Category : Website Development

Google Mobile Penalty

How to Get Ready for Google’s Mobile Annihilation

Google announced back in August 2016 that it will begin to devalue web pages in mobile search with intrusive interstitials as of January 10, 2017. Going forward, Google recommends using interstitials on mobile pages that only take up a “reasonable” amount of screen space.

Here is an example of what Google considers to be “intrusive”:

Google gave site owners plenty of time to prepare for the update, but in case you have not yet done so, I have rounded up 10 pieces of expert advice that will ensure your web pages are not affected by this penalty.

How to Avoid Google’s Mobile Interstitials Penalty.
Advice from Google.
The first piece of advice comes from none other than Google itself. Here’s how Google defines the penalty:.

” To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”.
Takeaway: Content on the pages you have indexed in mobile search must be readily available when a user clicks through to the page from Google.

Be Honest With Yourself: Do Your Pop-Ups Serve a Purpose?
Ben Silverman from Brafton Marketing shares this advice:

” The easiest way to avoid the mobile interstitial and pop-up penalty is to think like Google, whose main objective is to make the internet more accessible, browsable, intuitive and honest, especially for mobile browsers. This means there are some exceptions to Google’s pop-up policy: If yours serves a real, honest purpose, chances are you’ll be okay.”.
Takeaway: Some pop-ups are still acceptable if they are either required by law, such as age verification, or if they don’t detract from the main content on the page, such as a small banner at the top.

Hiding Content With Ads is Now Against Google Guidelines.
The Verge shares this advice:

” For the most part, Google is targeting overlays that gray out the content beneath them to prevent you from reading a website, either for a few seconds or until you find and very carefully tap a little X to dismiss them.”.
Takeaway: Publishers may not be happy about this, but ads that are displayed over top of the main content are no longer acceptable. This includes ads that appear when you land on a page, as well as ads that appear as you scroll down a page. There should be no barrier preventing a user from reading content on the page at any time.

Ad Publishers Need to Adapt and Look Into New Strategies.
HubSpot’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, Marcus Andrews, shares this advice:

” … if they haven’t done so already, marketers solve for mobile SEO. The pain that comes with changing a revenue model is inevitable, but shorter-term– and businesses that rely on advertiser dollars, should figure out ways to make money that doesn’t totally disrupt the mobile user experience.”.
Takeaway: Removing revenue-generating interstitials might hurt at first, but losing organic search traffic could hurt even more. Site owners must adapt and look for non-intrusive ways to generate revenue.

Develop a Content Marketing Strategy for Generating Revenue.
Sitepoint shares this advice:

” The consistent creation and distribution of relevant content attracts users without beating them with a hard-sell stick. Use content– including blog posts, round-ups, guides, videos, infographics, and more– to educate audiences and guide them through the buying process.”.
Takeaway: Since the goal of Google’s interstitials penalty is to make content more accessible, use that to your advantage. Develop a content marketing strategy to sell users on your products and services, rather than intrusive pop-up ads.

Mobile-Friendly Label is Being Removed for All Sites, But Being Mobile-Friendly Still Matters.
Syed Balkhi of OptinMonster shares this advice:

” The first part of the announcement that a lot of journalists skipped over is that the “mobile-friendly” label that Google is currently displaying in search results will be removed for everyone on January 10, 2017 … Since over 85% of all pages in mobile search results now meet the criteria, they will be removing the label for everyone.”.
Takeaway: Google will no longer consider pages with intrusive interstitials as being mobile-friendly, but don’t panic once you don’t see the “mobile-friendly” label next to your content in search results. The label is being removed for everyone, although being mobile friendly is still as important as it has ever been.

Intrusive Interstitials Not Allowed on Mobile, But Desktop is Still OK.
Icegram shares this advice:

” Use display targeting rules in your popup/ interstitial program, and show them only on desktop/ larger screens. Don’t use pop-ups and interstitials on mobile. Instead use smaller messages like banners, inlines or slide ins.”.
Takeaway: You don’t have to remove intrusive pop-up ads and interstitials altogether, you only need to remove them on mobile pages. They can still be displayed on desktop browsers without incurring any kind of penalty.

Check Your WordPress Plugins.
Sarah Gooding of WP Tavern shares this advice:

” WordPress users who use plugins to display pop-up messages, whether it’s for coupons, membership offers, promotions, or another form of advertising, will want to carefully review Google’s size guidelines or consider a different approach for reaching visitors.”.
Takeaway: If you use WordPress plugins to display interstitials, staying in compliance with Google’s new guidelines may be as simple as adjusting sizes using the plugin settings. Remember, keep them small and non-obtrusive. Content should be the main focus of the page.

Interstitials Triggered by Exit Intent Are Still Allowed.
Google’s John Mueller shared this advice when asked if the penalty would apply to pages with an interstitial triggered on exit intent:.

What we’re looking for is really interstitials that show up on the interaction between the search click and going through the page and seeing the content. That’s kind of the place we’re looking for those interstitials.
Takeaway: Interstitials triggered by exit intent are perfectly fine. Google is only targeting interstitials that appear when a user lands on a page.

Page-to-Page Interstitials Will Not Be Penalized.

Takeaway: Google is not looking to penalize all pages with interstitials, only the ones which searchers can land on from search results. It’s still OK to display an interstitial when a user navigates from one of your pages to another.

Conclusion.
Google is always looking for new ways to improve the search experience. There are both positive and negative aspects to this update– site owners just have to keep rolling with Google’s proverbial punches.

