How to Create a Killer LinkedIn Company Page

Having a Great LinkedIn Company Page is a Must

Your LinkedIn Company Page is a great central hub for keeping people up-to-date on your company news, job openings as well as product and service offerings. If you don’t have your company on LinkedIn yet, don’t wait another minute.

Here’s how to set up your company’s LinkedIn page in 5 steps. 

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30 Marketing Tips in 30 Days: Marketing Tip #27 – Soup Up Your Analytics Account

Every website we know has set up tracking through a Google Analytics account. This basic information is critical to the success of your site, but Analytics can be customized in many, many ways to help you even more.

In a previous post, we’ve mentioned the importance of setting up Goals in Analytics, but here we list a few more ways to tweak your account to make your tracking data more effective.

  • Set up “Events” to track outbound links and PDF downloads. Analytics Help can show you how to write custom scripts to modify the links to external pages or PDF documents on the site so Analytics will count how many times they are clicked by your visitors. These action counts will display in your Analytics report under Content/Events at three levels of detail.
  • Use your Benchmark report. Most industry verticals are included in this comparative data Analytics provides. You can access a general report that shows your performance on basic measures like visits, pageviews, and bounce rate compared to sites of similar size. Better, choose to share your traffic data with Google and you can choose which industry (and often which industry segment) for which you want to be compared, and get more highly targeted reports relevant to your market niche.  You can use the data to determine which areas of your site need work.
  • Do you run an Ecommerce site?  If you do, definitely define the site as Ecommerce in Analytics to get detailed reports on purchases right along with the rest of your traffic data. Your developer or webmaster will know how to connect Analytics to your shopping cart. Analytics will report the value of sales by product or service, SKU, or category, and allows you to compare traffic sources by sales just like any other Goal. This data is perfect for evaluating traffic sources for yield, cost per sale, and sales conversion rate.
  • Use Annotations to track when important events take place on your website. Analytics allows you to insert comments by date so you will know when important changes or promotions took place.  You can use this information to evaluate the impacts of different events like email newsletters or specific promotions on your traffic, clicks, and conversions.
  • Create Advanced Segments to view important subsets of your data. Navigate to the ‘Advanced Segments’ pulldown at the top of Reports and choose ‘Create a new custom segment’. A screen will open that allows you to select which ‘Dimensions’ and ‘Metrics’ you want to use to define your segment. For example, you can make a segment based on geographic source of visits to be measured by ecommerce performance.  Making several of these segments will generate comparative reports in your main Analytics views so you can see graphically where your best performing traffic comes from.

Analytics keeps adding important features, and still all free. Make use of this data to get the most out of your Inbound Marketing investment.

30 Marketing Tips in 30 Days: Tip #19 – Set Up Goals in Google Analytics

Marketing Tip #19: Set Up Analytics Goals

Assuming you have a Google Analytics account and a properly-installed tracking code, setting up goal conversions is the next logical step.  Goals are the the primary metric for assessing how well your website fulfills its business objectives so having them setup and setup properly is extremely valuable.

Goal performance can be viewed from the main navigation within your Google Analytics account.  But first, you’ve got to set up those goals. Here how it works:

After you’ve thought of what your goals will be, named your goals, defined the funnel, and given your goals a set value, begin setting them up by following these instructions, which are found within Google’s support area:

1. Sign in to your Google Analytics account

2. Select the account that contains the profile you’ll be creating goals in from the Overview page.

3. Find the profile for which you will be creating goals, and click ‘Edit’ under the ‘Actions’ column.

4. Under the ‘Goals’ section, select one of the four sets to create your goal in (each set contains up to five goals) and click ‘Add goal.’ You can create up to 20 goals if you use all four sets.

5. Enter the goal’s name so that you can quickly recognize it when viewing reports.

6. Turn the goal ‘On’ or ‘Off.’ If you choose ‘On,’ that means you want Google Analytics to track this conversion goal at this time. Turning it ‘Off’ will only make the goal inactive without deleting it.

7. Select the goal’s position. The pull-down menu lets you select a goal’s position from within a set so that you can control the order in which it appears from the ‘Goals’ tab in your reports, or lets you move a goal from one set to another.

8. Decide one of the three types of goals you want. This can be URL Destination, Time on Site, or Pages/Visit. You can learn more about them and how to set up the goals for each here.

9. Once you select the radio button for the goal type, a field for ‘Goal Details’ should appear. To learn how to fill out the fields for each goal type, please refer to this Help Center article.

If your goal is a “URL destination” goal you may also want to set up a funnel so you can view how people move from one page to another on their path to the goal conversion.  For example, if your goal page is a “thank you” page that a visitor lands on once they’ve filled out a contact form and the contact form is available from your service overview page, you will want to create a funnel that starts with the URL of the service page, then the contact form page, then the thank you page.  With a funnel you can see where people drop off on their way to reaching your goal.  Do they drop off at the contact form page?  Or do they ever even make it to the contact form page?  Armed with this information you’ll be able to modify your pages to achieve your desired conversion rate.

