Google Webmaster Tools Adds Exact Click Traffic Data

Have you logged into your Google Webmaster Tools account recently?! If not, you should because you now have new data available. Google has added exact click numbers into Webmaster Tools. This data is great for figuring out actual click volumes and clickthrough rates from the SERPs. Google Webmaster Tools has its limitations, but could be used as part of an overall analytics strategy. Of course, no data source is perfect but having as much as data as possible always helps. This is as close as we’re currently going to get to seeing solid traffic data for specific keywords.

Take a look at the screenshot example below. As you can see in the Clicks column this previously would only show estimations and ugly data like “<10″ but now you can actually see the exact number of clicks received for each keyword.

GWT Adds Exact CTR Screenshot

Here are a few quick ideas for integrating the data into your AuthorityLabs account:

  • Segment out top traffic keywords and track them separately so they are easier to quickly view and manage
  • Find low traffic, high clickthrough rate keywords and track those to make sure rankings are improved. Some may be long-tail keywords and those may be worth breaking out into additional segments for tracking.
  • Look for high impression, low CTR keywords and track where they rank. These may be skewed due to things like image search being counted as ranking positions by Google. It’s important to track these and make sure they rank in the organic SERPs. If they do not, this is a good opportunity to improve rankings.

Excel 101 (Excel for Noobs)

I have done several Excel tutorials in the past and I know that they have been helpful to those with a background in Excel. But this post is for the marketers who have only opened Excel when a .csv has no where else to go… and they still look like this:

Making It Pretty

First we’re going to take a old busted .csv and make it the new hotness. Who really wants to look at ugly data all day? Here are a steps I take when I first open a .csv.

  1. Gridlines
  2. 10px cell padding in A1
  3. Deleting/hiding unnecessary data
  4. Giving the document a title

Pro Tip: Save as an Excel Workbook first. If you save the document as a .csv all the formatting will be lost.

1. Gridlines are for noobs. Trust me, your data will look 10 times more clean and professional with the Gridlines turned off. Under the View tab deselect the Gridlines box. Here’s a before and after beauty shot of Gridlines.

gridelines-beforeafter

2. To add some cell padding, navigate to the far left column and right-click, select insert 1 cell to the left. Then change that cell to be 0.1 (12px) wide. This give that little bit of padding before your title and charts.

insert-padding

3. I don’t need all the details of my export, I really just like to delete all of that. To do this you click-drag your mouse across the cells to select them. Once selected you can either hit the delete key, or right-click and select Delete.

4. This is the easy part. Simply type in your title “Amazon Keyword Rank Report” and on the Home tab you will have text editing options. I would make the size of the title at least 14pt.

formattingtitle

Adding a Table

From here I selected only the most important data that I wanted to focus on. Since this a comparison report, I selected the column of data for the first of November and December. I also am only looking at the data from Google. So now my raw data looks like this.

raw table

Tables are great for being able to filter your data and organize it better. Not to mention how tables are just prettier than raw data. To add one you can navigate through the ribbon by selecting the Insert tab > Table > Create Table. Or just hit Control + T.

You’ll see that another tab pops up when you create your table, this is the Design tab. From here you can customize your table.

Adding a Chart

Adding a chart is something that intimidates most Excel noobs. But it’s very simple. I’m creating this chart to show the Relative Volume data. To do this I select the data I want to show.

Select the Keyword and Relative Volume columns by holding down the Ctrl key and dragging the selection. From there navigate to the Insert tab and select the chart options. I chose a 2-D column chart. From there you can edit the colors of your chart in the Design tab.


You did it! You now know how to format your data, create tables and a simple chart. Stay tuned for more tips in the Excel 102!

9 Ways to Discover Ecommerce Ideas on Your Own

ecommerceEcommerce is on the rise. According to granify.com, more than $1.23 trillion in B2C ecommerce sales are expected this year. By the time 2013 closes, we’d have 3.5 billion Internet users.  Ecommerce is a good answer to entrepreneurship. Yet, you’d have to begin somewhere. You’d need an idea (while it doesn’t have to be brand new). How do you go about looking for the right idea for your new ecommerce store? How do you dig out ideas? What products or services would you sell? Is there a structured way to brainstorm?

