Track Our Startup: Dashboard Release Update + Awesome Mention!

We were talking about breaking up the next dashboard release we’ve been trying to push out into pieces so the parts that are ready can get to you and we can still keep working on the parts that aren’t. Unfortunately that actually becomes more work to re-test everything all over again so we’re staying the course! In the meantime we might be able to push a few features that were not part of this release to you…stay tuned.

Dasheroo dashboard of a spike in traffic

Our Dasheroo dashboard of the spike in traffic we got from Neil Patel’s blog mention!

Thanks to Neil Patel we got a huge spike in traffic from his article 7 Simple On-site Changes That’ll Increase Your Social MediaTraffic. And this is a great example of exactly what he’s talking about in his article, tracking!

If you don’t know who Neil is, crawl out from under the marketing rock from which you’ve been hanging and check him out. He’s got an amazing blog, he’s an awesome marketing consultant who founded amazing companies like Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics and he can help you get to the top of the rock with your keywords. Thanks for the shoutout Neil!

Speaking of SEO we’ve been pretty hard at work writing content for the keywords we want to be known for and it’s been working. We’ve been climbing for some pretty highly trafficked keywords like Google Dashboard and Twitter Analytics to name a few.

We’re reading for our monthly board meeting this week, but it’s kinda easy for us…why? Cuz we keep all of our continuously updated KPIs in … wait for it … A DASHBOARD!

Track Our Startup: Neil Patel Speaks Dashboards + SME Ink!

Team Dasheroo is heading off to ICON16, Infusionsoft’s annual event in Phoenix. We’re pretty excited to see all of the great Infusionsoft customers and all of the amazing sessions that are going to be held. No doubt there will be a lot of folks who need dashboards for all of those metrics. If you are going to be there let us know!Neil Patel - SEO Pro

We’re teeing up our next round of premium apps, HubSpot is on the way!

We Got Some Press!

Thank you to Neil Patel for your article 75 Content Marketing Tools You Can’t Live Without AND Engage Like The Pros: 27 Social Media Tools You Ought to Use. Holy moly we got some great traffic to our site and some great signups. We are loving you right now Neil. Neil is just an amazing quality individual that WILL help you with your SEO and marketing in general. Check him out.

Janine wrote a great article for her Inc.com column 5 Phrases Great Leaders Never Say and I was lucky enough to be published in Social Media Examiner How to Prospect Using Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. It’s got about 3,500 shares already so it’s doing pretty well IMHO.

We are knee-deep in talking to investors and strategic partners, discussing the importance of business dashboards, more on that as it develops. It ain’t easy out there right now for a startup but we’re sure trying! I’m getting back to it now.

Track Our Startup: Tracking Internal KPIs + Customer Success

What are we working on? What aren’t we working on is more like it! As for product features we’ve had a bunch of stuff in the hopper. If you recall just a few:

  • Competitor Dashboards – we’re very close with these, look for them in a week or so!
  • Google Campaigns and Goals
  • Hashtag tools for Instagram Analytics
  • Exporting a data dashboard to a PDF so you can send reports, we’ve seen this work on our test servers and it’s very, very cool.

Features Further Down the Road…

  • Always more integrations with more apps
  • Speaking of more integrations, we’ll be helping get outside developers developing dashboards of their own with our internal tools
  • Ability to have an ADMIN user manage multiple users for agencies and larger teams
  • The ability for you to build your own custom insights for your data dashboard!

Customer Success

Alf, our VP of Customer Success was tasked with documenting our user’s journey and all of the touch points we already do as well as all of the ones we need to add and change. When it’s in a nifty data visualization it’s so much more clear where there are opportunities and improvements to be made. He’ll be working closely with Jenny to refine it and start acting on all of the things to make the customer experience the best it can be.

Bring on the Traffic!

Traffic was a bit flat this week due to just 2 blogs and referral traffic down. It’s what you get when you don’t write content for two week. THAT won’t happen again :-).

Speaking of traffic, we’ve been working on a mammoth SEO project. What we do know here is that SEO is a journey, not a destination, that’s for sure. And since we have to deliver reporting on KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for you, we need to do if for us too and traffic driven by SEO is a huge KPI for us to keep a close eye on. Thanks to SEMrush and Moz we’ll start to work on getting those search results and traffic to spike.

Mimi will be attending Constant Contact’s OneCon next week, it’s where Constant Contact Solution Providers and Formula 1 Austin TXAuthorized Local Experts from all over the world are invited to network and learn from each other, Constant Contact executives, and small business experts. Seems like a cool networking thang.

What was I thinking? The two days I planned for a company offsite in Austin (where half of our amazing team resides) is the day after Formula 1, Austin weekend! Way to go, John!

