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A Modern Customer Profile Template For Smart Businesses

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Marketers and businesses who use customer profile templates are smart. They know customer profiling helps them target their ideal customers accurately.

A customer profile template is a document that helps you detail critical information about your target customers. You use this information to run marketing campaigns and reach your target audience.

Frankly, you can’t keep all the helpful info about target customers in your head.

From their name, interests, down to even their religion — whatever you can think about your customer, include it in the profile.

Why? The more specific your customer profile, the better your marketing campaigns can reach your target audience.

Here’s a customer profile template you can use for your business:

customer profile

Click on this Customer Profile Template to download it, so you can fill in each column while you read on.

Now, let’s break down all the elements in the customer profile template one by one:

Four critical bits of information to build your customer profile

1. Customer demographic information.

This is market segmentation according to characteristics like age, gender, ethnicity, race, religion and education.

customer profile

This part of customer profiling helps you to anticipate customer behaviour.

The more you understand key demographics data about your customers, the better you get at determining their behaviour and designing products, services, or content that they’d find useful.

For example, an alcohol company marketing expensive drinks should only market their products to age groups above the legal drinking age who have the financial capacity to afford the products being marketed.

If your customers are within the 24-30 age range or are married with children, apprise yourself of the interests of people in that demographic, and use that information to create campaigns and products they truly value.

This brings us to the next piece of information you should consider when creating your customer profile.

2. Customer geographical Information

Your customers’ geographical information helps to segment target buyers by location so you can better serve them in a specific area.

 

 

customer profile

 

 

For example, if 70% of your customers come from London, you have no business running marketing campaigns that target people too far from that region.

But geographical information in customer profiling is based on (but not exclusive to) three major factors:

  • Geographical units:

Based on specific geographical units such as countries, cities, etc.

  • Climate:

This is segmentation that involves an expanse of land with the same environmental factors (Sub-Saharan, Pacific Coast, the Caribbean, etc.)

  • Cultural preferences:

Concerning a society’s ideas, customs, tastes, and social behaviours.

You need to mark these geographical differences in your customer profile — because people in different locations are bound to exhibit different traits and have a variety of ideas, culture, needs and wants.

So your customers’ geographical location plays an integral role in customer profiling.

More importantly, geographically segmenting your audience strengthens your marketing campaigns.

Chances are high you’ll have to create ads at some point, and advertising platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) will require you to provide them with your audience’s location(s) so they can better serve your campaigns to people who will be interested in them.

The more accurate the information you give them, the better they can serve your ads in locations where your customers are.

3. Customer psychographic information

Psychographic information deals with people’s hobbies, interests, and all the things they like or don’t like to do.

customer profile

Psychographics are usually confused with demographics but they’re two different creatures with their own nuances.

Demographics cover things like:

  • Age: 18-24; 25-30
  • Marital status: married or single
  • Gender: male or female
  • Parental status: with or without children

While psychology covers things like:

  • Habits: shopping behaviour, time spent on social, etc.
  • Lifestyle: loves partying, introverted, etc.
  • Interest: follows X influencers, TV stations, books, politics, etc.
  • Values: family, religion, etc.

Difference between demographics and psychographics

CB Insights designed an infographic that demarcates the difference between demographics and psychographics:

customer profile

In essence, demographics speak to who people are naturally, while psychographics speaks to how people behave, their personality and their emotional triggers.

So the psychographic section of your customer profile helps you identify your customers based on their interests, values, lifestyles and personality traits. And this will enable you to better develop and market products that match your customer interests, hobbies, and values.

Put another way, customer psychographics put more emphasis on your customers’ psychological factors, while focusing on only behavioural qualities as opposed to raw data as you acquire demographics data in your customer profile.

4. Socio-economic customer information

This is a type of demographic classification that examines the aspects of income, occupation and household description.

customer profile

You should consider certain fundamental variables when creating the socio-economic segment of your customer profile.

These socio-economic segment elements include:

  • Income: wages, salaries and any other source of earning flow. When creating your customer profile, consider your target customer’s average income. Know if your potential customer has the expendable income for your product or service. Know whether your product is indispensable to your customer.
  • Education Level: What level of education does your ideal customer have? Does it suggest anything about their relationship with your product?
  • Occupation: Are your customers employees or business owners? Does the customer’s job have anything to do with your product? If yes, does it facilitate their use/need of it or not?
  • Home Environment: Where does your primary target audience live? What are the key characteristics of their area, city or state? Does their home environment suggest they might be in a particular economic class? What notable influences does the home environment have on the customer?
  • Household Description: Consider the size and description of your customer’s household. Are your customers, on average, married with kids? Are they single, living with a partner or engaged?

That’s not all. You should further divide the socioeconomic segment of your customer into socio-economic classes (SEC) — which is a social classification that’s based on occupation.

Your chances of meeting the needs of your ideal customer and selling products or services they can afford become significantly higher when you understand what level of the socioeconomic class they occupy.

One of the most popular formats used to divide socioeconomic classes is the social grading system created by PAMCo. This system, according to PAMco, has been the research industry’s source of social grade data. The system provides a statistical socioeconomic diversification of households in six main classes.

The six main classes are:

  • A – Upper Class: Higher managerial, administrative and professional, such as executive directors, doctors, lawyers, and all high-end employees.
  • B – Middle Class: Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional position.
  • C1 – Lower Middle Class: Supervisory, clerical and junior managerial, administrative and professional.
  • C2 – Skilled Working Class Skilled Manual workers, such as construction workers, and so on.
  • D – Lower Working Class: Semi and unskilled Manual workers, such as mechanical trainees, or shop workers.
  • E – the Lowest Level Of Income Earners: State pensioners, casual and lowest grade workers, students and unemployed with state benefits.

How to get accurate customer profile data

You could guess all the customer information you need or you can view real analytics of the people who have been visiting your site. The latter is clearly the better option.

And this is where Opentracker comes in. Opentracker is an analytics tool that lets you track your website visitors and collects accurate data about them.

customer profile

You get all the customer profile information you need, including:

  • Customer socioeconomic information: Your visitors’ average income, the company they work for, their job roles, etc.
  • Psychographic: See how your customers respond to your campaigns. Do they flinch at products or services within a particular price range? Do they get sceptical and start asking questions? Or do they just buy it once they’re convinced it’s a good deal for them? You can find these answers and more with Opentracker.
  • Geographical information: Where (locations) your traffic and highest converting traffic comes from.
  • Custom data: You can search for data that’s specific to your business: With Opentracker we build data-driven customer profile’sSchedule a call to find out how.
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Choosing Search Terms

Choosing Search Terms

In this article you will find information about:

  • Search Terms and Best Strategies for Choosing Terms and Keywords
  • The importance of choosing icon for choosing search terms
  • Opentracker Search Term tracking
  • the right search terms & keywords
  • How to choose search terms
  • The role of words & language in your website
  • Search terms and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Improving your traffic by choosing the right terms
  • Paying for keywords & search terms
  • Tracking individuals by search term with Opentracker
  • Search term pay-per-click (PPC) & ad campaign management

Search term keywords e.g. www.google.com/help.html

Search terms, also referred to as keywords, are the words, terms, and phrases that visitors use to find your site.

