Posts tagged “What’s

What’s new and cool at Google from SMX East 2016

At this year’s SMX East, Googlers Jerry Dischler and Babak Pahlavan shared recent updates and what’s coming to AdWords and Google Analytics. Columnist Mark Traphagen was on hand to cover the highlights.

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What’s the Google AdWords Health Score and how is it different from existing tools?

AdWords recently released a Health Score feature that ‘grades’ your account, but is it just a rip-off of an existing free performance grader? Columnist Larry Kim compares.

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What’s happening with Google’s self-driving car project?

google car

Chris Urmson, the chief technology officer of Google’s self-driving car project, left earlier this month, alongside two other veteran engineers.

The departure is significant, Urmson was the last of the three primary engineers (excluding Google co-founder Sergey Brin) in the self-driving division that came from Stanford’s Stanley vehicle in 2005.

See Also: Get ready for a thermonuclear autonomous ride-hailing war

Sebastian Thrun and Anthony Levandowski, the two other notable faces, left in 2013 and 2014 to start Udacity and Otto, respectively.

Losing the talent that started the project is a natural transition in Silicon Valley, most of the original engineers at Facebook, Twitter, and PayPal moved on after a few years. But a natural transition is not always healthy for the company, and in Google’s case, the lack of key faces in the self-driving car division could lead to a colossal waste of time and money.

New Competitors Emerge

The self-driving market is heating up, Ford recently announced a Level 4 autonomous vehicle without a steering wheel or pedals will be available in 2021; BMW made a similar announcement a few months before.

General Motors acquired Cruise Automation for $600 million and spent $500 million for a chunk of Lyft. Tesla announced 100 million miles travelled on AutoPilot earlier in the year, trumping Google’s three million miles completed by its self-driving cars.

If that wasn’t enough for Google to worry about, Uber, the ride-hailing giant, plans to add self-driving Volvo SUVs to its fleet this month.

No large automaker has signalled interest in Google’s self-driving system, which could be disastrous for the search giant. Urmson, before leaving, was looking for partnerships with GM, Ford, and other major autos.

Without partnerships, Google will have to manufacture its own vehicles or work with a smaller automaker, like Fiat or Volvo. From there, it could sell the cars or compete in the ride-hailing market with Uber.

Both options don’t sound enticing, from our projections, there will be less car ownership in 2020 and self-driving cars will cost more to manufacture than current automobiles. It will also be incredibly hard for Google to beat Uber in the ride-hailing market.

What looked like a firm grip on the self-driving market has slowly eroded into a questionable future for the search giant. The self-driving division is valued at $10 billion, but costs from R&D have worried investors and Google management. That may even lead to the sale of the division, if Google does not see a viable future market for its self-driving cars.

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What’s so great about digital marketing anyway?

Do you work in digital marketing and do you love it? Are you new to the industry and feeling overwhelmed by it? Either way, all this constant change means people in this industry are always learning and sharing their ideas.

In case you hadn’t noticed, the digital world is all around us. For those people still trying to fend off the ‘future’ by disengaging from the digital world, the tide is turning. It’s now getting harder and harder to do everyday things like pay a gas bill, book a holiday or apply for a job without some kind of digital presence.

In some parts of the world – like China – you can’t even get a taxi these days unless you are connected to the internet.

In the words of Bill Heslop: “You can’t stop progress.” That quote might be lost on anyone who is not Australian, but in the two years since I attended my first ClickZ Live event, the digital landscape has changed phenomenally and there are no signs it’s going to slow down anytime soon.

How digital marketing today goes beyond goats screaming like humans

Have you ever Googled “goats screaming like humans”? This was a key theme of the opening keynote at ClickZ Live Hong Kong in 2014. It was delivered by Jason Oke who at the time was the regional managing director, Asia-Pacific, Red Fuse Communications.

ClickZLive_Goats screaming like humans_Google_600

I haven’t forgotten this presentation because essentially, Oke was saying that if you were a brand like Coca-Cola, your marketing competition was no longer Pepsi.

Your biggest worry as a marketer was thinking about how to engage the distracted consumer from the endless hours of content around cats that do all sorts of strange things, dogs that know when they are in trouble, and goats screaming like humans.

ClickZLive_Cats That_Google search_600

Here’s one of many YouTube videos devoted to the goats. This one has had more then 30 million views.

And it didn’t stop with the goats. The viral nature of these videos prompted a range of further uploads of goats interspersed in the music videos of Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Whitney Houston.

Yes, in 2014, these goats had digital marketers staying awake at night.

Oke’s message was short and blunt. In 2014, the party had moved online, and a brand could either attend the party, or remain unnoticed in the shadows.

What’s the marketing value of a contact lens that can measure glucose levels?

At that same conference, ClickZ Asia contributor Mandeep Grover talked about the revolutionary opportunities for marketers around wearable technologies and the Internet of Things.

He talked about the capabilities of some of these new technologies where, for example, a contact lens could measure the blood sugar levels of a person from their tears. Was he talking about the ‘future’? No. This was technology right here already, in the now.

ClickZ Live_Google contact lens_600

*Source: Google

This sort of technology, alongside other health initiatives like fit bits, is a boon for marketers in terms of the additional data they can collect from individual consumers. Imagine the kind of personalized policies a health insurer can now market to individual consumers, based on that data. Yes, big data has been a key theme for some time now, but now that the industry has got better at collecting, and refining it, what should marketers be doing with it?

David v Goliath – staying relevant through digital partnerships

Finding clever ways to use this data to engage with consumers on a very personal level is every marketer’s dream. And those doing it well are startups. They are small and agile and can constantly evolve to meet changing consumer needs and purchase behaviors. Which is why clever businesses are working hard to partner with them. A keynote case study at our Hong Kong event in 2015 looked at AIA’s accelerator programme in Hong Kong.

The insurance industry is one of several sectors at particular risk of losing relevancy to disruptive technologies.

Alyssa Tam, director, AIA Edge, AIA Group, said a key objective of the AIA accelerator programme was to be able to learn and understand what was happening outside.

“Because at the end of the day, we want to stay relevant. We are a very successful company, and we want to continue to be that for the years to come,” she said.

Using data and mobile to ‘power moments that matter’

Which brings us to 2016. What do screaming goats, micro-chipped contact lenses and big business partnering with startups have to do with all of this? Digital marketing is constantly evolving. It means people in the industry, new or old to it, are always learning, exchanging ideas and sharing the challenges that so much constant change brings about. In 2016, key trends have gone beyond mobile being a point of engagement for brands, but how to use the device to enhance consumer experiences – and how to deliver a service in an ‘always on’ world.

At ClickZ Live Hong Kong this year, Brian Wong, the 25-year-old founder and CEO of Kiip will be discussing just that – how the connected consumer is changing the face of advertising. His startup helps connect brands with consumers at their most receptive – being rewarded in a moment of achievement.

His app is a great example of the integration of mobile, data personalization, and the disruptive force of the startup community.

Wong is one of more than 50 chief marketing officers, industry specialists and digital marketers from some of Asia’s biggest names in the industry joining us ClickZ Live Hong Kong on August 3&4 at the Mira Hotel.

Video marketing, digital disruption and transformation, B2B and B2C marketing, ecommerce, omnichannel strategies, digital communications, brand strategy and programmatic buying are just some of the other key themes you’ll learn more about at our amazing event.

Hope to see you there.

For more information on ClickZ Live Hong Kong, to download the agenda or buy tickets, visit our event website here.

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What’s the most important CRO metric? (hint: not conversion rate)

Obviously, the ultimate goal of CRO should be to increase sales and quality leads.

But my question for today is: what metric is the best way to approximate the future success of your conversion rate optimization (CRO) efforts. For example, you can measure:

But one metric is more important than all the rest.

I know what you’re thinking. Conversion rate is the most important CRO metric you should track, right? Duh? Seems like a no-brainer.

Actually, no.

In my opinion, there’s an even more important metric you should be paying attention to; Click-through rate (CTR) is THE most important conversion metric.

I’m not crazy. Here are three reasons why.

1. High CTRs lead to higher conversion rates

Conversion Rate Optimization

There is a clear relationship between click-through rates and conversion rates. We’ve seen it over and over.

Conversion Rate Optimization

The higher your click-through rate is, the higher your conversion rate will be. Here’s an example of data from just one large WordStream client account. We see this in many accounts, but this is just one illustration. (The data gets murky when you combine accounts, since conversion rates depend on the industry and offer.)

Why do we see this? If your offer can get people excited enough to click, then that excitement tends to carry through all the way to a purchase.

Really, it doesn’t matter how you drive those clicks to your offers. It can be through paid search ads,retargeting, social media, video, email, or another marketing channel.

This is what makes improving your CTR so crucial. If you can double your CTR, then it’s not uncommon that (on average) you’ll boost your conversion rate by 50% as well!

conversion rate optimization metrics

If you have average click-through rates, you’ll have OK results. Do you really just want to settle for OK, though?

You know what else is just OK? Donkeys. Don’t be a donkey. Be a magical unicorn!

It’s also important to note that CTR will vary wildly by channel and industry. For example, here’s a look at the average CTR for Google AdWords on search and display across 20 popular industries:

conversion rate optimization metrics

You can see that the average CTR in the dating & personals industry is more than double that of the legal industry.

Important disclaimer: I’m not advocating to offer free puppies or using other dumb gimmics to raise CTR. I’m talking about finding truly innovative offers that get your target market super excited about signing up for whatever you’re selling, right away!

2. Conversion rates are biased

conversion rate metrics

Bias is a big issue when you’re looking at your conversion rates. Basically, all a conversion rate will tell you is the percentage of conversions by people who have previously expressed interest in what you offer.

So let’s say someone receives an offer from your company via email. These people already know you from visiting your site for one reason or another at some point in the past and liked what they found. You know this because they’ve signed up to receive emails from you. They’re even more biased because they’ve decided to open your email and click through to your site.

So what do you learn here from a conversion rate? Well, you’ve learned what percentage of people who were already in your sales funnel and were already biased toward your product or service have bought from you. That’s awesome and valuable information, no doubt.

After all, that’s how advertising is supposed to work!

conversion rate optimization metrics

But what would be even more valuable to know is how interesting your offer is to new audiences, not just people who have expressed interest in the past and have now decided to view your offer.

A typical website conversion rate is about 2.35% on average. But the top 10% of companies are seeing 3-5x higher conversion rates than average. How are they achieving such high website conversion rates?

Spoiler alert: it’s not because they’ve changed a button color on their home page or published a new whitepaper.

3. You can find out if your offer sucks

Conversion Rate Optimization

Ask yourself: Why are 98% of the people who see your offer not converting? What could you offer so that a higher percentage of people get so excited that they click through and sign up or buy it now? Think about it – if someone is offering free samples at the grocery store, you don’t pay that much attention to what the person behind the table says; you try the free sample if it looks delicious.

Does your offer actually resonate with your market, and not just the people who already know and like you? This is where CTR is a helpful indicator.

For example, let’s say you operate in a small niche market with little to no competition. Right now your CTR is tiny, like 1 percent or lower. But you have a near 100 percent conversion rate.

How important is conversion rate as a metric here? Not so important, right?

If your CTR is low, however, then you know this means people aren’t responding to your offer, whatever it is. Your offer probably isn’t unique or interesting enough.

If you believe your conversion rate is the most important metric, then you’ll believe there’s no need to change your offer. And you’d be wrong.

conversion rate metrics

Strap on some rockets and give your click-through rate a much-needed boost! Improving your CTR will help you grow beyond your existing audience and generate more leads or sales.


Ultimately, it’s the quality and quantity of conversions that matters. But what are the key input metrics that we should be paying most attention to maximize those conversions?

Conversion rates are obviously important. But click-through rate is the number one CRO metric I pay most attention to.

Not only is CTR proportional to Conversion Rate, CTR gives you an honest view of how your offer resonates with people who aren’t already biased toward you. In most cases, your market is much bigger than the people who are already in your pipeline.

You can use the insights from click-through rates to find an amazing offer that more people really respond to – and when you do find an offer with a high CTR, you can then make the focus on making any needed website tweaks to also ensure people convert like crazy after they click through!

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What’s new with markup & structured data

Contributor Eric Enge recaps a session from SMX Advanced on structured data markup in its many forms.

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What’s the best attribution model For PPC?

Columnist Aaron Levy explores some common attribution models used by digital marketers. Which one is right for your business or client?

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IoT answers the tough question: “What’s my dog doing all day?”


With two-thirds of employees owning a pet, innovative organizations are beginning to look for extra benefits they can offer as incentive to attract and keep talented individuals, especially among millennials.

One connected way to entice dog owners to your company comes from pet insurer Figo, who now offers a smart tracking system to take the worry off of a pet parent’s mind.

See also: My dog is more connected than your dog

Figo integrates “pet-cloud” technology with inexpensive healthcare plans that can actually give employers an edge in talent hiring. With Figo, your employees’ concerns about the puppy at home are eased away, and managing a pet’s life is made simple.

Figo puts your hound in the cloud

The Figo team’s passion for providing a different, better pet insurance was fueled from being surrounded by the creative energy of Chicago’s amazing technology ecosystem.  With a background in insurance, a love for pets and an obsession with technology, this team has created a platform focused entirely on making life easier for people and their pets.

So, sure, they offer a standard pet insurance package, but the best part is the Figo Tag technology that has a GPS tracking tool to keep track of where pets are in real time. Because we all want to really know what our dogs do all day while we’re at work.

The reality of today’s workplace is that more and more young employees are waiting to have children, opting to establish their careers first, and a majority of these individuals are passionate pet owners, who care deeply about their pets.

So smart companies are beginning to consider what matters most to their staff, in efforts to recruit and retain new talent.  With this in mind, employers can provide some great insurance benefits to their employees through Figo, as well as the personal pet cloud for every employee and the real-time monitoring.


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