Announcer: 00:01 On this episode of Edge of the Web…
Tim Jensen: 00:04 You can go online and search landing page best practices, and you’ll get a ton of conflicting advice, where someone might tell you, “Long form pages work the best.” “Short form pages work the best.” “Have your contact form on the top.” “No, have a bunch of information, and have that on the bottom.” “Use a video.” “Don’t use a video.”
I think a lot of people will chase trends. They’ll read an article. Just because an article said to do something, they do it, and they’re not looking at the data and that is where analytics data, data from your ad accounts, should come into play, where instead of just going off of what an article says, you should test for yourself and see what works for you.
Announcer: 00:44 Your weekly digital marketing trends with industry trend-setting guests. You’re listening and watching Edge of the Web, winners of Best Podcast from the Content Marketing Institute for 2017. Hear and see more at edgeofthewebradio.com. Now, here’s your host, Erin Sparks.
Erin Sparks: 01:04 All right, this is Edge of the Web Radio, episode 338. I’m your host, Erin Sparks. Do I look puffy? Do I look puffy? Jake, do I look puffy?
Jacob Mann: 01:17 I’ve heard you today, definitely been a long day. We made it here though, right?
Erin Sparks: 01:24 We are here. It’s a Monday, and if you can’t tell from my voice, I am a bit under the weather, and you know what? It’s becoming a regularity. It’s kind of pissing me off now.
Jacob Mann: 01:36 Well, drink more orange juice. I don’t-
Erin Sparks: 01:38 Come on, give me something more. Come on.
Jacob Mann: 01:40 I’m not sure what’s… antihistamines?
Erin Sparks: 01:44 I want some good, holistic medicine. If you’re on the live channel, jump in there with some comments. Let me know what I should be doing to get rid of this cold. Maybe we’ll actually do some stuff while we’re doing the show. How about that?
Every week, we bring you amazing guests to chat with, regarding trending digital marketing news and topics. We unpack key marketing topics for our digital marketing audience. We’ve been doing this for nine years. Thank you so much to our listeners who have been with us the entire time. You want to check out the entire show over at edgeofthewebradio.com. That’s edgeofthewebradio.com.
If you are new to the show, welcome. Here’s the ropes of the show, so to speak, is that every week we actually start our podcast creation with a live broadcast on YouTube. If you want to jump over to YouTube.com/edgeoftheweb, you’ll be able to jump into our stream, and hit the bell. Make sure you get notified whenever we do go live, because we want to participate with you right then and there, and field some questions from our audience.
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On top of that, you certainly want to jump into the newsletter that we’ve got each and every week. That covers the show that we did, the interview of the guest, some key points, some key takeaways, as well as the news items of the day, all this for your digital marketing consumption. Edge of the Web is actually sponsored by Site Strategics, the title sponsor of the show, the pioneers in the agile digital marketing.
Their core specialty is their SEO, technical SEO, social media, conversion rate optimization, web development, omnichannel media, all the buzzwords. We do them all, but we actually focus on results-based marketing. How about that? We’ll actually change and go agile based on those precepts of what we’re trying to hit, as opposed to just set it and forget it methodologies that some other agencies may do. If you’re interested in what we can do for you, we’ll give a free hour consultation, online or in office. Just give us a call, 877-SEO-4WEB, 877-736-4932. Can you tell that the drugs are starting to kick in now?
Jacob Mann: 04:23 Definitely.
Erin Sparks: 04:26 All right, so the man in the booth is Jacob Mann. He’s the studio creative director. How you doing today, sir?
Jacob Mann: 04:31 Much better than you.
Erin Sparks: 04:34 Wow, that’s a judgment call, isn’t it?
Jacob Mann: 04:35 Well, like I said, I’ve heard the sniffles.
Erin Sparks: 04:39 Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s been-
Jacob Mann: 04:40 I’ve been where you are. I’m glad I’m not there today.
Erin Sparks: 04:42 Yeah, it’s pretty scratchy. I’ve been talking all day, too, haven’t I?
Jacob Mann: 04:44 Yeah, yeah.
Erin Sparks: 04:45 I have.
Jacob Mann: 04:45 We’ve talked about it before. I blame the kids, always.
Erin Sparks: 04:48 Absolutely! We have to blame the kids, because they can’t defend themselves.
Jacob Mann: 04:51 Yes, and they don’t watch this show.
Erin Sparks: 04:54 No, they don’t. I’ve tried to get them to. There’s a screaming, almost like a Silence of the Lambs type of scream if Dad brings his show into the household.
Jacob Mann: 05:03 Right?
Erin Sparks: 05:05 Hey, over there, and she’s not going to say anything, because she’s busy doing something, is Allie Coons, assistant producer for the show. Wave. There, she can actually say something. She’s still not going to… You’ve got to get a mic on her.
