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Demystifying Data Analytics: 8 Ways to Drive Marketing Success

Demystifying Data Analytics: 8 Ways to Drive Marketing Success

In recent years, the marketing world has undergone a significant transformation, with data taking center stage. You don’t need to be a marketing expert to grasp its importance. This wealth of information provides a remarkable opportunity for marketers to harness the power of data analytics to understand customer behavior, refine campaigns, and achieve tangible business outcomes. However, for many business owners, diving into the realm of analytics can seem overwhelming.

The good news is that analytics isn’t a mystical art; it’s a skill that can be acquired. It does require some experience and the ability to interpret data to construct a meaningful narrative that offers actionable insights into your marketing performance. Familiarity with data collection tools and the ability to identify trends and meaningful metrics are also crucial.

While you might not want to become a data expert, a foundational understanding can significantly enhance your ability to comprehend the reports presented by your team or marketing agency.

Here are eight practical tips on how to leverage data to gain insights and enhance your marketing campaigns, explained in a way that’s accessible to non-experts:

Mark Twain Data Quote

1. Define Your Goals: Start by clearly defining your marketing goals. These goals serve as your roadmap and give your data analysis efforts purpose. Without a goal, your data lacks direction and meaning.

Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or boosting conversions, clearly defining your goals and objectives will help you measure your campaign’s success (or lack thereof) and take steps to improve it.

Fiorina Data Quote

2. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): KPIs are numerical values that measure the success of your campaigns. These should align with your marketing objectives. For instance, if you aim to increase website conversions, relevant KPIs might include conversion rates, average order values, or bounce rates (the rate at which visitors leave your site without taking action).

Identifying the most relevant KPIs will help you track and measure your progress and tell you whether your campaign is heading in the right direction.

Diorio digital analytics quote

3. Clean and Organize Your Data: Ensure your data is accurate and organized by removing duplicates, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies. Messy data can hinder your analysis efforts. 

Using data cleansing tools to identify inaccurate or irrelevant data is a proper data management practice that will help ensure data integrity and reliability.

Conan Doyle Quote about Data

4. Analyze and Interpret the Data: Visualize your data using tools like Google Data Studio to create easy-to-understand dashboards. Look for patterns and trends that can guide your marketing strategies.

Avoid the trap of confirmation bias: Read what the data tells you, not what you want or expect.

Bollacker Data Quote

5. Test and Optimize: Marketing analytics is an ongoing process. Utilize A/B testing to experiment with different variations of your campaigns. Analyze the data to determine what resonates best with your target audience and make data-driven decisions to optimize your efforts.

Heath Data Quote

6. Create Personalized Experiences: Leverage data analytics to understand your customers on a deeper level. Data isn’t just numbers; it reveals your customers’ behaviors, preferences, and needs. Use segmentation and profiling to tailor messages, offers, and recommendations for personalized experiences.

Acuff Data Quote

7. Monitor and Track Progress: Monitor your KPIs regularly to evaluate your marketing performance. Set up automated reports or dashboards for real-time tracking. This enables you to adapt strategies, seize new opportunities, and address challenges promptly.

McCandless Data Quote

8. Stay Updated and Innovate: The analytics and digital marketing fields evolves rapidly. Stay informed about the latest trends, tools, and techniques to maximize the potential of your data and keep your marketing efforts competitive. Embrace innovation, including technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Demystifying analytics is a crucial step in unlocking the true potential of your marketing endeavors. By setting clear goals, identifying relevant KPIs, maintaining clean data, and effectively analyzing it, you can make informed decisions and achieve marketing success, even without being a marketing expert.

Bad Managers Should Take a Page from Good Social Media Practices.

Bad Managers Should Take a Page from Good Social Media Practices.

I was in an office environment for many years and worked hard to be a good manager – and learn how to be a better one. Now I have my own business, and I’m at home every day, so I don’t have anyone to manage.

It was hard at first, but I believed keeping my skills well-honed was important, so I appointed the dog Chief Barketing Officer.

