Lost in Translation: How to Drive Traffic to Your Website When You Go International

A few months ago, Gal Nissani published an article about converting your international audience. The article makes the point that translation is the most important step you can take to attract potential clients. Translation also makes browsing your website more convenient for visitors.

I would like to go further and explain how to drive traffic from foreign markets to your website, depending on whether your website is solely in English, already has translated content, or is available in different languages with ccTLDs. You can drive traffic from foreign markets through simple steps of adaptation and marketing as a native, with a little help from social media.

1. English Websites

First, we will see how to drive traffic to your English website when you go international. The first thing you have to do is determine where you want to increase your traffic from. You should not pick a country based on a personal preference.

Instead, you should choose the right country based on the results of a market study. Indeed, English will not get you anywhere. But if you are planning on keeping your website solely in English (assuming you are based in the United States), you will have more chance to drive traffic from other English-speaking countries and other countries open to the Anglo-Saxon culture.

Find the Right Country with Google Analytics

Unfortunately, market studies take time and require a lot of work. A first step, though, could be taking a look at your Google Analytics reports and considering countries with significant percentages of traffic.

When targeting English-speaking countries, you should look at places such as Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. For countries open to the Anglo-Saxon culture and language, you should look at countries such as Sweden or Norway. People in the northern part of Europe and Scandinavia learn English at an early age, and their languages are mostly Germanic.

Let’s imagine that the following is a country report from Google Analytics for your website. You can clearly see that European countries, India, and Oceania bring many visits to your website. This could be a big opportunity for you. To drive even more traffic from this market, you should focus your marketing efforts on these countries.

world map off traffic

Offer These Countries a Little Translation

So, now that you have picked a country based on your Google Analytics report, it’s time to take some action on your website. As explained earlier, these countries are either Anglo-Saxon or welcoming of English.

Let’s assume you picked a country like Sweden. According to the European Commission’s Eurobarometer of 2012, 86% of Swedes speak English so they won’t have any problem browsing your website. But, wouldn’t it be nice and convenient to offer your content in their language? They sure would appreciate it.

Action #1: Add the Google Translate bar to your site. The Google Translate bar and widget offer translation in 60 languages. It’s easy to add to your code and visitors can choose to translate your site to their convenience. To add the widget to your site, head to Google Translate. Note that you can monitor your widget’s statistics with Google Analytics.

But, isn’t it a little intrusive? Yes and no: the widget appears only when required, and if the user’s browser is in English, it will not suggest any translation. You also can limit the widget to the few languages you are targeting so it does not get too crowded. Also, it does not alter any links.

Action #2: Make yourself available to foreign users. There are several ways to make yourself more available to your foreign audience. First, if you are using a live chat, activate the translation feature. It will benefit both the visitor and yourself. They can write in their mother tongue, and you can write in English; both will be translated. Services such as Zopim (now part of Zendesk) offer automatic translation and detect the user language.

zopim chat

Adapt Your Product

If your website is converting only on the American market, it may be because your product is not entirely suiting the destination country. A solution to this issue would be to adapt to the local culture.

A classic example of product adaptation is the establishment of McDonald’s in India where cattle are considered sacred to the 80.5% Hindu population. Beef and pork are nowhere to be found in their diets; therefore, it is unthinkable to serve a Big Mac. So, if you would like to sample the local cuisine there, try an authentic Chicken Maharaja Mac.

3-big-mac

Chances are you’re not running a fast-food empire. But, for example, let’s say you run a fashion website. You may want to cater warmer weather clothes to your Indian audience, instead of bombarding them with winter fashion. Perhaps, testing and tailoring your experience by country could offer big wins.

2. Websites with Translated Content

Now, let’s assume your website already has some translated pages and content. This section is also for those of you who have a website where you can switch languages from the menu thanks to translated content. Taking the time to translate your content is a great first step! Let’s see how you can drive international traffic to your site with social media features.

Translate on Social Media

There are many ways to get your content translated on social media so that it reaches out to foreign audiences. You can, of course, use services such as Google or Bing Translation to share your messages in different languages.

If you are highly active on social media, I have good news for you. Facebook and Twitter offer automatic translation based on the user’s browser language. This service, coupled with Bing Translation, does not require anything from you, and it will automatically offer users the ability to translate your content.

obama on facebook

le monde tweet

Use Linguistics Options to Reach Your Target

As Gal Nissani explained in her KISSmetrics blog post, translating your website (or at least the main pages) lifts a huge barrier to potential customers. As the Harvard Business Review article quoted in the post stated, 72% of users spend most of their time on websites in their native language.

If you want to reach your target through social media and do not have time to manage several language-focused accounts, use Facebook. With Facebook’s PowerEditor, you can choose the language and country where you’d like your post to appear.

To do this, go to Facebook’s Power Editor, select your Facebook Page, and create a new unpublished post. You can choose to publish a link, a picture, or a video, just like you would from the regular posting box on your Page. Select “This post will be published on the Page.” Then, the languages and location options will become available.

Thanks to this trick, your posts will be available only to the country and language you have selected.

create unpublished page post

Go International with SEO

As Gal Nissani explained in her article, there are some SEO aspects to consider. You do not necessarily have to set up a new domain name to be a “native” in the markets you are targeting. But, a subdomain or a new directory should be considered. Make sure you also are adding value to your content with the right keywords strategy.

6 essential seo tips for international marketing

3. Websites Available in Different Languages with ccTLDs

This last section is for those of you who have a website available in different languages and want to go further to drive international traffic.

Be Local

If you are planning on doing social media in another country, it is possible that what we consider “classic social media platforms” (such as Facebook and Twitter) are not available in the market you are targeting. If we take the example of China, Facebook was banned in 2009. Another example could be the current situation of Turkey and YouTube.