Why Marketing Automation

Why Marketing Automation & Your Benefit

Trends keep life interesting. It’s always fun to see what sticks, and what fades away. Some recent trends garnering excitement include:

1. Juicing– not like apple or grape, but really green juice that looks like you scraped it off of a fish tank. I’ve heard if you start juicing, you will become totally awesome, 10 years younger, and gain IQ points.

Buzzfeed quizzes– which 80’s rock star are you? Which font are you ?! Comic Sans! … Um, just kidding.

3. Frozen (that song).

4. Game of Thrones– channeling Daenerys Targaryen in meetings just feels good.

 

If you’re in marketing, a “trend” you’ve probably heard about is marketing automation. What if it’s a trend, like juicing?

In a nutshell, what does marketing automation do, and why should you care? I first purchased marketing automation (TPNI Engage, specifically) while working at an another company several years ago.

Why Marketing Automation is More than a Trend

Scalability— Whether you are a startup company with a marketing team of one, or a larger enterprise, you always want to optimize your efficiency. Using TPNI Engage, you can clone whole programs (email, landing pages, etc.) so your team is not setting up programs from scratch each time, while still acheiving massive scale with your leads and sales…passively!

Closed-end reporting was the main reason I investigated marketing automation in the first place. In my current role, I use TPNI Engage daily to evaluate marketing programs and their performance.

I also look at which content assets perform best per program or channel. I check out first-touch and multi-touch pipeline-to-cost, so I know which programs and channels are best for creating a pipeline for the respective investment.

With marketing automation, I greatly improve the likelihood of providing qualified leads at the right time to my sales organization. I have the ability to use lead scoring (put simply, lead scoring assigns points based on desired demographics and behaviors). At my last company, I selected TPNI Engage because of how effectively I could measure campaigns and channels.

Communicating in a personal way– No one likes receiving an email that seems impersonal, ill-timed, or just completely irrelevant. Using marketing automation, you can use behavioral filters to target your audience or trigger messages based on behavior.

Through TPNI Engage’s nurturing capabilities, I can also easily schedule content to activate or deactivate (for example, I don’t want people to receive an analyst report that’s more than a year old, so I can set an end date for that asset). Automation allows me to communicate in a personal way.

Running programs across multiple channels– Lastly, many of us are using multiple channels to communicate with our audiences. With automation, I have the ability to run a multi-channel campaign (for example, I could run social, email, web, and direct mail programs, all within the platform) and I can measure each channel, but then I can also measure the entire effort.

Using marketing automation, I can scale a sophisticated program that involves multi-channel elements on email, social, and direct mail. I can easily 1) set up the entire program quickly, and 2) ask critical questions, which are immediately addressed.

I know most of you are busy, so I hope my perspective helps you understand why marketing automation can help your business– it can do a lot more then “send emails”. If you’re interested in learning more about marketing automation, our Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation is a good place to start.

Several months from now, we may not be drinking green juice or watching Game of Thrones, but I for one will still be using marketing automation (while eating locally sourced kale chips … justing kidding).

If you’re in marketing, a “trend” you’ve probably heard about is marketing automation. I first purchased marketing automation (TPNI Engage, specifically) while working at an another company several years ago. With marketing automation, I greatly improve the likelihood of providing qualified leads at the right time to my sales organization. Using marketing automation, you can use behavioral filters to target your audience or trigger messages based on behavior.

Using marketing automation, I can scale a sophisticated program that involves multi-channel elements on email, social, and direct mail.

If you want to learn how to achieve MASSIVE scale in your business through Marketing Automation, please sign up for our Marketing Automation webinar where we will walk you through the crucial components & steps needed to be securing passive leads & sales! 

Make Your Website Stand Out

4 Ways to Make Your Website Stand Out to Google

Be a Straight Shooter Let Your Customer Know What They’re Getting With Meta Descriptions
Letting users know exactly what you have to offer is key to those coveted clicks. Compelling copy is going to get you noticed, especially if your competitors are ignoring it.

A well-crafted meta description can be the deciding factor between a customer clicking on your result or your competitors, and add in those colorful stars we talked about earlier, you’re really going to stand out. We don’t need to be reminded how important Click-Through Rates (CTR) are as a ranking signal for the search engines. Giving your potential customer a glimpse into the page they’re clicking on is going to help them stick around a little longer.

What’s going to make you stand out and get those valuable clicks? Well, fear not, those search results can get a little more colorful with some quick and often overlooked changes that you can make to add a little pizzaz to those search results.

Make Your Website Stand Out

Make sure you’ve done the legwork; set up Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, create a sitemap, watch out for duplicate content, get some search friendly URLs, write fresh content, and make sure all your social profiles are linking back to you. Those stars aren’t just for ads either, using schema you can get them in your organic results, too. Compelling copy is going to get you noticed, especially if your competitors are ignoring it.

Those stars aren’t just for ads either, using schema you can get them in your organic results, too. Adding a little flair to your search result is going to go a long way.

Optimizing your site, reaching out to customers, and honing in your language isn’t just going to help you rise in the SERPs, it’s going to help you connect with your customers and build lifelong relationships with them.

Invite Yourself to the Party & Get Your Site Indexed
Make sure you’ve done the legwork; set up Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, create a sitemap, watch out for duplicate content, get some search friendly URLs, write fresh content, and make sure all your social profiles are linking back to you. Sites never stand a chance if you forget to run down the launch checklist. Neil Patel has a handy guide on what you need to do to let the search engines know you exist.

What’s going to make you stand out and get those valuable clicks? Well, fear not, those search results can get a little more colorful with some quick and often overlooked changes that you can make to add a little pizzaz to those search results.