A day in the life of a lousy manager

Giving the dog a job gave me someone to manage, and a typical day went something like this:

After having coffee in the morning, I’d go into my home office (once known before he went to college as my son’s room) and start my day. I’d draw up a list of anything the dog had done the day before that didn’t please me (eating the Munchkins I left on the counter, for instance). Then I’d call her into my office and call her a bad dog.

I’d give her vague directions that I was pretty sure she’d be incapable of completing, given that she has no thumbs, but hey, that’s not my problem. After all, I have things to do because I. Am. Very. Busy. And much too important to explain myself to her, so I’d tell her to figure it out and send her on her way.

Once she’d left, I’d grind my teeth because I hadn’t come up with a good blog idea yet. I’d complain out loud that things aren’t going as well as they could. After all, the blog’s not going to write itself, and for the love of god, can someone other than me come up with some good ideas for once?

When the dog presented an idea – or as she quaintly puts it – “barks” – I’d throw her out of my office and shut the door, leaving her to Facebook for the rest of the day or whatever she does when I’m not looking.

Give and take (but mostly take)

Around lunchtime, I’d toss the dog a piece of bread crust so she’d think she’s not a total waste of space, and I’d hope it would be motivation enough to keep her from trying to get out the front door when the Amazon delivery guy comes.

Later, I’d send her a nasty email in ALL CAPS like some electronic Harry Potter howler, in which I berated her for her general lack of competence. If she whined, I’d point out that the door’s right there. If she can’t do the job, there are plenty of other dogs in kennels all over the country who could. That, of course, is not true; dogs don’t have thumbs, remember? Still, it made me feel important, and really, isn’t that what being a boss is all about?

I’d also tell her if she doesn’t start doing better – although I’d be purposely vague about what “better” is in case she should accomplish it and think she’s good at her job – she’ll be back at the pound. I ‘dtell her to go back to her bed, think about whether she truly wants to work here and tell me in the morning if she’s ready to shape up or ship out.

Then the cat and I will laugh about her over drinks at the local watering hole after work. Don’t even get me started on cats: Worst. Employees. Ever.

Let’s talk about bad management

Of course, anyone who even remotely cares about being a good manager knows this is an example of bad management – and bad dog ownership. I would never treat my dog – or an employee – like that. Yet there are people out there who still think this is the way to manage employees (and dogs).

Bad bossLet’s face it: Almost anyone – and I think statistics will bear me out – can be a manager. They don’t have to be good at it. People routinely are made managers because their managers don’t know what else to do with them. For instance, they may have been at a company for a long time, and someone thinks they should be promoted to something, even if they’re not good at anything.

And that’s a great plan if you want to demoralize the rest of your employees, create a toxic work environment and sacrifice any possible productivity.

If you don’t care about bad managers creating a work environment that even pay and benefits can’t solve, then you should be concerned: Bad managers affect your bottom line – and not in a good way.

It takes as much thought and effort to be a good manager at it as it does thoughtlessness to be a bad one. I’ve worked with a few bad managers; believe me, they put in a lot of effort to suck at managing as severely as they do.

What do bad managers do?

Stop me if you’ve experienced a few of these:

    • Bad managers always look for someone to blame (other than themselves)
    • Bad managers tell employees they can replace them
    • Bad managers don’t listen to suggestions
    • Bad managers take credit for other’s work
    • Bad managers threaten, bully, and belittle
    • Bad managers provide vague directions, so they have little accountability
    • Bad managers will always tell you when you do something wrong but not when you do something right. (I worked at a company where I was told, “If they don’t say anything, then you’re doing ok.” True story.)
    • Bad managers don’t care about work/life balance
    • Bad managers are too busy to talk to you – about anything
    • Bad managers don’t promote good people.

What do good managers do?

Good managers

Since I’m a digital marketer, it occurred to me that managers can take some lessons from good social media marketing practices when dealing with employees.

After all, we use social media to attract customers and create a positive brand; why wouldn’t we use the same strategies to deal with our employees and create a positive working environment?

Conveying a positive brand starts from the ground up. Or the top down. So when there is good leadership, everyone feels different. Here are a few social media takeaways managers should consider:


Listening costs nothing but your time. With social media, it’s essential to listen to what people say to ensure we provide what they want and need. In the same way, when an employee comes to you, listen. We’re all busy, but almost no one has NO time to stop for a few minutes. If you can’t listen right then, provide an alternative meeting time.

