Navigating the Highly Competitive Payment Space

In part two of our two-part interview with Lance Walley, CEO of Chargify, we talk about his early days with the company. He talks about what the payment space was like in 2009 and how things have changed over the past few years.

Show Notes:

  • Lance Walley
  • Chargify
  • Zuora
  • Aria
  • Vindicia
  • Recurly
  • Spreedly
  • CheddarGetter
  • Stripe
  • Braintree
  • PayPal
  • Square
  • ProPay
  • Intro Song by Alex Koch of Digital Dust Studios
  • Outro Music MØ - "Walk This Way (Alle Farben Remix)"
  • The Art of Personalized Persuasion

    I have a soft spot for the New York restaurant, Mermaid Inn. They have lovely oysters and a comfy atmosphere — but what really won them a place on my go-to list isn’t even on their menu. At the end of your meal, they give you a complimentary cup of chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream.

    Still, everybody doesn’t have the same soft spot. My jubilantly carnivorous friend, Bob, cares not for chocolate and would prefer the burger joint down the street, whereas a delicious chocolate pudding bonus is enough to tip the scales for me.

    Tastes and preferences account for many of our decisions — from where to dine to what movie to watch, and of course, what to buy. Amazon is famous for creating that personalized shopping experience based on such information, revealed by your shopping and browsing history.

    chocolate vs. burger

    Yet the possibilities of personalization aren’t limited to discrete things — like products and website visits, or attributes like location. Rather than focusing on the “what,” consider the “how.” You see, people don’t respond to messaging in the same way either, just as Joe and I don’t react similarly to the prospect of chocolate.

    Psychologist B.J. Fogg even coined a term to describe how one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to persuasion — “persuasion profiles.” He explains:

    Just like we like different types of food or are vulnerable to giving in to different types of food on a diet, we are vulnerable to different types of persuasion strategies.

    Personalization in emails works to increase engagement and conversion. But what happens when you move beyond tactics like using people’s names and interests to look for persuasion strategy soft spots?

    How to Convince Your Customer to Stick With You

    First, let’s review the six main persuasion principles that psychologist. Robert Cialdini, has identified:

    • Reciprocity: When someone does something nice for you, you feel obliged.
    • Commitment: People want to appear consistent so they stick to choices.
    • Social proof: We look to others to decide what’s desired or correct behavior.
    • Liking: Liking someone predisposes you to being persuaded by them.
    • Authority: We feel obligated to obey authority figures.
    • Scarcity: We value and desire what is short supply.

    These principles can be so effective in changing behavior that Cialdini calls them “weapons of influence.” Still, the potency of the effect can vary by person, since we process and are moved by information in different ways.

    In a fascinating 2011 study, researchers tested whether they could use personalized persuasion to increase user engagement. Their guinea pig? An unidentified company that made an activity monitor (a precursor to today’s wearable fitness trackers like the Fitbit).

    The company faced a familiar problem — customer retention.

    Since the only way for you to see your activity and metrics was to upload data from your device through a physical connection to a computer, it was clear when somebody wasn’t engaged. The company used reminder emails to try to nudge people to dock their devices. So the researchers decided to apply different persuasion methods in that messaging to see what would bring users back.

    They created 7 possible messages for the reminders: one standard note and the others incorporating persuasive snippets into the template, based on three of Cialdini’s principles — scarcity, authority, and social proof. Then, they deemed an email successful if a user docked her device within 24 hours of opening the reminder.

    The standard message was neutral, plainly stating that it had been a couple days since the last docking, looking something like this:

    Dear Ami,

    It is 3 days since the last time you connected your Activity Monitor.

    [this is where the persuasive paragraph would go]

    We would like to remind you to connect it to your PC soon and stay in touch.

    Sincerely,
    The Unidentified Company Team

    A reminder email using a social proof snippet, for example, would swap in an extra paragraph, like so:

    Dear Ami,

    It is 3 days since the last time you connected your Activity Monitor.

    Thousands of people are participating actively in the program and they stay connected at least once a week. Join the group!

    We would like to remind you to connect it to your PC soon and stay in touch.

    Sincerely,
    The Unidentified Company Team

    It turns out that there wasn’t one clear winner. Instead, the most effective messages were customized to the user.

    chart showing probability of success of various messaging

    One test group of customers received reminders with randomized persuasion tactics — but once people showed a preference for a particular method by docking their activity monitor, they would only get the type of persuasive reminder going forward. According to the researchers, this adaptive messaging system performed significantly better than the control condition (using only the standard reminder message) and the “best average strategy” (using the authority principle, which was voted the most motivating in a earlier survey).

    People tune out when something just doesn’t resonate. It makes sense to try to figure out if they have a persuasion sweet spot rather than repeatedly hitting them with ideas that won’t stick.

    A/B Testing Persuasion Methods

    So how can you learn which persuasion strategy works for what customers — as Amazon does with shopping history — so that they listen to you?

    The purpose of A/B testing is to figure out what works to persuade people. Take a page from the adaptive messaging study to test persuasion principles.

    First, create a neutral template that sets the goal or action you want people to take. Then come up with various message based on different persuasion principles that you can swap into the template. You may, in fact, find a “best average strategy” in practice to use across the board.

    Still, the goal here, unlike most split testing, isn’t necessarily to figure out which solution is the overall winner — but to use those results to learn more about which solution wins for which people (who responds to A and who responds to B?). That can lead to the ability to create helpful persuasion profiles, similar to user personas, for your future messaging.

