What Twitter marketers can learn from JetBlue, Emirates and Royal Dutch Airlines

A very interesting article from Yuyu Chen on ClickZ that is a bit old by Internet Standard but still very much current as far as what it discusses.

I’ve been learning the ropes of social media marketing lately. A few days ago, my friend Brian Honigman, a marketer and social media analytics instructor at New York University, gave me access to his Socialbakers account.

When I was playing around with this analytics platform, I found that three major airlines – JetBlue, Emirates and Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) – are leading brands in their own right on Twitter. All of them have a strong presence on the platform and work hard to develop high quality campaigns for Twitter.

But there are nuances in their Twitter marketing strategies. For example, KLM is very focused on customer service on Twitter, while JetBlue and Emirates put more effort into branding.

Below is my analysis on their Twitter marketing techniques over the past three months. Hope it can help your Twitter account take off.

Read the full article at: https://www.clickz.com/what-twitter-marketers-can-learn-from-jetblue-emirates-and-royal-dutch-airlines/23646/

New websited from EnContext Media

Just released our latest addition to the family of websites from EnContext Media.

They include:

www.forcoolfashion.com
www.forhealthmatters.com
www.forhomesandgardens.com
www.giftsandspecialoccasions.com
www.forlaptopsandmobile.com

Looking for feed-backs, ideas on how to improve, articles suggestions, etc.

Modern Content Marketing: A Trend Worth Following (Literally)

As more and more people are wising up to the idea of researching before purchasing, the role of content as a primary marketing tool is growing. A couple of years ago, content was no more than a means to higher traffic and a “web master”‘s selling point to business owners reaching for a top spot on Google’s ranking. 

Today, both the web master and the business owner know better. More importantly, Google’s getting closer and closer to zero tolerance when it comes to that old spam ideology that reigned in the early 2000s.

Google has become a noble entity, bent on saving innocent browsers from that tragic transition from triumph to disappointment as they encounter yet another spam page. In the aftermath of this evolution, web masters everywhere are tossing their black hats and clamoring instead for high-quality content, a find that pays in valuable inbound links, credibility, a nice loyal audience base, and real, actual profit.

While we respect your hesitation on the man bun, content marketing the right way, is definitely a trend you want to follow. So what’s that thing they’re doing different that’s making all the difference? Well- there are a few things:

Audience Monogamy 

Commitment is the virtue of web marketing. For the love of your brand, stop spreading your content around and find an audience you can commit to and deliver. Not only is this practice valuable to the integrity of your brand, but practical for creating profit.

Google’s algorithm updates have evolved to meet the readers needs and your content needs to reflect that. Today, it’s all about relativity-  not shameless backlinking and the buffet-style keyword spread. That might get you in the door, but it will also get you flagged and then blocked for good measure. Look- we get that your marketing team is hell bent on getting you that prized, first-page spot, but please be classy- quality over quantity. Always. 

Research and actively aim to provide solutions to your audience’s problems. Tweak and mold your products and/or services to meet your audience’s needs. Keep some buzzwords around, but keep them relevant and tasteful. Knowing your audience and creating consistent high-quality content that appeals to their needs will fulfill yours- it’s called a functional relationship.

Don’t Be a Poser

The factor that characterizes a search engine as sophisticated is its ability to behave according to natural patterns. Likewise, your content should be crafted to read in a natural tone. Google’s algorithm, like a living breathing real person, prefers language that is clear, descriptive, and talkative. Craft content that is easy to read and interact with- people prefer an answer if it feels like it’s coming from a real person- and if it’s coming from a real person, Google won’t flag it as spam.

Co-occurrence,  Not Keywords

Invest in more long-form content with lots of detail and natural phrase flow. Instead of playing Keyword Chubby Bunny, write posts with high-integrity- the relevant phrases will occur naturally. Co-occurrence. 

Long-form content is a sophisticated (and effective) upgrade from keyword stuffing. Instead of coming off as redundant and cheap, long-form content delivers relevant results effortlessly. It also produces results that readers are more likely to seek out, which is why this style is favored by search engines.

Note: Something to beware of when using long-form content is relying on fillers or straying. This is why we always recommend writing about what you already know- and enjoy.

Resources and References 

If I’m interested in a topic, chances are, yours is not the only site I’m checking out for information- and that’s not a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s best to provide what you know exquisitely and leave the rest to someone else. That last move doesn’t mean your content is less than- you can actually have an authority site simply by following that one simple rule, as long as the reader finds your website more useful than the competition.

