Marketing Blabs – Podcast

Blab #1: Welcome to Marketing Blabs!

Date of Blab

30 January 2023

Blab Host

Categories

Listen Time

00:35:49

Hello everyone, my name’s Tom and I am the Creative Director at Marketing Labs and your host for this podcast. We’re an expert digital marketing agency based in Nottinghamshire and if you’re a business owner or a marketing professional looking for straightforward, 'non-salesy' tips – then this podcast is for you.

In this episode (blab), we discuss some simple tips that business owners can action to get more conversions from their website, what channels business owners should be focusing on and how you can understand the impact on performance.

On this Blab: Tom Haslam (Host), Matt Janaway, Steven Pownall and Josh Stapleton

Blab Transcript
Tom Haslam - (Host):

Hello and welcome to Marketing Blabs. This is our very first episode and over the next six months, we're going to aim to debunk the common marketing myths within the industry. Strap in because we're about to reveal the things that other agencies would rather you didn't know.

Hello, everyone. My name is Tom, and I'm the creative director here at Marketing Labs and I'm going to be your host for this podcast. We are an expert digital marketing agency based in Nottinghamshire, and if you're a business owner or a marketing professional looking for straightforward non-salesy tips, then this is the podcast for you.

In this episode, we're going to discuss some simple tips that business owners can do to get more conversions from their website, what channels you should be focusing on, and how you can understand the impact on performance. In future episodes, we are going to bring you lots of honest advice about digital marketing from the experts themselves. And speaking of experts, I have a few with me today. First of all, I have Matt Janaway, the CEO of Marketing Labs. How are you doing, mate?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, very good. Thank you.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Feeling good? Ready for the first pod?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Very, very excited.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

No pressure.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Nope. Ready to go.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Good stuff. And I have Josh Stapleton, our resident big brain.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Quite like that title.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

You did tell me to say that before though.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

I didn't.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Okay. Josh is our web developer in-house. Work alongside him. And also we have Steven Pownall to my right, who is our senior SEO strategist. How are you doing?

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Yeah, I'm not too bad. Thank you.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Excellent stuff. So I guess we'll get started guys.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. Hopefully, we have some useful insights.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I'd like to think so seeing as everybody has been working in digital marketing for a while.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

You'd hope so.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I guess we can kick off with regard to what businesses can do better. How can business owners get the most out of their website in terms of getting conversions, visitors, and ultimately turning them into paying customers essentially? Anyone want to kick off on that?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

I think everyone can do better, can't they? Every website can do better and every website should always try the hardest to improve as well. Nothing should ever be considered complete. I think that is quite important. I think one of the things that I would recommend, and we've seen this with ours in how much it helps is having really, really good team pictures and team bios and I don't just mean really good, I mean really good. Really good team bios explain so much about who that person is, so anybody looking to use your service can almost feel like they know them and that should be a really important first step.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

A lot of people discount that straight away. Some people are quite shy about having it done as well for some reason. Maybe it's a confidence thing.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Probably. It is quite difficult, isn't it?

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Well, it's putting personal information online, isn't it? Some people don't want too much online.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. But it's also important when you're in that position where you have people looking at your website and they want to learn more about who you are. That's the easiest way of giving them the information, isn't it?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

It's not necessarily something that's really hard to do. Obviously, a lot of people might overthink it and think, "Oh, I have to get a professional photographer in for this."

It's always better to have professional photography taken, but you can just grab an iPhone and get some good shots yourself to put a face to a name and a bit of a description of your background and what your hobbies are, just so it gives it a bit of a personal touch.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, I think sometimes you can be too polished.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Less is more sometimes, isn't it?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, yeah. I mean, you look at things like stock photography. There are loads of studies that suggest actually stock photography is worse than sometimes no photography. But certainly, amateur photography is still a good thing. You could take a photo on a phone, an iPhone, or a Pixel, Steven.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Yep, good save.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

And there are... All phones; even if you wanted to edit on the phone themselves have good editing features. You can make it look decent. It'll look better than not showing your face. That is for sure.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

People overuse. It's about getting a balance ultimately. Stock imagery does form a key part of any startup website because you're not going to have all the visual assets straight away, but-