Erin Sparks: 05:19 She’s doing so much for the show. She has to contribute at some point in time. All right, so some housekeeping notes for the show. We just want to make sure you know who’s coming up on the next few episodes. You’ve got Jay Acunzo on his third time on the show. He must be a glutton for punishment. That’s going to be the 20th of January. We have Dawn Anderson coming on the 27th, and Kim Scott, I believe on February 3rd? Yep, all righty. We’ve got a few more coming our way, so we’re getting slated for 2020.
If you’re interested in coming on the show, give us a call or contact us on email@example.com. If you want us to talk to somebody, if you would like us to interview someone that we haven’t yet, just give us a shout. Let us know. We certainly would appreciate your feedback, as we do the shows each and every week. Set your reminders on YouTube to get notified of when we go live with those shows. That’s part of it is to be able to have a live interaction with our audience. It’s 3:00 on Monday. What else are you going to do, right? I mean, you’re still suffering from the weekend. Jump in. Get your work done. Have a calm 3:00 evening, and just join us on the show.
Jacob Mann: 06:28 I’m certainly never working.
Erin Sparks: 06:29 Absolutely, nobody is. Hey, this is education, right? It could be considered training, right?
Jacob Mann: 06:35 Yeah, no, it’s good for that. There’s, yeah, information every week, and it’s not hyperfocused on just one thing, so it’s good to move around and get all the different parts of-
Erin Sparks: 06:45 We are diversified.
Jacob Mann: 06:46 Yeah, exactly.
Erin Sparks: 06:47 If you’re interested in getting search traffic, and getting a good analysis on your search traffic, which I think everybody who’s listening to the show would want to do, hey, jump over to Ahrefs. It’s ahrefs.com. We certainly appreciate their continued sponsoring of Edge of the Web. Ahrefs makes competition… Blah, I can barely get this one out, blah, very, very easy to actually drill down into. You can see the keywords. You can see what pages of your competitors are getting the most traffic, what they’re ranking for, as well as being able to see all the inbound factors that are promoting those pages.
You can see the pages, the content, and be able to see exact words that are ranking, and build your content strategy against that. The tools are fantastic, so some great tools when it comes down to link intersect of your competitors. You can see exactly what you need to go after to be able to jump into that commonality ring with your competitors. They also have a great site audit tool that shows internal resource and external pages analysis on that tool set. Jump over to ahrefs.com and start a free trial today. You’re going to swim in great data, just like we do over at Site Strategics.
All right, that’s the news for the day. Now, let’s meet this week’s industries expert guest.
Announcer: 08:06 Now it’s time for Edge of the Web featured interview with Tim Jensen, campaign manager at Clix Marketing.
Erin Sparks: 08:16 All right, so we’re back to our full podcast here, episode 338. Certainly appreciate Tim’s jumping in there with our different news items. Sorry, Tim, that I threw a couple eCommerce… You had told us, actually, before the show, you don’t work in that space, and it just dawned on me, probably should’ve used a couple other articles, but-
Tim Jensen: 08:16 That’s fine.
Erin Sparks: 08:39 All things good. Let’s introduce our guest to our audience. Tim Jensen is the campaign manager over at Clix Marketing, over eight years of experience in digital marketing. Tim has actually worked in both B2B and B2C accounts in a variety of different industries. He’s comfortable managing ads on all the major platforms, but he’s also intrigued with the crossover between analytics and PPC. In that space, I certainly do want to bring him onboard here and talk about this, because there’s a gap sometimes in the PPC/analytics space, isn’t there, Tim?
Tim Jensen: 09:13 Yes, totally agreed. I think, I’m going to say, most people who have been doing PPC for a while have a decent grasp of analytics, but as far as in-depth knowledge of even how Google Analytics actually track certain metrics, and even some of the nuances of what those are and aren’t is lacking, as well as some of the deep dive into the data, some of the setup of tracking, which, let’s face it, if you don’t have your tracking set up properly-
Erin Sparks: 09:41 Sure.
Tim Jensen: 09:41 Then you’re getting bad data, and you might not be managing your campaigns properly.
Erin Sparks: 09:47 Absolutely, so before we dive into that, give us a little bit of backstory. How did you come to be at Clix and inside this particular unique space of PPC and analytics matchup.
Tim Jensen: 09:58 Sure, so I… Let’s see. I started in an agency, full-service agency, I’d say, about 10 years ago now. My bio’s actually dated by a couple years. I’m just straight out of college in a generic role. The person who did PPC left shortly after I joined there, so I just kind of got pushed into doing that, learned that, that’s what I loved, and jumped into that. Worked for another local agency for the past five years, and then about two and a half years ago joined Clix, so pretty much have been in the digital marketing world straight out of college, all the way through, and found the PPC niche fairly early on, and see the analytics end.
My previous company also did web development, so I had to build out analytics, and had some clients who came in and kept asking questions, like, how do we track this? How do we track this? How do I track this? So kind of something where I just dug in and learned how to do it, and got more and more intrigued with that end of things.
Erin Sparks: 11:06 Excellent. What inspired you to go PPC, as opposed to perhaps an SEO?
