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Tag: Value

The business value of SEO in 2021: From revenue generation to reputation and retention

January 28, 2021 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • SEO is without a doubt the most cost-effective channel for enterprises today.
  • SEO also adds incremental value in a number of different ways.
  • It helps maintain brand equity, helps inform product and sales.
  • SEO can also be used as a PR channel and vice-versa.
  • From consumer behavior trends to market and demand volatility, search behavior can provide the data businesses need to understand market drivers and pivot in real-time.
  • SEO adds value by providing a model for continuous digital improvement of the user (customer) online experience.

Those within the industry understand that the inclusion of SEO as part of a comprehensive marketing strategy is an absolute. But while we recognize that SEO holds the keys to digital success – from the insights and context it provides, to the optimization of content it can deliver – we sometimes overlook the additional business value of SEO.

The power of doing SEO now cannot be understated. As the most cost-effective channel for enterprises today, SEO also adds incremental value in a number of ways. In this article, we’ll consider just seven ways of them.

1. Brand awareness

Some tend to think about SEO primarily in terms of rankings and traffic. While both are great ways to measure the success of your SEO strategy, limiting yourself to those metrics alone can miss the wider value provided by a first-page result – whether it converts to click through or not.

Every search returns pages of results, and each time your product, service, or brand appears on page one of those results you create an impression. Those impressions are fundamental to brand awareness, which is the extent to which consumers recognize your brand, your product, or service.

In an endless sea of options, brand awareness is the first step in the marketing and sales funnel. Whether you’re promoting a new product or focused on retention, recall and recognition are key. SEO presents an opportunity to build brand awareness with every search.

In creating your SEO strategy, you will have ensured your site is easy to navigate, simple to search, accessible, and – critically – credible. Landing your business on the first page of results not only increases visibility but also means you’re more likely perceived as a leader in your industry.

2. PR and reputation

The shift from print media to digital has exponentially expanded your company’s potential audience. Online publications often have much higher readerships than traditional media outlets, and as such digital public relations support increased visibility of your brand.

Understanding that both online and traditional print publications leverage industry experts as content contributors, as step one in your PR and reputation strategy you’ll want to ensure you’re visible to be considered an expert in your local area and/or your industry.

Once in the virtual domain as an expert, your credibility continues to grow and has an incremental impact with each piece of coverage. News publications tend to have high domain authority, as links continue to be one of the most important ranking factors for search engines, each and every media mention further optimizes your searchability with a multiplier effect that continually increases your credibility. and visibility.

3. Consumer and market insights

Throughout the ongoing global pandemic, we’ve seen incredible shifts in consumer behavior worldwide. As consumers continue to re-evaluate everything from their careers to lifestyles and demand more from the brands they choose to buy from, seeking meaning in their purchasing, the insights SEO can provide offer incredible value. From consumer behavior trends to market and demand volatility, search behavior can provide the data businesses need to understand market drivers and pivot in real-time.

Using SEO results and search patterns, combined with the right strategic thinking, can lead to continuous improvement across a number of departments.

Consider content strategy, for example. Marketers know that high-quality content is critical to sales strategies, but what makes for success depends on the needs and wants of users. Understanding user search patterns can help to inform desirable content throughout the buying stages, ultimately leading to better conversation rates.

4. Content and cross channel activation

Of course, we can’t consider content strategy without addressing cross-channel activation. Integrating and activating content across marketing channels – from video to email to verticals and beyond – allows you to reach your customers in the places they are. It acts as the starting point for the personalization we know consumers crave.

By implementing optimized content in an integrated approach that covers everything from paid search to social, an intelligent content framework supports strong organic search success while fulfilling consumer curiosity by ensuring that content is optimized not just for one channel, but for all channels.

The business value of SEO in 2021 - Research showing content cross channel activation

Source: BrightEdge SEO Platform Research

Smart content is optimized from the point of creation and ready to activate across channels. The key to successful cross channel activation is a true understanding of customer intent, targeting customers with the detail they want and need, when they need it, and optimizing to ensure visibility.

5. Customer experience and retention

The hallmarks of a good digital experience are key components in the assessment search engines perform when considering whether your site is the best result to showcase. From usability to the relevance of content and simple search functionality, Google wants to see that your site and content are the best answer.