Think Local
If you’re a physical store you have your eyes on the map, you long to see your business name at the top of the snack pack. These days with fewer results it’s a tough ask, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting that spot. Insure NAP consistency, focus on local SEO, and yes, those reviews play a crucial role on nabbing a spot on the map.

Make Your Website Stand Out

Make Them See Stars
If you want your customers to be star-gazing, you’re going to need to incorporate user ratings into your search results. To get them you’ll need 150 reviews in the last 12 months. According to Google, ads with Seller Ratings get a 17% higher CTR than the same ads without ratings.

Conclusion
Sure, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out in the SERPs, but don’t let that deter you. By getting back to basics and focusing on the little things you have an opportunity to broaden your reach.

5 ways to increase blog traffic

5 Ways to Get More Qualified Traffic to Your Blog

You’ve been working hard on your blog, you feel established. We’re right there with you friend – here are five easy steps you can start taking to increase blog traffic!

1. Be Strategic About Your Content

The most successful content is the kind that meets a specific need. Content these days almost always falls into one of two categories: cool and funny or useful and educational.

If you want to increase blog traffic, the best thing you can do is quite simply create better content. Creating “better content” isn’t just about quality.

When it comes to content style, shoot for shocking statistics, beautiful infographics, and rich storytelling via video. Create stuff people want to link to and share.

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

If you need ideas, check out Quora and see what questions are being asked that relate to your industry subject. Try using Buzzsumo to see what others have written about in your field, then make something even better. Or use one of these eight handy blog topic generators.

Create Evergreen Content For Your Blog

Try to make sure that most of your content is evergreen. Evergreen content is the kind of content that can live forever on the web and that time won’t make irrelevant.

Crafting Kickass Headlines

Some even suggest that your headline is more important than your actual post! If you have a great content piece hiding behind a shabby headline, it’ll die a quick death. Appearances are everything, and just as you wouldn’t show up to a wedding wearing your stay-home-sick clothes, you can’t rely on lackluster headlines to promote your blog posts.

As a blogger, you should always ensure that you’re creating irresistibly awesome headlines. Your headline is what gets visitors to your site and captures their interest.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different headlines. Share your post multiple times with different headlines and see which style works best.

Create a Newsletter To Showcase Your Best Blog Posts

One quick and easy way to start driving more traffic to your blog is to start collecting emails for a blog newsletter. Since these users are already comfortable with your blog, chances are they might explore a bit more on their next visit.

Promotion needs to be a big part of your content strategy so that your hard earned blog posts drive that traffic you so desperately desire!

2. Don’t Fear the Keywords

Go ahead, shout it from the rooftops, “I care about keywords!” Be loud and proud my friend.

If you really want to drive big time traffic to your blog, keywords and SEO have to be a part of your strategy. You get targeted traffic from Google, and users find the information and answers they’re searching the web for.

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

They key thing to remember with SEO is all good things in moderation.

Use keywords in your context text? Yes!

Use keyword stuffing to saturate your content completely with search queries? No.

Link to other related blog posts you’ve written on a specific subject? Yes!

Include so many links that every other sentence is dotted with blue hyperlinks? No.

Let keywords influence your outline and help conceptualize your post? Yes!

Put keywords and search bots before user experience? No!

With more sites and advertisers online than ever before, all competing for the most popular keywords, how do you stand a chance of competing? Long-tail keywords of course!

Google drives billions of searches a day. Trust me, you want to use keywords to get a piece of that pie.

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

Why Do Long-Tail Keywords Matter for Bloggers?

Long-tail keywords are search phrases composed of 3+ keywords. They’re easier to target long-tail keywords (and cheaper when it comes to PPC) because there is less competition for these phrases. Targeting long-tail keywords is really your only chance of getting a top SERP spot in Google.

Maybe you ‘d love to rank high in Google for “health food” because your business is a health food store. Well fat (or slim) chance of that happening– “health food” is a pretty competitive term. If you focus instead on “health food meal plans” or “health food on a budget,” your chance of ranking for those longer keyword phrases is tremendously higher.

SEO for Bloggers: Finding Long Tail Keywords

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

Next, take all the long-tail phrases you’ve come up with and put them into the Google Keyword Planner.

See which phrases drive the most traffic (also take a look at other keyword phrases Google suggests) and siphon out the ones with high search volume and low competition. Those are your gold nugget long-tails! Try to create content targeted around those keywords.

How do you brainstorm these awesome long-tail keywords? Begin typing in a phrase and see what Google’s auto-complete suggestions are.

Next, put a few of those terms into Google and scratch down some Google’s related search suggestions (you’ll find them towards the bottom of the page).

SEO WordPress Plugins for Bloggers

There are some great WordPress plugins designed to help bloggers with SEO. They make it easy to set up your URL slugs correctly, help you craft perfect meta descriptions, setup sitemaps, and aid you in navigating other SEO technical bits that may not come naturally to bloggers.

Two favorites are:

When it comes to promoting your blog, it’s essential that you’re strategic about where you spend your time. While it’s nice to establish your presence across a range of social networks, you’ll quickly burn out trying to excel with every social site.

WordPress SEO by Yoast
All in One SEO Pack
3. Find Your Flock: Hunt Down Your Audience’s Nest

Is your blog heavy on the visuals? Is your blog catered more towards nerd culture?

If you’re looking for seagulls, you go to the seashore. To drive blog traffic, you need to go to where your flock hangs out.