Be kind

If an employee has an idea they think might help the company, remember: at least they have the good of the company in mind. Don’t ridicule the idea even if it’s so incredibly ridiculous you nearly choke on your coffee.


Engagement in social media is critical. People who like your page but never engage are not likely the people who will buy your product or be passionate about your brand. The significant prospects comment, share, and react. The best workers are engaged workers. So, encourage your employees to speak up.


Social media has given the power to everyone, young and old, to say what they think in a large forum. Yes, some people get carried away with that (I’m looking at you, Mr. Troll), but people feel now, more than ever, that they have a voice. With social media, answering people who engage with you is a good practice. Give your employees a voice. Allow them to speak out constructively so they feel heard. Let them feel comfortable coming to you with a problem – and for heaven’s sake, don’t get angry – even if they tell you the problem is you.


Social media gives people a platform that’s easy to use. Give your employees the tools – and permission – to do what’s needed. Do what you can to lessen or remove friction from their tasks so they can be more productive, even if it costs money: In the long run, it’s cheaper to buy a new laptop than to have an employee take twice as long to complete a project because of computer issues.


When someone follows your page or provides a positive review, you should thank them. It doesn’t cost anything but shows your followers you’re listening. Give employees something – even if it’s just heartfelt praise – when they do good work. It’s true talk IS cheap. Sometimes a little perk can mean a lot to an employee – and it costs you nothing.

If you employ social media marketing best practices when you deal with employees, your employees will feel good about your company; when they feel good about where they work, they’ll be better engaged. When engaged, they will be happier and are far less likely to quit. After all, it costs less to keep a good employee happy than to train a new one who might not be as good.

So, if you’re a company focused on an outstanding experience and excellent customer service, why not offer your employees the same?

10 Ways to Leverage Search Engine Optimization to Improve Organic Web Traffic

10 Ways to Leverage Search Engine Optimization to Improve Organic Web Traffic

Suppose you’ve been staring at your analytics dashboard, desperately hoping for a miracle spike in organic (unpaid) traffic. In that case, I’m here to tell you it’s not going to happen—at least not without a bit of search engine optimization (SEO) work on your part.

A well-optimized website is essential for driving organic traffic and attracting potential customers, and SEO is the way to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

If you use the right strategies, you can make your website work better for you. And if you implement the following ten strategies, you will maximize your SEO and your online presence to attract more visitors to your website.

1. Be a Keyword Detective

Vintage police and detectives

Keywords unlock the doors of search engine success. Think of yourself as a detective hunting for clues you can find within your target audience. What are their busy fingers typing into search engines? Uncover what your best customer prospects are looking for, and you’ve solved the case. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Moz Keyword Explorer can help you discover valuable keywords with high search volumes and low competition or niche keywords with high customer intent.

2. It’s So Meta

Optimizing your on-page elements, including page titles, meta descriptions, alt-text, and URLs, is vital to search engine optimization success. They may live behind the scenes, but they’re very much front and center when it comes to visibility and user satisfaction. They allow search engine crawlers to understand what your website is about, and when crawlers understand your website, it makes it easier for search engines to match your page with the most relevant queries so the SERPs show users the best results. Make sure to include valuable keywords to rank better and improve user experience.

3. Be upwardly Mobile

In the last few years, mobile optimization went from nice-to-have to must-have. Depending on whom you want to believe, the average American looks at their phone between 96 and 150 a day or more. The fact is that mobile web traffic has surpassed desktop traffic in the last few years, so if you haven’t optimized your website for mobile, you might as well be selling buggy whips while self-driving cars become the norm. Your website must be responsive, wicked fast and offer a seamless browsing experience across different devices. Test your website’s mobile-friendliness using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

4. Get Social with Social Media

Social women toasting

It’s a myth that social media signals directly impact search ranking; the truth is they indirectly affect it by increasing brand visibility and driving traffic to your website. When your website gets traffic, it raises your site’s cool factor with search engines; as you rank higher in search engine results pages, your website gets more traffic. As your website gets more traffic, search engines like your website better. It’s a beautiful thing.

