Now, more than ever, it is time to take a good look at your current lead generation strategies to see how they can adapt to the global shifts caused by COVID-19. All over the world, businesses are starting to look at new and improved ways to reach customers, during the lockdown and beyond. Remote marketing has opened up a whole new world for businesses, with many industries being forced to consider new ways of growing sales. The digital space especially has an opportunity for increased growth, with a number of channels and strategies on the rise.
Challenges to PPC (Pay per Click) advertising can include a host of consumer-sided speed bumps as well as Google orientated issues like costly keyword opportunities- this is why it’s best to trust the professionals. It’s essential to measure lead generation efficiency and ease throughout a long-term sales cycle. When handling a more intricate B2B sales initiative, conversions often point toward lead nurturing opportunities – just as well, if not better than sales-ready submissions.
Instagram Stories are vertical, full-screen photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours. They appear at the top of the app and last 15 seconds maximum.
500 million people already use stories daily and their popularity keeps increasing. This makes Instagram Stories a great tool for businesses to reach and engage larger audiences.
Given its potential, we think it will be interesting for your brand to learn how to create and optimise stories for better results.
How to Create an Instagram Story
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create a story:
Step 1: Click the plus button at the top of the screen and choose “story” from the different options available or swipe left.
Step 2: Tap the switch-camera icon on the bottom right for a selfie shot.
Step 3: Tap the white circle at the bottom of the screen to take a picture or press and hold it to record a video. There may be smaller circles to the right and left of the white circle. Those circles are some of the filters that you can use for your shoot.
Step 4: Click the blue plus button to use photos or videos from your camera roll.
Step 5: Tap the sticker icon that appears at the top of the screen to add GIFs, polls, questions, reactions slides or location, and hashtag stickers within others. Tap the music icon if you would like to add music too. Finally, if you would like to add a link to an external website, click the link icon.
Step 6: Choose a typography and add text (if needed).
Step 7: Once the story is finished, click the “your story” button.
Tips to Optimise Your Stories
Now that you already know how to create Instagram stories, let’s dive into the best practices to optimise them. Make sure you follow these tips for an increase in your overall sales.
- Plan the content. Posting stories regularly is key to keeping your audience engaged, but you will waste a lot of time if you create one story at a time. To be able to be consistent and see results, brainstorm and prepare the content in advance.
- Shoot vertically. Shoot all your content in vertical format (9:16) right from the beginning for better results. Be mindful of the file size too. Instagram will only accept up to 30MB for images and 250MB for videos. Lastly, do not add text or stickers at the top or bottom of the screen as your username or the reply button may prevent users from seeing it.
- Keep branding consistent. Consistent visuals help followers identify your brand and strengthen brand recall. Therefore, consider using brand colours and fonts on your stories to help followers recognise your brand as they scroll through their stories without reading the username. People are always in a rush and they usually do not pay attention to who has published what.
- Add captions. 40% of people watch Instagram Stories without sound. Adding captions to stories is a great way to leverage your messages to this 40%. Besides, captions make the content accessible to a larger audience. Hearing-impaired people, for example, will only be able to understand your stories if they have captions. Although it only works for video, there is an Instagram feature to generate captions. To add them, click on the sticker icon located at the top of the screen and tap the captions sticker. Once added, check if they are correct and make changes if needed. You can also change the caption font and colour and relocate and resize the text by pinching and dragging.
- Add animation. On average, images last 5 seconds while videos last up to 15. But the truth is none of your followers have ever watched images for 5 seconds. Something you can do to hold your viewer’s attention for longer is to add animation. For example, consider using GIFs, reaction slides, or animated texts.
- Encourage audience interactions with polls, questions, and reaction slides. Poll, question and reaction slide stickers are key to drive engagement and increase a brand’s visibility. Besides, they are really useful to get insights into your audience and to assess what interests them.
- Include a call to action (CTA). When you create a story, you have to clearly indicate to viewers what you want them to do afterward. What most brands do is drive users to their website. Those who have more than 10K followers usually add a link to their stories along with a “swipe up” sticker at the bottom of the screen while those who have less than 10,000 followers drive people to the link in their bio as in a normal post.
- Create highlights. Instagram Stories do not have to disappear after 24 hours. You can pin them at the top of your profile under the highlights section to extend your bio information. Try to create a highlight per theme to present the information clearly and add brand-related visuals as covers. These highlights will be key for those users interested in your brand and that want to learn more about your values, products or services.
- Go live. Instagram Lives are another way to drive engagement. Besides, Instagram is currently trying to push them as the next big thing, so each time you go live, all your followers will receive a notification that will help you increase your brand’s visibility.
- Track your success with Instagram Stories Analytics. Assessing what is working and what is not is key to improve your overall performance. Therefore, switch to business mode, view the analytics for your Instagram Stories, and tailor your strategy accordingly. To see the Insights for your Instagram Stories, head to your profile and select the Insights icon in the top right corner. Next, scroll down and tap “Get Started” in the Stories section.
Instagram Stories’ popularity is increasing every year. Creating content for this platform is then key for a business to keep up-to-date and reach and engage larger audiences. Thus, if you are a business owner, consider following the previous step-by-step guide and tips to increase overall performance or sales.
Leaving things half undone always equates to a bad experience. It is like living half a life! For instance, you ask a developer to code a piece for your eCommerce project, and he forgets to close the loops. That code would never run, and your trust and confidence in that employee would fade away in a jiffy. The same is the case with your customers. They are likely to lose trust and confidence in you, too, if your eCommerce checkout page misses the mark.
Why would you lead someone on a path where the bridge is broken after about ten miles or so. Coming straight to the point, why would you let your visitors/customers browse and add products to the cart if they can’t proceed with navigating through the cart & checkout page?
The latest example of this scenario is that of Adidas. A frustrated customer rightly asked the Adidas team on Reddit, “Why won’t you take my money.” This is the worst scenario where a customer is ready to pay, but the interface creates issues. It is similar to striking an ax on your feet, quite literally.
But, it isn’t just Adidas that unknowingly created such bad experiences. This is a common scenario in the eCommerce business arena, and everyone has been there at some point in time. And, thus designing a seamless checkout page when proceeding with an eCommerce development project should be a priority.
Urgency Behind Building a Workabale eCommerce Checkout Page?
Again it narrows down to halfway experiences, which is a complete no-no if you are concerned about higher ROIs. Perfection should be your favorite buzzword when checkout page optimization is in question. This is an initiative that you need to take for creating a shopping experience that will result in making a data-informed decision.
Here are some eye-opening stats of which your business needs to be aware.
Why fall into the trap of these never-ending customer plights, when there is always a second chance to make things better.
Highlighting the Need to Cope with Customer Expectations
According to the Salesforce report State of the Connected Customer, “84% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.” That is, customized and flawless experiences across multiple touchpoints need to be in place in the online space where various disruptive businesses are already setting standards in the market.
Other takeaways from this report that can’t be overlooked include:
So, the question is – What can you do to improve the user experience that would count? Here are some unprecedented tips to help you kick-start eCommerce checkout page optimization.
How to Create the Best eCommerce Checkout Page
Follow these seven tips to help you get ahead of the pack in this era of online business.
1. Single Page Checkout
The traditional eCommerce checkout flow that almost every eCommerce business follows – Review the cart, enter the shipping details, select the payment method, and finally make the payment. There are separate pages to go through each of the steps, right? But, that needs to change.
The need for a single page checkout is on the rise, i.e., all the steps involved in placing the order are consolidated on a single page. The customers get the convenience to choose which step they need to complete first, and also the order gets placed in about one to two clicks. Thus, a low rate of shopping cart abandonment becomes achievable.
2. Reduce Manual Workload
The greatest salespeople in the world are good listeners; they do not ask much from their prospective clients. This is the same logic you need to apply when making sales online. From reducing the number of form fields to saving the billing details for later, everything adds up to create an enjoyable checkout experience.
An outstanding example of this is of course, Amazon. They save the billing and shipping information so that they do not have to fetch cards to feed information time and again.
A study by Baymard Institute, says that an average checkout flow has around 15 form fields. If that is the case with your UX design, customers are likely to leave. Talk to a reliable user experience agency that can help you cut this intimidating process by about 60% percent to help create a minimalistic checkout design.
