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This Week’s Top 5 Digital Marketing Stats + Takeaways: Mobile Email Marriage, Plus Retargeting Power and Video Marketing

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

digital marketing stats

Key Takeaway:

Your biggest issue isn’t that people are going to delete your email if they have to horizontal scroll – it’s the user experience you are providing them. All those instances add up to your brand experience in the eyes of your customers. If you don’t make it easy for them, that is what they will begin to feel about your brand. While some will delete and others will unsubscribe, some will also ignore so to make everyone happy (including your performance) make your emails render and respond appropriately across all devices. (Stat Source: Adobe)

Helpful info: 5 ecommerce email marketing examples to boost your bottom line.

Key Takeaway:

Don’t underestimate the power of retargeting advertising campaigns. Make sure display ads are well designed and are easily recognizable as your brand – keep them message simple and know who you are talking to on a retarget. You want people to instantly recognize your brand in order for retargeting to work. (Stat Source: Criteo)

Key Takeaway:

If you have yet to build out a YouTube channel for your company, it’s about time you start thinking about it. Don’t worry about the number of subscribers you have; instead, focus on producing quality videos and you’ll build your views and audience naturally. Genuity, a strong value proposition and helpful information on your products and services wins out. (Stat Source: Internet Retailer)

Key Takeaway:

As the walls go up on audience, your PPC campaigns and online media are becoming just as important as your social and SEO efforts – in fact, they work together. Use the right PPC and online media channels to target your audience personas based on your marketing and business goals – these may include Google Adwords and Bing, or it may be Facebook and Yelp ads. Every business is different so it’s important to tailor your online media and PPC campaigns to your unique products and service offerings. (Stat Source: Social Media Today)

Key Takeaway:

Bottom line people are viewing your website on mobile devices. If they can’t easily read your site, people are likely just to leave and browse another site that is mobile friendly. At this point it’s basically unacceptable in the eyes of your website visitors to not have a mobile version of your website. (Stat Source: Marketing Land)

So there you have it! This week’s top 5 digital marketing stats and key takeaways.










Are You Targeting the Right Keywords in Your On-Page SEO?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

When was the last time you updated or reviewed your on-page search engine optimization efforts? Reviewing your on-page SEO on a regular basis is imperative to staying current with search habits and nomenclature of prospective customers. If you’re targeting the wrong keywords, this can generate unqualified audiences to your site resulting in high traffic and low conversions.

on page search engine optimization

Taking the time to target the right keywords in your on-page SEO not only will help bring targeted audiences to your front-door but will also help with achieving search engine visibility and rankings. It may also contribute to earning traffic from social networks and building trust among visitors.

Selecting Primary Keywords

When determining which keywords to choose for your site, take it page by page. Make sure that each page targets a single searcher intent and use an associated keyword phrase to go alone with it.

Additionally, think about how each page of your site ties into your purchase cycle. For example, if someone is on your case studies page, they are evaluating whether you are the right firm to hire. This would fall into your consideration phase of purchase, so you would want to choose your keywords accordingly. Mapping user intent in this way will help you maximize leads.

Next, it’s important to look at the search volume data for each keyword. Picking long-tail keywords with lower search volume can help you target a very specific audience that is interested in your products and services. Alternatively, picking keywords with ridiculously large search volume and competitive data is going to make it very difficult for your site to rank for that term (unless you have your site has a lot of authority).

In general, it’s best to pick one main keyword per page to optimize around, and then choose a handful of related keywords to support your top pick. Since Google doesn’t really use the meta keyword tag anymore, but as a best practice we recommend including it. Your primary keywords should be placed in the following areas of each page on your site:

  • First word of the title element
  • Meta description
  • Appears in the page URL
  • Headline
  • Content
  • Phrases should be highlighted in bold/italicized/sized as appropriate
  • Image alt attributes
  • Anchor text in links pointing to the page

Including Secondary Keywords

Also, your secondary keywords can be used throughout the page as appropriate in headlines and body copy. As always, you want to make your copy well-written so that it sounds good to a human first, and a search engine second. If your keywords are making your page sound awkward you need to rework it and try again until it’s worthy to be read by a human.

