Innovation Guide


 


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Do you ever wish you could build something so great that people and the media would get just as excited as they do when Apple launches a new product?
Or, do you ever wish that (because of your innovation), your company would rise in value so fast that the world’s biggest social media network would buy it for $1 billion?

An innovation like that would change your life forever. It’s the dream of every entrepreneur.
While there is no formula for creating revolutionary products, there are some critical elements of innovation that will promote their development.

This simple guide will help.

1. You can plan innovation

You may not be able to plan a specific and predictable sort of innovation…but you can create a culture in which people put a high premium on innovation. That kind of culture starts at the top.

In their early days, Google allowed employees to spend 20 percent of their time on pet projects. That led to some DOA products like Buzz, but it also set the stage for some killer ideas like Gmail.

The founder of GE, Thomas Edison, created an atmosphere that valued innovation by:

  • Encouraging collaboration
  • Encouraging mistakes
  • Demanding one major invention every six months and one small one every ten days

If you think about it, Steve Jobs did the same thing in his company, pushing his people to invent and then innovate products like the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.

2. You don’t have to spend a lot of money

The beauty of information software is that everything is basically free. In the old days, a company would have needed tens of thousands of dollars just to get the software for their product. Now, with open source movement, cloud storage and a whole range of free sources, expenses are reduced drastically.

The makers of Angry Birds—Rovio—innovated cheaply, which paid off big for them when they went public in 2012, at an estimated worth of $1 billion. Leer más “Innovation Guide”

How Accurate are Alexa, Compete, DoubleClick and Google Trends?


 

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Back in January, SEOmoz did a test of free statistics services like Alexa, Compete, DoubleClick, and Google Trends. Their conclusion was that the visitor data provided by these services did not match their own analytics.

Does that mean all of the data provided by these sites are rubbish? Not necessarily. We have relied on these tools for competitor research for ages, so we thought we would go beyond just the visitor data and look at other key pieces of information to see if they match up with Google Analytics data. The following is what I found.

Alexa

Alexa offers more about websites than just visitor statistics. Let’s look at how accurate they really are.

Traffic Stats

alexa traffic stats

Since most people think of Alexa as being all about traffic, let’s look at their basic traffic stats in comparison with my own Google Analytics data.

  • Pageviews Per User – Alexa estimates that the average pageviews per user for the last three months is 1.98. Google Analytics shows 1.38 pages per visit.
  • Bounce Rate Percentage – Alexa estimates the average bounce rate percentage for the last three months is 61.8%. Google Analytics shows 79.46%.
  • Time on Site – Alexa estimates that the average time on site for the last three months is 2:38. Google Analytics shows 1:22.
  • Search % – Alexa estimates that the average percentage of visits received from search engines for the last three months is 6.5%. Google Analytics shows 45.37%.

Search Analytics

alexa search analytic

Next on the list of data from Alexa is Search Analytics. Here, I am usually just interested in keywords, especially now that Google Analytics has decided to hide some of that data from users. Alexa, in the keywords department, is similar to my Google Analytics organic keyword data. Four of their Top Queries from Search Traffic are an exact match to terms in the top 25 organic keywords of my Google Analytics. Others are ones that I know I have regularly targeted.

Audience by Country

alexa audience location

Alexa offers some basic audience demographic information about your audience including age, education, gender, and so forth. I decided to look at the Visitors by country section beneath that to see how well they nailed the location demographic for my website. In this case, they are close with seven out of ten countries right as far as the top countries visiting my site. Leer más “How Accurate are Alexa, Compete, DoubleClick and Google Trends?”

5 Reasons Email Marketing Crushes Social Media Marketing for B2B


I know—how dare I have the audacity to hate on social media? It’s the way of the future! It will solve world hunger. It will have your babies.
And very soon, it will even make your decaf soy latte in the morning.
Don’t get me wrong. Social media is great, and you should use it in your marketing if that makes sense for your business.
But you should not put it ahead of email marketing.
Because all other things being equal, email marketing still crushes social media marketing. Here are 5 reasons why…() Leer más “5 Reasons Email Marketing Crushes Social Media Marketing for B2B”

6 Indispensable Free & Freemium SEO Tools


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When you are working on search engine optimization for your own business or for a client’s website, you will need some great SEO tools. If you have the budget, you can certainly pay for the best SEO tools the Internet has to offer, but if you don’t, then free and freemium tools are the alternative.