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

I think a big thing is knowing where to use your stock photos and choosing specific ones. It's very easy to throw something that looks very generic on a site and then someone stumbles on that site and feels like they've seen it before. But if you're choosing things like... Well, I think you can kind of get away with it in the right places.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

And also where you get those stock photos from. There are quite a lot of stock photography websites that everybody seems to be aware of, but that just means that the photos get reused more. If you can find niche stock photography websites, it's much more likely that it will be unique.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Well, industry-specific maybe?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I always think Adobe Stock is the best by far. You like deposit photos?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

I know you do. Yeah, I like deposit photos.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I prefer Adobe Stock. It's better.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It's more expensive.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

It is, but it's better.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Maybe in some way. In some ways. They've all got their pros and cons.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, you get what you pay for with that, I guess. But I guess some good free ones are Pexels. Pexels are quite a nice free one.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Pexels are good, yeah.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

There is a library baked into Canva now, isn't there?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Don't talk to me about Canva. We're not getting onto that today.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

There is though, on the pro account, yeah. They have plenty. But again, the thing is Canva as well has got such a big audience there.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Are we actually going to talk about Canva?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

We're going to have to, aren't we?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Okay.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. It has such a big audience though. But there's an argument to say that even though there are a lot of stock photos on there because the audience is so big, actually they are the kind of photos that would get recycled more so they are less unique.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Jokes aside, I think Canva has a place, but not for me.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

It's a good thing this is being recorded, isn't it?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, it's official now. Everybody knows. Cat is out of the bag. I think it helps build trust ultimately having those photos on your site because people will buy into the person behind the business and their experience and ultimately that will help with conversions.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Well, trust is the most important signal and there are lots of things you can be doing to increase the trust of your website. One of the things we've done recently, and it's worked really well, we've had great feedback, is video testimonials and they're not that challenging to do. We can call one of our clients and have a 15-minute conversation with them about our service, things they like, the things they didn't like, things we can improve on, and performance. We can chop that up and turn that into actually a really nice testimonial. And that has worked well. There is no reason why any business can't do... That's a very cost-effective way of showing what you're all about.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Just showing reviews in general is a good one. But obviously, having that video testimonial or audio recording gives an actual person saying it rather than someone just saying, "Yeah, so-and-so did well," how do they actually know that you didn't write that at the end of the day?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Well, anyone can write a case study, can't they?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

And okay, you get good and bad case studies. Some of them are quite generic and follow the same process, but the best ones are the ones that are tailored around the client themselves, and what better way of doing it than having a video with them literally speaking about what you have to say adds a lot more trust. Coming back to trust.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

It's also quite versatile. I mean, if it's not taking that much effort to actually put one of these videos together, you can chop that up and reuse it all over your socials, et cetera.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, and that's really important for business owners, isn't it? Founders of businesses have to wear a lot of hats and if you are creating content once, but using it six or seven times; using it to share on your socials or using it for your marketing material.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Or teasers.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Teaser. Exactly. Yeah. Really, really useful. Really useful.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, there is a lot to talk about With regard to building those trust signals. I guess what we've talked about is team photos, video testimonials, and reviews. Is there anything in terms of channels that those businesses can be using or should be specifically focusing on initially anyway as a start? If we think startup... Well, not necessarily startup, any business really, what channels would you guys think are the best for those guys to start on or think about if they've not got a marketing strategy?

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

I mean, as somebody in SEO, it would be wrong not to say SEO, I think. I mean, if it's clients that have smaller budgets, you could go down the content creation route, but obviously, you have the social media side as well. Again, for the ones with smaller budgets, it's free to use. Email marketing.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It's about utilising their time correctly, isn't it? This is the thing. I mean, because they have to wear a lot of hats, they are usually the ones that they'll organise cleaners and deal with clients or customers and process orders and pick and pack and they'll have lots of hats on. Time is usually at a premium. So I think the thing for me, and it's a mistake I see quite a lot, is businesses really need to probably figure out quite early on where their audience is and use the channels that resonate with their audiences.

