bryan coe digital marketing strategist

It Is Always About Timing

“It’s always about timing. If it’s too soon, no one understands. If it’s too late, everyone’s forgotten”

Anna Wintour

I came across this quote this morning and hit home with me. I’ve recently been working on a new project and I’ve been faced with a lot of people not understanding what I’m doing.

The project is working with investors to help them invest in profitable online businesses. The challenge is this is a more abstract investment type. I’ve spoken with a lot private equity people, private investors, angel investors and they can’t wrap their heads around the idea. It’s just too abstract for them.

leadership - entrepreneurship

If the Majority of People Don’t Understand You, You Just Might Be On to Something

The reason the quote caught my attention is because the fact that so many “investors” don’t understand the idea of investing in online businesses, makes me believe that I’m on to something. I know it is not a new concept but it is still not mainstream. That means for those of us that are getting into it now, we still, have a chance to get in at an early stage. That bodes well for the future. ūüôā

Life Is All About Relationships

It's All About Relationships

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is being a successful entrepreneur/business person and even for life, in general, is all about relationships.

This thought struck me again this morning when I was in the middle of a “catch up” meeting with someone I did contract work for probably 10 years ago. He was working at a large agency at the time and contracted me to do some SEO work for their Fortune 500 clients.


The way you handle yourself with every business interaction could have positive or negative effects.

Since that initial project, we’ve both been through a lot of changes, and we may have spoken less than a handful of times since then. But there we were discussing ways that we might be able to collaborate.

This is not the only time I’ve experienced this in the last few months.

A few months ago a contact of mine reached out to recommend I work with a company in South Africa where he now sits on the board.

This one was particularly cool because way back in 2004, so 15 years ago, I worked for a German company in the US. At the time there were only three people there that spoke German: The CEO, the President and, you guessed it, me.

successful business relationship

This was a starting point for a relationship with the CEO. I worked there for only a short time, but over the years we’ve stayed in casual contact. And it was the former CEO that reached out to me with the recommendation. The company is now a client.

Neither of these “relationships” was the type where you invite them over for dinner or spend a lot of time outside of work. It was simple mutual respect and understanding of the value of each other’s business ethic.

It sticks out to me because it really drives home that you never know where a connection will come from. The way you handle yourself with every business interaction could have positive or negative effects. This carries over into the rest of your life too.

Make Yourself Proud

I just read an email from a newsletter that I subscribe to from Rob at Owner Media Group. The title was the same as my post, “Make Yourself Proud.” Rob was writing about the advice he gave his son when he dropped him off at college. It got me thinking though.

With all the pressure to succeed, to impress others, to climb the corporate ladder, or as an entrepreneur Рto win more business, we all make decisions every day that will drive our future.  One comment in the email really stuck out and puts all this in perspective.

“I know that when I face my choices directly, if I can ‚Äėmake myself proud,‚Äô the rest will fall into place.”

We all need to step back and think about this…

Are you making yourself proud?

make yourself proud

Celebrating Our Successes – I Received an Award For My Work With Google Analytics!

One thing I’ve learned from mentors and if you read/listen to any of the great leaders, they continue to say, “celebrate your successes.”¬† ¬†Or as Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Be your own biggest fan.”

Anyway, all that to say…

Today I’m celebrating!

Why? Because today I received a Morado Award from AFI for an important project that has been a large part of what I’ve been working on this year. Migrating Armstrong Flooring from Adobe analytics and DTM to Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.

“In recognition of outstanding guidance and technical leadership during the Google Analytics Implementation.”

Bryan Coe Morado Award 2018

When I started at Armstrong Flooring back in 2016 they were in the middle of building the commercial site which included going from a legacy implementation of Adobe Analytics to the new AA and Dynamic Tag Manager (DTM).  While I had experience with AA it had been several years since I actively used it. I was one of the only people on the team that had any experience with it so we relied on a vendor to define and implement the tool. Almost from day one, I shared that I believe that Google Analytics is a better more cost effective solution. Especially based on the sophistication of the current analytics reporting.

Then in 2017, I helped convince my manager that it was a good idea to switch to Google Analytics and we were able to start the conversation with upper management. Long story short in early 2018 we had the green light to start the migration project.

We worked with a small team including Tim, a developer. Tim was a critical team member because of his development skills. He did the onsite code to make sure GTM was working and he baled me out a when I was stuck with coding in GTM itself. He and I did the brunt of the work. Although, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we did if it hadn’t been for great team we worked with. We as a team managed to get the project finished early and under budget!

Now with the project complete, we are getting more data each day, and I’m working on the reporting which will include a dashboard for analysts, as well as higher level reporting for management and the executive team. It’s been very exciting to the insights that we are gaining already.

I am still planning to do a post that compares the differences between AA and GA. I might even do a whitepaper, but today I just wanted to share something good.

Thanks to Bryan S. for making sure Tim and I received some recognition of the work we put into the project. 

Launch Day! Analytics Migration From Adobe to Google Analytics

adobe analytics vs google analytics

For the last few months I’ve been working on a project to migrate our analytics from Adobe Analytics and Dynamic Tag Manager (DTM) to Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager (GTM). The project encompasses 3 main sites with around a half million visits per month, plus about 9 other smaller or internal sites.

The motivation for the change was an effort to simplify our analytics as well as to replace an overly complex implementation that was in my opinion botched by the vendor we used to implement it. Plus, there’s a small cost difference since we have found that the free version of Google Analytics suits our needs currently. We also have the option to upgrade to the paid version in the future if needed.

