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Abishek GM (Kev)

The Significance of SEO in Web Design

The Significance of SEO in Web Design

By | seo advice for business

People go online to search for different types of information and this means that your company needs a strong online presence. Many users need to carry out searches before they make a purchase. Your business thus requires a website that will be ranked on the first page of search results. Websites represent companies and have the ability to determine whether or not users will be receptive to them.

Search Results

Having a website is important but in order for it to help your business become more profitable, it needs to be seen in search results whenever searches are carried out using particular keywords. This is based on the tendency of people to search according to what they are looking for, such as product or service.

Websites that do not appear on the first page of search engine results when people carry out searches can be regarded as non-existent among online users. This is why you need to ensure that your site ranks highly for specific keywords so that search engines place your site higher than several others that are related to the same keywords. SEO includes a variety of factors and plays a critical role in web design.

Value of SEO

website popWeb design and SEO work together and more web designers are choosing to integrate SEO when designing websites. It is important for business owners to be aware of how important SEO is in web design and the value it adds to the design process.

A web design that is compatible with SEO is likely to draw more traffic. A website may be attractive and dazzling but if it is not search-engine friendly, you restrict the ability of major search engines to access your content.

If your website content is not readily accessible to search engines, it will not have a high ranking in the search results. Integrating SEO appropriately in your web design includes aspects such as technology, navigation, linking and content.

Content, Keywords and Links

The content on your web pages is vital for SEO success. During the process of building your site, it is advisable for the web designer to be aware of what your business entails. This makes it possible for lists of keywords to be selected in the initial stages of development according to what users are likely to search for when looking for information that relates to the site.

Content is essential in SEO but should be used properly to avoid any unethical practices that may lower our ranking or lead to search engines penalizing your site. Strategic and meaningful placement of keywords will help you get a better ranking for your web pages in search results.

content marketingAdding keywords to content while creating the web pages will help to cut down on the time used to change content on web pages for the purpose of SEO.

Link building enables you to have links directed from other credible sites to help you achieve better search engine rankings for your website. In order for quality content and proper link building to yield the best results, web design needs to cater for SEO.

SEO is as critical as the design concepts for your website. If the site is designed while incorporating SEO, the web pages will soon start ranking higher and attracting more users through search engines. Find out how you can analyze a web design company through its portfolio here.

Search Engine Friendly Sites

Search engine optimization constitutes a range of things including content, keywords, and title tags. If you are not sure of how to implement SEO, you can consult a professional web design service that will help you create an SEO compliant site.

Search engines require relevant and original content along with suitable visual elements such as videos and images. Search engines invest a lot in bandwidth and sites that are easy to crawl through require fewer resources.
Web designers create SEO compliant sites that can be crawled faster and easier by search engines. Technology and navigation are among the factors that are considered in search engine optimization. The objective of search engines is to enhance the usability of the web.

Make sure that SEO is incorporated into your web design process right from the start. After spending a considerable amount of time, money and effort in creating your site, you need to ensure that as many as people as possible will be able to access it.

Visual Appeal and Ranking

Good web designers are aware of the importance of creating attractive sites with SEO in mind. SEO enables you to get better ranking for your site on the web. When users search for products that are available on your website, they will be able to see it as soon as they type in the keywords.

A higher ranking for your website will increase the possibility of your site getting more clicks. It is important for you to drive more traffic to your website because the people who visit your site may become your customers.

Overall Design

The design of your home page is important because it is the first impression of your website and business that your visitors get. Good web design should leave a lasting and positive impression. It is always a good idea to have a clean and clutter-free home page that will not cause your visitors to leave as soon as they log on.

Consider other aspects such as the sizes of your images, navigation, user and search engine friendliness, colors, and overall design. Responsive design is a popular concept because it involves designing for various devices. With the ongoing advancements in technology and increase in online visitors, SEO practices continue to evolve.

Conclusion

Web designers now have access to more technology and options than they did and this is evident in how advanced web designing has become. When you design a website, the user should always be a priority because this helps to determine SEO rankings. This is based on various technicalities and makes it necessary to always prioritize the end user during the design process.

Web design is beneficial for businesses, customers, and search engines when it is not complex or overwhelming. It should lead to links and content that users need while giving businesses the opportunity to reach more people.

Facebook to Impose Limits on Number of Ads

Facebook to Impose Limits on Number of Ads

By | Social Media News

Facebook has announced a new initiative around the number of ads that can be shown by Pages based on their spend size.

This new enforcement on ad limits will begin rolling out in February of next year, and continue through the summer.

Why Limit Volume?

website design

Facebook is stressing more ad volume doesn’t mean better performance.

Adding more of anything to Facebook creates the need for it optimize. But, it can actually prevent that from happening effectively. Brands may notice certain ad creatives get few, if any, impressions and may find the status stuck in the Learning Phase for awhile.

Every time an ad is shown, the algorithm builds its learnings, but more ads means each version is shown less times.

Facebook cites that 4 in 10 ads never exit the Learning Phase at all. This also means budget is being spent and taking longer (or maybe never) to optimize for winners, costing brands more money in the long run.

Volume Limits

Facebook will be bucketing each advertiser by size, into one of four groups. The size is determined by the Page and its highest spend in a given month. It is not creating the limits based on the ad account itself.

Groups are based on their spend within the past year, with a higher spend meaning a higher threshold for number of ad creatives that may run.

  • Small to medium sized Pages (advertising less than $100K in their highest spending month in the last 12 months) – 250 ads
  • Medium to large sized Pages (advertising less than $1M in their highest spending month in the last 12 months) – 1,000 ads
  • Larger Pages (advertising less than $10M in their highest spending month in the last 12 months) – 5,000 ads
  • Largest Pages (advertising $10M or more in their highest spending month in the last 12 months) – 20,000 ads

Social MediaAdvertisers will be able to view their assigned ad limit via a tool in Ads Manager called Ad Limits per Page.

If a Page has multiple ad accounts, limits can be set by person or by partner to avoid different ad accounts over-using inventory and blocking another ad account from being able to publish new ads.

Ad accounts with a limit imposed by the parent Page can see their limits in the Ad Limits per Page section, as well.

If advertisers try to launch ads that would exceed their allowed limit, they will be unable to. Removing or pausing live versions will open slots back up to publish new ads.

The ad limits are the total of what can be running at any given time. The total will include anything already running, but will also include anything that’s under review and not yet live.

Facebook cautions against creating a second Page to get around the rule for three reasons:

  • Your two pages would be competing against one another in the ad auction.
  • The algorithm will now be creating two separate sets of learnings instead of one combined master data set.
  • Brands then have to manage more than one Page, as both would be tied to their business identity.

The Push for Consolidation

adsThis continues to be another move in the drive for consolidation on the platform. Facebook consistently highlights that their ad platform optimizes a brand’s budget most effectively when it has a large data set to use.

Other recent changes to help this happen more often includes things like removing redundant or less-used targeting categories, along with Facebook’s ongoing encouragement to advertisers they make target audiences as large as possible to allow the algorithm to optimize.

In many cases, advertisers find running no targeting and just setting an optimization goal can work surprisingly well.

It isn’t clear in the announcement if there are nuances in what’s considered “one ad” for things like dynamic creative, where they’re technically one ad placement with multiple creative options that rotate.

We will continue to follow the development of this new roll-out. Their official announcement is here, and the help documentation can be found here.

This Is What Bark.com Said About Us…

By | Networking Bizz News

If you haven’t considered working with an agency for your company yet…

Here’s what you should know…

Instead of hiring someone in-house and training them for weeks…

You could rely on an agency and have them do all the professional work for you.

That way, you won’t waste time micromanaging more people…

You’ll spend a lot less paying an agency than a full-time worker…

And you’ll have more confidence in a team that already has the latest tools to help you achieve your goals faster.

For example, it’s better to rely on a website designer to build your website for you (if you don’t know a thing about websites).

When you use someone else’s expertise, you can spend time focusing on your best.

Instead of wasting time trying to figure things out on your own.

And you can ensure the quality of your website will be great since professionals will handle it.

The same goes for SEO services too…

If you don’t have the proper resources in-house to help you increase your SEO…

You should consider letting an agency take over and speed up your success.

Because the sooner you can make improvements, the more results you’ll see.

Imagine when more customers start to notice your business more because your SEO ranking increased…

That would be well worth the time and money spent for a greater ROI.

And if you’re not sure where to look for to work with the right agency…

We always recommend finding an agency that has proven they have experience in the field (and some credibility helps too).

Like Networking Bizz, our team works hard to earn our recognition.

Because we would like our clients to continue trusting us…

And we sure proved our dedication when we achieve the certificate of excellence again from Bark.

Here’s a look at how the badge looks:

Excellence

You see, Bark.com is a reputable platform where business owners can find the right agencies to work with.

And we won our award by building up our reviews, responding in time, and completing our profile so that visitors can learn more about our performance.

So if you think you need extra help from an agency instead of interviewing candidates until you find the right people to hire…

Why not just let Networking Bizz handle all your marketing matters?

We’re confident about helping your business grow in 2020!

So if you would like a free consultation from us today…

You can reach us at +1(213) 792-4577.

Talk to you soon 🙂

 

5 Reasons Your Ecommerce Store Needs a Mobile App Today

5 Reasons Your Ecommerce Store Needs a Mobile App Today

By | E Commerce Business News

Ecommerce websites and mobile commerce, or m-commerce, options aren’t an either/or situation. Both play different roles in the customer journey and cater to different audiences. What is essential is that you don’t overlook mobile experiences while designing the eCommerce strategy for your business.

According to Pew Research, 8 out of 10 Americans are online shoppers, and 51 per cent of them use mobile devices for shopping. If you aren’t leveraging mobile traffic, your business is likely missing out vital conversions even as you are reading this.

While a responsive website is an excellent starting point in your m-commerce journey, having a mobile app has distinct advantages over mobile websites. Here is a list of compelling reasons why your eCommerce business needs to go for mobile app development in addition to having a mobile-responsive website.

1. Ease of use and better user experience

user experienceEven if you have a responsive website, every time the user logs onto it, the browser would prompt the user to sign into the account to continue with the shopping. In the case of mobile apps, the user details are stored in the app and the users only have to sign in once, when they download the app.

Since the users don’t need to sign in every time they shop, the ease of use is higher and the resultant user satisfaction is also high. Mobile applications also allow the users to switch between the different tabs, making navigation and overall user experience simpler as compared to that of the website.

2. Access to phone-native features

mobile phone featuresThe phone’s native capabilities can be leveraged using mobile apps, which isn’t a possibility in the case of mobile websites. The integration of built-in smartphone components like GPS and cameras provides the user with enhanced user experience. Interactive shopping using augmented and virtual reality is an app-only feature.

Another advantage is the fact that native apps are available for offline use. While the apps do take up space on the user’s device, they can be used even when the phone is not connected to the internet, resulting in an on-the-go shopping experience for the users.

3. Using mobile apps as a marketing channel

Mobile apps give you a chance to deliver a unified omnichannel experience to the customers. Apps can allow social media integration that combines the different channels of customer engagement. The customer preferences are saved within the app, leading to tailored content being displayed to the relevant customers.

Using geofencing and push notifications sent out to the user’s device when they are in proximity of the physical stores or in case of any special offer can also result in a more engaged customer base.

4. Seamless checkout with multiple payment optionsemail marketing

Shopping-cart abandonment is the biggest issue that retail businesses face. Whether in-store or on an eCommerce platform, customers are more likely to give up on completing shopping if the checkout process seems cumbersome.

Mobile apps remove friction from the checkout process by making it interactive. The widespread popularity of mobile wallets exists only because they allow fast processing of transactions. Features such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition help remove friction from the checkout and payment process by enabling faster authentication.

5. Incorporation of advanced tech for interactive customer experience

AIMobile apps and technology go hand-in-hand. Incorporation of augmented reality in smartphone apps is already taking place, with brands such as IKEA and Sephora spearheading the transformation. The incorporation of AR/VR in apps makes them more interactive and results in engaging customer experiences.

Apps also allow for the integration of artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots in order to facilitate the customer in searching for their preferred items and getting them through the checkout. Personalized shopping assistants that are powered by machine-learning algorithms would soon become the norm, making shopping easy and fun — as it should be.

6 Reasons Why You Need a Digital Strategy

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

One of the biggest game-changers of the past decade has been how people are consuming content. Advertising has adapted to that change by getting their products in front of people where they spend most of their time, on their screens! Space to communicate personal content and connect is now morphing into space to find out the latest news or trends as and when they unfold.

The debate about the pros and cons of digital media versus traditional media is ongoing. We might not know the answer to that question, but we do know that having a digital marketing strategy is extremely important for any new age company.

1. Measurable

brand strategyOne of the biggest advantages of digital advertising is that it’s measurable to the extent of impressions, clicks and conversions. Companies can calculate the exact return on their investment and optimize based on which platform or placement is giving them the best results. As opposed to traditional media where advertisers were throwing darts in the dark hoping their investment would yield results over a period of them

There are ways to gauge the monetary worth of traditional media but at the end of the day, it’s mostly relative and approximate. With digital media, that’s not the case. It’s specific, targeted and involves a whole lot of number crunching with which you can actually see the results in monetary terms.

2. Cost-Effective

costDigital media, unlike traditional, doesn’t demand that we pay all in advance and then wait for the results. It usually follows a pay-as-you-go model; whether you chose a pay-per-impression or clicks or conversion you only pay for what you use. Like traditional, it’s necessary to set aside a budget beforehand, but the money utilised is usually based on the model you create. It entails that you don’t pay the entire budget, but pay only in accordance to the clicks or engagements that you receive. In contrast, TV, magazine and OOH ads are notoriously expensive and unpredictable.

3. Flexible

With traditional, one can choose which medium works best for them and use slots based on that. Like what TV channel to pick or what slot on the radio to advertise in, etc. However, once the investment is made, there is little change that one can bring about in the plan since slots or channels can’t readily be interchanged in case the campaign doesn’t farewell. Digital marketing allows us to target the exact audience that we wish to get in front of and in a manner that resonates better with them. It could be with organic posts, video ads, and carousels, etc. and in case the campaigns don’t fare well, we can update, alter or entirely scrap them if need be.

4. Automatic optimisation as per platform

Smaller brands sometimes don’t have the resources to deploy on advertising and data analysis as they focus on the product. Digital marketing platforms help by optimizing the ads based on the type of people engaging with them and show the ads to only those people. That being said it is important to review your ads on a regular basis because at the end of the day no one knows your customer the way you do.

5. Gives room for creative storytelling

story tellingWith more and more digital ad formats being introduced every day, the possibilities in storytelling seem endless. Each format has a purpose on the type of storytelling you want to do. For example, Facebook offers canvas ads that allow the user to click on the ad and it is redirected to a native Facebook page with your products, videos and text that allow you to weave a story around your products. Google introduced showcase ads under shopping ads that allow different products of the same category to be clubbed together and be shown to the customer. There are other visual-based ads and text-based ads that you can test from and see which format allows you to represent your product in the most creative way.

6. Customer understanding

Never has there been a time where advertisers can get feedback on their products in a matter of clicks. Digital marketing gives room for direct interaction with the customers. Even though the ads are via the platforms, one can see how the customers are engaging, what they like or prefer over the other. This gives us a lot of scopes to understand the customer’s perspective on our campaigns and how we can improve and build on them further. With every change, we get the new insight which in turn helps us better the entire strategy.

It is important to understand that advertising moves with how consumers interact with each other and from where they get information. Traditionally consumers used magazines and newspapers, now they consume information on Google, Facebook and Instagram. It is important for advertisers to recognize these trends and tweak their advertising strategy accordingly.

Advanced tactics for SEO title tag optimization

Advanced Tactics for SEO Title Tag Optimization

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

Title tags are the clickable headline that shows up on the SERP. Dictated by an HTML element that reflects the title of a web page, these tags are designed to help search engines understand the content of the page. There are key reasons why title tags are important.

It’s the first thing someone sees when conducting a search.

People may ignore your content, they may skim over it, they may ignore your meta description, your bread crumbs. But everybody, when they do a Google search, sees your title tag as the number one decision.

Title tags are a ranking factor

content marketingTitle tags still influence click-through rate. No matter what you do, the title tag more than any other element that displays in the SERPs influences whether or not people are going to click your result.

A mix of science and psychology

Even if a title tag doesn’t help you rank, it can still be a critical touchpoint to entice people into clicking. With the right language and messaging, title tags can play into a searcher’s curiosity and answer the question

Title tags are easy to test

You can change your title tag, go to Google Search Console, recrawl, reindex the URL, and see the changes in Google search results, sometimes within minutes. From there, SEOs can examine the performance over the next few days to it had an effect. And also, if things don’t work out, you can easily change your title tag back.

Going beyond the title tag basics

For beginners in SEO, there are a few general ground rules for when you’re just starting out with title tags. We know that we only want one title per page, that the title should be relatively short – 50 to 60 characters – the title should be unique, meaning it shouldn’t be a duplicate of other titles on your site.

Other important considerations: use your target keywords (but avoid stuffing) and write compelling copy that answers the user’s query and will entice them to click through.

How to write compelling titles

Noticeable

In the below example of a Google search result for the best time to visit Europe, the title tags essentially all say the same thing. There is nothing noticeable about these results. They’re just using the keyword but there’s nothing enticing me to click. There’s nothing to differentiate one of these results from any other result.

best time to visit europePromising

When a title is promising, it tells you what you should expect when you click. It goes beyond the keyword to promise you something to satisfy an emotional need. And good titles typically offer this.

When writing title tags, SEOs should think about how to use promising language to satisfy those needs as people search. Six ways to make title tags more promising for searchers:

  • Surprise them
  • Thrill them
  • Impress them
  • Educate them
  • Reassure them
  • Help them

Relevancy

Without relevancy, the elements of ‘noticeable’ and ‘promising’ can be easily diluted.

Why Building a Personal Brand Is More Important Than Ever

Why Building a Personal Brand Is More Important Than Ever

By | Online Entrepreneur News

A personal brand allows you to build more trust between your business and colleagues and clients alike. It also boosts your reputation and motivates others to want to do business with you. Now more than ever, there is a strong need for entrepreneurs to build a personal brand.

A strong company brand is vital to your success for several reasons. We’re living in a time of unpredictability, and there’s a lot of noise and competition to cut through online. Technology and online search engines make it easier than ever for customers to research companies before making a purchase. They’re becoming more discerning in their choices and selecting companies that are seen as trustworthy and authentic.

Personal branding in detail

Personal BrandingAn effective personal brand can help you excel and reach your goals, but it also needs to manifest a positive impact on others, as well as drive business results. “Personal branding is a major part of marketing that most business owners are missing out on,” says Luke Lintz, CEO of HighKey Agency. “Your personal brand is the easiest way for you to connect to your potential customer and is the easiest way to showcase your product or brand without coming across as heavy promotion.”

You can’t achieve personal branding by publishing a flashy website or selling trendy and popular products without any sense of direction. It’s about creating and selling an experience and being able to offer quality and unique insights with a sense of authority. When you can consciously and intentionally influence public perception and consumers, you can elevate your credibility.

Benefits of building a personal brand

personal branding toolsThere are a variety of benefits that will come from you putting in the time and effort to build a personal brand. For example, you’re more visible online, which is where consumers are spending the majority of their time. It’s in your best interest to become more accessible and to engage with your online audience.

Also, the more visible you are, the greater the spotlight shines on you and your brand. Take advantage of this reality as an opportunity to transform as you learn and to flex to the ever-changing world around you. Be adaptable to how your target market is evolving and what they’re up to so that you can achieve long-lasting success. Go slow and be secure about your personal brand and what you have to offer.

Another benefit is that you’re going to be able to stand apart from the crowd when you can build a reliable personal brand. Your business vision and mission should be driven by your personalized story, including your language and tone. It should be unmatchable and allow you to stake your claim in your industry. Your messaging and actions need to be consistent with what you stand for if you’re going to create more trust with your customers. You need to be able to relate to your clients on a human level and show that you’re more than just a brand.

Building a personal brand will also help to position yourself as a thought leader. You become the gatekeeper of information that your customers want to know and learn more about. You’re on the right path when your target audience finds value in the knowledge you have to share.

Reasons why personal branding is more important than ever

personalIt’s good for business when you encourage your employees to build a strong personal brand. Your employees are representing your brand in their professional and personal lives, plus it’s a chance for your company to gain more exposure. You need everyone at your workplace to be working together to elevate your personal brand by building trust with clients and having customers view each of you as a thought leader. It’s also imperative that you’re proactive about managing your online reputation, whether you’re an employee or a company. You risk losing business and tarnishing your character if you aren’t managing it effectively.

Be patient

It’s vital to be patient and remember that building a personal brand takes time. You are unlikely to experience overnight or immediate results due to your efforts. Figure out what you want to be known for and then put measures in place to help you to achieve this goal. It’s in your best interest to be consistent and not flip-flop so that you can more quickly establish a strong personal brand. Honesty, transparency and authenticity are the key factors you need to set yourself apart and ensure that others have a desire to want to work with you now and in the future.

5 Future Ecommerce Trends of 2020

5 Future Ecommerce Trends of 2020

By | E Commerce Business News

Is your business joining the ecommerce revolution? If not, you could be missing out on the projected $4.8 trillion in retail ecommerce sales projected worldwide for 2021.

Companies embracing ecommerce marketing strategies are experiencing rapid growth. In 2017, there were 1.66 billion online buyers. This number is expected to skyrocket to 2.14 billion by 2021.

Prepare for the exciting future of ecommerce by implementing the emerging trends of 2020.

1. Personalization and Customer Engagement

customer care repCompared to traditional retail shopping, ecommerce stores lack face-to-face personal interaction. Online stores do not have a retail clerk who can recommend products based on your interests, tastes, and preferences.

To mimic this experience, ecommerce companies leverage personalization opportunities throughout the shopping journey. Much like online course providers are replacing the need for in-person teaching, ecommerce is replacing the need for in-store retail experiences.

Using personal online data such as search queries, page visits, and purchase history, brands transform their online stores to best serve the customer’s needs and interests. For instance, login to your Amazon account. You’ll find recommended products based on your past purchases, ads tailored to your search history, and marketing copy speaking directly to you. Expect more brands to follow suit as personalization technology becomes easier to integrate into ecommerce sites.

Much like personalized emails generate 6x higher transaction rates and convert better than cold emails, consumers spend 48% more when their experience is personalized. In an age where privacy is key, studies also showed 57 percent of online shoppers are comfortable with providing personal information to a brand, as long as it directly benefits their shopping experience.

Connecting your online store to a CRM like HubSpot will allow you to use your customer’s purchase and website behavior to personalize your marketing, emails, and even pages for abandoned cart nurturing, as well as upsell campaigns.

2. AI, Assistants, and Chatbots

chatbotAI assistants can handle a number of tasks typically assigned to a human, such as managing inventory or handling inquiries. These digital assistants carry out various processes, freeing up time for you to focus on other aspects of running the business.

For instance, chatbots can fulfill a number of customer service needs, from answering questions about a product to discussing a complaint. AI and chatbots also learn from customer conversations and evolve to better assist in a user’s personalized ecommerce experience.

As reported in a 2017 Statista study, 34 percent of respondents stated they would be comfortable getting answers to their questions from AI, such as a chatbot or virtual assistant, when shopping. You can easily get started yourself. Many tools like HubSpot’s Chatbot Builder allow you to create your own bot for free.

3. B2B Ecommerce Is Exploding

Top Ecommerce TrendWho said ecommerce was only for B2C brands? B2B companies are leveraging upcoming ecommerce trends, too. It’s even been projected that B2B ecommerce sales will increase worldwide to $6.6 trillion by the end of 2020.

In a survey of 500 B2B organizations, BigCommerce found that 80 percent accepted orders and payment via their website, further proving the growth of ecommerce in B2B industries moving forward.

Ecommerce personalization works wonders for B2B shoppers as well. Research found that 50 percent of B2B buyers desired personalization when searching for online suppliers with whom to build relationships.

4. Interactive Product Visualization

ProductsWe’ve all hesitated to hit the “Buy” button when shopping online. Before you enter your payment info, you begin to wonder:

“Is this product going to be exactly what I need?”

“Is this a quality product? Or, is this a knock-off?”

As a result, we have a strong need to interact with a product before we commit to a purchase. Online reviews and influencer trends aren’t enough. We want to see the product, feel it, hold it in our hands, and remove all feelings of doubt before purchasing.

While we were once satisfied with high-quality images of products, today’s technology lets us use virtual reality, 3D imaging, augmented reality, and more to interact with a product from the comfort of our laptop or smartphone.

Even ecommerce product videos have evolved to be more engaging. What was once a cheesy infomercial has transformed into an immersive, 360-degree online shopping experience.

Interactive product visualization technology seeks to bring the tangible in-store experience to online consumers and alleviate their hesitation prior to purchasing.

Converse, for example, offers customers the ability to customize their shoes online. During this process, users build their own design through turning, flipping, and zooming in on the shoe.

Prior to submitting their order, customers have full confidence they’ve built the exact shoes they desire thanks to the interactive nature of the process.

5. More Custom Retail Experiences

retail storeDid you think ecommerce was killing brick and mortar stores? If so, think again.

While many big-box stores are in fact going bankrupt, retail experiences aren’t going away – they’re just adapting to a new reality. Remember that in-person, physical product experience we just discussed? While interactive product technology, personalization, and chatbots all work to replicate that feeling online, no technology can truly replace every detail of an in-store experience.

With this in mind, brands are creating immersive retail experiences to further drive sales, hire more sales reps, and develop lasting customer relationships. For instance, Amazon is launching stores, named “4-Star,” throughout the United States. At these stores, you can interact with Amazon’s devices and top products in person. Other brands profiting from this new reality are brick and click stores, which combine a unified retail and ecommerce experience. These brands open retail stores with less square footage and employees, but a more personalized and interactive in-store visit.

With plenty of hosting providers to choose from and ecommerce platforms on the rise, companies are creating ecommerce experiences within a retail store via digital kiosks. As a user engages with the kiosk, it can perform a number of functions including providing personalized product suggestions or displaying interactive information about the product at hand.

How to Find Hashtags for Social Media

How to Find Hashtags for Social Media

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

Hashtags play an important role in social media marketing. Used at the right time and in the right context a hashtag has the power to multiply the visibility of your social media update far beyond your followers. Do you know how to find hashtags with the power to boost your social media success? Hashtags play an important role in social media marketing. Used at the right time and in the right context a hashtag has the power to multiply the visibility of your social media update far beyond your followers.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a combination of a # symbol and a keyword or keyphrase. They are used to identify the topic of a post in social networks.

While you can use numbers in your keyphrase, special characters including ‘$’, ‘%’ and ‘ ‘ are not allowed.

A hashtag can be a popular keyword or phrase that many people use or it can be a specific hashtag invented by a brand, event, person for a purpose. For instance, sports stars often brand their own hashtag, make it popular, and then use it for merchandise. Or a brand can use a hashtag to brand all their own pins on Pinterest. On Twitter, hashtags are used to group together all posts from a Twitter chat.

Why should you even care about hashtags?

For most social networks updates with hashtags get more visibility AND engagement. For example, on Instagram, posts with hashtags get 12,6% more engagement.

Hashtags work as categorization and organization for the posts. People can discover posts via the hashtags – you have the chance to reach a new and larger audience through your hashtags. The right hashtags can help you discover the right audience: an interested and engaged audience.

Hashtags in social media posts also give a quick hint as to what the post is about. This makes it easier for people to grab the meaning of a post and react to it. Engagement for posts with hashtags increases.

Twitter:

Hashtags are used to specify the topic of a tweet and group the tweets around one hashtag in one hashtag stream. Hashtags are also used for branding reasons and to specify tweets in a chat of conversation.

Pinterest:

social media facebook twitter instagramHashtags on Pinterest are relatively new. Since fall 2017 Pinterest accepts hashtags in the pin descriptions. You can use many hashtags – as the character count allows. Hashtags are used to identify the topic of a pin and related topics. Hashtags are relevant if you want to rank in the smart feed for people that do not follow you but are interested in the topics of your tweets.

Instagram:

Is the queen of social networks when it comes to hashtags. Up to 30 hashtags are accepted in the post description. Hashtags play an important role when you want to grow your Instagram account and find like-minded people.

On Instagram you can not only follow accounts you can also follow hashtags. Posts using this hashtag will then show up in your Instagram feed and you can decide if you want to follow the Instagrammer who posts with this hashtag.

If you search for a hashtag on Instagram you will also see a page of the most popular posts using this hashtag. If you manage to get your post into this lot for one of the more popular hashtags, you may have scored some huge exposure. But it is hard to get there and the question remains if this crowd is very targeted for your post.

Facebook:

Hashtags turn keywords in clickable links to provide further information and posts around the hashtags topic. You can also use personal hashtags for brand campaigns or group all posts around an event or campaign together.

However, hashtags on Facebook never reached the popularity they have on other social networks.

LinkedIn:

Are you even aware that you can and should use hashtags on LinkedIn? I admit that I have only used hashtags for my LinkedIn articles which are already a couple of years old.

You can add hashtags to your daily updates and categorize your articles. You can also follow hashtags.

Here is more about how to use hashtags in the various social networks.

If you want to leverage niche hashtags, you have to be careful. Niche hashtags will only show their unique power, if you do your homework and research well. If you are looking for success through niche hashtags, a quick guess will often not do the trick. It is well worth the effort to spend a few minutes on the question, how can you find hashtags that are the best possible selection for your social media updates.

In addition to just using an already existing hashtag, you can also use hashtags for branding or start a hashtag campaign for a popular topic. That means you research a hashtag that no one else is using and start using it for a conversation or posts around a topic. To make this successful, you need a topic that can become (very) popular and some way to give your hashtag an initial push.

Here are few Tools and Tactics to research the best hashtags for your social media posts:

1. Twitter Trends

Yes, I know, that I told you not to use (only) the most popular hashtags. Still, the Twitter trends are tailored to each Twitter user and they may be a good start to find hashtags for your current interests.

2. Use Search

In most social networks you can simply use the search and the autocomplete function to get some ideas for hashtags. Unfortunately on Twitter and Facebook, you will not get any additional information for the hashtags as for instance, how often they are used.

On Instagram however, this hashtag search will already provide you with some information on how many posts use this hashtag plus which of the people you follow also follow this hashtag.

Instagram search also gives you some ideas for related hashtags.

3. Hashtagify

Hashtagify provides you with hashtag suggestions for Twitter and Instagram.

For Twitter, you can simply type your tweet and get ideas for matching hashtags. Or you type a hashtag and get more related hashtag suggestions. You will get information on the language of the tweets that use this hashtag and the country the tweets originate from.

For Instagram you will also get some data around the hashtag like the popularity and the main influencers using this hashtag.

4. Trendsmap

TrendsmapIf you are marketing local or looking for trends in a specific country, Trendsmap could be your best tool for Hashtag research.

This is like Twitter’s trending topics on speed. With the free account you can play around with the map: zoom into specific countries or locations and see the local trends.

5. Hashtag Expert

Hashtag ExpertMany people are using social media from mobile. Let’s take a look at a mobile app for hashtag research.
Hashtag Expert is a quick app to help you find related hashtags to copy and paste into your Instagram post on the go.

6. AutoHash

AutoHash is a fun Smartphone App that analyzes images and gives you hashtag suggestions based on what it finds on your images. You will have to play around with your images and see if the suggestions for your type of photos will provide you ideas for relevant hashtags.

