Google Analytics has significantly evolved since its Universal Analytics (UA) version, leading to the development and launch of the newest iteration: Google Analytics 4 (GA4).
We’ll also share an example coaching & consulting funnel where conversion points must be added along the customer journey. These conversion steps can easily be added inside GA4.
But first… here is the simple summary of the key differences between these two versions (GA & GA4), along with their respective pros and cons.
Universal Analytics (UA)
Matured Features: UA has a long-established set of features that are well-understood and widely adopted by marketers worldwide.
Advanced Segmentation: Users can create advanced segments to analyze specific data subsets.
Integration with Google Products: Seamless integration with Google Ads.
Goal Completions: Allows setting up goals to track specific user interactions.
Limited Data Connectivity: It operates on a session-based model, which can limit the ability to connect data across platforms.
Inability to Track Across Devices: Struggles to provide a unified customer view across multiple devices.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
Event-based Tracking: GA4 shifted to an event-based tracking system, allowing more flexible and comprehensive data collection.
Cross-platform Tracking: GA4 excels in unifying user experiences across different platforms and devices, providing a complete customer journey.
AI-Powered Insights: GA4 leverages AI to provide automatic insights, including data trends and anomalies.
Improved Audience Building: GA4’s analysis hub allows more sophisticated audience building and better integration with Google Ads.
Learning Curve: As it’s a new platform, marketers may need to invest time in understanding and mastering GA4.
Incompatibility: Some existing UA features, like custom dimensions and metrics, don’t translate directly to GA4. (But you can create and customize once you learn how to).
Limited Historical Data: GA4 doesn’t import historical data from UA, making it challenging to compare current data with older data.
IMPORTANT: For now, Google is still supporting both versions, and you can run them side by side. But, as of July 2023, GA Universal is no more, and you must have migrated over to GA4.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF A CONVERSION TRACKING APPROACH for consultants, experts and professional services.
You need a funnel and the ability to track and report on each step:
In a traditional consulting funnel, conversion tracking is pivotal to understand how well your marketing efforts are working and to optimize your funnel for maximum conversions.
The transition from lead to application and then to booking/appointment is a journey that needs to be carefully monitored and optimized.
In Google Analytics 4 (GA4), there are several critical points to track, but the top three are:
1. Lead Generation: This is the first conversion point in your funnel. It involves tracking whenever a potential client shows interest in your services by filling out a form, subscribing to your newsletter, downloading a free resource, etc.
In GA4, this can be tracked as a custom event, where the action of form submission or resource download triggers the event.
It provides valuable insight into how effective your initial call to action and lead magnets are.
For any funnels that use Google ads (Search, YouTube), import these conversion points, track them, and feed data back to Google for your MQL’s and SQL’s.
2. Application Submission: The next crucial conversion point is when a lead submits an application or request for your consulting services.
The key here is to track not just the submission but also the quality of applications. Lead scoring is important for tracking, optimizing and preparing leads for the sales team.
In GA4, you can create a custom event for application submission and use event parameters to gather more information about the applicants, such as service they’re interested in, their industry, company size, and further qualification questions, etc.
3. Booking/Appointment Confirmation: This is the final conversion point where a lead can become a possible client by confirming a booking or appointment for the sales team (“the closers”).
You can track this in GA4 by setting up another custom event that triggers when a user completes the booking process.
This data helps you understand which marketing efforts are resulting in actual bookings and allows you to calculate your conversion rate from lead to client.
For each of these conversion points, you should also track the source or channel that the user came from (e.g., organic search, paid ad, social media, etc.)
This will provide valuable information about which channels are driving the most valuable conversions.
Remember, the goal is to use this data to optimize your funnel, improve your marketing ROI, and deliver a better user experience.
Regularly analyze your conversion data, look for trends and patterns, and make necessary adjustments to your strategy.
CBD and hemp products are one of the fastest-growing trends in the market today. Thanks to the recent law changes, the CBD market is expected to reach $16.32 Billion by 2026 (GlobeNewsWire).
