Roman Viliavin

Author Archives

  1. Best Twitter Features to Promote your Online Business

    Author: | 8 Comments

    SEMPO_Blog_Twitter1Why Twitter?

    Businesses of all sizes have been slow in realizing the potential of social media marketing. And those who do, fail to understand the reason and benefits of marketing on Twitter. The thing about Twitter is that it is not the average social media site where people sign-up to hang out with friends. Twitter is also about information.

    You may not realize this, but many people turn to Twitter for information, so there can be no better place on social media for getting your brand message across. In fact, many potential customers may already be searching Twitter to find you. Do you have something for them?

    There are as many as 2 billion searches on Twitter every day, and around 645,750,000 active users. Fortune 500 companies and small businesses have accounts on Twitter to interact with their target audience. Along with this marketing potential, Twitter has introduced many features over the years that can be used by online marketers to boost their brand image.

    Marketing in 140 characters?

    This is the character limit of a tweet; 140 characters has, in essence, become a term of its own and it was a challenge for marketers to get their point across in the shortest amount of words. In all fairness, they managed to do just that, using relevant keywords, Hashtags, links, and tweeting at the best time as revealed by research. However, now you have more enhanced features that will not only help you cross this character limit but also enable you to incorporate various media elements as well.

    Best Twitter Marketing Features:

    Free

    Twitter Cards

    Twitter cards allow you to attach media expressions to Tweets that direct readers to your content. All you need to do is add a few lines of HTML to your website. As a result, every time someone Tweets a link to your content, a card will be added to it that can be viewed by user’s followers. So even if you post a link to your Flickr photo in a Tweet, a card will be created. You can choose between a Summary Card, Photo Card, Gallery Card, App Card, Player Card, and Product Card. Be it price, benefits, or description, everything you need to post about your content can be done using a Twitter card. You can also promote your products using the gallery view and 2 “customizable fields” where further information about the product can be added. Recently, the social network made one more step toward enhanced promoted tweet campaigns by introducing conversion tracking and tailored audiences options.

    SEMPO_Blog_Twitter5

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In the example above,  you can see how East India Tea Company successfully promotes a new post on its blog with the help of Twitter cards. Though the message occupies more space, it also gets more engagement, as it is reflected on number of retweets and favorites.

    Custom Timelines

    A custom timeline is much like a Twitter list, but here you can choose which Tweets to include in the list. These timelines can be embedded into websites as well. There is a title on top, followed by a 160-character description. New tweets that are added appear at the top of the list. Note that you can only use custom timelines with the TweetDeck app. Once you download the app, you can use timelines to promote your business in several ways. For example, you can have a list of the oldest to the newest products, so that potential customers will be aware of your latest offerings. Secondly, if you use hashtags with your products, you can make a timeline of the best tweets from your customers. The same goes for customer reviews, testimonials, and answers to FAQs.  The information will not only be streamlined, but the presentation will be user-friendly as well.

    Tweet Archive

    Many users are already aware of this feature where one can download all tweets since day 1 and turn them into an archive. You can use this feature to observe your earlier tweets as well as to see if any improvements need to be made or if some successful formula was used before that you may have forgotten about.

    See below how the archive of your tweets will look like if you request it via the Setting tab of your Twitter account.

    SEMPO_Blog_Twitter3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Trending Topics

    As mentioned at the outset, Twitter is all about sharing information, and nothing exemplifies this more than the Trending Topics feature. This feature has been constantly updated, and now there are hundreds of cities around the world on the list to help you discover at a glance what’s trending across the globe. You can also receive more specific trends after you select the country or city you are interested in.  If you are also using the Twitter features discussed so far, then you have access to comprehensive market research about almost any target audience in the world.

    Enhanced Photos

    You do not have to be a social media marketing expert to realize the compelling and engaging benefits that photo sharing offers. To further augment visual content shared on the website, Twitter teamed up with Aviary to provide iPhone and Android users with special filters and effects. These range from black & white to vintage, which means there are multiple options to choose from. Hence, you can always find filters and effects that help you tweak your pictures in line with your brand image.