There are many ways to work with search terms and keywords. For example, selection of keywords when creating and managing ad campaigns. Sponsored listings are best managed by careful selection of search terms and keywords and everything that revolves around keywords which competing sites often bid for in terms of cents-per-click. Therefore you need to choose the right words to be effective.

A second example is building the correct words into your site’s text and including them in your site’s meta keyword list for search engine spiders to find and index your site. Besides that, it is also important to include relevant words in your page titles. Building the correct phrases and terminology into your site will allow your site to come up as results in search engine queries. This process is known as search engine optimisation (SEO). Furthermore, research suggests that a very small percentage of internet surfers click on sponsored results. The majority of surfers are interested only in the actual search results. Therefore, it is important to include the right search terms, phrases, keywords, etc, in your site content. This will make your site easier to find.

With well-managed and ongoing efforts, your site will climb steadily higher in search engine results.

A case study

In order to increase our traffic, we added the phrase ‘search terms’ to our Google Adwords campaign. Since then we have had a lot of visitors and traffic looking to research and learn about ‘search terms’ and ‘keywords’. Therefore we have posted this article here.

Here are a few of the most used search phrases that visitors typed in to find us:

  • ‘search terms and strategies’
  • ‘search term tracking’
  • ‘best search terms’
  • ‘top 50 search terms’
  • ‘search term suggestions’
  • ‘popular search terms’
  • ‘search terms count how often each word is typed’

If these are the questions;

  1. Which search terms or keywords do I need to use to publicise my website?
  2. Should I pay for search keywords? Which keywords should I pay for?
  3. How do I figure out what are the most direct words that will lead traffic to my site, and also lead people to what they are looking for?

Then we have the answers!

More importantly, we provide the information needed to make search term and keyword-related decisions.

To get an overview and understand what our search term tracking function can do for you, login to our demo and look at our list of Top Search Terms.

This will show you all the search terms that visitors have typed in and used to find Opentracker.net. Therefore, by using our search term function, you can compile the same information for your site. You can even see the page. For example, you can view the Google search term that a visitor pulled up before clicking through to your site.

The demo will give you an overview of our sector of the internet; hit counters, web stats, visitor tracking, click-stream analysis, etc. Specifically, the demo will show you what people interested in this subject are typing into search engines.

Visitors by keyword

Our focus, however, is on Visitors. We are building tools to help you understand what people have in mind when they are surfing. Therefore, using Opentracker, you can examine individual visitor clickstreams, based on the search terms that the visitor used to find your site.

(login and look at Visitor search terms)

This function lets you see exactly how a person who typed in a specific search term navigated through your site. In terms of conversion rates, you can see how visitors or customers who entered with a specific search term behaved. Did they make a purchase? Did they subscribe as well? If you are selling products or services on your site, this type of information will tell you exactly who your market is. More specific examples involve determining why traffic is or isn’t following a certain path or click-stream through your site.

Another example is managing campaign words: we might see that a person who typed in ‘free hit counter’ went directly to pricing and navigated away from our site. If this happens repeatedly, we go into our Google Adwords campaign, and we delete the word ‘free’ from our search terms, so that we get fewer visitors looking for free hit counters.

One way to find out what search terms are the most appropriate for your site is to install our code and record all the search terms used to find your site. That’s why one of our campaigns is called ‘Stop guessing. Now you know.’

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5 Key Email Marketing Statistics of 2020

5 Key Email Marketing Statistics for 2020

If you want to improve your business, you need to look at email marketing statistics. Doing so allows you to see how customers feel, what they want, and you can learn how to adjust your business to their needs. From mobile usage to advanced email deliverability metrics, email marketing covers a wide range of information.

Keep these five statistics in mind for the coming year.

1. Mobile Usage

People use their phones to access the internet and to check their emails. However, how many people check their emails through phones compared to their other devices?

5 Key Email Marketing Statistics

Source

Interestingly, more than half of the users check their emails on their phones, but more than half of revenue comes from purchases on desktop. So what does this mean?

  • Users prefer to check their emails on their phones.
  • Customers use multiple devices during the purchase process.
  • People make more purchases on their computers.

These statistics show that customers will most likely use more than one device during the purchasing process. If this wasn’t the case, the statistics for checking and revenue would match up better. Due to this, you know that your emails need to display correctly for mobile users while providing an effective purchasing experience for other devices.

2. Days for Emails

Timing matters when it comes to email marketing. You want to send your emails on a day that will work for your customers. Some people receive emails throughout the week, so they could easily miss your email if you don’t send it on a day that works for them.

5 Key Email Marketing Statistics

Source

As you send emails closer to the start of the month, you will receive higher open and click rates. This means that customers will open your emails and they will click on the links inside. This gives them further interaction with your company and increases the odds of them making a purchase.

Keep in mind that you should consider other aspects of time when it comes to sending your emails.

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3. Times for Emails

The time of day matters when it comes to sending emails. You want your customers to receive them at a time when they will most likely check their inbox. This will help you to find a time when they can see and open your emails. If they receive hundreds of emails a day, then yours could easily get drowned out by others.

5 Key Email Marketing Statistics for 2020

Source

As you can see, 8:00, 13:00 (1:00 p.m.), and 16:00 (4:00 p.m.) bring in the highest numbers for open and click rates. If you consider people with a 9-to-5 job, this means that people check their emails before work, during their lunch break, and right before they go home.

The days and times may vary depending on your audience. While these stand as general guides to help you find the right time, you should test it out for yourself. By testing it, you can find more data that directly applies to your customers so that you can find the right email time for them.

4. Why Customers Open Emails

People don’t open every email that they receive. However, there are reasons why they will open emails, so you need to find out why people open emails.

Source

The name of the sender, the subject line, and the offer stand as the three biggest reasons why customers will open their emails. This makes sense when you consider the reasons.

  • The sender name lets them know if they can trust the person.
  • The subject line tells them the information so they can decide if they’re interested.
  • An offer gives them an incentive to read the email.

This means that you need to gain the trust of customers, give them relevant information, and give them an offer. Try to hit these key points whenever you send out email campaigns to your customers.

While you want to benefit from email marketing, you want to provide something that benefits your customers. You could try some easy little tips and hacks for email marketing that your customers would read your email.

5. What Bothers Customers

While you want to appeal to customers, you also want to avoid anything that customers don’t like. Negative impressions can have a lasting impact on customers, so you want to do what you can to make your email marketing as good as possible.

Source

This image points out five major mistakes that you should avoid when it comes to your email marketing. By looking at these points, you can figure out what will keep customers satisfied.

  1. Optimize recommendations to make them as accurate as possible.
  2. Double-check the offer for expirations or mistakes.
  3. Spell the customer’s name correctly.
  4. Make sure the customer doesn’t already have the item.

This will help you to avoid frustrating customers so you can avoid losing them. As you do so, you can provide them with an excellent email experience and keep them as a returning customer.

6. Conclusion

Email statistics can help you to improve your marketing strategy. Statistics show you how customers behave so that you can figure out what they want. As you provide for the needs of your customers, they will want to interact with your business. Continue to build trust with your customers by providing them the information and services that they want.