Ok, more next week. Don’t forget to watch out for this week’s Startup Lessons Learned. Should be “Don’t book a meeting in Austin the day after F1” LOL.

Startup Lessons Learned: Your Weekly Ops Meeting

Doug Savage business cartoonI’m fortunate, Dasheroo has an awesome team. From the 5 co-founders to the balance of our 12-person squad. For one, we have great chemistry and for the most part have all worked with each other at some point in our careers, so there is a ton of familiarity and respect among us all. Great communication is also key. As a distributed team, we take are heavy users of tools like Slack, Basecamp & Zoom. We have daily stand-ups where we hold a scrum-style ‘activities & blockers’ meeting, 1:1s and each Monday the 5 of us co-founders hold a weekly operations meeting. For this week’s startup lessons I’m focusing on the weekly Ops meeting.

Before we launched, a lot of our Ops meeting focus was around product and development deliverables.

But during a recent 1:1 with Josh, he brought up just this fact: “We all know each other, trust each other, and like each other, but are we really digging into the KPIs and discussing what we need to do to move the business forward?” The answer was…No.

I think we let that ‘familiarity’ aspect of the chemistry between the 5 of us get the best of us. Our ops meetings slowly turned into a ‘how’d the weekend go?’ and took on more of something I hate: an unproductive ‘status meeting’ where we updated a few top line goals and then passed the baton to the next co-founder. Ugh!

Let me remind you – one of the main reasons Dasheroo exists is because, during a stint at another company, I turned one of those ‘status meetings’ into what I renamed the Triple S (Sell Some S*^t!). And what that meant was that everyone in the meeting reported on their main KPIs, how each person’s activities affected the others and overall, how we could work together to make sure what we were focused on really helped drive business success.

So, the new format? KPI driven (what tool do you think we’ll use to report on those?!) with an accountability and group brainstorming perspective.

So here are the key business analytics we now focus on, and they should be obvious:

  • Website sessions and key sources
  • # signups (SU)
  • SU conversion rate
  • % SU who connected an Insight (this is an indicator of activity and engagement)
  • Conversion rate to a paid plan – We’ll expand this into a cohort analysis
  • Churn (we need to define this)
  • Revenue

The result after the first few ‘revamped’ ops meetings? Tremendous. For instance, as Janine was talking about the growth of our SEO and how our keyword targeted landing pages are helping capture mid to long tail traffic, James our VP Engineering noted that we should build a developer-focused landing page. Great! And that’s just one small win.

If this format sounds obvious, maybe you’re ahead of the game. But I challenge everyone reading to take a fresh look at your periodic (our is weekly) ops-style meeting and see if you are digging into and discussing your key performance indicators, and how you as a team can maximize your success.

Track Our Startup: New Release! Shopify + Google Analytics Ecommerce Dashboard

Dasheroo's Google Analytics Ecommerce Dashboard

Our own Google Analytics Ecommerce dashboard, get one for yourself!

We’re releasing so many features and integrations so fast we can’t even keep up! Anyhoo, it’s true, we just released Google Analytics Ecommerce and Shopify dashboards to get closer to rounding out a payments/ecommerce dashboard suite (with Stripe and PayPal dashboards already in the wild and Shopify on deck.) We really need your feedback on these integrations if you use these products, we’re always looking at making them better.Dasheroo's footwear choice for Dreamforce: Converse Chuck Taylors, orange of course.

Just 7 short days to Dreamforce (#DF15), Salesforce’s annual event here in San Francisco. If you see someone wearing these Chucks –>, chances are they could be on team Dasheroo so stop us and say hi!

Josh and I are practicing our dry run this week for our demo at 8am (early!) on September 16th, since Dreamforce is free I’m sure you’re all going to be there rooting us on, right? Please? Hello out there?

I just saw Nivi put out a note on Basecamp about a hashtag dashboard, how cool is that?? We still have competitor dashboards we’re working on and Google Campaigns and Goals are in the works. Like I said, gettin’ hard to keep up, our product and engineering teams are awesome!

Alf and Jenny have been working hard at diving into Customer Success to make sure that at every decision point a user has, the path we’re offering them to take, just makes sense. Customer experience is our #1 focus, if that doesn’t work, we won’t be set up for success.

JP and I have been working on a marketing plan for the rest of the year. With so many moving parts we have to nail down who is doing what. Janine has been busy getting some marketing help from people to help us write. This should really help with our SEO efforts.

Finally I’ve been gathering information to start talking to folks about a B-Round investment. Our amazing Series A round folks CloudApps just launched their own company with an oversubscribed round and we need to make ’em proud by going aggressively after a B round which means kicking in the growth machine.

Track Our Startup: iOS Mobile App Released + Stripe + Dreamforce!