SEO adds value by providing a model for continuous improvement of the user (customer) online experience. Add to that the personalization facilitated by SEO and you’ve got yourself the basis of a top-notch customer experience.

As customers across the globe are craving more personalized experiences, successful businesses are looking at the customer experience holistically – and SEO is a great tool to support the complete customer view. Providing a package of integrated tools and features, SEO insights are an opportunity to take digital strategy from the page to the personal by leveraging data to deliver personalized experiences to customers in real-time.

6. Offline and local

Consumers leverage online research to inform their offline activities, as we well know. Mining SEO insights informs offline and local campaigns, as well.

From a service perspective, from comments to questions online, what consumers want to know in the digital space can lead to conversation starters in the physical space. Arm your customer service representatives with these insights for more meaningful in-person engagements, ultimately deepening the customer relationship.

Informing an in-store experience with SEO insights doesn’t end with sales training. In understanding search terms that returned no results, your buyers are presented with items your customers want you to offer, providing opportunities for new product lines and/or diversification in your services.

7. Revenue and lead generation

Customer acquisition can be costly. We know that inbound strategies are the most effective, and that SEO is a key source of leads. Rather than investing countless hours in outbound marketing strategies, drawing in customers with the information they need – when they need it – as they research and review throughout their buying journey provides a cost-effective avenue of lead generation.

Whether B2B or B2C, revenue grows when the right content is delivered to the right customer, at the right time. Optimizing online content across channels can generate more traffic, more conversions, and thus provide more revenue.

In short, having the right SEO strategy can bring success well beyond the digital space. Understand that set-it-and-forget-it is a strategy doomed to fail. Committing to monitoring and activating SEO insights in as near to real-time as possible gives organizations the opportunity to meet customers and prospects where and when they’re most receptive to your messaging.

From sales to service and loyalty, when supported by the right insights there are almost endless opportunities for companies to reap the value of SEO.

Jim Yu is the founder and CEO of BrightEdge, the leading enterprise SEO and content performance platform.

The post The business value of SEO in 2021: From revenue generation to reputation and retention appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

Not All B2B Conversions Are Equal: How To Determine the Value of a Conversion

January 16, 2021 No Comments

One Sr. Strategist outlines 2 strategies to help B2B marketers dive deeper into assigning value to different stages of the funnel and different conversions.

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The Value Of Amazon Sponsored Brand Video Ads [Case Study]

January 6, 2021 No Comments

One Sr. Strategist has generated surprising performance with Amazon’s new sponsored brand video ads and he’s here to share the results from Q4.

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How C-suite derives business value from social media: Q&A with Hootsuite’s VP of Corporate Marketing, Henk Campher

December 28, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • The pandemic drove people inside their homes and onto social media like never before.
  • Hootsuite has closely been monitoring the changing behaviors of consumers online since the beginning of 2020.
  • We caught up with Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing and Head of Social Impact at Hootsuite, to help you derive a cream level perspective for your digital strategies.
  • Know how CMOs can find value in SMM efforts, conduct market analysis, and run social media campaigns that actually succeed in the eyes of top management.

From learning banana bread recipes to connecting with loved ones, hunting jobs, and now shopping holiday gifts, the pandemic drove people inside their homes and onto social media like never before. 2020 has shown us how people have resorted to Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn. While Hootsuite has closely been monitoring the changing behaviors of consumers online, we caught up with Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing and Head of Social Impact at Hootsuite, to help you derive a cream level perspective for your digital strategies.

Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing and Head of Social Impact at Hootsuite - Q&AQ. Paid ads have their own cons like reduced page reach, how do you maintain an upward graph for organic page reach and boost relationships, engagement, and direct sales?

Henk Campher: Never take a one-size-fits-all approach to social media marketing, especially with organic content. To reach a large audience, organic posts need to be optimized. To do this, you need to understand the platform and audience you are optimizing for. Start by focusing on the platforms that make the most sense for your business. For example, if you’re a B2B company, you may find the most value on LinkedIn or Twitter whereas a B2C company may gravitate towards Snapchat, Instagram, or TikTok to reach a younger crowd. 

If you want organic content to perform well on social media, create engaging and personalized content that is fitting for the platform you are using. Give people a reason to follow and engage with your social posts. To better understand what content resonates with your audience, start by using social listening tools—at Hootsuite, we integrate directly with Brandwatch so our customers can navigate social intelligence capabilities directly from their dashboard.

