How to Effectively Leverage UTM Parameters

While their use has been around for quite some time, I’ve found that many marketers are confused about how they should be leveraging UTM parameters to track their digital efforts. UTM parameters are tags added to the end of a URL that will allow marketers to obtain data from different marketing campaigns. The tagged UTM data can be captured in various systems such as website analytics, marketing automation and CRM platforms for reporting and analysis. This is important information that can then be used to assess the effectiveness of various digital marketing initiatives. Read more


Google analytics pivot tables – structure and examples

By default, Google Analytics loads reports in the data table view. This setting can be changed to present data in another visual format. In this post I’ll discuss how to take advantage of Pivot Tables. I’ll show you how to modify pivot table options, structure and format to better analyze and understand website performance. Read more


Seven of My Favorite Custom Advanced Segments for B2B Websites

Advanced segments offer additional insights over the standard Google Analytics reports. There are some predefined segments already in Google Analytics, and users can build their own custom segments tailored to their specific business needs.  I love to use advanced segments when reporting on website performance.  Here are 7 of my favorite custom segments that I consider very insightful for a B2B website. Read more


A Hiring Checklist To Find The Right B2B Search Marketing Agency


All search marketing programs are not created equally. This rings true most profoundly in the B2B marketing arena where shifting corporate demands, streamlined staffs and reduced budgets produce unique challenges for both B2B companies and the search marketing agencies they hire.

Follow this B2B search marketing agency hiring checklist to find a long-term partner that can deliver success, get you noticed online and secure more quality leads.

B2B Experts

Ensure your search marketing agency understands the nuances of your industry, the complexities behind the long lead cycle, and the demands of B2B corporate reporting and quarterly goal attainment.

Integrated Search Experts

Hire an integrated search marketing agency with a talented and experienced team to manage your B2B search program. For a comprehensive effort your agency roster should include technical Web design experts, content generators, SEO experts, conversion specialists, user interface experts, and link-building specialists, to list a few.

Google AdWords Certified Partner

Hire an agency that is a Google AdWords Certified Partner with a team of “individually qualified” paid search experts certified by Google — you’ll then be better connected to Google intelligentsia, and positioned to gain maximum results.

An Extension of Your Team

According to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report lack of resources is the greatest obstacle for B2B marketers to reaching their goals.


In order to combat the resource issue head-on, hire an agency as an extension of your team. Share corporate plans, invite them to meetings, and hold them accountable.

You’ll also want to understand the agency’s entire team from end-to-end. Meet the wizards behind the curtain who will be dialing-in keywords, fine-tuning ad placements, and securing links — all in the interest of producing quality leads for your company.

Power Reviews

Ensure your agency has a history of credibility and success with its current customer base. You’ll want to see their proven track record, speak to their current customers, and review their monthly reporting.

Tool Box

What tools do they use? Understand the technology behind the agency’s products and services. Does the agency partner with leading technology companies to deliver services? Has the agency created propriety tools in order to deliver the best results possible to their customers?

Big & Small

Hire a search marketing agency that can think strategically and deliver tactically. Meet the big brains on your search marketing team to feel confident about the plan. Talk to them in terms of one, three and five year plans to ensure they see a future — a partnership — with you, and can deliver both a detailed strategic plan and the tactics behind it.

Can They Deliver?

What do they deliver? Make sure it is not ‘one size fits all’, but a custom program matched to your company’s needs based on goals, budget, and resources.

Measure, Report, Repeat

Ask for a demo of the agency’s monthly and yearly customer reports. Delve deep into how — and when — reports are provided, ROI is measured, and program adjustments are put into place, such as keyword fine-tuning, to garner improved results. I recommend an agency that hosts a customer reporting dashboard to help you easily grab data when presenting results to your C-level management or simply reviewing with your in-house team.

According to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, B2B Marketers found the top methods to present results included consistent reviews of program metrics with C-level executives as well as creating internal program support by reporting results at company meetings or via a company intranet.

It’s also important to distill the metrics — pull out the marketing speak to ensure your program successes are easy to spot and easy to understand by non-marketers.


Best Friends For Life

Meet your new agency in person. Get off the phone, out of the office and meet the individuals who will become an extension of your marketing team.

If someone is going to work hand-in-hand with your corporate team to ensure your success then you should get to know the team — even like them. You want to make sure they are professional, match your corporate sensibilities, and can present to the C-level if called upon. 

Do Your Homework

To find a search marketing agency that can respond to the diverse challenges of B2B marketing, sync with corporate culture, and deliver on the goods – you’ll need to do your homework — but the pay-off is potentially huge.