Some of these approaches should give you a direction to follow or at least some food for thought:

Going Back to Tradition

Ecommerce means that the medium of transaction and the operational dynamics of the business changes while most other things remain the same. Instead of a brick-and-mortar office/warehouse/store, you’ll now get a digital equivalent of a store. Instead of having customers visit you in person, they’d come visiting the store. What used to be a cash-and-carry business now becomes a pay-to-delivery process. Payments end up as online transactions and feedback comes through as testimonials.

Sometimes, you don’t need a new idea at all. Pick up a traditional business and give it the ecommerce treatment.

Look around you: what are those classes of products or services that you’d still have to drive downtown to pick up? Your million-dollar idea might just be there. Go look for that spark of inspiration — that apple on your head.

Travel to Import Ideas to Your Market

Travelling, they say, teaches you a lot. It also has a lot to give you in terms of inspiration and adding to your idea bank. There could be tons of businesses operating in another country – they operate in a specific way, have their own style, and market in a particular fashion. Is there a way you could import that idea to deliver your own, customized version for customers in your country? Even if you can’t travel, there are sources such as Spring Wise that will do the job of spotting new entrepreneurial ideas, trends, and stories from all over the world.

Spot your idea. Import it.

Break Into Markets That Don’t Exist Yet

Some products are popular with respect to ecommerce: travel, tickets, events, electronics, books, apparel, and many more. However, there are many product classes and services that are not available online. Depending on where you live, find out some of these product classes that don’t have dedicated ecommerce outlets yet. For instance, we are yet to see an ecommerce store that sells only bed linen exclusively. Apply this approach to a range of products and you’ll have ideas popping up like popcorn. How about socks? What about selling distribution supplies or printing labels exclusively? Maybe you could specialize in printing products or supplies.

Go Specific: Dig Into Unexplored Niches

Niches are powerful. They give you exclusivity and enable you to quickly make a name for yourself within that niche. By picking up a focused niche, you don’t compete with the big boys such as eBay and Amazon. You are on your own and you’ll be known for that. What niche, exactly? Here are some ideas to kick-start your train of thought:

  • Apple products for self-employed professionals. Alternatively, sell Mac products only for corporates. More ideas? Sell stickers and designer covers only for Mac users.
  • Office supplies for work at home moms (and dads).
  • Web design services only for lawyers (or doctors, writers, dentists, video specialists, photographers, etc.).
  • Leather accessories for teens.
  • Travel for differently-abled people.
  • Apparel only for seniors.

That’s just the beginning. Grab a cup of coffee and brainstorm ideas as fast as you can breathe. You can pick and choose “the idea” later. You’ll know when the bulb goes on.

Ecommerce for Non-ecommerce Target Segment

Chances are that you live in a country where people might not be comfortable buying online yet. Or it could be a trend that’s still catching up only to raise its head slowly. Crash into markets like those and look to serve this entire group of customers who don’t wish to transact online.

Maybe you are looking at a target market that doesn’t qualify for credit cards yet (students, perhaps). Alternatively, set up an ecommerce store where they would place orders but you’d complete transactions traditionally by using modes such as “offline payments”, “Bank Transfers”, and “Cash on Delivery”.  Your goal – for this line of thought is simple – how do you bring ecommerce and wedge into a process that traditionally never had one? What customers don’t fall under the rush of ecommerce yet? Go serve them.

Reverse Ecommerce

We first heard about the term “reverse ecommerce” from Marc Ostrofsky who wrote the book Get Rich Click. There are likely to be segments of customers who’d never venture online to buy products or services. There might be customers who don’t even know (or don’t want to know) about such an option.

Think of it another way: there could be customers who still head to local malls and regular stores to buy products that are still expensive (owing to higher markups thanks to rent, utilities, and staffing that local businesses still have to pay for). Drive bargains to these customers. You can buy products on behalf of your customers on any of your online sources (and even bargain for deep discounts when buying in bulk) to make a profit off ecommerce without even putting up an ecommerce site).

Ecommerce arbitrage

Pick up products off an ecommerce store and sell it on another ecommerce store, which allows user listings. For instance, pick up products from Liquidation.com and then sell them on eBay.com.

