An important factor in most businesses is making profits and remaining competitive in the long run. To achieve this, business owners employ several marketing strategies to meet their target market and keep their product relevant.
Having a lasting business has gone beyond having the best product. Today you need to know how best you can communicate the value of what you are selling, and keep individuals interested enough that they keep coming back.
To this end, marketing itself now focuses more on what is called “Relationship Marketing.” The term means establishing relationships with customers that would last beyond their first trial of your product.
It also means forming a profoundly personal relationship between consumers and brands, and it is built over an extended period, and born out of trust, reliability, and loyalty.
In the 21st century, a large percentage of marketing has shifted to the internet via social media. As a result, more and more companies are losing touch with their old customers, as they tend to focus more on attracting new ones.
However, studies have shown that it is essential to retain old clientele while sourcing for new ones. It’s especially important for long-term success strategies, and for this to happen, companies must engage more with their current clients.
Now, a business owner might wonder about the usefulness of relationship marketing since more than half of the world population are online and are conducting business virtually. The answer is simple and your questions will be answered shortly.
Note that even online marketing has an element of relationship marketing; here are seven main reasons why the latter is essential to business:
1. It Improves Customer Experience
Every business owner knows that a customer having an excellent experience with products or services rendered is vital. You don’t want people who patronize you to leave feeling disappointed.
What you want is for people who use your services or products to have a feeling of deep satisfaction. That satisfaction should start from the moment they make contact with your sales agent until they have taken delivery of their product.
Relationship marketing, where you have one-on-one interaction with customers or prospects, can bring about the above.
Even if the person only wanted to make inquiries, the way you present your business and treat the person would determine whether they’ll make a purchase at that moment, return to do so, or never return.
2. It Ensures Better Feedback from Customers
Feedback is the positive or negative response you get from those who use your products or services. The guarantee that you’ll receive an excellent response from your customers depends on the relationship that exists between you and them.
If you are a multinational, relationship marketing is carried out by your sales agents. And if these agents who serve as representatives do not have a cordial relationship with clients, they’ll leave your product and go for another one.
Feedback under relationship marketing also means that your customers would be eager to inform you on the areas you need to improve on. It means that they would rather stay with you than go to another brand.
Note that if they’ve been giving reviews without seeing the necessary changes, they will leave to another brand. If that happens, it would mean that your relationship marketing is defective, and it can cost you your business.
3. It Builds Your Referrals
We live in a world of referrals. So referrals are a form of marketing by individuals who have used a product, found it to be everything they expected, got excellent treatment from the salesperson(s) and then go on to tell others about it.
It’s free marketing made with testimonies, and it costs companies nothing but good relationship marketing. However, if your relationship marketing is crappy, and your customers don’t get treated right, then it is guaranteed that the only report they’ll give about you is negative, with zero referrals.
Most brands today get new customers from referrals more than the adverts they spend millions on. Adverts will get your product known. However, don’t forget that others are offering what you are, and consumers often have a brand they use and trust. So the only way to win them over is by someone pointing them your way.
4. It Keeps You Informed About the Needs of Your Customers
Let’s point out that relationship marketing goes beyond effectively pitching your product in a polite and friendly way, to developing an excellent rapport. People appreciate it when they are heard, and sometimes they prefer to share deep personal problems with a stranger.
With relationship marketing, when you notice the frowns and overly-excited look, make sure to offer words of comfort or pay a compliment. It will leave the person you are dealing with feeling like you saw him or her as more than the next quick sale.
This will also help you discover what they need to ensure you are providing them with the best service and meeting their needs. For example, Starbucks introduced free Wi-Fi after its customers suggested it.
Without effective relationship marketing, they would have kept the suggestion to themselves and gone elsewhere to get it. Such an approach might have resulted in Starbucks losing a lot of customers.
5. It Leads To New Business Ideas
As mentioned above, knowing what your customers need helps you give them what they want, and it can also help you birth new business ideas.
Most companies branch into other ventures after starting with one because of the ideas that came to them from the information they gathered from their customers.
Having a good relationship means that you get to find out what your customers are using and what they wished you had, which could lead to a new business venture.
Also, if a customer wants to form a partnership, chances are, you might get picked because there’s already an existing relationship.
6. It Helps Enhance Your Uniqueness
Relationship marketing sets you apart from your competitors and helps you create your brand in a unique way that meets your customers’ needs.
A lot of business owners might sell the same thing or render the same services. However, there’s a reason why McDonald’s is still in business, and other fast-food chains have folded up over the years.
In today’s world, you need to have something that sets you apart, and building relationships with your customers will deliver it. Moreover, relationship marketing will ensure you stay relevant for a long time.
7. It Fosters Loyalty
This is one of the most significant reasons why relationship marketing is essential. Treating people well, having a good relationship, and giving them excellent products and services fosters loyalty, and it means they’ll always stay with you.
Some people have shopped in a particular location for a long time or ordered from a company. When you ask questions, you’ll find that their loyalty is based on the great relationship they have with the business owners/staff.
Change might be constant, but people don’t want to change the status quo. And that thin line that divides keeping a customer, losing one, or gaining another, is called relationship marketing.
Human interactions are still a significant part of life despite the digital world we now live in. So learn to value relationships and utilize them sufficiently to make your business grow and stay relevant.
English no longer dominates the internet like it once did. The share of web pages in English are giving way to a number of other languages, including Chinese, Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese. Indeed, although some 55% of web pages are in English,
Statista reports that just 25.3% of users prefer to browse in English these days. Chinese is the second most used language, accounting for 19.8% of all internet users. As such, companies looking to engage with customers to build their brand internationally need to use translation to communicate in multiple languages – and not just through their website, but through their social media channels too.
Why translation and social media go hand in hand
Broadly speaking, younger people use social media more than older people. Looking at the US as an example, 66% of adults use one or more social media sites every day. Among 18 to 29-year-olds, that figure rises to 88%. This means that brands that want to engage as fully as possible with future generations of customers need to have an active social media presence. And for companies that operate across international borders, that means developing a multilingual social media strategy that builds in translation as a core part of the business’s approach.
Localization versus transcreation
Doing so is about more than merely using translation to deliver posts into different languages. Each country’s audience will respond differently to things like the use of humour, informal language and images. This means that localizing your content is a key part of a successful multilingual social media strategy. Localization is a key part of marketing translation. It is the process of shaping content to suit a particular audience. Rather than translating a tweet directly, a professional translator tasked with localizing the content will adapt it while still maintaining the original meaning.
Translation services can go a step further than localization when required, as some clients will benefit from transcreation as part of their social media marketing strategy. Transcreation involves a more wholesale revision of content than localization. It still delivers the messages that the brand intends, but everything from copy to the company logo can be changed in order to adapt it for maximum impact with the target audience. A good translator will be able to advise when transcreation might be more appropriate than localization.
Social media platforms by country
One way in which content will need to be localized as part of the translation process is by adapting it to suit the different social media platforms that are popular in each country in which the company plans to operate. Think of social media in the UK or US and no doubt Facebook and Twitter aren’t far from your thoughts. Indeed, Facebook remains the world’s favourite social network in broad terms. Social media strategist Vincenzo Cosenza has mapped usage around the world and found that Facebook is the most popular network in 119 out of 149 countries, with 1.8 billion active monthly users.
However, social networking varies from country to country. A business that’s serious about cracking the Russian market, for example, will need to focus on how to use V Kontakte effectively as well as on accurate translation and localization. Those looking to tap into the emerging economies in Africa, on the other hand, will need to pay most of their attention to Instagram and LinkedIn. In China, it’s QZone that dominates and on which businesses must focus their efforts, while Japan is the only country in which Twitter tops the ranking of most used social media sites.
Knowing which networks to use in which countries doesn’t take a vast amount of research time but is a core part of any multilingual social media strategy. After all, the best translation in the world won’t help a company that is focusing its energies on the wrong social media channels. It’s an area where the time investment is minimal, but the payoff can be huge.
Translating cultures as well as copy
Different cultures respond to marketing materials in very different ways. It’s something with which those working in the translation industry – and particularly in the field of marketing translation – are certainly familiar. A campaign that has been well received in one country can fail totally in another. How ‘salesy’ the marketing copy is, how heavy on (or lacking in) images it is, how jokey the messaging is… all of this has a direct impact on how customers respond.
This is why market research needs to take place long before the translation process begins. Market research can reveal how audiences are likely to respond to social media advertising campaigns, as well as to the products themselves. This will then become an important component of a brand’s social media strategy.
Understanding the different ways in which audiences use social media is also important. Thousands of shares and likes are all rendered rather pointless if they don’t convert, so companies need to make understanding localized user behaviour a key part of their approach.
Don’t only use translation professionals for translation
Thankfully, professional translation can help here too. Translators have a wealth of cultural as well as linguistic knowledge, so are an excellent source of advice when a business is targeting a particular country. As such, engaging a translation agency before developing your social media strategy can make the whole process flow more smoothly. A little input early on in the process can save both time and money later on.
It can also help to iron out any cultural misunderstandings and avoid any potential miscommunications, all of which can damage a brand and lead to it becoming known for all the wrong reasons – which is precisely what a well mapped out and considered social media strategy is there to avoid.
About a decade ago, SEO was not something commonplace or even something considered to be a business necessity. Today things are very different. According to an article published by Forbes magazine, SEO services are essential for businesses today. Some of the reasons for this include outreach, cost-effectiveness and the fact that it is currently a marketing norm.
Evidence of how important SEO services are in this day is evident with the amount being spent on the same. A current forecast suggests that an excess of USD 80 billion will be spent on SEO services within the US alone by the year 2020.
How Can I Tell if the SEO Services I am Investing in are Worth It?
The SEO industry, like the digital world in general, is one that is fast changing. Apart from known current trends in SEO, clients need a way to gauge whether or not the services they are investing in are doing their business any good. We’re going to elaborate on a number of metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you gauge the level of the SEO services you are receiving.
A Little more on Metrics
For those of you who may be unclear on what we mean by metrics or KPIs, we’re talking about standards of SEO success that can be measured and hence, can also be quantified. The data points we elaborate on below are ones that can help you judge how effective or not the SEO work being done for you is or isn’t.
This relates to the number of visits or hits you get on your website via general web browsing as well as information on user activity while logged in to your site. The reason this is an important indicator as opposed to the total web traffic is that SEO services are meant to help your company or business rate higher via Google rankings when relevant keywords are searched. Higher rankings mean your site link and meta details will show up on the first page (ideally) of Google search results and higher up on the list of results.
This helps generate organic traffic; hence, good SEO services can translate to an increase in organic web activity. You can use Google Analytics to easily track your progress in this area and see if your organic traffic correlates to your SEO efforts.
Your CTR (click-through-rate) is indicative of how many people proceed to visit your site against how many people ran search queries where your details showed up. A poor click through rate may indicate to a need to improve aspects of your SEO.
Aspects you can work on to improve your CTR include page content and even more importantly – meta tags. A high CTR means your meta tags and other site information is catchy enough to generate attention or curiosity.
The bounce rate is the term used to measure the number of site visitors who do not stick around on your page and leave after viewing the first page they click on. This could mean that your SEO is lacking once again by way of web content or even by way of overall website design.
A low bounce rate would mean that people are clicking on your links and continuing to explore your site which means you have managed to hold their attention.
If you have a highly optimized website, one of the things you will need to be mindful of is page speed. Your page speed may be inversely affected by certain site additions, which is why it is important to keep ensuring that your site can take the load of whatever is being added.
A reliable SEO service provider will also help ensure that your site speed isn’t affected. Efficient site speed means higher usability and user retention.
Keyword rankings are quite changeable hence most reputable and competent SEO companies make sure their professionals are up to date on the same. Luckily, as a business owner who is investing in SEO, keyword rankings are also something you can look into yourself. Relevant Google searches will tell you exactly where the keywords being used rank in the general scheme of things.
If you find the SEO company you have hired is consistently using low ranking keywords, this might just be a red flag.
Domain authority or relevance describes how the Google engine algorithm/interface reads and perceives your website. Relevant and up to date content and SEO strategies result in higher domain authority. This means you rank higher and will also have access to an automatically generated knowledge graph. Though it is not easy to gauge your domain authority, you do have online tools that can help you with the same.
Fresh Back links/Referring Domains
The term incoming links is used to describe the general body of web-based links which direct users to your main site or page in their entirety. Referring domains, on the other hand, refers to domains that are not directly related to your site and hence can be described as unique.
References and links from external or unrelated sites improve your overall domain authority and any good SEO service will ensure that these are in adequate supply!
The metrics or KPIs mentioned above are the ones most easy to gauge and understand as a user or client. There are other indicators that you could also look into such as crawl errors and local visibility. Other metrics such as conversion rates require setting up of priorities and goals, which is in a sense one of the most important things to do when it comes to your SEO.
Proper search engine optimizing is a specialized process; working with an experienced and competent SEO company is of utmost importance. If the SEO services you receive are up to the mark, the benefits it will bring to your business are immense. The points discussed here should help you determine whether or not the company you have chosen is really on the ball!
Online sellers are facing an abandonment crisis. According to a report from Barilliance, 78% of online shoppers leave a website without checking out, a number that has been increasing over the past five years. The rate is even higher on mobile devices, with nearly 85% of carts left abandoned, a figure that is truly shocking considering the fact that mobile consumerism is on the rise.
While there are certainly some valid reasons behind an abandoned cart, many online retailers are guilty of major e-commerce mistakes that are killing conversions.
Let’s discuss seven of the top reasons for abandonment, along with logical and effective solutions that can help to grow conversion rates.
1. Problem: Hidden Costs
The previously mentioned report from Barilliance also found that the number one reason why customers abandoned their orders was due to unexpected costs, such as additional shipping expenses, extra taxes, or handling fees. Not knowing your actual total until the last checkout page can be quite shocking and this sudden surprise could cause the customer to rethink their purchase.
Instead of displaying the final price on the last checkout page right before confirmation, it is best to keep this number calculated from the very beginning. Also, be sure to clearly display all shipping rates and offer several options to help keep costs to a minimum.
2. Problem: Cold Feet Consumers
Most first-time customers tend to approach online retailers with a little bit of skepticism. Unfortunately, many shoppers have had bad experiences with online businesses, ranging from receiving a product that didn’t match up to their expectations to having their private information sold or stolen.
Typically, these apprehensions will be strongest the moment that the customer is faced with a final decision to purchase. Therefore, you must do all that you can to build a sense of trust and confidence with customers throughout their interactions with your website.
One of the best ways to do this is through customer reviews. Studies have found that consumers trust a business more after reading several reviews from previous customers. Be sure that you are gathering highly detailed feedback to paint a full picture.
These customer reviews of Trustpilot are a great example. Reviewers are asked to share the pros and cons of their experience and offer advice to new customers. This kind of review content is super transparent and gives skeptical customers the information they need for a confident purchasing decision.
3. Problem: Site forcing to create an account first
Barilliance’s report also found that 22% of customers will abandon their cart if they are forced to create a user account. Ultimately, many customers view this as a time-consuming and unnecessary step, especially if they have no intentions of buying from your online store again.
The solution to this abandonment trigger is to offer enticing incentives that make the process of creating an account worthwhile. The benefits this process offers to the retailer are quite obvious: it helps create a database of customer information for easier targeting.
But what does it offer the customer?
Create some exciting perks that come along with a customer account, such as birthday gifts, loyalty points, or even better customization. For instance, the clothing retailer Madewell uses personalization as a major incentive for account creation, along with discounts and free shipping.
4. Problem: Out of Stock
Obviously, an item going out of stock during the time a customer spends browsing on your website is going to be frustrating. Unfortunately, this issue is fairly out of your hands as a retailer, but there are some steps you can take to make this issue less frequent.
One solution here is to warn customers that a product is low in stock. Some websites will even display a countdown to how many are left in inventory to spur a quicker checkout.
Another solution here is, of course, better inventory management. Some online retailers are using AI and machine learning technology to predict upswings in demand to restock inventory accordingly. Preparing for influxes of purchases ahead of time can help you avoid the problem altogether.
5. Problem: Complicated Checkout Process
The more steps and fill-in boxes that a customer needs to complete before they buy, the lower the chance that they will make it all the way through to the end. The nature of online shopping thrives on impulse buys and convenience. The reason that many customers prefer to shop online is because it is much easier than going to a store; therefore, the checkout process should be just as easy as it would at a brick and mortar location.
Try to remove any unnecessary steps or offer smart tools to make things simpler. For instance, using an auto-filter that enters the customer’s shipping city and state based on their zip code saves just a few seconds, but it offers the kind of convenience that customers want. Another useful tool here is multiple payment options.
Allowing customers to use Apple Pay or Samsung Pay means that they don’t have to manually enter their credit card information every time. Some retailers, like Tiffany & Co., use smart technology through the phone’s camera lens to scan a credit card and auto-populate the numbers for faster payment processing.
Keep in mind, every extra step in the checkout process is a chance for the customer to reconsider their decision to buy.
6. Problem: Unsatisfactory Return Policy
Anticipation of future issues can be another reason why customers abandon their cart before making a final purchase. If they get the sense that returning or exchanging a product is going to be a big hassle, they may just avoid the situation altogether by looking for a different seller.
Offering a great return policy can be tricky and difficult, especially for smaller online organizations. It may not be possible to compete with giants like Amazon that offer free shipping and unlimited returns.
For example, you might not be able to offer returns on clearance items. Make sure that this fact is extremely clear before the customer checks out by displaying a note on the shopping cart page.
Furthermore, whatever your return policy is, it should be extremely clear and understandable so customers are not faced with any unexpected issues.
7. Problem: Security Concerns
With the increasing number of data breaches that are occurring every year, it is no wonder that today’s consumers are increasingly worried about the safety of their private information.
If a customer has any qualms about your website’s data security, it will almost certainly cause them to leave without a full conversion. In fact, according to one study, one-third of online shoppers admit they have decided to abandon their cart because they were worried about the safety of their payment information.
Obviously, the clear solution is to integrate safety systems that use proper encryption techniques to prevent data hacking. However, simply using these systems is not enough to dispel this worry from all of your customers. The study mentioned above also found that nearly 70% of consumers actively look for signs that a website is secure before they make a purchase. Therefore, your website must clearly display the tools that it has in place and explain all of the measures it takes to ensure safe transactions.
On the checkout page, it should be clear you offer SSL encryption, along with any other safety measures. If your business has been awarded any certifications or utilizes multiple security tools, display these symbols (known as trust badges) to reduce concerns.
There are plenty of objections that customers come up with to avoid making a final purchasing decision. You need to prioritize your process to reduce abandonment and combat concerns with smart approaches and tools. Ultimately, your online store should give customers peace of mind and fewer reasons to leave before checking out.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of getting your website to rank higher in search engine results pages. Unlike Google Ads (or other type of ads), SEO is free.
Well, technically free.
SEO is free in the sense that you don’t have to pay another company directly to have certain pages of your website rank on the first position, like you have to with Google Ads, for instance.
However, SEO is not free per se. SEO content costs time and money and so does having a website that’s technically up to par with SEO guidelines.
The good part about this is that SEO is an investment that keeps on giving. If you invest in PPC ads, as soon as your budget is depleted, your results stop. When you invest in SEO, on the other hand, you reap the benefits even when you stop pouring money into it – sometimes for years to come.
Still, this doesn’t mean you should be throwing money blindly.
Most of my agency’s clients tell us the same thing: they invested in SEO, but they never got their money back.
Here’s what they were doing wrong. And what you might be doing wrong, too.
1. You don’t have a clear purpose Why do you want to invest in SEO? Is it because it’s cool? Because everyone in your industry does it?
Your purpose shouldn’t be defined by outside “forces”. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing.
Think about what SEO can bring to YOUR table. Which areas of your business can it help boost? What are the key outcomes you are expecting?
In other words: define precisely how SEO can help you with sales. If ROI isn’t your purpose, then it may never happen, no matter how much you invest in optimization.
2. You focus on the wrong metrics I can’t stress this enough: SEO for the sake of SEO or traffic is pointless. Traffic doesn’t pay the bills. Sales do.
So, when you start investing in SEO, don’t do it just to get more visitors.
This is something I discuss with almost all our clients. They want bigger numbers. Ironically enough, not in the bank. In their web traffic.
You may think that getting more visitors is the key to getting more sales. After all, if 1% of your visitors convert into leads, then another 1% of the leads into customers, it’s better to have a bigger number to calculate that 1%, right?
Sure, but if your SEO copywriters focus on keywords that bring traffic instead of those that bring clients, you may never get your 1%.
Which brings us to my next point.
3. You focus on the wrong keywords Short keywords are hard to rank for. And, consequently, they are also very expensive.
More importantly, they are less relevant to your ROI.
Let’s say you’re a plumber in Toronto. The first keyword that comes to mind is ‘plumber’. Or maybe it’s ‘Toronto plumber’.
But here’s the catch: whoever is searching for either of those two keywords may be looking for plumbing jobs or for a job description or for the paperwork one needs to become a plumber in Toronto.
When you do SEO for the right metrics (aka ROI), you have to get a bit more specific and consider user intent for the keywords you choose. Here are some examples:
The Google Search Quality Guidelines specifically say that when you create content that your peeps love, it will rank higher. That’s because:
Because Google wants people to find amazing content. So this should be on your content goal list, too.
Before you search for keywords and content topics that help your business rank higher, take a moment to think about what would help your potential customers. How could your expertise make their day better? When you answer this, you’ll know what to write about.
5. You invest in the wrong kind of content What makes quality content?
Sure, content that answers questions your customers ask.
But how does it have to be?
Study after study show that long-form content is the winner when it comes to SEO.
If you think about it, it makes sense: the longer a piece, the better it can explain a certain topic and answer all the questions a visitor may have. Hence, they spend more time on your page and go back to SERPs less often.
Typically, a long-form piece of content has more than 2,000 words. But you shouldn’t really be thinking about the numbers.
Just think about exhaustively (but without fluff!) explaining today’s topic. Analyze every angle, support your claims with studies and research reports and add relevant graphics to it.
Write like you would explain things to a friend and your audience will thank you.
I know, we are all busy and long-form content takes time to produce. But you can always outsource writing instead of putting it on the back burner for lack of time.
Final recommendations SEO is a balancing act. If you try to rig the game and spam search engine bots with irrelevant links, you’ll end up ranking lower than before. This is why black hat SEO should never cross your mind.
Instead, you should focus on delivering value. Value for your customers and value for the internet in general. There are enough click bait and garbage content online. Don’t add to this pile.
Focus on writing something relevant and well-documented that people actually want to read.
If you need help with creating SEO content that ranks and reads well, my team of expert SEO writers and I are just a click away.
Do you remember the days when you had to go to the library to look for information? Or ask a friend or relative?
While both these options still exist, they are widely surpassed by internet searches. Sure, you may still call your mom to get her mouth-watering cookie recipe or get a friend’s recommendation for a hip burger bar.
But when you need to know something now or when your needs aren’t dictated by nostalgia, you simply search for it online.
Which brings us to some of the two most relevant (but sadly often overlooked) questions in the SEO game:
User Intent and SEO: Understanding the Million Dollar Connection
When you plan your next piece of content, what dictates its optimization?
I was surprised to learn that most of my agency’s customers placed too much importance on keyword search volume. They wanted to rank for high-volume keywords so they can get more traffic to their websites.
In a way, it’s understandable.
But this doesn’t make it profitable.
What most marketers and business usually overlook is user intent.
A 2006 study by the University of Hong Kong found that you can segment search intent into two primary goals: general information about the topic in the keyword and more specific information.
This tells us a lot about the scope of the user. For example, someone searching for SEO typically needs to understand the basics of the term. On the other hand, if someone searches for on-page SEO tools, we can assume that they have already covered the basics of SEO, perhaps even that they are experts in the field looking for tools for their next project.
However, there are nuances to this. As Google’s own Paul Haahr explained it: if someone is looking for a store (like Walmart), they are most likely looking for the nearest one to them, not for the company’s headquarters.
This type of reasoning is clearly present in the Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines. Part three (Needs Met Guidelines) explains how Google ranks websites depending on whether the results matched the user’s query.
What does this mean for your content?Simply put: don’t try to fool the algorithms. If your main keyword is SEO, your content should define the term, then move to a more in-depth analysis. If your main keyword is on-page SEO tools, your content should either be a list of those tools or a landing page for such a tool.
But there’s more to user intent than this.
Do-Know-Go – Three Types of Queries for Three Types of Users
I like to say that content writers should write for users, not search engines. If users like your content (see above), search engines will, too.
You should write in a way that meets customers’ current needs. Yes, the buyer journey is important. And nowhere is it better reflected than in the queries they make online.
The Do-Know-Go segmentation makes it clear:
Do: these are your typical transactional queries. The user wants to do something: buy a new car/concert tickets or hire a contractor to remodel the kitchen.
Know: these are informational queries. The user wants to learn something, like in my SEO example above. Another great example is best coffee shop in London.
Go: these are navigation queries. The user wants to go to a specific place online. Ever typed Facebook in the search bar instead of writing facebook.com in your browser? This is the perfect example of a navigation query. They are also used when you can’t remember the exact website of the company you are looking for.
Depending on the type of query they make, users will be shown different special results.
It is, after all, Google’s mission to organize the internet and provide relevant results. And users can see this from the first result, special or otherwise.
What does this mean for your content?First off, it means that you should know exactly which users you are targeting and where in their buyer journey they are.
For example, optimizing for how to remodel your kitchen can be tricky. It’s OK for buyers in the first stages of their journey. You can write a piece that ultimately tells them they’re better off hiring you. But keep in mind that this is a clearly informational query. So you may end up with readers that are set on DIY-ing it.
If you are a contractor and you want to cater to people in the first stages of the buying cycle, better keywords would be top kitchen trends of 2019 or cost of kitchen remodeling.
For other stages of the buying cycle, you should optimize locally and make sure to add a variable. Here’s how: Tampa luxury kitchen remodeling contractor, Edinburgh cheap kitchen remodel.
What Gets Clicked on?
Now for the second question: how do you make sure it’s your content that gets clicked on?
Well, the first step is ranking high enough to be noticed.
The second one is having a great headline. Keep in mind that there is more to great headlines than buzzwords and superlatives. To begin with, your headline should be a brief summary of what your customer can expect to find once they click on it.
Take a look at my query below:
It is exactly what I mentioned above: introductory guides and definitions of SEO.
Again, you should never try to trick the algorithms. If your headline says “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” that’s exactly what users should find once they click it.
Why not try to fool the bots?
Because as soon as people discover they have been tricked, they will revert back to the SERP looking for another website that meets their needs, as the Google guidelines clearly state.
More importantly, because this type of traffic is irrelevant, you won’t be able to sell anything or gain new followers this way. And, after all, this is what SEO is about, not meaningless traffic.
Should you optimize only for converting traffic, like in the contractor example above?
You should, instead, have a well-rounded content strategy that guides the user through all the stages of the buyer journey.
Why should you waste time sharing your expertise, you ask?
Well, first of all because the user who got to your website through an informational query may be so impressed with that expertise that they remember to buy from you once their journey is closer to the end. Great content gets you followers and newsletter subscribers. In other words, leads ready to be nurtured and turned into buyers.
Secondly, because intent changes over time. What was once an informational query can turn into a transactional one. Search engines adapt to the user’s history. They know what your potential buyer has already read and what they resonated with. They also know (much faster than you!) when the user is ready to move to the next stage of the buying cycle even if their queries are ambiguous.
Make sure that your content strategy is user-centric. The rankings will follow.
In many cases, your website is the core of your online presence. This is especially true for businesses which are depending on their sites to convey a whole slew of impressions upon the visitor – who are you, what you do and so on.
Depending on how you use it, tangibly it can be as little as a mere presence or as much as a sales channel which never stops at any time of day. What isn’t often seen though is the impression your website creates on your customer – which impacts your brand.
Creating a website experience that is flawless can go a long way towards winning the hearts of your visitors. This isn’t as easy as it seems and today, we will discuss some of the aspects which can guide your design for maximum User Experience (UX) benefits.
Do More with Less - Thanks to rich multimedia content, there is a tendency for users today to have shorter attention spans. In fact, there are claims that the average user today has an attention span of approximately 6 to 8 seconds. That is the amount of time you have to win them over.
While your homepage is certainly an important anchor in your site, make sure that you don’t overpopulate it. Stick to only core elements on that page and make use of sub-pages to elaborate or extend.
While there have been cases where business owners have complained of pages that look too Spartan, white space is an essential element of good design. It gives users a sense of freedom and openness.
The drawback of this is that white space does take up space, so an optimal design must be balanced. Keep in mind that the key area of your site will be above the fold (the portion users see before they must start scrolling).
Focus on Speed - Technology has served us well, but it has also spoiled many of us. We have little patience to wait for things and if a website keeps us waiting, we’ll simply visit an alternative site. The loading speed of your site directly influences the chances of increased traffic, not just with your visitors but also affecting your search engine rankings.
As an example, there have been studies showing that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. About 47% expect websites to load within 2 seconds. All of this means that you are losing visitors if your site is slow.
There are a ton of ways to increase website speed and performance that doesn’t involve paying a ton for more web hosting resources. Look towards optimizing your site first before buying more resources. For example, make use of gzip or image compression, optimize the coding in your css files and choose the best-performing theme you can find.
When all else fails, then it is time to look for a hosting option that offers more resources. If you are on shared hosting, you might want to consider moving to VPS hosting to increase your site speed.
It’s Past Time to Go Mobile - Thanks to the explosion in mobile technology, more users today are surfing the net on their mobile devices than ever before. In fact, more than half of all web pages today are served up to mobile devices and that number is steadily increasing.
Switch between desktop and mobile formats easily in the Wix interface
It is vital that your website be able to accommodate mobile users. How this is done depends on your site. If you’re using WordPress, look for a responsive theme that can handle both desktop and mobile traffic. If you’re using a site builder like Wix, they often have a segment that will let you manage the mobile portion of your site specifically.
Secure Your Site - Security is an increasing concern and thanks to moves by major web browsers, users are becoming more aware of this than ever. Almost all browsers today will visually indicate to users if a website they are on is secure or not.
Securing your site involves the use of an SSL certificate and helps reassure users that any data they share with the site is safe. This is especially important if you are running a site that processes user data such as emails and passwords, or even an eCommerce site that needs to manage payment information.
Be Careful with Images - Everyone loves big, beautiful visuals, but they can be a killer drain on resources. Also, they tend to take up a lot of space which could otherwise be more strategically used. Using the wrong image can also influence your visitors greatly.
The type of images you choose needs to resonate with your target market. Visitors need to see images associated personally with your brand and not visuals of anything else even if it’s in the same category.
Use them in key locations that will support your content – for example as breaks between lines of text to let users rest their eyes, or to support a specific point you are trying to make such as the free ranges cows roam, if you’re trying to sell milk.
Conclusion - UX is an entire science on its own and these tips while important are only a fraction of what site owners need to learn. There are both technical as well as human aspects of UX and by using the right mix of both you can create the perfect balance that suits your site.
It can also help you create better overall site results through a combination of consistent branding and clear calls to action.
Achieving goals of any sort involves doing more of the right—and less of the wrong—things. Marketing and social media goals are no exception. How can you better ensure your social media efforts will help you accomplish your brand’s objectives in this new year? These Dos and Don’ts should help.
Think first. Then post. Remember that what you post on your personal social media accounts can affect how people view your company. Think carefully about how posts that issue commentary on hot-button topics like religion, politics, or gender issues might impact your relationships with customers, vendors, and others in the business community.
Let them hear your voice. On your blog and social media channels, let your readers see your personality shine through. Many people follow bloggers because they like what the writers are saying AND how they’re saying it. Share your unique insight and strike a conversational tone that engages readers. My client, Lennie, an elder law attorney, is an excellent example of a blogger who does this well. While many writers in his field cover the standard stuff like “10 things to put in your will,” Lennie writes about how smart seniors do dumb things, and he infuses his perspective into his content.
Be real. Show your audience that you have real people behind your logo; it will make it easier for them to relate to your brand. Some ways to do that are to introduce members of your team, show videos with “behind the scenes” glimpses of your staff doing what they do best, and take photos of your team at special events and activities. Also, consider promoting the personal brand of your business owner or a high-level manager to put a face to your business name. Many organizations are doing that and it’s an effective way to facilitate loyalty and trust.
Set realistic expectations. Realize that social media alone can’t grow sales. Yes, it can help immensely by building your brand reputation, generating awareness, and increasing visibility of your business. However, many other areas of your company impact customer acquisition and revenue growth. Examples include the performance of your website, the quality of your products and services, your sales team’s skills, and your customer service. You must pay attention to your business as a whole for social media to succeed.
Write for your readers. Focus your content on what will help your audience and write it in a way that they will understand it. Simplifying your content doesn’t mean you have to dumb it down, but avoid overly complicated wording and sentence structure. For instance, I once edited a post for a client in which he used an example of bilingual translation to illustrate his point about communication. It was complex, and I feared readers might not grasp the meaning. I simplified his content to discuss communication via text message instead, something his millennial readership could relate to better.
Put personalization into practice. Customers expect that brands will tailor deals and discounts to their unique interests and needs. Consider embracing the potential of targeted advertising and retargeting campaigns on social media to cater to the demand for individualized content and offers.
Engage with haters, trolls, and other negative influences online. Battling them is—and always will be—a lost cause. If you do, you’ll waste time, energy, and creativity that you could be using to build your brand and serve your customers.
Try to be everywhere and do everything. Not every social media platform will deliver results for your business. And by trying to maintain too many channels, you’ll become overwhelmed and dilute your effectiveness on those that matter most. Stay active only on the accounts that give you the best return on your time and effort.
Post without proofreading. If you publish posts with careless grammar and misspellings, it will reflect poorly on your brand. Before making posts live, review what you wrote and fix mistakes. Review the content again after you publish it because sometimes sneaky errors can slip by despite initial proofreading efforts.
Ignore your followers’ questions, comments, and messages. Although this seems like a logical no-no, it happens often. Ignoring your audience is the fast track to causing hard feelings, missing opportunities, and damaging your brand. Keep tabs on activity on your social media accounts and respond promptly to your followers.
Use AI as a substitute for human interaction. Marketing automation saves time, but never use it as a replacement for person-to-person communication on social media. Your followers expect to develop a relationship with your brand, which can only be done if you’re genuinely, humanly engaged with them.
Dwell too much on your competition. Watching your competition is essential, but more critical to your success is developing your business and delivering excellent service to your customers. Leverage and nurture your brand’s unique strengths and capabilities rather than trying to be a carbon copy of another company.
The Year is Young—Start Doing the Right Things Now. Take charge of your social media strategy, and don’t look back! Now is the ideal time to revisit and refine your plans. The positive changes you make now will position your business for better outcomes all year long.
The online industry is versatile and full of possibilities to put your talents into work and launch a successful career. Through blogging, many people have already found a way to earn a steady income by sharing their stories and experience with the online community. Moreover, blogs are a perfect method of business promotion that can increase your website traffic, increase your sales, and enhance the overall user experience.
Successful bloggers don’t rely only on their talent for writing. There is a whole lot of extra work included in making the blog content compelling, valuable to the audience, and engaging enough to make readers want to comment and share blog posts. The number of helpful blogging tools that make a blogger’s life easier grows larger almost every day. Our current article will show some of the most useful blogging tools that will help you make the most of your blogging experience.
An excellent time-saving option for everyone from individuals to business owners that provides holistic marketing campaign management. CoSchedule puts together all social networks that you plan to use during your marketing campaign. Instead of publishing your posts on one platform at a time, this tool shares your posts on all social accounts at the same time. Moreover, analytics show the most engaging posts, tracks which social network provided most visits, etc. so you can coordinate your campaign and make the best of it.
A simple tool that provides an abundance of data that shows your visitors demographics, creates live traffic statistics, and a series of other information that helps you improve your blog and find out which is your target audience. All you need in order to use Google Analytics is a Google Account and you’re good to go.
It’s important to have impeccable content if you want to really move your audience and help them understand the message you’re trying to convey. Online editing services can edit, proofread, and improve your writing so all visitors read your message loud and clear.
Knowing what your competitors are doing is of paramount importance if you want to keep up with the market flow. SEMrush helps you keep track of the most popular posts your competitors publish and provides insight into the most popular keywords relevant to your niche. The better you understand your competitors, the more chance you’ll have in changing what you’re doing wrong.
The safety of your blog is another issue that should be on your mind. LastPass helps you keep all of your passwords in one place, safely encrypted so nobody but you can gain access to your data. This piece of software can also generate complex passwords that can’t be easily hacked.
Some writers get distracted easily and need a way to remove anything that would keep their attention away from work. This is a simple word processor that turns your computer into a typewriter, leaving you with nothing but a blank page and your keyboard. This way writers can focus on their work instead of looking at various buttons and icons.
A browser-based online tool that helps you fix any spelling or grammar mistakes. Grammarly also helps with punctuation and wording so you can improve the readability of your work. What’s good about Grammarly is that it keeps the formatting of your text once you’re done editing.
Blogs should have both visual and informational appeal to the audience for a more enhanced user experience. Pixabay is one of the best free stock photo platforms for downloading various photos to go along with your topic and make it more appealing to readers.
One of the most downloaded WordPress plugins allows you to optimize your posts and make them SEO-friendly. This plugin allows adding keywords, meta descriptions, and a whole lot of other optimization features that will bring your post closer to the top page of any search engine.
Email represents a marketing option that shows great long term potential. It allows bloggers to communicate more directly with their audience and send them the content that really holds personal value for the reader. Ontraport does more than sending emails to the target audience, it informs you of the progress you’re making with each mail sent and allows you to correct the potential mistakes you’re making during your campaign.
There is so much more to blogging than writing, it’s time-consuming and takes a lot of effort. However, with the proper tools, your experience as a blogger acquires a new dimension and becomes much easier. Ultimately, blogging will certainly improve your writing and communication skills which you can utilize sometime in the future.