Tag Archive | "RealTime"

How To Track Your Customer Journeys in Real-Time to Empower Your Sales Team

The four pillars of measuring marketing ROI are key to improving sales says Jonathan Rowe, Chief Marketing Officer at nCino. “It’s really understanding your costs specific to the activities you are doing in marketing, tying those activities to your sales opportunities, and then measuring results.”

Rowe says that taking in data on sales prospects and making it available to salespeople can drive results: “When you are bringing all of the data into one real-time place, then you can start empowering salespeople to use the data. You can track your customer journeys in real-time.”

Jonathan Rowe, Chief Marketing Officer at nCino, discusses how to use data to track and improve marketing ROI in an interview with James Carbary, the founder of Sweet Fish Media on the B2B Growth Podcast:

The Four Pillars of Measuring Marketing ROI

Knowing Your Costs

There are four variables that we use to measure ROI that have proven very successful for us. It starts with your costs. Whether it’s headcount costs where you are investing in people, whether it’s the cost of investing in PR, whether you are doing webinars or podcasts, whether you are advertising, etc., it’s really making sure that you have a good understanding of here’s where I’m actually spending my money and how much. So it starts with your costs.

Identifying Marketing Activities

The next step from there is here are all the different activities that we are spending money on. It’s advertising, attending conferences, or doing podcasts. Here are the activities. You have your costs and you have your activities.

Connecting Activities to Sales Opportunities

Then the next big step is connecting those activities to actual sales opportunities. As a B2B marketing organization at nCino, we are selling and marketing to banks. Whenever we initiate a conversation with a financial institution it often takes us 9-12 months from that initial interaction to hopefully when they become a nCino customer.

Over that 12 months, there are hopefully going to be a lot of different marketing activities where that bank and different individuals at the bank interact with nCino. We want to be able to capture that information. So we take the activities that we are doing and we actually connect them to a specific sales opportunity at the financial institution and the individual at the financial institution.

ROI: Measuring Results

The fourth pillar is the results, where we actually turn that prospect into a nCino customer. Then we can say that marketing played this role. At the end of the day, we are in a business where it’s more than marketing. We have sales groups and others involved.

When we sign a financial institution to become a nCino customer I’m always very proud to say here are all the different marketing activities (that led to the sale). Whether it’s white papers and thought leadership or press releases or attending a conference in a booth, how all those activities played an influential role.

It’s really understanding your costs specific to the activities you are doing in marketing, tying those activities to your sales opportunities, and then measuring results.

You Have to Be Committed to Data Analytics

One, you have to really be committed to data analytics. You want to have that marketing driven organization knowing it’s going to take time and costs to get there. Then two, you want to make smart decisions around the technology you use because connecting all of the dots around your data is probably the most important thing. I want to be able to go onto two or three systems which are what we have at nCino and be able to look and see all that data together.

I can see, for example, that Mary who works at a financial institution that we are talking to was on our website yesterday, that she looked at all of these different pages, that she spent seven or eight minutes on each page, and she actually downloaded one of our whitepapers. Then I find out that we are going to see Mary at a banking conference that we are going to in a few weeks.

With all of that automation, I know that the salesperson will log in and see all of that information on the financial institution and Mary.

Track You Customer Journeys in Real-Time

That sales rep will have literally on their phone before they have that face to face conversation at the conference all of Mary’s interactions. Some things you probably don’t want to tell Mary, which is hey, by the way, we’ve been tracking all of your website activity on the nCino website. But what you can have is a conversation around the fact that she downloaded our artificial intelligence whitepaper around banking and you can talk about that.

When you have fewer systems and you’ve made the commitment and you’ve gotten to the place where you are bringing all of the data into one real-time place, then you can start empowering people to use the data. You can track your customer journeys in real-time.

>> Listen to the complete B2B Growth podcast interview.

The post How To Track Your Customer Journeys in Real-Time to Empower Your Sales Team appeared first on WebProNews.