Final words on how to find hashtags

I know how easy it is to fall for the quick solution and just type the couple of hashtags that first come to my mind when creating a new social media update.

But there is so much more power in hashtags that you are missing if you do not invest a tiny amount of work in your hashtag research.

Hashtags have tremendous power – if you know how to find the powerful hashtags that can change your social media fate.

You can be banned from using the wrong hashtags – and your social media success can multiply through your hashtags. It is up to you which of the two it is going to be.

Top 20 High Converting Shopify Stores In 2020

Top 20 High Converting Shopify Stores In 2020

By | Networking Bizz News

Your e-commerce conversion rate is one of the most critical KPIs to take note of. The text, style, and speed of the website pages affect the conversion rate.

To help you with increasing your conversion rate, we will talk about the top 20 high-converting Shopify stores in 2020:

1.   www.notpot.com

When you realize that your target market may have some concerns regarding testing out new hemp gummies, what do you do?

Inform them that you’re offering lab-tested CBD gummies, the type they should eat stress-free, trusting they’re likely to pass every substance check after eating a wheelbarrow full of them.

Then go to the extent of naming yourself and your slogan accordingly. And craft the vegan CBD gummies to appear like innocent polar bears, with strawberry and apple pectin in them.

2.   www.soworthloving.com

What easier way to communicate with visitors immediately than to instill that feeling right from the homepage?

The major “sincerely” placed in the center of their homepage is performing well to convince the visitors that they mean it.

It sounds like a personal friend advising you the best rather than just to bring your cash out.

3.   www.beardbrand.com

It may be a hassle to clean facial hair.

Beardbrand understands that, so they want to give your interest in advance.

Through delivering a questionnaire to figure out the perfect beard design for their guests right on the homepage, Beardbrand effortlessly grooms the guest with the preferred style and brands with a simple call-to-action button to show beard items.

You get the feeling that they really know their products, so that’s a place to shop.

4.   www.hauslondon.com

Home goods retailer, Haus, combines simple navigation tabs with a sleek, streamlined design to suit the contemporary feel and look of their goods.

Shoppers will head right to a list, from the menu on the left, and check for the ideal commodity.

It allows the furniture and accessories to show up in their perfect environment.

5.   www.kyliecosmetics.com

The super-influencer, Kylie Jenner, recognizes her most strong suit – her lips.

Kylie makes it clear how fine the eyes, face, and lip colors look by revealing beautiful photos of herself modeling the various colors available.

Beautiful colors, easy-to-browse, and candy-like visuals make it all the better to shop and keep coming back to see what’s hot.

6.   www.studioproper.com

There’s a quote from one Mark Parker on their site, “It begins with architecture.” That’s just what Steve Jobs would suggest.

And yeah, it suits the store that’s built with ease and sophistication from Apple ‘s website. As Apple fans arrive here, the store looks really familiar.

Including the elegant, aluminum-finished iPad mounts to the iPhone cases to the wireless charging stations, they all feel like Apple.

7.   www.ksubi.com

ksubiKsubi leave things simple. There are no infinite annoying categories for visitors. Only a straightforward call-to-action to either ‘Shop Men’s’ or ‘Shop Women’s.’

Rather than showing a series of apparel images, they utilize high-quality pictures of the models in their collection to help you visualize how the outfit will appear on you, too.

At the top of the site, Ksubi announces that they are offering free global shipping — so that anybody can order Ksubi everywhere. There is ample opportunity here.

8.   www.tluxe.com

tluxeTluxe likes to add a switch by giving a set of perks right as visitors land on their homepage. This includes:

  • Easy site navigation
  • Free shipping on all international orders over $300
  • 20% off the first order worth over $200.

On top of that, they’ll even send you prompt alerts on new arrivals when you apply to their email list. That’s how you create an email list to feed casual browsers to regular customers.

9.   www.quadlockcase.com

quadlockcaseIt takes you only a matter of seconds to learn what this store is all about. There’s a GIF demonstrating how to repair your smartphone mounting gear to your motorcycle, bike, limbs, etc.

Immediately afterward, Quad Lock manages to sneak in several high-quality use-case images right above the fold, so that visitors realize what to do next before they can even scroll down.

Once you scroll down, the store convinces you they know their stuff. They have social proof from some top publications.

10.  www.shop.chaos.club

chaosChaos avoids the confusion other retailers face as they want to utilize color splashes and big, bold fonts while expressing undeniable uniqueness all on one page.

It’s fun, different, and innovative, which fits well with its customized accessories style.

11. www.thecandifactory.com

The Candy Factory website lets you know that they’re not taking themselves too seriously when they market tailored leggings and panties.

The store conveys a friendly feeling to support it.

Every link brings visitors further down their sales funnel. After a couple, it’s hard to walk away from it.

12. www.tessemaes.com

Tessemae’s All Natural features recipes that have customers returning for more — and purchase recommended items while at the same time.

They also publish fan pictures, which allows the community to feel appreciated and build loyalty.

Their whole layout, color scheme, and fan engagement give you something to love about.

13. www.ilovebiko.com

Biko brings the good cause path right on the front page by having visitors know that 20% of each pair purchased is donated towards fighting breast cancer.

And they let you know how cool you’d look in your favorite pair by showcasing high-quality images of models wearing the goods.

14. www.hiutdenim.co.uk

The dashboard doesn’t seem sale-sy at all.  Instead, it’s throwing off a modern, print magazine feel.

Close photos reveal the brand’s jeans in three different usage examples, and you realize they’re designed to suit your favorite life and style.

Click “shop,” and you’ll be on your way to catching a bunch of pictures of models stunting various designs.

15.  www.wpstandard.com

The WP Standard landing page gives out elegance and refinement, bundled in a sleek, stylish and simplistic charm.

Clicks are limited to only 5 and plenty of free room all around to ensure that the key emphasis is on clicking “Shop Now.”

The company embraces customers and loyal followers alike by incorporating their Instagram feed on the page.

16. www.hardgraft.com

Hardgraft is the place for new, luxury pieces that don’t go over the top.

Items are shown on the homepage to get to what you want with a button or two. Hover your mouse over a product, and you’ll see more information.

 

 

17.  www.happinessabscissa.com

HA offers visitors a feeling that they’re on a happy website that’s quickly infectious.

They’re not playing it simple with clear lines and traditional logo positioning on the front side. And still, it serves to jolt the attention of the visitors.

18.  www.tattly.com

tattlyThere are lasting tattoos forever. Pleasant, except that you can’t see how a tattoo appears at an actual human in advance.

Tattly ‘s approach to tattooing is perfect for more visitors.

Visitors could click on a product and see if it appears to be the right fit for them until they decide to order.

19.  www.frankbody.com

Frank Body earns the stage win for its fun, intimate, and “ordinary-people” feel.

It is written in the first-person style, creating a partnership between the company and future consumers.

Beautiful pink color combination, charming branding, and creative advertising for a sexy feminine feel that’s sure to have the target group searching in all the right areas.

20.  www.chubbiesshorts.com

Chubbies lets you know what they’re all about with an 8-word explanation at the top of a collection of bright, interchangeable fleece jackets.

It still manages to maintain the menu slim enough not to overload, despite the shipload of items it has on it.

They even attract visitors with high-quality pictures of their shorts and outerwear worn by models once you hover each product image.

The Bottom Line

Before you launch a Shopify store, make sure you have the right goals in place. Opening a store is the simple part, but it’s more complex to operate efficiently. If performed poorly, you might have lost a lot of energy, money, and other capital.

This blog reveals some of Shopify’s most high-converting stores in 2020. We hope that you find this content useful and inspirational for your store.

If you need our help, you can always contact Networking Bizz at (213) 792-4577 for a free consultation, or you can also send an email to [email protected]

Effective Digital Marketing Strategies For Restaurants

Effective Digital Marketing Strategies For Restaurants

By | Networking Bizz News

They say the restaurant business is one of the most difficult industries to break into, let alone thrive in. Small business owners already face an uphill battle, as nearly 50 percent of them fail within the first five years. If the restaurant business is even more unforgiving, how can you push the odds in your favor?

The key to any successful business is knowing how to market to your audience. You need to answer important questions like “How will my community know I exist?” and “How can I attract people to my restaurant?”

Your answers lie in restaurant digital marketing. While some validity can be found in the traditional means of advertising such as handing out flyers, direct mailing services, and radio commercials, the world has largely gone digital. If you don’t have an online presence, you might as well close up shop.

But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

1. Perfect Your Website

restaurant web designFirst, even though you own a local restaurant that’s anything but digital, your storefront is no longer the face of your company. When 88 percent of consumers go online to research products or services, they judge a business’s credibility based on their website above all else. If your restaurant’s website leave’s something to be desired, odds are they’re going to bounce off your website to find one they like better.

Your website needs to be professional, functional, and user-friendly. Potential customers need to be able to navigate your site intuitively to find things like menus, hours of operation, and your address. Finally, invest some time and money in professional pictures of your restaurant space, foods you offer, and your staff. The food will look more appetizing and your staff will appear more professional. It gives potential customers a sense of intimacy with your restaurant, even before they visit.

2. Focus on Local SEO

local SEOOne of the most important steps in restaurant digital marketing is perfecting your search engine optimization. SEO is everything in terms of getting organic traffic to your website, and ultimately, customers in your seats. When someone types in “Italian restaurants near me,” your SEO rating will determine how quickly they find you.

3. Gain Followers on Social Media

Having a website that’s teeming with SEO coding is great (and necessary). However, there are some more proactive ways you can drive traffic to your site as well. Did you know that 70 percent of American adults are on Facebook? That means 70 percent of your potential customers can be found in one location.

Restaurant digital marketing without a social media strategy is folly. Not only can you amass a following of people who are attracted to your restaurant and are likely to be repeat customers, but social media also provides effective networking opportunities. The best part is, you have plenty of options for both free and paid advertising campaigns.

4. Use Influencer Marketing

influencer marketingIf you have yet to amass a strong following or are looking for a larger target audience, consider influencer marketing. Social media influencers are those who have established credibility within certain industries or demographics, and as a result, often have thousands, if not millions of followers.

If there are any food-specific influencers in your relative location, it may not be a bad idea to reach out and invite them to eat at your restaurant for free. If they like your food, you can come up with an influencer marketing contract. In exchange for them to create a post about your restaurant, you can pay them a fee or give them a certain number of free meals.

5. Implement Email Marketing

email marketingAnother effective restaurant digital marketing strategy is called email marketing. First, you need to build an email list of recipients who have subscribed to your email. Gaining subscribers can be done by offering discounts to previous customers who subscribe, through social media, your website, affiliate websites, and landing page ads.

Once a customer subscribes, you need to have an automated set of emails that go out once or twice a week. These emails should be friendly and express gratitude to your subscribers while subtly pushing them toward coming back to your restaurant. However, they also need to contain valuable content like discounts, promotions, or people will stop opening them.

Email marketing has proven to be a top contender because it falls back on marketing to people who’ve already shown interest in or eaten at your restaurant.

6. Take Advantage of Online Reviews

Next, remember that most people need a little reassurance when it comes to investing in products or services, including dining experiences. When people research restaurants online, one of the things they’re looking for is what other customers had to say. You need to take advantage of online reviews and the level of credence consumers put in them.

Start by encouraging every paying customer to post a review on Google, your website, or on your social media profile. Most people need to be incentivized, so offer a respectable discount on their next meal once they’ve completed the review. While offering a chance to win ‘x’ amount of dollars can be helpful, most people won’t take the time to review your restaurant for a mere chance of winning something – give them something definite.

7. Network With Other Local Businesses

RestaurantAnother beneficial restaurant digital marketing strategy utilizes other small business owners in your area. Start building affiliate relationships with complementary businesses. You can work with one another by guest-posting on each other’s blogs, recommending their services, and more.

For example, connect with a local hotel and see if they will recommend your restaurant to travelers and other guests. They can do this in person and through their website. On your end, offer discounts to any customers who come to you through the hotel.

Alternatively, you can team up with other small businesses and offer discounts for business-related meals, such as salesmen meeting with current or potential clients, team luncheons, after-work parties, etc. The key is to offer value to other businesses that choose to affiliate with you. In return, you gain more customers and stronger influence within your community.

8. Keep Online Engagement High

Lastly, it’s important to understand that consistency is everything in restaurant digital marketing. If you want your community to remember your name when it comes time to grab a meal, you must make an effort to make it so. Running an advertising campaign once a year isn’t enough.

However, this doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to keep patrons coming back to your restaurant time and time again. It’s the little things like updating your website regularly, posting new content a few times a week on social media, and advertising new items on your menu. But remember, you have to keep the community involved by hyping up new specials online, running contests, and giving back.

10 Ways to Finance Your Ecommerce Business

10 Ways to Finance Your Ecommerce Business

By | E Commerce Business News

It has always been a challenge for small businesses to get financing. Circumstances worsened when banks tightened their lending criteria five years ago. Most banks lend only to businesses with an established operating history. If you are just starting up an ecommerce business, or, if you find traditional loan terms too stringent, there are other options.

Personal Savings

Personal SavingsAlso known as bootstrapping, this works well when you are receiving very low returns on your money and the cost of borrowing is high. You can take money from your 401(k) but withdrawals before age 59½ are subject to penalties that can be steep. It is not advisable to totally empty your retirement or rainy day fund.

The advantages of using personal savings are:

  • No costly and complicated applications;
  • No interest to pay;
  • Ownership of your business is not diluted.

Friends and Family

Friends and family may make an interest free loan or they may ask for interest. While these individuals can be more forgiving than a bank if you can’t pay on time, your relationship with friends and family may become strained if you cannot eventually pay them back. They may also start offering advice as to how to run your business.

Credit Cards

credit cardThis is one of the easier ways to access funds, especially if you have several cards. The downside is that if the interest rates are high and your business cash flow only allows you to make the minimum payments, you will be paying off the cards for a long time at a high cost.

Peer-to-peer Loan

Online networks such as Lending Club and Prosper allow individuals to make unsecured loans to other individuals. Lending Club facilitates business loans of up to $100,000 at rates starting at 5.9 percent with one to five year payback periods. Origination fees apply and interest rates can run up to 29.9 percent for riskier ventures.

Home Equity Loan

Consider this only if you are a homeowner with more than 50 percent of your home’s value as equity (the loan outstanding is less than half the market value of the house). If it is and you have a good credit rating, you could get a loan at an attractive interest rate with your home as collateral. Currently rates range from four to ten percent.

Traditional Bank Loan

Bank LoanThese are difficult to secure these days. Banks generally charge fees along with interest and require collateral. Loans are usually one to five years with interest rates ranging from six to nine percent.

Businesses with a track record may also be eligible for a business line of credit, which offers more flexibility as you can borrow against it, pay back, and borrow more up to a limit.

SBA Loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration guarantees loans from participating banks, which entices those banks to lend money to qualified applicants. Applying for a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration involves lots of paperwork. Rates and terms vary based on the type of business. Loan amounts range from $50,000 to $1 million.

Online Lender

Kabbage, a company we profiled previously, offers lines of credit to small businesses. Approval can take as little as five minutes but Kabbage requires a minimum of $2,500 a month in sales and a company has to have been in business for a minimum of one year.

Venture Capital

Venture capitalVCs are quite picky about their equity investments. One million dollars is usually the minimum investment and the fees can be quite high. A representative of the VC firm will likely want a seat on your board of directors and will have input into the direction of the company. We’ve addressed venture capital financing previously, at “Venture Capital Firms Bullish on Ecommerce.”

Crowdfunding

While reward-based crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo are available to ecommerce merchants, these platforms are more successful with creative projects and consumer electronic gear. While not true crowdfunding, several ecommerce companies have had success with private placements with accredited investors via general solicitation. This approach is similar to venture capital funding but conducted via an online portal. Wefunder, EarlyShares, and AngelList are examples.

Intrastate crowdfunding is another crowdfunding option in several states. Under this option, investment is not limited to accredited investors but only residents of the state where the business is located can invest.

Which Approach is Right for You?

If you want to maintain total control over the direction of your company and expect to have cash flow to make regular payments, a loan is the best choice. If you require a lot of money and feel you can relinquish control, or benefit from the advice of investors, equity is a good option.

6 Tips to Keep Your eCommerce Business Growth During the Coronavirus Era

6 Tips to Keep Your eCommerce Business Growth During the Coronavirus Era

By | E Commerce Business News

The coronavirus pandemic has forced people to stay at home and practice social distancing. People have also started avoiding physical stores and choosing eCommerce to mitigate the risks of catching the virus.

Online sales have increased by 50% compared to the same time last year. However, 36% of eCommerce business owners predict their sales will decline due to supply chain issues and shipping delays.

As an online retailer or marketer, you need to adapt your go-to-market strategy in this changing world, especially in times of crisis.

Here are six tips to keep your eCommerce business growth stable during the coronavirus era.

1. Be Consistent on Building Brand Loyalty

Brand loyaltyChances of selling to existing customers are between 60-70%. For new customers, this number drops to 5-20%.

  • One of the best ways to keep your eCommerce growth stable is by establishing loyalty among your customers.
  • Offer proactive customer service through various channels, including social media, email, and phone.
  • Be as transparent as possible. If there’s a delay in delivery, let the customer know in advance.
  • Understand the problems your customers are facing. Tailor your message and offerings around that.

2. Reshape Your Business Around Latest Trends

Top Ecommerce TrendeCommerce businesses need to adapt to the latest trends to meet their customer’s needs and win the market.

If you are selling any of the trending products, make sure to highlight them on your website’s homepage. If not, try to partner with companies selling them and offer them to your customers. Fry’s, an electronics company, has highlighted trending products, like masks and webcams on their homepage.

Practice active social listening to determine what kind of products people are buying or are expecting to purchase post-COVID-19.

Leverage machine learning to predict customer demands. Use the data to optimize customer and supplier relationship management and run marketing campaigns accordingly.

3. Optimize Your eCommerce Site

ecommerceDuring these challenging times, you must take extra steps in optimizing your site for improved user experience.

Ensure that your keyword strategy is aligned with the changing search behavior. Once you’ve identified the right keywords, optimize your product descriptions to reflect the same.

Reorganize your product catalog and highlight the items based on current needs and demands.

Change your delivery practices by practicing safe social distancing.

Many eCommerce websites have halted returns (temporarily) or have extended the return window. If you too have done it, let your customers know by adding a banner on your website.

Update your FAQs section to reflect the changes in your business during coronavirus.

4. Manage Your Supply Chain Issues

supply chainMany businesses are experiencing supply chain disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic because of the restrictions imposed by the government.

Contact your manufacturers: Talk to your manufacturers to know where they stand in terms of production. If they have halted their operations due to coronavirus, ask about how much stock they have and when they would be able to restart the production. This will enable you to plan all the aspects of your supply chain accordingly.

Look for backup suppliers: Your regular supplier (or manufacturer) might be providing you with products as per your requirement. But it’s a good idea to examine what other suppliers can offer. Build a relationship with them so that you can order products from them in case of disruption.

Build up inventory: Products like masks and sanitizers are being ordered more than others. Identify such items and create a stockpile that can last for the next quarter at the least.

Expand your supplier base: Like an investment portfolio, diversifying your supplier base can be a good thing, especially if you serve in different locations. By expanding your supplier base, you will be able to get at least some goods during the disruption.

Contact alternate logistics providers: Now that you have sorted your supply chain, it is essential to ensure that your customers receive the product on time. Partner with alternative delivery partners to help you mitigate any possible delivery delays.

5. Advertise Your Brand

adsAdvertising is the lifeline for every business. You should always take the first step in promoting your brand effectively by adopting the best advertising techniques.

Adopt the below strategies to advertise your business prominently and generate measurable results:

  • Content marketing: Content marketing supports your SEO by enabling you to publish fresh content and integrate more keywords. Content marketing also helps build trust with potential customers by letting you address their concerns.
  • Email marketing: Email marketing is the most effective online marketing channel. Let your customers know about any changes in your business via emails. If you are offering discounts during coronavirus, send promo codes to your customers on email to encourage them to purchase. For example, Tru Earth begins their email by asking how are you doing? And then they say you can get the product at $99.95 instead of $149.95.
  • Social media marketing: With more than 3.8 billion people using social media, you cannot avoid promoting your brand on different social networks. Identify the channels where most of your customers spend time on and leverage those networks to advertise your eCommerce brand. KFC shared a smart social distancing campaign on Instagram while promoting their chicken. KFC ensured the customers about the safety of the meals prepared and delivered by them.
  • Paid advertising: Paid ads help generate results from day one. Many brands are avoiding paid advertising to conserve cash flow, but if you can, keep your ads running.
  • Affiliate marketing: Find affiliates in your industry with a good reach and request them to promote your product.

6. Evaluate Your Customer Experience

customer experienceIn the coronavirus era, customers are expecting smooth services. It involves fulfilling their orders and offering fast delivery while ensuring their safety.

Assessing your customer sentiments and overall satisfaction percentage helps you determine the loopholes in your services and improve your business processes.

Send emails to your customers who have purchased from you during the coronavirus outbreak and ask about their experience. Also, ask if they have any feedback.

Ask your customers, “how likely are they to recommend your brand to someone they know”? If their answer goes against your company, then it’s time to improve your services.

Bottom Line

In these challenging times, it is essential to make some special efforts to grow your eCommerce business. Focus on building brand loyalty even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reshape your business around the latest trends in buying behavior. Look for ways to manage supply chain issues. Find new channels to grow your customer base and advertise your brand. Last but not least, measure how satisfied your customers are and take steps to improve the overall user experience.

 

9 Google Analytics Tips to Improve Your Marketing

9 Google Analytics Tips to Improve Your Marketing

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

Do you use Google Analytics?

Are you leveraging the many apps that work with Google Analytics?

Integrating data from third-party tools, plugins and platforms with Google Analytics helps you gain insight about your online marketing efforts.

1) Add Google Analytics to WordPress

google analyticsYou can easily add Google Analytics to your self-hosted WordPress website using the Google Analytics by Yoast plugin.

The plugin lets you configure advanced features such as tracking outbound clicks, downloads and internal links that redirect to external websites; for example, affiliate links you create using your own domain.

You can also use it to ignore traffic from admins and other users, track search results pages and 404 pages.

Yoast’s premium version offers more advanced features, such as tracking views per author, views per post type and other specific dimensions.

2) Integrate All Analytics Platforms

If you want to combine Google Analytics data with additional analytics tools and platforms to gain insights about your traffic, try Segment. The platform allows you to manage data from over 100 different advertising, analytics, developer, marketing, sales, support and user testing platforms in one place.

Simply install one piece of tracking code on your website, and the rest of the tracking codes from any platforms you choose are managed by Segment.

3) Visualize Google Analytics Data

It’s possible to view and compare data from multiple websites at the same time in Google Analytics with a tool like Cyfe.

Use Cyfe dashboards to show an overview of all of your websites’ pageviews, sessions and users, then analyze the data to identify bigger trends in:

  • Conversions, traffic sources, bounce rate and location of users
  • Traffic from search engines and social networks
  • Real-time traffic, including users, location of users, traffic sources and content they’re currently viewing

You can even use it to create dashboards with a detailed view of your websites’ real-time traffic, including users, location of users, traffic sources and content they’re currently viewing.

4) Learn About Email Marketing Traffic

email marketingWant to link your email marketing efforts to the traffic in Google Analytics? Email marketing platforms such as MailChimp, GetResponse, Constant Contact and Vertical Response allow you to track traffic from links in your emails to your email campaigns.

For example, MailChimp lets you check one box to add UTM parameters to links when you create an email campaign so you can view traffic from those links inside Google Analytics. You can also set up Google Analytics tracking for your automation emails and campaign archive pages.

5) Link Social and Website Engagement

social MediaIf you use social media management tools like Buffer, Hootsuite and Oktopost to publish and schedule updates to your top social media networks, you’ll benefit from linking them to Google Analytics.

Link Hootsuite and you get an overview report with your Google Analytics data along with the social updates you published through Hootsuite. One custom report is included with the $9.99 per month pro plan.

With Buffer, you can customize the UTM parameters you use to track custom campaigns within Google Analytics so they match the updates you publish through Buffer. This option is included in the Buffer for business plans starting at $50 per month.

6) Find Out if Google Updates Affect Your Website

Add the Fruition Google Penalty Checker to analyze data from your Google Analytics account and determine if your website has been affected positively or negatively by Google updates.

You can sign up for a free account to see how past Google algorithm changes (Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, etc.) and updates such as the removal of authorship pictures from search results or knowledge box appearance have affected your website.

If you want to see information about updates from the last three months, upgrade to a premium plan starting at $75 per month for an analysis of up to five websites.

7) Discover Your (Not Provided) Keywords

keywordsFor search engine marketers, the loss of keyword data in Google Analytics was a tragedy. Various tools like AuthorityLabs are trying to recapture that data again.

AuthorityLabs not only monitors your search engine rankings, it now integrates with Google Analytics and other data points to determine what keywords are driving visitors to your website.

8) Get Insights From Split Testing

You can integrate split testing tools like Visual Website Optimizer or Optimizely with Google Analytics to track the traffic you receive to your campaigns. For example, Visual Website Optimizer shows reports like this for your split testing campaigns.

9) Link Ecommerce Sales Data

Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento and Bigcommerce offer detailed instructions on how to integrate with Google Analytics to get insights from eCommerce tracking reports.

These reports can help you learn a lot about your eCommerce revenue, from which products generate the most revenue to the top traffic sources that send visitors who ultimately purchase your products.

Conclusion

Google Analytics integration isn’t limited to eCommerce, search, social media and testing tools. To find an integration not listed in this article, do a Google search for the tool or platform you use, plus “Google Analytics.” You can also find integrations for Google Analytics from Tapstream, Freshdesk, Zendesk and Formstack.

E-commerce Tips to Boost Your Sales

E-commerce Tips to Boost Your Sales

By | E Commerce Business News

We have prepared some of the best tips and tricks on what you can do to improve your eCommerce conversion rates. These should be used when you really have to do something, but you don’t have the knowledge to code, or your developer is drinking Sangrias in Ibiza for the next two weeks! These are also handy if the policy makers in your organization aren’t in a rush to support your marketing efforts.

1. Embrace reviews

Let’s face it, the opinion of other customers is essential. If there’re no reviews on a product page, visitors are going to look to those shops which offer this visibility.

Reviews or testimonials show you’re open, honest and qualified for the job (if they’re good!). There are plenty of plugins nowadays that will help you manage reviews without major developer involvement.

While it’s good to have a tight control over what’s being said, you’re likely to encounter at least one unhappy and very vocal ex-customer. They’re ready to spoil the fun, but as they say, if you can’t beat your enemy, join them!

As such, you’ll want to keep all reviews – good and bad – on your site. If it’s published on your page, it shows your customers that you have nothing to hide. What’s more, you can leverage it to showcase your excellent customer service by resolving the complainer’s issue. This works universally on Facebook, Twitter and so on. By soothing their disappointment in a professional way and solving their problems, you earn kudos in the eyes of your prospect customers.

2. Pick the payment gateway that is right for your business

payment gatewayThis could save you a lot of money but before you can benefit there are decisions to be made. Is the potential gateway supported by your eCommerce platform? How expensive is it? Do you want to offer PayPal payments? What about the security? Additional features?

It may seem overwhelming, but it’s a crucial decision to make. In the long run, a little research into payment gateway options can go a long way. It will cut future costs and save countless hours of stress. If you’re in the early stages of setting up an eCommerce business, schedule some time to take special care of this aspect.

3. Add a price promise

If you know, you’re not the cheapest, guarantee you’ll match the lowest price given by rivals. Adding that simple marketing ploy had a huge 9% impact on conversion rates of one major US-based sports goods retailers. Not bad for a minor change!

4. Build the trust

We’re all familiar with the tell-tale signs of credibility – trust badges, secure checkout, etc. According to an Actual Insights study, over 75% of shoppers declared that trust logos affect their sense of trust for a website. The same percentage of respondents also stated that on at least one occasion they didn’t purchase a product due to a lack of trust badges. Befriend Peter Norton now!

5. Make use of your Google Analytics internal search data

website designThis powerful feature can be harnessed to create categories and landing pages for the most searched products. First of all, this will make you rank in Google for those terms. Secondly, people will be searching for the item they are interested in a lot quicker. This means fewer clicks, more conversions. What else do you need?

Sometimes we think we know exactly what our customer wants, and yet investigating the internal search terms in Google Analytics is often a big surprise for the business owner.

6. Display your physical location and phone number

New visitors that are unfamiliar with your brand will always shop with apprehension. It’s not surprising given we live in the ocean of digital spam and credit card misuse. Give them the reassurance they need with the possibility to pick up a phone and give you a call. This often overlooked no-brainer can be enough to increase the conversion rate.

7. Free Returns

It’s an obvious one, right?! That said, you’d be surprised how many online shops do not offer free returns. It’s shocking given the new age of shopping giants such as ASOS where free returns are a given.

According to Comscore, at least 51% of users expect this postage option, and 89% stated that they would use the shop again if the experience was seamless.

8. Get your wording right

For international sellers, this is of particular importance. If you’re based in the UK, use the term ‘delivery’ instead of ‘shipping’ as the latter has connotations of delivery from further afield. Hence it gives the misconception of longer delivery times. It’s creating the image of a truck versus a plane or even worse, a boat.

9. Include estimated delivery time

This is self-explanatory. An option to select a delivery date would be even better but may not be practical.

10. Go where your audience hangs out

Rather than bringing your audience to you, why not start going to them via channels such as eBay or Amazon. You’ll have to pay commission, but it’s a good way to expand your reach and start to build a database.

11. Attend conferences

Cram your diary with as many eCommerce and digital marketing conferences as you can attend. If you’re serious about your online business, these meetings will provide you with everything you need to get to the next level. You’ll also meet other people within the sector and gain from their experience.

12. Choose a platform wisely

Leaving the most important until last, it’s essential to take plenty of time when choosing your platform. For those at the early stages, be sure to think ahead. Will the eCommerce platform be able to scale/adapt as your business grows or do you want a starter platform? If you believe that long term, you’ll save costs as you won’t move from one to another.

Voila! There you have it. Make a big impact by changing petite. Try some of these tips and you won’t be disappointed.

Chrome for Android will now label ‘fast pages’

Chrome for Android will now label ‘fast pages’

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

Chrome for Android will now label ‘fast pages’ and may eventually rank them higher in search.