How Net Solutions Helped Legend Footwear Improve Checkout Performance
Legend Footwear is an eCommerce brand that sells shoes across the world. Their platform is built on Magento 2, and when they approached us, the checkout process was broken that led to low conversion rates.
The checkout page loading speed was pretty slow, and lack of payment options was the major challenge. We went ahead with embedding the instant checkout process, and integrated payment gateways that were popular in the market.
- Better customer engagement
- Smooth and fast checkout process
- Checkout time reduced by up to 80%
3. Visual Progress Bars
If you still insist on sticking to the multi-page checkout process, try maintaining transparency by keeping customers informed about where they are on the journey to order completion. It is a simple psychological trick that will work in your favor.
Let’s say you are running a marathon and you get exhausted on the way. Just when you are about to give up, you look at the billboard ahead that says, “One Lap Left.” Your brain signals you to collect all the energy you are left with to complete the race because you are almost 90% done. The last lap is just like around the corner, and that hope leads to a win.
If there were no signals, giving up would dominate the urge to proceed. The same is the case with your customers who are trying to make a purchase. That is why you need to pay heed and include progress bars, which makes for a great UX design practice when working on an eCommerce checkout page.
4. Promote Membership Subscriptions
Amazon has “Prime,” which makes it one of the top disruptors in the market in terms of innovation. Be it their “one-day shipping” plan or “free delivery,” Amazon continues to entice and attract users like a pro. Consumers are more than willing to place orders on Amazon even for low-cost items such as toiletries. Here is an insight by eMarketer that says so.
That is why your eCommerce checkout page design should include an option to subscribe to such privileged memberships. In this way, you’ll make money from subscriptions along with building trust among the peers, and order placement probabilities will escalate too. It is indeed a win-win situation.
5. Multiple Payment Options
Embedding all the popular payment options result in getting your customers to the end of the funnel. And, do not miss out on the latest ones such as “Apple Pay.” It is slowly garnering attention for the extravagant security it offers. It is only available for the Safari browser on iPhone, iPad, or Mac for now, but is expected to become a mainstream payment option soon.
As for other globally popular payment options, do not give a miss to cash payments, credit cards and debit cards, and wallet-induced payments. For instance, according to eMarketer, 41% of US internet buyers prefer making payments through credit cards when buying online, while 28% of smartphone users prefer using a mobile wallet.
The lesson is that you cannot let fate take charge. Embrace this payment-oriented checkout page strategy and see a direct upsurge in expected ROIs. If you have a Magento store, you can easily integrate popular payment options and apply them to your store.
6. Spot-On Recommendations
If someone buys a smartphone, it is quite likely that they’ll need a back cover too. Or, if someone buys a study table, they are likely to buy a chair too. Such suggestions can be automated by building a robust recommendation engine and embedding it on the checkout page.
Amazon again takes the brownie points for its recommendation engine. 35% of Prime Day shoppers bought something they hadn’t planned to buy at all. Where half the credit can be given to the amazing deals, the other half is a contribution by its recommendation engine.
Thus, try and make space for such recommendations on the eCommerce checkout page along with available offers. Your checkout page conversions will surely sky-rocket all because you empowered your customers.
7. Promo Codes with Distinctive CTA Buttons
Offering discounts on the cart page can be a game-changer for your business. Almost every eCommerce business is doing it today because consumers love it. Even a 10% discount becomes a reason to complete transactions.
Nearly two-thirds of US internet users said they were ready to trade their location-based data in return for discounts & rewards – Forrester Consulting
Seasonal discounts are obvious, but offering applicable promo codes on a particular cart value or through a specific payment method should be promoted. And, do not forget to make the promo code field identifiable. This is because sometimes customers complain that they did not spot the field and proceed with canceling the already placed order only to repeat the ordering loop.
8. BOPUS is Gaining Traction
Another valuable aspect of the eCommerce market that has been making news for good reason is – BOPUS, i.e., Buy Online, Pick Up in Store. If your eCommerce business has a stronghold in the online space, you can consider moving to brick-and-mortar stores similar to what Amazon does.
Adding BOPUS to your eCommerce checkout page design can make things a lot better for your business. In 2018, 81.4% of shoppers placed orders online and scheduled a pick-up from stores. Don’t miss this opportunity, whether you are a brick-and-mortar or thinking to establish one.
BOPUS provides tangible benefits to both consumers and retailers. Consumers get convenience, instant gratification, and avoid shipping costs. Retailers reduce operational costs, and it gives them the opportunity to bring customers back to physical stores for additional purchase opportunities – Martín Utreras
9. Secure Checkout Badges
“I did not trust the site with my credit card information.” This is one of the prominent reasons for checkout abandonments, which makes it essential to eliminate this kind of hesitation. Consumers are smart these days. They have certain pictures in their heads that equate to trust and assurance. Something like “Ok, Tested” or “Assured.”
One of the best eCommerce checkout tips highlights the need for building trust. And, a simple strategy is to insert trust seals or what they call “security badges” on the eCommerce checkout page. Also, make sure that these symbols are recognizable.
Here is a study by ConversionXL that shows which security badges add what level of security to checkout pages.
10. Test, Check, Test, Repeat
Some users complain that they were ready to make a payment, but their credit card got declined. Like what this Adidas customer reported, “Why wouldn’t you take my money.” This is a common scenario that creates a distasteful experience and leads to lost revenue.
You need to take the bull by the horns when this happens. The trick is to test the entire cart and checkout flow and see for yourself. Tell your back-end team to make payments through every payment option available. These self-run purchases can quickly help detect what is wrong with payments and where you need to focus your efforts.
Put in the necessary effort to ensure the customer experience does not suffer.
Be relevant to your customers 365 days of the year and see how your business thrives in the eCommerce market. If someone is willing to add products to the cart that means you already sell what they need. But, if you let them proceed through the eCommerce checkout page flawlessly and securely, they will be back for sure without you having to approach them.
The best approach is to keep going and never stop innovating and improving.
With much of the world in lockdown, lead generation is certainly going to see some shifts this year. For businesses, 2020 can be a good time to look at unexplored channels and lead nurturing strategies. Remote business is on the rise, with consumers spending far more time online. This means that outdated methods such as print and trade shows are no longer viable. On the upside, it also means that there are new opportunities out there that can have a considerable impact on your growth.
Lead Generation Channels To Consider
Today, we’re taking a look at some lead generation channels you may not be using yet to find out how you can shake things up a bit in your strategy.
Some lead generation channels that are continuing to stay on the rise include the following:
1. Local SEO
Local SEO is not a new concept. It is, however, one that is not going away any time soon. Even though we are currently in lockdown, local businesses have plenty of ways to reach consumers. This includes businesses offering essential services and products as well as those offering non-essential goods. In the case of the former, people are actively searching for supplies and services nearby, with longer commutes avoided. Businesses with a strong online presence especially benefit from local SEO – especially those in the eCommerce sector who offer deliveries throughout lockdown.
2. Virtual Events
Replacing in-person events such as tradeshows, and conferences, virtual events are on the rise. These come in a few different forms. On social media channels, Facebook Live and YouTube Live continue to offer a way for brands to connect to audiences in real-time. Online meeting tools such as Zoom and MS Voice offer video conferencing, making it even easier to speak directly to potential leads.
3. Interactive Content
Content continues to evolve. As a channel, content offers a powerful way to attract leads at every stage of their journey. Interactive content has been successful in both B2C and B2B. With the help of AI and virtual reality, social games, quizzes, assessments, surveys and polls, infographics, and other tools, leads can be engaged right from the start of your nurturing campaigns. Another benefit is that many types of interactive content offer deeper insight into your leads, particularly content such as quizzes, surveys, polls, and assessments.
Expand Your Lead Generation Strategies
Introducing new channels into your existing strategy will help you explore new ideas while bolstering your current efforts. This is a highly effective way to increase your results in a way that embraces a wider range of channels. You will have the benefit of a richer, more results-driven lead generation strategy that aims to convert on every level.
When you search for “best plumber” or “best pizza” on Google, it produces a result page that looks like this: a snapshot of a map showing three location balloons with the name, address, and phone number of those three plumbing or pizza businesses in the box below it. This is how Google searches with local intent work. This is where ranking on Google Maps becomes crucial.