Case study:

Securian Financial, a Hootsuite financial services customer, was able to leverage social listening to determine that their key demographics shifted away from complaining about quarantine to sharing positive content around being connected. What arose was Life Balance Remix, a UGC campaign encouraging people to share content that highlighted their “new normal” and garnered thousands of participants with over 2.5 million campaign impressions across Twitter and Instagram. 

Beyond creating the right content for the right platform, it’s essential to connect with people. Show your audience the human side of your brand. You can do this by lifting up your employees on social media and sharing their stories or connecting with the wider community through an employee advocacy tool, like Hootsuite’s Amplify tool. If you want to boost engagement on posts, ask your audience relevant and interesting questions. This is also a great opportunity to learn about what interests them. If you focus on value and creating the right content, you’ll be able to successfully develop relationships with your audience, boost engagement, and drive sales.

Q. What are the top social media metrics that can help CMOs see direct value in marketers’ social media marketing efforts?

Henk Campher: For both B2C and B2B brands, the key to successful social measurement is to keep your metrics simple. Trust classic cross-platform metrics like return-on-ad spend and lifetime value, as these measures also tie directly to your organization’s business goals. Once you choose the content you think will resonate with your audience, test your ideas to identify which posts generate the most engagement, shares, and impressions, and do this for each social platform. Continue to test, learn, and optimize. But when it comes to measuring your efforts on social, it is important to keep your business objectives in mind and develop KPIs that match the overall goals and expectations of your organization. Metrics such as impressions and reach should be analyzed consciously.

If your goal is to build brand awareness, focus on overall engagement and how long visitors are staying on your website. This will help evaluate if your content isn’t just “content-for-content-sake” but is actually resonating with your audience and driving conversions. 

Q. What are the typical touchpoints/aspects marketers must include in their social media campaigns to reflect value for the brand and meet CMO expectations?

Henk Campher: One of the most important aspects of a social media campaign is social listening. A robust social listening tool allows you access to real-time insights into consumer sentiment, shifting trends, and competitive intelligence. These insights are key to helping a brand better understand how consumers feel about a campaign and what they want from your brand.  

The best social media campaigns also have specific goals in mind and are purpose-driven. You must understand the customer segment you’re trying to reach through a specific campaign. To achieve this, create profiles or personas for your core constituencies that integrate data and insights from marketing channels (including social) and CRM. Understanding how, where, and when to engage with your constituents requires a clear picture of their motivations and their needs.

Another important aspect is social data integration. Our ‘Social Transformation Report uncovered that only 10% of marketers feel they have mature practices around integrating social data into enterprise systems like Adobe, Microsoft, Marketo, or Salesforce. However, according to our ‘2021 Social Trends Report, 85% of organizations that integrate social data into their other systems have the confidence to accurately quantify the ROI of social media. While data integration is a complex process, a much more accessible entry point that can help marketers better connect social engagement to customer identity and measurable ROI is integrating paid and organic social media activity.  We found that mature organizations with completely integrated paid and organic social strategies are 32% more confident in quantifying the ROI of social media. 

Q. How important is it for any brand to have involvement in social matters and social investments?

Henk Campher: The most successful brands this year didn’t put themselves front and center of the conversation—they decided to listen instead. After taking the time to listen, brands must find creative and empathetic ways of adding value to the conversation instead of trying to lead it. Brands should stay true to their identities and their audience by asking:

  • “What is my role?”
  • “What conversations make sense for me to weigh in on and why?”
  • “How can social media contribute to my business objectives?”

Having a voice in important conversations is powerful for a brand. However, if a brand is posting about topics that don’t align with the brand’s personality and identity, customers will notice. As a wealth of different conversations are taking place across social media at all times, it’s important to create a blueprint for how to comment on a conversation, if at all. 

Q. What methods can CMOs implement to use social media like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for effective market analysis?

Henk Campher: There are various tried-and-true methods CMOs can implement when using social media platforms for market analysis. Before you begin your analysis, always have a clear goal in mind. It’s important to look at what exactly you want to analyze whether it’s your brand, product, or competitors. Doing a quantitative content analysis by assessing the engagement rate of your social posts can give companies an idea of if a message or product is resonating with your followers. Social listening is another incredibly powerful tool for analysis. Through social listening, you can zero in on how people are talking about your brand.  It’s also important to not be shy. Be empowered as a brand to implement tactics like polls and surveys on social to get in touch with customers and glean informative insights into how your audience is thinking about your brand. 