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Penguin 4.0: How the Real-Time Penguin-in-the-Core-Alg Model Changes SEO – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

The dust is finally beginning to settle after the long-awaited rollout of Penguin 4.0. Now that our aquatic avian friend is a real-time part of the core Google algorithm, we’ve got some changes to get used to. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand explains Penguin’s past, present, and future, offers his analysis of the rollout so far, and gives advice for going forward (hint: never link spam).

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week, it is all about Google Penguin. So Google Penguin is an algorithm that’s been with us for a few years now, designed to combat link spam specifically. After many, many years of saying this was coming, Penguin 4.0 rolled out on Friday, September 23rd. It is now real-time in Google’s algorithm, Google’s core algorithm, which means that it’s constantly updating.

So there are a bunch of changes. What we’re going to talk about today is what Penguin 1.0 to 3.x looked like and how that’s changed as we’ve moved to the Penguin 4.0 model. Then we’ll cover a little bit of what the rollout has looked like and how it’s affecting folks’ sites and specifically some recommendations. Thankfully, we don’t have a ton.

Penguin 1.0-3x

But important to understand, if people ask you about Penguin, people ask you about the penalties that used to come from Penguin, you’ve got to know that, back in the day…

  • Penguin 1.0 to 3.x, it used to run intermittently. So every few months, Google would collect a bunch of information, they’d run the algorithm, and then they’d release it out in the wild. It would now be in the search results. When that rollout happened, that was the only time, pretty much the only time that penalties from Penguin specifically would be given to websites or removed.

    This meant that a lot of the time, you had this slow process, where if you got penalized by Penguin, you did something bad, you did some sketchy link building, you went through all the process, you went through all the processes of getting that penalty lifted, Google said, “Fine, you’re in good shape. The next time Penguin comes out, your penalty is lifted.” You could wait months. You could wait six months or more before that penalty got lifted. So a lot of fear here and a lot of slowness on Google’s side.

  • Penguin also penalized, much like Panda, where it looks at a portion of the site, these pages maybe are the only ones on this whole domain that got bad links to them, but old Penguin did not care. Penguin would hit the entire website.

    It would basically say, “No, you’re spamming to those pages, I’m burying your whole domain. Every page on your site is penalized and will not be able to rank well.” Those sorts of penalties are very, very tough for a lot of websites. That, in fact, might be changing a little bit with the new Penguin algorithm.

  • Old Penguin did not require a reconsideration request process, though manual penalties and, some SEOs believed, Penguin penalties, too, did lift often in conjunction with disavowing old links, proving to Google that you had gone through the process of trying to get those links removed.

    It wasn’t often enough to just say, “I’ve disavowed them.” You had to tell Google, “Hey, I tried to contact the site where I bought the links or I tried to contact the private blog network, but I couldn’t get them to take it down or I did get them to take it down or they blackmailed me and forced me to pay them to take it down.” Sometimes people did pay and Google said that was bad, but then sometimes would lift the penalties and sometimes they told them, “Okay, you don’t have to pay the extortionist and we’ll lift the penalty anyway.” Very manual process here.

  • Penguin 1.0 to 3.x was really designed to remove the impact of link spam on search results, but doing it in a somewhat weird way. They were doing it basically through penalties that affected entire websites that had tried to manipulate the results and by creating this fear that if I got bad links, I would be potentially subject to Penguin for a long period.

I have a theory here. It’s a personal theory. I don’t want you to hold me to it. I believe that Google specifically went through this process in order to collect a tremendous amount of information on sketchy links and bad links through the disavow file process. Once they had a ginormous database of what sketchy and spammy bad links looked like, that they knew webmasters had manually reviewed and had submitted through the disavowal file and thought could harm their sites and were paid for or just links that were not editorially acquired, they could then machine learn against that giant database. Once they’ve acquired enough disavowals, great. Everything else is gravy. But they needed to get that huge sample set. They needed it not to just be things that they, Google, could identify but things that all of us distributed across the hundreds of millions of websites on the planet could identify. Using those disavowal files, Google can now make Penguin more real-time.

