Here is some detailed advice that will help you protect your reputation online.
The post 7 Expert Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation by @pierrezarokian appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Here is some detailed advice that will help you protect your reputation online.
The post 7 Expert Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation by @pierrezarokian appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Google announced changes to Android that may affect it’s search and browser dominance in Europe. Every Android user in Europe will soon be asked to make a choice of what browser and search service the users wishes to use. Impact to Search Marketing The update will be rolling out over the coming weeks. It will impact current and new Android device users. It may be useful to follow European user trends. Significant changes may impact how search marketing from PPC to organic search is conducted. That said, there is reason to believe that Google’s implementation of the choice prompt is […]
The post Android Update Impact on European Search Marketing by @martinibuster appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Google's John Mueller explains the role of TF-IDF in how web pages are ranked.
The post Google’s John Mueller Discusses TF-IDF Algo by @martinibuster appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Waiting is a pain and the tolerance threshold has become increasingly thinner as the demand for instant gratification has crept into every aspect of consumers lives. Waiting for a website to load is no different than standing in line. Slow page load time dramatically increases the website bounce rate – a 4-second delay in page response results in a 25% abandonment rate.
Page speed optimization also supports your page’s search ranking. Google penalizes page search rankings if there’s any indication of poor user experience, including slow page load time. Therefore, faster sites get an SEO boost and the higher your site is on Google, the more organic traffic it will get.
“Today’s consumers demand a fast, engaging and secure online shopping environment when searching for a product online. We see a direct relationship between online revenues and site performance and therefore, we have to ensure our site performs well and loads fast,” said Michael Cooper,Vice President and General Manager, HomeDepot.com. Site performance remains a major factor for keeping visitors coming back to a retail site. Online shoppers demand – and expect – quality site performance which is a requirement for optimal online success.
Improving page load time by even a few seconds can make a huge impact on your business.
Amazon, Yahoo, Google, Walmart, and Mozilla are good examples of businesses where a difference of just milliseconds can have a dramatic effect:
You are not only losing money because of slow page load time, but a slow page can also damage your brand’s reputation. In one study, 66 percent of customers said website performance influences their impression of the company and 33 percent of customers have a negative impression of a company with a poor performing website. Always consider the customer’s point of view when planning your page. Placing your customer’s needs first is absolutely the best thing you can do for your business.
Page speed can either make or break the user experience; here are three ways to improve page speed optimization:
Back in 1995,the average page was 14.1 KB in size. Today the average page size is more than 2 MB. Images comprise more than 60 percent of a page’s size. To reduce the page size of your site, it’s important that you compress your images before uploading them to your site. Try using a plugin to reduce the file size of jpegs and pngs, which will help remove any extraneous metadata that might be taking up unneeded space. Reducing them also reduces the visual quality of the image, so you have to be careful not to run yourself over. Don’t put too many images or upload huge image files as they can take longer to load for users. Videos can be hosted off your website on sites like YouTube or Vimeo, but there is still a load time factor to consider. As it turns out, a page can actually earn top rankings without a lot of written content on the page. A first-rate user experience, combined with some mark-up that tells crawlers what is on the page, can absolutely help you rank well.
The hosting provider you choose will have a major impact on website speed. Choose a hosting platform that is designed to deliver lightning fast results with the various common website speed issues in mind. Certain factors need to be consider when selecting a hosting platform for ecommerce. They Include:
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
The geographic location of a site visitor can impact how fast your site’s content reaches them. A CDN is a proven way to get lightning fast loading results by reducing bandwidth usage. CDNs provide a shorter connection distance from the server to the source, resulting in faster page load time. Make use of blazingly fast CDN that stores your site’s content globally for faster load times.
You need to have an idea of how fast your site loads. A good speed should be about 2 to 3 seconds per page. This technically implies thatyou would want to get it down to less than 1 second for your loading speed.
However, if your site takes more than three seconds to load, you might want to test what your site’s speed is with online tools such as Pingdom, Google’s PageSpeed Insight or Bitcatcha. These tools will give you an idea of where you’re at in terms of speed.
A new version of the official AMP plugin for WordPress supports the creation of AMP Stories.
The post Official AMP Plugin for WordPress Now Supports AMP Stories by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
by Robert Clough
Bogged down by dense SEO guides and high-level tips from experts? Never fear! Here's a simple explanation of SEO and how to get started.
In this post, you'll get some quick tips and easy-to-understand advice that will reveal:
...so that you can get started with SEO fast! Keep reading to learn more.
In order to understand why you need SEO, you probably should first learn exactly what SEO is.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and, put plainly, it helps to organically place your website at a higher ranking in search engines. The higher your website ranks when people do a keyword search in Google, for example, the more likely it is that people will actually visit your page.
And you definitely want people to visit your site, right? Of course!
According to InternetLiveStats, over 3.5 billion internet searches occur each day. So if you're not ranking high, you're missing out on a major opportunity for website traffic.
What's more, the higher your page ranks in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), the more clicks your site will get.
But how do you rank high in search engines? Here's an introduction to SEO...
Here are four simple SEO tips to get your website in good shape:
Go the extra mile and use one of these handy SEO resources to make sure that your SEO game is on par with other sites:
There's a lot more to know if you want to deep-dive into the SEO waters, but the tips outlined above should get you started with SEO fast so that your site can begin ranking higher in searches.
Once you've learned more about SEO and implemented it into your website strategy, check out our roundup of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) news articles for ways to improve your search engine ranking even more.
Be sure and visit our small business news site.
Google My Business is launching a new feature which will help business owners showcase positive reviews.
The post Google My Business Suggests Positive Reviews to Share as Posts by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Learn how to get more out of Search Console data by using it in combination with Google Data Studio.
The post How to Take Search Console to the Next Level with Google Data Studio by @sam_marsden appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Content tactics promise game-changing results. But most die hard and fast. Here's how to become relevant without them.
The post Why Content ‘Tactics’ Fail You & How to Become Relevant by @jamarketer appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
In 2016, life forced me to redefine and achieve work-life balance. Here's how personal struggles made me change everything.
The post Maintaining Work-Life Balance Is Essential to Self-Care by @LEHoneycutt appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Google's AI/Machine Learning tool demonstrates how an algorithm can understand an image.
The post Free Google AI Image Analysis Tool by @martinibuster appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Nous sommes nombreux à aller directement sur Amazon ou une marketplace pour effectuer des achats et mener des investigations transactionnelles en ligne. Pour un site marchand, ces possibilités ne peuvent pas être écartées et il est donc important d'obtenir une visibilité importante sur ces plateformes. Voici quelques informations allant dans ce sens... Notre infographie du […]
Internet est l’un des meilleurs outils pour trouver des clients. Pour attirer les internautes, il est essentiel de rédiger une page de vente convaincante.
Une page de vente sert à présenter vos produits et/ou services dans le but de générer du trafic, mais surtout de convertir vos prospects en clients. Le contenu doit donc être persuasif.
La concurrence étant rude, il est important de vous démarquer lors de la rédaction de votre page de vente. Voyons donc comment rédiger un contenu performant pour décupler vos ventes.
Avant d’écrire une page de vente, pensez à cibler un objectif unique. Puis, faites en sorte que chaque phrase écrite permette d’accomplir cet objectif.
Vous devez également savoir au préalable à qui vous souhaitez vendre votre produit. Créez des personnages pour mieux cerner vos clients, en réalisant des sondages sur les réseaux sociaux par exemple, ou en visitant les sites web de vos concurrents. Mais aussi en vous focalisant sur les avis et questions des clients.
Après seulement, vous pourrez rédiger votre page de vente en montrant que vous connaissez parfaitement votre produit et ses avantages.
Le titre est l’élément le plus important d’une page de vente. Il doit être direct et efficace afin d’inciter le prospect à poursuivre sa lecture. Mettez en avant les bénéfices au lieu de vendre le produit ou le service. En effet, si le titre n’est pas lu, le reste de la page de vente sera inutile.
Pour bien choisir votre titre, il faut savoir écouter vos prospects et répondre à leurs attentes. Pour ce faire, aidez-vous de votre buyer persona en établissant les objectifs du client idéal. Réalisez un sondage et échangez avec vos contacts par e-mail pour connaître leurs envies, leurs désirs et frustrations.
Ensuite, notez les questions les plus fréquentes et les réponses qui reviennent le plus souvent. Ces dernières doivent être mises en exergue dès le début de votre page de vente.
Votre introduction doit inciter le lecteur à lire la page de vente jusqu’au bout. Pour cela, servez-vous intelligemment des peurs, des frustrations et des problèmes de vos prospects en vous basant sur les caractéristiques de votre persona marketing.
Il ne s’agit en aucun cas de les manipuler, au risque de perdre leur confiance, mais plutôt de faire preuve d’empathie en se mettant à leur place. Le but de cette démarche est d’engager le lecteur avant même de lui présenter votre produit ou service.
Après avoir évoqué les difficultés de vos prospects, il faut les aider à résoudre leurs problèmes. Faites-leur imaginer la vie qu’ils auraient si leurs problèmes étaient résolus. Il est important de rester honnête et authentique : évitez les superlatifs, lesquels au contraire peuvent dissuader vos visiteurs.
Votre produit ou service doit être vu comme la solution ultime pour aider vos prospects à atteindre leurs objectifs. Décrivez clairement les caractéristiques de votre offre en utilisant des listes à puces par exemple.
Précisez les fonctionnalités de votre produit et ses bénéfices, en adoptant votre propre style, afin que le lecteur sente l’être humain derrière le produit. Cette technique permet de construire un lien avec le prospect et d’augmenter son niveau de confiance.
Le storytelling est également un excellent moyen pour toucher vos prospects. Racontez une histoire à laquelle vos lecteurs pourront s’identifier. Exprimez un problème pour arriver à une solution : la vôtre. En effet, créer des émotions a un fort pouvoir de persuasion dans une page de vente.
Vous pouvez aussi rédiger une page de vente conversationnelle, une sorte de discussion en tête-à-tête avec votre prospect concernant ses difficultés. Cela permet de renforcer le lien avec votre lecteur et de lui montrer que vous le comprenez.
Il n’est pas toujours facile de faire confiance à des vendeurs sur Internet. Vous devez alors rassurer vos prospects.
Augmentez la crédibilité de vos propos en apportant des preuves concrètes telles que les témoignages de vos clients, en particulier ceux des personnes ou des sociétés reconnues. Prouvez votre fiabilité en intégrant à vos pages des badges de certification. Vous pouvez aussi rédiger plusieurs articles d’expertise ou tenir un blog. Ajoutez des liens vers des résultats ou des photos, si nécessaire.
Anticipez les questions de vos visiteurs et répondez-y efficacement afin de les rassurer et de démontrer votre expertise. Proposez toujours une garantie à vos lecteurs : un remboursement intégral en cas d’insatisfaction par exemple. Cela permet en même temps de gagner la confiance de vos prospects.
Intégrez un call-to-action sur votre page pour inciter le prospect à en savoir plus : livre blanc, achat, contact, demande de devis… Les boutons d’achat, de téléchargement ou de validation de paiement doivent être visuellement beaux. Vous devez les multiplier sur votre page.
Vous pouvez aussi ajouter des produits complémentaires dans votre page ou proposer à vos lecteurs de partager le contenu pour atteindre un maximum de clients.
Pour bien rédiger une page de vente, il n’est pas indispensable d’étudier le copywriting pendant de nombreuses années. Quelques techniques faciles à appliquer permettent de créer du trafic et de transformer vos clients en prospects.
Commencez par écrire un titre accrocheur, suivi d’une introduction persuasive pour capter l’attention des lecteurs. Soyez précis dans la description des produits et mentionnez dans votre page de vente les témoignages de vos clients. Proposez également une garantie pour mettre vos lecteurs en confiance.
Enfin, il faut intégrer un call-to-action visible dans la page pour aider le lecteur à avancer dans son parcours d’achat. Dans votre conclusion, évoquez à nouveau le bénéfice principal qu’apporte votre produit ou service et remettez en avant votre garantie.
Vous souhaitez intégrer le Social Selling dans votre organisation ? Téléchargez notre livre blanc “Gagnez de nouveaux clients grâce au Social Selling”, ou contactez notre Agence de Social Selling !
Posted by randfish
The final episode in our six-part One-Hour Guide to SEO series deals with a topic that's a perennial favorite among SEOs: link building. Today, learn why links are important to both SEO and to Google, how Google likely measures the value of links, and a few key ways to begin earning your own.
Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. We are back with our final part in the One-Hour Guide to SEO, and this week talking about why links matter to search engines, how you can earn links, and things to consider when doing link building.
So we've discussed sort of how search engines rank pages based on the value they provide to users. We've talked about how they consider keyword use and relevant topics and content on the page. But search engines also have this tool of being able to look at all of the links across the web and how they link to other pages, how they point between pages.
So it turns out that Google had this insight early on that what other people say about you is more important, at least to them, than what you say about yourself. So you may say, "I am the best resource on the web for learning about web marketing." But it turns out Google is not going to believe you unless many other sources, that they also trust, say the same thing. Google's big innovation, back in 1997 and 1998, when Sergey Brin and Larry Page came out with their search engine, Google, was PageRank, this idea that by looking at all the links that point to all the pages on the internet and then sort of doing this recursive process of seeing which are the most important and most linked to pages, they could give each page on the web a weight, an amount of PageRank.
Then those pages that had a lot of PageRank, because many people linked to them or many powerful people linked to them, would then pass more weight on when they linked. That understanding of the web is still in place today. It's still a way that Google thinks about links. They've almost certainly moved on from the very simplistic PageRank formula that came out in the late '90s, but that thinking underlies everything they're doing.
Today, Google measures the value of links in many very sophisticated ways, which I'm not going to try and get into, and they're not public about most of these anyway. But there is a lot of intelligence that we have about how they think about links, including things like more important, more authoritative, more well-linked-to pages are going to pass more weight when they link.
That's true of both individual URLs, an individual page, and websites, a whole website. So for example, if a page on The New York Times links to yoursite.com, that is almost certainly going to be vastly more powerful and influential in moving your rankings or moving your ability to rank in the future than if randstinysite.info — which I haven't yet registered, but I'll get on that — links to yoursite.com.