Here’s how to set up a funnel, according to Google:

1. After completing the above steps click ‘Yes, create a funnel for this goal.

2. Enter the ‘URL’ of the first page of your conversion funnel. This page should be a page that is common to all users working their way towards your goal. For example, if you are tracking user flow through your checkout pages, do not include a product page as a step in your funnel.

3. Please note: Funnel URLs are treated as regular expressions. For this reason, you can include wildcard characters and use other regular expression methods if you want to match more than a single URL. Learn more about regular expressions.

4. Enter a ‘Name’ for this step.  (Give it a name that helps you remember what the step means.)

5. If this step is a ‘Required step’ in the conversion process, select the checkbox to the right of the step. If this checkbox is selected, users reaching your goal page without travelling through this funnel page will not be counted as conversions.

6. Continue entering goal steps until your funnel has been completely defined. You may enter up to 10 funnel steps, or as few as a single step.

Click Save Changes to create this Goal and funnel, or Cancel to exit without saving.

Now that you know how to set up a goal, give it a try and see for yourself how your website really does perform.  Good luck!  Let us know if you need help.

A List of Microblogging Tools for Business

Effective collaboration within a team or business is essential for success. But it is very hard to do.  Sometimes it seems that the growth of the Internet has expanded the amount of information available so much that it’s impossible to see the meaning through the clutter.

Now the microblogging world of 140 character updates has led to some collaboration tools that can really help a business get its act together. Collaboration tools built on microblogging, file sharing and publishing, and social networking are evolving rapidly into always on, always ready productivity boosters for teams, businesses and supply chain partners. These are not all glittering high cost custom installations either – you can get free versions of some software or you can just sign up for Twitter for a really basic version.

Twitter has served as a testing bed for how this strange but powerful form of communication can work.  Twitter, its users and application developers have pushed the Twitter basic model to improve its collaboration value.  In Twitter you can set up a private account or list to define a group.  A conversation can be created by defining and promoting a #hashtag.  Or you could use a 3rd party application like GroupTweet or Twibes to find or define a group.

But these basic tools leave out essential capabilities needed to make collaboration more effective.  Dedicated collaboration tools have progressed to a much more sophisticated level.  Most of the better ones include many features that help groups communicate and collaborate:

  • A method to define a group that is private or limited to members only.  The power of privacy controls varies across products, but all of them recognize the importance of security.
  • Status updates using the 140-character standard are basic. Products vary somewhat in how internal groups can be defined.
  • Most include internal publishing tools like blogs, wikis, discussion boards, and spreadsheets.
  • File sharing is common.
  • Some services are web based; some can be hosted on the client’s server.
  • Services publish to common mobile platforms for on-the-go collaboration.
  • Set up feeds on information streams.  Services vary on the extent of customization permitted.

Here are a few of the more promising microblogging collaboration platforms for business (leaving out SalesForce Chatter and Google Wave for now – they are unfinished products).  These platforms have a free version that offers somewhat fewer services but more importantly, less security and administrative control.  Most are priced on a per-seat basis, with $3/user a common price.

Yammer.  One of the most established collaboration platforms, Yammer was the Techcrunch50 winner in 2008.  This service was instantly popular – and it has spawned a lot of competitors.  Anyone can sign up and invite co-workers to share the social platform, but control over the group and its members requires a subscription.  Yammer has an especially strong security system for paying customers. It is integrated with Twitter, publishes to mobile, and is integrated with Outlook email.

Cubetree.  A web service only, Cubetree is distinguished by its emphasis on integrating the services in its platform and also integrating common social media services like Twitter, Facebook, Salesforce and Google Calendar. Cubetree the elements of the system through email when it’s important for a user to get a specific message.  For example, a status update aimed at a specific @person will also trigger an email to that person.  Cubetree is supported by venture funding.

Socialtext.  Aimed at enterprise businesses, Socialtext offers both a web service and an ‘appliance’-based service.  This service includes all the basic features of a microblog-based collaboration tool, but adds available solutions packages for certain types of business organizations, including HR, sales, field services, partner management, and professional services.  Socialtext has both web based and hosted applications at a slightly higher price point that other platforms.

Jive.  Jive is the David among Goliaths.  It is a small company based in Portland, OR that has grown its service internally.  Jive offers a basic version of its web service for $3/user, but encourages contacting them for custom pricing for larger companies and for the higher security packages.  Interestingly, Jive recently acquired Filtrbox, a social media listening platform.  The value here would be to have the Filtrbox application identify the posts and updates about a company and then distribute them through Jive to the right people for a response.  That’s a complete circle.

Would your business benefit from better collaboration?  It’s hard to imagine anyone saying ‘no’ to that.  These tools might help – and we’d love to hear your thoughts about them.