Affiliate Marketing Program: The Guide To Get Started in 2019

Introduction: What is Affiliate Marketing?
If you manage an e-commerce site or work with an advertiser, the affiliation is a marketing lever all the more useful as its ROI is fully mastered. Indeed, it is a form of performance marketing that involves paying a third party (the affiliate, a website for example) for X or Y action completed. Generation of qualified leads, sales, registration to a loyalty program …
For each share and under well-controlled conditions, a percentage of the sale or a fixed amount will be donated to the partner.
So getting into affiliation has a lot of potentials, if you do it right. Choice of tools or platform, supervision of validation conditions, choice of allocation and remuneration model, fight against fraud, setting up regular commercial activities …
Some figures on Affiliation Marketing

Thus, there is a 10.1% increase in affiliate marketing spending in the United States each year, which means that by 2020, that number will reach $ 6.8 billion.
In 2018, content marketing costs were estimated at 62% of the costs of traditional marketing programs while simultaneously generating three times more revenue than traditional methods. In fact, 16% of all orders placed online can be attributed to the impact of affiliate marketing.
In March 2017, the Amazon Affiliate Program changed, offering rates of 1 to 10% of product revenue to creators, allowing affiliates to significantly increase their passive income based on their Marketing Tools.
For example, Jason Stone’s affiliate marketing, also known as Mentor Millionaire, has reached $ 7 million in retail sales during the summer of 2017.
Affiliate marketing is an ideal home-based business because it requires very little money to start, you have no stock of products, or take care of delivery or service. You are essentially paid to direct new customers to other companies.
Affiliate marketing is not difficult, but like any business, it requires knowledge, planning, and constant effort to generate significant revenue. Here are some things you can do to make sure your adventure in affiliate marketing is a success.
1- Choose your platform
There are tools to create your own affiliate program. Another solid option is to turn to a reputable affiliate platform, such as Amazon, CJ, Pabbly… if you are a beginner, I suggest you start with Amazon partners program. You can use Amazon product research tools like Jungle Scout, AMZScout, etc to find products to start with affiliate marketing.
It’s all about comparing several criteria to make the right choice:

accessibility of reporting and tracking tools;
variety of compensation options;
easy for affiliates to generate their personalized links or find the visuals they need;
easy promotion of campaigns;
responsiveness of the teams;
good billing management …

2- Choose an attribution model
The marketing award raises the question of “who pays” for a goal accomplished. In a context where the user goes through a multiplicity of channels and interactions before buying or signing up, it is increasingly difficult to see which marketing lever should be rewarded.
We are talking about the choice of an attribution model. The most classic are those of the first click or the last click, but the conversion path is much thinner than that. Rather than remunerating the last channel (which may be a couponing site, for example), it may be interesting and more appropriate to focus on a weighted remuneration of the various elements of the user journey that led to the final sale.
Beyond the choice of the model, the question of the attribution window must also be addressed. At what point is the conversion detached from the road traveled in the previous months (if it is), which directly impacts the affiliate’s remuneration?
3- Define precise objectives
Affiliation is a marketing strategy that, like the others, must be accompanied by objectives in order to be measured and refined. Without this, no remarkable ROI!
What are your goals? What is the value of a lead? Visibility without necessarily immediate sale to the key? What does your ideal affiliate look like? Who are you targeting? Where are your potential customers when they surf the web? What are your competitors doing?
You need to ask yourself these kinds of questions and link specific figures and personas to stop a strategy that you can follow and measure from day to day. This step will depend on your ability to drive well with the data.
4- Choose an advantageous remuneration for you, but also for the publisher
Choosing a competitive and interesting remuneration for you involves calculating your margins and costs, but also comparing what you expect with what the market in your sector already offers to its affiliates. Without this step, many of them may just favor competition!
Succeeding your affiliation program, therefore, requires a specific study to find what an advantageous remuneration means for you, but also for your network of partners.
One last important point: do not neglect the impact of payments on time, ideally at a fixed date in the month. This is what big programs like Amazon Partners, … it reassures affiliates, limits the stormy exchanges and encourages them to continue to promote you.
5- Identify influencers to make them paid ambassadors
Traditional websites and blogs are not the only ones to represent a relevant addition to your affiliate network. Also remember to identify influencers on social networks, to generate sales or leads from Instagram or Facebook for example.
6- Highlight your affiliate program
To be effective, your program must be visible in order to “recruit” affiliates throughout the year.
Your platform should help you, but it is not the only one to act: also add an “affiliation” section to your website and do not hesitate to contact sites or influencers in your theme, to propose to join the program.
7- Animate your affiliate program throughout the year
Private sales, flash sales, seasonal operations, promotional codes, banners that change regularly … an active (and reactive) affiliation program helps to promote the success and motivation of its partners. It is important to update offers regularly to generate interest throughout the year.
8- Have a system in place to fight against fraud
Fraud is, unfortunately, part of the affiliation ecosystem, especially at the level of lead generation. It is therefore important to have particularly precise conditions of use and a system in place to detect abuses and automatically solve the problems encountered at this level. Discover the main frauds and how to fight them.
9- Communicate with your affiliates (dedicated newsletter, influencer operations, specific compensation offers …)
Your affiliates are like a personal army of salespeople and ambassadors. To succeed in your affiliate marketing, you should ideally be closer to their actions, their expectations, and their challenges.
You can for example:

have a dedicated newsletter, as SEMRush does through its Berush program
offer incentives several times a year (competitions, boosted remuneration, levels to reach …)
identify your best affiliates and offer them tailor-made offers or visuals
maintain a blog with tips, case studies, conversion aids …;
multiply customization tools: search box, customizable banners, product feeds, etc.

In any case, before you get started in affiliate marketing, learn everything that can succeed. More importantly, if you decide to pursue an affiliate marketing business, or if you want to add it to an existing business, understand that it ‘s not fast, automatic, or effortless. Like all home-based businesses, you need a plan and daily involvement to earn income with online affiliate marketing.
Overall, your chances of making money with an affiliate program are probably no better or worse than any other internet based business. Your success depends on how you run your affiliate plan.
Do you already have an affiliate program? What are the good practices you have identified so far, or the pitfalls to avoid? Share your feedback with us leaving your comment below.

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B2B Marketing Videos 101

In today’s B2B marketplace, video can play a powerful role in engaging and converting your target accounts. According to Wyzowl’s The State of Video Marketing 2018 report, 97% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service—and 76% say it helped them increase sales.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to B2B marketing videos? Here are some general best practices to ensure your content is as effective as possible—and a guide to the types of videos you can make.
What are some best practices?
There are a variety of factors and procedures you should keep in mind to ensure your video campaigns are as successful as possible:
Know your audience
In order to create valuable B2B marketing videos, you must understand your audience and their needs. Ask yourself the following types of questions:

What types of information are customers looking for when it comes to your brand and product offerings?
Do you need to fill a particular knowledge gap?
What types of resources will help your point of contact create a powerful business case?
Which professional roles do your customers normally fill, and how can you develop characters and personas that represent them effectively?

Determine your distribution strategy
Before you begin working on a script and overarching concept for a particular video, you should understand where this particular asset is going to live. After all, the video’s “home” should play an important role in determining how long it should be, what type of tone you should use for this asset, and more. For instance, a video for social should be much shorter than that for a landing page—and can be written in a much more fun and light-hearted tone.
Establish your brand style
While your videos can certainly vary in length and format, it’s important that all of your assets appear consistent. Before you launch your video marketing plan, make sure you come to an internal agreement on the look and style of these videos—as well as your overarching messaging (from both a product and persona perspective). By creating a consistent brand style, you can establish a visual identity amongst your audience, thereby increasing your overall “stickiness.”
Always include a CTA at the end
So your customer or prospect just watched one of your videos: Now what? In order to maximize the ROI of these assets, you must always give your audience a clear next step to take. Create actionable CTAs that link out to relevant landing pages where you can earn a conversion—such as a product page or a Contact Us form field.
What types of B2B marketing videos can you create?
In a world of endless video possibilities, it can sometimes be difficult to know which content types to prioritize—and how to incorporate these assets into the customer journey. While your specific video strategy should depend on your overall marketing and sales goals, creating the following types of videos can be a great place to start.
Brand videos
A short video that provides a quick overview of your company, products, or mission statement is an extremely valuable top-of-the-funnel asset. These types of videos can give a behind-the-scenes look into your brand—highlighting the people and offerings that make it unique. Overall, these assets serve to help prospects understand the basics of what your company does and represents, allowing them to make an informed decision about whether they want to connect. You can think of a brand video as a more visually appealing and engaging way to get your “About Us” content out into the world.
Need a little inspiration? Check out this video by Deloitte:

Product demos
Before your prospect even considers signing on the dotted line, they’re going to want to make sure they understand the full functionality of your product suite—and how your offerings will improve their day-to-day operations. While it’s always important to provide these types of details in writing on your product pages, you can really take it to the next level by showing your products in action. Create product-specific video demos that highlight specific functions, outline individual use cases, and answer frequently asked questions.
Interested in seeing an example? Here’s a short video about Brightcove Video Cloud:

Customer testimonials
When you’re operating within the B2B marketplace, it’s important to remember that your point of contact will likely have to make a business case to his or her boss in order to invest in your technology. Of course, making these cases successfully requires multiple proof points that highlight your company’s value.
This is where customer testimonials can be extremely powerful. These videos should highlight one of your current customers’ success stories—calling attention to how your product(s) helped them to increase revenue, overcome a specific challenge, or reach a particular goal. This message will resonate on a deeper level when it comes from your customer’s own words.
Need a little inspiration? Watch this video we created with Pat MacFie, global director of media at Xero:

Another way to capture the attention of a target account is to demonstrate your company’s expertise. By creating informative webinars focused on the specific industry topics your audience is interested in, you can highlight the value of your partnership in an exciting new way. In a world where viewers are bombarded with promotional content on a daily basis, a thought leadership webinar can break through the noise. Whenever possible, choose an internal subject matter expert to lead the webinar, as doing so will highlight the level of knowledge your team possesses.
Interested in seeing an example? Check out our recent webinar on jumpstarting your video advertising strategy:

Live streams
By adding live video into your marketing mix, you can grow your audience, enhance brand awareness, and build unique content that you can repurpose into video on demand (VOD) assets down the line. Not sure where to start? Consider live streaming interviews with in-house subject matter experts, scenes from the show floor at an industry event, or your team’s presentation on a trending topic. By live streaming directly to your social channels, you can increase your reach even further.
Overall, video can be a powerful tool for getting your brand name out there and increasing engagement with your current customers and prospects. By following the tips and best practices outlined above, you’ll be well-equipped to start incorporating more video into your B2B marketing strategy today.