5. Quality is Queen

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard the old saw, “Content is king,” but quality is queen, and relevance is the prince or princess. Quantity is the frog in this scenario; without quality and relevance, it will never become royalty. When you educate, engage and entertain visitors; they will stay longer, share more and return more often. Try creating longer-form content, such as high-quality, 1,000+-word blog posts or comprehensive guides; they tend to perform better in search rankings.

6. Use Your Inside Voice

With the popularity of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, voice search is becoming increasingly important for SEO. According to TechJury, 40% of all internet searches in the US are voice-based, so be sure to include conversational keywords and answers to frequently asked questions when optimizing content and refining SEO. Keep in mind that short, direct answers are more manageable for voice assistants to serve results to users.

7. Avoid the Weakest Backlinks

Backlinks are like votes in a popularity contest. The more you get, the more popular you are and the better your reputation. When reputable and authoritative sites link to your content, it improves your SEO by giving your site the seal of approval. Keep in mind, however, that links from shady sites or black-hat link farms have the opposite SEO effect: they’ll sink your site like an iceberg in front of the Titanic.

8. The Need for Speed

Vintage women race driver

Website speed is a critical factor for user experience and search engine ranking because, in an era where most people have the attention span of a goldfish, nobody wants to wait. Google says the probability of bounce almost triples if your page takes longer than three seconds to load, and if people bounce, you can kiss conversions goodbye. Ways to speed things up include compressing images, minifying CSS and JavaScript files, and utilizing caching mechanisms. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help identify issues and provide tips for improving your website’s speed.

9. Google My Business, Please

Optimizing Google My Business, now known as Google Business Profile, is an essential step, no matter what you call it, especially for local SEO. Among other benefits, a Google Business Profile will help you appear in local search results. So, if you haven’t already, claim your business, fill out your profile information, upload photos, post consistently, and encourage (and respond to) customer reviews.

10. Analyze, Adjust, Rinse and Repeat

SEO is the carnival ride that never ends. You go up, and you go down, you go round and round, then you start all over again. The importance of analyzing your website results can’t be understated, so set a goal and regularly measure essential key performance indicators (KPIs) to help understand whether you are making progress toward your goal. You can use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your organic traffic, keyword rankings, and user behavior, identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategies to improve results continually.

Implementing these ten effective SEO strategies will help you boost your website’s organic traffic and improve its visibility in search engine rankings. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, and algorithms change, so it’s vital to stay updated with the latest trends and adapt accordingly.



To the average business person, digital marketing may sometimes seem like a mishmash of meaningless acronyms: SEO, SEM, PPC, ROI, CTR… the list goes on.

You may hear the most about three strategies when it comes to internet marketing: SEM, SEO and PPC. You may wonder, which is the most important? The answer is all of them. Here’s why:

  • Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to paid and unpaid tactics to draw traffic to your website.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the organic (unpaid) tactics to make your website stand out on search engine results pages (SERP).
  • Pay-per-Click (PPC) refers to paid ads.


First, SEO. One of the most important things to remember is that people searching the internet are not interested in putting a ton of effort into their searches and are easily distracted. A study has shown that people’s average attention span is eight seconds, less than that of a goldfish. And some 97% of searchers don’t go beyond the first page of search results. You want people to find you fast – or better yet, first – when they do a web search.

Goldfish in a bowl

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s all about getting your website to rank high organically (free) in search engine results pages. The way to do that is to make your pages as Google-friendly and discoverable as possible by including keywords and phrases (long-tail keywords) that people frequently search for.

Now, in the old days (actually just a few years ago, which is a lifetime on the internet), there were a lot of SEO experts who knew how to game the system to get pages to rank higher in search results. The emphasis was on quantity – lots of low-quality content stuffed with as many keywords as possible that would trick people into going to a site. So, people ended up on web pages irrelevant to what they searched. It seemed great for businesses: Look how many people visit our website!