    It’s part of Google’s bigger push to improve user experience in ChromeChrome for Android will begin adding “fast page” labels to the context menus of pages it considers high-quality, Google announced Monday. The company says the labels will be based on signals from its Core Web Vitals metrics, which keep track of user experience, including page load time, responsiveness, and how stable content is while it loads.

chrome fast

    Right now, there’s only one way to tell: if you long-press a link before visiting a page, you’ll get that “fast page” label if it meets Google’s standards.
    But ultimately, a “fast page” might get ranked higher in Google search as well. Google tells, that those same Core Web Vitals metrics are among the criteria that will eventually be considered in search rankings.
    Pages deemed fast loading, according to Core Web Vitals, will receive a ‘fast page’ badge in the link context menu. Users can access the link context menu by performing a long press on any hyperlink on a webpage.
    Core Web Vitals looks at three key metrics when determining if a site is fast or not:
  • Largest Contentful Paint: The time it takes for a webpage’s main content to load.
  • First Input Delay: The time it takes before a user can interact with a webpage.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift: A page’s visual stability and the number of unexpected layout shifts a website has.
    Sites that consistently meet or exceed the Core Web Vitals thresholds will receive the ‘fast page’ tag.
    Because this tag is designed to help users on spotty internet connections know if a page will load quickly or not, only those who’ve activated “Lite” mode or turned on “Make Searches and Browsing Better” will see them.
    In the blog post announcing the labels, Google says that “optimizing for the Core Web Vitals may require some investments in improving page quality,” suggesting that developers may want to pay attention if they want to stay on top of Google search. The company says it has updated its developer tools with recommendations for how to meet those page quality goals. Google also has its own AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) format, which it previously pushed to make the mobile web faster, but this may be another way of achieving the same goal.
    These “fast page” labels will be included in the beta version of Chrome 85, but if devs really want to see it in action before then, Google has instructions on how to enable the feature.
    Google is rolling the badge out on a limited basis on the Android Chrome 85 Beta, but a broader rollout will come soon. If you want to activate it now, you can type chrome://flags in the Chrome URL box and enable “Context menu performance info and remote hint fetching.”
    There’s no word on when the ‘fast page’ tag will come to desktop.
    Google Also announced it’ll make changes to curb the use of mixed forms, which are forms that live on HTTPS websites but transmit data outside of HTTPS. This puts the user’s sensitive data at risk of hackers, so Google will no longer offer autofill on them and will display an on-screen warning that the form is not secure.

5 Tips to Help You Run a Successful eCommerce Business

5 Tips to Help You Run a Successful eCommerce Business

By | E Commerce Business News

Creating an online store is easier today than ever before. With eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce and Shopify, you can build a website in no time and start selling. But running an eCommerce business isn’t as simple as putting some products up on a website and waiting for the magic to happen.

You need to put in some work in order to get shoppers to your site, convince them to buy, and get them to return to your site again and again. So, if you’re a beginner who’s never had an eCommerce business before, how is it done?

Check out these five tips for how to run a successful eCommerce business.

1. Focus on the user experience.

user experienceOne of the first steps to running a successful eCommerce business is to build an eCommerce website. When building your eCommerce website, it’s important to focus on the user experience. Since your customers don’t have the ability to walk into your store and physically see and touch the products you’re selling, you want to make up for that by designing your site to be easy and enjoyable to use.

There are a number of factors to consider when building a website with the user in mind including:

  • Easy Website Navigation – Users should be able to find their way around your site easily from browsing product categories to checking out.
  • Mobile-Friendly – Many consumers shop online right from their mobile phones and tablets, so your site needs to be mobile-friendly.
  • Fast Page Load Times – 53 per cent of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. So, make sure to boost your website speed with these tips.
  • Visually Appealing – Your site also needs to be visually appealing to users with eye-catching, quality images of your products. You can use a WordPress theme to get a professional site in an instant.

A site that users enjoy visiting is one that they’ll return to over and over again.

2. Drive traffic to your site.

Drive trafficNow that you’ve built an awesome eCommerce website that your future customers will love, the next step to running a successful eCommerce business is to drive traffic to your site. After all, if you don’t have visitors to your website, you won’t have any customers, will you?

There are a number of ways you can drive traffic to your eCommerce site. But for beginners, two of the easiest and most cost-effective strategies are optimizing your site for SEO and creating content. Optimizing your site for SEO will help your website rank higher in search engine results and creating content like blog posts will help with that as well. Crafting useful, entertaining blog posts, like gift guides for example, that include keywords your audience would be searching for, will help your site get found by more online shoppers. More traffic means more customers for you.

3. Get social.

Instagram marketingSpeaking of driving traffic to your eCommerce site…you also need to get social. Your audience is on social media, so your eCommerce business needs to be there too. Promoting your eCommerce business on social media is a great way to drive more traffic to your site and introduce your business to a ton of new people. So, start posting on social media.

Share great-looking photos of your products on Instagram and use relevant hashtags to broaden your reach and get more eyes on your post. Just remember to link your eCommerce website in your bio. Furthermore, consider creating social ads to target your ideal audience directly.

4. Provide stellar customer service.

customer care repThe quality of your customer service can make or break your eCommerce business. In fact, 52 per cent of customers said good customer service interaction influenced them to purchase more from the company and 58 per cent of those customers recommended good companies to others. So, you need to make sure your business is providing stellar customer service.

This includes always being available to your customers for support. Customers should be able to easily contact you through a phone number, email, or even a live chat or chatbot feature on your website. Remember, part of providing stellar customer service is providing fast customer service. So, make sure you’re solving the issues of your customers quickly.

5. Build a mighty email list.

Email marketing is an amazing way to boost engagement, build a trusting relationship with your audience, and generate sales. With email marketing, any time you have something to say to your audience, you have the ability to go straight to their inbox to tell them. Whether it’s to promote a sale or to introduce a new product, email marketing gives you a direct path to connect with your audience. So, you need to start building an email list.

To encourage your website visitors to sign up for your email list, add a popup to your website. For example, an exit-intent popup on your website will grab the attention of users right as they’re about to leave your site and convince them to join your email list before they go. Give users a reason to sign up for your email list, like access to exclusive deals or a discount in exchange for their email address, and they won’t hesitate to join.

Get ready to drive traffic to your online store, turn visitors into loyal, lifelong customers, and make sale after sale. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to becoming the proud owner of a successful eCommerce business.

6 Customer Service Tips for Small Businesses

6 Customer Service Tips for Small Businesses

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

1. Develop a rapport with all of your customers

customer care repWhen you’re running a small business, it’s easy for your team to get to know its customers. Your customer demand is small and support agents can spend plenty of time diving into service inquiries. As you scale, however, that extra time will shorten. When your customer base grows, your agents will need to focus on efficiency as much as they focus on customer satisfaction.

Before this happens, be sure to take advantage of early opportunities to bond with customers. Your first users are probably your biggest fans and they’ll likely become customer advocates if you build a rapport with them. By investing in these customers now, they’ll become valuable assets to your business.

2. Hire employees who are great communicators

Small businesses tend to have small service teams of about three to five people. And, in many cases, customer service isn’t the rep’s only job. For many small businesses, employees find themselves wearing different hats and performing a variety of tasks, including service and support.

This structure can work, but it depends heavily on your employees’ skills. You need to be sure you’re hiring people who are stellar communicators and great at working with people. They need to be able to understand customer needs and flexible enough to adapt to sudden change. Good customer service is an effective way to grow a customer base, but you need excellent support reps for it to work.

3. Focus on customer retention strategies

corporateIf you’ve just started running a small business, you may want to write this stat down. It can cost up to 25X more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. This means improving customer retention is your key to increasing profits.

You can develop a customer retention strategy that delights customers and encourages them to return to your business. One commonly used method is a customer loyalty program that rewards people every time that they buy from you. This incentivizes them to return to your business and avoid your competitors.

4. Adopt free customer service tools

When your employees are juggling multiple problems at once, having software that organizes their workflow can help them keep track of goals and complete tasks on-time. Every customer wants individualized care but as your customer base scales, it’s more difficult to manage each service interaction. This is where customer service tools come in handy.

There are plenty of free customer service tools that can automate service and support functions. For example, a ticketing system can record service interactions and assign cases to idle reps. Your team will know who’s working on which case and which cases have yet to be assigned. This creates an organized process that ensures all customer requests are answered in a timely, consistent manner.

5. Take advantage of social media for customer service

Social MediaSocial media is one of the rising stars of customer service mediums. Customers love using it for support because they can instantly report problems and automatically receive notifications on updates. Additionally, popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter offer in-app customer service tools, including live chat and AI. These automation features streamline the support process and improve the customer experience.

6. Collect customer feedback after each interaction

Customer feedback is incredibly valuable when a service team is first starting out. Not only does it let reps know what they’re doing right and wrong, but it also provides management with insights into customer behavior. Negative feedback shows what customers are trying to do and the roadblock that’s preventing them from reaching their goals. Positive feedback reveals your customers’ values and the aspects of your business they admire most.

Analyzing this feedback can help you make important business decisions that extend beyond customer service. Marketing teams use this information to create effective campaigns that attract your target audience’s attention. Sales teams will identify timely opportunities to upsell and cross-sell, optimizing your odds for a repeat purchase. And, finally, product development can use this data to fine-tune products and address common customer roadblocks.

In summary, customer service is a team-wide effort that sets the groundwork for future success further down the line. Don’t view your customer support as a chore — look to it as an opportunity to learn more about your own product. When it’s done right, customer service can be one of your most valuable assets as you found your company.

Networking Bizz Has Done It Again

Networking Bizz Has Done It Again

By | Networking Bizz News

2020 has been a tough year so far (for obvious reasons)…and we’re only halfway through.

It has affected a lot of business owners – especially with some of our clients too.

But even with these challenges, Networking Bizz didn’t let any of these setbacks hold us back from delivering our promise.

We managed to help our clients pivot their businesses so that they can stay afloat. The last thing we want to see is more businesses getting shut down.

So our team has been working tirelessly on the backend. Aside from client projects, we continued to reach our 2020 vision.

That vision was to enhance our services’ quality, redefine our packages to serve more people, and provide incomparable customer service experiences.

And guess what? We did just that.

How do we know?

Because we’ve been listed on Three Best Rated as 2020’s top 3 web designers in Pasadena again!

This is a great accomplishment for our team, and we couldn’t have done it without you. It’s you that keeps us going every day, and we love to watch more business owners grow.

And if you’re wondering how you too can get listed on reputable sites like Three Best Rated, we’d like to share what we know.

Three Best Rated uses their rigorous 50-point inspection, which includes everything from checking:

  • Reputation
  • History
  • Complaints
  • Ratings
  • Satisfaction
  • Nearness
  • Trust
  • Cost
  • General Excellence

If you meet a high score on their report, their experts will list your business on their website.

This will help bring in a lot more customers for your business – for free!

When you get listed on their site, you’re seen as the best in your area. They only want to recommend people to do business with the best.

So if you need help improving any of the areas mentioned above, Networking Bizz is prepared to make you the best in your industry.

You can take it from us since we’ve been awarded this title year after year so far.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new or an established business owner – there are always a few missing tweaks you might need for your next breakthrough.

Whether that’s changing your website’s design, improving your SEO, or finally setting up paid ads properly…

All you’ll need to do next is book a free consultation call with us, and we’ll take care of it for you.

Here’s our number: (213) 792-4577

Talk to you soon!

12 Tips for Using YouTube for Your Small Business

12 Tips for Using YouTube for Your Small Business

By | seo advice for business

When someone mentions social media as a business tool, most people think of Facebook and Twitter.

Because it’s a video platform, YouTube may not initially seem like a suitable platform for marketing a small business—but now that comments on YouTube are tied to Google+, it’s a more social and influential platform than ever.

Creating and posting video content on YouTube is a great way to boost the visibility and credibility of your small business.

1. Keep the Content Coming

The most popular YouTube channels are those that have high volumes of consistently updated content. If you want to use video as a marketing tool, you need to have—well, video. And lots of it.

There are plenty of ways to produce video content for your small business. Webcasts and webinars can be broken up and posted as a series of videos. You can repurpose infographics into explainer videos, or create short tutorials or product demonstrations. Consider creating a corporate profile or company history video. You can interview the owners, staff, customers, or even yourself.

2. Include Calls to Action

You’ll probably have links in your video’s description, but you should start thinking about how you want viewers to respond before you ever post the video. Make sure your calls to action are included in the video itself. Possible CTAs can include contacting you for more information, subscribing to your YouTube channel, leaving your feedback, sharing your video on their social network channels, or some other desired action.

3. Get Interactive

businessAs people view your videos, they will rate their quality and leave comments. To keep the momentum going, you should monitor and respond to all feedback as quickly as possible. If possible, personalize your responses to each visitor: using a “cookie cutter” automated reply could be even worse than no reply at all.

4. Customize Your Channel

The YouTube page that visitors view when they click on your account name is your channel—and it doesn’t have to look like every other YouTube page. You can customize your channel with colors, images, links, relevant information, and more. This is a great opportunity to reinforce your brand identity by using your logo, color palette, tone, and slogans so that viewers associate the video with your business.

In addition, when you set up a channel on YouTube, your viewers can subscribe and get notified whenever you upload a new video, which helps to encourage repeat visits and loyal viewers.

5. Put Thought into Your Titles

People search YouTube the same way they do on Google—with keywords and phrases that describe what they’re looking for. Titles are weighed heavily in YouTube searches (powered by Google), so don’t give your videos boring, non-descriptive titles.

Few people are going to find or click on a video called “Product Demo.” Instead, incorporate the content of your videos into your titles.

6. Choose the Right Category and Tags

When you upload videos to YouTube, you choose a category for the video and enter tags, or keywords. There are 15 categories to choose from, and you can add dozens of relevant tags.

It’s a good idea to use the tags that YouTube suggests, since they’re based on what people commonly search for. You can also manually add extra tags and variations on your tags—for example, if you sell products for cats, you can use “kitty” and “kitten” as well as “cat.”

7. Write a Great Description

Your video descriptions on YouTube should be short, informative, and multi-purpose. Describe your video in a sentence or two (using your top keywords), and include a link to your small business website or blog for people who want to know more.

8. Consider Collaborations

Collaborative videos are popular on YouTube. Viewers like them because they’re an opportunity to see YouTube favorites working with someone else, and creators like them because of the additional exposure. Look for popular YouTube channels with offering that complement (rather than compete with) your business, and try pitching the idea of a collaboration.

9. Let Your Customers do the Talking

Many small businesses have had great results by posting videos of customer testimonials on YouTube. This is a highly effective way to build trust and credibility with people who may need that extra “nudge” to try your product or service. And video testimonials are proven to have a much bigger impact than written ones.

10. Use Subtitles, Not Annotations

Enabling subtitles on your YouTube video is fairly straightforward—just turn on auto-captioning and edit the output for accuracy. There are hundreds of millions of hearing-impaired YouTube users who appreciate captions, and they are optional (with the default of Off), so they won’t bother viewers who don’t like them.

On the other hand, annotations can and do annoy viewers. Resist adding annotative pop-ups to your videos—instead, place links and your comments in the description.

11. Bulk Up Your Google+ Account

The point of social media is to be social. That means when users comment on your videos, you should interact with them. The YouTube commenting system is now linked to Google+ profiles, so make sure yours is ready for visitors via YouTube with your company profile filled out in detail, including a professional profile pic.

12. Don’t Confine Your Videos to YouTube

Just because you create a YouTube channel, doesn’t mean people will go looking for it. As part of an effective YouTube strategy, make sure you spread the word.

When you post a new video that you want people to see and share, write a blog post about it—or tweet the link, or post it on Facebook. You can also embed videos on your website, especially tutorials, and product demos.

6 Ways to Engage Your Organic Search Traffic on Social Media

6 Ways to Engage Your Organic Search Traffic on Social Media

By | Social Media News

When trying to grow a business online, organic search traffic can seem like one of the slowest games of all time – it can feel like it takes forever for search engines to bring another person to your website. And most businesses are waiting on Google to hopefully bring another five people today or another 10 people tomorrow. The problem arises when you have to wait for people to ask a question in the search engine and hope your content is good enough to rank in the top 10 search results on Google for that particular question. It’s also pretty common that most businesses do not have the time to wait or the budget to grow their website to millions of visitors quickly.

GoogleBut what if there were a way to fix that problem?

What if there were a better and faster way to engage your organic search traffic and your social media content all at the same time?

Luckily, there is a simple six-step process to engage your organic search traffic on social media and drastically expand your organic search reach by using Facebook lookalike audiences.

Step 1: Perform Keyword Research

keyword researchWhen starting with keyword research, you probably have a few keywords that you would like to rank for – apparent things like your products, services, or other topics your website addresses. These seed topics are a great place to start for your keyword research, but that doesn’t mean you should stop there.

What you want to rank for, and what your audience is typing into the search engines, are often two completely different things. That is one of the most pivotal reasons to perform keyword research in the first place. If people aren’t searching for it, then why waste time creating it in the first place?

The smartest way to avoid this is to find the exact words and phrases that your ideal customers are currently searching for on Google and other major search engines. This may sound not easy, but there are a handful of excellent keyword research tools that can help.

For example, we used Ahrefs to research the phrase, ‘“how to get 10k followers on instagram.” You can see how many people are searching for this key phrase and any other relatable parent topics that people are also searching for. When creating content for the search engines, it’s essential to create content that answers one question at a time.

For example, you could take these short-term and long-term keywords and create a blog post on each one of them only when it makes sense for your business. You see, people are searching for your question, but they are also searching for “how to get swipe up on instagram without 10k followers” and “how to get 10k followers on instagram in one day.” If it doesn’t make sense to write a topic on each of those questions and the keywords are too relatable, then maybe it makes more sense to use this set of keywords as an H1 or H2 heading instead, which also plays a significant factor in search engine rankings.

Step 2: Create a Piece of Content

Now that you understand the importance of finding the right keywords to use in your content marketing strategy, it is time to create a blog post. When writing a blog, it is essential to remember that the goal is to get new readers to your blog consistently, eventually leading to a sale. It’s also to get readers and engagement on the blog, so signals are sent to social media and the search engines to help you get that first-page ranking on Google.

This is where keyword research comes into play.

When performing keyword research correctly, it takes no time to get top rankings in Google because you know what people are searching for and how frequently they are searching for it.

Once your blog post is published to your website, it is time to wait for some people to read and engage with it.

Step 3: Get Organic Traffic

digital-marketingThe only thing you have to do in this step is to wait for some organic traffic, the goal is around 1,000 people. Over time when the piece of content you created starts to get search results, you can then set up a pixel and begin running social media ads to hack the process.

However, let me start by saying this may not be as simple as it sounds – this is the step where most businesses get stuck and don’t know how to grow reasonably. Most companies understand how a simple marketing funnel works, but what they don’t understand is how to continuously get newly qualified people throughout every piece of the marketing funnel.

Even so, most businesses don’t understand how to successfully intertwine multiple platforms and use their social media to grow their organic search traffic or vice versa.

People have created all of these great pieces of content, but they don’t understand how to use that to take them to the next level. And when you are using multiple platforms, that’s where this marketing strategy comes into play. You have to understand how to track every person who touches your content, from the first touch to the last. Studies have shown that it usually takes a person seven interactions with a business before making a purchase.

Step 4: Set Up Social Media Pixel

Once you have published your blog post and have a small amount of traffic engaging with your content, it is time to set up your social media pixel on your website.

A pixel is a few lines of code that you copy into the header section of your website. It works by placing and triggering cookies to track users as they interact with your website and your Facebook ads.

The pixel serves two primary purposes:

1. To remarket to someone who has visited one of your pages.

2. To know which pages they have visited and to track and see if someone has completed the desired action, whatever that may be.

What the pixel does, in essence, is allow Facebook to track their audience on our platform, we are essentially giving Facebook access to our tracking.

Step 5: Create a Lookalike Audience

Lookalike Audience FacebookDid you know that Facebook can predict if you are pregnant before you even know you’re pregnant? That seems pretty scary, right? But, here is where that becomes super powerful.

Facebook has an option where you can create a lookalike audience based on its tracking abilities to reach new people who are most likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers. You can create a group of people who have similar likes, interests, and demographics to people who are already interacting with your website.

Step 6: Serve Audience the Social Media Ads

The final step is to show relevant ads to your new lookalike audience that you just created.

To keep this process going, make sure you are consistently showing your lookalike audience new relevant content that meets them at each point in the buyers’ journey.

When you complete this six-step process, you are officially taking your organic search and lighting it on fire.

Low-Budget Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

Low-Budget Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses

By | seo advice for business

Don’t have many bucks to spend on your biz? No worries – there are plenty of marketing tactics you can make use of that won’t blow your small marketing budget. Let’s see how far you can stretch those dollars! Here are marketing ideas for small businesses working on a small budget.

1. Publish Great Content

content marketingIf you can create it yourself, all the better. Even if writing isn’t your strong point, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting someone on your team to crank out some articles for your blog. Try top 10 lists, tip collections, best practices for your industry, etc. I shared a bunch of creative content marketing ideas here, and Elisa recently rewrote the rules of content marketing for small businesses.

2. Create Instructional Videos

Video content is really valuable, and while it can cost big bucks to get professional YouTube videos produced, there’s nothing wrong with giving it a shot yourself or hiring a film student off Craigslist.

If video sounds like too much of a challenge, try making slide decks and sharing them on SlideShare.

3. Get Ad Promo Credits

While massive ad campaigns may be out of your budget, there are often discounts and coupons floating around for paid Facebook ads or Google ads. Some web hosting services offer advertising discount codes as part of their membership offerings. Check and see if yours does.

4. Reddit

redditReddit, a bare-bones social network self-titled as the “front page of the internet,” can be a powerful tool when used strategically. Reddit is composed of a very tech-savvy audience that bristles at any obvious marketing tactics.

To win at Reddit, share only truly awesome content, and post only to extreme niches. In Reddit, there are subcategories (known as subreddits) that deal with some of the narrowest, most specific interests in existence. Find your niche and dominate.

5. Be a Savvy Social Networker

Create business accounts and participate in the big social media sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Add Instagram in there too if your business is image-oriented.

6. DIY Infographics

digital-marketingInfographics are insanely powerful marketing tools. They’re visual eye candy, they’re easy to digest, and people love to share them, so they’re a great way to drive up referral traffic and links. Hiring a designer to make you an A+ infographic can hit your wallet hard, but you can make your own on the cheap if you don’t mind a bit of a challenge.

7. Give New Life to Old Data

If your marketing budget is tight, you might not be able to always afford content writers to whip up content for your blog. If you’re in a dry spell, instead of making something new, breathe new life into something that already exists on the web. There are a ton of data studies and stats available on the internet. While some of these studies may get initial traction, many often go unnoticed.

Find a study that relates to your industry and polish it up. Highlight the most important or interesting parts of the study, add images, crank out some charts, and make your own thoughts and predictions based on the data.

You don’t need to be a master writer for this strategy – the data will do most of the heavy lifting for you. One man’s throwaway data is another man’s content success story! Global statistics can be found through UNICEF and the World Health Organization. Ultimately, you’ll have to find source data that relates to your industry and audience interests.

8. LinkedIn

LinkedInLinkedIn is a major social media site that is often under-utilized. Don’t just add network connections and sign out – join groups, enter into dialogue with connections, and share your blog posts. There’s a ton happening on LinkedIn, and it can be a great place to promote your content, share ideas, and build your brand.

9. Online Contests

You’ll need to cough up some dough for a prize, but the number of participants and new potential leads you get will be well worth the price. Really tight on budget? You don’t technically need a super expensive prize to get participants. Even a couple of high-end water bottles or fancy backpacks might be enough of a draw for some users.

10. Industry Partnerships

Team up with a business related to your industry for a joint project. This can be done locally offline through some kind of special event, or online with a webinar or promotional giveaway. Partnering with another business means twice as much notice. If you’re partnering with an industry-relevant business, you’re getting introduced to a whole new audience related to your niche. People pay big money for that kind of access!

Email Marketing Tips and Tricks to Boost Lead Generation

Email Marketing Tips and Tricks to Boost Lead Generation

By | Social Media News

There are many email marketing tips and tricks that have been going around in the industry. Each of them works differently for every organization. As a marketer, you have to find the best one that aligns with your service and organization as a whole. Almost 77% of B2B marketers have been using email marketing for driving leads. Another report says that there are around 72% of B2B buyers that want to share useful content through email.

Using the relevant images in the email

email marketingA human brain can comprehend an image faster than the text. So, when you use the images that support your copy, the targeted audience will be more likely to read through the mail. A relevant and high-quality image can make all the difference for a high number of conversions.

Clean design

You may have heard this “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” When your email is cluttered with much content, colors, the reader may get distracted from the real message. Make sure that your emails are pleasing for their eyes and motivate them to read it till the end.

Using Gmail ads for targeting the competitor’s audience

As in B2B, we know a lot of attention is given to the competitor’s customers. Gmail ads help in targeting the Google ad campaigns to the recipients who have received the email from the competitor. This can be helpful for some of the businesses and generate good leads.

Working on the right subject line

You would have heard this many times from the industry experts, “a right subject line can make or break the connection with the potential customer.” In a competitive world, when you have just a few seconds to catch the attention of the recipient while they go through a pile of other emails, the right subject line can be the best connector between you and your prospect.

Linking it to the landing page

landing pageThe landing pages are the best and the right point of communication with the prospect. When you link the email content with the landing pages, the recipient will be redirected to these pages. As the landing pages are efficiently designed, it has the potential to make the first good impression on the minds of the customer.

Optimizing for mobile

Mobile personalization is a must-have for all organizations. As a marketer, it is necessary to optimize emails for mobile.

Making the right segmentation

When you know where your audience is in the sales funnel, it will help you to craft a better email message. Segmentation of the audience is done on the basis of geography, engagement, preference, interest, browsing history, demographics, cart abandonment, etc. As you can see in the below image, show them the products for what they will be interested in, or show them the accessories to help them move closer for making the purchase.

Personalizing the automated email campaigns

Personalization has been termed as the new future of marketing. A survey even found that more than 63% of the consumers expect personalization as a standard service. When you personalize the automated email campaign, then customers feel more connected than usual.

Creating gated content

Gated content has been referred to as a piece of content that is provided to the lead in return for their contact information. You have to develop the gated content that helps the lead understand their major challenges. As a marketer, be confident in providing actionable advice through the researched insight for taking the next step in the sales cycle.

website popDisplaying pop-ups

One of the obvious reasons why you are not getting enough leads is that you are not asking your prospect the right question at the right time. You can insert some pop-ups while sending an email to your recipient. These email pop-ups can help create a clear Call-To-Action, giving irresistible, eye-catching design, and asking the feedback to the visitor. Keep the request noticeable with the floating bar and others.

Promoting via other marketing channels

Another way of promotion with an email lead campaign is via the business blog. With the help of educational and informative blogs and effective messaging, blogging can help the business to get more customers. Use the email for driving readers to the blog and for deeper engagement with them.

Geo-tagging the updates

Instagram is one of the mobile social sharing sites. As anyone having a phone can use Instagram from wherever they are, geo-tagging can help for promoting engagement and driving high traffic to the landing pages and the email gated events.

Conclusion

Every organization executes email marketing campaigns, but what can differentiate your strategy from theirs is the way you use it for your advantage. Utilizing the right email marketing tips and tricks at the right time can make your email marketing strategy stand out. As recipients receive a huge number of emails, they lose the patience in going through each of the emails.

10 of the Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Startups

10 of the Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Startups

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

Marketing has changed at a rapid pace. Some marketers even believe that marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the previous 50 years.

Most startups these days have adopted digital marketing. But not all the weapons that digital marketers have in their arsenals are equally effective. Some digital marketing strategies hit the bullseye, while others don’t even come close.

Ready to Get Started?

1. Email Marketing

email-marketingDespite predictions of its death in the marketing world, emails are still around and delivering a handsome return on investment to marketers.

In a recent survey conducted by Demand Metric and the Data & Marketing Association, it was concluded that email marketing had an impressive ROI of 122%.

That was four times higher than the other marketing channels which were analyzed. Those channels included paid search, direct mail, and social media.

Though email marketing is highly effective, not all startups are able to harness the true power of email marketing. But some brands have excelled at email marketing.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social MediaSocial media has become a powerful marketing tool these days.

According to a Social Media Examiner’s report, 90% of marketers confirmed that social media is important to their businesses. And 89% of marketers indicated that their social media initiatives have generated increased exposure for their companies.

The following is a list of the benefits offered by social media marketing:

  • It increases exposures and traffic.
  • Social media marketing develops loyal customers.
  • It improves search ranking and generates leads.
  • It establishes thought leadership.

3. Pay-Per-Click Marketing (Google AdWords)

PPCPay-per-click (PPC) marketing is a method of using search engine advertising to bring visitors to your website. PPC is a powerful marketing tool to generate sales-ready leads.

Pay-per-click advertising offers many practical advantages, such as:

  • You can reach your customers at the right time with the right ad.
  • High ROI as you will have to pay only when an interested person clicks.
  • Control over how much you want to spend.
  • Data and insights to help sharpen other marketing strategies.

PPC campaigns exhaust the budget quickly. So it requires a certain kind of expertise to engineer a successful campaign that generates more conversions than clicks.

4. Search Engine Optimization

There are hundreds of websites in your niche alone. How can your website come up on the top when potential customers search for the keywords relevant to your business?

This is where search engine optimization (SEO) plays a decisive role.

If your website ranks high in search results when your potential customers search for the keywords related to your products or services, it leaves an impression that you are a reputable company.

5. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a highly effective tool for startups to grow their brands. And the best thing is that it’s inexpensive compared to traditional marketing channels.

  • Most customers have become immune to traditional marketing channels.
  • Influencer marketing is less expensive than other promotional strategies.
  • Influencer marketing is easy-to-implement.
  • Word-of-mouth aspect of influencer marketing builds trust for your brand.
  • Customers will engage with your brand because of the authenticity of influencers.

6. Content Marketing

content marketingContent marketing has become a must for businesses these days, whether you are working in the B2B or B2C domain.

90% of B2C organizations are extremely/very committed to content marketing, and 88% of B2B marketers agree that content marketing is an important part of their marketing programs.

By adopting content marketing strategies for your startup, you can:

  • Increase visibility for your brand.
  • Build lasting relationships with your customers.
  • Boost brand awareness and brand recognition.
  • Build credibility and authority.
  • Create thought leadership.

7. Retargeting Ads

Your potential customers might not be convinced when they first visit your website. They need one or more nudges before they actually become your customers.

Retargeting ads do the nudging.

Retargeting is a means of marketing in which you show relevant ads to those who have previously visited your website.

8. Viral Marketing

As a startup, there’s no better way to create a strong buzz about your brand than going viral on the internet. Creating content that goes viral can make your business an overnight success.

9. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing can be treated as a sibling of influencer marketing. It too relies on the influence of people to bring in sales. Which is why you should consider integrating it with your influencer campaign.

You recruit affiliates for your brand to draw in leads for you. They can be thought of as salespeople who work on a commission basis. This commission is entirely up to you to decide. Whether you pay them according to the sales they generate or on a flat fee per product basis.

Affiliate links which are customized links you provide your affiliates with. They share the link with their social media circles who, in turn, can use the link to visit your site and make a purchase.

10. Referral Marketing

One of the best ways of promoting your brand is by letting your customers do it for you. Launching a referral program can be one of the best bets in such a situation. You can share a referral code with each of your customers, and they can share those in their circles.

When anyone from their circle purchases from your brand, you can provide a freebie or discount to the referring customer. This can motivate them to refer more people and help you grow your startup.

 

Top 8 Ecommerce Trends For 2020 You Can Implement Now

By | E Commerce Business News

Business is a dog eat dog world, and not keeping ahead of the curve can spell disaster. When it comes to staying ahead of said curve, there is one pie that you should have your fingers in. This pie is that of eCommerce. E-commerce is seeing a year on year growth of around 15% and in 2018 was responsible for approximately $3 trillion in sales.

Today we are going to look at some eCommerce trends that can be implemented now for 2020. These trends will hopefully see you and your business take a bigger slice of that pie.

Get Personal

Industry EventsWhen the world was in the height of the retail revolution, there was one thing that set a successful business to stand out above its competitors. That one thing was a different level of customer engagement. Just because the company is online does not mean a relationship cannot be built with a customer.