5 ways to get more traffic to your blog

Use Google Analytics to see which websites are driving the most referral traffic. Find the forums and sites your target audience visits, and get active. Engage in discussion and post links or blog comments when appropriate.

Once You’ve Found Your Family, Go All In

Once you’ve discovered your key networks, make those your focal point. Neil Patel points out that Upworthy, in addition to utilizing curiosity-focused headlines and emotional content, also limits the number of social sharing buttons they have on a given page.

Upworthy only has two share buttons– Facebook and Twitter. Consider limiting your social sharing selection to the sites you get the most leverage out of.

5  ways to get more blog traffic

The choice paradox shows that too many choices can overwhelm and stress users. While we may assume more choices are better, studies have shown that most individuals are happier with a few different options, rather than hundreds.

Want More Blog Traffic? Just Ask.

Sometimes getting what you want can be a simple as asking for it. A study by Social Bakers found that users who asked their followers to “RT” their posts on Twitter received 73.48 average retweets per tweet. Those who didn’t ask for retweets received just 2.09 retweets.

If you want people to share your content, ask them to!

This goes for just about all call-to-actions. While your intentions may seem obvious to you, reiterating the course of action for visitors greatly increases the likelihood that they’ll follow through.

4. Optimize For Speed and Mobile

Your visitors aren’t going to wait around for your blog to load. If your page isn’t coming up fast enough, they’ll hit the back button and move on to the next Google listing (ie your competitor) before you can flip a flapjack.

Need to check your site speed? No problem! Google’s Page Speed Insights tool will give you your speed score, as well as tips on what you can do to give your site the kick in the pants it might need.

WPtouch Mobile Plugin
Jetpack by WordPress (there’s a mobile theme option baked in).

Traffic Speedway

In the same vein, modern users spend nearly 3 hours a day on their tablets or mobile phones. Going mobile is a no-brainer for bloggers. If you don’t think your current blog is up to snuff, consider checking out one of these fine WordPress plugins that help create a version of your blog that is optimized for mobile devices.

5. Play Nice With the Other Kids.

Linking to your own blog posts is great for SEO, but it’s important to link to outside sources. This signals to Google that you’re not a spammer and helps build positive relationships with the others blogs you’re linking to. Establishing good relations also makes pitching guest posts a ton easier.

Comment on other blogs and be active in various communities. Consider interviewing major industry loggers or including other bloggers in a “best of” post (for example, Top 10 Blogs Rocking Pinterest).

Good manners go a long way online. If you’re looking to build blog traffic, you’ll want to establish good relationships with other bloggers in your niche. Sometimes you’ll even want to team up with your enemies, Game of Thrones style.

39 Website Improvements to Encourage a Better User Experience

One way to improve your website is to tackle small, but meaningful tasks one at a time, over time, on a regular basis. If your website is built on a user-friendly content management system (CMS), you should get in the habit of identifying things that can be improved quickly and making the changes.

There are two kinds of website improvement projects.

The first, and most obvious one is creating a new website. Done effectively, the process requires careful planning, the collaborative efforts of a team of talented specialists, and of course, time – usually months.

Here is a list of ideas for refining your website, so visitors are quietly and smoothly swept deeper into it.

Have a user-first mindset

Let’s get serious now about UX website improvement tactics you can jump on fast without overly taxing your time and resources.

When a restaurant, store, airport, stadium, or any place, satisfies its customers, it profits from the experience, draws them back again and cashes in on word-of-mouth marketing.

Your website might be beautiful. The content might be the best in the business. If your website introduces unnecessary challenges to its visitors, it’s bound to impede your success.

Website Design Stats
A great website needs to do the same. It needs to deliver a great user experience (UX). You can define UX a number of ways, but in an effort to keep it simple, I’ll tell you – it means the customer got what they came for with no hassles.

The interesting thing about designing for user experience is that you succeed when the design is invisible to the customer. The user doesn’t experience fussing with your website to find the content they’re after.

Branding

– Your logo shouldn’t be gigantic or puny, and it shouldn’t be crowded by other elements or lost in the mix. Place it top left and give it breathing room.

2. Color me simple – You don’t want to dump the entire box of crayons on your site. Shore up your color palette all across your site with 2-3 main colors that work well together.

Voila! There’s a favicon, the company’s logo mark is used to also mark the website itself. It’s a smart branding play and simple to execute.

Add one to help brand your website. Favicons are also used when your site is bookmarked.

Messaging

4. Clean up a headline – If there’s a muddy message where a clear and concise headline should be, clean it up and clarify.

5. Sliders be gone – If you have a multi-frame slider kicking off your home page, it’s time to nix that old trick. Determine your most compelling message and focus readers solely on it.

– Don’t know what your main message should be? Perform an A/B test and allow the results to guide this important decision.

7. Get to the point – Chances are you can easily find a page that’s overly wordy. Your busy readers appreciate brevity and clarity, so edit pages that are slow to get to the point.

Split Test A

In one corner we have A (above) and in the other we have B (below). One will produce better results, which effectively removes opinion or intuition from the equation and allows user interaction to guide the website improvement process.

Split Test B

8. Replace your stock – Do you have stock photography screaming, “we’re fake” on a key page? Put a more authentic image there.

9. Prove some points – If you’re stashing all your best testimonials and other forms of social proof on one predictable page or burying them deep, resurface them on popular pages where they’ll reach more eyeballs.

Testimonial pages don’t draw well, but testimonials on pages that do generate traffic perform a valuable role for increasing credibility.

Readability

10. Break it up – Even a wonderfully written page or post may feel monotonous if it’s not broken up into sections. Add subheadlines to improve readability.

