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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Why HTTPS Should Be Enabled on Your Website

Posted by advantagemarketing on May 23, 2017

What’s that extra “s” for? Well, it turns out that the “s” stands for “SSL,” which stands for Secure Sockets Layer – the technology that encrypts your connection to a website, so that hackers can’t intercept any of your data. So why should it be enabled?

It’s good for search – Every minute — no, second — Google’s algorithm requires sites to essentially battle it for top search rankings. But what happens if there’s a tie? There is a tiebreaker involved, and it’s https.

It’s better for users – SSL helps to prevent the “man-in-the-middle” attacks — “a form of eavesdropping where communication between two users is monitored and modified by an unauthorized party” — and keeps user information secure.

SSL is required for AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP is going to play a major role in SEO in the coming months — Google is making it a priority for 2017, which implies that AMP-ready pages will have better rankings. But in order for something to be labeled as AMP, it requires SSL.

If you want your SEO to stay strong — on both desktop and mobile — and you don’t want to lose digital sales revenue, it’s easy to see why https should be enabled on your website.

Source: Hubspot

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Marketing Strategy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Your Business Missing out on Mobile?

Posted by advantagemarketing on December 27, 2016

Business People Working Technology Devices Cocnept

I’ve had small business owners – especially those who own professional service firms – ask me: “Why should we invest in a mobile-friendly website? We get all our business from word of mouth anyway.”

While referrals are a very important way to maintain your business, you still need to have a website optimized for mobile to support lead generation that will help grow your business. The Managing Technology column in the Wall Street Journal recently discussed the need for a mobile-friendly website:

Consumers are ditching their desktops and buying on mobile phones. But a lot of businesses aren’t making it easy for them — according to RBC Capital Markets, only 33% of small businesses have their websites optimized for mobile. This can become a nightmare for customers: “More often than not, people start on their phones,” says John Scheer, founding partner of Herman-Scheer, “If you have to pinch and zoom to find the address or phone number, that’s not an easy user experience. People are more likely to leave that site.”

So how can you design a mobile site that’s a dream come true? Keeping these two simple tips in mind can make your mobile site a pleasure to use and drive more sales:

The User Comes First

The customer is always right, and your website is no exception, according to the WSJ. “You should design around the user experience as opposed to what you want the customer experience to be,” says Luke Wroblewski, a product director at Google.

Looking at how people actually use your site is crucial to its design: What features are people always hunting for? Are any sections of your website particularly frustrating? You may think users will prefer complex features or assume they are browsing on big monitors, but that’s not always true. Ask someone try out your website on a few different devices, and observe where they have difficulties. Try to alleviate those difficulties when you’re making changes to your site.

 Everything Up Front

Experts advise keeping things simple and giving customers what they want the moment they land on your page. A restaurant, for example, should make its contact information and a dinner reservation form some of the first things users see when they enter the website. If your landing page contains all the essentials without being cluttered, mobile users will be much more likely to use your website.

Some helpful additions to every mobile site are:

  • One-click contests and promotions to engage customers
  • Clickable phone numbers that will trigger a call
  • Large font sizes and a simple navigation bar

With the growing flood of mobile users, every business needs a good mobile site. Keeping important information up front and taking into account user experience can make your site a pleasure to use and drive sales. Many businesses are missing out on mobile — make sure yours isn’t too.

Need Help with Your Website?

Contact us if you need help with your website. The Advantage Marketing team is expert at creating mobile-friendly sites with the right content to drive lead generation.

 

Source: “Missing Out on Mobile,” by Dennis Nishi, Managing Technology; Wall Street Journal, 11-21-16.

 

Posted in Business, lead generation, sales and marketing, small business, Traditional marketing, Website, Word of mouth marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 of the Biggest SEO Myths

Posted by advantagemarketing on April 22, 2015

seo-mythsSEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, is a big deal if you want to drive traffic to your website. But, according to HubSpot, there seem to be many myths around that can undermine your optimization efforts and may even affect how your rank in major search engines such as Google.

Don’t fall prey to these SEO myths:

1. More links are better than more content

Should you invest in link building or in generating content such as blog posts or webpages? Companies too often focus on the quantity of links to their site, rather than the quality of their site’s content.  Your website’s focus should be on having relevant, quality content, so that others will want to link to it over time.

2. SEO is all about ranking

While studies have shown that most searchers prefer to click the first three search results, first-page ranking is not the prize it used to be. According to HubSpot, other studies have shown that on subsequent pages, being listed toward the top of the page gets you similar click behavior. The bottom line here? First page ranking matters less than you think. It’s more important to provide content that is useful to your readers, so that when they click through to your site, they stay and share your content.

3.  Keyword optimization is the key to SEO

While keywords have always been an important part of Internet searches, Google no longer exactly matches keywords typed into the search box to the keywords on a webpage. Instead, it searches for the intent behind the keywords used, so that it can provide relevant, high-quality content. This means that search engines won’t punish your website for not having enough exact keywords, but you will be if you overuse keywords.

4.  My homepage needs a lot of content

Your homepage is the gateway to your business. You don’t want it to be littered with content, but you also do not want to have a barren homepage with little to no information. Your homepage should describe who you are, what you do, where you are located, and what visitors should do next. Anything more than this can overwhelm users.

5.  My website doesn’t need to be mobile-friendly

Many website owners think their websites are only viewed on laptops and desktop computers. The fact is, more websites than ever are viewed on mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. To reflect this trend, Google instituted a new algorithm on April 21, which uses the mobile-friendliness of your website as a ranking signal. Talk to your website developer. If your site is not mobile friendly, your developer should put a plan in place for fixing it right away.

Posted in brand building, Business, Internet business, Marketing, Social media marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Test Your Social Media IQ!

Posted by advantagemarketing on June 27, 2014

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Now that it’s summertime, we thought it might be fun to have a quick quiz about social media. Let us know in the comments section how you score!

1. Who is the founder of Facebook?

a. Al Gore      b. Mark Zuckerburg      c. Bill Gates       d. Steve Jobs

 

2. Which social media uses 140 characters?

a. Facebook      b. Google+      c. Twitter      d. InstaSelfie

 

3. What should you NOT do on a social media site?

a. Comment on and “LIKE” others’ posts

b. Post inappropriate photos of yourself or others.

c. Provide interesting content such as quizzes, news or links

 

4. Which social media channel reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network?

a. Houzz      b. Instagram      c. Twitter      d. YouTube

 

5. This is the world’s largest professional social network and is a fantastic place to find a job or to recruit.

a. LinkedIn      b. Facebook       c. Twitter       d. Pinterest

 

6. Which of these statements is NOT TRUE?

a.  YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

b.  Houzz provides architects & contractors with the opportunity to showcase their work to home owners and design enthusiasts.

c.  A new member joins LinkedIn every second.

d.  Pinterest is predominately used by men looking for recipes and wedding dresses.

 

7. This social media network has features such as Pages, Profiles, Circles, Community, and Hangouts, that let you interact with customers and friends. It can also raise your Website in Google’s rankings.

a. Pinterest      b. Google+       c. LinkedIn      d. Facebook

 

Answers:  1. b    2. c    3. b    4. d    5. a    6. d

If You Got:     You’re:

6-7 correct     A Social Media Whiz

4-5 correct     Smarter than a 5th Grader

2-3 correct     A Social Media Beginner

0-1 correct     At the Starting Gate

 

Posted in Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Social media marketing, Traditional marketing, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

5 Marketing Trends that Matter – Part 2

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 26, 2012

In the previous post, we looked at hot marketing trend #1 – Use Stories to Cut the Clutter –  presented by expert panelists at the NJ MarComm Summer Networking Event.  Here are a two more of today’s most important marketing trends that were revealed during the discussion:

Trend #2 Winning the Moments that Matter

When my sister-in-law KK and I get together, one of us will eventually say, “I wonder about…” or, “I can’t remember where I saw it, but…” at which point she’ll say, “Wait! I’ll Google it,” and whip out her smart phone.

Traditional sales & marketing funnel

If this is what you think your company’s sales & marketing funnel looks like today – you’re wrong.

KK is a perfect example of what NJ MarCom panelist David Blair, a Google digital marketing solutions executive, described as “a monumental shift in behavior,” one in which people are increasingly online to find information and solutions. He presented these statistics:

  • One-third of media consumption is online
  • Over 1 billion searches are conducted every day
  • 72 hours of video are uploaded every minute to YouTube
  • 400% increase in mobile searches in the last year
  • 71% of web users watch online video
  • 39% of web users spend 1-5 hours watching video
  • YouTube is the #2 search engine
  • YouTube is inherently social: people share videos as well as make them

What this means, said David, is that the old way of marketing is completely obsolete. The traditional sales and marketing funnel is now twisted. There are many more touch points where you need to have a presence, engage your audience, but not constantly push your message.