… and how do you make sure your site is more useful? Provide resources. Aside from your own content, provide access and leads to other content by making your posts rich with case study references, white papers, and additional references.

Providing resources and references is not only good for building an authority website, but also for ranking. Google’s algorithm uses these outside links to create context, something that allows it to cater more accurately to readers and understand your content intention.

The Top 10 Winners in Organic Search Growth Year-Over-Year

shutterstock_291004433

study was recently published by SimilarWeb detailing the top 10 sites that grew their organic search traffic in 2015 compared to 2014. Roy Hinkis of SimilarWeb explains the study’s methodology:

“To determine the biggest winners in year-over-year search growth we looked at the top 10,000 sites, judged by volume of traffic from organic search in of 2015, and compared this traffic to the same period in 2014. Of these sites, we discarded any that showed a negative trend in search traffic and only looked at sites that grew by 1% or more.”

Quora took home the crown of greatest percent increase in organic search traffic, growing 120% in 2015 over 2014. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact Quora’s search traffic came from 95% non-branded key phrases. This is in contrast to other sites on the list, like YouTube and Pinterest, where branded search terms make up half of their organic traffic.

In terms of pure traffic numbers alone, YouTube beat the others handily, although it only saw a 1% increase in search traffic. You can view the original chart in the study with the winners ranked by search traffic. I’ll reorder the top 10 winners here for a quick look at those with the greatest percent increases in search traffic year-over-year.

  1. Quora, up 120%
  2. Redit, up 73%
  3. Washington Post, up 51%
  4. Netflix, up 50%
  5. CNN, up 42%
  6. StackExchange, up 11%
  7. Pinterest, up 9%
  8. StackOverflow, up 8%
  9. USPS, up 3%
  10. YouTube, up 1%

In addition to ranking the overall top 10 sites, the SimilarWeb study ranks the top 10 sites by category. View the original study if you want to see the winners in: Adult, Arts and Entertainment, Education, Finance, Gambling, Online Marketing, Shopping, Social, Sports, and Travel.

 

Source – SEJ

How to Double Your Website Revenue (Without Increasing Traffic)

Double Website Revenue With 0% Traffic Increase | SEJ

Everyone knows the importance of search engine optimization. There are millions of pages on the web devoted to explaining the methodology necessary to increase traffic to a website. The real shame is many sites that are successful in driving traffic are failing at maximizing the revenue potential.

Don’t be that guy. By applying a few simple, but proven and effective principles, you may not always double your revenues, but you are very likely to achieve a meaningful improvement.

Communicate UVP in 8 Seconds or Less

Double Website Revenue With 0% Traffic Increase | SEJ

A 2015 study by Microsoft, as reported by Yahoo, concluded the average attention span is now 8 seconds. This is down from 12 seconds in 2000. If you fail to deliver a unique value proposition that is attention-grabbing and easy to understand, you risk losing a customer.

In order to make that happen, your UVP (unique value proposition) needs to be clear and relevant to your customer’s wants or needs. It should emphasize benefits like how to solve a problem or improve a situation, not just a long list of features. Finally, a UVP should explain WHY someone should buy from YOU and not your competition.

An effective UVP or unique selling point will contain the following elements:

  • Headline: Defines the problem or situation that will be solved or improved
  • Tagline: Provides added details like who benefits and how
  • Bullet Points: Lists features (maybe), but, more importantly BENEFITS
  • Image or Video: A visual element to convey the proposition

Eliminate Objections

Never assume your customer understands your product, service, or market. By doing so, you are likely to leave many questions unanswered and many objections unchallenged. This leads to a negative impact on conversions.

Instead, directly address the most common questions and concerns expressed by prospective buyers. Consider any objection you can think of related to your product or service, then address it on your category and product pages.

Alternatively, you could create an FAQ page. If you have a customer service department, the phone and chat logs are perfect for discovering questions and objections. Forums and Q&A sites are also great resources for turning up questions.

Some examples of common objections that need to be addressed:

  • Why pay you when I can do it myself?
  • You charge too much – it’s not worth it
  • Will it work?
  • What if it doesn’t work?
  • Why should I trust/believe you?

Overcome Fear

Nobody likes getting ripped off. When you are selling a product or service that people aren’t familiar with, this is a very real and legitimate concern. By overcoming this fear you will have one less objection AND a distinct advantage over your competition.