11. Whiten and lighten up – Lighten the perceived “weight” of the copy by increasing white space between lines and sections. Avoid dreadfully long line lengths.

12. Bring in some bullets – Find a paragraph that’s overly dense and laborious to read and turn it into a skimmable list of bullet points.

Use a small number of elegant fonts consistently. Consider making the text a bit bigger.

Layout

14. Use a grid – Examine pages that contain multiple messages and make sure each earns a rightful place in your design hierarchy. Create an attractive grid with borders, backgrounds and column variations.

15. Relocate your social media icons – Put those social media chiclets somewhere that says we value you following us, but we value you visiting our website more.

Navigation

16. Too many items on the menu – Menus with an overabundance of choices may prompt users to make no choice at all. Demote items in the navigation to interior pages when possible.

Jump to it – Did you feel the need to write a massively long page? You can help readers navigate with a menu of links atop the page that “jump” straight to the relevant section.

18. Decrease defections – One way or another, usually as a result of a missing page or visitor mistake, a generic 404-error page is served. Make yours helpful with links to favorite pages to keep visitors from bailing on you.

19. Enable onsite search – If yours is a deep website or blog, add onsite search functionality to help readers find what they seek. (Doing so will also help you gather insights for content planning).

20. Serve up specific routes – If your site means to serve multiple personas, partners, clients, applicants, media writers, etc., create signs to point the way.

Conversion

Call out your call to action – Can you find a call to action (CTA) that doesn’t call attention to itself? Are some pages actionless?

22. Fussy forms – Generally, forms that don’t convert at the rate you ‘d like are simply too demanding. Remove fields that request information you really don’t need.

23. Slow growing email lists – If you’re trying to build an email list, carefully consider the tools and tactics used wherever you’re asking visitors to opt-in. Experiment with new value propositions until your subscription rates rise.

24. Email addresses are dangerous – You invite spammers to your inbox by publishing email addresses as CTAs. Put contact forms on pages from which you ‘d like visitors to connect.

25. Want foot traffic? – If you want site visitors to make actual physical visits to your store or office, offer a map and directions on your website.

Engagement

Watch this – If you’ve so far refrained from creating video for your site, make one. Your ‘About’ page is perfect place to insert your first video.

27. Promote sharing – Feature social media shares bars on your blog and make sure they can be found instantly. Turn the counters on.

Make links look like links – Have you tried to make hyperlinks an art form? Make them longer than one word to help make them obvious.

29. Add scroll cues – As more and more webpages are designed with border-to-border artwork single-column style, content below the fold is more likely to be missed. Add arrows or other visual cues to encourage scrolling.

30. Be there for your buyers – Far too many sites hoping to sell products and services make it cumbersome for prospects to get answers. When possible, man your website with a chat feature (and attendant).

pr 100 image

Site Speed

31. Got bloat? – Identify images that are bandwidth hogs and optimize them for an acceptable screen resolution and faster page loading.

32. An auto accelerator – Plugins such as WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache will cache parts of your site, so return visitors enjoy an even faster user experience.

Search Engine Optimization

33. Titles that matter – The title tags of your pages should describe the page and indicate relevance to search engines. Swap in meaningful keywords where pages are tagged generically with terms such as home, about, or services.

34. Descriptions that pull – If you find a page with no meta description, write a keyword-rich meta description you hope will attract clicks when it’s served as a snippet in search results.

35. Image alts – Search bots don’t see images, but will see the alt text (or tags) you mark them with so be sure use keywords and make this change to your nameless images.

36. Keep linking – You probably publish blog posts then move on to the next one. With each new topic and angle, your blog explores comes new opportunities to create internal links, so dig through older posts and optimize them further with new links to recent content.

37. Boost a second page post – Use your analytics to identify a post that ranks on page two of search. Give that post new life and greater search potential with something new: a video, expert quote, graphic, SlideShare or a new section.

Analytics

38. Get smarter – Google Analytics is an essential tool for monitoring your traffic, page views and goals. Make sure you have your tracking code in place.

39. Tool up – Search Console is another free tool Google offers to help you monitor, diagnose and optimize your site. Have it setup properly.

Go forth and improve your website

My job is done here. Now it’s your turn. Do something to improve your UX today.

It’s on you to create a user experience that engages visitors and converts them into leads, buyers and brand advocates. The process need not call for a website overhaul, but rather, a commitment to perpetual improvement.

Website user experience impacts your customers’ experience with your brand in a big way. A great user experience ensures visitors can find what they seek easily and fast.

Push Notifications WITHOUT an App??

Hey There!

I want to thank you for engaging with the Push Notification program! You will not be disappointed.

If you have a smart phone, tablet, and/or computer, you will have the ability to receive push notifications!

Now, you’re probably wondering, “What is a push notification?”

Great question…

Simply put, a Push Notification is an “alert” that a business owner or service provider sends out to their audience when they want to share new content or a sale of sorts.

Traditionally, if you wanted to use Push Notifications to reach out to your lists, you HAD to have a developer build you an app. We’ve all seen and used apps, however, what most people don’t know is that an app can run up a bill of $6,000 – $10,000!! That’s a big price tag.

We know that adapting to the Digital Marketing space is imperative to any business who wants to continue to achieve growth! After all, there isn’t a business on the planet that would refuse growth and more revenue, right?

Having said all that, we thought to ourselves, there’s got to be another way to harness this amazing tool and not have to spend thousands on app development!

