Market Information

Market Information

Universal Analytics reaches prime time with tracking changes | VELOCITY AGENCY | NEW ORLEANS, LA

Roll out the red-carpet, Google’s Universal Analytics has left beta and has already begun changing the way visits to our devices are tracked. Since the introduction of Universal Analytics in 2012, Google has been hard at work looking at additional means for marketers to track user engagement with their websites to increase conversions. Last week Google, doing what they do best, unveiled a consolidated view for tracking user engagement on separate devices in one easy to see report.

How it works?

In the digital age, it’s safe to assume that a large part of your target market utilizes multiple channels for accessing your content – websites, mobile apps, web apps, and other digital devices. All of these channels can be a lot to go through to determine how to best market to your customers. You talked, Google listened. Tada! Introducing the ability to view web and app data in a single report! (Ooo and Ahh).

How it works you ask? It’s quite simple. You can now see all data reported from one Google Analytics property to a single view – regardless of how you collected that data. You can still view data separately if needed by utilizing various filters, dimensions, and segmentations. If you don’t send all of your traffic data to the same property, this change will not affect your data.

What to expect?

The biggest change recently announced by Google Analytics is the change of usage metrics “Visitors” and “Unique Visitors” to “Sessions” and “Users.” Although the motivation for this change is unclear, it is expected that this change is a result of Google’s desire to better deliver analytics traffic for marketers. Sessions are customizable depending on your business and end after 30 minutes so as not to duplicate visits to your site from the same visitor. For websites with more content, it is recommended to have longer sessions, while less content should have shorter sessions.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Digital Innovation, Market Information

Google’s ‘Shelfie’ Prank Becomes Latest Feature | Velocity Agency | New Orleans, LA

Following Popularity of April Fools Feature, Google Releases ‘Shelfie’

April Fools: the day for pranksters rolls around every April 1st, evoking joy or dread, depending on whether or not you’re a lover of schadenfreude. Never one to be outdone by others, tech-giant Google launched a salvo of its own pranks last Tuesday. Between transforming Google Maps into an augmented reality game of Pokémon and the invention of the Magic Hand, a device that lets mobile users text and surf the web on their tablets and phones without lifting a finger, the company made a huge splash.

“Shelfie” Prank Becomes Permanent Function

Of all of Google’s April Fools pranks, only one proved successful and “practical” enough to find a place among the company’s ever growing suite of tools it offers its more than 425 million Gmail users. A function named “Shelfie” was released in the prank onslaught, giving Google users the ability to share their custom Gmail themes with the world at large. For most people, the fact that Gmail offers 15gb of free storage and the ability to send e-mails of up to 25mb in size is reason enough to use the service, but by adding the hugely popular “Shelfie,” now referred to as Shareable Custom Themes, to Drive, Maps, and the rest of its menagerie of services, Google has tightened its grip on its users, if only slightly.

Should We Be Surprised by Its Success?

It’s hard to believe that the Silicon Valley behemoth only intended “Shelfie” to be a one-off joke. In a world where 70 billion pieces of content — from selfies, to statuses about cooking dinner, to overly emotional song lyrics — are shared just on Facebook every month, another web function that gives self-promotion capabilities to the “Me generation,” particularly one syncing with a hugely popular e-mail service, is sort of a no-brainer for added success. As a millennial myself, I plan to start sharing my custom themes, whether “My Little Pony” or “Frozen” inspired, straight away.

What custom Gmail theme are you most looking forward to sharing?

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Market Information

Free Office Online: Microsoft’s New Strategy | Velocity Agency | New Orleans, LA

A couple of years back my colleagues and I were discussing the importance of Google’s entrance into the cloud services space, and how their new service, Google Docs, would benefit small businesses and individuals. The proposition was simple: give us a bit of your personal information by signing up for a GMail account, and we’ll let you create, edit and share documents à la Microsoft Office. Initially, the sentiment was that such an underpowered, cloud-only productivity software wouldn’t meet the needs of consumers. That sentiment WAS correct. Fast forward seven years, Google Docs has grown and now integrates many of the features that longtime Office users crave. It has also proven to be a great aid for cash strapped small businesses and students that would otherwise have to pay for productivity software. Now Microsoft has announced Office Online, a free web-based version of its Office suite.

So why would we start a conversation about Microsoft’s latest move with a story about Google Docs? It’s simple: the technology industry’s ever-changing pace requires companies to be agile in the way they develop new products. While we can only speculate, Microsoft’s decision to make Office Online free has probably something to do with Google. Microsoft, however, was not the first to react to Google’s cloud based apps. Late 2011 saw the release of Apple’s iCloud, which offers similar document creating tools. So what does Office Online have to offer?