Tim Jensen: 11:13 I like the immediacy of the data that you get back, the exactness of what you’re able to track. SEO, I did dabble in it early on in my career, but yeah, I would say PPC you have more immediate control, and there certainly is tons of data analysis on the SEO end, but precise numbers and stuff to work with on the PPC. I like the blend of there’s data involved. There’s copywriting. There’s understanding your market niche. There’s a whole host of a variety of aspects that all tie together in that world.
Erin Sparks: 11:57 Oh, absolutely. Now, I think your foray into PPC and analytics, and getting a depth of knowledge in between those, that’s something that’s very, very useful for any particular specialist, but from a PPC standpoint, I mean, you’re literally dealing with your clients’ money, and you need to have as much visibility into the traffic that you’re sending to that site, as opposed to maybe a little bit more intent oriented or a little of the softer nudges that are brand nudges, and what have you, in different marketing executions. I’m sure you find it very, very common sense to be able to dive into analytics with that level of ferocity, but have you seen a lot of PPC managers that haven’t even opened up or cracked the book on analytics?
Tim Jensen: 12:58 I don’t know that they haven’t cracked the book, per se, but as far as not going beyond the-
Erin Sparks: 13:06 The basics.
Tim Jensen: 13:07 Basic reports, like some specific flaws that I’ll see… I actually saw someone harping on this on LinkedIn recently, but just picking out certain stats, like bounce rate, for example, and honing in just on that, when bounce rate is actually calculated, like you’re a bounce if you don’t interact with the page. It doesn’t mean that you just stayed on the page for one second and left. You could’ve stayed on the page for a minute and actually read the article and left, but you’re still a bounce, so things like that, understanding nuances of how things are tracked.
Erin Sparks: 13:38 Right.
Tim Jensen: 13:39 I don’t think people always delve into that.
Erin Sparks: 13:42 No, no, they really don’t. That’s where I wanted to actually start into this [inaudible 00:13:48] conversation is understanding how to get an idea around customer intent. Conversion is just not lead generation, and it shouldn’t be thought of as just phone calls and form fills. There’s so many different dimensions to a website and behavior on a website. Just give us some run-through of some of the behaviors that are part of a consumer, as they digest content.
Tim Jensen: 14:19 Sure. I mean, there are things like you can track people landing on the page, but then things like Google Tag Manager, for example, has where you can actually set up scroll tracking, to see if they’re actually scrolling up and down on the page, and what point they’re reaching, if they’re watching videos on the page, that sort of thing.
There’s things like the page flow report, where you can see the path where… Let’s say you have an about page, and they go to a service page, and they look at a specific service, and then they go to a contact page from there. That can help you see if you have the process set up on your site correctly or not.
I was actually just looking at a recent client site, where they had three different product categories, and you select a specific product. You land on a page that very clearly says it’s for that specific product, and then you click Get a Quote, and the quote for it basically takes you back to the beginning where that’s like, “Which one of these products do you want to get a quote for?” Well, you were already on that product category page, so-
Erin Sparks: 15:21 Right.
Tim Jensen: 15:21 That’s where I think that one’s almost obvious just looking at it, but looking at the analytics data, you might see that people are bouncing, or might be getting annoyed with a form process like that, and some more, maybe not so immediately obvious things. I love looking at internal site search. If that’s a feature on your site, you can see, when people come to your site, what’s the first thing they look for? How are they searching for your products or services that you have on your site. That could lead into keywords that you use on the paid or even the organic end, or it might give you some hints as to they’re using one word for a product. You’re using another word. Maybe you need to change your wording to what they’re actually typing in there.
Erin Sparks: 16:10 Those are some great trackable assets, so to speak inside of GTM. I think the most important concept that we want to launch off into here is that a marketer, and explicitly a PPC marketer, they need to be fully familiar with the site that they’re advertising on. They need to be able to walk through and have a map of the user flow, what the intended user flow is. What are the assets? What are the features, the fixtures, of the site that make that user experience not only worthwhile, but the things that the user is experiencing, you can actually… You can start putting together a user experience map from just common elements that are on every page, as well as different items that they will be finding along their path, right?
Tim Jensen: 17:11 Yeah, absolutely, and especially when it ties into… I work with a lot of B2B clients, where there is a lengthy sales cycle. It’s a very extensive research process.
Erin Sparks: 17:23 Oh, yeah.
Tim Jensen: 17:24 There may be one section of your site, where you have whitepapers that people can download to learn about a product and express interest, where they might not be ready to talk to sales if all you have is just a contact form, like have a salesperson call me, where people aren’t ready for that. That’s where you can see the nuances of, for example, I have a cybersecurity client. Someone might go to a page about DDoS attacks, like a common form of attacks that happen on networks. What we’ll do is we’ll actually offer them a guide to getting DDoS attacks, but then, at the same time, they can check an option to have a salesperson contact them. They can choose not to check it. Either way, they’ll make it into a sequence where you’ll contact them later, show them some other ads down the line, set up retargeting, so you know they’re a little further along in the funnel there.
