How to Write Great Website Content

How to Write Great Website Content

How to Write Great Website Content

Writing Great Copy

Writing great website content is an art form. Brands have made incredible profits from skillfully written copy that drives customers to take action. Conversely, money has been lost from companies who do not use copywriting effectively.

Good copywriting spans over almost all marketing channels, from radio scripts that reach millions of listeners, to billboards that are seen by countless commuters and commercials that are broadcast to vast audiences. Why is good copywriting important? Words have power. Words can persuade.

The primiary goal of copywriting is to get the reader to read the next line…repeat

If you’re a website owner, congratulations, you have the opportunity of putting great copy into your own slice of internet real estate. The effectiveness of this copy will decide how website visitors perceive and engage with you, which means it is vital for your own online success.   In this post, we’re going to look at the elements of effective copy for your website.

You can choose to implement these ideas yourself or reach out to company like us to help you along the way.

What is your Goal?

If you’re writing copy for your website, you need to decide what you want your copy to achieve. Are you communicating the benefits of your products to convert visitors into buyers? Are you seeking sign-ups to a webinar, email list or your social following?

Deciding what your goal is will shape the words you write, as your goal is focused on communicating your message.   Have your goal in mind? HubSpot gives you the tips to write compelling copy to convert your readers.

Understanding Who You’re Writing For

Knowing your audience is crucial to writing effective copy. Knowing who you’re writing for will shape the content, tone, length and type of language you’ll use. If you run a business website and you have a brick and mortar shop under the same name, you’ll be able to understand who your target market is easily from your own real-life experiences and interactions with customers.

If your business is website only, it may be more challenging to know what your readers expect until you have more experience. There are some fantastic survey tools such as Google Forms and SurveyMonkey that you can utilize to gather information on your readers.

Characters

If you have an email mailing list, social following or customer database, mailing them a simple survey to gather personalized information is extremely valuable. This can help you discover what they’re interested in reading, what problems they have that you can solve and what informs their decisions.

The most important thing to remember is to get the most important information on your website above the fold. Above the fold means everything you see on the website when you first land on it before you scroll down.

The most common details above the fold usually include who you are, what you do, what services you offer, contact information, why you do what you do, why you are better than the rest, or how you do what you do. I would also suggest studying your competitors “above the fold” copy and then visiting some fortune 500 brand swhom you admire as well.

Reader Profile

Whether you’re using a survey or making your own informed judgement, creating an ideal reader profile can be useful in deciding who you’re writing for. With a clear reader profile, you’ll be able to tailor your copy to target this ideal reader, including what keywords to target and the clear calls to action to create.

Demographics

What’s your reader’s age, sex, location and gender?

Demographics is an important first step in your reader profile. This will help inform the tone of voice, keywords and approach you take to your style of copywriting. Knowing your demographics are important as these are key points to target.

Psychographics

What are your reader’s beliefs, interests and motivations?

Copywriting almost always appeals to emotions in some way. Knowing what it is that drives or motivates your reader is particularly important. Are they driven by a need for money, freedom, safety, security or something else?

Consistency

Creating a profile that meshes together consistently.

Writing a reader profile requires a consistent personality of your ideal reader. Don’t try and be all things to all people, but rather create this ideal reader profile as a template of someone you’d like to read your content. You can create this fictional person and fill in the gaps on their hobbies, eating habits, personality and behavior based on intuition and experience.

Headlines

In today’s world, our attention is more limited than ever, and a headline that doesn’t grab my interest doesn’t get a click. According to legendary copywriter David Ogilvy,   “On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.

One of my favorite copywriters that ever lived was Eugene Schwartz who has since passed away. One of his biggest accomplishments was writing “Breakthrough Advertising” a legendary book that is now out of print but can be found used (and usually beat up) on eBay for as much as $1000.

Here are some amazing insights from Eugene’s book on writing powerful headlines

  1. Measure the size of the claim
  2. Measure the speed of the claim
  3. Compare the claim to its (unnamed) rival
  4. Sensitize with feel, smell, touch, see or hear it. (“Tastes like you just picked it!”)
  5. Remove limitations from the claim
  6. State the claim as a question (e.g. Who else wants whiter wash – with no hard work?”)
  7. Insert authority into the claim
  8. Before-and-after the claim
  9. Stress the newness of the claim
  10. Stress the exclusivity of the claim
  11. Turn the claim into a challenge for the reader
  12. Disrupt the reader by contradicting the way they think it should work
  13. Connect the need and the claim in the headline
  14. Give a name to the the problem or need
  15. Warn about possible problems if they don’t use the product
  16. Show how easy the claim is
  17. Accuse the claim of being too good (e.g. “Is it immoral to make money this easily?”)
  18. Turn the claim into a question and answer

Here are 3 more gold nuggets when considering the perfect headline

Scarcity

Scarcity simple means that the offer will not be around forever. It tells the reader that if they want the deal, they need to make a decision quickly or else it may not be there soon. “Act now while supplies last”, “Sale ends this Tuesday at Midnight”, “Only 6 left”

Express Value

Are you valuing your readers’ time by offering something valuable in return? Value doesn’t have to be money, it can be a life-hack, productivity tip, entertaining article or humorous joke.

The type of value you provide has to be relevant to your target audience, which is why knowing who you’re writing for is so important. For someone to invest their limited attention to reading something you write, you need to provide something valuable in return. The more value you create, the better your relationship with this person.

Be Specific:

In the ultra-competitive world of SEO, the more specific you are at targeting customers the better. For example, if you’re a car shop writing copy about how to change a tire, your copy will be lost in a sea of other better ranked articles about this topic on Google.

If you’re copywriting a how-to guide on changing a tire for a specific make of car under certain types of weather conditions including the tools you’re using, you’ll probably get more niche but higher quality readers who are more interested in what you’re saying.   This attention to detail is important as well for long tail keywords, which target more specific audiences in Google’s search engine.

Education Based Copywriting:

In the bestselling book The Ultimate Sales Machine author Chet Holmes explains that only 3% of any given audience is interested in your specific product or service at any given time. If you own a website that sells something online, this means that writing copy about that offering in order to sell is only going to be effective on 3% of your audience. Rather than creating copy that sells your offering non-stop, a more effective approach is offering your readers some education of value to them and builds credibility.

This is an education based copywriting approach that is popular throughout the internet. The goal of education based copywriting is to offer value to your reader. This could be in the form of helpful tips and tricks, time saving measures or money saving measures. If the information is useful, it’ll position your website as an expert in the mind of the buyer relative to competitors.

Weaving the information in a way that leads your consumers into trusting you and the information you bring to the table is a great copywriting style. Education based copywriting is particularly popular among e-commerce businesses. These businesses are focused on educating their customer base about problems they identify, but are not aware of. By educating readers, you improve their ability to make good decisions.

