The Ultimate Guide to the Best Website Marketing Strategies

website marketing strategies

Running a business has always required a solid marketing strategy, but this is the Information Age – and now, marketing takes place on more levels than ever before. If you want your business to succeed, you need a strong online presence that follows the most cutting-edge website marketing strategies.

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Website Marketing Strategies

Your digital marketing strategy starts with a highly engaging and functional website. You need to:

  • Get to know your ideal buyer persona
  • Develop your brand presentation
  • Provide a high-quality user experience online
  • Optimize your website
  • Strategically position your company on social media channels
  • Gather and maintain online reviews
  • Create and commit to an email marketing strategy
  • Track performance with powerful analytics

The following sections delves into each of these website marketing strategies, how you can implement them, and how they’ll help you.

Get to Know Your Ideal Buyer Persona

Before you start any website marketing strategy, get to know your ideal buyer persona. Identify the perfect customer for your product or service, and write down who he or she is – this information will inform every marketing decision you make, from content development to social media engagement.

Website Marketing Strategies - Develop Your BrandSample Buyer Persona #1

She’s between 25 and 40, and she knows exactly what she wants. She doesn’t spend a lot of time window-shopping – she goes directly to the department she needs and zeroes in on her favorite brands. Her salary as an emerging professional in her field ranges between $65,000 and $85,000 per year. She’s in command of her finances, her emotions and her decisions, but she always appreciates tongue-in-cheek humor and prides herself on her ability to choose quality home furnishings and décor.

Website Marketing Strategies - Developing a Buyer PersonaSample Buyer Persona #2

He’s a hard-working adventurer who’s always looking for an opportunity to escape to the lake, the woods or the mountains. Because he works so hard, he appreciates a great deal – but when he’s not working, you’ll catch him stepping into a canoe at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning, packing his Jeep with gear for a weekend getaway or strapping on snowshoes and heading north. This all-around good guy earns between $45,000 and $75,000, and he’s always on the lookout for the latest outdoors gadgets.

Send out surveys and questionnaires to help zero in on your ideal buyer personas. You can use your existing opt-in email list or pose questions on social media. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to inform your future marketing decisions.

Develop Your Brand Presentation

Website Marketing Strategies - Develop Your Brand

Once you identify your target market by creating buyer personas, figure out how to present your brand in the most effective ways.

Define your company’s values and mission, and translate them into language your ideal customer can understand and appreciate. How does your company meet your customers’ needs? How does your brand fit into and complement your customers’ lives?

Create a story around your brand. Follow it from its inception through today, focusing primarily on how you want your ideal customer to feel when he or she sees your logo, your company name or your products.

Pro tip: Use color psychology to match your brand to your buyer personas, and always keep your branding consistent across every channel.

Provide a High-Quality User Experience Online

Zero in on optimal website design so your users have the best possible experience when they find you online. You have to stand out with:

  • Fast, responsive design that renders exceptionally well on any device
  • Easy navigation between information and products or services
  • Great content that informs, inspires and encourages visitors to act

Good user experience, or UX, focuses on what users want – not on hard sales and self-promotion. For most business owners, consulting with a professional marketing agency to create a positive UX is absolutely essential.

Optimize Your Website

SEO as a Website Marketing StrategyYour website is the connection between your company and its potential customers – and the best way to attract them is through search engine optimization, or SEO.  

Sure, you can put up a dozen blog posts or promotional videos each day, but that’s not going to cut it. Your competitors are doing better, and you need to, too.

You need data-driven ideas that bring in search engine traffic and turn prospects into loyal customers.

Search engines crawl websites to rank and sort pages according to how useful they are to searchers. Search engine optimization allows your site to meet users’ needs so Google and other, less popular search engines can deliver it on the first page of results. For that reason, 61% of all marketers make SEO a top priority.

Strategically Position Your Company on Social Media Channels

Social media is your key to connecting with buyers where they’re most comfortable. Facebook dominates the U.S. market – 68 percent of adults in the U.S. actively use it. Here’s a quick run-down of other platforms:

  • 35% of American adults use Instagram
  • 29% are on Pinterest
  • 27% are on Snapchat
  • 25% are on LinkedIn
  • 24% are on Twitter

Drilling down more, Americans aged 18 to 24 are primarily on Snapchat – 78 percent of them, in fact. Further, 71 percent use Instagram and 45 percent use Twitter.

