I was involved in a discussion about cold calls in one of my LinkedIn groups last year about the effectiveness of cold calls. It is a very interesting topic and one of the most in depth I have seen in the group. I think it is such a popular topic because it pits the “Old School” ideas vs. the neophyte zealots of the new “Inbound Marketing” school.
So as a marketer, both in the agency setting and in the small business setting, one of the most beautiful things is quality lead tracking. Good lead tracking measures the sources to your message and the method your market uses to engage your company.
A recent study by Wordstream estimates that 25% of a small businesses Pay-Per-Click budget is wasted every month on: keywords that have nothing to do with their business, clicks from outside their market, low ad relevance or quality score and lack of management time.
I walk down a busy city street and speak into a cellphone: “What’s the best place to buy groceries if I want to cook ratatouille for a date tonight?”. This is a rather complex query. At the same time, this is the type of question we all ask search engines every day.
Google has shaken up the game with news that soon all Organic Keyword data will be displayed under the (not provided) bucket in Google Analytics. This is a game changer as far as SEO goes, as for years we have monitored traffic, site performance and conversions based on rises and drops in specific keyword data (For example, is “Pittsburgh Photographer” driving more leads to your photo business than “Pittsburgh Picture Studio”).
This data will now be hidden under (not provided), as in the example below. There seem to be a number of reasons for the switch, including hiding user data from NSA PRISM spying and encouraging more businesses to use Google AdWords for organic keyword data.
Remember that the marketing objectives for your company remain the same regardless of available data. The imperative is still to drive converting leads and sales through a variety of outreach efforts, track and analyze performance, and adjust accordingly. SEO agencies and businesses will be able to rely on the following tools to gauge organic traffic and performance:
- Webmaster Tools Search Query Report
- AdWords Paid vs. Organic Report
- Analytics Organic Landing Page Report
- Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel Report
- Moz On-Page Report Card metrics
While this period will result in some flux for the industry and the companies using a keywords driven SEO strategy to better their business performance, we shouldn’t take our eyes off the main objective; creating great inbound marketing content and using a variety of Paid & Organic search strategies to increase exposure and revenues for businesses.
“Succeeding in SEO will be the same as it’s always been if you’re doing it right – give the users a great experience,” says Google’s Matt Cutts,