A weekly Google Hangout dedicated to discussing content marketing, search marketing, SEO and more.
Topic: New Local Search and Dashboard Features in GinzaMetrics’ SEO and Marketing Platform
This week we answer questions about the newest suite of tools available from GinzaMetrics, including: Local Search, Mobile Integration, Deeper Crawl, Sortable Recommendations, and Embedded Reports.
Erin O’Brien, COO at GinzaMetrics
Karen Scates, Manager Marketing & PR, GinzaMetrics
FULL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Karen: Hey, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of FOUND Friday, our YouTube episode where we talk about everything marketing and SEO. I’m your host, Karen Scates, and with me today is Erin O’Brien, our own COO.
Yesterday we announced the availability of a new suite of tools for local and mobile search. Since the suite includes multiple new features that we received questions about, we thought we would use today’s show to discuss them a bit.
First, we’ve just released Local Search as an integrated part of the existing platform. What kinds of things can users expect in terms of output?
Erin: With Local Search, we’re really excited about being able to add this into the platform. I know that one of the things that we were discussing with Ray earlier this week – and there’s a blog post about this – is why we didn’t rush to get Local in there to be first to market. That’s because we wanted to do what we have done now, which is make sure that we’re actually integrating it into the platform in a way that all of our users can actually access and get a hold of this feature without making it something that you have to purchase separately, that lives somewhere else and is kind of an add-on. What we wanted to do is to make sure that this is completely integrated with your other data.
There are a couple of places that users are going to be able to see local information in here. The first is going to be inside of your keyword information area, you’re actually going to be able to see one of my favorite things just like a heat map. So when you select your different locations that you’re tracking for your keywords, we’re actually going to show you a map version that highlights different ranking areas for your keyword groups all geographically and you can zoom in and out and there’s a lot of fun functionality with that. The other thing that you’re going to be able to see as well is a chart that compares your keyword ranking across these different selective locations so you’ll be able to see that.
One of the other things that we did that’s really important is we integrated how you actually set up keyword management into your existing site settings area. So there’s no separate UI to have to deal with or big learning curve. Essentially, when you go in to manage your keywords in the same place you’ve always gone, there’s a thing that allows you to add and manage locations and you simply go to add location, you type in the name of a location you’d like to add and then you can select keywords that you’d like to add to that location. Then you’re ready to go. I think that that makes it really simple in terms of overall setup.
Karen: It sounds like there’s nothing special that anyone has to do to get started.
Erin: That actually is a really good point. The thing that you will need to do for existing customers is you do need to let us know that you want Local Search turned on for your account. This is especially important for things like agencies or places that are white labeling the solution, so we wouldn’t want to just turn it on for everybody and have the users accidentally start using Local because it actually does affect your keyword allocation.
Unlike other tools where you would be charged separately to add this piece on and then for your additional keyword usage, essentially, what we do is adding locations simply utilizes additional keywords for you. One of the things you have to do is just tell us that you want Local turned on, we’ll turn it on. We’re happy to walk you through the additional features, as well.
Karen: In terms of keywords, I know that we’re offering a special right now to get some extra keywords with your regularly priced platform if you sign up by November 30. That will help for people who want to use Local, as well.
Erin: Yeah. I think actually we probably just sent that notification out this morning so people can look for that in their inboxes and obviously if you are on our e-mail list and you want access to that, feel free to ping us and we’re happy to let you know where pricing points are and how many keywords you can get within whatever your budget might be.
Karen: Along with the Local Search feature, we also released Deeper Crawl. Can you explain exactly what that is?
Erin: Yeah. Deeper Crawl is really funny because it actually took me a while to wrap my head around what exactly we were going to be offering when it came to this. I want to explain what it is and what it’s used for.
Essentially, right now the way that most tools work is that you put in a list of keywords or import keywords from your analytics provider or whatever for targeted keywords that you want to track. Then what happens is the tool will go out and find content on your site that are ranking for those relevant keywords or could potentially be ranking for those relevant keywords and then surfaces that content alongside analytics, insights, recommendations, what have you.