    You could even replicate the study’s adaptive persuasive messaging system. For example, in Customer.io, you can leverage your knowledge about how certain people respond to specific persuasive techniques based on the results of your A/B tests.

    segmenting in Customer.io based on previous email conversions

    So you would:

    1. Identify and create segments of who responds to which technique, based on who converts in your A/B test emails.
    2. Use those segments for campaigns applying that particular persuasion technique going forward.

    What’s most intriguing about personalizing persuasion principles is the very human reminder that people can have different end goals but be moved in similar ways.

    When it comes to crafting effective communication, that frame of reference is important to remember. As Cialdini points out:

    “[I]t is not information per se that leads people to make decisions, but the context in which that information is presented.”

    Through testing, measurement, and iteration, you can learn more about what kind of context and framing works to make your emails resonate and even get people unstuck in your funnel.

    People are not all the same — and personalization is not just a powerful marketing method but a compelling reminder that you’re not always dealing with one average user but a multitude of human beings.

    Have you ever noticed that one persuasion principle resonates more than another with a certain crowd? Share with us in the comments!

    Enjoy this post? Read more about the psychology of persuasion or how to use A/B testing to improve your email campaigns.

    Why This CEO Spends 20+ Hours Per Week On Customer Support

    Customer support isn’t usually thought of as a CEO-level responsibility. Here’s why in our case, that couldn’t be more wrong…

    Getting criticized doesn’t feel good.

    It’s not really supposed to.

    And it feels especially bad when the criticism comes from someone you respect and is so spot-on that it hits that sensitive button deep in your ego.

    But, frankly, there’s nothing in the world more important to getting better at anything than learning to seek out and take criticism.

    It’s often hard for people to give you critical feedback so I tend to try to seek out the few people who will do that for me.

    Early last year, our team was firing on all cylinders.

    We were building some killer new features, and I — this is important — was focused 100% on making sure those features were the absolute best in the industry.

    But spending 60+ hours per week looking ahead, there was something I wasn’t doing very much anymore.

    I wasn’t spending enough time in our own product, using Groove and handling support emails, something that was really important to me early on.

    During that time, I didn’t really notice when little things slipped.

    Small bugs in the app, minor UX issues that annoyed a couple of customers.

    But these things add up, and one day I got an email from a customer — and a friend — that rocked me.

    And he was right. I had stepped back to focus on other things. And it was a huge mistake.

    I couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that email. And the next morning, I resolved to get our product back on course.

    And so, I dove in…

    Turning a Corner

    Over the next six months, I joined our support team and spent more than 20 hours each week doing customer support and, importantly, using Groove exhaustively.

    I answered emails, logged issues and collaborated with our team to tackle issues.

    I helped customers get more out of Groove, ecstatic every time someone was happy with my help.

    And I painfully watched as others slipped away, realizing that Groove wasn’t right for them.

    But throughout, I got a look at our product, our customers and our business that I’d been missing for a very long time.

    3 Things I Learned Doing Support for 20+ Hours Per Week

    For years now, I’ve lived and breathed support.

    I started Groove because support was too complicated for my last company, and I’ve thought about support every single day since.

    But for a while after we launched, I stepped back from actually doing support to focus on the product.

    When I dove back in, I realized a lot of things:

    1) Support Is Hard. Really Hard.

    I already knew this, but it’s the difference between knowing that falling on your face hurts because you did it a year ago, and actually taking a spill and feeling that pain again.

    There’s no doubt about it: support is one of the hardest jobs in any company.

    You work with every customer, from those with easy, everyday questions that are solved in a single email, to the seething anger of a user whose business is being hurt by your app not working properly.

    As the founder, it hurts me even more to see that happen, because sometimes it actually is my fault.

    Sure, support software makes managing support easier, but dealing with the highs and lows takes a lot of patience, determination and empathy.

    2) The Role of a CEO Is Dynamic.

    I’ve always struggled to define the role of a CEO. But the truth is, there’s no set of key tasks that has been the same for me since I started.

    I think, simply put, the role of a CEO is to do whatever is the most high-ROI task for the business at any given time.

    It’s a mandate that’s true for all employees, but particularly so for roles that aren’t as specialized as, say, a back-end developer or a UI designer.

    At the very beginning, that meant spending most of my time working with the team that built our prototype.

    Once that was done, I had to work closely with customers to turn the app into something valuable for them.

    Later, it meant hiring for key positions that would help us grow.

    After that, it was focusing on getting the word out, building key partnerships and getting our growth to the next level.

    And then, as it turned out, my role came back to support and customer development, with the highest-ROI use of my time being working on getting the insights we needed to take our product from good to great.

    I don’t know what my role will be next, but I’m sure it’ll make itself quite clear.

    3) Seeing Customer Complaints Is Very Different From Feeling Them.

    Even when I wasn’t doing support, I’d always see issues and bug reports in Pivotal Tracker.

    But when I was forced not only to own customer complaints, but to look into them and respond to an upset customer, I’d feel their pain on a much deeper level. An issue that might have otherwise been another task on the stack became a burning pain that was hurting a customer I was interacting with directly.

    Likewise, seeing and having to reply to the same feature requests over and over again makes it easier to understand which features users want the most, moreso than simply looking at a list of requests.

    It made me realize — again — how big the disconnect can be between the people making product decisions and the ones actually talking every day with customers. I learned the same thing doing customer development, and it has completely changed the way we look at product development.