Free tools are just that – free to use as much as you want for any of your projects. Freemium tools, on the other hand, have both free and premium rate plans based on your needs. The following are my six favorite free and freemium tools that are indispensable for SEO’s everywhere.

1. AdWords Keyword Tool for Keyword Research

google adwords keyword tool

All SEO campaigns should begin with keyword researchGoogle AdWords Keyword Tool is your best bet for a free keyword research tool. It is not necessarily exact with its numbers, so don’t believe that there is exactly 74,000 people searching for “website analytics” each month. What you can believe in is that “website analytics” is searched more often than “free website analytics”. You can also get a lot of great keyword ideas too!

2. SEO Book for a Keyword Research & On-Site Analysis

SEO Book

SEO Book actually has several free SEO tools on their website. You need to create a free account with their website first, and then you have unlimited access to the tools you see above, plus a few others including a keyword density analyzer, a page comparison tool to find keywords, an ad group generator for AdWords, PPC keyword wrapper, and a typo generator that shows the most common typos for keywords that you enter.

3. SEO Site Tools for On-Site Analysis & Suggestions Leer más “6 Indispensable Free & Freemium SEO Tools”

5 Psychological Studies on Pricing That You Absolutely MUST Read


As marketers, bloggers, or business owners, you will most likely come to deal with the process of pricing your products or services.

The thing is, many folks struggle with this process because although they understand their customer’s needs, they aren’t experience with what to charge people for their work.

Below I’ve analyzed a few recent research studies that dive into pricing of products and services in hope that you might better understand how to price your own goods.

1. Comparative Pricing: Not Always Optimal

competitor price comparison

One of the first techniques that many marketers attempt in forming a new pricing strategy is to directly compare their price with that of a competitor.

“Hey, my software is 30% less than this popular option, why not buy mine?”

The problem is, comparative pricing isn’t always as reliable as marketers think it is, and can effect costumer’s perceptions of the product in a few different ways.

Consider this scenario: Buying Aspirin…

aspirin

You walk into a drugstore and see the familiar sign inviting you to compare the price of the store’s brand of aspirin to a national brand.

What do you do?

According to Itamar Simonson, you may not go for the cheapest.

Instead, you may choose the major brand because you perceive it as the less risky choice. Or you may not buy anything at all.

This new research from a Stanford marketing study has shown that asking consumers to directly compare prices may have unintended effects.

Simonson found comparative pricing isn’t always favorable because “it can change the behavior of consumers in very fundamental ways.”

Consumers may decide not to buy at all or to minimize what they perceive as a heightened risk instead of following the advice that the marketer had in mind.

The study analyzes the effect of implicit and explicit comparisons to arrive to this conclusion.

Implicit comparisons occur when a customer takes the initiative to compare two or more products.

Conversely, explicit comparisons are those that are specifically stated or brought up by the marketer or advertiser.

To test the effects of comparative advertising, Simonson & Dholakia set up two trials.

The first involved selling CDs on eBay.

The researchers listed (for sale) a number of top-selling albums in CD format, such as “The Wall” by Pink Floyd (hey, not too bad of taste either ;)).

The cost of the CD’s put up for sale always started at $1.99.

They then “framed” these auctions in two very distinct ways.

The first way had the CD ‘flanked’ with two additional copies (of the same CD) that had a starting bid of $0.99.

The second had the original CD flanked with two copies starting at $6.99.

The results seemed clear: The CDs flanked with the more expensive options ($6.99) consistently ended up fetching higher prices than the CDs next to the $o.99 offerings.

“We didn’t tell people to make a comparison; they did it on their own,” said Simonson.

“And when people make these kinds of comparisons on their own, they are very influential.”

In order to test the effects of explicitly telling the consumers to compare, the researchers re-did the experiment with the same settings, only this time they outright asked consumers to compare the $1.99 CD with the other offerings.

The results of this showed that when explicitly stated to compare, prices of the adjacent CDs became statistically irrelevant to what the bids were on the middle disc.