The problem was it wasn’t good for consumers – it just made them mad – and in the end, it wasn’t great if you wanted quality prospects. Why draw a bunch of unqualified leads to your site if they aren’t your target audience and they probably won’t buy from you? It’s a waste of your time and theirs. A lot of traffic doesn’t equal conversions and sales if the traffic is from unqualified prospects.

These “black hat” SEO practices – tactics that focus on gaming search engines and not on finding humans in your target market – caused Google to make many changes to its algorithm, the formulas used to determine what a searcher will see on search engine results pages in response to a query.

The Google Algorithm

No one (except Google) knows precisely what goes into the algorithm; hundreds of signals factor into the end result. We do know that current algorithms favor quality over quantity, relevance over randomness, and reputation over repetition. It’s become challenging to fool these algorithms – and you may be penalized by Google if you try.

A few of the most important signals Google looks at:

    • Does the site have quality, relevant content?
    • Do other reputable websites link to your site?
    • Is your site optimized for a mobile experience?
    • Do your pages load quickly?
    • Is the traffic to your site legitimate?

In other words, the better your site is for the user, the more people visit it, and the better your chance of ranking higher in search engine results.

Here’s the thing: SEO is the long game. It can take several months or longer to see any real results in organic search.


Paid ads – via Google, Microsoft Ads, or another search engine – get results more quickly than SEO. The way paid ads work is that you target search words relevant to your product and audience. There are simple one-word keywords and long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords comprise a string of words that make up a search term, but they’re more precise, and as search terms become more specific, the competition becomes less.

Long-term keywords may get fewer searches, but the searchers are looking for a solution to their current problem, so their conversion intent is higher.

Longtail keyword graphic

Here’s the thing: Paying for ads isn’t enough to get you to the first page, especially if you’re in a very competitive industry. In an auction, Google determines your Ad Rank -whether the ad will show and, if so, in which position on a SERP.

Ad Rank changes in each auction depending on competition, user search context, and ad quality. Google calculates ad quality based on the following:

  • Expected clickthrough rate
  • Ad relevance
  • Landing page experience
  • CPC bid

Notice that one factor is the relevance of your landing page. That goes back to SEO. SEO and PPC work best together, like peanut butter and jelly. The better the landing page experience, the better the quality score. The better the quality score, the better the ad rank.

So, polish up your website SEO to get the most out of your PPC efforts.


So, back to SEM, which we learned earlier, is simply attracting web traffic (and ultimately customers) via SEO and PPC. There are two ways to do this: By yourself or by hiring someone else.

Have someone else do it.

SEM takes a lot of time – even after the initial learning curve. If you’re tackling SEO and PPC yourself, that’s time that takes you away from running your business – your most important task. If you have the staff to do it, that’s great, but you might benefit by hiring a contractor or an agency to do the work for you. They will set up, monitor and do the reporting for your campaigns and have the training to see opportunities and challenges for which they can make changes on the fly.

Do it yourself.

I won’t try to tell you that SEM is rocket science. It’s not. But it requires a strong understanding of search, marketing, and keywords. In addition, Google makes small changes every day and broad changes several times a year. Keeping up with algorithm changes is almost a job in itself.

Occasionally the changes are significant, and if Google makes a major change to its algorithm, your rank could take a hit that could take a while to come back from. Someone needs to keep up with current algorithms and be ready to make adjustments if an algorithm affects your page rank.

Do you really want to do that yourself? If so, there are plenty of good resources available. Books tend to be out of date before they’re published, but websites such as Search Engine Land and Wordstream have free information that’s updated regularly. And, of course, there’s Google itself, which has tutorials and certifications.

How much does it cost?

Google AdWords costs as much as you want to pay. Depending on what you want to accomplish and how much you have for a budget, you can spend $10 a day or $100. Or $1,000. In addition, if you hire someone to handle your SEM, they will charge a fee for managing your account, making necessary changes, and reporting results. A freelancer may charge an hourly fee, while an agency may charge a flat monthly fee.

The bottom line is that concentrating on PPC over SEO will bring you traffic and leads more quickly. But there are two things to keep in mind:

  1. As soon as you stop paying for ads, you no longer appear on SERPs. So, PPC works quickly but disappears just as fast.
  2. Organic takes longer but is more long-lasting. If you achieve a high SERP rank, it’s hard to get knocked back down unless there’s a swift increase in competition or you don’t keep up with your SEO.

