8 Ways to Get Transparency from Your Retargeting Campaign



If you’re a major advertiser, you probably use behavioral remarketing or retargeting strategies. That’s to reach prospective customers based on their Internet searches, if they leave your Web site and don’t buy from you.

Other firms use retargeting to purchase advertising. Basically, retargeting is accomplished by using a cookie or pixel, to show banner ads to Internet users.

But transparency is a significant problem for advertisers, according to a 2014 report by Marin Software.

“Retargeting is emerging as a central part in the marketing mix, and advertisers are hungry for the same type of control over the channel that they are used to with search and social marketing,” said Brad Flora, senior director of product management at Marin Software.

Key findings:

— 25 percent are worried about transparency

— 43 percent find attribution for the performance of retargeting a headache

— More than 33 percent aren’t even sure their ads are viewed, they fear click fraud, and are concerned about “black box” optimization

Eighty-eight percent of respondents use retargeting methods.

The most-used channels: 81 percent of them are in display, 77 percent are in search and 48 are percent are in social media.

Eighty-nine percent use Google as a retargeting channel.

But there are solutions, according to a blog on retargeter.com.

From “8 Best Practices for Running a Retargeting Campaign” here are brief excerpts of the highlights:

1. Frequency Caps

Overexposure quickly results in decreased campaign performance, which is why it’s almost always advisable to use a frequency cap. Prospects may ignore your ads completely, a phenomenon known as banner blindness, or they may begin to have a negative association with your brand as you follow them all over the web.

2. Burn Code

Have you ever made a purchase online only to find you’re still being inundated with advertisements for that company or product? By continuing to serve ads to converted customers, companies are only serving to annoy people.

Luckily, there’s a very simple solution: use a burn pixel. This snippet of code, placed in your post-transaction page, will untag any users who have made a purchase, ensuring you stop serving them ads.

Converted customers can still be a part of your retargeting campaign, just don’t ask them to take the same action twice. Now, you have an opportunity to retarget current customers with new ads.

3. Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation allows for you to tailor ad messages to users in different stages of the purchase funnel. The process is simple: you place different retargeting pixels on different pages of your site, and then tailor creatives based on the depth of engagement of each user.

4. Demographic, Geographic, & Contextual Targeting

Targeting gives you the opportunity to fine-tune your ad placements, ensuring greater relevancy and increasing ad performance. Advertisements can be targeted based on demographic information, like age or gender, contextual factors like subject matter of the website, or geographic data.

5. Setting View-Through Conversion Windows

A frequent complaint of the direct response crowd is that online display advertising doesn’t drive clicks at the same rate as paid search advertising, but clicks aren’t telling the whole story. Retargeted ads, even if they aren’t clicked, can provide brand lift.

The view-through conversion takes into account that some ads don’t trigger immediate buying decisions, but can nonetheless influence people to make purchases later, also known as the billboard effect. In the same way a catchy billboard grabs your attention and boosts brand awareness, an online display ad can encourage a later action. View-through conversions provide advertisers with richer data around ad performance by considering conversions that occur within a certain window after a user sees an ad.

6. Single-Provider Retargeting

Running retargeting campaigns with multiple providers has a number of serious drawbacks. If you run with multiple providers, each provider will be bidding for the same spots on the same websites, driving up media costs and decreasing the chances each has to serve ads to your users.  You may also run into difficulties effectively implementing frequency caps, as each retargeting provider will be operating independently.

7. Rotating Creatives + A/B Testing

Even if you launch your campaign with incredibly strong creatives, running with the same set of ads for months on end will result in a lower performing campaign.  According to a ReTargeter study, clickthrough rates decrease by almost 50 percent after five months of running the same set of ads. After seeing the same ads again and again, a user’s interest is no longer piqued and the ads are more likely to blend into the background. By rotating your ad creative every few months, you can easily avoid experiencing these dips in performance.

8. Optimized Creatives

The banner ads you use may do more to determine success than any other factor of your retargeting campaign, so it’s crucial to devote sufficient resources to making beautiful ads. Marketers often try to cram as much information as possible into the space allotted. This method of designing banners will only distract your audience and won’t serve the purpose of the ad: to win their attention and keep it.

These eight practices from retargeter.com make sense and are worth using. But I’d recommend you visit retargeter.com for the complete information and more great strategies.

From the Coach’s Corner, related tips:

10 Strategies to Shine and Make Ad Designing a Breeze — Designing simple banner ads without strategic planning no longer suffices. The click rates have declined significantly, especially in B2B. To shine in the clutter of Internet advertising, there are at least 10 tips to keep in mind. That’s true in your mobile or Web site strategies.

9 Tips to Evaluate Online Advertising Options — Are you at a point at which you want to advertise your company on the Internet? But you’re unsure which sites are the best for you?

“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”

-Mark Twain


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.



Critical Factors Google Uses to Judge Your Content Quality



As you no doubt know, Google has long judged your Web site on content quality. But research reveals other vital factors about Google’s algorithm changes.

“Google’s Hummingbird algorithm change means the search engine now has a better understanding of the intent and meaning of searches which improves its ability to deliver relevant content in search results,” said Marcus Tober, Searchmetrics founder and CTO.

imagerymajestic supply chain risksCharacteristics of strong quality

Google looks for comprehensive information and content that’s easy-to-understand.