Finally, just remember that on-page SEO is about balancing competing priorities. There really is no such thing as a perfectly optimized website. However, if you focus on creating pages that are uniquely valuable to your audience, targeting the appropriate keywords, and providing a good user experience, you will see an increase in traffic, leads and sales.

We will also note that keywords and keyword placement is just one component of your on-page optimization. There are many other factors at play, such as:

  • Domain http response time
  • Social metrics
  • PageRank
  • Content quantity and relevance
  • Brand mentions in news and media outlets

It’s not just about getting the keyword choices and placement down, but this is a good place to start. Then, focus on the other relevant SEO components and you’ll be positioning yourself as best you can for online success and visibility.










Key Takeaways from this Week’s Top 5 Digital Marketing Stats

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

internet marketing stats

According to the Measurement and Analytics report published by Econsultancy and Lynchpin, budgets for digital analytics technology and consultancy services are rising, with 61% of companies increasing budgets for analytics technology, up from 35% in 2013. The report is based on a survey of 1,000 marketing professionals. (Source: eConsultancy.com)

Takeaway:

Companies are prioritizing their digital marketing needs and based on where the bulk of budgets are going having clear goals to measure and be accountable for is, and should always be, priority number one. Goals may be easier to identify, it’s how to measure and optimize their performance for the short- and long-term. That’s where digital agencies and marketing consultants come in, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you or your team aren’t able to map these strategies and plans.

In a new survey report called Social Media Content Development, produced by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the majority of brands surveyed (more than 70%) have a social media content development process in place. BUT, 66% do not conduct consumer research to plan or test their content. (Source: ClickZ.com)

Takeaway:

Get ahead and stay ahead by performing some kind of consumer research (be it a survey, poll, or internal interviews with those folks who are closest to your customers) to identify the content that your target audience is seeking. This will help confirm or deny assumptions you’ve made about your customer.

The 2014 World Cup is one of the most talked about sporting events in history. It’s providing marketers with unprecedented opportunity for global brand engagement. According to SocialGhee, there are 350,000 tweets per day about the World Cup.

Takeaway:

Think about how you can leverage huge world events such as The World Cup to get more views, visits, fans, and followers. How do these events relate to your business? Are your employees doing something fun to celebrate? Show it in your marketing!

Google has 67% share of the search market. The partnership between Yahoo! and Microsoft’s Bing powers almost 30% of all searches. (Source: ComScore.com)

Takeaway:

Don’t ignore Yahoo and Bing! just because Google dominates the majority of searches. Yahoo and Bing! still represent more than 6 billion searches a month. Therefore, they should be a part of your search plan. On Bing! you’ll typically see an older demographic which may lend itself to a better ROI and ROAS than Google Adwords.

52% of them have already made a purchase in response to mobile advertising. These statistics came out of an extensive annual internet trends report conducted by Morgan Stanley Research. (Source: KPCB)

Takeaway:

We talk about the importance of mobile often in our blog. If you don’t know why you’re mobile ads are not performing as you think they should, reach out and ask for guidance. Finally, if you’re an ecommerce company, your mobile online shopping experience should be flawless.

Don’t miss these mind-blowing digital marketing sound bites and stats every week.

How to Build Inbound Links to Your Ecommerce Website in 2014

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

You may have the most fabulous website in the world, but if no one visits it, what’s the point? This is why everyone spends so much time trying to get found online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical component of any website strategy, and when you’re aiming for the first page of search results like most businesses, it takes dedication and consistency.

how to build inbound links

One of the main elements of SEO is building inbound links. There’s always quite a bit of debate around this topic of inbound link building as far as what works, what doesn’t, what’s outdated, and what’s considered spam. But one thing is for sure…. Gone are the days of “creatively” leaving comments on other websites with links and optimized anchor text back to your site, in the hopes of them being approved.

In 2014, you need to seriously step up your game if you want to earn high quality inbound links from trustworthy sites. Here are some of our top tips for how to build inbound links to your ecommerce website in 2014.

