Google added a section to Analytics that allows you to see demographic information about who is coming to your website. This can be very useful, and creepy, information about your users and allow you to make intelligent, or creepy, adjustments to your site and marketing efforts. Implementing this is pretty simple unless you use the Yoast Google Analytics for WordPress plugin, in which case you have to implement an, as they say in the industry, ‘work around’.
First login to wordpress and goto the settings section for the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin
Halfway down that page you will see the “Show Advanced Settings” option:
Then scroll down to the “Host ga.js locally:” check box and click it.
Once you click on that you will be presented with a text box where you will past this URL: https://stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js
Then go into Google Analytics and go to the Demographics section under Audience and click to Validate and boom you are done!
There is also this video where the validation doesn’t work, but it worked for me:
Have you noticed lately that websites seem to be following you around on the web? Have you been to a website and looked at a few pages then left and gone to a news website only to see that prior sites advertisements show up?
This is called Remarketing advertising and if you haven’t seen it you will soon. While it is not a new form of advertising it has been gaining momentum lately as Google has been pushing it strongly to advertisers on its Adwords platform.
From a business perspective Remarketing is virtually the holy grail of sales and marketing. When a user comes to your website a ‘cookie’ gets placed on their computers web browser with information about what pages they looked at and even if they put items into the shopping cart. If the user leaves the site without buying anything you can use that ‘cookie’s’ information to show them advertising about your website and even the specific product or service they were looking at when they go to other websites like the Washington Post, Forbes, and millions of others. You can even offer them a discount if they come back and buy the product. Thats a pretty sweet cookie.
From the consumers perspective this can be a helpful thing but a lot of the time it crosses the line and becomes annoying and even worse creepy. While the ‘cookie’ is not tracking any personal or identifiable information about you the pervasiveness and tone of the advertisements generated can make users feel like you are watching them. It is important that you understand this and make adjustments accordingly or you may lose more business than you gain.
While Adwords Remarketing Campaigns are very easy to setup and start running you should take a little more time to fully plan out how you want to be interacting with your users. For instance I have a vendor who’s remarketing ads follow me all over the internet after I log into my account. I am already a customer of theirs yet I get bombarded with their ads all day long. This is an easy fix but it requires a few more steps in the setup of their campaign. By setting up actions an advertiser can turn off the Remarketing ads for a user when that user performs certain actions on the website. For instance if a user logs into their account you should probably assume that they are already a customer and you can stop advertising to them, or be very specific about a product that they may not be using.
There may be businesses where Remarketing is just overall not a great idea. If you have a business where your clients need to trust that you will honor their privacy, such as a criminal defense lawyer, then Remarketing may do more harm than good. Not only are you creeping them out by following them around the web, but you may be putting them in danger of outing that they need a criminal defense lawyer when someone notices that they get a lot of ads for one.
To conclude Remarketing has a lot of potential and is making businesses more money, but you have to use it intelligently or you may hurt your business.
Have you seen the promoted posts or advertisements on Youtube? Did you know that you can advertise there too? In this video I talk about how to get started with advertising on Youtube. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.
I like free things just like anyone else, but in my 34 years of living on this planet I have learned that with Free there is always a cost. Anytime a business offers something for free there should be a financial incentive for them to do so. A Lawyer offers a free consultation knowing that a percentage of those consults will become customers. A car wash offers free gas with purchase because they have offset the costs.
These are obvious examples of where the business is incentivising potential customers with a Free offer so that they can grow their business. Other times it can be more subversive and more difficult to identify where the business is getting a benefit.
This morning as I perused the daily deluge of email newsletters for online advertising I saw this “New [PPC Management Company] tool to map keywords for performance”. The article talks about Wordstream’s new service which analyses your Adwords account and tells you all sorts of neat things about it. Seeing as how I like Free and also have many AdWords accounts that can always use more analysis I went to the [PPC Management Company] site to learn more.
The first question in my head is: “How will [PPC Management Company] be able to see what is happening in my Adwords account?” This was quickly answered when they asked for my Adwords username and password. Naturally I am not going to be giving that info over to anyone without some type of contract in place to keep them from going to town on my account and credit cards. In order to get the Free analysis you have to give them the keys to your business. Big red flag moment.
The lesson learned here is to always be interested in Free offers but be just as wary of what you have to give up. In this case while you might get a free analysis of your PPC campaign you are also completely opening up your business to severe damages. If you need analysis of your business I suggest talking with a person rather than blindly handing over the keys and hoping for the best.
As a footnote here the WordStream page that asks for your very sensitive Adwords account information is not even HTTPS. This means that you are sending a 3rd party access to your Adwords account with zero encryption so anyone who wants to watch the packets from this page can also gain access to your Adwords account.
Since [PPC Management Company] is an Adwords certified partner, as indicated all over their website, I would think that Google would have a problem with this practice. What do you think about Free offers like this one?