Pro tip: Take note of your buyer personas and zero in on the sites that dominate those age groups to inform your social media strategies.

Social media marketing is about more than creating a few posts. It’s about engaging your customers and sharing content they really find useful – and that they know their friends and colleagues will also find useful.

You can’t afford to drop the ball when all your potential customers are watching from the sidelines, so it may be worth outsourcing social media development and maintenance to the pros.

Gather and Maintain Online Reviews

Your website is the foundation of your digital marketing campaign, but social proof is the glue that holds everything together. Your reputation is on the line with every order, every purchase and every delivery – and because 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust a friend’s recommendation, it’s important that you’re proactive in managing yours.

Seek out favorable reviews, and when you get them, acknowledge and thank the people who leave them.

Pro tip: Promote favorable ratings by asking your webmaster to create code that incorporates Google’s star ratings in your search results. (Websites that feature Google’s aggregated star ratings get higher click-through rates than those without them.)

Create and Commit to an Email Marketing Strategy

Give your visitors an incentive to receive marketing emails from you. Maybe you’ll create an e-book packed with great tips, or perhaps you can send people exclusive access to members-only deals. You can use that valuable asset to encourage your customers to share their email address with you – and the best part is that they’re already interested in what you have to offer.

Creating an email marketing strategy helps you stay a step ahead of your competitors. Your customers are hearing from you, and you’re giving them something your competitors aren’t – your brand earns loyalty that way. Use your email campaigns to continue building that relationship with people who already trusted you enough to give you an email address.

Track Performance With Powerful Analytics

Google Analytics in a Website Marketing StrategyA professional gymnast watches his routine dozens of times to evaluate exactly where he slipped. An expert archer shoots thousands of arrows and scrutinizes each draw. A successful marketer does the same thing: carefully executes an informed, data-driven plan and watches its journey all the way back to the website.

Use powerful tools like Google Analytics, Moz, KISSmetrics or CrazyEgg – or another tool you’re comfortable with – to evaluate the life cycle of every piece of marketing material you use. You’ll be able to make more informed decisions and enjoy better results after every cycle.

Let’s Talk About Your Marketing Strategy

The internet isn’t going to stop evolving, and neither should your marketing strategy. Because you have other things to do – like run your business – it pays to learn from and work with the industry’s most trusted experts.

We invite you to read through our marketing blog for tips and tricks that help you stay on top.

When you’re ready, call us at 469-661-1040 or fill out the form below for a free, one-hour consultation with a marketing expert who can propel your company to the next level.

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How to Reduce Your Bounce Rate and Improve Your Lead Conversion

Lead Conversion

Do you want to reduce your website’s bounce rate and improve your lead conversion?

If so, you aren’t alone.

Bounce rates measure the number of users leaving your website after viewing only one page.

According to ConversionVoodoo, the average bounce rate in the e-commerce industry is 33.9 percent. Even if you are on par with your competition, you will still lose nearly 3 out of every 10 visitors that land on one of your web pages.

But we can help.

Read on to learn more about how you can lower your bounce rate and produce a higher lead conversion on your website.

Improve Your Written Content

You can improve your lead conversion by improving the quality of your written content.

How?

Enhance the readability of what you write. Consider who your target audience is and what they want to read.

Are your products and services geared toward a more sophisticated consumer? If that’s the case, you can write at a higher level. If your audience is new to the industry, you may want to consider a simpler approach.

Your web content should be easy for visitors to read and understand.

Create a Smooth Browsing Experience

To maximize the value of your website to your business, you must create a smooth browsing experience for visitors.

If you don’t, you risk losing potential clients, often in the blink of an eye.

According to Amazon, a delay of just one second would cost them $1.6 billion of sales revenue each year.

Although Amazon is a reputable leader in e-commerce, this statistic shows the tremendous impact slow load times can have on any business.

You can create a positive user experience for website visitors by spending time on web design and testing the front end. This way, by the time your website reaches the public, it has few glitches.

Users will want to browse other web pages if you make it easy for them to do it. Cut down your load times and watch your bounce rate go down with it.

Add Blog Content to Your Website

Blogs allow you to increase lead conversion while also improving search engine optimization (SEO).

By writing regular blog content, you generate interest in your website while also showing your reader you are an authority in your field.