How? The best way is to offer a no hassle, money back guarantee. Prominently display your guarantee and policy on the home page as well as every category and product page.

The benefits of offering a no hassle guarantee include:

  • Removal of a friction point (by taking away the risk) in closing a sale
  • Increasing credibility and trust by standing behind your product or service
  • Having a competitive advantage over those unwilling to stand behind what they sell
  • Keeping you “honest” by forcing you to provide a fair value all the times to avoid chargebacks

Highlight Social Validation

The importance of social validation in online marketing is difficult to overstate. One of the most persuasive types of validation is the testimonial. Because prospective buyers are much more likely to trust a consumer’s opinion over that of a business, reviews carry an incredible amount of weight.

According to a recent Consumer Review Survey:

  • 92% of consumers now read online reviews
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews
  • Star rating is #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
  • 44% say a review must be written within 1 month to be relevant
  • Only 13% of consumers consider using a business that has a 1 or 2-star rating
  • 68% say positive reviews make them trust a local business more

The best testimonials contain elements that validate the UVP

  • Explain what problem or situation was solved or improved (Example: Sales doubled).
  • Explain what happened to arrive at the desired outcome (Example: As soon as the widget was installed the phone began to ring.)
  • Emphasize benefits (Example: The stain disappeared) over features (Contains 27% phosphate).
  • Discuss how your product or service performed versus a competitor. (Example: 25% more effective).
  • Bonus: Up the ante with audio or video testimonials for maximum effect.

Tweak Your Product or Service Offerings

Put Google Analytics to work for you and determine what customers are buying. Next, consider what products or services naturally compliment the top sellers. (Think wine and cheese). That’s the concept behind complementary products.

A happy consumer of your product is likely to buy from you again. It just makes sense to sell a product that complements one they’ve just bought. It’s also convenient for the buyer to make a purchase on a single website. Offering a discount when “bundling” products can further improve your sales.

Here’s the catch – too many choices can overwhelm a customer and actually lead to less sales and conversions. The classic study validating this paradox was performed by psychologists Sheena Lyengar and Mark Lepper back in 2001. In the study, two jam displays were set up in a supermarket – one with 6 different jams and another with 24 choices. Not surprisingly, the 24 jam display generated a lot of interest, but the 6 jam display outsold it by a factor of 10. 

You can also give away a complementary service. If you are selling kitchen cabinets, offering a free design service could give you an edge over the competition. Many online business card printers offer a free template for DIY design. Some digital marketing companies offer a free SEO report. Is there an opportunity for you to give away a service that could lead to a sale?

Tweak Your Pricing

I’m a big fan of tiered pricing. The concept is simple – bundle a set of products or services and offer each bundle at incremental price points. First, determine what price points the market will accept. Next, determine what products or services to deliver in each tier.

Advantages to using a tiered pricing model

  • Broadens market opportunities
  • Offers a path to existing customers to move up the tiers
  • Requires no additional products or services
  • Gives the consumer a choice

How to execute a tiered pricing model

  • Scale value – As the price increases so should the value, so offer a bigger bang for the buck at each tier.
  • Add perks – As the price goes up, the types levels of service should also increase.
  • Bonus: Add value based on commitment – for example, offer one month free with a 12-month agreement.

Make it Easy to Pay

There is nothing more aggravating than navigating through the sales process just to get bogged down when it comes time to pay. Difficulty in checking out is the mortal enemy of sales and conversions. Having an easy to use checkout page is essential.

Elements of a good checkout page

  • Does not redirect payment to another page (like PayPal)
  • Does not require a user account to make a purchase
  • Does not ask for more info than necessary
  • Is highly intuitive and easy to use
  • Makes it easy to fix mistakes
  • Offers multiple payment methods
  • Offers proof the site and customer information is secure (secure site badge)

The Takeaway

By removing friction points, instilling trust, and making the buying process easy, you are almost certain to increase your revenues in a very meaningful way by making the most of the traffic you are already getting.

Sounrce – SEJ

How marketers can avoid poor customer service within the email industry

Customer service should be a core component of any business, but it has been on the decline in the email marketing industry.

A lot that can be attributed to trying to do more with less in terms of both time and money resources, but also looking to monetize customer interactions.

Not taking a wider perspective of customer service is both problematic and a mistake. Obviously a high-touch level of customer service is good business, but email marketers also need help because there are so many emerging trends and technologies.

For example, there is real-time content, retargeting, disruptive technologies, and social and optimization for mobile devices, just to name a few.

