Category Archives: Website Optimization

13 Points to Consider When Setting Up a Google AdWords Campaign

As 2015 draws to a close, time to develop your digital marketing plan is quickly running out. Whether you are suffering from writer’s block or you simply cannot focus on drinking a bit too much eggnog, the following 4-step guide should help give you a kick start. However, before we look at the points, it is important to clear up a common misconception many people have about marketing by answering one question:

 Is your marketing plan trying to answer the wrong question?

I can bet that you and your marketing team are smart – probably even much smarter than I am. However, it makes no sense to be smart but uses your skills and knowledge to answer the wrong question! Let me illustrate this point with an example: a couple of years ago, our company carried out a survey of more than 100 business owners, asking them one question:

“What is the #1 thing you would like to know about digital marketing?”

As is to be expected, the responses were varied, but most of them followed a common theme. Many of the business owners polled wanted to know, “Is there one marketing tactic that I can use to give me the best Return on Investment (ROI)?”

I am pretty confident that if we polled business owners again today, we would get the same question coming up because it is one that our clients keep asking us. Chances are you are also looking for the answer to this issue too!

If you have asked yourself this question, then this article should make it clear that no single tactic or strategy gives the best ROI. When developing your marketing plan, you should not look to find a single ‘holy grail’ trick. What your strategy should do instead is to combine multiple channels to come up with a unified way to improve your ROI.

Now that we have got that out of the way, we can now move to the four steps to creating a successful digital marketing plan.

Step 1: Define Your Goals For 2016

The most crucial step of planning your marketing strategy is determining your goals. However, you should not just have any goals; they should be SMART goals. This is a mnemonic which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Each of your strategy’s goals must meet each of those criteria.

Specific

It is common to hear business owners set vague goals like ‘we need more leads’ or ‘we should increase our sales.’ However, these are not real goals. How many more leads does the business need? How much growth is the company aiming for in 2016? If your goals are already set, be prepared to review them and make them as accurate as possible.

Measurable

You must have measurable goals so that you know what progress you are making toward achieving them. When carrying out your digital marketing efforts, Google Analytics can help you to measure how close or far you are from achieving your goals.

Achievable

Although it is a lot of fun to dream big and set your sights high, it is important that you give yourself targets that can be achieved within the next 12 months. The goals you set should not demoralize, but be a source of excitement and motivation.

Relevant

Does your goal matter in the bigger picture of your business’ success? Achieving your goals should have a direct impact on your bottom line. A #1 Google ranking for ‘New York pediatric surgeon’ is a goal that is specific, measurable and could be achievable, but does no good for the business of a doctor who does not deal with children.

Time-Bound

Because you are preparing your goals for 2016, the deadline for the achievement of your goals is December 31, 2016. Because some of your goals can (and should) be possible to achieve by then, set an appropriate completion date. Having deadlines for your goals is a great motivator to reaching them.

Step 2: Work Backwards When Defining Your Monthly Goals and KPIs

By this point, you should have set your goals. For example, your goal could be to generate sales of $1,000,000 in the next 12 months. This would be a reasonable SMART goal if your business generated less than a million dollars in 2013.

Your next step is to figure out the future date you expect to hit this target and then work backwards. This is a major step as it allows you to identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you must track to achieve your goal eventually.

Although it may sound strange, a simple way to do this is to start by assuming it is December 31, 2016. Write down what the performance of your business looked like that month. Picturing what your future would look like is a simple mind game that is, however, a critical part of planning for 2016.

This exercise will help you answer questions like how many sales were necessary for December to hit your 2016 goal? To generate the $1 million mentioned above, is necneeded to generate $83,333 every month over 12 months. Of course, this is an oversimplified figure as you should plan to have growth month over month from January to December.

So, how many sales are necessary to generate $83,333 every month? If you have an average customer value of $500, you will need 167 sales every month. The next question is: To make 167 sales, how many leads do you require? If your lead conversion rate is 10%, you need to attract 1,670 leads. Looking at your website’s historical analytics figures, you may find that your visitor to lead conversion also stands at 10%. This means you need to have 16,700 visitors to your website every month to hit your sales target.

