5 things you probably aren’t looking at but should

Being able to report conversions for any paid media campaign is gold. But conversions don’t tell the whole story. Below are five additional metrics to review the overall performance of your campaign and give insight into possible changes that could help improve the success of your campaign. These metrics are useful even if you have a strong number of conversions as there can always be room for improvement.

Average Session Duration

Average Session Duration is measured in Google Analytics by the total duration of all sessions (in seconds) divided by the number of sessions. While there are caveats in how this is measured, this is a great metric to look at to understand what users are doing once they get to your website. Are they taking their time to engage with your site or do they leave immediately? Spending a lot of time on your website could indicate they are gathering information, but are not ready to convert. This is when a retargeting campaign would come in handy. Shorter site visits could indicate the landing page or the whole website was not what they were expecting to find after clicking on the ad.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate indicates the rate at which users are only viewing a single page per session. Bounce rate is calculated by single-page sessions divided by all sessions. A high bounce rate when you have a single-page website is to be expected, as users will only be able to visit a single page. However, if you have a high bounce rate on a site that has multiple pages or on a landing page that is meant to drive users to another page, this indicates users are not following the expected flow.

Heat mapping

One of the most fun tools you can add to your website is heat mapping. In their most basic functions, heat maps can show where users are clicking or scrolling. Seeing how users engage with your webpage is key to knowing if the page layout is conducive to the conversion you are aiming for. Are users clicking the right buttons to get information? Do they scroll “below the fold” to find the form you want them to fill out?

Organic & Direct Traffic

Organic traffic is users that get to your website through a search engine, but not through a paid ad on the search engine.   Direct traffic consists of users that typed in your website’s address, leading them directly to your site. In a tale as old as time, you’ll hear marketers say it’s impossible to draw a direct line from high reach mediums like TV, radio and billboards to conversions. They aren’t wrong, but that doesn’t mean you can’t measure the overall effect your high reach mediums have against your website traffic and even against the overall conversions you’re seeing across the board. Many times you can see a spike in organic or direct traffic when you overlay the impressions you garnered through high-reach mediums. If you are not seeing that spike, we recommend reevaluating your targeting and messaging. Are you targeting the right audience?  Does your messaging clearly state the business name or website you want them to land on?

Assisted Conversions

Google Analytics states, “If the channel appears anywhere – except as the final interaction – on a conversion path it is considered an assist for that conversion.” Assisted Conversions are great for showing you how different mediums are working together. For example, a user may initially come to your website via display ad, but not convert. If later they come back through a paid search ad, you’ll be able to see that they are a return visitor. Their conversion will be attributed to paid search, even though they initially interacted with your website by way of the digital display campaign. In this situation, you wouldn’t be wrong to consider cutting digital display spend if you were only looking at last-click attribution, which is the default in Google Analytics. By reporting on Assisted Conversions, you can make more informed and strategic decisions about your paid media campaigns.

Whether you want to increase overall conversions or be more efficient with paid media spending, diving deeper in the metrics can help you turn up the volume and improve your campaign performance. Not sure what to do with the information you find when reviewing these metrics? Drop us a line, we’d love to help you. 

Vote for TJA for Ranking Arizona 2021!

Voting is now open for AZ Big Media’s Ranking Arizona 2021 and we need your help! Follow the simple steps below to help TJA rank #1 again this year. You may vote once per hour through July 31 at 11:59pm.

How to Vote:
1. Visit the Ranking Arizona website
2. Register with your email address and create a password OR use your login information from last year
3. Vote for TJA in the following categories by clicking the VOTE button:

  • Advertising and Marketing
    • Advertising Agencies
    • Best Workplace Culture
    • Graphic Design Firms
    • Internet Marketing
    • Public Relations Firms
    • SEO/Social Media Marketing
  • Business Services
    • Best Place to Work
    • Event Planning
    • Women-Owned Businesses

Thank you for your support!

5 things you have to do before shooting a brand video to make it a success.

Everything that comes before “Lights, camera, action!”

Creating a brand video is the ultimate creative project. Storytelling harmonizes with videography to become a money-making, movie-quality video the client gets to splash across their website, paid media and social media platforms. However, there’s more to creating a film than storyboarding and day-of shoots; myriad decisions that involve other departments are critical to the final result. In this blog, we’re highlighting four considerations that go into making our award-winning brand videos. Read on to get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on behind the scenes.

How media buying influences videography. 

One of the biggest influences on a brand video comes from the media department. How will the video be used? Has ad space been bought that comes with sizing and timing constraints? Taking the endgame usage into consideration at the very beginning will eliminate many challenges during the editing phase. If you know you need a fifteen-second, vertical video for promoted stories on Instagram, writing that into the storyboard will align the creative process with the practical application. 