Importance of Ranking Higher on Google Maps
Studies suggest that almost 70% of people use Google Maps as their preferred navigation app. Moreover, 46% of all internet searches are being carried out with local intent. Research also suggests that most consumers end up on the location of a business on Google Maps through discovery (keyword) search rather than direct (by business’s name) search. All these facts highlight the importance of optimizing your business for its Google Maps Listing.
In this blog post, we will discuss all the measures you can take to get your business ranked higher on Google Maps, getting up to the local-3 pack or at least the first search page for the relevant keywords. We will have the following discussion assuming that you have already added your business to the Google Map.
6 Things to Do to Rank Higher on Google Maps
1. Claim Your Map Listing
When you add your business on Google Maps, you can only provide the name, category, contact, and business location. All this information would be enough if Google Maps didn’t progress the way it has. You can now add a ton of other information and content regarding your business to its Google Map listing. And for that, you have to “claim” your business through its Google My Business (GMB) profile.
The GMP lets you claim and own a business by showing proof of ownership. Follow the steps that come after when you click on “claim this business.” Once successfully claimed, you can have photos, reviews, videos, and other posts attached to your Google Map listing.
2. Do up Your GMB Profile
Many ventures created their GMB profile in the initial days of digital promotions and then completely forgot it. If you are on the quest of ranking higher on Google Maps, you have to revise that negligence towards your GMB profile.
First of all, employ information consistency by ensuring your business’s name, address, and phone number are the same on your social media, website, and Maps. Update your working hours, business description, and select the right business category. Whenever there is a change (phone number, working hours, etc.), promptly update that information.
3. Add Your Business Photos to Your Listing
Google hasn’t fully revealed how its search algorithm works. However, it is now an open secret that those algorithms love top-quality photos. After claiming your business through GMB, your Map listing will be in sync with your GMB profile. So, add eye-catching photos of your venture to the profile, showing the storefront, your interior, along with some product shots (if applicable).
A map entry accentuated with photos is going to get more click-throughs than a listing without any photos.
4. More Reviews Means Better Visibility
A business that can garner more Google reviews will experience improvement in its Google ranking as well. If you are sure of your product’s quality or service, encourage your customers to leave reviews on your listing. You can add a Google review shortcut to your website. Also, provide this link to customers on social media. You can also use attractive “leave a review” templates to collect more Google reviews.
5. Optimize Your Website
For ranking higher on Google Maps, you also need to optimize your business website accordingly. Embed your Map Listing on the contact page and CTAs. Also, curate your content in line with local search intent. In other words, you need to focus on local SEO. The improvement in the site’s ranking will also pull your Map listing up.
6. Regularly Post from Your GMB Profile
Lastly, use GMB as a social media platform. Google My Business lets you post small blogs and Facebook-like posts on your profile. A GMB profile with regular activity is also a signal for Google algorithms that a listing is being proactively managed.
We hope that the above discussion has answered your question of “how to rank high on Google Maps.” If you manage to pull off all the things mentioned above, you will eventually see your business location balloon showing in that prized map box that appears in local Google searches.
You can have the best product range in the world, but without appropriate e-commerce marketing strategies, no one will know about it.
Unfortunately, most of the Shopify stores end up making an occasional sale even after investing so much of their time and money in the beginning.
Don’t feel bad, you’re not alone…
The truth is that only 5% of Shopify stores achieve their goals while the remaining 95% of them fail.
The good news is you can promote your website in a variety of different ways. Before we highlight the solutions to help you get your e-commerce store back on track, first have a quick look at some of the reasons for failure.
Reasons Why Shopify Stores Fail
- Poorly optimized theme
- Choosing the wrong dropshipping niche
- Bad product choice
- Showcasing low-quality products
- Shipping problems
- More abandoned carts
- E-Commerce marketing isn’t good
- Branding errors
- Bad customer service
In conclusion, the majority of Shopify stores fail because of their inability to drive sales and keep their customers.
So what can you do to avoid these problems?
Here are 9 proven and easy ways to promote your website you haven’t tried:
1. Make Sure Your Shopify Store is SEO Optimized
If you don’t have a big e-commerce marketing budget at the moment, you can take advantage of the best SEO practices to promote your website.
Both on-page and off-page strategies can help you achieve your conversion goals. Some proven on-page SEO tactics include optimizing meta titles, meta descriptions, and overall content on your website.
For off-page SEO, you can gain links from relevant blogs and websites to improve your Shopify store’s domain authority (DA).
The process generally begins by conducting keyword research. There are many paid and free SEO tools available, including Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and KWFinder, that you can use to identify low, medium, and high-demand keywords.
Make sure you give time to your SEO strategy to show real-time results.
2. Leverage Social Media Marketing
Social media has significantly transformed e-commerce marketing practices. SMM is a cost-effective and easy way to promote your website and build a loyal customer base.
According to Statista, an estimated 3.6 billion people were using social media in 2020. And this figure is expected to increase to roughly 4.41 billion by the end of 2025.
The biggest advantage of using social media platforms is that it helps Shopify store owners to maintain direct communication with their existing and potential customers.
3. Reciprocal Linking
Reciprocal linking is one of the ways you can show search engines that your e-commerce store is authentic and trustworthy.
Make sure you do not link your Shopify store to low DA websites because it can cause more harm than good.
Search engines will rank your store higher when they see your website is linked with high DA websites.
Apart from that, it’s also important to create links that are relevant to your readers. You can also benefit from internal links, which is a foolproof way to provide more value to your website visitors. Don’t create too many inbound links at once because it can result in a ban of your website from search engines forever.
4. Promote with Google Ads
Google Ads is another effective way to promote your website. With Google Ads, you can directly market your products to anyone who’s searching for products online.
According to research, e-commerce stores roughly make $2 in exchange for every dollar they spend on Google Ads.
5. Invest in Facebook Ads
E-commerce stores looking for fast results can invest in paid ads. Out of many other options, Facebook Ads are quite simple and effective because they enable you to select the age, demographics, and other important details of your target audience.
We suggest you start with a small budget first and see how this marketing medium is working along with your overall e-commerce marketing strategy.
Play with the copy, add custom imagery, and also leverage short creative videos to show what your Shopify store has in store for customers.
6. Build an Email List
Email marketing is one of the most effective e-commerce marketing channels and has been used by hundreds of Shopify stores to drive sales and conversions.
The first thing you need to do is build a comprehensive email marketing list that includes the email addresses of everyone who’s purchased from your store. You can also encourage people to give their email IDs in exchange for a discount or a freebie.
Once you have your email subscriber list ready, you can add all the collected addresses to email blast software, such as Mailchimp. Use your email marketing channel to inform your customers about newly-launched products, discounts, upcoming sales, etc.
7. Use Pinterest to Outperform Competitors
Pinterest currently has over 320 million monthly active users. Your Shopify store can also leverage this picture-sharing platform to showcase your exclusive product range.
The platform also offers a free of cost buyable pins feature that enables e-commerce store owners to drive sales without needing their customers to visit a website.
8. Use Content Marketing to Promote Your Website
As a Shopify store owner, your objective should be to provide maximum customer experience. This isn’t possible without adding some valuable quality content to your website.
When people see your brand contributing expert advice on your platform and on other guest-posting websites, they’ll start trusting your brand and happily invest their hard-earned money in your products.
9. Use Google Local Business
For businesses that cater to local audiences, it’s important for them to get their stores registered on Google Local Business. There are so many things you can do on Google Local business. For instance, you can add promotions, imagery, and even mobile ads to improve local traffic to your website.
Shopify has made it possible for anyone to set up and run an online store. But it is in your hands to get your business the success it deserves.
We hope this post has answered some of your questions about e-commerce marketing. The next thing you need to do is to implement these strategies and see how well they’re going along with your marketing plan.
With spring upon us, now is an ideal time to take a good look at your SEO content to see how it can be improved. Content plays a very important role in any SEO strategy. Aside from helping your site progress in the SERPs, content also helps to encourage clicks, keep visitors on your pages and, ultimately, drive more conversion.
If the content is something that you have been creating and forgetting, or it is something that you have not put much thought into until now, you may end up moving backward in searches. To crawl and rank pages, search engines need fresh content. Outdated pages and articles, broken links, 404 not found pages, non-optimized pages, duplicate content, and other SEO content can end up having far more impact than you realize.