Working around a censorship problem is not the only reason to consider expanding your strategy to local social networks. As obvious as it sounds, choosing a local social network will allow you to market your brand exactly where your target is. Here is a list of social networks to consider according to the targeted countries:

  • Xing: Germany’s social network for professionals
  • Viadeo: France’s social network for professionals
  • Weibo: China’s Facebook
  • Orkut: widely used in Brazil
  • VK: widely used in Russia

Use Language-focused Accounts

With social media, you can easily reach people all over the world, including the markets you are targeting. People spend hours on social networks, and that presents an opportunity to create a great community to drive traffic to your website. From a social point of view, you should offer your services in the desired language to reach the market and the customers you are targeting.

Take the example of Kaspersky Labs and their community management strategy. Their Facebook pages are available in several languages, so each community manager serves and understands their community around the same product, in different languages.

why cybercriminals target smartphones

Learn more about Kaspersky’s social media efforts and how it helped the company engage social media communities in foreign countries.

Study the Culture: Go beyond Translation and Social Media

Marketing abroad cannot be generalized throughout the world. Each country is specific. As research by Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars, and Edward T. Hall show, there are several aspects of culture you have to understand before doing business with a foreign market. These cross-cultural aspects of management can also be applied to the way you do marketing abroad. Hofstede explains there are two sides of a culture. Like an iceberg, there is the part you see, the obvious, above the water, and then there is the part you don’t see, the deeper unconscious beliefs, under the water.

visible and invisible parts of culture

This is why a simple translation won’t do the trick. So, if you want to drive traffic from foreign markets, you definitely should “be there” beside your potential customers. Understand their core beliefs.

If you are looking to raise awareness of your product in Spain, for example, in addition to translating your content to Spanish, you should promote your product through blog posts to be published on well-known Spanish blogs, just like a Spanish copywriter would do.

If you would like to drive organic traffic from foreign markets without the use of advertising, I strongly recommend blogging. Blogging gives you the opportunity to naturally drive traffic through content. As mentioned earlier, you should post your content on well-known local blogs, and foreign traffic will naturally come to your website.

Know Your Competitors

Competition is everywhere and the entry barrier is especially high for a foreign company trying to establish a reputation in another country to drive traffic. Michael Porter’s 5 forces model is made of:

  • Threat of new entrants
  • Bargaining power of buyers
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • Threat of substitute products/services
  • Rivalry among existing firms

potential entrants

When you look at the market you are trying to drive traffic from, consider yourself a new (foreign) entrant trying to get established among the rivalry of existing local firms. Now, you understand why the competition is going to be especially tough for you, the foreign company.

Therefore, to drive traffic from a foreign market, the solution is to not only market there “as a native,” but to become a native yourself. Promoting your business through channels like social media, SEO, and content is the greatest way to actually “be there.”

Conclusion: When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

Just like any strategy, driving traffic from foreign markets takes time. It requires a lot of work and research, from the translation of your website to the SEO aspects. To implement your strategy through content and social media, you should take time to build your strategy and brand image.

What is important to remember is that whatever state your website is in, you can easily drive traffic from foreign markets. Work through each step. First, choose wisely what country you should go to. Then, adapt your marketing strategy to the targeted market. Keep in mind that it involves much more than language and translation. And, make sure you have diversified sources of traffic driving foreign visitors. To do so, reach out through social media. The more localized your strategy is, the better.

Driving traffic from foreign markets requires a lot of work, but when you adopt the right strategy, you can expect impressive results. Remember, the key factor to multicultural sources of traffic is do not market from your home country as an American adapting to the targeted culture, but instead become “a native” and actually be there!

About the Author: Anji ISMAIL is CEO and co-founder at DOZ, a marketing platform that helps websites to grow their traffic by organizing the work of vetted marketers around the world. DOZ’s campaigns are focusing on Search Engines, Social Media and Content; and have a unique Cost Per Click model.

How to Persuade Customers to Convert on a High-Priced SaaS Product

At some point, you’re going to be selling a big-ticket item.

Stuff that is more expensive is harder to sell. This isn’t the McDonald’s dollar menu. It’s more like Masa, in New York City.

People won’t convert in the same way. But you’ve still got to sell. Here’s how it’s done.

1. Raise the price, and let that price speak for itself.

One of the biggest sources of persuasion comes from the price itself.

As marketers, we have this idea that a higher price will scare people away. We think that if we price our service at a certain point, we’ll alienate every potential buyer.

This idea is a mistake.

A high price, in and of itself, can help the user to convert. Here’s why. When a user sees a higher price, she automatically thinks that a higher price equals a higher value.

Marketing researchers have identified three main things that people look for when they buy: 1) Price, 2) quality, and 3) value, in that order.

Here’s the funny thing, though. The price level influences the other two factors. Since price is the first consideration in a purchase decision, it affects the remaining two factors of the decision.

So if the price is low, the user thinks that the quality is low and the value is low. If the price is high, then the user thinks that the quality is high and the value is high. Scholarly studies have affirmed this higher price/higher value correlation.

If you jack up your price, you might get this cold-and-sweaty feeling that no one is going to buy it, and you’re going to fail miserably.

What you might discover is that people value your product even more. What’s changed?

Nothing but the price.

2. Give users a free trial.

Most software providers allow a free trial of their product before having users pay for it.

As obvious as it is, this is nothing short of brilliant.

Common sense tells us that the free trial model is a good idea, and the scholarly studies confirm it. Not only does it help conversions happen, but it also “has an impact on post-trial beliefs and attitudes” according to a study in Information Systems and e-Business Management.

If someone is going to purchase a Ferrari, they’re probably going to want to sit in one and test it out. If someone is going to purchase a $5,000/month SaaS, they’ll want to give it a try first.