Add this to your to-do list:
Start a “future project” section part of your storyboard that lists all the applications for this video. Where will it be posted? How long will it be? What are the specs for social media platforms where it’ll go up? Usage can determine content, so having a written-out understanding can constructively guide creative brainstorming. 

KPIs and client objectives.

Keeping the measurable goals in mind is not a very sexy part of the creative process, but it’s essential. It actually makes telling your story easier by supplying queues on what to include and what to leave out. Understand upfront how the value of this brand video will be determined. Knowing what will be considered a success from the client’s perspective will prevent difficult conversations down the road. Better to course-correct toward the beginning than realize at the very end that your goals and the client’s objectives are entirely estranged.

Add this to your to-do list:
Before any work is done on concepting the video, agree upon three measurable KPIs and write them at the top of any documents relating to the shoot. Get a written statement from the client stating what they will consider a success and keep that as a North Star throughout the duration of the project.

How casting and data go hand in hand.

Did you know Google Analytics can help you narrow in on whom you should cast in your video? Here at TJA, we do significant research on target audiences to understand who they are and what they want. Casting decisions should take demographic and psychographic data pulled from reliable sources into consideration. Choose actors whom your audience can empathize with or aspire to be. 

Add this to your to-do list:
Have your team source information about your audience from your first-party platforms, like Facebook Audience Insights and Google Analytics. Combine that with third-party industry data to make data-backed casting decisions. 

Location, location, location. 

You’ve seen pictures online; maybe you spent some time on the Google Street View scoping out the area. Now it’s time to visit the locations IRL. It’s critical that you get face-to-face with your shooting spots. Assuming that the space will work without walking through it is like trusting a kindergartener with your dental work. Get a grasp on the variables, so that they don’t end up undermining the whole operation. 

Add this to your to-do list:
Walk through all of your pre-planned shots in the space so that you can check how angles, lighting and framing are going to turn out. Nine times out of ten, you’ll discover there’s a shot that isn’t quite as feasible as you thought. Do this far enough in advance so you can make edits to the shot list without throwing everything into chaos. 

So where does creativity come in?

Even with all these external considerations, the core of filming a brand video is to tell a story. The narrative thread will be the heart and soul for creative efforts. Media, target audience data and location provide the structure to build the story around. Additionally, once shooting begins, there will inevitably be improvisation. You’ll need to get creative with shots when timing gets tight, or when things on set don’t go to plan. Stay loose and go with the flow; it’s better to think on your feet than to force a shot just for the sake of the storyboard. Keep standards of quality high and the finished product in mind: an unexpected, dramatic sunset can be the money shot that pulls the whole video together. 

Add this to your to-do list:
During the lead up, think hypothetically about multiple ways you can achieve the same effect if an obstacle crops up. How will you handle talent running late? Adverse weather? Set malfunctions? Lost props? By employing problem-solving before you even reach the set, your mind will be primed to handle any situation you find yourself in. 

Five things my TJA internship taught me about being an agency pro

I’m going to take a wild guess and say that if you are reading this blog post, you aren’t planning on retiring any time soon. Chances are, you are a young professional looking to get a leg up on the competition by reading some quality insider content from those in the know.

That’s where I come in: I’m a college senior finishing his first agency internship at TJA. It’s been a great leap into the big leagues, and I can say that I learned quite a bit about what it means to be a bona fide agency professional. Here are my top five takeaways: 

  1. Work without borders

    There is a time and a place for silos. Bountiful fall grain harvest? Get a silo. Making some beer? Consider a silo. However, in the world of advertising, nothing happens in a vacuum. If you want to put out quick, quality work, it is important to familiarize yourself with every step of the process. My official title is Media Intern, but I made it my goal to learn and work with each department and ended up learning a heck of a lot more than I would have otherwise. A puzzle is always easier to put together when you can see the whole picture on the box.

  2. Fail gracefully, recover tactfully

    Everyone always says “Oh don’t worry about failure, it’s a part of learning!” which is true; it’s good advice. However, it doesn’t do you much good in the moment when your clients and superiors start asking you why your work was subpar or why you missed an important deadline. Anyone can mess up, but what separates amateur hour from the big leagues is how you recover. Apologize sincerely, correct quickly and move on. Don’t fight it, fix it.

  3. Embrace the things you’re bad at 

    I spent the first two years of my marketing major thinking that I could get by solely on creative prowess and intuition like some 18-year-old Don Draper. I was afraid of data and was generally clueless as to how one uses it meaningfully. It wasn’t until I had to work with survey data for a marketing research class that I realized my disdain stemmed purely from a lack of understanding and fear of messing up. With that revelation, I dove in headfirst and haven’t looked back. Now, I work with data on a daily basis and have found that I actually enjoy using it to tell stories quite a bit. You can’t learn to swim if you don’t get in the water.

