Over time, Instagram has proved itself to be quite adaptable and innovative. For example it copied and mainstreamed the Snapchat stories’ concept, and in the process increased the number of its users by over 300 million. The platform has also been quick to adopt other functionalities, including live video and Snapchat-themed selfie filters. In addition, in the past few years, it has adopted an algorithm-based news feed just like Facebook. This gives advertisers and developers more control over what users are able to view. For businesses, Instagram’s knack for continuous reinvention will potentially pay off due to the projected steady growth of its users in future.
Whereas Facebook enjoys more reach because it has more users, Instagram is peerless when it comes to engagement a more important metric. Engagement is the extent of how the user interacts with the posted content, for example how much they share, like and comment. Research indicates that Instagram’s engagement rate is three times that of Facebook. To put these numbers in better perspective, the engagement rate of Twitter is one thirtieth that of Instagram.
The difference in engagement rates is attributable to Instagram’s visual DNA. The human brain can process visual content more efficiently, and the content is retained for longer periods when compared to text content. Even better, most of the engagements is positive because Instagram does not have a dislike’ button.
Unlike Facebook, Instagram is welcoming brand content
Facebook’s decision to control brand content came about because people complained about excessive commercialization by businesses. But on Instagram, branded content does not feel as intrusive. Basically, a beautiful image remains that way, whether it is from a company or from a friend.
From recent indications, Instagram is intensifying its support for brands. Using the explore’ tab, companies and people can connect outside their circle, and this presents limitless marketing opportunities. Instagram has also ventured into the inn-app shopping arena where businesses are able to tag products in the posts they put up on the platform.
Instagram ad tools have improved tremendously
Businesses on Instagram are now able target customers with the same precision and simplicity that made Facebook the king of targeted ads. As a result the number of advertisers, who mainly comprised of small and medium-sized businesses, increased by 100 percent last year to stand at 2 million. It is projected that Instagram’s advertising revenues will triple by the year 2019 to stand at $11 billion, which means business that get in now will be ahead of their competitors and are likely to stand out.
More advanced Instagram business tools are on the way
Recently, Instagram updated its Application Programming Interface (API), which essentially means new Instagram tools, especially those made by third parties, are on the way. Businesses will then have the capacity to post and measure results more efficiently.
A similar update in earlier times helped to turn Twitter and Facebook into critical marketing channels for businesses. User-friendly tools allowed companies to program multiple posts and measure the resultant engagement without needing to scroll through and analyze individual feeds. The new Instagram API will also be a game changer in the same manner.
However it is important to remember Facebook owns Instagram, and it still remains an important platform for companies to connect with their target audiences. Almost a third of the human race use Facebook ,and the ad revenue of Instagram is still far less than that of Facebook. But for any business that is seeking to enhance connections with its customers, it is increasingly important to adopt a complementary approach. Instagram has come of age, and its capacity to innovate and enhanced user engagement means it will continue to be an important platform in the days ahead.
Social media offers amazing benefits that enables businesses to connect with millions of customers across the globe, and as a result it has become one of the most critical elements of digital marketing. If you are not employing this valuable resource, you are passing up a great opportunity to promote your services or products to prospects in the daily basis.
Enhanced brand awareness
Social media is an extremely valuable and stress-free platform that can boost the visibility of your business. To start using it, build your business social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google plus, etc) and begin to network with other people and “boost” your post or marketing message whenever you can to target a specific market or demographics. Employing a social media strategy will greatly enhance your brand recognition. After spending a couple of hours every week, more than 91% of marketers reported that their social marketing endeavors boosted the visibility of their brand and improved user experience. A social media page will definitely promote your business and it can quickly create a wider business audience if used regularly.
Social media marketing is probably the most affordable advertising strategy for a business. It does not cost anything to create an account and sign up for nearly all social platforms. Most of these platforms are very affordable and the ROI is ridiculous. We have managed accounts for clients where the acquisition cost for a lead was $0.73. Make sure you are using the right “call to actions” on your ad content and that your landing page works well on desktop and mobile devices.
Increased Customer Engagement
Social media offers a great way of interacting and engaging with clients and prospects. Constant communication with your audience increases the likelihood of making a conversion or sale. Having a conversation with your target audience enables you to cater to their needs effectively. It also allows you to deliver your brand message and widen your reach for pennies.
Enhanced Brand Loyalty
Connecting with customers on social media allows you to enhance your customer retention and loyalty. Brand loyalty and customer satisfaction are interrelated. Engaging your customers also increases the bond you have with them.
More Customer Satisfaction
Social media is instrumental for networking and communication. it is a platform that creates a voice for your business and promotes the overall image of your brand. Customers get personalized replies to their comments on your page, and this gives them a positive signal regarding your business.
Better Understanding of the Marketplace
The marketplace awareness provided by social media gives you a chance to learn the needs of your customers. By looking at your analytics, you will be able to find which ads or promotions are the ones with the highest performance. If a specific promotion generated over 8% CTR to your site, you know that the ad copy and call to action(s) were effective. Anything under 2% CTR you should keep testing.
Stronger Brand Authority
When you post original content and reply to customer’s posts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., those interactions will help you build a positive company image. Frequent interactions with your clients indicate you care about them, and grateful and genuine customers will reciprocate by sharing your product or service to others.
More Website Traffic
Social media also helps boost your website traffic. When you share useful content, clients as well as prospects will “share” your post or tweets with their friends. This action will translate to more direct visits to your site. Just make sure the page you are using for your promotion has the right call to actions or message that will tell visitors what they need to do next.
Higher SEO Rankings
Social media also helps your organic rankings. Search engines are aware of active and real accounts linked to a specific domain name. Having an active account(s) with fresh content will help your positioning.
The importance of updating your website regularly cannot be overstated. Potential clients will be attracted to a site that is engaging and easily navigable .The three main elements that you need to concentrate on as you update your website are:
UPDATING THE SECURITY OF YOUR WEBSITE
In today’s world, security ought to be one of the main priorities for any business, regardless of its size. Instances of hacking and infiltration of sensitive data have become all too common. When this happens to your business, customers may lose trust and move to your competitors because they may think that the breach will occur again.
Select a website platform that is secure
One major reason for websites getting hacked is building them on a platform and structure that is vulnerable. Besides being an easy platform to use, WordPress stands out as one of the most secure platforms for any business site . It gets regular updates and redesigning your site is fairly easy. In addition, each update incorporates robust security features.
Before any release, all security vulnerabilities are highlighted and sealed before they can affect your website. But any site that uses older versions of WordPress is likely to be targeted by hackers who can penetrate through indirect access ways.
Go for a company that prioritizes website security
Ensure that the firm you select to build or host your site gives the security of your site the highest priority. You especially need to ensure that your website’s backend is properly configured in order to avert security breaches.
Your web-hosting company must be proactive when dealing with website security issues. Ask them how often they update the WordPress version you are using, and if they provide frequent data backup services. This simplifies the recovery and restoration process in case of any problems or data breaches.
REFRESHING THE CONTENT ON YOUR WEBSITE
Having website content that is updated can be beneficial to your business in several ways:
High quality content generates more user traffic
Maintaining web content that is updated frequently builds trust between your business and the clients. This means your clients will probably depend on your site when they are searching for useful information that pertains to your market or industry. In addition, it helps to boost the domain authority of your site when it comes to specific topics. Google puts a high premium on information that is well-researched and relevant when providing search results to users.