Firstly, it is great to see that Microsoft has learned. It no longer stubbornly sits on legacy software written in the last millennium. The company as a whole, new CEO included, has started a long yet focused shift towards the cloud and into the consumer space it once ignored. Let’s not forget Microsoft’s cash cow is its enterprise business, which provides about half of its profits, and it keeps growing. Things have changed, however, and the business known by millions for its enterprise-geared operating system and apps is now trying to be a consumer first company.

Secondly, Office Online has an actual intuitive and appealing design. The signup process is fairly easy, as all is needed is a valid Email address and personal information. Once logged in, the user is welcomed with the familiar Office 2013 design language and menu options. Some consumers find this easier to navigate as it mimics the desktop and tablet versions of the software. However, some users will find the interface to be too “bloated”, especially those who don’t think highly of Office for desktop. Personally, I think is a step in the right direction. Let’s not forget Microsoft is playing catch-up, so they need to offer a full-fledged solution to remain relevant in the consumer space.

Thirdly, Microsoft is offering five of its most important apps for free. During the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the Windows monopoly forced users to rely on Office to write documents, make presentations, draw up spreadsheets and check Emails. We are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note and Outlook, and some of us decided to let go of them as we moved to the cloud. Now Microsoft is reaching back to those customers with an appealing offer. Too little, too late? We’ll see.

Lastly, since the introduction of Bing in 2009, Microsoft has been in the “getting to know you” business. In other words, they offer a “free” service (search with Bing, productivity with Office Online) in the exchange of our personal information. Companies then turn our input into a big data aggregate used to better develop their products or to sell it to advertisers. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this business model, we as internet users should be aware of how our information is being used. So if you’re comfortable sharing your information with Facebook, Google, Apple and now Microsoft, and you feel you’re getting a good service in exchange, you have nothing to worry about. Don’t forget to try out Microsoft Online and share your feedback with us.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Digital Innovation, Market Information

Domain Authority: Is It Worth the Trouble? | Velocity Agency | New Orleans, LA

Having your online marketing efforts be successful in 2014 is a big deal. After all, web users around the globe are expected to drop $1.5 trillion this year on their favorite goods and services online. While you undoubtedly understand that great SEO, content marketing, and social media outreach are essential to your success in tapping into that huge revenue stream, you may not have heard about domain authority. If that is the case, you need to become familiar with the concept to start improving your business.

What is Domain Authority, and How is It Calculated?

To put it simply, your domain authority is a numerical score assigned to your website based on a number of factors. After running these factors through a complex scoring algorithm, your site is assigned a domain authority score out of 100 based on its authority in popular search algorithms, like Google PageRank.

How your domain authority is calculated depends on the service that’s doing the calculation. Generally, checkers will combine your total number of quality back-links, the number of rooted links, and any links your page uses from known authorities on various subjects. Just like popular search engine algorithms, domain authority checkers also take into consideration the relevance of your content and the amount of traffic flooding your site.

You need to keep in mind that your domain authority score has no impact on how you’ll appear in search engines. Instead, it’s an indication of how effective your web marketing efforts are. Why? As you’ve seen, your domain authority is simply a score that’s calculated based on your relevance, back-links, and the like; in other words, it’s completely dependent on the success of your SEO efforts.

Steps to Improve Your Own Domain Authority

Having said that, you might think that there is little value to your domain authority other than its use as a metrics tracking tool. However, you need to consider this: the higher your domain authority, the more likely it is you’ll place high in search engine results. Facebook.com, for instance, has a domain authority score of 100. That means anytime the site publishes a new piece of content, whether it’s an overview of a new app or news on the changes to their privacy policies, it is likely to shoot to the number one spot in Google results, ahead of any other listing resulting from a search for “Facebook.” If you want to improve your domain authority, you should focus on your SEO efforts overall, but there are a few specialized tactics you can take to grow your score:

  • Improve Onsite Content

Improving your onsite design, content, and functionality is a sure step toward an improved score. Keeping your interface clean, streamlining your design to improve your loading times, and keeping your links numerous but relevant, a key factor in any domain authority calculation, will go a long way in bringing that score up.

  • Combine Content Marketing with Social Media

61% of web users say that content marketing makes them more likely to buy from a company online, which is great for your revenue. However, content marketing can also have an impact on your domain authority. Quite simply, the better quality of content you write, the better chance you have of it being shared across social media, thereby building more links. By building your own presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other popular platforms, you further improve your chances of building these quality links.