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Why You Should Run A YouTube Advertising Campaign

When you think of social media advertising for your manufacturing, construction, or B2B company, you probably think of Facebook or LinkedIn. What about YouTube? Many neglect it because they think their ideal buyers aren’t there. Isn’t it all just a bunch of makeup tutorials?

Wrong! YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet. Your ideal buyers are absolutely on YouTube doing research for the services you provide.
Why Advertise on YouTube?
To build brand awareness, increase lead generation, and drive website traffic. YouTube even helps you increase the chance of your YouTube channel being found through organic search, and you can specifically target your desired audience.
Growing Your YouTube Organic Search Rank
It’s every company’s dream to be at the top in search rank. Since YouTube is a search engine you can use your video ads to grow your subscriber list. As more people subscribe to your channel, more people will be notified of any new video you post. This increases the views your video will get in the first 24 hours, which raises the video up on the search ranks and into more ‘related video’ searches.

If your content connects with enough people, it can show up in google search as well.
Reaching a New Audience
Trying to reach millennials? You should know that 70% of millennial YouTube users watch videos to learn how to do something new or do research. If you’re trying to reach a new audience, like many industrial businesses, YouTube is a good place to build a presence. Plus, you can target ads on YouTube based on a user’s perviously watched videos and their search history from YouTube and Google.
Pro-tip: Make sure you do some keyword research before you start targeting ads based on search history. It could save you time and keep you from chasing bad leads.
Video Is Highly Engaging Content
Everyone likes a good video. YouTube or even Netflix wouldn’t be a thing if it weren’t true. Almost one third of Internet users (1 billion people!) visit YouTube daily. Yeah, think about that – that’s about 1/7th (14%) of people on the entire planet, oh and this guy…

Video is powerful and people watch it because it is engaging, accessible, and low barrier – all you have to do is press play.That’s why marketers say that the play button is the most clicked Call-To-Action. As many as 78% of marketers say that video gives them a good ROI. Even marketing automation tools, like HubSpot, have integrated video into their platforms.
With over 3 billion searches per month on YouTube, specific ad targeting, and valuable content, you can increase search rank, build brand awareness, and even generate leads. The only question left should be: How do I get started?
How to Get Started With YouTube Advertising
You don’t have to do all the work yourself. If you are excited about video and want to dive in but have no idea what to do, you can hire a digital marketing agency, a social ad agency, or even a freelancer who specializes in the targeting social ads.
If you do hire someone, make sure you still understand what running a YouTube ad campaign means. You will want to support any advertising you do with content on your YouTube channel and on your website.
Steps to Starting A YouTube Ad Campaign
A great resource to learn a lot about Youtube ad set up and management is from our good pal HubSpot.
HubSpot gives us a bit of a step-by-step overview:

Creating and Branding a YouTube Channel
Optimizing Your Videos for SEO
Creating Videos for YouTube
Building a YouTube Marketing Strategy
Understanding YouTube Analytics
Running a YouTube Advertising Campaign

Notice that actually running a YouTube ad campaign is the last step. You’ll want to create and brand your YouTube channel so that when people click through to your channel they know it’s you. You’ll want to build a solid base of video content on your channel and optimize them with descriptions, tags, and categories so that your viewers have more content to engage with once they hit your channel.
Before you start advertising, you’ll need to Create a marketing strategy, set SMART goals, and track your performance.
Overwhelmed? Even if you just make a few videos and post them to your YouTube channel for the next few quarters, you’ll still be impacting search rank with optimized content.
Your Next Steps
If you don’t have a YouTube channel, start by making one and optimizing it with branded cover & profile images and links to your website and other social media channels.
If you do have a nicely branded YouTube channel, start by optimizing the video content that you currently have and establish benchmark data for its performance. Then start building that YouTube Marketing Strategy.

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How to Estimate a “Net Value” for Your A/B Testing Program

In my experience, I find that teams and organizations report many winning A/B tests with high uplifts, but somehow they don’t seem to bring those uplifts in reality. How come?
Five types of A/B test “wins” can exaggerate discovered uplifts. I use the acronym “de FACTO”:

False winners;
Changing winners;
Tricked winners;
Overestimated winners.

These five types of winners show up in every experimentation program. I’ll describe why and how they cause exaggerated uplifts. But before I do, I want to emphasize that incorporating knowledge like this is just another step in your experimentation maturity.
Even though experimentation might not bring as much growth as you anticipated, not running trustworthy experiments is usually worse than incorrectly calculating their added value. A solid testing process is more important than accurately predicting how much profit you’ll get from it.
So keep increasing the quality, (statistical) trustworthiness, and velocity of your A/B tests. But when you want to deliver a realistic impression of their added value, have a skilled person from your team or agency correct the projected (or “discovered”) uplift to a more accurate “net value.”
A typical case of exaggerated uplifts
The “net profit” calculation is a better way to estimate the impact of the initial results we get from a series of A/B tests.
To give you an indication of the difference between the “discovered” and “net” uplifts, I use the following case of a fictitious company called “DeFacto Ltd.”
DeFacto’s CRO team (or CRO agency):

Ran 100 experiments in the past 12 months, all server side;
Found 25 winners, with an average measured 6% uplift, resulting in $100,000 extra margin per winner (calculated using a Bayesian calculator with a threshold of >90%);
At an average cost of $5,000 per experiment (100 hours x $50);
And—for the sake of simplicity—they’ve run all experiments with trustworthy sampling, obeyed the rules of trustworthy experimentation, and implemented all winners instantly at negligible costs.
Moreover, I assume they tested with enough traffic, uplifts, and base conversion rates to have a pretty standard a priori power of 80%.

By adding up all 25 winners of $100,000, they’ve generated $2.5 million in extra revenue, with $500,000 in costs. That results in an ROI of 500% and a gross profit on DeFacto’s A/B tests of $2 million.
Note that I call the profits “gross profit.” Now, what happens when we correct for the five types of exaggerating winners? We get DeFacto’s “net profit,” the profit we expect in reality: about $1 million, or only 50% of the gross profit.
Let’s get to the five types of exaggerating winners that are responsible for this “net” calculation. I’ll start with the easiest and best-known one.
5 types of winners that require business-case corrections
1. False winners
The existence of “false discoveries” is well-known to experts in online optimization (false positives or Type-I errors). However, business cases are not always corrected for them.
A false winner occurs when your challenger (B) actually makes no difference but wins purely by coincidence. For example, the randomization caused more users with relatively high buying intent to end up in the challenger condition, resulting in a higher conversion rate.
With a 90% significance threshold, this is expected to happen with 10% of all challengers. In the case of DeFacto, we can calculate that roughly 79%(!) of the challengers bring no uplift in reality.
You can run this same test at
So how many false winners do you discover when 79% of the experiments bring no uplift in reality? DeFacto did 100 experiments, 79 of which brought no value. Of those, 10% are expected to win by coincidence (90% significance). This results in 8 false winners (31% of all winners), 17 true positives, and 4 false negatives.