Having outdated content can give the impression that you do not keep abreast of the latest trends in your industry, and this will greatly damage your credibility.
Update keywords too
It is also useful to update the keywords in your website. You need to mention the keywords if there are webpages on your site that feature a particular topic .For instance if you are in the business of repairing air conditioners, there should be a page focusing on this on your website. You can also create particular pages for specific cities or markets .When you add new markets or new services, remember to update both the keywords and the content. Failure to do this means you will continue to get traffic only for the old services or markets, leaving out the new ones.
UPDATING THE DESIGN OF YOUR WEBSITE
A lot of businesses concentrate solely on internet and content marketing and forget to work on the navigation and design of their website. To ensure that you retain your customers while attracting new ones, always avoid having a site that has unattractive colors, tedious client contact forms and a hard-to-navigate design.
Mobile-optimized web design
Today, 60% of internet traffic originates from mobile devices such as Tablets, iPads, iPhones and Android phones. Consequently, you may lose over half of your potential clients if your site is not mobile-friendly and optimized for small screens.
Always focus on the target market
The design of a website should be focused on satisfying the customer’s needs. So the content must be engaging, easy to access and beneficial to the target customer. In addition, it should enable conversion of website visitors into clients. Since the dynamics of the target market can change as the business grows and you hire new workers or buy new business tools, ensure that you modify your website content appropriately.
We live in a dynamic environment where almost everything is continually being updated in the monthly basis. As a business owner, you need to have fresh and relevant content for your prospects as well as clients.
Almost 10 years ago, nearly everybody who was accessing the web was on a desk top computer. In 2006, only two screen sizes were responsible for 77% of all internet usage.
This trend has completely changed. According to a research study conducted by Mobify, today ten different screen sizes comprising of tablets, smartphones, web-enabled TVs, netbooks and laptops represent 77%t of total internet usage.
It is interesting to note that there is not a single screen size that commands more than 20% of the market share. Nowadays, when marketers are designing their websites ,they must take into account different types of gadgets accessing the internet,-from the budget-friendly Android devices to smart TVs and high-end iMacs.
A responsive and user-friendly mobile design will be the answer for a digital world where tablet and smartphone users demand an intuitive and feature-rich web experience that matches the one desktop computers. However, implementing responsive mobile design is not a silver bullet. It may resolve the problem of screen-size layout, but there are other fundamental problems with the responsive strategy that many marketers just flick through.
The following are some common blunders that could impact on your responsive mobile conversion:
Outsized, data-heavy images
Images represent a major responsive conversion problem. Since a website that is responsive utilizes one markup for various devices, it is crucial to make sure that only big, appealing images are loaded to Retina iPad displays whereas older smartphones get fast-loading images that have a low resolution .
For websites that have rich images, the problems start with mobile page speed because of the size of high-resolution images that are rendered to an inappropriate device. Furthermore, wasting valuable bandwidth when sending images to inappropriate devices is essentially like throwing money away.
Below are 3 methods for optimizing images for all resolutions and screen sizes:
Resizing images using imagemagick software to optimize their size.
Utilizing Lossy Compression in order to minimize the size of the image totally while at the same time retain depth.
By applying these hacks, you can increase your mobile conversion. This is because these hacks ensure that you can consistently convey the appropriate images to the appropriate devices.
2. Poor page-loading times
Web pages that have slow loading times are faced with a big problem because slow-loading pages make mobile users very annoyed. A normal retail mobile website in the US takes 6.9 seconds to load(by July 2016)
However, according to the study conducted by Akamai , 40% of users will leave a web page that takes over three seconds to load. In addition ,64% of online shoppers that are unhappywith their website will move to another site the next time they shop.
Web users are prone to getting exasperated if they are forced to wait for a long time in order to view your web page content. Jakob Nielsen, author of a book called Usability Engineering, says that people can tolerate a maximum of 10 seconds loading time before they abandon a page-but even a delay of a couple of seconds is sufficient to create a nasty experience for the user.
Several of the leading companies in the world recognize that the performance of their website is crucial and appreciating their users’ time can make them have a competitive edge in the market. This approach constitutes a major plank of Google’s commercial ideology.
The team in charge of design at Facebook noted that the company valued the time of their users more than anything else. In addition, the company understood that quicker experiences are more effective and feel more natural. Therefore users were not supposed to notice the performance of the website. The site needs to be as fast as the designers.
3. Integrating long forms in your website
Users do not like to fill out lengthy forms on standard desktop websites. But it becomes even more detestable if you have to enter a number of details using your thumbs on your mobile phone
Avoid incorporating long and tedious forms that force users to type a lot of stuff. Long forms discourage your users and also harm your conversion rates when they are used for any form of transaction. For example, Expedia lost 12 million dollars as a result of using an irrelevant form field that left their users confused.
On the other hand, HubSpot (A marketing automation solution) increased their conversion rates by 50% when they cut the number of form fields on their site from four to three. In regard to forms, shorter forms are always better- especially on mobile devices
4. Not paying attention to the user’s goal on your mobile site
Another frequent blunder that harms responsive mobile conversion is assuming that responsive design will solve all problems. Although having a responsive design solves a lot of mobile music user experience(UX) problems, it does not always take into account the goals of the user. Smartinsights.com notes that there is a 270% difference between mobile and desktop conversion rates . This is because people do not understand mobile websites.
When it comes to desktop computers, having a lot of words and long titles has an impact that is sometimes completely different to what happens in mobile devices. Additional text on a mobile device will obscure that page and discourage the user from attaining their goal- which is usually the call to action
Apart from the menu bar, you should always concentrate on helping your users to navigate through your webpage more easily, particularly the call to action buttons. As you are designing your website, keep the mobile user in mind and ensure that their journey across your website is much easier, focusing on your conversion rate.
Usage of mobile media is rising faster than TV, desktop , print and radio. Today, more people than ever are accessing the internet using mobile devices. It is therefore critical to design mobile websites that are easier and more comfortable to use. A website that is hard to navigate annoys mobile users- causing them to abandon your site and search for other sites.
If you fail to ensure that your website is really mobile-friendly, visitors to your site will decline to fill your forms, ditch their shopping cart, abandon your site and conduct business with your competitors. Naturally, this will end up having a negative effect on your conversion rate.
If you need any help redesigning your old site or creating a brand new website that will be compatible with all mobile devices, Let’s Talk!
Make your CTA pop out among the other standard CTAs—such as “Click Here.” Add some excitement with, as Forbes states, a CTA like “Yes, Take Me There!” The “Me” makes it more personal. Plus, the overall tone is energetic and exciting.
4. Make Your CTA Stand Out
Is your page mostly blue? Have your CTA—such as “Book a One-Way Charter Flight”— stand out by making it a different color. That way, when the reader visits your page, immediately his or her eyes will be drawn to the CTA. Enough said.
5. What You Put Next to Your CTA Matters
It is not just how your CTA looks or what it says that is important. You need to be aware of what you put around it.
According to Entrepreneur, social proof around your CTA—think testimonies and case studies—increases conversion rates.
Make sure though that the testimonies and case studies are genuine and speak to what your business offers its consumers.
Besides these tips, consider using A/B split testing software to get data on what works for your CTA and what doesn’t.
What other tips do you have that helps businesses boost their CTA creation strategy? What has your experience been using CTAs? Do you believe CTA trends have changed? Be sure to leave a comment below.
Ashley is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.