The way the Deeper Crawl works is it will actually go find an index and pull information on all of your content regardless of having anything to do with your targeted keywords. This works really well for a lot of different things. One is really big e-commerce sites obviously, really large service providers that have a lot of location-specific stuff going on, huge portfolios with agencies that have a lot of new content that comes out or content that comes out cyclically. Deeper Crawl is there to ensure that every piece of content that could possibly be on your site is all in one place and then also has a recommendations area built into, as well.
Karen: So using this, you’re going to get recommendations on content that you wouldn’t have gotten recommendations on before. Is that correct?
Erin: Yes. When we’re talking about the combination of using Local and Deeper Crawl especially, let’s take a service provider or e-commerce site for instance, or maybe Yelp would be a good idea. Yelp has tons and tons of independent pages and they’re based on locations. Maybe somebody is looking for the best coffee shop in Scranton. That right there is going to have tons of pages associated with it. Not all pages on Yelp may actually currently rank for the targeted keywords that are out there. So what Deeper Crawl would do is it will not only find all possible pages on Yelp, it will actually index them out by location now, as well. Then what we can do is we can actually serve you recommendations on how to make your content more findable.
This is often a lot of things that agencies and service providers want to pass along to their individual users and say, “You’re not currently ranking for coffee in Scranton but you could be. Here are some thoughts on how to do that.” It gives people a little bit more information on what they can do.
Like 1-800 Flowers or something like that is another really good example because they actually work with independent florists inside of each location. So working with those independent floral places they can actually pass along recommendations on how to get improvements in addition to being part of the floral delivery system for 1-800 Flowers.
Karen: So this information will be useful for both marketers and SEO professionals?
Erin: Yeah. Obviously, for SEOs, the need is there and they’ve been looking for this information. For marketers I would say this is also interesting because it should help you decipher what of your content is getting found, what’s not getting found, how to make improvements about findability and also how to make sure that when you’re looking at content from a geographic standpoint, understanding nuances in how people are actually finding certain things if you’re targeting a specific area with what if there are keyword differences.
Maybe people are searching differently in Pennsylvania than they are in Oregon. That’s really important to know when you’re talking about creating content that actually targets each of those markets.
Karen: We’ve been talking a lot about the mobile market and how important it is for brands to become optimized for mobile. How can marketers and SEOs use Local Search and Deeper Crawl along with our mobile data to get better insights?
Erin: When it comes to mobile data, the GinzaMetrics platform is built to allow you to sort things by device type. That would be things like mobile tablet and desktop. That information can actually be seen at the content level to be able to really tell what types of content are being consumed on different device types.
The other thing that we allow you to do is track your data based on a specific device when it comes to Google specifically, so we can look at iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and Android tablet information. And then being able to actually determine keyword and content ranking at this individual device level as well as entire device type level can help you overlay information when it comes to understanding keywords and content that are performing at the local level, as well. Then being able to layering this Deeper Crawl piece means that you’re not just getting a segment of your content or things that are currently ranking, you’re getting the full content picture.
Karen: We’ve also talked about how the Local Search in combination with the mobile data is important – a lot of times we think of this in terms of e-commerce, so it’s important not just for those folks but B2B brands need to be looking at this, as well.
Erin: Yeah. B2B brands need to be looking at how they are perceived locally. There’s a difference between what Local Search offers – and the blog post with Ray will get into what those differences are a little bit more than we have time for on the show – but when it comes to B2B inferences, one of the things that I will say is it’s important to know not just on what types of devices your content is being consumed and how people are finding you and sharing your content but also what specifically might be different when they’re looking for something in let’s say Florida versus California or versus New York. Especially if you have a B2B business that is specific to a locality or has regional offices or differences that you’re able to track those things and provide services to the folks in that area depending on what those specific regions might be.
Karen: Along with the suite of tools, we released Sortable Recommendations. Can you talk a little bit about that? We have some questions on exactly what that is.
