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There is a seemingly endless list of services that offer some form of analytics tracking, and you can also use them to track virtually everything. All of this data can help you boost your online business, but first you need to determine how to properly shift through everything and make the applicable changes. For many people, this is a confusing and even frustrating experience. Fortunately, there are many proven techniques you can utilize to help you get the most out of your analytics while simultaneously reducing your work related stress.
Web analytics offer a robust amount of information, ranging from keyword performance to the type of browser that each visitor uses. Experts have a difficult time agreeing about which points of data are the most critical for marketing purposes, so you may feel completely lost about what you should focus on.
It is best to keep things simple at first so that you can glean some vital insight at a quick glance. For example, keyword tracking is going to provide you with important information about which keywords are actually working. You can then use this data to enhance the written content on your website and blog, along with boosting the performance of your PPC ads.
Google Analytics, which is by far one of the most commonly used trackers, gives you the opportunity to overlay keyword data with additional details such as click-through ratio and search engine ranking position. This offers a more finely tuned way to decide whether or not a specific keyword is actually working.
Everyone’s analytic needs are slightly different, but here is a brief overview of the data points that every online business can benefit from:
As previously mentioned, keywords are by far one of the most critical things you can track. Without developing a firm understanding of how this analytic metric works, it will be extremely difficult to create ads and blogs that will capture the attention of your target market. Even if you are unable to figure out how to do anything else with analytics, this is something you must focus on. When you discover that a specific phrase is performing very well, make sure that you incorporate it into future advertisements and written content. Conversely, if a keyword is not attracting attention, it is often best to abandon it in favor of words that are working.
Google makes it possible to track every keyword and search query that is used to bring people to your website via AdWords and organic searches. As you can see in the following example, keywords for a massage business such as “massage wedding” and “bridal massage” are barely coming up in search results, and when they do, they are not being clicked on.
On the other hand, the phrases in the next example are attracting a larger audience and a better overall click-through rate.
What we can learn from these examples is that it makes the most sense for this business to target keywords such as “Novi massage therapy” instead of “massage wedding.” Tracking this same type of information for your keywords on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis will make it clear which keywords are your top performers.
Although the business in this example may choose to keep wedding related keywords on their website, it would not make solid financial sense to put a lot of money into ads about this particular topic. Instead, they should go with the keywords that have the best click-through ratio in order to get the most bang for their buck.
Even if a specific keyword phrase brings you hundreds of hits per day, it is still more important to convert those visits into a purchase. If this is not happening, you need to take a closer look at your website design to determine if there is some type of roadblock in place that is deterring consumers. It is also vital to ensure that your site is meeting consumer expectations by truly offering whatever your keywords promise.
Google Analytics enables users to set up specific goals to help them more effectively track their conversion ratios. For example, you could tie a goal into someone visiting a specific page, making a purchase or filling out an online form. Each time one of these actions are completed, Analytics will automatically update your conversion ratios. The image below shows the starting point with no conversions at all, but you can easily imagine how this would change once the data began to be tabulated.
Essentially, if your conversion rate stays low, this indicates that something is breaking down between getting people to your site and getting them to take the next desired action. Be sure to review your site for accuracy and ease of use if you run into an issue with low conversions.
You can learn a lot about the effectiveness of your website by carefully studying demographic information. For example, if your products or services are primarily geared toward an older audience but most of your visitors are in their 20s, you probably have an issue with the type of keywords that you are using. Of course, if the younger generation is making regular purchases, you will also learn that you should expand your vision of what your most common customer profiles look like.
On the other hand, if the younger visitors have a low conversion ratio, it is time to consider an overhaul of your website content and marketing efforts. This is something that you quite simply cannot know is the leading cause of low sales unless you look past basic keyword and conversion data and focus closely on demographics. To get the best overall view of your website’s success, make sure that you combine all three of these analytic factors for each major keyword.
In this example, you can see that the 55-64 and 25-34 age groups have the lowest bounce rate. If goals were set up in Analytics, you would also see which of these groups had the highest overall conversion rate. In other words, taking a close look at demographics definitely makes it easier to see who is most attracted to your overall message, which includes your keywords, marketing and much more. If you are not getting the intended results, you will need to make a few tweaks.
Are your ads actually working? Is your social media presence sending visitors to your site? Are backlinks actually increasing your click-through rate? The best way to answer all of these questions is to monitor your traffic sources.
As you can see in the nearby example from Google Analytics, the bounce rate for each traffic source is vital to track and understand. After all, even though organic search is bringing in the most traffic, paid search and social referrers are generating the lowest bounce rates. You can derive many important details from this information, including the fact that the ads and social media presence are doing the best job of delivering qualified leads. Emulating the type of keywords that are used with these two sources on your homepage may make your organic search bounce rate drop.
Backlinks are important to pay attention to for a variety of reasons. First, the reputation score of the website that gives you a backlink can help or hinder your own reputation score and Google search ranking. Secondly, backlinks that are well placed and attached to appropriate anchor text can become a major click-through source. As you monitor how each backlink impacts your site, you can get a better grasp of which websites you should approach for backlinks in the future.
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t make it as easy as they should to monitor this particular metric. In fact, they have purposefully removed older tools that would have given you detailed information about this category. However, through the Analytics portal, you can go to your Referral Traffic to get a quick overview:
Google’s Webmaster Tools make it a bit easier to see which sites are linking to yours, but you still need to drill down into each site to get more information, and this doesn’t tell you anything about the impact that those backlinks are having on your website.
In this instance, it can actually be more beneficial to use a tool outside of Google such as Moz, Majestic or Small SEO Tools to get a better idea of what type of backlinks are directing people to your website. Majestic’s offering provides the following useful information:
The main points to pay attention to in this report are the Trust Flow and the Link Type. If the link is marked as “NoFollow,” this means that Google is being told not to consider this link when developing your site’s overall reputation score. Look for higher Trust Flows, and consider removing links from a website that has a very low Trust Flow. 100 is the maximum score, and this will have the biggest positive impact on your site’s reputation score and search engine ranking.
Google provides a robust analytics tool, but it can be confusing to navigate. Additionally, what happens if you want to track details from Google and another analytic resource? Instead of spending an exorbitant amount of time bouncing between providers and trying to combine the details you receive, it is best to turn to an SEO dashboard.
These dashboards give you a quick overview of all of the most pertinent information, including backlinks, keywords, search engine traffic referrals and much more. The best part is that you can connect your SEO dashboard to various accounts such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, and you can also track daily changes in your search engine results page (SERP) ranking for each keyword.
Now that you have a better idea of what to track and how to track it, you need to utilize everything that you have learned. Make sure that you have connected your site to a Google Analytics and Google Webmaster account and consider pushing all of this data into one convenient dashboard. From there, it is best to analyze your data on a weekly and monthly basis to find any keyword issues, major SERP changes, advertising issues or unexpected demographic changes so that you can make the necessary adjustments.
Always remember that SEO is never going to be a one and done process, it’s a continuous process. You must continue to learn best practices, monitor data and implement regular changes in order to obtain and keep a high search engine ranking for each of your top keywords. If you see any major changes, take a moment to review Google’s latest algorithm updates and make the necessary tweaks to become fully compliant again.
Aside from using web analytics data itself, take the time to ensure that you always give your site the best chance to succeed by providing high quality written content, offering backlinks to sites with a good reputation score and avoiding duplicate content. If you fail to meet these basic metrics, Google will eventually penalize your site, and this will do way more damage than failing to review your analytics on a regular basis.
I am testing two different SumoMe opt-ins (lead magnets), each with a unique offer in exchange for their email address.
How can I set these up to trigger two different automations in Mailchimp?
I've gotten this question from more than one client this year, which means maybe the answer is probably useful and/or interesting to others as well. Before I dive into the how-to bit here, I must insist on a warning:
Tread lightly with your automations. Think it through. If it helps, freehand yourself a flow-chart of the subscriber experience and just double check that they aren't likely to get five emails from you in the same day.
Why would you want to be careful? I dunno, do you see your customers as money sponges to wring out until they're dry? If so, boy have I got the guide for you.
For the rest of you fine folks here's how to make sure you deliver the advertised offers you're testing in SumoMe. The end result will be a two welcome email automations with the same list and trigger, but different segmentation rules, so each automation only goes to emails from it's SumoMe counterpart:
1) Create an "Sign-up Source" field in Mailchimp. This is how we'll track what subscriber comes from what form:
2) Now we need SumoMe to pass information to this field. When editing your SumoMe popups, go to the "fields" tab, and add a hidden field as shown in the screenshot below - For the data to pass through, "Field Name" must be "Sign-Up Source", same as the field name in MC - the first field for "Variable Name" must match the corresponding merge tag, in this case "SOURCE". The last field can be whatever you want, e.g. "offer1" for the first and "offer2" for the second:
3) Set up your Automations. Same list, same trigger, but when it comes to setting up automation rules for the emails within the automation, you'll segment by what's contained in the Opt In field for that subscriber, so if your value for the contest hidden field is "offer1" your segment will be "Opt In Source is offer1" Like this:
That'll do it. As always, there's a lot of finer detail to get into, so if you get stuck somewhere you know who to call!
1) Take every bit of advice everyone ever gave you and execute it all at once.
2) Proactively check for new engaged customers and watch, shocked, as prospects and customers unplug from you completely.
3) Panic. Make as many adjustments to each tactic in play as it takes until you run out of home-run ideas. For good measure, keep adjusting after you run out of home-run ideas.
4) Proactively refresh your Google Analytics reports. Once per minute might almost be enough.
5) Ask your friends and family for ideas. Search google for "how do I get my customers to come back?" (handy tip: use 'related searches' to find even more ideas) Implement everything. Return to step 2 and repeat as needed.
Easy, right? You know it! You're all set.
A brief coda to those who sincerely need help with achieving that fuzzy zen state of "healthy customer engagement": Don't do the above. Seems obvious, but we are contacted every single day by at least one small business owner stuck in that nasty loop above which has only been accelerating their decline in engagement (and revenue).
So what should you do - test your tactics one - at - a - time, measure the results, rinse, adjust, repeat. Oh, and if you are feeling really brave, just call up one of your favorite customers and ask them how they like to be sold to - guarantee you'll be surprised.
For more reading, please refer to this article on the scientific method, or if you'd like help testing tactics and measuring the results, give us a call.
Imagine that you’re redecorating your house. You head to the hardware store to buy some paint, where you and your friend flick through shades in the catalogue. However, while you like soft apple green, your friend likes blueberry white. So what do you do? You bring home two swatches and paint some test patches to see how they compare to one another before committing to a decision.
This is exactly how A/B testing – or split testing, as it’s sometimes known – works. It’s all about comparing two versions of your website to see which one performs better with your target audience, preferably with the upshot of improving key performance indicators (KPIs) like conversion rate and revenue.
You can use it to test and refine almost every facet of your website – anything from landing pages, promotions, calls-to-action, emails and search ads. Usually, A is the existing feature you’re currently working with (known as the ‘control element’) while B is the alternative option you want to test (‘the variant’). You then split your live traffic into two groups of subjects and direct them towards the two versions. When the experiment is done and dusted, you select the version that has produced the best results and move onwards and upwards to improving your bottom line.
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your outlook) only 52% of companies and agencies that use landing pages actually test them for ways to improve conversions. This means that businesses willing to experiment and adopt a nimble stance towards their business can stay one step ahead of the competition. With the right testing methods, companies can see up to 300% increase in their conversion rates.
But how to get started? In this new infographic, we’ll take you from being a beginner to an A/B testing power user – guiding you through the fundamentals of running a successful experiment.
For newbies, it might seem as though there’s a steep learning curve, but if you get the fundamentals right then there are substantial rewards to be gained – more than compensating for the time invested in running an experiment. In short, if you have a winning hypothesis, then you’re on the right path to learnings and significant improvements for your KPIs.
The vast majority of the day-to-day things that we do are transacted online. We read news online, perform banking and other payment functions through customized Internet platforms and several communication channels are now relayed through the virtual world.
The Internet has greatly influenced our way of life and approach towards commerce. Thus, it has created a new battleground for businesses to covet market share.
In order to stay ahead of the competition you must incorporate Search Engine Optimization or SEO in your business development strategy.
Here are seven (7) reasons why you should do SEO in your business. As you will discover, the “why” will answer the question, “How early”.
Think about that number for the moment. More than 3 Billion of the world’s population of 7.2 Billion people is online every single day.
The Internet presents a vast ocean of opportunities for businesses to expand their markets. It is no surprise that companies have incorporated online strategies to develop their businesses. Companies are now using the Internet to source suppliers, recruit people and of course, promote products and services.
That is why more than 50% of all small businesses have websites. But it is not enough to have one; your website must be found. SEO is the best strategy to enhance your online presence.
Despite its track record in building online businesses, there remain naysayers on the effectiveness of SEO. This is largely due to the fact they do not view SEO as an evolutionary process.
SEO techniques have evolved over the years because the markets have changed. Keyword analysis is no longer enough to assure high search rankings. Internet users demand great, engaging content not just keywords. So naturally, keyword research strategies had to evolve and integrate elements that complement effective content creation.
The end result of its evolution is more effective and efficient SEO; a process that produces greater and sustainable results. Integrating SEO with content management presents companies with a better value proposition than just a singular strategy. SEO provides the means, content management creates the purpose.
Google’s Quality Ratings Guidelines is proof the search engine giant is moving towards brand-related metrics in awarding search rankings.
And the biggest mistake most businesses make is overlooking the importance of brand building at the very start. They often believe the brand will follow once business gains traction. But without the identity of a brand, where will the traction come from?
SEO professionals conduct detailed research to identify the target audience of your business. This includes determining which keywords are frequently used to search similar products and services plus uncovering behavioral clues on how the markets respond and interact with the competitors in the industry.
These data are used as reference in the website development process, in your social media marketing program and your content marketing campaign.
So what does these all mean?
It means you should include SEO as early as your pre-operating stages! SEO techniques should already be factored in your web development phase.
SEO is an effective strategy in building your online presence. But in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies, SEO becomes an even more potent weapon in the battle for search rankings.
The mistake some Digital Marketers make is to have a preference on one strategy over another. The most effective social media strategy would be one that encourages synergy between the different tools as the Digital Marketer’s disposal.
In addition to integrating SEO with content management, it can also be utilized with other techniques such as social media marketing and link building.
The benefits of effective SEO is sustainable; it will continue to attract thousands even millions to your website because it is specifically designed to target your audience or the end-users of your products and services.
With SEO, the momentum generated by its campaign can be felt for many months, even years without much incremental cost in revising the program.
Plus an SEO campaign is customizable to your business’ needs and of course, your budget. The SEO professional will always conduct research and studies to determine who your business caters to, what their pressing needs and concerns are, how their purchasing or patronage decisions are influenced and their patterns of qualifying vendors or suppliers.
These are key information necessary to design an effective SEO campaign because search engines like Google have numerous ranking factors and it constantly changes the algorithm per year; sometimes up to 600 times.
The best SEO is not necessarily the most expensive proposal. It should be one that best fits your needs.
As discussed earlier, most businesses are already plying their trade in the Internet. They could be allocating a larger chunk of the digital marketing budget toward SEO in order to give them a decided advantage in the search rankings.
While the evolution of digital technology has made the ways of doing business and life in general, more convenient, it has also increased the competitiveness in every industry.
Your competition will look for every conceivable advantage over everyone else. So while you remain stagnant, unsure of how to go about your SEO campaign, you are progressively losing ground to someone who is. Every lost opportunity is translated as foregone income.
As of 2013, there were over six billion SIM cards operating in the world. At the time, the PC still accounted for majority of online traffic. Fast forward to 2014 and
mobile gadgets now account for 60% of online traffic.
The rise of mobile technology will continue through the unseen future. Market analysts are projecting that by end-2015 there would be over two billion smart phone users in the entire world.
The increasing popularity of smart phones has opened new avenues for the continued development of SEO processes this time targeted toward local area marketing objectives. Techniques have to evolve and go through tweaks to conform to shifts in website design toward mobile responsiveness.
It is never too late to incorporate SEO techniques in your digital marketing plan. While it would certainly have been better to implement SEO at the start, with its ability to evolve and adapt to changes, you will still be able to reap the rewards and generate substantial ROI with SEO at the later stages.
Good organization is essential for running your business smoothly, but also for cutting down the office stress and improving the quality of your social life. People are trying to organize their lives better for centuries.
Just a few decades ago businessmen were walking around with notebooks, writing their appointments down and now with the introduction of new mobile and PC app technology, there are plenty of different applications that can make your life easier and more organized. In this article we’re going to review some of the best quality organizational tools we know about.
This is much more than an organizational tool, it is a personal assistant launched by Microsoft for the new Windows 10 upgrade. Same as Windows 10, Cortana can work on lot of different devices from phones and tablets to desktop computers and X-boxes.
It can be operated by written or spoken language and provides reminders and finds all the necessary information its users ask for both on and off line. In addition to all this Cortana also remembers all the user’s preferences and its first launch starts with an interview. This information is stored inside the app and it helps it to single out the most important and relevant information when doing searches
The problem with Cortana, however, is that it can only be used on Windows 10. As you know, most users still haven’t switched to the new platform, so here is an alternative:
Formerly know as True Knowledge, Evi is a tech company, specializing in semantic search engine software and knowledge base building. Basically, Evi is an artificial intelligence software that acts as your personal assistant. You can ask Evi questions, in a natural way, about almost anything and she will provide you with the answers you need.
While still young, Evi is growing since 2012, expanding her knowledge base. It works on iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire, so be sure to check out this, surprisingly free, intelligent app.
This is one of the most popular time management applications. It stores all the user’s data on the cloud which means that in case of a hard drive fail, it will stay intact. In addition to this, cloud-based storage allows users to share this application with the public or with the specified groups of people.
The calendar is integrated with other Google apps and can work with Gmail, iGoogle, Google Desktop and many other applications from the company’s range. It can be accessed from any operating system and provides very intuitive commands and functions, packed with the great design this company is famous for.
This is one of the first applications of its kind and since now, there are plenty of other similar calendars, documents from Outlook, or any other versions of this app that can also be imported into the Google Calendar.
Excel is an industrial standard spreadsheet program and it is part of the MS Office package. It consists out of grids that are formed from cells, ordered in columns and rows. Values that are inserted into these cells can be counted with dozens of different commands, including Pivot Table building. With time, Excel becomes more modern, same as the other pieces of software that are a part of the MS Office package.
Now there are plenty of different analytics apps integrated into the program, and users can now enter images either from their PC or from the web. Since the new Windows 10 was launched recently, a new Excel also received some other useful updates and now, there’s only one version of the program that can work on phones, tablets, desktop computers, X-boxes etc.
The new Excel allows its users to work on the same spreadsheet from several devices simultaneously with the help of the new Continuum tool that comes with Windows 10. Several years ago Microsoft also released MS Office Online, which enabled users to work on their spreadsheets and to store them in the cloud and made this program available even for the people who don’t have it installed on their PC.
In addition to all this, new versions of Excel have very intuitive design and they are easy to use, especially when it comes to some of the basic functions. Users will need to explore this program a little bit more for doing some complicated tasks or they can simply find an affordable excel training course that will help them in learning all the tricks this software comes with.
This is one great website that gives people the opportunity to organize their business when working with a lot of outsourcing associates. Over time, it became one of the most famous web-based project managers and entrepreneurs can use its services for a very modest price.
The company offers free 60 days trial for both companies and individuals while teachers get it totally free of charge. Website has a Ruby-on-Rails framework and the tasks are ordered in task-lists by their expiring date.
Basecamp also offers a file sharing system and discussion areas where participants in the project can give their opinions about it. It sends email notices to all the project participants, together with the daily recap emails that can be very useful for reviewing progress day by day. Recently the company launched a mobile app that can deliver project notices to user’s phones and this app can be downloaded on all major app store portals such as Google Play and iTunes.
Should it be a one page process, or spread out over a few?
Should you have individual discounts included, or should you just list the final price?
How big should your progress bar be, if it’s to be included at all?
If you’re a small business owner, then you’ll know every business runs differently. Hence, when it comes to achieving the perfect checkout page for your online store, the best process for you will depend on your audience and products.
Of course, some features are automatically winners and losers. Forced registration? No thanks. Pre-filled forms? Excellent.
You’ve probably encountered some frustrating checkout pages in your lifetime. You’ve tried all different formats for your phone number and still can’t proceed. You don’t exactly know if your street name should fall into Address Line 2. You’ve wasted time filling in some useless marketing form. If your shoppers are facing any of these challenges on your checkout page, then you’ve go a problem.
Be as helpful as possible. They’ve made it this far in the process; so don’t turn them away with distractions, broken links or confusing forms.
If your sales aren’t matching up with your traffic, perhaps its time to give your checkout page a rethink.
How does your checkout page fare in terms of:
Do all your forms work? How long do images take to load?
How easy is it for users to complete the process? Are all your form fields clear on what they need? Is your copy obvious on what each button does?
Do your payment forms look secure? Are their visual cues to security?
Are the colours on your checkout page the most effective?
Have a look at this handy infographic below – it highlights the elements that make a checkout page friendly, quick and successful.
The anatomy of a perfect checkout page [Infographic] by the team at VWO
Using WordPress to build a website is a great decision. As many regular readers of this blog should know, there are many advantages to using the old blogging standard. One of those is a relatively new concept called Twitter Remarketing. Its ability to connect your Twitter account to your overall online marketing goals can not be ignored.
The new Twitter Remarketing plugin is all part of Twitter’s larger goal of becoming a profitable company. As every social media giant has shown, helping their advertisers get a better cost per acquisition (CPA) is the surest way to a profit. You, as someone with a WordPress website to promote, can benefit from this.
Twitter Remarketing works by bringing three powerful online tools together:
Are three of the most powerful online companies working together enough to get your attention? Read on if so!
To start, Twitter Remarketing creates a link between a Twitter Ad Campaign and your WordPress website. At the core of it, you’re recording who visits your WordPress website via a Google tag, then using this data in your Twitter Ad Campaigns. How it uses this data is by displaying ads to those who visited your website more frequently during your Twitter Ad Campaign.
The thinking behind this is that instead of showing an ad to everyone who is remotely related to a loose ‘target demographic,’ you can appeal to specific Twitter users who are already interested in your website. The extra push provided by remarketing to these people can drive them back to your website for that second or third look so that they finally click ‘Buy.’
For an even more advanced user, you can use this technique for specific pages within the website, not just the website as a whole. For instance, say you’re having a sale on an item that’s being promoted with a promoted Tweet campaign. If you had set up a remarketing tag on the specific page for the item right from the start you could target those who had already visited that page. This will bring them back and capture those who weren’t quite ready to buy at the higher price point.
To do this, follow the steps exactly as below for each new webpage. The difference will be in Part 1, step 4. You obviously won’t be choosing the pop down menu item for “Create Your First Website Tag,” and you’ll want to give it a new name in Part 1, step 5, and Part 3, step 2.
Keep in mind that this can not be your only Twitter marketing technique. This will be a smaller part of a larger Twitter follower growth campaign. It can’t be your whole plan!
Most of the regular readers of this blog won’t have too many problems following these steps. All you have to do is follow the correct order, there’s no alteration to code or anything complicated. Give it a read through once before starting and you should be fine!
Part 1: Start on your Twitter business account
Part 2: Go to your Google Tag Manager account
All that you need here is your assigned website ID. Create an account if you don’t already have one, it’s a simple process. Take this assigned website ID and paste it into the document with the Twitter Remarketing tag in it. Label them both.
Part 3: Link everything in your WordPress dashboard
If you followed along perfectly you’ll be all done! Now repeat the steps above if you want to do specific pages for future campaigns as I was saying earlier.
You will ultimately have to base this on the needs of your particular marketing campaign. My advice on which Twitter Ad Campaigns you’ll want to consider are:
Each one of these will be sure to give you a more targeted and efficient Twitter Ad Campaign. Your results will vary depending on which you choose, but you’re sure to have a better CPA than if you had never used Twitter Remarketing at all.
Effective SEO strategy involves more than having a website with all the right things. It also requires making efforts elsewhere on the internet. The major search engines are programmed to think that the more other sites link back to your site, the better your content is. There are things you can do off-site to get the right type of notice and acknowledgement from the right places.
Yes. But a company doesn’t need to post to social media outlets a certain numbers of time a day to reap SEO benefits from social media. What’s the minimum for social media engagement for off page SEO? You must have a business page or account on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for Business, as well as a professional personal page on LinkedIn. There’s a good chance if you’re on LinkedIn you have a professional personal page but not a business page. Get one and make sure all your pages are accurate and optimized. Do all of your pages have the exact same business info? Make sure they do and make sure it matches exactly what’s in Google My Business. Yes, you must be listed with Google My Business. Yes, it used to be Google Places. If you’re a social media fan and have the time to invest there are more ways to use these and other accounts to further improve your off page SEO. Pinterest has really gained business traction and is great for the visual businesses like photographers, interior decorators, etc.
DO NOT IGNORE Bing and Yahoo!
Along with creating a business listing and optimizing it on Google+ (aka Google Places) you MUST also do it on Yahoo Local! and Bing Local. As a matter of fact Google expects to find your listing there!
No! Not only do they create more of the all important high quality backlinks, they also let Google see you all over the internet, which it really likes. As a matter of fact if your business isn’t on a ton of directories your off page SEO will take a hit. Through manual creation and data aggregators your business can get into 400+ directories! On the flip side, the majority of businesses have misinformation about them on the internet and that can harm your search result standing. Never assume your info is not part of a particular directory or that the info about you is accurate.
Start by establishing the social media pages listed above if you haven’t. Next, check the main directories like SuperPages, MerchantCircle, Yelp, Manta, HotFrog and CityGrid (CitySearch), etc. Make sure your listings are accurate and identical. Then do the same with secondary and tertiary directories like JudysBook, Yellowbot, Yellowee, and MyHuckleberry. If your city has a hyperlocal directory, make sure you’re listed and listed accurately.
When searching for your listings, start with business name, then phone number. Don’t forget to check for any old phone numbers or business names. Make sure the info matches your Google My Business listing (aka Google Places). Correct any errors you find. If you don’t find a listing for your business then create one.
Optimize the directory listing by adding photos, video(s), payment types accepted, hours, description, email, website address, services, brands, categories, etc. By filling out your directory listing completely you can end up ranking higher within the local directory.
By the way, when you create these directory listings, use a “trash” email account. You will receive a bunch of garbage emails afterwards. Also use the same password for every account. If your business ever moves then you will need to go back to every listing and make the appropriate changes. If you don’t with time your off page SEO will most definitely suffer!
Also, expect directories to call your business. Do verify the business information, but as soon as they try to upsell you, shut them off by telling them you are sticking with the free listing and to take you off their solicitation list!
So, why start with making sure you have the right social media pages? When creating directory listings, or updating them, you’ll be asked where people can find you on social media. Be sure to include your social media business page links.
Many blogs welcome guest posts from industry experts, for single gigs here and there or as ongoing contributors. Are you familiar with the popular blogs of your industry? Your target audience is already hanging out there. You can reach out to them through people they already listen to, and bring in your audience. It’s part of the beauty of guest blogging. If everyone has worthwhile content, everyone wins. Make sure to include links back to your site in the text of your post or in the author bio.
Why not? A testimonials page on your website is great to let prospects know you’re good at what you do. Make sure to try and have a keyword phrase within the review and the person’s city and state at the end of the review. This can help with local search results.
Reviews elsewhere on the internet are also great for your off-site SEO. Customers or clients should post their review in only one place. G+ is great for those with gmail accounts. Be very careful though when asking for reviews to be posted on a review site. Considering the industry you are in too many reviews and or too many reviews in a short time frame tells the sites like Google and Yelp that you “solicited” the review. If they get a whiff of that then those reviews will disappear!
An effective local SEO campaign will yield more phone calls and foot traffic. We highly encourage you and your staff to ask every new visitor or caller how they heard of you. For almost all service oriented local businesses just keeping track of how new customers discovered your business will provide all the confirmation needed.
You can also look for an increase in visits to your website and increased engagement with your content. Are people spending time on pages they land on, or bouncing? Do they click links? SEO isn’t just about getting people to your website, it’s about getting people there who will find it useful, informative and contact the business.
Off page SEO is only part of the local SEO program and strategy. There is also on page SEO. When both of them are properly created and maintained it can make for a powerful result. If only one of two is optimized, then the local SEO results will be weak. As Helen Keller said “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”.
Pinterest is one of those social media platforms that many people struggle with using as a marketing avenue at first. It differs significantly from the more familiar Facebook, and looks nothing like the often used Twitter.
I’m going to start by giving you the basic tools for success on Pinterest as a marketing platform, and then build up from there to more advanced ideas. If you can’t market on Pinterest by the end of this article, you may want to take a look at whether or not you’re the right person for the job.
Interaction on Pinterest takes place on a virtual bulletin board. Think of it as a Facebook wall that doesn’t scroll down, but expands. Users ‘pin’ items they like to their Pinterest boards, and can have multiple boards at once sorted by topic.
The successful businesses that you’ll find on Pinterest right now are using it to:
There are two ways to start a Pinterest business account:
You wind up with the same thing in the end either way. Converting an existing account, which already has content and followers, is obviously going to give you the biggest boost. Once you have your account going, be sure to use Pinterest’s dashboard to start the learning process about your audience.
First, you need to establish what it is you want to do with your Pinterest account as a whole, with each board, and with each pin. The three basic goals of any social media marketing campaign are:
Each goal is met via different means. Therefore the best content to share to meet those goals will also have to change.
To take the numbering from above, the basic way to accomplish each of these goals is by:
I’m not a big fan of telling without showing. Here an actual examples from Pinterest for each of the three points above.
1: Pushing visitors to your website - Nike Women
Yes, I know we’re talking about small business and solopreneurs, but on social media everyone is level. You can do exactly what Nike have done with this pin by having a simple call to action; “Get a boot, a wrap and a ribbon in the Nike Studio Mid Pack.” The link is the “Found at store.nike.com” part. Click it and you’ll go right to the product page to purchase.
2: Expanding your reach - CarbSwitch
CarbSwitch is a niche website for those looking to lower thier carb intake, as well as those looking to lower their gluten intake. They simply say “Please repin” at the end of their description for this pin. Over 360 repins happened, putting them right into the boards of relevant users. All it took was two extra words.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is all you have to say. Pinterest users know when they’re being scammed. Write an accurate or insightful description along with your pin.
3: Increasing brand awareness - GE
Take a look at nearly any photo shared on GE’s boards. All of them, including the above pin, feature the GE logo. They also frequently share photos of their products - and they have some pretty exciting products! This is all done in the name of brand building and awareness.
Each Pinterest pin has 500 characters available for you to describe the image, and insert a link or two. Having a link plan from the top down can help you build links not only in the SERPs, but in the minds of you fans.
To start from the top and work down, use your keywords in:
As an example, a brand which is selling the new Nike Air Jordan 7 retro in the ‘Hare Jordan’ colorway (available in May and I’m so anticipating it) can:
You can see how each step down towards the product page includes keywords. You need to build a sales funnel like this in order to truly use Pinterest for your business.
From the biggest mega-corporations, to the crafters with homemade scarves, Pinterest can be a powerful tool when used correctly. Be sure to establish goals for each board and pin, share appropriate content, and create sales funnels of keywords that lead naturally from Pinterest to your a sales page on your website.