Uncovering false winners is of utmost importance for a realistic business case. The problem is not the cost side. The eight false discoveries cost “only” $40,000. The bigger issue is that 31% of these “winners” did not generate any uplift.
There are more reliable and advanced ways of correcting for false winners, but simply subtracting 31% of false winners from the $2.5 million uplift already provides a more realistic figure. DeFacto’s profit on the program roughly corrected for false winners is just over $1.2 million (61% of the presumed $2 million).
CRO experts usually know about the existence of false discoveries among their winners. The next step is to estimate how many false winners worsen site performance.
2. Anti-winners
Anti-winners (as I call them) are the devil’s version of the previous “false winners.” They happen when we have a “winner” that is actually a significant loser. Instead of increasing your success metrics, your challenger decreases them.
Again the challenger wins purely by coincidence. It is “just really bad luck.” The official term is “S-type error” (S from “Sign”), and they typically occur only when running low-powered experiments. (For more info on S-type errors, see either of these two articles.)
While a false winner costs money to build but does no other harm, an anti-winner does both—costing money and shrinking your revenue.
Anti-winners are usually rare in A/B test programs due to the relatively high power levels. In the case of DeFacto (power >80%), we’d expect 0% anti-winners.
However, if you experiment with very low power levels—small samples, low conversion rates, and/or small effect sizes—you should correct your business case for anti-winners.
3. Changing winners
The third type of winner one should correct for is a harder one (or, maybe, “softer” is more applicable): changing winners. A changing winner has a positive effect in the short term (i.e. during the experiment) but becomes inconclusive or even backfires in the long run.
Long-term effects in a CRO program often are not measured. Experiments run for a predetermined 1 to 4 weeks. After we find a winner, we “ship” it and show it to everyone, thereby losing the opportunity to measure long-term effects.
However, in behavioral science, there’s a decent body of evidence on interventions that bring uplifts in the short term and backfire in the long run. A well-known backfiring effect, for example, is when you shift your users’ motivation from “intrinsic” to “extrinsic.”
Extrinsic motivators, like short-term discounts, can boost conversions in the near term but fall flat over longer periods.
Examples of “extrinsic” motivators are discounts, free extras, or gamification tactics. These external rewards temporarily heighten motivation and thereby show uplifts in A/B tests. Yet they can undermine intrinsic motivation in the long run and ultimately result in losses.
Activity trackers are a contemporary example. They tend to move our motivation from a sustainable, intrinsic drive to be active to an unsustainable, extrinsic reward for outperforming past metrics. (See this article by Jordan Etkin.)
It’s almost impossible to calculate which winners are only temporary successes. Hold-out groups are a potential (albeit complex and costly) solution. The simpler fix is to train your CRO team in behavioral science about short- versus long-term behavior change.
For now, let’s assume DeFacto had a behavioral scientist educating their CRO team who dissuaded them from testing temporary tactics and, as a result, helped them avoid “changing winners.”
4. Tricked winners
“Tricked winners” are less known and highly dependent on the maturity of a CRO team (or agency). A tricked winner is an experiment that reports a winner purely because something unfair happened in the experiment to favor the challenger.
The difference between “false winners” and “tricked winners” is that a false winner occurs when your challenger wins by coincidence in an otherwise trustworthy experiment. A tricked winner occurs because of untrustworthy experimentation.
A simple example: In an experiment, a technical bug caused the challenger to receive more repeat visitors than the control. Since repeat visitors have a higher conversion rate, the challenger wins. The challenger isn’t better; it had an unfair advantage. This typical example is called a “sample ratio mismatch” (SRM), and gurus like Ronny Kohavi have written advanced posts on the topic.
Other common causes of tricked winners are interaction and carryover effects. (These happen less frequently than SRM errors, in my experience.) Interaction effects occur when a challenger wins because the group was also exposed to a variation in another concurrent test.
Carryover effects happen when a challenger wins because one or both conditions still “suffer” from the effects of a previous experiment.

As Bing learned, the carryover effect can cause past experiments to impact a current a one. (Image source)
A skilled specialist can prevent tricked winners by checking for (or, even better, setting automated alerts for) these “unfair” effects. For now, let’s assume that DeFacto had alerts in place and no tricked winners.
5. Overestimated winners
The final type of winners are “overestimated winners.” Officially, they’re type-M errors (from “magnitude”). An overestimated winner exaggerates the magnitude of the uplift.
This happens all the time, in every experimentation program—just like false winners. Why? On average, tests with underestimated uplifts are less likely to win.
Here’s an example: Assume you have a good idea that causes a 5% uplift in reality. If you tested this idea nine times, it would result in different uplifts with an even spread around 5%. Unfortunately, the tests that measured low uplifts, like 1% and 2%, are not significant. The other seven that do record a winner have a higher average uplift than the true uplift.
Without correcting for these overestimations, your team or agency will confidently claim that their uplifts are larger in magnitude than they actually are. Increasing the power of your experiments will decrease the likelihood of “overestimated winners.”
In the case of DeFacto, with a power level of 80%, we can expect an overestimation of recorded uplifts by about 12%.
The effect of “overestimated winners” can be seen using this tool from Lukas Vermeer. You can also find more information in this article.
A final calculation for DeFacto
After we take “false winners” and “overestimated winners” into account, DeFacto’s net business case is more likely to be around $1.5 million in extra revenue, and their net profit on A/B testing is around $1 million—50% of the original $2 million.
We didn’t even correct for tricked winners, anti-winners, or changing winners, which may well plague other experimentation teams. All of these “winners” would further reduce net profit.
A final note: Some organizations use thresholds lower than 90% Bayesian. This can be wise if you statistically balance the value of winning experiments and the costs of inconclusive ones.
Your threshold reflects the risk of “false winners” that you find acceptable. Consider how much risk you’re willing to take while also keeping in mind that every implementation of a variation also entails costs.
If DeFacto would have used a 80% Bayesian threshold with all other results and metrics equal (like a winner ratio of 25%, not retesting winners, etc.), the net profit would go down to roughly zero—or less.
What can you do about false and exaggerated uplifts?
The most important thing to do is to keep experimenting. Heighten the trustworthiness of all experiments and winners, then start calculating the value of the program correctly.
Once those components are in place, you can scale your program based on a realistic business case. How do you do that?
1. Use trained statisticians.
Employ statisticians (or outsource the work). They can set up experimental designs and embed quality checks and alerts in your program to assure more trustworthy experimentation.
When they’re done with an initial setup, they can continue to embed and automate more advanced checks and analyses.
2. Hire behavioral experts.
Hire an experienced behavioral scientist (or scientists) who is trained in behavioral change, especially in short- versus long-term effects.
A nice extra: If you pick a good one, you’ll get extra knowledge on experimental design and statistics, since behavioral scientists are intensely trained in that as well.
3. Create an experimentation “Center of Excellence.”
When you scale your experimentation across teams, it’s best to build (or hire externally) an experimentation “Center of Excellence.” This center (or external experts) builds or develops your in-house experimentation platform.
A mature platform automates basic statistical checks and corrections to scale trustworthy experimentation based on a realistic estimation of the (net) value. Meanwhile, the experimentation teams can increase velocity without needing the statistical and behavioral skills.
4. Organize and act on your first-party customer intelligence.
If your teams run lots of trustworthy experiments, consider developing a behavioral intelligence Center of Excellence (or expand your experimentation Center of Excellence).
This center brings together all customer insights, builds customer behavior models based on meta analyses of experiments, and continuously grows the long-term impact of your validations.
Not running trustworthy experiments is usually worse than exaggerating their value. Sill, realize that A/B test winners bring less value than their reported uplifts, and lots bring no value at all.
You can create a more accurate estimate by correcting for five causes of exaggerated uplifts:

False winners;
Changing winners;
Tricked winners;
Overestimated winners.

If you’re interested in calculating the “net value” of your experimentation program, you can use this A/B test calculator to get a sense of your percentage of false winners.

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What is Thin Content and Why Does It Matter?

Thin content was one of the first SEO issues Google targeted with its Panda algorithm update in 2011. That update rocked the entire industry and kick-started the search giant’s war against low-quality content.
It also made life increasingly difficult for black hat SEOs trying to game the SERPs. However, there are plenty of genuine, technical reasons why you might end up with thin content on your website. In this article, we explain exactly what thin content is, how to find it on your site and what you need to do about it.
What is thin content?
Google describes thin content as having “little or no added value”. This is the description you’ll see if you’re unlucky enough to get a manual action warning in Google Search Console, informing you that you’ve been penalized for having thin content on your site.

You definitely don’t want one of those.
The question at this point is: what kind of content does Google consider to have “little or no added value”?
Back in the early Panda days, Google was mostly targeting deceptive uses of thin content – for example:
1. Content that’s automatically created
In this case we are looking at low-quality content, often created by basic machine concatenation, and offering limited, if any, value. For example, grabbing a news story in Spanish and then running it through Google Translate before adding it to your site – a big no-no.
We are starting to see examples of machines (or ‘robots’) writing high value content and this is something that will become more prevalent as AI and machine learning continue to improve. This does not fall into thin content but you would still want a human editor to review this type of content before publishing it.
2. Low-value affiliate content
Affiliate websites offering useful, comprehensive purchase advice have nothing to fear from Google. However, pages filled with affiliate links that offer no useful or relevant information for the end user are prime targets for getting hit by a search penalty.
If you’re in the affiliate game, stick to the following guidelines:

Make sure your website has a purpose beyond that of any affiliate offering alone. Affiliate pages should contribute to a tiny percentage of your total website.
Add something new to the affiliate audience. Not only will this provide access to new online niches, fuelling your affiliate ROI, but will create value to encourage SEO success.
Be objective; ask yourself whether there’s a reason why a user should land on your website before going to the actual product/service originator website. Remember, your site is an added step in the process between the user and their end destination, so there has to be a value-enhancing reason for them to take this detour.
Only offer affiliate opportunities that are closely matched to your target audience. This helps to overcome diluting your offering, mixed messaging signals and barriers with user engagement and interaction.
When you refresh and improve your main website copy, remember to review, update and add depth of value to your affiliate content too. Don’t have scraped, duplicate affiliate content on your website – make it unique, better than any other examples and something of value to your website audience.

3. Content scraped (copied) from other sources
If you systematically add content to your website from external sources, you’re also at risk of a thin content penalty. There are a number of ways in which content is copied (or scraped) from other sources, a few of the more common ones being:

Copying and pasting full articles that were not created by you.
Adding external content in part, or in full, to your site without any extra unique value.
Completing minor tweaks and changes to predominantly copied content.
Using automated means to re-purpose content that exists externally, trying to display this content as unique.
Embedding lots of other content types (video, images, infographics etc.) without bringing anything new or adding value.