This example shows how working backwards makes it simple to identify KPIs for your business.

 Step 3: Get Real

The third step in developing an effective marketing plan for 2016 is to check your goals against the KPIs in step 2. Given your traffic statistics, is it possible for you to achieve visitor numbers of over 16,000 every month? Are the conversion rates you used attainable when measured against similar businesses or your historical data?

Getting the answers to these questions requires a fair bit of research and probably some expert third-party advice. The key issue is whether you generate enough traffic to help you achieve your goals. For instance, Google’s Keyword Planner may indicate that there are 100,000 searches every month for the product or service you offer; is it possible for your SEO and Google Adwords to deliver 16,000 visitors to your website?

Although 16% of all the searches for your keyword may not look like much, it is important to remember that – for most businesses – a 2% AdWords click through rate can be termed a successful campaign. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expert to ensure that the goals you have set are achievable and realistic. If you discover that you have set unattainable goals, do not be ashamed to revise them. It is better to do this at the beginning than to spend 12 months chasing shadows.

Step 4: Assign Responsibilities

The last step of developing your strategy should be relatively straightforward. This move involves assigning a member of your team the responsibility for the implementation and measurement of monthly progress. If your plans for growth are big, you may need to hire someone specifically for this task, or outsource it to a different company.

Creating A Digital Marketing Plan For 2016

As 2015 draws to a close, time to develop your digital marketing plan is quickly running out. Whether you are suffering from writer’s block or you simply cannot focus from drinking a bit too much eggnog, the following 4-step guide should help give you a kick start. However, before we look at the points, it is important to clear up a common misconception many people have about marketing by answering one question:

 Is your marketing plan trying to answer the wrong question?

I can bet that you and your marketing team are smart – probably even much smarter than I am. However, it makes no sense to be smart but use your skills and knowledge to answer the wrong question! Let me illustrate this point with an example: a couple of years ago, our company carried out a survey of more than 100 business owners, asking them one question:

“What is the #1 thing you would like to know about digital marketing?”

As is to be expected, the responses were varied, but most of them followed a common theme. Many of the business owners polled wanted to know, “Is there one marketing tactic that I can use to give me the best Return on Investment (ROI)?”

I am pretty confident that if we polled business owners again today, we would get the same question coming up because it is one that our clients keep asking us. Chances are you are also looking for the answer to this question too!

If you have asked yourself this question, then this article should make it clear that there is no single tactic or strategy that gives the best ROI. When developing your marketing plan, you should not look to find a single ‘holy grail’ trick. What your strategy should do instead is to combine multiple channels in order to come up with a unified way to improve your ROI.

Now that we have got that out of the way, we can now move to the 4 steps to creating a successful digital marketing plan.

Step 1: Define Your Goals For 2016

The most crucial step of planning your marketing strategy is defining your goals. However, you should not just have any goals; they should be SMART goals. This is a mnemonic which means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Each of your strategy’s goals must meet each of those criteria.

Specific

It is common to hear business owners set vague goals like ‘we need more leads’ or ‘we should increase our sales.’ However, these are not real goals. How many more leads does the business need? How much growth is the business aiming for in 2016? If your goals are already set, be prepared to review them and make them as specific as possible.

Measurable

You must have measurable goals so that you know what progress you are making toward achieving them. When carrying out your digital marketing efforts, Google analytics can help you to measure how close or far you are from achieving your goals.

Achievable

Although it is a lot of fun to dream big and set your sights high, it is important that you give yourself targets that can be achieved within the next 12 months. The goals you set should not demoralize, but be a source of excitement and motivation.

Relevant

Does your goal matter in the bigger picture of your business’ success? Achieving your goal should have a direct impact on your bottom line. A #1 Google ranking for ‘New York pediatric surgeon’ is a goal that is specific, measurable and could be achievable, but does no good for the business of a doctor who does not deal with children.