Evaldas Mockus is an Experienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and Saas companies. Currently, he is associated with Omnisend, an e-commerce marketing automation platform built for growing e-commerce businesses.

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What Is Churn Rate? Define and Calculate Churn Rate.

How to Calculate Churn Rate: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction

Calculating churn rate can be intimidating.

But it’s something no SaaS or subscription business can escape. You have to know how many customers leave at some point — so you can determine why there is a problem and if the effort to fix it is worth the effort.

(Un)fortunately, there are several ways to calculate churn, which have led to a lot of complexities. But at the same time, it’s necessary and important to understand the different ways to calculate churn rate — as long as they help you improve retention and revenue.

Moreover, each calculation method has its own usefulness. For example, you can calculate the churn you experience on:

  • a specific cohort (a group of users)
  • based on revenue or customer numbers
  • a monthly basis
  • quarterly/yearly basis
  • a seasonal basis

Each method has its churn rate formula, so let’s take them one-by-one:

3 churn rate formulas to calculate how users leave

At its core, calculating churn is controlled by the following formula:

In essence, you divide the number of churned customers in a period (month, quarter or year) by your total number of existing customers in that period.

churn rate

Now let’s explore the different methods for calculating churn:

1. The cohort analysis method

First, ‘cohort’ simply connotes ‘group.’ So when you identify churned customers by a common group they belong to, you’re basing your churn estimation on cohorts (groups) of users.

For example, you can get cohorts (groups) of lost customers who signed up in the same months. That’d look something like this:

Customers who signed up in May and left before September.

Or

Users who signed up in April but left in nine months (see the gif below).

churn rateSource The lifespan of groups of users based on their signup months

 

You get the idea. Monitoring groups like this helps you understand activities you should be pouring more or less of your marketing/advertising investment into. The result?, You get to cut churn and improve profit. Reducing churn by 5% can increase profits by up to 125%!.

Compute churn rate (through the aforementioned formula above) for every month and you’ll get the churn rate for each cohort; more on this in #2 below.

2. The monthly % churn method

This one is clearly the simplest of all churn calculation methods:

churn rate

© Opentracker.net

And while it might look too simplistic to be effective, this is the churn calculation type that anyone in your organization can compute; they simply divide the number of churned customers in a month by the number of customers you had at the beginning of the month.

The result they get reveals churn rate.

But you might be surprised at how many complex monthly churn rate calculations are flaunted online today. Some of them are indeed necessarily complex, but many others? Not so much.

The chief argument complex calculation users purport is that fluctuations occur in your number of existing and lost customers during the month and your formula needs to account for those numbers. They’re right, but a much simpler way is to use the cohort method to derive monthly churn.

Compute your churn rates month-after-month, back-to-back, and you’ll discover you’re already accounting for all new, existing and churned customers in your computation.

For example, say your existing customers in May are 10,000 but by month’s end, you’ve lost 500 of them. Also, during the month, you added 1000 customers out of which you also lost 50.

 How to solve this complexity:

By now, your churn situation is not so simple anymore. So at this point, it’s clear you can’t just use the simple churn calculation method to get accurate results; here’s how your churn calculation for the month of May would look:

churn rate

© Opentracker.net

You kick off the following month with the number of customers you ended with last month, minus the ones you lost (i.e. 10k customers from May – the 500 you lost + the new ones you added in the month).

And since you’re growing, let’s say during the month of June, you acquired another 700 subscribers but lost 60 of them. Again your churn and existing customer numbers have changed, so you can’t just apply the aforementioned monthly calculation method.

So a better monthly churn calculation formula is:

churn rate

This way, your calculation encompasses all existing, churned, new and newly churned customers throughout each month.

So let’s continue with our example, assuming:

  • we bring in existing customers (minus churned in May) at the end of May,
  • lost 500 of them at the end of June,
  • added 700 customers in June,
  • and lost 60 of them.

Here’s the math:

churn rate

© Opentracker.net

In general, here’s the monthly churn calculation for both months:

churn rate

© Opentracker.net

This way, you realize that every lost, new or existing customer that wasn’t accounted for in a certain month computed into the next and was duly accounted for.

3. Quarterly churn

As a product marketer or customer success manager, monthly churn rates can be all you need to keep going about your day-to-day. But CEOs, CMOs, investors, board members and those higher up the chain need more solid and broader reports to make their decisions.

That’s where quarterly churn reports come in.

It’s simple. After computing the monthly churn rate as in #2 above, simply add up the churn rates for every three months.

This formula works for that:

churn rate

Where:

X is the computed churn rate for each month (using the calculation method in #2 above)

N is 3, representing the no. of months in a quarter

A slightly more complex formula (which most businesses don’t need) is to compute the numbers of existing, churned, new, and churned new customers in all the three months in a quarter and divide the result by the ARR at the start of each month.

Comprende? Here’s how it looks in a formula:

Quarterly churn = CCn / EC

Where:

CCn is the number of churned customers at the end of every month in the quarter

EC is the number of existing customers at the start of each month

On the other hand, a wrong way to measure quarterly churn is calculating churn in the quarter’s first month and multiplying that by three.

It would have been an accurate calculation method if there was no growth in the quarter, or if all numbers of existing customers, churned users, new users and lost new customers were constant from month to month.

But that never happens. All the numbers change too frequently.

4. Annual churn

Like quarterly churn, execs and board members use annual churn to set forecasts and make company-wide decisions.

Once you’ve understood how to calculate monthly and quarterly churn rates, computing annual churn is the easiest thing to do.

But you must use the monthly churn calculation method in #2 above — since it accounts for all customers (existing, lost, and new) every month.

So here’s the formula to calculate annual churn:

Q1 + Q2 + Q3 + Q4 = Annual churn rate.

Where: Q represents the churn rate of every quarter.

OR

M1 + M2 + M3 + M4 …… + M12 = Monthly churn rate.

Where: M represents the churn rate of every month.

And this is clearly different from just multiplying one rate by 3 or 12 to arrive at your churn rate; that’s not helpful as it would ignore all the growth/fluctuations you experience throughout the months in a year.

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Calculating churn based on revenue?

If your SaaS business has more than one price or contract size, an enterprise churned customer may not represent the same value as a small business churned customer. SaaS businesses that have tiered pricing need to take the loss of revenue per customer into account.

To do this you will need to replace the above formulas with revenue units (i.e. dollars or euros). Churn can then be expressed as lost revenue offset by growth of new customers in terms of new revenue.

And contract terms also influence churn. A contract that renews on a yearly bases churns much less than a contract that renews on a monthly basis. Understanding this can validate up to a 30% discount for contracts that renew just once a year!

What’s the best way to calculate churn?

In general, it’s best you keep it super simple.

And that’s why this guide centres on simple but accurate calculation methods.

Stick to a calculation method that’s easy for anyone and everyone in your organization to compute; such that if your CEO, for example, isn’t great at numbers, she could still ascertain your churn rate without anyone’s help.

And you’ll know your calculation method isn’t too complex when stakeholders who need to compute it themselves don’t complain that it’s too complex.