Having access to or having your own CRM system can be one of the most beneficial customer management tools available to you. Having access to and making use of personal data and customer history data will enable you to offer every returning customer a more personal service.

It’s also crucial to make it easy to get in touch with you or leave feedback. You might use an online form builder to create a contact form which you might embed on your website and product pages.

Be Flexible

Another huge thing for the consumer moving forward is the payment option. When sitting in the world of ecommerce, the more payment methods you accept, the more successful you will be.

Payments should not be strictly limited to credit or debit card. The offering of PayPal on top of this may not be sufficient enough to keep everything moving forward. One sure-fire way to get yourself ready for 2020 and beyond is to offer flexible payment methods over a space of time. This doesn’t necessarily have to be credit agreements. This could be a term of service account agreement between yourself and the customer.

Get Interactive

Offering a customer the chance to view a product from the comfort of their own home should be a step you are already implementing. One of the biggest issues when it comes to basket abandonment online is the doubt of purchase. This doubt comes from only being able to view a standard image of the product.

Having an option to view the entire product, however, will reduce the number of abandoned baskets exponentially. The process involves a 3D image of the product or a 360 video which is a slider control system that enables the customer to view almost every nook and cranny.

Business to Business

When we think of eCommerce its always on the level of business to customer basis. What if you were told that you could possibly make even more should you look at business to business? Business to Business e-commerce is, in fact, starting to grow at an even faster rate than that of business to customer.

Get AI

For some, there is a fear of a Bladerunner type world where AI is going to take over. When it comes to ecommerce, though, there are some aspects that AI should take over.

With the progression in technology and the increasingly fantastic opportunities that artificial intelligence has presented, not using it as a part of your ecommerce strategy would be a mistake. The primary function of the AI should be to automate the menial tasks for your company so your efforts can be concentrated elsewhere. AI can also provide your customers with a chat option in order to register specific details before reaching a member of the team. AI will even from time to time, solve fundamental customer issues automatically.

Get AI for your ecommerce business

One of the most important trends you should be jumping on is enhancing your ecommerce fulfilment process. When it comes to your fulfilment process, this is obviously at the very heart of your business.

The ecommerce fulfilment process can be enhanced ten-fold with the introduction of an order management system. The OMS itself can help future proof your business and when used properly, can make life a whole lot easier. The joy behind an OMS system is its ability to unify all of your business tasks and to also communicate fluently with your other business systems.

Go Video

We now live in a world of influencers, and at the heart of the influencer is video. Introducing video, even at its most basic level to your ecommerce business could be just the boost it needs.

The video could have many purposes. A video could introduce a product, or even offer instructions on how best to use the item. All in all, a video is a far more personal way of presenting a product to the customer. When a product is presented in such a personal way, it offers a sense of engagement that is rarely found in a digital retail environment.

Augmented reality

Introducing AR to your ecommerce business gives your customers the ability to see how something looks without even being next to it. Augmented reality now offers the customer an opportunity to place a piece of furniture in their living room to make sure it fits with aesthetics. A customer can now even try on glasses from the comfort of their own sofa. Augmented reality really is a fantastic way of stepping ahead of the curve.

So there we have it, trends you can implement right now to get a step ahead for 2020. Whether you decide to take on one or even all ten of the steps, you can be sure that your slice of the pie is going to be a big one.

Marketing Automation Tips for Small Business

6 Marketing Automation Tips for Small Business

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

Small businesses are utilizing marketing automation platforms to help grow their business more than ever before. When it comes to capturing leads and nurturing them into sales-ready prospects, marketing automation provides the tools to necessary to execute, manage and automate tasks that helps drive growth.

A study found on eMarketer showed marketing automation platforms improved lead management and lead nurturing by an overwhelming 86% among B2B marketers worldwide.

Needless to say, marketing automation is not going anywhere anytime soon. If you are a small business just getting started, here are a few marketing automation tips to help get you started.

1. Establish your goals for Marketing Automation

Ranking Algorithm Machine LearningAs a small business just starting out with marketing automation you should determine your objectives and establish a set of measurable goals that will ultimately shape how your campaigns will be designed.

When establishing these goals, you should consider what you are trying to accomplish with marketing automation. Most small businesses use marketing automation with the goal to increase e-commerce sales, lead generation, customer retention and repeat business. Marketing automation software can provide the tools necessary to accomplish these goals, however, it takes careful consideration and participation from Marketing and Sales teams to create campaigns that your audience will engage with.

2. Build your list from people interested in your products or services

optimizeThere are several tactics that you can use grow your email database for your marketing automation campaigns.

  • Newsletter Opt-ins
  • Create Content Gates for Lead Generation
  • Use Social Media to promote Lead Gen Offers
  • Host a Webinar
  • Promote an Online Contest

3. Segment your lists based on interests and tailor your messaging

Segmentation is key to any successful marketing automation campaign. If your business offers a wide variety of products or services, you should ensure that your email content is tailored to the interests of each specific customer to move them further down the sales funnel.

4. Make your Automated Emails appear as “Un-Automated” as possible

The beauty of marketing automation software is that it allows you to address the needs of your audience and the right time during the their journey, however, it is very easy to lose sight of the “human touch” that make campaigns most effective.

Start with a goal you want your audience to accomplish and map out all possible decisions and responses. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about how you would respond to your message. Once this is mapped out, you can begin to scale and test your messaging.

5. Perform Split-Testing

A/B testing in email marketing is a method of conducting experiments using multiple variants of messaging to gather data on the best performing campaigns to make informative optimizations. Simply put, A/B campaigns can allow you to distribute two email messages to a list to test which email message has higher engagement metrics.

Split-Testing your campaigns is a proven way to make data-driven decisions regarding your campaign’s messaging, offering, design and much more. This powerful tool integrated in your marketing automation platform allows you to consistently improve the metrics that matter the most to your small business.

6. Start Small and Measure your Efforts

It takes time to develop a well-oiled, marketing automation machine capable of nurturing sales-ready leads. Small Businesses just getting started should understand the importance of testing campaign messaging and response to.

Here are some of the metrics you should be paying close attention at the very least:

  • Email Open & Click-Thru Rates
  • Unsubscribe Rates
  • List Growth
  • Website Engagement
  • Conversion Rate

Finally,

  • It is important that you identify your goals.
  • Diversify your lead generation efforts to capture your target audiences.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all customer, segment your audiences to deliver the right message at the right time.
  • Understand that marketing automation can and will fail if you lose sight of the “human touch”.
  • Like any marketing effort, start small, test and scale.

7 Facebook Marketing Trends Every Small Business Should Know in 2020

7 Facebook Marketing Trends Every Small Business Should Know in 2020

By | Social Media News

Facebook marketing has both grown and morphed into different forms over the years, but it has remained powerful. Small businesses can take advantage of the same audience that big companies have through Facebook marketing. As of 2020, there are 1.69 billion users on Facebook, and around 1.3 billion users on Facebook Messenger. Being able to tap into that market can turn your small business from an obscure donkey to a powerful unicorn. If you’re looking to up your game this year, here are seven Facebook marketing trends entrepreneurs should be aware of.

Chatbot Marketing

chatbotCustomers prefer being able to interact with businesses that can respond immediately round the clock. The rise of chatbots has shown how modern digital marketing has become more about conversations.

Consumers want that interaction with businesses, with 82% of them wanting an immediate response. Businesses that can provide that are able to retain their interest and convert more of them into paying customers. It also helps if they can do other things like accurately recall your buying history, recommend products, and so on.

Many big brands use chatbot for their customer service, marketing, and even for ordering their products and services.

Personalization

Generic messages annoy at least 63% of customers, who won’t think twice about turning away from brands that do so. While it takes more effort, personalizing your marketing is the biggest way to make yourself stand out this year.

You should personalize your content, products, message blasts, and other marketing materials to your customers. Around 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a business that offers personalized experiences.

Personalized messages triggered by behavior are three times better at conversions than generic blast messages.

Video Marketing

video marketingVideo marketing has always been powerful, but its greater ease thanks to current technology makes it one of most powerful marketing trends for the next decade. Meanwhile, 72% of businesses have said that video marketing has boosted their conversion rates in some way.

Video is the most popular medium for learning about new products and businesses they’ve just encountered. This is even more so with the shift towards mobile devices, wherein long-form content is harder to read.

In fact, posting your videos on Facebook is great as you can easily get a lot of views and engagement.

Facebook Stories

PostAdding to video marketing on Facebook, you should also get into posting stories to update your audience in real time. Facebook Stories is becoming more popular in increasing brand awareness, especially among younger audiences.

You can take a photo or video and post it as a story quickly and easily, not having to plan it out like you would with a regular post.

Influencer Marketing

An influencer is a key leader in the community, who represents the people while also serving as your representative. Having an influencer with a considerable following in your niche who can vouch for your business can be a powerful marketing tool.

Social Commerce

The integration of ecommerce and social media has been growing, and people can even buy products directly through social media posts.Facebook doesn’t only have the marketplace, but also the checkout feature that lets them pay for products advertised within the platform.

That makes marketing and selling products much easier and more profitable in the long run.

Community and User-Generated Content

Building a community isn’t something you do in a short period of time, but it’s invaluable to any business. It’s a long-term investment of time and energy that can pay off big, and one major benefit is user-generated content (UGC).

That UGC may show customers using your products, and that can then be used to market them to the rest of your audience. You can do things like offer a discount for people who allow you to use their content, turning them into micro-influencers.

This form of micro-influencer marketing is just one of the ways you can leverage your community.

The seven trends mentioned above can be used to leverage these new ways of marketing your business within Facebook throughout 2020.

Facebook marketing is growing more powerful every year, but it also shifts from one form to another. Nowadays, it has moved to other places within the platform like Facebook Messenger marketing. If you can keep up, your business will benefit greatly by being on Facebook for the foreseeable future.

Tips for a small business

Tips for a Small Business Website That Works

By | seo advice for business

The purpose of a business website is to provide your potential clients or customers who use the Internet to access your business and make doing business with you, rather than someone else, an attractive proposition. The trick to getting what you want out of your site, such as leads and sales, is to have a site design that attracts the visitors you want and encourages them to do what you want them to do. To create a business website that works look at your site design and make sure it has these qualities.

Professional Appearance

Your website design needs to look professional. Some cookie-cutter website templates and/or home-made websites stand out like sore thumbs and do nothing to encourage anyone to do business with you. Unless you are an experienced website designer, you should hire one to design a website for your company.

Great Content

growThe endless sales pitch approach is vastly overdone and an instant turn-off for visitors. People come to your business website to see information about your business, and your products and/or services. They are already interested, to provide more relevant, additional content for them.

For instance, if you offer bookkeeping services, additional information on keeping records or tax tips are great value-added content. If you sell tiles, provide not only detailed information on your product lines but how-to information on installation.​

Easy for Doing Business

Somewhere on your website, you need to have a page that has your full contact information, including your mailing address and your phone number(s). It’s not good enough to just have an e-mail address. Carrying contact information on every page is even better.

Online Payment Options

online bankingIf you want people to buy your product, you have to make it easy for them. Invest in a good shopping cart, and make sure that you offer payment options such as credit cards and other online payment options, such as PayPal. People don’t want to have to bother to print off and mail in a form and a cheque.

Address Your Visitor’s Security Concerns

Customers are concerned about transmitting personal information, such as credit card numbers, over the Web. You need to not only have the appropriate technology (such as SSL) in place, but let your potential customers know about it, by putting your Secure Site certificates in prominent locations, and having a page that addresses your visitor’s concerns, such as an FAQ.

Search-Engine Optimization

SEONow your site showcases your business and the products or services you offer in a way that makes doing business with your company attractive. What’s next? Signage; showing the prospective customer the path to your business website’s door.

How do you show prospective customers the path to your business website’s online door? Primarily through good search engine placement, which means spending time on search engine optimization.

You need to give every page of your business website the best chance of ranking well in the search engines. Search engine optimization means that every page of your site has title tags and meta tags that are appropriate in terms of the keywords you have chosen for that page and that you’ve used each page’s keywords or phrases the ‘right’ number of times throughout each page.

Integrate Social Media

Nowadays most business websites are integrated with social media. Having a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. adds further legitimacy to your business and can drive more traffic to your business website. The more tweets or Facebook likes your site gets the higher your website will rank in the search engines.

Web Hosting

While there are some free web hosts out there, many visitors will turn up their nose at your site when they see that your business is using one. The assumption is that the quality of business will have quality website hosting.

Most free hosting services do not allow you to use your own domain name. Your website URL will be a subfolder of the provider-supplied domain name, e.g. www.freehosting.com/acme. Using a free or ‘inexpensive’ web hosting service can also cause you problems because of excessive downtime––periods of time when no one can access your small business website at all

Top 10 B2B Marketing Strategies

Top 10 B2B Marketing Strategies

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

We were curious about what business professionals thought about marketing. We took a look at recent survey results and reports that compiled data on the topic, and created a list of 10 B2B marketing strategies commonly recognized as successful regardless of industry. Here’s what we found:

Content Marketing

content marketingContent marketing emphasizes education over selling to influence buying behavior. This strategic marketing approach focuses on creating and distributing information relevant to prospects’ needs in order to attract those best aligned with — and most likely to purchase — your product or service. Since communication is ongoing, content can be tailored to reflect what you learn about leads over time, and may include varied formats like infographics, webpages, podcasts, videos, blogs, white papers, webinars, and eBooks. It’s important to note that content marketing is not synonymous with inbound marketing (more on inbound below). Content marketing is an important component to an overall inbound strategy, but it does not integrate other marketing methodologies to maximize content value.

Content Marketing is effective because it:

  • Draws prospects through the sales funnel
  • Grows brand visibility, credibility, and desirability
  • Aligns target markets with relevant information

Inbound Marketing

Inbound is far and away the most effective B2B marketing strategy because it leverages the strengths of the majority of the other nine strategies to attract, engage, and delight customers. Unlike traditional marketing methods — or even those of the other strategies listed here — inbound earns the attention of customers and pulls them to a company website by producing meaningful content. Because messaging is relevant and appears in the right place at the right time, inbound invites visitors in rather than annoying them with interruptive traditional advertising.

Inbound Marketing is effective because it:

  • Works for businesses of any size or type
  • Creates more knowledgeable prospects
  • Can be easily integrated and managed using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, like HubSpot CRM

Social Media Marketing

Social MediaSocial media marketing focuses on providing users with content they find valuable and want to share across their social networks, resulting in increased visibility and traffic. Social media shares of content, videos, and images also influence SEO efforts in that they often increase relevancy in search results within social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram as well as search engines like Google and Yahoo.

Social Media Marketing is effective because it:

  • Reduces marketing spends while increasing lead generation
  • Provides metrics that give companies additional marketplace insight
  • “Humanizes” brands and encourages conversions

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of increasing awareness about — and traffic to — a particular website by making sure it appears among the top unpaid (or “natural”) search results on search engines like Google, Bing!, and Yahoo. While there is a common misperception that it is a stand-alone marketing tactic, SEO is accomplished by many tactics working together and is central to an effective inbound marketing strategy.

While social media, email, banner ads, and other marketing tools generate website visits, SEO visibility is particularly important because search engines are the primary way users navigate the Internet. It automatically increases your audience in a relevant, targeted way — they self-identify as someone who is interested in, your product or service.

Search Engine Optimization is effective because it:

  • Continues to evolve to keep pace with mobile and local search engine optimization
  • Simplifies searches for customers interested in your product or service
  • Is a cost-effective way to keep your brand competitive with similarly situated companies
  • Explore more in this free SEO Survival Guide!

Search Engine Marketing/PPC

pay per clickSearch engine marketing, or SEM, is a tool that companies use to grow their website traffic through paid online advertising. One of the most popular SEM methods is pay-per-click (PPC) links. Essentially, a company buys or “sponsors” a link that appears as an ad in search engine results when keywords related to their product or service are searched. Every time the ad is clicked, the company pays the search engine (or other third party host site) a small fee for the visitor — a literal “pay per click.”

Search Engine Marketing is effective because of its:

  • Breadth in online tools and reach
  • Cost-effectiveness in generating high visibility
  • Adaptability to multiple markets and audiences

Account Based Marketing and Retargeting

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a B2B strategy that focuses on a targeted set of accounts using highly personalized campaigns. It provides marketing and sales teams with a number of advantages, including a faster sales process, cost effectiveness, and a more efficient use of marketing resources. With all of the things ABM is, though, it’s important to remember that ABM is not the same as targeted outbound marketing. It’s much more strategic, using methods like online retargeting to personalize marketing efforts.

Retargeting uses browser cookie-based technology to identify users who visited your site but left (or “bounced”) before completing a transaction or conversion. The cookie allows for targeted advertisements to appear in those users’ subsequent web searches and interactions, even if they’re not related to your site specifically. Retargeting is an effective conversion tool because it repeatedly gets your brand in front of audiences that are already interested in your product or service.

Retargeting is effective because it:

  • Recaptures the attention and purchase power of “window shoppers”
  • Generates high click-through rates
  • Lends itself to visitor segmentation and tailored messaging

Earned Media and PR

Earned media (or “free media”) is publicity that’s created through efforts other than paid advertising. It can take a variety of forms — a social media testimonial, word of mouth, a television or radio mention, a newspaper article or editorial — but one thing is constant: earned media is unsolicited and can only be gained organically. It cannot be bought or owned like traditional advertising.

Earned media and PR are effective because they:

  • Are generally “free” advertising channels
  • Are unsolicited and, therefore, have instant perceived credibility
  • Increase awareness of valuable, educational, and trustworthy content

Referral Programs

A referral program is an umbrella term used to describe a systematic approach companies take to incentivize people to tell others about their products or services. Implementing specific affiliate programs, customer referral programs and partner programs within a marketing plan structure are meant to offer the instant credibility of existing customers to grow a customer base. “Referral programs” is often used synonymously with “referral marketing.”

  • Referral programs are effective because they:
  • Leverage the recommendations of happy customers
  • Authentically recognize customers’ brand loyalty and reinforce it

Industry Events

Industry EventsTradeshows remain a top B2B networking tool (especially when inbound tactics support event efforts), as they gather companies within a specific industry into one location for demonstrating their latest products and services. Rarely open to the public, trade shows give companies the chance to establish or strengthen relationships with key industry partners, customers, and prospects; identify market trends and opportunities; and gain an understanding of what their competition is offering in the market.

Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is just that — a conversation. Real-time interaction via a chatbot or live chat gets the right information in front of prospects and customers at the right time, and follow-up questions are addressed immediately. Personalized, relevant engagement vastly improves the user experience. For businesses, conversational marketing typically cuts the time buyers stay in the sales funnel. Conversions happen quicker because relationships are established quicker.

Conversational marketing is effective because it:

  • Removes layers of impersonal lead capture and creates an authentic, personal customer experience
  • Fosters clear communication — buyers can plainly state their needs, and businesses can more readily understand and assist since there is appropriate context around the request
  • Strengthens relationships as bots can also recommend additional content to supplement buyer education

keyword research the complete guide to find the best keywords

Keyword Research: The Complete Guide to Find the Best Keywords

By | seo advice for business

How to do keyword research?

There are many ways to do it, either manually or using a keyword research tool like Keyword Tool. But whichever way you choose, there are a number of important steps that you need to take.

Step-by-step guide to performing a proper and thorough keyword research:

Step 1: Study your niche

keywordsBefore you figure out what are the best keywords to optimize your page, it’s best that you start by diving deep to learn more about your topic or niche. It can give you out-of-the-box ideas and help discover angles to your marketing and SEO strategy that you might not have thought about before.

Talk with your existing customers and get to know them better. Find out the terms that they use when describing your brand, company, product or service.

Step 2: Define your goals

A plan needs to always begin by defining the end goal. But before that, you should ask important and introspective questions like:

  • Who are you?
  • What is your brand about?
  • What makes you special?
  • What is your website about?
  • What promises do you make on your website?
  • Once you have effectively answered these questions, then you need to specify what is your brand’s mission. Do you want to increase the number of subscribers? Or do you have a sales target by a certain date?

It’s important to define your goal because it will provide a direction for your SEO strategy and plan. The search terms that you will eventually use should be aligned to your goals.

Step 3: Make a list of relevant topics

Based on your the main category of your brand and the goals you aim to achieve, break it down to smaller topic buckets. Make a list of all the topics related to your brand that you want to rank on Google.

Step 4: Create a list of seed keywords

Now that you’ve broken down your main category to different buckets of sub-topics, you can start creating a list of seed keywords. These keywords need to be related to your various topics, and more importantly, are terms that your target audience might be searching on Google.

Seed keywords, or focus keywords, are important as they will become the foundation of your keyword research. They define your niche and identify your competitors.

Step 5: Use good keyword research tools

It avoids you from getting too bogged down with keywords and helps you gain a wider perspective for your content and SEO strategy.

Once you have identified your goals, topics, and a list of seed keywords, it’s time to use keyword research tools to further refine your search terms.

You can use a tool like Keyword Tool. It will give you a lot more details and help you narrow down on the right direction for your search terms.

Step 6: Study the search intent

Ranking Algorithm Machine LearningToday, Google’s machine learning search algorithms compare search terms with user queries to learn about search intent.

Search intent is defined as the intent or reason behind why people search for a specific term.

Once you have a good idea of the search intent behind potential readers or customers, you will be able to use it to fine-tune your keyword research.

Step 7: Identify long-tail keywords

Seed keywords are often shorter search terms that are closely related to your brand’s main topic or category. Long tail keywords, on the other hand, are more descriptive and often related to your brand’s smaller buckets of sub-topics. Matching your target audience’s search intent to long tail keywords is far easier compared to seed keywords.

Step 8: Find out about your competitors

Doing keyword research on Google about your brand alone is not nearly enough. You also need to be aware of what your competitors are doing. The better you understand the content landscape of your industry, the better it will be for your SEO.

Understanding the competitiveness of different keywords will also allow you to identify search terms that might be too difficult to rank.

Once you’ve gone through these steps, you should have enough insights to craft a good content and SEO strategy. You would also have gotten adequate data for SEO copywriting for your content.

Doing keyword research can be a tedious and time-consuming task. But more often than not, it pays off handsomely in the long run.

7 Trends in Digital Marketing in 2020

By | Social Media News

It doesn’t matter what your industry is, or what products and services you offer – digital marketing trends cannot be ignored. Not so long ago, companies needed little more than a website and a Facebook page, but now, the digital landscape is evolving so quickly that it’s hard to keep up.

By now, there aren’t too many successful businesses that don’t have an online presence. In 2020, new technologies and tools will come to the fore, forcing marketers to adapt in order to keep their organizations at the top.

Discover digital marketing trends to be ready for in 2020.

1. Facebook May Be Peaking. Really.

Facebook is no longer the kingpin in the social media world. According to Forbes, 41% of its users are over the age of 65. While it is by no means struggling, it’s clear that Facebook is losing ground with the younger demographics, who tend to prefer the more visual, interactive experiences offered by Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. The once-dominant force is continuing to drop in popularity with younger demographics, with TechCrunch speculating that Facebook may be dead to Gen Z.

It’s essential for future digital marketers to really look at who their target market may be because Facebook may be very unsuitable for some campaigns, especially as it continues to trend downwards with younger people. Facebook is still massive, and many Americans continue to check in on it. Still, marketers should be more cautious with who they are trying to connect with and make sure their target audience is still on Facebook. If not, you could be wasting your marketing budget, targeting the wrong social media platform.

2. Instagram is a Hit with the Kids

Instagram marketingInstagram’s meteoric rise has already seen it pass one billion users, an impressive achievement. That means it’s one of the most rapidly growing social media platforms and, perhaps more importantly, much of its user base is the coveted younger demographic, especially under 30.

3. Chatbots Will Dominate Customer Service

Chatbots interact with humans in a natural way, primarily through the use of text chat windows, but verbal interactions are also possible. Over time, as the system collects more data insights, the AI learns more about the customers, making it possible to offer a continuously-improving service.

Benefits of using chatbots:

  • 24-hour service
  • Instant responses to customer queries
  • No need for breaks, vacations, or overtime pay

4. Video is No Longer an Option

video marketingIf your business isn’t already using video marketing, you should get on board this year. Text-based content simply can’t compete with the power of video, especially when it comes to trying to sell products and services online.

Video marketing is highly-engaging, especially if it’s live video. Live streaming is a powerful method of digital marketing when combined with influencer marketing.

Twitch has over 15 million daily active users, most of whom tune in just to watch live streaming videos from influencers like Ninja.

5. Good Content Still Matters

Content marketing continues to be an essential component of digital marketing, although there’s an increasing emphasis on nuance in content. The quality is always going to matter, but now there’s more emphasis on the context and targeting. Google is developing a deeper, more sophisticated understanding of online content, and so, marketers must think carefully about their target market and how they can tailor content more precisely in 2020.

6. Email is Getting More Personalized

email marketingEmail continues to be a major channel of communication, with billions still using it for personal, commercial, industrial, legal, scientific, and academic purposes. In other words, email is here to stay, and email marketing itself continues to be important.

However, email marketing is evolving, and generic marketing emails aren’t as effective as they once were. It is now a combination of automation and, more importantly, personalization that makes email marketing important for 2020.

7. Interactive Content Will Become Mainstream

In 2020, more companies will experiment with interactive content types, such as:

  • Quizzes and polls
  • Augmented reality ads
  • 360-degree videos

As AI technology improves, companies can leverage data insights and machine learning to get a better understanding of customer behaviors, and then personalize it at the highest-level. Ultimately, a focus on omnichannel marketing is the road to an enhanced customer journey that keeps people coming back for more. In 2020, AI technology, video, voice search, and interactive content will be among the most prominent trends.

How to Choose the Right SEO Company for Your Business

By | seo advice for business

Selecting a full-service S.E.O agency is no easy task — choosing a good S.E.O company is even harder. It’s tough to find a company you trust with something as valuable as your web presence, but, there are a lot of great firms out there!

Explore how businesses like yours choose S.E.O agencies, plus get advice for what to look for in an S.E.O company, below. You can make the research and vetting process even easier by browsing our tips for how to find the best S.E.O company too!

Why companies hire certain S.E.O companies

Factor 1: Referrals and previously established relationships

Referrals and previously established relationships turned out to be a key reason, cited by 45% of reviewers. This makes sense, as companies may not be experienced with S.E.O services, and they, therefore, rely on the experiences of friends and colleagues they trust.

 

Factor 2: S.E.O company knowledge and processes

The second-largest factor in choosing an S.E.O company is company knowledge and processes.

This includes customer service, thought leadership, staff experience, reporting, and transparency. These are all attributes that can help make a company successful for their clients, as they were mentioned by 43% of reviewers.

Factor 3: Case studies, client references, and online reviews

Closely related to company knowledge and processes, the past performance includes specific evidence, such as case studies, client references, and online reviews, all of which indicate previous success. About 14% said this was a deciding factor in their decision.

Are businesses choosing S.E.O companies the right way?

In the process of digging into our reviews, we also noticed that 19% — almost one in five companies — had a negative experience with an S.E.O firm in the past before finding the right fit.

This tells me a couple of things:

Great agencies still have work to do in educating potential clients on what a successful S.E.O strategy and partnership should look like.

Businesses need to take more time vetting their prospective partners along with many criteria to find the right fit.
To be more specific, the companies that select an S.E.O firm based primarily on factors such as location, price, or culture fit, as opposed to company knowledge and performance, are not doing enough homework before entering into a partnership.

Learn how to choose an S.E.O company (and avoid the above scenario) with these three steps:

1. Look at the S.E.O agency’s past performance

Performance matters for not only S.E.O agencies but also businesses like yours.

People look at what your company’s done to determine if you can deliver. You should do the same when choosing an S.E.O company. Look at their past performance, whether through portfolio examples, case studies, industry awards, or client testimonials.

With concrete proof of an S.E.O agency’s performance, your business can go into a consultation or partnership with confidence. You know that you’re choosing a good S.E.O company for achieving your goals for growing your business.

2. Ask past or current clients about their experience

Next, you want to connect with past or current clients.

Reading testimonials, as well as in-depth interviews, can help your company get insight into the client experience. You can learn about the agency’s strengths and weaknesses, plus preview the strategy and reporting process.

A list of common questions for how to choose the right S.E.O company

  • How fast does the agency return calls or emails?
  • Do clients receive a dedicated point-of-contact or different ones?
  • How much time do clients have to set aside to review reports and strategy decisions?

All this information can help your company choose the best S.E.O agency for you. It can also make narrowing your list of options easier. You can focus your efforts and time on the S.E.O companies that check off every requirement on your list.

3. Meet the S.E.O company and ask questions

The final step in how to choose an S.E.O company revolves around meeting your potential agencies.

Before you sign with an S.E.O agency, you want to meet them. Whether you meet in-person or virtually, like through a video conference, that face-to-face meeting can help your team determine if they are the right S.E.O company for you.

When you meet with your potential agencies, make sure to compile a list of questions.

A few examples of some questions to ask when choosing an S.E.O company include:

What experience do you have with our business’s industry?
When should we expect to see results?
How much do your S.E.O services cost?
For the best meet-and-greet, brainstorm various questions with your team and company leaders. While your team may have questions about strategy and reporting, your decision-makers may have questions about pricing and return on investment (R.O.I).

mistakes marketing3 big mistakes smart businesses make when choosing an S.E.O company

Everyone makes mistakes, and that includes the best businesses. That’s why, before you start choosing an S.E.O company, you should review the common and big mistakes that organizations often make when finding an S.E.O agency.

These three mistakes include:

1. Choosing a “cheap” S.E.O agency

Price does matter when it comes to S.E.O services and agencies.

You want to set a budget and find an S.E.O company within that budget. The mistake, however, is that many businesses set unrealistic budgets. They see agencies offering S.E.O for $100 per month, for instance, and think that’s a reasonable amount.

Businesses spend an average of $750 to $2000 per month on S.E.O company services

2. Browsing only local S.E.O companies

Getting to work with a local S.E.O agency is a bonus when choosing a good S.E.O company.

When it comes to what to look for in an S.E.O company, however, the location of your agency shouldn’t be your top factor. You want to prioritize experience, performance, and client experience over location because that will impact the quality of your service the most.

Limiting yourself to a small area can stop your business from achieving the kind of results you want.

3. Selecting a black-hat S.E.O agency

S.E.O doesn’t deliver immediate results, though. In most cases, it requires three to six months to start providing a return. This feature can lead to frustration, as well as smart companies falling for black-hat S.E.O strategies.

Black-hat S.E.O describes unethical (and ineffective) long-term S.E.O tactics. While you can use black-hat approaches to rank in search results quickly, you will fall from page one fast. Worse, Google may even ban your website from ever appearing in its search results again.

In addition to the above how-to process, use these tips for how to find the best S.E.O company.

These tips come from the key factors that we heard over and over again in our interviews with businesses already partnering with S.E.O agencies.

So, when you’re wondering what to look for in an S.E.O company, look for the following:

  • Evidence of successful past performance
  • Strong transparency and reporting
  • Customer service and attention
  • Thought leadership and knowledge transfer
  • Customized, fair pricing
  • Specialization in the service you need

Make sure you also feel comfortable with the agency. You want to feel like you can ask questions, voice concerns, and more. If you don’t, it can lead to problems with developing a long-term partnership, which is critical as S.E.O is a long-term, ongoing strategy.

