Tuesday, March 01, 2016

What are Heat Maps and should you really trust Heat Maps?

Ok, we (I mean all digital/online marketers at the very least) all know what Heat maps are and what it is used for. If you don’t, very simply Heat Maps shows you EXACTLY (really?) where people are (or not) clicking on your website. With this information, you can then:
·         find the best position for your form fields or buttons
·         move your Call-to-actions (CTAs) to make them more visible
·         see which banners or sales ads are clicked more often, etc

In case you don’t know, there are basically 3 types of Heatmaps (Source: Hotjar):
1. Click Maps - helps you determine where your visitors are clicking or tapping (if they are on a mobile/tablet). These heatmaps help you quickly uncover issues with your page - for example, are visitors clicking your links? Or are they clicking areas that aren't links?
2. Move/Attention Heatmaps - show where visitors have moved their mouse on the screen.
3. Scroll Heatmaps - used to show you how far down your visitors scroll.

The next big question that comes is: Should we really trust Heat Maps? How do we know if it is really accurate? People might be looking at things that they don’t hover over or maybe they are just hovering over things that are not important? Conversionxl has an article as to why accuracy of mouse movement heatmaps is questionable.

Click Maps on the other hand is probably more useful where you can see when people click on things that aren’t links. If you discover something (an image, sentence, or whatever) that people want to click on, but isn’t a link, then either make it into a link, or don’t make it look like a link.

Scroll maps are also useful where it shows you where users tend to drop off, and can be very useful (helps with prioritising content as well).

Attention maps help you see which parts of the websites are most visible to all users, across all browsers and devices. They help you decide where to put your value prop and other important elements.

User session replays
This isn’t really a ‘heat map’ per se, but is the most valuable bit in most tools that offer heat maps.
Use session replays allow you to record video sessions of people going through your site. It’s kind of like user testing, but has no script and no audio. But people are risking with their actual money – so it can be more insightful.

This is more qualitative data. You’re trying to detect bottlenecks and usability issues. Where are people not able to complete actions? Where do they give up?. One of the best use cases for session replays is watching how people fill out forms. Though you could configure event tracking for Google Analytics, it wouldn’t provide the level of insight as user session replays. Also, if you have a page that is performing badly, and you don’t know why, then you can watch user session replays to figure out possible problems. You can also see how fast they read, scroll down the page, etc. Analysing them is, of course, timely. User session replays are irreplaceable tools in your arsenal.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Search Marketing Attribution – % Of Non-Brand Keywords Drive Branded Keywords Conversions/Sales?

Over the years, there have been tons of articles or research regarding marketing attribution. The most common talked about are first click/interaction and last click/interaction. Some other attribution modeling includes ‘time decay’, ‘linear’ and ‘position based’. Google analytics list some of these examples:

In the “Last Interaction” attribution model, the last touch point -- in this case the Email channel -- would receive 100% of the credit for the sale.

In the “First Interaction” attribution model, the first touch point -- in this case the Paid Advertising channel -- would receive 100% of the credit for the sale.

In the “Linear” attribution model, each touch point in the conversion path -- in this case the Paid Advertising, Social Network, and Email channels - share equal credit (33.3% each) for the sale.

In the “Time Decay” attribution model, the touch points closest in time to the sale or conversion get most of the credit. In this particular sale, the Email and Social Network channels would receive the most credit because the customer interacted with them on the day of the conversion. Since the Paid Advertising interaction occurred one week earlier, this channel would receive significantly less credit.

In the “Position Based” attribution model, 40% credit is assigned to the first interaction, 20% credit is assigned to the middle interactions, and 40% credit is assigned to the last interaction. The Paid and Email channels would each receive 40% credit, while the Social Network would receive 20% credit.

Definition of Attribution

So first of all, what is exactly marketing attribution? To explain this simply, attribution is about understanding which of your marketing channels or advertising contributed to a sale or conversion on your website. Using a soccer analogy, last click/interaction would be like attributing the goal (conversion) to Lionel Messi (striker), the goal scorer. With first click/interaction, the goal would be attributed from the assist provided by Xavi (midfielder), where his assist was made possible by Carles Puyol (defender) who broke up an attack from the opposition and launched a counter attack. If you a basketball fan instead of a soccer fan, below is a YouTube video that uses the basketball example:

Below we also have an image that illustrates how attribution funnels work from Zappos:

Many of the discussions and research I have seen are how first click influences or contributes to last click conversions example using the soccer analogy above. Or how other ‘first click’ marketing or advertising efforts such as display or social media drives conversions on the last click which could be from paid search, etc.

However, so far I have not seen much information in regards to how non-brand paid search advertising contributes to branded conversions. To answer this question, I had a looked at 10 retail clients/websites’ conversion funnels over a 30-day period and with 12 months worth of data (if available). The average percentage (%) of branded conversions came via non-branded keywords as a first click was between 1.21% (lowest) to 7.86% (highest). One of the trends I did noticed was that the percentage gets higher with more well-known brands as compared to lesser-known brands.