Spring-Cleaning Your SEO Content
How do you go about spring-cleaning your SEO Boise content? For starters, you can take a look at these tips to help you get the most from your on-site content.
1, Do a full site audit
A website audit is one of the most effective ways to identify potential issues, such as missing links, dead pages, duplicate content, and other problems. Once you have a better idea of your content as it is right now, you will be able to work towards making improvements. An audit makes the process far simpler, without the need to manually go through every single page on your site. You can then make a list of content pages to focus on, in order of importance.
2. Update existing content.
From there, you can begin to update content pages that are no longer getting results. This could include filling out blog articles or pages that are too short, reducing content that is too long, adding headers where needed, refreshing your keywords or adding additional long-tail keywords, bringing in common questions asked by searchers, rewriting for readers as well as search engines, reworking duplicate content, and making any other changes that will help your pages and posts rank better.
3. Maintain your content
Once you have identified and updated current pages, you will also need to work out a strategy to move forward. You don’t have to update content on your site all the time. Regular blog content can greatly help your results, however. Even those do not have to be done every single day. Even one or two blog articles a month can help to bring in traffic and increase your rankings in the SERPs. When creating new content, use a content strategy that is focused on your primary keywords and goals.
Fine-Tune Your SEO Content
Spring is not the only time you should be taking a look at your content. To see consistent results, regular checks are a good move. Invest in your pages and blog and you will start to see how much of a difference SEO content can make to your rankings
SEO and PPC
Did everyone lose the ability to see the proverbial forest from the trees?
You can make a case for both of them.
SEO is better because the results last longer. In PPC, when you stop pouring money into your advertiser account, the clicks and the leads will stop the very next minute. SEO results can last for years with minimal tweaks or no tweaks whatsoever. Plus, with SEO you avoid advertising blindness.
PPC is better because it works faster. It can take months for an article to rank organically. But PPC ads can be approved in less than 24 hours on most platforms. And, if done right, you’ll get ROI as soon as they start running.
I’m partial to SEO myself but, since my agency offers both services, I’ve also seen amazing results from PPC in certain industries. eCommerce is the first example that comes to mind. Very few eCommerce businesses can ignore PPC altogether and focus on SEO alone.
But what about having them work together instead of measuring results from both separately in order to decide where to throw your money exclusively?
We’ve tested SEO and PPC simultaneously for a couple of our clients in SaaS and eCommerce industries, respectively. Here’s what we’ve learned.
1. Use PPC to Choose High ROI Keywords
Despite the countless keyword research tools available, choosing the right ones for your business goals still involves a lot of guesswork. Yes, you can have a buyer persona, thorough market research and a deep understanding of your ideal customer’s voice.
And still you may optimize for the wrong keywords. When I say wrong keywords, I mean those you can rank for but won’t bring actual paying customers.
PPC is the fastest and safest way to see which keywords are worth spending SEO time on. See what worked in your PPC campaign and then hire top SEO content writers to go after them organically. In time, you can erase those keywords from your PPC budget entirely.
2. Use Remarketing to Target Organic Visitors Again
Someone found your website organically but never converted? Remind them of your awesome content, products or services with remarketing ads.
This is a great way to go full circle.
You target the organic visitors with PPC ads to bring them back. When they do come back, your repeat visit stats blow up and, ideally, so does your time spent on page. Both these metrics signal to search engines that your content is on point, so you’ll rank even higher.
Isn’t this just beautiful?
3. Test Your Downloadable/Gated Content with PPC
Gated content (the kind people can only access if they leave their contact info) is typically premium content. Webinars, whitepapers, eBooks, trainings – all these are high-value items that help you build a great email list, full of “warm” leads.
But only if that content is good enough. Or if the landing page for it is written well enough to get visitors to leave their email address.
Before you invest even more time in the landing page plus the content itself, test it out with PPC ads. You can create a simple landing page inviting people to leave their email address to be on the waiting list for when your awesome content is finally launched.
Are they interested?
Did you get enough sign-ups?
What’s the bounce rate?
Answer all these questions with PPC ads. Invest a small budget in vetting your idea, then go ahead and optimize the landing page and create amazing downloadable content.
Wrapping Things Up
I always encourage our clients to test as many things as possible. You don’t always have to choose between the different marketing tactics. Sometimes, you can split the budget – at least for a while.
As you may have noticed, the tips above are designed to help you save money. Test via PPC to know where to invest in SEO. Or use PPC to strengthen your organic rankings.
Ultimately, it’s always better to count on your own platform (your website) than on a third-party advertising platform. When your entire revenue comes via PPC ads, you are dependent on someone else’s platform.
And that’s far from ideal.
It’s like building your home on someone else’s land, hoping they’ll let you live there for as long as you need.
Be smart. Invest in your own virtual land first and foremost. You can rank organically for any keyword you need to grow your business. Just take a look at how we managed to do it for one of our clients. Get in touch if you’re ready to make your internet real estate more valuable!
Timing and proactivity are both essential when it comes to lockdown shopping communication. Keeping customers up to date is something you cannot afford not to do at this point. There have been many horror stories about local etailers failing to deliver, breaking promises, not responding to emails or calls, and angering customers in the process. Although there is no doubt that factors such as stock availability and supply chain bottlenecks are a major cause of problems at the moment, the issue is not so much on the problem itself but also how the problem is handled.
Lockdown Shopping Communication Campaigns
Keeping customers informed right from the start, from the moment they sign up for an account, is the best way to prevent lost sales. In this guide, we take a look at the most essential lockdown shopping communication campaigns you can run alongside your regular eCommerce marketing campaigns to avoid problems taking over.
Even though most eCommerce platforms already have these messages and processes in place, optimize the content and visuals so that it’s exactly in line with your online store. The messages you can optimize:
1. The reassurance email
This should be the first email in your sequence, to be sent after potential customers sign up for an account and receive their standard welcome email. For best results, it should be sent close to the welcome email so that customers know how you are operating before they make a purchase. In this email, your goal is to give customers peace of mind and tell them what you are doing to make shopping safer and easier. You could include a list of precautions you are taking with deliveries, clearly displayed customer care contact details, realistic delivery expectations, and anything else that sets customer minds at rest.
2. The incentive email
You can also give customers a little nudge to make them want to purchase. You don’t have to go overboard. Most stores offer discounts or points for new customers as it is, usually once customers have made their first purchase. Rather than a ‘tit for tat’ approach, think about how you can add genuine value, with nothing expected in return aside from happy customers. If you have a physical store, you could offer a click and collect option. If you are purely online, you could offer free delivery during the lockdown, regardless of order size.
3. The logistics email
Finally, the most important email of all is the logistics email. This one will be sent after an order has been placed, and after the order confirmation has been sent. In this email, you are clearly outlining your delivery procedure and times along with any points relating to stock availability. It is better to be on the side of caution and give a longer delivery date rather than a shorter one. If there are unforeseen delays and you have promised delivery in a few days, you will have unhappy customers. If any problems arise after between order and delivery, be sure to keep customers updated. Make it as easy as possible for customers to track their order or speak to someone if they have concerns.
Lockdown Shopping Communication
When you plan out these emails and make sure that they are all about the customer rather than a chance to promote or sell, you will have a good chance of building loyalty and driving more sales in the process. Put some thought into your messaging campaigns to see how you can perfect your lockdown shopping communication strategy.
Social media has emerged as one of the most effective platforms to increase the reach of a business’ brand, bring them quality leads, and build them a solid customer base. If you have not incorporated social media marketing into your marketing strategies, you are missing out on something really essential. Every business owner needs to utilize social media marketing. Having high-performing content, deals, banners, and shopping on sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, & Pinterest and measuring analytics can change the game.
In this blog, we will be giving you several useful social media marketing tips that you as a marketer can use to help businesses achieve their short-term and long-term business goals.
- Know Your Audience- In order to target your potential customers, you need to know who they are. Your message must be designed for those whom you are trying to target. In order to know who your target audience is, you can study the industry, demographics, and goals by analyzing existing customers and who is interested in your products or services.
- Choose Best Social Media Platforms– Since there are various social media marketing platforms available out there, you need to find the best ones which will work for your business. Facebook is a social media giant, LinkedIn is great for businesses, and Twitter has become incredibly famous for communicating shorter messages. Depending on what products and services you have to offer, choose which social media platforms will work for you. Or use them all!
- Scheduling Posts- If you are managing various social media accounts and posting content on each account seems to be an intimidating task to you; we recommend you schedule content and posts all at once for the week or month so you don’t have to log in each day. This would not only help you save time but also makes management easy and effective.
- Use Analytics– Social media statistics can show what is working and help you find and reach your audience. Using analytics to target the potential customers means finding more needs to satisfy which leads to more revenue for the business.
- Engage your audience– In order to make your social media marketing successful; you need to find ways to increase customer engagement to reach your business goals. You can respond to comments, use hashtags in your posts, tag people, and also include links in your posts.
- Use Creative Infographics, Videos, and Images– The best social media marketing strategy is to gain the attention of the viewers using infographics, videos, and images. These are the most shared content types and are a central part of social media marketing because people take notice instead of just reading an article alone.
Digital marketing refers to advertising and delivering information through digitally such as search engines social media website mobile etc and by which the term covers a wide range of marketing activities. there is no doubt that in today’s modern landscape a huge part of marketing strategies done digitally it playing a big role in today’s digital life.
Nowadays everything is done through the digital process and people are also adapting things digitally and
businesses are almost done or happening online, the most of the time spent on making their website attractive so people will show interest in their website and this is the market strategy how to attract people by your website. Here, Digital Marketing strategy plays an important role it is a series of actions which helps to achieve you your
aim, your goal of the company through selecting online marketing channels and whereas these all channels including on paid and owned media and people are also so advanced they keep checking new things online and if they like it they keep on sharing as well. Digital Marketing is the biggest platform to start over and spread your business all over
Digital marketing is a very low cost. It can assess a massive audience. It is cost-effective if the customer database is well managed but at the same time, digital marketing is going to consume a lot of time. Response rate varies enormously, campaigns are very easy to copy but you can personalize the marketing message.
Types of online digital marketing include;
1. Search engine optimisation.
2. Search engine marketing.
3. Content marketing.
4. Social media marketing.
5. Affiliate marketing.
6. Email marketing.
7. Influencer marketing.
8. Mobile phone advertising
Now, what is search engine optimisation it is a process of growing your online visibility organic search engine results which means the results appear in a list and ranked using the search engine algorithm? Every engine needs little oil, using targeted keywords in your content to rank your site in web search results.
SEO process includes:-
a. Research and analysis.
b. Identifying keywords.
c. On-Site coding and implementation.
e. Speed & site performance.
g. Ranking report and tracking.
Search engine marketing is a market where it promotes your website by increasing the visibility of your website on the search engine result page.
Content marketing is a type of market in which you will find information, it involves the creation and sharing of materials online so that people can read your information from your website and upvote it.
The social media market helps to promote a product or service on a social media platform.
so that everyone can watch it.
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing where it process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s product and service and in which a business rewards affiliates for each visitor or customer.
Through Digital Marketing research and practice is improving with the advancement of technology. It helps you to keep track of your customers or you can aware of your customers about your products and available 24/7. If your goal is to target a large amount of people then digital marketing is a good platform. You can spread or promote your websites on the online platform.
Every person who has her/his own website or blog wants to find appropriate ways to earn money or how to monetize their traffic.
There are many ways to do so. We are going to describe the pros and cons of some of them so you can determine which suits your needs.
1. Sponsored content
Have you ever come to the end of a blog post only to see numerous links to “sponsored content?” Sponsored content is another way to monetize blogs.
Search engines are not fans of sponsored content because paying for traffic can be seen as a way of cheating the system. It is possible that this can harm your site’s rankings. Amanda Smith, an essay writer, says “however, adding a nofollow tag to sponsored links should prevent your site from being harmed”. I consider this a risk/reward type of thing. Another thing to remember is that sponsored content is not a good idea in Google News articles.
Despite some SEO issues, you can still boost your earnings with sponsored content. Various companies use this method which is proof that it does work.
- Easy to implement
- A great source of income if you receive high traffic
- Can annoy your readers (especially the click bait articles)
- Could harm your SEO rankings due to Google generally not allowing sponsored traffic
Infolinks provides a service called InText. Their system works by replacing certain words on your website with relevant advertisements. Most users do not report significant earnings with this method (as compared to Adsense), and it has the potential of annoying your users. I would look at InText more as supplemental ads.
- A great source of supplemental income
- Almost guaranteed to annoy your users if they accidentally hover over the links
3. Sell ad space
Selling ad space is another common way to monetize blogs. Unlike pay per click ads, ad space is sold at a set price for specific time periods (usually monthly). You can start selling your own space by creating information on your website and reaching out to advertisers.
I would not recommend pursuing this method unless you have consistent traffic and readers. Most people will not be willing to pay for ad space on sites with minimal viewers. Another downside is that these ads will typically stay at a fixed price. This means that if your views doubled, your revenue would still remain the same.
- The income is guaranteed
- Many advertisers are willing to pay for spots on websites with high traffic
- Your income remains the same even if your traffic doubles or triples
- Advertisers will not reach out to you until you have a large fanbase
4. Selling eBooks
Unlike the good old days, you do not have to reach out to large publishers to get your book published. Anyone can write content and have it published thanks to the internet.
Are you a skilled writer or authority in your field? You can sell eBooks on topics like weight loss, anxiety management, sports training, religion, politics, etc. As with books at the local library, you can write about almost anything and sell it to readers online!
Many people start with selling on Kindle Direct Publishing. You can submit your book in minutes and have it published within days. Amazon will take 30% of your earnings, but this can be worth it since your books will be published in the Kindle store. Once your book is uploaded, you can paste the book link across your website for your readers to find.
Amazon is not the only option for promoting eBooks. You can also opt to host your eBook right on your website. This is more difficult because you need to create blog posts, advertisements, and a way to obtain email leads.
The main thing to keep in mind is how your eBook can help or inspire the reader. If you can cross that off the checklist, then selling will be the easy part.
- The internet has removed the need to wait for getting your content published
- You get your eBook out to a large audience in a short period of time
- High monetization potential
- Can be very difficult to stand out above the competition
- You must be able to market your eBook which can be difficult
- Writing an eBook takes a lot of editorial work
5. Hidden Premium Content
Since ad block use is increasing, many sites are now opting for premium content. This is popular amongst news websites, but it can be used on other types of websites.
This monetization strategy locks your content behind a paywall. People have to pay for accessing the content inside the wall. Many marketing training sites make use of this method, and it can be used for almost any type of content. You will want to ensure that your content is worth purchasing. People will not buy poor quality content unless they are scammed into making that purchase.
If you are on WordPress, numerous plugins will allow you to create locked content. The tricky part is making sure your site is secure enough to handle credit card information correctly.
- Allows you to monetize your content
- Could be the “next big thing” to cut down on annoying advertisements
- Only paid users will have access to your content which may lower your website’s traffic
- Your content needs to stand out before people will be willing to pay for it
6. Google Consumer Surveys
Google Consumer Surveys is a nifty alternative to premium content. It has been used for news, technical, dictionary, and general information websites.
This strategy locks your content behind a survey and gives access to the content once your reader gives an answer. You’ll make around 5 cents or more per survey. This can add up quickly if you have a lot of traffic.
Please be aware that this can lead to increased bounce rates, so make sure that your audience is willing to answer a few questions in order to reach your content. I would assume that this only works well for a small range of websites. If people are not eager to read your content, then they’ll likely click away and search for another less annoying option.
- Plenty of earning potential
- Quick to set up and use
- Will increase bounce rates
- Won’t work on people who are not urgently searching for information
Asking for donations is a common way to help pay for server hosting bills and make spare cash. Wikipedia is funded by donations and has been in the business since 2001. If you have a PayPal account and site built by WordPress, you can simply find a plugin that’ll deal with the donation process. This is a common way for developers to make money from free software and content.
- Adds a way to support your site
- Doesn’t pay much unless your fanbase is very loyal
What method should You Use?
Which monetization method you choose will depend on your experience, niche, and audience. Other things could include how much work you’re willing to put into your website, the amount of spare time you have, and the type of content you create. Also, don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to one of these methods either. It’s possible to make use of multiple methods to maximize your income. Just make sure you don’t become overwhelmed.
Here’s an example. If your website consists of news articles and updates, you could have an Adsense, sponsored content, and Google Consumer Surveys account. This would create three sources of income.
Another example could be a site where you sell lawn services. Obviously, you will not want sponsored content or gated blog posts. Your site would only include advertisements for your services and possibly a few banner ads.
It’s hard to find an article about social media that doesn’t mention the continuous drop in organic reach of Facebook business pages.
And it seems like this drop isn’t stopping any time soon. In late 2019, Facebook rolled out another algorithm update which caused the reach to go down another 2.2%. This means that page owners can now expect only about 5.5% of their followers to see their posts.
The rates are even lower for massive pages with millions of followers.
Yes, Facebook wants you to pay for ads if you want your posts to reach your followers. After all, they are a business too. They have to make money somehow.
But here’s an interesting fact: there are more than 60 million business pages active on Facebook. They could reach over 2 billion people. Still, only 6 million of them pay for ads.
That’s 10%. What do the rest of them do?
Well, some of them are content with the tiny organic reach they have. Others find different ways to boost it.
Here’s what they do to avoid paying for ads and still reach more than 5% of their followers:
1. Post when your fans are online
Test various times to post. Take a month for this. Then analyze the engagement rate of your posts. At what time did you get the most reactions, comments, and shares?
If you use a social media management tool like Buffer, Sendible or Hootsuite, you will actually be able to find this report without any additional effort on your part.
The graph below shows the best times to post in order to boost your engagement.
You can use this as a starting point but do try to find the best times for your business. Averages can be quite deceiving.
2. Go native with videos
Yes, it’s easier to just paste a YouTube link in the Facebook compose box. You might even be tempted to think that you’ll shoot two birds with one stone: get engagement on your Facebook page and traffic to your YouTube video.
However, when you post a video directly to Facebook, it begins playing automatically as people scroll through their feeds. They will see the first seconds of it whether they click play or not.
If the beginning of the video is good, they will be hooked before they know it and keep watching.
Speaking of videos, how long should they be?
Facebook have revealed that videos longer than 3 minutes get shown organically to more people.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you should always create longer videos. As always, there is no one-size-fits-all and you should test to see what your audience prefers.
In general, the sweet spot is somewhere between 60 and 90 seconds. Longer videos might deter some people from committing too much of their time.
3. Spark conversations, don’t “just post”
It’s amazing how many people forget the “social” part in “social media”. If engagement is your goal, you shouldn’t act like a TV station that delivers the news and doesn’t need input from the viewers. Actually, even TV stations occasionally take comments from the public or create surveys, so there’s really no excuse for your online presence to look more obsolete than a TV show.
Here are a few things you can do to get the ball rolling:
- Ask for your fans’ opinion – “Red or black — which one do you prefer for X car model?”
- Tap into current events – “Who’s watching the Super Bowl with us tonight?”
- Show genuine interest by asking questions that show you know your audience – “What’s your #1 marketing struggle right now?”
4. Interact and engage in a meaningful way
Drawing on the point above, remember to always answer comments. Whether it’s a conversational post or a “regular” post, you should always make the most of user-generated content.
It’s not just that your fans expect and answer (in four hours or less!). It’s also that posts with more user-generated content get a better organic reach.
The Facebook algorithm sees that a certain post has sparked interest and will show it to more people who might also like it.
You can get the ball rolling by adding the first comment yourself – it can be a link that’s relevant to the topic of your post, a funny GIF or a few extra photos.
5. Go live
Your fans will receive a notification every time you go live on your business page. This is the safest way to reach almost everyone at the same time.
Of course, not all of them will watch or interact with your live video. Still, if you have something important to communicate this is the way to do it and reach more people.
One caveat, though: don’t abuse this feature. You shouldn’t go live more than once a week. And when you do, make sure that your video is interesting to your audience. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing fans.
6. Hold competitions and giveaways
Yes, everyone loves free stuff. A contest is bound to ramp up the engagement levels on your page.
Keep in mind, though, that contests and giveaways can be quite tricky on both Facebook and Instagram. Here’s how to make sure yours will help you meet your goals:
- Always follow the Facebook rules for contests and giveaways. Ignoring them can result in having your page shut down. Permanently.
- Deliver what you promise. Under no circumstances should you hold sham giveaways just to boost your numbers and engagement. Again, this could get your page shut down. Or, at the very least, the target of a lot of internet hate.
- Show who won. Don’t leave people hanging. Let them know who won and even follow up with a post about the winner receiving their prize (if possible).
Bottom line: treat Facebook giveaways like separate projects from your day-to-day social media activity. And make sure you manage these projects accordingly.
7. Share curated content
You don’t always have to write about your own brand. In fact, you shouldn’t.
At least 20% of your content should be curated from other sources. This shows that you are not just trying to sell your products or services but that you genuinely care about keeping your audience informed or entertained.
Pay extra attention to the sources you use. Inc.com, The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, Quartz, TechCrunch – all these are reliable sources of information. Stay away from shady websites with little authority in their field.
How to boost engagement on your Facebook business page without paying for ads – Conclusion
If you don’t want to pay for Facebook ads, then pay attention to what your audience wants and needs. It ultimately boils down to this: when you offer relevant content, people will engage with it.
Take a page from the BuzzFeed manual – people aren’t shy about commenting on branded posts. But they only do it when they care about it enough, when the post sparks enough interest.
Not sure how to achieve this for your Facebook page? We can help! My agency offers affordable social media marketing services for companies that need help monetizing their Facebook presence.
Take a look at our social media marketing and management services and let’s talk!
Snap Up Some Marketing Success
Do you use Snapchat to help market your small business? If the answer is no, what are you missing out on? If the answer is yes, what can you teach other businesses about the pros of marketing via this social tool?
Snap Up Some Marketing Success
When you think about using social media to market for your business, Facebook and Twitter are probably the first two sites that come to mind. Think about it for a while and you might consider Pinterest or Instagram. You definitely think about networking with LinkedIn. But what about Snapchat?
If Snapchat has never crossed your mind as a business tool, should it? Created as a way for teens to share images that disappear in moments, it doesn’t seem like it would have any value at first glance. Numerous companies have looked past the initial viewpoint to see the potential to target a brand new audience. If you haven’t considered it before, now may be the time.
What Snapchat Has to Offer
First, consider the main audience of Snapchat. The average person on this network is between the ages of 13 and 25. If your target customer is in that age group, you must consider Snapchat.
While the site started out with images and video that is only available for up to 10 seconds, there are now Snapchat Stories that are available for 24 hours. This added feature gives businesses more time to convey their message while still maintaining a sense of urgency that compels people to buy.
Ways to Use Snapchat
So you now know Snapchat could benefit your business, but you’re still not sure how to use it. Begin by looking at current customers. Encourage their loyalty by sending them special offers on Snapchat. Have them send a snap to you in return for a free giveaway or discount coupon. Maybe the snap has to be a picture of them using your product or showing that they need what you sell.
The idea with promotions like this is to engage your customers and create loyalty. Have them send the name of a friend to win a prize. Once the friend adds your business on Snapchat, the person gets a reward.
The New Story Feature
With the new Stories, you can do even more. It allows you to include images along with a five-second video. Use it to present a story about your company or give the latest update on a new product or promotion. Send people to your website or other pages at the end of the story.
This is also a great place to preview a new product or update on the latest product. Instead of lamenting that the video or images last only a few seconds, use that short time frame to create a teaser that will leave your audience wanting more. Make it into a series with each storytelling just a small part about the product. By the time it finally arrives in the store, your audience will be so pumped, they can’t stay away.
If you aren’t using Snapchat for your business, you should be. This new social media network has a lot of potentials if your target market is a youthful demographic. If you are using the network, look at new ways to enhance your current marketing strategy.
Useful Facts About SEO and Social Media
How do SEO and social media help drive traffic to your online business?
When it comes to driving traffic to your business, SEO and social media platforms both play major roles. To better understand how SEO and social media platforms help your business, it would be easier to look at facts and statistics so you can understand how companies similar to yours have succeeded by using these two traffic driver
Facts About SEO
SEO has a major impact on long-term lead generation. 59% of marketers agree that SEO has had the biggest effect on their lead generation goals. Social media was second with a percentage of 21%, while pay per click is 20%. It is not surprising, therefore, that most businesses plan to increase their SEO budget.