Finding Your Own Style:

One of the beautiful things about copywriting is that there’s the ability to create your own style. While exploring styles would require a blog post in itself, the educational type of copywriting is a widespread and popular choice today.

However, I encourage everyone who reads this to find your own method of writing copy. No one knows your readers or customers better than you, meaning you should write in a style you feel is suitable to your audience. CopyBlogger has 11 Tips to finding a writing voice your audience will take seriously.

Wrap Up

I truly believe that writing with an understanding of what you want to achieve and who you are writing for will aid the craft and delivery of your message. While copywriting is a creative process, it’s good to start with the end in mind and deliver a powerful message.

We’ve seen just how important a good headline is in copywriting. In order to stand out, you need to convey the urgency that your content is worth reading, to emphasize that it’s valuable to the reader, and that it’s specific to who your targeting. I’d advise against trying to create overly general content that is saturated by competitors, but rather carve out your own topics.

It’s important to write with an audience in mind. On the other hand, it’s crucial not to lose the creative flair that brings life and energy to your writing. In today’s online copywriting, it’s easy to judge the success or areas of improvement in your writing through analytics and also people’s own opinions.

Google Analytics: Five Big Metrics

Google Analytics: Five Big Metrics

A website without metrics is like a car without mirrors. Without them, your view is severely limited. In this post, we’ll look at Google Analytics and its ability to serve relevant, actionable data to make improvements to your website.

If you have a website, you need to know how to use metrics to measure what is most important to you. Google Analytics is the most widely used and popular analytics service on the internet. The power in Google Analytics lies in its analyses of all your website’s traffic from visitors.

The data and metrics in Google Analytics can be overwhelming, so I’ve put together a post that covers the 5 biggest metrics to pay attention to with Google Analytics.

Google Analytics Chart

Metric 1: Google Analytics Acquisition Overview:

Acquisition overview helps you understand how people find your website. Driving traffic to your website is often expensive and time consuming. We can cultivate fantastic social followings, brilliant email lists and spend huge money on advertising, but without acquisition analytics, we’re blind to what’s working and what isn’t.

Using acquisition overview, you can see what channels are generating the highest quality traffic for your site. This will give you an insight into where to invest more time and money and where to divest.

Within the Acquisition overview, you can take a look at the Top Channels, which will show you exactly what channels are driving the best traffic to your site. These channels include:

Direct – Traffic that has come to your site directly from URLs typed into the address bar, a direct link or clicking on a bookmark to your site.

Organic Search – These are organic traffic coming from search engines.

Paid Search – Paid search traffic comes from Pay Per Click sources that come from Paid Media channels across the internet.

Display – Users that arrive from branded banner ads on other websites across the web.

Referral Traffic – Any site visitor that is referred to your site by someone else fits into the category of referral traffic.

Social – Users who come to your site via social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter are all categorized under the social category.

Email – Links that are clicked on through your email list generate this metric.

In addition to these, you can also add your own custom marketing channels if existing ones are not covered in the default options. Simply go to Admin, View, Channel Settings, Channel Grouping and then click Define a new channel. This gives you the ability to add your own!

Why is Acquisition Overview Important?

This metric is important as it separates perception from reality. While you may think you’re executing exceptional marketing campaigns that drive traffic to your site, the data might tell a different story. Through acquisition, you get a crystal-clear overview of what’s working and what’s not.

Taking these figures into account, you can decide what you want to invest more marketing resources in and what to take out. However simply driving traffic to your site only tells one side of the story, the other side is keeping your visitors engaged enough that they want to hang around. This is the metric we’ll focus on next, known as bounce rate.

Google Analytics Mobile

Metric 2: Bounce Rate:

As defined by Google, a bounce is a single-page session on your site. If people are accessing your site and immediately leaving it, you’ll have a high bounce rate. Even if you’ve generated great traffic from multiple sources, the traffic is useless if the users don’t stay on your site.

You want visitors to interact with your site as much as possible. A high bounce rate may be an indicator that you need to make changes to improve your site. Bounce rates differ depending on the website and its content, however there are some general figures to keep in mind. According to Google Analytics expert Avinash Kaushik:

“As a benchmark from my own personal experience over the years it is hard to get a bounce rate under 20%. Anything over 35% is a cause for concern and anything above 50% is worrying.“

Why is this important?

Unfortunately, while Google indicates there is a high bounce rate, it doesn’t say why exactly there is one. There are a few elements of your site that you need to examine in order to determine if these are contributing to high bounce. Good indicators include:

Relevant Ads: If ads driving traffic to your site are causing people to arrive and then leave immediately, check that these ads are truly accurate and relevant. If you mislead people in your marketing and they end up clicking through to irrelevant content, just remember you’re wasting their time and your money.

Mobile Optimization: Is your website mobile friendly? If not, you may be repelling the ever-growing number of mobile users away from your site out of sheer annoyance at the poor user experience.

Poor Keyword Choice: Organic searchers that discover your site through their own search engines expect that the content of a site matches what they’re searching. Irrelevant website content will harm your bounce rate.

Google Analytics New vs. Returning

Metric 3: Exit Rate

Exit rate is the percentage of people who left your site a certain page. Exitors may have viewed more than one page in a session. That means they may not have landed on that page, but simply found their way to it through site navigation.

This is subtly different from bounce rates, which simply measure a single page session. While it may be “normal” for people to exit on certain pages (after buying a product), other exits during the sales funnel can be worrying.

Why are Exit Rates Important?

For e-commerce sites, identifying at what stage your visitors are leaving your sales funnel is vital. Through exit rates, you’ll see which pages are having an impact on your visitors leaving, what content is causing them to leave or if there’s any particular channel causing them to leave. Knowing where your visitors are dropping off from the site as they progress is vital.

Metric 4: New vs Returning Visitors:

One of the best audience demographics in Google Analytics is new vs. returning visitors. A new visitor is one who’s visiting your site from a new device completely for the first time.

A returning visitor has visited your site before and has returned. Google Analytics will give you insights into how much of your traffic is fresh and how much is returning. This will include the behavior of each cohort, including bounce rates and average time per session.

Why is this useful?

If you’re running an e-commerce site, knowing who you’re converting most often is extremely valuable. You can possibly incentivize new, price sensitive customers to purchase through pop-up deals or discounts. Knowing whether you’re more successful attracting or retaining visitors will greatly inform your marketing decisions.

For example, do you have a high bounce rate on returning visitors? If so, you may have a great ability to attract new visitors through advertising or keywords, but a poor ability to keep them interested to return. This may cause you to invest more in a compelling, interesting content strategy.