Well, luckily, we were able to design a Push Notification platform without the need of an app! You read that correctly. And I will gladly give you the fun details in this document.

So without further ado, enjoy reading about our Push Notification system hack!

What Is a “POP” Notification & How Does It Work?

A “POP” Notification (or Push Notification) is a small pop-up that appears on the user’s computer desktop screen or on their mobile device. This notice will contain a title, a short message, and a link to follow.

Push Notification Image

These particular notifications appear above just down from the top of the user’s phone, but it could appear anywhere on a desktop, usually in a corner.

We wanted to incorporate the desktop side of the market because it opens up another 41% of prospects for businesses. Think about it, where do we spend the majority of our day between 8 & 5? Mostly in front of a computer screen! So, we decided to design code to implement for businesses to reach desktop users as well!

Unlike other forms of messaging, push notifications deliver an immediate prompt for the user to take action, and this notice appears right on their mobile device/desktop regardless of whether or not their browser is open.

A few weeks ago, the folks at Kahuna released some great data showing that up to 60% of users opt-out of push notifications. Now they’re releasing some new data on the click-through rates of push notifications, showing the differences between app categories and breaking down the reasons why some apps are so much stronger than others. They were gracious enough to share this data for the first time, as a guest post  on here – you can get in touch with the author, Alli Brian or Adam Marchick, Kahuna’s CEO.

The best apps know how to use push notifications to their advantage. They’ve figure out how to make their service part of their users’ daily routine, and they leverage push as a vehicle to do this.

Recent data from Kahuna reveals that push engagement rates vary widely across industries – utility and financial services apps seeing the highest performance, and retail and social experiencing the worst. Here’s a comprehensive look at the state of push engagement rates, as well as a roadmap for getting back on track if your app is trailing behind.

Here’s the data:

  • User engagement with these notifications (when appropriately timed) can be off the charts – as high as 80% increase!
  • Kahuna data reveals that customizing delivery time based on user preference results is an average conversion uplift of 384%.
  • Restaurants & retail are seeing a bump of over 37% in revenue once Push Notifications are properly implemented says, MailChimp.
  • Complex & invasive opt-in forms for IN-APP Push Notifications can increase opt-OUT rates by up to 40%…however, LOOKY does not operate within the structure of an app! Lucky you!
  • Because “POP” Notifications are on mobile and desktop, your “open rate” is always 100%! Before LOOKY, the best open rate for another digital marketing platform was email marketing at 44%.

To help you see the HUGE value of Push or POP Notifications, we wanted to give you a run down of engagement rates from other forms of Digital Marketing platforms:

Email Marketing

Email Marketing is the most widely used medium online. And statistically, is boasts a 44 to 1 ROI on every email sent, if programed properly.  So, we send emails to our customer list, advertising products and services, and ask our readers to take action.

While this method is “tried-and-true,” there are a few problems

with email as a method for getting our audience to take action.

There is often a few hours between when your customer receives the email

and when they act on it, not to mention that the average individual receives over 144 emails per day! I, personally, see twice that amount in just one day. So, you can imagine how some emails that you send out may get lost in the shuffle.

I’ll send an email out at 4pm, but most of the opens will occur between 6pm and 9pm. If I were sending out a time-sensitive message that I needed my audience to act on right now, most of them will miss this window!

Then there is also the matter of deliverability. Many emails simply do not make it to the customer’s primary inbox. Some will end up in the spam folder and how often do you personally check the spam folder? The end result is a missed message, and no action by your reader.

Email Marketing is a fantastic source of online marketing, however, if not done properly, you’re in for a long customer process!

Social Media

This is a very effective relationship building tool; however for time sensitive calls-to-action, Social media is an extremely poor solution unless you have cash in your marketing budget to put behind paid traffic solutions like AdWords or Facebook Ads.

While the audience tends to spend a lot of time on these platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,) most of them are not in a “buying mode.” Why? Because the rule of thumb (determined by social algorithms) is to share content 80% of the time and only sell 20% of the time. This way, your audience won’t unfollow you, but they see you as a credible source that they rely on for information.

And you should know that these social media platforms have terrible response rates. You’re often looking at somewhere south of a 1% response from your audience (However, it will be slightly more if you are engaging with any sort of paid traffic solution).

Social Media will best serve as your brand-building / reputation management platform, having a dialogue with them, rather than a notification or prompt for a call to action that will have a higher response rate.

SMS / MMS Marketing

I love SMS and have built quite an offline business servicing local restaurants & bars with SMS marketing. The reason this works is because most SMS will be read and addressed in the first couple of minutes after the message arrives on the audience’s device. VERY effective, right??

The problem is the limited way a person can follow-through on the action you ask them to take in a text message. There is no convenient way to act on an SMS / MMS in a timely fashion. Think about it. You send a promotional text message when the user is driving, or happens to be at work. If the action you’re asking them to take involves buying something, they are not going to pull off to the side of the road to make the transaction.

That user has to go back and take action on the message later. SMS is good for an in-the-moment prompt; like something that notifies the user, but it can’t ask them to take action during a moment in time.

A weekend long sale is a great example for SMS or MMS marketing because its a prolonged time allotment so that the user have time to plan around that notification.

Mobile Push Notifications (Different from our system)

Push notices are a powerful tool for reaching your mobile audience. It is an instant alert that pops up on the device’s screen, and sits in the notification tray of the device until cleared or takes the immediate action.

I’ve also done Push campaigns for my food service and nightlife clients and they delivered great response rates; however, you can typically only reach one audience – mobile users. Push notifications do not allow you to target your desktop users, which are about half of your audience, especially if they are at work like we mentioned earlier.

