Tag Archives: seo

Customer Lifetime Value

“Anything worth selling is worth selling twice.”

-Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #12

Big data rules everything. With a large enough sample size, sellers and marketers can glean just about any piece of information they could ever want out of datasets. This one aspect of online sales- data collection- is a key tenet of the industry, allowing companies to tighten their marketing efforts, save money where it’s being wasted, and anticipate results, including costs and revenue, well in advance.

Perhaps the single biggest roadblock separating retail sales from online is that in a majority of cases, branded products are provided to brick-and-mortar stores from outside vendors. Because of this, vendors selling products inside often aren’t privy to data collected. All of that information (names, purchase dates, reorder rates, etc) goes to the store, and transactions are processed through the store’s own processors. It’s a closed system, and retail vendors are often left in the dark with only the number of products sold, accompanied by very basic gross/net revenue information. Business decisions are then made based on such broad, general data, leading to slow growth or even worse.

This means that online sellers have a major advantage, in knowing both their audience’s “Cost Per Acquisition” or CPA, and their “Customer Lifetime Value,” or CLV. CPA versus CLV is an enormous component of the online marketing industry, so let’s break it down here.

Every cost associated with a customer making a purchase online is known as the CPA. Advertising spending, cost of a click that led to a sale, operating costs, and even staff wages factor into the CPA, all neatly wrapped up into a dollar amount. Let’s say our intrepid test customer Mike buys a product from us, paying $50 to have it delivered straight to his doorstep.

Mike found us by searching Google and clicking an ad link, and that click cost us $25. Add in the rest of the associated costs, and Mike’s purchase ended up costing our company $75 total, leading to the Mike’s sale losing $25 overall. NEGATIVE $25 therefore becomes Mike’s CLV up until this point.

Sounds bad, right? Well we consider that $75 Mike’s CPA. Now with all of the time and effort and funds spent acquiring Mike as a customer, he’s become loyal to our company (and with data collected per sale we can see each time he orders), and chooses to purchase our product from us regularly. Each time he does, that adds to Mike’s CLV, and we can watch it grow with each purchase. Over the course of the time Mike is a customer, he spends $2000 total. Mike’s CLV jumps to $1975, and over time with the proper data collection, we see enormous profits taken from just the one customer. It’s why Amazon sells its famed Kindle at hardware cost- to build CLV- and it’s brilliant.

If we didn’t have that data available to us, we wouldn’t be able to see CLV and CPA, potentially causing our business to treat customers simply as yet another order number. With these figures here, we can see that keeping loyal customers loyal reaps great rewards. There are a few things we can do to “bump up” customers like Mike’s CLV, as well! Well-targeted email marketing and drip campaigns can be hugely successful in retaining customers, as can marketing on social media! Remarketing, or specifically-targeted marketing aiming to have customers reorder, is another successful tactic often used online.

Just think. Having this data available means that we CAN take advantage of it. We can see just who reordered when, because of what specific piece of marketing. What does this mean? Increased effectiveness. Higher profits overall. The ability to keep customers coming back for more. And all of this means more success for your business.

Think about it. We know WE did.

PPC Management: The Most Effective Way to See Immediate ROI

PPC, short for pay per click, is an advertising model used to direct traffic to websites. Advertisers pay the website owner when the ad is clicked. Utilizing PPC advertising gives website owners the opportunity to turn an immediate profit from search engine traffic.

So how does this work? Using tool like Google Adwords or Microsoft AdCenter, advertisers can create ads and bid on keywords that they want their ad to appear on. With Google, each time a visitor searches for a term, an invisible auction takes place on their servers which weighs the advertiser’s maximum bid for the term against their ad’s quality score. The winning advertiser gets their ad to appear above the organic listings and is only charged if that visitor clicks on the ad.

Managing your own PPC can be risky, and can end up costing you lots of hard-earned cash if you do not manage it effectively. There are a few important skills necessary to get your PPC right. First of all, you must choose the right selection of keywords. The key factor in this is to find the right words that will actually convert into sales, and which will just bring browsers who simply click and do not buy. It is also imperative to make specific landing pages for your keywords. With Google, they will offer more inexpensive cost per click for sites with more relevance to the search term. With a keyword-specific landing page, you can answer the searcher’s questions more effectively and have a much greater chance of converting that visitor into a customer. Keyword landing pages generally turn more visitors into buyer, leads, or subscribers, than your site’s home page.

Need help with your PPC campaign? Contact Web-Op!

Windshield Guru Page Load & Organic Search Traffic

Google Webmaster Tools now reports 1.4 second load time across all pages for Windshield Guru. This includes many of our database intensive pages accessed via the backend – where we still include Google Analytics tags to track employee site usage. The chart can be seen below.
Windshield Guru Page Load Chart

It’s difficult to draw correlations to organic traffic due to the penguin update that is plaguing the seo industry, however organic search has climbed 5.5% over the last thirty days compared to the previous thirty. Additionally our bounce rate has dropped slightly, time on site has jumped by 3% and pages per visit is up as well.