To do this, spend time researching hot topics and other trends in your industry. What are some emerging areas in your field? Are there any unique issues posed by changes in the technology your clients use each day?

Your blog content should be relevant to your audience and provide them value. If you create well-written blog content that continually interests your readers, you can create a following over time.

Blog content also has a positive impact on your website’s SEO.

According to Axonn Media, a company with blog content has 434 percent more indexed pages–pages included in search engine results–than one that doesn’t.

Open External Links in New Windows

The external links on your website should be set to open in a new window.

If they open in the existing web browser window, your visitor is immediately taken to a new website. In short, they have “bounced” from your site and may not return.

However, when external links are set to open in a new window, you eliminate that risk. Your website remains open in its existing window and you avoid a user having to use the back button to return to your content.

Multiple back button clicks for a user can result in “back button fatigue”, according to UX Movement.

For example, if your user opens an external link that doesn’t open in a new window, they’re taken directly to the external website. Then, they may click one or more links on the external site.

If they decide they want to go back to your website, they may not be able to find it easily. Clicking the back button multiple times is tedious and load times on the external site may be slower than yours.

Mobile Optimization Matters

Your website should operate seamlessly across desktop and mobile platforms. From a user’s standpoint, it matters now more than ever before.

According to StatCounter, mobile web browsing surpassed the desktop for the first time in October 2016 when 51.3 percent of users accessed the internet through a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet.

Mobile web browsing has been trending upward since 2009 when the study began. And with the continued advances in mobile web technology, it’s showing no sign of slowing down in the future.

As a business, focus on ensuring that users have the same experience on your website, whether they access it from their smartphone or laptop computer. Website optimization for mobile has never been more timely.

Wrapping Up: Improve Lead Conversion on Your Website

In today’s digital age, your website can be a potential client’s first (and only) impression of your business.

You need to make the most of this opportunity and send a positive message to that would-be client.

How can you do that?

Have a professional web design and fast load times.

But drawing a visitor to your website is only part of the process.

You need to decrease bounce rates and improve lead conversion to generate more interest in your business. More interest then creates higher revenues.

At MarketCrest, we have an award-winning team built to support your revenue goals. We’ll help your company grow and stand out from the competition. We’ll work with you to identify marketing opportunities and increase revenue.

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business develop a stronger web presence.

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What to Check for When Performing Website Optimization

What to Check for When Performing Website Optimization

Website optimization is a necessity for businesses, organizations and every other entity with a web presence. Proper optimization and maintenance will guarantee your website functions as a meaningful marketing tool. Below, we delve into the basics of website optimization that will keep your website in tip-top shape. A website provides a positive impression that your business needs to make connections with visitors of all types.

Website optimization makes sure your site is current and found online. The presentation and functionality of your website really is an important competitive advantage across all industries.

Website Optimization: Where to Start

Set the stage for your website checks by taking some preliminary steps that will make the entire process that much more efficient. Start by installing Google Analytics and sign up for Google’s Webmaster Tools. Confirm your website, establish a backup service and coordinate daily database backups along with full site backups on a weekly basis. These should be stored on a distinct server. Several high-quality backup services can be found online, just search for them on Google.
Amazon S3, Google Drive and Dropbox are typical for remote servers.

Website Optimization: Regular Website Checks

The website should be checked at least once every week. Each page on the site’s front end should load without errors. Plugins and the Content Management System should be updated. It is not enough to perform daily backups. Take the next step by storing these backups at an off-site location. Go through the pages to find if there are any broken links. If you find spam comments on certain pages during website maintenance, remove them.

Take a close look at all forms to guarantee they are functioning as designed. If there are any 404 errors, resolve them by re-directing or remedying links. If there are any problems with emails transmitted from the web server, note and resolve them as quickly as possible.

In terms of marketing, ally with a content marketing team to help you create weekly blog posts to share with colleagues and followers.

Website Optimization at Extended Frequencies

Conduct Website Maintenance Checks Monthly, Quarterly & YearlyMonthly website optimization can commence with gauging the loading speed. If it is in excess of three seconds, discuss the matter with your web developer to enhance speed. From a marketing perspective, it makes sense to transmit a monthly update to those on your email list.

The monthly check is also the time to review security scans, Google Analytics website statistics and local searches.