This weighting, this understanding of there are powerful and important and authoritative websites, and then there are less powerful and important and authoritative websites, and it tends to be the case that more powerful ones tend to provide more ranking value is why so many SEOs and marketers use metrics like Moz's domain authority or some of the metrics from Moz's competitors out in the software space to try and intuit how powerful, how influential will this link be if this domain points to me.
So the different kinds of domains and the rate of link growth and the editorial nature of those links all matter. So, for example, if I get many new links from many new websites that have never linked to me before and they are editorially given, meaning I haven't spammed to place them, I haven't paid to place them, they were granted to me because of interesting things that I did or because those sites wanted to editorially endorse my work or my resources, and I do that over time in greater quantities and at a greater rate of acceleration than my competitors, I am likely to outrank them for the words and phrases related to those topics, assuming that all the other smart SEO things that we've talked about in this One-Hour Guide have also been done.
HTML readable links, meaning as a simple text browser browses the web or a simple bot, like Googlebot, which can be much more complex as we talked about in the technical SEO thing, but not necessarily all the time, those HTML readable links that don't have the rel="nofollow" parameter, which is something that you can append to links to say I don't editorially endorse this, and many, many websites do.
If you post a link to Twitter or to Facebook or to LinkedIn or to YouTube, they're going to carry this rel="nofollow,"saying I, YouTube, don't editorially endorse this website that this random user has uploaded a video about. Okay. Well, it's hard to get a link from YouTube. And it contains relevant anchor text on an indexable page, one that Google can actually browse and see, that is going to provide the maximum link benefit.
So a href="https://yoursite.com" great tool for audience intelligence, that would be the ideal link for my new startup, for example, which is SparkToro, because we do audience intelligence and someone saying we're a tool is perfect. This is a link that Google can read, and it provides this information about what we do.
It says great tool for audience intelligence. Awesome. That is powerful anchor text that will help us rank for those words and phrases. There are loads more. There are things like which pages linked to and which pages linked from. There are spam characteristics and trustworthiness of the sources. Alt attributes, when they're used in image tags, serve as the anchor text for the link, if the image is a link.
There's the relationship, the topical relationship of the linking page and linking site. There's text surrounding the link, which I think some tools out there offer you information about. There's location on the page. All of this stuff is used by Google and hundreds more factors to weight links. The important part for us, when we think about links, is generally speaking if you cover your bases here, it's indexable, carries good anchor text, it's from diverse domains, it's at a good pace, it is editorially given in nature, and it's from important, authoritative, and well linked to sites, you're going to be golden 99% of the time.
Many folks I think ask wisely, "Are links still that important to Google? It seems like the search engine has grown in its understanding of the web and its capacities." Well, there is some pretty solid evidence that links are still very powerful. I think the two most compelling to me are, one, the correlation of link metrics over time.
So like Google, Moz itself produces an index of the web. It is billions and billions of pages. I think it's actually trillions of pages, trillions of links across hundreds of billions of pages. Moz produces metrics like number of linking root domains to any given domain on the web or any given page on the web.
Moz has a metric called Domain Authority or DA, which sort of tries to best replicate or best correlate to Google's own rankings. So metrics like these, over time, have been shockingly stable. If it were the case someday that Google demoted the value of links in their ranking systems, basically said links are not worth that much, you would expect to see a rapid drop.
But from 2007 to 2019, we've never really seen that. It's fluctuated. Mostly it fluctuates based on the size of the link index. So for many years Ahrefs and Majestic were bigger link indices than Moz. They had better link data, and their metrics were better correlated.
Now Moz, since 2018, is much bigger and has higher correlation than they do. So the various tools are sort of warring with each other, trying to get better and better for their customers. You can see those correlations with Google pretty high, pretty standard, especially for a system that supposedly contains hundreds, if not thousands of elements.
When you see a correlation of 0.25 or 0.3 with one number, linking root domains or page authority or something like that, that's pretty surprising. The second one is that many SEOs will observe this, and I think this is why so many SEO firms and companies pitch their clients this way, which is the number of new, high quality, editorially given linking root domains, linking domains, so The New York Times linked to me, and now The Washington Post linked to me and now wired.com linked to me, these high-quality, different domains, that correlates very nicely with ranking positions.
So if you are ranking number 12 for a keyword phrase and suddenly that page generates many new links from high-quality sources, you can expect to see rapid movement up toward page one, position one, two, or three, and this is very frequent.
Obviously, this is not alone, but very common. So I think the next reasonable question to ask is, "Okay, Rand, you've convinced me. Links are important. How do I get some?" Glad you asked. There are an infinite number of ways to earn new links, and I will not be able to represent them here. But professional SEOs and professional web marketers often use tactics that fall under a few buckets, and this is certainly not an exhaustive list, but can give you some starting points.
The first one is content and outreach. Essentially, the marketer finds a resource that they could produce, that is relevant to their business, what they provide for customers, data that they have, interesting insights that they have, and they produce that resource knowing that there are people and publications out there that are likely to want to link to it once it exists.
Then they let those people and publications know. This is essentially how press and PR work. This is how a lot of content building and link outreach work. You produce the content itself, the resource, whatever it is, the tool, the dataset, the report, and then you message the people and publications who are likely to want to cover it or link to it or talk about it. That process is tried-and-true. It has worked very well for many, many marketers.
Second is link reclamation. So this is essentially the process of saying, "Gosh, there are websites out there that used to link to me, that stopped linking." The link broke. The link points to a 404, a page that no longer loads on my website.
The link was supposed to be a link, but they didn't include the link. They said SparkToro, but they forgot to actually point to the SparkToro website. I should drop them a line. Maybe I'll tweet at them, at the reporter who wrote about it and be like, "Hey, you forgot the link." Those types of link reclamation processes can be very effective as well.
They're often some of the easiest, lowest hanging fruit in the link building world.
Directories, resource pages, groups, events, things that you can join and participate in, both online or online and offline, so long as they have a website, often link to your site. The process is simply joining or submitting or sponsoring or what have you.
Most of the time, for example, when I get invited to speak at an event, they will take my biography, a short, three-sentence blurb, that includes a link to my website and what I do, and they will put it on their site. So pitching to speak at events is a way to get included in these groups. I started Moz with my mom, Gillian Muessig, and Moz has forever been a woman-owned business, and so there are women-owned business directories.
I don't think we actually did this, but we could easily go, "Hey, you should include Moz as a woman-owned business.We should be part of your directory here in Seattle." Great, that's a group we could absolutely join and get links from.
So this is basically the practice you almost certainly will need to use tools to do this. There are some free ways to do it.
The simple, free way to do it is to say, "I have competitor 1 brand name and competitor 2 brand name.I'm going to search for the combination of those two in Google, and I'm going to look for places that have written about and linked to both of them and see if I can also replicate the tactics that got them coverage." The slightly more sophisticated way is to go use a tool. Moz's Link Explorer does this.
So do tools from people like Majestic and Ahrefs. I'm not sure if SEMrush does. But basically you can plug in, "Here's me. Here's my competitors. Tell me who links to them and does not link to me." Moz's tool calls this the Link Intersect function. But you don't even need the link intersect function.
You just plug in a competitor's domain and look at here are all the links that point to them, and then you start to replicate their tactics. There are hundreds more and many, many resources on Moz's website and other great websites about SEO out there that talk about many of these tactics, and you can certainly invest in those. Or you could conceivably hire someone who knows what they're doing to go do this for you. Links are still powerful.
Okay. Thank you so much. I want to say a huge amount of appreciation to Moz and to Tyler, who's behind the camera — he's waving right now, you can't see it, but he looks adorable waving — and to everyone who has helped make this possible, including Cyrus Shepard and Britney Muller and many others.
Hopefully, this one-hour segment on SEO can help you upgrade your skills dramatically. Hopefully, you'll send it to some other folks who might need to upgrade their understanding and their skills around the practice. And I'll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.
Check out the other episodes in the series so far:
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!
Organiser ou participer à un événement est souvent un moment clé dans l’activité d’une entreprise. La participation à événement permet d’une part de mobiliser l’entreprise pour mettre en oeuvre la stratégie de l’entreprise (ex: faire des présentations sur les nouveaux produits…), pour faire passer des messages clés (lors d’événements internes ou externes),mais aussi pour d’attirer […]
Facebook has been spotted testing the ability for users to upvote and downvote comments.
The post Facebook is Testing Upvotes and Downvotes for Comments by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Consumers think with both their rational and emotional brains. Study after study says that when we buy, it’s for emotional reasons. Logic comes into play when we try to justify the money we have (or are about to) spend — especially when we’re giving into our wants.
Here is what one Psychology Today article says about our shopping habits.
Okay. The findings make sense. In fact, they’re common sense and have been instrumental to marketers for years. But how can businesses harness emotions to connect with their consumers? Harness the following example tacts. We’ll show you how.
Emotions are the key drivers behind our everyday decisions. They’re what keep us motivated to get up and go to work at 6 AM. It’s how we convince ourselves to run that extra mile on the treadmill. Similarly, emotions are what convince us to do business with the brands that stand out to us.
The problem is that marketers are on a completely different wavelength. What makes us happy? Clicks, pageviews, time on site, and high conversion rates.
What marketers need to keep in mind is that conversion optimization is a process, not a moment. It’s the whole marketing funnel — not just the five minutes that it takes for your customers to sign a contract or commit to a sale.
Your company needs to prioritize long-term relationships above sales.
Researchers at the University of Michigan wanted to find out how positivity could affect a negotiation scenario. In the study, participants had to coordinate the final arrangements of booking a catering service for an upcoming wedding reception. The business manager of this catering company (a professional actor), explained that the quoted price of $14,000 would need to be increased by close to $3,000 due to market pricing fluctuations.
The study revealed that even a subtle change in pitch could dramatically impact the outcome of the conversation. People who heard a positively toned pitch were twice as likely to accept the deal as people who heard a negatively toned pitch.
Zappos is a brand that thrives on positive energy. The company aims to make its customers extremely happy — and it’s not just to get them in the door. Zappos wants to keep people happy through the entire sales cycle.
Zappos transformed what most companies consider to be a cost (call centers) into a positive customer experience. Zappos reps are not required to follow a rigid script. Instead, they’re encouraged to live in the moment and let their personalities shine through.
Zappos is famous for sending customers flowers, granting surprise upgrades to overnight shipping, and staying on the phone with some customers for hours.
“Sometimes people just need to call and talk”, said Shaea Labus, the employee who was on a call with a customer for almost 10 hours. “We don’t judge, we just want to help”.
Make your customers happy, and you’ll win their business for life. Your competition won’t stand a chance.
Visual communication is the heart of online marketing. That doesn’t mean, however, that your company is limited to two-dimensional communication.
One way to harness the senses is to appeal to your audience’s imagination. Help them imagine an experience with your company’s products. One option? Sound. Talk to your customers by producing a branded explainer video or by hosting a webinar.
You don’t need to create something expensive or overly complicated, either. When Spotify launched in the U.S., the company created a very simple visual and soundtrack:
Coastal, an ecommerce store that sells contact lenses and glasses, has a ‘try-it-on’ feature that helps customers see what they’d look like in new glasses.
A personality is something that we usually give our friends, family members, coworkers, and acquaintances. These are qualities that form a person’s distinctive character.
Personalities are in the eye of the beholder. We love people because of their personalities. We hate people because of their personalities. We find some personalities wonderful — and others, we find horribly obnoxious.
It’s weird to think that brands can have a personality. And yet, we talk about ‘brand personalities’ all the time.
A brand personality is the set of attributes that give an organization a distinct character. Some brands have incredibly strong and unique personalities. Others have weaker personalities (or no personalities at all). Usually, these personalities revolve around a distinct set of attributes.
Great personalities don’t happen by accident. They’re planned well in advance.
Moosejaw is a great source of inspiration. This sports and outdoors goods retailer is fun-loving, experimental, adventurous, and has an amazing sense of humor. Their marketing team takes the time to try new branding initiatives (like mystery gifts and freebies) and also deploys subtle tactics of making fun of the company’s own legalese. Check out the company’s return policy, for instance. It’s hilarious. It’s a “living will”.
A brand personality can be whatever its leadership wants it to be — fun loving, serious, professional, or any combination of characteristics.
What’s most important is that the company defines it up front. This process should capture the entire time — not just a select few managers within the organization.
The reason why is that it’s your team members — at the ground level — who will ultimately put this carefully designed personality into action. These individuals will plan new product features, business development tactics, and customer service offerings around this extremely important identity.
As an example, take a look at KISSmetrics. The company strives to be analytical, educational, helpful, to-the-point, metrics-driven, aggressive, and (kind of nerdy). These core brand personality traits are readily apparent throughout the site — on the homepage and especially on the blog where the company is sharing tips, how-tos, and detailed best practices in web analytics.
he short answer? Everyone.
The personality that you assign to your brand should touch every aspect of your business from marketing copy to social media, customer emails, and product descriptions. Every single person on your team — executive leaders, mid-managers, and entry level team members should be able to clearly define and embody who your brand is.
In many ways, your team members are your company’s brand identity. In building out your team (hiring) and forming strategic partnerships, you need to hire people who live and breathe your brand’s core values. When your team is committed to a shared and focused set of values, your company will have an easier time.
Culture, marketing, and design are elements that go hand-in-hand. For these disparate business goals to converge, a clear strategy needs to be defined from the top-down.
A brand identity isn’t something that will materialize into thin air. The process takes careful planning and consideration. You’ll need to hire a team, and if you have the funds, you may need to hire a consultant. This core business asset will unify your product, marketing, design, and customer communication. In other words, it’s really important. You’re not wasting time by overthinking it.
Here are step-by-step guidelines to help you get started:
Here is an example of a simple brand styleguide:
The concept is just that simple. The less information your team has to filter through, the more they can focus on creating a cohesive marketing strategy.
Emotions can easily transition from effective to downright cheesy. It’s a fine line. One moment, your brand is doing a great job building a rapport. The next moment? Audiences are making fun of your company’s over-the-top marketing message.
How do you avoid this?
Cheesiness is in the eye of the beholder. The best way to connect with your audience is to put your marketing team in their shoes.
Some brands make viral marketing look so darn easy. Dollar Shave Club, for instance, used a hilarious marketing video to build a customer base. Overnight. Literally.