Create high-quality, educational or entertaining content.

Hands down, this is the #1 thing you should be concentrating your efforts on when it comes to building inbound links. If you create stellar content, people are naturally going to want to link to it.

If you’re creating a piece of content that has been covered by many other sources, make sure you put your own unique perspective on it to make it different than what’s already out there.

Also, consider the power of visual content. Infographics, compelling images, and short videos. Pinterest is one of the top sites out there right now that helps drive traffic to other sites. If you can create something pin-worthy to promote your content, do it! For more on this, check out our articles: 3 Ways to Improve Your Visual Marketing and How to Generate Leads with Pinterest.

Submit your website to online directories.

This is an easy way to build inbound links. However, it needs to be done in the right way.
When submitting to online directories, keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t use services that offer automatic submission
  • Check the page rank of each directory you submit your website to
  • Don’t trust any list of “best” directories. Do your own research to discover the best for your business.
  • Track your submissions.
  • Don’t rely solely on directory submissions. They are a small part of the bigger picture.
  • Write guest posts for other blogs.

The topic of guest blogging has come under much scrutiny as of late. Mainly because people are abusing it, and the volume of people trying to guest blog solely to get a couple of links back to their site is resulting in an abundance of bad, low-quality guest posts.

That being said, you should strive to find opportunities for guest blogging on sites that are highly related to your industry and customers. Start with reaching out to associates and other people you know that work in your industry to discover appropriate blogs for contributing content. The main goal of guest blogging is to provide another point-of-view or expert advice that is not traditionally covered on that website. Focus on providing value and nurturing human relationships.

Researching link building opportunities with other websites.

This is a slow process that needs to be handled with care if you want to do it correctly and not get dinged by search engines. One of the best things you can do to start forming relationships with other site owners is offer help.

For example, let’s say you know of a blog that covers topics related to your industry. Rather than contacting the owner and immediately diving into your link building strategy with them, send them a link to a 3rd party article and just say, “I saw this article, and I thought your readers would find it of interest.” This will lay the groundwork for future opportunities.

Don’t borrow, beg, barter, bribe or buy links.

Do not, under ANY circumstances, beg, borrow, or buy links. These are the worst things you can do! The search engines will quickly penalize your site for participating in black hat marketing tactics. This could result in your site not getting crawled or indexed by search engines, meaning your site will have a heck of a hard time showing up anywhere in any search results.

These are just a few tips to help you determine the best way to build inbound links to your site. As you get going, feel free to share with us some of ways that have worked for you.










Marketers Need to Know the SEO Effects of 301 Redirects

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

As marketing professionals, it’s necessary to understand the technical side of websites and the internet. Understanding how 301 redirects and SEO work together is essential if you’re in charge of directing web marketing for any company.

301 redirects and seo

So how do redirects work?

Remember the last time you clicked on a broken link and saw the dreaded 404 or “Page not found” error? This usually occurs when a page has been moved to another URL and there is NO 301 redirect in place (or worse, it’s been deleted).

User experience

When a webpage is moved to another location, a permanent 301 redirect is needed in order to direct the old link to a new page. Otherwise, your customers and potential customers will not be able to find the information they were trying to locate. This can tarnish the overall user experience of your site leave a scratch on brand reputation.

How it affects SEO

Permanent 301 redirects are important for SEO because they help retain the SEO status of the old page. For example, let’s say you have a page on your website that has a high SERP (search engine results page) ranking for an important term in your industry segment, such as “Los Angeles Digital Marketing Consultants.” If you move that page and do not set up a 301 redirect, you lose any SEO status the old page once had. Which may in turn mean having to start from scratch to rank for that term once again. And no one has time for that! We’ve often been the ones to clean up severe losses in traffic and revenue due to this very topic.

However, when set up properly, the search engines will be able to determine that the old page has changed location and that the content can be found at the new URL. The search engines will then carry any link weighting from the original page to the new page.