There are some industries where with all the will in the world, getting engagement on social might be quite challenging. And then there are others where actually it's just made for social. It's a sexy product. It's something people care about. You naturally will get engagement. So I think for me, it depends on the audience and channelling what you know about your audience and where they engage and putting actually most of your focus there so you don't spread yourself too thin.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

A great example of that is Wakey Wines on TikTok, by the way.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

They probably didn't have a strategy behind it, but it worked for them, didn't it? Perfect time, perfect audience, perfect platform.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. You would almost guarantee wouldn't you, that they didn't have a strategy. They might have had a bit of a plan, but when you think about TikTok, it's not only for school-aged children, but there is a big part of TikTok that's about younger kids.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Massive.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

And Wakey Wines being able to get hold of the prime stock, selling them for 20 pounds a bottle or whatever they're selling them for. It's a match made in heaven on TikTok because that's literally where their audience is. I don't know if it was accidental or intentional. If it was intentional, then it's a great move.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Was he big before the prime stock or...

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

No, I don't think so. They had some of those videos. I think they went viral initially.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah. But it's just kicked off since the prime thing really.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

That's where it's... Yeah.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

There has been so much demand for that, so much build-up, TikToks, and then they've obviously... They are probably like a lot of other businesses where they've just thought, "Oh, we'll try and jump on the bandwagon a little bit," because there is an element of that, but it has worked for them and people have resonated with it, haven't they?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It's a perfect storm though because their audience is there. It was easy for them to do. Completely free marketing. Completely free. And they had the product that resonated with their audience. So from that sense, that's exactly what you would recommend any business does; analyse where their audience is, where they participate online, and try to reach them through those channels.

And this is a thing because it's never too early to start SEO. You don't always need an agency to start working on SEO. You can start thinking if you're an e-commerce business, make sure that every product on your website has a good description. Make sure every category or collection has a good description. There are things you can be working on where you don't necessarily need an agency and if your product is being searched for, why wouldn't you want people to find it on Google? But it's about where your audience is. If you have an upcoming product that nobody's really aware of, search is going to be difficult because they won't be looking for you or your product, and you need to create more awareness on socials.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Socials are also great for local businesses as well, instead of just national and e-commerce. Local businesses advertise on local pages and it's very quick awareness, isn't it?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, it's good. It is good for awareness - social. But at the end of the day they can try and come up with... Say they're doing a little social ads campaign and they're trying to target specific demographics. They can put that little target audience together. It might not work straight away, but at least they're testing it.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

And testing is everything, isn't it? When it comes to digital marketing you have to test everything, otherwise, you don't really know for sure. With all the experience that you might have... We do this sometimes. We have a lot of experience in the team, and you can be fairly sure something may or may not work, but until you try it, you never really know. You have to try these things

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Also, as well, I think starting off, people that aren't familiar with the platform are probably going to waste a load of money on something that is worth a gamble, but yeah, might not stick. Well, that gives you valuable data then to go forward and know what to adjust.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Absolutely. And you have to be consistent, and I think this is the thing-

Tom Haslam - (Host):

That's the biggest thing.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It is.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Consistency.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. It's very easy to flutter around trying lots of different things and spreading yourself so thin, but also not really giving them your full attention for long enough. There is no marketing channel that will... Okay, you might get freak situations like the Wakey Wine one, but there is no marketing channel where there is a silver bullet. Almost every single channel and every strategy requires lots of consistency and sticking at it. If you are convinced that is where your audience is and you have the research and the data to suggest that it is, you have to keep going. It's not going to happen overnight. You have just got to keep going.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

You got to sort of stick to your guns a little bit with it and hope the... Trust the process.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. And something we've been talking about this week actually is this idea of how growth works. If you're looking at a chart, there is an assumption that growth is just a straight line upwards, but it's very rarely like that. You'll have maybe two or three months of good growth then a month where you'll go down a bit and then maybe another month where it goes up again and it might plateau for a couple of months, and then you might get another good few months.