Erin: Sortable Recommendations is the prioritization tool that people have been looking for when it comes to tackling a large site of recommendations. Unless you have a really small site, chances are that when you first sign up with a tool or are constantly creating content, you’re going to have a pretty big list of recommendations to be made. The problem is, especially if you don’t have hundreds of people at your disposal to make these recommendations, you can’t tackle them all at once. Because you can’t tackle them all at once, for most people it’s important to prioritize what they’re going to be working on and a lot of times those priorities are set by campaigns that are currently in market or geographies or certain features that people are pushing.
The reason campaigns are really important to start with and being able to prioritize is if you have something that’s currently in market that you are driving advertising dollars to, you want to make those recommendations now. You want to make those updates and optimizations ASAP because you’re currently paying to drive traffic to those things, so that content might need to come first.
Sortable Recommendations allows you to take our list of recommendations and then sort them by the keyword groups and content groups that you’ve created. Those keyword groups and content groups can reflect features, products, campaigns, etc. so you can actually now start with the recommendations that are sorted by your existing groups which should allow people to tackle a hit list a lot easier.
Karen: The final feature in the new suite of tools is Embeddable Reports. Who is that feature really aimed at and what does it allow marketers to do?
Erin: I’ll say that it’s probably aimed at everyone but maybe a little bit more specifically on the agency side. What Embeddable Reports allows you to do so – for GinzaMetrics users you know this – the GinzaMetrics platform, everything in there is its own module. The Reporting Center allows you to build custom reports and custom dashboards utilizing these different modules. So everything in the platform, because it’s a module, you can essentially pull and pick pieces from the platform and make your own stuff.
Previously, what we have done was we allowed people to take those things and either make their own custom dashboard which is available as a URL or download those reports with those custom modules that you pick as a PDF and have them schedule the e-mail or download them on demand, etc. Now what we’re allowing you to do is to pick those modules and then actually embed them live into an e-mail so that people can go ahead and see that directly in the e-mail without downloading a PDF or having to go to a URL.
I would say that one of the things that I said is probably my favorite used case for anyone, not just agencies is every morning I have my top goal completions, recommendation summary, and top keyword activity sent to me in my phone. Before I even get out of bed I can actually see any major changes from overnight, which is really helpful to me because before I walk into the office or jump on a call, I automatically have a leg-up on what’s going on.
Karen: When we’re talking about in general measuring the effectiveness of content marketing, according to CMI, 53% of marketers are still struggling. How do these types of features help?
Erin: When we’re talking about making changes to the platform in these broader sweeping ways, there’s a big difference between something huge like Local or Deeper Crawl versus things that we think should just make people’s lives easier, like Sortable Recommendations and Embeddable Reports, at the end of the day, it’s always a mixture of the big pain points and the small task-related things what kick marketers’ butts. You’ve got all these big things that you need to do that something can’t help you with and you’ve got all these little things that just are a pain.
In general, this is one of the reasons that we did Keyword Discovery, Competitor Discovery, and the custom dashboard stuff in general and modularized reporting is because we know and I still talk to people every week who tell me, “Someone at my company is currently doing this all in the spreadsheet.” It’s one person’s job to manually enter all this information. So by automating some of that process and allowing you to customize it or preventing this one-size-fits-all solution idea which is, “You just need to do it our way,” we’re allowing you to still pick and pull the information you want and to show it your way. It also means that we’re taking away somebody’s time that could be spent actually analyzing the information and coming up with insights and figuring out actionable next steps because right now they don’t have time to do that because they stuffed making all these Excel reports all the time.
When we build these types of features, what we’re trying to tackle is a combination of these larger industry-changing things. Mobile has obviously changed the search and marketing landscape. Local is changing the search and marketing landscape. Anytime Google makes really big algorithm change, obviously it changes the search and marketing landscape. Content marketing and social media continue to change this landscape. Every time we make these changes, we’re trying to tackle both ends of the problem, not just really big, huge features, but no attention to UI and overall usability and not just a bunch of small usability things that ignore overall industry trends.
Karen: A lot of these are coming from our customers. A lot of times it’s in response to what we see as current needs. What does this new suite of features mean for the future of GinzaMetrics and what does it say about our product roadmap?