Q. How would you push an online event that involves employee referral on social media for a maximum turnaround?

Henk Campher: Develop an effective social media strategy in advance and provide your employees with the right resources and tools to promote the event. You can do this by crafting the content and social platform guidelines in advance so it is easy for employees to spread the word on social media. At Hootsuite our Amplify tool allows brands to extend their social reach and increase employee engagement. Using platforms that are suited for employee advocacy will garner the most successful results. 

Q. What are your expert tips on the most effective ways to run a social media campaign, especially during the holiday season 2020?

Henk Campher: The holidays are a great opportunity for brands to increase engagement and drive sales on social media. Here are my four tips to create an effective social media campaign and stand out from the competition: 

  1. Tweak your social media posting schedule to accommodate changing workdays or times. B2B businesses often have higher engagement rates during the day, as employees are leaving early and working less in the evening. B2C companies generally have a better reach when it’s not during typical work hours. 
  2. Continue to curate content over the holidays, even if there might be a downturn of activity on social channels across the board. If you go quiet on social, your customers will notice. 
  3. Maintain community engagement as relationships, connections and engagement are key to any successful social media campaign. Always respond to customer issues or comments promptly.
  4. The holidays are a great time to showcase the ‘human’ side of your business. Take advantage of platforms like Instagram to showcase the company, employees, and interact with the community at large. 

Q. What are the most common mistakes you see brands making in their social media pushes?

Henk Campher: The most common mistake brands make is thinking of social media merely as a broadcast medium. With nearly three billion people on Facebook every month, more than one million on Instagram, and hundreds of millions more on Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, and Snapchat, it’s tempting to think that way. While social media started with organic posts and later turned to paid social advertising, brands should never lose sight of social media’s core value: establishing and maintaining relationships. Take the time to invest in relationship building, as this helps brands build strong bonds with their audiences and boost customer loyalty, which ultimately benefits their business. Rather than pump out promotional content, take the time to establish your brand’s personality, and connect with customers by taking on an empathetic “human-first” approach.

How is your brand making the most of social media marketing this holiday season? Are there challenges you’re facing with regards to creating value from a board room perspective? Feel free to share your thoughts on our interview, drop a comment!

The post How C-suite derives business value from social media: Q&A with Hootsuite’s VP of Corporate Marketing, Henk Campher appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

The untapped value of qualitative keyword data

November 4, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Starcom’s Owned Strategy Director Jack Telford argues that it’s easy to become over-reliant on Search Volume data when building SEO strategies.
  • An approach that combines such information with the bounty of qualitative data that’s available around “low to no volume terms” can illuminate a host of new opportunities.
  • Jack shares a few tricks and recommendations for getting started with a more qualitative keyword research approach.

Analyzing search volume figures from tools like Google Keyword Planner is a core element of keyword research. These numbers help us filter down our seed list, show trends in the wording people use when they search, and highlight the big opportunities we should be tapping into. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a search professional who doesn’t utilize volume figures as part of their research process. However, I’d argue that most keyword research today is over-reliant on this quantifying of searcher behavior and therefore misses out on the huge value in studying low to no-volume search terms. A process focusing more on qualitative keyword data, on the other hand, opens up a host of new opportunities and insights.

Why is qualitative data important?

The main reason I favor this approach is because of the inherent flaws with the data that search tools provide. If these tools were 100% accurate and comprehensive, we could use them as our sole data source when building out a strategy. The fact is though, even the best tools we have don’t give the full picture.

Why does this matter? It means that many of the terms and topics we’re disregarding due to non-existent search volume figures could actually represent great opportunities.

If you don’t need persuading on the limitations of search volume data, feel free to skip to the “how do we find qualitative keyword data” paragraph. Otherwise…

The limitations of search volume data

I’ve largely focused on Google Keyword Planner here, as this is the tool which *I believe* all SEO tools are at least in-part reliant on.