Erin Sparks: 18:19 That’s what we’re talking about is starting to put together the mousetraps that are on your site. It’s tough sometimes, whenever you come across advertisers that are only looking at a landing page, and they have that myopic perspective that if it’s not falling into the funnel, then they don’t want to have anything to do with them, but the fact of the matter is that there are so many touchpoints on a website, and it’s not just the landing page. You’ve got to be able to see the other experiences that they have. I mean, literally, I do it so many times. I’ll go to the landing page, bounce off, jump out of that landing page to the full site, just to get an understanding, because I really don’t like getting shoved into those landing forms to begin with, right?
Tim Jensen: 18:19 Yes.
Erin Sparks: 18:58 I’m then starting to check out everything. If there’s no attribution, or more importantly, if there’s no campaign to be able to… or there’s no audience definition of what I just did there, then you’re losing opportunity, to say the least. Have you gone through and be able to give anybody guidance, other marketers, on what to check for on their own websites? I mean, there’s so many unique variables. It’s almost like every site has its own fingerprint, right?
Tim Jensen: 19:31 Sure, absolutely, and I think part of what you’re getting at, and I’ll answer your question in a minute. I have to get it set up, but the-
Erin Sparks: 19:39 No, keep it up.
Tim Jensen: 19:40 Part of what you’re getting at is the fact that you can go online and search landing page best practices, and you’ll get a ton of conflicting advice, where someone might tell you, “Long form pages work the best.” “Short form pages work the best.” “Have your contact form in the top.” “No, have a bunch of information, and have that on the bottom.” “Use a video.” “Don’t use a video.”
Erin Sparks: 20:00 Right.
Tim Jensen: 20:00 I think a lot of people will chase trends. They’ll read an article. Just because an article said to do something, they do it, and they’re not looking at the data. That is where analytics data, data from your ad accounts, should come into play, where instead of just going off of what an article says, you should test for yourself, and see what works for you, because I’ve seen it work very differently for different clients, and honestly, even within different product lines, different times of year. Frankly, from year to year, sometimes the same product… We’ll test different types of pages, and something we tested last year works differently.
Erin Sparks: 20:37 Right.
Tim Jensen: 20:37 That’s where the data ties in there.
Erin Sparks: 20:41 Well, another fallacy in thinking could also be just the key concept of ROI.
Tim Jensen: 20:49 Yes.
Erin Sparks: 20:51 Because that’s very linear, that’s very one-dimensional. Can you expand on what people really should be putting in place of ROI, or at least the concept of.
Tim Jensen: 21:06 Sure, yeah, it is definitely something where, particularly when you’re just looking at last touch attribution, and you’re trying to determine, okay, this contact form is worth this much, so I’m only going to pay this much for a lead, where if you have the infrastructure set up on your CRM, where you can actually track like this person submitted a form, and two months later, they became a paying customer, or if you’re a SaaS business, what’s your average retention? How much value are you going to get out of that person long-term? Having that data point of not just here’s an initial average cost per customer, but actually understanding lifetime value-
Erin Sparks: 21:52 There it is.
Tim Jensen: 21:52 And how that performs, that will tie in. Another thing is to think of different stages. This is another issue I run into with clients, where they’ll kind of nail down, like I only want to spend this much per lead. I want to spend 10 bucks per lead, but they’re selling a five-figure service, where especially for a top of the funnel asset, sure, that might be a bit cheaper, but if you’re actually getting an actual serious lead, sometimes, if we’re running LinkedIn ads… We all know how pricey those are, if you’ve played in that space.
Erin Sparks: 22:31 Absolutely.
Tim Jensen: 22:32 It’s a really, really ultra-targeted campaign, so it might be worth it to pay a few hundred dollars per lead, even if the finance people look at you twice when they see those numbers, if down the line those people often pay off, and they’re seeing a huge return on the [crosstalk 00:22:50].
Erin Sparks: 22:50 Kind of like audience qualification, yeah.
Tim Jensen: 22:52 Yes, yeah.
Erin Sparks: 22:53 The LinkedIn audience is a heck of a lot more qualified, based on your targeting, than that unknown PPC lead, right?
Tim Jensen: 23:02 Yeah, yeah.
Erin Sparks: 23:06 Let’s take one more step closer to how to track this. Pardon me, whew. We can see a heck of lot of behavior inside of Google Analytics out of the box, right? Some of these behaviors that we’re talking about are not by default. There’s a number of them. In comes Google Tag Manager. Can you describe to our audience, that perhaps hasn’t experienced Google Tag Manager, what it is, how it’s used? Then talk to some of the default functions inside GTM that talk to GA.