Penguin 4.0+

So challenges here, this is too slow. It hurt too much to have that long process. So in the new Penguin 4.0 and going forward, this runs as part of the core algorithm, meaning…

  • As soon as Google crawls and indexes a site and is able to update that in their databases, that site’s penalty is either lifted or incurred. So this means that if you get sketchy links, you don’t have to wait for Penguin to come out. You could get hurt tomorrow.
  • Penguin does not necessarily any longer penalize an entire domain. It still might. It could be the case that if lots of pages on a domain are getting sketchy links or some substantive portion or Google thinks you’re just too sketchy, they could penalize you.

Remember, Penguin is not the only algorithm that can penalize websites for getting bad links. There are manual spam penalties, and there are other forms of spam penalties too. Penguin is not alone here. But it may be simply taking the pages that earn those bad links and discounting those links or using different signals, weighting different signals to rank those pages or search results that have lots of pages with sketchy links in them.

  • It is also the case — and this is not 100% confirmed yet — but some early discussion between Google’s representatives and folks in the webmaster and SEO community has revealed to us that it may not be the case that Penguin 4.0 and moving forward still requires the full disavow and whole reconsideration request process.

That’s not to say that if you incur a penalty, you should not go through this. But it may not be the case that’s the only way to get a penalty lifted, especially in two cases — no fault cases, meaning you did not get those links, they just happened to come to you, or specifically negative SEO cases.

I want to bring up Marie Haynes, who does phenomenally good work around spam penalties, along with folks like Sha Menz and Alan Bleiweiss, all three of them have been concentrating on Google penalties along with many, many other SEOs and webmasters. But Marie wrote an excellent blog post detailing a number of case studies, including a negative SEO case study where the link penalty had been lifted on the domain. You can see her results of that. She’s got some nice visual graphs showing the keyword rankings changing after Penguin’s rollout. I urge you to do that, and we’ll make sure to link to it in the transcript of this video.

  • Penguin 4.0 is a little bit different from Penguin 1.0 to 3 in that it’s still designed to remove the impact of spam links on search results, but it’s doing it by not counting those links in the core algo and/or by less strongly weighting links in search results where many folks are earning spammy links.

So, for example, your PPC, your porn, your pills, your casino searches, those types of queries may be places where Google says, “You know what? We don’t want to interpret, because all these folks have nasty links pointing to them, we are going to weight links less. We’re going to weight other signals higher.” Maybe it’s engagement and content and query interpretation models and non-link signals that are offsite, all those kinds of things, clickstream data, whatever they’ve got. “We’re going to push down the value of either these specific links or all links in the algo as we weight them on these types of results.”

Penguin 4.0 rollout

So this is what we know so far. We definitely will keep learning more about Penguin as we have more experience with it. We also have some information on the rollout.

  • Started on Friday, September 23rd, few people noticed any changes.

In fact, the first few days were pretty slow, which makes sense. It fits with what Google said about the rollout being real-time and them needing time to crawl and index and then refresh all this data. So until it rolls out across the full web and Google’s crawled and indexed all the pages, gone through processing, we’re not going to get there. So little effect that same day, but…

  • More SERP flux started three to five days after, that next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. We saw very hot temperatures starting that next week in MozCast, and Dr. Pete has been detailing those on Twitter.
  • As far as SEOs noticing, yes, a little bit.

So I asked the same poll on Twitter twice, once on September 27th and once on October 3rd, so about a week apart. Here is the data we got. “Nope, nothing yet.” “Went from 76% to 72%,” so a little more than a quarter of SEOs have noticed some changes.