Additionally, buyers became much more cautious and risk adverse in their purchasing of the CDs:

“The mere fact that we had asked them to make a comparison caused them to fear that they were being tricked in some way,” said Simonson.

The results were that people became more timid in every aspect imaginable: fewer bids, longer time on their first bid, and less of a likelihood to participate in multiple auctions.

Marketers need to be aware that comparative selling, although it can be very powerful, is not without its risks.”

Think about that the next time you directly compare your offering to your competitors.

Instead, you might better benefit from highlighting unique strengths and placing an emphasis ontime saved over money saved…

2. Selling Time Over Money

“It’s Miller Time.”

For a company selling beer, this type of slogan might come off as somewhat of an odd choice.

But according to new research which advocates the benefits of “selling time” over money, it may be a perfect choice.

“Because a person’s experience with a product tends to foster feelings of personal connection with it, referring to time typically leads to more favorable attitudes—and to more purchases.”

So says Jennifer Aaker, the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Why would selling experience (or time spent) with a product work so much better in some instances than discussing the products favorable price?

Aaker noted that many (around 48% of those analyzed) advertisements included a reference to time, noting that many marketers seem to innately understand the importance of time to a consumer.

Unfortunately, very little in the way of actual studies had been done to back this up.

In their first experiment addressing this, Aaker and her co-author Cassie Mogilner set up, of all things, alemonade stand using two 6-year olds (so it would appear legitimate).

In this experiment, the lemonade sold could be purchased for $1-$3 (customer selected) and a sign was used to advertise the stand.

The 3 separate signs to advertise the lemonade were as follows:

  1. The first said, “Spend a little time and enjoy C&D’s lemonade”
  2. The second said, “Spend a little money and enjoy C&D’s lemonade”
  3. The third said, “Enjoy C&D’s lemonade” (neutral sign)

Even with this lemonade example the results were apparent.

The sign stressing time attracted twice as many people, who were willing to pay twice as much.

To further drive this point home, a second study done with college students (and iPods) was conducted.

This time, only two questions were asked:

  1. “How much money have you spent on your iPod?”
  2. “How much time have you spent on your iPod?”

Not surprisingly considering the last study, students asked about time demonstrated far more favorable opinions of their iPods than those asked about money.

The researchers thought that:

One explanation is that our relationship with time is much more personal than our relationship with money.

“Ultimately, time is a more scarce resource—once it’s gone, it’s gone—and therefore more meaningful to us,” says Mogilner.

“How we spend our time says so much more about who we are than does how we spend our money.”

Aaker and her colleague were not done yet, however.

Determined to test whether or not all references to money would lead to a more negative output (due to the participant being reminded of how much they spent on a product), they conducted a similar experiment at a concert.

This time, the “cost” was actually time, as the concert was free, but people had to “spend” time in line to get the good seats.

The two questions asked by the researchers in this scenario were:

  1. “How much time will you have spent to see the concert today?”
  2. “How much money will you have spent to see the concert today?”

The results?

Even in an instance like this, where time was the resource being spent, asking about time increased favorable opinions toward the concert.

Not only that, people who stood in line the longest, or the people who incurred the most “cost”, actually rated their satisfaction with the concert the highest.

“Even though waiting is presumably a bad thing, it somehow made people concentrate on the overall experience,” says Aaker.

So what’s the deal here?

Marketers need to start being aware of the meaning that their products bring to the lives of their customers before they start focusing their marketing efforts.

And one more thing to think about…

The study notes that the one exception seems to be any products consumers might buy for prestigevalue.

If you aren’t in the line of selling sports cars or tailored made suits, you most likely won’t have to deal with this, but the point remains:

“With such ‘prestige’ purchases, consumers feel that possessing the products reflect important aspects of themselves, and get more satisfaction from merely owning the product rather than spending time with it,” says Mogilner.

Factor these considerations of the important of time next time you go about pricing your product, and you’ll see that catering to consumer’s most precious resource, their time, can be more persuasive than even the most drastic of price reductions.