What is a good churn rate?

You don’t want churn to occur at all, but we know that’s not going to happen.

But then, you want it to be as low as it can be.

So what’s it going to be? 5%? 7%? 10%?

A good churn rate is somewhere <12.30%, but a nice sweet spot is anything around 5%.

Whatever it is for business, it shouldn’t exceed the “healthy threshold” — the threshold that allows you to make enough profit to pay all salaries/other company expenses and live the life you desire.

Save yourself the stress

Let us handle your churn (and other SaaS metric) analyses.

Your business is different from every other business, regardless of how similar a lot of them look. We’ll help you accurately compute your churn and retention metrics — so you can focus on other important aspects of your business.

Here are three key ways we help you:

  1. Measuring what matters

If you haven’t already discovered the metrics or OKRs that directly influence your churn and retention rates, we help you find them. The metrics we find help you to:

  • focus your resources on what matters most in cutting churn
  • track your work and focus results towards achieving your goals
  • enable large groups to work together in alignment
  • go the extra mile (if need be) to achieve goals you probably thought were impossible
  1. Speed & agility

We provide incremental steps that help to deliver value in a timely manner. Our agile process helps us deliver work in small, but usable, increments.

  1. Simplicity & accuracy

From this guide, you can tell we prioritise not only accuracy but also simplicity. We implement procedures that help to curb the complex steps in computing any metric. In the end, we help you reach desired churn and retention goals.

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What is Customer Churn: Analyse Why Customers Leave

What is Customer Churn: Analyse Why Customers Leave

Introduction To Customer Churn

“Customers don’t use more than three months with us; what’s happening?”

“Wow … there was a 70% drop in our daily average usage yesterday.”

“95% of visitors on our checkout page yesterday didn’t convert; why?”

“Why do 20% of my new users always cancel after one month?”

If you ask yourself any of these questions, you need to run a customer churn analysis. Call it user churn analysis, churn analytics; it’s all the same.

Customer churn analysis is the process of analyzing why users leave your product, software, or business. Period. Reducing churn by 5% can increase profits by 25-125%.

customer churn
But what causes customer churn?

Or why do customers, users, and subscribers leave? Several things are the culprits. And your business might have unique factors that cause it. You need to find out why customer churn is happening and make it stop.

Here’s how to run unique customer churn analysis for your business and find the reason(s) why customers leave. If you want experts to do the heavy analytics lifting for you, get in touch with us; we can help. At the end of this article, you can apply for a free consultation session.

4 ways to run customer analysis for your specific business

Bad customer experience is the No.1 reason most customers leave; 68% of them leave because they think a company doesn’t care about them.

When they don’t get a good (great, actually) experience with your business, they switch to your competition.

And it’s okay when customers leave, but it becomes bad when too many of them leave too frequently. That’s bad churn, which could cripple any business. So use these four customer analysis methods to show when you have tolerable or intolerable churn:

1. Know the right KPIs to track

First, you need to know which KPIs inform you about churn. This will let you know your churn rate and determine whether it’s tolerable or not. Essentially, you need to monitor these four key KPIs to analyze churn:

i. Gross customer churn rate:

The rate at which customers leave your business daily, monthly, quarterly or yearly.

The formula:
customer churn

You could calculate your churn on a cohort basis, that is, calculating churn based on a group of customers. For example, you can calculate how many of your software trials in January left before February, March or whatever month. Or how many of the customers who booked a one-way ticket the last Christmas booked a return ticket in January, February or some other month.
A tolerable churn rate is generally <12.30%, but a nice sweet spot is anything around 5%.

ii. Net customer churn rate: 

The difference between the rate of customer acquisitions vs the rate of cancellations.

The formula:
customer churn

If the result turns out negative, it means you have more activations than deactivations (cancellations), which is great. But if the result is positive, then you have more cancellations than customer acquisition — which is unhealthy churn.

iii. Daily average usage (DAU): 

The rate at which users engage with your product, website or software every day. It’s a great indicator of customer engagement.

For instance, if your DAU keeps getting lower and lower for seven days, then there’s probably a glitch or bad customer experience you need to fix somewhere to stop such an unhealthy churn rate.

iv. Weekly and monthly average usage (WAU and MAU): 

The rate at which users interact with your product every week (WAU) or every month (MAU). Like DAU, an ascending WAU or MAU means your customer experience is good, and a descending weekly/monthly usage means you’ll need to work on your customer experience before your churn rate gets too bad.

So if your product is one that customers should typically engage with every day, week or month, find why that’s not happening (if, of course, it’s not) and correct it. That’s the first step.

But of course, it’s not that simple. You need to know factors that could cause your average usage rates to drop — and that leads to our next point.

2. Utilize a qualitative analysis tool

If you find your churn rate to be unhealthy (i.e. above 12.3% in a week, month … whatever applies to you), then you need to find the pet peeves causing your customers to leave.

And you’ll need one or more qualitative analysis tools for that. These tools will typically show you how and why customers are taking specific actions on your software.

So, while a quantitative analysis tool like Google Analytics shows you the who, why, where, and how many of things happening on your software, qualitative analytics tools show you how and why those things happen.

For example, a qualitative analysis tool like Opentracker helps you see the entire history of each of your users with your website or app. This means you can trace the journey of people who land on your payment page and optimize it for better engagement.

Simply search “pay” in the tool and you’ll see a list of visitors who landed on your checkout page — from the most recent to the oldest visitors. Learn more about this feature here.

customer churn
Sample of a universal search; locate everyone who landed on the payment page.

This tool gives you an entire story of how visitors land on your site and where they go from there. If someone lands on a page from a referral or ad, for instance, you know exactly where they come from. And if they go from there to your pricing page or about page, you know which page people from specific referrals like to visit.

All that data helps you optimize your product or service for better retention. You know the exact pages to optimize (add video, improve copy, etc.) to increase engagement, which helps you reduce churn.

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3. Arrange customer complaints in order of importance

Bad customer experience precedes churn — that’s the general rule.

But some bad experiences are more toxic than others, and you need to sort them in their order of “toxicity.” If your customers complain about one common problem more than they do about others, that problem could be the reason they’re leaving.

So arrange your customer complaints in the order of importance — that is, in terms of percentages.

For example, if you find that 60% of your customer feedback or complaints is about “poor video sessions,” then that’s what you should tackle first. Once you have the complaint solved, update your users (or the ones who complained) about the development.

As an example, here’s a feature release email you can emulate — from Appcues:

Keep solving customer complaints this way — according to their importance — and your churn rate should start reducing. After you solve each complaint, send them a feature release or product update announcing the problem you just solved for them. The Appcues announcement email got 34% clicks on the plaintext link and 66% on the main CTA button.

4. Personally call, email or visit customers

Sometimes nothing beats talking to customers and understanding your business from their perspective. And it’s easy to think you know every nook and cranny of your business until they burst your bubble with experiences that you never knew a thing about.

They’ll help you uncover details about your product from a customer perspective and most of all, they might be speaking on behalf of other customers.

For example, you’ll learn a lot if you call a customer and she narrates the story of how hard it was for her to access her videos on your platform or how she had to reload a page over and over again to select her favourite feature before it finally worked.