When you look at a trend line, the growth might look really good, but when you're analysing at a micro level, you can get lost into making decisions that actually aren't that useful. You need more data. And again, this comes back to testing, doesn't it? The more data you have, the better decisions you can make.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

And seasonality as well.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

That plays a... Well, not for every business, but for a lot of e-commerce businesses, seasonality will come into play.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, for sure. For sure. And you've always-

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

[inaudible]... Sorry.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

No, no. I was going to say you have trends as well, haven't you? You might get weather. Weather is a big one. If one of our clients sells grit and grit bins, if the snow doesn't come when it's expected, you know what? No one is going to buy it. But then you might get early snow and all of a sudden you have an audience there.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Well, there are a lot of third-party factors, isn't there? Things like COVID, things like the cost of living crisis, and everything else that is going on in the world. It is going to hit everybody.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Yeah, sometimes it could be impossible to actually tell what has led to your trend stagnating or going down even in some cases. But it could be an outside factor as you say.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, there are so many things that can play a part and this is why you can't analyse it on such a short term. And it gets more challenging when you have multiple factors at the same time. So you might have weather impacting something like grit bins, but then you might have something like COVID, for example, with fewer cars on the road or fewer car parks being used.

So when you have a few things like that all at once... Sometimes positive as well. They don't just have to be things that can bring down performance. It can be things that improve performance, but when you have a few at once, that's all the more reason why consistency is important.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, I guess other than the organic channels such as SEO and to some degree socials, there is also Google Ads that people could think about.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

That is its own sort of beast in itself. But it's a good way of building a strategy alongside your organic, which is long-term. You have your PPC or your Google Ads campaigns, which are more short-term. Not necessarily short-term, I don't think that is the right...

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Certainly, shorter than SEO though.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

A lot shorter than SEO. And they can be really handy for situations where you do need to buy in data. One example there might be, for example, whether you are... If there is a keyword that requires quite a lot of effort from an organic perspective, there are certain keywords that can take a year, two years, or three years before you get some visibility. You could quite easily test those from an ad perspective to determine whether it's worth your effort. Okay, it will cost a bit of money in the meantime, but if it works, great. If it doesn't, you've saved yourself a lot of time and a lot in your marketing budget and you can perhaps concentrate on other keywords. But also ads is still very, very good. Generally, you get a good return on investment on ads.

It's very hard to say exactly... When we look across our clients, I think the return from Google Ads is probably better than social ads. I think that's because it's intent-driven. People searching are looking for something very specific, whereas if they see an ad on social media, there is no intent there. Doesn't mean they're not interested and it doesn't mean that it's not the right audience, but they're not looking for you. They're not on there to look for products. They are on there to engage with their friends and family. So generally, we do see Google Ads providing a higher return than social because it's lower down the funnel.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

There are lots of different ways that people can utilise those platforms, but ultimately it's about understanding what audience you are targeting at the end of the day.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Exactly.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Ads can help you determine what the audience might be. Same to some degree with social ads. What about email marketing?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, I mean, it's... Email is one of those things, from a marketing side, has been around for a long, long time and it has gone in fashion, out of fashion, back in fashion, out of fashion. And it can work really, really well for the right businesses. There is so much more to it than that though. You have to rely on how good your data is, how much the people you're emailing care about what you have to say. I think generally email marketing works better when it's not sales driven, when it's about keeping in touch, about brand values, and about awareness. That's not to say you shouldn't have sales email campaigns, but if you are constantly feeding your subscribers with just sales emails, chances are they won't stick around long. People have fed up with that.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

It starts to feel like cold calling after a while, doesn't it?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, yeah. It's a bit like magazines. The perception of when you read a magazine, how you behave when you see pages that aren't the content you're looking for in their adverts, generally you skip through without even noticing who they are or what they are. A long time back that was quite a useful strategy for marketing. Isn't anymore really. Doesn't work anymore.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

It's just background noise at times, isn't it?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. People's behaviours have changed, haven't they? You become accustomed to adverts and the more you see them, the less you want to see them. You almost feel sold to instead of you getting any value from something.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I personally very rarely read an email that I get, that I know is sent automated - an automated email. You can tell them a mile off.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, I'm the same. Do you know what? I probably mark more emails as spam than anyone I know. But at the same point, I think if it's somebody I really want to hear from, I will read it. This comes back to the data again, doesn't it? If you are emailing people who you don't know that they really are your core audience and how they feel about you as a brand, chances are it won't work anywhere near as well.