A lot of folks noticing rankings went up. Moz itself, in fact, benefitted from this. Why is that the case? Well, any time a penalty rolls out to a lot of other websites, bad stuff gets pushed down and those of us who have not been spamming move up in the rankings. Of course, in the SEO world, which is where Moz operates, there are plenty of folks getting sketchy links and trying things out. So they were higher in the rankings, they moved down, and Moz moved up. We saw a very nice traffic boost. Thank you, Google, for rolling out Penguin. That makes our Audience Development team’s metrics look real good.

Four percent and then six percent said they saw a site or page get penalized in their control, and two percent and then one percent said they saw a penalty lifted. So a penalty lifted is still pretty light, but there are some penalties coming in. There are a few of those. Then there’s the nice benefit of if you don’t link spam, you do not get penalized. Every time Google improves on the Penguin algorithm, every time they improve on any link spam algorithm, those of us who don’t spam benefit.

It’s an awesome thing, right? Instead of cheering against Google, which you do if you’re a link spammer and you’re very nervous, you get to cheer for Google. Certainly Penguin 4.0 is a good time to cheer for Google. It’s brought a lot of traffic to a lot of good websites and pushed a lot of sketchy links down. We will see happens as far as disavows and reconsideration requests for the future.

All right, everyone, thanks for joining. Look forward to hearing about your experiences with Penguin. We’ll see you next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Authority & link building with real-time Penguin

Google recently released Penguin 4.0, and the Penguin filter now updates in real time. Columnist Marcus Miller explores what this means for SEO and link building.

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SearchCap: Real-time search, SEO changes & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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New on Mozcast – 5 Real-time Top-view Metrics

Posted by Dr. Pete

When we started reporting the Google “weather” on MozCast, we knew that one number could never paint the entire picture of something as complex as the Google algorithm. Over the last few months, we’ve been exploring other ways to look at ranking data from high altitude, and have reported on metrics like domain diversity and EMD influence. Today, I’m happy to announce that we’re rolling out five of these “top-view” metrics on MozCast, updated daily.

From the new “METRICS” page (top menu), you’ll see five tabs:

Domain Diversity, SERP Count, EMD Influence, PMD Influence, Daily Big 10

Each metric defaults to a 30-day view, but you can also see 60-day and 90-day data. Please note that Y-axes all auto-scale to emphasize daily changes, so make sure to note the scale when interpreting this data. I trust you all to be grown-ups and draw your own conclusions.

So, let’s dive right into the five top-view metrics…

(1) Domain Diversity

The domain diversity graph shows the percentage of URLs across the MozCast data set that have unique subdomains. Put more simply, it’s the number of unique subdomains divided by the number of total URLs/rankings. The more diversity, the less SERP “crowding” – here’s a 30-day view:

Domain Diversity Graph (30-day)

Keep in mind that the range over the past 30 days has been pretty narrow (less than 1%), so let’s take a look at the broader, 90-day view:

Domain Diversity Graph (90-day)

You can hover over any data point for dates and more precise percentages. Here, you can see that diversity increased when Google rolled out 7-result SERPs (from about 8/12-8/14), but has gradually declined over the past 90 days. When we started collecting data in early April, domain diversity was closer to 61%, but it dropped significantly after the Penguin update (on 4/24).

On September 14, Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that Google had made a change to improve SERP diversity:

Matt Cutts tweet

We saw a small bump (about 0.4%) from 9/6 to 9/9, but otherwise have no evidence for major improvements. Please keep in mind that this is one data set and one way of measuring “diversity” – I’m not calling a Matt a liar, and I’d welcome other analyses and points of view. My goal is to create transparency where we currently have very little of it.

(2) SERP Count (“Shrinkage”)

Over a roughly 2-day period in mid-August, Google rolled out 7-result SERPs (for page 1), and our data shows that it impacted roughly 18% of the queries we track. We originally reported this as the number of SERPs with <10 results, but that presented two problems: (1) less results made the graph go up – which is a bit confusing, and (2) that metric doesn’t change if the result count changes. In other words (hat tip to Moz teammate Myron on this one), if all of the 7-result SERPs suddenly changed to 6-result SERPs, our original metric would never show it. So, we’ve replaced that metric with the average result count. Here’s a 60-day view:

Average Result Count (60-day)

In this case, an average drop of 0.5 results is massive, and the graph tells the story pretty well. The 30-day data shows much, much smaller variations, but this metric will help us track any future changes, including a return to 10-result SERPs (if that were to happen).