    And even more than what I learned from customers, I got to feel their pain by running into Groove’s bugs and shortcomings myself. Things I had only been reading about in bug reports came alive and began to frustrate me. I felt terrible for not having addressed many of them sooner.

    But over the coming months, I took what I saw and applied it directly to our product development and roadmapping meetings. Bug fixes weren’t just a thing we blocked off scheduled developer time for; they were high-priority development issues that came before new features.

    We slowed down building new features, and went back to shoring up the ones we already had.

    Six months later, things looked very different. The complaints about stability were gone. Bug reports were way down. Our customers loved the product, and I finally did too… again.

    The exercise was so valuable, in fact, that I'm still doing support. And will continue to do support for as long as it's the useful for the company.

    Groove has never been a stronger product than it is today, and that’s due in large part to what I learned doing customer support.

    The Impact of Getting a Response From the CEO

    I’m no more qualified than anyone on our team to answer 99% of the questions that come to Groove.

    But I’ve had more than a few customers surprised to see my name in their inbox. One customer noted that she felt like getting an email from the CEO made her feel like Groove truly cared about our customers.

    We do. We all do. But it turns out that having the CEO do support makes that more obvious to the people we interact with.

    I’ve built better relationships with our customers, and in turn, strengthened their relationship to Groove. I’ve seen the same results when responding to emails from prospects who are considering Groove; the trust that’s built by getting emails from me has helped many of them choose to become customers.

    How to Apply This to Your Business

    This is only partially a post about how important it is as a CEO to be doing customer support. It’s incredibly important.

    But this is also a post about drinking your own Kool-Aid.

    About getting — and staying — ridiculously close to your product, no matter how big you grow.

    It seems so obvious (why wouldn’t you use your own product?), but it’s easy to forget the obvious when you’re bogged down in everything else.

    I hope this post serves as a helpful reminder to you.

    The bigger you get, the more important this gets, because that’s when the little things start to slip. That’s also when the responsibility of growing a business starts to eat into the time you used to spend testing and using your own product.

    Don’t let that happen.

    I’m busy too, but I block off time each morning and evening to do support.

    If you make time to keep using your product every day, you’ll do it.

    You owe it to yourself, your business and your customers.

    How we effectively use Trello for project management

    Trello is an incredibly versatile tool for project management. It’s flexibility allows for it to be a simple tool for personal organization or a powerful engine for product development with large teams. In this article we share how we use Trello, along other interesting use cases from different startups.

    Basic Trello overview

    Trello is a task management app that gives you a visual overview of what is being worked on and who is working on it. It used the Kanban system, which was developed in Toyota as a system to keep production levels high and maintain flexibility. It is best represented as a whiteboard filled with post-it notes. Each post-it represents different tasks involved in the project.

    Here’s what doing the same thing in Trello would look like:

    Trello is a system of boards, lists and cards. This creates a system that allows for individuals or teams to track a project and collaborate or contribute where they can be most useful or where it is most needed.

    Board

    A board is typically a project or product that is under development or consistently being worked on.

    A board has specific members that can see it and control the creation and flow of cards between the lists. They can add themselves or others to cards, begin conversations on the cards, add attachments and create checklists.

    List

    A list is a way to divide a board into different categories. Typically a list represents a stage of progress (to do, in progress, finished).

    For David Allen (Getting Things Done) fans, lists are a great for setting up different “buckets” to organize your tasks.

    Card

    A card is the most basic and flexible part of the system. It represents a specific element of a project (A new feature, a software bug, research for a post). Cards can be moved between lists as they progress through the project. Depending on what works best for you and your team, an individual task could be a card or it could be an item on a checklist within a card, or an image that.

    You can attach images and files, assign members, comment, add checklists, colored labels and deadlines to cards. Depending on the what’s best for you and the task at hand, you can keep your cards very simple, or highly detailed and elaborate.

    How we use Trello

    We use Trello for project management and to track most of our operations at WP Curve.

    Here’s how we organize our Trello:

    Boards  

    We use boards for different categories of high level operations. Each of these boards have their own “personalities” and work in different ways.

    my-boards-180

    Lists

    Lists belong to a specific person, and / or represent different phases in a project or a time frame.

    Having a single name attached to the list helps with accountability and points to who is ultimately responsible for the completion of the task.

    It is important to separate the “doing” list from the “to do” because it provides a better visualization for the team instead of having an ever changing and vague list of “to do” where you can’t tell where the current efforts are focused.

    Note you don’t have to use Trello this way. If you prefer, you can drag a person’s profile pic onto a card to signify who is working on which task.

    Cards

    Cards are our post-it notes, we generally use them to represent an individual task. However since they can also include comments and images and even checklists, you could have the task as an overall group and have individual tasks included inside the card.

    Personally, I like cards to be as simple as possible. I make a descriptive and specific title that encompasses the whole task. The title is the most visible part of the card and should give a clear idea of what the card is about. Often if the title of a card is unclear, different team members will create two or three different versions of the same card or task and work on them separately. I have even managed to make this mistake without team members.

    When I am collaborating on a card or leaving a comment that I would like someone to see I always use @mention. With hundreds of cards moving around the board, it is difficult to keep track of everything, and you can’t expect your team members to look inside every single card for updates if they are not assigned to them. Since you need to click into a card to see details, it is good to mention the person you want to take a look at the card, this will create a notification for them in their dashboard and an email notification.

    Use cases for Trello

    Like I mentioned above, our Trello boards serve different purposes and therefore behave differently. Below are some different ways you can use Trello for different projects and management styles.

