Web-based tool that will give you rich data on how people interact with your Web site content.

Visit Google Analytics to learn more.



With Google Analytics, you can even get "real time" reports of what is happening on your website:

REAL TIME REPORTING




In addition, you can track the following type of website activities:

AUDIENCE
 


ACQUISITION



BEHAVIOR



NOTE: For Wix.com accounts, you must upgrade to a paid account with a unique vanity domain name in order to connect Google Analytics tracking to your webpage. A free alternative that does work with Wix.com is StatCounter.

Additional Resources:

There are several online resources that you can help you better understand and analyze the data that you get from the various Web analytics services.


Free Website Analytics Options: StatCounter and Who's Amung Us

STATCOUNTER

StatCounter allows you to track who is visiting your campaign site. By installing StatCounter code into your Wix.com site, you'll be able to see detailed information on your visitors.

To get started, visit http://statcounter.com. Sign up for a free account and then follow the instructions to generate and install tracking code.
NOTE: Upon installation of your tracking code, StatCounter may ask you to verify that the code has been installed correctly. In many cases, it will inform you with this message "Code Not Detected" -- However, if you do continue to the next step, you will typically see that your tracking code is indeed working and that data is being tracked correctly.

Please note that two features of StatCounter are not available with Wix.com. You may not see accurate tracking for page titles and referring information. 

WHO'S AMUNG US

Another option for tracking of "real time activity" is Who's Amung Us.

Installation of tracking code is incredibly simple. Just go to the Who's Amung Us website, grab the code you want and then add it to your site using these steps:
  1.  In Edit Mode, Select the + (Add) button from the left-hand menu
  2. Select Apps, then HTML. A new HTML box will appear on your page.
  3. In the HTML settings box, use the pull-down menu to change the "Mode" to "HTML Code".
  4. Paste the code into the HTML Code box and "Save". If you want the tracking to appear on every page, then select "Show on all Pages" at the bottom of the HTML Settings box before you save.
  5. You can move the traffic icon by dragging it anywhere on your page. Make sure to Save your page before previewing or publishing.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Introduction to Google AdWords

OVERVIEW: WHAT IS GOOGLE ADWORDS VS. GOOGLE ADSENSE?

Many people confuse Google AdWords with a related program called Google AdSense. They are actually not the same thing!


Google AdWords is an advertising service that enables you to create your own ads to appear on relevant Google search results pages, as well as on other AdWords-enabled websites. Thus, companies that want to promote their services would use AdWords to advertise for acquisition of new customers.

Google AdSense is a different program that enables content creators to monetize their sites via displayed ads. So, if you are a content creator or publisher, you would likely want to participate in the AdSense program to make some money!

For this class, we will focus primarily on Google AdWords -- since that is the program most likely to be of use to aspiring professional PR and advertising students.

WHY ADWORDS?

With Google AdWords, you can create ads that are eligible to appear on Google within the search results. Your ads are also eligible to appear on some AdWords partner sites.

Unlike some traditional forms of advertising, you only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad! Thus, your ad will generate lots of impressions - but your ad costs are linked to the "click-through rate" (CTR), which is what ultimately matters in driving traffic to your site.

How do you determine what each ad will cost?

In many cases, you will bid on "keywords" that are matched to the types of search engine queries that people make. There are branded and non-branded searches.

What is the difference between branded and non-branded searches?

BRANDED SEARCHES: If the customer already knows your brand name, they will likely type that into the search engine or they may already know the website address and go directly to your site. If they type your brand name into the search engine, this is known as a "branded search."

A good starting point is to do a general search for your brand on Google. Does your brand show up? If so, how high does it rank? Be aware that people might misspell your brand name -- do typos and variations of your brand also show up prominently?

Branded searches include any searches that originate with an attempt to search for your brand -- including typos and variations.

For example, branded searches for the 3D virtual world Second Life would include "Second Life," "2nd Life," "Second Life game" and even typos (e.g. "Secund Life").

NON-BRANDED SEARCHES: What about searches that happen when people don't already know your brand name? Maybe your potential customers are looking for a type of product or service, but are completely unaware that you even exist! A "non-branded search" encompasses searches for general descriptors and phrases that relate to your brand without actually including your brand name.

For example, popular non-branded searches for Second Life might include "virtual world," "3D virtual game," "avatar game" and "virtual life."

How does Google AdWords work?

Non-branded searches present a huge opportunity to acquire new customers and/or website visitors! You can use Google AdWords to place "bids" on ad placement on searches for both branded and non-branded searches. However, chances are pretty good that other companies are also targeting non-branded searches - so the prices may vary dramatically for your ads based on how in demand your keywords and phrases are. You have lots of options on how to bid and spend your money. You can use AdWords to pay a higher amount for prioritized placement among ads -- or distribute your costs more evenly so that your campaign budget lasts longer.

Here is a video that further summarizes how Google AdWords works:



One thing to note is that Google rewards you for relevancy over the long-term. To deter companies from bidding on popular phrases that have nothing to do with their brand or service, Google will actually factor in the accuracy of your ad copy and keyword bids into its algorithm that determines where your ad is placed. Thus, you don't want to "spam" or "bait and switch" potential customers with ads that are irrelevant to their searches.

Will my ads only be displayed on the search results pages on Google?

Not necessarily. You have the option to place an ad only on Google's search pages and/or the Display Network of partner sites. If you choose to include the Display Network, your ad can appear across the Internet on numerous sites that match the theme or topic of your campaign. These ads can include images, interactivity and even video.



For Display Ads, you can either import in your compliant ad or build a new Display Ad right inside the Google AdWords Display Ads tool. Click the image below to see a screenshot of what the Display Ad builder looks like.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8xuvg1bmloaexwx/Display-Ad-Builder.jpg
























How do I get started with AdWords?

Looking to get started using Google AdWords?

Sign up for your free account. Although you don't necessarily need this for class, here is a link for a free $75 (when you spend $25) in starter advertising for first-time Google AdWords users.

Once you are logged in, you can start to write your ad copy and then use the ad creation tool to identify the keywords that you want to bid on. You can also target your ad for placement in particular geographic regions and other variables.


How Do You Measure Success in Google AdWords?



Here are some additional links and resources:
Other Useful Tools:
  • Go to these various AdWords tools to see several free utilities that can help you shape your ad
    • Use the Display Planner to help research your competition and to shape your online ad buying strategy
    • Use the Keyword Planner to find new keyword and ad group ideas, get performance estimates for them to find the bid and budget that are right for you, and then add them to your campaign.
    • To preview what ads are already displaying for a particular keyword, use the Ad Preview Tool

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What should be in your social media marketing plan?

Your final social media marketing plan should include the following sections and elements:
  • Executive Summary/Overview
  • Social Media Presence
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Goals
  • Strategies
  • Target Market
  • Tools & Implementation
  • Monitoring & Tuning
  • Budget & ROI
In addition, your Social Media Marketing Plan should include documentation of the research and planning of your campaign, including:
  • Branding research (logo/name survey results)
  • User Personas
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Wireframe(s)