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Setting a SMART goal means being specific about the desired outcomes as well as the steps you’ll take to reach them. The goal is Specific: it outlines a timeline, a point-of-sale, an estimated inventory, a means of reaching customers, and an alternative plan to ensure ROI if the initial goal is not met.
The goal is Measurable: by basing the goal on a specific inventory, the business owner can easily track progress. The goal is Achievable: By basing the expansion on the current level, the goal has reasonable expectations. The goal is Result-Oriented: The specificity of the outcome means that results can be measured over time and in the long term. The goal is Trackable: This goal has a clearly-defined time line and a means of making adjustments if necessary. By turning your New Year’s resolution for your business into a SMART goal, you are already one step ahead of the game when it comes to meeting your business goals for 2015.
January 5, 2016: In early December, Google dropped the “followers on Google+” social annotation for AdWords advertisers, as uncovered in an article from The SEM Post. This is also just one of hundreds of changes Google made in the past year when you take into account search updates, product announcements, and organizational changes. As we kick off the new year, I wanted to use this post highlight 8 key developments Google made in 2015, and what they could mean, today, and in the long run, for B2B marketing professionals. In mid-2014, Vic Gundotra, then Google SVP, and largely considered the champion of Google+, announced his resignation from the search engine. This past year, we saw Google continue to separate itself, and its users, from Google+ and promoting platform activity.
For B2B marketers, this means your time investment requirement for Google+ lessens significantly in the new year. While I would still recommend maintaining a professional presence, with up-to-date company information, in your Google+ Page and associated profiles.
In late November Google released the entire Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines, following an analysis of a leaked copy by The SEM Post. Google Search Rater Guidelines are designed to aid Google “quality raters” in their assessment of the perceived accuracy in Google search results when running testing experiments. Jennifer Slegg of The SEM Post, wrote a highly recommended article for Moz, outlining key takeaways in analysis of the 160 page guideline. The guide features hundreds of examples of search results and detailed explanations of why each specific example is either good, bad, or somewhere in between. While the guide itself is not a recipe for prominent ranking in search engine results, this information provides insight into what factors of a web page and website Google views as quality and in question.
For the “hundreds of thousands” of organizations that aren’t measuring conversions on their websites, either due to a lack of time or technical ability, Google rolled out Smart Goals this past December, to help AdWords advertising measurement specifically. Smart Goals harness aggregated conversion data from Google Analytics-enabled sites for advertisers that don’t have another way to track and optimize for conversions. Google applies machine learning across thousands of websites that use Google Analytics, and have opted in to share anonymized conversion data.
For B2B marketers struggling to connect the dots between AdWords activity and conversion actions, this could become an alternative mechanism for performance measurement, though true conversion tracking is always recommended. The effectiveness of smart goal performance can actually be evaluated before complete activation as well.
Unfortunately, not all websites will qualify for this function since there are prerequisites for activation.
Of all the algorithm updates that Google released this past year, Google’s mobile friendly search update (“Mobilegeddon”) was the one most requested for discussion from our clients.
For B2B marketers, the need to prioritize website optimization for mobile device usage, could no longer be ignored. Fortunately, Google provided several resources for site owners and marketers to consider as they focus on mobile device compatibility for their online marketing endeavors. In early December, Google announced that AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) pages will be integrated into its search engine as early as February 2016. B2B Marketers should take note and plan accordingly, since AMP pages may get a ranking boost and a unique label designation (similar to “Mobile Friendly” designations today) in search engine results, at some point in the future, per article on Search Engine Land. We already know that “mobile page speed” has some impact on rank and can imagine a similar scenario (from Google) designed to encourage AMP page adoption. Fortunately, Google provides a tutorial for development for creating AMP pages as well as a test site where site owners can see how they may appear in search engine results.
WordPress is also onboard and announced that it’s developing a plugin for the AMP standard as well. If we can recognize someone is looking for a car, we can say oh well, we have these pages that are marked up with structured data for a car, so probably they are pretty useful in that regard. While Google doesn’t use structured data for ranking purposes today, B2B marketers should already realize the impact this markup may have in organic search visibility and click thru rates.