One in seven Americans personally use cannabidiol based products, that’s 14% of the US population (Gallup) that use CBD-derived products.
There’s a huge first-mover advantage for CBD companies looking to dominate the market. The competition is at its lowest, and people are eager to learn about these new substances.
By seizing a good market share at such an early stage, you’ll guarantee your brand’s success for years to come when you advertise and consistently build content and serve your audiences.
So, that makes you wonder:
What’s the best way to advertise CBD/hemp products online?
A Brief CBD Introduction…
CBD or cannabidiol is an ingredient of cannabis. However, legal CBD is not psychoactive, and not part of any of these groups: stimulants, depressants, opioids, and hallucinogens. Psychoactive drugs affect the body’s central nervous system and are different from legal CBD.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), an ingredient of cannabis, affects the classic symptoms of feeling “high”.
However, Hemp-derived CBD contains a maximum of 0.3% THC and is the legal limit for selling CBD products. The passage of the Farm Bill in 2018 made it legal in the US to sell hemp and hemp-derived products. Still, there are certain restrictions, and also state-by-state.
Many people find CBD to help with (although not scientifically proven):
Anxiety & depression relief
Easing or reducing migraines
Treat or alleviate certain skin conditions
Other benefits, acting as an antioxidant, for example
There are many CBD products available, with product types like:
CBD tinctures (drops)
Edibles (chocolate infused, coffee, etc.)
Creams, skin salves (help with inflammation or arthritis)
Capsules (tablet form)
Isolates (powder form)
Vaporizers (“vaping” products)
CBD for pets (a specialized niche within the CBD niche)
Additionally, there are nasal sprays, candy, gummies, and candles that further reveal the variety of ideas within the popular CBD niche.
When advertising on any ad platform, and especially using Facebook & Google, do NOT try to circumvent the systems or go against their policies. As a matter of fact, this is a wise rule to follow overall… and certainly when targeting the CBD market.
1 – Facebook, Instagram, Google Ads (Search & Display)
Facebook and Google are two of the biggest advertising platforms today. They allow you to display your paid ads to a large customer base to boost sales and grow a successful business.
These platforms are super suspicious around cannabis and hemp-derived products. Many advertisers are facing challenges when trying to run ads on Facebook and Google. Hemp (topicals) are ok at this time, but stay on top of the advertising guidelines for Facebook and read the ad policies for Google. You can’t make any medical claims about its benefits, or that your CBD products can cure or prevent serious illnesses.
Check local state laws before selling
Source tested and high-quality CBD for your products
Label your products clearly and provide certification
Understand how CBD works and carry out in-depth research
There is a lot to consider when setting up a CBD business and advertising, but thankfully…
We have found successful ways to overcome these restrictions. You can be creative too and find unique ways to advertise on these programs without violating ad platform policies.
Here’s a shortlist of great ways to advertise on Facebook & Google (search) while staying compliant.
(We’re using an example on topic “pain relief”, but you can (and should) try multiple wellness/health angles):
Run multiple ads for topicals – like “hemp” (not CBD). Mention things like “try our new survey.” And for the pain relief angle – present a special offer/coupon that can “soothe your discomfort.”
Send clicks to website content with an authoritative voice around “pain relief.” Capture their email and send educational materials, information, blending in offers as appropriate. You should be building your email list at all times, naturally.
Run ads to a survey page (https://www.research.net/) – with a health/wellness focus. Implement logic to direct offers (discount codes they can use) based on their answers. The resulting page provides a button/link to your website and shopping cart. Keep it closely tied to “hemp-derived” wellness products (capsules, gummies, tinctures, pain cream, pet joint support, etc.) *See example of survey questions below.
Capture their email for your email list (remember: no spam, build your brand, and become a trusted authority). You can now create offers that are directly tied to your CBD products from email broadcasts.
