Posts Tagged ‘Clicky’

New Breed of Web Metrics Can Help Marketing Executives Make Better Decisions

Monday, November 19th, 2012

As online marketing processes have evolved, the number and sophistication of software tools to support specific functions has exploded. Every discipline within marketing and PR has its own tools, among them:

Most Web Marketing Tools are TacticalContent development: CMS tools (WordPress, Joomla, HubSpot, 100s of others), Adobe CS, tools for creating infographics, etc.

SEO: backlink tools (Backlink Watch, SEOmoz, Majestic), keyword research tools, page optimization tools, SEO plugins.

Social media: social media monitoring (Radian6, Sysomos, SM2), social media management (HootSuite, SocialOomph, Buffer), Twitter tools, etc.

Web analytics: Omniture, WebTrends, Google Analytics, Clicky, and more.

All are very helpful, even essential, but most are designed for practitioners, that is: they help a specialist in a particular discipline do his or her job more effectively. Not only are they tactical, each focuses on supporting one functional silo or another. Not surprising, since this is how digital marketing is managed today—as a set of largely disconnected specialties. So much so, companies utilize different tools, resources, and in some cases, even different agencies to manage web visibility for brand, SEO, social media, PR, and paid advertising.

And of course, search has evolved—it’s no longer just 10 blue links. Today, web presence goes way beyond a company’s website. News and social links are as vital as are other points of visibility. What’s missing is the larger strategic picture needed for top-level decision-making and for managing digital marketing and PR in a coordinated manner. We’re all missing this because there aren’t tools to help us do it. Or are there?

A “Eureka” Moment

A couple of weeks ago, we blogged about the web presence optimization (WPO) framework. This model (evolved from a 2010 post) came about from KC Associates’ (KCA) client consulting projects. Operating as a cross-functional team, each consultant knew that a framework for optimization is useless unless there’s a way to track and measure gaiting factors that can be adjusted in order to move the optimization needle. So the group took a long, hard look at the tactical tools each consultant uses with a more creative mind of how they might be repurposed for WPO.

For example, SEO backlink tools can provide detailed lists of the precise backlinks to a competitor’s website. This can be quite valuable to an SEO consultant, but it’s mind-numbing overkill for a VP of marketing.

However, a graphical comparison of the type and quantity of backlinks pointing to the firm’s website and the sites of close competitors may be very enlightening (e.g., discovering that competitor A has twice as many media links and three times as many social links pointing to them)—particularly if these measures have changed significantly in a short period of time.

This simple change in thinking was truly eye-opening.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

First and foremost, the WPO framework provides the strategic and structural approach to the unified management of web visibility. And WPO metrics that support this framework provide the critical measurement necessary to enable the overall coordination of these disciplines to improve presence optimization and performance.

The set of 100+ WPO metrics that the group developed for KCA clients is driven by data collected by a host of off-the-shelf tools as well as some custom developed sources. As a collection, the attributes of these metrics differ from what most other tracking and measurement tools are set up to provide in six distinct ways:

  • • Focus on management, not execution. WPO metrics are designed to support management decision-making (e.g., where should we devote more resources) rather than tweaks to specific tactics. Put another way, they are about the “what” rather than the “how.”
  • • Provide a unified view of results. They provide leaders and team members with an overall picture of press (media outlets), social, website (organic search), industry (e.g. associations, research organizations) and paid web presence. The tactical tools available tend to focus on one or two of these areas.
  • • Include competitor metrics. An organization’s digital marketing results don’t exist in a vacuum; it’s critical to be able to view results in the context of competitive activities. Competitive benchmarking is vital to developing strategy and allocating resources.
  • • Reflect the value of owned, earned and paid presence, not just the company website. What customers, analysts, journalists, bloggers, and others have to say about you is sometimes more important than your own content. WPO metrics show the value of all of your points of web presence, whether it’s your content or something produced by a third party.
  • • Are actionable and NOT “everything but kitchen sink.” Too many tools try to report every possible detail, rather than just what’s important. The result is data overload and analysis paralysis. It’s confusing and too much to absorb, and therefore doesn’t get acted upon. Best-practice WPO metrics focus only on measures that support concrete action.
  • • Identify clear priorities. While WPO metrics cover a lot of ground, not every measure matters all the time. For example, if your media share-of-voice remains about the same from one month to the next, but your AdWords conversion rate drops by half, WPO metrics focus on the latter result.

WPO metrics won’t replace tactical, execution-level tools, but they will help guide decisions about which functional tools to use and how to coordinate the tasks of different disciplines for a larger purpose. They fill a critical gap by giving marketing executives, and everyone on digital marketing and PR teams, a unified view of web presence that reflects a more integrated optimization effort.

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Best of 2008: Cool Web Tools

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Originally published on WebMarketCentral between August 2008 and September 2009.