Find closeouts, deals, and bulk discounts on other ecommerce stores to sell them again on your own ecommerce store for the usual price. It’s called ecommerce arbitrage and it’s a great way to be in business without actually scouting for products to sell and making deals with wholesalers and distributors (Note: this is not the same as drop shipping).

Learn From Others

There are plenty of ideas already in execution. You can learn tons from those ecommerce stores that have been put up and are already in operation. You could also learn from published ecommerce success stories. Gain inspiration from other entrepreneurs, throw ideas into the midst of communities and gain feedback from others. Contrary to what most people think, it’s ok to share ideas because most people won’t act on those ideas anyway. Even if people who can act and take advantage of your idea do spot it, they are likely to have too much on their plate.

Forget the Idea- Just Adopt a New Way of Doing Business

As we mentioned before, you don’t need any new ideas at all. You’ll just find new ways to do the old thing. Zappos isn’t the first ecommerce store that sold footwear. It’s, however, the first e-store that gave away 365 days of money back guarantee, no questions asked.  Try to find ways to do business that others did not attempt yet: provide free shipping and returns. Give unconditional money-back guarantees. Introduce sophisticated software on your apparel store that takes inputs from customers to determine the exact size.  Give freebies. Call up customers to invite them for lunch. Send them free coupons for coffee saying, “Enjoy the product. Coffee is on us”.

You get the drift, don’t you?

Which of these ideas will make you stare at the ceiling tonight? What’s on your mind?  If you are already on the road, go ahead and show off your ecommerce store. We’d love to visit.

Image Credit: Shutterstock mtkang

Tag! You’re it! How to Tag Domains and Keywords in AuthorityLabs

Are you tagging your Domains and Keywords?

No? Well you should. Don’t know how? I’ll show you!

Domain Tagging

In this tutorial I walk you through how to add tags by selecting the box next to the domain name and adding a tag using the left hand toolbar. You can also add domain tags by clicking through to the domain that you want to tag. While on the domain page you can select the add tags option.

al_post_option2

If you wanted to add your domain multiple times to track different keyword sets, you can use our tagging feature to do so. For example, I’m tracking the domain Annielytics twice in my account. I use the first one for local keywords specifically for Philly. The second version tracks everything else.

al_post_domaintags

I could also group these two domain together under one client name. You can check out my Grouping and Syncing post for more details on that.

You will be able to see the tag from the dashboard page or when you scroll over the domain portion of you left side toolbar.

al_post_dash

Tired of your tags? Simply click the “x” in the circle on the right side of the tag to remove it.

Keyword Tagging

Tags are so important while organizing your domain’s keywords. With hundreds of keywords, tagging can save hours of searching. In this tutorial Destinee walks through a quick way to add keywords. You can also follow below to learn how:

To add tags to your keywords, select the check box next to the keywords you would like to tag. The keyword actions panel will appear on the left.

al_post_kw_tags

Then click “Add Tags” and from there you are able to enter multiple tags.

al_post_kw_tags2

When you have added all the tags you want, click the “Submit” button. Keyword tags are very easy to search. At the top of each domain page there is a filter option for keywords and keyword tags. How is this useful? I could look up every instance of the word book, kindle, or ebook, tag them with the “books” tag and not have to repeat that search. You could also add multiple tags to one keyword. So, I could tag kindle as a book, tablet, and portable tv.

Now that you know how to tag, and why you should tag. Go out there an tag all the things!

How to Use Social Media to Improve Your Reputation

Social media has been a godsend for businesses across nearly all industries. Its value lies in its versatility and ability to help companies achieve various goals.

While marketing and networking are often the first things that come to mind, social media is also perfect for reputation management and boosting your credibility. By using the right networks, carefully monitoring your accounts, and connecting with your target audience, social media can give you a decided edge over the competition.

Here are some ways you can use it to your advantage.

Monitor Comments

Perhaps the simplest technique is paying attention to what your audience is saying and what the general consensus of the comments is. If there’s a pattern of compliments about a new product or service across Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, this is tangible proof that you’re doing something right.

In this case, it would be smart to rinse and repeat so you can maintain the same level of quality. If you’ve received several complaints about a product or service, there’s probably something to it, and the issue should be addressed as quickly as possible.