There are more marketing technology, data and tactical trends facing email marketers than ever before, and all the more reason why email marketers need more hand-holding and resources to answer questions and address their needs.

When a services company is no longer a services company

Generally, consolidation is seen as good for companies in terms of growth and gaining market share. Through the combined efforts and technology of the combined companies, market advantage is supposed to become more crystalized.

In the email space, this has had the opposite effect in that the acquiring companies at the Enterprise level are not services companies; they’re technology companies.

Many of these acquired companies were well known for their support and help for the email community, and with that loss, service has again ranked high on marketers needs outside of the requirements for technology.

This brings the topic of service and support to the forefront in light of acquisitions over the last 5 years.

A couple of key customer service questions

When asking marketers why they switch Email Service Providers (ESPs), the top of every list is, “I’m not getting the service I need.”

This customer lament illustrates that choosing an ESP is not just a technology decision, but also a decision on the people behind that contract who are on the other side of the phone.

Marketers should have specific questions to identify the level of customer service that they need to navigate today’s complex email marketing waters.

For example, marketers seeking answers on their own should have access to webinar replays, eGuides and whitepapers that offer solutions to common issues, and for more pressing problems they should be able to reach their ESP in a number of ways including by phone, email and possibly even via online chat within the vendor’s website.

Evaluate if the customer service you get is just marketing speak or it’s actually baked into your ESP’s approach from the start.

Can they really assist and understand the challenges that you face on a daily basis? Do they have the digital experience and industry knowledge to help you find the right solution?

Great customer service permeates an entire company

In the email marketing industry, there’s plenty of vendor options that are essentially just a pipeline that you can take advantage of to get your email sent and are little more than a technical solution.

When an ESP and client begin working together more as partners than just a business interaction, service can be taken to a different level.

And when the ESP’s entire team from customer support, to development, to the account director and even the design team, has a dedication to customer service, then everyone is working to make the client successful and turn them into a hero at their company.

Great customer service also comes from a certain approach to the vendor/client contract and relationship. For one, it should be a conversation, not just a set of rules.

Of course the contract is there to define the parameters of the relationship, and should be referred to when things somehow go wrong in some way, but just regularly referencing the contractual rules throughout the relationship is a mistake.

It’s important for marketers to trust the person on the other end of the phone or email because their inquiries have a direct impact on their job performance and maybe their email marketing goals too.

Here are some sample questions that marketers should be asking, and getting answers for:

  1. Will my ESP be there to answer the phone?
  2. Do they have any external validation by accredited groups of their claims of “great customer service?”
  3. What do their customers (references) say about them?

Many times speed and urgency is also important as a campaign needs to get out the door. For example, we would rather answer a question during a chat message within the application to cut down the time from someone asking a question and us getting them a response.

Knowing that time is money for our clients, we want to provide experts who understand email and understand the struggles marketers’ face so we can provide the best service possible.

A final takeaway?

Email marketing is ever more complex. Between constantly emerging trends and marketing technology options, it’s easy to fall into the trap of providing the minimum service level based on contractual rules.

To really be set apart, great customer service has to become something that’s ingrained as a core aspect of the business.

The long-term benefits are always worth more than the potential short-term savings from not providing the best customer service possible.

Source – ClickZ.com

 

Zappos solidifies brand message with Leap Day

Trying to make Leap Day into a federal  holiday, Zappos’ closing its call center could have backfired. But it worked because it was strangely on brand.

Yesterday was February 29, a very special day added due to the Gregorian calendar’s disparity with the solar system. Zappos is moving to make Leap Day even more special by having it recognized as a real holiday.

Zappos encouraged people – starting with its employees – to use this bonus day to do something they’ve always wanted to do, or #TakeTheLeap. All “Zapponians” were given a paid day off yesterday, including those in the 24/7 call center.

“We thought, why don’t we set the example to let our employees do something amazing with their extra day?” says Tyler Williams of Zappos Brand Aura, adding that the company petitioned the government to make Leap Day a federal holiday. “But it’s not just about making it a national holiday; it can mean something bigger: people getting out on that day, conquering a fear, doing something they’ve always wanted to do.

The Change.org petition has only reached about a quarter of its goal, but it’s still been signed by more than 23,000 people. And as Williams points out, there are still three years, 11 months and 28 days to go until the next Leap Day.

zappos-change

Zappos is a company whose customer service is held in extremely high regard. Could closing the call center for 24 hours, something that’s never been done before, tarnish that reputation and result in backlash for the brand? Not according to Williams.