The thing is, viral marketing campaigns are more formulaic than they look. While performance isn’t guaranteed, brands can optimize their chances of success by striking an emotional chord with their customers.
In a Harvard Business Review article, Kelsey Libert and Kristin Tynski explain how marketers can increase the chances of a creating a viral campaign:
The world is bigger than your brand. Focus on adding value to the world, and your customers will notice.
Delight is a force that is infinitely more powerful than any marketing message. It’s the experience of watching a toddler use a smartphone for the first time. It’s what happens when you walk into your favorite boutique (after a tough day) and are surrounded by racks of beautiful items and great music. It’s when Zappos surprises you with overnight shipping.
Some leaders stereotype delight as something fluffy. The thing is, it’s not. It ties directly into your company’s bottom line. It’s probably true that you can’t measure the correlation between exposure to purple lighting in the Virgin Airlines check-in area and profitability. But honestly, who cares? We know that delight influences sales. It’s a waste of time to chase numbers and micromanage the details. Focus on growing your business by creating delightful brand experiences.
Delight doesn’t happen on accident. It’s carefully crafted into the core functional areas of your business:
Delight can strike a chord with the following emotions:
The problem with delight is that it is — by definition — a nebulous concept. Your finance and revenue teams will second guess your pitches around the topic. Your sales and marketing teams might be on board, but your number crunchers? Not so much. When asked about your plans, you need to distill your goals into a set of tangible steps. Here are the steps needed to create a delightful brand experience:
Branding is something that your company should measure on the macro-level. Pay attention to general trends in your customer data:
Delight is something that you can craft in tandem with your brand’s personality. Delight is the customer-centric piece, and personality is the brandcentric piece.
There is a fine line between courting and manipulating customers. Remember that emotions can make us vulnerable. No matter how strong we think we are, we’re still very complex. In appealing to emotions, brands are constantly walking the line. It is extremely important to treat your customers with the utmost respect.
Fear is one example of a powerful yet heavily abused emotion.
In some instances, fear is appropriate. Especially when it comes to vital health concerns, companies/brands/nonprofits have an obligation to inspire emotion. This ad from the CDC, for instance, is designed to stop people from smoking:
The main element that influences whether a person is likely to take action to avoid a threat is efficacy — a person’s perception as to whether or not they can do anything about the threat.
Marketers and business owners can literally scare their customers into making a purchase. But is it ethical? Probably not — if you’re using fear tactics, then definitely no. If you’re communicating something truthful (and possibly saving your customers from a big problem), then fear is ok.
The key is to give your brand a value test. Is your marketing message adding or extracting value from the world? If you’re extracting value (like a leech), you should probably change your approach.
Logitech is an example brand that strikes this balance well. Here is an ad for a home video security system — it’s based around the questions that parents are already asking. In speaking to its audience’s fears, the marketing message is comforting because it shows worrisome parents that they are not alone in their fears.
Logitech also ran a “busted” video campaign to expose prospective customers to credible, real threats. Unethical? Not so much. But the campaign may make you consider buying a Logitech camera.
Here’s an example of an ad that takes fear too far. The ad reads “If you aren’t totally clean, you are filthy”.
The ad is questionable because it’s unreasonable. Yes, our hands are covered in germs. But are we covered in disgusting cockroaches, and are we allowing those nonexistent cockroaches to crawl all over our children? Probably not.
The thing is, many people have phobias for cockroaches and other insects. They are likely terrified and jolted after looking at this very unrealistic ad.
A point that we emphasized earlier is that emotions expose our greatest vulnerabilities. Marketers should treat carefully and thoughtfully. You never know who you’ll possibly make very, very angry.
Social media is a great way to encourage customers to talk about how they’re thinking and feeling — especially about your company. It’s important to keep this dialogue open — you’ll promote word of mouth marketing around your brand. A potential issue arises, however, when customers are angry about a negative experience.
Many companies will jump to deleting negative comments or moving all customer communication into a private forum.
Don’t do that.
Instead, if a problem arises, use the opportunity to show that there is a real person behind your brand. Apologize, make the situation better, and try to offer an amicable solution. Don’t let a complaint or negative review scare you away from the experience of talking with your customers in a public forum. Instead, be authentic and show that you care. Reciprocate emotions with emotions, and stay calm — even if the conversation gets heated.
FedEx did a great job striking this balance with this summer, a video of a careless package delivery driver went viral on YouTube. The company released an official video statement to basically say, “I’m sorry. We’re on it”.
Own your mistakes. If all else fails, make it a point to show that you care.
by Robert Clough
There are more than 47,000 law firms currently operating in the US and 1.1 million licensed attorneys. This makes winning clients seem like a daunting task. However, with the right law firm marketing strategies, you can cut out the competition. When done right, you'll have dozens of clients knocking at your door.
Effective SEO on your website and correct use of social media platforms like LinkedIn can take your business to the next level. To learn about three of the most important law firm marketing strategies, read on.
The internet is awash with opportunities to win business if you set yourself up correctly to receive it. This is why SEO - Search Engine Optimization - is now considered essential in virtually every industry.
SEO is the act of improving your online presence to improve your rankings on Google searches. This can be done in a number of ways, but the most effective ways of doing this for attorneys would be concentrating the keywords on their websites and blogging.
The good news is that if you can optimize your website, you will rise rapidly on the Google rankings. Furthermore, you will create a professional interface that will hold you in good stead in the process.
The days of having a bare-bones website with barely any information beyond contact details are long gone. Use your SEO to position yourself as a thought-leader within your field.
Choose your law niche as your primary keyword and then use this in blog posts and throughout the website to rise on the Google rankings. There are many fantastic online SEO tools and attorney marketing agencies who are able to help you build the profile of your business these days.
For these reasons, law firm marketing strategies should never be without a comprehensive SEO plan.
Although it is often overlooked, LinkedIn is pretty much the Facebook for business. This social media network for professionals is a fantastic asset to use for online marketing for law firms.
If your firm is concentrated on corporate clients, then LinkedIn is a must-have marketing function. 45% percent of LinkedIn users are senior managers. This means it is the place to go to get noticed by decision makers.
Creating a good corporate company profile is straightforward. You can provide some background to potential clients to the field of law that you specialize in.
LinkedIn also provides a great opportunity to position your firm as a thought leader through LinkedIn Pulse. This blogging platform is fantastic for law firm marketing, as it sits on your company profile and shows potential clients what your team is capable of.
The good news is that a high-quality LinkedIn presence with good engagement with your employees will benefit your SEO performance as well.
Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world. Although it is not targeted specifically at professionals like LinkedIn, it still offers many opportunities for law firm marketing.
Facebook has a whole host of tools meaning that you are able to target very specific user groups with advertising for your business.
Though this may not be ideal for getting corporate clients, you could certainly promote your services to individual clients who may be looking to make a claim, for a personal injury, for example.
For these reasons, Facebook should not be underestimated as a potential asset for law firm marketing strategies.
At the end of the day, each law firm is different. This means that potential clients may be more or less susceptible to different law firm marketing strategies.
Despite this, the three marketing tools listed above are a sure way to win business. Potential clients can be reached effectively and in large numbers on LinkedIn and Facebook, and will come directly to your website if your SEO is up to par.
Hope you've enjoyed this article. Please keep an eye out for more interesting content on our blog page.
Be sure and visit our small business news site.
Looking for credible data sources for your next marketing campaign? Here are 20 top sources of free information.
Let's look at how Google displays search results and the main components of a generic search engine results page (SERP).
The post How Search Engines Display Search Results by @beanstalkim appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Every website needs to prioritize link building. Regardless of your business type or industry, backlinks help drive more traffic to your website and are great for SEO purposes.
So where should you start?
Resource pages need to be a major component of your link building strategy. In fact, 56% of webmasters say that they use resource pages to build backlinks.
This strategy is second only to content creation in terms of the most popular ways to build links. Why is this case?
That’s because the sole purpose of resource pages is to link out to other websites, which makes this an easy process. All you need to do is find authority resource pages that are related to your site, and then convince the webmasters to add your site to their page.
It’s actually not that complex when you know how to approach it.
I’ve dealt with so many website owners who have identified the need for building quality links, but they just don’t know how to do it. That was my inspiration for this guide.
I’ll show you the best ways to build quality links specifically from resource pages.
This needs to be your first step. You can’t just sit back and hope that your website will get picked up by resource pages. That type of passive strategy won’t be effective.
Instead, you need to start researching resource pages that are related to your brand. Narrow down the ones within your niche.
You don’t need any fancy software or subscriptions to do this. All you have to do is use Google.
For example, let’s say your website is in the food industry. You could try the following search string to identify resource pages.
“Cooking” + inurl:links
Put your keyword in quotes to find pages related to that specific word, which is “cooking” in this instance. By adding “inurl:links” to the query, it limits the search to websites with the word “links” in the URL.
It’s unlikely that people who have cooking websites will be discussing links. So you know that your search results will yield resource pages.
Generally, everything you see in these SERPs will be a list of links in some form or another. Now you just have to go through each site and select the ones you want to pursue.
Be selective. You don’t need to reach out to every resource page on the planet.
When you’re reviewing the search results, the number one thing to look for is page authority. Page authority is more important than domain authority in this case. That’s because you’re trying to get your link shared on a particular resource page.
So even if certain sites don’t have the highest domain authority, you can still reach out to them if they have a resource page in your niche with a high page authority.
Once you’ve found some resource pages with a high page authority that are relevant to your brand, it’s time for you to reach out to those webmasters.
But before you do that, it’s important to take the time to review the links that are already shared on each particular resource page. This will help you figure out what types of links you should be sending to the webmaster.
In my experience, it’s usually rare for resource pages to link out to the homepages of other websites. When they do link to homepages, it’s usually for bigger and more well-known brands.
So if you’re just blindly submitting your homepage to resource pages, there is no guarantee that you’ll be featured. Instead, you’re better off sending them content pages.
Each webmaster is different, so just make sure you can pitch something that fits within the page you’re requesting a link on. For example, let’s say you found a cooking website that’s mostly related to grilling and BBQ. You could pitch a blog post about a barbeque grilled chicken recipe.
If you don’t have this type of content on your website, you should create it. Not only will it help you get featured on more niche resource pages for the purpose of building backlinks, but it’s also valuable content for your website and SEO strategy.
Take a look at this example from Teri’s Kitchen, which was one of the top hits of the Google search results we saw earlier.
Based on this, it’s clear that the site accepts submissions. In fact, it almost seems like they encourage it.
So in this case, all you’d need to do is reach out. This is something that you’ll see on most resource pages. They’ll be some type of easy contact form or instructions asking for links.
Most resource pages want more links on their site. Remember, that’s the whole purpose of a resource page.
So if you pitch them something relevant, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get featured. It benefits both parties. You build backlinks while the resource page improves at the same time. The more resources these webmasters have on each page, the more valuable it is for their website.
Your pitch doesn’t need to be too persuasive. Less is more. Just send the link with a couple of sentences about why you think it fits on their page.
Link building with resource pages is pretty straightforward. As I’ve described above, the whole process can essentially be broken down into two steps:
By following the search string that we used earlier with “keyword” + inurl:links, it will bring you straight to resource pages.
But to get the most out of this strategy, you need to switch up your search queries to find other results. Depending on your search, you’ll be able to identify different resource pages.
I’ll take you through three of the best search options to improve the first step of this process.
Another one of my favorite search strings for finding resource pages is by adding “useful resources” in addition to the keyword in quotes. Here’s what it looks like using our cooking example:
“Cooking” + useful resources
Right away, look at the number of results that this search yielded.
There are nearly 77 million hits. If you refer back to the “inurl” search we used earlier, there were just 244,000 results.
Obviously, you aren’t going to be scrolling through thousands or millions of results. But the point I’m trying to make here is that this alternate search will bring up new results.
In my experience, searching for the keyword plus useful resources usually displays lots of authoritative websites.
Now you just have to follow the same process. Go through each of the top results one at a time. See what kind of content each resource page is sharing. Then determine what link on your site that you’re going to pitch before you contact the webmaster.
In some cases, it can be a bit challenging to get featured on these authoritative sites. They may have a more exclusive selection process. But at the end of the day, they still exist for the same purpose of linking out to other websites, so don’t sell yourself short.
Depending on the type of website you have, you might want to limit your resource page outreach to authoritative and trusted sites only.
For this purpose, I’d recommend using the following search string:
site: .edu “keyword” links
So continuing with our cooking example, the search would look like this:
site: .edu “cooking” links
Again, this query will bring up a completely new set of results.
Now, it’s worth noting that not all of the results will necessarily be relevant to your site. You still have to go through and find the ones that are resource pages that are actually accepting submissions.
For the most part, you won’t see sites with a .edu domain that have something like Teri’s Kitchen, which we discussed earlier. Teri asks for submissions right at the top of the page. That won’t be the case for Harvard’s website.
So you’ll need to work a little bit harder to get featured.
Authority sites with .edu domains usually have a big staff as well. It’s not just one person monitoring the site and adding content. General submissions may not always be sent to the right person. So you need to figure out who is responsible for the particular page that you want to be featured on.
Here’s a trick that I’ve used in the past.
Look to the URL of the page. That can give you a clue of who you should be getting in contact with. The URL might give away the particular department associated with that resource page. Then you can go through the staff listing and see who is the head of that department. Their contact information should be available there as well.
You can also use an employee directory or even LinkedIn to find the right person who manages that page or the webmaster for a particular department.
Here’s another trick. Scroll to the very bottom of the page and it will sometimes show you a “last updated by” note with a person’s name.
If you search around on the site and do some digging, you can usually find what you’re looking for. Here’s an example from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, which was one of the top search results for our .edu query.
Here is the footer of the resource page.
As you can see, there is a separate email address for the food department.
You could even take this one step further by clicking the “food team resources” link just a few lines below that email address on the left side of the footer.
That would bring you to this page:
There’s another link here showing the staff listing and their contact information.
It’s better to take these extra steps now to increase the chances of getting your links featured. Otherwise, it’s just going to be a waste of your time if you submit to the wrong person, department, or your submission gets ignored.
Sending emails to firstname.lastname@example.org won’t get the job done. Your message will just get lost in the shuffle.
These websites have so many other things that are more important to deal with. So if your email is delivered to the wrong person, it’s unlikely that they will forward it to the appropriate party.