3. Effect of “Useless” Price Points Leer más “5 Psychological Studies on Pricing That You Absolutely MUST Read”

What to Do When Conversion Optimization Goes Bad


 

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Conversion rate optimization isn’t always all kittens and rainbows. Sometimes you test things that you’re sure will send your conversions through the roof, but it ends up going over like a lead balloon. Sales plummet, sign ups slow to a trickle…

And you freeze.

The most important step you can take is to roll your site back to its pre-test glory. And you might be inclined to just keep it there because testing the wrong things (again) could send your traffic into a tailspin.

But before you swear off testing ever again, consider the following tips. Not only will you be able to recover more quickly, but you’ll also be able to create a testing and optimization plan that helps you pinpoint where your target audience is slipping through the cracks – and get them back.

Welcome to Testing.

welcome to website testing

You aren’t the first person who has gone through this – and you certainly won’t be the last. It’s completely natural to go into this with high expectations, but what you’re seeing is possibly a more down-to-earth result. Don’t look at this as if your idea is worthless or your site is ruined – this is why we test. Once you understand that this is a positive step forward, you can start thinking like a real conversion optimization scientist – crunching numbers and trying different changes to see what resonates with your unique audience.

Real data and hard numbers are preferable to gut feelings and instincts any day – especially when it comes to maximizing your sales and subscribers. So let’s get started. Leer más “What to Do When Conversion Optimization Goes Bad”

Does Website Design Impact The Bottom Line?


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Companies invest thousands of dollars when they want to redesign their website, hoping that a more attractive design will lead to more revenue. But does it really matter? Is simplicity more important than eloquent design? Where do you draw the line between simplicity and overkill? What really matters to users? While the ‘wow factor’ may leave a positive impression on investors, banks and even prospects, does it lead to more sales?

A minimalist site design like Wimp gets 4 million unique visitors a month and at its peak this past year reached 8 million uniques a month.

So is simplicity the key? Or does a crowded website with lots of information on each page work the best?

According to studies cited by usability.gov, having a credible looking website scored a 4 out of 5 on the relative importance scale. While it’s difficult to know for sure if good design means more revenue, we do know a few key design principles to keep in mind when designing a site.

In this post I’ll explore professional research that can potentially offer insights into what priorities a business should have on its web design. I’ll be addressing the common questions that many website owners have and attempt to offer tangible solutions.

What Can I Do To Improve My Websites Credibility?

Research shows that a credible website is key. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your websites credibility, as taken from usability.gov.

  • Provide a useful set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers;
  • Ensure the Web site is arranged in a logical way;
  • Provide articles containing citations and references;
  • Show author’s credentials;
  • Ensure the site looks professionally designed;
  • Provide an archive of past content (where appropriate);
  • Ensure the site is as up-to-date as possible;
  • Provide links to outside sources and materials; and
  • Ensure the site is frequently linked to by other credible sites.

How Important Is An Uncluttered Website?

Having an uncluttered design is crucial if you want to make your website appear professional. Making it clean does appear to be an important characteristic for websites. Furthermore, it’s important to be consistent with where you keep your important items. Users who know where certain items are on your page(s) will be better able to use your website, thus improving web usability. Make use of navigation tabs and keep them in the same location on every page. Having a consistent website is key.

Here’s an example of a crowded site with too much to look at:

I counted the links above the fold and there are 49 links available to click on. If you include the drop down menu links, there are 135 links total; and this is just above the fold. Factor in all the different colors on the site as well and you can see why it’s poor design.

Here’s what good design looks like:

Their users are given the choice of 15 links to click on the entire page. They feature beautiful images of their product in action, have a call-to-action and a clearly defined goal that they want. They want users to fill out those three forms and sign up. Under the fold, links are faded out until you move your mouse around them.

Ask yourself: which site looks more credible? Which one are you more likely to give your credit card to? While this is an extreme example, it illustrates the point that an uncluttered, clean design is important.

Leer más “Does Website Design Impact The Bottom Line?”

The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter


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For a company diving into Twitter for the first time, it can be a little intimidating. Where do you start? How do you get followers? How are you supposed to get customers? These are just a few of the questions that arise for businesses that are beginning their Twitter efforts.