  4. Find your calm 

    At a recent quarterly meeting, lifestyle coach John Beck of Leadership Embodiment, gave us his advice for finding our calm in the face of stress. His technique was as easy as inhaling while sitting up straight, exhaling while relaxing the chest and thinking of something that makes you smile. It is simple, yet solid advice. After a few attempts at this myself, I started to realize just how often we tend to rush into a problem without fully thinking it through. Never underestimate the value of facing a situation with a level head.

  5. Follow through

    Life moves fast in an agency and it’s often easy to lose track of deadlines or outright forget them all together in the face of larger projects. Be the person who does what they say they will do, when they say they will do it, even if it means writing down every deadline or staying late to finish a project, there is great value in being a person that others can depend on. After all, a person is only as good as their word.

So there you have it

Above all, make sure you enjoy what you do. If you are having a good time, the rest is sure to follow. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and never stop learning. Be the kind of professional that you would enjoy working with.



Written by: Harrison

So you installed Google Analytics. Now what?

Five easy(-ish) things to do to get better, useable data from Google Analytics.

It is not enough to simply put Google Analytics on your website and check that box saying you are tracking how users are interacting with the site. You have to think about why your site exists: are you a restaurant and want people to view your menu and make reservations, or are you an e-commerce site and want people to make a purchase? Or maybe you run an educational site and want users to use it for information—like reading blogs and watching videos. Keeping the overall goal of your website in mind helps you customize Google Analytics to give you the information that will help you make better business decisions. Here are five metrics you should pay attention to when tracking user behavior on your site.


Views give you the ability to start segmenting out your data. Although Google will allow you to have up to 50 different views, here at TJA we have four standard views that we set up for all new accounts:

  1. All Website Data + Filters – Think of this as your official consumer view. This view would exclude any internal traffic (like, for example, your office IP address), have any goals you wish to track (more about those below) and any filters (like making all page paths lowercase).
  2. Internal Website Data – Your employees (or agency) will 100% interact differently with your site then your target audience, so make a view that measures only their traffic. This view will help immensely when checking how pages are registering in GA.
  3. Testing – This view exists to play with or test any filters or goals. You would never report on numbers in this view. Since this view is for testing, it is not necessary to set up any initial filters to exclude different user segments.
  4. All Website Data – This is the default view that is created when first setting up your account. There are NO filters on this view (duh!).


Within Google Analytics you can set up four different types of goals to make sure users are getting the intended value out of your website.

  1. Destination: a specific page/location is reached. Example: thank you page for registration.
  2. Duration: users stay on the site for a specific length of time.. For example, sessions that last longer than 10 minutes
  3. Pages/Visits: a user views a specific number of pages per session. Example: your website exists to be a resource tool, so you might want to track if users are visiting at least three pages as a way to gauge the usefulness of your content.
  4. Event: in Google Analytics you can set up event tracking for things that do not necessarily require a new webpage to load, things like start and pause on a video, or download on a white paper. Once you set these up as events, you can add them to goal tracking.

Things to know about goals:

  1. You can have a max of 20 goals per view. Have more than 20 goals? Then you would need to set up an additional view (with the same filters) to track the additional goals.
  2. Goals cannot be deleted. You can turn them off so that they stop recording, but once they are set up, they have one of 20 seats for life.
  3. Goals will only work AFTER you set them up; they are not retroactive.

Turn on demo tracking

Within Google Analytics you can turn on a feature to track the gender and ages of your website visitors. In order to do this, you must have the proper privacy disclaimer in place on your website. Understanding how men or women, or people that fall within different age cells interact with your website can be a gold mine! It can help influence decisions like how to utilize media dollars to get more customers.

Learn more about turning this feature on here.


Do you have post-its all over your desk f of scribbled reminders? Annotations are like post-its to Google Analytics. Get a pick-up on a press release? Annotate it. Start a paid media campaign? Annotate it. Make major website changes? You guessed it, annotate it.  

One of the fun features with annotations is the ability to make it private or shared, meaning your annotation can exist solely under your login or you can share it with anyone else who has access to the account.

Custom Alerts

So you don’t have time to be in GA every day? Well, this is the tool for you: within Google Analytics you can set up custom alerts so if your traffic suddenly spikes (or dips) you’ll get an email.

Because the things that keep you up at night will change, Custom Alerts can be edited or even deleted when they are no longer serving their purpose.

Click here for a how-to on creating and managing custom alerts.

And there you have it: five steps that will net you actionable data from your website. Getting Google Analytics is an important first step, but getting it set up correctly can be game-changing! If you understand the necessity of a proper Google Analytics strategy but aren’t quite sure where to start, let’s have a conversation. We can help you make the most of your data.

Making You Part of the Tube

Did you know YouTube is the second most popular search engine, and third most visited site after Google and Facebook? Have you thought about how you can use those figures to improve your advertising?