Time-Bound

Because you are preparing your goals for 2016, the deadline for the achievement of your goals is December 31, 2016. Because some of your goals can (and should) be possible to achieve by then, set an appropriate completion date. Having deadlines for your goals is a great motivator to achieving them.

Step 2: Work Backwards When Defining Your Monthly Goals and KPIs

By this point, you should have set your goals. For example, your goal could be to generate sales of $1,000,000 in the next 12 months. This is a possible SMART goal if your business generated less than a million dollars in 2013.

Your next step is to figure out the future date you expect to hit this target and then work backwards. This is an important step as it allows you to identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you must track to eventually achieve your goal.

Although it may sound strange, a simple way to do this is to start by assuming it is December 31, 2016. Write down what the performance of your business looked like that month. Picturing what your future would look like is a simple mind game that is, however a critical part of planning for 2016.

This exercise will help you answer questions like: how many sales were necessary in December to hit your 2016 goal? To generate the $1 million mentioned above, it is necessary to generate $83,333 every month over 12 months. Of course, this is an oversimplified figure as you should plan to have growth month over month from January to December.

So, how many sales are necessary to generate $83,333 every month? If you have an average customer value of $500, you will need 167 sales every month. The next question is: To make 167 sales, how many leads do you require? If your lead conversion rate is 10%, you need to attract 1,670 leads. Looking at your website’s historical analytics figures, you may find that your visitor to lead conversion also stands at 10%. This means you need to have 16,700 visitors to your website every month in order to hit your sales target.

This example shows how working backwards makes it simple to identify KPIs for your business.

 Step 3: Get Real

The third step in developing an effective marketing plan for 2016 is to check your goals against the KPIs in step 2. Given your traffic statistics, is it possible for you to achieve visitor numbers of over 16,000 every month? Are the conversion rates you used attainable when measured against similar businesses or your own historical data?

Getting the answers to these questions requires a fair bit of research and probably some expert third-party advice. The key question is whether you generate enough traffic to help you achieve your goals. For instance, Google’s Keyword Planner may indicate that there are 100,000 searches every month for the product or service you offer; is it possible for your SEO and Google Adwords to deliver 16,000 visitors to your website?

Although 16% of all the searches for your keyword may not look like much, it is important to remember that – for most businesses – a 2% AdWords click through rate can be termed a successful campaign. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expert to ensure that the goals you have set are achievable and realistic. If you discover that you have set unattainable goals, do not be ashamed to revise them. It is better to do this at the beginning than to spend 12 months chasing shadows.

Step 4: Assign Responsibilities

The last step of developing your strategy should be fairly straightforward. This step involves assigning a member of your team the responsibility for the implementation and measurement of monthly progress. If your plans for growth are big, you may need to hire someone specifically for this task, or outsource it to a different company.

Google AdWords: Search vs. Display Networks

A major gripe for me and many other advertisers online is the way Google pushes advertisers to target both their Search results and Display networks whenever they set up their AdWords campaigns. According to Google, when an advertiser first sets up their AdWords campaign, targeting both networks provides an opportunity for them to reach more customers.

While, technically, this is true, it is not a very good idea. In this article, we will examine why targeting both networks in the same way is a bad idea so that you can avoid the trap of targeting these two very different networks with the same AdWords campaign.

Understanding the Search and Display Networks and Their Differences

When most people think of Google AdWords, the first thing that probably comes to mind is the ads that are displayed alongside search results on Google.com. These ads are run on the Search network. The beauty of the Search network is that it offers advertisers the chance to show prospects highly targeted advertising when they are looking for a particular product or service.

The Google Search network is very similar to the old Yellow Pages. This is because prospects would ‘search’ for a particular item in the Yellow Pages when they were ready to buy, which meant that businesses could advertise whatever products or services they were offering alongside the regular listings. Today, most people use Google.com to search for the products or services they need, with the Search network acting as the new Yellow Pages.

