SEO Results

Campaign Results Overview

– Social media marketing campaign resulted in being awarded to top 10% of businesses on a major, recognized industry website.

– Overhauled Yelp business page that included nearly 3000 user views (up 38% in a year) and generated over 300 customer leads resulting in over 5% increase in bottom line profitability.

– Created multiple corporate Facebook pages to interact with regular guests/customers/members and attract new clients and customers.

– Guided marketing staff on a Twitter content sharing schedule that resulted in a 50% increase in follower count.

– YOY (Year Over Year) results for a client were an increase in visits by 55%, new visitors by 81% and visits originating from organic.

– YOY results for the corporate blog of another client were an increase in visits by 7%, new visitors by 20% and visits originating from organic.

– Developed targeted, on-brand, and SEO-rich content and programming, creating and continually updating websites for startup companies, Fortune 500 retailers, and nonprofit organizations; implementing and managing SEO practices for ~530 websites with organic and paid search

– Skillfully oversaw Google AdWords campaigns, slashing bounce rate from 34% to 6%, lowering CPC by as much as 43%, and increasing CTR.

– Designed user forums, live auctions, e-commerce stores, and online shows to drive site traffic and enhance user participation and membership

– Track and report on SEO and SEM data while concurrently collaborating with product managers to ensure consistent branding and messaging

– Present SEO best practices training programs to marketing, online marketing, PR, product management, UX, and web development teams

– Build solid relationships with partners to encourage content integration and optimize user experiences

 

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Five Marketing Tools I Use to Achieve Campaign Success.

Lately, I have had a few people ask about what software, technologies, etc. to ensure that my marketing campaigns achieve and exceed their goals. Here is a list of five of them:

  1. Triggered Email campaigns. These include confirmation emails, transactional emails, autoresponders and welcome emails. These help guide the customer through the buyer journey as well as are more effective in terms of click through rates. Accordingly, re-targeted ads via SEO.
  2. Creating a free tool for customers and prospects that solve a problem specific to the audience such as a calculator to determine how many hours would be saved by using the product. That way, the customer will think of our company and products when they are looking for ways to reduce production hours.
  3. Ensuring emails, social channels and website(s) are mobile friendly and include social sharing buttons on the website and emails. More and more people are reading emails and visiting websites on their phone and the social buttons are a great way to allow customers to share information about the company and product(s).
  4. Using customized and personalized emails by including dynamic content and using list fields such as zip code, job title or purchase/product interest history. The more personalized an email is, the higher the click through and open rate will be. This also includes landing pages.
  5. Testing: I test factors including email/website text length; HTML vs text ; photos/graphics; email frequency; landing pages;  alternate offers; list segment performance and spam score. These factors directly relate to click through rates and ultimately revenue.

List segmentation, ensuring a clear call to action is included in every email and on the website, as well as making emails and website content sharable are also effective and important.

The Future Of Digital Marketing

I often think about where digital advertising is heading over the next 10 years. I have a few ideas about that.

Future-of-Digital-Marketing-2018

The priorities of digital marketing will stay the same over the next few years – utilizing the fundamentals where they can drive the most ROI.  However, these fundamentals will include and build on content marketing, search marketing, and social media. We will see more use of artificial intelligence based marketing tools such as chatbots, voice search, and digital assistance. There will also continue to be a focus on mobilization due to mobile ad revenue continuing to increase and desktop ad revenue continuing to decrease. There will be an increase in the use of more integrated data sources (CRM, demographic data and online data to generate more qualified leads and an increase in the use of third party data. The focus of paid social advertising will be on Facebook, Google search, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

 

Location data will continue to play a role in ad buying and its use will grow in the future. It will improve in terms of providing insight on customer preferences and behaviors; help marketers understand what drives people to a certain physical location, assist marketers to know what mobile strategy programs are not working and which ones to optimize, as well as increase as a gateway into geo-fencing.  Due all of these attributes and significance of location data, its use within ad buying will be more important years from now.

Top Four Ways Create A Loyal Customer

Why is it that fast food restaurants are so popular when 99% of the time, your order is wrong or the wait is so long that it cannot be described as fast? The truth is, that as a society, that we have become programmed to accept “good enough.”