Despite the many ways Google has changed the search game over the last five years, one truth remains: content is the vehicle that drives your consumer interactions, engagements, experiences and, ultimately, conversions. However, only 41% of marketers think their organization is clear on what an effective or successful content marketing program looks like, according to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI).
Marketers aren’t just lacking confidence in their efforts; these are real and measurable deficits. In fact, only 20% of B2C and 50% of B2B content earns any engagement at all. That’s a lot of wasted effort and resources invested in content that ends up just floating around the web, winning zero business benefit for its creators.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at content through the SMART lens. SMART is a goal-setting framework in which S stands for Specific, M for measurable, A for achievable, R for relevant and T for timely. Below is my variation that explains how to apply search engine optimization (SEO) to your content within a SMART framework, giving you 14 concrete ways to make your marketing more effective and to win you more business.
S — Specific content wins every time. Content is not about what your marketing team wants to say. It is about providing insight and information that your audience actually wants to hear.
SMART content is designed for a specific audience, based on your understanding of their needs, preferences and intent.
1. Get to know your audiences
There’s much more to this than keyword research. Where do your consumers live online? What’s their intent when performing certain types of searches or engaging your brand in social? What action are they most likely to take at that point? Understanding the audience you’re writing for is the foundation on which SMART content is built.
2. Discover opportunities through topical research
How well do you understand the competitive environment in the verticals for which you’re creating content? Today, you’re competing for eyes and clicks. Your competitors may be other companies, but you could be competing for space in the SERPs against media brands, bloggers, influencers and more. Without that bigger-picture, bird’s-eye view of relevant search and social spaces, you’re flying blind.
Evaluating the content gaps not covered by your competition provides you with opportunities to create engaging content that speaks to people in the key moments that matter.
3. Choose content formats wisely
Which media will you incorporate to best illustrate your message, engage your audience and reach people across platforms? Don’t limit yourself; a single piece of content can incorporate several types of media, including socially shareable images, quick video clips and embedded media, like SlideShares. This gives you various ways to convey your message, but it also allows you to appear in different types of search results (like Google Images) and on different search platforms (like YouTube or SlideShare’s internal search), as well.
M — Measurable content delivers on the metrics that matter
Content marketers are getting better at proving the business value of their activities. Just two years ago, only 21% of B2B marketing respondents to CMI’s annual content marketing survey said they were successful at tracking ROI. Now, in 2017:
• 72% are measuring their content marketing ROI. • 51% are using a measurement plan to provide both insight and progress toward the business goals. • 79% are using analytics tools.
4. Choose metrics that matter and align with your business goals.
Which KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) tell the true story of your content’s success? Ideally, you’re going to measure your content’s performance through the entire funnel, right from lead generation and audience-building to nurturing, conversion, sales and right on through post-sales to retention and evangelism. Site traffic, lead quality, social shares, time on site and conversion rates are among the top metrics used by B2B marketers to determine content success. Priorities are similar for B2C marketers.
5. Make search engine optimization a core component of content creation.
Improve your visibility and key metrics like engagement, time on site, sharing and conversions with strategic content optimization. Apply readability standards and optimize title tags, meta descriptions, subheadings, images and text in line with current SEO standards. Keep visitors clicking and engaged with smart internal linking that both improves user experience and resurfaces your most popular, highest-converting content.
6. Accelerate with automation.
Machine learning is growing in importance in search, especially where data sets are large and dynamic. Identifying patterns in data in real time makes machine learning a great asset to understand changes in your customer base, competitor landscape or the overall market. Ideally, your content automation system will include reporting to tell you not only how each piece is performing but also make recommendations to help you focus on your most valuable opportunities. Automation allows you to manage routine tasks with less effort so that you can focus on high-impact activities and accomplish business goals at scale.
A — Actionable content is always on & ready for activation
By actionable content, I mean that which is ready to answers users’ questions but also is valuable way beyond the initial period of promotion after publishing.
7. Empower your content creators with technical SEO support.
Last month, I wrote about the importance of balancing technical and non-technical SEO within your organization. If you want your content to perform its best, you need to support your creative team with a technically sound, optimized online presence. Site structure and hierarchy, meta data, mobile readiness, internal linking, site speed, coding errors and other technical SEO factors can all affect your content’s ability to rank. Further, they can affect readers’ ability to access and enjoy the content and then take next steps. Get your technical and non-technical SEO in order to set your content team up for success.
8. Optimize for activation across multiple channels.
Search engine marketing is the second-most commonly used paid content promotion tactic, next only to social advertising. Push your content to social channels like Twitter and Facebook, but don’t forget other channels like LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. Ideally, you’re going to have some understanding of your audience on each platform and which channels will be most receptive to each new piece. Make sure you’re optimizing your social posts for the platform on which you’re posting — cutting and pasting the same post across all channels doesn’t cut it. R — Resonate with content promotion in relevant channels
Even if you build it, they will not come until attracted. The competition for eyes and minds is fierce; increase the efficacy of your organic efforts and promotional spend by targeting the right people in the right places at the right time.
9. Amplify in social channels for early traction.
Low spend minimums on channels like Twitter and Facebook make it affordable to run experiments against different audience segments and see where your content resonates best. Plus, that initial boost of activity gives your content authority and appeals to the social networks’ ranking algorithms, helping you get more organic reach. If you are tracking and measuring correctly, you can see which audiences are not only engaged, but converting. That’s where you want to allocate your content-promotion budget, rather than having some predetermined amount of spend per channel that runs its course regardless of performance for each piece.
10. Syndicate and use paid promotion to reach targeted audiences outside your existing network.
Syndication takes content you’ve already published on your site and republishes it elsewhere, exposing you to another publication’s audience. You might be able to find organic syndication opportunities, and there are plenty of paid syndication services like Outbrain, Taboola or Zemanta. If you’re looking at large-scale syndication, read Danny Sullivan’s caution on using links in syndicated pieces first to stay on the right side of Google.
11. Don’t forget email!
Your consumers want to hear from you. In fact, 86% want to receive emails at least monthly from companies they deal with, a MarketingSherpa survey found in 2015. Make your call to action (CTA) to click through and read the content crystal-clear. Avoid placing competing CTAs in your email, and resist the urge to try to sell in every communication. Your content is designed to do the work of helping them take the next logical step.
T — Tangible business results are derived from SMART content
KPIs like social interactions and site visits give you a great idea of how well your content performs in search and social, but you need tangible business results to prove value.
12. Make content profitable with CTAs that drive performance.
What action would you like readers to take? Which of your site’s conversion pages is currently converting best and generating the highest-quality leads? These insights will help guide your CTA selection, but remember, your CTAs should also match the consumer intent you’re targeting with each piece. Don’t forget to include embedded performance tracking for both site traffic and conversions.
13. Incorporate elements that support multiple business functions.
Make your content multidimensional with elements to build brand authority, inspire or educate on product (or service), encourage engagement and more. Incorporate testimonials into your content, where they can serve the purpose of providing social validation within the context of an existing consumer experience. Develop author personas to give your content greater authority and build the profiles of key employees and executives.
14. Improve ROI with ongoing content management and optimization.
How much content does your organization have sitting on-site and around the web? Each piece is an opportunity for ongoing traffic and lead generation, but only if it’s kept in line with constantly changing SEO standards. Updating your entire catalogue of content every time Google releases an update would be a task so astronomical in scope that it’s not even worth considering doing manually.