Google maintains a set of guidelines for structured data recommendations that they will recognize and potentially display in search engine results.
Ultimately, product data from this platform can help feed listings found in Google Shopping and other advertising-related services from the search engine. As detailed in coverage from Marketing Land, a new analytics dashboard in Manufacturer Center provides reporting on product visibility that hasn’t been available before. For example, they’ll learn how many times their products appear on Google within a given time frame and how many times shoppers click on their products versus competing products in their category. The interest in leveraging e-commerce solutions, as a mechanism for improving profitability and managing brand, has become of growing interest for B2B marketers. Manufacturer Center provides insight into the type of product information and specifications Google in particular finds of impact in product listings for B2B manufacturers.
Unfortunately, this platform is only open to a select group of manufacturers right now, but additional details, including feed specifications and program requirements, can be reviewed for those yet to be invited but interested in the potential opportunity. Aside from “Mobilegeddon”, there were four additional updates of impact made to the Google Search Algorithms, this past year. Search Engine Journal goes even further, publishing a quick summary of each update (including Mobilegeddon), the potential impact, and associated recommendations.
RankBrain is an artificial intelligence Google is using in order to serve better search results, particularly for the 15% of daily search queries that Google has never seen before. The good news is that even though RankBrain may have impacted as much as 15% of existing queries (and much more ongoing), and is the third most important ranking signal (per Bloomberg article), its impact is more specific to search moving forward and improving the results for evolving types of search engine queries. Finally, this past May, Google did decide to change the name of its online resource for site owners from Webmaster Tools to Search Console.
No, this isn’t really a seriously significant update but I’m sure B2B marketers will see references to both naming conventions for quite some time :-).
Google indicated that it wanted all of the hobbyists, small business owners, SEO experts, marketers, programmers, designers, app developers, and, of course, webmasters to feel like they were all being adequately recognized for their efforts. Don’t forget to check out our post from late 2014, which highlighted many other changes Google made previously that may an impact in your B2B online marketing endeavors as well.
As a part of the team of Internet marketing professionals at KoMarketing Associates, Derek focuses on developing online marketing strategies - search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and social media - for clients, ranging from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Add Your Comment (All comments are reviewed by moderator, no spam permitted!) Click here to cancel reply. Progressive companies are now using predictive analytics to deliver an optimal service experience before a customer calls to complain or responds to a survey.
If you haven’t already put together your marketing plan for 2015, you are probably working on that right now. Maybe you are planning a mobile marketing tour or a street team activation or maybe you are planning a few large events.
Top 3 Experiential Marketing PostsPros and Cons of Retail Sampling with Experiential Marketing ProgramsPractical Creativity vs. Resolutions for the new year can leave us feeling optimistic and enthusiastic about meeting new challenges, but many of us also have small piles of neglected projects and forgotten gym memberships to attest to the challenges of creating well-defined goals with attainable benchmarks to keep us motivated when our enthusiasm flags.
Setting a SMART goal is about breaking down the big-picture idea you’re working toward into its necessary components and creating a well-defined goal that can be completed in smaller parts. The strongest SMART goals can be summarized in a statement that includes active pieces: a well-defined client or audience, specific goals (often on a timeline), the specific tools you’ll use to achieve them, and the ways you’ll measure and celebrate your progress. For the rest of January, we will review some specific steps you can take to ensure that your goals are SMART ones! This is announcement was just another indicator that B2B marketers can focus less on activity directly associated with Google+ in the new year. While its practically impossible to stay up to date with every major announcement from Google, there are certainly are a few that deserve more attention than others. From that point on, signs pointed to the eventual demise of Google’s social networking platform, culminating in acting SVP Bradley Horowitz’s announcement that he’d taken over responsibilities for the service, and splitting it into a new service called Photos and Streams.