Google Analytics goals

Metric: 5: Goals:

Goals are one of the most important metrics Google Analytics has to offer. They’re extremely tailored to seeing if your visitors convert into taking a desired action. When you set a goal, you tell Google that when a certain criterion is met, this is considered a goal. For an e-commerce site, there are numerous templates Google has for goals:

Revenue goals – These include placing an order and checkout completion.

Acquisition – This is whenever a user creates an account.

Inquiry goals – This is when a view more, views a contact us page, sees deals or reads reviews.

Engagement goals – This is when a user compares information (features, products or options), shares your content on social, signs up to a newsletter or saves products to a shopping cart.

Custom – This is where you can create your own custom goal template not included in the above templates.

Once this is decided, you can describe exactly what your goal will look like. You can select a URL destination that, once reached, will trigger your goal to be a success. This could be a thank-you page after a product has been purchased, or when something has been downloaded.

Why are Goals Important?

Whether you’re getting sign-ups to your email list, selling products / services or providing a free e-book, your goals are vital to measuring your success.

Google Analytics tablet

Wrap Up:

Google Analytics provides powerful data to aid your decision-making. By using these above five metrics, you can gain greater insights into your audience sources, their behavior and their demographics.

It’s important to note that while Google Analytics will give you the information, you must decide the meaning from the data. Understanding and interpreting metrics is the first step in the road to mastering Google Analytics.

There are also considerations around the size of the data pool and the time frame. A smaller data pool will give you less accurate information, while historical data that doesn’t take into account key changes you made to your site will muddy the clarity around the data.

When in doubt, return to this guide and follow the practices that will help you on your way to understanding the biggest metrics in Google Analytics.

What are some ways you’ve used Google Analytics to improve your website and sales funnel? Let me know in the comments! For more help taking your digital marketing to the next level visit our blog.

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PPC (Pay-Per-Click): The Beginner’s Guide

PPC (Pay-Per-Click): The Beginner’s Guide

PPC (Pay-Per-Click): The Beginner’s Guide

PPC adwords

PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click and it means exactly what it says. You are paying for an advertisement every time someone clicks on it.

Now this may seem a little scary if you’re paying for the ad. Don’t worry you have control over how relevant you make your ad and who you put it in front of. This allows you to not overspend but instead, optimize your ad for the best ROI.

Have you ever seen those top search results with the little “Ad” icon to the left of it? That’s PPC.

google ad example

Some of the largest brands spend 10’s of millions every year on this type of advertising. But you can also spend $10/day and see results. That’s why PPC is so great.

Google AdWords

The world’s most popular PPC platform is Google AdWords. On this platform you create the budget, creative and ad types that you want to appear on Google’s various channels. Need to advertise your special brand of dog food? You can target people specifically searching for dog size, dog eating habits and diet requirements on Google’s Search Network. Whenever you search for anything using Google, you’ll notice the different advertisements along the top and side of the search results page. They are all using Google AdWords.

How does Google determine which PPC ads get the most exposure and which get the least? Well we’ll go over later that but first lets get familiar with some other terms and metrics first. 

Impressions

In many ‘traditional’ earned media channels, such as radio and television, the key metric used is impressions. Impressions means how many times an ad has appeared in front of someone (or in the case of radio, how many times an ad was played). It doesn’t mean they clicked on it or noticed it.

Often, simple impressions can’t show exactly who is interacting or engaging with your ad. It only gives you an idea of how many times someone potentially saw or clicked your ad.

So it’s important to note that impression based marketing won’t give you the rich data that PPC offers. With PPC, you have access to a full suite of analytics tools on some of the world’s most popular search engines.

You can use the impression metrics to optimize your targeted audience and budget. Depending on your set parameters, you will see different impression values which may help you fine tune your ad.

Conversions

Ultimately, the goal with pay-per-click is to convert people from passive viewers of your ad, to loyal paying customers. Converting or conversions usually means sales although there could be other examples. Converting a user to a member. Converting a user to a fan, etc.

It’s important to understand that while more web traffic is a good thing, it only means more people are visiting. The end goal beyond web traffic, it’s converting your web traffic to customers.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Cost Per Click (CPC) is how much you pay when someone clicks on one of your advertisements.

Someone clicking on your ad brings them one step closer to converting. Of course you always want to drive as many clicks as possible.

Sometimes CPC can become extremely costly if a keyword phrase you are targeting is highly competitive. In some cases it’s still worth paying for the click because the phrase may be extremely relevant to what you have to offer. The chances of conversion may be higher for more expensive clicks.

WordStream has a great article about cost per click where they dive much deeper into how it works and strategies that can bring you better ROI.

Cost Per Action (CPA)

Cost per action (CPA), also known as cost per acquisition, pay per acquisition (PPA) and cost per conversion, is a payment method where you pay for each conversion (you define that conversion) instead of each time someone clicks on your ad.

Here’s the simplest way to look at this. It’s how much you’re spending to gain a customer.

This conversion can be created by you whether it’s a sale, a click, a form submission, a newsletter signup, registration form, etc. By testing CPA vs. CPC for your ad campaign, you may find that one works better than the other. You can run low cost tests for a few weeks to get better insight. 

Ultimately the cost you spend to acquire one customer should be as low as possible relative to the value of your conversion.

As marketingterms.com explains, cost-per-action (CPA) is at the opposite side of the spectrum of cost-per-impressions (CPM). This means that with CPA you are paying when someone reaches the end of the sales journey while CPM means that you are paying for someone to begin the sales journey.

Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

Cost per thousand impressions (CPM) also known as cost per impressions (CPI), or cost per mile (CPM) where the word “mile” is actually Latin for a thousand (impressions).

CPM is a metric used in both traditional advertising media, as well as online advertising. With CPM you pay each time an ad (impression) is displayed. To get even more technical, CPI refers to the cost for each user who views your ad(s). CPM refers to the cost or every thousand users who view your ad(s).

Quality Score (Google Adwords)

This is what we started to discuss earlier in regards to how Google determines which PPC ads get the most & least exposure.

A big determiner is the Quality Score. The Quality Score is a combination of many different factors Google takes into account when serving ads to its users.

Google wants to ensure a great user experience and to ensure this they want to present ads that are extremely relevant and high quality to the user’s search inquiry. Let’s look at some of the elements that affect quality score.

Search Engine Land has a great blog on how to reverse engineer your Quality Score and what your first steps should be to improve it.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

CTR (click through rate) is the percentage of times users click on your ad vs. how many impressions you have. Let’s say 100 people see your ad and only 10 click through? In this case, your CTR is 10%.

CTR gives a big insight into the effectiveness of your ad copy and relevance of your targeting. The lower your CTR is, the less relevant Google sees you as being to potential customers, meaning your positioning in Google’s rankings are likely to decrease. Sometimes if your business is highly seasonal, your CTR will vary widely over the year.

