Archive for the ‘Optimization’ Category

This Week’s Top 5 Online Marketing Stats & Key Takeaways: Ecommerce, Mobile, YouTube Shopping

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Digital Marketing Statistics | Digital Marketing Company Los Angeles

Custora recently put together an extensive report which analyzed the growth of mobile e-commerce over the past few years. The fact the more than one-third of online shoppers in 2014 came from mobile and tablet devices compared to just 3.4% in 2010 is truly amazing! (Custora Pulse Report)

Key Takeaway:

Use your marketing analytics software to dig deep and uncover ways you can improve the mobile shopping experience for your customers. Utilize user behavior tracking tools like Crazy Egg* to discover how customers are using the mobile version of your site and how it is rendering across mobile devices. You may find your navigation is to cumbersome for mobile users or that your cart is not responding correctly across all mobile devices.

Wishpond conducted research on inbound and automated marketing as part of a slide deck presentation, and found that 50% of qualified leads are not ready to purchase immediately. (Wishpond)

Key Takeaway:

This statistic should be top-of-mind when you’re developing your marketing plans for your business. Think of ways you can help your potential customer rather than always thinking about how you can sell to them. Offer content and services that provide real value to your customer.

For example, Capital One recently launched Credit Tracker, a free online service and mobile app that lets cardholders view their credit score, the factors affecting it and the consequences of their future credit behaviors. I happen to be a Capital One customer, and love this free feature they launched just to help me. Think about how you can offer something similar to your potential and current customers. (Disclaimer: I’m not being paid in any way, shape or form by Capital One for these statements.)

According to BIA/Kelsey’s Consumer Commerce Monitor™ study, more than 10% of US consumers use YouTube for local shopping. BIA/Kelsey defines local shopping as any stage of the purchase funnel, from awareness through research, to transacting for products or services locally (within a 25-mile radius of your primary residence). The firm’s definition of local products and services includes items such as groceries, restaurants, drugstore items, gasoline and other high-frequency purchases. (BIA Kelsey)

Key Takeaway:

Video marketing, along with mobile, are two areas seeing the most growth and success in 2014. So if you’re going to increase budgets and resources in any specific area of your marketing, let it be video and mobile. Create some YouTube videos this year showcasing your unique products and services and use social channels to promote them across your network.

Email marketing can drive serious revenue, as this statistic from B2H Marketing Group makes clear. (B2H Marketing Group)

Key Takeaway:

If you thought email marketing was a thing of the past, think again. Yes, email marketing has been around longer than mobile and social, but it’s still an excellent way to build trust, offer valuable content, and establish brand personality.

The Digital Marketing Bureau recently compiled some social media research, and discovered that there are approximately 216,000 photos posted to Instagram every minute. (The Digital Marketing Bureau)

Key Takeaway:

People on Instagram are constantly looking at their feeds. This is a great channel for brands to get their content seen by people who care about their products. Make sure you focus on creating truly beautiful images, engaging with your audience and directing traffic back to your website. Oh, and make sure your audience is here.

*This post contains affiliate links. We promote only the tools we use and believe in.

This Week’s Digital Marketing Stats & Key Takeaways

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

digital marketing stats

According to a new survey of Ad Age readers, 45% said they spend 1-10% of their overall marketing budgets on social media, while 38% said they spend more than 30% on social. Comparatively, in a survey of Ad Age readers published in September, only 29% of marketers said spending on social was more than 30%. (AdAge)

Takeaway:

It doesn’t matter whether you’re spending 1% or 51% of your budget on social media. What matters most is that you’ve created a strong social media marketing strategy that reflects your brand’s values and your business goals then mapped a measurement plan for success. Start here before diving in head first.

If you’ve been watching the World Cup you’ve likely seen the Nike campaign (view it on Twitter) in action. Mark Fidelman from Forbes got the above stats directly from Nike. Along with these mind-blowing numbers, Nike reports that the campaign has generated more than 6 billion campaign impressions in 35 countries covering television, cinema, digital/mobile, gaming, print and outdoor. At least one-third of those impressions were on mobile devices. (Read the article on Forbes)

Takeaway:

We talked about World Cup marketing in one of our other recent weekly marketing stats blog posts, but it’s worth mentioning again. This Nike campaign will probably be studied in future college classrooms to teach others how to create a branded experience around sporting events. What creative brand campaigns have you seen that tie into the storyline of a major world event?

This exceeds traditional media for the first time, states a recent forecast compiled by eMarketer. The forecast is based on a wide range of third party data including other firms’ media spending forecasts. They predict total media spending in the US will see its largest increase in a decade reaching $180.1 billion. (eMarketer)

Takeaway:

What revenue are you leaving on the table by not exploring mobile advertising opportunities? At the very least, start transitioning your owned online properties (like website, emails, microsites, landing pages, blogs) to be mobile friendly. Don’t underestimate your customers, even older demographic audiences are utilizing tablets quite heavily.

There are a ton of statistics about how many hours of video are on YouTube, and how many videos the average person watches per day. But when looking at video and how it plays into marketing and ROI specifically, this is one stat that just can’t be ignored. (Filemobile)

Takeaway:

Video marketing is powerful. You should absolutely create video content to incorporate into your overall marketing strategy. Utilize tools like TubeMogul to identify audience interest, then build a strategy based on providing a strong value proposition and strong customer experience.

The Content Marketing Association is constantly conducting research on how consumers engage with content from brands. They found recently that 57% of consumers read content marketing articles at least once a month. (The CMA)

Takeaway:

Your content marketing should be an interactive vehicle that provides value to the consumer as well as your brand. Keep in mind that there are many different types of content, with different roles to support different goals.