If you have a unique niche that doesn’t have tons of resource pages, you’ll need to find ways to broaden your search to get the best results.
Change the search string accordingly. Here is one of my favorite tricks to find more related sites.
Simply remove the quotes from your keyword. By removing the quotes, it tells Google that you’re not looking for an exact match keyword. Years ago you used to have to add a tilde (~) to search for related terms, but now Google does this by default.
So go back and remove the quotes from your inurl, useful resources, and .edu searches to see what comes up.
Here’s an example to show you the difference.
When we first searched for useful resources with quotes around cooking, we got just under 77 million results.
But now that we’ve removed the quotes, we’re approaching 92 million hits.
Resource pages should be at the top of your priority list when it comes to your link building strategy.
Take advantage of all of the different search strings that I’ve explained above. This will give you the widest range of search results to find resource pages in different categories.
I’d recommend going through the top 50 hits or so within your niche for each query. Then narrow down the options that would be a good fit for your site.
Now find your best content that matches the specified resource page before you ask to be featured. Remember, it’s more likely that your link will be shared if you pitch content as opposed to the general homepage.
Make sure you contact the right person. This will be more challenging for higher authority sites, especially with an .edu domain, but it’s still doable if you dig around.
If you don’t have content that fits these resource sites, you can always create new content before submitting.
Follow the process that I’ve outlined above to build quality links with resource pages.
Delivering a compelling experience online is an exercise in story telling, messaging, branding and creative design, things that marketers have been doing well for a long time. Delivering a compelling experience online, securely, quickly and at scale, all while being able to experiment and react to new customer insights? Now, this is a whole new challenge. And, frankly marketers haven’t been doing this very long, and currently aren’t doing it very well. It is a whole new area of expertise that has very little to do with marketing, except for that fact that getting it right is fundamental to being able to share the message and the experience with customers.
Five years ago, maybe even two years ago, selecting a platform to build out your online presence was all about the features. Personalization, product management, integration capability, content management, etc were differentiating functions of the top platforms. Today, as those top platforms converge towards an RFP optimized set of commodity tools it may seem that they are all pretty much equal. In so much as they all offer the same backend tools with a different color scheme, and a sleek, responsive frontend, they are all the same. But this isn’t 2012, and with 32% year-over-year growth in ecommerce and an expected 10% of global sales to be online by 2020, the experiment we’ve been running online is transforming from being a small part of the business run by the marketing team, to the central lynchpin in an increasingly connected relationship with the business and the customer. In a world where the CMO is regularly tapped as the “Chief Decision-Maker” when it comes to the ecommerce strategy, it is important to understand that a “get it wrong” moment isn’t a failure for marketing, it is a failure for the entire organization.
2019 has brought about the realization that the most important feature in an ecommerce platform is the architecture. Without evaluating a given business, it is hard to say which architecture makes the most sense for it. Here are the five reasons why architecture should matter to the forward-thinking CMO.
1. Scalable architecture means uptime during peak traffic
This is by far the most important reason why architecture matters. If businesses are doing their job correctly, the day is going to come when their message resonates with their customers, and they come flocking to the business for the experience they can’t live without. When they do, it is going to mean additional load on the business’ commerce site. Whether that’s increased pageviews, additional line items during a BOGO sale or additional people asking Alexa for products after that winning Super Bowl ad, organizations need a site that can meet the demand. If the platform they’re running on can’t scale to meet these unexpected demands, businesses may lose customers before they’ve ever had the chance to really acquire them.
2. Up-to-date inventory data means increased customer trust for BOPIS and online fulfillment
In a store, on a shelf, inventory is easy. The customer walks into the store, they find the shelf where something belongs, if it is there they buy it, if it is gone, they find a store associate who looks to see if it is in the back, and the associate either hands it to the customer, or adds it to the next order and asks the customer to come back in a week to pick it up. Online, inventory is incredibly hard. Is it available, if it is backordered, how soon will the customers have it, can it be shipped to store, can the store fulfill in-house? And if businesses don’t know the answer to these questions their customers go to a competitor who does. And that happens in the flash of a few seconds. Inaccurate inventory can mean lost sales, increased RMA costs and frustrated customers left holding empty shopping bags they thought held the item they wanted. Worse, portraying accurate inventory has its own set of customer frustrations. Slow site load times and perceived lack of selection can send potential sales to competitors who appear to have a better customer experience. Finally, accurate promises for fulfillment have shown to be one of the best ways to acquire and retain customers. Amazon is proof positive that a terrible website experience doesn’t deter customers willing to wade through the chaff in order to get their Instant Pots and essential oils just a little bit faster. Being able to deliver these functions, in a balanced combination that works for the customer, and being able to experiment with which ones work for the organization is key to success on the fulfillment front.
3. Properly executed APIs allow true omnichannel engagement
The practice of commerce is a thousands of years old, with activity dating back to ancient Mesopotamia. Digital commerce in its current incarnation is a few years younger than the world wide web, which was born in 1991. Less than 30 years ago.
Investment in a commerce platform is a decision an organization will live with for the next decade, maybe more. Between 1891 and 1930 humans evolved from the first automobile to normalized commercial air travel. Imagine what digital commerce will look like 10 years from now? Probably looks more like an airplane than the first automobile. APIs will be the key to future-proofing an online strategy. Choosing APIs that allow flexibility of execution is paramount.
4. Well designed application cache means less money spent on CPU cycles and more for customer engagement
Investment without return is a sure fire way to get kicked to the curb at the next quarterly board meeting. Budgets aren’t limitless, and as long as the ecommerce budget comes out of a CMO’s pocket, finding a way to reduce it is a priority. It’s not a stretch to say that the days of an on-premise commerce platform are over. The notion is antiquated, and the top reason why is that SaaS and hosted platforms have a lower overall TCO. However, even under the covers, especially if businesses are paying a PVU style license, efficiency has a direct impact on the cost of the platform. Not only the platform’s cost to operate at peak, but it’s ability to shrink and right size itself when traffic wanes. Even if an organization is paying rev share, or licensing on a per month basis, they’re still getting those hosting costs passed on to them in the form of a markup to “retail” from the platform vendor, so choosing a vendor who cares about efficient ops is in their long-term best interest.
5. Properly separated application design means easier upgrades and faster access to new features
Experience commerce, headless commerce, API commerce… same thing, different name. They all center around separating the backend from the frontend in order to take advantage of best of breed experience platforms. At their core though, they offer some surprising benefits around TCO and agility. In the past, platform upgrades have been monumental undertakings, six months to a year of high touch work that stopped new feature delivery and focused a team on getting to the next version. Separating these tiers, and pushing feature development to a CMS that “widgetizes” the frontend means that upgrading the backend tools doesn’t interrupt the frontend experience. It also means that non-core tools can be added into the mix to offer surround capabilities for personalization, fulfillment, and other short term business initiatives. These things aren’t possible without a purpose build architecture to support modularity.
Looking back at that list it should be crystal clear that before any consideration on how many promotion types a platform supports, and which devices the homepage displays correctly on, businesses should be thinking about how the architecture enables future business success. Architecture matters, now more than ever, and the winners in the online battle are going to be the ones who have a platform that scales to meet demand, costs less to operate, and is flexible and adaptable to the future.
The post 5 reasons CMOs should care about their commerce architecture appeared first on Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog.
Here are some best practices that will help improve your performance in the Google Search Partners network.
The post How to Make Google Search Partners Work for You by @hoffman8 appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Content creation—it’s the linchpin of our B2B content marketing strategies. And 56% of B2B content marketers have upped their investment in content creation over the past year—more than any other spending area. Without a steady cadence of fresh, quality content we can’t proactively adapt to our audience’s changing needs nor consistently reach, inform, engage, entertain, or inspire action within them. And for most content marketers, this effort is often grounded in creating net-new content. But freshness is the eye of the beholder; quality content creation doesn’t have to be done from scratch. Refreshing existing content is a massive opportunity, playing an integral role within your always-on content marketing strategy. It’s not only more efficient to produce, but when done strategically, it can also boost results, improve user experience, and extend the life and relevance of the content you’ve worked so hard to produce. As it’s been sung, everything old can be new again. Below are all of the reasons why you need to identify refresh opportunities and how you should approach it.
The post Everything Old Is New Again: Why & How to Refresh B2B Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.
Posted by meagar8
Let’s get real for a moment: As much as we hear about positive team cultures and healthy work environments in the digital marketing space, many of us encounter workplace scenarios that are far from the ideal. Some of us might even be part of a team where we feel discouraged to share new ideas or alternative solutions because we know it will be shot down without discussion. Even worse, there are some who feel afraid to ask questions or seek help because their workplace culture doesn’t provide a safe place for learning.
These types of situations, and many others like it, are present in far too many work environments. But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way?
Over the last ten years as a team manager at various agencies, I’ve been working hard to foster a work environment where my employees feel empowered to share their thoughts and can safely learn from their mistakes. Through my experiences, I have found a few strategies to combat negative culture and replace it with a culture of vulnerability and creativity.
Below, I offer four simple steps you can follow that will transform your work environment into one that encourages new ideas, allows for feedback and positive change, and ultimately makes you and your team better digital marketers.
I first learned about the impact of vulnerability after watching a viral TED talk by Dr. Brene Brown. She defined vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” She also described vulnerability as “the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.” From this, I learned that to create a culture of vulnerability is to create a culture of creativity. And isn’t creativity at the heart of what we SEOs do?
A culture of vulnerability encourages us to take risks, learn from mistakes, share insights, and deliver top results to our clients. In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, we simply cannot achieve top results with the tactics of yesterday. We also can’t sit around and wait for the next Moz Blog or marketing conference, either. Our best course of action is to take risks, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and share insights with others. We have to learn from those with more experience than us and share what we know to those with less experience. In other words, we have to be vulnerable.
Below is a list of four ways you can help create a culture of vulnerability. Whether you are a manager or not, you can impact your team’s culture.
Are you finishing up an exciting project for your client? Did you just spend hours of research and implementation to optimize the perfect page? Perfect! Now go ask someone to critique it!
As simple as it sounds, this can make a huge difference in fostering a culture of creativity. It’s also extremely difficult to do.
Large or small, every project or task we complete should be the best your team can provide. All too often, however, team members work in silos and complete these projects without asking for or receiving constructive feedback from their teammates before sending it to the client. This leaves our clients and projects only receiving the best one person can provide rather than the best of an entire team.
We all work with diverse team members that carry varying levels of experience and responsibilities. I bet someone on your team will have something to add to your project that you didn’t already think of. Receiving their feedback means every project that you finish or task that you complete is the best your team has to offer your clients.
Keep in mind, though, that asking for constructive feedback is more than just having someone conduct a “standard QA.” In my experience, a “standard QA” means someone barely looked over what you sent and gave you the thumbs up. Having someone look over your work and provide feedback is only helpful when done correctly.
Say you’ve just completed writing and editing content to a page and you’ve mustered up the courage to have someone QA your work. Rather than sending it over, saying “hey can you review this and make sure I did everything right,” instead try to send detailed instructions like this:
"Here is a <LINK> to a page I just edited. Can you take 15 minutes to review it? Specifically, can you review the Title Tag and Description? This is something the client said is important to them and I want to make sure I get it right."
In many cases, you don’t need your manager to organize this for you. You can set this up yourself and it doesn’t have to be a big thing. Before you finish a project or task this week, work with a team member and ask them for help by simply asking them to QA your work. Worried about taking up too much of their time? Offer to swap tasks. Say you’ll QA some of their work if they QA yours.
You will have greater success and consistency if you make QA a mandatory part of your process for larger projects. Any large project like migrating a site to https or conducting a full SEO audit should have a QA process baked into it.
Six months ago I was tasked to present one of our 200+ point site audits to a high profile client. The presentation was already created with over 100 slides of technical fixes and recommendations. I’m normally pretty comfortable presenting to clients, but I was nervous about presenting such technical details to THIS particular client.
Lucky for me, my team already had a process in place for an in-depth QA for projects like this. My six team members got in a room and I presented to them as if they were the client. Yes, that’s right, I ROLE PLAYED! It was unbearably uncomfortable at first. Knowing that each of my team members (who I respect a whole lot) are sitting right in front of me and making notes on every little mistake I make.
After an agonizing 60 minutes of me presenting to my team, I finished and was now ready for the feedback. I just knew the first thing out of their mouths would be something like “do you even know what SEO stands for?” But it wasn’t. Because my team had plenty of practice providing feedback like this in the past, they were respectful and even more so, helpful. They gave me tips on how to better explain canonicalization, helped me alter some visualization, and gave me positive feedback that ultimately left me confident in presenting to the client later that week.
When teams consistently ask and receive feedback, they not only improve their quality of work, but they also create a culture where team members aren’t afraid to ask for help. A culture where someone is afraid to ask for help is a toxic one and can erode team spirit. This will ultimately decrease the overall quality of your team’s work. On the other hand, a culture where team members feel safe to ask for help will only increase the quality of service and make for a safe and fun team working experience.
Building strategies for websites or solving issues can often be the most engaging work that an SEO can do. Yes that’s right, solving issues is fun and I am not ashamed to admit it. As fun as it is to do this by yourself, it can be even more rewarding and infinitely more useful when a team does it together.
Twice a year my team holds a half-day strategy brainstorm meeting. Each analyst brings a client or issues they are struggling to resolve its website performance, client communication, strategy development, etc. During the meeting, each team member has one hour or more to talk about their client/issue and solicit help from the team. Together, the team dives deep into client specifics to help answer questions and solve issues.
Getting the most out of this meeting requires a bit of prep both from the manager and the team.
Here is a high-level overview of what I do.
Each Analyst is given a Client/Issue Brief to fill out describing the issue in detail. We have Analysts answer the following 5 questions:
After all client briefs are filled out and about 1-2 days prior to the half day strategy meeting I will share all the completed briefs to the team so they can familiarize themselves with the issues and come prepared to the meeting with ideas.
Each Analyst will have up to an hour to discuss their issue with the team. Afterwards, the team will deep dive into solving it. During the 60 minute span, ideas will be discussed, Analysts will put on their nerd hats and dive deep into Analytics or code to solve issues. All members of the team are working toward a single goal and that is to solve the issue.
Once the issues is solved the Analyst who first outlined the issue will readback the solutions or ideas to solving the issue. It may not take the full 60 minutes to get to a solution. Whether it takes the entire time or not after one issue is solved another team member announces their issue and the team goes at it again.
This meeting is one of the most effective ways my team practices vulnerability allowing the creativity flow freely. The structure is such that each team member has a way to provide and receive feedback. My experience has been that each analyst is open to new ideas and earnestly listens to understand the ways they can improve and grow as an analyst. And with this team effort, our clients are benefitting from the collective knowledge of the team rather than a single individual.
This step is not for the faint of heart. If you had a hard time asking for someone to QA your work or presenting a site audit in front of your team, then you may find this one to be the toughest to carry out.
Once a year I hold a special meeting with my team. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a safe place where my employees can provide feedback about me with their fellow teammates. In this meeting, the team meets without me and anonymously fills out a worksheet telling me what I should start doing, stop doing, and keep doing.
Why would I subject myself to this, you ask?
How could I not! Being a great SEO is more than just being great at SEO. Wait, what?!? Yes, you read that right. None of us work in silos. We are part of a team, interact with clients, have expectations from bosses, etc. In other words, the work we do isn’t only technical audits or site edits. It also involves how we communicate and interact with those around us.
This special meeting is meant to focus more on our characteristics and behaviors, over our tactics and SEO chops, ensuring that we are well rounded in our skills and open to all types of feedback to improve ourselves.
Step 1: Have the team meet together for an hour. After giving initial instructions you will leave the room so that it is just your directs together for 45 minutes.
Step 2: The team writes the behaviors they want you to start doing, stop doing, and keep doing. They do this together on a whiteboard or digitally with one person as a scribe.
Step 3: When identifying the behaviors, the team doesn’t need to be unanimous but they do need to mostly agree. Conversely, the team should not just list them all independently and then paste them together to make a long list.
Step 4: After 45 minutes, you re-enter the room and over the next 15 minutes the team tells you about what they have discussed
Here is an example of what my team wrote during my first time running this exercise.
Let’s break down why this meeting is so important.
This isn’t just for managers. Team members can do this themselves. You can ask your manager to go through this exercise with you, and if you are brave enough, you can have you teammates do this for you as well.
Up to this point, we have primarily focused on how you can ask for feedback to help grow a culture of creativity. In this final section, we’ll focus more on how you can share what you have learned to help maintain a culture of creativity.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: I show up at work, catch up on industry news, review my client performance, plug away at my to-do list, check on tests I am running and make adjustments, and so on and so forth.
What are we missing in our normal routines? Collaboration. A theme you may have noticed in this post is that we need to work together to produce our best work. What you read in industry news or what you see in client performance should all be shared with team members.
To do this, my team put together a meeting where we can share our findings. Every 2 weeks, my team meets together for an hour and a half to discuss prepared answers to the following four questions.
This could be as simple as sharing a blog post or going more in depth on some research or a test you have done for a client. The purpose is to show that everyone on the team contributes to how we do SEO and helps contribute knowledge to the team.
Who doesn’t love geeking out over a fun site audit, or that content analysis that you have been spending weeks to build? This is that moment to share what you love about your job.
Okay, okay, I know. This is the only section in this meeting that talks about issues you might be struggling to solve. But it is so critical!
Brag, brag, brag! Every analyst has an opportunity to share what they have solve. Issues they overcame. How they out-thought Google and beat down the competition.
Creativity is at the heart of what SEOs do. In order to grow in our roles, we need to continue to expand our minds so we can provide stellar performance for our clients. To do this requires us to receive and give out help with others. Only then will we thrive in a culture that allows us to be safely vulnerable and actively creative.
I would love to hear how your team creates a culture of creativity. Comment below your ideas!
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!
Simple article du quotidien, la paire de chaussettes peut créer un réel Syndrome CPTCO (Syndrome de Choc Post Traumatique de la Chaussette Orpheline).
Ce mystère nous rend dingues ! Mais où est cette foutue deuxième chaussette ?!?
Cette complainte humaine est déclinée depuis des décennies sous forme de livres, de pièces de théâtre, campagnes marketing, d’émissions et autres supports.
Aujourd’hui les chaussettes s’affichent, elles font partie intégrante du look, la touche finale, et les perdre devient de plus en plus difficile moralement !
Pour réduire l’angoisse ressentie à l’ouverture du hublot de la machine à laver, en sortant, fébrile, notre linge, tremblant à l’idée de la disparition inexpliquée de notre chaussette, souvent la préférée d’entre-toutes, l’humain a créé des solutions.
Il existe des pinces, des filets, des clips et même l’organisateur de chaussettes !
Une marque française a décidé de venir en aide aux personnes traumatisées, en faisant de la permaculture de chaussette.
Une autre marque, toujours française, a misé sa campagne de marketing sur l’audace, et vous pousse à oser porter des chaussettes différentes pour chaque pied. Mais vous pouvez tout aussi bien en acheter plusieurs identiques pour être sûr de pouvoir remplacer votre chaussette fugueuse.
Malgré leurs discours différents, toutes deux proposent l’achat de chaussette à l’unité.
Du coup on achète une paire et ensuite la chaussette de substitution pour la pauvre esseulée. Ou comble de la résistance au syndrome, on les achète de couleur différente : la disparition et le remplacement se vivent avec moins de souffrance !
La campagne marketing de la marque Monoprix qui propose une paire de trois chaussettes pour ne jamais laisser seule votre chaussette abandonnée par sa moitié.
Une autre marque, SuperCroix, a tenté de nous rassurer en nous expliquant que nos chaussettes indépendantes et solitaires étaient heureuses ailleurs. On retiendra au final qu’elle est la cause de ce départ !! Attention à votre choix de lessive !
Une solution pour pallier ce syndrome de Choc Post Traumatique de la Chaussette Orpheline est le non-attachement.
De très nombreux sites nous proposent d’acheter des lots de chaussettes indépendantes et interchangeables. En effet elles sont soit dépareillées mais coordonnées, soit totalement différentes, par paire classique ou par lots de trois, selon le message marketing défini par la marque.
Pour ceux qui se disent “1 de perdue 10 de retrouvées”, et ne s’embêtent pas à retrouver un double à la pauvre chaussette orpheline, préférant mettre fin à ses souffrances à la jetant. Un site vous propose un abonnement de chaussettes. Il propose non pas des lots de chaussettes mais des “bouquets de chaussettes”. Apparemment “le parallèle avec le bouquet de fleurs est justifié dès lors que la chaussette devient un plaisir que l’on se fait en nombre” nous explique-t-on sur le site.
En parallèle, un site de rencontres allemand, Neu.de, utilise ce syndrome pour sa campagne. En effet, ils ont fabriqué intentionnellement des chaussettes solitaires avec le message « Auch Single? » (traduisez « Aussi célibataire? »). Ils les ont placées dans les machines à laver des laveries.
Les célibataires potentiels découvrent alors le message soit en ouvrant la machine, soit en triant leur linge.
En 2011, l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU a déclaré le 21 mars comme Journée mondiale de la Trisomie 21.
L’association Down Syndrome International (DSI), à l’origine d’une campagne qui appelle à porter des chaussettes de couleurs différentes, puis à poster les photos sur les réseaux sociaux via le hashtag #SocksBattle4DS (“Bataille de chaussettes pour le syndrome de Down”, l’autre nom de la trisomie 21).
« Une façon ludique et humoristique de s’interroger sur la perception des personnes trisomiques », explique Emmanuel Laloux, président de l’association les Amis d’Éléonore et père d’une jeune fille atteinte de trisomie 21.
Petit rappel sur l'actualité du SEO, du référencement naturel et des moteurs de recherche en France et dans le monde pour la semaine qui vient de s'écouler (du 12 au 18 avril 2019)... La newsletter "Actu Moteurs" (hebdomadaire et gratuite) numéro 1061 de cette semaine a été envoyée le jeudi 18 avril 2019. Vous pouvez […]
L’article Chiens et Chats, Désindexation, Googlebot, Vocal et Cimetière : la semaine SEO du 12 au 18 avril 2019 est apparu en premier sur Abondance.
Depuis plus de 20 ans que Google existe, l'entreprise a lancé de nombreux projets, mais en a également abandonné une quantité impressionnante. Deux sites se sont mis en tête de les recenser, par type d'outils et par année. Une véritable hécatombe... Il y a quelques jours, le réseau social Google+ a définitivement fermé ses portes, […]
L’article Google a abandonné plus de 160 outils / sites / projets depuis sa création est apparu en premier sur Abondance.
A new Twitter feature which allows users to hide replies to their tweets is set to launch this June.
The post Twitter’s ‘Hide Replies’ Feature is Set to Roll Out in June by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
There’s many things we can do in order to encourage people to purchase.
But if we’re not careful…
We’ll push people away.
These are friction points, points in our marketing and business that PUSH customers away. In many cases, we don’t even realize it.
Friction points are one of the top reasons why your prospects are hesitating from moving through your funnel.
Friction is any variable, website quality, or user behavior trend that is slowing down (or entirely halting) the progression of your company’s sales cycle.
Friction can stem from the most subtle details on your website.
Here are some common sources of friction and ways that your company can avoid them:
One common point of friction relates to web page length — in other words, the amount of content and information to share with your website visitors.
Friction happens when you share too much. Friction happens when you share too little. You need to find a happy medium to effectively communicate with your users.
The thing is, marketers tend to gravitate towards opposite ends of the spectrum.
The key to finding the right balance is to continuously test your landing pages.
Consider the following case study where a longer landing page outperformed a much shorter variation. Aagaard was looking at PPC landing page of which the goal was to get prospects to sign up for a home energy audit.
The company is relatively unknown, and the offer was relatively complex.
In this case, the longer landing page performed best and generated the higher conversion rate. In other words, friction was at a minimum.
Let’s look at another example.
DesignBoost provides online courses that teach students how to design mobile apps, landing pages, and more with photoshop. They had the goal of increasing signups.
The original homepage was very, very long:
Now here’s the short version that was tested against:
When a landing page is too long, it can scare people away by making your offer look too complex. If a landing page is too short, it can scare people away by making your company appear (potentially) unprofessional or untrustworthy.
So how do you find the happy medium?
Qualitative research (talking to your customers, running feedback surveys, interviewing prospects, etc.) can help you uncover what people care about when deciding to do business with your company. What we’re about to say shouldn’t surprise you — it’s common sense.
Your landing pages and homepage should communicate exactly what users want to know, in the most distilled form possible.
Answer the question of what your customers care most about, and distill your answer into the most simple and straightforward possible forms. Customers who want more in-depth details will read through your company’s knowledge center, FAQs, case studies, and other in-depth marketing materials. What’s most important is that your landing pages, homepage, and site navigation make it easy to find this information (not that the information is jam-packed into one page that nobody can read).
Cognitive dissonance is what happens when your landing pages, marketing messages, and ads don’t make sense.
Remember that the heart of online marketing is how disparate, moving parts come together. In an ideal world, everything — images, copy, themes, long-form content, product descriptions — would flow harmoniously, but here’s the thing.
It’s really, really challenging to communicate with an audience. Any any given time, we’re wearing our marketing hats. There is always a possibility for disconnect between what you intend to say and how your audience will interpret it.
f you’re a marketer and you’re thinking of copying a competitor’s marketing (winning) marketing strategy, you might actually lose. Why? Because there are subtle details about your brand that distinguish it from other companies (that might even be doing the exact same thing).
Your brand’s personality, tone, and style might be different. Your customer base’s values might also be different.
Cognitive fluency is the opposite of cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive fluency is as simple as making your website easy to read. The fact is that audience eyeballs are all created differently. Your 20-year-old marketing intern’s eyesight might be perfect, but your 72-year-old first-time buyer? Not so much. If people are havingtrouble reading or processing information, they’re less likely to buy.
Consumers are driven by their instincts. As much as we like to believe that we’re rational and driven by conscious thoughts, the truth is that we’re driven by our emotional brains. We don’t even realize it sometimes.
Friction happens for reasons that we can’t fully capture or explain — for highly emotional reasons.
To effectively reach your audience, logic just isn’t enough. You need to force an emotional bond by appealing to your audience’s intuition, instincts, and senses.
That’s why so many organizations invest so much time (and money) on aesthetics and crafting an experience of delight.
When you get it right, delight is the single-most important variable for eliminating friction. Delight is about taking the minutiae (as well as different parts of your marketing strategy) and connecting them to your company’s bigger picture.
Here are the four steps that we recommend for building delight for your brand:
Why should customers trust your company? What makes your brand different from all the shady businesses after the world that have — time and time again -—scammed their customers, been exposed to cyber vulnerabilities, and simply not respected their customers.
At any given time, consumers are thinking:
“Why should I waste my time?”
And honestly, they’re right. It’s the brand’s burden of responsibility to communicate trust signals to their audiences. There are a few solutions available to help your brand prove establish its reputation and customer value.
The dark corners of the Internet are looking to eat consumers alive — and that goes for the not-so-shady corners too.
One way to ease your consumers’ fears is to pave a path with the footsteps of those who have been there before.
Customer reviews and testimonials add credibility to your assertion that what you’re selling is legit. Here’s why: today’s consumer is totally self-directed. By the time they arrive at your website, they’re already in the mindset of wanting to buy. By the time they actually reach out to a sales rep or complete a lead gen form, they’re already ready to buy.
FigLeaves, a popular women’s clothing retailer, added product reviews to their website. This change made customers 35% more likely to complete a purchase.
Clarity.fm, as another example, brings together teams of rockstar consultants. When searching for a marketing expert, for instance, how can advice seekers determine who to call?
Reviews from previous callers.
Anyone (who is selling anything) needs to build up a stellar and verifiable reputation to justify the prices that they’re charging customers.
Do your best to personalize testimonials and reviews, directly from the sources. Present a clear and compelling framework for why your company will save your customer time and money. Make sure to summarize the high-level overview, but also dig deep into the detail (like the following examples):
One word of caution: your testimonials need to be thoughtful and readily communicate answers to the questions that your customers are asking.
WikiJob, a career information site, provides the perfect inspiration for this point. The company had three testimonials on their homepage. The problem is that these testimonials had too much wrong with them.
The testimonials weren’t attributed to any specific customers, so nobody could see that they were testimonials. They were just random quotes on the homepage. WikiJob did have testimonials, but they were at the bottom of the page. WikiJob decided to A/B test and move the testimonials to the top of the page.