Tim Jensen: 23:46 Sure, yeah, so Google Tag Manager, or in essence, a tag manager is a product that would work where there’s one code you can add to your site, and then you can go into the UI, and from there you can deploy multiple tracking tags through that web interface, after just adding that single code to your site. Let’s say you’re running Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Facebook Ads, and each of those has a pixel that you need to install. Google Analytics has its own pixel, where before you would need to go through an ad for each of those manually.
Erin Sparks: 24:22 Right.
Tim Jensen: 24:22 Sometimes that’s going back and forth with a developer about all the right ways to add that, where Google Tag Manager, once you have the main Google Tag Manager code added, you can go into the interface. You can deploy the tags. You can choose to deploy it on certain pages or after certain actions are taken. You can… If there’s specific conversion tags you want to deploy, you can set those up to fire after a thank you page. A lot of sites are set up with AJAX forms, or if there’s different types of forms, when there’s not actually a thank you page, and it stays on the same URL.
Google Tag Manager, there’s ways that you can pick up a form submitted, so you can fire the conversion code, where before that was kind of a pain to track down or have to work with a developer to fire that. On the Google Analytics end, there’s a ton of potential built-in tracking, but just a couple things that are built in by default, scroll tracking, one I mentioned briefly earlier, where you can fire an event, based on the percentage that people scroll down a page.
Let’s say you’re promoting your blog, and you can see not only how many people actually made it to the blog article, but how far they actually scrolled, or video. If you have embedded YouTube videos, you can actually fire in data for if people watched the video, how far they watched the video. A third thing is click tracking. Google Analytics will only track page views for URLs that are part of your site, but you can track if someone’s clicking a link off to another site. Something like a PDF is not going to show up by default, so you can track if someone’s clicking to download a PDF, if there’s a button that you want to track, so tons of potential opportunities.
Erin Sparks: 26:16 Absolutely, so I’m going to pause you there, because that right there-
Tim Jensen: 26:17 Yeah, sure.
Tim Jensen: 27:11 It’s kind of baked in by default. They’ve changed it a little bit, but-
Erin Sparks: 27:16 Yeah, they’ve kind of evolved it.
Tim Jensen: 27:18 Right, right, but yeah, there would be a trigger that you set up to pinpoint the specific click. You can define that a bunch of different ways. It could be clicks on a certain URL. You can use a regex, if you’re familiar with that, or certain elements in the code, like CSS or that sort of thing. You can make it as advanced or not advanced as you want. If you’re not super code proficient, there’s a ton of guides out there that will help you do some of this basic stuff.
Erin Sparks: 27:49 Yep, but those are… That’s an essential point right there. If you’ve got anything on your site that’s not just a navigation to another page, if it’s something that’s again like your embedded video, what an incredible value to be able to see that that user that hit three other pages also played that video to whatever set timestamp that you want to have, if they’ve got past a particular call to action halfway through the video. I mean, that’s some great data to be able to understand that behavior, right?
Tim Jensen: 28:23 Yes, and another great hack on that end, if you’re in the PPC world, is that any action you can track in Google Tag Manager, you can tie to a retargeting audience, so Google Analytics ties directly to Google Ads, so you can make an audience with… Let’s say you had an event for anyone that scrolls 50% on your blog, so you could actually make an audience to retarget, based on those people. Instead of retargeting everyone that visits your blog and including the people who just bounced off and didn’t want to read anything, you can choose to only target the people who actually took some time to scroll down, and they’re probably a little more interested.
Erin Sparks: 29:10 Absolutely, and you did start out the conversation with the concept of the bounce. I mean, there’s so many different behaviors on a page that you could track from a user. Scrollable demarcations should absolutely be something, because that’s consuming, and everybody consumes at a different speed, obviously. I mean, I’ll actually scroll through, and I’ll highlight words as I read them. That’s just a behavior I’ve got.
Tim Jensen: 29:38 That is sure.
Erin Sparks: 29:39 I’ll slowly consume it, but if you hit that particular mark on the page, and perhaps there is even a nearby call to action at that mark, who knows? Right? You can actually feed that back to your audience. Boy, that is, just like we were talking about LinkedIn Market, that audience has already read a good deal more about what your service is, or what you’re talking about, and it certainly does put them into another basket of qualification.
Tim Jensen: 30:07 Yeah, absolutely.
Erin Sparks: 30:10 The same thing applies… I mean, the video embed itself is huge. The scroll tracking is huge. What other kind of general behaviors… This is what we’re really going into. We’re into behavior tracking, not lead gen tracking. What other behaviors on a website should be really making its way into GTM listening and create them as events and/or conversions? Can you think of anything else, right off the deck?
Tim Jensen: 30:39 Sure, yeah. I mean, even building the click tracking… We talked about phone tracking a little bit earlier.
Erin Sparks: 30:45 Oh, yeah.
Tim Jensen: 30:47 Ideally, it’s nice to have some sort of a phone tracking service. There’s several out there, or even some built into the platforms that will tie a phone call to a specific lead, but one simple way to do some level of phone tracking, you can set up a click event to track anytime someone clicks a phone number. If people are coming from mobile, they’ll do click to call, and that sort of thing. It’ll give you at least some idea of how many people are clicking to call.