I'll get an email from... I don't know. SANOS for example, and I probably will have a look, but they don't email me every day and when they email me, I know it's probably something that I'm interested in. Whereas when you get them from somebody you ordered from four years ago and you can barely even remember ordering from them, nevermind the product, that's not going to stick around in my inbox for so long. You'll probably get marked as spam.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

It all goes back to data again though, doesn't it? So if you can tell who your repeat customers are, then you can target them over just the one-time purchaser from four years ago, how recently they purchased as well is a big thing. And I guess the volume or amount of money that they're spending with you on a purchase because if they're just going for a very small item that they could get anywhere, chances are they're not going to be very loyal and not interested in your email campaign.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yep. Segmentation. This is where segmentation comes in, isn't it? If you can segment those audiences where you can really understand who the core... Your brand advocates if you like. They are so valuable to you as a brand, but the rest generally is just noise and it becomes about volume.

You might send an email out to 10,000 people hoping that a couple of hundred click through and you might get an order or two, but then it becomes about volume. It's very much a vanity thing. Thinking about your subscribers and the numbers of subscribers you have as a gauge to determine whether it's useful or not. The number of subscribers you have is irrelevant. You would rather have a hundred brand advocates who receive an email from you that are engaged with you as a brand than 10,000 who don't particularly care. Your performance would be much higher.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Agree, some good points there. Understanding your audience, targeting the right places, learning, breaking things, testing things, and being consistent.

Just a quick one. At Marketing Labs, we are all about doing our bit for the environment. This is why we are proud to be partnered with Ecology. By planting trees and supporting climate projects around the world we are helping to fund solutions to the climate crisis. If you would like to help us in our efforts for saving the planet, then why not head over to our forest by going to Ecology.com/MarketingLabs.

We're back. Well, I'm back. Are you back? You still there?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

I'm still here.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Still here.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Everyone is still here. So first couple of topics there. Quite interesting. What about impact on performance and how they can monitor that? Without going into too much detail, Matt. I know you like to go into loads of detail on analytics.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, I mean, we're data geeks, aren't we? Steven and I are at least anyway. Josh absolutely.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Josh is... Josh looks a bit upset there that he is not being classified as a geek.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

No, Josh is a real data geek, but unfortunately, he doesn't get the opportunity to look at marketing data as much as Steven and I. Yours is more data-based data and-

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Unfortunately.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Exciting backend stuff.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

You make it out like it's a bad thing that he is not being able to work here.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It is a bad thing.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

It is for me.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It gives you a buzz. No, but I think... So if you are analysing how any of these channels are performing, the first thing you need to do is make sure your Google Analytics is set up correctly. Obviously, Google Universal Analytics is dying. That will be gone soon.

Google Analytics 4 will take over pretty soon. If you haven't got that set up. That needs setting up ASAP really. We've already missed the opportunity now where you won't lose data. It's less than a year away. If you set it up now, you won't be able to do any year-on-year comparisons at some point soon.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Really?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. So that needs... If any listeners haven't got GA-4 set up, that needs setting up as soon as possible.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Is it more detailed than Universal?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It is different. It is different because instead of using traditional visit-based analytics, it uses event-based analytics. It requires a slightly different understanding of what your data is and how it works. But the big challenge with GA-4 is when you set a GA-4 account up, you literally have to build out almost every report. Universal Analytics provides you with standard reports. For example, if you're analysing whether Instagram is working for you or not, in Universal Analytics on the left-hand side, you can click acquisition, you can click channels, and you can have a look.

In GA-4, you have to build those out. I think actually very recently they've had an acquisition report standard, but the point remains, most reports you would want to see you have to build out from scratch. So the whole process of setting up a GA-4 account is actually quite labour-intensive.

Universal Analytics you can have it set up in a half an hour. GA-4 sometimes... The first few we did out, we needed a couple of days to do it, but we can probably do them now in maybe half a day to a day. That's the first thing really is if you want to analyse the performance of what your marketing efforts are doing, you need GA-4 installed pretty quickly.

I think the second tip I would give is to start understanding acquisition models. I don't want to go into these too much and they can get quite complex and maybe this could be an episode in itself at some point soon, but there are different acquisition models, and what I mean by an acquisition model is how you analyse what your visitors are doing on your website and when and where they convert and where they come from when they convert.

So that conversion could be an e-commerce order, it could be a form completion, could be a phone call, whatever it might be, it's how you analyse where that came from. Standard analytics uses a last-click attribution model. If somebody finds you from Instagram and then they search for you in Google and then they convert, Google generally would get the benefit of that conversion. If you have quite a long journey... We have a client who's got a 30-day plus conversion lag. So their first click comes, lots of clicks happen in between, that conversion click usually is 30 days plus after that first click.

So what's important for us is we need to understand where that first click came from because that is how the customer found them in the first place. For us, that is one of the most important things to know is where they were found in the first place. We still need to analyse what those middle clicks were. We still need to know, did Instagram help in the middle? Did retargeting help in between? What was the final click?

Knowing all of that actually can help you understand where your marketing efforts are working and where they're not working. If you analyse things from different attribution models, you can see what piece of the jigsaw each channel is having on the revenue you're generating.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Was that quick enough?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I mean, I guess you could go into... That's a topic in itself, isn't it really?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It's actually... It's hard to touch on.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It is the kind of topic that if you're given two or three minutes, you really have to sort of skip through some quite important things.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Just scratch the surface.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

That's right, yeah. Yeah. And it's difficult to do. I think hopefully that gives enough to go on. There's a lot more to it than that.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Have you got any written content on your blog about acquisition models?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, I do. Yeah.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

It's a quick-

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Shameless plug.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Plug. Yeah, I mean, I plugged it for you.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, so it's less shameless.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Less shameless, yeah. Still shameless, but it is there.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. Yeah, on MattJanaway.co.uk, there is an entire blog category for analytics. There are guides on GA-4, how to do it, how to analyse things, what kind of reports to set up, but also bits about acquisition models.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Nice.

Just as a quick one, thinking about the next episode, are you seeing how crazy Chat GPT is getting at the minute with AI?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It has gone bonkers, isn't it?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Crazy.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Pretty interesting stuff.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Can do so much with it, can't you? I'm blown away with how conversational it is as an AI platform. It's crazy.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

And the deeper the conversation, the more it learns about what the answer should be, which is very cool. I've been playing around with AI for a few years now. Actually, speaking of my blog, a year or two ago, there is a blog post on there written by AI about why AI should be your next content writer. It shouldn't, by the way, just for everybody out there, it's pretty easy to see-

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Mel won't be happy with you?

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

No, no.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Is she there now?

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

I was expecting to look over and see her staring Matt dead in the eye.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

The thing is, it's pretty easy to analyse whether content has been written by AI. There are very easy-to-use tools that are completely free and when you input content into it, it'll tell you if it has been written by AI. Now, if these tools can do it, you can imagine what Google can do. And I'm already seeing... I've seen loads of websites that have been using AI that now lost lots of visibility in search results. So Google are on it. But AI is very cool. I think using it to create content is maybe not the best way. Maybe if you use that tactic loosely and you use AI to piece together work you're doing-

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Have a brief, maybe.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Briefs, yeah. Exactly.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, some of the research. Take some of that weight off.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yep. Maybe grouping keywords together in terms of intent, so you could feed it a list of 50 keywords, for example, and just see what the AI thinks the intent of that keyword is, which is valuable because if you know what the intent of a keyword is, you can make sure the page you're putting together will provide the answers that people are looking for when they search it.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, totally off-topic. But I used it the other day to write some song lyrics for me.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Song lyrics?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

It was actually quite, quite good. I just put a few bullet points in and then it wrote me verse, clause-

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

You know this mean?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

No, I'm not singing a song. I'm not. I'm going to sing a song on the podcast. There's no way.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

I can see your guitar from here.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Nope. There is no way I'm grabbing that.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Can you remember any of the lyrics?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Not off the top of my head.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

What about the title? What was it called?

Tom Haslam - (Host):

I think it was about... Sorry, it's proper cringe. It's about life journeys and mistakes along the way. Stuff like that.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Nice. Very deep.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Quite deep for me.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Yeah. Just another hit.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, I'm going to be in podcast-

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Podcast 10.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Podcast 10.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

On the 10th.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Yeah, I'll sing it live.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

On the 10th podcast.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

No.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It is good though. It is. I've seen a lot of users. Unfortunately, it's exploded, hasn't it? So there's so much content out there at the moment about AI, and so much of it is noise. So much of it has advice that actually I don't think is particularly too helpful. It's very easy when technology like this that is really quite groundbreaking comes out. It's very easy to jump on the bandwagon and want to think about how it can be used for everything.

But actually, I think people need to slow down a little bit and think about what the impact of whatever they're doing might have. I think it could be great for helping, but not necessarily great for doing. I've seen quite a few examples where... I saw one actually the other day on Twitter. Somebody had asked it about setting up hreflang attributes for international SEO, and the output was wrong. Now, if you are trusting it blindly and you are using it to just implement that code, that could be really damaging from an SEO perspective. You could lose a lot of visibility by just trusting it.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

On the flip side though, it saved me a lot of time with Excel and Google Sheet formulas because you can just ask it to do something and it'll spit the formula out for you.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Oh, I've not tried it for formulas yet.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Oh, it's brilliant.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

Sounds like a good idea.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Yeah.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

It's very clever, yeah.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

I've used it a bit for coding specifically, like Java Scripts and stuff like that. And I think one thing... You kind of touched on it and what you said, Matt, but I think having that understanding or that base level understanding of what you're trying to achieve is very important because while in a lot of cases it can do what you ask it straight away, there are cases where you might need to give it a bit of a helping hand.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah, yeah. And I think the other day, actually, Steven, we used it to create-

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Oh, it was that keyword topicality.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yeah. We were matching... We used it to fuzzy match similarities between old and new for a website migration, didn't we? So we were comparing an old website to a staging website with new URLs, and we inputted page titles, URLs, meta descriptions, and some content, I think.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Oh, I was thinking the other one when we got it to topic cluster some keywords for us.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

That too. Yeah, we used it for that too. So it is good for that. It spat out a script for us that we could put straight into Google Sheets, and that really helped with the migration. You imagine you're doing a migration and there are 10,000 URLs and the URL structure changes, which by the way, it should never do. Don't change URL structures.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Yeah, Tom.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Sorry.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

But if you are changing a URL structure, you've really got to have a plan in place. Now, imagine manually going through 10,000 URLs and figuring out what the best way of processing them is. And yeah, AI helps us create scripts that we could put into Google Sheets, and the output was about 85% accurate. So all of a sudden, there are much fewer URLs we need to go through. Very powerful. I think we're hopefully, we'll put together a... We'll talk about it on the next podcast, but also I think we'll probably put together a list of ways that AI can be used for marketing.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Awesome. No, well, thank you everyone for coming on. It has been a good first episode, I think.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

A nice opener, yeah.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Yep. Good. I enjoyed it.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

So I'm just going to summarise in terms of what people can do and take actions away. Trust signals. The best way we can do this is by getting team photos on your website, video testimonials, reviews, building that trust with your audience, and then it's about understanding what audience you're going to be speaking to. So building that off on social testing with Google Ads, building an organic platform with SEO, and then monitoring it with analytics.

We have briefly touched on GA-4 and attribution acquisition models. These in themselves will become their own episodes, and we've briefly touched on AI as well, which in the next episode we're going to bring you the latest updates and trends to the 2023 digital marketing scene. We'll talk you through what you can expect from the year and what's to come, what's going to become more prominent in the industry, and more importantly, how you can use this information to help grow your business online. So thank you, you three for being here.

Josh Stapleton - (Web Developer):

My pleasure.

Matt Janaway - (CEO):

Enjoyed it.

Steven Pownall - (Senior SEO Strategist):

Anytime.

Tom Haslam - (Host):

Until next time, I'm Tom. This is Marketing Blabs. Thanks for listening. Take care.

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