In this post I’ll address some of these questions and give some advice for making sure you have an effective Twitter account. But before we begin, and just in case you don’t read anything beyond this point, please always remember this:

The key to remember with social media is that it’s about engagement.

It should not be looked at as a place to advertise your products. It should be looked at as a place to have meaningful conversations with people important to your business.

Ok. Are you ready to dive in? Let’s start by selecting a username!

Selecting Your Username

selecting twitter username

It’s crucial to use your real business name as your Twitter username. If your exact business name is taken, you can try to get something similar. A username that signals your location may be helpful. For example, if your business name is Widgets Inc and the widgetsinc username on Twitter is taken, you can try widgetsinc__ (home state initials).

Hyphens and underscores are always something to avoid, not just in Twitter usernames but also in domain names – it just looks unprofessional.

For example, some companies have multiple Twitter accounts. Zappos is a company that uses multiple Twitter accounts effectively. One is from the CEO, Tony Hsieh. The other is Zappos customer service Twitter account. They both serve different purposes. Hsieh occasionally tweets about the company or anything else he finds interesting. The Twitter Zappos customer service account handles all mentions on Twitter and uses Twitter as a platform to interact with current and prospective customers.

The Dell Outlet Twitter Account is run by Dell and sells refurbished computers. It is a great example of how multiple Twitter accounts can have a profound impact on a business.

Your Bio

twitter bio example

In the “bio” section of your Twitter account, you are limited to 160 characters. It’s important to not skim this part, as users with bios and a link have been shown to have more followers than those without. If you cannot explain what your business does in a couple of sentences, you may have to rethink what it is that you’re doing.

So explain what you do in your bio and the benefit of using your service or product. Here are a few I like: Leer más “The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter”

Help Your Website Sell More: 11 Overlooked Page Elements That Drive Online Sales


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The product page may be the most important page on your website. It’s the point at which the user decides whether they’re buying or walking. And while the shopping cart gauntlet looms beyond, the product page is where the magic of an ecommerce sale begins. The thing with product pages, however, is they’re part basics and part nuance. More importantly, it’s often these nuances that are overlooked, and can kill the conversion rate of your product page.

In this post we look at eleven often overlooked page elements that can be the secret heroes of your conversion success story. Forget these eleven, and you can forget about a website that really drives revenue.

Element #1 – Clear, Differentiated Pricing Information

Have you ever checked out a product online and been unsure what the difference between the Silver and Gold plans were? Did Pro seem a little too much like Basic? Without pricing tables or pages that create a clear difference in value between product options you’re not going to sell much of either.

So how does one go about differentiating their product SKUs and service tiers? The most effective methods can be boiled down to a simple philosophy – focus on the benefits, instead of features, and highlight the differences. The best pricing tables allow you to quickly ascertain the value you’ll personally get out of each option, and discern the differences between each, rather than get bogged down squinting at row upon row of checkmarks.

Screenshot of Launchlist’s pricing table

A great example of clear pricing information can be seen at Launchlist – each tier of the service has its own personality, and it’s easy to see the differences between the feature set of each package.

Element #2 – Customer Confidence… Leer más “Help Your Website Sell More: 11 Overlooked Page Elements That Drive Online Sales”

Improve Your Website Search Optimization Using Chrome’s SEO Site Tools


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In our recent post on almost free SEO tools, we mentioned a simple Google Chrome extension called SEO Site Tools. Today, we’re going to take a look at all of the valuable tools that SEO Site Tools utilizes and how you can use the information to research your competitors and improve your website’s search optimization.

How to Use SEO Site Tools for Google Chrome

First off, if you don’t have Google Chrome installed, you can download it for free. It works on Windows, Mac, and Linux based machines. Then you will need to install the SEO Site Tools extension on your browser.

Once installed, you will see a magnifying glass icon along the top of your Google Chrome browser.

google chrome seo site tools icon

Now, whenever you are browsing a website, all of the following information will be available to you by simply clicking on the magnifying glass icon.

Google PageRank

Without even clicking on anything, you can see the Google PageRank for any page you are viewing by looking at the number that pops up next to the magnifying glass icon. PageRank simply tells you how Google weights a site from one to ten based on link quantity and quality. While people argue about the importance of PageRank, it is still being updated, with the most recent update being in February 2012.