Here are a few tips on creating a successful free-trial.

  • Don’t require a credit card. You’ll bring fewer potential buyers into the final purchase funnel.
  • Keep all features open. Don’t hide menus or limit functionality. The user needs to experience the entire, full-orbed experience of the software, not some pared down or limited version. The only limitation should be the timeframe of the trial.
  • Keep the trial to 14-30 days. The length of the free trial depends on the nature and purpose of your software. As a general rule, however, two weeks to one month trial is best.
  • Lay on the marketing thick and heavy once the user signs up. Use marketing emails and other reminder emails to draw the user in.

HelpScout uses a 15-day free trial, which is ideal for their specific product.

1-help-scout

Buffer has three membership options for business users. Even though each of the options has a slightly different set of features (number of connected accounts and team members), each of them are available as a free trial.

2-try-the-awesome-plan

KISSmetrics provides insight-driven analytics reporting. The prices are highly competitive, but a $600/month commitment is a big conversion by most people’s standards. Even with this professional level of service (1+ million events / month), a free trial is available.

3-pricing-plan

Notice how the page has the following statements:

  • Unlimited
  • Free
  • No obligation
  • No credit card required

These statements give the user assurance that it’s safe to convert. They aren’t losing any money or binding themselves into some situation where they will be required to pay. Instead, they are merely trying out the software.

Here’s what the pricing page for CrazyEgg looks like. Again, all levels of service are totally free for the first 30 days.

4-the-power-of-eye-tracking

3. Put trust signals everywhere.

Trust signals are an essential part of helping users to make big conversion decisions.

You need trust signals everywhere. Here are some crucial places:

  • Landing pages.
  • Pricing pages.
  • Checkout pages.

Try this useful trust signals:

  • Testimonials from ordinary users.
  • Testimonials from well-known or power users.
  • Logos of well-known companies who are customers
  • Credit card symbols
  • BBB membership symbols
  • TrustE certificate
  • Spam guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee

Here are how other companies use trust signals

HelpScout features a few companies who use their service:

5-trusted-by-5000

They also feature testimonials from well-known people and services:

help-scout-testimonials

Guy Kawasaki, a well-known figure, provides a testimonial for Buffer:

7-guy-k-quote

KISSmetrics has a similar set of trust signals:

kissmetrics is trusted

Here’s what Evergage’s testimonials and trust signals look like, both featured on their homepage.

9-who-uses-everengage

The type of company names you feature will depend on what type of industry you service. For example, Totango caters to other SaaS companies. Thus, their list of featured companies is focused on SaaS providers:

10-smart-sass-companies

Many software providers actually have a whole section of their site devoted to trust signals. This page, usually “Testimonials” or “Customers,” is a great place to establish a deep level of trust due to the sheer number of satisfied customers.

Here is Intercom’s testimonials page:

11-the-feeling-is-mutual

4. Provide live chat.

A lot of times, users want to speak to someone before they make a big purchase. At the very least, they want to assure themselves of a human connection prior to parting with thousands of dollars.

This is where the power of live chat comes into play. A live chat team should be on hand during normal business hours to answer questions, respond to concerns, and help persuade users to convert.

Obviously live chat team members aren’t there to make sales. They are there to answer questions. Let the user convert on their own. Hard-driving sales tactics by a live chat help desk member will probably just alienate potential buyers.

Be sure not to make the live chat feature intrusive. If a user wants to chat, they’ll find that chat box.

Buffer provides live chat on their homepage.

12-buffer-home-page

If your business is not online, then be sure to provide some substitute for live chat. Here’s what KISSmetrics does if a user lands on the page during non-business hours.

13-sorry-were-offline

The user can still ask questions. Plus, they know when they can come back for a live chat session.

5. Identify your Common Conversion Activities

One of the more advanced techniques to improving conversions for big deals is the CCA metric — common conversion activities. Lincoln Murphy who designed this approach describes it in his article, “Increase your SaaS Free Trial Conversion Rate with this Key Metric.

The “key metric” is the Common Conversion Activities — “The things that all or most paying customers do during their trial.” Murphy’s more advanced definition is “a set of story-driven actions defined by falsified hypothesis that, when completed as a set during the trial, lead to conversion.”

14-CCSs-defined

By focusing on a certain number of CCAs, you can become much more targeted at improving your product, shaping your approach, optimizing your free trial, and eventually converting customers on a high-priced product.

The CCA is a metric, but it’s not a financial one. This may seem counterintuitive, since your goal is to improve revenue due to conversions on high-priced purchases. What the CCA does, however, is takes the focus away from the financials, which are secondary, and on to the product, which is the primary concern of a high-paying user.

Murphy’s slide show on the topic is helpful for understanding this concept

Nailing these CCAs will enable you to power up both your conversion and marketing.

Conclusion

With high-priced SaaS, the stakes are higher. Not only does the item cost more, but your revenue will be higher, too.

That’s the great thing about it. There’s a certain satisfaction that you will experience when you’re able to sell your service, and to see how much your customers appreciate it.

How do you persuade users to convert on high-priced products?

About the Author: is the Chief Evangelist of KISSmetrics and blogs at Quick Sprout.

How to Get Your First 1,000 Blog Readers

Do you know what the hardest part about blogging is? It isn’t writing content or growing your traffic. So, what is it? The hardest part about blogging is getting that initial traction… Sure, you can get your first 100 readers by hitting up your friends and family, but it won’t be sustainable. What you need to do is get 1,000 qualified readers legitimately. Then, you’ll have a solid base that will be easy to grow further. So, how do you get your first 1,000 readers? Well it starts with creating "quick win" posts in which you are writing content that helps your reader accomplish something. For example, this post breaks do how you can get 1000 visitors to your blog... in essence that's the quick win for you. And once you create a quick win post, all you have to do is follow the email marketing tips in the infographic below. Read More

Episode 73

Scott talks about a light at the end of the tunnel but is that what you want to see in a project based web development business He also discusses submitting his first very large proposal based on Brennan Dunn's Master Class. We revisit the Operation Triple document and approach to business growth planning which involves listing all of your ideas, the potential results, the cost and then a record of the results in a spreadsheet.