Networking Bizz listed on “Expertise.com” as Best Digital Agency of Pasadena 2020

Networkbizz

7 Ecommerce Trends That You Need to Know in 2020

7 Ecommerce Trends That You Need to Know in 2020

By | seo advice for business

Ecommerce has revolutionized retail. It has evolved to meet the changing needs of people, and to make online shopping easier for the modern day customer. When it started, eCommerce was fairly limited in its capabilities. But not anymore. Whether it’s customization, enhanced return policies, or improved integration, all of these changes (among countless others) have taken the world of eCommerce by storm. And 2020 is here to further transform the world of eCommerce.

So, if you’re still on the fence about the future of eCommerce, these eCommerce trends will prove to you that eCommerce isn’t just rapidly growing, it’s here to stay. And you too can include these eCommerce developments into your business to ensure steady growth of your online store.

Why Are Ecommerce Trends so Important?

The eCommerce world is becoming increasingly competitive. To stay ahead of the competition, eCommerce trends need to be constantly monitored. No matter how mature your eCommerce store is right now, if you don’t keep up with eCommerce trends, you’ll risk falling drastically behind. You need to keep looking ahead to ensure future success. As we move into 2020, you need to know these trends in order to take advantage of them. That’s why it’s so important that eCommerce trends are analyzed and adopted in a timely manner. By doing this you can drive your eCommerce brand forward, and stay ahead of your competition.

Here are the top 7 eCommerce trends for 2020 that you need to look out for.

1. Online Sales Growth is Unstoppable

ecommerce marketingEcommerce sales have been growing constantly and for good reason. Online shopping is one of the most popular online activities. The sales are projected to increase from 1.3 trillion in 2014 to 4.5 trillion in 2021 (Statista, 2019). That’s a massive figure. It would mean a threefold growth over a 7-year span.

2. The Future of Ecommerce After COVID-19

With governments worldwide shutting stores and implementing lockdowns to restrict social movement for months on end in a bid to combat the coronavirus, more and more people are resorting to online shopping to purchase items.

In fact, market analysts say that the eCommerce industry will be the biggest beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid-19The positive COVID-19 impact on eCommerce, unfortunately, spells a heavy loss for brick-and-mortar stores. As many as 100,000 are forecast to shut over the next five years.

At an estimated 24,000 closures, apparel retailers will be the most affected, followed by 12,000 consumer electronics stores, and 11,000 home furnishings and grocery stores each.

 

3. Mobile Shopping is Growing

The growth of mobile commerce has been noteworthy. Since 2016, sales made via mobile devices increased by 15%. By the end of 2021, 73% of eCommerce sales will take place on a mobile device (Statista, 2019). These figures can’t be ignored. Improving the eCommerce experience for mobile customers can be a huge opportunity for businesses to tap into.

4. Rise of Voice Commerce

Voice shopping is growing among Internet users. 13% of U.S. smart speaker owners say that they were making purchases by voice at the end of 2017. That number is predicted to grow to 55% by 2022. While voice shopping is still in its early stages, this statistic shows us that it will become increasingly popular in the coming years.

5. Evolving Role of Social Media in Ecommerce

Social MediaThe number of social shoppers is also rapidly increasing. With the introduction of the “Buy” button on Facebook, and Instagram Checkout, social media is playing a significant role in the world of eCommerce.

Instagram and Facebook, for example, are constantly updating their features to meet the comfort needs of online buyers.

6. Environmental Topics Influence Buyers

Green consumerism is on the rise, and brands need to take action. Half of the digital consumers say that environmental concerns impact their purchasing decisions. Online businesses need to step in and make sure that their practices are environmentally friendly.

7. Personalization is the Future

Personalizing the online shopping experience is the key to keeping customers satisfied. People shopping online want help to find the products that they need, and they value a more personalized experience.

Conclusion:

With the advancement in technology and changes in consumer behavior, you need to keep an eye out for these eCommerce trends in 2020. Whichever eCommerce trend you decide to adopt, do it with the aim of improving the shopping experience for your customers, and building a long-lasting relationship with them. Take your eCommerce evolution to the next level, by evolving with it side-by-side, and taking advantage of these eCommerce trends.

4 Tips To Effectively Increase Your Facebook Reach

4 Tips To Effectively Increase Your Facebook Reach

By | seo advice for business

Facebook may not be the latest social media network around, but it is certainly still one of the most useful platforms chosen by marketers. Today, there are about 65 million active small business pages on Facebook. While paid ads on Facebook is an effective way to boost your exposure in a competitive environment – it is possible to spend a fortune without seeing returns.

Thankfully, there’s organic reach. And by simply optimising for it – you ensure the effectiveness of your ads. With that being said, let us dive into the tips that can effectively increase your Facebook reach now!

1. Ensure that your content is directed to a specific target audience.

Target AudienceEvery great marketing campaign focuses on a specific target audience and aims to influence them and move them down the customer buying funnel. Your message should ideally appeal to a particular group of people – your end goal should be getting people to like and feel connected to your brand values, and leaving such a good impression that they will buy from you when they are ready.

2. Post emotional content.

How many times have you reposted or shared a thought-provoking post? Definitely more than once.

emotional marketingRather than begging your audience for reactions; instead, inspire them to react to your content. Emotional content invokes discussion and sparks debate, is far more impactful and leaves people talking about it.

In fact, buying decisions are 80% emotional and 20% logic.

Feelings of awe and happiness are the top percentages of emotions that make online content go viral. These feelings produce a positive effect on the audience, which they then associate with your brand.

3. Know the best time to post.

PostIt is an absolute waste to come up with an excellent content marketing strategy, only to post at the wrong time. A prime example is uploading and optimising a video with amazing content during the times that your target audience is likely offline.

Want to avoid such a catastrophe? Make use of Facebook analytics to track and learn when your target audience are most often online, i.e., the peak days and times they are most likely to be scrolling through their News Feed.

4. Organise a contest.

Everyone loves the idea of winning free attractive prices.

Contests need not be complicated – in fact, the process should be fast and hassle-free. A simple “Caption this!” would work perfectly; where winners would have to provide an amusing and creative caption to an image that is relevant to your brand. This will undoubtedly generate a bunch of responses and skyrocket your post to the top of the News Feed in a short amount of time.

Taking into consideration that optimizing paid search has become a top tactical priority for many brands today, it is of vital importance that you engage only the best Digital Marketing Agency to handle your social media accounts.

Pinterest Marketing Tactics For Growth in 2020

Pinterest Marketing Tactics For Growth in 2020

By | seo advice for business

Pinterest marketing is a growing sector as B2C brands are planning to spend more on the platform in 2020. Pinterest has more than 291 million monthly active users and though people often refer to as a social media platform, that name does not do it justice anymore. It’s now more of a platform where people go to find answers or solutions to problems in visual form. Whether you sell physical products or offer a service, Pinterest is the perfect platform to market your brand. The best part is that you don’t need to create separate content for Pinterest. All you need to create is a catchy Pin for your site’s pre-existing content and share it on the platform.

If you’re not currently marketing your business on Pinterest, you’re missing out on a huge audience that’s within your reach. In this article, I’m going to explain how Pinterest works and share some of the best tactics we’ll use to market ourselves on the platform going into 2020.

Understanding the Pinterest Algorithm

Pinterest is a search engine. It’s really as simple as that. This means there is an algorithm determining where Pins rank. While we don’t know as much about Pinterest SEO as we do for Google, we do know that a lot of all the core ranking factors are the same. With this in mind, the best way to market and grow your brand on Pinterest is to find a balance between utilizing strong SEO signals and creating useful, emotional, or thought-provoking content that satisfies searcher intent.

The best part is that it’s not that hard, as I’m going to show you. So, if you’re looking to dominate Pinterest in 2020, here are some of my best Pinterest marketing tactics for growth.

What are Pinterest Marketing Tactics for 2020?

First of all, change over to a Pinterest Business Account. When you first sign up for a Pinterest account, you set up a personal account. If you use Pinterest for your business, you need to change over to a business account.
A business account gives you access to all the analytics tools, gives you more control over branding and content attribution, allows you to promote Pins, and more. It’s free to do and doesn’t have any downsides, so this should be one of the first things you do.

1. Always Think About Keywords

keywordsAs I already mentioned, Pinterest is a search engine. A lot of users type in keywords to pull the content they’re looking for. Pinterest also puts relevant content in front of people, as well as suggesting other phrases that a user might have interest in.

The results are only going to be as good as the keywords used to title and describe the Pins. So, it’s our job to be as relevant and niched-down as possible when titling and writing descriptions for Pins.

You will probably use similar keywords to the title of the post you share, but it doesn’t hurt to hop over to Pinterest first and perform a search yourself. See if any other keywords pop up that are relevant. You can add these to your description.

2. Spend Some Time Replying To/Posting Comments

Another tactic that many marketers ignore is engaging with comments on Pins. Pin activity is a factor in determining where a Pin gets ranked, and comments are one of the strongest signals that people are engaging with a Pin.

There’s a human element to this, too. People leaving comments want brands to hear them and often want a response. Spending some time engaging with your community will increase your followers, brand loyalty, and other metrics that contribute to growing your brand on Pinterest.

3. Claim Your Website and Other Social Profiles

Pinterest recommends claiming your website. Doing so enables you to get access to your website analytics so you can take a detailed look at which Pins are working, the demographics of the users consuming your content, and many more helpful statistics.

You can also claim your Instagram, YouTube, and Etsy accounts if you have these. This way, when someone shares your content, you get proper attribution and you can measure the engagement across these platforms as well.

4. Optimize Your Boards with Keyword-Rich Descriptions

This is one of the things I most commonly see Pinterest users not doing correctly. Using keywords for your board titles and descriptions is almost as important as it is for your Pins.

Boards are searchable, although people aren’t searching for boards very often. More importantly than that, Pinterest’s algorithm looks at the keywords used on boards to help determine the content that’s on the boards and rank it.

It only takes a few minutes to add a description to a board. Just think about how you’d describe the content within the board to someone, and make sure your keywords are in there.

5. Create Multiple Pins for the Same Article

Most people make a header image for a post and just pin that. That’s all well and good, but if you miss the mark on the keywords or your Pin gets buried, you’re missing out on valuable traffic.

I always recommend creating more than one Pin per article. Creating extra Pins doesn’t take the same time as creating the first. You just need to change the background picture or change the text a little.

By creating more than one Pin, you can test different keywords and descriptions and use different hashtags to reach a much wider audience.

6. Keep an eye on performance

If you’re running Pinterest ads, you’re likely also running ads on Facebook, Google as well as a number of other channels. It can be overwhelming to stay onto of all your marketing data and have a clear understanding of which channels and ads are working and which are not.‍

7. Automate your content

You can schedule Pins for months in advance, so you no longer need to manually pin your content daily.

8. Keep Fresh Content Flowing Through Your Boards

Fresh Pins and consistency are half the game when it comes to mastering Pinterest. They want you to upload more content and will reward you for doing so.

If you don’t have a lot of content of your own yet, it’s better to share other people’s content than nothing at all. The more you build out your boards with relevant content, the stronger the keyword signals and relevancy those Pins will have in the search results.

9. Invest in High-Quality Images

Rich ImageIt’s no secret that Pinterest is a visual platform. You can think about Pinterest as being very similar to a Google image search, with the added benefit of being able to add text to your images to increase the click-through rate.

Therefore, it’s a no brainer that the quality of your images affects your click-through rate. Beyond that, you’re representing your brand when posting content on Pinterest. You should always put out the most professional-looking and polished Pins you can.

In Summary

Pinterest must be a part of any online marketing strategy. It’s just that important. It’s an easy way to connect and engage with your audience, promote your products and services, and grow your online presence.

By utilizing the tactics I covered in this post, you can promote any type of business and tap into the huge audience of content-hungry Pinterest users that are looking for what you offer.

5 Ways B2B Companies Generate Leads Through Organic Search

5 Ways B2B Companies Generate Leads Through Organic Search

By | seo advice for business

Businesses are constantly looking for ways to attract more visitors to their websites through organic search, where they can convert and become sales leads. While more web traffic is generally a good thing, more of the right traffic is better for B2B websites to generate leads.

The beauty of organic traffic is you’re getting attention from web users who are willingly looking for your content. They’ve submitted keywords in search queries that bring up matching content in search engine results pages (SERPs), and leveraging the right SEO tactics can get your website listed among those results. Knowing what your audience is searching for and interested in is invaluable.

B2B compB2Banies can drive quality traffic and potential leads to their websites, both organically and through paid search campaigns, using a combination of technical SEO and content strategies. We’ve outlined five of them here:

1. Start by Creating Target Personas

I know what you’re thinking. What do personas have to do with organic traffic? The answer is everything. Personas should be the foundation of your marketing strategy. If you don’t know who your target audience is, how can you market to them?

Part of B2B companies understanding their audience is knowing what types of things they’re searching for online. What questions are they asking? What products and services will help their businesses grow? What content are they looking for?

Luckily, there are a few ways B2B companies can find answers to these questions.

Participate in a Persona Workshop

The first way B2B companies can identify their target audience is to participate in a persona workshop, which helps determine demographics of your primary target audience, what their goals are, what frustrates them, and what matters the most to them. It’s highly recommended to elicit the help of a professional marketing agency that not only has personification expertise but also brings a fresh, outside perspective.

2. Perform Robust Keyword Research

keywordsOnce you know the type of information your audience is searching for, you can then start to determine relevant categories/topics and conduct research to figure out the exact keywords you want to target. Keywords directly related to your products, services, and industry are obviously relevant to your audience, but figuring out long tail keywords may be more valuable to your business and SEO strategy.

Long-tail keywords–or keywords that are lengthier and more specific–can be a better match for customers who are closer to making a purchase, or those who know exactly what information they’re seeking online. Long tail keywords generally have a lower search volume than more standard keywords–but less volume often means higher quality.

3. Publish Quality Content

Identifying who your users are, and the types of keywords they’re searching for, allows you to begin creating content that caters directly to them. Users interact more with content they find informative, educational, and engaging.

Keyword-rich content elevates your overall SERP rankings and better positions you to be discovered by your target audience. Publishing content like blog posts, whitepapers, infographics, landing pages, and more helps drive traffic to your website, which potentially generates more leads.

When it comes to content, high quality is far superior to large quantities. Put another way: Optimized content will outperform an abundance of poor content. For content to be optimized and better positioned for successful conversion and SEO, it needs to:

  • Include internal links to other pages on site
  • Be keyword rich
  • Utilize a proper heading structure (H1s followed by H2s, H2s followed by H3s, etc.)
  • Have an eye-catching title
  • Contain well-placed CTAs
  • Be approximately 1,000 words or more

4. Internal and External Link Building

LINK BUILDINGB2B companies start creating and publishing valuable pieces of content, a solid link-building strategy ensures that more people will find it through organic search. As the most important factor in ranking for competitive keywords, quality links are crucial for making sure your target audience can find your content.

External Link Building

Despite what many believe, links from your website to another don’t impact search rankings. What matters most in link building is picking up backlinks, which happen when other websites link to your website from their own.

While link building might sound simple enough, it can be quite challenging. The most important things to focus on are creating relevant content that provides value to the user, and identifying which websites would want to link back to this content.

Just like with content creation, backlinking is all about quality over quantity. Determining who your ideal backlinks are is a critical step in a link building strategy. Generally, quality links will come from industry-related publications, popular bloggers, media outlets, and so on. The higher your content quality, the more these publications will feel compelled to link back to it.

Internal Link Building

Link building should also take place internally. Internal link building is one of the easiest ways to improve your website’s technical SEO, both architecturally and also from a user experience standpoint, because it strategically offers visitors new paths to navigate your website’s content.

5. Optimize Landing Pages

landing pageFor B2B businesses, the importance of a good landing page is invaluable. Landing pages are essentially the gateway to a sales lead, so making sure they’re best optimized to convert is key. Below, we’ve compiled some tips on how to properly optimize a landing page.

Write Eye-Catching Headlines

Headlines are the first thing a prospective client will see. The headline needs to not only grab the reader’s attention, but it should also be clear as to what the value proposition of what you’re selling is.

Focus Your Copy on Benefits

The body copy on a landing page is your opportunity to promote the benefits of what you’re selling. It’s important that you don’t waste valuable space on the page with copy that doesn’t provide the user with value on your products or services.

A-B Test Your Headlines, Copy, CTAs, and Buttons

The best way to determine what’s working on your landing page and what’s not is to conduct A/B tests, which consists of altering a variable on a page and testing the altered version against the original. Remember not to change multiple variables because you won’t know which changes lead to the differences in analytics. Variables to consider changing are headlines, body copy, button copy, and images.

Keep Your Forms Brief

Once a user clicks your call-to-action (CTA) button from your landing page, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm them with a lengthy form to fill out. Make sure that the information you’re requesting from the user is brief and necessary. If a contact us form is too long, the user may get frustrated and exit the page entirely.

Remember: B2B Lead Generation Takes Time

B2B companies should understand that lead generation won’t change overnight; it’s a process. By following all of the above steps, B2B companies are better positioning themselves to drive more organic traffic to their website, which can ultimately turn into sales leads.

It’s important to note that all of the steps listed above must be addressed in your organic search strategy, because they all depend on each other. There are several more ways to increase lead generation for B2B companies.

Actionable Facebook Ad Tips

Actionable Facebook Ad Tips

By | Social Media News

Unless you’ve sworn off using technology for your business, you’ve heard of—or tried—Facebook advertising. According to this study, over 20% of all Facebook business pages are using paid ads to drive traffic to their website and increase engagement on their posts.

Below you’ll find five super actionable Facebook ad tips that you can use to grow and scale your business. Actionable Facebook Ad Tips to Get Higher Conversions Today

1. Make sure your pixel is working

One of the biggest mistakes novice Facebook Ads users make is not setting up their pixel correctly. Y’all, this is kind of a big deal considering your pixel is responsible for relaying all of your visitor information to Facebook. So you want to make sure it’s installed properly and firing.

facebook-shop-pageIf your website doesn’t have built-in pixel tracking, you can always follow the step-by-step instructions found here to make sure you’re doing it right. Unfortunately, when it comes to your pixel, it’s not enough to simply install it and pray for the best. In addition, you’ll want to test out the pixel. For example, if you are using on an e-commerce shop, you’ll want to go as far as making a test purchase on the site to ensure that the pixel is firing correctly. You can see if the pixel is firing within the Facebook Ads manager.

Now, not to overcomplicate this, but you also want to make sure it’s firing off the right events. When creating your pixel, you can choose which event you’d like to fire, this can be something like “viewed content,” “added to cart,” or “made a purchase.” You will select the right event to track with your pixel depending on your goal.

How is this put into practice? Let’s say you’re a blogger and are only interested in getting more readers. Then, the “viewed content” event is what you would use. However, if you have an e-commerce shop, you’ll want to know how many purchases were made from your ads, which you can do by tracking the “made a purchase” event.

Bottom line, whatever you do, do not run any marketing campaigns until you are sure that your pixel is working and firing off the correct events in your Facebook ads dashboard.

2. Never boost a post

If you’ve ever posted something to your Facebook business page, then you are probably familiar with the Boost button that appears on your post once you’ve published it. The idea behind this boost button is that you pay Facebook money and it will show your post to more of your page followers. BUT it’s a trap. Don’t do it.

dont-boost-postInstead of boosting a post, use the Ads Manager to promote everything. The Ads Manager will allow you to customize your audience much more than the Boost post option will. Simply boosting a post does not give you the opportunity to select the demographics of your audience or when and where your ad will be seen. And if you can’t select who sees your ads, you’re basically throwing your money away.

For those instances where you really want to boost a post, use the post as an ad instead. Now, this is a bit more advanced but stay with us. When setting up an ad, Facebook will give you the option to use a Facebook post from your page. To turn a post into an ad, you will need to find the ID number of that post and plug in the ID number in your Facebook Ads dashboard. This is a GREAT strategy to use on posts that already have lots of engagement because Facebook rewards posts that are engaging.

3. Focus on remarketing

Though Jack is used to working with large budgets, he does have advice for those of us who can only afford a small budget: focus on remarketing. Remarketing is when you show Facebook ads to people who have already visited your website, engaged with your previous ads, or are fans of your Facebook page. These campaigns tend to have the highest ROAS (return on ad spend) because these people are familiar with your brand and products and some of them even had your products in their cart. Since this audience is already interested in what you’re offering, they are perfect for a remarketing campaign.

remarketingAbandoned cart and dynamic product ads are two of the best remarketing campaigns that you can run. With Facebook ads, you can target people who added items to their cart but failed to check out. These ads will remind them that they have a product in their cart and hopefully encourage them to return to your site and complete the purchase.

Then, if you are a product based business, you can create dynamic ads using your catalog of products. When you have these set up, people who visit one of your product pages, but don’t add to cart or purchase, will be delivered ads featuring the exact product they viewed on your site. The goal here is to remind them about this great product you have and get them to revisit the site and make a purchase.

4. Add videos to your ads arsenal

When it comes to ads, videos outperform images, so make sure they’re a part of your ad portfolio. Now I know a few of you are probably thinking, “I don’t have a budget to create videos!” The good is your videos do not have to be professional and therefore don’t have to be expensive. You can use your iPhone and a tripod to create short videos that will still look great on Facebook.

facebook-video-adsSince people are used to watching short videos on Facebook and Instagram, you don’t need lengthy videos. In fact, under 60 seconds seems to be the sweet spot for ads. It’s worth noting that Facebook and Instagram see different success for different types of videos. For example, videos showing the product in use or the functions of the product do really great on Facebook, while more lifestyle videos do better on Instagram.

Because you’ve only got a few seconds to make an impression, make sure the cover photo of your video is compelling and that the first few seconds are engaging. Save the boring stuff like for later in the video. Kick it off with a promise, an offer, or an enticing story.

If you don’t have a smartphone or camera, use the slideshow feature within the ads platform—all you have to do is select a handful of images, give them each a tagline, and choose the transition times between images to create a makeshift video.

One last tip: use the caption feature. Many people scroll through their social feeds with the sound turned off. Using captions give people an opportunity to enjoy your video in silence.

5. Use better images

One of the biggest questions was “when it comes to Facebook ads, which is more important, images or copy?” Emphatically, images were more important than copy. Because most Facebook users are scrolling through their newsfeed mindlessly, you need to have a “scroll stopping creative.” This is an image that makes a Facebook user stop in their tracks and pay attention to your ad. One of the best tips for images is to use colors that are opposite of the traditional Facebook blue, like red and yellow, so that they’ll stand out in the newsfeed.

It’s important to note that if you add text to your images, be sure that it accounts for less than 20% of the image area. Facebook used to reject images that contained more than 20% text. And even though that has since changed, Facebook still penalizes images that are text heavy by charging more to run those ads.

Now that you’re equipped with some of the best Facebook ads tips

5 Ways to Convert Organic Traffic Into Qualified Leads

5 Ways to Convert Organic Traffic Into Qualified Leads

By | seo advice for business

Brand awareness is golden, but only if you can translate it into an actual business. All your keyword research, site optimization, and link building efforts are a waste if they don’t result in revenue. Getting folks onto your site is hard enough, but it’s only the beginning of the battle. Those visitors need to convert. And they should be converting – 16% of organic leads should turn into paying customers. To keep your leads moving down the funnel, you need to make sure that they’re landing on the right pages, getting the content they’re looking for, and can easily buy, subscribe, request a quote, or sign up.

1. Match Content to User Intent

IntentUnderstanding user intent is fundamental to SEO, so this isn’t necessarily a revolutionary idea. The problem is, the concept isn’t always executed well for a number of reasons:

  • Prioritizing keywords solely by volume without organizing by intent.
  • Failing to communicate intent to the people developing content.
  • Choosing the type of content before performing keyword research.

Improve Existing Pages

The first step to addressing issues with intent is to look at your current pages. Some of them may have been created before you had an SEO strategy. So there’s potential for a quick win by improving existing pages. Also, who doesn’t love to cringe at their old content?! Look at the queries you’re ranking for that contain transactional terms, like “buy, “pricing,” “reviews,” or “testimonials.” Is the content easy to read, with easily accessible calls-to-action? If a page doesn’t align with user intent, it may perform well for a short time, but eventually, Google will catch on.

Create a Framework for Existing Pages

Whether you’re doing all the work yourself or working with a large team, set standards for your content updates. It’s the best way to streamline the process and make sure you’re following best practices. Their content framework included a target word count, UX tactics, and guidelines on how to push lead magnets and calls-to-action more effectively.

Optimizing for Intent for New Pages

optimizeMoving forward, here’s how you can use intent more effectively:

Include user intent as part of your content plan and creative briefs. Writers are often given a set of keywords and told to “go.” Everyone involved in content creation should be talking about intent, not just SEO pros. The person who develops the copy needs to have a clear understanding of the question they’re answering with the content they write.
Talk about intent before you determine the content type. This means that SEO needs a seat at the table before decisions are made on content. Otherwise, you end up with a blog about accounting software pricing when what you need is a landing page. Use intent to maneuver leads down the funnel. In fact, let’s address that in more detail in its own section.

B2B buyers spend 27% of their time researching online before making a purchase. And the buying journey is more like what my teeth looked like in 6th grade, crooked, rather than a straight, braces-enhanced, path down the funnel. All that online research can’t easily fit into either “transactional” or “informational” boxes. You can help guide your users through the process with content that helps them navigate that maze. This is the pain point-first approach that Growth and Convert advocates. For one client, they found that the highest conversions came from pages that addressed pain points in the buying process. For example, pages like this are high converting because they address a pain point by comparing products.

  • Include content that speaks to your audience’s questions about the buying process itself.
  • Dig deeper into search queries to learn what your audience wants at different stages of the funnel.
  • Leads who want buyer’s guides, comparisons, product reviews, etc. may not be ready to buy today, but they may be ready to become a qualified lead.

2. Optimize for Branded Search Terms

Targeting branded search terms is another way to grab leads that are lower in the funnel.

When someone searches for your company that’s a high-value lead that you want to satisfy. They’re aware of your brand and they’re asking for more. Optimized pages that meet their needs are low-hanging fruit.

3. Nurture, Nurture, Nurture

growEveryone who visits your site isn’t ready to convert right away. They’re just not ready for anything serious. But they’re open to a little content here and there. It’s like a coffee date with no commitment. Lead nurturing – the process of engaging with leads across channels over a period of time – is an art and science in and of itself. Since email is the primary, and most effective, channel for lead nurturing, I’ll focus on that in this section.

Segmentation

51% of email marketers say email list segmentation is the most effective way to personalize lead nurturing.
Automation tools like Active Campaign and MailChimp make it pretty easy to create audience segments.

What are they based on? Any data you have:

  • Pages visited
  • Form capture data – title, industry, purchase cycle, etc.
  • Cart abandonment
  • Location

For instance, I’ve set-up automation nurture campaigns in Active Campaign after someone visits a product page, then an email is triggered to send them with a case study to help drive them further down the funnel.

Develop a cadence that balances promotion with education. You want to be a helpful, unobtrusive resource to your audience. They signed up for content that helps them be smarter, better, or faster. Offer that before getting to the sales pitch.

4. Make Double Opt-Ins Super Simple

Double opt-ins help keep your email database free of bots and bad actors.
The danger is in the possibility that users won’t bother to confirm their subscription.
I Will Teach You To Be Rich added a three-step graphic to their double confirmation page to nudge subscribers along.

b2b double opt in

  • The prominent CTA button goes to the user’s inbox and pulls up a search for the email address sending the confirmation email.
  • This version of the page gets an 82% conversion rate, up from 63%.
  • Every lead went through that page, so the nearly 20% increase had a major impact on their lead total.

5. Promote Your Content Upgrades

SEOIdeally, the leads you attract with organic traffic will be drawn to your content upgrades. But that depends on you communicating the value of those upgrades effectively. Sleeknote was able to increase conversions by 177.78% on one of their blog posts by taking a few measures:

  • Making the blog introduction more enticing.
  • Moving lead forms higher up on the page.
  • Adding images and pithy copy to content call-out-boxes.

Once someone’s on the page, you’ve got to sell them on a reason to stay. And then give them a reason to stay engaged before they leave. With all the attention that goes to page copy itself, content upgrades can be an afterthought. To drive lead generation, it should become more of a priority.

Conclusion

  • Organic leads are valuable.
  • The challenge is that SEO can cast a wide net.
  • That’s why it’s important to remember that you don’t just need to optimize your content for Google; you need to optimize it for conversion.

5 Keys to Building a Successful B2B Website

5 Keys to Building a Successful B2B Website

By | Website Design Advice

Usability, design, relevant content, a defined buyer persona, business cases: these are a few of the factors that will help your B2B website achieve tangible results.

The global e-commerce industry is worth $25 trillion, according to data of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. During this e-commerce boom, we must ensure that our website meets all the requirements to be a successful B2B website. Here are 5 key ways for you to achieve this.

 

1. Focus on usability, careful design and relevant content

Your website must meet the optimal usability requirements: if users don’t find what they are looking for or don’t see your website as useful, they will leave. Also, your site must be attractive to the naked eye, as well as being innovative to keep the user engaged and on your page. Above all, your website must be responsive on both traditional desktop and mobile devices. Mobile is growing increasingly important with more than 50% of online searches being made through a mobile device.

usibilityThe content of the website is also important: you must offer well-structured content, depending on what you want to convey to the user in each part of the page. One way to do this is to offer a blog with professional content that contains high-quality and relevant information.

 

2. Your website represents your company

The image that you offer is the image that will remain in your customer’s mind and will condition their expectations regarding your professionalism, quality and personalised service. Therefore, it’s very important that your website clearly reflects your values as a company and is a true reflection of what your customers can expect from you.

We can’t forget that there are subjective factors when deciding on one company or another (we often buy based on how we feel at a given moment), and it’s during the first seconds of viewing a web page that we decide whether to switch to another site or stay.

 

3. The content and key messages on your website should be aimed at your Buyer Persona

Most websites with low conversion rates have the wrong messages on their homepage. Wrong doesn’t mean that they are poorly written, but that they don’t target the right person, so your potential client doesn’t feel connected and ends up leaving the site as a result.

This is why it’s essential that you have a well-defined buyer persona: it will help you create a solid strategy and determine at what moment, through what platform and with what message you will attract your target audience.

4. In a B2B website, the customer portfolio is vital

The fact that the company’s website has relevant clients generates a sense of confidence and security that encourages us to develop a relationship with the company. According to Nielsen, more than 80% of consumers seek references, opinions or recommendations about products and services before deciding to finalise a purchase.

The testimonies of relevant people are also sources of inspiration and decision-making factors when choosing a partner to work with. Remember that it’s very important that your clients become authentic evangelisers of your brand.

 

5. Include business case studies

Good business case studies on the website that reflect the problems of customers, the solution provided and positive results can facilitate the conversion of customers — they help a potential customer decide whether to work with the company or not. Remember, with these case studies it is important to reflect on the problem and how it was solved.

7 Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses in 2020

7 Digital Marketing Tips for Small Businesses in 2020

By | seo advice for business

Small businesses are looking for the right opportunities to stay afloat due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the current lack of physical options and more reliance on the digital landscape, digital marketing continues to provide value to small businesses looking to expand their reach and revenue.
At the start of 2020, it was reported that businesses would spend $1.3 trillion on digital marketing this year. The impact of the coronavirus makes this likely to change, however, because businesses are cutting costs.
During this downtime, small businesses have the opportunity to figure out what works with their marketing strategies and channels. Although it is a chaotic and challenging time, it could be a good time for business leaders to take a hard look at their digital marketing techniques.