(3) EMD Influence

The influence of Exact-Match Domains (EMDs) is a hot topic in SEO. Our EMD influence metric shows the percentage of Top 10 rankings that are currently occupied by EMDs. Specifically, if the keyphrase is “buy widgets”, than we consider only “buywidgets.tld” (any TLD) to be an exact match. Here’s the 90-day data:

EMD Influence Graph (90-day)

My recent post goes into more detail and there are a lot of ways to dig into this data, but we’re seeing a slight uptick in EMD influence recently over the past 3 months.

(4) PMD Influence

Similarly, PMD influence measures the influence of Partial-Match Domains on the Top 10. For the keyphrase “buy widgets”, we count any URL with either “buywidgets” or “buy-widgets” in the subdomain as a partial match. This metric does not include EMDs. Here’s the 90-day view:

PMD Influence (90-day)

In line with the broader history reported earlier, PMDs seem to be steadily declining in influence. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that any particular PMD won’t rank (they still hold over 4% of Top 10 rankings) – it just means that their overall impact is trending downward.

(5) Daily Big 10

Finally, we have a new metric I haven’t covered in any previous blog post, the “Big 10.” Apologies to college football fans (I’m a former Hawkeye), but I didn’t want to confuse this with the “Top 10.” The Big 10 influence is the percentage of Top 10 rankings accounted for by the ten most powerful subdomains on any given day. This list changes daily, and any single day’s data represents the influence of the Big 10 for that day. Currently, the Big 10 domains account for about 13.6% of Top 10 rankings in our data set:

Big 10 Graph (90-day)

Below the graph for this metric, we also list the Big 10 subdomains for the most recent day. Like all of the MozCast stats, this list is currently recalculated each morning. Here’s the data from 9/18:

  1. en.wikipedia.org
  2. www.amazon.com
  3. www.youtube.com
  4. www.facebook.com
  5. www.ebay.com
  6. www.walmart.com
  7. www.webmd.com
  8. www.yelp.com
  9. www.overstock.com
  10. allrecipes.com

Currently, the roughly 9,500 URLs in our data set (Top 7-10 for 1,000 keywords) represent about 5,300 unique subdomains, so the fact that just ten of them take up almost 14% of the real estate is pretty amazing. Wikipedia alone holds 4.6% of the Top 10 URLs that we track (today). There’s a fair amount of movement in the bottom couple of domains, and Twitter dropped out of the Top 10 earlier this year.

What Would You Like to See?

There are a lot of ways to slice the data and we have quite a few ideas in the pipe, but if there are specific, large-scale metrics you’re interested in, let me know. We’re trying to incorporate community feedback into the product development plan. Also, feel free to make suggestions on the @mozcast Twitter account.

I’d like to quickly thank Devin and Casey for doing the behind-the-scenes work to get this page integrated, and to Devin in particular for turning my single, rambling page of stats into a pretty slick design. Thanks as usual to Dr. Matt Peters for feedback on the math, and to Rand for putting up with dozens of emails and somehow reading them all on top of his other 23 hours/day of work.

Pardon a shameless plug, but if you’d like to hear more about the history of MozCast, I gave an hour-long presentation about it at MozCon in July. The online MozCon videos just went on sale yesterday. Even if you hate me, there’s 16 hours of other great content and you can just fast-forward over my part – I won’t mind, really *sniff.*

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The Right Stuff: Heavy Duty Real-Time Airline Flight Tracking Tools

Seemingly every day, more real-time or near real-time data becomes accessible on the internet. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about many different types of real-time resources, but today, I’ll be focusing on real-time flight data—virtually addicting tools for frequent…



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