The good news is, as a business, all you have to do is perform a bit better than good enough.  To borrow a phrase from David Letterman, here are the top four ways to improve your customer service.

 

shut up and take my money

The first thing to keep in mind is that whatever customers think about your business, they believe to be the case.  There is no successful way to change this belief; the correct response is to apologize for whatever the customer feels went wrong and offer an acceptable solution. Imagine how you would feel in any given situation if you were the customer and go from there.

Next, you need to consider how employees are going to handle complaints. There are many ways for customers to share their feelings about your business. They will tell a friend or post a negative comment on social media. The best way to avoid this is to provide a better than average customer experience.  Remember, your business’s reputation is only as strong as your customer’s most recent interaction.

The third thing to remember is to empower your employees.  Customers can tell if your staff is following a script and will get frustrated if they are told “that is against protocol.” Allow your employees to use his or her best judgement to resolve a situation. Management should only handle the parameters (amount of refund or product).

The last thing you need to do is to find out how you are doing. You need to find out how your customers truly feel about your business. To make sure you learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly experience your customers have, create an easily accessible way for customers to give feedback. Creating a survey for customers to give feedback makes it easier for you to learn what needs improvement. It also helps keep unhappy customers from voicing their dissatisfaction on highly visible places like social media and review sites.

Seven Surprising Facts About Employee Engagement

You-say-you-value-your-employees---memeDo you think that a refrigerator stocked with free sodas and cabinets will keep your employees happy? Think again. Employee engagement is vital to staff retention and should be something that your business is constantly trying to improve.

Here are seven dos and don’ts of employee engagement*:

  • 89% of employers think that employees leave for a better salary someplace else. That is not the case, the fact is that only 12% of employees leave due to more money.
  • 75% of people do not leave their positions, they leave their manager.
  • More often than not, companies use gamification (something that already exists like a website or features used in real games). In fact, 70% of Fortune 2000 companies use gamification to increase retention, revenues and engagement.
  • While 90% of CEO’s feel that an engagement strategy is important, only 25% of them actually have one.
  • Companies think that their employees have a clear understanding of the company’s objectives. The reality is only 40% of the employees know what the strategies, goals and tactics are for the business they work for.
  • The more feedback, the better! 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week compared with 18% of employees with low engagement.
  • More engagement = more money. Companies with highly engaged employees earn 2 times more annual net income than businesses who have poor or little employee engagement.

Most of the time, a little extra feedback can make the difference, or simply sharing the company goals to create a sense of unity. We all want to feel part of something, and the workplace is no different. Do you have ideas of how to improve employee engagement? Let me know in the comments!

*This data was obtained from various reports and sources including Gallup, Gartner, ACCOR, Bain and Towers Watson.

Buyer’s Journey Overview

I have determined that the most important stages of the buyer’s journey to be awareness, interest, consideration, intent, evaluation and purchase. It is important to be aware of how a company communicates with prospects will vary depending on which stage of the project journey they are in. It is also important to keep in mind how long the buyer’s journey is – it typically lasts between 3 months to a year.  Offers should talk about, give information or provide what the customer is looking for depending on how far along the customer is in the buyer’s journey. When I do this, it allows for the highest potential for the prospect to convert to the next stage and ultimately, a purchase.

The first stage of the journey is awareness. Once a prospect experiences a problem, he or she will seek out a solution.  Typically, the problem that the prospect is having is part of a larger problem. What the prospect will likely do first is use a search engine (most likely Google) to figure out a solution to their problem. When doing this, the customer will discover through organic search (they clicked on a piece of content in the search page results) and/or a paid ad. The goal is not to push the sale (unless the prospect is in the decision stage of the product journey).

My goal in the beginning of the journey (as long as on the way to the decision stage) is to inform, educate and entertain the prospect through interesting and relevant campaigns. On a deeper level, my goal is to increase engagement (increase site visits, visit duration, repeat visitors etc.); segment new visitors by interest (and where they are in their journey); and increase top-of-mind awareness (TOMA).  One way I do this is ensuring that content on the website, SEO and other marketing materials communicate to customers how to effectively solve a problem and/or includes facts about the product/solution (in general, not just the company’s products or solutions).  By doing this, I position the company as the go-to authority on the subject.