1. Build a Strong Social Media Presence

As the opportunity for direct face-to-face communication is currently limited, small businesses should take to social media to reach their customers.
Social media is part of the majority of small businesses’ marketing plans. Almost all small businesses (88%) invest in social media.
Social media has become a functional aspect of many digital marketing strategies for different businesses and generations.
Business Owners Value Social Media, No Matter Their Age. The majority of all generations rely on social media for their business: Millennials (91%), Generation X (91%), and baby boomers (85%) use social media for their business.
How Different Generations Use Digital Marketing Channels
Outside of social media, each generation plans to invest more in the following channels:
Millennials: Email marketing (80%), video marketing (75%), and website marketing (50%)
Generation Xers: Email marketing (73%), video marketing (57%), and website marketing (59%)
Baby boomers: Email marketing (65%), video marketing (46%), and website marketing (52%)
During the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses are looking to try new digital marketing strategies, but why is social media one of the more effective tools?
With the amount of social media channels out there (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), there are more chances than ever to better connect with your audience.
According to BigCommerce, 72% of customers say that positive reviews and testimonials make them trust a business. Having a well-thought out social media strategy can facilitate that trust.
Social media encourages engagement, transparent communication, and brand exposure. These elements create a level of personalization and trust with your customer base.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses leveraging social media can attract customers while they spend an increasing amount of time at home and online.

2. Use Email Marketing Campaigns to Connect With Customers

While some may argue that email marketing is outdated, most small businesses still use email to facilitate personal connections with their clients.
According to HubSpot, 80% of business leaders believe that email marketing amplifies customer retention. Nearly 60% of respondents of its State of Email Marketing survey say that marketing emails influence their purchasing behavior.
The impact of email marketing goes beyond a cluttered inbox. It’s a key digital marketing tool for small businesses looking to expand their brand’s reach and influence.
A lot of things aren’t going as planned for businesses during this time. Using older staples such as email can provide a sense of stability while remaining an urgent communication tool.

3. Expand Website Marketing Efforts

Online visibility is extremely important for businesses in this day and age. If your business doesn’t have a website, your presence within your market is essentially nonexistent.
Small businesses need look no further than their own web platforms to increase their knowledge of website marketing.
Web marketing is a more focused digital effort through in-house resources. By building online relationships, website marketing is one of the most measurable tactics.
With online preferences changing frequently alongside the growing digital market, small businesses can add variety to their websites by producing timely content with a personal touch.
Small businesses can study their site’s traffic and engagement levels, finding areas to grow their success. This is a quick way to find what works and what doesn’t.

4. Start Using Video Marketing

The use of eye-catching videos can help small businesses dominate the digital marketing circuit because videos make the average user spend 88% more time on a website.
Despite over half of consumers wanting to see more video content from brands they support, only about one-third of small businesses (32%) plan to invest more in video marketing this year.
Although creating an engaging video involves more of a time commitment, different businesses are using video marketing as a resource for exposure during this period of time.
More people are working remotely and spending their free time with their laptops. A visually appealing, short video can do wonders for your engagement rate.
More small businesses should consider the interactive and engaging value of video marketing.

5. Use In-House Digital Marketing Resources

Small businesses use internal in-house resources who provide their company with creative digital marketing ideas.
The majority of small businesses rely on in-house employees who work on digital marketing services in addition to other responsibilities.
In our current landscape, recruitment and hiring are on pause for a majority of companies, so many companies are relying on the skills of their own employees for digital marketing or outsourcing the services.

6. Find More Outlets for Print Marketing

Businesses aren’t only focusing on digital marketing — most still use traditional marketing techniques such as print marketing.
About two-thirds of small businesses still use print marketing as part of their marketing strategy. This includes direct mail, flyers, and banners.
In times of social distancing, print marketing can add a deeper connection to small business marketing plans.

7. Determine Your Small Business’s Main Goal

Having a main goal to measure the success of your digital marketing efforts might be the most beneficial digital marketing tip of all. Before starting their small business marketing plan, companies must determine their primary digital marketing goal.
Currently, more than 75% of small businesses believe their digital marketing efforts are effective in achieving their company’s goals.
Starting with a concrete goal and executing on that is one way to structure a small business digital marketing plan.
Each business is different. No matter your goal for digital marketing, the primary concern during this time is holding your business together.
The impact of COVID-19 will be long-lasting, so businesses need to plan long-term digital marketing goals to set them apart from others in the market.
Almost all of them invest in social media, while more small businesses are looking to grow their digital marketing efforts through website marketing, email marketing, and video marketing.
While this is a time to try something new, there are still valuable and effective digital marketing strategies that small businesses can explore to increase their customer base and market presence.

Networking Bizz: Making A Mark In Digital Advertising

Networking Bizz: Making A Mark In Digital Advertising

By | Networking Bizz News

With a change in the world of marketing, traditional marketing method has been outdated. Digital marketing has now taken center stage and is reaching audiences on a larger scale.

In this tough and demanding market, Networking Bizz was bestowed with the honor as one of the best advertising digital marketing agencies for the year 2020 in Pasadena, California.

At Networking Bizz, have a history of 20+ years of experience. We are a full-service digital marketing agency with a team of creative heads, developers, and strategists.

Recognitions

Other than being one of the best advertising marketing agencies for the year 2020 in Pasadena, we have received additional honors like:

  • 3 Best Rated Website Design Firm in Pasadena.
  • 2017-2018 Upcity Top 29 Website firms in the whole of Los Angeles.
  • Our website design projects featured in reputable publications like LA Weekly, Shopify Experts featured sites, etc.

Networking Bizz is proud of all the recognition we have received as a company because of our hard work and expertise.

Our Services:

There are 4 central core digital marketing services that we provide. The concentration on these services has made us that best at what we do:

 

  1. Website Design/Management
  2. E-commerce Design/Mangement
  3. SEO Management
  4. Google Ads Management

We follow a no commitment and no-contract policy to show how confident we are of our expertise.

Web Designing:

We are among the top website design company in the US. We take the clients’ ideas and help bring out the best. Features like planning, development, design, building, SEO, and management all come under the website design package.

E-Commerce Stores:

E-commerce marketing is generating sales by creating awareness of the products on online platforms. Our company has an edge on this because of our partnership with Google ads and our highly regarded SEO management.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Management:

This process increases the traffic and quantity of the clients’ websites through organic search engine results. We take a unique approach to help make sure that our clients’ site ranks high in any search engines for relevant phrases and keywords.

Google Ads:

We are partners with Google ads for the past ten years. What are Google Ads? It is an advertising system by Google. It is an efficient way to promote clients’ websites or products.

Accessing The Right Marketing For Your Business

It does not matter if you have a local business or global; Networking Bizz will help find solutions that are unique to your business. We not only provide services to big companies but also to medical, home services, law, franchises, and small businesses.

We bring straightforward and effective management packages and vast in-built digital experts. We function and work based on a data-driven solution. We, as a company, pride ourselves in the long term relationship we have with our customers.

If you would like us to help you increase your SEO rankings and outrank your competition, call us to schedule a free consultation session at 1(213) 792-4577 to clear any doubts.

What is Social Media Marketing?

By | seo advice for business

SMM means marketing on social networks, or the promotion of goods and services through digital media. Learn how to run a promotional campaign and increase traffic to your website.

Basic terms and ways of promotion

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a type of internet marketing which uses the benefits of social networking sites as a tool of promoting websites, thus increasing traffic towards them and learning from users’ direct reactions.
SMM is based on the principle of organic search, which basically means that when the website or its connected social network page is more active, the website’s position on search engines rises, i.e. it will be in seen the first few results.
Considering the fact that 90% of users searching the internet do not look any further than the first page of the search engine, and that 70% clicks on the first three results only, it is obvious that the position on the first page of the search engine is the only goal to strive for when optimizing a website.

What is SMM used for?

The main goal of SMM is to improve communication with users, increase brand visibility and reach more (potential) customers.
SMM is being done by creating quality content that the users of social networks share with their friends (via transmitting information electronically, i.e. Electronic Word of Mouth, or eWoM).
The point of SMM is to obtain direct feedback from users (or potential customers), so that the company gets a personal stamp at the same time, i.e. it appears more human-like.
By means of interactive options on social networks, the customers get the chance to be heard, either by asking questions or by making complaints.
This type of SMM is called Social Customer Relation Management (Social CRM), which can further lead to enhancing credibility and return on investment (ROI), of course, if the users are satisfied with content, relationship with the company and the service provided.

How to use SMM?

Social Media Marketing functions on the principle of Social Media Optimization (SMO), i.e. the improvement of company image on social networks.
Similarly to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), SMO attracts new, unique visitors to the targeted website.
Why would search engines care for social networks? Simply because many people use their social media to search for things, share links and thereby participate in building a strong network of links (link building campaign).
SMM, that is SMO, can be done in two ways:

  • Active SMM promotion
  • Passive SMM promotion

Active SMM promotion

Active promotion means adding links (applications) which lead from the content on the website towards social networks (similarly to RSS and social media share buttons). Social networks which can be used as a means of SMM are the following:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest

Each social network has its own Terms of Use, which I different for natural persons and legal entities, i.e. companies.
What only companies get is the option of launching a paid ad campaign so as to reach wider audiences, thus improving traffic towards a website or a targeted web page.

Passive SMM promotion

Passive promotion means promoting activities on social networks by updating statuses, publishing images, tweets, or articles on blogs.
Users’ reactions can be further analyzed in order to solve problems and remove dissatisfaction and improve their brand experience.
What is useful especially is that that information is obtained in real-time, which speeds up the entire process and opens the door to a new dimension of cooperation.

 

The Ultimate Website Marketing Strategy to Increase Conversions [Step-by-Step Guide]

By | seo advice for business

Every small business needs a strong website marketing strategy.

The Internet has drastically changed the way that most businesses build and promote their brands as more and more consumers are engaging with brands online before making a purchase. According to Business Insider, 40% of consumers are heading to the search engines to get more information as they make their purchasing decisions. This should come as no surprise given that Google gets over 100 billion searches each month.

What does this mean for your business? If you don’t already have an integrated website marketing strategy in place that includes an effective website and SEO strategy, then you may be missing out on valuable opportunities to reach and engage your leads online.

Or maybe your website isn’t fit to handle the strategy you do have in place. Check out your website’s performance with our free website analysis now. It only takes a few seconds that could save you a lot of money.

Below, we’ve created a step-by-step guide to creating an effective website marketing strategy for your business. By following the process below, you’ll be on your way to developing an integrated digital marketing strategy for attracting, engaging, and converting more leads over time.

Step 1: Conduct a website analysis.

The first step to creating an effective website marketing strategy is to audit your current website. By conducting a website analysis of your current site design and content, you can better understand what you’re doing well and where there may be opportunities for improvement.

When it comes to site design, you will want to consider the user experience. Your website should be easy to read and navigate. Review your navigation bar and site map to ensure that visitors can easily find and access the pages they are looking for. Make sure that font sizes and colors are easy to read and all images can be viewed, especially from smaller device screens. And before you go live with your new website design, test it out first on all devices. Also, check your website’s pages using different browsers. You can’t expect everyone to use Chrome browser just because you do. Try it out and see if it delivers the same functionalities across all browsers. You see, aside from the content, user experience is one of the key factors for ranking on search engines.

When analyzing your site, you should also look at load times. Slow load times will not only impact the user experience but can also hurt you when it comes to SEO. To reduce load times, make sure that any images or video that you use on your site is condensed so it does not impact the time it takes for each page to load.

Another thing to look for during your website analysis is whether your site is mobile responsive. Mobile-friendly websites are no longer optional for businesses that want to remain competitive in the digital marketplace. In fact, Business Insider reports that mobile continues to drive the most sales growth for businesses. Yet only 60% of the top 100 global retailers have a site that is mobile responsive. Not only does a mobile responsive design help improve the mobile device user’s experience on your site, but it can also have an impact on your SEO.

In addition to analyzing your website design, it’s also imperative that you look at your site content. What pages do you currently have on the site? Do you give the user enough information to move forward in the purchasing process? Review your written content to ensure that it provides enough information for visitors to understand your business, products or solutions, and the value that you can provide.

Also, make sure that the content is written with your audience in mind. Headlines should be attention-grabbing and content should focus on your target buyers’ biggest challenges. Use a tone that resonates with your audience and tailor your topics to their preferences.

Step 2: Optimize your website for SEO.

The second step in developing a website marketing strategy is to optimize your website for SEO. After you have analyzed your current website and identified areas of opportunity, it’s time to make sure that your site is optimized for the search engines. Search engine optimization is the process of making changes to your website design and content to make it more attractive for the search engines. In turn, you are helping ensure that your site will appear on the search engine results page (SERP) for relevant keywords and phrases.

Best practices for search engine optimization are often changing or being added to as Google updates its search algorithm. However, there are a few principles that you’ll want to keep in mind as you make sure your website is optimized for search:

Keyword Research – One of the most important parts of your SEO efforts is your keyword research strategy. There are a variety of tools that you can use for keyword research, but the Google Keyword Tool is a great place to start. This helps you find search terms that are relevant to your business and better understand how many people are searching for these terms online.
Content – Once you’ve developed a list of potential keywords, you will need to plan and write content around these keywords and phrases. The goal here is not to stuff your content full of keywords, but rather to write informational and entertaining content that will add value for your audience once they find it on the search engines.
On-Site Optimization – In addition to using the keywords in the body of content, you’ll also want to pay attention to other on-page elements of your website such as titles, meta descriptions, images, and image tags. Use the keywords strategically when creating these different page elements to boost SEO.
Link Building – Link building is another important (and very complex) aspect of search engine optimization. Search engines look at how many pieces of content link back to your site as a way of understanding whether your site content is valuable. There are many different ways to build quality links, such as submitting your site to different directories or simply creating content that people will want to link to.
Overall, by improving your SEO, you can work to rank higher in the search engines for relevant terms. This allows you to drive more relevant traffic back to your site for measurable results. If you do not have anyone on your team that is experienced in SEO, you may want to consider hiring an SEO company for help with this part of your website marketing strategy.

Step 3: Start content marketing.

The third phase of your website marketing strategy is developing your content marketing. Content marketing is the process of creating and publishing valuable and relevant content that helps you attract and engage your target audience. By providing your target buyers with engaging content, you can work to build and foster stronger relationships with your leads.

Before you start creating content, you’ll want to develop a content strategy. This is the process of determining the different aspects of your content plan, such as:

What types of content you will create
What topics your content will focus on
Who on your team will create content
How often you will publish new content
What channels you will use to promote your content
Once you’ve created a content strategy, you can then work to develop a content calendar. This will help ensure that you are regularly publishing quality content on a consistent basis.

When it comes to your content marketing, it’s important that you choose topics that will be relevant and valuable to your target audience. You should also create a range of different types of content such as blog posts, e-books, infographics, videos, and other content assets that can help you build a stronger connection with your audience.

Step 4: Build a social media presence.

The next step in building your website marketing strategy is to work to build a social media presence. With social media marketing, your company can expand your reach online and work on driving more quality traffic back to your website. The first step in building a social media strategy is determining which social media channels you will use to attract and engage your audience. It’s important to remember that you do not need to be present on every social media platform. Instead, opt to spend your time and resources on the social media channels that your target audience frequents.

Once you know which social media platforms you will focus on, you’ll need to sign up for an account and start creating your business social media profiles, if you haven’t already. It’s important to keep branding consistent when it comes to images and descriptions. Be complete as much of your profile as possible to improve your chances of ranking in searches.

Now, it’s time to start building your social media presence. First, you’ll want to make sure that you are connected with your current customers on social media. Be sure to put links to your social media profiles on your website and in your shipping confirmation emails so that current customers and site visitors can check out your social media profiles and connect with you.

You can then work to grow your social media following by posting engaging content. In addition to posting updates and promotions from your business, you can share your content, such as links to blogs or gated content. You can also post links to third-party content that you think your audience will find valuable. The more quality content you post, the more likely your target audience is to follow along with your posts and engage with your brand on social media.

Step 5: Amplify with email marketing.

After you’ve started working to create more content assets and build your social media following, you can continue to amplify your website marketing strategy with email marketing. Email marketing enables you to get the word out about your new products and promotions while also driving traffic back to your website.

Before you start sending marketing emails, you’ll need to work on building your email list. There are a few different ways you can do this. You can start with the email addresses of your current customers. Then, work to build on your list by capturing new contact information from lead forms.

One way that you can work to collect email addresses from new leads is by creating a valuable incentive. An incentive that you might provide is a compelling content offer such as an e-book, checklist, or special guide that will help your leads better understand their challenges. You can create a landing page with a lead form that collects visitor email addresses in exchange for a free download of the content offer.

You can also add an email opt-in form to your website. Whether you use a header bar, a pop-up, or a side bar, you can ask your site visitors to sign up for your email list to stay up-to-date with the latest updates and content from your business. You can also place CTAs in some of your blogs or other content, encouraging your readers to sign up for your email list for more great content.

Step 6: Use paid advertising to speed up your sales cycle.

Though the goal may be to bring in as much organic search volume as possible, SEO takes time to work its magic. If you want to speed up your sales cycle a bit, you can introduce paid advertising into your digital marketing strategy. Paid advertising can help you bring more of your target buyers to your site where your content marketing and other elements of your digital marketing strategy can work to convert them.

There are two main options of paid advertising that you can introduce into your digital marketing strategy – Google PPC advertising and social media advertising. Let’s start with Google ads…

Google offers advertising on its search engine through Google AdWords or ads that display on relevant websites through the Google Display Network.

Both types of Google ads can help boost your visibility online and bring more visitors to your site. The Google AdWords content appears directly on the search engine results page, just above the organic results for the search term. This means that when users type in relevant search terms for which you have created ads, they will see your ad content at the top of the SERP. While Google Display ads will appear on the pages of relevant websites as a banner on the top, bottom, or side of the page.

Social media ads can also be used to help you boost visibility and drive more traffic back to your website. Social platforms like Facebook offer sophisticated ad targeting features that allow you to take advantage of user data in order to target those who are most likely to be interested in your brand. You can then deliver tailored ad content to these ideal buyers that encourage them to visit your site.

Next Step: Implementation!

Now that you know each step of the process, it’s time to consider whether your company has the time, resources, and knowledge to effectively implement your website marketing strategy. For most small businesses, every team member is already working at full capacity to keep business operations running smoothly. That’s why many business owners look for outside help when implementing their website strategy.

A website marketing strategy agency can help take care of all your website needs while your team continues to focus on your core business. The website experts at LYFE Marketing know just what it takes to help you create a stunning and effective website that will attract and convert more leads to help you grow your business. In addition to website design services, our team is also skilled at search engine optimization tactics that will help your business rank on the search engines, increase referral traffic, and build a strong online presence.

If you’re ready to get started, we are only a phone call away! Contact us today.

Top Tips to Improve Your Website SEO

Top Tips to Improve Your Website SEO

By | seo advice for business

Search engine optimization – better known as SEO – is the practice of boosting the quantity and quality of website traffic. Website SEO uses organic search results to increase brand exposure and website traffic. It’s about understanding people and what they are looking for online. Once you know your audience, you can deliver the content they want, which in turn improves engagement. We previously discussed the best strategies to implement during COVID-19 and SEO is one of the most crucial aspects. Let’s discuss why SEO is so important and also learn some top tips that you can apply to your business to list higher in the all-important search engine rankings.

Why is SEO Important?

SEO tools are important because search engines are at the heart of online traffic. While paid advertisements and social media can still be effective, most online traffic comes from search engines.

Search engines cover a lot more digital real estate and find themselves in front of more people. SEO results also get more clicks than paid advertisements. Around 3% of people (2.8%) click on paid ads. SEO offers up to 20 times the amount of traffic as paid advertising. With statistics like these, you simply can’t ignore its importance. If SEO seems too complicated to grasp, consider hiring a business that specializes in SEO.

It’s impossible to talk about SEO without recognizing its longevity. Good quality SEO by a company is evergreen. The content will always be there on your website, continuing to generate traffic for weeks, months, and years. Paid advertisements last only as long as the money does. SEO never goes away.

There are several different kinds of website SEO an SEO company will use for your website. The most common ones are content SEO, image SEO, and off-site SEO. Content SEO is optimized website content like articles and blog posts. Image SEO covers meta-descriptions and names for images on websites. Off-site SEO refers to things off of a website that can affect search engine rankings, such as high-quality backlinks. All of these work together to create a higher ranking.

Website SEO Audits

SEO audits are one of the many ways an SEO company offers SEO tips for a website. This audit looks at how well your site is currently performing so that a company can understand where to go from there. Search engines use a lot of different factors to analyze and rank websites. An SEO company will use an audit to check how your site performs on these factors. It helps to determine problem areas that need to be fixed in order to take your site to the next level. They’ll provide you with a list of everything you can do to improve the SEO of your website following the audit.

This audit covers things like on-site SEO and hyperlinks, the current state of your SEO content, and the backlinks you get from other websites. Backlinks are an essential part of an SEO strategy, but not all links are created equal. It reflects poorly on your site if you are linked to by a questionable source. An audit is useful because the first step to website SEO is understanding your current situation.

Create High-Quality Helpful Content

The most common mistake people make when writing content for website SEO is not paying enough attention to humans. Great quality content is written for humans first and search engine crawlers second. If you focus too much on keywords, you end up with a garbled mess. Instead, build your content strategy around helpful and high-quality content that users enjoy reading.

Make sure that you break your blog posts and articles up with headings and subheadings. These headings create pauses in the content and make it easier for humans and robots alike to process. The heading should offer some information about what the following paragraphs will discuss. People these days rarely read an entire blog post. They tend to focus on the things they think are most relevant to them. Headings stand out from the rest of the content and catch the eye. People may skim the post for a particular heading and read that section.

It’s good to have links to the content on your website, but these link names should be clear and concise. A great example would be “https://yourcompany.com/projects/our-first-project” as the link clearly displays all the information a person could need.

Use Backlinks Effectively

Backlinks are among the most important website SEO tools. Backlinks have been used in marketing and SEO for years. The more links you have to your website, the better your traffic and reputation, not to mention your rank on search engine results pages.

While good quality backlinks are as effective as they’ve ever been, how you develop those backlinks has changed over time. There was a time when you could just get backlinks on any website and have it be enough. These days, however, things are a little trickier.

Links should be generated on websites that not only have high authority themselves but are relevant to the original website. For example, a restaurant should aim to get links from directories and review sites. It wouldn’t be suitable for a company selling skateboards to be connected to a baby products website, even if that website was the most authoritative in its niche. A successful SEO company will incorporate backlink strategies into the overall content marketing strategy.

Another common tactic that no longer works is posting links to your site across blog posts and forums. While this will technically create a link to your website, it’s a weak quality link that search engines will penalize you for having. Get high-quality links from high-quality sources.

Use Keywords

Keywords are the lifeblood of SEO. This is something everyone knows. The problem is that not everyone understands how to use them properly. One of the most important SEO tips for website owners is to make good use of the right keywords.

Keyword spamming – the act of using keywords as much as possible – is looked down on by readers and search engines alike. People can tell when you’re trying to spam as many keywords as possible, and they don’t like it. It’s also bad for search engines because they want to see the proper utilization of keywords. Keywords should be used a handful of times in the text, with a keyword density of around 2-4% at the very most.

Try to focus on unique and long-tail keywords, so you have less competition. Don’t use the same keywords that everyone else is. Try to find something that people are searching for to find you. There are lots of ways to go around finding and creating good long-tail keywords. Google themselves have several SEO tools you can use.

Optimize Your Pages

They call it “search engine optimization” for a reason — you need to optimize everything. Optimizing your pages means finding ways to make your site load quickly and efficiently. Spread out content to make it more readable, so people are less tempted to feel overwhelmed and click off the site.

User engagement is a key aspect of website SEO, and they will leave your site quickly if the experience is not optimized. A high bounce rate can lower result in websites being ranked lower by search engines.

There are lots of things you can do to optimize your content. Compress images so they load faster, consider how items are placed on the page, and include on-site links and navigation when you can. The better optimized your pages are, the more effective they are at capturing leads and converting them into customers. Check the graphic to see more about how to optimize your pages effectively. A perfectly optimized page is one where all these elements are implemented together. Even one poorly optimized aspect can ruin the effectiveness of other aspects.

Summary

What is SEO? It turns out the answer is more complicated than you might expect. SEO is getting your website to load quickly and effectively. It’s getting links to your website so people visit. It’s using keywords properly. At the end of the day, SEO is all about generating organic traffic for your website in an efficient way.

How to Use Google My Business to Boost Your Content & SEO?

How to Use Google My Business to Boost Your Content & SEO?

By | seo advice for business

Knowing how to use Google My Business is standard for every digital marketer, right?

Actually… no.

While there are plenty of lengthy-but-vague help docs out there, finding answers to specific problems can be challenging.

To take some of the leg-work out, we’ve created a handy worksheet and chart tool to determine your eligibility, and to help understand what to do if you have multiple listings or service area businesses (SABs).

We’ll also help you understand how posting content to your Google My Business listing can support your business in a number of ways.

Find out:

  • How does Google My Business fit into my content strategy?
  • Why should I care about Google My Business?
  • Does Google My Business help me with SEO?
  • How does a content marketing platform help me manage Google My Business?

Tools:

  • Google My Business verification troubleshooting guide.
  • Guide to Google My Business Optimization.

Why Should I Include Google My Business in My Content Distribution Strategy?

As content marketers, we often fail to acknowledge a significant part of our responsibility is to ensure our intended audience actually becomes exposed to our content.

One way to do this is to update your Google My Business listing weekly as a channel to share your current content.

Content particularly relevant to Google My Business is locally-focused content (for example, events or specials.)

Why Do I Need Google My Business?

Did you know, on average, businesses receive 943 Search views and 317 Maps views each month?

This data, from a 2019 BrightLocal study of 45,000 anonymous local business listings, shows there is a great opportunity to get more views, clicks, and actions as a result of your localized content.

Reasons why a Google My Business Listing is Useful.

To see the proof, you can check out Google My Business Insights to gather data on how many people viewed your listing, saw your post, clicked on it, and engaged.

However, Google My Business Insights may not always be accurate.

Consider using Google tracked links in your posts to more accurately report clicks and engagements right in Google Analytics.

Google My Business helps digital marketers get views on their content without having to wait for Google to rank it in the top ten search engine results.

The benefits of posting on Google My Business go beyond acquiring views and clicks on your latest content.

Regular posting can earn you a coveted spot in the local 3-pack, which is the top 3 business listings for relevant search terms, and this placement alone is a valid reason to add a new post at least every 7 days.

Creative Google My Business Content.

Additionally, the same BrightLocal study also revealed a typical business receives up to 59 actions per month on Google My Business.
These actions can be clicks through to your website, requests for directions, or phone calls.

The majority of actions are in the form of clicks, but unless your Google My Business listing is optimized, you could be missing out on actual phone calls or in-store visits.

Yikes!

Your posts on Google My Business signals to Google indicating your business is the right one to display for related searches locally.

Reviews on Google My Business are critical.

They effectively represent your customers’ confirmation your business is reputable, especially when you take the time to respond to each one; positive or negative.

In fact, a prompt, empathetic, and helpful response to a negative review can be more valuable than a positive review.

We all make mistakes.

Consumers appreciate those businesses willing to accept and fix them in a timely fashion.

An important point, and perhaps the most important of all, your posts show potential customers what’s new with your business at exactly the right time – when they are looking for it.

A 2019 study from Ben Fisher reported only 17% of the businesses reviewed had a post within the last 7 days.

So, more than 80% of businesses did not have anything new to share with searchers who are actively looking for their businesses.

Inconceivable!

Troubleshooting Guide for Google My Business

What Kind of Content Should I Be Creating for Google My Business?

Keep Your Listing Complete & Accurate

Before you create any content, ensure your GMB listing is complete (address, telephone number, business hours, business overview, products/services, etc.) and accurate (links to your website, social accounts, other relevant sources of information.)

This may seem basic, but far too many small businesses neglect the details and Google is all about details.

Share Offers & Specials

You can experiment with creating content specifically for your Google My Business listing.

It’s important to remember the intent of the person viewing your listing is likely more transactional.

This means you can take a more direct sales approach: offers, specials, or what sets your business apart from your competitors.

Post Encouraging Content

If your business sees customers at its location, you can describe the experience you want your customers to have when they arrive.

Videos, photos, and even introductions to the team members they will meet are all great ways to encourage customers to visit you.

Make your Google My Business page inviting for your customers. Think “Daily Specials,” “Seasonal Offerings,” or even weather-related: “Our Patio is Open!”

Create a Media-Rich Listing

Invest in working with a Google-certified 360 virtual tour professional to add videos to your verified listing, or create your own video to introduce yourself and your business.

(Be sure to also upload this to YouTube and optimize your channel for the best results; another important topic on its own.)

Introduce Photos

Your shop, office, or business photos should be used as your cover image.

Try including photos of your work or featuring your products.

Share projects you are proud of or which have garnered a special review.

In fact, many of your contributions to Google My Business should come in the form of photos.

There’s compelling evidence that businesses with 100+ photos in their Google My Business listing get more clicks.

Answer Questions

Check to see what questions potential customers are asking about your business and answer them in a blog post shared on your listing.

Does Google My Business Actually Contribute to SEO?

Yes, it does – at least locally. It can help in a few ways.

Not only does a verified and optimized Google My Business profile stand a better chance of being in the local 3-pack, putting your presence at the top of search results, it can also indirectly help your website rank.

It does this by providing social signals to Google, by driving traffic to your website, and by providing social proof in the form of reviews.

Google says local search results are based on “relevance, distance, and prominence.”

  • Relevance: How well a listing matches the intent of the searcher.
  • Distance: Google pairs searchers with verified businesses in close proximity.
  • Prominence: How well-known your business is.

Can a Content Marketing Platform Help Me Manage My Google My Business Listing Better?

A content marketing platform can help you manage all of your content better.

It brings planning and clarity to your content calendar and ensures you stay on top of creating regular posts within Google My Business, which is an easily forgotten task.

Having a content marketing platform brings structure and focus to your content marketing plan and helps you to draw upon the expertise of multiple team members with features to make collaboration easy.

A content marketing platform gives you a process to work from and analytics to help you to better understand how your activities are working.

If you can identify activities that are making a positive impact, then you can use these ideas for future content items.

Tailoring Content for Google My Business Seems Like a Lot of Work – Why Isn’t Updating My Website Enough?

Google My Business is a free tool, which has a direct impact on current local businesses.

As with anything, you need to feed it to make it grow. Google will not connect-the-dots for you.

The intention of Google My Business is to provide searchers with immediate and accurate information.

Achieving rank takes time and this isn’t useful for relaying information that will go stale quickly.

And, in so far as it’s a tool offered by Google, one has to believe Google puts a high stake on content maintained there.

Think of Your Own ‘Google My Business’ Experience

It’s a lot to expect for digital marketing managers and small business owners to become skilled at Google My Business, on top of the myriad of other marketing activities required to foster a presence online.

Because of the vague help documentation from Google and frustratingly long response times from Google, it can be tempting to leave it for another day.

Ultimately though, think of the last time you performed a local search and how easy Google My Business made the process of choosing where to go.

Once your listing is verified successfully, your time investment is likely only an hour or two a month and we suspect there are many further opportunities to come with this great, free business tool.

Find the time in your schedule to dig in and really ‘own’ your Google My Business listing.

Use this worksheet to help gather up the information you need to get started: Guide to Google My Business Optimization.