People are not only looking online for information, they’re looking for insight, inspiration, empathy, and a solution. To make the web work for you, you need to connect with your audience at the right time, at the right place, and with the right message.  At Google, they call this “winning the moments that matter.” What this means is that your communication pathways have to be well thought out and you need to actively orchestrate connections across key touch points.

Trend #3: Customers Are in Control

If it’s so easy to look things up – just Google it, like KK does – what is getting lost? Retention, said David, and comprehension of what we marketers would like the audience to understand. The control is in the customers’ hands, not ours.

Listen to your customers

Listen to your customers, then create stories that lead to conversations.

Search comes first, before purchase – so, for starters, you need good search engine optimization (SEO). But you also need to look at where the communities are who are interested in your products or services. Segment these communities, look at each segment’s behavior and then put yourself in that segment’s mindset. Think about what you want community members to do with the information you’re providing. Then tell stories to start the conversation with that community.

The key here, noted David, is that organizations need to listen to the community and then start the conversation.

The Marketing Advantage Takeaway: You need to understand your customer’s buying process in depth and know where they’re getting their information. What do people need to see or read from you and when? In the Marketing Advantage post, Letting Customers Have Their Say, you’ll find tactics for starting the conversation and listening to your customers.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe and get The Marketing Advantage by email. Just click on the Subscribe today! link in the right sidebar.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Marketing Trends, Professional service firm marketing, small business, Traditional marketing | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

5 Marketing Trends that Matter – Part 1

Posted by advantagemarketing on July 17, 2012

Marketing Trends that Matter

Four panelists at the 2012 NJ MarComm Summer Networking meeting talked about the top marketing trends. Read this series of posts and find out what really matters in marketing today.

There’s a lot of chatter out there about the latest and greatest trends in marketing – much of it put out by marketers themselves.  But what really matters? What are the BIG CHANGES that are fundamentally altering marketing? And what are the implications for small businesses and professional service firms?

To find out, I attend the NJ MarCom Summer Networking Event which featured a panel discussion on this very topic. Here’s the first trend that is reshaping marketing; others will be covered in a separate post.

Marketing Trend #1 – Stories Cut through the Clutter

Jennifer Lehr, Associate Professor and Chair of Communication Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University, spoke about trends in education. While she did talk about students staying in school longer to earn advanced degrees – no surprise here if you’re the parent paying the bills – the more notable trend is the renewed interest in storytelling and narrative communication. Stories can cut through the 24/7 advertising noise. To tell stories effectively, you must be able to write. So writing, commented Jennifer, remains a crucial – and often lacking – communication skill. Writers need to be able to take complex information and makes it a dialog.

When you’re telling a story, you’re evoking emotion – not selling. Have an organized, clear plot, keep it relatively short, and get to the point. Have key characters and a compelling message. One story that has successfully cut through the clutter, Jennifer said, is the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign. (A quick Google search confirmed this: Dos Equis sales have increased every year since the campaign’s 2006 start.)

How can stories work across the Internet or on 140-character social media platforms? David Blair, a digital marketing solutions executive at Google, noted that it depends on the audience. You must know your audience, and understand where they are most likely to engage with you. For example, teens don’t tweet, so if you want to reach them, use Facebook or YouTube, not Twitter. Tweak your message so that it’s relevant to your audience and then leverage social media to put your story out there so that audiences can discover it and engage with it how they want.

You’ll also want to ensure the story length and format are suited to the devices individuals are using – i.e., shorter for a mobile device, and longer for PC-based access. What this also means is that you can take one piece of content and spread it many different ways.

The Marketing Advantage Takeaway: Know your audience and the stories that resonate with them. Write stories to build your brand across the communication channels the audience prefers. For more tips on writing simply about complex topics, see 15 Tips for Creating Engaging Content.

What do you think? In the Comments section, tell us about the stories you’ve used to build your small business’ or professional service firm’s brand.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe and get The Marketing Advantage by email. Just click on the Subscribe today! link in the blog’s right sidebar.

Posted in B2B marketing, Business, Marketing, Marketing Trends, Professional service firm marketing, small business | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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