For a wellness/pain relief survey, here are questions you might ask:
During the past two weeks, how often have you had sleeping problems, or not waking up refreshed? (yes-often, yes-but not often, not bothered by it, I sleep great)
In a typical week, how often do you feel anxious or stressed at work/home? (always, most of the time, about half the time, once in a while, never)
How much would it increase the quality of your life if you slept better and/or had less stress? (a great deal, a lot, moderately, a little, none at all)
For Facebook, create a business page as usual. Keep content minimal and within guidelines. It’s for advertising only. You are not using this page to grow organically.
Use retargeting strategies with AI-driven ad platforms like Adroll.com (yes, you can run CBD offers directly, but your site must be pre-approved and on a case-by-case basis)
Remember to track the statistics and measure against your KPI’s. Tag all links so they can be easily tracked and reported on inside your analytics. Continue testing and tweaking.
Additional and useful CBD marketing ideas for scaling:
Provide e-guides as friendly bribes to capture emails (no spamming).
Consider programmatic advertising on 3rd party platforms, like Vana and Fieldtest.
Influencer marketing opportunities: reach out to influencers that are related to your products and offer them a starting package.
Podcasting is more popular than ever. Review podcasts for your market and reach out to the owners with an opportunity for links and shout-outs.
These tactics work well at the time of writing. We use several other strategies that are built on a long-term, growth & brand building focus. (See below for links to sign up)
Stay updated with your national & local CBD laws and avoid doing business in states where cannabis is still illegal. If you are selling CBD products locally via a dispensary, make sure to follow guidelines and watch for any changes in your market.
TIP: To get more quality traffic for your dispensary and cannabis operations, all while staying compliant, visit The SM Services.
You must be sure not to include banned terms like “cannabis,” “CBD,” or other related keywords in your landing page and ad copy. Don’t use emojis with “bee” in words (c-bee-d) either!
2 – Third-Party Ads
Third-party ads can be a great way to grow your business online. That’s even more true if you’re going to focus your marketing on native advertising.
Native ads are a type of online ads that match the appearance, function, and form of the content on the page. This kind of advertising doesn’t interrupt the user experience. So, that makes viewers more likely to notice your message and interact with it.
Unfortunately, there are still some ad networks that do not accept CBD/Hemp related products.
Your options here are limitless.
Many third-party ad programs are aware of the benefits of CBD-derived products and allow their advertisement.
You can reach millions of users on different websites and grow awareness around your brand. Better yet, you’ll have fewer regulations and restrictions to deal with.
3 – SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is a strategy based on creating content and optimizing it via keywords and links to rank high on Google’s first page. When people search on Google for related terms such as “CBD” or “cannabidiol,” your site can appear at the top.
These users will then visit your pages and get their questions answered, which helps promote your brand as a leading authority in the industry.
You can then convert those visitors into loyal clients via smart sales funnels and e-commerce shopping systems like:
Another way to go about this is to focus on smaller markets with local SEO. You’ll target local consumers where cannabis-related products are legal and can be purchased. Include local ranking signals for Google to show up high in the local map pack.
4 – Email Marketing
Email marketing is a winning marketing strategy for CBD companies for one reason:
It gives them full autonomy.
Building a list of email subscribers allows you to reach out to your audience whenever you want. You can keep them updated with your latest brand announcements and products for no cost.
The restrictions this time are enforced by your subscribers. Email marketing is a pure value-first marketing strategy, and your prospects can smell when they’re being used.
You have to familiarize your prospects with your brand by sharing helpful content. And you must prove your expertise if you want to keep your audience interested in your offers.
Wrapping It Up
Most advertising platforms are still testing the waters when it comes to CBD and hemp. But, there are lots of ways you can bring attention to your products without violating any policies.
Looking for an efficient strategy to grow your CBD business faster?
Chaosmap offers professional CBD and hemp-products website development, advertising & marketing services. We provide expert advice and consulting on how to turn your company into a profitable business, including scaling an existing, proven business.
Competitive research is the first step to growing your business with paid ads. It allows you to learn new ways to serve your target audience and avoid your competitors’ mistakes. And it helps you identify the gaps in your marketing strategies.
SEMrush is one of the best options when it comes to competitor research for your paid advertising. It offers a wide variety of features and tools to guide you through each step of the process.