When it comes to lead generation, 49% of marketers in the B2C business seem to agree that SEO ranks in the first place when it comes to impacting their businesses. Pay per click and social media followed closely in that ranking with 26% and 25%, respectively. If you are considering doing SEO yourself as opposed to hiring an agency, make sure to give that decision a second thought. 21% of marketers agree that SEO agencies are far better at SEO than doing it in-house. Only about 11% agree that in-house SEO is preferable.
Social Media Facts
More searches are taking place in social media search engines than ever before. In 2016, searches in popular search engines such as Google and Yahoo dropped by 1%, while searches on social media sites increased by a dramatic 8%. Networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon account for a majority of these searches. That does not mean you should ignore the power of organic search; it still carries significant weight. However, it is an important indicator that shows people are becoming more and more geared towards utilizing social media sites for acquiring their information.
Trends in Traffic Generation
The demand for SEO skills has risen dramatically in the past year. Job boards like Indeed.com recorded a 1900% increase in SEO job postings. It has also affected LinkedIn; there has been approximately a 112% increase in the number of profiles containing the word SEO.
Equally powerful is the use of emails for spreading the word about your brand. There are over 62 billion emails sent every day. An average person spends a certain amount of time each day reading emails. This is a powerful tool to use if you know how to utilize it effectively. What this tells you is that there are inherent benefits in utilizing different forms of marketing in your social media pages and websites.
Incorporating email marketing as part of your campaign will help you expand your reach even further. This can result in finding valuable customers over time. 81% of marketers that use this strategy call it “effective”. It’s true that SEO drives traffic, but it is email that actually drives conversions. 29% of marketers agree that traffic converts at the highest rate when done through email marketing. 22% say that email is their main source of conversion.
Don’t Forget About Blogging!
Of equal importance is the need to make blogging a part of your SEO and social media strategy. Over 92% of Fortune 500 companies are not utilizing the power of blogs for their businesses. This opens a window of opportunity for small and medium-scale businesses to take their fair share of the market.
It has been estimated that companies that blog at least 15 times per month generate over 5 times the traffic of companies that do not blog. A high percentage of companies that blog have acquired customers through their blogs. If you are thinking of going into social media marketing, you should be aware that blogging is the core of many social marketing strategies. 59% of companies say that blogging contributed significantly more to their business than any other method.
Time Tested and Effective
The facts and figures explained above should be enough to demonstrate the importance of SEO and social media when it comes to your online business efforts. However, it’s also important to realize that social media marketing isn’t simply utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social media giants. While using these sites can make a big difference in increasing visibility, there are other forms of social marketing that are considered less often but are equally powerful. Email and blogging are older forms of social media marketing compared to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, but they are time tested and effective. Even with the changing trends in our modern lifestyles, email and blogging have still managed to be a very effective method of driving traffic to your business.
Analyze, Rinse and Repeat Your Social Media Strategy
The following are steps I took to help layout the social media strategies for my clients and my own business. It may take some time to analyze past social media engagement efforts to see what worked and what didn’t, so you can determine how to approach the rest of the year. But diving deep into the past will help you see the year ahead more clearly.
1. Analyze the Past
Download a social media engagement report for the entire last year directly from your social network sites or from the social media management platform you use. Take a look at last year’s activity across all networks. Start with the original posts and links you shared.
Questions to ask:
• What drove the most engagement or traffic?
• Was it posts with links, photos or videos?
• Were they informational, educational or simply entertainment-based?
• Did you ask questions that generated responses, and if so, what were they?
• How could you add to conversations that were generated?
Take a look at the contests and other special campaigns that may have generated optimal buzz. Organize the posts complete with links and images in a spreadsheet, in order of highest buzz factor. Use this spreadsheet as a base to model what type of content you will post in the future.
Also, take a look at people and brands you followed in the past year, and whose content you retweeted or shared. Whose profiles with content you retweeted and shared generated the most buzz? Put those thought leaders from your industry on another page of your spreadsheet. Those are the ones you want to continue to monitor in the year ahead. If you haven’t yet, sign up for their blogs or RSS feeds to make sure you don’t miss out on important information they’re publishing that you can share with your fan base.
2. Rinse and Originate
Just as Facebook and Google come up with a new algorithm seemingly every other month in this fast-changing social media world, people’s tastes and attention metamorphose. Among the tried and true tactics from the previous year, don’t be afraid to try new thought and action campaigns. Take a look at what other brands did the past year that generated buzz. Airline company Virgin America’s “Two for One Taco and Tickets” campaign is a great example of a unique social media campaign utilizing geolocation. From campaigns with a personal touch to more innovative social media strategies, you can generate a buzz that will ignite your fan base. Here’s a blog article on Social Media Today that highlights more creative ways companies engaged fans on social media.
3. Repeat Successful Campaigns
If you just posted anything you thought might have even remotely interested your followers base without any forethought then skip this step. Hopefully, you established some past social media strategy goals for individual posts, even if the simple one of generating engagement through likes, shares, and retweets. (Remember, the more your content is shared, the more your brand or business name is seen by potential clients and consumers.) Other goals could have been to capture email leads, grow your company’s blog subscription base, or convert leads into buying customers.
If you achieved clearly stated goals, list those in the spreadsheet you created in Step 1 next to the content posted that was a step in the goal conversion process. Unless you are a Google Analytics pro or have a dedicated analytics team that can do this for you, it may be difficult to follow the conversion process, but apps by companies like Shortstack or Woobox, enable you to see exactly where the conversion process took place for contests and similar campaigns. The goal in this step for the year ahead is to replicate and even improve upon successful campaigns.
Tip: If you use a social media management/monitoring platform like Social Report or Raven Tools you can create and download reports that cover a full year. Social Report, which I’ve been checking out for the past month, offers in-depth reports on all the major social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Sprout Social allows you to download in CVS format posts, direct messages and comments from Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, with the number of shares/likes/comments/shares, as well as the percentage of reach/engagement.
1. Manage Accounts Receivable
Be courteous, but firm with customers. Most small businesses do not have the cash flow that allows the luxury of providing lines of credit to their customers. Track accounts receivables closely, and follow-up on past due accounts.
2. Have A Plan
Set goals, and have a plan with a time-line to achieve those goals. Support the plan with milestones and specific intended steps you need to take to attain the specified goals.
3. Analyze Data
Determine what is working, as well as what is not working. Also, consider what may not currently be a priority, but should be! Why pay for advertising that does not result in sales? Analyze weblogs and sales data, and determine your ROI (Return On Investment). Get rid of the things that are not working, and focus on the things that are
Be flexible, and adapt to changing market demands and news. Small businesses, because of their size, can normally adapt far more quickly to changing market needs. So seize those opportunities quickly when they arise in your market.
5. Test New Marketing
Think outside the box and experiment with new marketing mediums and channels. Test new marketing initiatives to determine their effectiveness. By testing your marketing efforts, you may locate an under-served niche, which you can then take advantage of and claim as your own.
6. Spend Money To Make Money
Many small businesses are reluctant to spend their money unless absolutely necessary. But in most cases, you need to be willing to spend money in order to make money. Just be sure to spend wisely, and reap the rewards.
7. Consider Niches
Niche marketing can be very lucrative for small businesses. Larger companies normally go after the much wider “general” markets, while often ignoring those smaller niches, leaving them wide open for smaller businesses to take advantage of.
Communicate with staff and customers. Use multiple channels to get your message out.
Listen to what your customers are saying about you and your products. Learn what they like, as well as what they don’t like. Cater to their needs, and learn from them.
10. Build Your Brand
Brand recognition is not built overnight, but a strong brand and brand recognition is worth its weight in gold and has the potential to sell products for many years. Make every effort to establish your brand in your marketplace.
When you speak of landing page optimization, you generally refer to getting more conversions through it. And that’s perfectly understandable. After all, this is what a landing page should do – convert readers into paying customers. Plus, since most landing pages are part of sales funnels that usually start with PPC ads, why bother with SEO?
Well, does more targeted traffic mean anything to you?
If so, keep reading.
At the digital marketing agency I run, a lot of the copywriting we do is for clients who want a high conversion rate for their landing pages. But we also ask them about SEO before getting to work. Most of them are surprised at first, but it doesn’t take them long to realize the benefits of the “double” optimization.