Brecht talks about his modeling and implementation of the Evergreen Reverse Sales Funnel, coined by LeadPages. We talk about script length as it relates to video duration and what the structure of your videos in the sales funnel should look like. We talk about analyzing your customers when you have a very small data set.

For stuff this week we talk about Wistia and Screenflow.

To Build An Audience Or…

Today’s episode is all about the right way to build an audience and the right reasons to do it. Brian gives his advice and perspective as someone who has built an audience over the past few years, while I’m in the very early stages. Whatever position you find yourself in, you’ll get a lot out of this one.

Check it out:

Updates

Brian’s update:

  • Launched Productize! Just 2 days in and very happy (and relieved) with the response so far… I promise to share full details and numbers in an episode in November.
    • Actually had the first sale before I even announced it was open :)
    • And now that we have a good number of customers already inside the course, I’m excited to open up the new community (private Facebook group) for everyone to interact…
    • A few people asked about the Productize Workshop and what’s involved there… I’m breaking it into small groups of about 5, and as a group we’ll hammer through personalized feedback and strategy on each attendee’s productized business. Very interactive. Some have called it a Mastermind call and I think that describes it well.
    • $100 off sale is currently still on through Halloween.
  • Overall, just relieved and happy to get some rest.  I was actually in the office until 5am the morning of launch getting all of the videos finalized and uploaded.

Jordan’s update:

  • Remember when I talked about clearing my plate and being able to focus about a month ago? Yeah well, that’s finally happening. It’s amazing how much progress you can make when you start to focus.
  • CartHook is picking up momentum, have the most free trials going I’ve ever had, and we’re releasing new features.
  • Still struggling with finding a developer to build new integrations, but I’ve got a few prospects that I believe will work out.
  • Been thinking A LOT about the next move on the info product side of things, which leads right into today’s episode.

In This Episode…

The power of the email list.

  • Gets people to return. Basically no other way to do that, reliably.
  • Your early email subscribers are your most loyal, they’ll help spread your content.

What should you write about?

  • Write about what you know and what you do every day.
  • Every time you deal with something difficult, that’s an opportunity for content.

Guest blogging

  • Best way to get in front of new audiences.
  • How to start…
    • Start small (but not too small)
    • Pitch a topic that you know is relevant to their audience (do your research)
    • Leverage guest publishings to land more (bigger) sites
    • Snowball effect: Blogs come to you… Mentions and random meetings turn into guest blog opportunities.

Podcasting

  • Truly different dynamic. Audience really feels like they “know” you.
  • Less competition. Easy to rank highly in iTunes (but hard to get to the TOP).
  • I see podcasting as an inbound channel. People discover the podcast first (iTunes/Stitcher) and then make their way to my site and newsletter.

Links

 

The post To Build An Audience Or… appeared first on Bootstrapped Web.

How To Learn New Skills (FS077)

How do you go about building new skills when you need them but you don’t yet have them?

Maybe you need to learn how to create a blog or podcast. Or maybe you want to get better at design. Maybe you need to do some customer research but you don’t know how. Or maybe you’re trying to write killer articles that get shared and make some serious impact.

I’ve been stuck in that mire before. Too much to learn. Don’t know where to start. Don’t know what to expect.

What I didn’t know then is that there are some stages to learning new skills, and, with a little zooming out and structured question asking, the mire turns to solid ground, next steps and progress.

Whatever you’re trying to get better at, click play on this episode. We’ll help you dissect and discover the next steps by sharing specific stories (Barrett’s coaching story is worth the price of admission) and then a process for learning a new skill starting from ground zero.


Subscribe: (how to) iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, RSS

COMMUNICATE like an enthusiast. EXPLORE like an expert
  or copy + Facebook


Some Bits In This Episode:

  • Let’s talk about skill building and what that looks like, specifically in the context of somebody who needs to get better at something and grow expertise over time.
  • It can be so hard because we say to ourselves, “no I just want a business!” Well, you’ve got, like, 3 years of work to get really good at your topic. That may need to happen BEFORE you can put a dent in your business.
  • You’re gonna save yourself a whole mess of time and disappointment if you just commit to a couple years to grow expertise.
  • Chase thinks ENTHUSIASTS make better bloggers than EXPERTS. But this needs some discussion.
  • “The way to succeed in a startup is not to be an expert on startups, but to be an expert on your users and the problem you’re solving for them.” ~ Paul Graham (10 min in)
  • Brain pickings, Daring Fireball, Kottke.org and other BIG blogs are curated by curious, enthusiastic people… not necessarily experts (and certainly when they started they weren’t).
  • Barrett’s coaching story… price of admission, this lil’ bit right here is worth it. (19 min)
  • “I found people who had done what I wanted to do, they shared resources, then I dove into those resources and put the hours in and saw what worked and what didn’t.” ~ Barrett
  • Notice how wide your aim is. Go for a smaller niche. A thing that has a beginning, middle and end. Blog about Ewok culture instead of Star Wars. Become an expert in plants indigenous to your area, not ALL plants.
  • Chase’s hand lettering and copying Chvrches story. (37 min)
  • (lots of great articles and videos in show notes).