This blog from Hubspot looks at what a good CTR looks like by different industries.

Ad Groups

Ad groups are like folders with advertising settings that hold multiple ads. Sometimes you’ll have multiple landing pages or multiple keyword groups you’ll want to include in your PPC strategy and this is where ad groups really come in.

It’s always a good idea to create multiple Ad Groups for your PPC.

Ad Groups enable you to segment your PPC campaign based on different criteria or theme. In addition, you may start off with many ad groups for one campaign just to test market what works and what doesn’t.

For example, let’s say you were selling t-shirts. You may want a single ad group just for selling blue t-shirts but each ad in the “blue t-shirt” ad group may have a different headline, or description. It may also have different keywords or keyword phrases.

So you may start out testing 20 different ads under just the “blue t-shirt” ad group. Now what if you sold 10 different colored t-shirts. Each one would get its own ad group. In addition what if you sold other types of clothing.

You can easily see how involved your PPC advertising can become in order to dial in the best ROI. You can also turn off or on any ad groups at any time. Maybe you decide after 2 months to turn off all under performing groups and keep the best performing ad groups on.

Keywords

Keywords are one of the most important elements of PPC. In PPC advertising, you want to target people searching for relevant keywords to what you’re advertising.

Keywords on your landing page (the URL that the ad links to) should match the keywords on your ad. Higher relevance leads to higher clicks, and clicks lead to conversions.

Keyword Planner is a powerful research tool in Adwords that helps you find the most relevant keywords to use in both your PPC ads as well as your websites SEO (search Engine Optimization).

Two types of keyword phrases to consider are short tail and long tail keywords. 

Short Tail Keywords

Short Tail Keywords are short popular search terms that have high amounts of traffic. They are terms that describe something very broadly and therefore attract lots of attention from advertisers.

For example, “Insurance” is an example of a Short Tail Keyword as it is a broad, generic phrase that can apply to thousands of different sub-sets of the insurance industry, such as home insurance, travel insurance and car insurance.

The downside to short tail keywords is that relevancy to your site is usually low which means very low CTR.

Long Tail Keywords.

Long Tail Keywords are more descriptive keywords that users search into Google. They are richer in detail, meaning people are more likely to click on search results relevant to them.

PPC advertisements that are targeted to different long tail keywords are more relevant and have less competition than Short Tail Keywords. While the traffic may be lower, the cost will also be lower and the chance of getting a click is higher.

An example of a Long Tail Keyword is “car insurance for young drivers” as opposed to the Short Tail Keyword for simply “insurance”.

Match Type

Match type is something that many beginners completely miss but it’s very important. Match type determines how a keyword is allowed to be found. It can allow broad, less specific searches to match your keyword, or exact matches to be very specific.

adwords match type example

For example let’s say you wanted to use the term video production. There are 4 match types to consider:

  • Broad – This attracts a broad audience allowing your keyword to be matched to any user using any of the words in your keyword in any order. So the search hip hop video or hip hop production can bring your ad up and allow the user to click it. Many experts stay away from broad term match types.

 

  • Modified Broad – This gives you more control. If you add a plus “+” in front of your keyword(s) it tells Google adwords that word MUST appear in the search term. For example if you used +video production, then the word video must appear but  production doesn’t have to. Therefor hip hop production would not generate your ad in the search. If you add a plus “+”  in front of all words, it’s equivalent to phrase match type. +video +production would require both words to be in the search. Other words can appear as well and video and production can be in any order, they just are required in the search term.

 

  • Phrase – This says the keyword phrase must appear exactly in the order you created it and all words must be there. Other words can be before or after it but it needs to exist. To do this it must have quotes like this “video production”. This means you can still attract search inquires like how to make the best video production, or hip hop video production classes. As you can see, the term “video production” exists perfectly within the search term.

 

  • Exact – This says the search inquiry must be an exact match to your keyword phrase. No more, no less. So for example the keyword video production from your ad would only bring your ad up if someone put that exact term in that order with no other words. This would most likely attract the least amount of impressions but it may be the most focused and relevant match type which may get you the highest CTR.

Writing Effective Ads: Copywriting

copywriting

Ad copy or copywriting is extremely important in PPC. Without a successful ad, you’ll be unable to hook customers. As with everything in PPC, relevance is key.

Ads could ultimately convey a benefit or urgency to your target audience. While there is no clear-cut formula to writing great copy, having a consumer savvy mindset and solving the problem your target is searching for is key to effective ad copy.

The general rule to copywriting is getting the reader to want to read the next line. In the case of PPC, the idea is the same except you want the final action to be to click on the link. From here, the sales journey begins.

Now the copy on your website should follow the same idea… get the reader to want to read the next link, eventually leading to a sale, signup, etc (whatever your goal of the ad is).

According to CopyBlogger if you aren’t paying attention to your copywriting your campaign is doomed.

Budget Management

adwords budget

Strong budget management is essential for every advertiser. 

As with anything, your budget is scarce and can disappear sooner rather than later with poor keyword management. Bidding on expensive, irrelevant or untargeted keywords can see your cash evaporate.

However, being smart with your money and bidding on keywords that are relevant to your audience will make you, Google and your target audience happier.

Experts say you should test market your ads for at least 1-2 months to get realistic data. Once you do this, you should review expensive, ineffective keywords and consider making those inactive.

Negative keywords are something you should consider to fine tune your spending dollars. A negative keyword or keyword phrase is something you tell google adwords NOT to target.

For example let’s say you’re advertising “professional video production” and your ad is shown to someone who searched “how to edit DIY youtube videos”. You feel this inquiry is not relevant yet they clicked on your link which means you paid for someone that probably wasn’t the right fit.

You can add that term to the “negative keyword” list and google adwords will not show your ad to anyone searching that term again. 

Conclusion:

In PPC, constant improvement is essential. Without constantly reviewing your CTR, CPC and conversions, you run the risk of seeing your quality score slide. Testing, testing and testing again is very important to stay relevant with your target audience. Fortunately, Google Analytics works beautifully in tandem with Google AdWords, meaning you can constantly review what’s working and what needs improvement.

PPC is a massive marketplace where the supply of users’ attention matches the demand for clicks and conversions from businesses. PPC is a competitive, fluid and ever-changing world that requires study and practice. Your level of success is based on how well you can improvise, adapt and thrive in what Google and other PPC platforms require from you. While there may be a learning curve to master PPC, the rewards are great for companies and individuals who learn to master it.

Hopefully you found this beginner’s guide to PPC useful. While there are many aspects of PPC to learn, hopefull you can see how useful it is to actively engage in PPC as a form of earned media on the Google platform. Fortunately, there are vast quantities of resources available from PPC providers, including Google’s guide to Google AdWords

I hope you enjoyed this PPC beginner’s guide & I wish you the best of luck on your PPC journey.