Yes, it worked, but she went through a nightmare before it did. And you probably wouldn’t know this story if you hadn’t gotten on a call with her.

Or you could even visit customers like they do at Drift.

In an interview with Hotjar, Drift’s founder David Cancel shared how he or some of his colleagues would hop on a plane and go have lunch with some of their users — big and small — so they can chat with them like normal people and get quality product feedback:

And they do this “every week.” Imagine the amount of feedback you get when you meet with customers face-to-face this often. Besides what they actually say, you get feedback from their body language, tone and gestures.

Talk to a churn analysis expert

You might be experiencing a unique churn situation that’s different from everything outlined in this guide. And that’s not new; it’s normal.

Most businesses need customized churn analysis, or an expert to help you do the heavy lifting of setting up a dashboard for churn analysis for the business. Get in touch with us; we can help.

We’ll help you in three key ways:

  1. Measuring what matters

We help you discover objectives and key results (OKRs) that directly impacts your churn and retention rates. And OKRs provide you with 4-key benefits. They help you:

  • focus your organization on what matters
  • measure our progress towards those goals
  • enable large groups to work together in alignment
  • stretch to achieve things you wouldn’t have thought possible
  1. Speed & agile

We’ll help you deliver value faster and with fewer headaches in incremental steps. Instead of betting everything on a “big bang” launch, our agile process delivers work in small, but consumable, increments.

  1. Simplicity & accuracy

We provide a simple framework that eliminates steps in churn analysis and makes things simple for your organization. In the end, we’ll help you achieve set conversion and retention objectives.

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5 Reasons Why Churned Users Leave

Top 5 Reasons Churned Users Leave And Smart Ways To Stop That

Introduction

90% of buyers abandon a business after they experience bad customer service.

Another study reveals 82% of customers have left a company for the same reason.

Paid users won’t leave simply because they experience some problem with your product. Instead, they’ll contact your support. That’s the logical next step after facing a problem as a paid user.

And after contacting your support, they expect a working solution. But it only takes a single bad customer service experience at that point to make them consider churning.

Being aware of the types of bad service that make users leave will put you several steps ahead in helping you avoid more churn.

So here are the top five customer service experiences users have with your product or business that makes them churn:

1. Poor communication during change

When (not if) change happens in your business (say, a price change — for example), the way you communicate it will help customers decide whether or not it’s a favourable change for them.

Ideally, the changes you make in your business should always tilt towards benefiting your customers. And regardless of what the “change” is — even if it’s an increase in your pricing — communicate it in such a way that users feel they’re benefiting more with your higher pricing.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you lie and manipulate customers; it only means you clearly communicate how your change benefits them (assuming it actually does, and if the change does not benefit the customer, do your homework to make the message really resonate with the customer).

For example, Appcues increased revenue by 263% through two well-crafted emails they used to communicate a price increase:

churned usersNotice how they tied in the promise of value to the price increase. That’s what buyers want to see and hear. Honestly communicate the benefits of any changes you’re making at your business and you’ll give consumers a good reason to keep doing business with you.

2. Cluelessness and helplessness

Only a few things are more annoying than a clueless customer support agent.

81% of surveyed consumers who had sought customer service through social media reported frustration because the representative didn’t know their history with the company.

And depending on how serious a complaint is, customers may be good and ready to churn if a customer support agent proves they are clueless. Incompetence, imagined or real, gives them a good reason to leave.

Hire the Right Kind of Support Staff

More often than not, the reason most businesses have clueless customer agents is that they invest so little in the training of their support staff. Even worse, they hire the wrong people for the job.

It’s garbage in, garbage out. Poorly-trained customer agents can get customers angry, and, in turn, your business will suffer churn. But focus on hiring qualified people: hard workers who love interacting with customers and enjoy keeping an eye out for how their business can provide value.

Well-trained support reps — with tools to understand customers and solve problems for them — will make your customers happy and have a good reason to stay with your brand.

Additionally, you can orchestrate the right mix of touch moments with your customer base. Give more attention to high-ticket clients and automate engagement with low-ticket clients — but know when to jump in when automation isn’t doing a good job. And make sure you have the right mix and match of automated emails, valuable calls and personal visits when engaging with your paying customers.

Sending Emails at the Right Moment

On top of that, always make sure customers are happy long before their next subscription renewals. Send emails at the right moment, preferably based on the customer’s online behaviour, and engage with relevant and valuable insights. Tools like Opentracker will help you do this!

Don’t forget that for a subscription-based business, recurring revenue from your current customers far outweighs the sales from your new customers. So your Customer Success is responsible for more revenue than your sales department!

If you are constantly responding to support tickets, you may find yourself on the defensive. Don’t let that happen; it’s an ingredient that invites failure.

Instead orchestrate meetings as part of a broader context where success is defined as an objective. If you share common objectives with the customer at initial contact moments, then you will have a basis for regular engagement. You then have a reason for having a meeting that focuses on success.

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3. Ignoring customer complaints for a week

Ideally, you should respond to customers rapidly. 50% of consumers give you a grace of one week to attend to their complaints before they churn.

So buyers can be very forgiving — depending on how pressing their complaints or needs are — and many of them understand how busy your support team can get. But they loathe being ignored for too long.

A working solution here is to get more hands on deck. If you’re short on budget, have people in other departments help your customer success team.

For example, if you have engineers, marketers or even writers who have some free time during working hours, have them handle some support tickets — as long as they’re knowledgeable enough to do so.

Not only will this help curb having customers wait for as long as a week before receiving proper attention, occasionally working with customer support creates new insights for engineers, marketers and writers, and enhances their performance at their respective roles. In fact, occasionally shifting multidisciplinary roles is a great way to stimulate innovation within the support team.

4. Persistently slow customer service

Customers can, again, forgive when you have slow customer service once in a while. But when resolutions look like they will take an age, customers become tired and may start considering using a competitor with better customer support.

90% of customers expect an “immediate” response when they contact you for an issue related to customer service.

churned users

 

And buyers are impatient for good reason. Like you, they have a life with responsibilities and commitments.

Keeping them waiting for more than a week to get a reply on a complaint they took the effort to contact you about is a bad idea.

Get more hands on your customer support

Getting more hands for your customer support team is, again, a working solution here. You might be responding slowly to customers because there are not enough skilled customer support agents attending to them or the process for engaging customers has not been thought out properly.

In fact, if you start qualifying support requests and identifying customer requests that slow things down, you will likely develop a process that solves the request through self-servicing. You can engineer things like updating customer details or explaining a goods return policy so that the customer has the tools to solve their own problem.

Get a live chat system

Also, if you haven’t already, get a live chat system. Chatbots have become popular, and many customers now expect brands to have a live chat system ready on their websites.

Get into Social Media 

Social media is another working channel to provide customer support for customers. Let them know they can reach your support team through tweets, Facebook messenger or even Instagram DMs.

To improve your social media customer service results, integrate these channels with a single communications tool so that you offer the customer’s preferred channel of communication. Meanwhile, your success team can still maintain a constant workflow.