“Find the enthusiast in you. What makes you like a 4 year old at an air show? It starts out so bad, but STAY INTERESTED ENOUGH TO KEEP GOING. The Ira Glass quote. You have better TASTE than you’re capable of DOING right now, but stick with it because this is how everyone you admire now got there, by pursuing taste through the delta.” ~ Chase


Show Notes

Deconstructing Expertise: Why You Desperately Need it & How to Get it “Some of the best advice I’ve ever heard for would-be bloggers and authors is this: have something to say.”

Romance & Revenue: Big Relationship Tips for Entrepreneurs (FS055) “The way you’re building your business, the passion and hustle and drive and chutzpah, might just scrooge you over.”

How to Build a Sustainable Coaching Business (And Double Your Rates in the Process) “To be the best in the world, you have to choose your definition of world, which starts with creating a crystal clear picture of your target audience.”

Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore “…the bible of the industry and very much the definitive work that all coaches stand on.”

Kathy Sierra: Building the minimum Badass User “A masterclass in thinking about software product development.”


“The way to succeed in a startup is not to be an expert on startups, but to be an expert on your users and the problem you’re solving for them.”

Before the Startup by Paul Graham


Watch — Everything is a Remix Watch. These. If. You. Haven’t.

Izzy Video Tutorials Make It Easy to Learn Video Where corbett learned Final Cut Pro X

Ana White “Let’s build something!”

Hacking IKEA | 99% Invisible “IKEA hacking is the practice of buying things from IKEA and reengineering them to become customized, more functional, and often just better designed stuff.”

How to Uncover Your Creative Talent by Using the “Equal Odds Rule” – James Clear “In 1977, a Harvard-trained psychologist named Keith Simonton, developed a theory that he called the Equal Odds Rule.”

2 Questions to ask Yourself About the “Equal Odds Rule” The article I wrote to help folks like us digest James’ article a bit.

The First 20 Hours – Josh Kaufman – How to Learn Anything FAST “The First 20 Hours is a practical guide to learning beyond our mid-20s, when our brains are fully developed.”

The 4-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferriss “The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life”

Some of Chase’s lettering doodles on Instagram Here’s one:

“What Am I Gonna Do With A Gun Rack” “I don’t even have a gun, let alone many…”

How to Create Custom Audiences in Facebook

Using Facebook ads to drive actual sales and results is no longer a myth, but are you making the most of what Facebook has to offer?

In this webinar, Driftrock Growth Manager Gabi Barbosa discusses Facebook’s most powerful targeting option: Custom Audiences. At Driftrock, Gabi helps build tools to help brands reach the right people at the right time. Gabi has both an offline and online marketing background. Together with Driftrock, she is on a mission to make advertising fun and help brands get better results by reaching their customers at optimal times.

What are Custom Audiences?

Facebook ad targeting is very powerful. They have so much data available to help advertisers narrow down their audience.

differentdata

You can target by age, gender, location, interests and more. You can also use partner data (like Datalogix) and target by life events/behaviors, net worth/income, political affiliation and household composition. Most importantly is your data: your website visitors, current purchasers, high lifetime value customers and loyalty club members. This last category is where Facebook Custom Audiences works. It’s a way to target those people using Facebook.

So how does it work?

Facebook Custom Audiences are lists of people who are already part of your audience. These are your current customers/users, past purchasers, high value customers, loyalty program members, warm lead, etc. There is also Website Custom Audiences. These are lists of people who have visited your website (or certain parts of it), and showed interest in your products or services or taken certain actions.

If you have email addresses, phone numbers, user IDs and mobile advertiser IDs, you just upload them to Facebook and Facebook finds those people and you can use Custom Audiences as a targeting option to reach them with ads.

But why would you want to talk to your customers on Facebook instead of by email?

People check their Facebook up to 15 times per day on average. It works well as another channel to engage with your audience.

How to Create Custom Audiences

If you go into your Facebook ads account (Gabi recommends using Power Editor), if you look for the audiences tab, click on that.

audiences

Then you’ll get this:

customaudiences

Your first three—Data File Customer Audience, MailChimp Custom Audience and Custom Audience from your Mobile App—are called your regular customer audiences. You can upload onto Data File to create a custom audience. With MailChimp, you can link to your MailChimp account and get data from your mailing list. From your mobile app, you put in your mobile app ID and create custom audiences. The fourth option is creating custom audiences from your website.

datafile

To create custom audiences from a Data File, you need to get that data. Get the data from your customers, whether it is emails or user IDs. You can upload the data in CSV or text format, so make sure you only have one record per row and only one type of data per file. Only use emails, user IDs, phone numbers or mobile advertiser IDs. You can upload this to Facebook.

Be sure to read through the Facebook Custom Audiences terms. Make sure you’ve gotten all the data legally and with the consent of the user. You can get penalized if you are scraping data.

If it all looks good, you then just upload the CSV or text file. Unfortunately, this is a manual upload, so every time you want to update it, you have to export the data, put it into .csv and upload it to create a new custom audience.

Now let’s look at website custom audiences. In order to use a website custom audience, you will need to have a custom audience pixel, which is a snippet of code you put into your website source code.

websitecustom

You can customize this code to track any action. This can be a visit to your page, adding an item to the shopping cart, adding an item to a wish list, etc. You can get very creative with this. When you have the pixel installed on your website, it triggers every time someone does any of the actions you specify. If you want more information on how to customize it, go to this Custom Audiences overview page.

rules

Here, you can create rules to different custom audiences. In the past, you could only create website custom audiences from URLs. Now you can do a custom combination for whatever you want. This way, you can show really targeted ads for people who come to your website. In Facebook Custom Audiences, you can say how long you want to track the data with a maximum of 180 days.

A couple things worth mentioning:

  • Custom Audiences can take up to 36 hours to fully process.
  • Facebook doesn’t delivery ads to audiences of less than 20 people.
  • Audience size is not always accurate on Facebook. When you look at the list of custom audiences, it will tell you the name and the estimated audience size. The numbers never add up.