Some images provided by Pixelbay

Email Marketing Strategies That Work!

Email Marketing Strategies That Work!

What Is Email Marketing?

Email Marketing is when you send a commercial message, usually to a group of contacts, using email. The message can contain valuable articles and knowledge, advertisements, call to actions, or other messages meant to build customers.

Using email marketing strategies an be a powerful form of communication to get more sales. You can deliver content directly to your recipient’s inbox on a regular basis in long form or short form.

Whether you’re sending newsletters, announcements, how-to guides, product pages, or something else of value, be sure your recipient is potentially interested. While other methods of communication (such as social media) may ebb and flow, email is always a reliable tool people use on a regular basis.

In this article, I will share ideas that will help you with converting your email recipients into buyers, sharers, raving fans and followers.

email conversion image

Creating engaging emails is both an art and a science.

On one hand, you need to be creative, intuitive and imaginative in the value you add, while also continuously testing and studying your metrics to respond to what is and isn’t working.

There is huge competition for our attention. All of our inboxes are battlegrounds overflowing with senders who compete with each other for a slice of our time.

Engaging, keeping, and converting that attention into an action is highly challenging but hugely rewarding.

Email Audience

converting audience to customers with email

Understanding who you’re emailing is key to shaping what you’ll include in your email and determine how successfully you convert.

Are you emailing potential customers who want the best deals for your products? Are you emailing members of your local community promoting an event?

Although it is tempting to send an e-mail to everyone, it is likely your email could only be relevant to some of your mailing list and not others.

According to Marketing Sherpa, taking the time to create, manage and deliver customized content can make a significant difference with the engagement of your recipients and build on the valued and trusted relationship you’ve created with them.

Segmenting your email targets into different categories is best practice when you’re looking to convert a recipient.

Imagine you’re female and you receive an email from a fashion brand advertising great value deals on men’s clothing. While the deal might be great, the email is going straight to deletion by delivering content that’s totally irrelevant to converting a female reader into a buyer.

Marketing Sherpa study found that doctors who segmented, created and delivered targeted content and used personalized subject lines had an average open rate of 41% versus an average of 22% for those who didn’t. This highlights the power of personalized emails tailored to the recipients’ needs and wants.

Your Sender Name

email sender

The sender name is likely the very first thing your email recipient will see when they open their email client. While it may seem like a small aspect, every little detail helps to get your reader to engage & convert.

The sender name will help decide whether they should open the email or not.

A good rule of thumb, if you’re not sure, is to use your brand name as the sender name.

There is much debate over whether you should use a personal name vs. a company name. There is no right answer. If you’re brand is recognized or identified by an actual person’s name, then you may be better off using that person’s name. 

Some say it comes across more “personal” with a real name but if your audience only knows about you through your brand name, you may lose them.

The easiest way to decide is to ask yourself what would you rather recive if you were in your audience. Most of the time, you know what’s best over anyone esle.

Go with your gut, and adjust if needed in the future. You can also A/B test the sender name (which is discussed later in this article). 

Your Subject Line

email on computer

The subject line is the headline that determines if a person will engage in or ignore your email.

The best subject lines are the ones that grab your recipient’s attention. It has to generate interest by offering a benefit and also stimulating curiosity.

The subject line is your first connection through copywriting. A good copywriter knows how to get a reader to want to read the next line.

A subject line should communicate a taste of the benefits you’ll expect from the email and leave them curious to read more.

Hubspot has a great article on subject line ideas that have worked for others.

This benefit can be a bargain price, humor, a life hack, a how-to list, a great product benefit or anything you feel will add value to your readers.

Think of your subject line as the window of opportunity you get to convince your email recipients that it’s worth their precious time to open your email.

Two of the most effective tactics for subject lines

1. Scarcity

Scarcity is one of the most effective and common sales tools around. “Only 24 hours left”, “Sale ends this Friday!”, “Only 6 left!”.

Scarcity is telling people that they are at risk of losing out on a great deal. This is a great tactic if your goal is to convert a click into a sale.

The key to using urgency or scarcity is utilizing time or quantity. A sale ending at midnight. Limited tickets left on an airplane to your dream holiday destination.

Both of these make you want to engage with the email because they’re scarce and valuable. The elegance of this type of subject line lies in its simplicity.

The benefit and curiosity are stimulated simultaneously. The offer is simply there and readers are encouraged to engage with it, ultimately leading to conversions.

2. Personalization

More and more marketers are now using their contact’s names in the subject line.

2015 study by Experian Marketing Services found that when recipients saw their own name in the email subject line, email open rates were boosted by 29.3% across all industries. 

There’s nothing more personalized than your reader’s name, so using this technique to your advantage can be great to get your email opened and ultimately lead to engagement

Some of the top marketers in the world are known to use friendly, personal sounding emails that appeal directly to the person they’re sent to.

Templates for Email Subject lines

Generating a subject line can be difficult, and listing all possible types would require a blog post by itself. Fortunately, there are some great resources for fantastic subject line templates you can use.

A great subject line can range from funny, random, unexpected to using someone’s “fear of missing out” to your advantage.

Three of the resources I like the most for creative subject lines are

I’d highly recommend using these resources to your advantage!

The Email Body

email subjects that engage

The best way to get someone to convert is to send something that will instantly benefit them.

Have you discovered a life hack that will boost your readers free time, sales or quality of life? Are you sending an email that will put a smile on their face? Do you have an awesome sale on a fantastic product?

No matter who your recipient is, an email that delivers something useful and valuable should be your goal.

The most successful marketers actually suggest to give away your most guarded secrets & knowledge for free.

Have you ever met someone in your day to day life that would not stop talking about themselves? Every sentence was about something they had done or seen and felt like a barrage of “Me, me, me”.

If you’ve ever been around someone like that, you’ll know how annoying it is when a person only focuses on themselves without considering the person they’re speaking to. This same principle applies to emails.

My inbox is constantly flooded with content that is completely irrelevant to me and seems more self-serving to the sender than value adding. 

The first question any email recipient asks themselves is “What’s in it for me?” If you use this guideline for every email, your engagement will grow.

Sending value based emails often requires a shift in mindset. The focus is no longer on selling why what you’re doing is great, but rather how you can add significant value to your readers’ lives.

Remember that this is not a cutting edge technique. The most successful marketers already know this and are doing it every day. If you’re not, you may be losing out on business.

Your Call to Action (CTA)

call to action button

Imagine your call to action is a single link buried in an avalanche of text. Even if you create amazing content that engages your reader, you’ll likely fail at converting them as you haven’t made it as easy as possible for them to convert.

Contrast this single link to a big, clear, colorful call to action button that really pops and catches the eye. The difference in calls to action can mean the difference in conversions.

