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  • 5 Ways a Professional Design Makeover Improves Your Website

    Sunday, October 1, 2017 by

    Design Makeover for website5 Ways Web Design Can Make or Break Your Website

    Is it time for a website makeover? Your website is prime real estate online. It’s where you can showcase your unique talents and where future clients can learn about your services. Because your website is an integral part of your brand, it makes sense that it looks professional and impresses all your visitors. You want to immediately grab their attention. The right website design builds trust. It gives social proof and encourages people to inquire about products. The best sites attract people, not repel them. It’s time to strengthen your brand image. Keep reading to learn how a professional design makeover can improve your website.  

    1. Visitor Experience

    The design of a website is a make-or-break moment for your business. An Adobe study noted that if “given 15 minutes to consume content, two-thirds of people would rather read something beautifully designed than something plain.” A well-designed website enhances the visitor experience. It’s visually pleasing and captures people’s attention. You’ve probably landed on an unattractive website before, and your instincts automatically tell you to exit the screen. Instead, you want to draw people in. Here’s an example from Tatte Bakery & Cafe. The site is modern with two bold images, the brand’s logo, and lots of white space. website design Beyond eye-catching images, the visitor experience also includes the functionality of the site. Can visitors easily navigate your site without any hassle? Your website isn’t a static piece of art. It’s a dynamic tool for presenting your business to the world. So, you’ll want to insert strong calls to action within your site to lead visitors on a journey. Good design gives visitors a clear pathway to find what they need on your site. Set your design standards and observe how people use your site to make improvements.  

    2. Brand Identity

    The marketplace is crowded with businesses seeking to gain more customers. With so much competition, it’s easy for buyers to mistake your brand for another business. It’s vital that your website stand out from the rest, and it all starts with a solid brand identity—the consumers’ perception of your business. Itai Elizur, COO at InboundJunction, agrees: “It’s hard to overstate the importance of a solid brand look, no matter the size of your business or how long you’ve been around. From first impression to building engagement and growing solid relationships, your brand identity is crucial.” A modern website not only looks great and impresses your customers, but it also tells a story about your brand’s mission and values. To create a distinct and memorable brand identity, think about your customers’ expectations and the message you want to convey. Your identity is represented through the structure, the color palette, and the fonts of your site. Keep consistency as a guiding principle as you create your website. Visitors should recognize your brand within a few seconds—without having to see your logo. Moreover, finding the right balance between branding and design takes time. Don’t feel anxious if it takes you longer than expected to build your website.  

    3. Mobile Lifestyle

    Your audience is exploring websites when they’re commuting from work, visiting a friend out of town, and waiting in line at the grocery store. Research found that “mobile devices now account for nearly 2 of every 3 minutes spent online.” Your goal is to develop a mobile-friendly design that works seamlessly on all devices, from smartphones to desktops. Sizing your site to fit each device makes it convenient for visitors to navigate your content. “Taking a mobile-first approach necessitates a lot of focus and attention on the needs of the user, and it requires the company to hone in on what is most essential about its message and its content. There’s no room for flashy widgets and vanity features,” states Forbes contributor Gabriel Shaoolian. Below is a mobile website from airline JetBlue. You’ll notice that the content fits in the screen without having to zoom in or out. Plus, a simple finger tap opens drop-down menus. mobile friendly website You also want to consider the limitations of mobile devices. Not every task on a desktop website is suitable for a smartphone or tablet version. For instance, you might disable a live chat support feature or remove specific pop-up windows. You’ll have to make critical decisions on how you will engage with your mobile visitors.  

    4. Social Proof

    People trust websites that look professional. If you want customers to work with you, you need to fortify your brand site with social proof. When consumers visit your website, they need immediate indicators that you’re a reputable business. They want to know that you’re not engaged in phony transactions or attempting to sell their personal information. Social proof eases the tensions and gives credence to your brand. These trust elements include badges from the Better Business Bureau or logos from past mentions in publications. However, those types of social proof aren’t always the most effective. People believe their family and peers more than another business vouching for a brand. Fast Company reports that “70% of consumers say they look at product reviews before making a purchase.” Buyers want honest opinions from current consumers. Serial entrepreneur Neil Patel practices this strategy. On his consulting page, he provides testimonials from his past clients showing how he impacted their work. social proof on website Experiment with different forms of social proof on your page. You can post a customer quote with a photo of the individual. Or you can upload a short video clip from a past client. The key is to illustrate the respect your brand receives in the industry. This is your chance to brag a little.  

    5. More Sales

    Let’s be honest. When visitors land on your site, you don’t want them leaving without purchasing your product or at least inquiring about your services. It’s important to work with your designer to create a natural flow from interested buyers to new customers. This means anticipating how visitors will interact with your website as it relates to the sales funnel. Obed Richman, an experienced web designer, offers his perspective: “It isn’t enough to state explicitly in your written content that you can solve someone’s problem—not if that message is drowning in so much poor design that your customer doesn’t read it. Every element of your website needs to be designed to point towards that one end goal: attracting your customer, and solving their problem.” What pages will people visit first? How easy is it for visitors to shop in your eCommerce store? Can they contact you directly? For example, the checkout process should be streamlined for the buyer. Focus on reducing the number of clicks it takes to complete a transaction. Normally, businesses implement a three-step process: the add-to-cart page, the payment page, and the confirmation page. Designing a sales-ready website is less about the product and more about the consumer. You’re crafting an experience that promotes shopping.  

    It’s Makeover Time!

    Is your website lacking pizazz? Take the leap and get a professional design makeover. A new website look enhances the visitor experience by improving functionality. It displays your brand identity with visual storytelling. Also, you can update your site to fit your audience’s mobile lifestyle. Don't wait another second! Check out HostGator's web design services for more details.
  • How to Start a Customer Referral Program

    Sunday, October 1, 2017 by

    Customer Referral ProgramShould Your Business Offer a Refer-a-Friend Program?

    No matter how much you invest in marketing and how good your messaging is, nothing you say will ever be as convincing to prospective customers as hearing from happy customers themselves. An enthusiastic recommendation from someone who’s like them and has already had direct experience with your company is powerful. Word-of-mouth or referral marketing isn’t the easiest type of marketing to do. It’s not something you can simply pay for, since happy customers have to be earned. But if you can find a way to encourage your current customers to help promote your brand and products to other people in your audience – you pretty much hit the marketing jackpot. Dedicated Server

    What is a Customer Referral Program?

    One of the best options you have for looping your customers into your marketing and promotion efforts is with a customer referral program. Customer referral programs encourage and incentivize customers to spread the word of a product or service they already use to their friends, acquaintances and social media networks. Friends and followers trust that a person they know wouldn’t promote a product unless they believed it was worth it, so they’re more likely to give it a try – especially if their friend’s promotion includes a discount for them as well. It’s a win-win for all involved. You get a new customer, and both the referrer and person referred get a good deal.  

    3 Benefits of Starting a Customer Referral Program

    Customer referral programs are powerful for a few key reasons.  

    1. People trust recommendations from friends.

    Nielsen research has found that people trust recommendations from friends more than any other source. That confirms what most of us already intuitively feel. We know our friends have no reason to lead us astray. If they say their experience with a product or company is good, we have no reason to suspect ours will be any different.  

    2. Referral programs are naturally targeted.

    Marketers spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to reach our target audience where they are. Chances are, a lot of the people in our target audience are hanging out with other people in our target audience. Each new customer your marketing earns you gives you a way in to reaching their contacts, which is likely to include a number of other people with similar likes and interests to them.  

    3.When referral marketing works, it’s exponential.

    This might be the best thing about customer referral programs. All that hard work you did to attract one customer with ads, SEO, and content marketing doesn’t just pay off in them buying the product. When they see that you have a referral program that rewards them for spreading the word, they tell all their friends. If even just a few of those friends decide to give you a try, love the product, and respond the same way to your referral program, then you have several new customers promoting your product to all their friends. Your reach will grow and grow.  

    How to Start a Customer Referral Program

    In order to get a customer referral program going, there are a few key steps you need to take.  

    1. Create a plan.

    Before moving forward, you need to sit down and work out the basics of how you want your customer referral plan to work. In this step, consider who your audience is, what their habits are, and what drives them. For instance, you’d be best off considering a different approach to a referral program for middle aged moms who are most likely to make recommendations to friends in person than you would for teenagers that spend a lot of time on social media. Determine what reward you should offer that you're confident will incentivize your customers. If you sell the kind of product that inspires a lot of repeat customers, then a discount on a future purchase can benefit both them and you. If you sell the kind of big-ticket item a person’s not likely to buy again for a while, then something like a gift card or a discount at a partner business may make more sense. In addition to rewarding the customer that sends referrals your way, you should also plan on offering something to incentivize their friends and followers to take the step of signing up. Offer a discount, a longer trial, or something else that makes it a better value for them to sign up through their friend’s referral link.  

    2. Pick your software.

    Setting up and implementing a referral program will be much easier if you invest in the right software for doing so. Referral software can help you organize and streamline the process of promoting your referral program and providing customers with what they need to participate. Take some time to review your options and get some quotes for those that look like the best fit. How much work you have to put into the process and how good of an experience your customers have will have a lot to do with the type of software you use.  

    3. Develop all the marketing materials you need.

    Like any other marketing campaign, a customer referral campaign will require creating a variety of marketing materials. You’ll need to call in your usual team to design and write emails, landing pages, graphics for the campaign and anything else you’ll need to promote your referral program. Your program won’t get far unless your customers learn it exists and are convinced it’s worth it to them to get involved. This is the step where you make that happen.  

    5 Best Practices for Running a Successful Customer Referral Program

    First things first, this only works if you have a good product and stellar customer service. Hopefully you already have those things under control. If you’re providing your customers with the kind of experience they’ll want to share with others, then go a little bit further with these best practices.  

    1. Promote your referral program to all your customers.

    Anyone who buys a product from you has the potential to be a valued member of your referral program. Make sure you take every opportunity you can (without becoming a nuisance) to let your customers know about the program and urge them to get involved. Rover regularly emails their current sitters urging them to recommend the service to other sitters in exchange for gift cards and/or the ability to be entered into a contest. This periodic reminder, coupled with an attractive incentive, makes current sitters that much more likely to think to mention Rover when they encounter friends likely to be a good fit for the service. rover customer referral program

    2. Promote it on your website.

    In addition to emails, hit them with a reminder every time they come to your website. Every time a customer visits the Naturebox website, they see the promise of FREE SNACKS displayed in orange in the top menu. That menu item leads to a page touting their referral program. That means any time someone’s browsing the site hungrily, they get a reminder of how easy it is to save money by looping their friends in on the deal. nature box refer a friend program

    3. Make sure the reward is worth it.

    Your referral program isn’t likely to go far if you’re not offering something people will want – on both ends of the deal. Gift cards and credits are a pretty tried and true method – people like free money. But you can find other ways to incentivize people as well. For example, Dropbox offers free storage to people who participate in their referral program. dropbox refer a friend program

    4. Make it easy for them to share.

    Many social media plug-ins exist because of one, simple truth. People are more likely to do the thing you want them to (in this case, share their referral link) if you remove all friction and make it totally painless.  To that effect, Rover provides pre-filled copy for email, Twitter, and Facebook that people can use if they don’t want to bother writing their own message. rover refer a friend program

    5. Make it easy for them to claim their reward.

    The customers that refer their friends are some of your most valuable customers. You want to keep them happy so they keep spreading the word about you. So don’t make them jump through any hoops to claim the reward they’ve earned. Make it automatic. When someone comes to you through a customer’s referral link, have it set up so your customer automatically receives the discount, credit, gift card or other reward you’ve promised as soon as possible. If it’s an easy and rewarding experience for them, there’s a good chance they’ll keep it up and send more people your way. The customers that love you are more valuable to your company than anything else. They can make and break your success. Customer referral programs give you a way to actively nurture those connections and gain new customers at the same time. When done well, they’re beneficial to all involved and can be a boon to both your customer relationships and your bottom line.
  • How to Find the Most Popular Pages on Your Website

    Sunday, October 1, 2017 by

    Find Popular Pages on your websiteUse Google Analytics to Find the Most Visited Pages on Your Website

    Whether you run a small website with just a few pages or practice content marketing and have 1,000 blog posts, it’s valuable to understand how people interact with your website. One piece of information any website owner should pay attention to is which of your webpages are getting the most traffic. Luckily, that’s a pretty simple metric to access. HostGator Website Builder

    Find Your Most Popular Pages in Google Analytics

    First, you need to login to your Google Analytics account. If you haven’t set up Google Analytics for your website yet, then get that done ASAP. You can find instructions on how to do so here (or here for WordPress websites). The rest of these steps will only benefit you once you have Google Analytics tracking set up on your website for a while, so if you just set it up today, bookmark this post and make a note in your calendar to revisit it in a few weeks once you have some data to work with. Once you’re in, choose Behavior in the left hand menu. Under that, select Site Content and then All Pages. Google Analytics site content all pages And that’s it, you should now be seeing a list of the pages in your website ordered by how much traffic they receive. Google Analytics usually defaults to showing you just the last week’s worth of information, but you can expand that by changing the date range in the top right corner. change date range google analytics

    How to Use This Information

    Now that you have the information, what are you supposed to do with it? Well, your most popular pages have something to tell you about what’s working best for your website. And they provide you with opportunities to do more to capture the attention of the people who navigate to your website so you can (hopefully) turn one-off visits into ongoing relationships. Here are a few steps you can take to get more out of your most popular pages.  

    1. Add CTAs to keep the relationship going.

    What happens when people land on these pages? If most of them leave again without visiting any other pages on your website or signing up for your email list or taking any of the other actions you’d ideally like them to, then you’re missing opportunities. Figure out what you’d most like people to do after they visit each popular page, and craft a call to action to help guide them in that direction.  

    2. Add relevant internal links to other pages on your site.

    Internal links both encourage your visitors to check out other pages on your website and contribute to improving the SEO of the pages you link to. Make sure the links you include fit in naturally on the page, and don’t try to force a link in there that doesn’t make sense. Be sure to include relevant anchor text for the links you create (those are the words that are linked, the ones that show up in blue). It’s one little step you can take to give those pages some extra SEO power.  

    3. Analyze what’s working for your most popular pages.

    There’s some reason that your most popular pages are outperforming the others. Try to figure out what that is. Start by looking at how people found the page. You can see this in Google Analytics under the Acquisition section. If a lot of that traffic is coming through organic search, then your SEO is working for you. If it’s coming from referral links on social media or other pages, then that tells you something about how well your promotion efforts are working. Look for things your most popular pages have in common. If most of the top pages are longform blog posts over 1,500 words and they’re handily outperforming your 500-word posts, then you know that a focus on longform is a good strategy. Maybe your popular pages are formatted differently than others, or maybe they tend to focus on particular topics your audience is especially interested. Do your best to work out what makes these pages special.  

    4. Revisit low-traffic pages to implement improvements.

    Your insights from step three will likely provide you some useful information in how to make the other pages on your site stronger. Work out a plan to re-visit your older pages and posts and make updates to them based on what you learned in your analysis.  

    5. Incorporate your insights into your plan for future pages.

    In addition to improving your current pages, use those insights to help you plan your future content. Figure out related or similar topics that you can cover on your blog. If your most popular pages tend to be tutorials, make more of those. Whatever this project has shown you is working, figure out a plan to do more of that.  

    6. Use A/B testing to confirm your insights.

    It’s possible to draw the wrong assumptions from an analysis like the one you did in step three. To avoid committing long term to a strategy based on a mistaken assumption about why your popular content is working, do some A/B testing. Create two pieces of content that are similar in every way but one – maybe they have a different CTA, different title format, or different lengths. By seeing the comparison in how they perform, you can either confirm or correct your assumptions about what made those popular posts work. Your analytics have a lot to tell you about what your website visitors like. To make use of that information, you have to get into the habit of paying attention to the metrics that matter and creating an action plan to turn those insights into improvements.
  • Online Marketing Terms You Need To Know

    Monday, September 25, 2017 by

    Online Marketing TermsA Glossary of Online Marketing Definitions

    When you’re starting a new business or delving into the world of online marketing for the first time, not only do you have a lot to learn about the types of online marketing and best practices for each of them, but you’ll find there’s a whole new language you have to learn. You can expect to encounter marketers casually throwing around terms and acronyms like they think everyone will understand them (hint: not everybody does, it’s not just you). To help you navigate all the new, confusing language of online marketing, we’ve put together a glossary of online marketing terms you’ll want to know. Bookmark this for future use so you have a handy resource next time you come across a marketing term that leaves you scratching your head. A/B testing – The practice of releasing two marketing items that are similar in every way but one, in order to see which of the changed elements performs better. This can be used for emails, landing pages, calls-to-action, etc. AdWords – Google’s advertising service that runs many of the ads you see around the web, in particular those that show up above and to the side of organic search results. Affiliate marketing – A marketing practice wherein bloggers or other influencers include links to a brand’s website in their content and earn part of the proceeds for customers they help refer. (Learn about HostGator's affiliate program here!) Anchor text – The words that are used in a link (the ones you usually see blue and underlined on the page). Backlinks – A term commonly used in SEO to describe links from other websites that point back to yours. Banner ads – A form of online advertising in which a visual ad shows up somewhere on a website’s page, usually an image in a square or rectangle shape. These can be at the top of the page, to the side, or embedded within the text. Behavioral targeting – Many online advertising platforms allow you to target ads based on online actions users have take in the past. For example, if a person’s browsing history suggests they’re a runner (or hoping to become one), marketers selling running shoes can target their ads at them. Bing – One of the main three search engines people use. Black hat SEO – SEO tactics aimed at essentially tricking search engine algorithms into ranking a website higher, such as keyword stuffing and comment spam. Google’s constantly refining their algorithms to penalize sites that use black hat tactics. Bounce rate – A marketing metric that measures the percentage of website visitors that leave your site without visiting more than the page they landed on. Buyer persona – A marketing tool that helps people imagine the audience they’re targeting by creating a description of a fictional person that would be your ideal customer. Most companies develop several buyer personas to help guide their marketing. Buyer’s journey – The path prospects take to become a customer. This often includes the initial actions taken when a person first learns about a company, a period of doing research and interacting with a company’s website and content to learn more, then the decision to purchase. Blog – A commonly used content marketing platform for publishing frequent written content that provides value to visitors in the hopes of improving SEO, developing a relationship with potential customers, and gaining new email subscribers and customers. Create Your Blog Case study – A written piece of content that describes the success story of a past or current customer in order to convince new leads to consider doing business with you. CMS (Content Management System) – A type of marketing software that makes it easier for companies doing content marketing to create, edit, organize, and schedule pieces of content. Content creation – The act of creating any type of content used in content marketing. Content distribution – The tactics businesses use to spread their content on the web so new people in their target audience will encounter it. Content marketing – A form of online marketing based on the practice of creating valuable, relevant content that helps brands attract new leads and build relationships with customers and people in their target audience. Content promotion – The tactics used to promote content that you’ve created to ensure people in your target audience see it. Content strategy – The strategy that guides your content marketing efforts. Developing a content strategy plays a key role in doing content marketing well. Contextual advertising – A form of targeted advertising in which the ads displayed relate directly to what a person is doing or seeing at the time. For example, someone reading an article about gardening tips could see an ad for a fertilizer alongside it. Cookie – The online tool used for tracking user behavior. When you visit a website, the site’s cookie will record your visit and send a message to your web server. This record of your web activity is what helps fuel targeted marketing. CTA (Call to Action) – For every piece of marketing you create, there’s an action you’re hoping your audience will take. The call to action is where you express that and urge your visitors toward what you want them to do next (click here, sign up for your email list, etc.). CTR (Click-Through Rate) – CTR is a marketing metric that measures the percentage of people who viewed a link that chose to click on it. Conversion optimization – Online marketing tactics designed to increase your conversion rate. Conversion rate – The percentage of visitors that take the desired action you want them to. As an example, for an email promotion a conversion could be clicking a link in the email to go to a website landing page. CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) – One of the billing methods common in online marketing. For any channel that charges based on CPA, you’ll pay a set rate when their referral results in a sale. CPC (Cost Per Click) – Another billing method in online marketing that’s especially common in search advertising. Based on this model, you only pay when someone clicks on an ad. CPM (Cost Per Impression) – A third billing model for online marketing, CPM is when you pay each time an ad is seen by a certain number of people. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – An approach to tracking, analyzing, and managing all aspects of a customer’s relationship with a company from their first interaction through their time as a customer.  Sometimes the same acronym is used to refer to software that helps enable customer relationship management. Domain authority – A measure of how respected a website is according to search engine algorithms which plays a role in its likelihood to show up high in search engine rankings. Earned media – Marketing that focuses on unpaid promotional efforts, such as guest posts or customer word of mouth. Earned media is often discussed in comparison to owned and paid media. Ebook – A longform written piece of content. Ebooks are often used as gated content to collect new information on leads. Email marketing – All marketing delivered through email. This includes promotional emails, emails that promote content, and email drip campaigns for new leads and customers. Engagement – An oft-used term in online marketing that describes interactions prospects have with a brand. External link – A link on another website that points back to yours. Facebook – The biggest social media network and therefore one that potentially provides brands a lot of opportunities to interact directly with their audience. Gated content – High-value content that you put behind a web form so people have to provide you information (usually things like email address, job title, etc.) in order to access it. Google – The biggest and most important of the search engines. While SEO includes optimizing for Bing and Yahoo as well, the vast majority of the focus goes to Google. Google Analytics – The tool Google provides for tracking and measuring website success through a variety of useful analytics. Guest Post – A post a brand has published on a third-party blog as a way to promote the brand, reach a new audience, and gain external links. Hashtag – Popularized by Twitter, a hashtag is a word or phrase that’s preceded by a pound sign (#) that can help people follow trending topics on the website. Inbound marketing – A marketing strategy based on the idea of attracting people to your brand rather than pushing out ads at them. Influencer marketing – A marketing tactic that involves working with popular figures in an industry or space in order to reach more followers. For example, a business that sells cooking supplies might partner with a food blogger who creates recipes that require using the company’s supplies. Infographics – A visual form of content marketing that collects interesting facts or data and displays them in a visually attractive way. Instagram – A growing social media platform with a visual focus. Internal link – Links on your website that point to other pages on your website. Internet marketing – Another term for online marketing. Interruption marketing – Any marketing that interrupts what a person’s doing to get their attention (e.g. commercials, autoplay videos embedded in an article, pop-up ads). A term used to differentiate content marketing and inbound marketing from traditional advertising. Keyword – The words and terms people use when searching for something online Keyword research – The research marketers perform for SEO and PPC to determine which keywords their target audience are using in order to know which ones to focus their marketing efforts on. Keyword stuffing – A black hat SEO tactic that involves filling a page with your target keyword in an unnatural way in the hopes of increasing your chances of ranking for it. (Note: this tactic no longer works and should be avoided). Landing page – The page a link or ad sends your visitors to. Landing pages should be relevant to whatever ad or link sent visitors and designed to increase the likelihood of a conversion. Local SEO – The search engine optimization tactics that work best for businesses with a local focus (e.g. those specifically out to attract customers within a set geographic area).   Link building – Any tactics used to encourage or create links on other websites that point back to your website. This is a key part of SEO. Long-tail keyword – Longer, more detailed keywords that are less competitive (and often therefore cheaper) to target for SEO and PPC. For example “mother’s day flower delivery in austin” is a long tail keyword, whereas “flower delivery” isn’t. Marketing analytics – The data online marketing tools collect which help marketers track and analyze the results of their efforts. Marketing automation – The practice of using technology to automate some aspects of marketing, such as setting up a specific email to go out in response any time a prospect downloads a related ebook. Marketing Funnel – A visual that helps describe the common buyer’s journey. The idea is that the top of the funnel (TOFU) is the awareness stage where you attract a huge number of leads, the middle of the funnel (MOFU) is where you nurture and develop a further relationship with many of those leads, and the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is where the few leads that remain toward the end of the process are ushered toward the final sale. Mobile marketing – Any marketing that either appears exclusively on mobile devices or is optimized for views on mobile devices. With people increasingly using mobile for a wide array of tasks, including much of their shopping, mobile marketing is especially important for online marketers today. Natural listing – Another term for organic results, this describes the search results that show up that haven’t been paid for. On-site optimization – The SEO tactics that you can perform on your own website, such as filling in meta tags and including your target keyword in the text on a webpage. Organic results – The search results that haven’t been paid for (they usually show up below the PPC ads, which are labeled as ads). Outbound links – Links on your website that point out to other websites. Owned Media – All the media published on the channels you own, such as your own website and blog and your social media channels. Owned media is often discussed in relation to earned and paid media. Paid Media – Marketing you pay for, such as search ads, social media ads, and more traditional forms of advertising like commercials and billboards. Paid Search – Another term for PPC marketing. Any advertising you do on the search engines. Permission Marketing – Marketing that’s only seen by people who have opted into seeing it. The term is often used to describe opt-in email marketing. Personalized Marketing – Targeted marketing that uses behavioral or demographic data to deliver relevant messages to specific people. This can be as simple as including someone’s name in an email, or as complex as delivering emails about a product or topic someone’s shown an interest in on your website. Pinterest – An image-based social media website that many marketers have a presence on. Pop-up Ads – Any ad that pops up once you’re on a website, sometimes blocking the text of the page to get the reader’s attention. PPC (Pay Per Click) – Another term commonly used to describe paid search advertising, in which marketers only pay for their ads when a viewer clicks. Pay-per-click advertising produces the ads you see above and to the side of organic search results, as well throughout the rest of the Google Ad Network. Responsive Ads – Ads that adjust their size, shape, and appearance for optimum viewing no matter what device you view them on. These are increasingly popular and important as more people use mobile devices for much of their internet browsing. Retargeting – The option of targeting ads at someone that’s already been on your website to increase their chances of returning. When you see an ad seemingly following you around the web for a product your recently viewed, that’s retargeting. Search rankings – The order that websites appear in search results. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) – The blanket term that describes any marketing focused on increasing visibility in the search engines, namely PPC, SEO, and some content marketing. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Online marketing tactics designed to improve a website’s rankings in the search engines. Some main components of SEO include keyword research, link building, and on-site optimization. SERP (Search Engine Results Page) – A common way of referring the page you get to in Google or another search engine after you perform a search. Snapchat – A mobile social media platform that allows people to post momentary photos, messages, and videos that only exist temporarily before disappearing. Social Media Analytics – The data provided by the main social media platforms that provide insights into how people are interacting with your social media posts and ads. Social Media Marketing – Any marketing you do that occurs on one of the main social media platforms. The main ones most businesses make use of are: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube. Stickiness – A term used to describe anything about a website that keeps visitors around longer or makes them more likely to come back. User generated content – Any content used in your marketing that’s submitted by your current customers or followers. Twitter – One of the main social media platforms, characterized by its fast-moving nature and 140-character limit. Video Marketing – Any marketing you do that involves videos, including video advertisements, live video, 360 videos, and branded webseries. Viral marketing – Any piece of marketing that “goes viral,” or spreads far and wide on the internet. Viral marketing isn’t usually something you can plan for (although people try). White hat SEO – Legitimate SEO tactics that are approved of by the search engines. The term is often used in opposition to black hat SEO. White paper – An authoritative piece of longform written content that’s often used as gated content to gain new information on leads. Yahoo – One of the main three search engines people use. YouTube – A widely used social media website focused on videos. There you have it. You now have definitions for most of the terms you could possibly need to know in online marketing. Now you just need to learn how to put your knowledge to use in the way that’s best for your business.
  • 5 Ways to Track Offline Marketing Efforts

    Monday, September 18, 2017 by

    Track Offline MarketingHow to Track Your Offline Marketing Campaigns

    How can you track the results of offline marketing campaigns such as billboards, posters, magazine ads, or TV ads? Some marketers might say it’s impossible. But, we’re about to prove them wrong. With the right strategy in place, you can track your offline marketing campaigns to analyze the results and discover whether they’re worth the investment. And no, you don’t have to be a marketing genius to do it. In this post, we’ll show you why it’s important to track your offline marketing campaigns and how you can track them all by yourself without having to spend a fortune. Let’s get started, shall we?  

    Does Offline Marketing Still Work?

    Today, it’s easier to create an online marketing campaign than ever before. Almost anyone can easily launch a Google AdWords campaign or a Facebook Ads campaign instantly without having any prior experience. To make things even better, online marketing allows you to target specific audiences and easily track the progress and the effectiveness of your ad campaigns. With all these advanced technologies in place, some might wonder if offline marketing still worth the effort. Well, believe it or not, offline marketing still has its benefits. In fact, according to a study, offline marketing campaigns can actually help boost the effectiveness of online campaigns by 40 percent. Also, offline marketing still plays a major role in branding and influence as well. Which is why most businesses still invest heavily in billboards and TV ads. Create Your Blog

    Why Track Offline Marketing Campaigns?

    The biggest downside to offline marketing is that there’s no way for you to track the effectiveness of your campaigns. There is no analytics for billboards and posters. You just keep pouring in money hoping for the best. At least, that used to be the case with offline marketing. But, not anymore. Now, there are ways you can go around this problem quite easily by mixing your offline marketing with online analytics. This allows you to track conversions and leads to understand whether or not your offline marketing campaigns work and which campaigns are more effective. You can then use the results to invest in the most effective strategies.  

    How to Get Started

    There are several different ways you can track your offline marketing. Depending on the type of campaign you’re running, you can decide how to track your conversions based on different strategies. Here’s how you can get started.  

    1. Create Landing Pages

    Creating offline marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your website homepage is a poor strategy that will simply be a waste of your money and efforts. Billboard with websiteInstead, you should create landing pages for each and every promotion of your marketing campaigns. This way, you’ll be able to easily track the page with analytics and, more importantly, convert your visitors into leads with an effective email opt-in campaign. The only problem with this strategy is that the URL of the page tends to get a bit longer when you create custom landing pages. These are not only difficult to show in banners and posters, but also makes it harder for people to remember. Which is why this next step is crucial for tracking offline marketing.  

    2. Use UTM Codes and QR Codes

    You can analyze your landing page visitors with Google Analytics. But, only to a certain point. For example, if you were to promote your landing page through different mediums like billboards and magazine ads, how can you measure the success of each campaign and figure out which drove the most visitors? QR codes on print ad This can be easily fixed by adding a tracking code to your URL. These are called UTM codes. If you’re using WordPress, you can use a tool like MonsterInsights UTM Builder to create custom tracking codes to be used with your different offline marketing campaigns. Then you can use a URL shortener to create a shorter custom URL. This will help you recognize different traffic sources in Google Analytics. MonsterInsights URL plugin Using QR Codes is another effective strategy to implement tracking in a convenient way which also allows users to easily scan the code using their smartphones to get more information about promotions.  

    3. Utilize Coupon Codes

    Another popular way to track your promotions is by using coupon codes. These usually work in print media, such as leaflets, flyers, and newspaper/magazine ads. uber promocode While you provide the users with a discount to purchase your products, you also get to use those coupon codes to track your marketing campaigns by creating different coupon codes for each campaign. Whenever someone uses the coupon code on your website to buy a product, you’ll know where they came from.  

    4. Track Phone Calls

    It may be hard to believe, but it is possible to track phone calls. Using this method you can track your ad conversions via phone calls to make the most of your offline marketing campaigns. Certain services, like CallRail, provides marketers with solutions for tracking phone calls, record calls, and measuring call conversions with advanced reporting and analytics. call tracking While this doesn’t necessarily relate to website promotions, it may come in handy when you want to include multiple Call To Actions (CTA) in your offline marketing.  

    5. Leverage Augmented Reality

    What does the future hold for offline marketing? Will it still work? Would people still interact with posters and flyers in the future? Well, the technology has found a way to make offline ads even more entertaining with augmented reality. Shazam recently rolled out an innovative new feature turning the music discovery app into an augmented reality solution for brands. Basically, this allows brands and businesses to create print ads with digital interactions by adding a small Shazam icon in the ads. Shazam brand marketing When users scan the Shazam icons in print ads using the app, they receive more information about the business related to the ad on their own phones. It’s an incredibly fun and an entertaining way to make offline ads interactive. Of course, Shazam aims to provide businesses with analytics for these ads as well.  

    Summary

    Hopefully, these tactics will make you think twice about the way you approach offline marketing in your next promotion. As a modern marketer, you should always be aware of how to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Mixing online marketing with offline marketing can bring you much better results than limiting yourself to just one strategy.