In this post, we’ll share with you the top three tools on SEMrush and how to use them to run your paid ads.
Let’s get started.
1 – Domain Overview
This tool is crucial for competitive research due to the importance of the data it provides. If you use it right, you’ll save yourself thousands of dollars in paid ads over the years.
Domain Overview gives you detailed reports of your competitors’ sites and online presence. It allows you to check their organic and paid traffic, learn more about their paid ads strategies, and analyze their backlink profiles.
All you have to do is enter a competitor’s domain and let the tool do its magic.
All metrics are split into smaller sections to ease the process for you. And each section offers reports that go into a lot more detail to help you gain valuable insights.
But here’s the best part:
The data is presented on a beginner-friendly dashboard. The user interface makes it easy for anyone to understand the metrics and run comparisons.
2 – Advertising Research
Running a successful ad campaign requires a lot of trial and error. And that can exhaust your budget quickly.
SEMrush has developed great tools to help you overcome that, and save you time as well.
Advertising Research is a set of tools that allows you to run a full analysis of your biggest paid search competitors and generate complete reports.
Each report helps attain in-depth knowledge about your competitors and the techniques they use. You’ll gain access to their best keywords and bids, live ads, advertising strategy, and a lot more.
Other great features in this tool are “Positions” and “Position changes,” which allows you to monitor how your competition is behaving.
You can see position changes in your competitors’ ads in the SERPs. That way, you’ll know what changes they’re making on their PPC strategies.
You’ll discover new competitors you never knew existed. And you’ll get access to data surrounding their highest performing ads. You can also monitor their landing pages and ad copies to see which versions are working best to model in your campaigns.
3 – Ad Builder
Writing an ad copy that works can be time-consuming and daunting for many advertisers. It takes a lot of experience and testing to get to the perfect version.
What if we told you could use your competitors’ highest performing copies and model from them as your own?
Generating quality website traffic is a perennial problem for businesses.
Only 5.7 percent of web pages rank within the top 10 on Google results within a year of being published, Ahrefs research has found. Nearly one in 10 pages get fewer than 10 visits per month. Over nine in 10 get no traffic at all.
If your site isn’t getting enough traffic, there are a few common reasons why you may not be attracting more visitors. Here are three reasons why your site may look like a ghost town, along with some tips on what you can do about it.
1 – Lack of Blog Content
If you’re not getting enough traffic, you’re probably not posting enough blog content. Blogging is the most effective way to generate traffic, HubSpot research has shown.
Companies that post four or more blog posts a month start to see significantly higher traffic than companies that post three or fewer blogs per month. Companies that post 16 or more blog posts a month enjoy traffic 3.5 times higher than those that post four or fewer times a month.
For B2B companies, posting 11 or more blogs a month generates three times more leads than posting once, while for B2C companies, posting 11 times a month generates four times more leads than posting four to five times.
As these numbers indicate, publishing more quality blog content should be a primary strategy for increasing your traffic. Use keyword research to identify which topics are drawing traffic from search engines, and incorporate these topics and keywords into your blog titles and posts.
Create a blog publication schedule to help ensure that you’re posting enough content on a regular basis. Use content management platforms to automate the process of sharing your blog content on social media when it gets published.
Using a tool such as FlashMarks, create a digital-friendly logo to distribute along with content on your site, on search engines, and on social media, so that your brand maintains a consistent look across all platforms. Choose a unique company logo design so readers can recognize your brand immediately.
2 – High Bounce Rates
Another reason you may not be getting enough traffic is that visitors who arrive at your page are leaving right away.
The average website has a bounce rate of 58.18 percent, meaning that over half of visitors leave immediately after viewing only one page, Google Analytics data reviewed by Brafton shows. The average visitor only sticks around for 2 minutes and 17 seconds. For blogs, nearly eight out of 10 visitors leave after viewing only one page.
High bounce rates can be caused by a number of factors, including mis-targeted marketing, technical difficulties loading your page, irrelevant content, and navigational issues. Make sure that your blog content is targeted toward your intended audience so that you’re not attracting traffic from visitors who aren’t likely customers.