To get great engagement, having a compelling call to action is essential. According to email experts Mailchimp, buttons should be used for primary actions in an email. There’s something about big buttons that we humans just love to press.

They make things extremely easy for your reader by offering a clear call to action. While using links are fine, it’s recommended to only use these for secondary, less urgent calls to action.

If you’ve really engaged your reader in the subject line and body of the email, offering a big clear button makes it very easy for them to convert.

For easily generated call to action buttons, buttons.cm is a good resource.

The Signature

email signature example

Converting a reader into a converter involves great attention to detail. One of the most overlooked aspects of any email is the signature.

If you’re sending text emails with a standard email signature, take time to compare your signature to other emails you recieve.

The signature has huge potential to converting an email reader, as it can display your website, profile photo, job title and social buttons.

Other great add-ons to signature are links to your services or products and even links to watch videos.

My personal favorite signature generator is WiseStamp.

The WiseStamp email platform offers a unique, smart way of interacting with customers and audience in daily emails, letting you easily promote and market yourself using your own customized professional email signature.

According to WiseStamp, there are:

  • 32% more email replies when adding a photo to the email signature.
  • 10% increased social reach in social networks when adding social apps to an email signature.

If your goal is to convert users, WiseStamp is a great platform for adding your own custom signature. This adds a personal touch that has been proven to generate better results. 

Subscribers Who Do Not Engage

unsubscribe email

Your email list is like a garden: tend to it and watch it grow, leave it alone and watch it run wild. Even when you think you have everything in order, you need to be wary of the effect low engagement rates can have on your reputation with email servers.

“Graymail” is what your email becomes when not enough people are engaging with it. Having a high number of unengaged subscribers poses a threat to how successful you’ll convert interested subscribers.

If you’re getting low engagement rates, email clients may move your emails to the spam folder, damaging the possibility of converting potential recipients completely.

Even Hubspot famously unsubscribed 250,000 people from their mailing list. This was as a direct result of their emails being classified as Graymail.

Managing your email list, pruning it when needed and segmenting it to deliver relevant, engaging emails to the right people is extremely important for conversions.

To Send or Not to Send

When it comes to convincing email recipients to convert, it’s important to ask yourself if you should send your email in the first place. Are you genuinely trying to add value to someone’s life by saving them time, money, making them happy or otherwise? Or, are you sending an email to prove to your boss you’re keeping busy?

As mentioned earlier, the mindset shift towards doing your best to empower the people who read your emails is very important. Sending emails that are poor quality and unlikely to convert can cause your recipients to hit the unsubscribe button.

Your email marketing service (mailchimp, contact contact, madmimi, etc) can lock your account if you get too many “mark as spam” or “unsubscribe” actions in one mailing. 

To be safe, especially when you have added many new contacts, be sure to send your emails out in small increments. 

Make sure you always have an opt-out option for those who no longer want to recieve your emails.

A badly written, poorly thought out email can do much more harm than good. Your email recipients only have limited time, treat it with the respect it deserves and send them something that will add value.

Email Analytics

click on email

In order to create an engaging email that converts readers into successful customers, you need to decide what success looks like to you.

Is it to fill out a form? Is it to sign up to one of your social platforms?

Starting with the end in mind will give structure and purpose to your email. For example, if a conversion to you is selling a product to your email list, then you’ll create engaging content that explains how that product will improve your readers’ lives.

The better this can be communicated in interesting, creative or disruptive ways, the better your chances are of converting.

Creating engaging emails that convert relies on a mindset shift. The shift is from “What do I want my email list to do for me?” to, “What can I do for my readers?”. Adding value is key to a successful, engaging email that converts.

Converting someone into a user requires creatively engaging the recipients of your emails.

When someone gives you their e-mail address or signs up to a mailing list, they are trusting you to bring them more benefits on the mailing list than off the mailing list.

The average number of emails an office worker receives in a day is 121. According to Smart Insights, the average open rate across all industries for emails was 24.79%.

This means that the majority of the time people are ignoring your emails without even knowing what’s inside them! Without even opening your email, how can you expect your recipient to convert?

You only have a few words to grab your recipient’s attention so use them wisely. In order to cut through the clutter of emails, you need to make yours stand out.

Metrics To Pay Attention To

What is an email conversion?

Email Conversions are the percentage of your email recipients that took a desired action. For example, a conversion could be converting an email recipient into someone who buys one of your products.

Conversion rate

This is the key metric of your email. It is the number of people who completed a desired action. As the goal of your email should be to convert readers into taking action, it is crucial you measure this to determine success.

In many business cases, the main goal of the conversion metric will be to drive sales and revenue.

Click through rate

The click through rate measures what percentage of your email recipients clicked on one or more links in your email. Thought the 24.79% email open rate was bad?

The average click-through rate was even worse, being reported at 4.19%. This metric is useful for understanding how well your links and content within your email are engaging readers. 

Hubspot’s email tracking tool allows you see when a lead opens an email, clicks on a link or opens an attachment. This is key to knowing when a prospect converts. Furthermore, you can receive notifications and see historical interactions with your various email lists through this tool.

A/B Testing Your Mailing List

ab testing

If you’re lucky enough to have a large(ish) email mailing list, A/B testing can be extremely helpful in sending more engaging emails that convert.

A/B testing allows you to discover what aspects of your email content is working and what isn’t.

Want to test variations of a subject line? No problem, simply deliver different subject lines to different size segments of your mailing list. You can test which aspects of your emails are resonating with readers and resulting in more conversions.

One of the best tools for A/B testing is Mailchimp. They offer the ability to choose your test audience, pick your metric and select the variables. There’s huge potential in knowing what is engaging readers and what is causing them to tune out.

Conclusion

While there is no “perfect” formula to a writing an engaging email that converts, I encourage you to leverage the advice above to improve all aspects of your emails.

In the words of copywriter Joseph Sugarman,

“Your readers should be so compelled to read your copy that they cannot stop reading until they read all of it as if sliding down a slippery slide.”

Converting a passive reader into an active requires a string of engaging, interesting things to happen. I believe that an engaging email sender name and subject line will open the door to your engaging e-mail copy, which in turn should lead your reader to a big bold call to action which in turn ultimately results in conversion.

One follows the other in a natural progression. Giving care and attention to each aspect of your email is time consuming, but well worth the effort. Emails are like chain links, if one is weak the chain risks breaking entirely.

There are some fantastic tools that allow you to measure how successfully you’re converting readers, so please use all that data to your advantage to make constant improvements to your email content. To achieve this, having a value adding mindset is key.

Ask yourself if what you have to say is truly useful, deliver value to your readers and reap the rewards as a result.