Unlike other metrics, your domain authority score cannot easily be improved, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important for you to try. In general, better marketing efforts, whether in your content production team or through social media, will yield a better authority score, and that will go a long way in helping you get noticed online.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Market Information, SEO

Three Simple Ways to Do SEO

It’s only natural that search engine optimization (SEO) intimidate small business owners, because it puts them between a rock and a hard place. The online marketing strategy is meant to garner more web traffic, which means that a higher amount of business leads come to the business’s website. These leads are then converted into sales, and that’s how SEO makes businesses money. According to a study released by OutBrain, search engines are the best drivers of traffic to content websites, a sentiment that’s echoed by statistics showing that 93% of all online experience begins with the use of a search engine.

While they know they need it to compete in this Internet saturated business world of today, they don’t know if they can make it work with their budgets. This leaves small business owners asking two questions. Can they afford SEO, or can they afford to go without SEO?

Thankfully, there’s a third option–DIY SEO. While optimizing your site can be quite tricky and complicated, if you are a smaller business with a small website, there are many SEO efforts which you can make. This method can’t guarantee success, nor is it “free,” since you’ll have to invest a ton of time. However, if you can’t make SEO work on your budget, it might be your best bet for online success. Here’s how you can do it, too.

1. Do Your Keyword Research.

Developing a list of the right keywords is an SEO staple, because your keywords and phrases have a profoundly direct impact on the overall performance of your website. Use the Wordstream Free Keyword Tool to help you generate your target words and phrases. It offers thousands of ideas from a massive database of more than a trillion unique searches, and it even outperforms some of the paid alternatives in the market.

2. Start a Blog.

Now that you’ve got your keywords, what are you to do with them? You naturally should incorporate them throughout your website–in the headlines, meta-data, URLs, and everywhere else possible–but you should also weave them into your on-site content. The more keywords you have, the more search engines will relate your site to them. The more relevant your site is for a topic, the higher it’ll rank, I.E. have SEO success.

Blogs can also help in a more technical way, too. The more blogs you write, the more pages your site accumulates. Also, keeping your blog updated lets a search engine know that your site has the most up-to-date information. The more up-to-date, high quality, relevant pages that a search engine indexes, the better your search engine ranking will do.

3. Get on Social Networks.

Yes, you need a Facebook and Twitter, at the very least. It could take a whole other article to explain the benefits of social media marketing, but for now, know that according to a study in 2013 from Searchmetrics, a strong social presence correlates with strong SEO. Sites with higher social user engagements rank higher, which means that the more likes, comments, and tweets that your site has affiliated with it, the better your SEO is.

Social media also gives you a great platform to build links, and share content. People who don’t regularly check your blog will see your post come up in their newsfeed, and check it out. What’s more, users will also share high-quality content, which amplifies its reach, exposing your previously inaccessible audiences to your brand.

These are only a few of the most practical, simple things that you can do yourself to improve your site’s SEO. Of course, it’s not wise to look at SEO like an expense, because it’s really an investment. If at all possible, it’s worth your while to invest in a professional SEO company. Though the cost of their services will remain fixed (unless you upgrade or downgrade your plan), they’ll help you earn more revenue, and eventually start paying for themselves.

In the mean time though, roll your sleeves and start plugging away.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Market Information, Social Media

What Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp means for Online Marketing 2014?

At the end of February 2014, it was announced that social media giant Facebook would buy WhatsApp, a social messaging company, for a whopping $19 billion USD. The move came as WhatsApp hit the 450 million user mark and estimates showed that it would continue to gain around a million additional users a day. For Facebook, the most popular social media platform in the world with over 1.4 billion active users, buying the world’s most popular messaging app is just another step on the way to their domination of the way people communicate in the Internet Age.

Velocity Agency - Facebook Acquisition of WhatsApp

 

What the Acquisition Says About Social Media in Marketing

If Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp proves anything, it’s the importance social media plays in the business marketing sphere in 2014. Keep in mind, of WhatsApps 450 million and growing user-base, 70% use the application on a daily basis. On the other hand, only 62% of Facebook users use the big blue social media giant daily. For Zuckerberg and the rest of the Facebook team, WhatsApp was poised to draw significant marketing revenue away from them. Keep in mind, 70% of businesses say they’re going to spend more on social media marketing in 2014, and Facebook doesn’t want that spending going anywhere but to its coffers. Zuck and the gang have taken a time-honored approach to competition in business: if you can’t beat them, buy them.