    Ongoing workflow

    These boards involve projects that are ongoing in our operations.

    Admin and Management

    Kyle Lists

    Our admin and management board is fairly straightforward. Each team member has three lists. We can assign cards to ourselves or to each other as well as converse about issues involved in any of those tasks.

    • To do list – Cards are placed here to assign new tasks
    • Doing –  The tasks that the person is currently working on.
    • Done list – Completed tasks, archived at the end of each month.

    Content marketing planning

    Content Lists

    Our content marketing board has three types of lists:

    • Content Ideas - This is just where we store all of our content ideas and a place we can look through if we want to start on a new post.
    • Upcoming posts for the month - These are ideas for posts that we want to move forward with on the month.
    • Content published for the month -  This includes both on and off site content
    • Guest ideas for the podcast - A bucket for potential guests where we log some brief notes on why we think they would be a good person to reach out to.

    This is where we go for inspiration for content or write down an idea for later. We can use this list of content ideas or podcast guests get some ideas for content and look back over the past few months to see if we have done something similar on that topic already.

    The system allows us to to keep track of our goal of 15 pieces of content each month. For podcast interviews that we do off site we log them when they are recorded, not published. Otherwise it would be too hard to track and follow up with.

    I often have the problem of discussing tasks or good ideas for content in email and then losing track of the email as other things pile up in the inbox. To keep ideas or tasks from getting buried in your email you can create a card via email and seamlessly send it to your Trello board.

    email to board

    Each Trello board has an email address that you can find in the board settings, you can also choose which list the card will appear. When you send an email to that address you will create a card. You can specify in the settings which list you want the card to appear in when it is emailed. The subject of the email will be the title of the card and the body will be the description. Attachments will automatically be added to the card.

    Managing guest writers

    We have a workflow to track and communicate with our guest writers. When working with a diverse team of guest writers, it helps to have an overview of what each writer is working on and where they are in the process. Instead of being focused on time frame like our content planning board it is optimized to make communicating with out guest writers easy and centralized.

    • Ideas up for grabs - Any of our guest writers can pick up these ideas. We try and keep this list populated with a few different themes. Most of the ideas in this list a more generalized ideas and themes, which gives the guest writer a little bit of space to add their own expertise or creativity, which typically makes for better content.
    • Articles in progress - We assign a card to a specific writer and communicate with them on the card as they progress. Our writers use google docs so it is easy to attach and link their articles right in the card giving us quick access.
    • Completed articles - Once the articles are approved and uploaded to wordpress we place them in this list.
    • Resources - This is a static list with links to our processes and procedures relevant to the guest writers. I also keep a checklist here for when the guest post is ready to be uploaded into WordPress I copy this card and assign it to them so they can have the expectations for what a completed post will look like for us, and save a lot of back and fourth./>

    Pub Checklist

    Task Automation

    We use Zapier to create automatic reminders for recurring tasks.

    We have a library of processes in Google Drive that give granular instructions on completing the required task. Each card that we create in Zapier is automatically linked to a Google Doc that has precise instructions on how to carry that task out.

    We use this to create recurring tasks for our admin team:

    • Checking email inboxes for spam
    • Daily bookkeeping
    • Checking for overtime and processing payroll
    • Checking PayPal balances and making transfers if necessary
    • Paying affiliates monthly
    • Drafting our performance updates to staff

    Using zaps to automate card creation keeps us on track for these processes and frees up time and energy to focus on higher level tasks and projects.

    Related article: Our exact hands off process for hiring developers offshore

    Big Projects

    Dan used Trello to collect and categorize his ideas for The 7 Day Startup. He would add ideas that he wanted to include into the book as cards then create lists for themes or chapters in the book.

    As the lists continued to grow he used it as an outline for creating his book. Since he already had a lot of the content written as blog posts before, this Trello board helped him map it out and get through the actual writing of the book quickly.

    Dans first business book | Trello 2015-01-19 11-03-22

    Once all the ideas were categorized, Dan pulled them into a list of chapters to write in a new board. In that board he had lists for each step of the process (i.e. write rough draft, self-review, peer review, send to editor). This made it a more motivating way of working on the book so he could see each chapter progress as he completed the book.

    Product Development

    Trello and User Voice use Trello to track bugs and new feature development.

    Trello

    Trello likes to keep things simple and only maintain one internal board, so there is only one place to keep track of things.

    • Incoming Bugs - The collect bug reports from twitter, email or something that employees identify.
    • Bugs for this week - The top priority bugs move to this list to be fixed as quickly as possible.
    • Planning - This list is for new features that need addition planning, research or general figuring out how it will work.
    • Doing - Bugs or features devs are currently working on.
    • Waiting for test/review - Features and bugs awaiting code testing and QA.
    • Ready for merge - These are moved to a staging server and tested to see if it works well live or causes problems elsewhere in the app.
    • Unshippable - If a new bug is discovered that makes the card unfit for release.

    User Voice

    User Voice has a series of boards that all feed into a single board labeled current development.

    Cards are created on four boards:

    • Product roadmap – Major projects for each quarter.
    • Inbox - Tickets from helpdesk or feedback forums.
    • Engineering – Ideas of currently existing areas that could be improved.
    • Bugs – Bugs are collected, vetted, and determined in they are critical here.

    user voice boards

    Image source: User Voice – How we use Trello & Google Docs to make UserVoice better every day

    They only add cards to their priority “next up” list once a week. This has the added benefit of creating a sense of progress throughout the week for their team. This also prevents creating what they refer to as a “shifting sand dune” of tasks appearing at any time can make it difficult to stay organized because you need to constantly re-prioritize the tasks.