“When customers called on February 29, they heard an inspirational message encouraging them to celebrate Leap Day, letting them know we’ll be available for them again, around the clock, today,” he says. “We believe a whole lot of good can be done with one extra day, and we led by example by giving all our employees a paid day off.”

In an odd way, closing down the call center was on brand for Zappos. The inspirational message on the phone contributed to the company’s customer service, rather than taking away from it. The underlying message was, “We’re closed right now, but that’s just because we care about you.”

This isn’t the first time a brand has tried to transition from a hashtag to a holiday. Over the summer, Amazon launched Prime Day, the company’s attempt to create a new online shopping extravaganza. And then outdoor retailer REI famously boycotted Black Friday, encouraging everyone to #OptOutside instead of shopping.

While Prime Day fell flat, REI generated a lot of buzz. The most obvious difference between the two strategies is how one was totally self-serving, while the other was more subtly so. If you’re going to do something outdoorsy, you could probably use REI equipment, whereas “celebrating” Prime Day only means shopping on Amazon.

#TakeTheLeap followed more in REI’s footsteps, despite the fact that Amazon is Zappos’ parent company. The Leap Day movement doesn’t benefit Zappos in an obvious way; the call center wasn’t even open.

But because it tied in with the retailer’s overall branding, Matt Bijarchi, founder and chief executive (CEO) of blend, gives Zappos “an A+” for its strategy. He points out that the company has nothing to lose by pursuing this.

“What better experience to offer your consumers than starting a movement that gets them an extra day off of work?” he asks. “If the movement doesn’t convert, at the least, they are earning yet more goodwill from their consumers.

Most of us thought, ‘Wow, that’s a cool, fresh idea I haven’t heard before’ and everyone knows to associate it directly with Zappos.”

Source – ClickZ.com

How to Turn Prospects into Customers with Your Landing Page

How to Turn Prospects into Customers with Your Landing Page

We’re sure you understand why a good landing page is so essential to your success, so let’s look at what a high-converting landing page should include. This information we’re sharing with you is the result of years of testing and millions of dollars in ad spend, and has proved successful across dozens of different local business verticals. It’s what we’ve found works the best for local businesses looking to get their phones ringing.

Header

The header is the section at the very top of your site. It should be relatively narrow because you don’t want it taking up too much of the all-important above-the-fold space at the top of your site.

There are just two things to include in the header: your logo, which goes on the far left side of the header, and a call to action, which goes on the far right side of the header.

This call to action should be in a fairly large font so it stands out and people can read it easily. For a local business, we almost always have the business’s phone number here.

However, don’t just put the phone number up there. Add a specific call to action above the phone number to give people a reason to call you. We recommend something like “Call Now for a Free Estimate/Consultation/Quote.”

Video or Image

Under the main headline, on the left side of the page, you should have a video or image. (This video or image could go either above or below the main headline. We’ve tried it both ways, and it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference in conversion rates.)

The strategy for the image or video is pretty much like it is for the rest of the landing page: Put your best foot forward. You simply want something that looks professional and helps convey the benefits you offer. For a video, keep it on the short side: around a minute or a few minutes at the most.

For the image, make sure it’s relevant to your business. Ideally it’s a photo of you/your staff looking happy or one that visually shows the benefits your clients get from using your services.

Headline/Subheadline

Hands down, the headline is the most important copy on your landing page. It’s so important because it’s going to be the most read copy on the page and will largely determine whether your prospects pay attention to the rest of the page or simply hit the back button.

There’s no shortage of detailed information out there on copywriting and creating headlines. Most of them require you to think really deeply about this, come up with a customer avatar, think about a lot of theoretical stuff, come up with 100 ideas, etc. A lot of this information is really helpful; we’re not dismissing it at all. But our goal is to make things as simple and straightforward for you as possible.

Obviously we can’t write your headline for you — you’ll still have to do some thinking about this and at least come up with a list of your best benefits and main selling points. However, we’re going to share a headline template that’s proved to be successful on a number of landing pages we’ve created for clients.

Here’s the headline and subheadline template:

Would You Like to … (Insert Benefit 1, Benefit 2, Benefit 3)

If the answer is “YES,” then call us now for your free consultation and learn …

Let’s look at a few examples and then discuss this formula in more detail.

Here’s one for a title loan company:

Would You Like Fast Cash in 15 Minutes or Less With No Credit Check at the Lowest Rates in Las Vegas AND You Keep Your Car?