Erin Sparks: 31:14 Right. One more area of mapping user behavior is really understanding the different levels of content that you have on your website. The buyer’s journey we always reference, but there’s awareness levels of content, consideration content, decision-making content. Can you also track not only just the visits to those pages, but can you also modify that understanding of that audience, based on the amount of time they’re spending, as well as any elements in those different paths, a combined grouping of clicks that actually give you a better understanding of those audiences? I know I’m getting kind of complex here, but that’s-
Tim Jensen: 32:00 Sure, sure.
Erin Sparks: 32:01 But that’s the mousetrap that we all want to be able to build, right?
Tim Jensen: 32:04 Yes, exactly. Yeah, there’s different ways you could go about it. I mean, some… If you’re looking to build a retargeting audience, that could be within Google Analytics itself, where you can slice and dice and piece together, like you were saying. You could do people who view this page, plus this page, plus they spent a certain amount of time on site, or Google Tag Manager has a timer trigger, so if you want to build an audience based on people that spent this much time, and you could add in plus this page, plus this page, and you can create audiences in there, and even tie that to a Facebook pixel, Facebook event, even some of these other platforms.
Yeah, so if you’re doing it for Google Ads, I would recommend just looking at what you can do directly through Google Analytics, but even some of these other platforms like Facebook Ads, or Microsoft Advertising here, talk about not neglecting that. There’s different ways you could send events back to those with GTM.
Erin Sparks: 33:14 We don’t want to neglect our own advertisers. Forgive me. Real quick, we want to make sure that you recommend, well, we recommend jumping into the newsletter on a regular basis for Edge. If you want to text to the number 22828 the word EDGETALK, you can jump right in there, and get a lot of this information that we’re talking about delivered right to your email inbox. Sorry for the gratuitous plug there. I just had to swing back around and do that real quick.
All right, so Tim, I’ve got a bigger question for you. We’re talking about all the practical implementations. One thing, in particular, that we sort of talked about earlier, but I wanted to swing back around to it, is getting an understanding of the site that you’re advertising on. What do you say whenever you are experiencing flat websites, or sites that haven’t been thought through to a level of measuring any of these things that we’re talking about? It could very well be you’ve got a five-page site with a lead form, and there’s just not that much depth of information to be able to track. How do you help your customers or your clients deepen their understanding of the user behavior?
Tim Jensen: 34:31 Sure, I mean, first of all, I would say work with any data that you have. It might be limited, but set up all this tracking I was talking about as much as you can. Look to tools, like Google Analytics has some demographics, so you can see some basic interest and that sort of thing. If you’re looking for insights about your audience, install a Facebook pixel. You can see some stuff about your audience.
Most importantly, get a plan together for hopefully building out more content on the site and building out more of a structure after you map out that funnel. A lot of times, I do like to show clients data which shows what percentage of play the landing page has versus the ads, and tell them, “Hey, I’ll do my part to make the ad campaigns as great as they can be, but at the end of the day, it’s going to rely on the experience people have on the site,” so really constantly pushing, when I have my calls with them, and such, that-
Erin Sparks: 34:31 Right.
Tim Jensen: 35:40 Okay, we need to prioritize getting this fixed. If it is something where they have a dev team that’s overbooked, or they don’t really have someone to work with, there is platforms out there, like Unbounce, that you can turn to, where you can build a template page that looks pretty decent, and you can play with some A/B testing, building in some of the features that you might not be able to get in on that main site, if you’re kind of desperate there.
Erin Sparks: 36:09 Yep, yep, no, that’s all good information. Let me ask you this. On the AdWords side of things, data is data, and if we, all of a sudden, start opening up a heck of a lot of events and additional conversions that were not originally anticipated… Let’s say, six months we’re rolling with just lead forms and call data, but pushing back into AdWords as conversion points, right? Then we actually add in these additional elements, these additional factors of conversion, and we’re setting them up in GA as conversions, what does that inherently do to the ad campaign itself? Because now you’re getting threefold, fourfold the amount of conversions, how’s your steerage getting affected whenever, all of a sudden, you’re four times as successful on ad campaigns?
Tim Jensen: 37:03 Sure, so I mean, obviously, you have to have some realism on what you’re tracking as a conversion. I mean, there are other ways you can set up the conversions, like the conversions that Google is actually optimizing from versus conversions that they’re not optimizing from, but they’re included in that all conversions column, so you can see them.
Erin Sparks: 37:03 Right.
Tim Jensen: 37:24 You might want to do that with some of the lower funnel conversions. Off the top of my head, that’s just a check box when you’re setting up the conversion.
Erin Sparks: 37:32 Yep.