Erin: We work really hard to work with our customer base to let them know that we’ll help build features that satisfy their needs. Not only satisfying their needs but hopefully the needs of a larger market, obviously. It is really hard to build individual features for one customer and prioritization does have to be made based on greatest good types of things.
When we’re talking about what it means for the overall GinzaMetrics roadmap and the future of the platform, we always try to consider what the impact of building something now will be on our ability to build things in the future. One of the reasons that we did want to take our time with Local is we can actually build on our local platform, we can actually integrate deeper into the existing GinzaMetrics system as opposed to having tacked it on and then later on when we want to make updates, we’re almost trying to update around it or we have to tear it back down and rebuild it into whatever the next version would be.
So we try to really take that into account when we talk about making builds. I think that some of the things that I’m really excited about us coming out with soon are complimentary to this which has a lot to do with this continued, combined effort of search and social together in terms of data and overall organic findability. We’re going to be releasing some really fun things around social in the coming weeks.
One of the things that’s going to be coolest is that our Embeddable Reports option will be made even more amazing by the fact that a lot of these new modules that we’re going to be building should be embeddable into something so that people have a better idea of search and social performance and not just in the dashboard but in custom dashboards in an embeddable report format.
Like I said, it should always be a building effort. If somebody asks why we built Embeddable Reports before we did this new social aspect, it would be so that when the new social stuff comes out, it’s already embeddable.
Karen: A lot of our focus has been, like you said, not to just tack something on. I know there are a lot of standalone tools out there or platforms that have a lot of add-on. You can add this on to your plan but it’s going to be extra. Really having everything integrated and working together has been a focus. Can you talk about that just a little bit?
Erin: I don’t want to say that the way that somebody does it might be wrong because obviously somebody builds their platform in a way that serves the need of the market that they have. So if somebody does need a stand-alone tool or is working with a platform that they really, really like and need to keep just this extra set of data for some reason, that’s obviously going to fill a need.
For our users, for the most part, what they’re looking for is not having to jump around to a million different platforms because you already likely have a lot of platforms as a marketer, especially if you are managing the entire marketing ecosystem for something. Think about just the idea of an e-mail marketing platform, some sort of social platform, different ad platforms, retargeting, and then you’ve got analytics, SEO, all these different places. So trying not add on additional platforms, one, means that people aren’t having to look in one place and then compare it with another or worry that I have to wait until billing comes up and comes available to get another new platform. I can simply use the platform that I’ve already got and just adjust how we’re allocating keywords or something a little bit to match our needs.
I think that that’s really important when it comes to a lot of folks that I know who talk us say, “Look, we really want to do this and this and this but our new budget won’t open up until the new fiscal year or until the next quarter.” We always try to work with people saying, “Hey, let us try to help you out over the next few months until that becomes available or let us see what we can do within your existing budget and make that work for you.” Because we don’t want people to not have the data that they want. Part of why we do believe in a more integrated system is that means you don’t have to go get purchase approval for another tool. You’ve already got purchase approval for this one and we’re adding the features that you need.
Karen: I think that’s also part of our focus of having a scalable platform. It can grow with your needs and be as small as you need it and grow as you grow. We talked a little bit about that with Ray and that is going to be in the blog post, as well. I’ll be sure to attach that to this.
Unless you have something else, I think that’s about all the time we have for today.
Erin: I think that’s it. I’m really excited about people getting out there and trying out the new stuff. Obviously, as always, we welcome feedback, comments, and recommendations for future stuff, as well as keep an eye out for that e-mail that offers some additional keywords for then end of the year to help you get started for 2016. We’re looking forward to rolling out some additional new things over the next few weeks and I’m sure we will be doing a FOUND Friday episode to talk about those.
Karen: Absolutely. If you want more information on our new suite of tools, you can find information on the website at www.GinzaMetrics.com or by e-mailing either of us, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Join in on the conversation on Twitter at #FOUNDFriday.
Otherwise, we’ll see you next week for another edition of FOUND Friday. Until then, enjoy your pumpkin spice whatever.
Erin: Oh God. No more pumpkin spice anything. We’ll see you next week.
Karen: Alright, bye-bye.