However, they all have the same concern: “can you do both?” In other words, won’t SEO hurt the flow of the landing page?
My answer is always the same: Not if you do it right.
Here are a few of our tricks.
Optimizing a landing page for conversions
Of course, a high CRO is always the top priority when it comes to landing pages. SEO takes a back seat. I won’t insist too much on the technical or graphical elements here (strong, contrasting colors, VERY visible CTA buttons and non-cluttered pages), as this is not my specialty.
I’ll speak about what I know best – the words that actually sell.
1. A landing page should be about a single thing
It’s tempting to save some money and cram all your products or services on a single page that you create ads for. But it’s never a winning strategy.
Instead of confusing the reader with multiple products and services, stick to a single one. Explain it thoroughly. Toward the end of the landing page, you can also refer them to complementary products. Still, use no more than a phrase for this and don’t create a separate CTA.
2. Focus on the benefits
It’s tempting to brag about the awesomeness of what you have to offer. Sadly, it’s also a deterrent for your readers. The era of pushy salesmen is over. You need to speak about your customers and put them in the spotlight instead of yourself.
Instead of saying “our solutions are the best for reducing PPC costs,” try “you can reduce your PPC costs by up to 50 percent with our solution.” Instead of “the most beautiful custom-made red shoes,” try “be the queen of every party in these red shoes made especially for you.”
I could go on forever, but I’m sure you get the point: always replace “I/we” with “you.”
3. Use powerful headlines
I always advise our writers to focus 20 percent of their time on the copy and 80 percent on the headline. Rewrite it 10 times if you have to. Do whatever it takes to make sure you’ve got the attention of the reader from the get-go.
Because from the time they clicked on your link, you’ve only got about five seconds to convince them to stay. If your headline doesn’t do the trick, nothing will.
Mentioning discounts, limited offers or benefits in the headline is always a good idea. Tell people what they stand to gain and you’ve got their attention (maybe even their money).
4. Start with the important things
A rule we always respect is writing the most important issues at the very beginning. The key benefit(s), price, discounts, duration of the promotional offer, first CTA button, how to get the offer and so on – all these go above the fold.
Above the fold means that the reader doesn’t have to scroll at all to get all this information. Lower on the page, we can always go into more detail about the benefits and rules of the campaign. But we want to make sure that the reader can get the gist at a glance.
This is very important because some readers may be convinced even before clicking the link. If your ads are compelling enough, they just need to find the “buy” button quickly and easily. Why not offer them that amazing experience.
There is one exception: if your product/service solves a lot of pain points for your customers, you can go into more details about this at the beginning of your page. Speaking about your customers’ problems and showing you understand them is also a great way to get their attention.
5. Use bullet points
Don’t make your reader squint to read your copy. You must already know that mobile Internet usage is taking over with more people surfing the Web from a mobile gadget than from a desktop.
Make life easy for them. Use bullet points, bold your headlines and allow for white space. All this makes for easy retrieval of the information that the reader is interested in.
Optimizing a landing page for search engines
Let’s take a look at how we can make sure that a landing page is SEO-friendly, but without harming its conversion rate.
1. Get technical
Be very careful with the meta description, alt tags and title/headline tags you use. The same goes for the URL. Make sure all of these contain your primary keyword.
Since these aren’t as visible as the copy on the page, you can focus on getting them right from an SEO perspective. It is, perhaps, the only time when you get to focus more on SEO than on conversion optimization.
2. Choose keywords with user intent in mind
Usually, this means going for long-tail keywords. The best thing about them is that you can also integrate them naturally in your copy (with a bit of skill, of course).
For instance, let’s say you want to address people who are looking for ways to reduce their PPC costs. The ideal keyword for this is something along these lines: “how to reduce PPC costs.” Inserting the phrase “reduce PPC costs” is fairly easy. The “how-to” part can be trickier.
But you can always use phrasings like: “If you’ve been wondering how to reduce PPC costs, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s your solution” or “No more guessing on how to reduce PPC costs. Check out the bulletproof solution.”
3. Go long form
We know that search engines favor long-form content over short form. But this has less to do with your actual word count and more to do with how you present the information.
Long-form content typically performs best in SERPs because it is well-researched and it provides a wealth of information. And that’s great for blog posts.
But when it comes to landing pages, you can’t bore your readers with tons of information or an at-length history of the topic. However, there is a little trick you can use to have the best of both worlds.
There are little bits of code that you can use to hide more content under a headline that readers can collapse or expand at will. Yes, it’s that easy.
This way, you can have both the long-form content that search engines want and the brevity that gets you conversions.
4. Write human-centric content
I’ve said it a thousand times before: search engines have started to love the same content humans do. So, instead of fluffing it up with keywords, write with your human readers in mind. Google bots will also go nuts about it.
When you insert keywords, think of those that aren’t just SEO-friendly, but also conversion-friendly. Associate power words like ‘profit,’ ‘revenue,’ ‘boost,’ ‘engage,’ ‘win’ and so on with your primary keyword.
5. LSI keywords are your best friends
Not only will they help you avoid repeating the same keywords over and over again, but they will also make it easier for Google to understand what your page is about and rank it accordingly. I wrote more about LSI keywords and why they matter for your SEO so much here.
Last, but not least, make sure that the professional copywriters you work with know that both SEO and conversion optimization are important. Some of them tend to forget about SEO and focus on CRO.
Even if ranking organically for the said landing page doesn’t matter too much for you, think about it this way: you can save money on PPC ads, especially AdWords. For every ad, Google calculates the quality index of the page. The better the optimization, the higher your ranking, and the lower your costs.
Social media is a powerful way to build a following, turn prospects into leads and drive sales.
One of the biggest complaints I hear is that business owners are investing lots of time in social media and not seeing the returns on those efforts.
If you aren’t getting the social media results you are looking for, perhaps it’s time to look at new tactics.
If you are ready to get more out of your social media marketing, here are six techniques to try:
1. Use Facebook Live
Video marketing is a powerful addition to your marketing mix. But live video is shown to keep users watching for three times longer than a recorded video.
Fans love the feeling of listening to what you have to share at the moment. Try answering questions and providing tips while life.
Another way to use Facebook Live is to broadcast an update when you are networking or attending events. Or share a Facebook live update on any launches coming down the pipe.
2. Offer Opt-In Gifts to Grow Your Marketing List
People can’t resist getting a checklist, blueprint, app, or white paper that offers valuable information.
When you give value first, it goes a long way toward building trust and rapport with your followers. Plus, this allows you to capture your social media leads into your e-mail marketing list.
Give them something they can’t refuse and send them to a landing page to sign up. That way you can keep in contact via e-mail sharing additional offers and information in a drip campaign.
3. Invite People to Take Action
Be strategic with your calls to action to get the most out of your social media efforts.
In addition to sharing a mix of posts, be sure to offer ways your fans can dive deeper with you. This can include a free consultation, special offers and discount deals, webinars, participation in your Facebook group, and more.
4. Build Your Fan Base Organically
Never hire someone from Fiverr who can add 10,000 fans for a fee. This is a bad idea on many levels.
Instead, find groups with people in your target audience. Be helpful. Start real conversations. Invite them to join your social media page or group.
Don’t be afraid to reach out with private messaging to respond to questions they have or share resources or advice.
So don’t buy followers. It’s about the quality of followers, not quantity. It’s better to have 1,000 raving fans you have attracted than to have 10,000 fans who don’t really know you or have an investment in the connection.
5. Offer a Mix of Content
People love variety. Be creative and provide a variety of content formats including how-to articles, videos, graphics, and infographics.
An ideal content marketing strategy is to always keep your target market in mind and post what you think they will best want to receive from you.
6. Post at the Ideal Time for Best Exposure
Timing is everything. If you share an incredible post, you want to ensure the most people possible can see it.
There are many social media tools to help you see the best times to post content to reach the biggest audience. This may vary from platform to platform.
So don’t guess when you can use analytic tools with reports that help you identify the ideal time to post.
Social media is evolving and growing fast. There is a lot of opportunities to get leads, drive sales, and build a following but you have to get creative. You can’t just rely on the old tactics you have used in the past; you need to implement new techniques and tools if you want to stay ahead of the competition