As media channels continue to evolve, it can be hard to identify the most effective environment to show off what your brand is doing and connect with customers. The greatest video of all time may only be seen by a few hundred people if it’s relegated to a brand’s website and social feed. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Putting a paid media strategy behind your video is one of the best ways to amplify reach and increase brand awareness[/inlinetweet]. Now the question is, how?

To get you started, I’ve boiled down the most effective ways to leverage YouTube’s environment:

1. Provide value to the “how-to” searchers
Searches related to “how to” on Youtube are growing 70% year over year, with more than 100M hours of how-to content watched in North America so far this year.

If your brand has expertise in a specific vertical, YouTube is the perfect place to showcase content that assists prospective customers in their educational pursuits. This type of video builds a perception of reliability and goodwill for your organization.

If your brand possesses valuable content to provide this type of support, a good place to start is Google Trends or Keyword Tool. These platforms will help you identify what people are interested in learning and opportunities to connect with them via category or search terms.

2. Leverage interest of popular shows and music
Watch time of TV channels on YouTube grew 50% in 2017. During prime-time hours of an average day in the U.S., more 18–49 year olds visit YouTube than any TV network on mobile alone.

On average, there are 1,000,000,000 video views per day, and 95% of the most-watched videos are music videos.

Pop culture has a strong hold on Millenials and the Gen Z population, and YouTube is where they spend their time ingesting it. Advertising on YouTube gives you the ability to target certain channels, topics or interests. If reach and frequency are what you are looking for, YouTube provides it at scale.

3. Gain visibility during viral and trending moments

Kiki, do you love me? Do those lyrics ring a bell? If you missed the #InMyFeelingsChallenge craze, let me fill you in. Aside from being the first album to reach more than a billion streams in a week, Drake’s Scorpion encouraged hundreds of people to participate in a shareable dance all over the world. Viral trends tend to last a few weeks at most, but Drake’s YouTube video has racked up more than 57 million views since its release on August 2, 2018.

By harnessing the buzz of platforms that see huge spikes in user participation (like YouTube), your placements can achieve a high frequency during targeted periods. Can you imagine how your brand would take advantage of those 57 million eyeballs over the past eight days?

If you’re not sold by now, I’ll leave you with a few final words that speak to my media buyer, results-driven heart:

Viewers who complete TrueView ads—watched to completion or at least 30 seconds—were 23 times more likely to visit or subscribe to a brand channel, watch more by that brand or share the brand video.

Viewers who are exposed to TrueView ads but who don’t watch to completion are still 10 times more likely to take one of those actions.

When brands use TrueView, they see views of previously existing content increase by up to 500% after posting new videos.

And who doesn’t want all that?

Is Short Actually Sweet?

A year or two ago, my Grandma paused during a mundane story and an extremely serious look washed over her face. She leaned in closely and whispered, “Nikki, I need to share something I’ve never told anyone…”

Before I share too much, I want to touch on a key concept. I once heard attention span defined as less of a “span,” and more of a muscle. In other words, our attention is able to grow if we’re left wanting more and we need to flex it. How’s your attention muscle right now? Generally, people want to know more if they feel a good story is being told. When we are left with tension or a curiosity gap, the need to figure it out will pull at us.

As a media buyer, I like to play with this concept when considering short-tail vs. long-tail videos and deciding which execution will prove most effective. Will this particular message be more effective with more or less detail? Is one better than the other? If we look back at how digital media has adapted to the perception of attention spans, the short-form evolution is obvious. From 30-second commercial spots that were introduced in the 1980s to 1-second boomerang videos currently popular on social platforms, it’s apparent digital preferences are trending towards short-form content. Let’s take a look at the timeline:


Real Eyes weighs in as part of a recent Digiday article, The Need For Short-Form Content: “The six-second ad is the answer to consumer preference for more proportionate advertising – a 30-second advert before a 15-second video clip can be seen as annoyance for viewers.” Yet we recently saw Instagram introduce a new long-form video hub, IGTV, that lets brands and users with more than 10,000 followers post videos up to an hour long.

We find a common denominator in the value for long-form and short-form when we factor in user-curiosity and emotional pull. Sprout Video says, “Everyone loves a good story. Long-form video presents unique opportunities to build a compelling story arc. You don’t have to rush the details.” REI does an excellent job of this with their long-form (37-minute) video sharing a captivating story while highlighting the subject’s REI boots.

My thoughts? Whether accepting the creative challenge of squeezing a curiosity-spiking concept into a six-second teaser, or thoughtfully crafting an emotional 30-minute story, both options are only viable if presented to the right person in the right environment. Ultimately, any length of video can captivate a person seeking to close their curiosity gap if we give them a compelling reason to come and ingest the content.

And no, I didn’t forget about my story at the start of this post. But my grandma probably wouldn’t like it if I spilled her secret to the whole of the internet. All I can tell you is that it was well worth my attention.

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