Author Archives: Mahesh Tadepalli

About Mahesh Tadepalli

Mahesh Tadepalli brings the analytical edge to the marketing campaigns we manage. A holder of Master’s Degree in Mathematics, he plays a major role in harnessing the marketing data for effective decision-making. His experience in working with tech startups and understanding of marketing have proven to be instrumental in defining marketing technology solutions for companies across various industries.

Impact of Ad Blockers on Marketing Campaigns

By: Mahesh Tadepalli August 10th, 2016

 

Ad Blockers are simple software programs that prevent ads from being visible on websites. Ad blockers are basically browser add-ons, and are available for the all the web browsers including Firefox and Chrome. A major chunk of websites on the internet exists mainly due to online advertising. In order to survive in this marketing world, millions of websites depend on online advertising revenues. Apple made headlines recently when it announced that iOS 9, technology. While Android remains the biggest player in the mobile device market, notably more people will be adopting ad blockers now as they’re available on iOS for the very first time, which could undoubtedly have a huge impact on Internet advertising revenues and digital marketing campaigns.

It is a purely a big misconception that ad blockers block all the ads. In reality, only some of the ad blockers block all ads, with many only blocking ads on particular sites. The main reason that people use ad blockers is to remove ads from their web browsing experience. By eliminating ads from the web pages, page load times considerably decreases, and can also reduce data usage. Also, some advertisements make use of scripts – tiny, self-contained snippets of code that perform certain functions on a web page – that can be easily exploited to gain access to users’ private information. This is also the prime reason that people are using ad blockers in large number.

It’s hard to tell if your campaign is being impacted by ad blocking practices or not. Recently, Google has made changes that benefits the advertisers through the introduction of ‘No Impression, No Charge’ bidding on Display advertising. It means that until a user has seen the ad for over 2 seconds, it won’t contribute to the CPM and overall cost of the campaign and you won’t be paying for non-existent eyes on your ads. Apart from that, code snippet solutions are also available that prevent your ads counting an impression and not disfiguring the campaign data, but due to the nature of ad block creators they will work around these issues quick and fast as soon as they become commonly known.

Some of the main impact of ad blockers on marketing campaigns will be overall cost increase in pricing because if impressions becomes difficult to generate, campaigns will likely take longer time to fulfill. As a result, publishers will be pushing for new strategies. Also, ads will need to change. Advertisers should give more respect to consumers, target carefully and create convincing, contextual content.

Ad blocking technology acts as a catalyst for change in field of advertising and media. The new and upcoming changes will continue to affect advertisers. Marketing alongside ad blockers can be demanding. But staying pertinent, focused and keeping your target audience in mind always can lead you to create better marketing campaigns.

Understanding the User Explorer Reports in Google Analytics

By: Mahesh Tadepalli July 7th, 2016

 

Understanding the User Explorer Reports in Google Analytics

Google has been announcing some exciting new additions to the google analytics platform this year. The latest addition to the analytics platform is the much awaited feature: User Explorer. This feature allows the users to anonymously analyze the actions of visitors on the website. This new addition allows us to develop a deeper understanding of the kind of actions which would lead to a conversion and make necessary changes on the website to improve conversions rates. This report can be accessed in the Audience section of Google Analytics.

Google Analytics has introduced a new dimension called ‘Client ID’ which is assigned to each user. This is set by the ga cookie and recorded in google analytics. It is combination of a unique random number and the timestamp of first visit of the user. The user explorer report shows the engagement data like bounce rate, session duration and number of sessions along with the ecommerce revenue and conversion rate.

This Client ID is different from the User ID feature which was previously enabled in the google analytics platform. The main difference between the User ID and Client ID is that, while Client ID is auto generated by google analytics, User ID should be generated by us and passed on to the GA system. The User ID is generally generated when a user logins to the account. This allows you to track the activity of users across various devices once they login to the website or application.

Further details about user listed in the User Explorer report can be accessed by clicking on the Client ID. Once you click on the Client ID you can find detailed information about all the website interactions by the user. You can get the details like Acquisition Date, Acquisition Channel and Device. You can also look at the number of sessions generated by the user, the pages visited during each session, traffic source used to visit the website in each session, events completed and the conversions as per the goals defined.

This data can help us a long way in developing a deeper understanding about your website visitors and how the highly converting traffic interacts with your website. You can use these details to create and track high converting user segments and make necessary changes to increase conversions.