  1. Google Keyword Planner groups semantically-similar terms together. This means you can request data around highly searched keywords and get no result within the platform, just because that term is bucketed with others. Even if you do receive the grouped term back within the tool, you can’t tell the difference between the distinct terms collated in this category and therefore miss an accurate view of how many people search for them. This is exacerbated by the fact that phrases which genuinely have different intent are grouped together. Rand Fishkin of Moz highlights “types of light” vs “types of lighting” as an example in this article, but there are many more out there.
  2. Google bundles the volumes that it shows into specific bands. This means you’ll see ranges like “50” and “90” come up often when the real average numbers could be a long way off this. More importantly, you’ll never get a number for anything with under 10 searches a month. Considering 15% of searches have never been seen before, this is a massive hole in what the tool is showing you.
  3. Google Trends data doesn’t line up with the Keyword Planner. If you’re looking for proof that Google’s not showing us the full picture, try comparing two terms in Google Trends, then doing the same thing in Google Keyword Planner. There’s a good chance you’ll see totally different results. Some may not even show up on one or other of the platforms.
  4. Google doesn’t disclose a good share of keyword volume data. You can easily prove this for your own site. Pick a strong piece of content, then pull out the most clicked keywords it ranks in top spots for from Google Search Console. Run them through keyword planner & you’ll likely find two things. Firstly, some of them won’t show in the keyword planner at all. Second, some of them will show as having a lower search volume than you can see they have via your impressions.
  5. Google doesn’t show data around a lot of non-commercial terms. This stems from the primary purpose of keyword planner, to help advertisers plan their – largely commercial – PPC campaigns. However, these are often exactly the sort of terms we want to target with awareness content through SEO.

There is an argument for tools like Ahrefs, which don’t group terms together, but they too call on Google for search data to a certain degree. What’s more, they rely on clickstream for the rest, which itself is only a representative view of searches, based on analyzing the behavior of certain users.

How do you find qualitative keyword data?

OK, so we can’t fully trust the numbers. We could see this as a problem, but equally, we could see it as an opportunity.

Suddenly, a 0 in keyword planner is no limitation. We can set our sights on a whole host of other tools and practices to inspire our targeting approach, as well as tackling areas we know from experience that our customers are interested in, even if the data doesn’t seem to prove it. Here are a few approaches I’ve found useful in the past.

  • Use Answer the Public & io these tools scrape Google’s autosuggest functions to find a huge number of long-tail keywords that you’d miss in standard SEO tools. There are also others out there, including the aptly named Keyword Shitter
  • Use Search Console – often, a huge range of terms will show up in your Search Console account that you’d totally miss if relying on the likes of Keyword Planner. You also have the benefit of impression numbers here, which give you a rough gauge of the number of searches taking place.
  • Mine social channels and customer forums – Look at what people are saying online around your brand and similar brands to yours. There are likely to be a lot of FAQ-inspiring questions and comments out there, as well as those which could insight broader informational campaigns, and even new product development.
  • Use autosuggest in Google – it’s a bit manual, but this again helps you to understand what others have been searching for in your category, and can insight the content you put on your site. Try queries with things like “why is [brand]”, “best [brand] and “which [brand]” as a starting point.

Remember, the fact that terms appear at all through these methods means they are being searched. You can generate a lot of clicks from terms with no recognized search volume on standard SEO tools.

How to combine qualitative with quantitative data

Like I said at the beginning of this piece, I am not suggesting that we should totally do away with search volume data, as it does provide a useful guide as to the most searched terms in your space. In reality, combining niche and high volume targeting will be the key to long term success.

My recommendation is to ensure key pages on your site tackle the most highly searched terms in your vertical, but that you also supplement this with content that addresses the varied and rich data you get from a more qualitative approach. If nothing else, qualitative keyword research will allow you to understand the breadth of your audience’s interests and concerns better. That’s got to be worth a go.

Thanks for reading, let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.

Jack Telford works as an Owned Strategy Director at global media network Starcom. He leads clients’ overall SEO approach and direction, whilst overseeing a team of SEO specialists working on content, technical and off-site plans. He can be found on LinkedIn.

The post The untapped value of qualitative keyword data appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

Defining value stream management for SEO agencies business owners

August 12, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Value stream management is the practice that helps businesses to determine the value of the software development process. 
  • By managing value streams, you can improve the flow of value to your SEO agency and monitor the software delivery lifecycle.
  • Mapping value streams will help you improve visibility throughout the whole software development cycle.
  • You can enable value stream management by defining real-time metrics, creating a value stream map, enabling cross-team collaboration, connecting different processes, and automating the workflows.