If the answer is “YES,” then call us now at (888) 555-5555, or come visit us at (location address).

For a mortgage broker:

Would You Like to Refinance Your Home to Today’s Low Rates and Lower Your Monthly Payments Even If You Owe More Than Your Home Is Worth?

If the answer is “YES,” then call now for your free consultation where you’ll discover. . .

One of the keys to the success of this headline template is putting your prospects in “Yes” mode, which psychologically makes them more likely to take you up on your offer.

At this point, your prospect will see the yes, so you’re getting them in a “yes” state of mind. That’s why we follow up with “If the answer is YES . . .” to build off them being in that state of saying yes, then we follow up with a call to action. That call to action leads into the promise of discovering the biggest benefit you offer prospects.

Body Copy/Bullet Points

This section goes under your headline and subheadline on the left side of the page and expands on the promise/offer/value proposition they started.

Most people aren’t going to read all your copy; they’re going to skim it. So a few short paragraphs are all you need along with three to five bullet points. Bullet points are a list of short, punchy sentences that convey the main benefits/key points that prospects should know about your business. Again, keep things short, sweet, and focused on the main benefits you offer your clients.

Contact Form

Not everyone who lands on your page is going to call. So for those who don’t want to call, the landing page should have a contact form where they can submit their information.

The form should have a clear call to action at the top that reinforces why they should contact you and what benefit they’ll receive for doing so. For the form itself, only ask for the information you absolutely need from a prospect — that’s generally a name, email address, phone number, and an optional “comments” field where they can enter any comments or questions they have.

You can also get creative with the button that a visitor needs to click to submit their information. You can use a generic “Submit” button or a more action/benefit-oriented button such as “Get Free Estimate” or “Get Free Consultation.”

The “Proof Zone”

The space under the contact form is a great place to demonstrate your business’s credibility. We call it the “Proof Zone” because the information here should help prove to your prospects that you are a credible and trustworthy business.

How do you do that? One common way is to provide testimonials from happy clients. Having these testimonials in the form of a video or audio clip is very powerful. A text testimonial with a photo is the next best option.

With testimonials, the more specific they are and the more they reinforce the main benefits of your business, the better. Here’s an example of a lame testimonial:

“These guys are great. I’m really happy with them.” — Joe

Compare that to this testimonial:

“Following my car accident three years ago, I’d experienced nearly constant chronic back pain. I tried physical therapy, pain meds, and a few natural remedies, and nothing helped. I visited Dr. Smith after a friend recommended her, and I’m glad I did. After six visits, I’m moving better than I have in years and am virtually pain free!” — Joe Williams, Seattle, WA

If you don’t have testimonials, there are plenty of other ways to demonstrate your business’s credibility. These include using logos of media outlets you’ve been featured on, logos of well-known clients, and/or special recognition/credentials/awards your business has received from industry/business organizations.

Another Call to Action

At the bottom of the page, below the fold, reinforce your call to action. Put your phone number there again so people don’t have to scroll up to find it. And again remind them of the benefit they’ll receive for taking action and contacting you.

Tiny Links at the Bottom of Your Landing Page

If it were up to us, there would be no links on your landing page because we want people focused on the one action we want them to take. However, since we’re advertising on Google, we need to keep them happy and follow their rules. And to satisfy Google’s terms and conditions, there need to be a few links on the page.

We place these, in a very small font, in the footer at the bottom of the page. The bare minimum you need to include here are links to a privacy policy, terms and conditions, and a contact page. The contact page exists so Google knows you’re a real business and should include both your phone number and your physical address.

Source – Entrepreneur.com

6 Ways to Market Your Small Business Mobile App

6 Ways to Market Your Small Business Mobile App

Apps are as effective as their reach. It’s the cold truth of marketing—no matter the quality of your campaign, it’s the delivery that makes it successful. To ensure your mobile app lives up to its ROI potential, it’s important to invest in a well designed mobile marketing strategy, which can lead to hundreds or even thousands of downloads when properly leveraged.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on making an early dent with your mobile marketing plan.

1. Know your audience

If you haven’t identified your core audience, you’ll never hit your sales target. First figure out who your app should cater to, then design for them. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Age range
  • Interests
  • Tech-savviness
  • Industry

2. Don’t overlook keywords

App store discoverability is a huge factor to consider when you’re launching your app. At least63% of iOS users search for apps organically, and a whopping 83% of all iOS apps are “Zombie Apps” that are essentially invisible in an organic App Store search. These stats underline the importance of keyword research and optimization. Aim to attract as much organic traffic to your site and app as possible by examining industry trends and staying up-to-date on app store optimization strategy.