Helpful tips

  1. Be patient when working with 301 redirects. It can take some time for search engines to discover the 301, process the information and credit the new page with the old page’s ranking and other factors. The time it takes all depends how often the spiders crawl your site pages. Make sure your team or your IT team have webmaster tools setup to monitor crawl errors and 404 errors.
  2. Be cautious of other forms of redirection, such as 302s and meta-refreshes (these are temporary and not permanent). These do not work as well as 301 redirects in terms of SEO. The only time you’d actually want to use these, is if you purposefully do not want to pass on the SEO info from the old page to the new page. A 302 redirect may be appropriate for vanity urls or holiday landing pages, temporarily redirecting them during the off-season or campaign pause.
  3. If you’re moving sites completely and not just changing a couple of pages, you should expect 301 redirects to take even longer to be recognized by search engines. You’ll want to monitor webmaster tools accounts closely from launch and the first four weeks, dependent on traffic to your site. You’ll want to check it regularly thought as a best practice.
  4. Also, pay attention to whether or not you have control over your domain both with and without the “www” after the “http://”. It’s best to set one to redirect to the other. Otherwise, you won’t see any statistics on people accessing the site from the alternative version. There are many free tools you can use to check for this on the web such as this one.

Resources

No need to feel overwhelmed with this concept. There are tons of other resources that can help you get a solid understanding of 301 redirects and SEO:

Check out this in-depth video by Google’s Matt Cutts on permanent 301 redirects.

Moz also has a great article on 301 redirects and SEO.

HubSpot offers tips on how to avoid SEO pitfalls with 301 redirects in this post as well.

If you have any questions about 301 redirects and SEO that you can’t find the answer to in these resources, we’re always here to help. Give us a call at (818) 806-3868 or shoot us an email anytime.










4 Steps to Building an Email List for Your Ecommerce Business

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

In one of our previous posts we reviewed the top 5 email marketing services for small businesses. However, before you can really use any email marketing service, you need to have a mailing list. In this post, we’re going to give you tips on how to build an email list for your ecommerce business.

how to build an email list

STEP 1 – Add an email sign up form to your website.

This is the easiest way to quickly get started building your email list. Choose an appropriate position on each webpage for the email sign up form. Nowadays, it’s fairly common to put it in the footer, sidebar, or top right corner of the website.

Make sure you’re asking for minimal information from your visitors. The less information you ask for, the more sign ups you will typically receive. Additionally, you have to tell the visitor exactly what’s in it for them. For example, “Sign up for savings. Get Walmart values delivered to your inbox.” Finally, make it clear that you will respect their email address by adding some type of privacy policy link or statement under the submission form.

STEP 2 – Create a landing page.

Next, you should create a landing page. The goal of this landing page is to get quality visitors to submit their email address. The landing page should have a clearly defined offer and a clean, visible sign up form. Take a look at this landing page as an example.

how to build an email list

STEP 3 – Send quality traffic to your landing page.

Once you have your beautiful landing page, you can set up ad campaigns to drive quality traffic to that page. Start with any paid venues you currently have, but also consider trying out some new channels. Facebook ads are extremely affordable and effective right now. You could even dabble in reddit ads and target subreddits that your audience is interested in.

You can also link to landing pages from blog posts and news articles. Create a graphic specifically designed for Pinterest that links to your landing page and see if that works for you. You have plenty of options here, just think about where your target audience spends time and what your main goal is to determine where you should be promoting your landing page.

STEP 4 – Offer discounts and specials in exchange for an email address.

One of the most effective ways to build an email list is to offer discounts and specials in exchange for an email address. Make sure the discount is large enough that the subscriber feels they are actually getting real value, but not too large where it will negatively impact your bottom line. Here is an example of a good discount email sign up offer.
how to build an email list
Also, feel free to experiment with different marketing ideas to see what works best for your business. Running Facebook contests and giveaways works great for some companies. Email pop-up forms on websites can also work well. Just be cautious with pop-ups and make sure that they are working properly and effectively. The last thing you want to do is create a poor user experience that drives away potential customers.

Now you’re ready to start building an email list for your business or continuing to grow it.