With the scope of the competition on the market, the delivery of SEO options is becoming harder than ever. To stay competitive, all processes within the software development cycle must be optimized to their best.

If you’re looking to improve the workflows in your SEO agency, consider implementing value stream management. To help you get started, we’ve created this ultimate guide to value stream management. After reading, you’ll get a better idea of what is a value stream and how you can start managing your value streams by creating maps. 

What is value stream management (VSM)?

To define the concept of value stream management, it’s important to understand the fundamentals. Let’s cover the basics and define key terms before moving further to discuss value stream management for SEO businesses. 

A value stream refers to every step of the software delivery lifecycle (SDLC), from the product idea to the production and tools required to deliver your software to the customers. To help you visualize the concept, here’s an example of a value stream for product (not software) development.

value stream management process

Source: Dragon1

In other words, a value stream is a series of activities that build up the value of your SEO software. Value is defined by something a customer gets, like high-quality software, in a fair period of time for a fair price. 

Value stream management flow

Source: Maaw info

Value stream management (VSM) refers to the process of optimizing processes from the very point when you conceptualize an idea to the time when this idea is in production and generating revenue. To put it simply, VSM allows you to manage your SEO software development process from idea to cash. 

The benefits of value stream management for your SEO agency

Value stream management enables SEO software companies to deliver higher quality products faster and more efficiently than their competitors while significantly reducing risks. Besides, proper implementation of VSM enables the following benefits. 

  • VSM helps you find and address the limitations of your workflows. By mapping out all stages of the software development process, you can identify potential limitations and blunders. 
  • VSM enables you to deliver higher quality SEO solutions. By optimizing development processes, you can deliver better quality products. 
  • VSM allows the continuous development of your agency. By investing in optimization and VSM, you can guarantee the success of your business in the long run. 
  • VSM helps you to make the overall flow of information across the entire process visible to people who normally manage separate functions, processes, and departments. 

How does value stream mapping work?

By now you should understand that value stream management allows optimization of all development processes, from the first time an idea of a product is conceptualized to the moment when the product is produced and launched in the marketplace. 

Within value stream management, many capabilities feed that process. Value stream mapping one of these capabilities. 

A value stream map refers to the visualization of all critical steps in the SEO software development process. Value stream maps include a description of each stage and information, like the time, the volume of work, and spendings dedicated to each of the stages. 

By creating value stream maps, you can analyze the current state of your processes and improve your product based on the series of events that take your SEO solution from the initial concept to the finished product your customers receive. To put it simply, value stream mapping allows you to identify where you’re adding value and where you’re wasting it. 

Besides, creating value streams allows you to categorize activities into high priority vs. low priority items. This way, you can prioritize and triage some processes in favor of others. 

How can you enable VSM?

In order to optimize your SEO software development practices and tools, you need total visibility throughout the whole development cycle. Likely, you can achieve this by mapping value streams. 

Not particularly sure where to start? Follow these five steps to enable value stream management for your SEO agency. 

1. Defining real-time metrics and objectives

Defining real-time metrics is the first step toward enabling value stream management. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to define metrics which leads to misleading results and inability to assess the effectiveness of their VSM efforts. 

Choosing the right objectives allows you to understand what’s happening in the development and identify where value is “leaking” in the process. 

Here’s a list of metrics to help you get started: 

  • The development cycle time 
  • The overall volume of change (before and after VSM)
  • Lead time (LT)
  • Process time (PT)
  • Percent complete & accurate (percept of time when the software is received by users in the correct and ready-to-use form)

Collecting these metrics is paramount for the successful evaluation of your VSM efforts. 

2. Creating a value stream map

After you’ve defined the key metrics and objectives, you can start studying your workflows. Create a map (either physical or digital) that explains each step of the software development process, from conceptualizing an idea to delivering the final product to customers. This way, you can see the distribution of resources within your software development cycle. 

Here’s a great example of a value stream map. 

Value stream management map example

Source: ipinimg 

3. Enabling cross-team collaboration

Value stream management requires you to enable cross-team collaboration. Rather than testing business analysts separately from developers and other teams, you want to optimize the workflow across all of these teams. 