Now that you’ve learned how to create custom audiences, learn how to generate conversions with Custom Audiences and how to measure success by watching the webinar:

view-the-webinar

EP68: Brian Casel on productized services

Brian Casel is a bootstrapper with a lot of projects: he has a podcast, a hosting platform called Restaurant Engine, and a new course called Productize.We talked about Brian’s story (from developing WordPress themes, to building an audience online) as well as what a productized service is.

Show notes

Note from Justin

This interview is a smaller segment of a full-interview with Brian, available on Product People Club. Go to productpeople.club, and sign up for the waiting list. Screenshots are up now!

Want to help the show? If you could go to iTunes leave a nice review that would be superb. Also: if you’re listening on Stitcher, please leave a review on there!

Cheers,
Justin Jackson
@mijustin

Music: Lethal Force by Striker, visit them at striker-metal.com

The Marketer’s Guide to Real-Time Reports in Google Analytics

The Real-Time reports section in Google Analytics allows you to monitor activity on your website as it occurs from moment-to-moment, providing insights on how people are reacting to your marketing campaigns and infrastructure.

This feature is great for measuring marketing initiatives that have a temporal nature, like a promotional campaign in Twitter. You can also use it to gauge the reaction of your audience to an email campaign or a new piece of content published on the blog. Moreover, Real-Time reports isn’t just a marketer’s tool––various departments can utilize real-time analytics, from IT to customer service and PR as well as developers looking for in-app data.

In this post I’ll focus specifically on how marketers can take advantage of Real-Time reports to extract meaningful data about activity on their websites. First I’ll review everything you can find in Real-Time, and then I’ll go over a few practical ways to use these reports.

Let’s get started!

What You’ll Find In Real-Time Reports

To see Real-Time reports data, navigate to the Reporting tab and select Real-Time from the left hand report navigation column.

(Note:  A user qualifies for the Real-Time reports section if he or she has triggered an event or pageview within the past 5 minutes. Conversely, in standard reports a session is defined by a 30-minute window.)

Overview

The Overview section gives you the big picture in terms of what’s happening on your website at any given moment. You’ll see how many visitors are currently on your website, what pages they are spending time on, the top overall traffic sources, your top social traffic sources and what country your active users reside in.

Google Analytics realtime

Locations

The Locations report tells you which countries your active visitors are from––both in list form and on an interactive map. You can filter your data by country by clicking on one of the options in the list or on one of the points on the map.

Google Analytics realtime locations

Traffic Sources

The Traffic Sources report lets you zero in on what websites your current visitors come from. The data is organized by Medium, Source and the number of visitors from each one.

This is useful if you’ve gotten a couple of major press mentions and you want to quickly gauge which is generating more traffic, or maybe you’re running a promotion on social media and you want to see if it’s working.

Google Analytics realtime traffic

Content

The Content report shows which pages your current visitors are spending time on, including the page URL, the page title and the percent of active visitors that are on each page. You can toggle between active users and a list of pageviews in the past 30 minutes.

Google Analytics realtime content

Events

The Google Analytics Events feature allows marketers to create custom events for interactions on their website, including button clicks, downloads, video plays and ad clicks. You can track the top events on your website as they occur in real time and drill down on specific event categories and actions with the Real-Time Events report.

As with the Content reports, you can toggle between events currently being triggered and those activated within the past 30 minutes. This is great for testing, which I’ll talk about in more detail below.

Conversions

The Conversions report shows you which goals active users are completing. You’ll also learn the total number and the % of active users who have completed a goal. And, as with Content and Events, you can cycle between data on Active Users and Goal Hits in the last 30 minutes.

This is useful for testing conversion form and goal configurations, and it’s also good for seeing if a campaign you just launched is driving the results you’d hoped for. More on that in the next section!

Google Analytics goals report realtime

Shortcuts

This feature is pretty cool. In the top-right corner of each report within Real-Time you’ll see a button that says “Create Shortcut”. This button, which is still in beta, is designed to help you save time by storing the configurations for customized reports you run frequently.

To create a shortcut select a filter to apply to your real-time data. You can create a filter by clicking on any hyper-linked data point listed in Real-Time reports, such as your #1 Active Page or the 3rd-most popular country driving traffic to your site. You’ll notice that Google Analytics immediately filters your data to display information pertaining to your chosen variable(s).

Google Analytics realtime single filter

Google Analytics real time double filter

Once you’ve segmented your data according to your needs, click the “Create Shortcut” button. This will generate a custom report displaying your real-time data with the segments you’ve selected. You can revisit this report anytime by clicking on its name under the Shortcuts section in the main sidebar.

4 Smart Ways to Use Real-Time Reports

1. Troubleshoot UTM Parameters & Events

Real-Time reports is a great tool for testing the analytics system behind your marketing. For example, you can instantly see if the UTM parameters you’ve created for your next email marketing campaign are working as desired by clicking through the link in your email and tracking how your UTM parameters show up in your Real-Time reports.

Similarly, you can use Real-Time to test the configuration of your Events. In my last role as a Marketing Manager I set up Event tracking code for several buttons on our flagship product’s website, and I used Real-Time to make sure that each event was firing correctly and that the naming conventions were implemented properly before taking everything live.

This article explains how to use filters to zero in on the info from your unique session, which is handy if you’ve got a number of people on your site while you’re trying to test.

2. Monitor Temporal Campaigns As They Unfold

As KISSmetrics’ Chuck Liu points out, more often than not looking back on historical data after executing a campaign is the best way to cull meaningful insights from data, but highly-temporal campaigns can benefit from real-time monitoring as well.