Tim Jensen: 37:33 They also have a feature for conversion actions or conversion sets. Right now I forget the exact wording of that, but where you can set up specific campaigns to essentially optimize around specific conversions, so you might have a display campaign where you’re fine optimizing around those top of funnel downloads and such, and that’s your main CTA, but then you might have a search campaign that’s your core buying campaign, where you really want to just optimize around those further down the funnel actual leads, and you could just assign those as your conversions. There are ways you can set that up. If you’re on the social end, Facebook, also you can assign a specific conversion there.
Erin Sparks: 38:23 That’s very astute points right there, because if you just jam all your conversions back into the original campaign that you had, without breaking out some of those intent layer or staged keyword groups, then you can push some false signals back to your campaign, that it wasn’t ready for, right?
Tim Jensen: 38:43 Yes, yeah, so there’s a difference between tracking the data and having it there for your own analysis versus putting it into the system for Google to optimize around, as you’re getting at it, right?
Erin Sparks: 38:57 Right. Are there any factors… I keep on thinking of it almost like a point system. Are there any factors of, okay, this conversion means a very important factor, a lead gen, as opposed to maybe half a point or so? You know?
Tim Jensen: 39:11 Yeah, so actually, and you may have seen this, too, some of our B2B clients literally have lead scoring, where they’ll have the certain actions in their automation system that they use are assigned certain numbers of points. That is actually something we take into account, because they want to make sure stuff gets pushed through to sales, so if someone’s tracked reading a blog, it might be one point. If they attend a webinar, that’s five points. If they submit a sales form, that’s 10 points, and it gets them right there. This is an abstract example.
Erin Sparks: 39:44 Yep.
Tim Jensen: 39:46 Yes, that is, and that should be a conversation you have with your client, too, as to how much they value a certain interaction. Sometimes they know. Sometimes they don’t know. It’s something you have to learn in process, but a lot of times they will have at least a general idea of someone who downloads a guide. In general, this person tends to move to this stage of the funnel, or if we get someone on the phone versus filling out a form, they’re more likely to convert, that sort of thing.
Erin Sparks: 40:13 Yeah, that’s a great opportunity to be able to get the buy-in for your client, as well, and get them understanding it’s not just about leads. It’s about behavior.
Tim Jensen: 40:13 Yes.
Erin Sparks: 40:22 There’s a good conversation to be able to have there. I was just hoping that the Google Ads themselves would have some sort of relevancy factor that it can still-
Tim Jensen: 40:22 Got you.
Erin Sparks: 40:32 It can still count the conversion, but you’re going to water it down a little bit, as opposed to-
Tim Jensen: 40:37 I would love something like that, and I think that is a big flaw in Google, when it comes to B2B in particular, where you can’t always have a clean revenue figure associated with a lead.
Erin Sparks: 40:50 Yep.
Tim Jensen: 40:50 We do see that with a lot of our clients, where you’ll track conversions, but we don’t have a good way of knowing whether they’re good conversions or junk conversions, so a salesperson talks to them, and there’s not really a good way to… I mean, I guess you could feed in the second conversion, but we still want to track that initial point, so that is something, sometimes, where we’ll switch over to keep it on manual bidding, and label keywords based on whether they’re actually leading to good or junk conversions, kind of having somewhat of a system for that, and yeah, that does get to where some of the smart features have flaws, because it just sees, oh, a conversion is a conversion. Well, not really.
Erin Sparks: 41:33 No, I mean, just as we’re mapping out different intents, different behaviors, you’ve got to be able to map out a little bit more of a strata of different priorities of conversion, because it all makes sense, and if we… I mean, who knows? It may very well be developed in the future that ads can actually be not just valued, but given a relationship to each other, as well.
Erin Sparks: 42:02 Okay, well, that goes on the wishlist.
Tim Jensen: 42:04 Yeah.
Erin Sparks: 42:04 Wouldn’t it be great if… No.
Tim Jensen: 42:05 Call our Google reps.
Erin Sparks: 42:07 I’m saying. All right, hey Tim, it’s a very, very, very good conversation. I enjoyed unpacking some of this. I’m certain you have a number of links that we can send our audience, our listeners, some good how-tos, of how to implement GTM, as well as how to map certain events that we’re talking about, yeah?
Tim Jensen: 42:27 Sure, absolutely, I can put together a list that you guys can share, so yeah, sure.
Erin Sparks: 42:32 That’s great.
Tim Jensen: 42:32 Thanks for having me on here.
Erin Sparks: 42:33 No, no, no, you’re more than welcome. You’re going to be talking. You’re going to be presenting some good information here coming up, SMX West in February. Tell us a little bit about that.
Tim Jensen: 42:43 Yeah, sure. I’ll be presenting in a session about B2B advertising, so I’ll be talking about some tools and methods that you can use to identify keyword strategies and such that you can be using in B2B. It is a niche where it can be tricky to find out what to go after, what people are actually searching for, that sort of thing. Google Keyword Planner isn’t always much help, so we’re diving in a bit more, and showing how to plan that out, when it comes to some of these super-niche B2B type plans.