4. Connecting multiple processes, teams, and tools 

Now, as you’ve created opportunities for all teams to work together, you should find a way to answer the following question. How do you make sure that all of the work that your employees are doing, the value streams of their development, map to your priorities? 

To answer this question, you have to evaluate the workflows and roles of each team regarding your objectives and priorities. 

5. Coordinating and automating workflows 

VSM tools allow you to embed governance into existing system development cycles. In other words, some platforms allow you to automate the value stream management processes. 

Tom Hayes, a VSM advisor at the Guerrilla Agency shares his expertise,

“By coordinating and automating workflows, you can continually improve your SEO solution and ultimately achieve better results.”

The bottom line

Value stream management is different from other approaches because it’s focused on the idea that everything that happens to your customers, from the idea to the delivery, is important and needs to be managed in a holistic manner. 

By implementing VSM in your SEO agency, you can better understand your system development cycles and workflows. 

Implementing value stream management is easier than it may seem. You can start by mapping value streams and defining your main objectives. Moreover, there are many platforms that will make the VSM process easy and personalized for your SEO agency.

Connie Benton is a chief content writer, guest contributor, and enthusiastic blogger who helps B2B companies reach their audiences more effectively. You can find her on Twitter at @ConnieB34412379.

The post Defining value stream management for SEO agencies business owners appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

How To Use Geo Exclusions To Measure Brand Ad Value

July 8, 2020 No Comments

A strategy outline advertisers can employ to isolate and measure the value of brand advertisements: geo exclusions.

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Nine tips to increase the average order value (AOV) of your ecommerce store

June 25, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Running an ecommerce store makes it a must to know customers’ buying habits, insights about your marketing campaign performance, and how well your pricing strategy is performing.  
  • However, your average order value (AOV) can be a key to getting more into customers’ carts and increasing your revenue.
  • Kevin Payne lets you in on how you can increase your AOV through some smart, simple, and effective methods.

When you’re running an ecommerce store, you should know that average order value (AOV) can help you get to know your customers’ buying habits, insights about your marketing campaign performance, and how well your pricing strategy is performing. 

In this post, we’ll talk about what AOV is, the simple formula to calculate it, and how to increase the AOV of your own ecommerce store. 

What is “Average Order Value” (AOV) and how it works

Average order value refers to how much each customer spends per cart checkout with your store. It’s calculated by dividing your total revenue in a given period by your total number of orders in that same period. 

So say your total revenue in a single month was $ 40,000 and you had 1,000 total orders that month. That means your AOV is $ 40. 

Increasing your AOV may be more effective at boosting your overall sales and revenue than, say, focusing on getting more store visitors. This is because you’d be earning more per customer from the start who are purchasing more or higher-priced products instead of trying to get more customers to purchase, say, one item at a time. 

Nine tips to increase your ecommerce store’s AOV

With all the newest developments we see in ecommerce software and seeing better research about consumer ecommerce habits, there are several new tactics you can try to increase your AOV in 2020. Let’s take a look at them here. 

1. Create a free shipping incentive

Offering free shipping when a customer hits a minimum purchase amount is a classic tactic you can take. This still works today because free shipping feels like an added value to your store.  

For your customers, they’re more likely to want to get more products for their money than to put into a shipping fee. So make the most of this insight by setting a minimum purchase amount for consumers to be eligible for free shipping. 

Tips to increase AOV - Shipping incentiveSource: Ulta Beauty 

2. Start a minimum spend discount tier 

If you’re running a promotion, creating special discount tiers can do great to increase AOV. For example, during an end-of-season sale, you can offer discount tiers for 15%, 20%, and 25% off if consumers hit different minimum purchase amounts. 

This works by introducing bigger savings for customers. So if they were already eyeing multiple products from your store, this incentivizes them to check out all these items to get the most savings. 

Tips to increase AOV

Source: Core dna

3. Introduce limited time offers 

Another way to get customers to purchase more in a single transaction is by introducing some limited time offers, like a seasonal product or discount code on a specific collection. Be sure these are compelling enough to inspire people to take action.  

Set an end date for your promo, and make sure the added value consumers get is irresistible in their eyes. 

Your limited time offer also isn’t limited to simply discounts either. Think outside the box. Can you offer next-day or even same-day shipping if customers order by a certain time? Can you include freebies if they buy within the next two hours? 