For example, maybe you’re launching a social media promotion and you want to see how your audience is reacting in the moment and shape additional content based on their reactions––in this case, the Real-Time feature will be your best friend. You can react to the information seen in the Real-Time reports and “pour fuel on a fire” by asking influencers to promote your campaign or activating ads. You can also gauge when traffic from a tweet drops off so that you know when it’s time to post again.

3. Fine-Tune Your Content Strategy By Capitalizing on Trending Topics

If you run a media site or oversee an aggressive content marketing strategy, Real-Time reports can help ensure you’re showing the right content at the right time. For example, if you check the Content report and notice a blog post is suddenly gaining attention due to something happening in the news, you could highlight it on the front page of your site.

4. Run A/B Tests in Real Time (High-Traffic Sites Only)

This post explains how to use Real-Time Reports to a/b test new features on your website. For example, an ecommerce site can test two different versions of a buy button for its most popular product, or they can switch out the order of product links in the sidebar to see what drives more sales.

Keep in mind that this only works for sites with high levels of traffic as you’ll need a significant amount of data in order to make an informed decision.

Wrap Up

It can be tempting to click on the Real-Time reports tab and pass time watching whatever’s happening on your site at any given moment (“Wow, there are 1,003 people on my site!” … “YES, someone just clicked on the link to my blog in this morning’s email!”). And it’s okay to do this now and again, but make sure you focus on using Real-Time to extract actionable, meaningful insights about the activity on your website.

Now we’d like to hear from you: How do you use Real-Time reports? What role do they play in your analytics?

About the Author: Chloe Mason Gray specializes in digital marketing and growth strategy for small businesses and solopreneurs. Be sure to say hi to her on Twitter. You can also follow her on Google+.

How To Optimize Mobile Pages To Drive Phone Leads

According to a study of 3,000 mobile searchers by Google & IPOS, nearly half indicated that they are more likely to convert elsewhere if they can’t call a business directly from the search result.

No Call Button

That same study shows that phone calls are a powerful measure of purchase intent and are most likely to happen when a prospect is ready to convert (see the full study here).

When is the ability to call most important

While the study is focused on mobile search, let’s do some critical thinking about the behavior & mentality behind why people respond this way.

Personally, I know when I’m on my phone, there are times when I’d much rather just talk to someone because it’s way faster to finish what I’m doing. For example, If I’m ordering a pizza, I don’t want to spend 5 minutes building a pizza & filling out a form, when I could just call and place my order with the person on the other side of the line.

While this isn’t the case for everyone, it was found that over half of the respondents said they always or frequently need instant access to the business they’re searching for.

More than half use mobile search

In another study that examines our multi-screen behavior, we see that even though a large percentage of behavior starts on a smart phone, the majority of traffic eventually moves over to the desktop.

start-on-a-smartphone-continue-on-a-computer-e1407345361426

This could be for a number of reasons, ranging from wanting to get more in-depth descriptions to it being easier to enter personal details with a mouse and keyboard.

But could it also be that 96% of users reported encountering websites that were not built with mobile in mind?

While making mobile convert is a rabbit hole on it’s own, one of the benefits of a smartphone is that you can, you know, call someone when you wanted to.

Pillar 1: Turn Your Mobile Landing Pages Into Call-Drivers

If your business is already seeing success from phone leads, testing mobile landing pages that focus on getting your visitor to call in might be the perfect next step.

For example, this case study from String Automotive shows just how much impact focusing on Click To Call from a design standpoint has been able to increase conversions to inbound phone calls for their car dealership clientele.

Anatomy-of-an-Effective-Landing-Page-Infographic

Read the full study here

With mobile, it’s imperative you recognize that a different canvas means different tactics. What works on the desktop might not be as effective on a handheld screen.

For instance, Neil Patel at CrazyEgg postulates that pages with multiple calls to action placed near persuasion points might convert better- especially when there is a lot of information to take in – because it’s easier to take action when there’s a button right there. But this may not be the case on a 5 inch screen.

Take a look at this call-to-action filled homepage from Dish:

DISH

In just the above the fold area alone, there are 8 different calls to action.

If this page were directly translated to a smartphone it would be a mess, as you’d likely click a button while scrolling down the page.

Dish is smart though, because when they re-imagined this page for mobile, they tightened up the language & only focused on 2 calls to action. You can tap Call or Explore Packages – that’s it.

Dish Mobile

While studies show that on the desktop, longer, content-rich pages can dramatically increase conversions for products that cost more or need more explanation, with mobile ( and especially with visitors from mobile ads) it’s been observed that longer call times can correlate revenue increases.

In other words, the need to gather information is the same, but the method of which it is gathered is different, given that your visitor is on a mobile device.

Call Time

If call leads are important to your business, you’d be wise to rethink mobile analytics all-together, as understanding a person’s behavior when they have their phone in their hand is a hell of a lot more complex than when they’re tethered to a desk somewhere.

Give Your Visitors a (Good) Reason To Call

Here’s the thing that most developers I know take for granted. Mobile isn’t just a smaller version of the desktop, there are technologies that are unique to mobile that can really encourage the visitor to want to call.

For instance, when Dish worked with agency amobee, they created a 3D banner ad campaign that took advantage of the smartphone’s acceloromter & pinch to zoom to make for a memorable brand interaction and significant lifts in interactions.

dish_multiscreen

Dish Testimonial

“On average, mobile users spent 90+ seconds in-ad, beating industry benchmarks by 3X. Mobile users clicked on in-ad hotspots over 16,000 times, with an overall engagement rate of 83%”

While it’s unclear if/how this translated into phone calls, it is clear that the campaign went beyond expectations & delivered an enjoyable experience for users that was unique to the mobile device.

Something else to consider is the user’s real world environment.

Are they watching television? Are they reading a magazine? Are they in an urban environment? Are they coming from relatively new advertising medium like and NFC Poster?