Images provided by Pixelbay

10 Digital Marketing Strategies Every Business Should Be Doing

10 Digital Marketing Strategies Every Business Should Be Doing

In our digital era, there are 10 digital marketing strategies every business should be working on. This post will outline these 10 essential marketing strategies so you can decided what you’re already doing and what you may need to do more of. While each element of these strategies is important, combining them can help take your business to the next level.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Imagine your business website is a store front on a busy street. Just like a real store, you’re competing for people’s limited attention against other websites. In an online setting, your business competes with rivals in the results page of a search engine. To ensure the best possible chance of your website being top in the results page of a search engine, you need to ensure it is optimized. If you’re new to SEO I recommend starting with a free SEO website analysis tool to get actionable results so you can see what SEO you’re doing well and what you can improve on. This will provide tailored feedback on what you need to build on and the importance of each aspect.

seo search engine optimzation

One of my recommendations is to use Woorank, a ‘freemium’ SEO analysis tool that provides you with a scorecard of how well your website is optimized to a search engine under different criteria as well as a checklist of what you can work on. This is a fantastic basis on which to build your SEO strategy.

Top SEO Tools

Here is a list of powerful tools that SEO professionals use to rank their clients websites as high as possible. Some free, some not!

  1. SEMrush
  2. Screaming Frog
  3. Ahrefs
  4. Moz Pro
  5. SEO Profiler
  6. Google Analytics
  7. Google Search Console (AKA Google Webmaster Tools)
  8. Hot Jar
  9. Majestic SEO
  10. Buzzsumo
  11. Google Keyword Planner (requires Adwords account)
  12. LongTail PRO
  13. OnPage
  14. PitchBox
  15. KWfinder
  16. Pro Rank Tracker
  17. Email Hunter
  18. Media File Renamer
  19. Keyword Tool
  20. Zadroweb
  21. Raven Tools
  22. SEO Centro

If this seems overwhelming to you, it’s because SEO is an art form like any other profession. This is not something that can be learned over night. SEO tools usually tell you what you should do but they do not do the work for you. Sometimes recommendations can be very simple and get you results. Other times it may require advanced coding that only an expert would have knowledge with. This is why many brands hire digital marketing agencies or SEO experts to do the work. In addition, most SEO experts will tell you that you should not rely on any one tool but more importantly rely on your brain.

2. Video Marketing

Video marketing is one of the most effective ways for any company to marketing their message online. Statistics show that video content helps websites skyrocket traffic. Two important factors to ensure you get results through video is how the message is told and how you market the video itself.

If you want some great marketing ideas to use in marketing videos, check out this informative article featuring 12 powerful video marketing strategies that you can use.

In addition to using your website to embed your videos, Facebook and YouTube are two of the world’s largest platforms for video marketing. In 2014, four of the top ten trending videos on YouTube came from brands. This statistic shows the potential of great video marketing that people choose to watch. YouTube, which has over 1 billion users, has a wealth of resources that makes video marketing a breeze for companies with the passion to bring their brands to the platform. Not only is video marketing extremely compelling, it is also cost effective to advertise a video on YouTube with Google TrueView, Google TrueView ensures a business will only pay for an ad when a user chooses to watch the ad.

Facebook Video Marketing is also extremely exciting. Rich video content can play automatically in Facebook’s News Feed and also engage viewers by adding a video call-to-action. A call-to-action can invite people to visit a website, Facebook page or product page. This makes engagement much better at connecting people to your business’s online presence.

3. Content Marketing

content marketing blog

In today’s digital world, content is king. Great content should be able to provide your target audience with interesting, value adding content. Why? The goal of content marketing is to drive traffic, clicks and conversions to your business’s website, which ultimately leads to new leads and sales.

Content marketing is the new norm in marketing. Basically this means sharing valuable content fro free with their audiences before they can earn the trust of their business. So many companies are doing this that you’ll be at a disadvantage if you don’t. In addition this type of marketing is what google wants to see. Google has one objective and that is to match the most relevant and high quality content to what the user is searching for. 

One of my favorite things that comes out of content marketing is education. This is our chance to educate the customer about your industry so they can understand why they should use you. Focus on your differentiators (the things that make you better than your competition) and use them as topics to discuss with your audience. For example if you provide higher quality services than your competitors, then explain why quality can help your customer more. Maybe quality helps your customer’s brand perception which helps their customers perceive them as more professional.

Content marketing is really anything that can be consumed by your target market. Branded content across e-books, podcasts, reports, blog posts and infographics are all forms of content marketing. While each of these avenues present their own challenges and opportunities, the essence of content marketing is clear: create compelling content that your target audience love. For an actionable list, here are 7 steps for creating a content marketing strategy by Hubspot.

4. Social Media

social media digital marketing

A great social media strategy is key for business success as it provides a 2-way form of communication with potentially huge numbers of your target audience. Not only is interaction between your business and potential customers strengthened, distributing your great content across social platforms has the potential to be shared by users across social media channels. A great social media strategy involves:

  • Choosing which social media platforms are the best fit for you. For example, your business B2C and requires interaction with customers? Facebook or Twitter might be best for you. If your business is B2B perhaps a LinkedIn social presence is better.
  • Deciding which content to distribute on each platform. For example, long form text posts would be more suited to Facebook than Twitter due to character restrictions.

Best Social Media channels to use for marketing

  1. Facebook (1.59 Billion as of Dec. 2015)
  2. You Tube (1.3 Billion as of Mar 2017)
  3. Instagram (400 Million as of Sept. 2015)
  4. Twitter (320 Million as of Mar. 2016)
  5. Google+ (300 million as of October, 2013)
  6. Pinterest (100 Million as of Sept. 2015)
  7. LinkedIn (100 Million as of Oct. 2015)
  8. SnapChat (Statistics unknown)

5. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM gets your business seen by the people who matter most: your potential customers. The biggest players on the search engine market, including Google and Bing, allow you to advertise on their search engines through pay-per-click advertising (PPC). PPC advertising allows you to set a budget and pay Google or Bing for every time a user clicks on your ad in the search or display networks.

For those who have never used this before, it can seem scary to know you’re paying every time someone clicks on your ad. It’s actually pretty cool. You can set your daily budget so you stay on budget. You can set this limit low in the beginning to test marketing different ad ideas until you drill down what’s working and what’s not. SEM is similar to SEO in that it’s about showing up in the search results, except these are paid ads (with an “ad” icon_ displayed above and below the organic SEO results. If you want to get your webpage in front of people fast, then SEM is the way to go. If you want a more robust, solid, slower changing result, then SEO is your friend. In my opinion, you should be considering both SEM and SEO in concert together to get the best of both worlds.

There are many metrics like CTR (click-through-rate), impressions (how many times the ad shows up), clicks, etc. In the end, the most important metric to pay attention to is cost per conversion and cost per sale. ROI is what it’s all about.