    They meet on Fridays to present and discuss new cards created in these boards. If you create a card, you are expected to attend the meetings and make a case for why the card needs attention. Cards are then chosen to be moved to the singly priority list “Next up” on the current development board.

    The cards are also estimate the difficulty of the cards moving into the “next up” list at this meeting. They add stars to the title *(easy)  **(medium) ***(hard). This is rated by past experience and a company, not on an individual basis which allows for some consistency for the rating system.

    User Voice has a fantastic post that goes into much more detail on this process.

    Public Trello Boards

    The team at Trello use a public board to interact with customers, give a high level view of what they are working on, and allow for voting and commenting on new features.

    Similar to our content marketing board, they list the new features and updates that go live each month and keep a history of each month.

    Trello Development

    Trello pro tips

    There are a few simple hotkeys that can make Trello even easier and faster for you and your team.

    Open the boards menu – “b” – This will give you quick access to your Trello boards menu. Once the menu is open, keep typing the first few letters of the board you are looking for and press enter before you know it you’re jumping between boards like a ninja on RedBull.

    Filter cards – “f” –  Pressing f will and typing the first few letters of a card title work like a search engine for the card. You can also type the name of the person the card is assigned to filter only cards assigned to that person.

    Navigate between cards – “j / k” – You can move up and down through cards faster with these hotkeys then clicking in and out of cards.

    Full hotkey menu – “?” – This will display all of the available hotkeys.

    Checklists – The team at Tint have outlawed the use of checklists in their cards, Tint has a much more collaborative approach than most of what we do at WP Curve and have multiple people working on projects and tasks. Checklists were hindering collaboration which was a priority for Tint. Checklists are not visible unless you open up the individual card, and it is not effective to assume your team members will be opening up each of your cards to see progress.

    Conclusion

    Trello’s simplistic design and open-ended interface may leave a new user unsure where to start. Hopefully some of these use cases will help you find a way to harness this great tool to help you manage your next project. It’s not necessary to use every feature in Trello for it to be an effective tool. Find what works for your and your team. Once you get a good method work to establish processes and consistency to get the best results.

    How do you use Trello? What are your favorite features? Let us know in the comments below.

    The post How we effectively use Trello for project management appeared first on WP Curve.

    The Ultimate Guide to 150+ Google Analytics Resources for 2015

    Website analytics and SEO data analysis concept.

    Are you ready to get the most out of Google Analytics? If so, we’ve collected the ultimate guide to over 150 Google Analytics resources you can use, including the top official Google Analytics channels, Google Analytics integrations, tools for Google Analytics, and articles about Google Analytics.

    Official Google Analytics Channels

    Stay up to date with the latest Google Analytics news, and get support when you need it via these official Google Analytics channels:

    1. Google Analytics Blog – The official Google Analytics blog for news and features updates.
    2. Google Analytics Help Center – The official Analytics Help Center where you can find tips and tutorials on using Google Analytics and answers to frequently asked questions.
    3. Google Analytics Developers – The Google Analytics developer platform provides access to the resources used to collect, configure, and report on user interactions with your online content.
    4. Google Analytics Product Forums – Use this group to ask and answer questions, search for existing answers to questions, discuss this product, and meet other Google Analytics users.
    5. Google Analytics Academy – Improve your Google Analytics skills with free online courses from Google.
    6. Google Analytics Training & Certification – Educational resources for users of Google Analytics and those who want to become Google Analytics certified professionals.
    7. Google Analytics Partners – Whether you need the help of an implementation or analysis expert, or you are looking for a turnkey solution for your business, Google Analytics technology and certified partners are ready with a solution.
    8. Google Analytics Solutions Gallery – This solutions gallery contains in-product solutions (such as dashboards, custom reports, and segments) to deepen your use of Google Analytics and accelerate your learning curve. Whether you’re a newbie or guru, they will help you learn more about your data through the power of Google Analytics.
    9. Google Analytics URL Builder – The URL builder helps you add parameters to URLs you use in Custom Campaigns. Then, when users click on one of the custom links, the unique parameters are sent to your Google Analytics account, so you can identify the URLs that are most effective in attracting users to your content.
    10. Google Analytics on YouTube – The official channel for all videos about and related to Google Analytics. Learn more about Google’s web analytics and online advertising products.
    11. Google Analytics on Google+ – Follow Google Analytics on Google+ for the latest news, tips, and trends from the Google Analytics team and friends.
    12. Google Analytics Academy on Google+ – The Google Analytics Academy provides a foundation for marketers and analysts seeking to understand the core principles of digital analytics and improve business performance through better digital measurement.
    13. Google Analytics on Facebook – Community page for Google Analytics. Please keep discussions on-topic. For customer service inquiries, please contact Google directly.
    14. Google Analytics on Twitter – News, tips & trends from Google Analytics.