Therefore, with this data, one of the question to ask is when we measure branded performance, should we also be adding these percentages to the total branded performance as well?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Biggest Display Advertising Network in Australia

Display Advertising - The way advertising was meant to work

Display advertising is an important component of the marketing mix and is a great medium to drive brand awareness, salience and interaction as it allows you to reach your customers varied online touch points in their day-to-day lives, not only when they’re searching. Emarketer, in their research ‘Average time spent online 2008-2011’ reports that the average American spends 2 months of their waking year online.

Reach your customers at their moment of relevance

Only about 5% of users’ time is spent actively searching reported by Online Publishers Association. The rest of the time—95%—is spent experiencing content. This 95% is when they are researching, shopping, browsing and with the potential mood to buy.

Combining search with display

Together, display and
 search can supercharge the effectiveness of your advertising mix. After seeing a display ad, customers are 136% more likely to search for your brand as reported by Comscore online panel.

In AU, the display advertising medium is the fastest growing segment, increasing by an estimated 16% a year and by 2015, online display ad spend is to be estimated at around $12 billion. 

Below shows the list of AU ad network where Google is by far the biggest ad network in Australia, reaching close to 90% of Australia's online population (13.9 million unique users)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Google Adwords Usage Matrix

An interesting graph showing the different Google adwords marketing usage matrix dashboard on the following targeting, features or extensions currently available within adwords advertising:
·      Mobile Device Targeting
·      Adwords for Video campaigns
·      Google Display Network
·      Search & Google Display Network Campaign Splits
·      Desktop/Tablet and Mobile Campaign Splits
·      Conversion Tracking/Import Analytics Goals
·      Enhanced CPC
·      Conversion Optimizer
·      Sitelink Extension
·      Location Extensions
·      Product Extensions
·      Social Extensions
·      Call Extensions
·      Mobile Only Search Campaigns
·      Contextual Targeting with Text/Image Ads
·      Placement Targeting Text/Image Ads
·      Audience-Remarketing Text/Image Ads
·      Audience-Interest Category Text/Image Ads
·      Topic Targeting Text/Image Ads
·      Display Campaign Optimizer
·      Mobile Only Display Campaigns Text/Image Ads
·      True View In-slate
·      True View In-stream
·      True View In-search
·      True View In-display

Thursday, January 03, 2013

What Is The Average Click Through Rate (CTR) Of Display/Content and Search Ads?

What Is The Average Click Through Rate (CTR)?

Following on from my last post about the average bounce rate, I have decided to write about what is the average click thru rate (CTR) on different networks and devices. Similar to the average bounce rate question, many clients have asked me questions such as ‘what is the average click through rate of display or content ads?’ or ‘average CTR of mobile or search ads’ etc. Therefore, I have decided to collect 12 months of data across different industries that will help to answer many of these questions. The below data is for a full year period from 1st of Jan 2012 to 31st of Dec 2012 across 200 websites and will highlight the average CTR of different devices and networks such as:
·      Display, Google search and Search partners network
·      Computers/Desktop, Mobile and Tablet devices

Average Click Through Rate (CTR)
Display Network
Mobile devices with full browsers
Tablets with full browsers
Google search
Mobile devices with full browsers
Tablets with full browsers
Search partners
Mobile devices with full browsers
Tablets with full browsers
Grand Total

As you can see from the above, the average CTR for:
1.     Display (content) network ad is 0.13%. Other sources report about 0.05% to 0.4% but not sure if this is accurate as 0.4% is a pretty high metric for display network.
2.     Google search network ad is 4.79% (This of course include brand terms which will get much higher CTR than non-branded terms). Other source reports about 2%
3.     Search network partners ad is 0.64%. Other source reports about 0.36% (data only for 1 client though)

Is your average CTR stat below or above the data presented? and do you have data that you would like to share with me, if you do, please email me or put through your comments.

Just in case, you are curious how Click-Through-Rate (CTR) is calculated. It’s pretty simple, this will be amount of clicks / amount of impressions. Example, if you have 2 clicks from 100 impressions this will be a CTR of 2%. Click Thru Rate (CTR) is a way of measuring how successful/effective your ads are and you should be spending time to optimise your CTR if your stats are way below the above averages. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top 10 Websites For Most Popular Search Engines, Browsers & Other Market Share Data

Want to know what search engines and browsers are popular in different countries as well as other online data and information? Below is a list of helpful resources and links that will help you to understand and better develop your search and marketing strategies.

1. Experian Hitwise:
One of the most well know online data and analytics company. You can get access to their Hitwise's blogs and information as well as their top 10 online trends & data centre. Here is an example of Hong Kong's data centre or here in Australia's data centre.

2. StatCounter:
A very easy to use site to find out popular stats on browsers, search engines as well as other data such as operating system, etc. You can save them as graph image so you can use them in your presentation as as well as download data for your own other formatting and usage.

3. NetMarketShare:
Netmarketshare is another really good easy to use site which is similar to StatCounter. It also has other information on top ISPs/organisations and different devices (mobile & tablets) statistics.

4. EbizMBA:
Again, another very easy to use site to find out most popular search engines. On the right hand side, you can also find many other useful information such as most popular file sharing sites, music websites etc.