External Page Data

Whenever you click on the magnifying glass icon, you will get several sections of information about the website you are browsing. The first section is External Page Data. This section shows you the following information about backlinks and traffic rankings.

google chrome seo site tools external page data

Google Trends

Curious about trending daily unique visitors, what countries a website is popular in, or similar / related websites? Click on the link for Google Trends to find out.

google trends information

This is great information to have for a multitude of reasons, such as when you are planning to buy adspace and you want to see if a website is worth advertising on.

Google Indexed Pages & Domain Links

These two numbers will tell you how many pages of a website Google has in their search index and how many links Google recognizes toward their domain. Google domain links will likely be a much lower number than the actual backlinks a website has, but sometimes they will be the best or most recent links for the domain. Leer más “Improve Your Website Search Optimization Using Chrome’s SEO Site Tools”

The Analytics That Matter To Facebook


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Analytics inform design decisions, but be wary of becoming overly data driven.

That’s the way Adam Mosseri, product designer at Facebook, describes how the social media giant uses data to make design decisions in his presentation, Data Informed, Not Data Driven, at UX Week 2010. Watch the video below:

But before delving too deeply into how Facebook uses analytics, Mosseri starts with who makes the decisions, or how the decision-making teams are structured. Here’s a rundown of how project teams are structured at Facebook:

  • Small teams of six or seven people. “We believe…small teams…are more efficient, and speed is something that’s incredibly important to us,” says Mosseri.
  • Decisions are made by these teams. Managers don’t approve their teams’ work, they give feedback and participate in feedback systems. Teams make a decision about their product, pending only the CEO’s approval.

Teams are made up of the following people:

  • Product designer. Responsible for visual, interaction, and product design.
  • Researcher. Conducts qualitative and quantitative research.
  • Engineer(s). Typically one to four engineers per team.
  • Product manager. Responsible not just for project managing, but also ensuring products ship on time and product quality.

These teams use and store large amounts of data. “We have about 20 people on the data team: 10 engineers, 10 data scientists,” says Mosseri. “We record about four terabytes of data a day. We invested a lot in the technology to store and query all this data. We have, I believe, about 10 petabytes’ worth of storage, which is an incredible amount.”

Although the investment and use of that data is important to the team, it’s used cautiously to inform decisions.

Optimizing Small-Yet-Critical Interactions

Facebook uses data to optimize workflows and interactions. He gives the example of photo uploading:

…we recently, about two months ago, replaced our photo uploader. To give you a sense of scale, about I believe it’s over 200 million photos are uploaded a day, and a few weeks ago we hit 50 billion photos in the system. That’s a ton of photos. But we thought we could do better; we thought there were problems.”

The team started with hypothesis generation: users were having trouble uploading photos. It took too many steps. They decided to conduct a waterfall analysis of the uploading experience, which involves analyzing each step of uploading photos to see what occurs. Their findings were as follows:

  • Only 57 percent of users select photos, meaning they click “select photos” and find and successfully select their photo files.
  • Just 52 percent upload photos, meaning they click the upload button.
  • About 42 percent successfully upload.
  • Some decide not to upload because it takes too long to load the page.
  • Some users don’t have the current version of Flash, which Facebook uses for photo uploading.

About 4 percent are lost to poor load times and glitches — not ideal, but the photo upload success rate has increased in the past couple of months from 34 percent. “…we’re continuously iterating on it, removing bugs, removing pain points, removing steps, etc…This is one of the types of products that are data driven.”

Identify Pain Points

The team found that 85 percent of users selected just one photo for an album, which is not ideal for us or for them. “…we wanted to figure out why, so we took a look at the UI that users used to select photos, and they use…an operating system file selector. We don’t actually have control over this interface…it’s very difficult…to select multiple files.”

Mosseri and the team did something they don’t like doing: adding another step. “This resulted in a drop on the number of people who were uploading only one photo, from 85 percent to 40 percent, which was huge,” he says.

After a user has successfully uploaded more than one photo at a time, the additional prompt disappears, and he or she doesn’t see it again.