Consider what your most and least popular content is and repurpose the best of it. Pinpoint the best source of conversion and specific pages visitors come from and consider optimizing them with frequently searched keywords and phrases. Analyze all of this information in-depth and alter your content as necessary.

The quarterly website maintenance check should be a thorough review. Consider what aspects of the site can be improved. Take a close look at the website content, graphics, photographs and so on. Is everything up-to-date? Consider if it is possible to enhance this content so it is more current. The quarterly website optimization is also the time to review and modify meta titles and meta description tags.

Check the uptime logs to boot. If uptime is below 99.9 percent, meet with the web host to find out how it can be improved. If the web host can’t help bring this figure up, consider the merits of other web hosts. This is also the time to check backup health by restoring the latest backup to a distinct web server.

Review the tasks performed on a regular basis and determine if they can be automated to save time and effort. Validate the site for use on mobile devices, accessibility and CSS/HTML. If you run online advertising campaigns, review and adjust them each quarter to meet goals.

The quarterly check is also an opportunity to perform some testing. Test the automated messages, forms and the website itself. Make sure the site looks good on all different types of computers, laptops and mobile devices. Alter the forms and automated messages in an effort to boost your conversions. It should automatically integrate with the CRM as well as the email marketing system.

Conduct Annual Website Checks

The annual website check is a time to consider improving the website’s user experience design as well as its aesthetic design. Implement changes as necessary to keep visitors stimulated and intrigued by the site’s presentation. Update the website footer copyright date. Renew the website domain name if necessary. Review all of the site’s pages to ensure the content is accurate and still relevant. This is also the time to review the website strategy to ensure it is fully aligned with your idiosyncratic business goals.

 

About MarketCrest, LLC:

MarketCrest, LLC is an award winning, full-service marketing firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help our clients compete and grow… and we expect to be held accountable for their improved performance.

MarketCrest, LLC
105 S. Tennessee St. Suite 103
McKinney, TX 75069

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MarketCrest, LLC Wins a Vega Digital Award and MarCom Award

MarketCrest, LLC Wins Vega Digital Award and MarCom Award

Recently, MarketCrest, LLC received results from both the Vega Digital Awards and MarCom Awards and is proud to announce that the McKinney,TX based marketing agency scored wins on both submissions.

 

MarketCrest is a boutique digital marketing agency in the Dallas area that manages marketing strategy and delivers campaigns for companies across 5 states and internationally.

 

Previously this year, MarketCrest won two Hermes Awards and two dotCOMM Awards for work completed for and with valued clients. With the addition of the new MarCom Award and Vega Digital Award, MarketCrest now has six 2017 awards that validate their commitment to delivering excellent work.

 

The MarCom Awards is a competition “seeking the brightest, most radical and revolutionary creatives who are rocking the marketing and communication industry,” honoring only those who “communicate boldly and brilliantly through planning, design and writing.”

 

MarketCrest submitted an eBook titled The Autodesk Industry Report to the MarCom Awards which was planned, designed and written for their client, HingePoint, a Dallas based consulting and development services firm.

 

MarketCrest won a Gold Award for the submission, in the category of Digital Communication and subcategory of eBook, and was named a winner alongside companies like: Adobe, Hilton, Nationwide Insurance, Honda, Johnson & Johnson, and IBM.

 

The Vega Digital Awards is a competition providing “international recognition for established professionals” and is “a launch pad for showcasing talent,” with 200+ categories and three winning levels:  Canopus, Centauri, and Arcturus.

 

A case study on the MarketCrest website was submitted to the Vega Digital Awards. The case study highlights the objectives, goals and results of developing and designing a website for their client GreenLeaf Industries, a custom plastic injection molding company.

 

The case study was awarded an Arcturus Award in the category Website Development and Results and subcategory of Manufacturing. The case study stood against submissions by other marketing and creative agencies for brands such as: TEDx, eBay, LG, Nike, Jaguar, Dell, Frito Lay, Game of Thrones, and Star Wars: The Force Awakes.

 

About MarketCrest:

 

MarketCrest, LLC is an award winning, full-service marketing firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help our clients compete and grow… and we expect to be held accountable for their improved performance.

 

MarketCrest, LLC

105 S. Tennessee St. Suite 103

McKinney, TX 75069

https://marketcrest.com

 

 

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Why Your Great Website Design is Not Paying Off

SEO packages and website design

There’s no point in having a gorgeous website design if nobody’s visiting.