5. ComScore:

Another big research company, Comscore offers insights as well as data gems and informative whitepapers.

6. Nielsen:
Nielsen is definitely one of largest organisation in research and has information and data more than 100 countries, pretty impressive. You can access their global site from here.

7. Compete:
 Compete, a Kantar Media company based in the U.S. You can see traffic for your site and other relevant sites by entering on their homepage.

8. Google Operating System:
It has unofficial news and tips about Google. This is a link to an old Google's market share in different countries.

9. Wikipedia:
Wikipedia's usage share of web browers.

10. w3schools.com:
They are famous for their month by month statistics and trends such as popular browsers, screen resolutions, etc.

Google Quality Score Misconceptions

So, you work in a search marketing agency, you are a search marketing professional and you thought that passing the Google adwords exams has made you think that you know everything about Google Quality Score. Furthermore, if you believe that any of the below is true, you clearly do not understand Google's Quality Score well enough. Below are the 8 Google Quality Score myths which you can download in more details from here.

1. There should be ads on all results pages

2. No competitors means cheap traffic

3. Using different match types can improve your Quality Score

4. A higher ad position results in higher Quality Score

5. Quality Score is reset when you optimize your account

6. Quality Score suffers when your ad is not running

7. Low volume keywords always have a high FPB

8. A high CTR equals a high Quality Score

Saturday, January 07, 2012

What Is The Average Bounce Rate?

Many customers and people have asked me these questions before: “What is the average bounce rate of websites”? “Is my bounce rate good or bad”? In fact, I don’t really know what is the exact answer to the first question. First of all it really depends on what type of websites you have and the industry you are in. Also, where they are coming from and also what source or keywords they found you and enter your site. If it is brand keywords, then I would think most websites definitely have a bounce rate of less than 10%. If not, your brand is either a generic word, there are other companies with the same brand name or you have a serious problem with your brand. if it the source is broader or more generic, then a high bounce rate is definitely understandable. On average, I would think that a 30 to 40% bounce rate is acceptable across all sources.

Actually, what is exactly bounce rate? This is also one question that I have been asked many times before as well and I bet most people don’t exactly know what is bounce rate and how it is measured. Bounce rate as defined by Wikipedia is:

The percentage of visitors who enter the site and "bounce" (leave the site) rather than continue viewing other pages within the same site.

A bounce occurs when a web site visitor only views a single page on a website, that is, the visitor leaves a site without visiting any other pages before a specified session-timeout occurs. There is no industry standard minimum or maximum time by which a visitor must leave in order for a bounce to occur. Rather, this is determined by the session timeout of the analytics tracking software.


  • Rb = Bounce rate
  • Tv = Total number of visitors viewing one page only
  • Te = Total entries to page
A visitor may bounce by:
  • Clicking on a link to a page on a different web site
  • Closing an open window or tab
  • Typing a new URL
  • Clicking the "Back" button to leave the site
  • Session timeout
A commonly used session timeout value is 30 minutes. In this case, if a visitor views a page, doesn't look at another page, and leaves his or her browser idle for longer than 30 minutes, they will register as a bounce. If the visitor continues to navigate after this delay, a new session will occur.
The bounce rate for a single page is the number of visitors who enter the site at a page and leave within the specified timeout period without viewing another page, divided by the total number of visitors who entered the site at that page. In contrast, the bounce rate for a web site is the number of web site visitors who visit only a single page of a web site per session divided by the total number of web site visits.

Now back to the question again. What is the average bounce rate? Most online sources I have read have reported an average bounce rate of around 40%. There’s quite a lot of articles on Google that will tell you what is the average bounce rate. Kissmetrics report an average bounce rate of 40.5% and they’ve got a cool infographics and pdf regarding this topic. Enjoy.

Bring Outsourcing Back Home

Why waste time on something that you are not good at? Outsourcing to many companies and executives definitely looks like a good idea. Outsourcing is a business practice where companies outsource/contract out selected or part of their business operations to other companies that specialise in those operations in order to lower cost and improve efficiency. Outsourcing can definitely help companies save time, money, space and also the need for training. Outsourcing as a business function was first formally introduced as a business strategy in 1989, this practice’s origins began in the aftermath of World War II. Today, countries such as India and China is the world’s leading outsourcing countries.

Many companies today are still utilising outsourcing for the above benefits. However like a coin, there’s always two sides to outsourcing, the good and the bad. On the bad side, outsourcing can bring about bad customer service and poor service or product quality.  Many companies and executives today are finding that outsourcing does not really provide the cost and time savings they had hoped for. Many are finding that they are being burdened by the inflexibility of contracts as well as factors such as rising shipping and transportation costs. Most importantly, outsourcing ultimately hurts your economy back home where jobs back home are loss to foreign countries and this is a big and concerning issue in most countries today including back here in Australia.

This is why there’s been call and action by both people, governments as well as businesses to bring the jobs back home. Some have call this phenomenon as ‘backshoring’ and ‘reinsourcing’. To me, I think this is definitely a good idea as companies can provide better customer service, dedicated customer support and also better quality as well. And of course, we get to keep our jobs back home and ultimately, this benefits our economy!