The Value of SEO and PPC for Magento Merchants

The Value of SEO and PPC for Magento Merchants

By the Marketing Team at InteractOne

SEO and PPC: It’s easy as 1, 2, 3.

Utilizing digital marketing tools like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) will get you some serious brand building and revenue opportunities along with greater levels of engagement on your site. The goal for these tactics is essentially the same: to recruit and drive qualified traffic to your website. But for a variety of reasons, merchants  have trouble focusing on both at the same time and some worry that they might cannibalize one another. But it’s important to remember that search engine marketing is an additive and complementary game and when SEO and PPC efforts are strategically integrated, they can actually complement and assist one another.

SEO Benefits

SEO is the process by which a site is improved or optimized so that search engines rank it higher in natural or organic search rankings. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo try to deliver the best results based on the searcher’s needs. Over time, the types of methods and algorithms search engines use are optimized for improvement.

Following and staying up to date on known search engine best practices is key for online success.  For example, can Google “crawl” your site and display your content on mobile devices? If not, you could be penalized by the top search engines who will push your site further back in search results or worse, never show them at all.

Due to ever changing methods and algorithms, SEO needs to be monitored over time. It’s important to continue the “care and feeding” of SEO tactics to keep rankings high. For example, search engines reward freshly and continuously updated, relevant content. So,optimizing catalog content and product descriptions, images, and video is vital to your SEO success.

PPC Benefits

With paid search or Pay-per-click, you are attracting people with ads who are already searching for your product or service. PPC is the fastest way to efficiently drive targeted traffic to your website. PPC can also tell you a lot about how your pages are converting. For example, if your ad is getting a lot of clicks, but not a lot of conversions, you may have a landing page issue. Maybe the page is difficult to navigate. Or, maybe your page doesn’t offer what the customer expected. Keeping track of PPC performance is critical for making smart decisions and optimizing along the way.

PPC is easily tailorable to your budget needs. You set your own price-per-click and pay only when a customer clicks through to your site. If your budget increases or decreases, so can your PPC efforts. When it comes to managing your overall marketing budget, PPC offers the highest ROI when compared to e-mail, banners and other forms of online advertising.

SEO and PPC: The 1+1=3 Effect

Digital marketing including PPC and SEO often takes a back seat to the technical activity of building and maintaining a Magento store. While there are important technical aspects to of your eCommerce Magento site, what drives success is a thorough understanding of your customers’ purchasing behavior. The value of SEO and PPC lie in the knowledge of understanding your purchase funnel as well as driving site traffic and conversions.

SEO and PPC each help with different parts of the sales funnel. SEO is felt to be more useful at the top of the funnel when prospects are in the earlier stages of research, while PPC is sometimes viewed as more appropriate if the prospect is closer to making a purchase decision.

But how does 1 + 1 = 3? When you have PPC and SEO rankings showing on the first pages of search engines, your chances of a conversion increase immensely.

Sometimes merchants are reluctant to commit budget and energy to both SEO and PPC at the same time. This viewpoint does not take into account the additive effect of having your brand come up twice on the page through both initiatives. In addition to the benefits of each of these tactics already mentioned, merchants get that extra branding bump with greater levels of engagement that comes from that old bromide — frequency and repetition.

Four Step Digital Marketing Plan for eCommerce Websites

Four Step Digital Marketing Plan for eCommerce Websites

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So you spent a ton of time, money and effort on your big shiny website. Now what?

Unfortunately, your site is not the Field of Dreams. Just because you have built it does not mean folks will come.

In today’s ever changing world of eCommerce, a cool website is not enough. We help merchants launch and promote websites everyday here at InteractOne and we want to talk about what you should be doing after your site is live. Here is our four step Digital Marketing Plan we’ve put together:

1. Build the Right Kind of Site Traffic

You should work to add traffic slowly using tools like SEO and Paid Search.You want to be able review the traffic data and know how to convert it. After all, traffic is good, but conversions are the reason your website exists.The purpose of traffic generation isn’t to make a sale, it’s to get  a site visit. Then it’s your website’s job to make the sale.

Don’t add traffic that won’t convert. If you were to get 10,000 new visitors to your website tomorrow, how many of them would become customers? How many would become lifetime customers?