Design is good, but it’s converting traffic that will bring the ROI you crave. 

Creating a website that is elegant, user-friendly, full of great content, and converts leads into customers can be very difficult and expensive.

As a result, businesses will shy away from the right sized SEO program to save some money. “I mean, we built it and they will come right?”

Um, no.

Are investments to make your website search engine optimized (on-site SEO) really necessary? Shouldn’t a great looking and functioning website be enough to draw in potential clients?

The truth is, SEO packages are just as important for a website as the design itself. Read on to discover why SEO packages are so important and worth the investment.

What are SEO Packages & How do I Pick the Right One?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s the process of bringing traffic to a website by increasing the site’s visibility in search engine results. Websites can improve SEO by maintaining high quality and unique content and by indexing pages correctly.

Search engines rank websites based on various criteria, such as blog article length, site reputation, page titles, keywords, and so forth. They catalog all of these details for every website.

There are also algorithms that take some of those criteria and rank various websites that both meet the search terms, as well as their algorithm for website quality.

SEO is a way to ensure that your website receives a high ranking from a search engine’s algorithm and is one of the top search results when a potential client searches for your products and/or services that your business offers.

To further complicate things, search engine companies like Google will change their algorithms often to ensure that websites aren’t cheating the system by catering their website specifically to the algorithm. Search engines want their users to find the content they’re looking for, not just websites that are good at SEO.

If your website isn’t good at SEO and doesn’t stay on top of it, then you will not receive the traffic you need to grow. Businesses, in order to be successful in this age of algorithms, must work hard to ensure that their websites are popping up in the search results.

If your content isn’t showing up organically in search results, you may have to rely on paid ads to drive traffic. Thats not a huge problem but most business owners prefer to have a large portion of their traffic being driven by non paid advertisement for obvious reasons. 

Unless a potential client has a flyer, business card, or brochure with your web address listed on it, most people are going to find your website using a search engine.  SEO will make sure your website shows up in those search engines.

Have a website and not sure if it is optimized for search engines? Consider an SEO Audit to ensure your website is fully optimized.

Why isn’t Great Website Design Enough?

Let’s say you’re an architect. You’ve built a beautiful house that is perfectly proportioned, has lots of natural light, flows well, and is comfortable.

Now you need to find a buyer for your home to get the return on your investment. The issue, however, is that you’ve placed your entire budget into materials and construction of the house and cannot afford a real estate agent. Despite the fact that you’ve placed a “For Sale” sign in the yard, you haven’t received any phone calls expressing interest…

See where this is going? A beautiful, well-designed website is great. But if your potential target lead is unable to find your website, or is even unaware that it exists, how will you be able to win that lead and convert them into a client?

Search engines are easy and reliable. All of us use them on a daily basis for most of our internet activity. There are so many websites that we would be lost without a guide. Only after your website is found can you impress them with the great design and content.

So a vibrant SEO package customized for the amount of traffic you need to reach revenue numbers is what your marketing plan needs. 

SEO packagesSEO Packages: Transforming Your Site Content Into Growth

It is just as important to win over (convert) the client once they do visit your site.

Most SEO packages will include a full assessment of your website’s user-friendliness. If your website design is beautiful but impedes visitors from finding the content they’re seeking, then the design isn’t user-friendly.

The aim of an SEO on-site analysis is to ensure that your visitors are arriving at the content, and then being converted by your “call-to-action” to paying customers.

A great SEO company will know how to use the website design and content to your advantage.

There may be a few tweaks to the wording, page titles, or the internal and external links on your site. Ultimately, though, your company’s brand and message should stay the same.

Until organic search traffic from SEO efforts dominate the website’s search traffic, your marketing plan could also include PPC (or pay-per-click) consulting. That is, understanding your website’s potential for growth through the use of PPC advertising. Then, you could capture a dominant share of the online search traffic and transform your business rather than go for steady growth!

SEO is Just as Important as Website Design

While your website’s design may seem like the most important priority when turning your website into a lead generation monster, it’s just not the case. 

Your company will benefit hugely from the proper sized SEO package, which will allow you to capture a larger share of the online search traffic. 