4. Using doorway pages to rank in Google
Doorway pages are a means to spam the search engine results pages (SERPs) with very thin content that target a very specific term or close group of terms with the purpose of sending this traffic to another website or destination.
This creates a poor user search experience and adds unwanted steps for the user to get to their desired end result. Often, doorway pages mean that the user ends up on a lower quality and less relevant search result page than required, resulting in excessive searching to discover the content they needed.
It’s all about adding value
Essentially, if your content is copied from anywhere else, generated by software or you’re creating pages with little or no content, you could be in trouble. Even if you’re not trying to be deceptive (for example, reposting relevant news stories), you have to question why Google would choose to rank your page when it’s simply repeating content that’s already available – it has nothing new or valuable to offer.
As Google explains over at Search Console Help:
“One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.
“However, some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.”
It all comes down to adding substantial value to the end user because this is what Google aims to deliver as a search engine.
For more info on thin content, take a look at this video from Google’s former head of web spam, Matt Cutts:

It’s not a particularly recent video but everything Matt Cutts says is still relevant today.
What are the dangers of thin content?
While the most publicized danger of thin content is getting hit by a Google search penalty, your problems run much deeper than this if you’ve got too much of it. If Google’s algorithms can tell you’re using thin content deceptively, then you can bet the majority of users who visit your site can see it as soon as they land on the page.
Whatever your objectives are with the page, you’re not going to convince many people to take action this way. You’ll struggle to keep users on the page, encourage them to engage with your brand or inspire them to convert.
Essentially, this is the real danger of thin content: your marketing objectives are going to fall flat.
Now, in terms of the Google Search penalties, these can be pretty devastating and it helps to understand how Google’s Panda algorithm works.
Thin content and Google Panda algorithm updates
The Google Panda update was first released in 2011 with the purpose of de-valuing low-value and thin websites, to stop them from appearing so prominently in SERPs.
The other, lesser communicated, side of this update was the additional ranking gains (tied to content quality signals) rewarding websites creating high-quality content.

Google Panda updates can impact (remember, this ‘impact’ can be positive or negative) a single page, a whole topic or theme, multiple themes, or entire websites.
The Panda filter applies a number of perceived content quality criteria as well as questions that the Google Quality Raters would be asking themselves when manually viewing content – things like:

Does the content convey expertise, authority and trust (E-A-T)?
Are the ‘Your Money or Your Life’ (YMYL) pages present and providing everything needed (think about pages tied to transactions, financial details, private information collection and more)?
Is there depth of content? For example, do core service pages cover the main topic, plus supplemental information, and enable the user to immerse themselves into the topic (and discover more information easily, should they choose to)?
Is the content accessible? Can it be accessed easily within the site structure? How quickly does the content load? Does the content work effectively on mobile devices?

The above is just the starting point for Panda protecting your website and content.
It is important to get a second opinion on your content. Be objective and honest with yourself and your team about the quality of what is being produced, and how it needs to improve.
Not all thin content is deceptive
While the penalties for having too much thin content can be severe, there are quite a lot of scenarios where you’re naturally going to end up with content that could fall into this category.
Search results pages
If you have a search function on your website, the results pages are going to offer very little or no original content. This can’t be helped, of course. The purpose of a search results page is to show snippets of other pages across your site and help users choose the most relevant option.
Solution: Prevent Google from indexing results pages by adding a disallow line for these pages in robot.txt file.
Photo/video galleries
In many cases, it’s perfectly reasonable to have a photo or video gallery on your website. You might be a wedding photographer, a marquee hire company or a business with a bunch of video case studies to show off.
If the purpose of this page is to allow visitors to browse your photos or videos and choose which ones they want to view, this causes some thin content issues. You probably don’t want a load of text getting in the way on the gallery page itself and your problems get worse if each image or video has its own dedicated page.
Solution: This really depends on how you structure your gallery. You might choose to create content for your gallery page and no-index the individual image/video pages, for example. Or you might take the opposite approach and create unique content for each image/video and no-index the gallery page.
Alternatively, you could create a carousel that displays all images/videos on the same URL – it all depends on what you want to rank for and the kind of content you’re planning to create.
Shopping cart pages
Shopping cart pages aren’t there to provide users with valuable content; they’re designed to help people manage orders and complete purchases. Technically, we’re in thin content territory here but the fix is pretty simple.
Solution: Once again, stop Google from indexing these pages by no-indexing them in your robot.txt file.
Duplicate pages
Duplicate pages are a natural part of managing a website. Moving over to HTTPS from HTTP creates duplicates, as does having www and non-www domains while managing multilingual websites and recreating pages for multiple locations can also result in duplicates.
Technically, duplicate content isn’t quite the same thing as thin content but the two do overlap in certain cases.
Solution: Mark the page version you want to rank with canonical tags, use 301 redirects if you’re sending users to a different URL and use hreflang tags for international languages/locations.
In many cases, thin content isn’t detrimental to the user experience at all. In fact, it’s sometimes better to forget about content and simply deliver the functionality users need – eg: shopping carts.
Luckily, keeping these pages safe from search penalties is relatively simple. By no-indexing pages, telling Google which version to index (canonical tags) and/or using 301 redirects to send users to the right place, non-deceptive thin content shouldn’t be a problem.
Can I have thin content on product pages?
This is one of the most common scenarios where thin and/or duplicate content occurs on a website. This is especially true if you’re selling multiple versions of the same or very similar product.
Naturally, brands try to avoid having duplicate content across these pages but it’s difficult to say the same thing in a hundred different ways.
It becomes a battle of thin content vs duplicate content and this causes a lot of confusion for website owners, SEOs and marketers in general.
The truth is, duplicate content is the lesser of two evils here and it’s better to provide users with comprehensive product details – even if they’re the same or similar – than publishing pages with very little (albeit unique) content.
Here’s What Google’s Andrey Lipattsev had to say about duplicate product pages during a Q&A on duplicate content with fellow Googler John Mueller.
“And even, that shouldn’t be the first thing people think about. It shouldn’t be the thing people think about at all. You should think, I have plenty of competition in my space, what am I going to do? And changing a couple of words is not going to be your defining criteria to go on. You know, the thing that makes or breaks a business.”
More to the point, there is no search penalty for duplicate content but there is for thin content.
So, when it comes to product pages, don’t worry too much about duplicate content for very similar products or variations of the same product. Instead, focus on optimizing for the best experience and giving Google any clues you can about which page to prioritize in terms of indexing.
Here are some tips:
The key takeaway from the Q&A on duplicate content is that when pages are similar (or the same), Google is looking for a way to differentiate between them and product descriptions are just one of the hundreds of factors it looks at.

Provide full product details on every page
List the key benefits of each product
Include images and videos where relevant
Create unique content where you can
Avoid copying product descriptions from other sites (eg: Nike’s descriptions of its shoes you’re selling)
Allow users to select different versions of the same product from a single page (sizes, colors, etc.)
Use canonical tags if you want Google to index one version of the same or very similar pages
Focus on adding value beyond product descriptions: page speed, mobile optimization, navigation, etc.

How do you find thin content on your site?
There are a number of ways to discover thin content (levels of words, duplication, and value) and a few of the more common actions can be seen below.
1. Copyscape
Using Copyscape (and other free tools), you can crawl the web to look for any content that has been copied from your domain, as well as any content that may have been added to your own site over the years copied (in part or full) from external sites.

2. Google search operators
You can also use Google search operators to manually check Google for instances of content copying/scraping or duplication.
Here’s an example of what you need to do:

Copy a selection of content that you feel may have been copied (consider more successful content types you have added to the site)
Paste into Google (in this case assuming it was text content) within quotes (“”)
Review the results

Here’s an example of the above in action. In this case checking any duplication of content from a post I created for Search Engine Journal:

As you can see, the first site appearing is the originator website, and as this content is opinion-driven, it is intended to be distributed, shared socially and used on other websites.
An important aspect of this is the purpose of the content, whether it’s to drive traffic back to the main website, encourage shares or something else.
3. Deep data platforms
I’ve been using our machine learning software Apollo Insights for nearly ten years. One of the ways in which I use the data is to locate pages that are not contributing towards total site success.
You can see this in action below (the ‘Page Activity’ widget):

Another metric I use Apollo Insights for is locating content with a limited word count.
Although more words doesn’t always mean better quality content, in most cases a page with very few words is unlikely to be providing the depth of user and search value needed to deliver an optimum search experience.
You can see this below using a deep data grid – in this case I am looking at depth of content based on expected content structural elements, things like the presence of multiple levels of header tags, and checking that the page is active and real:

Remaining with Apollo, ‘Auditor’ tells me how many pages have fewer words on them than I would expect from a high-quality website page. I can also look at the bigger picture and combine this knowledge with items like: external linking, framed content, pages orphaned off from the main website and much more.

How do you fix thin content?
The first stage in fixing thin content is understanding what high-quality and value-enhancing content looks like in the first place. The example below is from Think With Google: ‘The Customer Journey to Online Purchase‘.
Some of the key points which flag this as high quality for me include:

The use of unique data to provide user meaning.
The ability for the user to engage with the content and work with it to create new value.
Mixed content types and content segmentation for easy understanding and skim reading.
Responsive design, supporting universal access to information.
Solving a problem – purposeful content is a key factor for truly valuable content creation.
Detailed supporting information placing the report into context, backing up the stats and enabling further reading on the topic.