Dasheroo's mobile app for business dashboard

Go to the Apple Store and download your free Dasheroo iPhone app now!

Releases abound here at Dasheroo! The all-new Stripe dashboard feature released and we couldn’t be happier. Our Dasheroo iOS business dashboard mobile app is finally released as well. Now you can easily view your dashboards on your iPhone. Android to come soon. Get to the Apple Store and download it free! I told you about the 6 new projects we’re working on and we’re still working those. I can’t even keep up…

Sales are starting to roll in since we launched billing a short time ago, while Mimi closed a few larger deals.

We’ve been writing like crazy. My new business.com article is out: How The Power of Conversation Can Grow Your Business. It’s a great example of how actually talking to people makes great sales. Startup Lessons Learned: Be Fluid and Pivot! is out. I talk about the importance of being able to change on a dime in any business, especially startups. Janine writes another good one for Inc.com; When To Inject “Fun” Into Your Customer Experience.

WOneCon Constant Contact partner evente’ll be exhibiting at Dreamforce in a few weeks, that’s Salesforce.com’s annual event. Josh and I are busy getting together our presentation since we’ll be demoing theatre style at the conference!

We’re going to Las Vegas for OneCon, a three day event in October where Constant Contact Solution Providers and Authorized Local Experts from all over the world are invited to network and learn from each other, Constant Contact executives, and small business experts. And since we’re an integrated partner where you can get your Constant Contact dashboard free right in your Dasheroo account.

In our never-ending attempt to gain placements in the SERPS we’ve got a new landing page for the keyword “small business dashboard”. We’re making pages for all of the keywords we want to be found for.

John at Dasheroo

Track Our Startup: Stripe Dashboards + Knee Deep in SEO

We’ve been super-crazy busy these past few weeks. Instead of releasing new features and bug fixes every two weeks we’ve been releasing EVERY WEEK! Our product and engineering groups have been so great at defining and developing the stuff you want,  that we want to get it out live ASAP. Last week we told you were were working on iOS and Android apps, and they are still on the way. We submitted our iOS app to Apple last week, so now the ball’s in their court and we’re hoping for a speedy approval. Our Android app is in heavy QA and once we deem it to be ready, that’ll go into a submission process as well.

Dasheroo PayPal dashboardsWhat did we do?

We also told you we had PayPal dashboards ready to go, we’re just waiting on team PayPal to officially “bless” our integration. As soon as they waive their magic wand you’ll be able to see all of your incoming and outgoing payments on one nifty dashboard!

What are we working on?

Dasheroo Stripe billing dashboard

We’ve got a ton of insights for your Stripe dashboards on the way!

Stripe is on the way. On the heels of our PayPal integration we thought we should also give you your very own Stripe dashboard. Stripe is what we use here at Dasheroo for our payments. So you’ll be able to see metrics in a given time period like Revenue, Most Recent Transactions, Refunds and more in one easy to understand place.

We had been working on Alerts but had to pause development for a few weeks.

Alerts will allow you to set a specific value in one of your Dasheroo insight metrics and get sent an email if your performance goes above or below that set value, whichever one you decide. So if you’re looking closely at your Google Sessions and you think it might spike because of an article you just had published you can set a value for if sessions go over 10% of what you normally see in a day. Then you’ll know it’s working! The feature is still on the backlog and we’re about to pick it up again because we think it’s pretty cool.

We’re also getting closer to the beginnings of a competitive dashboard. You’ll be able to track your social media fans and followers alongside whoever you choose as a competitor. Me? I’d stick some RSS feeds on the dashboard as well to keep an eye on what my competitors our putting out their blog. More on that as we get further along.

Working on something special for September to show at Salesforce.com’s annual event Dreamforce. Unfortunately we’re under lock and key for this one but stay tuned, it’s pretty cool.

Marketing

We’ve been working diligently on our search engine optimization so we’re found on page 1 when people are searching specific terms. Here’s what we’re doing:

1. Landing Pages: We’re in the process of creating targeted landing pages that focus on specific keywords. For instance, when we refer to “Google Sheets dashboard” we link it from the blog to our Google Sheets landing page where we talk all about the benefits of Google Sheets. The link has the keywords in it as well (https://www.dasheroo.com/google-sheets-dashboard).

2. Inbound Links: We’re working off of a spreadsheet of sites that make sense to have us on them linking back to our site. The more quality inbound links your site gets the better your rankings in the search engines.

3. Contributed Content: If you’ve noticed, I’ve been writing for business.com while Janine has been writing for Inc.com. That list of publications we contribute to is going to grow in the coming months and you’ll see some great articles on sales, marketing and overall leadership. It’s a ton of fun and Dasheroo gets links from sites that have some great domain authority.