This will make it much easier for them to get answers to their customer service questions. And that creates a good opportunity for you to lower churn, improve retention and focus on upselling value! It’s a no-brainer; the better you’re able to attend to and solve customer complaints, the more likely they are going to keep using your product.

5. Unexplained reasons

It’s a given: Regardless of how many support channels you provide, you’ll still have customers leaving without registering a single complaint.

Esteban Kolsky, CEO of ThinkJar and former Gartner analyst, ran a customer experience survey and found that:

“Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest churn. A lesson here is that companies should not view the absence of feedback as a sign of satisfaction. The true enemy is indifference.”

That is, 96% of customers leave without complaining. They leave without giving any feedback. But here’s a solution: A good option is to orchestrate the process.

Show customers how the leaving process is easier if they provide feedback. Do churned customers need to cancel a subscription, filling out login details and remember passwords long forgotten? For example, at Opentracker, we compensate users who explain why they are leaving by donating to a charity of their choosing. And any feedback is welcome — because we use it to keep improving our product and lowering churn!

Another working solution: 

Even when customers don’t say anything to you, many of them will still vent their disappointment with your product somewhere, somehow — in a Facebook group, on their blog, in a forum or anywhere else online.

Set up alerts for mentions of your brand/product online. There are several tools you can use for this. Keyhole, Mention, Sprout Social and Google Alerts come in handy here. You can set up alerts in these tools to inform you when someone mentions your brand or product on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

This way, you’re able to catch feedback from users who leave without any complaints. Then you can contact them and see how you can solve their issues and make them your customer again.

Conclusion

70% of unhappy customers whose problems are resolved are willing to shop with a business again. That means great customer service produces better customer retention for your business.

But when users leave due to a bad customer service experience, they often cause more damage than just churn; chances are high they’ll take their friends, connections and family along with them. Businesses that focus on their customers’ success not only create happy customers but also increase the experienced value and grow their profits.

And this is why more and more online businesses are increasing their spend on customer service. You should, too.

Want to dig deeper into why your customers churn? We’ll help you run a comprehensive churn analysis, identify why your users are leaving, and proffer working solutions.

Fill out this form to apply for a free consultation session.

 

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Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and campaign management

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and campaign management

Summarized overview

Questions and subjects discussed in this article:

  • definition: PPC campaign
  • definition: impressions
  • PPC market leaders: what and where to buy
  • clickstream analysis and keyword selection
  • cost-per-unit and what you should expect to pay
  • how to evaluate the traffic you purchase
  • the difference between quality and quantity
  • importance of conversion rate metrics

PPC advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and campaigns are the primary way of advertising on the internet. As of May 2009, the three largest players in the market are Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

A PPC campaign lets you determine exactly who comes to your website. You only pay for clicks to your site; if a person clicks on a search engine result, link, or banner and lands on your site (aka PPP pay-for-performance advertising). If the person only sees your link, but does not click through, this is called an impression.
Impressions are “the number of promotional units a person is subjected to” (Cone, S. 2008. Powerlines) You do not have pay for impressions. There are also pricing models based on impressions, which charge per thousand (CPM). Whether or not the purchase of impressions is interesting for you depends on your product and target audience.

Using clickstream analysis, a tracking system will tell you what people do on your site once they arrive through PPC advertising. This information is necessary to manage your advertising, and determine the best ways to:

  • obtain quality traffic
  • convert visitors into customers
  • create action that generates revenue

PPC advertising is based on keyword selection. The entire internet advertising market revolves around choosing the correct search terms and keywords. Well managed PPC advertising will bring traffic that achieves your goal, or ‘desired outcome’, whether it is to publicise an event or sell goods and services.

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Quality is more important than quantity.

‘Quality’ traffic refers to traffic that is well-targeted. This means that the visitors:

  • are looking for what you are advertising
  • enter the site and look around
  • complete a transaction or become a lead (i.e. convert)
  • come from countries and regions that you are interested in
  • return to visit your site again

Quality traffic will bring you a higher percentage of success, in terms of seeing your visitors complete a transaction, or subscribe to the service that you provide. Conversion rate analysis will allow you to determine which traffic sources turn visitors into leads and sales.

Conversion rate is the statistic that tells you what percentage of your visitors are converted from visitors into customers/ leads. High quality traffic will deliver a higher conversion rate. Conversion rate is another way of talking about your return on investment (ROI) and acquisition cost-per-visitor.

How to use tracking to evaluate PPC campaigns

A tracking service will allow you to:

  1. Check how effective clicks are and adjust campaigns accordingly:
  • see which keywords and search terms bring more visitors
  • learn which advertising copy is most effective
  • know which source/ search engine brings the best results:
  • at the right price per click (cost acquisition per customer)
  • determine conversion rate and set goals
  1. Accountability: make sure you are getting what you pay for
  • source of traffic: country, etc
  • how long do they stay, how many pages viewed? Average number of page views from one search engine might be lower than another
Please click here to read our recent article on “how to update PPC campaigns with search term data”.

We cannot stress how important it is to actively manage your PPC campaigns. Update your keywords, campaigns, vendors, and bids as frequently as possible, as your budget allows.

What can a tracking system tell you about the quality of your traffic?

Low quality traffic may overload your server(s), spike your traffic & frustrate you. More importantly it is a waste of time, money, and resources. It will create false expectations. A tracking system will tell you if / why your traffic is low quality.

  1. Does it come from a country which is not your market? For example a place where most people do not have credit cards or are not interested in buying real estate in Canada, because they live in China.
  2. Do the visitors land on your homepage and leave without clicking any further? Visit duration is an important statistic which tells you if people are interested in your site. How many pages do the visitors look at?
  3. Are the visitors presented with a link to your site when they search for a related keyword or search term? This is called phrase matching. The worst-case scenario is when your link is presented randomly, or as a pop-up.

Where should I buy PPC advertising traffic?

There are many sources to purchase clicks from, we recommend that you try more than one service, and compare results. Many sites use search results originating from a small number of search engines. This type of system is called a “content network”. The major PPC vendors such as Google and Yahoo also place content within their own networks. For example, they place advertisements alongside like content.

The PPC vendors distinguish between ‘Sponsored Search’ results and ‘Content Match’ placements. Sponsored searches place results alongside search engine results. Content match places results near articles, email content, forums, etc. In our experience you will obtain a higher conversion rate with sponsored searches, which also cost more.

Statistics on the subject of where searches are conducted vary widely. Estimates for Google, the leader, are as high as 80%. The leaders after Google are Yahoo, Bing. Many smaller search engines come and go, as they are purchased and incorporated into the larger search engines.

List of companies who sell PPC traffic:

Google, Enhance (ah-ha), Overture, FindWhat, Kanoodle, ePilot, LookSmart, Search123, eSpotting.

NOTE: the list above dates from several years ago and demonstrates some examples of search engines which have disappeared. Do some research to determine the current “hot” markets.

The advantage of paying for your traffic is that most campaigns can be implemented immediately, although it will take several hours to set up your first account. Depending on your budget, you can pay for a high ranking and see your advertising online within an hour. The disadvantage is that you have to pay every time a person clicks on your advertisement.