At the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, I track and analyze the following: sessions, percentage of old visitors versus new visitors, and engagement (how many people visit the site, visit duration, etc.).  Before I create awareness campaign I do the following:  take a look at what triggered a prospect to find the website by looking at Google Analytics. I do this first because over 70% of prospects use Google during the awareness stage.  Another task that I perform is surveying existing customers by looking at the number of purchases that customer is using a month (or adding a service).  I also look at customers who discontinued their service or did not renew their contract. I also use online surveys such as SurveyMonkey or Typeform and ask questions like “What is the biggest challenge you are facing right now?” Sometimes, I include an incentive in these emails to ensure that I receive a substantial number of responses to analyze the results.

Buyers-Journey-LateOnce I have a fundamental understanding of the triggers that a potential customer will use (problems that they are experiencing) as well as the answer to the survey(s), I create a customer persona – a representation of an ideal customer. Having one of these (or multiple, depending on how many products/solutions are offered) will determine what kind of content is needed in my email campaigns as far as style of copy, tone as well as where the audience is obtaining their information and their preferences for incorporating that information.

The next step in the buyer’s journey that I focus on is consideration. At this stage the prospect has defined their goal for solving their problem as well as when they are going to address it (typically as soon as possible). At this stage the prospect will be evaluating different approaches and methods available to solve their challenge. The goal in this stage is not to ask the prospect to make a purchase, but rather increase their interest and desire to obtain more information about the product. There are two metrics I analyze at this stage: number of  site visits and duration of visits as well as webinar/learning session registrations (webinar attendees are more likely to become a customer).

The final stage of the journey that I concentrate on is the decision stage. At this stage, the prospect has defined their solution and is narrowing down a list of potential vendors to solve their problem. In this stage of the journey the prospect is also looking for information on how the product or solution works, how other people/companies like them have been successful at solving their problem and what their experience would look like if they decide to move forward with the product or service. However, there are certain variables involved that determine whether they will purchase the product/solution or not.  A few of these are unknown costs associated with the purchase as well as any additional fees once the product/service is delivered.  Some ways I avoid this are offering a free trial or case studies.  Some methods I use to improve conversions (purchases) at the decision stage are ensuring messaging is consistent on the website, direct marketing materials and social channels as well as maximizing revenue by upselling and offering tiered pricing.

One of the final things I keep in mind once a prospect becomes a customer is to continue to offer value after they make a purchase.  We want to ensure that customers have a reason to revisit the website and this also improves customer satisfaction by offering continued value (information, customer endorsements, etc.) in addition to helping turn customers into supporters of the product and company, which will increase word of mouth.

 

How Your Business Can Get and Keep More Customers

In a time where businesses are focused on a growing number of anonymous online reviews, sometimes companies lose track of what really matters – the quality of the customer’s experience. By spending time and effort to not only meet but exceed a customer’s expectations, you create something more valuable than a 5 star review.

customer service

Facts you should know about customer service:

  • On average, a happy customer will tell 9 people about their experience with a company. Focus on making your customers happy and it will benefit your bottom line. (We have discovered this with our surveys as well).
  • For every customer that complains, there are 26 customers who don’t. Those 26 potential customers will either leave the business or website. Insight into what is making the customer unhappy matters more often than not.
  • The likelihood of selling to a satisfied customer is about 14 times higher than selling to a new customer. Making existing customers happy can help you increase revenue more than finding new customers.
  • By growing your retention rate by 5%, you will see an increase of profits between 25-95%.
  • 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience.
  • 82% of customers will leave a company because of a poor customer service experience.
  • When you make a mistake, be sure to apologize. 37% of customers are satisfied when they are offered a credit or refund. However, when your company offers an apology on top of that compensation, satisfaction doubles to 74%.

Based on a recent survey of 5,700 customers, 83% of them needed support somewhere during their online journey. This gives you a lot of chances to provide excellent customer service. By adding these benefits to your customers, you can be sure to grow your business.