About MarketCrest: We are a firm focused exclusively on Marketing Consulting & Services that drive revenue growth. Simply, we exist to help you compete and grow and we expect to be held accountable for your improved performance. Learn more, and receive a free 1-hour consult and Get Content & SEO Help NOW! 

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10 Marketing Mistakes Your Business Can’t Afford to Make

Marketing Mistakes to avoid by MarketCrest

 

Some business mistakes are more costly than others. In the digital marketing world, there are at least 10 marketing mistakes that you simply cannot afford to make and still expect to achieve your revenue targets. Here are 10 huge mistakes to avoid.

1. You Don’t Have A Written Sales Strategy

Make sure Marketing and Sales know the revenue target required to reach your annual goal. Factor in the length of the sales cycle, close ratio, repeat business, capacity, onboarding and time to pay. Also collect information on existing customer revenue, anticipated growth, churn and carry over (sold fresh the previous year and in the coming year will bill a full 12 months).

When you know what you need to sell… and when you need to get it sold and billed, you are ready to build your marketing plan. 

2. You Don’t Have A Written Marketing Strategy

What is your one-page plan for supporting the revenue goal the way it needs to be sold this year (products/services)? What is your marketing expense required to execute on your marketing plan and how will the cost be allocated across the calendar year? Not sure if you are investing enough on your marketing? Check it against your industry and small business benchmarks (often 3-10% of sales depending on your industry and how mature your market is).

Analyze the previous year’s category spend and determine what to cut or expand. Create a SWOT analysis if needed.  How many personas (target audiences) will you be marketing to and can you segment the existing contact information to match. Do you need to secure additional contacts? Do you need to secure resources to help you attain your marketing goals? Have you considered all the marketing tools and technology available to support marketers in this app heavy environment?

43% of companies have an executive in their organization who is directly responsible for an overall content marketing strategy. (Curata, 2014)

48% of B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy, and 35% percent have gone so far as to document their strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015)

3. Your Website Pages and Content Weren’t Designed For A Specific Purpose

Personas and Keyword analysis will determine your web page content and content plan for the year. Understanding your target audience is key to designing content for a specific purpose. Do you have content designed to help your target market get through their entire buying cycle? What if they are “kicking tires” and what do you have for them if they are deciding between your firm and one other?

52% of marketers support two to four roles and buyer personas with dedicated content. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, 2014)

48% of marketers use dedicated content to support three to five buying stages. (LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community, 2014)

84% of B2B marketers and 85% of B2C marketers are actively looking to gain a better understanding of their audience or planning to do so in the coming year. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015)

4. Your Website Is A Static “Billboard”

Google rewards websites with lots of high quality, fresh pages. Quality content increases the likelihood of increased traffic, lengthy stays and high page rankings. Create content that engages an audience, keeps them on your page, or makes them return.

90% of consumers find custom content useful. (Demand Metric, 2014)

5. Your Website Is Not Built for Conversion

It is important that your website has the ability to reel in consumers and offer them an option to become engaged with the company. This allows you to create engagement, nurture them during the buying cycle, monitor and score their activity and nudge them to convert.

61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. (Custom Content Council, 2011)

Website conversion rate is nearly six times higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (2.9% vs. 0.5%). (Aberdeen Group, 2014)

Examples: Do you have strong Calls To Action (CTA) on your web or landing pages? Many companies rely on CTAs such as Speak to a Specialist, Request a Quote/Sample, Get Help Now! Request a Free Consult,  Sign Up Here, Download Here, and Follow or Share our Social Media Links.

6. You Don’t Publish Content

Consumers want a service or company that they can trust. Trust comes from being a credible source. One way to achieve credibility is to become an industry expert online by publishing original content that customers or other industry leaders may reference when looking up relevant information.

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. It might be a blog article, web page, landing page, ebook, slide deck, video, webinar, photo, social media post, podcast, infographic, case study, white paper, check list, research paper, or a press release.

 75% of B2B buyers rely more on content to research and make B2B purchasing decisions than they did a year ago. (Demand Gen Report, 2014)

86% of B2B marketers report that their organizations are using content marketing, and 70% of them are creating more content than they did one year ago.

80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (Roper Public Affairs, 2012)

marketcrest repurposing content

 

7. You Don’t Repurpose Existing Content

Consumers like to consume content in various ways. Some like to listen, some watch and some read. If you understand this, you can create content that is helpful to your visitors and customers and maximize its reach by repurposing content. Example: One, high-quality blog post or article can be turned into a slide deck, video, email, tweet, facebook post, brochure etc. Invest in quality content and remember to repurpose it relentlessly.

