Aviation Marketing: New Google analytic features provide rich customer insights

New analytic features make it easer to track conversions and make better decisions about which marketing activities have the highest ROI.

When it comes to e-commerce, you’re only as good as your data. For aviation marketers that rely on online sales, Google has rolled out new tracking features that help identify outbound and inbound marketing tactics that are pulling their weight.

10 Google analytic features that aviation marketers should be familiar with:

1. Dashboards – you can now create up to 20 personalized dashboards, developing widgets and formats that make the most sense for your requirement.

4 useful widgets:

  • Visits with timeline
  • Goal completions and/or transactions with timeline
  • Source/Medium – table showing where site visitors are coming from
  • Bounce rates – percentage of one page views and exit

2. Keyword Clouds – No more viewing a long list of keywords trying to identify or spot trends.  Keyword Clouds make it easy to visualize top keywords based on user selected criteria.

3. Real-Time Data – view activity on the site as it happens.

4. Site Speed – gives you a report on average page load time. Goggle has indicated that site speed could be an important factor in organic search rankings.

5. Search Simplified Navigation – makes it easier to navigate to the proper report. Google has also created an account search that lets users access the correct profile without having to scroll through numerous profiles to locate the right one.

6. Webmaster Tools – users can get a better perspective on which Google properties – web, image, local – drove the site traffic.

7. Social Engagement – tracks how visitors are socially engaged with your site, itemizing which social sources drove page visits and the actions that occurred.

8. Visitor Flow Visualization – can be used to visualize the “flow” of visitors through the site, from the source, through the various pages, and where along their paths they exited.

9. Event Tracking – feature that tracks user activity on your pages separately from page views. For example, if you have a PDF on your page and you want to know how many times a user clicks on it, you can tag the PDF and activity for that PDF appear in the event tracking section.

10. Multi-Channel Funnels – allows you to view user activity further back than the final channel. Now you can see every interaction the user had with the site  — paid search ad, organic search listing, twitter link, email link — in the last 30 days prior to the conversion.

Aviation Marketing: Social media strategy and measurement metrics

Like a good pilot, aviation marketers should chart a course for identifying social media direction, measurement metrics, and business results.

The Altimeter Group published an open research study entitled “A Framework for Social Analytics”. They propose a social media measurement compass as a way to keep social media activities on course and measure social media’s impact on achieving business goals.

My interpretation for aviation marketers is that they should take a granular look at their business operations for areas of opportunity beyond marketing where social media can enhance business process and revenue generation.

6 points of the social media measurement compass:

1. Brand Health

A measurement of how people feel, talk, and act towards your brand.

Measurement Metric:

  • Sources of positive, negative or neutral sentiment
  • Number of brand followers
  • Number of re-tweets

2. Marketing Optimization

Social data used to learn how programs perform, and drive decision for making new content and campaigns.

Measurement Metric:

  • Revenues
  • Conversions
  • Leads per dollars spent compared to outbound marketing

3. Revenue Generation

Understand the role of social media in the considered purchase process and then fine tune it to support ways influencers and purchasers use social platforms in context with your brand.

Measurement Metric:

  • Leads by channel
  • Conversions by channel
  • Stated intent to purchase

4. Operational Efficiency

Understand how social media delivers hard and soft cost containment over time.

Measurement Metric:

  • Percentage of inquiries in social channels that were resolved with out 1-to-1 chat or call center call

5. Customer Experience

Social media’s impact on the customer’s attitude. How people talk about your brand or product when you’re not there.

Measurement Metric:

  • Common key words
  • Common topics in social platforms and networks versus CRM/Call center

6. Innovation

Monitoring the social web for feedback and ideas that identify opportunities and reduce risk.

Measurement Metric:

  • Terms such as “idea,” “I wish,” “I love,” “I hate” in relation to brand and competitors

The above metrics represent a small fraction of what can be learned and measured. With that said, aviation marketers will have to build their own set of metrics based on data that is important to executive level decision makers in their business. One thing to remember is that if the metric does not correspond to a result, it probably is not worth measuring.