After making the testimonials look more like testimonials, WikiJob was able to boost conversions by 34%.
Here’s what the original page looked like:
And here’s the variation that was tested:
If you’ve been following the news, you’re probably well aware that data privacy is a major consumer priority. Cyber security breaches happen far too often — making consumers hesitant to share their personal data and credit card information online. The risks are far too high and outweigh the decision to buy a $10 product on your e-commerce site.
Trust and safety seals can help your brand explain to consumers that you’re serious about privacy.
OrientalFurniture.com — a furniture, gifts, and accessories retailer — published a ‘trust and safety seal’ case study with Internet Retailer in 2011.
This A/B test was able to boost OrientalFurniture’s conversion rate by 7.6% — visitors who saw the trust and safety seal were more likely to make a purchase than those who did not.
Safety, trust, and accreditation seals can be placed in various parts throughout your website — on landing pages, near your website footer, and on company about pages. Make sure, however that they’re placed strategically and ready-to-see when your customers checkout. Maximize the impact of these placements.
Here is another example from ModCloth, a boutique-like women’s clothing retailer, that explains that all transactions are secure:
Here is an example from Sole Society, a women’s shoe retailer that explains that all purchases come with a flexible, generous, and free return policy.
We’ve just about approached the very last section of this chapter and have covered almost every consumer psychology related concept in this guide.
As we conclude — especially as we’re talking about friction — we’d like to emphasize that you should always be running A/B tests to challenge your assumptions. The truth is that you’ll never know where your points of friction are unless you’re constantly researching your customers’ pain points. Even Google Analytics can be misleading. For instance, you might see that users are spending 5-10 minutes on your website — “yay, that’s high user engagement”.
Actually, no. It could also be the case that your customers are thoroughly confused. A/B tests will help you extrapolate patterns, pinpoint friction, and alleviate pain points that are causing blockages in your conversion funnel.
Qualitative research is the next step — by talking to your customers, you’ll see why certain patterns exist and understand how you can alleviate them. You can also make more educated guesses about future design, copywriting, and UX experiences.
Trust the data — it’s smarter than you.
With millions of passionate users, Tumblr is a social media powerhouse that can’t be ignored.
Even if you’ve never read a Tumblr blog, I’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to create an awesome Tumblr blog from scratch.
I’ll also go over how you can promote your blog within Tumblr without being pushy or salesy.
Your first step is to head over to Tumblr.com and sign up on the home page. So you put in your email, your password, and your username, and your username is really important so just like at any social media site, like Pinterest or Facebook or Twitter, you want your username to be a brand name.
So if we are signing up for Quick Sprout, you would want to make it Quick Sprout and click “Sign up,” and then put your age, and agree to the terms and services and click done. And you’re in.
Y next step once you have your account is to look for other blogs in your niche and then follow them because Tumblr is all about following other people’s blogs and sharing their content on your blog. Head over to the search bar here and put in a keyword related to what your blog is going to be about.
Let’s say that I search for marketing, and then you just want to find blogs that look like a good fit for the type of traffic that I want, they produce good content, and they are related to what your blog is going to be about. When you find some, just click on the little blue plus sign and you will be following them. Just do it until you’ve found five, and then click on next step.
Next you want to add some more details about you and your brand. So if you’re creating a Tumblr around a brand, you want to add your logo, but if it was more of a personal brand, you’d want to upload a head shot. So we’re going to add a picture of Neil, and you can adjust it, then click “Save” when it looks good, and then under title, you want to add your title and a description. You can put a little description about what your brand is about, and you can put something like a slogan or something that is associated with your brand.
Then click “Next step.” And if you want, you can download their app depending on what mobile device that you use but I’m just going to click I’ll get it later. So once you see this screen you’re good. You officially have a Tumblr blog. So your next step is to find a theme that’s in line with your brand and what your Tumblr blog is going to be all about. So to do that, click on the picture here, and this will actually take you to your blog. So this is what it looks like right now.
Now to find a theme, click on the “Customize” button in the top right corner, and then click on themes. And then you can choose from hundreds of different themes that Tumblr has, just like with Word Press. So, if you want a free theme, you can click on “Free,” or if you have an idea of what you want your blog to look like, whether it’s single-column or two-column, you can choose that. But let’s just choose free themes to get started.
Now when you find one that looks nice, just click on it, and Tumblr will show you a live preview of what your blog would look like with that theme. So depending on your brand, this might be the perfect theme, or, maybe this one, Esquire theme, might work better for you. OK? So when you find one that looks nice, click on the “Use” button, and from here you can make any changes to your theme that you want. So if you wanted to change the background color from yellow to another color, you click on the color, and then choose one that works best for you.
Or if you want to change the accent color, you can do the same thing. And if you want to get really hard core about changing the themes to make sure it’s super in line with what the brand is all about, you can click on “Edit HTML,” and you can actually edit the HTML of the document. When you make a change, click on update preview, and it will show you what that change will look like on your blog.
So once everything looks good, click on save, then go back to appearance, click on “Save” again, and then click on close and you’ll see what your blog looks like with that theme. So obviously, it’s a little bit bare here, so you want to start adding some content to make your blog a real blog. So to do that, click on the “Dashboard” button, and that will take you back to your Tumblr dashboard. Now, there’s a number of different ways to add content to Tumblr.
So if you wanted to add text, you could add text. Now unlike other blogging platforms, you don’t want to do things like 5 tips for whatever at Tumblr. That’s not the kind of content that tends to perform well. It’s more eye-catching and engaging stuff. So you want to do like, “Four Examples of Bad-ass Marketing.” OK, because that’s the type of audience that tends to hang out on Tumblr. And then you can add content, just like you would on any blog post, and when it looks good, click on “Publish,” and then if you want to see what it looks like, on your site, you can always click on your face or your logo and it will take you back to your blog. So this is what it looks like.
Now there are some other ways to add content to your Tumblr blog, one of the most important of which is reblogging other people’s content. So when we first signed up, we followed some bloggers, but now we want to be a little more particular about who we’re following so then we can get their feed. So when you follow someone, their feed ends up here on your dashboard. OK, so what you want to do is follow people strategically who are going to post content that your audience would be interested in and then you can reblog it. So to do that, click on “Find blogs,” and Tumblr will show you some of the most popular blogs.
So what you want to do is look on the right hand side of the page and find a category that fits best with your blog’s topic, so in the case of Quick Sprout, we choose business. And then you want to find blogs in that space that publish content that your audience would be interested in. And when you find a blog that looks like a good fit, hover over it and click on the “Follow” button. And now you will follow that blog.
So, when you go into your Tumblr dashboard, and that blog publishes something new, so in the case of Planet Money they just published this, and if you think it’s cool and something that your audience would want to see, just like with any other social media network, you want to share it. So what you do is you click these little arrow buttons, and that will reblog the post. So now when you go back to your Tumblr blog, the post is here.
So when your audience sees this and they think that it’s cool, they’ll appreciate it just like they would if you shared a great piece of content on Twitter or Facebook. Reblogging also puts you on the radar screen of influential Tumblr blogs, because when you reblog someone else’s content, they are notified. So when we reblogged this piece of content from Planet Money, if we go to the page where the content originally appeared, we can see that it shows that Quick Sprout reblogged it. So, when they see that, they say hey, what’s Quick Sprout? Then they click on it, and when they go to your blog and they see something cool, they reblog to return the favor.
But obviously, for them to do that, you need to have great original content and that’s what I’m going to show you how to do right now. As I mentioned earlier, not all content performs well on Tumblr. In general, pictures perform really well, so let’s say that you wanted to announce that you just opened a forum on Tumblr. Now instead of heading back to your dashboard, clicking the text button and making a text-based announcement like, “Hey, we just launched a forum.” You wouldn’t want to do that.
You would want to announce it with a picture. So you head back to your site, and take a picture of whatever it is you’re announcing, copy the image location, and then click photo, and then click URL, and then enter the image URL, and the image will be the centerpiece of your post. So, whenever you want to publish something, whether it’s tips on how to do something or an announcement for your company, you want to make it image-focused.
So if you were going to do, like five tips for getting more Twitter followers, you would want to put that as five different images or one big image instead of making that text. And to explain what your images are about, you can add a caption here. So, put something like “Announcing for Quick Sprout forum,” and then click “Publish.” And then when you go back to your blog by clicking on your face or logo, you’ll see, it’s right here. It has a nice little frame around it, thanks to the theme.
So, that’s all there is to marketing your business on Tumblr, and just like with any social media site, the most important thing is to get involved with the community and share great content. And the only twist is that when you share content on Tumblr, make sure it’s images most of the time.
Color and visual cues can have a dramatic impact on conversion rates. On Quick Sprout, for instance, the Hellobar — a red bar on the top of the page accounts for 11% of all new leads.
The same is true for KimberlySnyder.net — she generates around 20% of her revenue through a bright, red Hellobar.
This tool may not be beautiful. In fact, on some websites, it looks like a total eyesore. But it stands out.
You see, audiences online have limited attention spans. They’re powering through websites (and digesting information at a million miles an hour). The only way to grab their attention is to stand out from everything that is competing for their attention. That is where color comes in.
Color has value beyond aesthetics. Yes, we all have preferences, but why? The answer to that question will directly affect your online marketing and conversion optimization strategy. Color is something that’s always around us, but we rarely think about how it impacts us. In this chapter, we’re going to overthink it. Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about color will be captured in the next 20+ pages.
There is a clear science to picking colors that work together. There is a definite element of subjectivity involved (culture, generational perspectives, and personal preferences), but there is also a set of best practices that psychologists and designers will stick to. Colm Tuite, a user experience designer, breaks down color into the following framework.
These are colors that are not mixed with other hues. They’re usually incorporated into bright designs. Anything youthful, summery, cheerful, energetic, or ‘cool’ can benefit from using pure colors.
These are colors mixed with white. They convey a lighter, more peaceful, and less energetic feeling than pure colors. They’re also considered more feminine. Companies in the health, spa, and beauty industries could benefit from using these colors.
These are colors mixed with black and are effective in communicating mysterious, dark, evil, or dangerous moods. Shades can work well with gradients when used with either a pure color or lighter shade.
Certain colors are tied to cultural, emotional, and social connotations. Here are some meanings of colors in the western world.
Tints and shades can help influence the feelings that color conveys. For instance, a darker shade of blue would convey more security and integrity. Lighter shades of blue would convey more tranquility and peace. Some colors have developed a particular meaning over time due to use from certain organizations (i.e. a branding effective).
For instance, the Catholic Church uses deep shades of purple and red, giving the colors a spiritual meaning. Pink has also become associated with femininity. Countries have also adopted certain colors as their own (for instance, Ireland and green).
A common mistake when working with colors is to use too many of them. It is usually better to use one prominent color that is offset by a neutral color like white, gray, or black. When you use too many colors, you may end up conveying too many feelings or messages at once — something that will potentially confuse the person viewing your design.
For the most part, dark colors are strong complements to bright colors. That is why most books are designed using white backgrounds and black text. Each color has a contrast value (white is the lightest and black is the darkest). Yellow and green have light values (so they would be difficult to read on a white background).
Let’s say that a client approaches your (hypothetical design) company looking for a logo. The company is a beauty spa, which uses natural, organic products. The target market is women, and she is trying to convey a peaceful messages, rather than an energetic one. So, she knows that tints are the best route to take, as opposed to pure colors or shades. Colors to convey tranquility and femininity are pink, yellow, purple, and blue.
The client really wants to drive home that products are organic. One option is green, which conveys thoughts of freshness and the environment. The following shade of green, however, is not very feminine:
So the shade would need to be a little light
If you also want to convey a bit of tranquility, you would add a bit of blue.
Here’s the quick facts on how colors impact conversions:
Here’s some additional facts on how color effects purchase decisions:
Color affects us in countless ways, both mentally and physically. Psychologists have suggested that color impression can account for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of a product or service. A bad color combination can have the same user experience consequences of poor copy or slow page load times.
ender is something we’ve talked about in the last few sections — but it’s important for us to call out specifically. At any given time, your audience is some proportion of men and women. For the sake of argument, we’re going to say 50/50, but the reality is that this number can fluctuate depending on your business and industry. If you’re not careful (and create gender-centric marketing imagery), you could end up losing out on up to 50% of your web traffic and conversions.
In our everyday lives, we see the world as individuals. We need to change our perspective and start seeing the world as marketers instead. Color is out of the ways to market to people who aren’t like us.
In general, research says that gender associations with color are ambiguous.
Some observations that some analysts have made:
What’s important to keep in mind is that cultural and social contexts are changing all the time. There is so much variation in the population that you’re not going to be able to appease everybody with just one color scheme. You could read all of the psychology studies in the world, but if you sit around trying to be a perfectionist, you’re never going to get anything done.
The best way to figure out if you’re excluding men and women in your marketing? Talk to people in your target customer base. Research some of the color schemes that your competitors are using. Don’t leave the decision to guess work, but don’t dwell on finding the “right” answer either (because you probably won’t).
The best answer is in your data. In addition to conducting qualitative research with your target customers, make sure that you’re running consistent A/B tests.
As you’re designing your website, keep in mind that your audiences perceive the world differently. Even if you have perfect vision, the world doesn’t. The W3C Web Accessibility initiative has put together a list of resources to help website owners ensure that their websites are accessible to people with disabilities. Here is a guide to help you establish checkpoints for accessible colors.
rightness, for the purpose of this discussion, is defined as the intensity of light illuminating an object. It can be calculated as the arithmetic mean of the red, green, and blue color coordinates. The W3C suggests using the following formula to determine color brightness:
BRIGHTNESS = ((RED X 299) + (GREEN X 587) + (BLUE X 114))/1000
A visible color should be brighter than 125
Color difference is the variation in hugh between the foreground and the background color of your website. Here is a formula to help you calculate the color difference:
RED = MAX(RED FOREGROUND, RED BACKGROUND)
-MIN(RED FOREGROUND, RED BACKGROUND)
GREEN = MAX(GREEN FOREGROUND, GREEN BACKGROUND) -MIN(GREEN FOREGROUND, GREEN BACKGROUND)
BLUE = MAX(BLUE FOREGROUND, BLUE BACKGROUND)
-MIN(BLUE FOREGROUND, BLUE BACKGROUND)
= (RED) + (GREEN) + (BLUE)
Background and foreground color are visible if the color difference has a value greater than 500.