One of the keys to a great SEM strategy are understanding keywords. Keywords ensure that you’re tailoring the key pieces of content in your ads and website to the search terms your potential customers are searching. To develop an understanding of which keywords you need to feature for Google SEM, I recommend using the Keyword Planner. This tool sets the groundwork for a successful SEM strategy by searching for keyword and ad group ideas, seeing how keywords will perform and getting keyword statistics. 

6. Implement and Review Analytics

analytics digital marketing

As a follow-up to my previous strategy, a strong analytics strategy is essential for online success. Having a website without analytics is like having a car without mirrors – your view is extremely limited without it. Google Analytics is a tool that is easy to implement, and can create a wealth of data to help improve your presence online.

A great analytics strategy involves:

  • Reviewing your analytics on a regular basis.
  • Understanding what metrics are the most important to your particular business.
  • Benchmarking your performance continuously against your previous analytics.
  • Set Google Analytics goals to measure metrics

Here are 5 of the biggest metrics to pay attention to with Google Analytics

  1. Sessions – the number of interactions a user has on your site.
  2. Users – the total number of visitors.
  3. Pageviews – number of views of a page on your site by a visitor.
  4. Average Session Duration – the average length of a session.
  5. Bounce Rate – the percentage of single-page visits. Low bounce rates are good.

7. Website Copywriting

copywriting

It’s human nature to read things that appeal to our emotions. A great copywriting strategy that appeals to a person’s interests, delights and senses can do wonders for your business. In essence, don’t create boring copy. No one knows your business better than you, therefore create copy that communicates how interesting, exciting and passionate your business is.

The best copywriting strategy involves setting a definitive goal. In many cases, it’s to convert website visitors into paying customers. A/B split testing is the best strategy to check if your copy is generating a ROI. A/B testing displays two versions of a website page to visitors to see which is the best performing.  You can test which variants of your headings, copy, call to action and hyperlinks work best. Well written, interesting content combined with intelligent testing is key to a great copywriting strategy.

 

8. E-mail Marketing

E-mail is a fantastic channel of communication with your new or existing customers. Think about it, you can deliver fresh, interesting content directly to a person’s inbox without any marketing spend. Unlike crowded social channels that people can close or ignore, e-mail is a constant feature of people’s lives.

Your e-mail marketing strategy’s aim should be to build an e-mail mailing list. Set a goal of 100 new e-mails within 30 days for example. You should encourage sign ups to your e-mail through 2 methods:

Leveraging existing channels:
Do you have a strong social media presence? You could ask for signups to your mailing list from existing fans who know and trust your business. Beginning with people who already enjoy your content is a great first step.

Offering Valuable Content:
When someone hands over their e-mail, they’re assuming it will benefit them more than annoy them. No one wants to be spammed and be forced to unsubscribe. Try to always email something of value every time so the recepients look forward to future emails. 

9. Mobile Optimization

mobile optimization

A website optimised for mobile ensures accessibility to all of your visitors who use mobile devices. If you owned a brick and mortar business, you’d make that business as easy to access as possible, right? The same applies to mobile. Marketing is the profession of getting and keeping people’s limited attention so ensuring your website is optimised for ease of use and responsive mobile design will keep your visitors happy. Furthermore, a mobile friendly website will help with SEO for mobile based users in what is known as mobile-first indexing. Ensuring your business website is responsive to mobile users, serves dynamic content and uses separate URLs is key to any good mobile strategy. 

Mobile Friendly Tool Checkers

  1. Google Mobile Friendly Test
  2. SEO Centro Mobile Checker
  3. Think With Google Mobile Tester
  4. RankWatch Mobile Checker

10. Native Advertising

Native advertising means paying to have your ads where they feel comfortably similar to the other content on the platform they’re advertised on.  Rather than feeling intrusive and out of place, native advertising should fit seamlessly into the content of the website. This makes users more likely to engage with your ad than traditional banner ads or pop-ups. A great native advertising strategy should involve:

Understanding what type of content works best. Which of your blog posts were most successful? What are people interested in reading about? Taking a good look at which of your content works best is key to native advertising.

Decide which sites to advertise on. Native advertising should be useful to people, understanding which sites to advertise on are key to enhancing these experiences.

Here are some great examples of native advertising from Copyblogger’s site that you can check out. Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger explains “Native advertising basically means it looks more like pure content than it looks like an ad.”

Conclusion

I am truly passionate about these 10 digital marketing strategies and I hope you implement them. In today’s online world, your business is the flame and your marketing strategy is the oxygen that gives it light. Please feel free to comment or message me about how successful you were with implementing the above strategies, I’d love to hear from you.

Images provided by Pixelbay

Think Big: Video Marketing Campaign

Think Big: Video Marketing Campaign

All too often we encounter businesses and non-profits that make the same mistake time and time again. They hire a video production company to produce a single marketing video promoting their product, service or brand for the entire year. This may be better than no video marketing, but it will have a short life cycle. The key to marketing is consistency. Start thinking of a campaign of videos time-released over the course of the entire year.

Budgeting Your Campaign

What messages do you want to tell your audience this year? What stories would you like to share? You can start off by figuring out your annual budget for video marketing and explore what is possible. It could be a bunch of simple videos, a few highly produced videos with basic videos in-between, etc.

Are you looking to limit your budget or testing the waters to see what’s working? I would suggest starting with many simple videos so you can get more traction through out the year. I understand if you need to get that first “About Us” video on your home page. If so, start with that and create a goal to build your campaign after. As you find whats working best you’ll begin to see the return on investment building through the year. You’ll discover what’s working and what’s not working as well. Then you decide how to grow the next year. The main idea is to follow a successful video marketing strategy that you can scale every year. The more you invest, the more business will grow.

Still not sure how effective video marketing is compared to other forms of marketing? You can simply google it or visit one of many articles that share incredible stats like this one from Video Brewery.

Basic RGB

 

Limit Your Lengths

Limit your lengths of each video. 30 second videos with a single message can be powerful. 60 second videos are great. Even 2 minute videos can deliver phenomenal response. Once you venture into the 3+ minute land, you may start to play with fire. If you produce longer videos, make sure they’re produced better with engaging stories. Here is an interesting article from ReelSEO  about how length does matter.

At Pennylane, we see the same mistake all the time. Companies try to squeeze too many messages into one video. They’re afraid that the viewer will not understand everything they need to know to become a customer. This is untrue because most viewers will never watch the entire video if there are too many messages. By spreading your messages out over multiple shorter videos, you will be able to accomplish much more:

  • Create a higher impact for each individual video
  • Show the customer how to focus on core messaging
  • Have a better retention rate on videos which helps your SEO
  • Building your library by adding videos to your annual campaign (which you need to do anyway)

So to wrap it up, simplify each video message and think of your master plan for the year, not for a single video.