Today will be filled with testing, but once it all settles down I’ll post a full report on how the migration went and the pros and cons of the two platforms as well why we decided Google was a better choice.

Google Search Console Finally Gets Historical Data!

Everyone that has a Google Search Console account should have recently received a notification “Introducing the new Search Console (beta).”¬† And if you’re an SEO or a marketing agency you probably been suffering from an onslaught of emails notifying you of this. Google REALLY wants everyone to know about the updated UI and functionality.

But with that minor annoyance aside. It’s like Christmas for SEOs! FINALLY¬†we can now see historical data in GSC, up to 16 months. This means we will be able to finally do year over year comparisons. WOOHOO!! Older than that you won’t be able to see in the tool so you may still need to do some exporting and backups, but this is so much better than the previous 90 days.

To do this:

  1. log into Google Search Console and go to the property you want to look at.
  2. If you end up in the old version. Go to notifications. There you should see the notification about the new GSC and you can click on the link to the new version.
  3. Then go to “Performance”
  4. At the top you’ll see the standard filter for “Last 3 months”
  5. Click the edit pencil
  6. Then choose “Full Duration” to get the last 16 months.

Your report should then look something like the one below.

Google Search Console full duration report

Facebook Says Goodbye To Brands (and Businesses and Media)

facebook zuckerberg people firstYou may have noticed a trend on Facebook that organically (not paid ads) businesses and brands are showing up less and less. Recently Facebook was running a test where they¬†moved¬†these types of post from the main feed into the new “Explore”¬†tab¬†for¬†some users. It seems that this will roll out to all users.

Facebook for Business can still be effective

This is important to for businesses because this solidifies further that Facebook will be “pay to play” platform for brands. This doesn’t mean it can’t be used effectively, you just have to be aware of the rules and how the platform is evolving.

In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg wrote:

“Recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments [from friends and family] that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Zuckerberg also commented about how the future Facebook feed will look,

“Less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media” and that he expects “the time people spend on Facebook … will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable.”

Do you think this will make Facebook better?

Google Updates Meta Descriptions Length – But Don’t Panic!

google updates meta description length

OK Melodrama aside, you may or you may not need to rewrite all your meta descriptions. Here’s why.

If  you have searched for anything recently you may have noticed a lot more text under each result.  Google has changed their rules for meta descriptions that show up in search results.  Although meta descriptions are not part of the ranking algorithm, they do play a role in whether people click or not. The change means that Google may show up to 320 characters instead of the previous 160 characters.

This is what Google is saying about the change.

The fact that our snippets have gotten longer doesn’t change the fundamentals of writing a description tag. They should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about

What this means is that we now have the freedom to write longer descriptions, however if you are happy with your current descriptions you don’t need to change them. If you’re not happy with them or you think you could do a better job with more characters, now is your change to write a bit more.

What it doesn’t mean is that we should stuff a bunch of keywords and junk in there in order to try to trick the search engines.

As always, Google may or may not use the meta descriptions you write. Well written enticing descriptions that describe the content of the page will continue to be best practice, and will give a better chance that Google will use them and that people will click. .

If you’re interested in reading more about this, check out this article from Search Engine Land.

Google: Fundamentals of writing meta descriptions don’t change with longer search snippets

Google’s Year in Search 2017

How did you search this year?  View the trending list for 2017.

 

Why Conversion Attribution Modeling is Important – Who Gets the Credit?

‚ÄúFirst click attribution is akin to giving my first girlfriend 100% of the credit for me marrying my wife.‚ÄĚ ~A. Kaushik

attribution models

Many analytics reporting platforms use First touch as their default for conversion attribution.  Like the above quote says, this is not the best way to give attribution. Just ask your wife, or husband!

Ok, but first what does that mean? Time to geek out a bit… First touch attribution means that the way a visitor arrives to your site for the very first time is credited with the conversion.

When someone searches for candied yams, you sell candied yams and they click on your listing in the search result which brings them to your site. That is the interaction that gets the credit for the sale. In some ways this might make sense. It means the effort that you put into getting found in search is what paid for the sale. The challenge is though. They may have first come through search, but then a referral, then through search again, then direct, and another referral. Then after all that they finally converted.

conversion attribution path

So was that conversion really created only by the initial touch through organic search? Or was it the last touch that finally made them convert. Or some would argue that it was the whole series of touch points that made the sale.

Follow so far? The next question is, ‚ÄúWhy does attribution even matter?‚ÄĚ

Well, if you’re running a paid search campaign and look at standard First Touch Attribution, you might see that there are very few conversions for paid search. How do you then explain to your boss/client that paid search is benefiting the company? With only first touch conversion attribution, you’re probably going to lose your budget pretty quickly.

In the two examples below you see paid search is buried in the middle of the conversion path. The Organic Search team is getting all the credit when really these conversions were assisted by other channels.  Without looking deeper you wouldn’t know this.

organic search first touch conversion attribution

Although the major analytics platforms have a default setting they also have ways to build custom attribution models. For example Google Analyics has a few alternatives built in to its free platform.

GA attribution models

Deciding on the best model for your site might depend on the channels you are using as well as your overall marketing strategy. But without at least exploring the options you are hampering your ability to truly understand your visitors.

Have questions? Post in the comments.