To make sure that your website is accessible, start by following these best practices:
When you’re choosing colors for your website, landing pages, and call to action buttons, you’re not just choosing colors for the sake of aesthetics. Here is a chart from Ren Walker at AdPearance that gives an overview of colors within the context of call to action buttons (in the Western world):
Wow. That’s a lot of options. Which one should you choose? Even if you’re a color psychology expert, it can be tough to decide on just one color — for a form button, for instance. What if you want to create a sense of urgency but also trust?
The most important way to narrow down your options is to consider the context of your form. What type of information are you looking to collect? If the potential lead needs to include personal information beyond basic contact details, you might consider choosing a calming color like green or blue. You should also consider what the rest of your page looks like. A red button, for instance, won’t stand out on a page that is based on the same color. Choose contrasting colors so that your call to action (CTA) buttons stand out on your landing pages.
Take this commonly cited A/B test, for instance:
Performable — an email marketing platform that was acquired by HubSpot, experienced a 21% boost in conversions when the company changed its call to action button color from green to red.
The effect of the color change has everything to do with the CTA’s context.
The page on the left is very-much geared towards a green palette. The green CTA just blends within the page’s surrounding context. Red, however, presents a drastic visual context. The button truly stands out from the other elements on the page.
In a blog post for CrazyEgg, Stephanie Hamilton put together a comprehensive list of website elements impacted by color:
One solution for drawing attention to monochromatic links is to give them a faint background to lift them off the page. This technique helps to remind users where they are on your website. Check out how AppZapper makes the “overview” link by highlighting it in green when the user is on the page.
Bronto uses saturated colors to bring attention to its website navigation. This helps focus the reader’s attention to this extremely important (but small) part of the website.
Use colors to make your website’s call to action (CTA) buttons stand out from other elements on your website. Large, vibrant buttons will help your users understand what actions they should be taking on your website.
Vibrant (but minimal) headings can help illuminate the most important concepts that you’re trying to communicate on your website.
If you want to draw attention to a certain feature or section of your website, you can use colors in a way that don’t overwhelm the rest of your page’s design.
Brand personality is a concept that we’ve talked about earlier in this guide. Color presents a powerful opportunity for self-expression. Use colors to accentuate your existing brand identity, and make sure that you piece together a cohesive style. At the end of the day, color is only one part of your branding equation and ultimately needs to complement your voice, persona, tone, and company values.
Here are the steps that we advises marketers take:
This decision will help you decide what color(s) you want to pick and whether you’ll need to create a blend with others. You’ll need to pick a range of colors from the following options:
Warm and Comforting Browns
Browns evoke home, hearth, comfort, and warmth. You can combine different shades of brown with grays or blues to create a highly comforting vibe.
If your brand is playful of energetic, consider using a palette with greens, blues, and oranges. This color scheme combines a pleasing, down to earth vibe with high energy.
Blues are calming and serious You can combine your color scheme with gray, tan, or orange, but you’ll want to keep secondary colors toned down so that you’re not overloading your audience with a chaotic look and feel.
Reds provide a burst of energy. If you’re not careful, however, you’ll risk overwhelming your audience. Offer plenty of white space to give your users’ eyes a break.
Your industry has everything to do with your website’s color scheme and brand personality. A finance website, for instance, should be down to earth. If you move too far from the established path, you’ll risk confusing or causing cognitive dissonance with your customer base. Here are some examples of color schemes that work well for finance sites:
This color palette relies on greens that users are used to seeing with financial institutions. The gold switches it up a bit, and the black gives the scheme a foundation of strength and authority.
This is a strong color combination for a financial brand because it goes beyond the obvious association with money (green). Gold and black reinforce the concept of wealth and provide a sense of stability.
Here is an example of a ‘cool’ color palette that uses traditional financial colors (green and blue):
By using these colors in lighter, brighter values, the brand associates itself with the finance world in a way that looks modern and youthful rather than heavy and overbearing.
The use of white space gives the website a clean, light feel. This is especially valid for a finance site, which drives business by building trust with its user base.
Color is something that we could seriously talk about forever, but there are still many more topics that we need to cover in this guide. Now is a good time to step back, reflect on key concepts covered, and prep our brains for what’s coming next.
Google is adding a new section to search results which is dedicated to AMP Stories.
The post AMP Stories Now Have a Dedicated Section in Google Search Results by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Posted by Dr-Pete
The Short Version: Don't obsess over Domain Authority (DA) for its own sake. Domain Authority shines at comparing your overall authority (your aggregate link equity, for the most part) to other sites and determining where you can compete. Attract real links that drive traffic, and you'll improve both your Domain Authority and your rankings.
Unless you've been living under a rock, over a rock, or really anywhere rock-adjacent, you may know that Moz has recently invested a lot of time, research, and money in a new-and-improved Domain Authority. People who use Domain Authority (DA) naturally want to improve their score, and this is a question that I admit we've avoided at times, because like any metric, DA can be abused if taken out of context or viewed in isolation.
I set out to write a how-to post, but what follows can only be described as a belligerent FAQ ...
This may sound like a strange question coming from an employee of the company that created Domain Authority, but it's the most important question I can ask you. What's your end-goal? Domain Authority is designed to be an indicator of success (more on that in a moment), but it doesn't drive success. DA is not used by Google and will have no direct impact on your rankings. Increasing your DA solely to increase your DA is pointless vanity.
I understand your confusion. If I had to over-simplify Domain Authority, I would say that DA is an indicator of your aggregate link equity. Yes, all else being equal, a high DA is better than a low DA, and it's ok to strive for a higher DA, but high DA itself should not be your end-goal.
No, but like any metric, you can't use it recklessly or out of context. Our Domain Authority resource page dives into more detail, but the short answer is that DA is very good at helping you understand your relative competitiveness. Smart SEO isn't about throwing resources at vanity keywords, but about understanding where you realistically have a chance at competing. Knowing that your DA is 48 is useless in a vacuum. Knowing that your DA is 48 and the sites competing on a query you're targeting have DAs from 30-45 can be extremely useful. Likewise, knowing that your would-be competitors have DAs of 80+ could save you a lot of wasted time and money.
This topic is a blog post (or eleven) in and of itself, but I'm going to reduce it to a couple points. First, Google's official statements tend to define terms very narrowly. What Google has said is that they don't use a domain-level authority metric for rankings. Ok, let's take that at face value. Do you believe that a new page on a low-authority domain (let's say DA = 25) has an equal chance of ranking as a high-authority domain (DA = 75)? Of course not, because every domain benefits from its aggregate internal link equity, which is driven by the links to individual pages. Whether you measure that aggregate effect in a single metric or not, it still exists.
Let me ask another question. How do you measure the competitiveness of a new page, that has no Page Authority (or PageRank or whatever metrics Google uses)? This question is a big part of why Domain Authority exists — to help you understand your ability to compete on terms you haven't targeted and for content you haven't even written yet.
I'll assume you've read all of my warnings and taken them seriously. You want to improve your Domain Authority because it's the best authority metric you have, and authority is generally a good thing. There are no magical secrets to improving the factors that drive DA, but here are the main points:
Shocking, I know, but that's the long and short of it. Links from high-authority sites and pages still carry significant ranking power, and they drive both Domain Authority and Page Authority. Even if you choose to ignore DA, you know high-authority links are a good thing to have. Getting them is the topic of thousands of posts and more than a couple of full-length novels (well, ok, books — but there's probably a novel and feature film in the works).
Our new DA score does a much better job of discounting bad links, as Google clearly tries to do. Note that "bad" doesn't mean low-authority links. It's perfectly natural to have some links from low-authority domains and pages, and in many cases it's both relevant and useful to searchers. Moz's Spam Score is pretty complex, but as humans we intuitively know when we're chasing low-quality, low-relevance links. Stop doing that.
Our new DA score also factors in whether links come from legitimate sites with real traffic, because that's a strong signal of usefulness. Whether or not you use DA regularly, you know that attracting links that drive traffic is a good thing that indicates relevance to searches and drives bottom-line results. It's also a good reason to stop chasing every link you can at all costs. What's the point of a link that no one will see, that drives no traffic, and that is likely discounted by both our authority metrics and Google.
Like any metric based on signals outside of our control, it's theoretically possible to manipulate Domain Authority. The question is: why? If you're using DA to sell DA 10 links for $1, DA 20 links for $2, and DA 30 links for $3, please, for the love of all that is holy, stop (and yes, I've seen that almost verbatim in multiple email pitches). If you're buying those links, please spend that money on something more useful, like sandwiches.
Do the work and build the kind of real authority that moves the needle both for Moz metrics and Google. It's harder in the short-term, but the dividends will pay off for years. Use Domain Authority to understand where you can compete today, cost-effectively, and maximize your investments. Don't let it become just another vanity metric.
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don't have time to hunt down but want to read!
If you’re running a business or marketing team, you’re probably focused on three key metrics: cost, revenue, and profit (or margin). Your goal is always to minimize costs while maximizing revenues. You may even work with a finance leader to set aggressive growth goals for your company.
For many business leaders, pricing is something practical. You choose numbers that will pay employee salaries and keep the lights on. You pick numbers that will be extremely competitive with the market — after all, it’s your buyers that will keep your company afloat.
There’s a key dimension to pricing, however, that your business may be missing.
You guessed it — it’s buyer psychology.
Pricing is a concept that transcends profit margins. It’s also a marketing tactic that can help your business boost sales volume. When you think about pricing, you need to focus on more than what will cover your company’s operating expenses and pay the bills. You need to choose numbers that will compel your audiences to buy. This chapter will teach you how.
Instead of showing prospects what they should expect to spend, show them what they are going earn. As a marketer, you’re well aware that costs are always relative to outcome. Instead of fixating on how your product delivers the best rates in the industry, communicate something more — that your product comes with unbeatable results.
Bidsketch, a company that sells proposal templates to agencies and freelancers, exemplifies this idea. The company empowers its subscribers to create professional looking proposals in minutes — a process that would otherwise take solopreneurs hours (sometimes days).
The company does a great job communicating the ROI of its product: time saved and dollars earned.
Business owners are well-aware that time is more valuable than money.
The company, on its home page, shares a testimonial from one client who was able to cut down proposal time from 3 hours to 45 minutes. Bidsketch also advertises that its subscribers will be able to cut their proposal creation time in half.
Collectively, Bidsketch customers have been able to generate $261M+ in new projects — indicating that clients are able to achieve significant results (new business) in less time.
Now come the tough question — how much does this cost? The homepage clearly explains the benefits and value of using Bidsketch, but how much of a commitment is necessary to get started?
$29 per month.
A smart business owner will immediately jump to do a quick cost-benefit analysis:
Let’s say that on average, it takes 3 hours to complete a proposal. Anyone who runs (or works for) a business can approximate how much their time is worth. For clarity’s sake, let’s approximate this number to be $100/hour. Using Bidsketch, you will be able to draft proposals in an hour and a half instead of 3, which means that the cost of creating a proposal will be $150 instead of $300. When you spend $29 to use Bidsketch, you’ll generate an incremental $121.
Is the $29 cost worth it? Absolutely. In fact, it’s a no brainer.
Cost is always relative, in the eye of the beholder. Communicate ROI first — before cost becomes a consideration. If you’re able to communicate results in terms of a clear value proposition, your costs will look much less expensive.
Let’s say that Bidsketch took an entirely different approach to marketing and didn’t communicate a clear value proposition on its home page — a $29 monthly spend would look much bigger.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs are notoriously frugal. They are frequently living off their savings and pouring their investments into their business. Why spend $29 on a Bidsketch subscription when you could put the funding towards your AdWords campaigns (or grocery bills), instead?
All of a sudden, cost becomes a major consideration.
For a company selling beer, this type of slogan might come off as somewhat of an odd choice.
But according to new research which advocates the benefits of “selling time” over money, it may be a perfect choice.
“Because a person’s experience with a product tends to foster feelings of personal connection with it, referring to time typically leads to more favorable attitudes—and to more purchases”.
So says Jennifer Aaker, the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Why would selling experience (or time spent) with a product work so much better in some instances than discussing the products favorable price?
Aaker noted that many (around 48% of those analyzed) advertisements included a reference to time, noting that many marketers seem to innately understand the importance of time to a consumer.
Unfortunately, very little in the way of actual studies had been done to back this up.
In their first experiment addressing this, Aaker and her co-author Cassie Mogilner set up, of all things, a lemonade stand using two 6-year olds (so it would appear legitimate).
In this experiment, the lemonade sold could be purchased for $1-$3 (customer selected) and a sign was used to advertise the stand.
The 3 separate signs to advertise the lemonade were as follows:
Even with this lemonade example the results were apparent.
The sign stressing time attracted twice as many people, who were willing to pay twice as much.
To further drive this point home, a second study done with college students (and iPods) was conducted.
This time, only two questions were asked:
Not surprisingly considering the last study, students asked about time demonstrated far more favorable opinions of their iPods than those asked about money.
The researchers thought that:
Aaker and her colleague were not done yet, however.
Determined to test whether or not all references to money would lead to a more negative output (due to the participant being reminded of how much they spent on a product), they conducted a similar experiment at a concert.
This time, the “cost” was actually time, as the concert was free, but people had to “spend” time in line to get the good seats.
The two questions asked by the researchers in this scenario were:
Even in an instance like this, where time was the resource being spent, asking about time increased favorable opinions toward the concert.
Not only that, people who stood in line the longest, or the people who incurred the most “cost”, actually rated their satisfaction with the concert the highest.
“Even though waiting is presumably a bad thing, it somehow made people concentrate on the overall experience”, says Aaker.
So what’s the deal here?
Marketers need to start being aware of the meaning that their products bring to the lives of their customers before they start focusing their marketing efforts.
And one more thing to think about…
The study notes that the one exception seems to be any products consumers might buy for prestige value.
If you aren’t in the line of selling sports cars or tailored made suits, you most likely won’t have to deal with this, but the point remains:
“With such ‘prestige’ purchases, consumers feel that possessing the products reflect important aspects of themselves, and get more satisfaction from merely owning the product rather than spending time with it”, says Mogilner.