Desktop Notifications

So now that we’ve gone over the other notification mediums, what have you learned?

Well, we know that email is a great method, but can only target people who are available to act immediately on your message, providing they receive that message. And we see social media as more of a relationship management tool due to extremely low response rates. SMS has incredible uses and benefits, but doesn’t allow an easy way for the user to follow upon your offer. Likewise, Push messages affect only mobile users, require the user to be free to act, and ignores almost 50% of any audience.

Small Businesses Tend To Ignore 50% Of Their Audience When Using Digital Marketing Tactics

This gap is filled by using Desktop Notifications because it targets the users who are able to act right this second. It requires an Opt-in action, so it reduces complaints and qualifies our audience as someone who is interested. Having an interest is the first step you need your audience to take. These notices also allow the user to follow up on your offers, and it reaches 100% of the interested audience if they are available.

And get this:

Nobody in the mainstream sphere of offline marketing and online promotions are using desktop notification. This means that the environment for this medium is way less noisy than the others you and I discussed earlier.

It is a less crowded space, so notifications for your offer (or your client projects) can stand out in a sea of emails, text messages, and social media posts.

Put simply, desktop notifications drive traffic to your website projects and promotions in a creative and refreshing way.

And get this, too!

Business owners love a novel solution when they see it. The tired sales pitches of social media managers and SEO “wizards” is all noise to the business owner who has become deaf to these over-used tactics and offers.

Pro Tip: Novelty is a curiosity magnet. The power of novelty cannot be over-stated. Novelty can get people interested in things they normally would not have considered. This gives you the chance to hook them into a sales pitch, handle their objections, and make a sale.

Come at an audience with a fresh new solution with some real benefits (I’ll go over these in the sales pitch section) and you’ll earn yourself a client, customer, or sale.

Desktop notifications can drive web site traffic to your blog, and drive sales for your online products. They can be used to drive traffic to review videos that sell affiliate or white label products. They also drive customers to a business’ website or even compel the reader to walk through the front door of that business.

The uses of these notifications are practically endless. Any project that requires an audience to act now will benefit from them.

You have to understand that many of the businesses that would buy a Web Push service cannot afford nor have an interest in mobile applications.

We’re targeting companies that have an aversion to these mobile apps, and instead offering Web Push as a much more obtainable and practical solution.

If you are interested in increasing your audience engagement, while maintaining a FAIR cost, we are looking to engage with you as well! We whole heartedly believe in the power of this platform and encourage you to implement this process in your business ASAP!

We only have 25 slots left for this engagement engine so we would not recommend waiting…

Talk Soon!

Is Your Online Marketing Broken?

Quickly & effectively analyze your Social Media, Website, & SEO structures in order to maximize leads & sales!

Is a “Broken Website” really going to cost you money??

Yep….

A website SEO audit is a full analysis of everything related to your website’s level of search visibility. A complete and detailed audit will give you a deeper understanding as to why your site is not generating the traffic you think it should or why your sales and conversions are not improving.

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

Can’t I Just Use One Of Those Automated Reports?

There are many “automated” audit tools where you can do it yourself. You may visit other SEO or web developer websites and see a cool tool that says “What Is Your SEO Score” or “Get Your Free Website Analysis” – and then you put in your website URL and voila’ in a few minutes you have this really pretty report with some great information! While this can be a useful overview of your website these reports are meant to be “lead generation” tools and not meant to be a real audit. Often when you use these tools you will have to enter your email – or the report will come back showing issues and they encourage you to contact them for help.

These tools are in no way a true representation of the health of your website and do not offer you a real value in terms of what needs to be fixed to improve traffic and conversions.

Why Do I Need An Audit?

Over the last year we have seen incredible changes from the search engines in how they compute the search results when someone does a search. It used to be that you could just add keywords to your title tags and content and header tags – get a few back links and there you go you are ranking!

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

It is NOT AT ALL like that anymore and most business owners have not been able to keep up! There are hundreds of factors used by the search engines to determine how your site will be returned in the results. Some of the more recent additions to these factors include:

–Site speed

–Responsiveness

–Content

–Authority

(NOTE: Click the image to receive your FREE download!)

Does Social Media Marketing mean TROUBLE?

Ultimately, the results of a social media marketing audit should reconcile the difference between the current situation and where the brand social media efforts need to be. Just like the other online marketing audits companies will perform, a social media audit is not a “one and done” situation. They should be repeated periodically as part of being accountable for the social media investment.

Why do an audit? If you don’t know where you’re starting from, a lot of time and resources can be wasted improving things that don’t need it and neglecting things that really need your attention.

Who should do an audit? Companies that are new to social media marketing, companies that have been unorganized and uncoordinated in their social media marketing, companies that have used an outside agency and are pulling social media inside (or vice versa), or companies that have matured in their social media marketing and need to jump ahead a few steps.

Maintaining a social media presence can be a full-time job, which makes it kind of difficult if your full-time job requires your time and attention be spent elsewhere. Social media profiles can fall into disrepair quickly when left alone. An audit can help get things back on track.

On the flip side, there are those of you who actively maintain social media profiles and take great pain to keep everything updated and cohesive. Audits are helpful in these instances, too. They can serve as much-needed opportunities for reflection and growth.

Basically, audits are helpful for everyone, no matter where you’re at with your social media marketing.

(NOTE: Click the image to receive your FREE download!)

[IMPORTANT] SEO!