Check your site to make sure it loads in three seconds or less on mobile devices so that potential visitors aren’t getting frustrated by slow loading time.
Use a navigational structure that makes it easy for visitors to find other relevant content once they land on a page, and include visible internal links to related and suggested content to encourage visitors to stick around.
3 – Not Enough Backlinks
Another major reason most sites don’t get enough traffic is that they haven’t built enough backlinks to drive traffic and boost their search engine rankings. Backlinks are one of the biggest factors that determine your content’s search engine ranking, but most sites don’t pursue an effective backlinking strategy. Over half of pages have no links pointing toward them, Ahrefs has found.
Consistently creating quality blog content will help you build backlinks.
To support this strategy, SEO authority Moz recommends creating pieces that incorporate useful information, newsworthy facts, or humor in order to encourage your social followers and email subscribers to share your content. Post links to your blog content on social media in order to promote sharing and backlinking. In addition, you can offer your best customers and business associates partnership badges, which are graphic icons that link back to your site.
Lack of blog content, high bounce rates, and insufficient backlinks are three major reasons sites don’t get enough traffic. By taking steps to avoid these mistakes, you can increase your site’s traffic, improving your ability to attract customers and generate business.
BONUS TRAFFIC STRATEGY:
Consider testing content strategies with paid advertising (Facebook Ads, Google Ads) and collect important metrics and stats to determine (in advance) how well a content piece works. This strategy often proves worthwhile, and it will save you time and money when done right!
This year we saw an increased battle of the social networks, fighting for attention and engagement. That’s not going to stop in 2013.
However, one of the players, while not known for their social platform, are heavily vested in terms of dollars, research, data, people and time – and with a corporate mandate to make it the “go-to” social network. We are talking about Google. (Note: Facebook is the one to beat, but many think it will never happen.)
Before we continue, let’s make this clear: “Google is a search engine – first and foremost. Facebook is a social network, and is not a search engine (yet)”. This is important, because users behave differently in the two environments. The outcomes are not typically the same either. Business owners wanting more quality leads can attest to that. Looking at your friends BBQ pictures from last weekend, is much different than actively searching for items for a BBQ you want to purchase, for example.
To combat this idea of Google “just” being a search engine, they have introduced the Google Authorship Program, where authors can be linked to their Google+ Profile.
Furthermore, social signals are being used as ranking factors now, and the Author Rank (AR) algorithm is now live and well. In fact, if you are focusing only on Page Rank, you were off from the beginning. Focus on AR instead for 2013, and you’ll see a faster and bigger impact for clicks and branding opportunities.
The AR ranking factors are shown below:
As with the over 200+ factors that go into the Google Algorithm, Author Rank has its set of variables:
Google+ Engagement Levels
Authority of publishing sites
+1s /shares per post
# of circlers (friends that find your content compelling)
Outside authority indicators
Comments per post
Relative authority on Non-Google social networks (“the others”)
The basics of search is changing to include powerful indicators from the Google+ social network. While some may feel this is self-serving (to Google), it’s expected. How can we drive more “stickiness” to our own Google Search Products, using Google+ and social interaction? (asked Google Execs).
While the above points are somewhat technical in nature, you really do not need to worry too much about them. Just consider implementing the Authorship (rel=author/rel=me) features for right now (below).
“We hope to use [author] information and any information as a ranking signal at Google. So in this case, we want to get information on credibility of authors from all kinds of sources and eventually use that in ranking.” – Google
You have probably seen the profile pictures in search results by now (screenshot below). Once a search query has been entered, a picture is shown next to the Google search engine results. This is in essence the picture from your Google+ profile. The entire listing in results can be optimized too. Think of this as the expanded, new & improved “snippet” display. Click-through rates will be improved if you do this right. It’s an opportunity for you to “advertise” your business using factors YOU control, most of the time.
So, you should follow 4 simple steps to get yours displayed too (it’s fairly quick, and goes live within days):