    As you can see, the feature looks pretty much like the one on Instagram, so the process of enhancing the photos is going to easy and enjoyable.

    SEMPO_Blog_Twitter4

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Paid

    Negative Keyword Targeting

    Keywords, when used properly, can do wonders for your business’s online visibility. When misused, they can repulse both your customers and search engines. So your aim should be to appear in relevant search results instead of spamming users with hashtags that they were not looking for. This is where the Negative Keyword Targeting for Promoted Tweets comes into play. This feature ensures that the search terms you use do not appear in tweets and conversations not related directly to the product itself. For instance, if your product name is Pure Passion, you can ensure that the product doesn’t turn up in search results for either ‘pure’ or ‘passion’ keywords.

    Note that there is a bulk importing tool on Twitter as well, where you can highlight words that you want to match with your keywords. This tool provides you with three different matching options when entering keywords, which are exact match, phrase match, and basic keyword match.

    These are some of the best features on Twitter that empower marketers to create a unique selling point on social media. Use a combination of these tools, and engage with the huge audience of Twitter users.

     

     

  2. Battle for conversion

    Author: | 3 Comments

    When you have managed to attract traffic to your website, the next problem arises: how to lead visitors to the goals which we want them to complete, in other words – how to convert inbound traffic into sales.

    In this article you will find a review of several tools which could be used to increase the conversion and make users happy J.

    The process of conversion improvement consists of several stages. Each of them is equally important as the information obtained from the previous stage is used for the next one.

    It’s not difficult to increase the conversion

    You just need to:

    • understand website goals.
      Website goals may be of two types, at least – transitional and final. What final goal means is clear: for online store it could be purchase, for Groupon – sign up, and so forth. But on the path to this goal some transitional goals may exist.Important. Your goals and goals of your users are not always the same. Fancy dress and simple process of purchase are not synonyms. Think as a user, even as an inexperienced one.For example, users may want to fly to Thailand, others’ dream destination is Paris or Barcelona – they look for tickets many times, compare hotels, but make purchase only after several months. In this case the path from transitional goal to final is really long and this chain should be tracked.
    • define entry points and their distinction.
      Users which arrived from the organic search and frequent buyers may require different information from the service.
    • consider all possible paths from entry point to the goal.

    But it is not possible you may say! That is why it is required to define the most important paths and make them as easy as possible.

    • be flexible, monitor and experiment
      The most interesting part – on this stage the first three stages are run on circles, while you collect the information and study the results.

     

    Tools review: how to track and adjust the process

    So let’s say you are analyzing the website with information about air tickets. The main goals are: the search on site, newsletter sing up, and the most important, but suspended in time goal – air ticket purchase.  This feature – suspended goals – became available not so long ago, and it is really great option.

    After we have set up the goals, we need to gather the initial conversion statistics – it will be out starting point. Depending on goals number as well as visit and transaction frequency, the initial data could be collected in a few hours or several weeks.

    Setup goals may not only help evaluate the efficiency, but detect the website problems as well. For example, thanks to conversion report, you may find out that JS doesn’t work properly and half of users are not able to reach the goal.

    When initial data is finally at our disposal we can start out. Let’s look at the tools which may help us in this.

    We will begin with Yandex.Metrica
    Yandex. Metrica offers several marvelous tools for in-page analysis thanks to which you can understand what prevents the user from reaching the target page.

    Form analysis – one of the major tools used by online stores and service-based companies with unusual registration process. The instrument shows how many users began filling in the form, how many of them did to the completion and where majority abandoned the process. Excellent feature that helps create forms for people indeed.

    Link map – allow you to see where in fact users click, what interests them and how they use the navigation.

    Scroll map you will find out in seconds till what length the page “works”. The more content in blind zone, the more you will have to change.

    Click path analysis – gives you insight on how user arrives at your website, where he goes then and how close he is to the final point when he quits the process.
    The tools mentioned above fit the best for static analysis, meaning that before making such analysis, you will have to gather enough data for long period of time – week or month.
    Click map without additional settings is convenient to apply for such pages as the main page. But what to do if your website has lots of pages of similar type but with different URLs, and you would like to see the overall picture of users’ behavior?  This is where urlFilter comes handy. With the help of this filter you can group several pages into one. For example, if you wish to group all the pages in the search on site you will have to write the following piece of code:
    yaCounter.clickmap({

    urlFilter: function(urlOrig) {

    var url = window.location.pathname.toLowerCase(),

    prefix = ‘http://’ + window.location.host;

    if (url.substr(0, 8) === ‘/search/’) {

    return prefix + url.substr(0, 11);

    }

    // other groups

    // …

    return urlOrig;

    }

    });
    In the report you will see these pages with full URLs, but when you will view the map, the result will be common for all the pages.

    Webvisor – a unique and free of charge function in Yandex.Metrica. Some time ago Webvisor was a separate product, but in 2010 Yandex purchased the code along with the team and starting from 2011 this functionality is a part of Metrica tools.

    Webvisor allows to view users’ activity in motion, it records their actions – clicks, filling in the forms, moving mouse (it is a separate and fun bonus which indicates that user was bored and needed some useful information to entertain)  – and then plays it for you as a video.

    Webvisor comes into play if there is a page which users steadily leave and you need to find out why they can’t continue the path and reach the goal.

    Now let’s talk about Google Analytics
    These days Google is transforming Analytics from just statistical instrument into A/B tests and usability experiments platform.  You will find an enormous functionality there.

    Universal Analytics is a Google Analytics future. Not all the features in Universal Analytics work properly at the moment, as they are in beta version, but, no doubt, they offer great functionality. New Analytics version works faster, offers wider limits, allows sending queries from backend, and so on. Besides, new opportunities of Google Analytics will be implemented only in Universal version.
    We are interested in Conversions section.

    The last three ones (Reverse Goal Path, Funnel Visuzlization и Goal Flow) allow to see the overall picture of what is going on the website even for really large projects.

    If additionally to this features you will set up events, you will be able to receive the picture of how user navigates through your website.

    For example, Goal Flow report gives you a visual picture of how visitors arrived at your website and reached the goal, and whether they took the path you expected them to or there was another funnel.

    Now let’s talk about the most advanced and cool Google Analytics functionality – ability to transmit events from server and tracking them offline!

    For example, the same website offering information about air tickets, doesn’t sell anything itself – the purchase is completed on third-party website, so we can’t track the event as are not able to place tracking code there. With the time we receive sales data, but it is still unclear, what source contributed the most.

    Google helps everyone who has transaction offline solve this problem.

    Google unified the interface responsible for the interaction with analytics servers. All the queries come to URL www.google-analytics.com/collect and acquire the same set of parameters, regardless whether we use backend-e or frontend-e. The one distinction is that in js-e we have at our disposal already finished and useful function with the help of which we can send any events:

    // connecting analytics.js

    ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’);

    ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘category’, ‘action’, ‘label’, value);
    On the server side thought the whole query is sent as POST payload, coded in form-urlencoded

    POST /collect HTTP/1.1
    Host: www.google-analytics.com

    v=1
    &tid=UA-XXXX-Y
    &cid=555
    &t=event
    &ec=category
    &ea=action
    &el=label
    &ev=value
    You may notice the additional parameter cid — client ID. This is also a new opportunity in Universal Analytics. If before only Analytics could define what a visitor is, now we can manually specify our ID.
    Here is the official documentation to help anyone, who would like to try offline tracking out.

    This method could be applied for conferences, shops, concerts. You just give the users unique coupons and then check in Google Analytics events whether the user has made the purchase.
    Working on conversion improvement could be an endless process. Once there is new chapter on the website, new functionality or special offer, it is time to start working towards better usability, higher conversion and website simplicity.

    If you are already using offline analytics from Google, please tell us about this in the comments below!

     

    Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily SEMPO.

  3. Battle for Conversion

    Author: | 6 Comments

    When you have managed to attract traffic to your website, the next problem arises: how to lead visitors to the goals we want them to complete; in other words – how to convert inbound traffic into sales.

    In this article you will find a review of several tools that can be used to increase the conversion and make users happy.

    The process of conversion improvement consists of several stages. Each of them is equally important as the information obtained from the previous stage is used for the next one.

    It’s not difficult to increase the conversion

    You just need to:

    Understand website goals - Website goals may be of two types, at least – transitional and final. What final goal means is clear: for online stores, it could be purchase; for Groupon, sign up; and so forth. But on the path to this goal, some transitional goals may exist.

    Important. Your goals and the goals of your users are not always the same. Fancy dress and simple process of purchase are not synonyms. Think as a user, even as an inexperienced one.

    For example, some users may want to fly to Thailand; others’ dream destination is Paris or Barcelona. They look for tickets many times and compare hotels, but they make a purchase only after several months. In this case, the path from transitional goal to final is really long, and this chain should be tracked.

    Define entry points and their distinction - Users who arrived from the organic search and frequent buyers may require different information from the service.

    Consider all possible paths from entry point to the goal - But it is not possible you may say! That is why it is required to define the most important paths and make them as easy as possible.

    Be flexible, monitor, and experiment - The most interesting part – on this stage the first three stages are run on circles, while you collect the information and study the results.

    Tools review: how to track and adjust the process

    So let’s say you are analyzing the website with information about air tickets. The main goals are: the search on site, newsletter sign up, and, the most important but suspended in time goal – air ticket purchase. This feature – suspended goals – became available not so long ago, and it is really great option.

    After we have set up the goals, we need to gather the initial conversion statistics – it will be our starting point. Depending on goals number as well as visit and transaction frequency, the initial data could be collected in a few hours or over several weeks.

    Setting up goals may not only help evaluate the efficiency but detect website problems as well. For example, thanks to the conversion report, you may find out that JS doesn’t work properly and half of users are not able to reach the goal.

    When initial data is at our disposal we can start out. Let’s look at the tools that can help us in this.

    We will begin with Yandex.Metrica

    Yandex. Metrica offers several marvelous tools for in-page analysis that you can use to understand what prevents the user from reaching the target page.sempo blog xx

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Form analysis – one of the major tools used by online stores and service-based companies with unusual registration process. The instrument shows how many users began filling in the form, how many of them did so to completion, and where the majority abandoned the process. Excellent feature that helps create forms for people indeed.

    2

     

     

     

     

     

    Link map – allow you to see where users click, what interests them, and how they use the navigation.

    Scroll map – you will find out in seconds to what length the page “works.” The more content in the blind zone, the more you will have to change.

    Click path analysis – gives you insights into how a user arrives at your website, where he goes then, and how close he is to the final point when he quits the process.

    The tools mentioned above work best for static analysis, meaning that before making such analysis, you will have to gather enough data for a long period of time – week or month.

    Click map without additional settings is convenient to apply for such pages as the main page. But what to do if your website has lots of pages of similar type but with different URLs, and you would like to see the overall picture of users’ behavior? This is where urlFilter comes in handy. With the help of this filter, you can group several pages into one. For example, if you wish to group all the pages in the search on site, you will have to write the following piece of code:

    yaCounter.clickmap({
    urlFilter: function(urlOrig) {
    var url = window.location.pathname.toLowerCase(),
    prefix = ‘http://’ + window.location.host;
    if (url.substr(0, 8) === ‘/search/’) {
    return prefix + url.substr(0, 11);
    }
    // other groups
    // …
    return urlOrig;
    }
    });

    In the report, you will see those pages with full URLs, but when you view the map, the result will be common for all the pages.

    Webvisor – a unique, free-of-charge function in Yandex.Metrica. Some time ago, Webvisor was a separate product, but in 2010, Yandex purchased the code along with the team, and since 2011, this functionality is a part of Metrica tools.

    Webvisor allows viewing users’ activity in motion. It records their actions – clicks, filling in the forms, moving mouse (it is a separate and fun bonus that indicates that user was bored and needed some useful information to entertain) – and then plays it for you as a video.

    Webvisor comes into play if there is a page that users steadily leave, and you need to find out why they can’t or don’t continue the path and reach the goal.

    3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Now let’s talk about Google Analytics

    These days Google is transforming Analytics from just a statistical instrument into A/B tests and usability experiments platform. You will find an enormous functionality there.

    Universal Analytics is a Google Analytics feature. Not all the features in Universal Analytics work properly at the moment, as they are in beta version, but, no doubt, they offer great functionality. The new Analytics version works faster, offers wider limits, allows sending queries from the backend, and so on. Besides, new opportunities of Google Analytics will be implemented only in the Universal version.

    We are interested in the Conversions section.

    4

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The last three Conversion Goals – Reverse Goal Path, Funnel Visualization, and Goal Flow – allow you to see the overall picture of what is going on the website even for really large projects.

    If additionally to this features you will set up events, you will be able to receive the picture of how user navigates through your website.

    For example, Goal Flow report gives you a visual picture of how visitors arrived at your website and reached the goal, and whether they took the path you expected or if there was another funnel.

    5

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Now let’s talk about the most advanced and cool Google Analytics functionality – ability to transmit events from server and tracking them offline!

    For example, the same website offering information about air tickets doesn’t sell anything itself – the purchase is completed on a third-party website, so we can’t track the event as we are not able to place tracking code there. In time, we receive sales data, but it is still unclear as to what source contributed the most.

    Google helps everyone who has transactions offline solve this problem.

    Google unified the interface responsible for the interaction with analytics servers. All the queries come to URL www.google-analytics.com/collect and acquire the same set of parameters, regardless of whether we use backend-e or frontend-e. The one distinction is that in js-e we have at our disposal already finished and useful function with the help of which we can send any events:

    // connecting analytics.js
    ga(‘create’, ‘UA-XXXX-Y’);
    ga(‘send’, ‘event’, ‘category’, ‘action’, ‘label’, value);

    On the server side, though, the whole query is sent as POST payload, coded in form-urlencoded

    POST /collect HTTP/1.1
    Host: www.google-analytics.com

    v=1
    &tid=UA-XXXX-Y
    &cid=555
    &t=event
    &ec=category
    &ea=action
    &el=label
    &ev=value

    You may notice the additional parameter cid — client ID. This is also a new opportunity in Universal Analytics. If before, only Analytics could define what a visitor is, now we can manually specify our ID.

    Here is the official documentation to help anyone who would like to try offline tracking.

    This method could be applied for conferences, shops, concerts. You just give the users unique coupons and then check in Google Analytics events whether the user has made the purchase.

    Working on conversion improvement could be an endless process. Once there is a new chapter on the website, new functionality or special offer, it is time to start working toward better usability, higher conversion, and website simplicity.

    If you are already using offline analytics from Google, please tell us about this in the comments below!

    Roman Viliavin, Partner at Promodo SEM Company.

    Unconventional Thinker and candidate master of chess. Roman has been working in the field of search engine optimization since 2005 and is the moving spirit of the company. Participant and speaker of all major events in SEO business. Roman has successfully completed dozens of projects and gladly shares his experience with SEO community via articles and various online and offline publications. Follow Roman on Twitter and Facebook.

  4. Snippets — How to look good in search?

    Author: | 1 Comment

    Image1 SEMPO

    When a search is performed on Google, or any other engine for that matter, a number of results show up listed. Yet, not all of them are relevant to the user. Though Google is working hard to make search more relevant and better contextualized, that is still some way in the future. As for now, you have to take matters into your own hands. The search engine will display the results based on SEO, but you can improve your chances of your website being clicked on through advanced rel=canonical practices.

    More specifically, you can use rich snippets to make your result stand out in the midst of hundreds of other results. So, what is a rich snippet? You would have seen the text that appears below a search engine listing. Sometimes, some additional text is placed below the result to enhance its relevance to the user. After all, providing more information about a specific link helps the user decide whether or not he/she wants to click on it. Using rich snippets is one way to convince the users to click on your links.