This included no longer requiring YouTube commenters to use Google+ before they sign in, removing Google+ posts in the Knowledge Graph results, and eliminating the social extension in AdWords, as detailed previously. It’s clear your activity and influence by directly participating in this social networking platform will become less of a priority moving forward. This was significant because Google had never released the full guidelines that the search quality raters receive in their entirety. Per Analytics support, one example of these requirements is that the AdWords account to be associated must have sent at least 1,000 clicks to the applicable Google Analytics view in the past month before you can set up Smart Goals.
In late April, Google began expanding the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal associated with web pages. In the same announcement Google indicated that this change will have “significant impact” on search engine results.
This included an expanded guide to mobile-friendly sites, their Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool, and a Mobile Usability Report accessible via Search Console.

This technology was tested with a select few publishers, but by late February, everyone will be able to take advantage of AMP.
This new platform was designed to help standardize product data across systems and provide original manufacturers with a more Amazon-like data experience.
In fact, a report, released last year, predicted that the global B2B e-commerce industry will reach $6.7 trillion in 2020.
Moz has an easy-to-read timeline which details each update and provides references for site owners and publishers. Users who input ambiguous or more natural human language queries can expect to get more relevant results. As Managing Partner of KoMarketing Associates, Derek leads strategy, direction, and growth of the organization.
Join this Mastery Webinar for leading-edge thinking and examples of "predictive customer service," including how signals from the Internet of Things can predict service failures and enable the organization to be proactive.
Held May 17-19 in Denver, Colorado, this event will feature powerful keynote addresses, engaging workshops, and valuable networking all aimed at driving business success through customer insights and intelligence. SCORE 2016 will feature powerful keynote addresses, engaging workshops, and valuable networking all aimed at driving business success through customer insights and intelligence. So, let US help YOU figure out what to measure, so YOU can get funding, and WE can work together on an awesome Experiential Marketing Campaign in 2015! This month, to help you with your marketing resolutions for 2015, we’re going to go over some tips for creating—and achieving—your SMART goals for your business this year!
In addition, information from indexed apps became a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. Attendees will also receive two special reports focused on research and best practices for CX leadership. You will need to show how your marketing spend has worked in the past and how it’s going to work in 2015. Assumptions like these help you make decisions efficiently, but they can also limit your effectiveness over time.Make a list of digital marketing assumptions you’ve like to prove or disprove in 2015. Most digital marketers in 2015 will not be leading the pack — instead, they’ll be striving to stay focused and keep up.
Read up on what’s happening in display today and brainstorm ways these campaigns can help you. The more goals you have or the more complicated your goal is, the more moving pieces you’ll necessarily have to deal with as your plan moves forward.This may mean separate campaigns, multiple teams, or at the very least, multiple metrics sets to track. If you’re hustling a digital marketing strategy with limited resources and lots of upside, here are five realistic digital marketing goals you can accomplish in the coming year.Focus on the social channels that are workingSocial media channels are going through the same evolution that search went through several years ago. Be sure that your resources are optimized towards your goal, and that you have enough time and human assets to see each goal through to success. Competition is fierce and businesses are challenged to achieve a reasonable level of organic reach. There’s nothing wrong with reigning in your Facebook efforts and redirecting those resources to Twitter, if doing so gets you better results.You don’t have to close down your Facebook page, either.
This used to be a big no-no, but if your organic reach on Facebook is minimal, the actual customer impact of duplicating social content is pretty low.
What does it take for a prospect to move ahead from knowing about you to engaging with your brand? How can you use your marketing resources to encourage that progression?Do a content auditWhen was the last time someone reviewed the terms and conditions pages on your website? Failing to review your content regularly can create bad user experiences, fragment your brand presence, bog down your website and even expose you to potential legal problems.
Put a content audit on your calendar at least annually.Test your websiteUser testing is one of the most efficient and informative ways to improve your website.
According to usability expert Jacob Nielsen, you can get good feedback with as few as five people per test.If you’ve never tested anything on your website, start with your homepage.
In that case, go back to your customer journey map to help you answer this question.Make 2015 the year of digital marketing precision.
Focus your efforts on what’s working, rethink your assumptions, get more targeted, and clean up ragged ends in your content and on your website.
Your prospects and customers will appreciate it!This article originally appeared on the Speak digital marketing blog and has been republished with permission.

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