Set High-Level Success Metrics

Set High Level Success Metrics

Facebook also uses data to retroactively evaluate projects. Take the example of the deactivation page, where users wind up who decide to leave Facebook. Lee Byron, a designer at Facebook, designed, built, tested, and shipped a new version that didn’t just ask why a user wanted to leave, but gave them a reason to stay.

Mosseri says, “…[Byron] thought about being somewhat emotionally manipulative, and…[on the deactivation page] is a picture of my friend Aaron, and it says, “Aaron will miss you,” and then Kevin, and “Kevin will also miss you”…to just hit that emotional chord, to give you a reason to stay, to make you feel guilty about leaving. And it was wildly successful.”

This is an example of how an emotional tweak was supported later by the data, reducing deactivations by 7 percent, which at the time meant millions of users stayed on Facebook. Leer más “The Analytics That Matter To Facebook”

9 Metrics to Help You Make Wise Decisions About Your Start-Up


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Revenue is the most important metric when it comes to starting a business. But it’s not the only metric you should be concerned with.

Of course some companies have gotten very creative when it comes to justifying their business model to investors, but I don’t think those are the kinds of metrics you should be paying attention to, especially if you want to succeed.

In the end, it’s watching and learning from the traditional metrics that will help you grow your startup into a real business. Here are the 9 most important.

Startup Metric #1 Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Customer Acquisition Cost

CAC is the metric that matters the most if you are in the early stages of your startup growth because if you want to survive you need users. But it costs money to acquire customers. The question is how much, and is it profitable?

To calculate your CAC cost, divide your sales and marketing costs, including overhead expenses in these departments, for a given period by the number of customers you picked up during that period.

A high CAC cost means you are spending too much money to acquire new customers. To lower it you need to optimize your sign up and landing pages. Optimizely is a great tool to use when testing different variables on a web page.

We’ll talk more about what’s a viable CAC cost for a startup when we get to the Life Time Value metric.

Startup Metric #2 Retention

Customer Retention Metric

I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs get so obsessed with customer acquisition that they forget about customer retention. I’ve actually been guilty of it myself!

Unfortunately you need to break out of this obsession because if all you do is focus on acquisition you end up neglecting your current customers, which can mean they might eventually get frustrated and leave.

One of the most important things that I learned about retention actually helped me break my single-minded focus on acquisition, and will probably help you too. For me, it costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep a current client.

In addition, it costs me 4 times more to close a deal with new customers than it does to upsell a current one. That means you cannot neglect your current clients!

So who exactly should you focus on? There are three kinds of customers you need to think about:

  • Current – what can you do to make these customers more satisfied? If you don’t know, simply ask. People love to talk and give their opinion, so you won’t be bothering them.
  • Inactive – customers who’ve stopped using the product or slowed their use of it should be asked why. Again, they are a great source you should take advantage of to help you improve your product and customer service.

We’ll talk about the third customer in the following section. Leer más “9 Metrics to Help You Make Wise Decisions About Your Start-Up”

The 5 Easy Steps To Measure Your Social Media Campaigns


 

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If you’re using social media, you should be measuring it. But don’t measure just for the sake of having metrics. Instead, measure your social activities so that you can learn what’s successful, what isn’t, and how you can improve.

In this post we will help you get started with social media measurement for your organization by addressing these questions:

  • How do you know if your social media activities are effective?
  • How do you decide what metrics you should be monitoring?
  • How do you calculate those metrics?
  • How do you interpret the numbers once you have them?

The Two Types of Social Media Measurement

The two types of social media measurement are:

  1. Ongoing Analytics – Ongoing monitoring that tracks activity over time
  2. Campaign-Focused Metrics – Campaign or event analytics with a clear beginning and end

Ongoing analytics are necessary for keeping up with the overall pulse of general conversation about your brand and company. Once your brand tracking is set up, you can just let it run and check in regularly to see how everything is going.

Campaign-focused metrics, on the other hand, help you understand the impact of targeted marketing initiatives and will vary from campaign to campaign, depending on your goals for each. An effective social media measurement program will likely include both ongoing and campaign-specific measurement.

