Tag Archives: Marketing Tips

Email Marketing Is Far from Dead: Here’s Why

Is Email Marketing Dead - Eminent SEO

Many marketers are quick to tout the power of social media. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram provide quick and easy avenues for engaging our customers. When it comes to building a brand, there are few better outlets than social media. Facebook has roughly 1.7 billion users, according to Statista, and it’s hard to compete with that kind of reach.

While Snapchatting and tweeting may seem like best way to attract new clientele, one area where social media lags is measurable returns in the form of sales. Social media helps indirectly: It starts and drives conversions to get people in your industry thinking about your niche.

Email marketing, however, is often where you turn those visitors into customers. If social media gets your customers in the door, email marketing is responsible for making them loyalists.

On this Halloween, let’s investigate the claims of email marketing’s supposed death.

The Case for Email

Social media is undoubtedly a marketing revolution, but there’s a reason we keep turning to email: According to research from Campaign Monitor, every $1 spent on email marketing yields $8 in return.

And while we may twist our hands trying to compose the perfect viral status update, the same research shows email does more than simply edge out the competition when it comes to acquiring new customers. It squashes it. Email is actually 40 times more effective at gaining paying customers than social media.

Why, then, do we spend the bulk of our efforts perfecting our social media campaigns? It may be the result of several misunderstandings we have about modern email marketing.

Email Marketing Myths and Truths

91 Percent Of Consumers Check Email Daily - Eminent SEO

Marketers sometimes shy away from email because it suffers from two common misconceptions:

  • They think email marketing is spam.
  • They think it’s too “old school.”

Yet, statistics say otherwise. Consider the following:

Everyone Uses Email

Millennials are often a group we try to engage due to their massive buying power. They’re also the group most likely to check their emails in bed (70 percent), in the bathroom (57 percent), and in the car (27 percent), according to Adobe. Some other compelling facts about email:

  • Gmail alone has more than 1 billion users, with more than 90 million users who access their account(s) from a mobile device.
  • Ninety-one percent of all consumers report checking their email daily.
  • Worldwide, there are 4.3 billion email accounts sending 196 billion emails each day.

Email Drives Lead Conversions

Statistically, email is more likely to create paying and repeat customers. Email marketing was responsible for the most Black Friday transactions in 2015. Nearly a quarter of those sales originated from the marketing channel, according to Custora.

These Black Friday sales facts are especially important when we consider:

  • Nearly 90 percent of marketers say email is responsible for most of their lead generation.
  • Email marketing ROI can be as high as 4,300 percent.
  • More than three-fourths of consumers say they prefer marketing-related communication to be over email.

Clearly, email is still relevant. Making it work for you is simply a matter of sending the right email, to the right person, at the right time.

Crafting the Perfect Email

Your email marketing campaign can be streamlined into four steps:

  1. Find your audience
  2. Segment your contacts
  3. Pick the right time to click “send”
  4. Turn that lead into a customer

It sounds simple enough, but it will require some legwork on your part.

Find Your Audience

Email Blasts Entire List Or Segment - Eminent SEOWe obviously want to know whom we’re marketing to, and you likely already have an idea of who your brand attracts. But marketers sometimes fall into the “Field of Dreams” approach: “If you build it, they will come.”

Creating great content might organically draw people to your brand, but is it attracting the people you want to be your customers?

Understanding your target audience requires some introspection. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What problems do we solve?
  • Who are our current customers? What are they like?
  • Who is our competition?
  • What do we do that our competitors don’t?

Answering these questions helps determine who is going to read your content, as well as why they should choose your product or service over that of your competitors.

Segment Your Contacts

Why is segmenting so important? Research from HubSpot suggests targeted emails received 62 percent more clicks than non-segmented ones.

If you’re in the B2B community, you should segment by:

  • Company size
  • Type of company
  • Industry

Alternatively, you can choose to segment by role: function, seniority, department.

If you’re selling directly to the consumer, use that marketing intelligence. Social media data and SEO search terms will help you segment your contact list. Remember, your email list naturally decays by about 25 percent each year, according to HubSpot, so continually pursue campaigns to keep it fresh and to add subscribers.

Pick the Right Time to Click ‘Send’

Timing is everything, and email marketing is no exception. Sending the right content at the right time is a matter of finding the opportune spot in your targeted buyer’s journey. Here are some examples:

  • In the awareness stage, you’re nurturing leads. Let potential customers see the value in your product or services with free tools, eBooks, videos or SlideShares.
  • If a potential customer is already familiar with your brand, you need to let them know what makes you better than the competition. Add links in your emails to white papers, webinars, case studies, or reviews from third parties.
  • Why should a customer choose you, for the first time or once again? Offer free trial information, demos, price quotes or ROI reports.

Turn that Lead into a Customer

Lead nurturing is simple: It’s the process by which you cultivate a relationship with a potential customer so they’ll choose you when they’re ready. According to data from HubSpot, nearly three-fourths of B2B leads aren’t sales ready. Most of your prospects require nurturing, so create emails that add value.

The Importance of Mobile

60 Percent Of Adults Check Email First Thing In Morning - Eminent SEO

If your email marketing campaign isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re far behind the curve. A 2015 survey by BlueHornet found emails that aren’t optimized for mobile will fail: More than 80 percent of recipients hit delete, and another 30 percent unsubscribe.

On the other hand, 63 percent of consumers report more interest in buying a product when it looks good on their mobile device.

Since 2011, the number of email opens on mobile devices has increased by 30 percent. In fact, nearly 60 percent of adults report checking their email first thing in the morning – in bed, or over a cup of coffee.

We no longer live in a world where we sit down at our desktop to read through emails. Everything we do is on the run, so emails must be optimized for mobile and easy to digest.

Video and Images Improve Click Rates

Consumers are more likely to interact with emails that contain images and video. According to Emma Email Marketing, adding a video can increase your click rate by 300 percent. While 35 percent of users report they prefer text in their emails, the majority (65 percent) state they prefer emails to contain mostly images. Therefore, make your emails all the more attractive by including one or both of these elements.

Personalization Is the Watchword

Email Subscriber Lists Naturally Decay 25 Percent Each Year - Eminent SEO

Want to get a prospect to open your email? The key is personalization. Consumers expect to be referred to by their first names: It shows a brand knows exactly who they are. It also helps if you send an email from a real person, not a general company name.

Research shows that personalization can help improve click rates by 26 percent. Consumers also expect to receive personalized content. It’s what makes segmentation so important.

Campaign Monitor reports that almost 75 percent of consumers feel frustrated when they receive content that doesn’t appear to be relevant to their interests. This is why three-fourths of all enterprises invested in personalized messaging in 2015. Also, personalization can reportedly lead to a 760 percent increase in ROI.

Email Isn’t Dead

Email is, and should continue to be, an essential part of your inbound marketing strategy. The right personalized email turns prospects into leads, and leads into customers.

Successful email campaigns address the right audience at the right time in their buying journey. Optimizing for mobile, as we’ve seen, can also make the difference between a sale and a deletion.

Don’t underestimate the power of email in your marketing campaign. While social media is important for creating brand awareness, emails net paying customers.

Not sure where to begin? Eminent SEO can help you with your email marketing strategy and content. Click to learn more about our Email Marketing Services.

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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7 Elements to Look for in an Evolving Marketing Agency – and How to Avoid Being Left Behind

Futuristic Evolving Marketing Agency - Eminent SEO

Marketing practices have dramatically evolved over the years, and it looks like changes within this industry are not slowing down any time soon. The boom of the internet has rapidly altered the way we target niche audiences, which means that expectations for marketing agencies have shifted. Clients are expecting a much more symbiotic relationship in which the marketing agency is held accountable for its actions, or inaction.