Digital Marketing Agency

How to Take Your Digital Marketing Agency to the next level?

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

Are you looking to take your marketing agency to the next level? There will come a time where you are ready to take the business forward to compete at a higher level, but knowing how to go about doing this is difficult, particularly when you consider what a large industry it is and how competitive it can be. It will depend on your business and the challenges that you face, but there are a few effective strategies that you could try which could make a big difference to the success of your brand and help to take you forward. So, if you feel that it is the right time to take the business forward, here are a few ideas.

Follow Up With Clients

Following up with existing clients is intelligent for a few reasons. First, it helps you to gauge how happy they are and if there is any aspect of the service that could be improved; plus, it also allows you the chance to obtain a client review which will be useful for securing future clients and improving your reputation. It will also help you forge stronger connections to your clients which should help you to retain them (provided that they are happy with the service that you provide).

Show Your Expertise

Digital marketing is a fast-changing and complex industry, but it is a service that is required by every type of business. This means businesses need to feel that they are in safe hands and are experts in the field, so you need to take steps to show your expertise with creating quality content. This content should be engaging, geared towards your target audience and use a variety of media to make it more impressive and appealing.

Use An SEO Reseller

SEO is usually the most important form of digital marketing which delivers the best results, but it is also time-consuming and can be complex. Using an SEO reseller is a smart idea because this will see the work completed by an expert — but still under your brand name — so you will benefit from the results. It frees up a huge amount of time for you to focus on the other services that you provide.

Automate Where Possible

In order to take your business to the next level, you will want to improve efficiency so that you can free up time and reduce stress. Automation is an excellent way to do this as there are all kinds of repetitive admin tasks that can easily be automated which can free up time, but also reduce errors and streamline the entire business.

These are just a few ideas for how you can take your digital marketing agency to the next level. There will come a time where you are ready for the next step, but it is hard to know how to go about doing this in such a large and competitive industry, which is why it is useful to know a few of the most effective strategies.

Mistakes in Social Media Marketing

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making in Social Media Marketing

By | Social Media News

Social media is one of the best ways to market your business, no matter what industry you belong to. This is because platforms like Facebook and Instagram have millions (or even billions) of active monthly users, and you can easily reach out to them by sharing relevant and interesting content.

That said, here are 5 common mistakes you need to avoid in social media marketing.

5. Overlooking Branding

There are thousands of large and small businesses posting on social media, so you need a unique brand image in order to stand out. Use various components, particularly the color palette, communication tone and language, and an attractive logo.

When you share images and videos on social media for marketing, make sure they include your company logo, making your brand more recognizable and memorable. If you don’t have one, use a professional designer or freelancer. You can’t use a machine to create a logo, even though these services can be affordable. Only a graphic designer can understand your brand requirements perfectly.

4. Buying Followers

It’s clear that social media and influencers are changing ecommerce by affecting the very dynamics of marketing. However, do you know that most social media celebrities have tons of paid followers? Many brands and influencers purchase followers, and there are many easily accessible platforms for that.

If you’re considering this step, stop right there. Most platforms have advanced algorithms that can detect accounts that have paid or fake followers, and you could be banned if you’re found to be engaging in this practice. Also, you won’t be able to generate actual interest for your brand online as these fake followers won’t interact with your shared content. So, it’s better to get as many organic followers as possible.

3. Ignoring the Comments Section

One of the biggest reasons brands are active on social media is to be able to interact with their target audience in a relaxed, comfortable environment. If you want the best results from your social media marketing campaigns, it’s important to interact and engage with your followers on a regular basis.

Responding to comments on posts is a great way to improve your social media engagement. Whether you get praises or complaints, addressing them promptly and professionally will ensure your customers are happy. You can also register their feedback in order to avoid doing things that upset them in the future.

2. Creating Unoriginal Content

Social media is a fun and vibrant place. So, if you want to attract followers and fans, create content that is fun and original. Think outside the box, and don’t shy away from ideas that are slightly edgy or unconventional. You just might be surprised by the results! Besides, there is no dearth of great social media content ideas and examples of brands online for inspiration.

1. Using the Wrong Hashtags

Hashtags play a huge role in social media marketing, especially on Twitter and Instagram but also Facebook and LinkedIn. However, you need to use the right hashtags for your marketing efforts to bear fruit. If you don’t know which hashtags are good for you, look for ideas among your competitors. You can also use topical hashtags as they are relevant and timely irrespective of your content.

Conclusion

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you’ll be set up for greater success, engaging more effectively with your audience in a genuine way while attracting more social media users to your products, services and solutions.

Is Directory Submission Good for SEO in 2020?

Is Directory Submission Good for SEO in 2020?

By | seo advice for business

“Can you still use directory submissions for SEO?”

This question crops up repeatedly on forums and it’s unsurprising as once upon a time directories were the staple of SEO, indeed they existed before search engines did and were the main way of navigating the web. A simple copy/paste of the same description to hundreds of directories and you were sorted.

Are directory submissions good for SEO?

Fast forward to 2020 and SEO has become a lot more complicated, however directory submissions if done correctly can still play an important role as part of a larger SEO campaign.

Personally, I find this change refreshing. Just as websites were once jammed with keywords, and user-experience was immaterial to your SEO, now having great content and a positive user-experience is vital. So to with directories, some have survived the test of time and are still important for SEO today, others have lost all merit and often vanished from the web entirely.

Having links from directories is also no longer enough to rank well with Google, and creative, engaging guest posts on relevant sites that backlink to your website will go further than submitting to directories. As an SEO agency, this is great news, as it means the job now involves writing engaging content, creating infographics, and striving for excellence, which is far more satisfying than the old black hat methods that used to work, but no longer do.

How do you find the best directories?

The best way to guarantee that a directory submission will be beneficial is to ask yourself,

“If SEO didn’t exist, would I still submit to this directory?”

If the answer is, “Yes,” then it’s a lot more likely that the directory will also help with SEO. Note, the questions isn’t, “If Search Engines didn’t exist.” Some ways of finding the best directories are as follows:

Find a relevant directory in your niche or region
If you repair cars in Washington, own a furniture shop in Paris, or have a games platform usable by anyone in the world, then the best directory for you will be different. There are also international directories, some catering for multiple languages, most catering for a single language. You’re therefore best of starting by searching in Google for either:

  • A relevant keyword OR
  • A broader category OR
  • A geographic region

And looking through the first few pages of the results to see if any directories or lists appear. Start with those and to find more directories, repeat the process but add “directory” or “submit” or “submission” to your search.

If a niche directory appears for relevant keywords, then it’s likely to drive traffic to your site, which will help increase sales and is also far more likely to help your SEO, regardless of the directory’s statistics (more on this later). At the end of the day, if Google considers a directory important enough to rank in the first few pages for a relevant keyword, then it’s worth you joining the directory, particularly if it’s free or cheap.

Find a general directory with good overall value

As well as niche directories, there are a wide range of generalist directories that cover pretty much any topic imaginable. To find these, you can simply search in Google for “directory”, “free online directory” or “list of directories” and you’ll find plenty of results.

For general directories it’s worth checking out their stats more carefully before deciding to use them, as if you submit your site to too many low quality directories, this could get your site penalized, rather than rewarded.

One way to find the best directories is to compile a list then run them through a tool like Website SEO Checker, pictured below.

This provides a wide range of stats about a website which overall give a good indication of how successful a site is and how much a link will benefit you. The most relevant are as follows:

Domain Authority (DA) – A scale from 1 to 100, 100 being the best of how much authority a site has based on the backlinks going to it, its age, and various other factors. Aim for a DA of at least 25.

Age – Older directories are more likely to have built up a reputation over time, though don’t rule out a new directory if its other criteria are good.

Alexa rank – A ranking of most of the websites online, where 1 is the most visited site in the world, gradually counting downwards. The lower the Alex rank, the more traffic a website receives. This is an important indicator of traffic, but please note that it’s not very accurate.

TrustFlow (TF) – Similar to Domain Authority, but focuses more on how trustworthy a site, calculated in particular by links from highly reputable websites. A very low TrustFlow, a very high Alexa rank, or no Alexa rank at all is an indicator that a site is unlikely to be valued by Google and unless it ranks well for specific keywords / a specific region that’s highly relevant to your business, is best avoided.

Another indicator of whether a general directory will be good for your business is whether it has a relevant category that’s as close to your niche as possible. If it doesn’t have any categories that remotely describe what you do, you’re best avoiding it.

How to complete your submission

Google do their best to discount duplicate content on the net, and penalize excessive duplicate content in backlinks, plus there will be a finite number of high quality directories for you to submit to, therefore you’re best writing unique content for every single directory that you submit to.

To avoid any risk of a penalty, if asked for an anchor text that the directory will use when linking to, go with your company name, rather than a keyword.

Think about what unique selling points your business can offer and focus on this. For an American audience, focus primarily on the benefits of your product or service. For a UK or European audience, use a mixture of selling the benefits and describing the features.

If you plan on doing multiple directory submissions, you may wish to use a dedicated email address for it, to avoid getting spam afterwards, though make sure you use the correct postal address, phone number and web address, as having these consistent throughout the web has been shown to help with local SEO.

Checking if a site is already indexed

Directories are far better than they used to be, so most have a decent search interface where you can check if your site has already been indexed, however one way to be sure is to search in Google for:

Site:example.com company name

This will show you all results on the directory that mention your company.

How much should I pay for a directory submission?

In 2020 most general directories offer a free option or charge a few dollars to let you index your business, and it’s probably not worth paying more than this. Some local or niche directories can charge anything up to a few hundred dollars to index you (e.g. a property for sale directory). For these kind of directories, ask yourself what it’s worth to you. If it’s a specific niche and the directory receives a high volume of traffic, then it will be worth considerably more to you.

What other kinds of backlink are there?

As we mentioned at the start of this article, directories aren’t the only type of backlink Google consider and in 2020 it’s particularly important that you have a range of different types of backlinks to rank well with Google. Some other SEO link building strategies to consider are:

  • Writing guest posts and arranging for them to be placed on relevant blogs
  • Social media marketing
  • Image or infographic shares
  • Advertising on small ad sites
  • Creating amazing content that people will want to link to

When directory submissions are done properly they are an effective tool as part of a larger SEO and link building campaign and can also help to drive traffic to your site and improve your branding.

LinkedIn Adds Engagement Remarketing for Video and Lead Ads

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

LinkedIn has announced much-anticipated targeting for its ads: engagement retargeting options.

This new functionality allows advertisers to create retargeting audiences of users who have Video Ads or interacted with Lead Gen Forms. It will be rolling out into accounts over the next month.

Why Engagement Retargeting Was Needed for LinkedIn?

One of the harder parts of buying media in paid social is that the vast majority of users prefer to not leave the platform.

Without on-site behavior to rely on for retargeting, advertisers can be left sending top-of-funnel ads to the same users over and over, without the insight that they may have taken on-platform actions already.

More and more, social platforms have pushed to try and recreate remarketing possibilites based around a user’s on-platform behavior.

Facebook developed this steadily over the years, with the ability to target users who engaged with posts, contacted a Page via Messenger, watched a certain percentage of a video, and many other options.

With the cost of LinkedIn, many advertisers can struggle to drive enough traffic to build a remarketing audience worth the cost to get users to their website.

Because LinkedIn is heavily business to business, the product life cycles tend to be long, with many interactions along the way to a purchase or conversion.

How Lack of Engagement Retargeting Impacted Advertisers

The lack of insight or ability to retarget on-platform behaviors like users who watched a video or interacted with a lead form was a hindrance.

“There’s so much value in being able to keep top-of-mind for all platform interactions, rather than just the portion that makes it to the website,”

said AJ Wilcox.

Wilcox is the founder of B2Linked, an internationally recognized expert agency in LinkedIn Ads, and the host of the LinkedIn Ads Show Podcast.

This was also creating looming angst around the demise of third-party cookie reliance in ads.

“Engagement retargeting on LinkedIn is something we’ve been waiting on for a long time. The platform’s existing retargeting solution is fully reliant on cookies, so half of your traffic doesn’t qualify (iOS devices) and the other half will be gone in 2 years. It requires someone to visit your website,” – AJ Wilcox.

Lead Gen Form Retargeting

Audience creation is done in the Account Assets section by choosing the Matched Audiences option. It will work with awareness, engagement, and conversion objectives.

Audiences can be created based on members who opened or submitted the lead forms you run on LinkedIn.

The window for engagement can be from 30-365 days in the past.

LinkedIn Adds Engagement Remarketing for Video and Lead Ads

The audience will have a minimum size requirement of 300 to be used in a target.

Video Retargeting

Audiences for video retargeting are also in Account Assets section by choosing the Matched Audiences option. It will also work with awareness, engagement, and conversion objectives.

You can create audiences based on how much of your video audiences watched:

  • 25%
  • 50%
  • 75&
  • 97%
  • 100%

Like Lead Gen Form audiences, you can choose a time period of 30-365 days in the past.

You also specify which video ad campaigns you are looking to focus on. It will list the number of video views per campaign, completion rates and time periods.

LinkedIn Adds Engagement Remarketing for Video and Lead Ads

The Video Views option also extends to users who viewed on the Audience Network.

Future Iterations of Engagement Targeting

While LinkedIn hasn’t announced anything further, Wilcox notes this is a great first step to opening the door further.

“My hope is that this will be a platform that continues to get access to new audiences. I’d love to see the ability to retarget those who clicked on an ad (not just those who made it to the landing page), and even visitors to personal Profiles and company Pages in the future,” he commented.

LinkedIn’s announcement is here, and they have updated their retargeting documentation to include these new features.

Content Marketing During COVID-19: 6 Reasons to Keep Creating Content

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

The COVID-19 pandemic has put much of the world on pause.

However, as a brand, the COVID-19 pandemic shouldn’t bring every marketing effort in your company to a halt.

Staying totally silent with content creation is the wrong choice.

Here are six crucial reasons to keep creating content during this pandemic and beyond, no matter what the virus and economy throw at us.

1. People Are on Their Digital Devices A Lot

Let’s first address the fact that people are on their phones/tablets/laptops all the time nowadays.

While cooped up in quarantine and working from home, millions have turned to digital devices for everything from news to entertainment.

The Washington Post just recently reported that iPhone weekly screen time reports are through the roof. App usage is also seeing a surge as people browse Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others for hours on end.

So, what does this have to do with your brand’s content production?

Well, to put it frankly, you’ve got an audience of bored, technology-addicted customers at your fingertips.

Even if people are clutching their wallets tightly during this uncertain time, there’s still a huge opportunity to reach out and influence large groups of customers through your content right now.

Publish that new blog post.

Share stuff on Facebook.

Keep up with your Instagram posts.

Trust us – people are looking, and even if they don’t purchase anything, they’ll notice what you’re publishing.

2. Quarantined Customers Are Looking for Distractions

Speaking of bored quarantiners on their phones, let’s talk about how you can provide online distractions for customers.

Confinement, reduced social and physical content, and frustration have led many people to feel extremely anxious while isolating.

As a brand, you can either view this as an intimidation factor or as an opportunity to provide people with the distraction they need to manage their concerns.

Everywhere you turn, people are talking about the pandemic and its repercussions.

Although this is an angle you can take in your content, you can also produce messaging that isn’t about anxiety-inducing topics.

Take a look at the recent Netflix hit show, “Tiger King.”

Why is it so popular? Is it because it’s stellar quality or beneficial to people’s lives?

No – it’s because it’s downright distracting from the concerns of the world around us.

That’s why it’s been watched by more than 64 million households.

People are desperate for entertainment and interesting content during a time when they’re practically on house arrest.

What can your company do to give people a little distraction right now?

If you’re a skincare company, write a blog about tips for taking care of yourself while you’re at home.

 

Are you a toy business?

 

Publish posts on innovative ways for keeping kids entertained.

 

No matter what kind of brand you’re a part of, there are strategies to give people a source of distraction. You’re only limited by your own creativity.

3. It’s Important to Take a Position

Sometimes, taking no position is worse than taking a bad position.

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The absence of commentary on COVID-19 could lead people to think your brand is tone-deaf or simply uncaring, and you certainly don’t want that.

Use content as a method of positioning your COVID-19 related messages.

Everyone, from brands like Nike to Coca-Cola, is speaking out about their thoughts and actions surrounding the virus.

In doing so, they’re taking a stance people can admire.

There are many ways to take a position through your content.

  • Write a post about your charitable donations during the quarantine.
  • Provide free value to customers/followers.
  • Send your thoughts and positivity to those who need it.
  • Support healthcare workers and other essential employees.
  • Discuss what your brand is doing to keep people safe.
  • You can also use your “re-positioning” around the coronavirus to improve current content marketing strategies.

For instance, have you seen the home security systems that are highlighting the importance of safety right now?

Or the car commercials that emphasize “comfort” more than before?

Healthcare products that boast of “immunity-boosting” properties for your family?

Take a look at what your position on COVID-19 is and how it can play a role in your content production.

Ignoring the virus and its repercussions isn’t an option – it’s time to speak up in a way that works for your brand.

4. Content Is a Long-Term Investment

Feel like your brand isn’t getting much attention during the pandemic?

That’s understandable – these are uncertain times in which people are being pulled in multiple directions at once.

However, that doesn’t mean halting content production is a good idea.

People might not be engaging with it right now, but there are some kinds of content that aim at long-term goals. Rather than driving on sales-focused content, try to look toward the future.

Over the next few months, write content that can:

  • Improve brand awareness by showing your personality and beliefs.
  • Inform potential buyers about the current status of your business and products.
  • Build trust with customers through continuous communication and support.
  • Increase customer loyalty through feedback and engagement, as well as special offers.
  • Boost leads by reaching out to customers through entertaining, informative pieces.
  • Don’t think of each blog post or social media campaign as a here-and-now strategy.
  • Think of it as an investment in people’s long-term awareness of your brand.

When the Content Marketing Institute gathered responses for the 2019 B2C Content Marketing survey, it found that nearly 90% of the most successful brands stated that content marketing helped them increase brand awareness over the course of 12 months.

We don’t know where this pandemic will leave us in a year, but we do know that things will continue to change.

Your content right now needs to be about brand awareness – something that will lead to revenue.

5. Can’t Get Many Conversions? Gain Followers

With the recent economy’s instability and the impending recession that’s been predicted, many people are holding onto their hard-earned dollars tightly.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that many businesses are experiencing fewer conversions during the pandemic.

Even Google search ad impressions have begun to decrease to 7% below average. Conversion rates on PPC ads have dropped by an average of 21%.

So, you might be thinking, “Why would I waste my time using content to reach customers?”

The answer lies in your mindset about producing content.

Writing blogs, creating social media posts, and starting new campaigns isn’t just about earning revenue – it’s about gaining followers on other platforms.

As TechCrunch pointed out, Under quarantine, media is actually social.

People are no longer following brands solely for shopping purposes – they’re following them to connect, and if you can harness that energy, you can substantially bump up your follower counts.

Business as usual posts won’t cut it.

Entice followers with posts about how you’re adapting and how you can be there for them during this difficult time.

Did you know that back in October 2019, Chipotle was the only major restaurant chain with a TikTok presence?

Now, hundreds are adapting to go where their people are – on entertaining social media platforms.

By Mid-March, brands like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram had all experienced at least 40% spikes in usage.

Instead of worrying about how your customers are distracted and unwilling to spend money, jump on the chance that they’re very present on media platforms you can access.

If necessary, start new content accounts where you feel you can reach out to a higher number of potential followers.

Don’t be afraid to experiment, especially when people could really use a good chuckle or some interesting news.

6. Consistency Is Always the Key

More than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute as of May 2019.

There were nearly 75 million blog posts published on WordPress sites in April 2020.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of companies with more than 5,000 employees publish content on a daily basis.

Consistency and regularity are two huge aspects of content success.

Although it might be tempting to take a break from religiously posting while everyone is quarantined, such a disruption could hinder some of the success you’ve already garnered.

Additionally, Google is always on the hunt for fresh content.

All of your content has a shelf life, and if the search engine doesn’t consistently pick up on new content, your SEO results could suffer.

You might not need to publish on a daily basis, but try to keep up with your schedule as much as possible, despite the circumstances.

In Conclusion

Content is a tool – which means it’s only as effective as the brand that wields it.

During the pandemic, and after, it will be up to each individual company to see how they can make their content worthwhile.

Still, it seems clear that the companies that continue to produce content, even during this strange time, will come out ahead as the leaders, educators, and popular brands.

Don’t let your marketing fall by the wayside just because the rest of the world is on pause.

Adapt to this new pandemic society and learn how to maneuver around its ups and downs.

Remember: content marketing is a long-term game, so don’t get too stuck in the right here and now.

HTTP Or HTTPS

HTTP or HTTPS? Why You Need a Secure Site.

By | Website Design Advice

In 2018, Google started showing this to Chrome users if they clicked on a non-HTTPS website.

I’m just going to put that down right here. Quietly. In case there’s an unfriendly snare drum beating in your brain.

In 2018, Google told webmasters that if you have a non-HTTPS website, you risk losing traffic and this horrible pop-up notification will display before Chrome users get to your website.

However, this does not come as a surprise.

Google first started encouraging sites to go to HTTPS in May 2010.

Then on August 6, 2014, Google announced that they would be showing a preference for HTTPS sites in search results.

But, we SEO professionals have been pacifying the Google Gods for many years. Nothing can really astonish us anymore.

And, despite all the changes, we must go on…

Luckily, migrating from HTTP to HTTPS is favoring a few.

Sean Si of SEO Hacker saw a 480% increase in rankings after switching to HTTPS.

Autoxloo increased traffic volume and the number of leads by 5% after migrating to HTTPS.

Fortunately, I’m breaking down the beef between HTTP vs. HTTPS for a battle to the end – Celebrity Deathmatch style.

What Is the Difference Between HTTP & HTTPS?

TTP sites have adorned the interwebs for quite some time.

While the new kid on the block, HTTPS, is trending.

But, what’s the difference between HTTP and HTTPS?

HTTP is an application layer protocol to receive information from the web.

It started to secure and authorize transactions over the web.

In non-nerd terms, it displays information to the web searcher.

It means that without that secure connection, any network that is between the source host and the destination host can change what the destination host gets.

So, the additional layer of HTTPS uses a more secure way to transport the data, known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

A win for everyone.

Why You Need to Switch to HTTPS:

Are you still asking yourself this: Why do I need to switch to HTTPS?

I get it.

After writing all this copy, designing and building your website, the last thing you want to do is migrate to HTTPS.

But, hiring a good SEO marketer (like me ?‍♀️) to do it for you, that you can do.

All without ever leaving the house.

Here’s why.

Check out this traceroute from my network to www.google.com.

Each one of these lines is a new “hop” or server.

Switch to HTTPS

If these were HTTP, these servers would change what Google delivers to my browser.

But, since Google is HTTPS, this doesn’t happen.

This doesn’t mean that HTTP isn’t insecure.

It depends.

For example, if you’re spending your time laughing at rabbit videos on TikTok while daydreaming about burritos, HTTP is fine.

However, if you’re accessing your bank account or plugging credit card information on a checkout page, your sensitive data is at risk.

HTTPS provides the security of your visitors and your network.

That’s why more than 50% of websites worldwide are using HTTPS already.

And, look at the increase of HTTPS on Firefox and on Chrome.

You need to make the switch to HTTPS.

Migrating to HTTPS has proven to have an impact on the performance of your site.

Benefits of Switching to HTTPS

Here is a look at the benefits of using HTTPS.

Improved Search Rankings

Google has not confirmed that HTTPS is a ranking factor. But, Google has admitted to showing preference to sites using HTTPS.

Searchmetrics conducted an analysis of SSL and the impact on rankings. The study proved there was a positive impact on visibility in the SERPs with HTTPS.

And, Cloudtec doubled their number of top 10 rankings after switching from HTTP to HTTPS.

Better User Experience

Browsers like Firefox and Chrome are using indictors to show whether or not a website is secure. And, users are noticing.

So much so that, 84% of users would rather drop a purchase than follow through with it if they knew a site was not secure.

If you’re providing a safe and secure browsing experience, you’ll increase retention.

Protect Your Users’ Information

With HTTPS, you can protect your users’ data. You don’t want a data breach issue like Marriott or Facebook. Marriott’s issue could have been avoided by maintaining its HTTPS status with the SSL/TLS certificate.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office shared a detailed report that discovered that an expired certificate on an SSL/TLS inspection system that had not been replaced for 10 months or so. This allowed hackers to access data undetected.

Get the Secure Lock Icon

Seventy-seven percent of websites visitors are concerned about their data being intercepted or misused online. You want to start building trust and credibility with them. This secure lock icon does that for you.

Want proof? Zamberg.com increased their conversion rate by 11% after using switching to SSL.

You Have to Have HTTPS to Implement AMP

I know, I know. You know how important mobile optimization is for SEO.

I mean, how can anyone forget the huge 70% lift in traffic that Thrillist saw coming from AMP?

The tricky thing is you have to have an encrypted site with SSL to even use AMP.

More Effective PPC Campaigns

The majority of Google’s revenue comes from selling ads. If users visit your site but fail to convert, advertisers won’t keep paying for Google Ads. So, using HTTPS helps reduce bad advertising practices and increase conversions.

Also, in 2018, Google Ads started automatically redirecting HTTP search ads to HTTPS. And, they’ve started to warn advertisers to stop using HTTP addresses for landing pages.

Corrected Data in Google Analytics

Notice an uptick in direct traffic?

When HTTPS sends a visit to HTTP, Google Analytics reports this as direct traffic. This is also important to note during a migration. Moz dives deeper into this referrer data here.

Many Sites Do Not Support HTTP Sites

Nowadays, most sites require your site to be secure. For example, Squarespace requires an SSL certificate. Even the government requires an HTTPS site.

The Process of Switching from HTTP to HTTPS

Switching from HTTP to HTTPS is difficult for the non-techy people as there are a few issues that can pop-up.

Here is a quick snapshot of the steps you need to take to convert your site from HTTP to HTTPS:

  • Find an SSL certificate
  • Install the SSL certificate
  • Update the domain to point to HTTPS
  • Redirect all HTTP pages to HTTPS
  • Re-verify ownership in Google Search Console
  • Update the sitemap
  • Update the robots.txt
  • Update your settings in Google Analytics
  • Test

If you’re using WordPress, Vahan Petrosyan, Search Engine Journal’s Web Developer, breaks down the migration from HTTP to HTTPS step-by-step here.

Ready to Switch to HTTPS?

I hope this article helps to explain why making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS is necessary.

If you’re ready to make the switch, contact your hosting company.

For example, Bluehost includes an SSL certificate for their WordPress users.

Or, use a tool like Let’s Encrypt for free.

Either option you choose, making the switch is worth the time and investment to protect your users.

  • [Video Recap]

 

How to Conduct a Complete Google Ads Audit

How to Conduct a Complete Google Ads Audit

By | Digital Marketing & Google News

Is your Google Ads account as effective as it could be?

Unless you’ve audited your account, you can’t know for sure.

What Is a Google Ads Account Audit?

A Google Ads account audit is the process of evaluating the effectiveness of your accounts.

An audit can reveal painful hidden issues that need to be addressed.

Once you’ve identified these issues, you can get to work improving the overall health and performance of your account.

While there are many automated tools and services that provide algorithmic-based audit results and grades for your account, they often lack the context of your marketing goals, focus audience, and unique desired outcomes of your PPC efforts.

The key to a good audit is to:
  • Identify what you’re going to review and understand its importance.
  • Review and document the status of each item in the audit.
  • Make detailed notes and call out examples of items that need to be revisited or addressed in the post-audit action plan.

The audit itself isn’t the time to make account or campaign updates (unless you uncover something so critical that it must be addressed immediately).

It’s important to get into, through, and out of the audit process delivering a report and results that can be put into an action plan for one-time follow-up activities and processes for ongoing management adjustments.

The last thing you want to do is start an endless audit that has changing objectives throughout.

Why You Need a Google Ads Account Audit

Whether you’re taking over an account from a client, another vendor, or as part of a new role in your company, knowing where things stand before investing significant time and money is critical.

There are also benefits to periodically auditing your finely-tuned campaigns, allowing time to take a step back and look at things that might be missed in day-to-day management.

Some benefits that can result from a Google Ads audit include:
  • Finding areas of spend waste.
  • Identifying new opportunities to expand.
  • Enhancing ongoing management processes.
  • Gaining audience insights that can be applied to the account as well as other marketing channels.
  • Validation of assumptions.

What follows is a step-by-process you can use when performing your own Google Ads account audit.

You will gain invaluable insights and uncover big opportunities where you can improve your accounts.

Focusing on these areas and asking these important questions when performing your own Google Ads account audit will help ensure that you’re maximizing your PPC marketing ROI.

Step 1: Review Goals

Before diving into the Google Ads account, the first step of the audit is reviewing business and account goals to ensure you understand what your focus and objectives are.

There can be multiple conversion goals.

Understanding what they are and what performance outcomes you’re seeking will set the tone for your evaluation throughout the rest of the audit process.

Defining your goals and focus makes it easier to objectively audit the account.

Some questions to ask related to goals:
  • What are your conversion goals for the company?
  • What are the conversion goals in Google Ads?
  • Have your goals changed?
  • Can you track performance beyond ads (for leads, sales, or traffic)?
  • Has your target audience or set of personas changed?

When you’re clear on what you want your Google Ads account to accomplish, you can dig into the actual components of the search network campaign.

Step 2: Review Account Structure

Having the right hierarchy can positively impact the amount of time required for managing campaigns and yield better data for decision making.

There are many ways you can structure your use of campaigns and ad groups, organizing around:
  • Logical business objectives.
  • Persona targets.
  • Product lines.
  • Service lines.
  • Subject matter.

While there’s not necessarily a “right” way to structure your account, you want to do so in a way that gives you as much control as possible on the more granular details of bid, budget, ads, and overall management.

The aspects of account structure to evaluate are:
  • Do the campaigns represent different campaign setting level segments (geotargeting, dayparting, campaign level bids, campaign level budgets)?
  • Do the campaigns provide meaningful roll-up reporting for the ad groups that fall within them?
  • Are the campaigns easy to compare to each other and to balance budgets across?

Step 3: Account & Campaign Settings

In most cases, you can quickly review your campaign settings and move on.

However, you may ultimately need to come back to these settings to make adjustments based on your review and decisions for changes in other areas of the audit.

  • Is the geographic targeting appropriate and accurate? Do you see any countries or regions in the “locations” tab that you don’t want to target?
  • Is device targeting appropriate?
  • Are you sure you have the advanced location settings configured exactly as you want for your audience?
  • Are the bid strategy, budget, and ad delivery methods as you desire?
  • Do you have the right dayparting in place?
  • Are you using dynamic search ads (and if so, are you aware of that and using them for the right reasons)?

Step 4: Ad Groups

At this stage, it’s important to remember that “ad groups = group of ads” rather than “ad groups = group of keywords.”

Sometimes we get those two concepts confused. We think too much about keywords and groupings before we think about the intent of the searcher and the destination we’re sending them to.

You could have the best-organized groups of keywords that Google Ads has ever seen, but have them perform miserably if your ads and landing pages are an afterthought.

Your focus must be on ads, landing pages, quality scores, and ultimately the potential for performance for getting users to convert.

The aspects of ad groups to consider in the audit are:
  • Do my ad groups have approximately 10 keywords or less?
  • Do the ad groups align with each other and complement rather than compete?
  • Are the ad group level max CPCs set at an optimal level?
  • Are my best ad groups receiving enough of the budget?