Bringing it all together Intelligent marketers are beginning to move the needle on content performance by embracing SEO and content as one. While it is true that both disciplines have high degrees of specialization (for example, technical SEO or branded content), the most prolific and tangible results come from a combination of both.
Considering the fact that the market is saturated and that owning a business has never been more challenging, small companies need to keep themselves updated on the subject of recent trends. By doing so, small business owners can make informed decisions about where the future of their team lies.
Well, if you’re reading about the news regarding the latest tools, plugins, and website trends in general, I’m sure you’ve encountered the term “live chat”. However, and like with making any other decision business-wise, it’s always smart to explore all the advantages before you actually implement a novelty to the way you do business. Therefore, you should learn about the benefits that come with introducing live chat to your website.
Provides Customer Convenience
Everything about your online business card – your website – needs to be according to the needs and wants of your audience. In addition, every improvement and every new trend that appears is based exactly on that – to provide convenience to your customers.
Live chat is a powerful communication channel. Within seconds, a random visitor or your loyal customer, can get in touch with you and ask for help. Via live chat, you can enable your visitors with an option to chat with you, give you a call, and even make a video call. This kind of diversity will be highly appreciated; different customers have their own preferences about what kind of communication they want to establish.
Being a three-in-one communication channel (because it provides chat, call, and video call options), introducing live chat will cut down your expenses. There is no need to have separate channels and have a call center as well.
And another thing – when you add a live chat bar to your website, you don’t have to hire new people because every employee in your team can become a chat agent. With short but efficient training, you’ll just need to give them directions on how to talk to visitors and anyone in the office can answer a new message as it arrives.
A small business needs to direct most of their workforce to find new ways to increase sales. Other than various advertising methods which I’m sure you’re constantly testing, you should know that live chat can do that for you.
When a visitor is browsing through your pages and they encounter a product or a service which isn’t clear in its approach, they can easily get first-hand information from experienced professionals – your team members. Not only will they memorize your brand because of the assistance you’re able to provide, but your team can also invest efforts into cross-selling and upselling as well.
Another interesting feature of live chat is that a returning visitor can ask for one of your employees if they have any preferences and, chances are that they will. This is just another way to spread out your circle of loyal customers and make personal connections with your visitors which is always highly appreciated.
Stay ahead of Your Competition
As mentioned before, the market is saturated and no matter your business niche, it’s necessary that you do your best to stand out from the sea of similar businesses. Your content needs to be original, your approach to the way you do business needs to be unique, and – you need to have a live chat.
By providing your visitor with a highly functioning communications medium, maintaining a high response rate and giving professional assistance for any problem that may appear, you will be able to gather more customers who will return to your brand.
Naturally, for this to happen, a learning curve will be necessary. Your support agents will need to go through short but efficient training in order to be capable of communicating with your visitors. However, another great thing about live chat is that your agents can complement each other. If a dedicated agent receives a question that’s beyond their area of expertise, they can just direct a potential customer to one of their colleagues.
Enables Quality Improvement in products and services
It’s necessary for a small business to constantly improve their list of products or services and bring them to perfection. For this to happen, it’s a must to conduct thorough researches which are time-taking and require additional analysis afterwards.
With live chat, your team will be able to gather precise data first-hand. While talking to your target audience directly, you’ll be able to notice a pattern and see which questions are repetitive or which item on your website has a purpose that’s unclear to your visitors.
When you have all of this data in your hands, it will be easier for your company to improve the products or services. Customizing your offer according to your target audience will definitely increase your sales and enable you to attract more visitors.
Live chat is a tool that should be present in the toolbox of every aspiring small business. Live chats are cost-effective, they are more than convenient to your visitors, and they can enable you to improve your offer. All of this combined will definitely have a positive effect on your whole business and increase your sales significantly. After a short adjustment period and a necessary learning curve, your employees will become capable support agents. Your business will flourish and prosper, and you’ll be able to work on your expansion.
Jason is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Chat. He enjoys writing about emerging customer support products, trends in customer support industry and the financial impacts of using such tools. In his spare time, Jason likes traveling extensively to learn about new cultures and traditions.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action — be that filling out a form, becoming customers, or otherwise. The CRO process involves understanding how users move through your site, what actions they take, and what’s stopping them from completing your goals.
What is a conversion?
A conversion is the general term for a visitor completing a site goal. Goals come in many shapes and sizes. If you use your website to sell products, the primary goal (known as the macro-conversion) is for the user to make a purchase. There are smaller conversions that can happen before a user completes a macro-conversion, such as signing up to receive emails. These are called micro-conversions.
Examples of conversions
Purchasing a product from the site
Requesting a quote
Subscribing to a service
Examples of micro-conversions:
Signing up for email lists
Creating an account
Adding a product to the cart
What is a conversion rate?
Your site’s conversion rate is the number of times a user completes a goal divided by your site traffic. If a user can convert in each visit (such as by buying a product), divide the number of conversions by the number of sessions (the number of unique times a user came to your site). If you sell a subscription, divide the number of conversions by the number of users.
Conversion rate optimization happens after the visit makes it to your site. This is different from conversion optimization for SEO or paid ads which focuses on who clicks through to your site from the organic search results, how many clicks you get, and which keywords are driving traffic.
How to Calculate Conversion Rate
If a user can convert each time they visit the site:
Imagine we own an ecommerce site — Roger’s Robotics. A user could make a new purchase each session. We want to optimize so they make as many purchases as possible. If a user visited the site three times, that would be three sessions — and three opportunities to convert.
Let’s closer at our user’s three sessions and how they behaved:
Session 1: No conversion — user was familiarizing themselves with the site and poking around.
Session 2: User bought a shiny new antenna. This is a conversion!
Session 3: User came back and bought a new set of gears and a blinking light — another conversion! Even though they bought two items, this is a single unique order and thus counts as a single conversion.
To figure out our conversion rate, we would take the number of unique purchase orders and divide it by the total number of sessions.
To find out the conversion rate for your site, you’ll look at all unique orders divided the total number of sessions.
Calculating Conversion Rate by Sessions:
If a user can only convert once
Now imagine we owned a second site — Roger’s Monthly Gear Box. Our site sells a subscription for a monthly delivery of robot parts. A user could come back multiple times, but once they purchase a subscription, they won’t convert again.
Let’s look at an example user’s behavior:
Session 1: User came to the site for the first time to explore the service. No conversion.
Session 2: User subscribed to our monthly GearBox service– this is our conversion!
Session 3: User came back to read blog articles and poke around.
Our user here can’t convert each time they visit the site. So instead of looking at the number of sessions, we need to measure conversion success by the number of visitors. To figure out our website’s conversion rate, we would take the number of unique orders and divide it by the number of unique users.
5 Ways CRO benefits SEOs
While not necessarily directly related to attracting organic website traffic or ranking on a search engine results page (SERP), conversion rate optimization has distinct benefits for SEO. Those include:
Improved customer insights. Conversion rate optimization can help you better understand your key audience and find what language or messaging best speaks to their needs. Conversion rate optimization looks at finding the right customers for your business. Acquiring more people doesn’t do your business any good if they’re not the right kind of people!
Better ROI: Higher conversion rate means making more of the resources you have. By studying how to get the most out of your acquisition efforts, you’ll get more conversions without having to bring in more potential customers.
Better scalability: While your audience size may not scale as your business grows, CRO lets you grow without running out of resources and prospective customers. Audiences aren’t infinite. By turning more browsers into buyers, you’ll be able to grow your business without running out of potential customers.
Better user experience: When users feel smart and sophisticated on your website, they tend to stick around. CRO studies what works on your site. By taking what works and expanding on it, you’ll make a better user experience. Users who feel empowered by your site will engage with it more — and some may even become evangelists for your brand.
Enhanced trust: In order for a user to share their credit card, email, or any sort of personal information, they have to genuinely trust the site. Your website is your number-one sales person. Just like an internal sales team, your site needs to be professional, courteous, and ready to answer all of your customers’ questions.
The Key to Successful Optimization
In order to optimize for conversion rates, you have to know where, what to optimize, and who to optimize for. This information is the cornerstone to successful CRO strategies.
If you don’t gather data, then you’re left making changes based on gut feelings alone. Guts are awesome! But making decisions on just gut feelings instead of rooting assumptions in data can be a waste of time and money.
The Analytics Method
This method, also known as quantitative data analysis, gives you hard numbers behind how people actually behave on your site. Start with a solid web analytics platform, such as Google Analytics. Next, add tracking for your conversions.
Using analytics-based CRO can answer important questions about how users engage with your site. Quantitative analysis provides information like:
Where people enter your site, i.e., which webpage they land on first
Which features they engage with, i.e., where on a page or within your site do they spend their time
What channel and referrer brought them in, i.e., where they found and clicked on a link to your site
What devices and browsers they use
Who your customers are (age, demographic, and interest)
Where users abandon your conversion funnel, i.e., where or during what activity do users leave your site
This information will let you know where to focus your efforts. By putting your effort into the pages most engaged with and valuable to your users, you’ll see the largest impact.
The People Method
Doing your quantitative analysis first is especially valuable if you have a large site with diverse content as it lets you know, from a numbers perspective, where to focus your efforts. But now that you know how users interact with your site, you can look into the “why” behind their behavior.
This people-focused method, known as qualitative data analysis, is more subjective. You’ll need the quantitative data discussed above to identify who you should be asking. You can’t optimize for all users, so optimize for your ideal user — that is, the user it’s most important to have as a customer.
Ways to get this data:
Qualitative analysis helps optimize for conversions by providing information about users such as:
Why did they engage? Why did they originally decide to visit your site or navigate to a specific page? What about the page or product appealed to them?
What do they think your site offers that makes you different from competitors? Is there a feature or service offered by your company that makes buying from you a better experience?
What words they use to describe your products, services, and the pain points they address? How would they describe your product or service to a friend? In essence, how do they talk about what you do?
There are certain things that raw data alone can’t tell you about what brought a user to your site or how to make their experience better. But when you combine this information with your analytics data, you can gain a much better understanding of the pages on your site that present the best opportunities to optimize and engage the audience you’d like to target.
The Bad Method
This comes in many forms. Some not-so-effective CRO methods include:
Guesses, hunches, and gut feelings
Doing it because your competitor is doing it
Executing changes based on the highest paid person’s opinion
All these examples have something in common: they’re not data-based and might as well be random shots in the dark. It’s better to spend the time gathering and analyzing the data so you can create meaningful tests based on clear insights. Nobody loves running tests that fail.
It’s true that you will need to make some changes to your internet marketing strategy in 2017, but in general things will remain the same. For instance, it’s still vital that you engage with your audience on social media, but don’t forget about offering high quality customer support as well. However, this year you should expect certain upgrades to the usual internet techniques. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the way you can take the most of these platforms to increase revenue in 2017.
Top 4 ways you should use to revamp your social media strategy
1. Make the most of messaging
Excellent customer support is highly recommended if you want to develop a loyal customer base. Aside from free shipping and money back guarantees, you should also tap into social media as a client care channel.
Based on research from JD Power, it seems that 67% of consumers visit websites such as Facebook and Twitter for customer care. Meanwhile, Nielsen reported that thirty three percent consumers would like to be able to contact brands via social media instead of via phone. However, the truth is that engaging customers via social media is time consuming and also difficult. For example, on Facebook it would take a long time to sift through the comments to check for complaints or suggestions. To make this easier, using a messenger application is highly recommended. This way, you can easily engage with clients 1 on 1. If you want, you can also use emoticons to suite every client personality and taste.
If you want to also save time on repetitive actions, then you can easily automate tedious responses using messenger bots. For instance, you can add an automatic greeting when someone engages you. Some brands already use this technique, including 1800 Flowers and Whole Foods Market.
2. Paid content should be used alongside Search Engine Optimization
This year content marketing will grow even more. This means you need to continue producing high quality video and text content. To boost distribution, you may also want to leverage paid content. What’s great about paid content these days is that it’s more tailored to the platforms where they’re advertised and specifically targeted towards user preferences. We generally recommend paid content to startups and small local businesses, but at the same time it’s also great for seasonal campaigns.
3. Experiment with new social media features
Updates will certainly be launched at least 1 a year and that’s because social media is quite dynamic. These updates will of course make the whole experience that much better for both customer and brand. As a company, you should make the most of them by finding a way to leverage them to engage with your clients.
For example, if you’re on Instagram, then you can use the Stories feature to promote gorgeous full screen ads.
Therefore, if you’re active on a social media platform, we highly recommend that you explore it and learn more about each and every function it offers. Try to learn more about them and include them in your marketing strategy. Soon enough, you’ll be rewarded for your effort with a great increase in loyal customers.
4. Active interaction is very important
Customer engagement is a vital part of any successful social media strategy. If users don’t interact with your posts or content, then it may be due to the fact that you’re making some mistakes.
Check out your platform’s analytics and see what the numbers say. You need to analyze the pattern and then come up with ways to improve your marketing strategy. You should also check the response rate and how long it takes you to respond to customer comments, complaints, and questions. If you’re very responsive, then your engagement rate will also be very high.
Approximately 81% of medium sized and small businesses are currently using social media for growth and sales and you should also do the same. Not only do we recommend you set up accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but you also need to learn more about how to leverage them to improve your reputation, client engagement, customer satisfaction, and bottom line. Before using a social media strategy for your company, always ask yourself whether it will provide any value. If the answer is no, then change it. If the answer is yes though, then work harder to make your methods even more effective. After all, it’s 2017 so you need to be smarter about using social media to grow your business.
BENEFITS OF RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN or (Business tips to increase online sales)
Benefits of Responsive Web Design or (Business tips to increase online sales)
Since more and more people use their tablets and smartphonesin order to browse the internet, it’s become essential to create mobile friendly websites to reach that market. After being launched in early 2012, Responsive Web Design (RWD) is now considered one of the best ways to create mobile friendly websites. With smartphones taking up a majority of the market (198.5 million users in the US) online businesses need to adapt in order to grown their customer base and stay profitable.