3. Build an online presence

Enhance your app’s online presence as much as possible by showcasing it on your website and incorporating it into your other marketing channels. You can even go so far as creating a comprehensive website for the app itself. Here are a few more detailed ideas to consider:

  • Landing Page: Dedicate a page of your front-end website to your mobile app. Include download links or scannable QR codes that lead visitors straight to the app store listing. Emphasize its benefits to the user, like cost-savings and insider product info, in addition to simply listing the features. Screenshots and promo videos are big selling points as well.
  • Blog Articles: Leading up to launch, post regular updates and sneak peeks on your company blog. Post-launch, continue to share the latest feature updates and user insights to capture the attention of new customers.
  • Banners: Design clickable website banners that convey essential info and link through to actionable content, like the download link or an app release blog post.
  • Emails: Add regular app update emails to your drip campaigns. You can pull content from your landing page and reframe it to work seamlessly within your email marketing campaign.

4. Schedule your launch

An app launch done right can bring a storm of downloads. Put your launch day on the calendar and begin advertising your “Official App Launch” to customers and leads. Create a social media buzz around it, promising exclusive offers and sending teasers out far and wide. When launch day arrives, offer special deals to the first users to download. Before you know it, you’ll have hundreds of customers with your app in their hands.

5. Hear your customers

At the first stages of your app’s release, listen closely to customer feedback. It helps to include a response form in your app and on your site. Regularly read over the app store store reviews—and ask loyal customers for positive ones— plus pay attention to common complaints. Keep these communication channels open in the long-run so you can continue revising and improving your app’s ratings, ultimately better serving your user base.

6. Consider videos

Videos are a great way to demonstrate your app’s capabilities. They go further than words and screenshots can, providing a real glimpse into the user experience. Create a short promo video that tours the app’s UI, but avoid low-quality production at all costs—no video is better than shoddy video, and if you don’t have the resources to dedicate to it then you’re better off sticking to print. With short and clear videos, you can popularize your app on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram. The clip may not go viral, but you’re likely to nab some downloads and add a dose of professionalism along the way.

Source – Entrepreneur.com

12 Search Terms Local Business Owners Should Know

During a recent visit to a local flower shop, I visited with the owner about online marketing strategies, objectives, and tactics. She actively participates in social media marketing but finds search marketing too intimidating due to so much industry jargon.

This article covers some of the basic search and website terms that can help local business owners communicate with marketing staff, consultants, and website designers more effectively. Written in a more casual manner than most online glossaries, it includes images, tools, and resources.

1. Alt Tags

Example of alt tag in Web Marketing Today's HTML code.

An example of alt tag in Web Marketing Today’s HTML code.

Alt tags are descriptive information placed in HTML code related to photos, videos, and graphics that describe their content.

Alt tags serve two purposes: They enable people who use screen readers to understand what the image is. Search engines also rely on them for the same purpose (search engines can’t understand images; they understand text). Guidelines for alt tags include writing a description of the image and using keywords that pertain to it.

2. Citations

“Citation” is another word for a listing that contains a company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). It is of particular importance for both search visibility and customer experience that the information be consistent and accurate. Businesses can update the information themselves or use services that perform such tasks on their behalf.

3. Claiming a Business

Listing that needs to be claimed.

Listing that the business owner needs to claim.

Search engines and local business directories ask companies to “claim” their listing by verifying that they have ownership. Verification involves a code given via a phone call or mailed to a business’s physical address.

Business owners enter the code at a specified location on the search engine or local directory’s website. Sites that require “claiming” include Yelp, Google My Business, Bing Places For Business, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor.

Related article: Top 15 Local Directory Listing Services

4. Conversions

A conversion is an action that you want visitors to your site to take. It could be a purchase, phone call, download, donation, or filling out a contact form. A “call to action” is a button that leads people toward the conversion, such as “Learn More,” “Buy Now,” or “Download Here.”

5. Database Aggregators

Database aggregators are companies that collect data about businesses from public records. Businesses can also provide this information via a submission form.

Check your business’s name, address, and phone number on database aggregator sites, to see if the information is correct, missing, or needs updating.