Why You Need to Keep Using the Expanded Facebook

With this purchase, Facebook proves it understands the pivotal role it and other social media platforms play in the online marketing game. Just in case you aren’t clear on what the purchase means to you, think of it this way: Facebook now controls a bigger portion of the social media playing field and is playing an increasingly important role in successful online marketing with social media. You need to continue to take steps to please the powers that be. Here’s why:

  • Social Media is the Fast-Track to Online Recognition

SEO, content marketing, and the like are all insanely effective when it comes to successfully building a presence online. However, you first have to draw people to your neck of the internet. By building a presence on social media platforms, places you know billions of people visit daily, you can skip over the part where you have to wait for people to come to you.

  • Social Media is Like an Acceptable Link-Farm

In the past, to build links to your site, you would have to rely on link-farms. Of course, then Google came in and rightly labeled that a black-hat SEO tactic. However, link-building remains an important part of generating more traffic to your website online. By creating high-quality content and sharing it on social media, you can effectively generate your own organic link-farm. Think about it, if your content is good enough, your followers will do the work for you, sharing your links far and wide.

Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp consolidates an already gigantic social media empire. While it doesn’t necessarily change the playing field for marketers, power plays such as this demonstrate how keenly aware Facebook and its ilk are of their centrality going forward into the Internet Age.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Advertising, Market Information, SEO

Brand Recognition Importance for your business: State Farm Success

Staying ahead in a competitive marketplace is a constant exercise in push and pull, dos and don’ts, and lucky breaks. Taking the lead in the increasingly online world of business in 2014 means taking advantage of evolving SEO, great web design, and success in social media. After all, eCommerce sales grew to $262.3 billion in the United States, and are expected to grow to $440 billion by the end of 2017.

Having said that, web-marketing isn’t the only thing to consider. Harnessing the power of brand recognition and utilizing the mobile market is equally important to keeping your company at the front of potential and actual customers’ minds. This is a lesson that American insurance giant State Farm took to heart. After 91 years of offering a high quality insurance option to Americans, State Farm is still the most profitable insurance company in the country, pulling in an estimated $3.2 billion in profits annually. Its closest competition, Allstate, only earns around $2.3 billion. By realizing the need to change and grow as the nature of business does the same, State Farm has ensured its success into the future.

What Did State Farm Do?

1. Updated Their Classic Logo

One of the smartest things State Farm did for their brand was updating their logo. The company’s original logo, in use since 1953, was recognizable, but it didn’t quite fit with the digital direction business marketing is heading. In 2011, the company reduced the size of their well-known ovals, placing them next to the State Farm name, resulting in a streamlined, modern look. For their online presence, they now use only the three ovals as their emblem.

It might not seem like this is a big fix, but consider this: people remember visual information a lot more readily than they do written information. That’s why a brand’s logo, the bit of information customers are most likely to remember, is said to be the face of a company; it represents everything your customers can expect from your business in a memorable, condensed form.

2. Harnessed the Power of Celebrity

Recognizing the need to fight back against the steady stream of quirky, strange, but effective ads being put out by competitor Geico, State Farm contracted Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, hoping to harness the power of celebrity to bring their company added recognition. The Discount Double Check program, the campaign Rodgers helms, is memorable for the potential 40% savings customers can gain by using it, but it’s unarguably Rodgers’ presence that makes the campaign successful.

Of course, banking on star power for increased recognition and sales is not a new concept. Activia Yogurt brought in actress Jamie Lee Curtis to pitch their female-focused yogurt and subsequently saw sales increase by 80%. Even when marketing isn’t the goal, sales increase with the power of celebrity. For instance, after President Obama was recorded singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” in 2012, sales of the song jumped by 490%.

3. Optimized for the Mobile Market

All estimates show that 2014 is the year mobile internet usage will finally overtake traditional desktop usage. 63% of mobile users use their devices to go online, with nearly a quarter saying they access the internet exclusively from their phones. Additionally, 29% of Americans say they cannot live without their phone, meaning they play with their mobile apps and check their devices for text messages and social media updates constantly.

Hoping to take advantage of the geometric growth of the mobile market, State Farm released a series of mobile apps to make it easier for customers to take care of their insurance needs and to make tracking their driving ability more interesting. The Pocket Agent® app, for example, lets customers file a claim, make deposits in their bank accounts, and find an insurance agent on the go. Other tools tell drivers how safe they are driving and what they need to do to earn certain insurance discounts. All of this ensures State Farm is increasingly part of the growing mobile market.

State Farm is proof that dynamism in business is as important as any product or service offered. By modernizing a familiar logo, fighting fire with fire by producing memorable, celebrity-filled commercials, and realizing the need to tap into the mobile market, State Farm has cemented their dominance in the insurance world. Using the same methods, you can do the same for your business, whatever your field.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

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