NFC-Poster-Adoption_11

Depending on the environment, a “good” reason to call will be highly contextual, so it’s important to tailor your value proposition to the environment.

In a hypothetical scenario, let’s say this poster for The Black Keys concert were NFC enabled, posted around the city, and prompted visitors to use their device to purchase concert tickets.

Mockup of original poster

After placing their phone on the poster, and landing on the site, visitors would have the option to order tickets by phone or via mobile checkout.

The Black Keys Order By Phone

Please Note – This is a Mockup

Having this option to order by phone would allow the mobile visitor to carry on with the transaction without having to stare into their screen or mess around with clunky mobile interfaces in a potentially busy environment.

Use A Vanity Number As A Branding Opportunity

A recent study by RingBoost found that vanity phone numbers were 33% likely to drive clicks in mobile ads than their generic counterparts.

Even though the context is through ads, it’s important to consider the underlying reasons behind this.

According to a 2011 study, vanity phone numbers had a 75.4% higher recall rate than standard 1-800 numbers, and for Home Health Associates, their 1-800-HomeCare lead to a 38% increase in call volume.

Find Home Care Agencies   Providers By Calling 1 800 HOMECARE.com

Make The Number Instantly Clickable

You would think this goes without saying, but it amazes me just how many mobile sites don’t even make their phone number clickable.

How-Is-This-Still-Possible

I’ll just assume that if the number on your mobile landing pages isn’t clickable, it’s because you don’t know the proper code to make it work.

If that’s the case, here you go:

<a href=”tel:+1-800-555-5555″>Call 1-800-555-5555</a>

You’re welcome.

Pillar 2: Analyze On-Page Behavior

Once you’ve designed your mobile landing pages, you already know tracking their performance is essential to making improvements down the road.

But, as you may already know, tools that are really good at tracking behavior on the mobile are harder to come by.

Yes, tools like Inspectlet & SessionCam allow you to filter sessions by screen size, but these can be somewhat limited when it comes to mobile as they don’t also let you know which elements resulted in a call or track that call to the individual user. So while they’re extremely effective for the desktop & form behavior, they become somewhat limited once the CTA becomes calling in.

Implement a Call Tracking Solution

Since you’re optimizing for phone calls, the first step is to employ a call tracking system to understand how your web pages are leading to conversions.

Most platforms work by provisioning phone numbers for every visit, which contradicts our recommendation for a toll-free number, above. If branding is a concern, and/or you’ve invested in a memorable phone number, you might consider a single-number tracking system.

With a single-number system, you’re able to retain your vanity number while also marrying the call data to the caller. There are many other benefits to call-tracking in general, for example, being able to view your calls as events in Google Analytics:

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 6.27.59 PM

Identify Which Elements Drives Calls

Another reason for using a tracking system that integrates tightly with web analytics is that you’ll be able to tell which buttons drives the most phone calls.

With traditional methods, this would require assigning a different phone number to each element, which disrupts branding and easily becomes a hassle, especially if you use multiple calls to action on a single page.

A new breed of heat maps, known as “call heat maps”, solve this by linking web clicks to the phone calls the clicks generated. Outleads’ platform shows a heat map report that aggregates all calls, as well as the element click associated with each individual call.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 6.30.06 PM

These systems track any web element and easily scale to support an unlimited number of elements on any given page. The catch? It only works on mobile devices, though these comprise a sizable – and growing – share of phone call volume.

Analyze In-Page Behavior

By showing you how far visitors are scrolling down your pages, you can confirm that visitors are seeing your full pitch – or understand which content causes them to stop, convert, and/or abandon your site.

Combining call heat maps with scrollmaps and/or classic heat maps would be an ideal, all-in-one analytics solution.

Pillar 3: Optimize For Call Quality

Phone calls are expensive, and optimizing for high-quality, new lead calls – as opposed to generic service or general information calls – will help you mitigate costs and filter out junk phone leads.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is through a call tracking system that tracks call outcomes.

The ability to record phone sales, which is starting to surface in some platforms, is one way to distinguish quality calls from lesser ones. Outleads records phone and offline sales as eCommerce transactions in Google Analytics:

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 5.27.23 PM

If you’re tracking calls internally, and are able to accurately map phone calls to web visits, you might also consider using Google Adwords’ offline conversions tool to selectively import only quality calls into your account.

Another method, involves a subjective determination of call quality. Using web tags, call operators can label a call as “quality” which can later be analyzed in conjunction with other data (such as heatmaps) at a later date.

This is typically performed while updating a call record in another dashboard, such as a call center management software (e.g., Zendesk or Five9) or a CRM (e.g., Salesforce).png;base64a9b70d9823f73edd

Labels are sent to a web analytics system, as extensions of the visits that triggered the calls. In Google Analytics, you can then segment the visits with these labels, and analyze them as a group, whether on its own or in comparison to your site visitors as a whole. You can even create a remarketing list from these segments.

You can also set goals to be automatically completed when a label is applied to a visit as an event, which can be imported into Adwords.

Consider this your final “Aha!” moment: you’ve optimized your pages, and can now evaluate exactly which changes are not only driving phone calls – but drive quality ones that increase your bottom line.

Conclusion

Once you’ve successfully optimized for phone calls on your landing pages, you can use many of the same techniques to drive more phone calls from additional mediums. Consider incorporating click-to-call in your e-mail marketing, Facebook posts, Tweets, videos and other properties.

Call tracking plugins like this one for Mailchimp, or this one for Constant Contact are propping up everywhere, and it’s only a matter of time before they become standardized as a part of the “essential” marketing toolbox.

Big thanks to Dorin Rosenshine, the CEO of Outleads for suggesting the topic and providing the research for this article.

The post How To Optimize Mobile Pages To Drive Phone Leads appeared first on ConversionXL.