Tips to increase AOV for ecommerce store - Limited time offersSource: Core dna 

4. Have a flexible exchange and returns policy 

One way to encourage customers to purchase more from your store is if they know they’re able to return or exchange items that either don’t fit or meet their expectations.  

Assuming your items are things like clothing or gadgets and not items like facial brushes or hygiene products, you can create a fair exchange and returns policy that gives people a reason to buy.  

Also pair this with other tactics above, such as a minimum purchase for free shipping or discount tiers so you’re sure customers will be adding more items to cart without fear that they can’t return or exchange items later. 

Tips to increase AOV

Source: BigCommerce  

5. Display a related products section

With the right ecommerce platform and integrations, you can display a “Related Products” section on your product pages to display items that are similar to the one customers are currently viewing.  

This works especially well for products that have different styles or colors or belong to the same category.  

This section essentially shows your customers that, if they aren’t really liking the specific product they’re viewing, there are related ones they can check out instead. 

6. Offer valuable add-ons

Add-ons may be displayed like related products but they vary in their use in that add-ons are offered as a way to complement something users have in their cart. 

For example, when a customer adds a shaving set into their cart, they’re offered supplementary items like a post-shave balm or a razor stand. 

7. Promote products in sets 

Another way to increase AOV is by bundling your products into a higher-priced set. If customers were to purchase these items separately, they would end up spending more – but a well-curated set can offer them all the products they want with a small discount. 

This tactic also works well with travel-sized items or trial packs for customers who are either new to your store or are looking to try new things from your brand.  

The example below by Joy Organics uses this tactic well. They put together their best-sellers into one “Sampler Pack” so customers can try their top-selling products without purchasing things in either a full size or complete pack. 

Tips to increase AOV - Promote products in sets

Source: Joy Organics 

8. Include trust badges and customer reviews

You can increase AOV by increasing the level of security and trust that customers feel when browsing your store. After all, customers are more likely to purchase from an ecommerce store that they’re sure is reputable. 

Tips to increase AOV - Trust badges and customer reviews

Source: Book Your Data 

Book Your Data does a great job of showing how rust badges and reviews featuring loyal and even popular customers can establish trust with new visitors right away. 

Sprinkle in trust badges like “Safe Checkout” or “Money-back Guarantee” across your site. Icons like free shipping or free returns can also entice customers to check out more items. 

Yet another way to establish trust right away is through customer reviews. Display reviews on product pages or for your entire store. If customers loved your next-day shipping perk or easy exchange process, you can talk about those to ease new customers’ minds. 

9. Nurture existing customers so they become repeat customers

Lastly, you’ll want to make sure your existing customers become loyal to your store. Loyal customers have been shown to spend 67% more than new customers – they’re more likely to make repeat purchases or check out more items per transaction. 

So you’ll want to do some retention marketing. This can be as easy as implementing a content marketing strategy that aims to nurture existing customers with high-value content like inspirational blogs, relatable lifestyle quotes, and the like. 

Plus, with content marketing, current marketing and sales efforts like excellent customer service and great products just become elevated in the eyes of customers. They see that you’re serious about meeting their needs and solving their problems in the long-term, so they will be more likely to stick around. 


Start earning more per customer 

Make your ecommerce store work better for you by implementing the tips and tactics above to increase average order value. Keep experimenting and creating new campaigns, and soon you’ll find which strategies work best with your customers. 

The post Nine tips to increase the average order value (AOV) of your ecommerce store appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Hello and welcome back to our regular morning look at private companies, public markets and the gray space in between.

Asana, a well-known workplace productivity company, announced yesterday it has filed privately to go public. The San Francisco-based company is well-funded, having raised more than $ 200 million; well-known, due in part to its tech-famous founding duo; and valuable, having last raised at a $ 1.5 billion valuation.

Each of those factors — plus the fact that Asana is going public — makes the company worth exploring, but its plans to offer a direct listing instead of a traditional initial public offering make it irresistible.

Today, we’ll rewind through Asana’s fundraising and valuation history. Then, we’ll mix in what we know about its financial performance, growth rates and capital efficiency to see how much we can tell about the company as we count down to its public S-1 filing. The Asana flotation is going to be big news, so let’s get all our facts and figures straightened out.

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