4 Ways to Improve the Performance of Your Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your website underperforming and if it is, what can you do about it? To help determine the performance of your website, start by establishing the following benchmarks:

  1. What is my site’s domain authority?

Do Google and the other search engines see your site?  Are your pages properly indexed and optimized?  Domain authority helps indicate how well your site performs in a search engine. This tool provides your site with a score between 0-100.   There are several online tools that will look at your site and provide you with this score. Let us know if you need help with this, and we will happily assist you with providing your site with its domain authority.

  1. Where is the traffic to my website coming from?

Google Analytics provides you a tool that will show you where the traffic is coming from.  Generally categorized as free and paid traffic, Google separates traffic by referral (coming from other sites), direct (paid traffic), organic (free search), and social (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter).

  1. What is the net traffic to my website?

Google Analytics provides the number of visitors to your site.  Calculating the number of net visitors is the number of visitors subtracted by the back rate or bounce rate.  The back rate is the number of visitors who leave immediately after they visit the site.  The bounce rate is the percentage of single-page sessions (i.e. sessions in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

  1. What is my site’s conversion rate?

Conversion rate represents the percentage of visitors who complete your desired action.  That could be filling out a form, purchasing a product, or calling a telephone number.  Simply, conversion rate is the number of conversions divided by the net number of visitors to your website.

Establishing these benchmarks is important to setting goals that will help improve the performance of your website.  And, the beauty of website performance improvement is that you can increase revenue without increasing advertising spend!

Our white paper How To Improve Your Website For More Leads and Profit is full of additional ways to turn your website into a powerful lead generator. To request your free copy, click here.

Have you had success turning your underperforming website around? If so, tell us how you did it.

Trends in Digital Marketing for 2019

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The new year is all about connectivity, and those who embrace it will thrive in the increasingly more digital world. Here are some opportunities I think will be leading the way in 2019.

 

Connected TV Will Continue Its Rise

Connected TV (CTV) found its momentum in 2018 with viewership steadily increasing and projected to reach 190 million users in 2019 while traditional cable continues to decline. According to Extreme Reach, the growth of CTV doubled in 2018 versus the previous year. And, it overtook mobile, which accounted for 30 percent of video ad impressions. CTV enables televisions to connect to the Internet, opening up a world of content not before available through traditional TV viewing. This translates into unparalleled reach and better targeting for marketers.

Instagram TV Will Take On YouTube

In 2018 Instagram set out to disrupt the video market by launching its own YouTube competitor called Instagram TV (IGTV). In the past, Instagram stories were only viewable for 24 hours, and videos could only be one minute. With IGTV, this is no longer the case, and marketers and Instagram users are taking notice. Marketers are seeing the potential IGTV brings to engage with prospects in a meaningful and highly targeted way. Video content is still a powerful tool in 2019.

Artificial Intelligence Will Become More Pervasive

Marketers can’t beat the enhanced analytics AI provides, so it’s no wonder more and more marketers are using AI to plan and execute their campaigns. According to Salesforce, 51 percent of marketing leaders are already using AI in some form, and more than a quarter will begin using AI technology in 2019. With increased usage, we can expect to see improvements in this technology over time. Chatbots are a great example. Powered by AI automation, bots are reshaping the way customers interact with brands and shape the customer experience by answering queries and providing online assistance.

Augmented Reality Advertising Will Get Real

One of the most prevalent obstacles of online shopping is customers can’t personally engage with the product by touching it, trying it on, etc. Augmented reality (AR) technology solves this problem. Furniture brands like IKEA use AR so online shoppers can visualize what the furniture will look like in their homes, and makeup chains such as Sephora enable online shoppers to test products on themselves using an uploaded selfie. Consumers are opting to buy online now more than ever, so AR is going to become increasingly more important and more sophisticated.

Voice Advertising Will Enhance Customization

Currently, millions of people use voice devices to ask for information, make a phone call, text, or easily place orders — and advertisers are starting to take notice. According to Com Score, an estimated 50 percent of all searches will be conducted through voice by 2020. You can see the opportunity this technology provides to develop creative voice campaigns that use jingles or recognizable influencer voices targeted to your prospects. And, unlike text queries, which tend to be short, voice-activated searches provide marketers with greater context to more effectively tailor the message to the target audience’s needs and preferences.

Be On The Look Out For Visual Searches

This technology is just beginning to take off. A visual search enables a consumer to take a photo of a desired product with their smartphone and then locate the item (or one similar to it) in a store. Home Depot and Urban Outfitters are just two examples of brands using this technology. And, platforms like Pinterest, Bing and Google have rolled out search functions that enable users to locate items inspired by objects in the real world.

I am excited by these technologies and the possibilities they offer marketers in 2019. Don’t be afraid to try something new and take full advantage of all of the new ways we have to reach prospects. Happy New Year!

 

Do You Do These 5 Things Successful Retailers Do?

greatest_bannersIllustration: KrizzDaPaul/GettyImagesWhile online sales continue to take on retail, the most successful retailers have discovered that the secret to success is to prioritize what it is your customers truly want, invest in the technology and people to deliver it, and make the experience seamless across channels. Before I talk about the five ways they do this, I want to share recent Custora research that gives insight into what’s driving retail growth.

Average Order Frequency Beats Customer Acquisition

Yes, you read that right. High-growth brands invest significantly in acquiring new customers, but it’s relatively inefficient.

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Savvy retailers have responded, instead investing their dollars in things like welcome series, hybrid subscription models, and personalization across channels and devices to drive brand engagement and product discovery.

Increasing Average Order Size Increases Revenue

Another powerful finding from Custora is that increasing basket size is more beneficial than just trying for repeat business.  The most successful data-driven retailers excel at cross-selling by suggesting complementary products the customer may like or upselling by showing the customer premium merchandise and full-price new arrivals.

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But, most retailers will tell you that growing basket size is more difficult than driving repeat business. They are right – unless they are doing these five things.

The 5 Steps to Retail Success

  1. Analyze Your Customer Data: You gather lots of data on your customers. Take a look at it and see what it’s telling you about your customers’ relationship to your brand.
  2. Create A Plan: Are you going to try to cross-sell or upsell? Determine that objective and then set goals. In general, cross-selling is a good starting approach for retailers of relatively low price-point goods, impulse purchases, or a wide merchandise assortment. Retailers of homogeneous or high-consideration goods might instead focus on upselling.
  3. Look At Your Sales: Now it’s time to study your sales and see what that data tells you. What products are typically purchased together? Which customer type tends to buy premium products? Knowing this information is invaluable.
  4. Start Small: The most successful retailers keep it simple when they are just beginning. So, begin with just one offer and measure its impacts and adjust accordingly, then expand from there.
  5. Optimize And Automate: Once you have identified what works, keep your momentum going by continuing to monitor your data and tweaking your approach in response to what your data is telling you.

By implementing these five steps, retailers unlock untapped opportunity and increase their ability to grow and thrive – even in the digital age.

 

Demographics Don’t Gauge Your Target Market’s Mood – Why That Matters

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Unknown-1In a climate ripe with data gathering and advanced analytics, the mood of our prospects isn’t often considered. We’ve come so far since the early days of advertising, yet in many ways we still rely on the yesteryear approach to marketing. Think about how we price advertising, which is archaic when you consider it’s best to buy ads one at a time based on analytic analysis. Equally outdated is the basic premise of demographics – a practice that begun in the 1920s – and it’s enduring focus on greater segmentation and third-party data collection with disregard to how we consume media in today’s economy.

In all of our advances, we seem to have missed the boat. Social media is the closest we’ve come to hitting the mark. Only in that arena do we realize that we have the means to speak to our prospects in real time. But, that’s where we tend to stop. We don’t acknowledge that that means we can advertise to prospects frequently, optimizing campaigns around prospects’ given moods.

If You Want a Personal Connection With Prospects, You Can’t Discount Mood

Much (if not all) of our segmenting is hard fact centered; we never consider mood. Yet, we increasingly want to use our technological advances to make a more meaningful, personal connection. It seems counterintuitive, and I’m not alone in this thinking.

We should be putting more emphasis on prospects’ given mood and optimizing from that vantage point. Media buys would then be adjusted to the content that speaks to the prospects’ moods, using real-time reactions. Traditional, long-held demographic segmenting practices alone will not get us where we want to go. We have to dig deeper and consider the moods of our prospects to reach them in a meaningful way.

Why You Should Use HTML for Your Marketing E-Mails

There was once a time when there was a valid concern regarding the deliverability of HTML e-mails, but that is no longer the case. So if you aren’t using HTML for your marketing e-mails, you should. Here’s why.

1. HTML Drives More Leads

With HTML you can build in interactive hyperlinks and calls to action that take your content to the next level, generating more leads and sales conversions than plain text ever could.

  1. HTML Is Responsive

Another advantage of using HTML is the fact you can offer an unsubscribe option. This gives your prospects the opportunity to opt out of future e-mails from you, so your list is comprised of only the best, most qualified leads who want to hear from you.

HTML also gives you the huge advantage of gathering analytics, seeing who engaged and how. This enables you to track and measure audience engagement and refines your e-mail marketing strategy based on what you find out.

  1. HTML Design Isn’t Busy

Often marketers worry HTML e-mails will be too busy. Not true. You can make HTML e-mails just as clean as plain text e-mail but with all of the added benefits HTML offers. In fact, HTML provides the perfect balance between effectively branding your company and controlling the content message, ensuring the content is the focus of the e-mail.

  1. Even HTML Design Must Follow Best Practices

When using HTML, you still have to follow best practices. Keep your design clean, your copy short, and your call to action prominent. Take advantage of analytics and test subject lines and offers to see what works best to get your prospects’ attention. Remember though to only test one thing at a time or you won’t know what impacted the results you see. Most importantly, always, always use a good e-mail list!

HTML is really the only way to go when it comes to sending your marketing e-mails, so don’t be afraid to use it. You won’t regret it!

 

Three Ways to Optimize Your Display Ads

Display ads can be a great way to increase your brand exposure and build awareness. But if you’ve ever run a display ad, you know that getting qualified prospects to click can be challenging. Luckily, I’ve found some ways to help. By using data analytics, you can make sure your ads are running in the right place at the right time, hopefully generating more clicks from better prospects. Here are three easy ways to do that.

  1. Audit Your AdWords Placements

The name of the game with display advertising is impressions. Google wants you to get the most impressions possible because that’s how they get paid. Google isn’t concerned with the quality or relevancy of those impressions. You need to be. You can’t just pick a topic or interest to target (like marketing) and call it a day. Your ad is likely to end up on all sorts of sites – many of which you won’t think are a good match.

Not every website on the Internet that matches the Google “marketing” definition will necessarily be a match for your company. The best way to figure out where your ads are being displayed, what’s working and what’s not is to audit your display ad placements. To do this you just open your display ad in AdWords, click on the Display Network tab, and then click Placements. You’ll see where your ad(s) were displayed, the number of impressions and clicks, conversions, etc., for each site your ad was displayed on. You will quickly be able to determine which sites are worth your ad dollars and which ones aren’t and proceed accordingly.

  1. Identify the Best Keywords

We have a similar situation here with keyword contextual targeting. When you determine your keywords, you have to remember that not every site Google selects using your keywords will be relevant. (The audit you do in step one above will shed some light on your keywords too.)

The best way to find the best keywords is to listen to how your prospects talk about your business segment. You can do this by opening one of your relevant paid search campaigns in AdWords, click on Keywords, and then Search Terms. You’ll see the exact searches that triggered your ad and the results they achieved.

Once you know these top-performing keywords and phrases, you can use them to build your contextual targeting keyword strategy.

  1. Look at Demographics

Demographic targeting can help improve the performance of your display ad(s). To see the demographics of the visitors to your site, open Google Analytics, click on Audience, then Demographics, then Overview, and then select Converters. If you have enough traffic to your site, you’ll see great demographics information you can use. If your site traffic isn’t stellar, you can run a similar report using the AdWords Report Editor in Google Analytics.

As with all other marketing tactics, the success or failure of your strategy is largely reliant on how well you use your data to guide your decisions. Pay attention and respond to what your data is telling you, and your display ads and all of your other marketing initiatives will perform better.