Using external comparisons is a great way to put in place the lowest benchmark for your own content quality. The goal is to create content on your website that is far better than any other examples available online.
Once you identify what ‘good’ looks like in your niche, you want to move towards creating ‘great’ content. At this stage, you need to find the content that doesn’t work at present (see previous section on ‘finding thin content’) and boost the content so that it can contribute more towards total site success, as well as its own standalone value.
“You will also need to find new opportunities for effective content creation. Don’t limit your content value by re-purposing alone, there is always an opportunity to create something amazing with digital content.”
Other tactics for creating new quality content include:

Looking at real-time data changes for new content ideas and action points.
Following social media trends to see what your audience needs.
Keeping up to date with industry changes and regularly revisiting old and existing website copy.
Looking at big data (all of the relevant data) so you can base decision making on more than gut feel.
Creating tiered content strategies and aligning them – a blog post is great, but supporting this with an infographic and updating it from the data you receive after it goes live, is much better.
Asking your audience what they want – after all, the content should be primarily to help them solve their needs.

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Is There Such a Thing as “Too Much Email?”

The gap between consent and dissent seems to be narrowing in the world of email marketing. How we approach the problem could shape our email marketing future.
The Ground is Not Moving
Let it be known that email marketing is still the highest ROI channel in the digital sphere and will continue to be. Frankly, that’s because it’s intimate. It’s a high-volume monsoon of information that we can harness with our very hands.
And it’s old. Email seems to have been around as long as paper and pen now. And unlike social media, it’s platform independent. Its staying power is far greater than any dot com could ever dream of.
So we can be assured that this channel is not going anywhere. But at the same time, we need to be careful that we don’t spoil our lists with our habits and overindulgence. What is needed is a way to moderate, inform, and build good models for email engagement We believe we have such a piece.
But first, how much is too much?
Too Much Email
Built into the overall protections in email marketing is the dreaded unsubscribe – thanks to the CAN-SPAM act, that link’s required when sending bulk emails in order to help manage the amount and intent of email.
But before we hit that hard wall of omission, what else is a factor in losing attention?
Many people that don’t unsubscribe might use internal filters or traps to capture email, so you never know what is happening on the receiving end.
And to make things more confusing, you might have an email message that receives a high open and a click rate while also accumulating a high unsubscribe rate. What to do then? You’ve just sent the best email of your career, but also lost more people than you ever imagined. What gives?
Yet I think there is something even deeper to the conversation, especially when we focus on the phrasing of our initial question. If you’re asking “how much?” you’re missing the point.
Email is not a function of volume, rather it is a function of attention and value. The amount is irrelevant when you consider the factor of attention.
What I mean by attention is that your open rate is going to be related to how much attention and value you have in your brand and communication overall. Big B2C brands sometimes hold very little value and have low open rates and frequent churn. Contrastingly, some small B2B lists that only include close friends, clients, and colleagues have high open and low churn. It can be a familiarity issue.
A Model for Engagement
Now comes the hard part: determining a model for email engagement that takes these factors into consideration and creates some guiding principles around how you should send email.
When considering the possibilities, I’m initially reminded of the great tome, Database Marketing, that I think should be a required read for the email marketer. It covers many of the foundational elements of how to market to a database (which in all concepts is exactly what email marketing is) in the tidy confines of about 800 pages.
The reality is that when you’re analyzing engagement models, there’s a lot to cover.
In other words, this is a big undertaking that may not be easily digestible for the lay-marketer or the sales professional. But, for the sake of getting the ball rolling, I’ll suggest a simplified model that can help for most B2B businesses.
Factor: Urgency
How much urgency does your communication elicit from your potential recipient? Do they need this information quickly to make a pressing decision? In extreme cases, you could email daily if there is something of an urgency to your communications. Otherwise, your level of urgency could be effectively none, so you should explore other factors. For this person, time is not a factor.
Factor: Uniqueness / Expertise
The second factor is the uniqueness of the communication. Are you one of thirty people communicating the same thing, or do you have something unique to say? Sales and discounts are fairly common as a modality of communication. On the other side of the spectrum, expertise is very unique and contains inherent value. This concept is a bit hard to grasp; everyone thinks they’re unique, but most have failed to really set themselves up as a niche provider in the industry they serve, meaning that they’re really just one of many competitors.
Factor: Value
Value is more difficult to quantify. What is your communication worth? You can begin to answer this by identifying whether or not there is a gap in the readers’ knowledge or understanding of the topic that you’re communicating about – and by analyzing how big the gap is. In addition to generating awareness, value can be measured in the improvement of a person’s mental or physical life by the receipt of this communication. Your communication is only as valuable as the need of the recipient. A coupon only has worth if someone is trying to buy something, an opinion is only as valuable as the person giving it, and expertise is only as valuable as its ability to be recognized.
Factor: Audience
Lastly, the final factor to consider is your understanding of your audience. How much time does your audience spend on email? How critical is it for them as a channel? How many emails do they receive each day? Available bandwidth of the audience should not be unqualified in your campaign considerations.
Putting It All Together
With these four factors we can start to understand how we should approach email. As I reflect on these factors, I’m not sure a clear modality exists in a logical methodology because of the wide array of definitions in the factors. But what we can do is start to put together a few examples that could open a path for future evaluations.
Audience: Business owner, decision maker, 10-50M, product manufacturing.
The audience for this message is a busy business owner. Yet, this audience is actually on email quite a bit. They live on email. So your frequency range is quite high. If you are a commodity broker, you don’t have a ton of uniqueness to communicate, so that could impact your frequency (unless you can do something to create uniqueness). But if you were a consultant in the space, your insight could be seen as valuable at any time, even if it may not always urgent. In that case you might email bi-weekly at most, but if you email too little, your insight might seem limited.
Audience: Real Estate Investors, private
The audience is connected, but they aren’t very frequent email users. When they do check, you’ll want to provide deep information in single bursts. You’d want to create some urgency to get them to engage in the few times they are online. If you don’t have urgency, uniqueness can help. Then again, you need to create value quick and be worth the communication and time. Your window is short, so shorter messages that transition well to in-person communication could be more valuable to them.
These are just two examples, but hopefully they start to assemble the factors that will help you determine how much email and what types of content to send. There is an audience for every type of message; it’s just a matter of finding what works for your audience.
Closing Thoughts
It was my intent to explore the “too much email” conversation by unpacking the broader conversation around understanding your audience and message (and helping you to avoid the baseline of your own personal preferences). If you still need help with this, please reach out, or download this ebook.
The power is in your court to create a compelling email campaign that connects with your audience in the right ways. Is that too much to ask?

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Account-Based Marketing Belongs in Your Marketing Plan: Here’s Why

The savvy B2B marketer uses a diverse, multi-pronged approach to attract prospects and drive existing clients to purchase again. But one strategy – account-based marketing – outperforms the rest in today’s marketplace. In fact, SiriusDecisions reports that 93% of B2B marketing leaders consider account-based marketing extremely important for success. This method is especially profitable because it’s personalized, precise and measurable. With a focus of resources on a specific set of targeted accounts, your marketing and sales teams converge to present your brand and content with streamlined efficiency. Read more to learn why account-based marketing is essential to your overall strategy.
Customers crave personalization, and account-based marketing delivers.
Account-based marketing is tailored to each account. Instead of sending blanket messaging to a large audience, your team creates content specifically relevant to key accounts. This requires data-driven selection of your highest-potential customers and a deep understanding of their pain points. Though time intensive up front, this process offers your customers value with direct, highly personalized content. The extra time spent catering to your customers’ needs will set your business apart from the competition. As you create campaigns that truly resonate, you strengthen your relationship with the primary decision-makers of an organization. Not only will these efforts improve customer retention but they will also create opportunities to expand business with your target accounts.
When sales and marketing align, efficiency soars.
This marketing method forces sales and marketing teams to work together. And with only 22% of companies who consider their sales and marketing departments well aligned, this collaboration push is often much-needed. With a more targeted focus on individual accounts, your marketing team has access to specific information about the main stakeholders and their conversion behaviors. Your sales team, in turn, can spend less time grooming leads that don’t produce and direct their resources toward accounts that actually want to hear from them. Much of the customer guesswork is out of the equation, and the sales cycle is consequently shortened. Communication becomes key as both teams work together and use data to optimize their efforts.
Account-based marketing offers more bang for your buck.
Higher ROI is one of the biggest benefits of this type of marketing. ITSMA reports that nearly 85% of marketers measuring ROI say that account-based marketing outperforms other marketing investments. And that’s largely because, with this method, you narrow your target audience to accounts with proven interest in your brand. Your team can spend more time and resources on fruitful accounts, minimizing waste and risk. Of course, it’s even more economical if your business is already very knowledgeable of your most attractive accounts and their key decision-makers. Cost-efficiency can be further maximized with the use of technology tools that improve the account-targeting process.
Success is expected, and easy to measure.
When you market to established, high-value clients, it is easier to track your marketing dollars. Smaller data sets and fewer metrics make for simpler analysis than standard marketing methods. Sales and marketing coordination also simplifies goal setting and increases accountability. Once an account-based marketing campaign is well underway, Individual campaign results can be analyzed, along with account engagement, opportunities created and account-level trends. That data can then be leveraged to further optimize your strategy for that account and others.
Stop draining your resources on campaigns that don’t convert accounts. Nurture your key customers and close bigger deals by joining the 61% of companies with an established practice of account-based marketing. You can expect to put considerable time and energy into your most promising targets. But you can also expect to drive the most revenue as you build trust and meet the unique needs of each account. Your customers will appreciate it…and so will your budget.