DeskAway

Somewhat similar to tools like Basecamp and Projjex, DeskAway is an online collaboration tool that supports ad hoc work teams by enabling them to manage and track projects, share large files, send secure messages and report on activities. Pricing ranges from free (up to five users and three active projects at a time) to $99 per month for unlimited projects and users.

Gickr

Gickr is a slick free tool for creating animated GIFs from any collection of photos. It can be used to create banner ads, slide shows or Flash-like animations.

Lexical FreeNet

This is a “connected thesaurus” that belongs in every writer’s toolbox. For any word or pair of words, it shows related words, connections between the words, rhyming words and more. For famous names, it can help find information such as occupation, birth and death years, nationality, and “trigger links” (e.g. “Clinton” and “Whitewater”).

OnlyWire

OnlyWire lets you automatically submit content to all of your favorite social networking sites with a single button, and makes it easy for your blog readers to bookmark and share your content. If you don’t want to see their ads, a fee-based version is available for a reasonable $25 per year.

16 Essential PC Applications for Bloggers by Problogger

Frequent Best-of contributor Darren Rowse reviews essential blogging tools including SnagIt for capturing screen images, Digsby for consolidating social networking chat with a single tool, Camtasia Studio for screen recording, PeaZip for file archiving and unzipping, and a dozen others.

64 B2B Marketing Tools and Resources by Modern B2B Marketing

In one of the most underrated posts of last year, Jon Miller provides links to more than 60 tools and information resources including blog posts, white papers, analyst reports, webcasts, podcasts, ebooks and articles on topics ranging from lead scoring and nurturing to marketing ROI and social media tools. Examples include David Raab’s Guide to Demand Generation Systems, Marketo’s Landing Page Test Calculator and this podcast from Laura Ramos on using Web 2.0 tactics to boost b2b marketing results.

9 Google Bookmarklets for SEOs by Search Engine Journal

The indispensable Ann Smarty reviews nine helpful bookmarlets (small tools activated from a button in your browser), such as Search selected text on Google and tools for Google Trends, Google Insights, and Google Blog Search.

Clicky

While there are lots of website analytics programs out there, Clicky combines powerful functionality with affordable pricing in a way few others can match. Unlike Google Analytics (the application it’s most likely to be compared to), Clicky provides real-time stats, Twitter analytics, separate mobile visitor tracking, visitor details, WordPress integration and more. While their free and blogger plans offer limited funcitonality, their Pro ($60 per year as of this writing), Super Pro ($120/year) and Enterprise ($300/year) plans offer impressive capabilities at very reasonable cost. It’s hard to compete with free, but with all of these features and great value, Clicky has found a way to do it.


Facesaerch

Facesaerch (yes, that’s the correct spelling) is just what its name implies: a search engine specifically for faces. Search for your favorite celebrity, a neighbor, your boss, your next prospective employee—anyone whose picture may be somewhere on the internet—to discover what photos of them have been posted and where.

Animoto

Animoto lets you grab images from your hard drive or the web, choose a soundtrack from your audio collection or theirs, and then automatically creates a cool music video from your selections. While this tool would benefit from more attractive pricing (you can only make 30-second videos for free) and better controls, it’s worth checking out and playing with.

Feedoor

Similar to feedkiller, previously reviewed here, Feedoor.com lets you merge RSS feeds or even individual blog posts into a single feed. You can select how many stories from each source to include, and the tool provides advanced filtering options to include or exclude posts based on keywords, author and date. It also lets you create Javascript widgets for your blog or site that display headlines from your custom feed, and does it all with a simple, straightforward interface.

Crucial Firefox Plugins For SEM Professionals; Put Google To Work To Meet CPA Goals by Search Engine Land

Josh Dreller reviews seventeen helpful Firefox plugins, such as FireFTP (a fully functional and free FTP client that runs within Firefox), FireShot (a free screenshot capture tool with annotation capabilities), SearchStatus (a “Swiss army knife” for SEO pros) and Google Global (lets you search as though you were sitting anywhere in the world).

6 All-in-One Tools for Quick SEO Diagnostics by Search Engine Journal

Prolific SEO blogger Ann Smarty reviews a half-dozen SEO diagnostics tools including Quarkbase (a new addition to my arsenal), HubSpot’s Website Grader (one I use all the time), and Cubestat.

17 Online Free Web Based Applications That You Probably Would Love To Use! by SmashingApps

AN Jay reviews a variety of helpful and cool online tools here, from free web conferencing service Dimdim and URL shortener BudURL to Skydeck (an online tool for keeping track of your cell phone calls and text messages) and PDFescape, a free online PDF reader / editor / form filler and form designer tool.