4. Linking Within our Domain: We’re linking between articles on the blog where it makes sense, we’re linking from the blog back to those landing pages and we’re linking between pages on the same domain. Google likes this and it makes sense to drive traffic to other parts of our site.

Back to work time!

3 Must-Reads: AMAZING SEO Tips from the Experts

This week we focused our learning on search engine optimization SEO tips that can help any business grow their website traffic. We’re gonna take some of their tips and put them to work for Dasheroo!

HowScreen Shot 2015-06-28 at 12.49.48 PM to Create Viral Content That Generates 2,500 Visitors Per Day

Neil Patel is a genius when it comes to creatively getting more visitors to your site using brilliant SEO tactics. In this article you’ll get a very detailed bunch of statistics on what makes your content viral with some practical tips on how to make it go viral.

Snuggle up with a binkie it’s a long (and thought provoking!) read.

 

ShGreat article from Scoop.it on republishing contentould you re-publish your content to other blogs, Medium or LinkedIn? A data-driven answer

Guillaume Decugis, CEO of Scoopit publishes this awesome case-study of how he re-published content to different sites and what came out of it. A highly recommended read for us at Dasheroo since we re-publish some of our own content.

 

5 Unusual Tips to Improve Your SEO with Social MediaSocial Media Examiner article

This is a great article that gives you practical how-to’s on what to include in your social media marketing and what Google likes to rank for.

Happy learning!

We Just Got Religious…About Alt-Text

How to use alt-tex for images on a web page

WordPress has a spot for you to include alt-tex when you add an image to a web page…use it!

Ok, we’ll admit it, it’s the last thing we think about when we’re writing a blog post and finding the perfect image for it, the “alt-text.”

If you don’t know what alt-text is, come on out from under that rock…c’mon now, it’s bright and sunny out here!

Okedoke, alt-text is simply the text you write to describe an image you use. When Google takes its magic wand and waves it over your site to throw you up by some keyword you use, it looks at the text you have underneath the pretty pictures and says “hmmm” this text seems to say this site is about Monkeys in Zimbabwe, let’s use those keywords for this site.

Now, having your keywords “Monkeys in Zimbabwe” on your site should be important to you, but using them as image descriptions also assists Google in trying to understand what your site is about. It’s just one of the many factors Google uses with its SEO algorithms.

Added benefit? Voice synthesizers on computers for blind people will read the alt-text to them, yay! Another? Say an image isn’t displaying for some reason, and your alt-text will appear.

Remember, when you write your alt-text:

  • Keep it short – no more than 10-15 words.
  • Don’t ‘keyword stuff’, Google is too smart for that
  • If you’re in e-commerce, the alt-text should be the description of the product
  • Write for your reader, avoid file names and sizes, your readers don’t care!

So now we’re going back in time as much as we can and including alt-text on the images we’ve posted!

Social Search: Should it Be Part of Your SEO strategy?

When we posted our SEO Plan for 2015, it got us thinking. We mentioned the importance of social media in your SEO strategy, but what’s the status of that much ballyhooed phenomenon of a decade or so ago, ‘social search’? (From the Wiki: Social search is a type of web search that takes into account the Social Graph of the person initiating the search query.) Remember these?

Social search, should it be a part of your SEO strategy?

Remember these? They were slowly rolled out, but never really caught on

The point behind ‘social search’ was that folks in your social networks may be similar to you, so results they like, you may as well. Sounds good, right? But Techcrunch just posted that Social Search is dead. Is it? Well, to help arrive at an answer, we did a simple thing: we searched for ‘social search’ on Google. And here’s what we got:

Social search, should it be a part of your SEO strategy?

Here’s Google’s first page results for the query ‘social search’

Hmmm. Do you see any of those ‘+1s’? Author pictures or info? ‘Your social connection’ shared this? No siree. And it’s not just that search phrase, try it yourself. It just hasn’t caught fire, at least from a broad perspective. Why not? Well, some deals fell thru, like Google bringing in Twitter info. But also the fact that lotsa people don’t have very large networks to draw from, or simply that Google’s algorithms work just great as they are, drawing off of millions and millions of various factors.

So does that mean social media doesn’t matter to your SEO strategy? Absolutely not! Social search may be on life support, but the importance of social media in your SEO strategy is huge. You want your blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & other social media links right up top by your website. It also adds credibility to your brand in search results. Hey, we eat our own dog food, here’s our listings on a search on our brand:

Here's the search results for a query on Dasheroo using social search

Here’s the search results for a query on Dasheroo!

Bottom line, as social media pertains to your SEO Plans for 2015, continue being selective with your networks, stay very active, post frequently to your company blog. And use your chosen keyword phrases where relevant.

Oh, if you want some more information on the history of social search, here’s a great post from Wiki.