Regardless of whether they’re positive or negative, responding to comments shows your audience that their feedback is important. When handled correctly, even complaints on social media can be used to your advantage because you can de-escalate a situation before it intensifies. That way, you have the potential to convert an angry customer into a satisfied one.

Publish Awesome Content

The beauty of social media is that it allows like-minded people to exchange ideas and form relationships that would otherwise be impossible. While posting unique content that’s promotional typically accounts for the bulk of what you find on social networks, publishing non-promotional content is actually more important for building and establishing your brand as an authority.

You can do this by posting interesting articles, blog posts, videos, etc., that are relevant to your industry and which your audience will find interesting. Even if you’re in a “boring” industry, there are plenty of ways to get creative and publish content that will set you apart from the competition. One good example of this is this article, “Top 10 Mortgage Mistakes in Canada,” which was published by a mortgage lender. While mortgage lending would typically be considered a boring industry, this article illustrates the idea that content doesn’t need to be self-promotional (it can, instead, be informational or educational), and can be interesting to the target audience.

Curate Awesome External Content

Peppering curated content into your own blog or individual articles has three advantages. First, you can ensure a steady stream of quality material without having to create it constantly yourself.

Second, it shows customers or clients that you’re not strictly self-serving and you put forth efforts to provide consistently great content even if it’s not your own.

Finally, it can potentially unlock B2B networking opportunities that may come in handy later on. As other authors notice you referencing their work, they’ll often reach out to thank you. This opens the communication lines for further work down the road. This combination is an effective way to improve your reputation and help others become more comfortable doing business with you.

Be Transparent

In general, people try to avoid companies that hide their activities and come across as generally sketchy. One of the most critical steps to building relationships is being open and honest about operations and coming across as being relatively personable. That’s why it’s helpful to give consumers a window on your company culture and demonstrate what makes you different from your competition.

Networks like Instagram and Tumblr are perfect for this because of their visual element. Posting images of team members on the job or even outside of the office lets your audience get to know your company on a deeper level.

You might also highlight a particular employee once a month or create a quick video on Vine. No matter which channel you use, offering some first-hand insights into your company and truly being yourself tends to work well for attracting new business and turning one-time customers into repeat sales.

This can also help with expanding your brand equity and claiming a percentage of consumers even in the most saturated of niches.

Why You Should Be Using the Teams Feature in AuthorityLabs

Don’t be a lone wolf. Start using Teams. Don’t know how? Watch this.

teambuilding

What’s so cool about teams?

Using Teams gives you the option to add users to your account who don’t have their own separate AuthorityLabs account. This means that multiple people in your company will have the option to view a custom list of domains that you would like to share.

You also have the ability to add admin privileges to these users and revoke those privileges at anytime. All it takes is a user’s email address to send them an invite. Then a confirmation and new account password from the user. This is extremely useful for adding employees from departments to corresponding teams.

Let’s say you have an account manager working on a client’s domains and they would like to access the client’s ranking data. All you need to do is set up a “Team” with that account manager’s clients and send them an invitation email.

Team members don’t have an account?

First, you have to invite a user. You can access this under Account > Access > People. When in the People tab, select Invite UserWhile in this tab all you need is the new users email address.

invite user page

You can select to add them with Admin privileges or not. You can also add them to a team that you have already created.

Once you have done this your new user will receive an invite email with the option to accept the invite or decline it. Once they have selected the invite they will input a password for their account and voilà! You now have a new user who can access the domains in that Team.

request access email

This process is only needed once per user. Once a user has been added to your account you can add them to multiple teams. You do this by navigating to Account > Access > Teams > People On This Team. Once on this page simply start to type in the user’s name/email and they will show up in a drop down menu.

find a user to add

Can this be used with my clients?

Definitely! I would highly suggest using this service to give your client’s access to their ranking info. With Teams you can create a different team for each of your clients. From there you can give them access to only their site’s info.

How do I remove access?

Removing access is very simple. Start off by going to  Account > Access > Teams (select the team you want to edit) >People On This Team. Here you are able to view everyone who has access on team to delete a user, simply select the red x on the right side of their name.

red c option

To allow them access, but remove their Admin privileges select their name and in the top right corner their is an option to “Remove Admin”.

remove admin

Here’s that tutorial on how to add Teams: