Monthly Archives: November 2015

10 Practices to Create a Landing Page That Works

First thing’s first, if you’re still driving all your traffic to your home page stop what you’re doing! No matter who your target audience is, we promise they’re looking for a good online experience. You can be making much more efficient use of that traffic by creating customizable landing pages which are tailored to the needs and wants of your viewers, ‘tailored’ being the key word here. Anyone can build a landing page but it needs to be informative, appealing and relevant in order to work and ultimately convert. Here are 10 practices to create a landing page that works.

1) Know your audience. Identify who are they, what they want and how you can give it to them.

2) Know where they’re coming from. By knowing where your traffic is coming from you will be able to improve the positioning of your message and/or offers. You will also have a stronger understanding of your most effective market segmentations, allowing you to get to know your demographic better. Furthermore, by having different landing pages you can increase your SEO ranking as well as your lead generation by up to 12 times when done properly.

3) Have a purpose. Know what you’re hoping to achieve with this landing page. Are you offering them a promotion, do you want signups, do you want them to share your page? Knowing what the purpose is of your landing page will enable you to use proper CTA’s and drive them down the sales funnel.

4) Keep your message clean, concise and commendable. Your verbiage and your design should be informative and inviting. Your landing page is among the first interactive experiences you have with your viewers. Give them some quality content they can’t do without.

5) It’s not about you. Remember, it’s about your viewers. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine what you’d want as a consumer. We bet you’d want honest marketing, something visually appealing, relevant and engaging content, a sweet deal, a clear path guiding you how to get it and a pleasant experience along the way. Don’t offer anything less.

6) Okay, so it’s about you a little. If you have key features, endorsements, testimonials and/or other clients you want to brag about, let your viewers know. Stand apart from your competition by informing your viewers why they should choose you.

7) The power of sharing. You want to share relevant and worthy content with your viewers, that’s awesome! But don’t stop there. By adding the appropriate links to your social media channels, your viewers can share their experience with their network which will get your message out at a much faster rate.

8) Test & track. Your landing page success will come with A/B testing and tracking the results. You may want to consider testing the colors of your campaign, the size, shape and placement of your CTA button, your page’s visual cues, your headlines as well as the typeface you use. Don’t be afraid to switch up your approach to see what works best for your audience.

9) Be polite. Your viewers followed your advice; they clicked your CTA, they entertained your offer, they gave you their information – or at least their attention… go the extra mile and thank them for being part of your campaign’s journey. A bonus feature, additional content or an entry to a giveaway is always appreciated.

10) Don’t be greedy. Once you have your viewers’ attention it may be tempting to overwhelm them with information, you have so much to say after all! Try not to come on too strong, you risk losing their attention. Avoid these bad habits:

  • Pop-ups
  • Bombarding them with too much information
  • False promises (i.e.: saying it’s free when it’s not)
  • Switch-bait tactics (i.e.: offering one thing and giving them something else, using headline text that is not relevant to your page)
  • Asking for information you don’t need
  • Spamming them with emails once you have their email address
  • Making the opt-out process difficult

Hubspot released a list of 15 of the Best Landing Page Design Examples You Need to See, and their contenders are on point.

To build your own hassle-free landing page that works, check out Instapage, Get Response and Word Stream.


How to Build a Social Media Strategy That Actually Works

If you haven’t tapped into the power of Social Media Marketing, now is the time. Social Media is connecting people across the globe and has proven to be a consistently successful marketing channel for brands who use it properly. There’s more to it than just sending out a few tweets, posting an image on Instagram or sponsoring a post on Facebook. Social Media Marketing requires a well planned strategy of its own, which is why we want to inform you how to build a social media strategy that actually works

You might be questioning the value of Social Media Marketing and that’s good – you should question how your resources are spent, whether it’s time, money or both, but let us reassure you that there is great value when it’s done well. Here are a few reasons why:

1) Social Media provides numerous free platforms that allow you to strengthen your brand awareness.

2) Once your accounts are populated with great content, you will be able to build a community of dedicated brand advocates that will provide valuable consumer insights.

3) Social Media allows you to communicate with your followers. Take advantage of hearing what they have to say and contribute to the conversation. Addressing their support and concerns will set you apart from the competition.

4) Your community can and will be a great source for lead generation.

5) Well-crafted Social Media practices contribute to your overall search engine ranking.

Now that you’re on board the Social Media train, it’s time to explore building a strategy that works for you.

Step 1: Refer to your business goals. Every part of your marketing strategy, including your Social Media strategy, must contribute to the big picture. Every post should link to a goal, whether it’s educating your audience on your mission to give back to the community by posting a picture of them at the annual company food drive or increasing sales by driving them to a landing page that offers a promotion.

Step 2: Conduct a Social Media Audit. Auditing your existing accounts will paint a clear picture of what’s working and what’s not. It will help you assess where you should be focusing your efforts as well as areas that require improvement. This is crucial in the beginning phase of any company/brand’s social presence but is also important to do annually so you can keep track of your progression. Hootsuite made this process super easy with their auditing template.

Step 3: Embrace SMART goals. You have probably seen this acronym so many times and are likely cursing it right now but it is important in multiple phases of your overall marketing strategy. Each post or series of posts should have a goal. For example, if you want to communicate how dynamic your team is, you may want to post 3 photos a week of different team members, their interests and how they contribute. Determine how success will be measured, whether it’s likes, comments, shares, etc. and adjust your approach accordingly.

Step 4: Know your audience. This is key in every aspect of marketing. The more you know about your audience the better you’ll be at providing them with content they care about and will share with their network.

Step 5: Choose your channels. While there is an abundance of existing and emerging platforms, don’t get caught up in the trap of maintaining a presence on every one. Find 2-4 platforms that make the most sense for your demographic and focus on those.

Step 6: Be consistent. Your verbiage and visual representation should be consistent across all platforms. We recommend offering variations of the content you release on your different platforms to make each post unique. It is important that your content is in line with your brand’s identity at all times. It is also important to maintain themed visuals across your platforms so you can build brand recognition. To ensure proper visibility of your text, logo and design, check out Constant Contact’s cheat sheet.

Step 7: Keep track of your content. Based on your audience, their interests and their habits, create a content strategy, a distribution strategy and an editorial calendar. This will help you keep track of what content you’re putting out, how it’s being released and when you intend to release it. By planning ahead you will be better prepared for campaigns, holidays, promotions, etc.

Step 8: Engage your audience. Get your audience talking and sharing by switching up the content you release. A well balanced engagement strategy includes the use of relevant hashtags, sharing of images and/or infographics, videos, links, updates quotes and re-shares.

Step 9: Pay attention. Test different frequencies and timing of your posts to gauge how well and at what time(s) your audience interacts most with your brand. Analyse your efforts using Google Analytics Social Report. Evaluate your efforts and what can be done to improve your Social Media presence and constantly evolve. Not only do you need to stay on top of your own progress, you also need to be mindful of the ever-changing rules and regulations of social media platforms. It is essential to follow their guidelines to get the full benefits of their service. These guidelines can be found in the Terms and Conditions of the respective platforms.

Step 10: Automate. Once you have an idea of what and when you should be posting, automating your posts will save you time. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are great and they’re free!

Step 11: Keep one eye on the competition. Keep tabs on your competitors, the content they’re posting, the interaction they’re receiving and use that to your advantage. Use the insights from your competitors’ strategy to better that of your own. However, always be mindful that authenticity always trumps imitation when it comes to content.

As you can see, there is a lot of work that goes into building a Social Media strategy but it’s one of the few forms of advertising that gets your brand visibility among the masses. With proper practices, your brand can be directly in the palms of your consumers which can dramatically increase your overall growth.


11 Ways to Improve Your SEO

We know it’s important but what does it actually do? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of acquiring traffic from the free, organic, natural and editorial search results on search engines. Well performed SEO tactics results in improved search engine rankings. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing display primary unpaid search results that link to pages they consider most relevant. These are separate from the paid-search ads you see at the top of the results page. So as you can imagine, you want to optimize your SEO as much as possible so your site ranks as a relevant search, but how? Here are 11 ways to improve your SEO.

1) Know your demographic. This comes up a lot in marketing and rightfully so. Your consumers are the ones that keep you going, they’re what it’s all about. By knowing them and understanding what content interests them, you’ll have a better idea of what you should offer. Furthermore, the more relevant your content is for your intended user, the more authority and relevance you earn.

2) Create incredible content. Content comes in many forms; blog articles, infographics, whitepapers, e-books, videos, etc. Make sure what you’re putting out there is creative, thought provoking and most of all authentic. There is no substitute for incredible content, don’t bother looking for a short cut.

3) Make it viral! Okay… so viral is a term that’s way overused and rarely can it be fabricated. For something to go viral it typically needs to spread by organic interest. With that said, your content needs to be shareable. If it has any chance of being a viral piece of content, people need to be able to share it and link to it.

4) Choose appropriate wording. Pay attention to the keywords and phrases people use when searching for similar products and/or services, this will allow them to find your content with ease. Be sure to do proper keyword research, it is crucial to your SEO success. Also be sure to use natural language, if your keyword integration seems forced, try another angle – no one likes phony placement. You can use bold, italics and heading tags to emphasize the keywords in your content but this practice must be handled with care and not overdone.

5) Keep the ball rolling. Consumers love the flow of great content, so do search engines. Up to date content is one of the biggest indicators of site’s relevancy. It’s good for your consumers, good for search engines and good for you, everyone wins!

6) Have a link worthy site. For quality sites to link to your content, your site needs to be high quality as well so they’re able to maintain their reputation. The aesthetics and navigation of your site should be up to industry standards but more importantly, you should focus on relevant links to your content within the text. Key words within the link will improve your search engine ranking.

7) Don’t buy links. Quantity of links have a great impact on your site’s ranking so it might be tempting to buy links but don’t do it! Buying and selling links actually goes against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and will do more damage than good.

8) Be equipped with Webmaster Tools. If you haven’t yet, register with Google and take advantage of their webmaster tools. If webmaster lingo is foreign to you, check out this great guide by Kissmetrics which simplifies the process.

9) Set up Google Authorship. If you write online for multiple sources, Google Authorship allows you to get credit for the content you put out. According to a study done by Catalyst Search Marketing, this tool has the ability to increase your clicks by up to 150%.

10) Optimize your site’s load speed. Not only can this affect your ranking but you can easily lose customers if your site takes too long to load especially for mobile users. For a detailed report of your site’s load speed and how you can improve it, use a service like Pingdom or Google’s PageSpeed Insights .

11) Improve your metadata. Metadata is essentially behind-the-scenes data that describes the data that appears on your site. It allows you to keep track of titles, descriptions, keywords, length of the document, when the document was created, who the author is and it serves as an overall summary of the data your consumers see. Proper metadata practices improves the user experience, which allows your site to rank higher. To optimize your site’s metadata consider the following:

Title metadata:

Arguably the most important metadata on your site, the title metadata corresponds with the page titles displayed at the top of your browser window. It’s a good idea to use keywords in your title.

Description metadata:

This data is a textual description of the contents of your page when it appears in a search result. This data will entice viewers to stick around so it should be short, sweet and engaging.

Keyword metadata:

This is where your keyword research will come in handy. This data is responsible for improving your ranking when people are searching for information based on keywords and phrases. You should include a variety of phrases but don’t overdo it because too many phrases will be disregarded by the search engine. We recommend 6 phrases with a combination of 2-4 words, for example “social media marketing”

For a deeper look into the world of SEO, Search Land offers a comprehensive breakdown of the key components in their Table of SEO Success Factors.