 

8. You Aren’t Building A List Of Relevant Contacts

Having a list of contacts is crucial. Keep track of all consumers, industry leaders, people who have visited your website or requested information, referrals, etc.

Also know even a good contact list will decay by about 20+% each year because people are constantly unsubscribing, switching jobs, moving or getting new email addresses. As a result, you must be building your database of contacts 12 months a year. Having a long list of contacts creates a bit of a “tribe” that can support your business in good time and in bad. Share industry and company news; new articles, ebooks and research…then when you are ready to introduce a new product and service they will be there to provide advice and spread the word.

With a list constantly in a state of decay, pay close attention to the formula for List Growth Rate:

 What It Is: The rate at which your email list is growing.

  • How to Calculate It: ([(Number of new subscribers) minus (Number of unsubscribes + email/spam complaints)] ÷ Total number of email addresses on your list]) * 100

 Example: (500 new subscribers – 100 unsubscribes and email/spam complaints) ÷ 10,000 email addresses on the list * 100 = 4% list growth rate

As we suggested, there is natural decay on your email list. It expires by about 22.5% every year. Always be growing your list…

9. You Don’t Email Your List At Least Once Per Month

Look, you can’t kill email! It’s the cockroach of the Internet, and that’s a compliment. Resilience is a good thing.

These days all emails are not created equally. A savvy marketer with the right technology, can set up workflows for email nurturing, include images, personalize with customer names, segment, and provide CTAs optimized for mobile. You have people willing to listen. Doesn’t your business have something important to say?

91% of consumers check their email daily (ExactTarget) and 48% of emails are opened on mobile devices (Litmus).

74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via email (Merkle).

66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message (Direct Marketing Association) Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300% (Direct Marketing Association). 

Your company will want to measure your email program’s effectiveness. The most common email metrics are: sent, delivered, bounced, open (open rate), click (click rate or click to open), unsubscribe rate and marked as spam. Find the right key performance indicators for your business so you can test, tweak and improve.

10. Your Business Can’t Be Found Online

Here is how you got in this situation…

1) you are not actively performing on-page and off-page SEO

2) you are not helping people find your firm by using paid search or Pay Per Click ads (PPC)…

Just because people can’t find your company online, maybe it’s not the end of the world. Some companies don’t require online leads to increase sales. If you are one of those firms congrats…you are blessed almost beyond belief. For most of us, our potential clients use the internet to research and jump start their buying process. If we can’t be found…then it’s like we don’t exist….

By 2016, more than half of the dollars spent in US retail will be influenced by the web. (Source: Forrester Research )

Content creation ranks as the single most effective SEO technique. (Marketing Sherpa, 2013)

In search engine optimization, on-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results. These factors are controlled by you or by coding on your page. Examples of on-page optimization include actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement and keyword density.

In search engine optimization, off-page optimization refers to factors that have an effect on your Web site or Web page listing in natural search results. These factors are off-site in that they are not controlled by you or the coding on your page.

Examples of off-page optimization include things such as link popularity and page rank.

If your company is not helping people find you by using paid search or PPC (a quick hit)…get started the right way.

Tip #1: Identify which organic keywords drive traffic and convert on your website.

Tip #2: Determine how much you’re willing to pay for a lead or conversion.

Tip #3: Don’t Go It Alone

Paid Ads are a great way to “test” new landing pages (copy and CTA).

PPC can be a good quick hit but it doesn’t compare to proper SEO and content marketing per dollar spent, content marketing generates more than three times the number of leads than paid search does. (Kapost/Eloqua, 2012)

Content marketing costs between 31 and 41% less than paid search, depending on the organization’s size. (Kapost/Eloqua, 2012)

Summary:

Make sure to have a written sales AND marketing strategy. Create a website that has SEO optimized copy; fresh unique content; is constantly evolving and more than a static “billboard”… and has landing pages that produce conversions. You will want to have a list of relevant contacts (the making of a “tribe”) and make sure to be contacting them at least once per month.