LookupPage

This is an essential site for personal online reputation management. LookupPage lets you create an optimized personal profile that, in most cases, will show up very highly on the major search engines, helping you to “own” valuable first-search-page real estate for your name. The site offers free listing, as well as couple of affordable fee-based options that provide additional benefits such as an ad-free page and top listing guaranteed.

Retaggr

Another valuable site for reputation management, Retaggr not only enables you to create an online profile linked to your accounts on other social media sites, but also lets you easily create an online business card, social media email signature, and blog widget to help visitors easily add you to their friend lists.

Exalead

An alternative search engine, Exalead may not be a “Google killer” but does provide some interesting features. The top menu and right sidebar box make it simple to narrow your search to the entire web, just your PC, or Wikipedia, as well as by related terms, site type, media type and other criteria.

Name Combo

Either a slick tool to help generate domain name ideas, check availability and register with just a few clicks, or at least a mildly interesting way to waste some time—you decide.

WiseStamp

This is a slick tool that enables you to easily create a graphical HTML social media email signature for use with most common webmail services (Gmail, Yahoo mail, AOL, Hotmail etc.). WiseStamp lets you control the look of the email signature as well as adding RSS feeds and social networking links like LinkedIn and Facebook.

Face to Face video chat by ePoster

Concise review of ooVoo, a free video chat tool that’s been previously written about here. ooVoo is an easy-to-use tool for conducting video chat with anyone who has a webcam.

14 Tools to Legally Spy On Your Competition by FutureNow

The brilliant Bryan Eisenberg details more than a dozen tools to help compare or benchmark your site/blog against competitors, including Feed Compare (compare the size of your RSS subscriber base to others), Xinu Returns (shows how your site compares to others on search engines and social bookmarking sites) and Website Grader (provides an overall score for the SEO quality of your site plus competitive comparisons and recommendations for improvement).

The Top 100 Undiscovered Web Sites by PC Magazine

Finally, Kyle Monson reviews a slew of useful and/or entertaining online tools such as Animoto (automatically creates videos from uploaded music and photos), Jott (a cool and handy speech-to-text conversion tool) and, for researchers, NationMaster, a site which lets you compare countries on a wide variety of statistics ranging from the serious (economic measures, terrorism) to the trivial (softdrink consumption).

Surf Canyon

Surf Canyon is a broswer plugin for Firefox and IE that refines results as you search, helping to make them more relevant so you can find exactly what you’re looking for more quickly. Pandia’s review of how Surf Canyon personalizes search results states that “SurfCanyon accelerates the search process by re-ranking the search results based on your behaviour…Even though there’s no actual magic involved, this nifty little app does a great job of digging though the search results for the hits you need, even though Google buried them on page 12.”

Projjex

In the same realm as Basecamp from 37signals, Projjex is an online project collaboration tool that lets you define groups, upload and share files, schedule meetings, assign tasks and send automated reminders. Projjex extends this functionality with cool, practical features like file tagging to simplify search, time tracking and iPhone integration. Serious users will eventually want to upgrade to the fee-based service, but the free offering is robust enough to be helpful tool for small businesses while providing larger organizations with a realistic trial before buying.

Follow me on Twitter badges / logos / buttons by limeshot marketing

Lots of bloggers are adding Twitter follow-me buttons and badges to their blogs, but thanks to limeshot, you no longer have to limit yourself to standard light-blue-and-white graphic. Here are 36 variations for a follow-me badge that reflects your color scheme and personality.


feedkiller

feedkiller is an rss mixing tool that lets you combine a variety of content into your website or favorite rss aggregator with a single rss feed. It’s free and very simple to set up. MakeUseOf.com notes in its review of feedkiller that “other tools can be used for that purpose (such as) RSS Mixer, Feedoor and FeedBlendr. However what makes FeedKiller standout is the ability to select the number of stories to include from each feed.” What would make it stand out even more is a simple PHP script for including the resulting feed on a website.

SearchCloud

SearchCloud is a powerful search tool to use for multi-term, detailed searches. Any search engine will let you use multiple search words of course, but SearchCloud takes that a step further by letting you select a size for each search word or phrase, indicating its relative importance. And on the off-chance that SearchCloud isn’t intuitive enough for you, they even provide a one-minute video on how to use it


ScribeFire

ScribeFire offers a Firfox browser plugin that lets bloggers drag and drop formatted text from the web into their blogs, post entries, take notes, categorize and tag their blog posts, upload images and share posts on social bookmarking and networking websites. The company also offers tools for both displaying and buying online ads. TechJaws has called ScribeFire a blogger’s best friend, and LifeHacker has made it a download of the day, pointing out that “In addition to Blogger and WordPress, ScribeFire works with Jeeran, LiveJournal, TypePad and Windows Live Spaces.”