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Common Customer Experience Mistakes

A great customer experience has a positive impact on revenues. If you look after customers they will look after you. Avoid these customer experience mistakes and find out how to avoid them.
Customer Experience Error Page
Today’s customers expect all businesses to provide the same calibre of experience that they’d find with say, an Uber, an Amazon, or an Airbnb.
If we look back at the last decade in business, consumer preferences have been altered by startups offering standout customer experiences. These startups have since morphed into industry leaders by making customer experience a competitive advantage.
In the UK, Monzo and Revolut are raising the bar for CX in Banking. Large fintechs such as Transferwise have made sending money across the globe a dream for users. In the entertainment industry, Spotify and Netflix have been ingenious with their use of customer data to create personalised experiences and have made the customer’s experience a cornerstone of their strategy.
Much of what customer experience leaders build derives from listening to customers. It’s critical to ask customers what they want, listen carefully to their answers, and figure out a plan to provide it thoughtfully and quickly (speed matters in business!). We now live in an era where making costly mistakes when improving your customer experience can be damaging to your brand and the bottom line.
Customer experience transcends across multiple departments, touches on numerous disciplines from analytics, research, support and product. Poor performance in any one of those areas can be costly and see your brand slip into irrelevance with the customer.
In the following article, we’ll dive deep into the customer experience mistakes to avoid at all costs.
1. CX Isn’t Part of the Company Culture
True customer obsession is a principle that keeps companies relevant, competitive, and growing. Without it, companies stagnate, become irrelevant, decline and slowly fade away.
Company culture influences and projects onto everything a company does. A customer-obsessed culture creates the conditions where employees strive to design and invent to create delight for the customer.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is treating the customer experience as an external effort. Creating a customer-centric culture comes from within. A customer obsessed culture is a way to centre and align your business around the interests of the customers.
We’ve been lucky enough to work with companies like Uber, Zappos, and Spotify. One thing they all have in common is a strong emphasis on internal culture. They empower employees to make high-velocity decision making and optimise the customer experience at speed.
One key theme that emerges across all these great brands is the availability of information. In many organisations, customer data is locked in systems, silos, and storage places that are not immediately available.
Their customer experience data flow is designed to continuously collect all streams of customer information in real-time and democratise it. They are making the data accessible via any channel that’s used by those needing to make decisions. There is no need to log into a different system to view NPS, CSAT or surveys responses and email various departments for CSV files of data stored in excel.
All data collected is available in one platform, removing barriers to customer-centric data. This level of transparency is designed to allow anyone within the company to make customer-centric decisions.
Internally, there are a few things you can do to bring the customer experience inside the office walls.

Share the company vision across all teams, departments, and roles. Everyone needs to be on the same page.
Embed customer-centric goals into all company efforts from sales pitches to marketing, UX, and accounting. All departments must be in alignment–and have a clear understanding of how responsibilities connect to CX.
Train your team (regularly) on the latest CX strategies, tools, and best practices.
Provide a single platform to collect and analyse customer feedback data.

2. Poor Use of Data
Why collect data if you’re not going to use it the right way?
Companies must collect, analyse, understand — and most importantly use — customer data to learn how to make the customer experience better. If you aren’t utilising the latest technologies to analyse data you collect on customers, then you’re allowing competitors to be more customer-centric than you.
Today, companies are storing large amounts of data – terabytes and petabytes across several databases. Integrating all data sources into one platform gives brands a holistic view of the customer journey.
To unlock insights on the customer, leading brands invest in powerful analytical capabilities harnessing AI and Machine Learning to understand customer feedback at scale. Revealing the needs and wants of the consumer that would otherwise remain untapped and out of sight.
When you take advantage of the data collected, it allows you to:
Get Personal: Netflix, Spotify and Amazon have nailed the art of personalisation perfectly, suggesting books, TV shows, and songs that fit their users’ distinct tastes. None of this would be possible without analytics.
Identify what’s working: If you don’t look at the data showing what you’re doing wrong in CX and UX, customers will leave your site, store, or app. It’s no longer a question. There are too many other options available to accept a less-than-stellar experience.
Intelligent AI analysis of customer feedback using topic and sentiment analysis can help prioritise what matters to the customer the most. Is it a bug in your app? Delivery time of food being delivered? Pricing? Diving deep into customer feedback at scale can unearth key insights that help prioritise decision making.
Move Faster: Artificial Intelligence can process data in huge volumes in real time, identifying trends in the data, that is invisible to the human eye. You are unlocking the capacity to help you be more proactive to ever changing customer preferences. Top customer experience analytics platforms provide automated alerts that can notify the correct team member when a change in data or behaviour of the customer is registered.
A powerful feature that can easily fit into your team workflow, ensuring key stakeholders who own certain parts of the customer stay on top of customer satisfaction across their section of customer experience.
3. Not Understanding the Monetary Value of CX
Only a small number of companies can demonstrate in actual figures an ROI connected to Customer Experience efforts.
Many customer experience efforts stall out because leaders fail to show their team just how much value a customer-centric culture adds to your overall bottom line. The cost of inaction due to a lack of understanding of ROI can be devastating for businesses.
If you want to sell CX internally, you need to show internal stakeholders a clear link to its financial benefits. A few ideas for kicking off that initial CX conversation:
Choose the Business Metrics Most Impacted by Customer Experience
A few metrics often used to measure ROI of CX include:
Revenue: Top-line revenue is the most common business metric to consider. A recent Forrester study found that the revenue of CX leaders outgrew the revenue of their CX laggard competitors by 5 to 1.
Customer Retention: Improving customer experience has a direct impact on increasing customer retention and reducing churn. Happy customers are loyal and refer their friends regularly.
Cross-sell/Upsell: Customers who are delighted with their experience spend more with a business by buying additional products and services.
Cost-to-Serve: Improving customer experience has a direct impact on reducing the cost to serve customers as it results in streamlined processes, a reduced volume of complaints and refunds to the customer call center and greater efficiencies company wide.
__Use Customer Experience Analytics To Show Link Between Business Metrics and CX __
To show the link between CX metrics and customer experience, you have first to discover how CX drives changes in customer behaviour.
Understand how customers think and feel about their experiences by analyzing their feedback and understand the key drivers behind their experience. With text analytics, you’ll be able to identify which topics impact your CX the most across the entire customer journey. You may find that the temperature of the food on delivery is resulting in cancellations and refunds.
This insight will help you prioritize your investments and find quick wins to generate ROI from CX initiatives quickly.
Secondly, perform analysis to determine what a 1-point increase or decrease in Net Promoter Score, CSAT or your main CX metric tracked company wide is worth in terms of the business metrics you’ve chosen to measure ROI.
4. Review Customer Data by Cohort
Failure to segment your customer data is a huge opportunity missed to generate more profits. Your business may compete with different competitors for specific demographics or geographies.
Different customer segments may have different goals and pain points to solve. Look at customer data from past NPS survey responses and review the feedback by LTV for example and you’ll be able to see what matters most to Freemium users vs Highest LTV customers.

Segmentation adds a lot of context to data. As we see here in this chart, churn rate due to the negative customer service experience of Premium customers is arguably more of a problem than negative customer service experience of Freemium customers.
Gathering these insights and connecting the dots for internal stakeholders can help you get the buy-in needed to take CX to the next level.
5. Not Providing a Personalized Experience
Personalization isn’t optional in this day and age.
Given the fact that CX depends on collecting and analyzing data, there’s no excuse not to use that information to deliver a personal experience to every customer.
Amazon, for example, knows a lot about their customers based on their purchase history, so they personalize and offer their customers special offers based on the customers’ interests. This type of personalization not only increases customer satisfaction but also drives loyalty and repetitive purchases.
Netflix captures the intent of the users, continually researching the interests of its customers. Based on the user behaviour, you might find an actor that you recognize, an exciting moment like a car chase, or a dramatic scene that conveys the essence of a movie or TV show in your feed.
Personalized communication allows you to set the stage for a positive relationship, making customers feel valued while establishing a sense of trust. Brands that don’t make an effort to understand customer needs and preferences miss out on long-term loyalty and risk high rates of churn.
6. Failing to Act On Customer Feedback
Customers do not like it when you ignore them. If there is a customer complaint offering negative feedback, it’s essential to treat it like the learning experience it is.
Make sure you do the following:

Listen to your customers.
Acknowledge their concerns and offer a solution—don’t make excuses or argue with the customer.
Make the required change and follow up — in other words, close the loop to make sure that you’ve fixed the problem correctly.
Apologize and say “thanks” for the feedback.

Much of what is built at leading brands such as Amazon is based on listening to customers. If you don’t prioritise customer feedback and embed your learnings into your product roadmap, someone else will build something that meets customer needs better. Before long, you’ll see your product fall deeper into irrelevance in the mind of the customer.
Ultimately, reviewing feedback from all customers allows you to make improvements to your business and build better relationships with the people who make your organization money.
7. Asking the Wrong Questions
A mistake committed time and time again is failing to ask questions that produce insightful feedback from customers.
The whole purpose of capturing feedback is to provide data for analysis and insights that can drive ACTIONABLE change across an organisation.
It’s critical to remember your customer experience analytics system is only as good as the data you input into it. Asking the wrong questions of your customers won’t deliver actionable insights.
A good rule of thumb is to take stock of your desired outcome right from the outset: what is it that you hope to learn?
If you want to know what people think about your brand overall, then run an NPS survey. If the goal is to learn more about who your customers are and what they care about, consider asking a few direct questions.
Examples include:

What did we do that you liked best?
What could we do better?
What could we have done differently to improve the customer experience?
To what extent did X increase likelihood to recommend?
Which words would you use to describe us?
What function does our product/service fill for you?
How does our product/service solve your problem?
What questions did you have that you couldn’t find answers to?