Top 10 Tips for Optimizing Your Website

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Optimization is an ongoing effort. The Internet is in a constant change of state and you should be too. It can be a challenge to keep up on the latest tactics and best practices for SEO and as such we’ve put together these top 10 website optimization tips to take a little weight off.

website optimization tips

1. Monitor Your Current Status

It’s important to know where you stand before you jump into anything else. Check your websites PageRank, Alexa rank, and the number of indexed pages on Bing and Google. Additionally, checking traffic (by total and by source) and goals will give you a baseline understanding of your current status on the web so you can create goals and benchmarks for the future.

2. Keyword Research

Even if you’ve already conducted keyword research in the past, it’s important to update your findings on a consistent basis. Whether you work in an ever-changing industry or one that hasn’t changed in decades, the way people search is and always has been evolving (think trends, nomenclature, industry speak, customer speak, etc.) Search query data will show you how your customers are evolving and searching for your products and services. These data insights will help you continue to target traffic-generating terms related to your customer.

3. Internal Link Strategy

Beyond your website navigation, your site should include contextual links that point to other pages throughout the site within your copy. Also, make sure all the links on your site include optimized title tags. Think about how each page touches the customer in their purchase journey and add next step links accordingly.

4. Create a Sitemap

The sitemap is where people go when they can’t find what they’re looking for. It’s an organized list of all the content on your site. It’s also used by search engines so they know all the pages on your site and can index them.

5. Search Friendly URLs

Make your URLs search friendly using those keywords you discovered in your keyword research phase. This will give you a better chance at ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for those targeted terms.

6. Title & Meta-Description Tags

Review your Title and Meta Description tags on every page of your site to make sure they are also optimized using your keywords. Keep in mind the title tag should not be more than 70-80 characters max and the description tag should not be more than 170 characters max.

7. Image Descriptions

Check your image alt tags and descriptions. Are they optimized with the keywords you want to rank for? If not, go through and add optimized alt tags and description to every image. You might even want to try naming the image itself with your keywords.

8. Social Media

Social media is an integrated part of SEO in today’s search landscape. Make sure your social profiles are accessible from your website. Also, allow visitors to share your web content easily by adding social share buttons to every page. You’d be surprised how many companies mess this up. You find an article you like and want to share it, click the Facebook icon, only to be taken to their company profile. FAIL! Really take the time to ensure the social sharing features are working properly on your site to boost your SEO strategy.

9. Link to Other Sites

Linking to other sites is a great way to start nurturing relations with other publishers. In the future, they will be more inclined to link to you if they know you’ve linked to them. Just don’t be spammy. Be authentic and you will be successful.

10. Download our eBook

Get the 10th website optimization tip in our eBook – 25 Website Must-haves for Driving Traffic, Leads and Sales.










Meet Customer Needs Through These Website Navigation Examples and Questions

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Your website navigation plays a critical role in keeping visitors on your site. When you look at statistics like bounce rate, consider your navigation as playing a key part in this number. After all, visitors are quick to give up and leave your site if they can’t find what they are looking for within a couple of seconds.

In a recent HubSpot survey, 76% of respondents said the most important factor in a website’s design is the ability to find information easily.

Think of the last time you landed on a site and couldn’t find the company address, phone number or other piece of information critical to forward movement. Did you leave the site? Go to a competitor? Did your frustration create a small tarnish on your impression of that company? If you said yes to any of these, look at your company from your customer’s perspective and start to identify these pain points. A good starting place is the navigation and how information is prioritized.

Before moving on to our website navigation examples, we want to provide you with a few key questions to ask about yourself about your site’s navigation.

Ask Questions and Answer Questions About Your Own Site Navigation

  • Who are the main (priority) audiences coming to our site? And from where?
  • What are the main questions they have about our company or products? How and where are we providing that information?
  • What are the different stages in their purchase process? How is our content meeting those stages and moving them to the next?

Navigation comes in all forms (not just the main navigation bar) but in supporting content and contextual links, graphics/images throughout each page of your site.

Let’s take a look at a couple of website navigation examples to review what works and what doesn’t.

Bad Website Navigation Example

website navigation examples

Argren.net sells all kinds of products from ice makers to cars and everything in between. Almost every single piece of text and image on the homepage directs visitors to another page which is as poorly designed as the homepage. There is no organization whatsoever in the use of on-screen elements such as navigation, text and pictures. This website experience is like Alice falling down the rabbit hole – scary and unsettling.

If you want more examples of poor customer experiences, check out our post: Shocking Amazon Cart Fail: Learning from Big Brand Customer Experience.

Good Website Navigation Example

website navigation examples

WPengine.com is a fantastic example of a site with clear and effective navigation. The top nav has links to all the main pages about the company, and the right side nav includes real testimonials from customers talking about the different features they enjoy about the product.

You’ll find the social buttons in the top right as well as a search feature where visitors can search by keywords. Additionally, you can see options to chat with someone at the company in the lower right. They even spell out what you can expect when you scroll down the page. Finally, the navigation is responsive to the screen resolution, so if you make your window smaller (or are viewing on a difference device) it adapts to keep a clean, organized look.

Here are a few key tips to creating clear website navigation schemas for your visitors:

  • Keep the structure of your primary navigation simple and near the top of your page.
  • Include navigation in the footer of your site.
  • Use breadcrumbs on every page (except for the homepage) so people are aware of their navigation trail.
  • Include a Search box near the top of your site so visitors can search by keywords.
  • Don’t offer too many navigation options on a page.
  • Keep your navigation to no more than three levels deep.
  • Include links within your page copy and make it clear where those links go to.
  • Avoid use of complicated JavaScript and Flash for your navigation.

In summary, you want to keep your website navigation as clear and simple as possible so that visitors don’t have to think about how to get around your site.










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.