6. Domain Registrar

Businesses reserve their desired website address (i.e., URL or domain name) from a company that acts as a domain registrar. The company can also be a web host, but these are two separate functions.

As a business owner, list your name as the registrant. The administrator can be someone else within the company. If one of these people leaves your company, update the information. Also, be sure to pay your renewal bill on time or you may lose your website address.

The WhoIs Database, found on most registrar’s sites, contains every domain name registered. If the domain name you enter is not listed, then it is available. Confirm the name and contact information listed as a Registrant, Administrator, and Technical contact for the site.

The WhoIs Database lists registered domain names.

The WhoIs Database lists registered domain names.

WhoIs Results page – redacted.

WhoIs Database results page – redacted.

Resource: ICANN WHOIS

7. Meta Tags: Title and Description

Meta tags are pieces of code placed into a website’s source code that tells search engines and visitors about the page’s content. The three most common meta tags are the title tag, description tag, and keyword tag (which is not used much due to abuse.)

Meta tags are visible to the search engines but do not show up on the website. They do, however, appear in the browser window and the search engine result pages (SERPs).

Creating a good title tag is one of the most important tactics a business can use to ensure visibility in search engines. The description tag is particularly significant to potential website visitors because it tells them why they should visit you versus another.

The title tag and description appear in search results.

The title tag and description appear in search results.

The title tag used on the website appears at the top of many browser windows.

The title tag used on the website appears at the top of many browser windows.

Tool: Pixel Width Checker for Page Meta Tags. While many say that Title tags should be no more than 60 characters, pixel width factors into the equation. Use this tool to see if your title tags could get truncated.

Pixel width checker for web page meta titles.

Pixel width checker for web page meta titles.

8. Optimized Images

Images used on websites or in social media need to be sized correctly both in dimension and file size. If they are too large, the images may not appear correctly or may load slowly.

Resource: 2016 Social Media Image Sizes Cheat Sheet

9. Organic and Paid Search

People can find businesses in the search engine result pages (SERPs) by organic or paid search.

Search engine results page with organic and paid listings.

Search engine results page with organic and paid listings.

Organic search (or natural search) are the results found in the central column of the search results page. These listings can include your website, social media profiles, news, images, videos, and local search websites such as Yelp, YellowPages.com, or HotFrog. Niche sites such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, or Vitals are also included in these results.

Search engine algorithms that include site optimization, content quality, and the value of the site to the customer determine rankings.

Paid Search is when you purchase ads, such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads. These usually appear at the very top of the search results or on the right-hand side. Once you stop paying, your visibility in the search engines disappears.

10. Page Speed

Page speed is a calculation the search engines use to determine how fast a website will appear on a desktop or mobile device. Large, un-optimized images and unnecessary scripts can also affect page speed.

Tools:

  • Google’s Page Speed Insights measures the page speed performance of your website on desktop and mobile devices;Google PageSpeed Insights.

    Google PageSpeed Insights.

  • GTmetrix is a tool that provides an analysis of your website’s page speed using guidelines from Google PageSpeed and Yahoo YSlow.GTmetrix: Google PageSpeed and Yahoo YSlow page speed analysis.

    GTmetrix: Google PageSpeed and Yahoo YSlow page speed analysis.

11. Responsive Website

Responsive Design: same site viewable on desktop, tablet, and phone.

Responsive Design: same site viewable on desktop, tablet, and phone. (Image source:Pixabay)

A responsive website is one that resizes automatically so that it appears viewable on all devices — desktop, tablet, and phone. Advantages of a responsive website include ease of updating and mobile-friendliness.

12. Web Host

A web host is a company that stores the various files that make up your website, including HTML, database, CSS, and image files, enabling them to be accessible via the Internet.

A variety of hosting options are available, including shared hosting, virtual private servers, and dedicated Hosting. Your technical needs and budget will determine which hosting plan will work best. Discuss the options with your web designer or IT professional.

Additional Resources 

Glossary of Local Search Terms and DefinitionsThis glossary, which is part of the Moz Local Learning Center, focuses on local search and the most commonly associated search terms.

Social Media Definitions: The Ultimate Glossary of Terms You Should KnowIn August 2015, HubSpot published a glossary of 117 terms used in social media marketing. Novice and experienced marketers alike will find this resource useful.

WordPress Glossary for Beginners — Terms and Definitions for WordPressWP Engine created this glossary of approximately 70 terms to help novice and experienced WordPress users understand the terminology associated with WordPress sites.

Source – Webmarketingtoday.com