Your website is your lead magnet, and PPC and SEO are the two strategies that help it work.

Case Closed: A Blog Can Bring Clients to Your Law Practice

Case Closed: A Blog Can Bring Clients to Your Law Practice

With more than 30 movies, more than 270 episodes and more than 80 books and short stories, Perry Mason probably didn’t need a blog. It wouldn’t hurt, but he seemed to do all right on his own, with an impressive percentage of cases won in the 99 percent range.

However, if you’re not Perry Mason, a blog could be a valuable tool for your practice: A blog can bring clients to your law practice by raising your visibility and positioning you as an accessible, helpful expert on a specific topic or niche practice. In other words, it gives you exposure: Exposure to clients, exposure to potential clients, exposure to colleagues and exposure to networking opportunities.

While there are some issues lawyers should be aware of – ethical issues, such as breaching the duty of confidentiality and rules of professional conduct that set guidelines for advertising – there are plenty of good reasons to blog (or, in this case, blawg, as law blogs are known). Blogs are part of the quality content you need to boost your rank on search engine results pages. Each blog is a separate page with tags, links and metadata that get picked up by search engines and figured into their algorithms that determine page rank. That’s a significant benefit because over 1/3 of potential clients start their attorney search online (Clio), but only 0.63% of people click on the second page of Google search results (Backlinko).

You want to be on that first page – and as far up on that first page as possible. The way to get there is using a three-pronged approach – content, links and social media.

Business development

A law practice is like any other business that needs customer fuel to keep the engine running and that requires some form of business development. The statistics on the results companies get from regular blogging are pretty convincing:

    • Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog. (DemandMetric)
    • Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that don’t. (HubSpot)
    • Only 27% of law firms maintain a blog, presenting a massive opportunity for lawyers (On the Map).

Some other benefits:

    • Blogs improve website SEO, and optimized SEO drives clients to your website.
    • Blogs enable lawyers to demonstrate thought leadership.
    • Good blogs provide information of value to potential clients and establish trust.
    • Finally, blogging helps an attorney develop new ideas, improve research skills and keep up-to-date on legal developments.

You should think about who your blog audience will be. Will it be for your clients? Other lawyers? Knowing your target audience is essential because you’ll want to write your blog in a voice appropriate for your reader: clients will appreciate getting information in layperson’s terms, while more complex information delivered in the more technical language would be helpful for colleagues. There are several audiences for a lawyer’s blog:

Cover of Perry Mason paperback. Current clients. Your blog can keep them informed in areas of interest, answer common questions, and provide valuable content relevant to them.

Prospective clients. An informative, easy-to-understand blog showing that you are an expert in your field can draw new clients.

Lawyers in your practice area. Providing helpful information to other lawyers also establishes you as an expert in your area of law and gives you exposure should they need an out-of-state referral.

The general lawyer population. Your blog is a great way to establish a dialogue with other members of the lawyer community and is a vehicle for networking opportunities.

Don’t Forget Social Media

Your blog should be paired with social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook – and your website for maximum impact. It’s all part of inbound marketing, in which you create helpful, relevant content and distribute it to interested users. It draws them to you, so when they need an attorney, and they’re ready to call, you’ve already established something of a relationship with them. Outbound, or traditional, marketing pushes promotional messages out in a disruptive, scattershot way, hoping someone hears it. With inbound marketing, you are speaking to the people who are interested in what you have to offer.

Traditionally, lawyers have had to get business through referrals and networking. Inbound marketing takes away some of that work and allows you to market 24/7 by letting your blog, social media and website generate leads.

As long as you’re not violating ethics rules or divulging client information, there should be no reason you can’t blog – except for time or commitment. In that case, some services can help you, or you could hire someone to ghostwrite the blog for you. While you might want someone with a law degree to write blogs aimed at other lawyers, finding a general content provider who can present ideas in language accessible to your audience might be the best route for a blog aimed at current and potential clients. So think of this as a case: The Case of the Missing Blog. You don’t have to be Perry Mason to solve it.