Cremation-USA

Web-Op started this cremation site in November of this year www.cremation-USA.com. You can see the growth in the chart above. We have opened a service office in Ogden, Utah and have been enjoying a pretty good amount of success after just a few months. We are ranking first page for hundreds of US cities already. Check out this one. We’ll keep you updated.

20120126-085805.jpg

Beware SEO Email Scams

Trevor got this interesting email today regarding a domain we purchased a few months ago. The email is shockingly deceptive:

Attn Bailey, Trevor

This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your search engine registration for COSMETICSURGEONNORTHCAROLINA.COM.

Failure to complete your search engine registration by Jan 26, 2011 may result in the cancellation of this offer (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).

Your registration includes search engine submission for COSMETICSURGEONNORTHCAROLINA.COM for 1 year. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer by Jan 26, 2011. This notice is not an invoice. It is a courtesy reminder to register COSMETICSURGEONNORTHCAROLINA.COM for search engine listing so that your customers can locate you on the web.

The email points to this link – which is clearly an invoice.

The domain is registered to:

Mark Denaro
RG
200 Park Avenue South
New York
NY
10003
US
Phone: +1.13474605327

Which I’m guessing is a faked registration as the number format appears to be invalid. Fortunately Google provides some good advice on how to steer clear of these scams. From the Official Google Blog:

How to identify scams and other schemes

In general, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Here are some pointers on what to look out for:

  • Before you fill out a form or give someone a credit card, do a web search to see what other people are saying about the company and its practices.
  • Be wary of companies that ask for upfront charges for services that Google actually offers for free. Check out our business solutions page before writing a check.
  • Always read the fine print. Watch out for get-rich-quick schemes that charge a very low initial fee before sneaking in large reoccurring charges on your credit card or bank account.
  • Google never guarantees top placement in search results or AdWords — beware of companies that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a special relationship with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or through the Sitemaps program — you can do these tasks yourself at no cost whatsoever.

Can local search backfire for Google?

Google has been moving heavily into increasingly localized search recently. It used to be, triggering a local search required a regional qualifier, like a city name.

Now, many of the same searches will go directly to intensely local results without qualification. They rely on geo-location of your IP address, or perhaps your information in your Google profile.

Now, the reasoning for this is sound, from a business perspective. Continue reading

New Google Patent Monitors Your Mouse On SERPs

A few days ago, this google patent application was awarded a patent that details a

“System and method for modulating search relevancy using pointer activity monitoring “

according to the patent title and abstract. If you read on, it explains that the data the patent suggests collecting is the mouse location on page and hover duration. What could this mean for SEO?

The simple answer is that there’s a new factor influencing rankings. The patent calls it the “client attention coefficient.” That wording suggests that it will have a direct effect on how “relevancy” is calculated for all Google searches. Any time a search engine makes a change in how they rank sites it’s reflected in the rankings. That may sound obvious, but it’s something every good SEO thinks about when changes start happening. Should Google incorporate this mouse tracking idea into their search engine it could produce some interesting results both good and bad. One thing we know is that we’d have to start paying more attention to how our indexed pages appear on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages.)

When Google builds a SERP for a search query it takes the titles and descriptions of the results and serves them up as a vertically aligned list with higher ranking pages at the top. The typical searcher begins scanning with their eyes at the page and sometimes follow with a mouse pointer. Referring back to the patent, this shouldn’t have a direct effect because the patent proposes a timer or “threshold value” that would filter out times when a cursor “temporarily passes through [these] regions.” However, this doesn’t change the fact that the results at the top are more likely to get mouse pointer attention. Depending on how much weight Google assigns to this new metric this could strengthen the barrier-to-entry for new rankings even more.
    The “client attention coefficient” might also accidentally favor indexed pages with longer titles and descriptions. The two search results below illustrate an example case.

google search result that takes up a small space

google search result that takes up a large space

A result that shows up on a serp (search engine results page) looking like the first result might not hold a visitor’s attention as long as the second. Another advantage the second has over the first is that it simply occupies more space on the page. It will grab more mouse time because of this but, Google’s engineers aren’t dumb. I bet they’ve already thought up a solution but there’s no best way around it. There will be some artificial-ness leaking into the organic rankings.

We won’t know how effective it is in improving results until Google actually implements it if they ever do. They may never implement this hopefully out of respect for our privacy. Hopefully we can prevent Google from looking through visitor’s webcams and tracking eye movement across the page. Anyone want to file that one now before Google does?