    Google Analytics Integrations

    Do you know that many of the tools you use likely integrate with Google Analytics to help you collect insights about the people who interact with your business? Be sure you try the following search to find out how you can get more out of your products:

    your product “google analytics” integration

    This search will generally take you to the add-ons and instructions to help you configure your product to work with Google Analytics. Examples of some popular tools that integrate with Google Analytics include (but are not limited to) the following:

    1. 3dcart
    2. AddThis
    3. Authority Labs
    4. AWeber
    5. Brightcove
    6. CallRail
    7. Campaign Monitor
    8. ClickTale
    9. Constant Contact
    10. Drupal
    11. Eventbrite
    12. FastSpring
    13. Formstack
    14. Freshdesk
    15. GetResponse
    16. Gigya
    17. JW Player
    18. LiveChat
    19. Magento
    20. MailChimp
    21. Mashshare
    22. Oktopost
    23. Olark
    24. Optimizely
    25. OrgSync
    26. Qualaroo
    27. Raven Tools
    28. ShareThis
    29. Shopify
    30. SnapEngage
    31. Squarespace
    32. Tapstream
    33. Uberflip
    34. Unbounce
    35. Usabilla
    36. UserReport
    37. VerticalResponse
    38. Visual Website Optimizer
    39. Volusion
    40. Wistia
    41. WordPress
    42. Wufoo

    Tools for Google Analytics

    The following are tools that can help you get more out of Google Analytics and use it in different ways:

    1. Mobile Apps – Get your Google Analytics data on your iOS and Android devices.
    2. Quill Engage – Are you struggling to understand what’s driving your site performance? Let Quill Engage do an analysis and deliver the most important and interesting insights from Google Analytics right to your inbox.
    3. Cyfe – In Google Analytics, you can create dashboards within each of your website profiles. In Cyfe, you can create one dashboard with Google Analytics widgets from all your websites.
    4. Segment – With Segment as your customer data hub, you can focus on building incredible products and attracting more customers. Send your data to Segment once, and we’ll take care of managing and mapping your data to the apps you need, so you can get back to business. Segment integrates with 130+ data providers for advertising, analytics, marketing, sales, support, developer, and user testing platforms.

    Top Articles on Google Analytics

    Are you looking for the top articles on Google Analytics? Here are the 100 most popular articles on Google Analytics published within the last year shared by Google Analytics via their official Twitter account:

    1. How to Measure Your Social Media ROI Using Google Analytics by Nichole Kelly
    2. Five Google Analytics Shortcuts to Speed Your Analysis by Andy Crestodina
    3. 9 Google Analytics Tips to Improve Your Marketing by Kristi Hines
    4. How to Use Google Analytics Acquisition Reports to Know Where People Are Coming From by Kristi Hines
    5. How to Increase Your Conversions Using Google Analytics Conversions Reports by Kristi Hines
    6. Is Your Responsive Design Working? Google Analytics Will Tell You by Jon Arne Sæterås And Luca Passani
    7. 6 Google Analytics tools your company probably isn’t using but should by John Boitnott
    8. Google Analytics Begins To Roll Out New Benchmark Reports by Amy Gesenhues
    9. These 10 Analytics Reports Will Improve Your AdWords Results by Frederick Vallaeys
    10. How to Find Hidden Social Media Referral Traffic With Google Analytics by Nathan Mendenhall
    11. Google Analytics Rolls Out New Tag Manager Tools by Amy Gesenhues
    12. Quick & Easy Guide to Tracking Across Multiple Domains & Subdomains in Google Analytics by Tom Capper
    13. 15 Google Analytics Tricks To Maximize Your Marketing Campaign by Jayson DeMers
    14. 10 Innovative Ways to Analyze Google Analytics Data to Increase Sales by Rocco Baldassarre
    15. Simplify your Google Analytics Reporting with Add-ons for Google Sheets by Philip Walton
    16. iOS App Install Tracking Comes To Google Analytics by Sarah Perez
    17. Do You Know Who Owns Analytics at Your Company? by Bill Franks
    18. The Complete Digital Analytics Ecosystem: How To Win Big by Avinash Kaushik
    19. Google Analytics Can Now Exclude Traffic From Known Bots And Spiders by Frederic Lardinois
    20. 14 Key Ecommerce Events to Track in Google Analytics by Kunle Campbell
    21. Benchmarking Analytics Performance: The Options, Dos, Don’ts by Avinash Kaushik
    22. 7 Essential Intelligence Events for Your Google Analytics Account by Chloe Gray
    23. What Google Analytics Benchmarking Means For Businesses by Jayson DeMers
    24. 10 Essential Google Analytics Dashboards for Ecommerce by Kunle Campbell
    25. 7 Must have Google Analytics Dashboards for Ecommerce by Warren Knight
    26. Enabling Multiscreen Tracking With Google Analytics by James Rosewell
    27. Google Analytics Benchmarking is Back: Here’s What You Need to Know by Ben Barrass
    28. Google Analytics Demos & Tools by Philip Walton
    29. New AdWords Shopping Campaigns Report For Google Analytics Rolling Out by Ginny Marvin
    30. Linking Google Analytics with Your Google AdSense Account Just Became Easier by Emily Wood
    31. 10 Google Analytics Reports that Show Where Your Store Loses Visitors by Kunle Campbell
    32. 5 Ways To Use Google Analytics for Your UX Research by Petras Baukys
    33. The Top 3 Google Analytics Configuration Issues Impacting your Data (and How to Fix Them) by Frank Kieviet
    34. Google Analytics Set-up Checklist for Ecommerce by Kunle Campbell
    35. 11 Google Analytics Metrics Bloggers Should Track by Roy Povarchik
    36. 2 Google Analytics Segments & 1 Report To Help You Better Understand Your Visitors by Tommy Walker
    37. 8 Lessons I’ve Learned About Using Google Analytics at Scale – Tuts+ Web Design Article by Michael James Williams
    38. 7 Google Analytics Dashboards for Small Business Owners by Jesse Aaron
    39. Tracking Google Analytics Users’ IDs by Ani Lopez
    40. Tracking PayPal & Ecommerce with Google Analytics by Benjamin Mangold
    41. 4 Weekly Google Analytics Reports Every Business Owner Should Set Up by Jayson DeMers
    42. 10 Great Google Analytics Tips for your Business by Tom Wells
    43. How Google Analytics Helps You Make Better Decisions for Your Apps by Android Developers
    44. 2014′s Top 10 Analytics & Marketing Columns On Marketing Land by Pamela Parker
    45. Enhanced Google Analytics Audience Capabilities Come to Apps by Dan Stone
    46. Digital analytics: Google, Google, and Google win TrustRadius’ newest ratings by John Koetsier, Vb Insight
    47. The Comprehensive Guide to Content Marketing Analytics & Metrics by Pawan Deshpande
    48. Integrating AdSense into Google Analytics (& Why You Need to Do It RIGHT NOW) by Rae Hoffman
    49. Why And How To Use Enhanced Ecommerce Feature In Google Analytics by Chris Atkins
    50. 3 Tools to Ensure Your Analytics Implementation Is Running Smoothly by Adam Singer
    51. How to Analyze Your A/B Test Results with Google Analytics by Peep Laja On Google Plus
    52. ABC’s of Google Analytics by Farid Alhadi
    53. Bringing Google Analytics Data into Google Spreadsheets by Samantha Barnes
    54. Google Analytics: Using New ‘Enhanced Ecommerce’ by Kunle Campbell
    55. Tools and Tips for Debugging Google Analytics Like a Pro by Nico Miceli
    56. How Google Analytics Can Make Cross Device Marketing Easier by Pierre DeBois
    57. How to use Google Analytics URL builder to track campaigns by Graham Charlton
    58. Making Sense Of Your Google Analytics by Curve Communications
    59. Beyond Digital Analytics Metrics by Pere Rovira
    60. Google Analytics Gives App Marketers Audience Insights And In-App Remarketing Capabilities by Ginny Marvin
    61. A Hotelier’s Guide to Google Analytics by Patrick McCarthy
    62. Integrating Google Analytics with Pay Per Click (PPC) Reports to Beat Your Competition by Jim Bilello
    63. Understanding Google Analytics Channel Groupings by Eric Fettman
    64. Segmenting Google Analytics by Session Frequency by Jonathan Weber
    65. Cross-Device Measurement With Email & Universal Analytics by Santeri Salonen
    66. Use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to Manage B2C Holiday Campaigns by Mark
    67. 7 Things to Consider for Google Analytics Friendly Website Development by Google Analytics
    68. Analytics for Your Coffee Machine? It’s Closer Than you Think by Sholto Macpherson
    69. Google Analytics Cheat Sheet: Steal My Go-To Blogging Dashboard by Rita Barry
    70. Google Analytics Now Lets You Delete Properties by Barry Schwartz
    71. 5 Things All Marketers Should Know About Google Analytics by Jamie Turner
    72. Joining the Google Analytics Team to Help Make Data Count by Louisgray.com
    73. How Google’s Universal Analytics Help Segment Customers by Pierre DeBois
    74. Getting Started With Digital Marketing Analytics by Claire Broadley
    75. What to change in 2015 using Google Analytics Benchmarking by Christopher Penn
    76. Calculate the ROI of Landing Pages with Google Analytics by Business Directory
    77. Google Analytics and Social Media by Buildthestore.com
    78. What Does A Data Spike in Analytics Report Mean – 5 Suggestions by Pierre DeBois
    79. Why Google Analytics is a Gift to Any Web-Savvy Business by Exeter Express
    80. New Google Analytics Shopping Campaigns Report by Barry Schwartz
    81. Analytics Canvas now with direct integration with Tableau – Analytics Canvas by James Standen
    82. Ask Yourself This One Question to Create Better Google Analytics Graphs by Chris Tauber
    83. FAQ About Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce by Samantha Barnes
    84. Linking AdWords to Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools by Andrew Garberson
    85. Enterprises: Fix These 3 Analytics Challenges Now by Andrew Edwards
    86. How To Fix Common Google Analytics Notifications by Dan Wilkerson
    87. Got 3 Minutes? Get Your Google Analytics Data in an Interactive Dashboard by Mychelle Mollot
    88. Data Processing Options for Google Analytics and Big Query Export by Noah Haibach
    89. Measuring Intent With Google Analytics by Michael Wiegand
    90. 6 Steps to Drive Action from Google Analytics with Tableau by Joao Correia
    91. Attribution and Google Analytics by Jonathan Weber
    92. Will Your Google Analytics Dashboard Shock You? by Heidi Tolliver-Walker
    93. Using Google Analytics to Gauge Return on Investment by Ian Barker
    94. Top 5 Metrics You’re Measuring Incorrectly … or Not by Eric T. Peterson
    95. Google Analytics Embed API Highlights by Linda Lawton
    96. Easy Cohort Analysis in Google Analytics for Blogs/Articles by Jon Meck
    97. How to Approach a Redesign with Digital Analytics in Mind by Viget
    98. Analytics Insights To Inform Your Marketing by Adam Singer
    99. How to Use Cross Device Tracking in Google Analytics by Mark McLaren
    100. How to be a Conversion Tracking Wizard using Google Analytics by Taylor Nelson

    In Conclusion

    We hope you enjoy the Google Analytics resources we gathered together for you. If you have any favorite tools, integrations, and/or resources you’d like to share, please do so in the comments!