On the other hand, Google’s Display network works completely independently of the Google.com search. The Display network is powered by a service known as AdSense, which places ads on a variety of independent websites whose owners are looking to earn money when people view or click on the ads. Any website owner can sign up to AdSense and place the Display network ads on their website. Advertisers can then target these web pages. Google’s statistics indicate that there are more than 2 million websites which use AdSense today, giving you an idea of just how large the network is.

To understand the difference between the two networks, it is essential to understand that when you advertise on the Display network, your campaign is not targeting people who may be looking for your products or services. Instead, you are advertising to the people who are visiting any one of the websites on the Display network. This fact leads us to the first point you need to understand when advertising with Google:

#1. Your Ad Message Should Match the Relevant Network

Whenever someone visits Google.com and searches for a particular product or service, you are almost guaranteed that they have an immediate need. For example, if a prospect searches for a ‘locksmith in Denver,’ it is fairly obvious what the person wants. This person clearly has an immediate need for someone who fixes or repairs locks in Denver, or else they wouldn’t have taken the time to enter that particular search phrase in Google.

With this in mind, you can then tailor your Search network ad copy so that it is a precise match for the keywords the person searched for. This will ensure that you offer them the best option. Because your prospect typed the search phrase ‘locksmith in Denver,’ the ad you place on the Search network should make it clear that you are a locksmith who operates out of Denver and have a call-to-action to encourage the person to get in touch with you.

On the other hand, let us consider a person who is surfing the internet and reading an article that explains how a deadbolt lock is installed. While it is clear that this person would like to know how locks are installed, you cannot be certain that they actually want or need a locksmith. Unlike the prospect who visits Google.com and types in a search phrase, there is no way to know if this individual has an immediate need – therein lies the difference! In this particular case, the ad campaign you place on the display network should be aimed at convincing the person that getting a locksmith is their best option if they would like to install a deadbolt correctly.

It is fairly obvious from the two examples above that the ad copy you choose for the Search network has to be different from that which you use to advertise on the Display network. It would therefore be impossible for you to effectively match your ad message to the network. As a result, it is therefore a bad idea to use a single campaign to target both advertising networks.

After we understand the importance of matching the ad copy to the relevant network, we can then move the concept to the next level:

#2. Ensure That Ads Match Contextually and Behaviorally

When we looked at the example of the Display network ad above, we were working on the assumption that the ad campaign had been targeted at a contextually relevant webpage that talked about how to install a deadbolt lock. This is the simplest form of targeting available when using Google’s Display network to match the keywords within your ad to relevant web pages on the more than 2 million websites that use AdSense.

Another option available to advertisers who use Google ads is behavioral targeting. This works by showing your ads to individuals whose internet browsing history indicates that they may be interested in purchasing your product or service. For example, if I visit many home décor and home improvement websites, with time, the Google search engine figures that I am interested in this particular area and will put me within an audience group that may be called ‘home improvement.’ Behavioral targeting allows advertisers like interior decorators, painters, plumbers or locksmiths to easily select an audience of people that will be more likely to be interested in the products or services they have to offer.

Now that you are suitably armed with knowledge of how contextual and behavioral targeting works, all you need to do to ensure that your campaigns are more effective is to ensure that your ad copy matches your targeting options. The better you get at matching your copy to your targeting options, the higher the number of clicks your ads will generate.

Duplicate Content Will Kill Your Online Marketing

Many webmasters wonder why duplicate content is such a huge problem when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). While all the information available on the internet regarding duplicate content can seem overwhelming, it makes perfect sense when seen from Google’s point of view.

To illustrate this, let us look at an example that most people can relate to. You may have just watched a good movie and would like to find another similar movie. One way to do this would be to tweet or to send an email to some of your friends, asking them to recommend a film that they liked.

In this case, the result you expect is that your friends will reply with a number of different titles that they think you would enjoy watching. What you definitely do not want is for all of your friends to recommend the exact same movie, which you then decide is not what you are looking for. What you expect to get is a wide variety of movie titles, which increases the likelihood that you will find something you will like.

This is very similar to how Google’s search results work; the people at Google know that if a user keys in a search term and gets 10 web pages full of almost identical results, the chances of the searcher finding the information they require, are drastically reduced. The user experience also suffers, because it is extremely frustrating to click on different search results only to get the exact same information.

In order to get round this problem, Google has developed advanced search algorithms that prevent duplicate pages from being displayed for a particular search phrase. The result is, if you have a page on your website that has the same (or very similar) content to another page online, Google will only rank one of them.

How to Find Out If You Have Duplicate Content on Your Web Pages

There are plenty of tools available online that can help you find out if your web pages contain duplicate content. However, two of the most popular with webmasters and content developers are:

Both of these tools only require you to paste the URL of your webpage into the search box and click the ‘Go’ button to start checking your content. In many cases, some duplicate content will be found, so let us look at ways to fix your content in order to avoid penalties by Google.

Fixing Duplicate Content

Many webmasters and online content developers often try in vain to find the one ‘magic bullet’ solution that will easily solve the problem of duplicate content. Unfortunately, there is no simple, ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution that will work for everyone; how you fix duplicate content on your website depends on your own situation. However, there are 3 solutions that are common, and every webmaster should find at least one that would be a good fit for their website. These are:

  1. 301 Redirect: This works by automatically forwarding visitors to your website from one page to the other if they are duplicates. For all intents and purposes, a 301 Redirect effectively eliminates duplicate content on the website because only one of the 2 pages is accessible online.
  2. Rel=canonical: A second option is to place the rel=canonical tag on the duplicate web pages. By using this tag, it tells Google which URL among the duplicate pages should be displayed among the search results. The tag’s format would look like this: <link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.mydomain.com/the-url-you-want-listed-in-Google.html” />.
  3. No Index: When you would like to tell Google not to add a URL to its indexed search results, the No Index tag comes in handy. This is different from the previous methods because it removes a page from consideration as a search result instead of redirecting traffic. The tag is added to your web page HTML as <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” />.

It is clear that all the above methods of dealing with duplicate content are fairly technical. It is therefore necessary for you to discuss the one that would fit your website best with your web developer.

Are Other Issues Preventing Your Site From Ranking In Google?

Besides duplicate content, there are many other issues that could hurt your website’s Google rankings. If you suspect that there are problems, the best action to take is to carry out an SEO audit. We have an affordable and comprehensive SEO audit service which offers:

  • An in-depth SEO analysis that includes both on-page and off-page factors, as well as mobile, social and analytics that affect your Google rankings.
  • A comprehensive SEO report that grades each factor, allowing you to see areas where your SEO needs improvement.
  • Consultation with one of our SEO experts, who will answer all your questions on optimizing your web pages.

Duplicate content can hurt your rankings with Google so take the time to make your site content stand out from the rest.

Online Video – The Diamond of Digital Marketing

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is a phrase credited to Frederick R. Barnard commenting on the addition of graphics to advertising in 1921. The concept of a picture giving the viewer an image in a second that might take any length of time to describe in writing, is even more applicable to the modern internet age lifestyle. An image remains in the mind for much longer than the spoken word, while very few people have the time or inclination to read written advertisement in today’s rushed world.

Moving pictures have been around since 1890 when the first films were made which lasted for a minute or even less. The motion picture industry has gone through amazing changes and developments since then, all the way from the big reels to the CD and DVD concept. The computer and internet revolution has turned every computing device, from the smallest mobile phone upwards, into a receiving and viewing device and subsequently, into a shop window.

The use of this online video technology as an advertising medium makes it possible for the smallest business enterprise to reach a previously unheard of number of potential customers. Using the new technology in combination with Google, the world’s most popular search engine, you can have exposure to over a billion viewers monthly according to the eBizMBA ranking on 1st June 2015. The second most popular search engine is YouTube, owned by Google, which processes over 3 billion searches every month.