Monitter

Inspired by TweetDeck, Monitter is a real-time Twitter monitor that lets you keep track of live posts for any three keywords you enter, plus filter the display by geographic location or language (English, Spanish, and German). Frederic Lardinois wrote in his ReadWriteWeb review of Monitter that “Monitter is a cool and well designed way to monitor keywords on Twitter.”

dnScoop

Overall, this is more for amusement than practical business use (though the inbound link checker is very thorough and accurate). dnScoop is a domain check and website valuation tool that estimates the value of an established website or a domain name using several different criteria including the number of inbound links; the popularity, age and Pagerank of the domain; website traffic; and other factors.

Propeller

At first glance, Propeller look like just another Digg clone or YASN: a social bookmarking site where you can post links, vote on them, comment, and share them with friends or a group. However, the site is owned by AOL, so there’s a chance it will be able to keep spammers and objectionable material out while avoiding the problems like the Digg Mafia or the StumbleUpon witch hunt. At last check, the links here were still do-follow, so they have SEO value as well. :-)

Top 5 Free Web Applications by Search For Blogging

Mert Erkal, Chief Editor of Bloghology Magazine, shares his favoriate free web applications, including ADrive, an online service for storing, transferring and sharing very large files; Audacity, a powerful open-source audio-editing program; and LogMeIn, a free remote-access service similar to GoToMyPC.
Convert Archives Into Different Compression Formats (RAR to ZIP and etc) by Raymond.cc

Although ZIP is the most commonly used format for file compression on Windows PCs, several other compression formats actually do a better job of producing more compact files. If you ever receive archives in these formats (such as RAR, 7z or KGB) and can’t open them, or you’d like to be able to use alternative formats, this handy utility converts archives between numerous compression formats.

Testing the Quintura Site Search Widget by Pandia Search Engine News

Quintura is an alternative search engine developed in Russia, based on semantic technology. What sets it apart from the crowd of other alternative search engines is the way it presents search results in Web 2.0-style clouds of related search terms that help you narrow or expand your search simply by clicking your mouse. The folks at Pandia explain here how you can now use the same technology to spider and search your own site or blog—for free.

social bookmarking services and community websites submitter by Social Poster

Here’s a list of 79 social submission bookmarklets you can simply drag to your Firefox toolbar to install. The list includes direct links to register for each service, login and submit a new item, as well as each site’s Pagerank and Alexa rank. This is social posting for the lazy (or extremely busy).

Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks by Lifehacker

This isn’t actually a new tool but rather a collection of neat tricks for using Google to accomplish a range of tasks, from simple things like tracking flight status and calculating currency conversion to more advanced activities like finding free music, filtering image search results and evading your company’s site blocking software (ahem, not so sure that last one is a good idea, but it’s an interesting trick). These have been compiled by Gina Trapani, best-selling author of Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better and Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day.

SpaceTime

A search tool that provides “unlimited space,” enabling you to search Google, YouTube, RSS, eBay, Amazon, Yahoo!, Flickr and Images all in one 3D space. SpaceTime’s™ 3D Web Search lets you choose a search engine from the drop down menu, type in your search term and view all your search results at once in a slick 3D interface. It’s not quite something you can’t live without, but it is a fascinating and cool new way to search the web, find videos and shop online.

Online Alarm Clock

This is about as simple and elegant as web tools get. Hey, why waste twelve bucks on an alarm clock when you can make your $900 PC perform the same function?

Gmail Hacks, Tips & Tricks by Best of the Web

As with the Lifehacker post above, this isn’t a tool but rather an exceptionally useful collection of tips and tricks, in this case for Gmail users. Learn how to master Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts, streamline the process of adding attachments, quickly switch between multiple Google accounts, read your Google Reader RSS feeds from within Gmail, use Gmail as an external hard drive, back up your email account and more.

4Q – The Best Online Survey For A Website, Yours Free! by Occam’s Razor

Google Analytics evangelist Avinash Kaushik offers a free on-exit web survey tool featuring three simple questions to help site owners determine why certain pages get visited much more frequently than others, why certain pages have higher exit or bounce rates, and other critical information, using real data rather than idle speculation.


Pageflakes Acquisition Confirmed
by TechCrunch

Erick Schonfeld reported a few months ago that custom web startup page provider Pageflakes had been acquired by LiveUniverse. Pageflakes is a cool tool for making the web your own, similar to Netvibes or TopNetPix, and has been covered in this blog before, most recently in January of this year when several new features were added to the tool. Under its new ownership, the tool so far keeps getting better.

DomainTools

A collection of a dozen cool webmaster tools including Mark Alert (provides an alert anytime a domain uses your trademark), detailed uptime reports on web hosting providers, DNS Tools (whois, traceroute, and ping), Domain Monitor (a free tool to monitor all your domains) and more.

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