    About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, professional blogger, and ghostwriter. In addition to being a regular contributor to KISSmetrics, Social Media Examiner, and Search Engine Journal, she is a HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certified Professional, Copyblogger Certified Content Marketer, and Google Analytics Qualified Individual. Sign up for her newsletter to get her best business and marketing advice delivered to your inbox weekly!

    How to Increase Your Website’s Traffic Without Any Marketing

    no marketing

    What if I told you that you can increase your traffic without any marketing? That’s right… even if you don’t have a marketing bone in your body, you can generate more traffic and sales.

    “How?” you may ask. All you have to do is follow this long tail strategy:

    Leveraging long tail SEO

    Who doesn’t want to rank for terms like “credit cards” and “auto insurance,” right? Although those terms are lucrative, they are actually extremely difficult to rank for.

    On the other hand, long tail keywords are much less competitive, and they will drive the majority of your traffic.

    seo

    If you look at Quick Sprout, 91% of my search traffic comes from long tail phrases. And just like Quick Sprout’s, the majority of your search traffic comes from long tail traffic too.

    This doesn’t mean that I don’t rank for any head terms. It just means that I rank for more long tail phrases. You probably experience the same thing as most sites rank for dozens of head terms and hundreds, if not thousands, of long tail terms.

    How do you rank for more long tail terms?

    First, you need to log into Google Webmaster Tools. Once you are in, you’ll want to click on “search traffic,” then “search queries.”

    navigation

    You’ll see a page with a list of keywords that looks like this:

    keywords

    The table will list all the keywords you rank for. What you need to do next is take the head keywords (phrases that contain one or two words) you rank for and type them into Google.

    For example, I rank for the term “online marketing.” So I typed it into Google and then scrolled all the way to the bottom of the first page until I saw a table that showed “searches related to online marketing.”

    related keywords

    These are phrases that Google sees as relevant to a term you already rank for. And the head term is much harder to rank for than those long tail terms.

    So if you blend some of those long tail phrases into the page that already ranks for the relevant head term, you’ll start getting more search traffic.

    All I am doing is sprinkling in the phrases that make sense, two or three times within the page.

    I used this strategy on a monthly basis on Quick Sprout in 2013. And the results were great.

    In January 2013, I received 120,365 search visitors:

    jan traffic

    In December 2013, my search traffic climbed to 174,496 visitors:

    dec traffic

    Does this strategy still work?

    Although I’ve used this strategy a couple of years ago on Quick Sprout, it still works. It doesn’t take a ton of time, and it is really easy… especially if you have a blog.

    We do the same thing with our KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg blogs on a monthly basis. I would also continue to do it on Quick Sprout, but I just don’t have the time.

    What I’ve found is that if you combine the tip I mentioned above with the marketing tactics in this blog post on increasing your click-through rate, you should be able to double your search traffic within one year.

    Conclusion

    You don’t have to know a lot about online marketing to generate traffic or sales. Simple things like adjusting the keywords within your content or tweaking the titles of your blog posts can increase your traffic.

    If you are going to use the tactic above, don’t adjust your title tag too much unless you are trying to optimize your click-through rates. Instead, focus your efforts on optimizing the keywords within your content. By adding long tail phrases, you’ll generate more search traffic.

    Are you going to give the strategy above a try?

    Conversion Optimization Essentials: now a book

    Conversion optimization is a process, not tactics. Reading case studies, and blindly implementing that stuff is just stupid.

    If you’re serious about improving your skills as an optimizer, you need to start thinking in terms of processes. Ask yourself if you have a systematic way of optimizing websites?

    To address this issue, I created a mini-course back in October that I called Conversion October. That course is now available as a Kindle e-book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Master-Essentials-Conversion-Optimization-Approach-ebook/dp/B00SGDKE3Q/

    It’s a quick read (under 90 minutes), and will bring you up to speed to a systematic approach to approach conversion optimization. It’s the kind of guide I wish I had when I got started in optimization.

    Enjoy!

    The post Conversion Optimization Essentials: now a book appeared first on ConversionXL.

    Episode 10: Interview with Outreach Consultant Kai Davis

    In this episode of Under the Radar I chat with Kai Davis. Kai is a Digital Outreach consultant who’s killing it in the SEO space at the moment. He’s a clever guy who has lots of ideas on how to generate more traffic for your website…and no, it’s not Keyword stuffing. Listen up!

    Areas covered in the podcast

    • Are Keywords as important as they used to be? Is outreach the new SEO?
    • Invest time into content that is shared. Take a visitor first approach.
    • Links to your content will help shift your number of visitors, before keywords will. That comes later…
    • SEO has no quick clear path, there are many parts to it that can be undertaken in stages.
    • Strategies for link ecosystems. (Outreach).
    • Target, write and reach out.
    • Relationships will outlast links.
    • Productized consulting.
    • Repurposed content can make you accessible to new groups and audiences.
    • and lots more!

    Shout outs

    Kai Davis

    kaidavis.com/advice

    kaidavis.com/newsletter

    SEO Scholarship

    WP Curve

    Groove

    Nusii

    Nathan Barry

    Brennan Dunn

     

    See you in a fortnight

    ps. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes and write a review. iTunes is all about reviews! You can also find the podcast on Stitcher.

    You can download the MP3 directly here.