Factor these considerations of the important of time next time you go about pricing your product, and you’ll see that catering to consumer’s most precious resource, their time, can be more persuasive than even the most drastic of price reductions.
You walk into a drugstore to buy a bottle of Ibuprofen. You’re faced with two options — the first, a major pharma brand and the second, a generic.
The generic is 30% cheaper than its retail equivalent. Why not save a few dollars?
The problem with comparative pricing is that it isn’t as foolproof as marketers think. Consumers’ perceptions of products may be swayed in a few different ways.
According to Itamar Simonson, consumers won’t always go for the cheapest. They may go for the consumer brand, which seems like a ‘less risky’ choice. Or, consumers may avoid making a purchase altogether.
New research from Stanford points out that unintended consequences may result from asking customers to compare prices.
This study analyzes the effect of implicit and explicit comparisons to arrive to this conclusion.
Implicit comparisons occur when a customer takes the initiative to compare two or more products.
Conversely, explicit comparisons are those that are specifically stated or brought up by the marketer or advertiser.
To test the effects of comparative advertising, Simonson and Dholakia set up two trials.
The first involved selling CDs on eBay.
The researchers listed (for sale) a number of top-selling albums in CD format, such as “The Wall” by Pink Floyd (hey, not too bad of taste either ;)).
The cost of the CD’s put up for sale always started at $1.99.
They then “framed” these auctions in two very distinct ways.
The first way had the CD ‘flanked’ with two additional copies (of the same CD) that had a starting bid of $0.99.
The second had the original CD flanked with two copies starting at $6.99.
The results seemed clear: The CDs flanked with the more expensive options ($6.99) consistently ended up fetching higher prices than the CDs next to the $0.99 offerings.
“We didn’t tell people to make a comparison; they did it on their own”, said Simonson.
“And when people make these kinds of comparisons on their own, they are very influential”.
In order to test the effects of explicitly telling the consumers to compare, the researchers re-did the experiment with the same settings, only this time they outright asked consumers to compare the $1.99 CD with the other offerings.
The results of this showed that when explicitly stated to compare, prices of the adjacent CDs became statistically irrelevant to what the bids were on the middle disc.
Additionally, buyers became much more cautious and risk averse in their purchasing of the CDs:
“The mere fact that we had asked them to make a comparison caused them to fear that they were being tricked in some way”, said Simonson.
The results were that people became more timid in every aspect imaginable: fewer bids, longer time on their first bid, and less of a likelihood to participate in multiple auctions.
“Marketers need to be aware that comparative selling, although it can be very powerful, is not without its risks”.
Think about that the next time you directly compare your offering to your competitors.
Instead, you might better benefit from highlighting unique strengths and placing an emphasis on time saved over money saved…
Pricing is a discipline where art meets science.
On the one hand, you want to empower your customers with tons of information. You want to be flexible, and you want to offer ‘premium’ packages.
But here’s the thing — when it comes to pricing, less is more.
As Unbounce’s Oli Gardner puts it:
Consumers constantly face “analysis paralysis, where too many options actually result in no decision being made”.
Oli Gardner expands upon this concept through a powerful analogy — the Toothpaste Trance. This is a psychological phenomenon that has, at some point, affected everyone. Here’s what happens. There is so much choice for the same product that you end up picking at things randomly. You’re overwhelmed, stop looking at products for their individual benefits and features, and start to perceive each option as ‘one in the same’.
There’s a famous experiment involving supermarket jam. In 2000, researchers S.S. Inyengar and M.R. Leper conducted a study in a supermarket. The premise? Shoppers could sample the different flavors of jam that were available for purchase. The test compared the impact of varying the number of choices between 24 and 6.
In the case of the 24 flavors, only 3% of those who tasted the samples went on to purchase the jam, compared to a 30% purchase rate when only 6 flavors were available. Too many options will only inhibit your customers’ ability to make a clear decision.
Along those lines, your pricing tables need to avoid distractions. Pick 3-5 services in which your company truly excels. Bundle options together into these services, and present the information in 3 streamlined packages.
What’s key is that you bundle your products and services into packages that make sense for your target customers. The way that you present your pricing is just as important as your actual price points.
Consider the following case study from Visual Website Optimizer:
BaseKit, a popular website builder, wanted to improve the performance of its pricing page. They measured success based on the number of people who visit the ‘Buy Now’ page after visiting the ‘Plans and Pricing’ page.
(For follow-up studies, Visual Website Optimizer recommended that BaseKit monitor revenue as a measure of performance).
The traffic directed to the pricing page is primarily paid, so it is highly targeted towards users who are interested in the product.
This was the original variation of the pricing page:
The variation page was designed to have brighter, bolder, and clearer pricing — along with a testimonial and more obvious currency selection. The redesigned pricing page yielded a 25% increase in conversions:
The new design reached statistical significance at the 95% confidence level with 24 hours. For the entire duration of the test, the page yielded a 25% improvement.
Is price a measure of value? Not necessarily, says a study conducted in 2008 by Goldstein and team. The study found that people “do not derive more enjoyment from more expensive wine” when they don’t know much the wine cost. According to another study, however, there is a clear correlation between price and perceived value. When participants were told that a wine had a high price, participants gave that wine higher ratings.
The study took its analysis a step further by examining actual neurological responses to this wine tasting activity.
When told that a wine was more expensive, study participants experienced higher activation in the brain regions associated with feelings of pleasantness. To some extent, consumers are letting price influence how they feel about products and services.
A similar study conducted by Dan Ariely found that students who paid more for cold medicine reported feeling better than students who purchased the same medicine at a discounted price.
But still, expensive is not always better. Remember that consumers are driven by a variety of budgets. Some consumers simply can’t afford more expensive products and service. While they’d love to pay more for quality, they don’t have the flexibility to make frivolous or purchases.
‘Need vs. luxury’ is one of the most foundational concepts in modern economics. The idea is simple — people will spend money on necessities like food, shelter, and clothing before spending money on luxury items like designer goods, expensive materials, and pricey cars.
Some consumer are aggressive about comparing prices and finding deals that align with their wallets. But even this trend isn’t always the case.
Comparison shopping is a strategy used by online retailers to outperform competitors. You may have come across comparison shopping engines like ShopStyle, Google Shopping, or PriceGrabber that make comparison shopping easy.
Here’s the thing. Research suggests that ‘comparisons’ can position your products (or services) as inferior — even when the products are actually the same. Sounds confusing? Here’s one theory — comparison shopping forces consumers to let their minds wander. Inevitably, they start asking questions — why are some products prices less expensively than others? Consumers may then convince themselves that they’re getting additional value from the more expensive item.
Here’s the moral of the story — there is no cookie answer to the question of whether to set prices higher or lower. Some consumer groups will be more price sensitive than others. What businesses need to do is develop an extremely focused market.
Talk to your customers and run qualitative research studies to learn what your target audiences value. Build your pricing models according to what you learn. Be prepared, however — you won’t necessarily please everyone. By focusing on some customer segments, you’ll likely exclude others. And that’s fine.
CBS News put together a great summary highlighting tricks that retailers will frequently use to convince consumers to buy. These include the following:
According to a 2009 Cornell University study, prices marked with dollar signs are correlated with lower consumer spending levels. This particular experiment found that diners in upscale restaurants spend significantly less when menus contained the word “dollars” or the dollar symbol “$”. The reason why? We’re overloaded with information. Words and symbols are additional pieces of information for us to process. Expensive restaurants with a minimalistic approach (‘24’ vs. ‘$24’) want patrons to focus on the food instead of the price.
You’ve seen these offers in virtually every supermarket or drugstore. Consumers are convinced that they have to buy 10 items to get the deal, so they’ll load up their shopping carts.
The reality is that it’s an advertising ploy. You don’t necessarily have to buy all 10 to get the price. You can simply get 1 for $1. By advertising ‘10 for $10,’ the story is trying to get you to buy more.
You’ve probably seen this language at the supermarket too. This language creates the illusion of a product being a scarce resource. You’re instantly compelled to buy more in case the store runs out. Remember, it’s just a marketing ploy.
Prices ending in 9, 99, or 95 are called ‘charm prices’. Apparently, we’ve been culturally conditioned to associate 9-ending prices with discounts and better deals.
-William Poundstone Author of Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value and How to Take Advantage of It
Also, because we read numbers from left to right, we encode a price like $7.99 as $7 — especially if we read too quickly. It’s called “left-digit effect”:
We encode it in our minds before we read all the digits
-Vicki Morwitz Research Professor of Marketing at the Stern School of Business at New York University and president of The Society For Consumer Psychology
Head over to practically any store around (online or brick and mortar) and you’ll see prices that end in “9” everywhere.
We’ve all heard of the reasons why it’s used (to make the price look lower), but does it really work? Are people really going to be effected by a $99 price point versus paying $100?
As it turns out, this tactic does indeed work, and has been dubbed the use of “charm prices”.
In his book Priceless, William Poundstone dissects 8 different studies on the use of charm prices, and found that, on average, they increased sales by 24% versus their nearby, ’rounded’ price points.
In fact, in an experiment tested by MIT and the University of Chicago, a standard women’s clothing item was tested at the prices of $34, $39, and $44.
To the researchers surprise, the item sold best at $39, even more than the cheaper $34 price.
One has to wonder… is there anything that can outsell number 9?
Researchers have found that sale prices, that emphasize the original price, do seem to beat out number 9 when split tested.
Humans have short attention spans. Every fraction of a second matters. We don’t have time to waste on interpreting commas and decimal places. That’s why retailers will use whole, flat numbers.
Some stores will put a product on sale and show you the original price from which it was marked down. The sign might say that the original cost was $10 and now $8 instead of $7.97. That’s because ‘$7.97’ is an awkward number. Even though ‘$7.97’ is cheaper, it takes a little more time to digest and instantly calculate the savings. It’s easier to go to $8, as customers can calculate ‘$10-$8’ very quickly.
Marketing professors at Clark University and The University of Connecticut found that consumers perceive sale prices to be a better value when the price is written in a small font rather than a large, bold typeface. This is something that marketers sometimes get wrong.
The theory is that the human mind connects physical magnitude to numerical magnitude.
Keep in mind, however, is that human eyes aren’t created equally. Small fonts, especially on a computer screen, can be tough to read. Don’t force your audiences to read, but don’t bombard them with giant text advertising your sales either.
Pricing is more than just numbers. Consumers are typically looking to solve a problem and relieve a key pain point. When trying to establish the ‘right’ price, speak directly to your audience’s needs and values. The solution you’re able to provide will exponentially outweigh the numbers you select. Focus on data related to consumer needs, not arbitrary numbers.
Not getting the ROI you expect from SEO? Here are eight ways you might be wasting time and money.
The post 8 Ways You’re Wasting Money on SEO Without Knowing It by @coreydmorris appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Stop building complicated attribution models. Learn how conversion lift tests can help you measure your digital advertising performance.
The post Is Conversion Lift the Future of Attribution? by @Wrodarczyk appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Online retailers face an uphill battle in securing new customers. More than one hundred thousand websites launch every day . Many of these websites serve market niches – meaning it’s becoming increasingly difficult for general ecommerce sites to maintain market share against specialized retailers.
Brick-and-mortar stores are fending off competition by recruiting entertaining, empathetic employees. This human touch is great for physical retail, but how can ecommerce sites deliver the knockout punch in their space?
Amazon is winning by focusing on the “final mile” in commerce
Amazon, the third largest retailer in the world, provides a shining example for both established and emerging ecommerce brands. The key is in what they call the “final mile”. This refers to both the physical and virtual distance between them and their customers.
Local Warehouses and the Acquisition of “Whole Foods”
Amazon understands that their customers want their products as quickly as possible. The one thing that physical retailers beat Amazon on is the ability to deliver instant gratification. To combat this, the ecommerce giant has invested heavily in three key areas:
Delivering a Compelling, Personalized Online Experience
The addition of local warehouses and on-demand package delivery certainly helps them shorten the final mile. However, optimizations in the physical final mile are useless without first ensuring that the order is placed with Amazon’s platform, instead of a competitor.
This is referred to as the “digital final mile”. The key to winning customer loyalty is personalization – and Amazon excels here too.
Serving up product suggestions based on past user history
This might not sound like an earth-shattering idea in ecommerce, but Amazon continues to refine their approach and serve as an industry leader in personalization of the online customer experience.
In fact, Amazon is so ahead of the pack that they have created a machine learning service for AWS subscribers that provides a state-of-the-art personalization engine for their projects. Unimaginatively, it’s called “Amazon Personalize”. The earth-shattering aspect of this is that developers get to leverage what Amazon.com has learned over more than a decade of delivering a personalized online experience.
That amount of knowledge and refinement is nothing to be sneezed at. And based on a few conversations with companies that use AWS, Amazon Personalizewas a deciding factor in choosing AWS over an alternative like Google Cloudor Microsoft Azure.
Leveraging Video Content to Communicate Value in an Engaging Way
Amazon is a platform where virtually anyone can sign-up and sell their products to Amazon’s extensive user base. Sophisticated product marketers realize that their biggest competition comes from within the Amazon platform itself – in the form of other sellers selling the same or similar products.
An entire book could be written on the art of producing compelling product videos. Assuming a seller has created an informative Amazon product listing and engaged a professional team to create a killer product video, the next most important step is uploading the video to Amazon.
It’s a relatively simple process, yet, Amazon limits the types of video files it accepts in order to ensure fast loading on customer devices. I personally recommend using an online video converterto get around the hardware bottlenecks of most computers. The final product needs to be in one of the following formats:
Amazon is dominating ecommerce by transforming the final mile – both physically and virtually. They are blurring the lines between online and physical retail with strategic acquisitions.
To ensure they win customers’ orders, they are continuing to enhance their efforts to personalize the customer experience – including everything from product suggestions to encouraging sellers to leverage compelling product videos.
The post The Final-Mile and its factors for ecommerce success or failure appeared first on Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog.
The post Seznam SEO: An Interview with Seznam’s Search Division Director by @TaylorDanRW appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
The post Why Twitter Lists Are Still a Great Tool for B2B Marketers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.
A recent post on Twitter by Google's Danny Sullivan highlighted that websites are not entitled to links.
The post Google Says You Are Not Entitled to Links by @martinibuster appeared first on Search Engine Journal.