2. Create an awesome Customer Experience that makes it easy for customers to convert

Your site needs to be designed for both looks and function. It needs to make people feel like sticking around long enough to be amazed by how the site is so friendly and easy to use. So, you want to make the path to purchase a pleasurable experience. Much of this work is done in the initial site build, but don’t be afraid to make changes and improvements to the user experience as you learn what works and just as importantly – what doesn’t.

  • Know what makes qualified visitors not buy. Learn from cart abandonment and other actions that interrupt the buying process.
  • Work to become a Content Authority. You’ll soon create content so good that it deserves to be shared on Facebook and Twitter and be at the top of the search engines.

And finally, learn what makes customers come back. You’ll want to encourage feedback – both good and bad. And test all communications and on site activities using A/B and multivariate testing.

3. Analyze data

Make sure meaningful analytics capabilities are in place from day one, so you can learn from successes and failures. Develop goals for everything you care about and create Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that are connected to your goals to inform your progress.

4. Repeat – routinize these steps and socialize them within your organization, so they become second nature.

And even though you may follow these steps diligently, prepare for a site redesign every 2-3 years. Styles change, technologies improve, competitors come and go. It wasn’t that long ago for instance that responsive mobile sites were necessary and expected or that social media was even a thing. Now – according to a recent Pew Research Study, 51% of those surveyed say they have made a purchase using a smartphone 15% say they have purchased through social media links.

Are you ready to get started on your own Four Step Digital Marketing Plan? Contact us or give us a call at 513-469-3345

Is a Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?

Is a Picture Really Worth a Thousand Words?

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By Destiny Turner, Marketing and Communications Intern at InteractOne

Instagram and Snapchat are Redefining Social Media Marketing

Snapchat and Instagram have taken the social media universe by storm.  From being able to share photos and videos on Instagram, to instantly capturing your day to day activities on Snapchat, these innovative social media platforms have redefined the way in which media is being viewed – leaving a lot of room for marketing and advertising. 

With over 400 million active users, the mobile photo sharing app Instagram can work as an advertisement all in itself.  Provided filters and tools allow users to create picture perfect images. Innovative companies are taking advantage of what the app has to offer in their marketing strategies.  While it may be difficult to strategize how to incorporate natural pictures into a marketing campaign, studies show that having an image based campaign could increase conversion rates. For example, after just three days, customers will retain 65% of visual stimuli. What about engagement? Those same studies also show consumers are 80% more willing to engage with content that includes relevant images.

Snapchat has over 200 million active users and generates at least 10 billion views daily. The mobile video/image sharing app is a platform where videos are shared immediately in a matter of seconds to a wide array of users. Clever features include fun themed “filters”  and even promotional branded “filters” to promote businesses or even your current location. 

Here are a few businesses who are marketing like bosses right now on Snapchat and Instagram.

Nasty Gal

The company has more than 550,000 customers in over 60 countries. With over 2.2 million followers on Instagram, Nasty Gal’s inventive means of connecting with consumers on social media has catapulted their business and has significantly increased the value of the brand. So the question is, what did Nasty Gal do to capture their audience on Snapchat and Instagram?

Instagram

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Nasty Gal prominently displays their logo as their display photo, which reintroduces their brand to their audience.Nasty Gal’s bio on instagram features a shopify link – It gives customers the option to go to an instagram feed that is 100% shoppable, meaning you can click on a picture and be redirected to the specific article of clothing on their website. Genius, right? The content displayed on their page represents their brand, and promotes a lifestyle that would be considered appealing to their target audience.

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Snapchat

Nasty Gal has been using Snapchat to run contests and promotions. During New York Fashion week, they posted a snap to their followers telling them to meet them at a certain spot in order to win a $100 Nasty Gal gift card. Nasty Gal hired their first social media intern via Snapchat, which instantaneously gave everyday consumers the opportunity to be apart of this much sought after team.

Rebecca Minkoff

Rebecca Minkoff is an industry leader in accessible luxury handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel. Rebecca Minkoff has managed to accumulate 676k followers on Instagram. Rebecca Minkoff has managed to execute a traditional and wholesome social media presence while still appealing to her consumers.