Therefore we recommend that all PPC campaigns are accompanied by ongoing efforts to improve your Google pagerank and optimise your site for search engines. These results are free and cannot be directly purchased, although you can hire a company to perform search engine optimization (SEO) on your site.

How to start your PPC campaign

The best thing to do is to run a few PPC accounts and run your campaigns for a set period of time and compare results. The standard setup procedure involves:

  1. create account & deposit funds
  2. receive confirmation that your account has been activated
  3. choose your keywords & text
  4. watch your traffic to evaluate your choice of text & words
  5. adjust your bids/ budget accordingly

Most PPC campaigns allow you to bid on your position. This means that you can bid on the number one position in the sponsored listings category. Bidding can be very competitive, with advertisers paying above $5 per click. Consider your price an acquisition cost-per-customer. It is part of the larger picture of website management strategy.

Once your visitor arrives, you must ensure that they find what they are looking for, and in the words of many marketing consultants; that you are able to guide them to complete actions that you desire, for example:

  • placing an order
  • completing a transaction
  • making a reservation
  • becoming a lead
  • signing up for a newsletter

Several studies have demonstrated that once a visitor makes a purchase on a site and effectively becomes a customer they are likely to return again. In this way a high acquisition cost can be justified, when ROI is taken into account.

Creating a PPC advertising campaign may seem daunting at first, however with a little research, you can design your own campaign, and reach a larger percentage of your target audience. Whether you manage your own campaign or hire somebody to do it for you, we are of course interested to hear from you and offer any advice that we can.

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How to write a Privacy Policy for your website

How to write a Privacy Policy For Website

 

Summarised overview

In this article you will find steps and information on:

  • Defining a privacy policy
  • Why you should have one
  • Guidelines for creating a policy
  • A sample privacy policy specific to setting cookies, and a
  • Link to an automated policy generator

Step 1: Explain what the privacy policy is addressing

A privacy policy is a document telling visitors to your site what information you collect and what you do with that information. Very simply: it is a short explanation of what you are doing to observe visitors to your website.

Step 2: Define your Cookie Specific Privacy Policy:

  1. What cookies are?
  2. What info is collected?
  3. What is done with the information?
  4. How to reject / delete / accept cookies?
  5. Explain that there are no harmful technical consequences/ risks

Two good reasons to develop a privacy policy for website

  1. Create a better electronic environment on the internet
  2. Laws / legislation may pertain to your business

By letting people know what info is collected and what is done with that information, you can create a transparent environment in which people / consumers are more confident. You can eliminate stress and concerns about abuse of personal info.

Various legislations and legal guidelines, for example in the US and in the UK, are being developed and may affect your website, depending on what information you collect, how you do it, and what you do with it. The European Union has developed similar guidelines that contain a bit too much legal rhetoric to be completely useful.
See resource list below for reference websites.

Step 3: Formatting an Online Privacy Policy

Your policy should be written in plain readable language. Consider the policy to be a part of your site. Design the policy and publish it like the rest of your site. Design it as if you actually want people to read it. Make it short, friendly & intuitive. It should be easily accessible throughout your site.

A Sample Privacy Policy

www.mysite.com uses www.opentracker.net to collect visitor data and analyze traffic on our site. This information helps us understand customer interests and helps us improve our website. When you visit our site, the pages that you look at, and a short text file called a cookie, are downloaded to your computer. A cookie is used to store small amounts of information. This information is collected for traffic analysis only. The cookie does not contain personal details. Depending on the browser that you use, you can set your preferences to block/ refuse cookies, and/ or notify you before they are placed. Opentracker does not sell, give, or trade the statistics they store to any 3rd parties for data-mining or marketing purposes. Please visit www.opentracker.net for their privacy policy.

Step 4: Design your privacy policy for your website

Tell your visitors why tracking cookies are good, why the information is beneficial, that it is used to improve websites and their content. Give an example. If you are collecting information, tell them what you do with that information. Give people an opportunity not to have their info collected, for example by blocking cookies. Explain how people can block cookies. Also explain that cookies are not harmful and cannot introduce viruses or extract personal contact information.

Why all the fuss?

There is an important distinction to be made here between cookies and spyware. Spyware collects information about your surfing habits across the internet and sends this information out from your computer. Cookies collect information about your surfing habits only on the site of the provider of the cookie, in other words just on one site.

From our research it appears that most people are concerned that their personal information may be passed on. In this case, there is an important distinction to make between Two Types of Information which are collected:

  1. Personally identifiable info/ personal contact info
  2. Clickstream/ navigation info

Specific to concerns about cookies, the information being collected does not contain personally identifiable information. Clickstreams are used to see if people return to the same sites, and identify patterns.

When databases are combined, for example a membership & login base, with a clickstream tracking system, it is possible to combine personal information, such as an email address, with clickstreams. This is where the main cause for concern seems to lie.

The companies that do this; with the resources to combine clickstreams, past purchases, and personal information, are household names, such as amazon.com, ebay, bbc, yahoo, etc.

Further Reading

We also recommend taking a look at the privacy policy of a company or website that you like or respect to see what information they consider to be important.

Here is a privacy policy generator where you can also find information about legislation:

https://privacypolicygenerator.info/

Legislation in the UK:

https://www.cookielaw.org/the-cookie-law/

Obviously there is a very real concern for a lot of people that their privacy is being abused. We would like to respond to these concerns, primarily through education, but also by opening up a dialogue on any related questions or ideas. Please feel free to write us, or post feedback on our support center.

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How To Improve your Google Rankings

Improve Google ranking and PageRank

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Summarized overview

In this article, you will find information about:

  • Google PageRank
  • Search engines & keyword significance
  • Google bots and fresh bots
  • Optimizing your pages
  • Content updates: ‘a page a day will send Google your way’

Google is your friend

At the moment, Google is by far the most popular internet search engine in the world. At the time of writing, Yahoo is the second largest, it takes over a majority of remaining smaller engines (Inktomi.com, Altavista.com, fastsearch.com, alltheweb.com, etc.) through its acquisition of Overture. Bing is the 3rd player, and is currently developing their own search engine that will produce independent results.

Numerous big players like Yahoo, Hotbot, AOL, and Netscape use Google engine and indexes.image for google page rank

Google has a unique way of determining where to place sites in result listings, from top to bottom. They use a technology called PageRank:

Most services offer the bare minimum, a counter, for free. If you wish to learn about your traffic in any detail, an upgrade and payment is necessary.

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PageRank

The word “PageRank” means a system for ranking web pages.

“PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page’s value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B.”

Backlinks and how they affect your pageRank

Links from any page (internal or external) to your site (primarily your homepage) are called backlinks.

Additionally, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or backlinks, a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Pages that are themselves ‘important’ weigh more heavily cast votes and help to make other pages ‘important’.

Thus, “important, high-quality sites have a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search. Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don’t match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important, and relevant to your search.”

“Google goes far beyond the number of times a search term appears on a page and examines numerous aspects of the page’s content (and the content of the pages linking to it), to determine if it’s a good match for your query. “

To find out what your site’s PageRank is, you can download a tool . To check your backlinks, try typing ‘link:www.yoursite.com’ (without the ‘ marks) in the search box.