Erin Sparks: 43:16 Excellent, excellent, and what’s your experience with SMX? Have you enjoyed presenting out there?
Tim Jensen: 43:20 Yeah, it’s a great conference, a good group of people. They really push to actually have presentations that are actually practical and hands-on versus just people throwing out buzzwords and that kind of thing, definitely good quality control. They’re a really good group of people, too.
Erin Sparks: 43:40 Yeah, they have a good set of moderators, too. Well, we will be out there. The Edge will actually be out there this February.
Tim Jensen: 43:44 Oh, awesome.
Erin Sparks: 43:44 We’ll certainly want to touch base with you.
Tim Jensen: 43:47 Yeah, definitely.
Erin Sparks: 43:48 And get a bite to eat or something like that.
Tim Jensen: 43:48 All right.
Erin Sparks: 43:51 There are a number of questions we ask every one of our guests before we sign off, and I do appreciate your time today, but I do want to know what bugs you in your industry.
Tim Jensen: 44:04 I would say, right now, I think the automation thing hits it on the court-
Erin Sparks: 44:11 Right.
Tim Jensen: 44:11 Where it’s always this nuance, like how far do I want to go? How far do I not want to go? It’s just Google’s nonstop, like you have to adopt this automation. Yeah, sometimes it’s good, but it’s just this mindless… Their reps are getting more and more salespeople and not people that are on your team.
Erin Sparks: 44:29 Amen to that!
Tim Jensen: 44:30 Yeah, it’s just a constant frustration I see from people all around the industry.
Erin Sparks: 44:36 Well, yeah, I think you get a large audience of commiseration there. Well, alternatively, what excites you about the industry?
Tim Jensen: 44:46 I would say that the constant change does excite me. I mean, there’s so much to keep on top of, so much to learn. Another thing I [inaudible 00:44:53] enjoy is I get to learn about so many industries. Every client I get is often in a new space, and I get to learn all about what they do. I feel like I’m a part of that, so yeah, definitely love that.
Erin Sparks: 45:04 There is truly a learning mindset that’s been happening for the last three years, that hearkens back to maybe about 15 years ago, when everybody was converging and trying to make sense of everything. Now you have a whole other level of people that truly are adopting the educator’s role, and selflessly, as well.
Tim Jensen: 45:24 Yes, yeah, the selfless part, that’s something I really appreciate about the industry, as its people are genuinely willing to share. It’s not like I’m keeping my trade secrets in my little bubble. PPC chat and Twitter and that sort of thing… highly recommend getting involved if you’re not out there.
Erin Sparks: 45:42 No, absolutely. We want to make sure all of our audience tracks down Tim. You can find him on Twitter @timothyjjensen, correct?
Tim Jensen: 45:51 Yep.
Erin Sparks: 45:51 And over on Facebook at Clix, Clix Marketing. That’s C-L-I-X Marketing. LinkedIn, Timothy J. Jensen, and Instagram @clixmarketing. Well, can I tee up any final thoughts that you may have for that PPC advertiser that’s looking to unpack and learn more about consumer behavior?
Tim Jensen: 46:15 Sure. I mean, I would say, just dive right into your analytics account. Start poking around. Again, I’ll provide some links. Jump onto Twitter. Ask some questions. Find some articles to read. Yeah, really, just get in there. Start poking around. You’ll probably come across questions as you start looking at the data. Tag Manager, set up an account. If you have a site that you’re able to play on, just start playing with setting up some stuff.
Erin Sparks: 46:41 Just do it. Just get your arms… Roll up the sleeves and start digging in there. It’s fun.
Tim Jensen: 46:46 Best way to learn.
Erin Sparks: 46:46 On top of that… Absolutely. GTM actually has a great testing tool to be able to preview that-
Tim Jensen: 46:46 Yes, yep, yeah.
Erin Sparks: 46:52 That the tags are working correctly. That’s always great to be able to see everything green-lit like that. Well, Tim, we really appreciate your time, and certainly wish you the best at SMX. We’ll be in there, in the audience, listening to what you have to say about B2B PPC. We certainly appreciate your time today.
Tim Jensen: 47:09 All right, thank you very much.
Erin Sparks: 47:11 You’re more than welcome, more than welcome. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to The Edge on YouTube, and if you’re really feeling up to it, we, as opposed to me, because I’m a little bit under, but hey, drop us a quick review over on iTunes. We certainly appreciate the feedback. Let us know how we’re doing. Sign up for the newsletter. Go over to edgeofthewebradio.com and the newsletter… Sign up right there at the top of the page. Make sure you see all the must-see videos and much more over at edgeofthewebradio.com. That’s edgeofthewebradio.com.
We’re going to be talking to you next week with Jay Acunzo. He’s coming back for a third throttling. Maybe we’ll get him back over on the DC front. Man, he was a Marvel guy for the longest time. From all of us over at Edge of the Web, do not be a piece of cyber driftwood. We’ll talk to you next week. Bye-bye.