Step 5: Keywords

We can get lost in keywords, match types, search queries, negative matching, and a lot of detail at a granular level.

It’s important to identify patterns and trends during the audit process.

While doing so, resist the temptation to start making updates.

Now isn’t the time to start implementing or to run off and yell at the person who managed the account before you did.

When you look at keywords, do so within each relevant campaign to stay focused on the specific subject matter of the campaign and drill down into ad groups.

By applying the goals identified in the first step of the audit process, you can evaluate the specific intent and performance of keywords.

If you have a very large campaign, it’s best to look at samples to find patterns and issues rather than try to judge each keyword individually.

A lot of sorting and sampling is important to identify performance and optimization issues.

Aspects of keywords to audit:

  • Are negative keywords in use?
  • Does the search query report show any keywords that are off-topic for the subject matter and conversion goals?
  • Are there terms that have zero conversions yet have high impressions, clicks, and/or spend?
  • Are there keywords that have low-quality scores?
  • Are there keywords that have a status of “no” for showing right now? If so, are there any negative matches or
  • other conflicts when you want them to be running?
  • Are the keyword specific max CPCs set at an optimal level?
  • Are there any terms that are out of line with expected or desired CPC, CTR, conversion, or conversion rate targets?

Step 6: Ads

Ads often are left to run unchecked in many accounts or are over-tested.

One way to effectively test ads is to set the ad rotation to force even rotation indefinitely and ensure that each ad group has two ad versions — an “A” and a “B” version.

At set intervals, you can then judge the winner and rotate in a new “B” version to test.

Even if you rely on Google’s algorithm in determining the ratio to serve ads and use dynamic tools, it is dangerous to leave things on autopilot.

The audit can expose these issues.

Audit ads including:
  • Two ad variations in each ad group.
  • Use of dynamic keyword insertion and performance against a static headline.
  • Use of calls to action in ad headlines and effectiveness.
  • Are there ads with mid- to low-quality scores?

Step 7: Landing Pages

Landing pages are external to Google Ads, but have a direct impact on the performance of the campaign and influence the metrics you see throughout Google Ads.

It would be an oversight to not analyze landing pages even if they don’t show up on your radar when evaluating ad quality scores.

Carrying consistent wording and terminology through to the landing pages, having clear calls to action, and positive user experiences are all key to ensuring optimal conversion rates (and raising your quality score to lower your costs).

When looking at your landing pages, consider the following:
  • Is there a good headline and clear call to action on the page?
  • Do the forms work?
  • Is there a dedicated call tracking number?
  • Does the form submit to a thank you message or page that contains the conversion tracking code?
  • Are the quality scores of ads linking to each respective landing page mid to high?
  • Does it make sense to add more landing pages or condense into less based on the performance of ads and pages?

Step 8: Reporting & the Action Plan

As you work through the audit steps and spend time looking at the details compared to performance expectations and goals, you’ll need to document your notes.

It’s likely that your audit is going to be shared with others internally or externally.

So organize your audit into a document or template format will help you both craft your action plan and share insights with others.

Your real work begins after you’ve documented each item, the status of it, and any issues to address.

Now the production list and action plan can come together, get scheduled, and be put into motion.

Whether you’re going to prioritize and tackle all of the areas identified for improvement, expansion, or optimization in a single round or work it into longer ongoing efforts, you have the power of knowledge versus simply sticking with the status quo or assuming that the work done by those before you was ideal.

Regardless of your situation, you’re in a position poised for gains in your account that will impact your bottom line.

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When, Why & How to Use the Noarchive Tag

When, Why & How to Use the Noarchive Tag

By | seo advice for business

Meta robots tags are nothing new.

In fact, there are many instances where you may want to use some meta robots tags such as the noarchive tag.

On larger websites, managing sections can become challenging.

So much so, that you would want to use some meta robots tags in order to control how Google sees, indexes, and ignores the page entirely.

Let’s take a look at the noarchive tag and see what it can do.

About the Noarchive Tag

There are certain meta tags that will help you determine how you want Google to crawl or index your page.

The noarchive tag has to do with whether there’s a cached copy of the page.

When you create a webpage, you normally want all potential options enabled.

But, throughout the life of a website, you may want to limit what the page can do.

For example, say for some reason you don’t want Google to cache the page (especially if you are updating it soon).

By using the noarchive tag, you will be able to tell Google that “I don’t want you to cache this.”

Using the noarchive tag has no major impact on search ranking.

How Do You Create the Noarchive Tag?

You can use the following snippets of coding:

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOARCHIVE”>

Or, you can use Google-specific coding:

<META NAME=”GOOGLEBOT” CONTENT=”NOARCHIVE”>

The first implementation applies to all robots. The second one applies to Googlebot.

Is Google Caching Your Pages a Good Thing?

It can be.

For example, people can access your pages even if your site is down.

Google also provides “text only” version of the page that gives an idea how it “sees” your page.

When Should You Use the Noarchive Tag?

Things like time-sensitive content and other types of content you don’t want to publish to everybody should be noarchived.

This will prevent your content from being fully cached by Google.

These include content such as:
  • Advertising you don’t want Google to cache.
  • Any PPC landing pages you don’t want viewable to everybody.
  • Internal documents you don’t want to be historically public.
  • Any other sensitive documentation you don’t want a cache history of.

For some of these situations, you will likely already have content traditionally noindexed, or robots.txt disallow directives in place.

For others, the noarchive tag can be your best friend.

Can You Get Penalized for Using Noarchive?

No.

In the past, some people have worried that it may be a red flag to Google that a site is cloaking.

Officially, however, Google has stated that there’s nothing wrong with using the tag,

This tag only removes the “Cached” link for the page.

Google will continue to index the page and display a snippet.

What Other Tags Can You Use?

The above tags we discussed are not the only ones you can use to limit crawler activity.

There are a number of other tags you can use when it comes to declaring crawler directives.

These basic directives are nothing new, but a lot of confusion exists about their best practices.

We would like to put some of this confusion to rest with the remainder of this list.

These tags can help with indexation, following, caching, and other essential functions.

By using these tags, you can prioritize and make sure the sections of your site you want to be indexed are indexed. They are also great for excluding content you may not want to show to everyone.

When You Want to Prevent Indexing: Noindex

Code implementation:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

This tag, when used properly, is used to let a search engine know that they should not index this particular page.

If you have sections you prefer to leave for users only (such as PPC advertisements or other ads you may not want indexed ), then you can use the noindex tag on these pages.

Allowing Search Engines to Index the Page: Index
Code implementation:

<meta name="robots" content="index">

There’s a problem with this: you don’t have to use the tag. It’s redundant. The default behavior of crawlers is to crawl and index your site!

And they will do so when your site proves its worth. Adding a tag like this just adds redundancies and code bloat that does not need to be there.

Letting Search Engines Follow Your Links

Code implementation:

<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">

This one will let crawlers index and follow the links on your page. In addition, following the links in this manner passes all-important link juice, which further boosts the page receiving it.

When You Don’t Want Search Engines to Follow Your Links

Code implementation:

<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow">

Nofollowing your links will set them up so that they do not pass link equity or otherwise boost the PageRank of the page the link is going to.

Follow/nofollow was used extensively back in the days of PageRank sculpting, which is why you find some old sites nowadays with so many nofollowed links.

By using nofollow and follow directives in this manner, you could “sculpt” the PageRank of the receiving page if done right.

Nowadays such practices are considered spam. Unless you know what you are doing, or you want to hoard PageRank like no tomorrow, you should not use nofollow.

Why would you want to block a particular page from receiving all-important PR?

New Rules for Nofollow

As if that were not enough, earlier this year Google introduced new rules for the nofollow tags, which complicates matters further.

Before, you could simply designate any advertising links as nofollow if you wanted to.

They would not pass value, and Google would ignore them.

Now, the new rules create new designations for distinguishing between links for advertising reasons.

User-generated content has also been given new tags.

You can now markup links within user-generated content (such as blog comments and reviews) as nofollow if they vi0late your site’s policies.

You can read more about these new rules elsewhere on Search Engine Journal.

Nofollow, Noarchive, Nocache, No More!

Controlling crawlers is not complicated.

By improving the ability of crawlers to distinguish between the content you want them to crawl and content you don’t want them to crawl, this can help you control the content you may not want to be displayed to everyone.

It’s also not hard to control crawlers.

What is hard, however, is assessing your overall strategy and where you should go next.

Which comes with testing, learning, and doing.

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How to Get Perfect Quality Scores

How to Get Perfect Quality Scores

By | Networking Bizz News

Quality score is like a report card for your keywords:

  • 9’s and 10’s are A’s.
  • 7’s and 8’s are B’s.
  • 5’s and 6’s are C’s.
  • Everything else is an F.

We need to make our clients and bosses happy with a perfect report card, and anything less than a 10 should cause deep shame.

Getting a perfect quality score starts with understanding the mechanics of quality score.

3 Core Components of Quality Score

Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Google and Microsoft decide competitors to compare your click-through rate with.

They’ll assess your CTR, seeing if you have similar, better, or worse performance.

For example, Advertiser A is bidding on the keyword “office supplies for home office.” They have a CTR of 5.98% and a quality score of 7.

Advertiser B is bidding on the same keyword with a CTR of 5.75% and has a quality score of 5.

What causes the discrepancy?

Google/Microsoft decided Advertiser A is special and should be compared against Advertiser B.

Meanwhile Advertiser B was compared to a previously unmentioned Advertiser XYZ, who has double the budget and bids hyper-aggressively.

Advertiser B should feel shame for not being able to meet an unknown criteria.

If they were a good advertiser they’d have overcome all others and have the best CTR.

Ad Relevance

The best way to manage an account is to perfectly match the keywords you’re bidding on to the ad copy creative.

When you do that, you’re showing ad networks you’re a consistent and stable partner.

Perfect quality score is worth sacrificing engaging creative.

You’ll get bonus points if the exact keywords you’re bidding on and included in ads, are on your landing pages.

Who cares if the content becomes annoying to read/slips into passive voice – getting a stamp of approval from ad networks is far more important than sales.

For example, bidding on the term “dog trainer” means the ad better include the term at least three times, and 10+ times on the landing page.

It might be tempting to use a variant so the content reads better (trainer vs. training), but don’t give in!

Your perfect quality score depends on rigid robotic syntax – anything less is unacceptable.

Landing Page Experience

Ad networks expect us to be gracious hosts to traffic they send us – loading quickly, being easy to navigate, not hiding content in font choices, and other common sense experience standards.

Sometimes they will appreciate all the hard work we put into ensuring our conversion rate optimization (CRO) is on point.

Other times, nothing will be good enough.

An advertiser could be doing everything right:
  • Allowing the Google Ad bot to crawl the site.
  • Have healthy load times on mobile and desktop.
  • Sporting a clean and easy to follow page/navigation.
  • Rocking easy to process colors and fonts

…and still get an “average” on landing page experience because the ad network just doesn’t like the page.

Much like a passive-aggressive parent, you can feel the displeasure, but because they don’t voice the actual problem, all you can do is overcompensate your optimizations.

Sure, you’ll have no idea what’s actually working for you (meaning you’ll never escape hard work mode), but it’s all worth it to make Google and Microsoft happy.

With These 3 Components in Mind, Here Are 3 Tips to Get a Perfect Quality Score!

Tip #1: Spend Lots of Money on Single Keyword Ad Groups/Campaigns (SKAG/SKAC)

SKAGs, and their even more meticulous siblings, SKACs, have been getting a lot of flack.

However, on our quest for perfect quality score, we absolutely should embrace them.

SKAGs/SKACs are laser-focused on a single keyword as the hero.

This means ads will be grounded entirely in one keyword.

Landing pages will overflow with the keyword.

Sure, you’ll need to find extra budgets to support all these extra campaigns, but a perfect quality score means the individual click might be 5-10% cheaper!

You might try to saving money by lumping all your SKAGs into a single campaign.

That will doom some ad groups to obscurity (campaigns struggle to support more than 5-7 ad groups per campaign).

Saving a few cents per click is worth spending several hundred dollars more per month!

Tip #2: Pause All Low-Quality Score Keywords

One of the best ways to get rid of a problem is to hide it – and search ads are no different!

Rather than trying to understand the underlying cause of the lower quality score, you should just pause any keyword below a 7.

Keywords with conversions are fair game.

The brand new keyword you just added with a quality score of 10 is likely better suited to win for you than your 4-month-old top converting keyword.

If it really was a winner, it would have a better quality score than a 6.

By constantly adding new keywords and pausing them as soon as their quality score fails you, you ensure you’re working hard on the account so your client can’t fire you.

Sure it would be great if you were actually driving sales and leads, but those are straightforward.

Be sure to sell clients on getting perfect quality scores.

They’ll appreciate you spending time on what’s really important.

Tip #3: Drop Quality Score in Everyday Conversation

A big component of quality score is how Google and Microsoft assess you against your competitor’s CTR.

A recent anecdotal study found that by saying quality score out loud at least five times a day increased Google/Microsoft’s sentiment towards the advertiser.

This had no conclusive impact on quality scores. It did make advertisers feel like they were honoring Google/Microsoft’s wishes.

By honoring Google and Microsoft, advertisers can unlock new levels of connectivity with the algorithm, in theory leading to higher quality scores.

Another way to increase quality score is to do all the recommended actions, improving your optimization score.

Sure, your client might fire you over creative they didn’t approve, or applying a setting that they don’t qualify for (and subsequently get disapproved), but the perfect score is worth it.

The Perfect Score Is Worth It

This is an April Fool’s post. It is 100% satire.

The tips are not actually things I recommend you do.

However, I linked to resources throughout the post that actually can be helpful in optimizing and scaling your PPC success.

Quality scores are great health indicators and can help direct your optimization efforts.

Over-fixating on perfect quality score can cause you miss more profitable opportunities.

If you’re interested in leveraging quality score in a productive and profitable way, check out my previous post on the subject!

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The Launch of NEW Online Stores During The Coronavirus Outbreak

The Launch of NEW Online Stores During The Coronavirus Outbreak

By | Networking Bizz News

The internet has taken over and established quite the hold over many businesses thriving or otherwise. The platform to build, manage, and propagate is what the worldwide web does. The products and services being introduced into the market usually expand better and grow through the lens of the digitally enabled sites. The sites not only improve the condition of the existing sales but also make more people aware of it.

With the pandemic of Coronavirus growing by leaps and bounds, many businesses are seriously considering the e-commerce sector. It is no longer a figment of our imagination but has amassed a lot of popularity the world over.

The nature and form of the business are essential, but the vital point to be remembered is the outreach. Some good companies remain in the backseat due to the limitation of not reaching the masses. En-masse awareness is crucial for the real success of the e-commerce platform.

Before we dive deeper into the context of e-commerce and its need in today’s troubled times, let us answer the basics.

E-Commerce And The Know-How

The e-commerce platform exists for anyone and everyone who want to increase visibility and give their business a fighting chance to survive online. There are different types of mediums for which digital marketing works, such as essential and non-essential goods, services, trades, collaborations, and so forth.

E.g., a physical good or service like the conventionally used practice of the brick and mortar model can also be propagated through these e-commerce networks. This model is nothing but the traditionally present stores that sell the products offline and have been doing so for years. The owners of the shops don’t really have a presence in the digital world and have found comfort in being away from the online community.

But, let us ask some serious questions here:
  • What if they were exposed to the pros and cons of this initiative?
  • What if they were allowed to test the waters and made technically aware of the know-how?
  • What if this is the way society will function in the near future?
  • What if the digital world needs to be revamped in light of the current outbreak?

It’s time we stop dueling with the “what if’s” and address these questions with a solid answer to help you once and for all. The e-commerce business is here to stay, and it is nonetheless appealing.

So, here is a quick question:

What is required of you to start with an extensive e-commerce business?

Let us help you with setting the cornerstone and aid you in navigating the path better with time and money at your disposal.

Here are a few steps which will help reduce the chaos while setting up your business online:

  1. Know Your Product: The business being set up online is for the purpose of strategizing the sales as per the changing dynamics. So, you should be sure about the product being marketed online. If you are still contemplating which product or service you need to select, then there are many sites online which can help you in making the selection. The decision is yours and of the team supporting you in the endeavor – so make it count.
  2. How It’s Marketed: Any e-commerce business before its advent and spread is just an idea in a person’s head or amidst like-minded people. So, to give that idea a medium through which it can come to life, it is necessary to set into motion the strategies to sell the product or service online. It is always essential to plan and establish the process well to achieve success in the project. Laying the groundwork will facilitate the process and make it easier to work with.

Once you are well-versed with the know-how of the e-commerce platform, it is structurally ready to be launched online. For the launch, one needs to do the initial prepping so that there is no cause for delay, and there is no resulting impact on the business. The basics should be tended first to approve the set up of the site, the design, and content of the site which includes the name, branding, and registration of the site.

Each of the above-mentioned points should be thought out thoroughly and understood well so that the launch does not get impacted in any way.

Once you are past the initial hiccup of setting up a business online, you can start thinking about the profits and growth of the business. This particular point will take up most of your space and time when you are trying to grow the business.

Before getting into the dynamics full-swing, it is necessary to understand certain terms like content-driven applications concerning search engine optimization (SEO). These keywords enable the users and consumers to identify your site and make it easier for you to appear in online searches. This helps increase the number of visitors to your e-commerce website, which, in turn, increases the traffic to the site. Internet traffic literally translates into veritable profits, so it is better to enhance the performance of the online business.

Once the profits ring the cash registers, the business grows and the portfolio can be branched out. With respect to the branches, the sectors can be increased in different locations as well as the delivery services can also be improved.

Considering the delivery services, the situation today asks for businesses to adapt to this trend more and in a better way. It is no longer a thing of the past but a necessity to make a safer today possible. Deliveries in the time of quarantine and isolation are equivalent to life-saving practices that can be adopted by various online businesses.

There are many pros to launching the e-commerce platform for your business:
  1. This day and age call for timely action and a proactive approach. Gone are the days when we could step out of the house and get what we like whenever we want. This isn’t the case anymore. People need to be more vigilant and abide by the rule of staying indoors. E-commerce serves as a simple plan in difficult times.
  2. Social distancing is the norm today, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot extend a helping hand or support each other wholeheartedly through a virtual network. Digital businesses are the new marketplace and can be used to your heart’s content to spread the word not only in your street, city, or country but the whole world. The outreach is immense and necessary.
  3. Once you know how to execute your e-commerce platform through extensive planning and detailed structuring, you are not far from expanding on a global scale. As it is known, every successful enterprise or empire was initially an idea. Being quarantined at home and with all the peace and calm required, you can make your ideas matter more than ever.
  4. Nobody likes being controlled or run over, and hence they seek solace in personal ventures. You don’t need permission to run your own business, and that’s what makes it well sought after. You get the final word, and it is relatively simple to challenge oneself rather than an overbearing leader whose claims you can’t refute without getting snubbed down later. Be it quarantine or no quarantine, you are the boss, and the choice is yours; the opinion is yours, and so is the outcome.
  5. The e-commerce business is a diversified approach to a growing business. The impact is a definite ray of hope in the unpredictable nature of the market today. You had seen it all when you launched it offline, maybe on the street just around the corner or in the vicinity. The crowds have supported you so far. You can request for their support even now and start off the e-commerce business with newfound vigor. All you have to do is begin the preparations and choose a platform, like Shopify, to market the launch of your brand new e-commerce site. So, if your favorite statement is: “I want to launch an online store,” stay rest assured that e-commerce would come to your rescue.
  6. It is necessary to adapt to the evolving community and changing times so that you are more in sync with the times than before. The need of the day is to co-operate with the government and their governance to stay indoors. But what about your business? Does it mean shutdown and incurring premature losses? It may not be the case when you can adapt. You can network and collaborate with the essential goods teams and help in making these goods available to the general public. Not only this, but efforts can also be made to make medical supplies and facilities to reach them at their doorstep rather than the other way around.
  7. Before this human-made change was brought about in society, people preferred to work from anyplace and detested the idea of being bound to a specific place. They worked on their e-commerce site from co-working spaces, cafes, and even the neighborhood park. Today, work from home is non-negotiable, and the house is the new office for all of us. In such challenging times, the e-commerce platform is easy to use and significantly reliable.

Notwithstanding the concerns surrounding the online businesses, it is preferable to venture into this domain and understand the holistic approach of the e-commerce ways. Even though there is no face-to-face connection with the consumers, the personal relationship can be enhanced with virtual methods too.

Today, it is far better to go the e-commerce way since contactless delivery is a welcome change. People maintaining social distancing as a way of life prefer the e-commerce stores more than ever, and the day is not too far when digitally run stores and establishments will be the only way known to the common person.
The e-commerce business is driven and focussed on changing the way people think and act while investing in the same. It is not easy to gain customers and build the foundation of trust since many people are still apprehensive and have not really understood the whole concept. Further, in today’s scenario, people are hesitant to try out something new and also accept something instantly.

How to Launch an Online Store

Since you are decidedly aware of the e-commerce situation, there are many portals online, which will help you catapult your e-commerce business. One of the most sought after companies, as told by the Shopify blog is none other than Networking Bizz Digital.

Link:  https://www.ecommercecompanies.com/shopify-developers

You can quickly scan through our feed online and gain open access to various packages tailored to your benefit. We at Networking Bizz provide you a comprehensive package for all beginners as well as the experts. We have all the required information on our site and the necessary tools to support e-commerce website development. An evaluation of your website is offered as a complimentary service, and you can book a FREE consultation whenever you want.

For beginners, we have well-defined website design packages that can get you started. We certainly have top web designers and web developers to work on your e-commerce website. You can always ask your queries as we’re available to address any of your e-commerce related issues. The packages, such as the business package, enterprise package, and professional package can be looked at in detail and at your convenience on our official site.

Link: https://networkingbizz.com/e-commerce-website-design-packages

We know that some of you would like to learn about our success stories, and view the examples of the work done by our team of professionals as well. A section of “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) is also available on our site so that you can increase your knowledge and ask us any questions. Further, we do understand that budgeting is a crucial point to consider, so we provide you advanced services at an affordable price. You need to focus on increasing your business potential rather than the loans taken to make it happen.

Visit our website and make the decision for yourself. It would be lovely to serve you and your myriad needs!

Link: www.networkingbizz.com

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Ways to Use Social Media to Inform Your Keyword Research

Ways to Use Social Media to Inform Your Keyword Research

By | Social Media News

For many beginners (and, heck, some mid-level and even advanced SEOs), the line between search engine optimization and social media can sometimes blur.

  • Does your social media support or even help your search engine rankings?
  • How does optimizing for search on social media affect your profile’s chance of showing up to new users?
  • And what does it mean that my tweets show up in search results?

In the past, the difference between SEO and social was fairly stark.

When people search on Google or another search engine, they’re actively looking for answers or solutions to their problems.

But when scrolling through social, any post your business adds is potentially just passively reaching users.

It’s something presented to them as they’re already doing whatever else they came to that platform to do.

However, more people than ever are searching actively on social media now with hashtags and trending topics – and when they do they don’t just want an answer – they want a conversation.

Not only does this mean more opportunity for marketers to learn about our target audiences straight from their own experiences.

It also means there’s more data than ever that we can use to inform our keyword research and produce more useful targeted content.

Along with joining Facebook and LinkedIn groups to understand your target audiences on a deeper level, here are some ways to use social media for keyword research.

1. Use Facebook Ad Targeting Options for a Glimpse into Audiences

Because we put so much info into Facebook, their targeting data is extremely specific.

You may know exactly who your target market is, but you could find new or supplemental audiences that could be served by your company.

Facebook advertising gives you options to dig into an audience’s:
  • Geography
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Connections
  • Relationship Status
  • Languages
  • Education
  • Workplaces

Using these, you can pinpoint similar audiences or even dig deeper into the demographics of your existing audience to truly understand their lives.

Your B2B software may target Sally Salesperson, but how does it make her life outside of her job decidedly better?

Maybe it means small tasks are automated so she can spend less time in the office and travel more if that’s what people in her audience love to do.

And how can you use the information in your content to drive more traffic to your site and then convert those leads into customers?

2. Dig Into Trending Topics on Twitter

A lot of what’s trending on Twitter is newsworthy content, but it’s in the conversations related to those topics that marketers can really find the details of what matters to their audiences.

Plus, you can use the exact language that your potential searchers are using too.

This is especially true if you’re actively engaged with the kind of audience on Twitter that mirrors your personas or target audiences.

Your #TrendsForYou will be even more useful.

For example, as a member of the SEO Twitter community and the admin of #SEOChat, I get a lot of info on Twitter from people who are asking questions on behalf of their SEO clients or from SEO newbies.

I can use the questions that are coming up for them and how they phrase it to determine if those types of questions are ones my audiences would have as well.

The key to this one is being active on Twitter already.

If you aren’t, there are social media monitoring tools that can help you dive deeper into the niche communities on this platform and understand the conversations that your target audiences are having.

From there, you can look into the specific questions and topics that show up in these Twitter conversations and determine how best to use them in your SEO strategy.

3. Discover What Shows Up When You Search Instagram Hashtags

.Instagram is becoming its own little hashtag search engine.

You can even follow hashtags you like now..

Many industries are utilizing Instagram for the lead-driver that it is – especially in local and creative markets.

Looking for a newborn photographer in your area #newbornphotographychicago?

Chances are you’ll want to see their work on Instagram.

Want a graphic designer to help your business #graphicdesignersofinstagram?

Get an idea of their style on Instagram.

By searching for hashtags related to your business or your target audience and then analyzing the most popular posts, you can get an idea of what works well with people looking for those hashtags.

  • What other hashtags are you seeing?
  • Could those be keywords you’re not targeting yet?
  • What does the Instagram caption say for the most popular posts?
  • Does it include key pain points or language that you’re not including in your copy?

Tools like TailWind can also give you an idea of related hashtags, and Instagram itself offers a shortlist of related hashtags to include in your research, too:

hashtags to include in your research

4. Analyze Content on Pinterest

Pinterest is a minefield of good data, and I feel like it’s gotten a bad rap as a “soft” or recreational social media platform.

I’ve noticed tons of useful business stuff posted to Pinterest recently as I’ve been scouring the web for help with my own business.

When I searched for “B2B marketing,” I got content ideas for topics related to social media, marketing tactics, how to create infographics, product launches, and more.

Analyze Content on Pinterest

With a long-tail search, I could see what more specific resources audiences are looking for and benefitting from.

Not only can you search for specific key phrases on Pinterest and get a load of top pins for inspiration, but Pinterest also offers suggested search additions to give you even more ideas as to how to customize your keyword research.

keyword research

And just like Google has autofill options in search, Pinterest offers the same, giving you even more potential keyword target ideas.

5. Find Out What Influencers Are Saying on LinkedIn

Sure, the clickbait long-form posts on LinkedIn can make you want to roll your eyes, but they resonate with users for a reason.

Find what influencers or big names in your industry are posting on LinkedIn and look at the reactions and comments they’re getting.

Just like on Twitter, people often join into the conversation on LinkedIn and these comments can also be a great source of research for what your audience is looking for/their pain points.

Assess what topics resonate most with audiences (what reactions are long-form posts getting?) and what pros and cons are being brought up in the conversation happening under the post.

Use that data to inform your own keyword research.

Social & Search Are More Compatible Than You May Think

We can learn a lot about social from search and a lot about search from social.

While they may not help each other significantly in direct ways, we can learn more about our target audiences and users from how they post, interact with, and promote information on social media platforms.

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How step by step keyword research led to an SEO goldmine

How step by step keyword research led to an SEO goldmine

By | seo advice for business

This article gives a step by step breakdown of how they uncovered a huge SEO opportunity.

KEYWORD RESEARCH

The first step in any SEO journey is keyword research. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and think about the sort of things they might type into Google.

The simpler the better. Start with the most basic search term you can think of.

Now, we’re not actively trying to rank here, we’re just trying to get an idea of what sort of content might work. And once you start sniffing around Google will give away more clues than a Scooby-Doo villain!

Firstly, let’s have a look at what Google suggests in the dropdown:

KEYWORD RESEARCH

And then the related searches:

tener

This gives us a list of potential ideas to work with:

  • A guide of the top things to do in Tenerife
  • A blog about the best beaches in Tenerife
  • A page about the weather in Tenerife

Now, it looks like the majority of Thomas Cook’s competitors are drawn to the first article.

But I actually think the page about the weather might offer more value. Let’s explore!

As great as guides and blogs are at ranking for a targeted keyword, they take a lot of manual work to put together. In contrast, leveraging an API, one weather template page could be duplicated across every Thomas Cook destination. It presents a unique opportunity to rank for hundreds of different keywords in one fell swoop.

OR NOT

In reality, however, getting any significant organic traffic from “Tenerife weather” is doubtful.

The page is dominated by weather.com’s huge box. And the results beneath are the BBC and The Met Office which are going to be pretty impossible to displace.

COULD WE BE LESS AMBITIOUS

In my own head I’m now thinking:

As always my first point of call is Google. What does Google suggest in the dropdown:

tener

And what do the related searches say:

tener

This definately feels like a Eureka moment. Instead of just one page for “Tenerife weather”, what about twelve pages, displaying weather info for each month of the year.

A confirmatory check on Ahrefs shows very healthy search volume with a low keyword difficulty score. The dream!

tener

THOMAS COOK

And that’s exactly what Thomas Cook created.

Thousands of weather pages. One for each month of the year. One for each holiday destination. All accompanied by the perfectly placed call to action reminding customers to book their holiday.

DOES IT WORK?

One million percent. Thomas Cook has 3,744 different weather pages in total pulling in nearly 500,000 organic traffic every month.

Now, homing in on just Tenerife weather:

tener

Interestingly, the page pulling in most traffic is the main weather page. The huge traffic volume more than compensating it’s low page rank. This main weather page, however, does only account for 25% of total traffic showing just how valuable the supporting monthly pages are.

You might also be wondering why there are 67 weather pages just for Tenerife. Well, Thomas Cook don’t miss a trick. They also have one page for every month of the year for towns within Tenerife. For example:

Los Cristianos – Febuary
Costa Adeje – July

This is great to hoover up traffic for the longer tail keywords.

IN SUMMARY

We started out typing Tenerife into Google, followed the trail of breadcrumbs, and ended up creating an army of weather pages mopping up some mega organic traffic.

This is textbook SEO marketing:
  • Find out what your customers search for
  • Create pages which rank for those searches
  • Once on site, sell to them

AND FINALLY

To quote Glen Allsop top quality keyword research is

And every single one of Thomas Cook’s competitors has missed this golden opportunity. What’s obvious in a case study, is far from obvious in the field.

Keyword research takes patience. And telling your manager your going to spend the majority of next year creating 4,000 weather pages takes cojones.

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The power of good SEO

The power of good Local SEO

By | seo advice for business

Chicago, 2004. The food delivery service, Grubhub, launched.

By 2007 they were established and had raised $1.1 million. The next challenge was to expand to New York.

A big part of this expansion plan was SEO. Every day, thousands of Americans search for food delivery on Google. Ranking at the top would mean thousands of new customers.

So Grubhub hired their first marketer, Casey Winters.

Casey’s first challenge was organising site structure. First he generated a parent page for New York. Then, child pages for specific foods within New York.

Now, no-matter, whether New Yorkers were searching for Food Delivery, Pizza delivery, or Vegan delivery, Grubhub had an indexed page of aggregated restaurants waiting: