During the lecture and discussion on Friday, the following five are key takeaways I learned or wanted to further explore:
First, we briefly discussed marketing research and the types of research that exists out there. Ultimately, these research findings become quantitative data that is used to define what marketers can do differently to enhance their product/service. However, I found this interesting article by Douglas Van Praet that slightly goes against quantitative data in marketing research. The author suggests that despite all of the statistical analysis, the bottom-line is that a number cannot truly represent what marketers can do when it comes to triggering consumer’s emotions. He believes that marketing research is most successful when it is performed along with cognitive science, which will help define the root and birth of an emotion.
Secondly, cookies are used by marketers to track the online navigation of Internet users, where they go, what they look at it, etc. Then, I came across this article in Forbes.com which says that cookies may someday be replaced by fingerprinting. Fingerprinting “allows a web site to look at the characteristics of a computer, such as what plugins and software you have installed, the size of the screen, the time zone, fonts and other features of any particular machine.” The plus side to marketers about this new technology is that even if users disable cookies, fingerprinting can still track the user’s identity through the computer’s software. In fact, the more users make software updates, the easier it is to track. Advocates for this technology don’t consider it a violation of privacy but rather a good use of PR. As for me, I think this is full-blown creepy!
Third, Google Analytics is a primary market research tool many businesses small and large use to collect site data. An article I found actually lists 5 ways GA can give misleading results. For instance, the average visit time can be underestimated, for example, having visitors who bounce from the homepage to a subpage of the site to equal 0 seconds. Another fault is when one visitor visits the site from various devices, in which each is assigned different cookies for that specific device. Another example is misleading direct traffic data. The example is if someone visits your site from a URL via a powerpoint or a PDF, but has not been nor heard of your site before. Overall, Google Analytics has some little faults, but nevertheless, it is still an awesome source for businesses to have.
Fourth, I asked how keywords could be embedded into website code, and although it was held for Tuesday’s discussion, I was still curious about it and looked it up. Since I’m learning WordPress in my Advanced Web Dev class, I found a youtube video on how to add keywords to a WordPress site. Keywords can be used by using plugins, and in this tutorial the demonstrator used the All-In-One SEO pack. Once installed, you can add keywords by navigating to the Pages tab in the nav bar. All of this is done on the back-end, so real users won’t see it, but you will. It looked super easy to do, and I’ll definitely bookmark this page for when we do cover this topic in my Adv. Web Dev class as well!
Lastly, the fifth takeaway I got from Friday’s class was how proper use of keywords can make or break your site when users try to search for any type of association with it. This article in Inc.com by Michael Mothner. He believes keywords should actually be, in fact, key phrases. He states that “keyword generation should start simply with answering the question of ‘What products or services do you sell?'” Staying away from generic words is also suggested. His example was an online jewelry store. The keyword “jewelry,” though obvious, is not be the best keyword because it’s too broad (competition itself is also very vast). The more specific you are, such as “silver necklace” or “women’s Rolex watch” the better. Repetition is also useful, ie: “dog food online”, “dog food comparison,” etc. in which “dog food” is repeating. He also suggests using a fairly new tool called the Google Wonder Wheel which is accessed by doing a search and then selecting “Wonder Wheel” under the filter options. Wonder wheel thus gives you a “visual representation of the way that Google groups together keywords.”