We recommend sticking to a few questions (think three to five, max) and asking a mix of open and closed-ended questions. More importantly, the questions must be actionable, specific and attributable to a customer segment.
8. Asking Too Many Questions
It makes sense; you want to learn as much about your customers as possible. Initially, you might think it’s a good idea to ask your customers dozens of questions in one go. But customers will most likely see a long list of questions as a burden. Who wants to spend their time essentially doing work for free?
The length of your survey should be, at most, something the average user could complete in under five minutes. That means no more than ten (short) questions.
If you have a low response rate to your customer feedback surveys then that’s a leaky bucket in your CX program.
One tip we recommend is adding in a progress bar to your survey so the customer can see how close they are to completion. If the customer can see the progress, they are more likely to commit and complete all your answers.
That said, it’s unlikely that the average customer will want to read through ten questions, much less give a thoughtful response to each one. Instead, aim to ask two or three open-ended questions at a time. Fewer questions allow customers to share their experience, quickly, in their own words.
You might approach this as an NPS survey, where you first ask the customer to rate their experience with your company—and from there, include a comment box with enough space for them to explain the “why” behind their numeric score.
9. Neglecting UX and Design
Customer Experience is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship in terms of the digitally crafted experience solely for the organization.
UX is an inevitable part of the CX. It’s important for any digital product and creates a better customer experience.
User Experience is the foundation of a good customer experience. These fields are very much intertwined and one isn’t necessarily more ‘important’ than the other. Companies might focus on necessary service improvements like response time of customer support, but neglecting UX is one of the deadliest CX sins a brand can commit.
No matter how beautifully designed your site may be, if your users don’t know how to navigate and find what they’re looking for, they simply won’t come back.
Think about what you expect when you visit a website. What impression do you get from a site that is poorly designed, full of broken links, or is too hard to navigate? You might click away in frustration. Maybe you’re worried that your computer will get a virus or that they can’t process payments securely.
Poor UX is a fatal blow to the customer experience. When UX doesn’t match up with basic design principles, you’re getting a fragmented experience.
UX touches upon your users and if they have a good experience with your brand they will refer their friends.
10. Not Connecting with Customers on Multiple Channels
One of the biggest criminal offences committed by customer experience professionals is not providing your company with the best chance of capturing customer feedback.
We recommend having an omnichannel approach to collecting feedback. You want to cast a wide net, so you capture as much insight as possible. That means enabling customers to provide feedback across all the critical touch points in the customer journey, across websites, mobile apps, emails, or in-store.
Customers need the opportunity to come to you with feedback, as well as you actively soliciting feedback from them.

Active feedback refers to actively engaging your users and asking them for their input. Most likely about their experience in one of the hotspots of your customer journey, such as the checkout experience, delivery experience, or understanding what they think of a new homepage.
Passive feedback refers to feedback a customer feels compelled to give you on their own volition without being solicited, often highlighting issues that you simply didn’t know about.

Key channels to have a presence when developing your CX program.

Customer Surveys (NPS, CSAT, CES)
Onsite Customer Surveys
Social Media
Call Transcripts
Chatbots Conversations

More feedback means more insights, which adds up to more guidance on how to improve CX.
Avoiding these mistakes is a great way to start improving the experience customers have when they interact with your brand. When a brand starts to consistently offer customers an experience, just a little above what competitors offer, they are bound to control a greater percentage of market in a short time.

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Should Agencies Ever Respond to RFPs?

Respond to RFPs? Rarely… and only with an “unfair advantage.”
An agency owner recently asked: “Should we respond to RFPs?”
My advice? No, don’t respond to RFPs… especially without a true “unfair advantage.”
Still tempted by that RFP, or enjoy repeatedly smashing your thumb with a hammer? Keep reading…
Why responding to RFPs is a bad idea
RFPs are inherently stacked against you, skewing in favor of the client—and RFPs are a poor ROI on time and effort for the agencies involved.
More fundamentally, RFP-oriented clients expect a binding proposal without the benefit of sufficient discovery (paid or otherwise). You’re committing to something you don’t fully understand—and, frankly, can’t fully understand, given the limited information available.
Sometimes larger companies do an RFP when they already have a winner in mind… but procurement has required them to get at least three bids. Are you a viable competitor, or just their obligatory third bid?
Is this even work you want to do? Are you likely to be the most qualified bidder, or this just a long-shot shiny object?
Can’t resist an RFP? Find an edge
Still want to do a sales proposal in response to an RFP? I think it’s a bad idea—especially if it’s a government client, as I note below—but it’s your agency.
If you’re going to proceed, at least consider where the opportunity falls on my continuum of “RFP unfair advantages.” Without one, you’re even less likely to win the RFP.
Finding your agency’s RFP “unfair advantage”
What might that RFP “unfair advantage” look like? Here’s my list, in descending order (from “best” advantage to “worst” advantage):
1. You’ve worked with the client before, you know the people involved, and you know the internal politics. (Although this raises a fundamental question: Why are they doing an RFP, instead of just asking you directly?) [Best of the worst]
2. You know the decision-maker from a previous job, and you have a good relationship with them.
3. You can get a warm intro—from a mutual connection—to speak with the RFP’s creator.
4. You cold-contact the prospect with questions and they share answers that they aren’t posting publicly.
5. They won’t share answers, but they’ll at least share how many they’ve invited to apply. [Worst of the worst]
IMPORTANT: Check the RFP guidelines to see if these are permitted in the RFP you’re pitching. Often, some or all are prohibited, especially with government RFPs. Talk to your agency’s attorney to confirm.
None of these “unfair advantages” apply to you in the RFP you’re considering? You might try to rationalize an exception, to justify applying anyway. Let’s burst your bubble.
Exceptions to RFP unfair advantage?
What if the RFP doesn’t match any of these? If the prospect won’t even share how many agencies they’ve invited to apply, you have zero advantage. Quit while you’re ahead.
What if you have a salesperson, and you have them do the RFP? That’s certainly an option, but is that really the best use of their time and energy? Maybe, but probably not. And giving your team the worst assignments isn’t exactly “leadership by example.”
RFPs + government clients = Risky situation
Government clients love RFPs. As taxpayers, that’s potentially good—but as agencies, that’s not helpful.
My clients who work with local government clients often have to do RFPs, because that’s just how their clients work. But you’ll want to weigh whether to submit yourself to such a skewed, anti-agency process.
Be careful—an unfair advantage might violate the terms of a government RFP, especially if it’s a conflict of interest, and may even be illegal.
For example, the New York Federal Reserve notes:
“The Bank seeks to avoid giving any potential offeror an unfair advantage by releasing information about the RFP to all potential offerors at the same time. Competition is encouraged by distributing the RFP to as many potential offerors as is compatible with efficiency and economy.”
The State of Connecticut notes, in avoiding giving an proposing firm an unfair competitive advantage, that:
“(2) firms and individuals may not solicit, review, or receive [Best Value Design-Build Procurement Process (BVDB)] criteria weighting or evaluation materials prepared by the Department or its consultants during the procurement phase, either directly or through an intermediary;
(3) Proposers (including subcontractors, employees , or representatives) shall not communicate with or attempt to influence the [selection committees] or other Department representatives involved in the BVDB selection process, except as allowed by this RFQ, and subsequently by the RFP;
(4) Proposers may not engage or employ current or former employees of the Department or its consultants involved in preparing this RFQ or RFP.”
And a 2013 Canadian procurement case shows that even being the incumbent may put you at risk, if the RFP issuer handles the process poorly:
“…the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found the government of Canada liable for having unfairly favoured the incumbent service provider over competing bidders by making inaccurate disclosures of anticipated work volumes in its solicitation document. … After RLRS won the [approximately $1 billion contracts], the government discovered irregularities relating to the conflict of interest of one of its employees who had attended a boat cruise with an RLRS official. The government also discovered that the 2002 evaluation process was flawed due to an unreasonably compressed posting period that unduly favoured the incumbent…”
Solution? Think hard about whether working with government clients is worth your agency’s time. (Similar restrictions may apply if you’re pitching a publicly-traded corporation, too.)
Although government clients often have big budgets, that’s not always the case. And the oversight burden may be more than an independent agency can afford to manage. For an extreme case, look at what happened to UC Davis and its agencies a few years ago.
Handling RFPs at your independent agency
Ultimately, RFPs are a bad idea for most agencies. You would be better off putting your efforts towards self-marketing to attract clients who want you, instead of clients who expect your agency—and perhaps dozens of other agencies—to jump through endless hoops in a zero sum game.
But if you’re going to invest the time to respond to an RFP, you’d be wise to focus on opportunities with unfair advantage(s)… as long they’re legal.
Question: How do you approach RFPs at your agency?