The above excerpts are taken from an article that was posted by Google, which provides additional background information on PageRank.

Meanwhile the page has been removed, so here are some other links to relevant info:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank
http://www.google.com/competition/howgooglesearchworks.html#section1

How to improve your site listings in Google

Getting Started

Check if your site is in the Google database.

If your site is new or you are still building the site, add your site as soon as possible. It can take up to a month to see your site turn up in Google. This is a rough estimate, as the time period is steadily diminishing. You will turn up much quicker if you are linked to a site which is frequently ‘spidered’ by Googlebots; little robot-scripts that index the internet page-by-page. These robots, which search engines send out, are variously called ‘spiders’, ‘bots’, ‘crawlers’, etc.

 

Googlebots

Google spiders in particular are called Googlebots. There are different types of bots. A freshbot, for example, visits you on a regular basis if you make frequent updates. The advantage of being visited by freshbots is that your updates can appear in Google on a daily basis: something of a positive version of catch-22. The more content you add, the more often you are visited. This leads to the importance of adding content. This is discussed in detail below.

If you have a link from a site that is often visited by a googlebot, then you can appear in Google within 24 hours.

Feshbots

To determine if your site has recently been visited by a freshbot, do a search on Google for your site URL. Freshtags, which indicate the recent passage of a freshbot, will appear in the search results as a recent date (shown just below the single line of site description). They are not rare, however, like clouds, on some days there are none in the sky.

Find link-exchange partners and check their PageRank, a link from a site with a high PageRank is better than one with an low PageRank. The case has been made that linking to a site that has no PageRank will keep your rank down. This is called linking to a ‘bad neighborhood’.

Optimizing your pages for Google

Your site will be visited by Googlebots if you establish one or more links from other indexed sites to yours.

Googlebots scan the content of your pages mainly by looking at the following items:

  • Page title
  • Meta description
  • All text on your page(s)
  • Links to other pages

All these items are of great importance because they should contain your important search keywords.

This is an important conceptual hurdle. The entire internet revolves around the choice of individual words. This process is constantly being refined. It is essential that you are Spartan and accurate whenever choosing your descriptive terminology: words. Try and put yourself in the minds of the people who will be looking for your site. What are the one or two words that they will focus on?

Page title

Make sure your title contains your most important search keywords. Do not make your titles longer than 80 characters (more can be considered as spamming).

Meta description

Google does not index your meta ‘keywords’ tag but it does index your meta ‘description’ tag. Make sure your description contains your most important search keywords.

All text on your page(s)

Make sure your text contains your most important search keywords. More importantly, the pages should focus on your subject, service, product, or area of interest. Put your most important keywords once in your headers, a couple of times in your paragraphs, once in bold once in italic, in your image alt tags, your image names, your url’s, etc.

Links to your other pages

Make sure the Googlebot can find its way through your site. One thing Googlebots find hard to follow is framesets. 

or hidden section where your text and links are located. Adding a sitemap can do wonders for letting Google index your entire site.

Tip: if you have a button on your website that takes you back to the homepage, link it to your domain name (www.yoursite.com) instead of a page called home.html or index.html. Google doesn’t recognize the difference between outbound or inbound backlinks.

Content: update your content as frequently as possible.

The more often you update your content, the more often freshbots will visit your site. Try to add a page a day if possible. The content you generate should be of high quality. Try to find every angle from which you can discuss or describe the subject your site is about. The point is not to generate poor quality or duplicate material. Duplicate pages will lead to penalization. The point is that Google, for example, loves content. It is a question of scale. Think of the old adage ‘an apple a day will keep the doctor away’. In this case it can be revised: ‘a page a day will send Google your way’. More content, more spider visits, more human visitors, more readers, more pages, etc.

All this will contribute towards strengthening your PageRank and realising a higher position in Google search results. This will lead to more traffic.

Please keep in mind that the above tips, suggestions, and ideas are based on our experiences managing Opentracker. This information is subject to change on a daily basis.

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Third-Party Cookies Vs First-Party Cookies

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Third-Party Cookies vs First-Party Cookies

Executive Summary and Article Navigation

Discussion and definitions of:

Who wants a cookie?

What are cookies? Here are a few over-lapping definitions;
  1. A small data file placed on your computer by a website that you visit.
  2. A piece of code placed in your browser by a website server.
  3. A text file placed on a hard drive to store and transmit information to the server of websites (re)visited from that browser / computer.
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What is a (third-party) cookie?

A cookie is a small bit of text placed on the hard drive of  your computer by the server of a website that you visit. The cookie is placed there for the purpose of recognizing your specific browser or remembering information specific to your browser, were you to return to the same site.

All cookies have an owner which tells you who the cookie belongs to. The owner is the domain specified in the cookie.

In “third-party cookie”, the word “party” refers to the domain as specified in the cookie; the website that is placing the cookie. So, for example, if you visit widgets.com and the domain of the cookie placed on your computer is widgets.com, then this is a first-party cookie. If, however, you visit widgets.com and the cookie placed on your computer says stats-for-free.com, then this is a third-party cookie.

Opentracker provides services that allow the companies and websites to track their visitors with first-party cookies.

Growth of third party cookie rejection

Reports and research on the subject of website tracking tell us that the rejection of third-party cookies is growing. Increasing numbers of people are either manually blocking third-party cookies, or deleting them regularly.

That is why Opentracker utilizes 1st party cookie technology.

The cookies being deleted / blocked are third-party party cookies, as opposed to less problematic first-party cookies.

How many people or software tools delete third party cookies? The numbers given can be as high as 40%. If you count that many anti-spyware applications and default privacy settings also block 3rd party cookies, then it is possible that a high percentage of cookies are being blocked.

Blocking and deleting cookies

Why do far fewer people block first-party cookies? It is estimated that a very low percentage of people block first party cookies, less than 5%. The reason for this is primarily that it is very difficult to surf the internet without accepting these cookies. First party cookies are necessary in order for you to be recognised as an individual. Any site that you login to as an individual requires a way of identifying you as “you”. Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, online banking, ebay, Amazon, etc.

Additionally, anti-spyware software and privacy settings do not target first-party cookies.

visitors onlineWe use cookies to keep track of long-term visitors. These visitors remain anonymous, the point is to be able to see who returns, if and when, for example, for conversion analysis.

We use first party cookies as our first line of analysis, and ip number with user agent as the secondary line. AOL users are identified more specifically because their ip number changes with every click.

What actually happens when cookies are blocked / rejected?

1st party cookies: it is very hard to login anywhere

3rd party cookies: no adverse effects to surfing

Q: How does this affect tracking systems, when people block / delete cookies?

A: All visits will still be recorded, but a person who has deleted the cookies will not be recognised as the same (returning) visitor.

When cookies are in place, and not blocked or deleted, total visitor counts will remain comparatively low. If a person constantly deletes cookies, they will be counted as a new “unique” visitor with every subsequent visit.

Conclusion

In response to these trends, the first step is to find out if the statistics that you collect utilise first-party or third-party cookies. Ask your statistics or tracking company. Asking questions usually leads to more questions, always a good thing when it comes to gathering and analysing data.

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