Google Analytics Dashboards – A Great Way to Visualize Your Results

By: Mahesh Tadepalli June 7th, 2016

 

Dashboards in Google Analytics

Google Analytics Dashboards are basically the collections of widgets where you can collect all kind of similar data. You can have up to 20 dashboards in each for each view / property with 12 widgets in your Google Analytics account. Each view / property comprises a default dashboard to get you started. Since Google Analytics doesn’t have a logical structure in it, having the potential to put similar things together at the same place is indeed a great profit. This means you’ll only have to search at very few places to get the general overview of how your site’s doing.

The best way of getting your own Google Analytics dashboards is to make them yourself. To create your own dashboard, search under the Dashboards menu and click the +New Dashboard option. You will get various options, like to use a blank canvas or a starter dashboard with sample widgets created for you. The starter dashboard is best to get a look for how different widgets work, and the samples can be removed at any time. In general, there are 2 types of dashboards, custom dashboards and multiple dashboards.

Types of Dashboards and Widgets

For most Google Analytics users, the first thing you see when viewing your reports is the dashboard. These dashboards in the new version of Google Analytics have been remodeled to be completely widget-based and highly customizable. The Dashboard usually have a three-column layout, and you can modify it by dragging and dropping the widgets as per your choice. There are six types of widgets in general: Metric (shows the value of metric), Pie Chart (best suited for displaying breakdowns of a metric by a certain dimension), GEO Map (keeps track on how a specific country is contributing to your website in a glance), Timeline (A graph of any metric over time), Bar (most powerful of all widgets and offers a multitude of customizations options) and Table (best for monitoring landing pages and content and you are able to filter data and link the report to URL).

Custom Dashboards are easy to create and saves time, as the google analytics has made the set-up simple. They are easy to share and Google has also framed a solutions gallery to help you get started creating dashboards.If you want to customize multiple dashboards for different analyses, you have the power to create multiple custom dashboards too, up to 20 per profile.

Google Analytics Dashboardsare a great way to keep track of your website. It lets you create visual shortcuts to the most beneficial data within your Google Analytics account.

 

 

 

Big Data – The Mysterious Buzz Word

By: Mahesh Tadepalli May 31st, 2016

 

In the recent times, no other technical word has invoked a mixed response as Big Data. The clear push by major brands and large companies to leverage the benefits of Big Data is evident from the fact that the highest paid jobs in the IT Industry are around Big Data. The social listening and all the articles around the internet adds complexity to the already complex scenario rather than simplifying it.

The definition of Big Data in itself has been so complex that, Jonathan Stuart Ward and Adam Barker at the University of Scotland conducted a survey to analyze what really Big Data stands for and means for various companies. Though this survey was conducted back in 2013, the same confusion around the definition of Big Data still exists today.

This confusion around the Big Data which is often synonymous with enormous sets of unstructured data, data warehousing, machine learning, data servers to process the data etc. have created a sense of fear among the businesses. These fears are overshadowing the necessity to seize the opportunities and value addition Big Data can offer to the business intelligence. The complexity and cost of implementation has a huge bearing on low adaptability of Big Data by SMEs.

Though you might find many definitions for Big Data, the core value addition that Big Data brings is the ability to have more data at your disposal to make informed decisions. It allows the decision makers to back their decisions with facts over gut. As the businesses create and store more transactional data, it provides an opportunity to identify trends and valuable insights about customer behavior.

Once you move away from the noise surrounding the definition of Big Data and start concentrating on the benefits it can offer, it starts looking like a more familiar territory. The concept of using historic data to identify trends and any leading indicators has been practiced for long. Now that we live in digital world and everything is connected, the volume data that can be collected has increasing at an exponential rate. Big Data implementation initiatives empower businesses to leverage the benefits of all these data points being collected. It is not the size of the data that makes it “Big” but the rate at which this data is generated making it “Big”.

Google Analytics for Manufacturers: Significance of Website URL Structure

By: Mahesh Tadepalli August 13th, 2015

 

A good URL structure can help your SEO a long way. We often overlook the impact of well-defined URL structure has on tracking your web analytics. A user friendly URL structure not only provides an excellent navigation experience for visitors, but also helps you in tracking them easily using you google analytics platform. Following are some of the areas in google analytics, where, having a good website URL structure helps in drawing more insights.

Accuracy in Tracking Data

Tracking the performance of landing pages and efficiency of the funnel is an important aspect of analyzing web analytics data. A well-defined URL structure can help you in identifying these web pages easily within the google analytics platform. You can easily visualize the behavior of your users on the website, especially when you have huge content on your website. You can also easily analyze the performance of individual sub sections and identify the content that appeals best to your visitors. This becomes even more critical when you are tracking information across multiple subdomains.

Content Grouping

Content grouping allows you to identify the type of content that has a recall value with your visitors and how your visitors are interacting with various types of content. It can also be used to group similar kind of products or services within the analytics platform to draw more specific insights regarding such sub groups of data. By maintaining a website URL structure which is reminiscent with the type of content, you can analyze the performance of various types of content you are posting on your website.

Defining Filters and Advanced Segments

Advanced segmentation and filters a powerful feature of google analytics which allows you to isolate the sub-groups of data. This helps you in analyzing the subsets of your data to know more about their behavior. For example, you are a furniture manufacturer who manufactures indoor furniture, outdoor furniture and storage equipment. By defining a good URL structure you can not only group the content by type of furniture, you can also group all the products relate to specific furniture line. This makes your reporting easier and also help you draw more insights. You can also define advanced segments to analyze the behavior of visitors browsing a specific set of pages.

Analyzing the Site Search

Site search is another powerful feature in google analytics which allows you to track the behavior of your visitors based on the search terms used by visitors to find the content/products they are looking for. Google analytics allows you to define criteria on which the search terms should be picked from the URL. By ensuring that you have a relevant URL structure, you can get accurate information about the search terms used by the visitors. Along with providing you insights about your visitor’s engagement, this can also help you in choosing relevant keywords for your PPC campaigns.

A website’s URL structure should be defined as easily as possible. You should consider constructed your URL structure in a logical way to enhance your user experience and also SEO performance. By avoiding the unnecessary complexity in the URL structure, you can also make more efficient use of your google analytics platform to draw meaningful insights.

6 Common Mistakes Manufacturers Need to Avoid During Google Analytics Implementation

By: Mahesh Tadepalli August 4th, 2015

 

GA

Getting the implementation of Google Analytics right is step one in determining the ROI of your marketing and PR efforts. Google Analytics is a significant tool for businesses to track their website data. It’s considerably easy to implement, simple to use and above all it’s free! Whilst the implementation of Google Analytics should be an easy process, there are still lots of instances where mistakes can occur. So let’s have a look at some of them now:

Keeping tracking code in the wrong place on the page

It’s been now over four years since Google Analytics updated the synchronous tracking code to asynchronous. But still some companies are there that haven’t made the switch yet. The synchronous code was placed at the bottom of a page as the code would prevent other web page content from loading. On the other hand, Google’s asynchronous code allows the tracking code to work its magic in the background while the rest of your site loads uninterrupted. Update the tracking code to fix this issue.

Missing out on UTM parameters

UTM tagging has nothing to do with the implementation of your Google Analytics technically, but it has enough to do with the amount of value you can get out of your Google Analytics. UTM parameters gives close insight on what your placed links like ad links and press releases, are helping in increasing traffic to your site. But if you’re not tagging links regularly, you won’t have access to this data. This is big missed opportunity to gain valuable insight on what marketing efforts are paying off. You can use Google’s URL builder to fix the UTM tagging and parameters.

Neglecting pop-up modals

Modals are nice way to collect sign-ups. You should be tracking the conversion rate on these modals using event tracking. This is something that needs an extra effort to set up, but without it, you’ll have no perception on how the pop-up is affecting customer behavior.

Considering external link clicks as bounces

The bounce rate is a key metric in spotting where the site is losing the delight of readers. The problem is that if the implementation gone wrong, Google Analytics will be tracking clicks on external links as bounces. Google Analytics allows you to choose whether outbound links are treated ass interaction events or not. To hold your bounce rates a clean metric on site insights, prohibit external clicks from being counted.

Inadequacy to implement cross-domain tracking

There are many scenarios where you might want to track multiple domains. One such scenario is if you utilize multiple subdomains of your primary domain like blog and support, then your product will likely live at a domain like app. When this happens, you want to be sure that you’re correctly tracking how visitors going across those subdomains. Google gives you two options. Set up a single property and use views to filter out separate subdomains is the first option. The second option is to set up separate properties for each sub domain. It doesn’t really matter which route you choose, but if you go with the latter one, you need to set up cross-domain tracking. Cross-domain tracking will guarantee that traffic moving between your different domains is not viewed as new traffic.

Enumerating logged in users the same as non-logged in users

If you have a website that visitors can log into, then this might be a mistake that you’re making. Users with login information will act very differently than other users. Failing to treat them will unbalance your insights on bounce rates and page views. Through event tracking, this problem can be taken care of. Once these events are tracked, you can build up a custom segment in your reports to filter out visits that include a login.