    The term rel=canonical can be quite off putting in terms of being too technical for the average marketer to understand. But appearances can be deceptive; that is exactly the case here. You don’t need to be a PHP or HTML expert to apply the advanced rel=canonical practices. You only have to know the different types of rich snippets which you can use and how they are implemented in order to increase the traffic to your website and improve conversion.

    There are over 10 types of snippets you can add to the search engine results that show up when a person searches for any of the keywords you have optimized your website for. The ability to modify the rich snippet enables you to influence the users in a certain way to click on your website. No wonder marketers have begun using them as a means to improve the results they are achieving. Without further ado, let’s look at the different types of rich snippets.

    Author Snippets

    Image2 SEMPO

    Author snippets may not be the most common of snippets being used today but they are gaining popularity. For using an author snippet, you have to sign up for Google+ which allows you to use Authorship. Once you have signed up, you can add your name, picture and even the number of followers to your snippets. Moreover, you can also provide links to the content posted elsewhere on the web. Author                                                                            snippets are a great option for bloggers and article writers.

    Business Snippets

    As the name suggests, business snippets are rich snippets that provide information about a certain business. You can add as much information about your business to your rich snippet as you want, but you need to keep it relevant. The most valuable information you can provide is the location, address, contact information, hours, prices and reviews.

    Event Snippets

    Event snippets are not specific to any type of users but are most commonly used by businesses. They can not only provide information related to the event but also create a buzz for it. This requires them to specify the date and time along with the location at which the event is to be held. Unlike other rich snippets, event snippets display up to three listings below the search result.

    Music Album Snippets

    Music album snippets are commonly used by music streaming websites. They have the entire track listing of the album as part of the search engine result and users are directed to the website if they click on any of the tracks or the main search result. This enables users to select any specific song they want to listen to. These snippets are often used by websites that display song lyrics as well.

    Image3SEMPO

     
     
     
     
     

    People Snippets

    The individual’s equivalent of a business snippet, people snippets are a way for people to show their credentials and current occupation should anyone search for their name in Google. This is more likely a means to attract interest from businesses and companies. More often than not, a people snippet is used for a LinkedIn search listing for an individual.

    Product Snippets

    The name itself is quite self-explanatory. Businesses use the product rich snippets to provide useful information about their products which may convince the users to buy them. This can include the picture of the product along with customer reviews and the price range in which the product is currently available. Sometimes, businesses also provide a link to the landing page from which the product can be purchased.

    Image4SEMPO

    Recipe Snippets

    Image5SEMPO

    This type of rich snippet is for foodies. People searching for recipes online can find other valuable tips and information on how to make that particular dish perfectly. There is a specification by Google that a recipe snippet needs to have at least a picture of the dish, reviews, and also the number of calories it contains. Having any two of these can get you a recipe snippet.

    Review Snippets

    The number of review snippets in search engine results is on the rise. More and more websites are displaying the Yellow Stars that show the overall rating given to any product or item by users. However, you can choose to exclude the stars and just have the review instead.

    Video Snippets

    This again is one of the most commonly used rich snippets today. If you search for any trending video, the YouTube results for it will have a thumbnail of the video along with the listing. Video snippets also allow you to add a Facebook, Twitter and YouTube share option which users can click directly from the search results page rather than having to visit the website on which the video is posted.

    Image6SEMPO

     

     

     

     

     

    These are the different types of rich snippets you can add to your search engines results in order to increase your chances of getting more clicks. There are a couple of others but they are not as popularly used. All in all, they allow you to make the most of advanced rel=canonical practices without actually being advanced!

    Image7SEMPORoman Viliavin, vice CEO at Promodo SEM Company.

    Unconventional Thinker and candidate master of chess. Roman has been working in the field of search engine optimization since 2005 and is the moving spirit of the company. Participant and speaker of all major events in SEO business. Roman has successfully completed dozens of projects and gladly shares his experience with SEO community via articles and various online and offline publications. Follow Roman on Twitter and Facebook.