Instagram

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In 2011, Rebecca Minkoff revolutionized print ads with Instagram. She solicited her followers to use the #RebeccaMinkoff hashtag and send in picture of themselves wearing her clothes. In return, they were entered for a chance to be featured in the Rebecca Minkoff print ad. Not only did she increase visibility to her Instagram account, but she also increased the exposure for the upcoming print ad. Another fan engagement tactic that Rebecca used on Instagram was during the 2014 New York Fashion Week. She simply had viewers vote on which look they liked best – the look with the least amount of likes was immediately deleted from the lineup. Who wouldn’t like to see their favorite looks on a national level?

 

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Snapchat

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Rebecca Minkoff debuted her ENTIRE 2014 spring collection on Snapchat just days before New York Fashion Week. While there may have been quite a bit of controversy surrounding this marketing strategy, Rebecca immediately found a way to instantly connect consumers to the product.

Grubhub

Grubhub is an online and mobile food-ordering company that connects diners with food from local restaurants. Based in Chicago, the company has more than 44,000 restaurant partners in over 1,000 cities across the United States and United Kingdom. Grubhub has reinvented the concept of branding with their inventive marketing strategies.  

Instagram

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GrubHub features a series of picturesque and au courant photographs from the businesses in which they deliver food from. Occasionally, they post environmentally conscious photos that inform their consumers that they are doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint.

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Snapchat

GrubHub has redefined customer engagement with their use of snapchat. They’ve hosted a scavenger hunt that after completed, allowed followers to be entered for a chance to win free food. The food delivery bosses have also done contests in which followers were asked to send doodles to the company in order to be entered to win gift cards and free food.

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With a creative team and a specific audience in mind, a millennial targeted business could really benefit from marketing on Instagram and Snapchat. The key is to be creative and fun with a specific goal in mind whether it be branding or a focused campaign. When it comes to image based social media, a picture really could be the key to success.

5 Reasons To Use a Magento Partner for Digital Marketing

5 Reasons To Use a Magento Partner for Digital Marketing

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By Joe Williams, Magento Certified Solutions Specialist and VP of eMarketing Services at InteractOne

When it comes to marketing your Magento store, there are a lot of talented marketing agencies to pick from.  Although, the pattern we are seeing is that many of them have little to no experience with the Magento platform and yet, a large number of Magento merchants hire these agencies. As a Magento Development Partner, we are frequently asked  to install extensions or make changes to the catalog for client websites. Unfortunately, more often than not, the task can be accomplished using standard Magento functionality or doesn’t even need a developer to implement.

With Magento Certified Solution Specialists managing your marketing campaigns, there’s no need for a separate marketing agency. Using a certified Magento partner that offers both development and marketing services provides you with more efficient implementation, productive results and a higher ROI.  

Based on our experience, here are 5 reasons to use a Magento partner for eMarketing.

1. They know how to set up the Magento admin

Aside from the obvious advantages of having development expertise at your disposal, experienced Magento admin users have gone through the learning curve of how to utilize out-of-the-box features and properly configure admin settings for a given situation.

An inbound marketer with Magento experience will better understand how SEO is handled within the Magento framework and how to properly set up your configuration. They should be able to directly manage redirects and rewrite rules, properly generate sitemaps, customize metadata and upload content optimizations using import/export. These details might not sound like traditional marketing activities, but they are foundational to success when using Magento. As a development and marketing agency,  we monitor and perform these tasks on a daily basis.

Your marketer should also know how your Magento catalog is structured, how menus are created and structured, and why it matters. If you’ve ever had to clean up your product attribute values to improve usability and SEO, you know how important it is to set them up correctly in the first place. A Magento expert can help you do it right the first time instead of just suggesting it should be done.

Magento-specific marketers also have perspective from what they’ve seen others do well (and not so well) within the platform. Example: A new client of ours had more than 65,000 rows of 301 redirects in their .htaccess file because their marketing agency didn’t understand how to manage redirects in Magento during the site migration. After moving the redirects into the database and cleaning up the .htaccess file, the client’s average page load time went from 12 to 7.4 seconds.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Another recent example is a website that was bogged down by search engine crawler traffic, and an increasing number of 404 errors in their Google Search Console. Fixing some mis-configured product attributes resolved the issue on the Magento side, but then we marked the broken links as fixed in their Search Console account. This client’s previous marketing agency sat on the issue for three months with no resolution, while our Magento experience allowed us to catch the problem in less than two hours. Imagine the damage to organic ranking and online reputation done over the course of three months and how long it will take to rectify, all because of some oversight in a few Magento admin settings.

Site speed and performance are huge ranking factors; who better to improve the performance of your Magento site than a team of Magento experts? Marketing agencies that don’t have the knowledge to work with a specific platform can only give high level suggestions from audit tools like SEMRush or Google Insights, and lack understanding in the necessary steps to improve performance. In most situations, a Magento Solutions Specialist can identify several admin and hosting tweaks to improve performance. You’re achieving quicker results by having tasks addressed proactively instead of identifying the problem only and blindly backing into a solution.

2. They know how Magento extensions work

Not all extensions are created equal: We’ve seen extensions introduce bugs that were devilishly hard to track down and correct. Reviews on Magento Connect are good indicators, but they don’t take your particular setup and installation into account.

You don’t always need an extension: Magento might already have the functionality you’re looking for. There are countless extensions on the marketplace that either duplicate features that already exist within Magento, or they extend some existing functionality. You or your marketer might want to do ‘X’ and then find an extension requiring an integration, when there may be a Magento-native way to accomplish 90% or more of the benefit of the idea. You could have some solid front end features working on your site in the same amount of time it would take to find and install a third party extension. Not to mention, installing unnecessary extensions adds overhead to your site and makes updates more time-consuming in the future.

Another unfortunate commonality is seeing Magento installs with redundant and inactive extensions that are meant to improve performance or SEO, but aren’t working properly due to misconfiguration or conflicts. One example is having three SEO extensions installed to implement rich snippets on your site, or multiple marketing automation plug-ins, none of which are setup correctly. The great thing about the user friendly Magento extension marketplace is sometimes the worst thing – anyone can download extensions. When people who don’t understand the Magento platform download extensions but can’t get them to work properly, they will just download and install another one to test out, and so on.

3. They know Magento is not indestructible

I’d be remissed if I didn’t mention site security and how it pertains to SEO. Google is able to identify known vulnerabilities and malicious scripts on your website, and then broadcast that in search results. Lacking security and not being up to date with Magento patches obviously has a negative effect on your SEO efforts and online reputation.

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You might be thinking this is an area where development and marketing don’t really need to communicate, so what’s the point, right? Both the Magento core and all of your extensions, whether you’re actively using them or not, need to be well-maintained and patched. Since installing an extension isn’t just “set it and forget it”, it’s important to have someone research extensions before deciding whether they’re necessary, and then make sure they’re kept up to date and secure.

An agency with solution specialists and developers working together is more proactive at keeping these things updated for you, compared to a marketing agency focusing just on marketing and a development agency just working on the projects you ask them to.

In addition, a Magento-focused team will be more up-to-date with new features and extension changes that can benefit your business. Your Magento solutions provider will be able to keep your site ahead of the curve on user experience while ensuring your site stays secure.

4. They see your missed Magento opportunities

Magento solutions partners exist for a reason, and partnering with one that also has marketing expertise helps analyze your entire business and set realistic goals. They can evaluate your business needs and interpret them into the best marketing or development solution without wasting the budget on unnecessary wishlist items.

For example, spending $10k on new photography for your products might be a great idea. But investing less time and money optimizing your product attributes and faceted navigation could give you a higher ROI in the short team and help pay for that bigger project. Both projects add value, but one of them is already in your hands if you are a Magento merchant.

A recent client came to us with four extensions installed (all of them paid extensions and two of them were subscription-based with monthly fees) and they had no idea how to use any of them. They liked the thought of having the functionality these extensions provided, but didn’t have the resources to manage them – that is a huge opportunity cost. Magento consultants can help take a high-level look at your goals and pull back on the reins to prevent lost focus and budget by going extension-crazy.

5. They provide in-depth Magento and marketing collaboration

Using a team dedicated to Magento, composed of specialists in each area of eCommerce and digital marketing gives you efficiency and peace of mind by having a single point of communication for your website marketing and development. Marketing and development should be able to set expectations together in constant communication. Development should support customer acquisition. The two main reasons development work is necessary (after security of course) are customer acquisition and customer support. Efficiency is gained by the lack of duplicate work, blind delegation and extension-cluttered installations.

With your teams in one place, you can focus on running your business instead of becoming the middle man or project manager.

So, are you using a Magento Partner for eMarketing AND development needs?

SEO and User Experience (UX) go hand-in-hand. Your marketing team needs to be knowledgeable in the Magento platform in order to connect business and marketing objectives to actionable tasks. Often times you save a great deal of time and money by just having a Magento Solutions Specialist available to suggest improvements and resolve issues without sending everything straight to a developer.

That valuable resource will save on development costs, implementation time and improve your user experience. With both teams working together on your business, you’ll get the synergy that separate freelancers or agencies just don’t provide, and more assurance that your solutions will lead to success.

Facebook: Use it or Lose it?

Facebook: Use it or Lose it?

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By Amanda Watkins, Marketing Communications Manager at InteractOne

After releasing more newsfeed algorithm updates a few months ago, Facebook has recently released new video features that have Facebook marketers drooling with opportunity. The new ad-supported feature is set to attract more video content while sharing revenue with content creators. With the new beta features attempting to rival YouTube, we’re curious to see how this plays out for Social Marketers and businesses on Facebook.

Most importantly, will these new features be worth your time and your precious marketing budget?

It’s no secret that Facebook has become a tricky and difficult platform to utilize for business marketing. When the social giant released newsfeed algorithm changes last year, it changed social marketing on the platform for good. Facebook claims the changes are set to protect its users from company page garble, but was it just their own innocent marketing plea to claim more corporate paid ads?  Who really knows other than Zuckerberg but everyone has their own opinion.

Some opinions were made quite clear.

When EAT24 shut its page down back in March of this year, the marketing section of the internet went crazy.

In addition, EAT24 says they got some serious shade from other marketers in the industry, with most spouting that EAT24 was too cheap to pay for the marketing. (Ouch.)  EAT24 responded with, “The fact is that we’re totally willing to spend money (on stuff that works). In fact, we poured $1 million into Facebook last year. No joke”

$1 million: That’s a lot of marketing moolah.

Speaking of moolah, Veritasium noticed some interesting things that happened when they spent theirs on paid Facebook marketing. Spoiler alert: thousands of fake likes and no organic interaction.

EAT24 isn’t the only one closing Facebook shop. Corporations, especially B2B companies are also forgoing the company page. In an article from Zapier.com, marketing strategist Gregory Ciotti explained why his company deleted their page:

“In a nutshell, our stance of Facebook is that it doesn’t offer enough of a return for a B2B company like ours to warrant the time spent,” says Ciotti. “It isn’t all that great for customer service, and frankly, it’s better to funnel people to a single channel when you have a small team.”

Ciotti echoes a lot of the same concerns we hear from clients and feel here at InteractOne.

Is Facebook “worth it?” Cue Shrug.

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Facebook is an interesting beast. On one hand there are 1.44 billion monthly active users which is prime real estate for marketing and sales. On the other hand, it has become quite difficult to effectively reach desired audiences, even with their pay to play strategy.

Bottom line: When it comes to Facebook, companies really have to do what is best for them.

Are you a B2C company? Is your audience on Facebook? Are they interacting with your page? If you answered yes to these questions, great! It may be worth the time and money to keep the engine going. Be smart. Study your audience and track your ROI based on Facebook data alone to gauge success over time.

Are you a B2B company? Are you having trouble locating an audience on Facebook? Have you had little engagement with your page in the past? If you answered yes to these questions then Facebook may not be the most profitable route. Consider alternative resources like LinkedIn for audience engagement and leads. Also, don’t shy away from email campaigns. Email campaigns are effective and affordable, especially for small businesses.

For more Facebook questions take this detailed quiz: “Discover You Company’s Advertising Potential On Facebook By Answering These 10 Easy Questions”

When it comes to Facebook, be smart marketers and business owners. Know your audience. DO YOUR RESEARCH. Have a plan and for goodness sake, TRACK YOUR DATA.

Finally, know your business. This is said over and over at marketing conferences from the best in the business. You are the best marketer for your company because you know more about it than anyone else. If Facebook sucks for your company, then don’t use it.

Looking for help with social strategy?

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Looking at Your Inbound Marketing Funnel

Looking at Your Inbound Marketing Funnel

What is so important about Inbound Marketing?

We all want to make the most of our marketing funnel, but you need to understand the consideration of visitors, leads, prospects and customers. The infographic below shows how by, earning the attention of prospects and making it easy to find you and your products can you draw more customers to your website. The key to all of this is producing the kinds relevant and engaging content your customers value.

I know one of my biggest complaints about most eCommerce websites is the lack of quality content on the page. Relevant content for your customers can be as simple as a quick video describing or review the product on page. Zappos and REI do a great job putting a personal face on think kind of Owned Media. The Zappos and REI associates introduce themselves and then describe what is great about the product and why it is great for you all in less than two minutes.

These quick hit videos give visitors a personal connection to the product AND the seller, allowing you to see the product either in use or in real life, not just some beauty shot, to help you decide if what you are looking at is a must have. As an inbound marketing strategy goes, this is pretty brilliant. It gives visitors a video to interact with, a relevant landing page, and nurtures the visitor into a lead, let’s Zappos measure the interaction with each video to see what works best to help with the conversion. Using the right kind of CRM technology and analytic package Zappos could even follow up with an email to non-converts who did not view the video with a video embed in the communication.

Our Internet Marketing and Web Development teams here at InteractOne we can help you plan and execute your Inbound Marketing strategy from both the customer facing and back end development of your site to help turn visitors into customers.

Contact us today!

inbound marketing funnel infographic

Advanced SEO Tips For Your eCommerce Site

Advanced SEO Tips For Your eCommerce Site

yoast plut in robots metaDuplicate content is a huge problem for many eCommerce sites, for the following examples we’ll be looking at Magento because that is what we specialize in here at InteractOne. After you’ve done all the basic SEO on your site the rest of the issues relating to duplicate content and/or nearly similar content for products that you’re selling have to be a top priority.Moving on to these advanced SEO tips to solve these issues.Here’s a list of URLs with exactly the same content that you’d find in Magento:

  • Yourdomain.com/product.html
  • Yourdomain.com/categoryA/product.html
  • Yourdomain.com/catalog/product/view/id/1
  • Yourdomain.com/catalog/product/view/id/1/category/1

Along with these pages, you’ll find pages like product reviews, with almost the exact same content. Categories are another problem you’ll run into; you get a ton of duplicate content with layered navigation and option sorting. What does all of this mean? Worst case scenario Product “A” is also on 4 other pages.

Ideally you want to get rid of all those duplicate content pools; however you want them to be spidered but not indexed.

You’ll also need to fix the sorting options and layered navigation for categories.

In order to do this you’ll need to add Noindex, follow for non-content pages What this does, is keep the search engines from actually indexing these pages all of the  links will still be followed.

The next step to optimizing your eCommerce site is to nofollow all unnecessary links, those links are your login page, checkout, whishlist, and all other non content pages. Other pages you need to include in this list are RSS feeds, layered navigation, add to whishlist, and add to compare types of pages.

The third item on the advanced list is Canonical URLs, these help search engines understand the duplicate content of your pages and suggest the preferred version of the URL for each page.

The last item is XML site maps, XML sitemaps are a way to let search engines know where your content is. It’s not going to get you rank; however it might get you indexed faster.

You can put this line of code in your robots file: Sitemap: http://yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml to point search engines to your sitemap.

Of course you’ll have to remember to generate a new sitemap as your products change.

As always if you need help optimizing your eCommerce site feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

How Effective Are Online Ads

How Effective Are Online Ads

Consumers, Marketers Disagree on What Makes Effective Ads

In a world where marketers have taken strongly to digital advertising, we aren’t abandoning traditional media. TV still takes the largest share of ad dollars in the US, and that percentage of the total dollars spent isn’t slipping. But with the measurability inherent in online ads, confidence in their efficacy is generally high.

In an October Adobe survey of marketers and consumers, US marketers even rated online ads better than TV ads. 51% of marketers say that online ad were more effective. But consumers appeared to disagree, with about two-thirds claiming TV commercials were more effective.

Consumers appear to like seeing ads in traditional media better than on newer digital devices. Asked about their preferred venue for ads, 45% said they liked seeing them in their favorite print magazine and 23% on their favorite TV show, compared to just 11% who chose favorite websites, 3% who chose social media and 2% who liked to see ads in digital magazines.

Marketers, and the consumers they are trying to reach, disagree on the effectiveness of a wide variety of ad types, according to the survey. While both groups thought the best ads were those created by professional marketers, nearly half of marketers said this, compared with just 36% of Internet users. There is a large disagreement about the effectiveness of paid search ads (touted by marketers, played down by web users) and outdoor advertising (the reverse). Internet users were also much more likely to say there were no good or effective ads.

What did consumers like? Nearly three-quarters thought ads should “tell a unique story, not just try to sell,” while about two-thirds said videos and user product reviews were good and that in-store experiences were more important than online ones.

The message for marketers  appears mixed, it’s not exactly news that consumers don’t love to see advertising, but with the holiday’s approaching keep in mind, according to Google, 76% of people say they’ve searched online before making a holiday purchase”… do you want to miss out on an opportunity to serve your ads to those Internet users? Regardless of what they think about being advertised too, compelling and engaging marketing can turn even the most ardent anti-marketing Internet user into a customer.

 

Does Google recognize spammy guest blogging?

Does Google recognize spammy guest blogging?

Guest blogging is always good for link-building… right?

Currently, guest blogging is the favorite activity of webmasters for link acquisition. Due to its easy nature, lots of “spammy” activities are going on like article spinning etc. Is Google going to hammer websites for links acquired by guest blogging? Watch the video below from Google’s head of Web SPAM Matt Cutts to find out!

Read more about link schemes: Here

According to Cutts, if you’re article spinning, purchasing blog posts from authors and inserting an overabundance of links, you’re likely to get booted from the search rankings. On the other hand, Cutts discusses the high quality content writers who produce new, thought-provoking articles which is Google sees as valuable.

It’s important to note that Cutts also points out those sites producing articles that only meet the bare minimum of 200 to 400 words. Without giving the exact magic number, it’s clear that it’s important to produce those high word count articles that provide thought leadership and insight that is totally unique.

Bottom line, Google is wants good quality, NEW content for good SEO. Don’t fall victim to those spammy “unique” posts that are not new, are posted on several websites and contain an overabundance of links.

Google put together a whole post on the do’s and don’ts of Link schemes.

According to Google, the following schemes can negatively impact you site’s ranking in search results:
• Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link
• Excessive link exchanges (“Link to me and I’ll link to you”) or partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking
• Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
• Using automated programs or services to create links to your site

Need help building good quality content for your SEO and Blog? Contact us and learn how we can help create Google lovin’ content.

Are You Split Testing Landing Pages?

Are You Split Testing Landing Pages?

A/B Testing Landing PagesOver the years we’ve run across some things that would flat out blow the average mind and make you shake your head in disbelief.

Like many have said in the past, it’s the version you create that you like the least, put the least amount of time in, that actually out performs what you thought was your masterpiece.

Don’t take anything I say here as a standard because I can assure you that your market will respond differently. The only way you’ll discover what works best is by split testing landing pages you create against each other.

We manage an older packaging supply site that has a 10 step checkout process that in my opinion should cost them orders, however just the opposite occurs.

For people that enter the funnel 28.31% of them convert to a sale.

A few years back I personally worked on a site that did automotive classifieds – let’s face it there’s only 2 paths you can take on a site like that – you’re looking to sell a car or buy one.

The home page handled this, but it gave visitors entirely too many ways to accomplish this simple task. It did well, but not nearly as well as a test where we sent all of the non-cookied visits to a page that only gave you two options and each of those lead to a form to collect at least name email and phone number.

That test more than doubled lead volume. Basically it was a similar to your typical paid type dating site where you have to opt in to go any further in the process.

While it may have turned away some visitors, it took total leads from 8,000 to more than 20,000 a month.

Since their money was made in a call center you can see this could have been a very profitable model.

It’s another great example; if we weren’t testing this out on a small segment of traffic initially we would have never discovered it.

These are just a couple of odd examples of A/B tests and why you should always be testing everything you do online and off.

If you’re looking for assistance with your testing or online marketing contact us today to take your website to the next level.