These common mistakes can adversely affect your attempts to improve your overall web presence and integrity of your Google Analytics profile. Once you’ve scooped out a healthy Analytics setup and a regular routine for using it, you’ll be much better positioned to increase your web traffic effectively.

Meet the Millennials: The Customers Who are Making a Difference to your Business

By: Mahesh Tadepalli June 3rd, 2015

 

The ability to adapt to change determines your success. This is so often true with your marketing campaigns. Marketing strategies evolve over a period of time, with the aim of staying relevant to the customer base always being the goal. Companies should make themselves future-ready in order to handle the coming customer base shift.

Millennials, often referred to as Generation Y, is the generation born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. Currently, millennials are the largest generation in the U.S., representing one-third of our total population. With this first round of millennials being in their young thirties and at a relatively early stage in their careers, they are bound to play an important role in the economy.

Apart from the numbers, the most important characteristic is that this generation has had access to the Internet since their childhood. Technology has always been an inherent part of their lives. Innovation in technology has gained a phenomenal momentum during these early years of the millennial generation. This has shaped the way millennials interact with and what they expect from technology advancements.

More importantly, this generation is transforming how businesses market their products or services – forcing them to move away from traditional marketing methods. Instead of looking to choose a product or service provider from a pool based simply on features, consumers are looking to find out how best the product or service can solve their problems. Indirectly, they are ensuring their voice be heard by giving the business a problem statement to solve. Businesses now must strive to gain more understanding of consumers’ problems.

Millennials are also transforming how businesses interact with their customers. Information used to be generally uni-directional with traditional print marketing. But now millennials want the brands to interact with them and respond to their queries. They are also more willing to share their opinion, whether good or bad, to the people around them through social networks and product reviews. This means continual feedback.

For manufacturing companies, this has opened up both a new set of challenges and opportunities. The challenge for businesses is to change their traditional product design approach based on customer feedback. Innovation is the greatest opportunity businesses have. By interacting with the customers, you can know exactly the kind of problems they face and what they expect regarding the solution that will make their lives easier.

Millennials are tech-savvy and they expect the same from their circles, including the brands they interact with. They are your largest customer base now and for years to come. Their prominence in decision-making, whether you are a B2B business or B2C, is going to continue to increase. The sooner businesses realize this and start adapting themselves, the longer they will enjoy the benefits reaped from this demographic group.

All you need to know about Google Mobile Algorithm Update

By: Mahesh Tadepalli April 29th, 2015

 

Google frequently updates its search algorithm to boost the user experience and help leading businesses make it to the top. On April 21st 2015, Google’s new search algorithm update scooped out in front of the entire world. There are two vital changes at play in Google’s recent move to favor mobile. Firstly, Google will now adjust its search results in order to favor mobile-friendly sites. And second, the apps will be totally discoverable in mobile search results with added deep links. With about 60% of online traffic coming only from mobile all over the world, it is no surprise that Google made such a move to cement mobile as King. The supreme goal is to create the best experience possible for the users. Here are some of the most important things you need to know to about the recent changes.

Mobile Only

The new algorithm is only applicable to searches performed from smartphones and other mobile handsets. Desktop search rankings won’t be much impacted by the change. But that doesn’t mean the update isn’t important. If you had a more mobile-friendly site, you’d rank much above in mobile search terms. Make no mistake, having a mobile-friendly site is critical to your future success and Google is telling you this as directly as possible.

Testing the Site

Google has framed a mobile-friendly test that you can use to find out whether your site is either mobile-friendly or it’s not, there’s no in between. The Google Mobile Friendly test will only examine the exact URL you submit, so if your site has multiple components and page-types, make sure you check them all. Sites that Google verifies as mobile friendly earn a label that lets mobile searchers know the particular site works well on smartphones. Also, don’t forget to work with your Web host. Common mistakes that hurt sites mobile-friendliness include slow mobile pages, unplayable content, faulty redirects and blocked JavaScript, CSS, and image files. Google is even verifying for irrelevant cross-links from mobile page to the desktop version to check if a website is mobile-friendly or not. Try to avoid these mistakes as much as you can on your website.

Events Occur in Real-Time

Apart from the home page, the algorithm checks every other page on the site for mobile friendliness. The more mobile friendly pages on the website, much better the chances are of scoring top search rankings. The search algorithm works in real-time. Sites that make changes to enhance mobile friendliness should see Google pick up on the changes within hours, not days. In other words, your search rankings aren’t likely to start tanking immediately.

Accuracy and Speed

According to Google, error-free, precise and high-quality content might rank well even if it is not mobile friendly. Google mainly prefers fast websites to slow ones, but slow mobile-friendly sites will not get penalized in search rankings as long as they have fast desktop performance.

Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update confirms the notion that looking to the future and adopting new technology – and perhaps more importantly, embracing change – which is vital to survive in our increasingly digital world.

Persona Based Marketing: How to Create Winning Marketing Strategies

By: Mahesh Tadepalli April 22nd, 2015

 

Profiling your customers and understanding their behavior is a critical part of your marketing success. It helps us in better understand whom we are talking to and how to structure our conversations to have their attention. One of the most successful ways of creating such targeted marketing campaigns with high success rate is: creating personas. Persona – Based marketing concentrates on creating cohorts among your user database. These cohorts are defined based on a set of common characteristics that particular group of users display.

The highly competitive business landscape and the customers are who are increasingly aware with the information available to them are the two major challenges faced by the marketers today. Businesses should make increasing efforts to differentiate themselves from the competition by being relevant with the customers.

Persona Based Marketing is a step towards attaining this relevancy with the customers. By creating Personas, you can:

  • Understand the Customer Behavior Better
  • Generate Better Quality Leads
  • Create Better Converting Marketing Campaigns
  • Prioritize the Business Changes You want to Implement

Persona-based marketing provides the necessary means for marketers to design user stories and present them to customers who can relate to them. You can position yourself to profoundly influence your customers’ decision-making by providing them pertinent information.

Every day, your customers receive loads of information about various products. But, it is the compelling information and the information which appeals them, gets their attention. Persona Based Marketing helps you in designing a tailor made message for various groups of users, providing high level of personalization to the interactions with your customers.

In order to know how your business can define buyer personas and benefit from Persona Based Marketing, access our Persona Based Marketing Guide here.

Tips to Build Trust and Credibility for Your Online Business

By: Mahesh Tadepalli April 15th, 2015

 

Building trust is pivotal to the success of your eCommerce store or for building the brand for your online business. The best way to strengthen trust is through a strong reputation and meaningful relationships nurtured over time. Here’s a closer look at what you can do to help build trust with budding customers and to drive sales.

Written Testimonials

Happy current customer testimonials play an important role in building trust with potential customers. In today’s world, people do pay close attention to online reviews. The majority trust online reviews to help them make a good purchase decision.

Most successful websites use this to their advantage. You should gather as many written testimonials and reviews from your loyal customers as possible and showcase them on your website. If you are an ecommerce business, ensure that you include reviews on your product pages.

Try to garner good reviews on your social pages, too. Social savvy customers read the reviews on your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+ page to learn about your business. Testimonials stand as an endorsement for the good products or service you provide.

Borrow Credibility or Get Certified Seal

To build strong credibility and trust, you should align yourself with credible people or organizations. The easiest way to bag credibility is to get certified by any authorized business rating authorities. These trust seals often act as trust indicators to potential customers.

Displaying the Logos of industry awards and recognitions, or displaying the places you have been covered, is one way to gain credibility. You can establish credibility with your website visitors by using the awards or any mentions in reputed newspapers, publications or online journals. Ecommerce websites and those which handle credit card payments should add payment and trust seals around the key areas of the site’s buy points.

Professional Web Design

If your site design looks awful and unprofessional, you’re likely to lose a high percentage of users and experience a high bounce rate. But if your site looks appealing and professional, with highly-captivating graphics and user-friendly navigation, visitors will be glued to your site, wanting to explore further. The web design should be meaningful with a focus on conversion. Make a good first impression.

Frequently Updated Blog or Monthly Newsletter

Meaningful content can vastly help your business by establishing you as a thought leader. It will also help to build a base of loyal returning visitors. Blogs should be updated frequently to get positive feedback from visitors. Your content should be reliable, authentic, and written intelligibly. This will help generate both better search engine results, and higher conversion rates. And, it gives you something to include in your emails.

Reputation Management

People trust online reviews more and more these days. It’s extremely easy for a customer to reach a large audience through social media, such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, etc. Setting up a Google Alert to track your name and business will make it easy for you to monitor what people say about your website, giving you the ability to respond and to take necessary corrective actions, if necessary, before your business takes a hit from a negative review.

You must ensure that you stand out from your competition, constantly increasing your conversion rate. Building trust online is hard work and you do not want to make any wrong moves. Though this cultivation takes time, it is worth it.