To put it differently, responsive web design means the pages of a website will reformat themselves based on the type of device the user considers in order to access it. So whether you access a RWD website via a tablet, Smartphone or using your PC or laptop, the website is going to stay user friendly. So why did this create such a splash in the web industry? Well, it’s because this is very different from previous mobile solutions of creating a dynamically served mobile website or a separate mobile website. But what about search engine optimization (SEO)? Can such websites rank better in the search engine results pages? Well, the answer is yesand below I am going to share the benefits of having one:
Google Loves Responsiveness
According to Google, if you have a website and you would like to impress your users, (as well as Google), then you need to ensure that it has a responsive structure. This is because these websites will automatically format their pagesin order to ensure that the pages are displayed properly no matter if viewed on your tablet or on your phone screen. While this all sounds great, there are still people that are debating whether a single responsive website or a separate mobile website is the best way to go but when it comes to search engine optimization though, having a single responsive website is the better option. Also, while separate mobile websites feature different HTML and have their own URL compared to their desktop counterparts, responsive websites make use of a single URL and a single set of files and pages, meaning that Google is going to have an easier time crawling and indexing your content. This structure will help you achieve better rankings not just in Google, but also in Yahoo and Bing. While 75% of the traffic comes from Google, Yahoo and Bing represent 25% of the web traffic out there and that’s something we don’t want to ignore.
One Website, One URL
It’s also true that building a separate mobile website does come with its own set of pros and in certain cases, creating a separate mobile version is a great idea. However, if you have a website that has a lot of content on it, then its more responsive variant could soon become the scrolling version, meaning that visitors and also users will have quite a hard time navigating through the content. As you can very well gauge, this is a big problem, but not one that you could not solve with a mobile website. With such websites, content has been carefully optimized for mobile browsing and that’s going to be much appreciated by your visitors and users.
From a search engine optimization perspective, one of the greatest challenges of having a different mobile website is that you’ll have to put in a lot of work in order to increase this website’s authority. What’s worse is that the majority of mobile websites don’t rank well in the search engine result page’s (SERPs) and that’s due to the fact that they’re inferior to their desktop counterparts. If you want though, you may choose to redesign your website and make it extremely responsive and by doing so you can also get to maintain your backlinks. Because of that, you’ll be able to focus your search engine optimization efforts on a single website. In addition, all of your backlinks will point to one URL and that will boost your Google rankings. On top of that, if your website is responsive, it’s possible to create social shares for a single page (service or product), this will enable mobile users to share your content with their friends, regardless of where the link is viewed (desktop computer, tablet or mobile device) the content will be simple to navigate and clear.
Responsive Helps Combat a High Bounce Rate
Even if a website ranks well, if it does not work as it should for tablet and mobile users, then you’re going to have a big problem with bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page). If the content you offer is minimal or very different from the one offered by the desktop website, then mobile web sites can suffer from a high bounce rate. When this occurs, Google will take the high bounce rate as a sign that that specific website provides irrelevant contentto users and therefore lower its rankings. The good news is that this problem is easily combated by a website that’s been responsively designed by presenting the same content found on a desktop website in a functional way. With responsive website design, there’s no room for compromise when it comes to the content you want to display. As a result, your users will be provided the info they need every single time they access your website.
Boost sales and conversion rates
With mobile shopping and searches becoming increasingly popular, business owners can increase sales by having a site that’s easy to access and interact with. Besides having rankings in Google, customer’s interaction is the 2nd most critical component for a successful online campaign. We need to make sure that mobile users can get to the pages YOU want them to see first. In other words, YOU have to tell them what they need to do next. The main goal is to have the right “call to action” or “marketing message” to let them know why they should contact you and purchase your service/products. Keep in mind that you have about 5 seconds to convey this message, so your “sales pitch” has to be effective. Once we have their attention and the user goes to the contact page, the contact form needs to be short. Too many text fields on a form will increase your bounce rate for that specific page. In other words, prospects could leave your site if your form is too long or complicated to submit.
If you want your business to stay profitable you need to adapt. Targeting mobile users its not a choice anymore, its a must!
Before any SEO implementation to your website pages, we first need to find the keywords or phrases you are going to target by using the Google Adwords keyword planner tool. This software will allow you to see how many searches are been done in the monthly basis for the services or products you are offering. Once you have the list of terms or phrases you want to target , we are going to use the homepage to go after the most competitive phrase. Please keep in mind that some rankings can take up to 4 or 6 months to achieve, others can take longer. I had an interesting experience with a client 5 years ago. We decided to go after a phrase that was getting 18,000 searches per month in Google, it took nearly 14 months to get a #2 ranking, but this phrase brought close to 7,000 visitors per month. This client sold a product that was going for $299 dollars, shopping cart conversion was 3%, monthly orders for that specific phrase, 210, that translated to $62,790 dollars just for one phrase. Not bad at all, right?
So keep that in mind when choosing the phrases you are targeting. If you can afford to wait 10 to 12 months to get a competitive ranking, go for it. But if time is a concern, optimize for less popular keywords, you will get less traffic but you will start getting orders in less than 60 days.
Now that we know which keywords we will be using for the homepage, we are going to add this phrase to your homepage’s title tag. For this example, I will be using the phrase “baseball bats” which is very competitive as well as expensive if you were looking to purchase via Google adwords. So here it is:
Wholesale baseball bats | Baseball Depot Store
Did you notice that I didn’t place the main phrase “baseball bats” in the beginning of the title? This is because everyone out there going after the same keyword phrase already did that. So we need to try to be unique, different. You will get this ranking eventually as long as you have good quality content and plenty external links pointing to you. If you are running WordPress and your website has an image slider functionality, make sure that the images are supporting your keyword phrase. So for this specific example, I will use the following names for my slider images:
By doing this, we are adding our main phrase again to the page content, since is now part of the HTML/PHP code.
Please stay away from Flash. If you want a cool slider with transition effects and the ability to add TEXT, you can now accomplish this by using a jQuery plugin. The NIVO slider plugin is a good option since the packed version is only 15KB.
Now for the content we are going to use an H1 tag for the heading of the paragraph. In this case, let’s add our phrase again but also let’s include additional keywords that will support the main phrase and increase the page keyword density, Here we go:
Welcome to Baseball Depot – Adult and Children Bats
Wholesale Baseball Bats by Baseball Depot
For the rest of the content, let’s add at least 800 words that will describe your product or service. Make sure to write for HUMANS and not the search engines. Your content has to be good to keep your visitors on your site for at least 25 seconds. This will help you lower your bounce rate which is an important metric in google analytics. Google uses this data to see if your content and website are relevant for the keyword we are targeting, the lower the bounce rate, the better chances you have to get a decent ranking.
Make sure to create “hyperlinks” within the home page content to your internal pages. Create links for your top categories, products or services. This will increase your internal link popularity and take some of that “link juice” or pagerank from the homepage and pass it to the other pages. This will also accelerate the indexing process.
If you have articles or testimonials, make sure to include them under this content and create hyperlinks for visitors to read the entire article or see the entire testimonials page. Use an H2 or H3 for the headings on these sections.
If you are running wordpress, make sure to add at least 3 columns to your footer using the widget tool and list your most important categories or services pages as well as your address, a Google map and business hours.
The last thing I want to mention on this TOPIC , is to try to keep your homepage under 2MB (megabytes) so that it loads faster for visitors as well as the search engines. Don’t forget to add your Marketing message or call to action, to the homepage. You need to tell your prospects, why are you the best or why they should buy from you.
Bounce rate is probably one of the most undervalued and underestimated metrics of any website’s search engine optimization campaign. But what is bounce rate and why is it so essential? Well, that’s certainly a very interesting question to ask and unfortunately, Google doesn’t really help you answer it.
Therefore, the first thing we need to do is explain what bounce means in search engine optimization terms. So a bounce is basically when someone uses Google in order to look for a product or service online, finds your website, clicks on it and then clicks the “Back” button on his/her browser in order to get back to the original Google search engine results page. While to some people this may sound like something very complicated, in truth it’s not.
Why Does Bounce Rate Matter?
Google interprets the actions of everyone that uses their search engine, on a very large scale. Since there are billions of searches performed every day on Google, it’s safe to say that there’s a tremendous amount of data that people are looking for and because of that, the search engine giant makes various assumptions about websites and users that some may even think are impossible.
It does these things to ensure that users eventually find what they’re looking for. For instance, Google is fully aware of the fact that knives are indeed associated with swords. While as a human that conclusion is very easy to get to, for a robot like Google, that can be very difficult to grasp. In Google’s case, it has seen thousands of internet pages with the KW “knives” and it also detected that a great percentage of those internet pages also list the keyword “swords”. Because of that, in Google’s eyes, swords and knives are related.
In the same key, let’s picture a website that Google ranks on the 1st page for a specific keyword. As we all know, everyone wants to see their website on the first page of Google’s SERP. Now let’s consider that this website that ranks on the first page of Google receives a lot of traffic, yet a lot of that traffic leaves the website in five seconds or even sooner. To Google, that website isn’t that great or valuable because 95% of the people that clicked on it will leave in five seconds or sooner. So what can a website, in this case, gain in those five seconds or less? Everything about the traffic the website receives is carefully recorded by Google and in the end, Google will choose not to rank that website high for long and that’s because its goal is to offer the top ten search results for websites with relevant content.
How Does Google Measure a Bounce?
There is currently no information about the way Google measures a bounce. Our assumptions have been detailed above, yet it’s obvious that they aren’t perfect nor concrete. We’re actually continuously researching and trying to learn more about the topic, so this is a work in progress. The number one reason why Google doesn’t tell us how they calculate bounce rate is because if they were to reveal their secret, everyone would trick Google into thinking that their website has o% bounce rate.
How Can I Minimize My Sites Bounce Rate?
Minimizing your website’s bounce rate can be both easy and difficult and that’s because no 2 websites are the same. For example, an e-commerce website is much different from a service related website or a blog website. Our theories regarding bounce rate suggest that this rate is calculated differently depending on the type of website we’re talking about. So yes, if you had a hunch about it, you’re right: Google takes footprints into account and it also categorizes websites. The reason it needs to do so is because searchers can at times be pretty vague with their queries.
One thing you could do though in order to lower your bounce rate is to make sure that you build your websites for people and not for the search engines. This is exactly what a seasoned SEO company can help you with.
It’s actually very simple, but only if it’s performed by experienced internet marketers and SEO professionals.When coming up with a website, always try to emphasize with your audience and then put yourself in their shoes. What would you like to see on a website you’ve just clicked on to find the answer to your question? By establishing and delivering the message right away, not only will your bounce rate decrease, but you’re also going to rank a lot higher in Google.
We’re once again witnessing great changes in the SEO landscape and in 2016there are quite a few ranking factors that Google has decided to leave behind. According to HubSpot, SEO is going to be completely different from what it is now in the next 5 years and marketers will have no choice but to adapt. However, this time, the changes Google made to their algorithm will force marketersto come up with completely new strategies. So with that being said, let’s take a closer look at these changes and how they’re going to affect you.
Mobile Internet Browsing is King
According to ComScore, last year mobile online browsing surpassed desktop browsing by a massive sixty percent. Because of that, you need to ensure that your website is properly optimized for all screen sizes. In fact, Google even released an algorithm last springwhich penalizes websitesthat haven’t been optimized for mobile browsing. Even better news is the fact that based on info from a Forrester report, the majority of people are spending money in apps. Because of that, SEO marketers may need to greatly change their strategies. Namely, a great increase in in-app content and a lot more marketers linking to certain pages within applications.
Rich Answers are Gaining More Traction
Google is doing everything they can in order to improve their search. Thanks to its Rich Answers feature, they can easily answer search queries instead of just offering users a list of top sources that they can choose from.
Since 2 years ago, Rich Answers gained more traction in both utilization and offering. They basically offer answers to questions by way of:
Tables or charts.
Answers generated by Google.
Feature excerpts (pulled from third party websites).
For marketers, this translates into the fact that audiences aren’t actually required to analyze the search rankings in order to find what they require. However, if you want an in-depth answer, then you’ll need to do that.
In 2016, having your content indexed in rich answers should be a priority. While getting recognized as a source for information is not going to be easy, it is indeed possible. Better yet, you can also improve your website traffic if you decide to get the feature snippet spot.
Personal Assistants and Voice Search Have a Great Impact on SEO
A great driver behind changes in search engine optimization are personal assistants (voice activated), especially due to the fact that technology has now matured enough to allow for more accuracy. This means that instead of typing what you are looking for, you can just use your voice to do that.
Thanks to this option, you can search anything, anywhere and anytime. Better yet, these search assistants can deliver more accurate results by using your prior context and search history. For instance, if you’re buying clothes from the same online store and use voice activated personal assistants, then you may be provided with your favorite retailer as a top search results.
Lastly, it’s important to mention that there’s a lot more emphasis on local search engine optimization when using voice search. In general, people that use this type of search are in a rush and since they mostly want to find a nearby location, this is definitely going to become an important asset for any business that wants to rank in these queries.
Social is Becoming More and More Important
You probably noticed by now that when you click an article in Facebook that the article is going to remain in-app.You won’t be routed to the websitewhere the original article was posted on anymore. In this regard, it seems that Twitter is adopting the same strategy. This is going to greatly impact SEO and that’s because you won’t get traffic from social media anymore. To actually increase your SEO ranking, you’ll need to get more social signals, including mentions, comments, shares and likes.
But long-form content isn’t where Facebook stopped either. In fact, it decided to add a search feature that gains Google about three point five billion searches per day, instead of 1.5 billion. This is a very good stimulus for marketers to focus more on social media.
How Will SEO Stay the Same?
Do you feel like SEO completely changed in 2016? Well, it’s not really like that. There are a few things that will stay the same, as following:
Content is Still King
You’re probably used to this, but we’re going to reiterate the fact that content is still king. However, since the market is getting saturated, length starts to become a lot more important. Since Google and its algorithms can interpret meaning a lot better than before and with earned media and social sharing becoming more important, you need to ensure that your content is share worthy in order to make an impact on your website’s ranking.
Videos are Becoming More and More Important
Video marketing is becoming even more popular and the search engines seem to love them. In fact, compared to text, video is about fifty times more likely to get organic page ranks via Google. This piece of information should be enough for you to make some pretty effective changes to your SEO strategy for this year.
User Experience is Still Top Priority
We spoke a lot about SEO, but user experience is still essential for ranking and even Google agrees with that. Because of that, they are paying a lot more attention to page layout and the landing page experience, too.
According to UX experts, it’s a lot more important to understand your users than Google’s algorithms. That’s because doing so, you have a much higher chance of getting more organic traffic, distribution and sharing.
In Conclusion: Learn How You’re Searched If You Want To Be Found
It’s very clear for a lot of people that technology is changing a lot and it directly impacts the way we engage with others. This is especially true when it comes to the way users interact with the info at their fingertips and their devices. And since Google’s algorithms are leading the revolution, you need to learn how to adapt in this never-ending race in order to make sure you don’t lag behind.
Should businesses start thinking of a new location marketing strategy in 2016? Since more than fifty percent of computing is currently done on mobile devices, location marketing should be very important for every marketer in the new year. The strength of mobile and the ever increasing strategic value of location data are going to transform local marketing forever. So with that in mind, below we’re going to take a closer look at the top 6 trends that are changing the local marketing landscape this year.