If you are operating without a formal sales and marketing plan designed exclusively for the current year and your annual revenue target…you are operating on a wish and a prayer. You can repair the damage quickly though…contact the team at MarketCrest a request a free consultation. Tell us about your current business challenges and imperatives and we will share how similar companies are solving those issues using online or digital marketing.

 

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How to Increase Traffic Leads And Sales Using Keyword Optimization

More inbound traffic means more leads – and this means more conversions. Here’s a step-by-step guide on why and how optimizing for keywords will increase sales.

Who wants more inbound traffic, more leads, and more sales?

If you raised your hand, then you’ll definitely want to read on and learn how to use keyword optimization to get more business.

You may have heard rumors from internet marketing circles and forums that keywords are dead. Fortunately, this isn’t the case. And even better, we’re going to tell you which type of phrases and queries to target, and how to properly optimize your website and pages for these keywords.

Don’t worry if this sounds Greek to you. All will be revealed if you keep reading.

Keywords Still Matter!

When Google released the Hummingbird update in 2013, many optimization practices were rendered obsolete (like keyword stuffing and measuring keyword density). This update changed the way Google ranks websites, shifting from away from keywords in favor of the quality and relevance of the content provided.

BUT – the update didn’t render keywords obsolete. Matter of fact, they’re still part of Google’s over 200 ranking factors.

Sure, keyword density doesn’t count for anything anymore. And keyword stuffing can get your site penalized. But, the placement of keywords is still important.

We’re going to look at how to optimize a page using proper keyword placement and best practices. But, before diving into that, a brief discussion about the different types of search queries is a must if you want to gain more business through keyword optimization.

Types Of Search Queries: What Are They? And, Why Are They Important?

Entrepreneurs and small business owners new to search engine marketing often focus too much on search volume when researching and targeting keywords.

Make no mistake: search volume is important. And, if you can find a keyword with high search volume and low competition, you’re off to a hot start! Should your website rank for it, an upswing in traffic is almost guaranteed.

But, will the traffic convert into sales?

The answer depends on the content of the ranking page and the search query. If the two don’t match, converting visitors into subscribers or customers may prove difficult.

Now, there are three types of search queries:

  • Navigational: Searches performed to find a website. Example: “Pennsylvania official website”
  • Informational: Searches performed to research info. Example: “how to research keywords”
  • Transactional: Searches performed to buy something. Example: “best smartphone $500”

If the goal is to increase qualified leads and boost sales, keyword optimization with transactional intent should be the target.

Let’s say you are a computer and hardware reseller, and you want to get more gaming graphics cards out of the shelf.

A transactional phrase with high commercial intent like “best gaming graphics card” is a good target. Whoever is searching for the phrase is more likely to buy than a user searching for an informational phrase like “what is a GPU.”

Other potential targets include:

  • Buy gaming graphics card
  • Gaming graphics card reviews
  • Gaming graphics card deals
  • Gaming graphics card discounts
  • Gaming graphics card under $200

So, pay attention to search volume but don’t neglect the type of search query and commercial intent of a keyword.

Start With On-Page SEO

We now have a clearer idea of which type of keywords to target if you want to get more high-quality traffic and generate sales.

Let’s get to the optimization part!

On-page SEO is always the starting point when you want to rank for a keyword. And, unlike external elements like backlinks (more on this later), on-page optimization relies on elements that you can control.

Here are some keyword placement and keyword optimization best practices to always keep in mind:

  • Page URL: Yes, having keywords in the URL is still a good thing. And not just for keyword optimization purposes. Microsoft’s research showed that URLs are one of the elements a searcher considers when deciding which website to click.
  • Page Title: Include the target keyword or a slightly tweaked variation to maintain a natural flow. Make it compelling to catch the attention of users, and keep the title under 55 characters so Google displays it in full.
  • Page Description: The description should accurately describe the content of the page and have the target phrase and other closely related terms. About 155 characters is a good benchmark for length. And of course, you want a clear and convincing description so users are persuaded to click.
  • Content: The content should be logical (what the user expects) and comprehensive while using the main phrase and related terms in a natural way. Don’t sacrifice grammar and readability just so you can include an exact keyword. And lastly, no keyword stuffing!

Now, there’s more to on-page SEO than placing the right words at the right places. If you want to learn more about other on-page SEO strategies you can employ today, check out this infographic which shows the 16 factors that Google and users love… and read the full Keyword Optimization article from our partner Carl Lefever here.

 

 

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