Putting Google and YouTube together and then factoring in the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) criteria employed by Google, the exposure your brand or advertisement receives can be mind boggling. We will take a look at some the factors around Google and YouTube to try and make you aware of the virtually unlimited advertising mileage and exposure you get by making use of YouTube.

  1. YouTube processes more than 3 billion searches every month with the number   growing steadily. Statistics show that YouTube is the fastest growing video sharing website in the world.
  2. With one out of every two internet users on YouTube, there are 1 billion unique visitors viewing 6 billion hours of video every month. In addition to this, 100 hours of new videos are uploaded every minute.
  3. Mobile YouTube viewers make up 25% of the global time that YouTube is being watched with more than 1 billion daily viewers. Your shop window is even open to viewers on the move in today’s non-stop world environment.
  4. In the same way that your website content and format determines your Google ranking, there are similar factors that rank your YouTube advertising video. Some of the factors that can affect the ranking are the number of views, the video title and description as well as the viewer ratings feedback that YouTube receives.
  5. E-marketing is the sales tool of the future with an almost unlimited number of potential clients out there waiting for you to connect with them. YouTube is the most cost effective advertising medium you will find.

The entire business community is continually searching for ways to increase market share and sales. The old days of putting your merchandise in the shop window or advertising your services on billboards and waiting for customers are long gone. Utilizing the internet and the modern online video and YouTube approach for business and service advertising, can have tens of thousands of potential clients passing your ‘shop window’ every single day. The vast numbers reduce the ratio of the cost of advertising to sales dramatically. To look into the future of advertising, all you need to do is to look into online videos.

 

How to Improve Your Conversion Rates for Your Website

While getting traffic to your website isn’t always easy, it’s certainly doable. Increasing conversions on your website, however, is another matter.

Marketing on its own doesn’t generate profits; web conversions do. This is the rate at which the leads that enter your site come in to purchase your goods or services. A lot of people neglect optimizing the sales funnel and instead focus on generating more traffic. As a result, you end up putting more energy into a presumably untested conversion funnel, churning potential customers at a faster rate.

Conversely, when you optimize your site’s conversion funnel, you’re making it much easier for customers to buy, increasing your bottom line. You’re no longer trying to make up the difference to account for lost customers.

To help you on your journey to increase conversions, here are four tips you can start using right now.

Tip 1: Streamline Your Web Design

One of the biggest perpetrators of lost conversions is bad web design. Clunky, cluttered, and ineffective navigation often leads to disoriented visitors. No matter how good your copy may be, a confused user isn’t going to want to buy from your site.

Make sure your site is easily navigable  on a mobile device and make the calls to action simple to understand.

Tip 2: Increase Your Copy Quality

Just as with web design, your copy is central in keeping customers on your site. Make sure what you’re asking the reader is clear and defined. Imagine what the reader will see the first time he or she comes upon your site. Do they understand what to do next? Is your first headline going to hold their attention?

Use copy to encourage users to stay on your site longer (in other words, invest). The longer they stay, the greater the chance you have of converting them to a paying customer.

Tip 3: Capture Their Email Address to Continue Engagement

The email address is the most personal form of communication online. And that’s the best reason to capture an email: to continue the conversation where it’s most personal.

This also makes it easy to follow up and demonstrate your product’s value. The standard ‘Contact Us’ form asks for email addresses, but go the extra mile and build an email list.

Tip 4: Invest in Lead Generation Content

Content like this is of the highest quality, coming in the form of a video, white paper, demo, or anything else your visitor would find valuable. You’ll find that many site offer free PDFs and guides in exchange for an email or a social share.

Put in the time to make this educational content, and you’ll be sure to gain more customers, fast!

What did you think of our tips? Do you have any of your own to share? Let us know in the comments.

Improve Your Offline Conversions With These 3 Online Tactics

Whether we’d like to believe it or not, the offline marketing world still thrives. Mailers, direct ads, billboards, posters, and other forms of direct advertising still drive considerable amounts of leads to businesses.

However, as we go through the digital age, we find that online marketing is much easier to use in tracking performance than are the static offline tools still in use today. This is the primary reason you don’t want to neglect the power of digital marketing. You can reach customers nearly any time of the day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Really, the only limitations you have are your audience and your budget.

The True Power of Online

DId you know that using online marketing in addition to offline marketing increases the power of both by at least double? This conclusion seems obvious, but its surprising that most businesses still tend to put more stock on just one channel, as opposed to multiple ones.

In this post, we’ll walk you through some of the best ways you can combine offline and online marketing to improve conversions.

1. Incorporate call tracking.

Let’s say a customer calls into your business. How are you going to track where they’ve seen your brand? How do you measure what happens after the customer hangs up the phone. This is where call tracking comes in. Call tracking allows you to track customers down to the keyword level, giving you targeted marketing topics to both enhance and increase the reach in your area.

2. Make use of autoresponders through email marketing.

With a proper online presence, you can grab customer emails instantly! With email autoresponders, you can track any user’s process through your sales roadmap, letting you know which customers are or aren’t ready to buy.

Hitting customers for activity both on and offline is key for the success of this tactic.

3. Transform your online presence into a conversion funnel.

Lastly, configure your entire online presence into a giant conversion funnel to grow your consumer base. Online reviews entice your customer, building trust in their minds. Next, a powerful social presence demonstrates your willingness to communicate freely with both paying and non-paying clients. Finally, you can get to the home landing page of your business that offers carefully crafted content for the consumption of the customer.

A few days later… that customer is sold!

However, this comes from the latent potential in your offline campaigns. As long as you maintain a strong level of commitment in both channels, you’ll certainly gain increased exposure in your industry.

The Simple Guide to Creating Great Meta Descriptions

Background on Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that give information on an individual webpage. Google search engines utilize this attribute when data on the page is requested. Even though search engines can generate meta descriptions for pages, webmasters can provide a more compelling description for visitors to engage with. There are also cases where a search engine is unable to automatically generate a description, allowing webmasters to get creative through effective copy.

These HTML tags no longer have a significant impact on search ranking. However, editing meta descriptions have a much greater impact on visitors coming to your page through search engine results pages (SERPs). You can also use targeted keywords to increase your search relevance.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to find your website’s meta description, in addition to tips on crafting it properly.

How to Augment Meta Descriptions

1. Start at your homepage.

2. Right-click on the page. This should bring up a dropdown menu. Click on “View Page Source.”

3. Find the meta description by search for “description.” Use Control + F keys to complete. You should see “<meta name =”description” content=”.

4. Edit the description between the quotes after “content.”

Guidelines to keep in mind when writing your meta description:

- Make sure your description is accurate and relevant to the keywords you include in your data. However, beware of keyword stuffing; search engines keep track of excessive keyword density in descriptions.

- Create a unique meta description for your webpage to engage visitors. You can do this by maintaining an authentic voice throughout your description.

- Have your meta description be a summary of the specific web page. Make sure it is tight and concise.

- Add relevant search terms and keyphrases to your description. Doing this will help increase the position of your search result in the SERPs.

- Keep meta descriptions no longer than 160 characters and no more than 15 to 20 words in all.

- Add a converting call to action if it makes sense for your summary. Ask them to click through to the article or webpage, at the very least.

We hope you enjoyed our simple guide to creating meta descriptions. Could you provide more helpful insight into metadata? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Set Up a Goal for Google Analytics

Background

Google Analytics is a service offered by Google to aid webmasters in tracking site traffic sources for their sites. It is important for your business to see where it receives traffic from so that it can pull from those resources through content, outreach, or social media in order to grow. While these capabilities more than support the use for Google Analytics, you can also set up specific goals for the websites you track. You can track conversions and test elements on your site to assess whether they meet standards in sales, subscriptions, visits, and more!

With basic goals, you will be able to focus exactly on the initiatives of your website, in addition to viewing your current progress in the Google Analytics dashboard. This way, you can reach your benchmarks much faster and more efficiently. Furthermore, you will be able to test several distinct parameters for conversion improvements.

In this quick guide, we will teach you how to set up a goal in your Google Analytics account. Please note that this guide assumes that you already have Google Analytics set up for your website.

How to Set Up a Goal in Google Analytics

1. Start at Google Analytics.

2. Sign in and click on the “Admin” tab on the navigation bar.

3. Set up your account, property, and view. Under the right-most column click “View,” and then click “Goals.” You are now ready to click “Create a Goal.”

4.  Decide upon a “Template” for your goal. These templates are designed to help you achieve standards that align with with your core business objectives. You will see a variety of goals to choose from. You can also click the “Custom” radio button to configure templates on your own. Be sure to label your custom goals correctly, and then click “Next Step.”

5. Next, you will complete the description of your goal. Give your goal a detailed Name and choose the type of goal. There are four types: Destination, Duration, Page/Screens per Visit, and Event. Pick your type and continue.

6. Type in a “Destination” URL for your goal. At this point, you can toggle two options: “Value” and “Funnel.” Value enables you to assign a monetary value to your conversions, and Funnel allows you to specify a path leading to the conversion.

After you finished optimizing your choices, click “Create a goal” to complete the process.

7. Congratulations! You created the first goal for your website in Google Analytics. Continue creating more goals as you feel comfortable.

Could you provide more helpful insight into Google Analytics? Let us know in the comments below!

Who Else Wants a Powerful About Us Page?

Background

An “About Us” page is one of your business’s best chances to concisely tell its unique story.

Customers will visit this webpage and learn about the purpose of your business or website. Many companies write the About Us page as a checklist of special features about the company or as a short summary of the company’s history. While this information is important, About Us pages usually fall flat in that they fail to engage the reader on an emotional level. The best About Us pages tell an engaging story, relay the business’s purpose in an efficient manner, and encourage the customers to want to learn more.

How does this help my business?

You have an opportunity to convey personality and humanize your business to your potential audience. Demonstrating a powerful About Us page builds loyalty and provides a deeper connection to the brand. Of course, this does not necessarily mean that you need to be 100% professional; you do not need to shy away from displaying details about what makes your company culture unique!

Below we offer three valuable tips on crafting an excellent About Us page to uniquely position your website:

1. Talk directly to your target audience.

In other words, be conversational with your readers. If you are describing the nature of your business to your target customer in real life, what would you tell them? Would you tell stories, or provide bullet point after bullet point of unrelatable facts?

We suggest writing your About Us page copy in a way that connects with consumers on an entertaining yet deeper level. Here are several great examples of stories to tell:

  • How long did it take for your business to get started?

  • What individual names can you list and describe their role?

  • How did you discover the needs your business is currently addressing?

  • What is your ultimate vision for your company?

  • What is your main motivation?

2. Incorporate media into your page.

We don’t think there is anything wrong with simply using only text in your About Us page. However, the possibilities are endless when you consider images and videos as additional points of interest for the page.

Feel free to drop a company video in the mix, an up-to-date infographic or timeline, or include photographs of your product. Also, you may want to think about displaying action photos of your team, so customers will see who works to get them the service they need. Any type of photo or short video will work here. Another strategy to incorporate personalities and build buzz around your business is including social media profiles of team members. You will create a greater lasting impact on the visitors when you engage more senses.

3. Add credentials.

Last but not least, you will want to administer credibility to your About Us webpage. Showcase professional experience and superb testimonials that highlights your team’s expertise. Once your customers are emotionally engaged with your above copy in this spot, adding credentials should simply be the icing on the cake.

Make your company content interesting and professional rather than the entire focus. These quick and easy details describe how to make an About Us page resonate with your audience! Once you hook in your audience, they are more likely to move forward and make that purchase.

What do you guys think of creating an engaging About Us page, and do you know examples of companies with noteworthy pages? Share your thoughts in the comments below!