1. Local Marketing Will Fully Rely On Location Data
For a very long time, businesses have treated location info, including phone numbers, addresses and also their names as a great passive asset that shields their brands. The way it goes is that if a company keeps its location info accurate, then it’s going to be easier for it to get more clients.
However, many brands are starting to realize that publishers like Foursquare and Apple, but also data aggregators like Localeze can be excellent partners that can boost location data across the internet world where clients search, live and buy.
Because of that, many businesses today have a new goal: to ensure that their data is more accessible by making it available through major aggregators and publishers, but also select vertical market platforms.
Based on research from SIM Partners, companies that managed to boost the reach and accuracy of their location data by just twenty percent experienced a four hundred and fifty percent increase in traffic to their location pages, while their on-page action conversion rates increased by two hundred and sixteen percent.
2. Local Search Is A Priority For Google
Google stating that local knowledge graph results are soon going to be editable, releasing a Google My Business Application Program Interface and adding local search to their SQRG all signal the fact that local search is currently very important for Google.
Also, the drop of local business data from Google Plus may just be one of the many such disruptions to follow in the local search space.
3. Apps Will Take Advantage Of Location Marketing
More and more businesses are becoming aware how applications like Snapchat and Periscope can support direct response and advertising at a national level. For instance, Taco Bell promoted a biscuit taco giveaway by using Periscope, while Dunkin Donuts did something similar by using Snapchat.
National companies have what it takes to accurately track the success of such campaigns and then use the data in order to create more targeted and effective campaigns and that’s where local marketing starts to become more and more important. Soon we’re going to witness the use of more complex local marketing techniques for capitalizing on regional differences in local events, seasons and demographics.
If they are to take full advantage of micro-platforms, it’s important that businesses aggressively syndicate their location info to the previously mentioned data amplifiers and then share it with these applications.
4. Beacon Mania Will Experience Growth In The Coming Months
Location marketing relied heavily on beacons in 2015 and many big brands, including Target announced national implementations that would help consumers get what they need. According to BI, beacons accounted for about 4 billion dollars in in-store sales in the US in the previous year, a figure which is going to get another zero in 2016.
However, some early adopters have noticed a few cons in the beacon system, including high maintenance and limited range, especially for brands that have many locations.
This year, brands are going to be more serious about adopting beacons as they analyze other alternatives to generate more in-store sales and traffic, including new technologies such as IndoorAtlas. This technology actually relies on the magnetic signature of a building in order to make it easy for people to find the products they need. While beacons are certainly here to stay, businesses are going to use them a bit more selectively in order to properly target shoppers.
5. Mobile Wallets Are Going To Become Very Popular
While many companies are becoming fully aware of the limits of beacons usage, they also become aware of the massive opportunity they have to make more sales by means of mobile wallets. Based on info from Vibes, at least 50% of consumers want to get mobile wallet content every week and seventy percent of consumers said they would save a great offer to their mobile wallet if given the opportunity to do so.
Since many consumers are starting to use mobile wallets and given the fact Apple Pay has become so popular in such a short period of time, companies such as Pep Boys was very inspired to come up with a great mobile wallet offer that can boost sales and foot traffic.
Since about eighty percent of near me searches occur on mobile phones/tablets, more and more businesses are coming up with great strategies to convert searchers into buyers.
Yet the factor that’s going to really boost the use of mobile wallets this year is the fact they can be used for a wide range of apps, from coupons and all the way to mass transit.
6. Google Still Is The Search King
Even if Facebook and Apple are going to try to get their share of traffic, Google is still king when it comes to online searches. For instance, think about how Apple is making efforts in order to ensure that search is smarter and more predictive when using iOS 9. In such a world, Apple Search is a much better search tool and that’s because it can draw up many local data sources, including native application content.
Meanwhile, Facebook is gaining more ground as a local search platform and it’s not long until we’ll see it recommend local enterprise content in your queries and conversations about what to buy and where to go.
It’s very important for brands to be very attentive with the way people use alternatives to Google and then try to build relationships with those alternatives.
Conclusion If they want to improve their local marketing in 2016, companies need to cater to the needs of mobile users, treat their location info as a scalable asset and also boost their local search ecosystem so it includes applications like Snapchat.
After spending plenty hours doing keyword research via “Keyword Planner” for your SEO campaign, your next step is to apply SEO to your website but before you begin to move forward, here are 10 helpful tips to achieve your SEO goals.
1. Ensure what the main focus of your website is.
While it is easy to want to cover many aspects of your business, make sure you don’t detract yourself from its main focus. This is an essential step, so make sure you chose the right keywords to focus on.
2. Include Keywords where you need to.
Be sure to include your keywords on the appropriate pages and include them in the tagline, description, page content, page titles and blog categories. If you are using the WordPress platform, there are many free plugins which will allow you to include these areas on to your website,SEO Yoastis a great tool for WordPress users.
3. Make sure to link to pages within your website.
You need to be intentional about linking the keywords to the corresponding pages on your website. For instance, your homepage may have a keyword in the content that you want to link to an internal page that focus or talks about that keyword. This process will increase your internal link popularity.
4. Use a permalink structure and ensure it includes Keywords.
You’ll find that certain websites have an “dynamic” permalink structure that makes use of numbers for the purpose of identifying pages. This is bad for Search Engine Optimization. As an alternative, consider using a URL structure that incorporates the keyword or phrase you are going after. When creating permalinks, make sure to use dashes (-) to separate keywords.
5. Anything that slows down your website should be removed.
Page load times are essential, so ensure that you get rid of anything you don’t need that affects page loading times. These can include unnecessary plug-ins, flash graphics, large resolution images, etc. Try to keep homepage under 500KB and for internal pages your goals should be under 300KB. If you can afford a dedicated server to host your website, go for it, it will help search engines and prospects access your website without having to wait 10 seconds or more for a page to load, get a dedicated IP address as well. 6. Use Keywords in your images.
In the ALT attributes, description and image title, make sure to use words that reflect your website’s topic & relevant keyword. It is also important to re-title the image file to include the relevant keyword. Don’t put too many keywords in this tag, keep it under two words whenever possible.
7. Considering linking to websites with relevant content.
You can do this by including a resource page, a link list and a blogroll on your website. You should do this sparingly though, since each outbound link ranks as a vote for another website. When done correctly though, you’ll be ranked as a trusted authority on your specific topic.
8. Try to frequently update your website.
A website with dynamic content ranks a lot higher than websites with static content. This is the main reason why directories and blogs do so well in the SERPs. Write content that’s useful for people, don’t write specifically for search engines, create content that makes sense so that people can share it via social media, this will help you increase your outbound link popularity.
9. Ensure all search engines index your website.
While it’s true that the majority of search engines will find and then index your website automatically, you shouldn’t count on that. You want to be certain that search engines like Yahoo, Bing and Google crawl your website in order for people to find you online. Open a Google’s webmaster account and submit your sitemap, there a bunch of Sitemap plugins for WordPress. If you are running a static HTML website, consider switching to wordpress, this platform makes your site so easy to manage and it is also search engine friendly. To download a FREE copy of WordPress follow this link:
Your URL’s age directly impacts SEO, so be patient about it. So if you’re the type who launches a website every 6 months, you’re never going to get to the point where you can see it getting to the value it deserves.