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9+ Must-Track eCommerce KPIs to Ensure Google Ads Success

Last month we looked at all the top eCommerce KPIs to follow and how to create your own based on your goals. But what about those KPIs that specifically help you monitor and optimize your Google ads? What are the must-track PPC KPIs to ensure your ads are not only bringing in a lot of juicy, targeted traffic, but doing so within your budget?
You asked, we answered!
This week we will run through the 9+ most important Google Ads KPIs and metrics to monitor to ensure Google Ads success. Ultimately helping you to increase conversions and order values while reducing your cost per acquisition.
Google Ads KPI #1: Budget Attainment
The first KPI we will look at isn’t a common one. If you want to keep a close eye on how close your Google Ads results came to your goals within the budget you set for the month, then budget attainment is a vital eCommerce Google Ads KPI.
Often overlooked by beginner Google advertisers, this KPI is very important for the following reason:
Marketers tend to over- or under-spend when adjusting bids and budgets daily because Google ad campaigns require constant optimization and adjustments. Budget attainment, however, will show you how your budgets are being managed.
Simply put, your budget attainment KPI is the total Google ad spend for the month vs. the allocated budget.
If you are exceeding your overall monthly budget but are getting good results, it is time to increase – if you have the spend. Or if you’re leaving money on the table and getting good results, then it’s time to add more campaigns to your Google Ads strategy. If, when looking at the month as a whole, you’re over-spending and getting bad results, it’s time to pull back and optimize your campaigns so that you’re not throwing away your allocated budget.
Google Ads KPI #2: Cost Per Acquisition / Conversion (CPA)
Yes, reaching your conversion targets is cause for celebration. But what if you notice from your budget attainment reports that you are exceeding your budget in a huge way? Then it’s time to look at what each campaign, ad group or ad conversion is costing you. This is where your CPA comes in. CPA is the cost of acquiring each new customer and is worked out as follows:
Total cost of conversions ÷ total number of conversions = CPA
Let’s say that your CTRs are great and your CPCs (we will talk about these in more detail below) are within budget, but your conversions are low – your CPAs will be higher than they should be, eating into the profits you do make. There are a number of reasons why this could happen, such as having either landing page/Google ad content discrepancies or an optimized web store that doesn’t instill trust or isn’t easy to navigate. Or if your conversions are great but your CPCs are too high, then again, you may find your CPAs are too high and leaving you without profit. Ultimately, you should be setting your maximum CPAs ahead of time to ensure your business is still profitable, and testing and optimizing your ads and store to ensure you do not exceed it.
Pro Tip: Use Google’s Targeted CPA bidding technique to enable you to get as many conversions as possible without exceeding the CPA KPI you set. To use this, you will need to be doing at least 30 sales per month and have conversion tracking set up.
Google Ads KPI #3: Cost Per Click (CPC)
CPCs are probably the most well-known eCommerce KPI to monitor when running Google ads. It’s the amount you are paying every time a user reacts to your ad. You work it out as follows:
Total campaign cost ÷ total number of clicks = CPC
In short, it’s the cost of your ad being displayed and the clicks it receives when displayed. Remember: with Google, the bids you set will play a part in the final CPC of your ad. If you are bidding on terms with a lot of competition and in a popular niche, you may need to plan for a higher CPC result to ensure you are able to compete. At the same time, if your CPC is too high and your conversions are low, your CPAs may be higher than the profit you earn on selling.
It is a balancing act.
Therefore, it’s best to work out ahead of time what your maximum CPC will be for Google Ads, to ensure you’re able to get as many results as possible for the budget you have. AKA: good ROIs. Here is a step-by-step guide for working out your max CPC:
Step 1
Work out the amount of profit you can earn with each sale. Remember to take your costs into consideration. You can do that as follows:
Average lifetime value per acquisition – (taxes + internal costs) = acquisition profit
Step 2
Next, you will want to work out what your current conversion rate is.
Total conversions ÷ total clicks = average conversion rate
Step 3
Use your profit equation and conversion rate averages to work out the CPC where you break even.
Average conversion rate X acquisition profit = break-even CPC
Step 4
Lastly, you will need to adjust for CPC fluctuations and profitability. You want to make sure that your max CPC is lower than your break-even CPC, as this will ensure you are not using all your profits. The trick is to not go too low, or you won’t get the reach and the clicks. And not to set them too high, or you will be spending far more than you’re making. Generally speaking, you want to aim for around 70% of your break-even CPC, but you will want to do the math and see what works for your business and budget in terms of how competitive your niche is.
Break-even CPC X 0.70 = max CPC

Google Ads KPI #4: Quality Score
Your Google Ads Quality Score is one of the most influential PPC KPIs because it not only summarizes how relevant your ads – and their landing pages and keywords – are to your shoppers, but plays a direct role in how Google decides which ads to show. It will also directly affect the cost of the clicks.
So, what is a good Quality Score for Google Ads?
Quality Scores are reported on a scale from one to ten and awarded at the following levels:
Account level: This is based on the historical performance of all your keywords and ads in your account. A good score for your account should be 7-9.
Ad group level: Here, you are shown the Quality Score of each ad group. At an ad group level, you want to aim for a score of 6-9.
Keyword level: This will point to the relevance of your keywords. You should be aiming for the following scores:

Ad keywords with high intent – Quality Scores of 7-9
Branded keywords – Quality Scores of 8-10
Ad keywords with low intent – Quality Scores of 6-8
Competitor keywords – Quality Scores of 3 and up

Ad level: This is the Quality Score of each ad in your ad group.
Landing page level: This is the Quality Score of the URL linked to your ad.
Looking at Quality Scores at every level is hugely telling. Let’s say your average Quality Score at ad group level is 6, but some ads in the group are higher while one or two ads in the group have a score of 3. Then you know which ad you need to optimize first to improve your average. Other Quality Scores are for Display Network and mobile.
Quick Tip: If you’re looking to improve Quality Scores at each level, you should optimize your landing pages, test ad text, and double-check your keywords and their organization.
Google Ads KPI #5: Conversion Rate (CVR)
The next vital Google Ads KPI to track is your campaign conversion rates (CVR). This is the percentage or rate of your ad clickers who end up becoming paying shoppers. In other words, sales!
You can work out your Google Ads campaign or ad CVR by dividing the number of conversions for the ad or campaign by the total number of clicks. Ultimately, it ensures you are meeting your ROI eCommerce KPI objectives for Google Ads.
Conversions ÷ clicks = CVR
Why are CVRs so important for ascertaining Google Ads success?
Let’s say your campaign clicks are high but CVRs are low. This could point to issues with your landing pages and their CTA text, or if coupled with a bad Quality Score, will show URL irrelevancy issues – all in real-time. Additionally, it helps you set and keep your conversion goals in mind for your click/impression campaigns.
Google Ads KPI #6: Impressions and Impression Share (IS)
Impression metrics may not seem like an important indicator of your ad performance on their own. But they can point to scheduling and targeting issues. Why is that important? Well, you can craft a highly strategic ad that promises to convert clicks, but it’s worthless if no one is seeing it.
Newbie Tip: Some basic reasons for low impressions for your campaigns, groups or ads include forgetting to un-pause campaigns or your budget limitations (your total set budget has been used, your ad approval is still pending or your negative bid adjustments are too low).
However, it’s impressions in relation to clicks (i.e. your impression share) that are really telling. IS is worked out by dividing your campaign impression totals by the impressions the campaign was eligible for.
Impressions ÷ total eligible impressions = Impression Share
This can be found in your Google Ads campaign manager and analytics.

This data can be used in a number of ways. If you have a low impression share and ad rank or Quality Score, then you could try raising your bid or work on increasing your quality score. If the campaign is performing well but you’re not getting enough views, then it could be time to up your budget. Additionally, it could point to poorly performing keywords.
Newbie Tip: Absolute Top Impression Share (ATIS) is your impression share specifically for your Google Shopping campaigns. A low ATIS could point to a need to increase bids or budgets. The slight difference between ATIS and IS is that ATIS takes into account all your Shopping ads you’re showing at once. You can read more about the difference here.
Google Ads KPI #7: Clicks and Click-Through Rate (CTR)
The next top Google Ads metric you want to closely track are your clicks. Clicks are one of the most important indicators of a campaign’s success and simply measure the number of people who click your ads. But it is your click-through rates that really bring your ad performance home.
Because if you have the impressions but aren’t getting the clicks, then it’s time to test some ad variations. Your CTRs are the percentage of potential shoppers who click your Google ads after seeing them and can be viewed at a campaign and ad group level. Here are some quick tips on how you can raise your Google Ads CPCs.

Edit and test meta description variations
Review your focus keywords
Test and optimize your CTAs
Improve your engagement metrics – such as time on site, bounce rate, page views and dwell time
Combine Google remarketing ads and Facebook marketing

Google Ads KPI #8: LTV (Lifetime Value)
Another super important eCommerce KPI to track to ensure peak ad performance is your LTV. This is an excellent indicator of your overall Google strategy health and will point to a lot of valuable data to help take your marketing – and business – to the next level.
In a nutshell, LTV measures how valuable each of your customers is to your business and will differ slightly per business owner. The more complex your business is, the more involved getting to this KPI will be as you will need to consider things like profit margins per counters, retention rates and the average lifespan of your shoppers.
Within Google Analytics, you are able to assess a variety of LTV metrics such as pageviews, session duration, revenue, transactions and goal completions per user. Choosing which one is most urgent to watch will be unique to your specific business, marketing or campaign goals. Let’s say your goal is to drive traffic or convert previous shoppers with Google remarketing campaigns: you may want to track pageviews LTV of promotional page or revenue LTV.

Google Ads KPI #9: Keyword Performance
The last top eCommerce KPI to monitor for Google Ads success is your keyword performance. After all, keywords are the foundation of Google Ads and without good performing keywords you will either not be reaching the right shopper or not reaching anyone at all. Therefore, it is vital that you have a clear keyword performance goal and then monitor and optimize based on your performance KPIs.
This will include metrics such as Quality Score, CTR, clicks and other important keyword performance indicators, and can be done at various levels. If you want to view keyword performance, these four easy steps will get you there:

Here you will be able to see which match types result in more conversions, clicks or impressions and which are duds. Remember to add irrelevant (non-performing) keywords that have low ROIs to your negative keyword list as this will help keep ROIs up and prevent unnecessary spend.

Ultimately, you need to look at your unique business, audience and objectives to find the top Google Ads KPIs to monitor for your success. As your business evolves, so will your goals and the KPIs you will put on top of your must-watch, must-optimize list.
Have questions on which Google Ads KPIs you should be monitoring for campaign success? Post them in the comments below!

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