Let’s Start With An Example

Let’s say you work at a large consumer products company and are about to launch a new diaper brand. To accompany the big advertising and marketing push, you want to sponsor a one-hour Twitter party where parents and caregivers can discuss raising children, focused on issues around diapering and potty training.

You’ve picked out a unique hashtag, contracted with an influential Twitterer who will pose questions and lead the conversation. You’re ready to go. But now you need to make sure you’re measuring this conversation so you can learn – and later tell your boss – how effective the chat was.

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Step 1: Determine Your Social Goals

Before you jump into measuring every single tweet, photo and Facebook comment posted about your brand, first think about your goals with social media. What are you trying to accomplish or gain through these social channels? And which channels are most relevant to those goals?

The first step in your measurement plan should be to generate a list of what you’re trying to achieve from your social media efforts. Social media can serve a variety of purposes, from broadcasting news and information, to answering customer questions and engaging with a community. What is your company trying to accomplish?

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You’ve probably already started interacting on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram, depending on the type of information and the format of the content you’re sharing. You’ve probably also considered the audience you want to reach and the tools they’re using. So the next step is to think about what you want your audience to do with your content on these channels. Are you trying to get them to read, share, reply, click, purchase, engage? List out all your business goals for social media.

For our Twitter chat example, our goals are probably two-fold: Leer más “The 5 Easy Steps To Measure Your Social Media Campaigns”

Does Your Website Need a Mobile Makeover? 8 Tips To Improve Your Site’s UX


 

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The world is rapidly going mobile, and if you haven’t already built a mobile version of your website yet, then your competition will gladly take care of that part for you…by taking your mobile visitors away from you.

Here’s a great example of how a “mobile makeover” can drastically change the experience for your mobile visitors. Just take a look:

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Before and after mobile optimization. The difference is obvious.

Today we are going to go over some simple guidelines to ensure your website’s mobile experience is designed to please and convert!

1. Keep Your Mobile Site Simple, Consistent and Easily Navigable

Remember, mobile screens are much smaller to navigate than desktop and laptop screens so only give the essential information you need to make the user experience pleasant and clear. Too much information is distracting and frustrating to a viewer on such a small screen. Below are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep your page from being content heavy with extraneous information.
  • Prioritize the content that users need most.
  • Make sure the landing page is clean, clear and concise. Visitors can always click through buttons to access more information on a secondary page.
  • Keep important features and structure consistent across the entire site (menu options, back-to-home screen, etc.)
  • Lead your potential customer to the heart of the information, making a clear path to the action you want visitors to complete (buy now, rsvp, download, submit, visit etc.)
  • Make sure to use as few form fields as possible (no more than 6) to keep the page neat and streamline.
  • If your site is on the complex side, make sure to include a search bar for easy navigation.

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2. Provide an Easy Scroll Experience Leer más “Does Your Website Need a Mobile Makeover? 8 Tips To Improve Your Site’s UX”

The Neil Patel Method To Getting Great Blog Content


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When it comes to blogging, one of the key pain points is getting content. As a business owner, it may be hard to delegate time for yourself or your employees to write quality content for your blog vs. work on revenue generating projects. And when it comes to content, we’re not talking about just any content, but content that people want to read, search engines want to crawl, and social media users want to share. In today’s post, we’re going to look at the different ways you can attract quality writers for your blog.

Finding Guest Bloggers

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One of the first things you should try when you look to increase the content on your blog is including guest bloggers to help you out. Guest bloggers get a lot of benefits by writing for other sites, including yours, such as exposure to a new audience, the chance to build their authority, and the ability to build quality links back to their own blog or website.

If your blog is just starting out, it might be harder to find guest bloggers as many would prefer to write for blogs that are more established with a built-in subscriber base and domain authority. You will have to convince potential guest bloggers that they will be getting a chance to get into your blog at the ground level and create pillar content that will be referenced back to frequently as the blog continues to grow. It’s always a bonus if you have a good reputation and online audience to start out with so that guest bloggers will

know they will get some promotion from your end as well.How to Create Guest Blogging Guidelines
The easiest way to attract guest bloggers to your blog is through the creation of a guest blogging guidelines page. On this page, you will share details including the following… Leer más “The Neil Patel Method To Getting Great Blog Content”