As Google gets more stringent with its penalties for everything from obvious link spam to having too high of a ratio of ads to content, getting a semi-annual or yearly site audit has become a business necessity. If you aren’t, you should be lest you get a surprise message from Google letting you know why your site visits have turned into an upside down hockey stick.

But just what is a site audit? What kind of audit do you need and what should you expect in the final report of the person auditing you? What follows is everything you need to know about website audits.

What is a Site Audit?

Site audits are, in the simplest terms, when you pay someone to forensically examine your site with tools and their eyes utilizing their knowledge and expertise to tell you what is good and what is not so good about your site (or as we say – where you have challenges and opportunities).

Download Your FREE 30-Minute Online Marketing Audit Here!

Types of Site Audits

There are many types of audits and they cannot all be covered here, but the most common types of site audits related to SEO needs are:

  • Site Health Audits: Assessing general site health or when there is a site health issue such as a downturn in traffic or positioning of unknown causation.
  • Red Flag Audits: Assessing a site for potential penalty issues. This should be part of a site health audit, but can be an audit unto itself.
  • Competitive Site Audits: Analyzing your site gaps, in its vertical and among your competitors to see what opportunities there are for site growth. Some will use this as a time to copy what their competitors do, but this can be a risky strategy.
  • Conversion Optimization Audits: Analyze conversion issues, which can be onsite or technical.
  • Negative SEO or Attacked Site Audits: Analyze downturns in site metrics when we know a site (or thought very likely) has been attacked by negative SEO methods.
  • Penalty and Recovery Audits: Analyze downturns in site metrics when a site is known (or thought very likely) to have been algorithmically or manually penalized.
  • Security Audits: Security audits for site vulnerability especially important in high-risk verticals and high value sites, but everyone should have one.

(Note: All of these can be part of the same audit, however these are how they are most commonly broken down when we receive client requests.)

Which audits are most needed? Site audits are all determined by a site’s needs. However all site audits should start with the Site Health Audit.

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5 Ways Financial Companies Boost Marketing Success

The “Financial Game” is littered with all kinds of firms claiming to do something different than the other. So as you can imagine, it’s pretty easy to get lost in the mix. Being that MatchPLUS eMarketing Group(MPeMG) deals with many financial firms as clients, we came across this article while doing some customer work & thought we’d share a few tips on how to separate yourself from the pack.

5 Ways Financial Companies Boost Marketing Success

James Daniels | April 1, 2016 | Video Email Marketing | No Comments

Financial companies benefit from having the right online marketing strategies in place. If you own a financial company, continue reading for five ways to boost your marketing techniques to increase profits.

1. Refine Your Email Marketing Strategy

Email marketing is a great way to connect with customers with whom you’ve already worked, as well as promote yourself to potentially new customers who are interested in what you have to offer them.

To make the most of your email marketing campaign, you should only email those people who have given you permission to do so. They may have signed up for your email list via social media or your website, for example. A good rule of thumb is: “Never send unsolicited emails.” 

21 Proven Conversion Tricks with eMail Marketing

Your emails should also be personalized with the recipient’s name, should be sent from an individual email address, should be formatted simply, and signed by the individual sender. Finally, include a strong call to action and references to current events, as well as helpful and relevant information that your recipients will appreciate. You also want to include a video in your email, as that has proven to increase engagement with viewers.

2. Advertise on Social Media Through Video

Many companies today are taking advantage of the opportunity to advertise products and services affordably on social media websites , from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

As a financial business, you can use social media video ads to target the audience that will be most interested in seeing your ads. This means that you make every dollar you spend on your video ad campaign work to your advantage. Video is one of the best ways to advertise to social media users, and is likely to result in many more likes and shares than a standard text based ad.

5 Steps To Build & Star In Your Own Video Marketing

3. Connect with People on Social Media

Another way that you can use social media to promote your financial company is by connecting with users who have addressed you directly or have mentioned you in a hashtag, whether they have positive or negative things to say about your company.

If you are a company that often has reviews from customers, reaching out to people who have complaints will give you the chance to make things right and salvage the relationship. Plus, this looks really good because it proves you care about your customers’ feelings.

Social Media Marketing 101 - Membership Site Graphic

4. Start a Blog and Use SEO

In addition to creating a website that’s attractive, functional, uncluttered, and easy to navigate, you should also set up a blog that you can fill with useful and relevant information that your customers would be interested in reading. This content should be helpful for learning about the industry, new ideas to help their business, and how your products and services can help them achieve their goals.

Establishing yourself as an expert in your field, and providing valuable information for free in this manner, entices more customers to want to work with you and trust you. Just be sure that you incorporate the latest SEO strategies throughout your website copy and blog so your site will rank high in search engine results.

5. Advertise Locally

Local websites, including directories of local businesses, can help put your brand in front of more people who would be searching for companies like yours. Therefore, focus your advertising on local customers, who need your help. This could help get more customers through your door.

So while you think about finding and investing in the right insurance to protect your company and financial business assets from companies as www.bizinsure.com, you can also watch it grow by boosting your marketing strategies on a consistent basis using intelligent marketing techniques.Local SEO - Membership Site Image

James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.

Of course, these items take some time to execute, however, getting them implemented into your marketing strategy early would be very wise. Believe it or not, the digital world is still in its infancy. We hope that you start seeing some success with these tips from James, however, if you’re having a hard time figuring them out or implementing them, relief is just a click away: Digitally Speaking – All of your Digital Marketing answers and needs in one convenient spot each month!

See You Inside!

Alex, MPeMG

Co-Founder & CMO

www.MPeMG.com

(412) 374-1558

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