Building Trust is Key!

Key Icon Orange - Eminent SEOWhen perusing the internet for a specific need, customers support the companies they feel are transparent and which have a simple and effective solution for their dilemma. The same idea applies when shopping for a marketing agency to boost a company’s online presence.

You want your marketing firm to show transparency and point out any inefficiencies in your current tactics or approach. Gone are the days of simply clocking hours and sending an invoice. Clients are looking for creativity, speed and efficiency, as well as an agency that can be proactive rather than trying to keep it “business as usual.”

Just Keep It Simple

With so many new technologies to track demographics, results, etc., marketers will have to take the initiative and become proficient in these programs and software to alleviate client stress. There’s just too much for the average client to keep up with. By becoming the expert, marketers are able to simplify the tasks of the client to save them time and labor dollars, as well as the stress of trying to learn new programs.

Pricing Structure and Effectiveness

Moving forward, evolving marketing agencies are beginning to get hip to the idea of pricing based on effectiveness rather than productivity. Clients now are looking for outside-the-box thinking and proactivity in their campaigns, and many of these tactics aren’t “billable.”

It’s easy to track time spent, projects completed, dollars per hour, etc., but how exactly do you bill a suggestion to change a strategy or creativity? Well, agencies sure are figuring this out if they want to stay relevant!

What About Content Marketing?

Content marketing has evolved and become much more intuitive and niched. Advances in technology have allowed this new generation of marketing to move at lightning speed to rival the shortened attention spans of millennial users.

Content marketing isn’t as simple and direct as it has been in the past. Marketers now have the ability to actually reach out to their demographic of consumers with features like geo-fencing and push notifications. This type of proactive and intuitive marketing allows businesses to gain more traffic by identifying their customers and sending them valuable content, rather than waiting to be searched for.

The Rise of Technology in Content Marketing

The rapid and relatively recent explosion of technology continues to challenge marketing agencies to improve their strategies by providing immediate feedback, tracking and general analysis of websites and content. Since a major goal of content marketing is to generate interest in and traffic on a particular website, simply tracking final sales would be an inaccurate and incomplete measure of success.

Evolving marketing agencies need to look for programs and software that provide enough information to be able to shift tactics in a reasonable time frame, so that they avoid investing time and money into a failing venture.

How Does an Evolving Marketing Agency Measure the Value of Its Content?

Measuring Tape Icon Orange - Eminent SEOThis is a tough question to answer since there isn’t a clear distinction between digital and traditional marketing anymore. Compelling content isn’t as simple and straightforward as it used to be. It isn’t just informational; it’s personal. It requires much more creativity and must possess an empathetic tone to customers.

Keep in mind, however, that the same blueprint cannot and will not work the same for each business. This is why it is imperative for agencies to invest in content creation and stop thinking of it as an expense.

The need for journalists with strong PR backgrounds is also on the rise. This particular skill-set is essential in creating the right type of content to generate “clicks.” The initial investment in this type of content has the potential to drum up business for years to come.

The Blurred Lines of Media Convergence

Another development that evolving marketing agencies need to keep their eyes on is the convergence of media platforms. This means that several current platforms will eventually blend into a single digital form. As this happens, content will become more diversified and the quality and value at which it is produced will increase.

The downside, however, is that as information becomes streamlined, many demographics will become underrepresented and unheard from. Those controlling the technology driven industry run the risk of losing potential customers when content is no longer relevant to diverse markets.

The Business-to-Business Element

As if the marketing game hasn’t changed enough, another element to consider is B2B, or business-to-business marketing. Creating value is the name of the game. Many companies are beginning to understand that other businesses are a huge source of revenue for them. However, some are now realizing they can’t market to a business the same way they market to an individual consumer.

B2B marketing promotes the sale of goods and services to other businesses in a way that adds value to the prospective client’s practices. The trick is to market in such a way that a business that purchases your product becomes willing to endorse your name. You have to make it clear what’s in it for them.

The Change Is Here

Max Monster Looking Out To Future - Eminent SEOThe content marketing arena has proven to be an aggressive force in redefining the slowly dying career track of journalism. Subsequently, evolving marketing agencies are currently paving the way for the future of their industry by quickly adapting to the technological advances in our ever-advancing digital world. Companies must be able to understand how their audiences are receiving and responding to their messages, so they must hire agencies that can provide compelling and creative avenues to reach a range of consumers.

The expectation of marketing agencies is changing, as are the litany of challenges they face in staying ahead of their competition. These agencies are required to be much more transparent and show more empathy toward potential clients. Evolving marketing firms are learning to get out of the driver’s seat and instead walk hand-in-hand with their clients. The relationship is changing, but if agencies and their clients can learn to meet in the middle, the result will be a new and satisfied customer – which is the greatest result of all.

Looking for a marketing agency that offers customized solutions for your needs and meticulously tracks all results while maintaining the utmost transparency? Talk to Eminent SEO today at 800.871.4130.

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Like It or Not, Vertical Video is Here to Stay: How Marketers, Brands Can Adjust

Vertical Video - Upright Or Sideways - Eminent SEO

Trying to watch an entire video that was shot vertically might be like nails on a chalkboard to a design expert or videographer. However, much to their chagrin, vertical video has expanded well beyond Snapchat and isn’t going away anytime soon.

It seems to fly in the face common of sense, but a market has emerged for vertical video. Just a few years ago, most of us were making the switch from 4:3 monitors and television sets to widescreen versions. Now, a significant amount of the media we watch and interact with is being presented vertically, not horizontally.

How did this happen? You can credit (or blame) mobile devices for this movement. As our smartphones have gotten more powerful and as most families own at least one tablet device, we are quickly moving toward a mobile-first world.

Let’s take a look at the arguments for vertical video, why the format will likely be around for years to come, and how advertising and marketing departments can capitalize on the movement. But, before we do that, let’s look at why vertical video gets the goat of so many who claim to be experts in the aesthetics of moving imagery.

Why Vertical Video Sucks

You may have thought we’re living in a widescreen world, but the vertical video movement is pushing back at that notion.

How did this happen? A common complaint about trying to watch a video in this format goes to the effect of, “My eyes aren’t stacked vertically on my head!”

Yes, we naturally see the world horizontally. We generally like to see the full context and background of whatever subject on which we happen to currently have our focus. This explains why television screens and computer monitors have evolved to replicate, as closely as possible, our natural field of vision.

Yet, more and more people are serving up video in a vertical format. You can thank apps like Snapchat and Periscope for this phenomenon, or maybe just blame the orientation of smartphones and perhaps sheer laziness by their owners.

Vertical video has been getting on consumers’ nerves for several years now. Some even claim that the format is evidence of a rise of narcissism in society, since it’s usually one person filming themselves. In 2012, a popular video was released that claims to be a public service announcement on “Vertical Video Syndrome.”

“Vertical videos happen when you hold your camera the wrong way,” the lighthearted, humorous video says. “Your video will end up looking like crap,” it adds.

This so-called PSA came out about a year after the creation of Snapchat. Even then, its creators recognized that too many smartphone users were forgoing turning their devices sideways when shooting video. Today, vertical video is even more prominent, and many former horizontal advocates are finally giving in.

Perhaps the reason vertical video gets on the nerves of so many is quite a few of us think in terms of YouTube when consuming and producing visual content. A vertical video might play well on a phone, but once if it gets uploaded to YouTube, an excessive amount of pillarboxing (empty, black bars on the left and right) accompanies the footage inside the video player.