Click the link to view the complete presentation “A Frame work for Social Analytics”

Aviation Marketing: How non-visible web content can improve click through rates

Aviation marketers should have a basic understanding of description meta tags to provide both search engines and users with a summary about their web pages. 

Google published their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide for webmasters that are new to the topic and wish to improve their SEO knowledge. Here is their view on writing effective page description meta tags along with my insight for aviation marketers.

Meta data is an HTML tag that stores information about your web page but is not visible in the browser.  Search engines refer to this information as meta tags.

Examples of meta tags include:

  • Page description (snippets)
  • Instructions that control the behavior of search engine crawlers and robots

Page descriptions (snippets) consist of a few sentences or a short paragraph describing the page content. Written correctly, the description will contain content that the search engine matches with the user query. The search engine will either match the snippet or other relevant text on the page if it’s a better match with the query. Words that match the query are bolded, giving the user insight as to whether the content on the page matches what they are looking for.

For example, a user types in “aircraft painting” into the search query field. The search engine returns a match for an MRO facility with the following snippet:

Specialist in aircraft painting, corrosion control, and complex paint schemes

Good page descriptions cut down on “click and backtrack” behavior that affects the user’s experience and also inflates web traffic metrics. Avoid key word stuffing, as this is less likely to be displayed than a non-meta description snippet.

Meta data strategies

  • Write the page descriptions that inform and interest viewers
  • Avoid descriptions that have no relation to the page content
  • Avoid generic descriptions
  • Avoid copying and pasting the entire page content into the description meta tag

The benefit to accurate meta description is that it can improve click-through rates but won’t affect ranking in search results.

Controlling the behavior of search engine crawlers and robots

Meta tags can control the behavior of search engine crawlers and indexing. “Robot” meta tags apply to all search engines, with the “Googlebot” meta tag being  specific to Google.

Robot meta tags instruct the robots how to treat the web page.

  • noindex tag instructs the search engine to drop the page from their search results
  • nofollow tag instructs the search engine not to follow a specific link on the web page
  • nosnippet instructs the search engine not to display the page content description

Click on the following link to download the “Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide”

Aviation Marketing: Search Engine Optimization 101

Aviation marketers should be aware of best practices for basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to elevate organic Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking for key word search.

Achieving better SEO results is a matter of making small modifications to your website. These modifications totaled together can elevate page rankings and improve search results. SEO can seem like black box technology when in reality it’s a matter of understanding your audiences, providing quality content and knowing how to optimize your site to be more search engine friendly.

The one factor not to lose sight of is that your content needs to be relevant to your audience, so avoid the temptation of stuffing key words in an attempt to increase your page ranking. SEO is about making your site more visible to search engines. Remember that the consumers of your content are the users, and not search engines.

Step 1 – Benchmark where your site stands and how it compares to the competition

To measure SEO progress you need a starting point.  Digital marketing provides data chains on past user interaction with your website, blog, or micro site. A free online tool to monitor and compare your site with others can be found at Alexa.com.

 Here you can enter up to 5 different URLs for comparison. For example, comparing fix winged manufacturer Gulfstream to Cessna, Embraer, and Bombardier reveals that in the previous 3 months, Bombardier generated more site traffic than Gulfstream.

Other analytics include:

  • Site traffic stats
  • Search analytics – key word search query, % of site visits from search engines
  • Audience demographics
  • Company contact information
  • Reviews
  • Related links with shared key words
  • Click stream – visitor traffic preceding and leaving the site

It is advisable to compare the information obtained from Alexa with your website referrer log to track where your visitors are coming from and the search terms used to find your site.

Step 2 – Interpreting referrer data

Interpreting the referrer data can give you insight into how well your inbound and outbound marketing is working by reviewing referrer sites and key word search terms.

If 60% of your visitors log on to the site directly from the URL, that’s a good indication that your site is established and viewers are going directly to the source. The downside is that you’re not attracting a lot of new users.

To increase traffic in new users, look at the following:

  • Make sure your page titles accurately describe the page content
  • Create unique title tags for each page
  • Use brief but descriptive titles  that incorporate key words. Limit the description to 65 characters including spaces.

Checking the referrer log will also tell you which search engines – Google, Yahoo, Bing – are the most active in sending new users to your site.