Recently, we announced the availability of a new suite of tools for local and mobile search. Using these tools, marketers and SEOs can get deeper insights into where audiences are engaging and how they’re engaging. Users are discovering topics, keywords, and content that was not on their radar before and using those insights to optimize their efforts. Getting recommendations sorted by priority and automatic reporting that’s embedded in regularly scheduled emails has improved workflow and the ability to show progress toward goals.
Since the suite includes multiple new features that we received questions about, I interviewed Erin O’Brien, COO during a recent episode of Found Friday to address the most common questions.
Q: 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: We’re really excited about being able to add Local Search into the platform. We didn’t rush to be first to market with Local because we wanted to integrate it into the platform and allow our users to access this feature without having to purchase it separately, or as a kind of add-on. We wanted to make sure that the new local data would be completely integrated with the other data currently available.
There are a couple of places in the platform where users can see local information . The first is inside the keyword information area. Here, you can see your data displayed on a geographical map. So when you select the various locations you’re tracking for your keywords, we’ll show you a map version that highlights different ranking areas for your keyword groups geographically. From the main map, you can zoom in and out to get more targeted views. The other thing that you’re going to be able to see is a chart that compares keyword ranking across your selected locations.
To make Local easy to use, we integrated keyword set up and management into your existing site settings. We thought it was important that users not have to deal with a separate UI or have a big learning curve. Essentially, users manage keywords in the same place they’ve always gone, and now there’s a place that allows you to add and manage locations. Simply go to add location, type in the name of a location you’d like to add, and then select the keywords that you’d like to add to that location. Then you’re ready to go. That makes overall setup really simple.
Q: Is there anything special customers will have to do to get started?
Erin: Existing customers simply need to request that Local Search be turned on. Unlike other tools where you would be charged separately to add this piece on and then for your additional keyword usage, activating the Local Search feature simply utilizes additional keywords. We want Local Search to remain an option within the platform. This is especially important for agencies or brands that white label the solution.
Q: Along with the Local Search feature, we also released Deeper Crawl. Can you explain exactly what that is?
Erin: 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 is 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.
Deeper Crawl will actually go find an index and pull information on all 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 it to help you optimize that content.
Q: So using Deeper Crawl, 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 search 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. Deeper Crawl will not only find all possible pages on Yelp, it will actually index them out by location now, as well. Then we 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.
Q: How is this information useful for marketers?
Erin: For marketers, using these tools will help you decipher what content is getting found, what’s not getting found, and how to make improvements about findability. When you’re looking at content from a geographic standpoint, you can understand the nuances in how people are actually finding certain assets in targeted areas. 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.
Q: 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 – iPhone, iPad, Android phone, and Android tablet information. From there, we determine keyword and content ranking at this individual device level, as well as entire device type level. Using the mobile data and local data together, you can understand keywords and content that are performing at the local level, as well. In combination with Deeper Crawl you’re no longer just getting a segment of your content or things that are currently ranking, you’re getting the full content picture.
Q: As part of the suite of tools, we released Sortable Recommendations. What exactly is that?
Erin: Sortable Recommendations is the prioritization tool 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 deal with. The problem is, especially if you don’t have hundreds of people at your disposal to take care of these recommendations, you can’t tackle them all at once. Because you can’t tackle them all at once, it’s important to prioritize what to work on. Often those priorities are set by campaigns that are currently in market, geographies, or by certain product features.
Campaigns are really important to start with prioritize when you have something that’s currently in market that you are driving advertising dollars to. You’ll want to address recommendations associated with that now. You want to make those updates and optimizations ASAP because you’re currently paying to drive traffic to those pages, 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 now start with the recommendations that are sorted by your existing groups, allowing people to tackle a hit list a lot easier.
Q: 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. Within the GinzaMetrics platform, everything is its own module. The Reporting Center allows you to build custom reports and custom dashboards utilizing these different modules. Because everything in the platform is a module, you can essentially pull and pick pieces from the platform and make your own dashboards and reports.
Previously, 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, we’re allowing you 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’ll use myself as a use case. 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. Before I walk into the office or jump on a call, I automatically have a leg-up on what’s going on.
Q:, According to CMI, 53% of marketers are still struggling to measure the effectiveness of content marketing. 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, the custom dashboard, and modularized reporting. 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 and preventing a one-size-fits-all solution, we’re allowing you to 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’re stuck 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.
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.
Q: What does this new suite of features mean for the future of GinzaMetrics and what does it say about our product roadmap?
Erin: We like to work with our customer base to let them know that we’ll help build features that satisfy their needs and the needs of a larger market.
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 took our time with Local is to ensure that we can build on our local platform and integrate deeper into the existing GinzaMetrics system as opposed to having tacked it on. Later on when we want to make updates, we don’t want to have to update around it or tear it back down and rebuild it into whatever the next version would be.
For the future, some of the things I’m really excited about us coming out with soon are complimentary to these new features and reflect our focus on the combined effort of search and social together in terms of data and overall organic findability. We’re going to be releasing some very exciting features 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 addition of the new modules we’re going to be building which will be embeddable to give people a better idea of search and social performance – 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.
If you want more information on our new suite of tools, contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org.