Why Vertical Video Does Not Suck

Let’s put aside any personal distaste for vertical video for a moment and take a level-headed look at why the format is excelling and why it legitimately has a place in today’s digital world.

Cellphones are getting larger and larger, and they’re getting harder to hold steadily in one hand, even for those of us with large hands. Turning the phone sideways to shoot video almost always takes two hands to operate the device, and there are certain times where that’s a luxury some users just don’t have. Shooting a video with the phone held upright can usually be accomplished with one hand, so there’s little reason to fault people for not being gung-ho about turning the phone horizontally.

Also, sometimes framing a video vertically just makes sense. It works for certain photos, after all. If you really want to get a tight focus on a single subject – a person or an object – then a vertical orientation could work really well. And it’s not just that it can work really well, it is working really well in the current smartphone- and tablet-laden environment, as more and more users are feeling comfortable with watching and shooting such videos.

This tweet sums up the best situations in which to shoot a vertical video:

Several Signs that Vertical Video Is a Legit Movement

You don’t have to look too far to see that vertical video is a viable movement and isn’t going away any time soon. Here are a few examples that extend beyond the realms of Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat, etc.:

Vervid

Vervid is a website and iPhone app that allows users to create and share short videos with an aspect ratio of 9:16 (as opposed to the widescreen dimensions of 16:9). This company appears to be on a mission to make vertical video a mainstay.

Verly

Verly is an online marketplace for stock vertical imagery, with video clips available across 30 different categories and ranging in price from $15 to $79.

Verly Vertical Video Screenshot

Vimeo

You will see pillarboxing around a vertically-shot video on the desktop version of Vimeo, but the video controls actually fit inside the narrow frame with the actual footage, rather than spread across the entire media player, as seen on YouTube.

Vimeo Vertical Video Screenshot

Vertical Film Festival

The Vertical Film Festival takes place in Austrailia and features short, 9:16 submissions. The festival is actually coming up on its second annual celebration, which will take place on May 21, 2016.

Vertical Film Festival Australia

Photo from the 1st annual Vertical Film Festival in Australia. (Facebook Photo/Vertical Film Festival)

Vertical Video Trailers

A YouTube account named “Vertical Video Trailers” has emerged, where it appears the account creator has just taken the traditional trailers of movies and cropped them to fit a vertically oriented device. These clips will have pillarboxing when viewed on a desktop, but if you take them full screen on your phone, they will fill out the available space.

The Stats Back it Up

If the above examples are a little too anecdotal to convince you of vertical video’s newfound prominence, let take a look at a few statistics provided by Snapchat and Verly:

  • Vertical video ads are watched all the way through 9 times more than horizontal video ads on Snapchat.
  • Smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94 percent of the time.
  • Brands that are producing vertical video are seeing a 73 percent average completion rate.
  • Viewing of vertical content has jumped 600 percent over the last five years.
  • More than 7 billion video clips are viewed daily on Snapchat, a majority of which are vertically filmed.
  • Consumers use vertically oriented devices 30 percent of the time, up from just 5 percent in 2010. This means desktop, laptop and television screens aren’t dominating consumers’ attention the way they used to.

What About YouTube?

Last year, a Business Insider video producer created a vertical video about vertical video and embedded the YouTube version on his company’s website without any pillarbox showing.

Business Insider YouTube Vertical VideoHowever, if you click to see the video directly in YouTube, a significant amount of pillarboxing fills the widescreen frame.

This indicates that Business Insider must have adjusted the video embed code so the clip shows up perfectly on the page with its accompanying article. In fact, if I dig into the source code of the page, it looks like the width of the video player was changed to 400 pixels and the height changed to 711.

So, while you can manipulate the code of a vertical YouTube video to display correctly on your own site, it won’t look all too great on the popular video platform itself unless you’re viewing it on a phone and you make it full screen. If vertical video creators can eventually convince YouTube to fully cater to their 9:16 content, there’s no telling how far the format will continue to go. But, so far, YouTube is still a little behind the curve, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

How Advertisers, Marketers Can Capitalize on Vertical Video’s Success

Although you can certainly find examples of vertically-shot video and content pre-2010, the format’s viability is currently undeniable in today’s digital climate.

It’s still a rather fresh trend, so brands are still trying to figure out how to capitalize on the format’s success. If you’re in advertising or marketing, keep reading for a few ideas on how to get you started with creating and leveraging vertical video.

Leveraging Snapchat

Many media companies are on Snapchat Discover to provide video and photo content for users on this platform. Your company can try to get on Snapchat Discover, or if you’re a smaller business, you’ll just make a pleas for your Facebook or Twitter followers to find your Snapchat business account. Be sure to hide your phone number, as it will likely be one person whose personal phone will be logged in as the business.

However, make sure your business’s Snapchat Stories can be viewed by the public, not just “friends” of the company. If you can see Stories and individual snaps by users who have friended the company, feel free to interact appropriately and keep your brand on the mind of these users.

Shooting Other Vertical Content

Perhaps, your company periodically shares video to its social accounts, just maybe not vertically oriented clips. You can start changing that today.

Videos shot vertically will play well in Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram. You don’t always have to shoot such videos with a phone, either. You can use a higher-powered camcorder and just turn the device 90 degrees, or find a tripod where the camera mount can tilt and still hold the device sideways.

Better yet, use your camcorder to shoot a video with a landscape orientation. And when you have a single subject within a certain shot, just keep it in the focal point in the middle of the frame. This way, you can always crop the footage to a vertical orientation using video-editing software.

You can then share that video to Facebook, Twitter and such, but you have options if you want to use the widescreen version for other platforms, such as YouTube. Companies like Mashable, Vox and National Geographic are known for shooting videos horizontally but cropping some of them down to appear vertically on certain platforms.

Video Length

Vertical video seems to work best for brands when clips are short – as in 1 minute or less. If you look at the submissions to last year’s Vertical Film Festival, most of those “films” didn’t even linger past 3 minutes. While more content consumers are opening up to vertical video, the clips are still difficult for the average viewer to watch for long periods of time.

If you don’t shoot video too often, you can get started by purchasing vertical content from the aforementioned Verly and then adding graphics or a few seconds of your own footage to the mix. Producing high-quality vertical video can help your company succeed on mobile and open itself up to new audiences.

It’s Good to Have Options

Personally, I find vertical video hard to take in, other than on Snapchat and maybe Twitter. However, after digging deeper into the trend, it’s not hard to see the value and the opportunity the format provides, even though it does take some getting used to.

Are we going to start seeing tall, narrow movie theater screens, desktop monitors and TVs? Not likely, although monitors that can rotate 90 degrees may start gaining popularity.

Now that we know vertical video is viable, it’s just another tool in the arsenal when it comes to how to shoot and produce footage that can be used on social media, a company’s website, a presentation, etc. Whether a video needs to be vertical comes down to:

  1. The device you’re using,
  2. The type and number of subjects you’re recording, and
  3. How you want users to view the final product.

A general design rule applies here: If it’s the right format for the right context, it’s usually a success. User experience can go well beyond a website and now apply to the format of videos as well. Whether you personally like vertically filmed video, as marketers and video creators, it’s time to adapt or get left out of the frame.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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Vol. 47: Eminent SEO Celebrates 6 Years, New Hire, What’s New in SEO

Eminent SEO News

Eminent SEO 6-Year Anniversary
October marks our anniversary! Six years ago this month, we launched as an SEO-focused agency out of Mesa, Arizona. Not to be held back by the country’s recession, we’ve steadily grown into a full-service digital marketing agency. We are blessed to have made it this far, and we’re ever grateful to our many amazing clients, partners, team members and anybody who has supported us along the way.

Here’s to big things in year number 7 and to many great years to come. Cheers!

New Hire: Social Media Assistant

The Eminent team is growing, as we hired Social Media Assistant Stephanie Samson in September!
Eminent SEO New Hire Stephanie Samson
Stephanie supports the social media department with marketing strategies and campaigns for clients and Eminent’s social accounts. Stephanie is skilled in social sharing techniques for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ and more. She joins Eminent after graduating from Northern Arizona University last fall.
Learn More About Stephanie

What’s New in SEO: Rich Snippets on the Rise in Google Search Results

If you have structured markup in the code of some or all of your web pages, it could produce rich snippets when users see a link to your content on a search engine results page (SERP). Rich snippets are elements such as five-star ratings, images, video previews and more that show up in the search results on Google or Bing. Think of typing in the name of a song and seeing a preview to a YouTube video show up in your search results.

A new study by Blue Nile Research finds that pages with rich snippets that land in spot No. 2 on a SERP get clicked on more often (61 percent) than a rich snippet-less result in the top position (48 percent), contrary to the usual line of thinking where the first result almost always gets clicked more than any other. Additionally, while Google doesn’t currently move a result higher just for having structured markup and data, a webmaster trends analyst for the company said in Google+ Hangout that the search engine may eventually add those characteristics to its algorithm, and certain pages would then rank higher because they generate rich snippets. If you’re not sure how to make your web pages produce rich snippets, now’s the time to start figuring and testing it out.

September Social Media Roundup

In September, we celebrated Labor Day with some relaxation and National Coffee Day with a cup of joe. Through our social media accounts, we also aimed for laughs and motivation throughout the month. Check out the best of our social media posts from September:
Every Day Im Hustlin - Max Monster - Eminent SEOHappy Labor Day - Meg - Eminent Social Media

Now Not Yesterday Or Tomorrow - ESEO

Facebook Policy Hoax - Batman Slap Robin

September Marketing Blog Roundup

Our September blog posts aimed to provide you with valuable tips and information on improving your company’s digital presence – through website backlinks, social media sharing, blogging and more. Also, we took a look back at the evolution of our brand mascot, Max the Monster. If you missed the latest blog posts from our Eminent family of sites last month, see the highlights below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Eminent SEO blog if you haven’t already.

The Max, The Myth, The Legend: The Evolution of a Brand Strategy

The changes we have made with our brand mascot, Max the Monster, since he was introduced in 2010 reflect the growth of our company. Take a look back with us at the evolution of Max, and see what that could mean for YOUR business, as well.

How to Earn Backlinks with Valuable Website Content

Trying to get your website to rank higher in the search results? You’re going to need some strong backlinks to make your case to Google. See how to create “link bait” that encourages other sites and web users to link to you, and then you’ll start to shine in the search rankings.

How to Get Them to Like You, Really Like You on Instagram

Many businesses are starting to stretch their social media efforts to Instagram, but not all of them are seeing a strong return on their time investment. Read how to optimize each of your posts on Instagram so that users will be drawn to liking and commenting on your content more than ever.

How to Never Run out of Content Ideas for Your Blog and Website

No matter the field, business websites are best served by keeping an ongoing, frequently-updated blog – for SEO and traffic purposes. Are you in a rut when it comes to finding topics to blog about? Look here for where to find some new sources of inspiration.

Why You Should Consider Keeping Your Ugly Website As Is

Does your company have an ugly or outdated website? Well, don’t jump the gun on rolling out a complete redesign. See why you should tread with caution before rebuilding your site with new navigation and a more modern design.

Featured Service: Social Media Management and Marketing

Social media can be fun, but it can also be confusing or even overwhelming, especially to businesses trying to maintain several social accounts. Social media gives you a chance to increase your online visibility, brand awareness and website traffic, because it’s many aspects of business operations rolled into one: marketing, sales, public relations, advertising and even customer service. If your company isn’t on social media or is only doing Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to draw attention to your brand and generate new sales leads.
Social Media Statistic - Eminent SEO
Turn over the reins to your social accounts and let us grow your audience and increase interaction. We can build a package for you that incorporates as many social platforms as you’d like, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and much more. You can put your social media efforts in our hands, and that will leave you with more time to focus on the other areas of your business that you know best!

Find out more by visiting our Social Media Management page, or just call us direct and tell us about your social media needs today: 800.871.4130.

Until next time, see ya online!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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The Differing Strategies of B2C and B2B Sales and Marketing

Differences Between B2B And B2C Companies - ESEO
A sale is a sale. You may have different ways of getting there, but as long as you make the intended sale, the means of getting there hardly matter, right?

Well, if you’d like to consistently make more of those sales, understanding your target market and the best strategies to employ are going to be imperative. First of all, are you hoping to sell a specific product or service to another business, or is your product for mass consumption? In other words, are you in a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) organization?

If you’re not sure, you’d better figure it out pretty quickly. But, you probably do know, so let’s get deeper into the differences between the two outlooks. Keep reading to find out how the strategies of B2B and B2C companies differ when it comes to marketing and ultimately making a sale.

The Target Markets of B2C and B2B Companies

B2B-oriented companies usually boast a specific offering or set of offerings, and, therefore, they tend to have a narrow, highly targeted audience. For example, a company that produces large medical machinery will likely target hospitals and perhaps some private practices. There’s no reason a business of this sort would market to individual consumers, who would have no need for these appliances at home.

B2C businesses, however, usually market to a large audience of individual consumers. While there are ways to home in on a more-focused audience, these companies generally have to market in a way that has mass appeal. Some companies design products with a specific end user in mind, while others churn out products that are really for anybody and everybody. Whichever type of business it is, it’s all about making that sale and keeping revenue coming in.

The Logical Vs. Emotional Appeal

Although B2B and B2C companies both want to offer a product that solves a customer’s problem, the paths they take to get there are often very dissimilar. When it comes to B2B sales, companies generally make a logical appeal to try to sell to other businesses. These organizations put more time into building relationships and providing educational resources, hoping those efforts will elicit a sale. B2B firms tend to offer products or services that are more complex and expensive than what B2C companies provide, but the former group must spend more time educating prospective clients how the product can help their business.

A prime example of how to market a B2B business is the social media agency Social Quant, which actually focuses exclusively on Twitter. Many businesses are on Twitter, but many businesses don’t know how to use Twitter, especially when it comes to building a high-quality following. That’s where Social Quant comes in.

The Twitter-focused agency doesn’t spend all of its time making a pitch for its services, though. Its blog posts and eBooks offer innumerable tips on how to use Twitter, which any user (business or individual) can benefit from. Ultimately, Social Quant is educating the public and building up a certain level of trust that will eventually lead to a few businesses inquiring about social media help. The company’s useful advice is available to anyone, but when it comes time to who’s going to pay their bills, it’s other businesses who have taken the relationship one step further.

Meanwhile, B2C businesses generally don’t spend as much time schmoozing a client and building a relationship prior to the initial sale. Instead, the marketing departments of B2C companies often make an emotional appeal to consumers, hoping that their products provide some kind of instant gratification to the buyer. Building a relationship in this case consists of offering a trustworthy product that consumers buy over and over, or on which they stock up at one time. B2C companies need to focus on providing great customer service, concise education and special deals so they can flourish and earn repeat business.

Check out the emotional appeal and attention-grabbing strategies at work in a commercial released earlier this year by a B2C company, Hefty.


Similar to Super Bowl commercials, the concept of this ad has just a faint connection to the product being peddled, but Hefty has successfully grabbed the viewer’s full attention while helping build brand recognition. They’re probably hoping that you’ll equate the quality of the commercial to the quality of their products. This type of ad should appeal to a wide age range, as well. Next time you’re in the grocery store, you may just opt to buy some Hefty plastic cups over those ubiquitous red Solo cups, and Hefty’s hilarious commercial may have something to do with it, overtly or subliminally.

Differing Sales Cycles

As a rule of thumb, B2C companies operate on a short sales cycle. They need to catch a consumer’s eye and perhaps provide a quick bit of education prior to the point of purchase. Additionally, if they want repeat buyers, they’d better offer a product that the customer enjoys. For example, if a company makes an all-natural food products that sits on a shelf in the store next to similar items, that company needs to have packaging and even some quick literature (such as, “Why is all-natural better?”) that piques the buyer’s interest. Most consumers make purchases from B2C-oriented companies every week, even daily, and many of them are made with little prior research, if not on a whim.

On the other hand, B2B organizations operate on a long sales cycle, sometimes taking several months before turning a lead into a sale. In these situations, businesses have to be vigilant in nurturing a relationship through the entirety of the sales cycle, building brand loyalty along the way. From initial engagement to the point of purchase, B2B companies need to continually educate and hold a lead’s interest, making sure the prospect doesn’t develop cold feet or disillusionment with the process prior to the final sell.

In Conclusion

No matter if you work in a B2B or B2C company, you must start to develop an idea on your ideal buyer, how long it typically takes to make the sale and what motivates the buyer to purchase from you. There is some crossover between the two types of companies, and some businesses do a little bit of both (selling to individual consumers and other businesses), but any organization ultimately will thrive if it understands its audience and figures out how to market to them accordingly. For any skilled marketer making a job move, the transition from a B2B firm to a B2C company (or vice-versa) probably shouldn’t be too difficult, but there certainly are separate techniques to master, and it’s best to know the differences ahead of time.

Andrew Gilstrap

Content Manager at Eminent SEO - I enjoy writing, editing and photography. I'm here to make YOUR website read better and rank better!

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How to Earn Backlinks with Valuable Website Content

Earn Backlinks with Linkbait

In order for any website to obtain any sort of search engine rankings, high quality backlinks are still necessary. Back in the day before Google updated its algorithm to get rid of spammy, manipulative link building practices, website owners could easily place their site in low quality directories or participate in some sort of link scheme to gain high rankings on Google.

Today’s link building has to be much more strategic, and you have to have content that webmasters want to link to on your site. Otherwise, you’re just wasting their time and yours because they aren’t going to link to just any site. It needs to provide their readers with something valuable. In short, the strategy for gaining highly authoritative, .edu, or .gov backlinks is to create content that’s meaningful and considered “link bait.”

What is Link Bait?

Link bait can be characterized as creating content on your website that encourages web users to share or link to, also known as viral content. Since a lot of websites are competing for the top positions in search engines, many websites are beginning to see the importance of content marketing, even for the sole purpose of increasing rankings.

Examples of what link bait can entail:

  • Blog posts
  • Infographics
  • eBooks
  • Case studies
  • Videos
  • Memes
  • How to’s
  • Stories
  • FAQs
  • Landing pages
  • Apps
  • Interactive websites or features
  • Product giveaways
  • Lists
  • Visuals

How to Create Link Bait That Encourages Users to Link to You

Creating link bait can be simpler than you think. Don’t overthink the situation. What you must understand first is your target audience. Ask yourself these primary questions to help you understand your audience and how you can develop content that will speak to that audience:

  • What is their primary problem?
  • What is the solution to their problem?
  • How can you help nurture them to reach that solution?
  • What educational content can you develop to help them potentially solve their problem?
  • What statistics can you provide to help sell your customer into learning more?
  • What is your final offer?

Create Useful Content

Now that you have those questions answered, you should have a pretty clear understanding of what kind of content can be developed on your website that would speak to your ideal audience. It’s important to keep in mind that only useful content is going to gain any sort of visibility online. You have a lot of competition that has already been creating useful content.

If you’re still stuck on the type of content that’s going to attract the right users and be shareable for their networks, think about creating content that is educational and entertaining, such as ways you can add humor to it. Keep the content highly relevant to your industry, but non-promotional. The last thing users are going to want to share is a page on your website talking about your product or your company.

Valuable Content for Backlinks

Create a Plan of Action for Your Content

Once you’ve developed a list of ideas for content, there needs to be a plan in place to promote this content so that it can start to receive the visibility it deserves. For example, if your link bait piece is an eBook, there are several things that need to be thought out in order for the promotion to be successful. Here is some additional collateral that can go into eBook promotion:

  • Dedicated landing page with quality content and optimization. This will most likely be what your users will link to, so make sure this landing page is fully optimized and speaks to them.
  • Where the content will be promoted throughout the website. If the eBook is relevant to a specific service or product you offer, promote the eBook on those relevant pages with a CTA.
  • Create link bait with other forms of link bait. Think about other content that is going to promote this offer and where to promote it. If you’re a B2B business, think about B2B social networks that would find your eBook most valuable. Create a meme or statistic graphic to give users something enticing to click on and share when sharing the link to your eBook landing page. Consider other educational content that could be turned into a blog post, and, at the end of the blog post, have the eBook be the final CTA. Do you have email contacts stored that can be segmented into lists? Send an email to those contacts and show off your eBook.
  • Promote your content in the right places. If you’re strictly targeting other business owners, think about where those business owners would spend their time online. What social networks might they be part of? What big brands might they be following? Make sure you have link bait visible to your audience in the right places online.
  • Develop the right messaging for the eBook. You want people to link to your eBook, but you have to create the right message for users to want to link to you. What do you want people to take away from this eBook? This is where those statistics can be a big help with enticing users to share and learn more. Also, this is the perfect time to add a little humor to your message, because humor can really catch someone’s attention.
  • Outreach to the right websites. Develop a list of websites that are relevant, have high authority in Google, and have trusted backlinks. Don’t be generic with your outreach approach, because everyone else is doing the same thing as you: trying to get a link. Don’t be naive and think these websites are just going to link to you when you approach them with a generic email. Be creative with the approach and have some key talking points ready about their website and EXACTLY where you see a fit for your eBook to be promoted. Whether you think a guest post would suffice or if there’s already a blog post on their site relevant to your eBook messaging, have an idea of how you’d like to promote your content on THEIR website. Being thoughtful goes a long way.

Include a Call to Action as a Final Message in the Content

Since the content shouldn’t be about your product or service, you can lead to a final CTA in your content. Every piece of content on your website should have an end goal, which is your final CTA. Make that CTA clear and concise so users are not only sharing your awesome content, but know how to reach an industry expert if they need more help. This works together with your sales funnel, nurturing website users to become qualified leads. Boom.

Boom Backlinks

Creative Link Bait Campaign Examples

There are so many ways to create link bait on your website, and existing brands have already established pieces of content that have gone viral. Some examples of existing link bait from other brands include:

Moz’s Search Engine Ranking Factors

This content piece went viral because of the visual content developed by Moz’s team to showcase different Google algorithm ranking factors. This spiked the interest of many other SEO companies who have used this content in their own blog posts and articles as a valuable source for understanding Google’s ranking factors.

Moz Search Ranking Factors Backlink Analysis

By developing this valuable piece of content, Moz has boosted the Page Authority, increased social indicators, and increased the total inbound links. You can say this content was pretty successful.

RSS Tutorial

Every blog needs to have a RSS feed. The following How To tutorial walks you through how to set up a RSS feed and why these steps are so important for websites.

Rss Tutorial Link Bait Backlinks

The success of this content lead to 2,403 backlinks, increased social indicators, and a domain authority of 74/100.

Psychology of Color Infographic

Understanding color psychology is important for any website designer or digital marketer to understand in order for websites to convert at a higher rate. showcases different colors and how they can effect moods, emotions, and more in a nutshell.

This specific infographic did better socially by creating more than 2,100 likes, more than 2,300 tweets, and more than 780 Google+1s.

100+ Ways to Conserve Water Interactive Landing Page

This page shows more than 100 tips on how to conserve water usage to help educate the world about excess water consumption.

Water Conservation Link Bait Backlinks

By creating an interactive way to educate the audience, the page authority alone is a 76/100 with more than 4,500 natural backlinks. That doesn’t even count the number of social indicators happening here. There are more than 7,900 Facebook likes, 8,240 Twitter tweets, and more than 5,500 Facebook shares.

Takeaways

Creating viral link bait is not an easy process. It definitely takes a lot of creativity, optimization, content marketing, and strategy development in order to attract natural backlinks. Many times, there is a lot of trial and error that goes into developing the right piece of content in the right form that’s going to attract the right audience. Once you’ve established the type of content users are going to share naturally and webmasters are going to link to without any issues, you can develop out your content marketing strategy to include this type of content more on your website, which leads to more backlinks and higher search rankings. The key takeaway is to create valuable content that users are going to share and want to interact with.

Don’t have time to create a content link bait strategy? Our digital marketing experts can help by developing out a viral marketing campaign tailored to your audience.
Learn More About Our Expert Viral Marketing Services Here

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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Top 10 Ecommerce SEO Tips to Maximize Organic Traffic and Sales

10 Ecommerce SEO Tips

Online stores need to have a strong organic presence in search engines, which are a vital marketing source for producing online sales, only if it is done properly. With these tips, your ecommerce website will start producing qualified organic traffic that will lead to more sales. Not interested in more sales? Don’t bother reading this full article.

Now that I have your attention, let’s start thinking about what ecommerce SEO really is. SEO is an umbrella term for hundreds of tiny details that need to be monitored, or optimized, for your website and marketing strategy. They all work together under the “SEO” umbrella to create a solid foundation for search engine crawlers and users.

So what is ecommerce SEO? Ecommerce websites are their own entity because they are an online store versus a service provider. The end goal is essentially the same for both business types. However, the online store is where your customers actually convert, versus a customer service rep answering the phone engaging with a customer. In both cases, the website is the online storefront. Wouldn’t you want to make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for?

These ecommerce on-page SEO tips will help:

  • Increase visitor behavior metrics
  • Increase organic traffic
  • Increase leads from organic traffic

Excited About Ecommerce SEO

1. Research Keywords and Develop a Plan

This part is easy right? You know what term you want to rank for. Just optimize the entire site with that one term, right? Wrong. Over-optimizing is irrelevant with today’s search engine algorithms. They’re a lot smarter than five years ago.

Run a crawl report of your website and compile all of your top level navigation pages, product category pages, and sub-category pages into a priority list, starting with the top level navigation first. From there, you want to identify a focus keyword that could be potentially optimized for each of these pages. This is where keyword research and strategy development come together.

A tip here is to think of terms that are going to actually convert if that page started ranking for that term. Is it long-tail enough? If not, consider trying out long-tail keywords, since they are going to provide fewer but more-qualified visitors to the page.

2. Optimize Each Page with Focus Keywords

Now that you’ve identified what the focus keywords are for each important landing page of the shopping cart, it’s time to optimize the page with that term. Some important areas of the page you could potentially place the term include: header tags, alt tags, meta title, meta description, website copy, and call to action.

If the page is lacking in content, consider beefing it up. Search engines will not understand what the page is about without a little snippet of content. Adding unique, high quality content to that category page could help tremendously.

3. Optimize the Website Architecture Structure

This is where a lot of ecommerce websites drop the ball. Website architecture tells the story of your website and how it’s supposed to be laid out.

To know if your website needs to be architected, take the crawl report that was organized by priority order. Do the URLs show exactly where in the site that product or category page lives? For example, when looking at a product category URL, it should be structured as follows: example.com/parent-category/sub-category/.

The URLs are your website’s breadcrumbs for search engines. If there is not a clear path laid out for the search engines, they will not see the value of a page, since all of the other pages on your site are weighted as the same value.

Certain shopping carts will have the option to structure the URLs so that when a product is added, it will automatically create the correct URL for the product. Talk to your shopping cart support team for more information about setting up a proper website navigation structure.

Not only are the URLs important to optimize, but also the navigation itself. What makes sense for users? What are your most important product categories that you would like to promote? Having an easy-to-navigate website will reduce confusion and help users easily find the top products that you’re looking to sell.

4. Write Unique Product Descriptions

Shocked Gif for Unique Content

Yes, UNIQUE. I know this can seem like a huge task to some, but it’s worth it. Having duplicate product descriptions from the manufacturer site will just devalue your product pages and even prevent them from obtaining higher rankings. Rewriting the product descriptions in your own words will help crawlers and users understand the item better. If anything, the product page is your sales page for the product. It needs to be well written and optimized for both users and search engines in order to get the sale, period.

5. Optimize Individual Product Pages

Product pages make up the majority of most ecommerce sites. It can take months to optimize each and every product page, but it should be an ongoing effort to optimize each individual page. If product pages don’t have any SEO, how are potential new users going to find your product? Optimize, test, and optimize more.

6. Encourage Customers to Review or Rate Your Products

Enabling the reviews feature on each individual product page will help entice customers to rate the product. Understandably, it can be difficult to rate a product that hasn’t been received by the customer yet. One way to lure your customers to rate the product is to utilize email marketing and send a follow-up email after they’ve received the shipment. Encourage them to rate the product with some sort of counter offer.

Rate Your Product Purchase within the Next 24 Hours and Receive 10% off Your Next Purchase!

Giving your customer a reason to rate your product will help increase product rankings because unique content is being added by others to that specific page. Also, positive rating stars can be great clickbait for your product when it shows up in the search results.

7. Include Product Installation Videos When Applicable

Selling a product that requires installation? More content is needed for these types of products. Videos are a great way to show your customers how to properly install or assemble the product when they receive it at home. Include these videos on your website or even the product page itself.

The more user engagement on your website, the more trusted your site will become in your industry.

8. Optimize the Mobile Shopping Experience

It was predicted a few years ago that mobile search would eventually exceed desktop. That prediction is now a reality. According to Smart Insights, so far in 2015, users are spending more time on their mobile device than their desktop. If your website is optimized for mobile with a responsive design, then your website will most likely provide a positive mobile experience. If it’s not, your organic traffic could suffer if your competition is already ahead in the game.

It’s important to test your website on a mobile device to make sure users can easily navigate from a product to the shopping cart checkout. Having a one-page checkout option would be a perfect way to optimize your website for a better mobile shopping experience. Users can easily become frustrated when they have to go through multiple pages just to purchase the product when they’re on their phone.

9. Internal Search Feature Optimization

There is more than one search engine you should be considering when optimizing your ecommerce site. The internal search functionality on your website is just as important because it allows users to engage with your site easily and find exactly what they’re looking for, which means more sales.

Your internal search must have a customizable algorithm that can handle misspellings and keyword variations and be able to sort through all of your products, among other functions. There are third party search companies that have built this feature already and can customize your website’s search functionality for your specific products.

10. Check for Website Errors Regularly

Ecommerce websites often have thousands of pages. Errors can easily be missed if the site is not properly managed. Run a crawl report monthly or quarterly to know if there are any 301 or 404 errors. You want to manage the 301 redirects since you don’t want internal links passing through a redirect, so your internal links need to be constantly updated to be relevant to the current site architecture. Monitoring the site’s health in Google Search Console and other third party tools is a great way to maintain a healthy website that search engine crawlers will index regularly.

Closing Thoughts

Ecommerce SEO is never going to be “complete.” Optimization can go on and on, especially with a larger product website. When an ecommerce website receives ongoing optimization and maintenance, it begins to shine in the search results.

Money from Ecommerce SEO

Looking for ecommerce SEO from a team of experts who do this stuff daily?

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Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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Vol. 45: Eminent Is Hiring, New in SEO, Monthly Roundups

We Are Hiring a Social Media Assistant!

Max Monster We're Hiring - Eminent SEOWe are looking to add a Social Media Assistant to our growing team. This position will be responsible for supporting internal and client social media profile development and marketing campaigns. This typically includes creating, optimizing and managing platforms such as: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube.

In this role you will work with the Director of Social Media and other key members of the team in a fast paced, open office environment. This is an exciting opportunity for a high-energy, results-driven individual that is looking for an entry level position with a company that has growth opportunity. The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in social media management, content development or digital marketing.

Please submit your resume to hello@eminentseo.com for consideration. Feel free to share this with anyone who might be a good fit!

What’s New in SEO: Bing Organic Traffic Drops, Google Search Console Warnings

There were a slew of changes in the SEO world in July that are going to have implications for websites’ search engine rankings and organic traffic going forward.

For starters, many webmasters were seeing a drop in organic traffic from Bing, but a huge jump in Bing referral traffic. What’s up with that? About a week later, a Bing spokesperson said it had to do with the search engine’s migration to an HTTPS protocol, and that websites might see their drop in organic traffic continue as Bing tries to roll out encrypted search.

Also in SEO, Google began sending out warnings through the Google Search Console to websites that appear to be blocking their CSS and JavaScript coding from the search crawlers. If you’re blocking Google from seeing your website’s CSS and JavaScript, for whatever reason, now’s the time to fix it. Google initially hinted at this in October 2014, and the company is now getting serious about it. Google warned that any websites continuing to block their CSS and JavaScript assets will suffer, to some unidentified degree, in search rankings.

And the big news of July was an update to Google’s Panda algorithm. Look in the Marketing Blog Roundup section below to learn more about Panda 4.2.

July Eminent SEO Social Media Roundup

July started out with a bang, literally, as we celebrated #IndependenceDay. On our social media accounts last month, we also ruminated about Mondays and Fridays, and all the emotions that come with those two days of the work week. Additionally, we looked back at the original version of our brand mascot, Max, and compared him to his modern-day self. Which image or post from July is your favorite?

July 4th Fireworks - Eminent SEO

Max Meg Picnic - Eminent SEOAdult Internet Users - Eminent SEODos Equis Reply All Email - ESEO

Need More Coffee - ESEO MaxHappy Hump Day - Eminent SEOFriday Camden Baby - Eminent SEO

July Marketing Blog Roundup

Through the blogs on our Eminent family of websites, we stayed busy in July sharing the latest in online news while giving plentiful marketing and SEO tips. A Google algorithm refresh began to roll out in the second half of July, and that was the big news of the month. We let our readers know more about those implications, and we also added an in-depth post to our blog on how to recognize and get rid of spammy referral traffic. We invite you to read our top blog posts from last month (featured below), and we encourage you to follow our blog for more great marketing tips and SEO-related news.

Why You Should Outsource Your SEO to a Digital Marketing Agency Instead of Hiring a One-Man Show

Boosting your website’s visibility with search engines is a complex, ongoing process, and it’s often too large of a task for one person to handle in house. In this post, we tell you about the benefits of hiring a full-fledged digital marketing agency to handle your SEO, as opposed to a “one man show” or even a small SEO-only firm.

Spammy Referral Traffic: What Is It and How Do I Get Rid Of It?

Some web referrers may be giving your site an artificial boost in traffic, and it can be hard to recognize where it’s coming from. In this post, we guide you through the detailed process of recognizing spammy referral traffic and blocking those problematic sources through Google Analytics.

Has Panda 4.2 Arrived? What to Know About The New Google Algorithm Refresh

In the middle of July, a tweak to one of Google’s algorithms went under many webmasters’ radars. Read more to see if Panda 4.2 is a full-blown algorithm update or just a refresh. Also, you’ll learn how fast it is rolling out and how many search queries it’s effecting.

Basic Guidelines for How Your Business Can Gain Traction on Instagram

Have you created an Instagram account for your business recently or are just having trouble getting any traction on the platform? Get some ideas here about the best practices to follow on the social sharing app, and soon you’ll start to see a larger following and increased engagement.

Avoid These Social Media Mistakes that Harm Your Brand Reputation

Yes, almost every company out there, big and small, has created an account on multiple social media platforms at this point. However, some businesses are using social media in a way that harms their brand more than it helps it. Read this post to learn about the main social media mistakes to avoid if you’re trying to maintain or improve your brand reputation.

Featured Service: Website Design

Did you know that we are MUCH more than internet marketers? We offer custom website design services for clients who need a new website or want to refresh an older, outdated site. This includes:

• Custom Website Wireframing
• Siloed Website Architecture
• Logo and Brand Identity
• Beautiful Graphic Designs
• Fully Responsive, Mobile Friendly Web Designs
• Branded Social Media Designs
• Designs for Print
Website Design Bottom Line - Eminent SEO

Companies with well-designed websites can increase their sales by 50% or more. You need strong design.

Visit our Custom Website Design Services page to learn more. Or, let us know if you are interested in a new design and we can provide you with a custom quote. Just call: 800.871.4130.

Until next time, see ya online!

Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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2015 Digital Marketing Trends

digital marketing trends

As we approach 2015, it’s time for marketers to prepare for the upcoming trends. The state of digital marketing is constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep up with these never-ending changes in order to continue thriving in this industry. Take a look at some of the marketing trends for 2015:

High Quality Content Continues to Evolve and Become a Prominent Ranking Factor

Google continues to release algorithm updates to rank high quality websites higher in the search results. High quality, detailed content is in and Google continues to favor high quality content because it provides a better user-experience. Educating potential customers with quality content will become the primary mission for most brands this upcoming year.

Personalization Will Thrive

The old marketing techniques where sending email blasts to random emails is out. It’s ineffective and will only result in a banned email list. Personalization is in. Personalizing your email marketing strategies by tailoring email blasts to specific lists is highly effective.

This can also be done with social media. Connecting with those who are going to benefit from the content will increase engagement and leads. Utilizing social media as a means to build up reputation and reach out to customers helps build that relationship. Who cares about the amount of followers when nobody’s engaging? Having the right followers is key and connecting with them on a personal level with educational content that’s going to benefit them will help increase brand awareness.

Focus on Internal Communication with the Use of Technology

We believe that communication is one of the most important pieces to building a relationship as well as executing any marketing strategy effectively. With the right team and systems in place, this allows communication to be seamless and clear. The usage of CRMs, SEO tools, and marketing automation platforms allows everyone to access data and understand where the marketing campaign stands. Making it clear when there’s an issue with the campaign or when certain people aren’t fulfilling their duties.

Video Becomes a Primary Content Advocate for Conversion Rates

Videos are becoming more important for users because nobody really wants to sit around and read a landing page on a website that has 1,000 words. Not saying that’s bad, it’s still great for search engines, but we need to supplement that content with a video option as well. Having short length videos will entice users to watch and become educated, staying on the landing page longer. Having users on a landing page longer helps build trust for that landing page since the content seems highly relevant to the user and triggers the search engine to assume the same thing. When a user finds the content they’re looking for, they’re more likely to convert into a lead, increasing the conversion rate for that page. An example might be a “How To” video on a product page showing how the product can be installed correctly.

The Connection of Content, Social Media, and SEO Emerges More Than Ever

This was a marketing prediction for 2014 as well, and it has come a long way in this one year alone. Business owners are beginning to understand that SEO alone isn’t going to be as effective as blogging, social media, and SEO combined. This trifecta of marketing channels is emerging more than ever before and people are noticing larger increases in organic traffic because of it. Really, what’s the point of having a blog with nowhere to share it? What’s the point of having content when no one can find it? Google is ever-changing and continues to include fresh content and social signals in their algorithms as a means to rank websites higher. This is becoming a trend that’s no longer an option, but a necessity to receive the results anticipated.

Mobile Search Surpasses Desktop Search

It’s been predicted that mobile search is on track to surpass desktop search by 2015. This seems to be on track by the end of 2015. Users are becoming more and more comfortable completing transactions on their mobile device as well as searching for local businesses on their mobile device. According to Marketing Land, mobile will be the primary channel for paid search by the end of next year. The average conversion rate for tablets is already higher than desktops for paid search.

Smart marketers are focusing on building a presence online, not just for desktop users, but mobile users. Think about email templates being responsive as well as websites being responsive. Would an app be beneficial for potential customers? If so, create one. It’s another chance to capture information and generate leads while providing an incentive to users. The point is, keep mobile user-experience in mind when developing next year’s marketing plan. Mobile experience will be a key ranking factor for mobile searches, and if the user-experience is lacking, so will the rankings.

Marketing Automation Becomes a Normal Way to Generate Leads

It’s no secret that the usage of marketing automation platforms such as HubSpot are vastly expanding. 2015 isn’t going to be any different. In fact, it’s going to become a primary focus for lead generation for businesses of all shapes and sizes. The benefit of these platforms? Higher quality leads. With capabilities to see exactly who’s prospecting a website, who’s engaged with a social post, who’s clicked on an email, who’s downloaded a case study, etc. is a huge benefit for those looking nurture the leads that come to their website. There’s no way to do that type of lead generation/nurturing without a system that’s able to track those primary metrics. By having those metrics available in one centralized location along with the overall campaign analytics, there’s less room for error, and more room to focus on gaining qualified leads. The best part – the ability to show real ROI.

Closing Thoughts

High quality content and data driven results are going to continue to thrive. Mobile is going to dominate search like never before, and marketing automation platforms will be primary reporting tools for lead generation. Digital marketing is more than just writing a blog post and sharing it on social media. It’s technology, communication, experience, content, and data all working together to reach goals. Don’t fall behind the digital marketing trends of today or tomorrow. At a loss of how to build digital marketing campaigns for 2015? Learn more about our services here or give us a call: 800-871-4130

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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How to Use Social Media and Email Marketing to Influence Repeat Business

repeat businessThe probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.” (Source)

So, now that opens up the question of why businesses only want their marketing budget spent on acquiring NEW customers. Why not focus a portion of your marketing spend to nurture your existing customers? Every business should focus at least a portion of their marketing budget to have former/existing customers become second, third, or even ongoing buyers of their product or service.

Email marketing and social media work together to create effective return customers when done right. If you have already accumulated a good amount of customers over the years and kept their information – you have the ability to reach out to those same customers in the hopes that they will buy from you again.. Staying in front of your customers is extremely important and showing them appreciation for being a customer is equally important. Here’s how to utilize these two marketing techniques to increase those repeat customers:

Stay in Front of Your Customers with Social Media

Social media can be a great way to connect with your audience and customers on a regular basis. By telling your story and giving out exclusive offers you will keep your audience, as well as past customers, influenced by your brand. Here’s how to have your customers think of your business first when they need a product or service you offer again:

Make Sure Your Customers Know You Have a Social Presence

To do this, you can put social links in your email signature. Maybe even send out a welcome email or regular newsletter to encourage them to follow your business on social media. A little blurb about exclusive deals and offers isn’t a bad idea here.

Establish Trust with Your Social Followers

You don’t want to spam your audience with a million offers a week. You want to strategically build trust which then helps build your overall brand. Building trust can be done by sharing company achievements/awards, employee stories and pictures, and useful information for your customers, such as industry news.

Promote Your Lead Generating Resources

This means landing pages that will capture customer data. If you see the same customer wanting to learn more information, they may be interested in purchasing a second time. Encourage this by sending them a follow up email asking them if they need any help. Don’t forget to thank them again for being a valued customer.

Nurture Customers with Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective techniques for generating repeat business with an extremely high ROI. According to Experian, for every $1 spent approximately $44.25 is the average return on investment. Talk about generating repeat business on a budget! Definitely doable with email marketing.

Email marketing is the gateway to nurturing those past customers into becoming on-going or repeat customers with personalization techniques. Personalizing your emails makes customers feel all warm and fuzzy inside because they feel they’re personally valued. Win, Win

Create Separate Email List for Previous Customers

The best way to mass-target your former customers is by separating out your email lists. This way you can personalize your emails and specifically thank former clients for being a customer! While thanking them, link to some featured products or services. You want to push for that second purchase and remind them why they chose to purchase from you in the first place.

Try to Accumulate Customer Data

I know it can be hard to do this part, but try. If you have information such as product purchase date, birthdays, etc. you can send anniversary style emails, such as the anniversary of when they first purchased from you. Did you follow up and ask for a review or testimonials? This is a great time to do so to get some useful feedback. Also, birthdays are a great time to email your customer and send a Happy Birthday card with a special discount. This will get them into your store and they may possibly order more products from you with their exclusive discount code.

Personalize Your Subject Lines

If you’re targeting a former customer, personalize it in the subject line with their name. This increases the chances of your email being opened by roughly 22%. Or, use other compelling text, such as “We Miss You, So We Have a Special Offer for You!” This can be tested, just try various compelling subject lines and track which ones get the best open rates.

Monitor the Behavior of Your Customer Email List Carefully

In order for you to understand what type of content is valuable to your customers, you should be monitoring their behavior through your email campaign tools and your website analytics. Is the content you’re sending them providing them value? In order to tell, look and see if they’ve clicked on links to specific landing pages in your analytics. How long did they stay on that page? What’s the bounce rate look like? Those are some valuable key performance indicators that will help you to know if your content is gaining the attention of your users.

Another key indicator you can use is the data of your past customers, for example look to see when the last time they purchased from you was. For past customers that haven’t purchased from you in over 3 months, send them an email blast with an exclusive offer. Monitor the conversion rates for this to see if your offer was valuable. If so, make this a primary campaign you can utilize every 3 months for past customers to get them back in the door.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, both social media and email marketing are great ways to generate repeat business. You need the social media to stay in front of your customers, but you need the email marketing to nurture those customers and turn them into repeat customers. Building a trusted relationship is the goal with both marketing techniques. Former customers trust your business more when they have a memorable experience and feel valued. On-going customer communication also encourages your former or current customers to become public supporters of your brand and recommend your product or service to their friends on social media – opening even more doors for an expanding customer base.

Lacey Chic

Account Manager at Eminent SEO - Passionate About Digital Marketing. I love music, pitbulls, traveling, hiking, yoga, and learning.

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