It’s not enough for an agency to say they know your market and can perform. The agency will need to show they are a professional team with proven B2B search marketing experience and documented results.

Your diligent homework will guarantee you’ve found a professional agency to meet your goals now, and grow with your company into the future. It also means you won’t have to repeat the agency hiring and on-boarding process yearly.

If you feel confident about your selection and work closely with your agency to help reach your goals, you’ll achieve maximum results and become the star of your marketing team!


Web Marketing – 5 Need-to-Know Trends for 2012

The only thing that’s certain is change. And the only change that’s certain in web marketing is that every year will bring more and faster changes.

To compete in web marketing in 2012, it’s essential you have either a well-trained in-house team of experts – if you have the required resources – or hire a cost-effective, ROI-focused search marketing agency (the more cost effective option). That’s because search marketing is becoming more complex and diversified than ever before, as evidenced by these 5 key trends for 2012.

Be more profitable in 2012 when you request a complimentary internet marketing plan,

custom-tailored for you and your market by our expert team

Here are 5 important trends to watch in 2012:

  1. Increased Focus on Conversion Rather Than Traffic
  2. Strategic Importance of Diverse Traffic Sources
  3. The Rise of the Mobile Search Market
  4. Leveraging Google +1
  5. Google Sitelinks Opportunities

1.       Growing Focus on Conversion Rather Than Traffic

With the ongoing troubled economy, companies are watching the bottom line more than ever. One area coming under increasing scrutiny is web marketing. Traffic and rankings are a good story, but ultimately your job is conversion: turning visits into leads, customers and sales.  Your search engine marketing program must demonstrate measurable ROI.

Visibility and traffic are valid secondary metrics, but the ultimate success metric in search marketing is sales from search engine visitors.  Executives want ROI in terms of search-generated leads, customers and sales.

To ensure ROI-driven results, your search efforts and budget must include focus on post-click conversion and usability efforts.  Examples include

Robust landing page testing and improvement programs

Virtual website usability tests

A prioritized website improvement plan based on analytics data

2.       Strategic Importance of Diverse Traffic Sources

Is your company one of the many that puts too many eggs in too few baskets? Testing different traffic sources is essential, and can be one of the most profitable action items in web marketing. You’ve probably optimized your website, and are doing pay per click. But what about social media optimization, or testing paid advertising via alternate sources such as Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and more?

Ultimately the goal of any website is to find customers and grow sales, and one key to increasing sales is to test – and adjust – your traffic sources. Then increase focus and spending  on traffic that’s converting. For sources that aren’t, test changes such as different landing pages or calls-to-action. Sources that remain unprofitable should be scaled back or dropped.

 Be more profitable in 2012 when you request a complimentary internet marketing plan,

custom-tailored for you and your market by our expert team

3.       Rise of the Mobile Search Market

Increasingly business is no longer conducted solely during work hours at a desk.  According to a recent study by, 59% of business- to-business decision makers have used a smartphone to gather purchase information.

That means key decision makers are now researching on the go. They’re cutting deals while traveling, over lunch, or on the golf course.  So you need to

  • Update your SEO program to ensure you’re optimizing for smartphones and mobile devices
  • Test mobile PPC ads

This will help you stay in front of decision makers throughout the decision making cycle.

4.       Leveraging Google +1

Last year Google introduced +1 to enable people to recommend websites. It’s a democratization and socialization of the search process, with recommendations from real people like you.

Will Google +1 help search rankings or increase traffic? Only time will tell. But it’s likely to drive more traffic to your site since the more people recommend it, the more likely others will visit it. You can track Google +1 interactions via Google Analytics.

We recommend adding +1 to your web marketing immediately – you can always remove it later if the +1 button effort fails.

 5.       Google Sitelinks – Growing Opportunity

 The recent enhancement of Google Sitelinks provides a lot of opportunity for search marketers. Sitelinks now shows 12 interior pages in google results – up from 8. Also each interior page now includes a 1-line snippet which can help increase clicks.

Google is focusing on Sitelinks to help searchers directly access the most important pages on websites. This is a great opportunity for your business. Once set up, you get 13 opportunities (home page + 12 interior pages) rather than just 1. And while a site owner can’t decide which interior pages are displayed, with the right tools one can influence which pages are featured.

It’s a new year – and a great time to take a fresh perspective on the internet, the most powerful marketing tool in history. You’ll be better prepared and more successful when you request a complimentary internet marketing plan, custom-prepared for you and your market by our team of experts.