This means your site probably entices users to stay on your site longer and has higher click-through rates. And you have effective internal links and quick-loading pages with less advertisements.

All of this is explained in a 2014 Searchmetrics study.

The report reviewed 10,000 trendy keywords and about 300,000 Web sites that rank in their top 30 search results.

However, big brands are ranked high even without meeting such content standards.

Well-known brands don’t have to have much content, internal links or keywords in the search-engine description.

But big brands benefit from high-quality backlinks from news-media sites and other highly ranked sites. Strangely, Wikipedia is according big-brand status by Google.

Smaller brands and sites have to work harder to attract Google’s favorite status.

“This means search engine optimization is increasingly a holistic discipline. It’s not enough to optimize and rank for one relevant keyword – content must now be relevant to the topic and include several related terms. This helps a page to rank for several terms and creates an improved user experience at the same time,” Mr. Tober added.

More findings

Google spots high quality, relevant content. Sites enjoying No. 1 and No. 2 rankings have comprehensive relevance with at least 900 words with images and videos.

“Just creating more content does not positively influence rankings,” Mr. Tober explained. “It’s about developing relevant and comprehensive content for users dealing with more than just one aspect of a certain topic.”

He says search engines now analyze “content clusters” not just single keywords – subjects that are based on keywords and a myriad of related terms.

Readability is important to Google – higher ranked sites were easy-to-read using the Flesch readability scale:

Score Notes
90.0–100.0 easily understood by an average 11-year-old student
60.0–70.0 easily understood by 13- to 15-year-old students
0.0–30.0 best understood by university graduates


(NOTE: Personally, I find this Google practice of using a readability scale to be very offensive and is a catalyst for dumbing down of people worldwide.)

Social signals are important. No surprise:  Google favors its own Google followed by Facebook shares, Facebook Likes, Pinterest pins, and tweets on Twitter.

“Our study provides a comprehensive overview of the factors that correlate with a high Google ranking as well as an analysis of what the top sites have in common on average,” explained Mr.  Tober.

“Search professionals must realize that good rankings cannot be achieved by cherry-picking a few factors. Having many backlinks and a fast load-speed will not result in a high ranking if the content on the page is not relevant to the user. Good rankings are based on the interaction of many weighted factors,” he added.

The bottom-line:

“My advice is to focus on optimizing the overall search experience for visitors to your site. Create high quality, accessible content which is relevant and valuable to you target audience; ensure your site is technically excellent to drive a good user experience; and promote it using social media and PR to drive quality natural backlinks,” concluded Mr. Tober.

Here’s a helpful infographic:


From the Coach’s Corner, related tips:


Do You Want to Prevail on Google? Watch the Cheesy Stuff — If you want to win on Google, heed its warning.   Sure, every online publisher wants to earn money from advertising these days. Note the emphasis on the word, “earn.” But there are ways to do right and ways to do it wrong.

Good Blogs Have Nothing to Fear from Google’s Updates — Alarms bells are sounding all over the Internet after Google’s seemingly incessant algorithm updates. The search engine’s changes can be unnerving for bloggers, but there’s no reason to panic. Use patience and tenacity to succeed.

SEO Tips to Rank No.1 on Bing and Google — Study — There are striking similarities with Bing and Google — Web sites for top brands rank the highest and No. 1 sites are dominant because they have quality content, as well as strong social media signals and backlinks. Those are the conclusions from a 2013 Searchmetrics study.
 
Google Tips – 23 Key Questions about Your Web Site — Google has unveiled vital information about what it considers important for Web site ranking. Without divulging proprietary information, Google emphasized it’s all about value – quality for Internet users. In other words, there are no shortcuts for success.

8 Red Flags Your Web Site is Out-of-Date (Here’s What to Do)
— Just like your finances, human resources and other aspects of your business, your Web site should be continuously monitored for red flags and to be sure it’s not out-of date. Yes, it’s time-consuming and expensive, but any problems should be solved. The trick is to do right, cost-effectively.

If you Google some sites about the link between vaccines and autism, you can very quickly find that Google is repeating back to you your view about whether that link exists and not what scientists know, which is that there isn’t a link between vaccines and autism. It’s a feedback loop that’s invisible.”

-Eli Pariser

 

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy imagerymajestic at www.freedigitalphotos.net

What to Do about 8 Red Flags Your Web Site is Obsolete



Just like your finances, human resources and other aspects of your business, your Web site should be continuously monitored for red flags and to be sure it’s not out-of date.

Yes, it’s time-consuming and expensive, but any problems should be solved to maximize revenue.

The trick is to do it right, cost-effectively.

Here eight red flags:

1. Your traffic is slowing down

There are many indicators why your visitors’ rate is down. Don’t be lulled into complacency.

For instance,  the vast majority of Web sites experience a decline in summer months, so companies have a tendency look the other way.

But it’s likely you have issues. All Web sites develop issues whether it’s summer or not.

Solution: Many red flags can be spotted by simply reviewing your visitors’ data, which contains valuable and insightful information.

It’s not just a matter of the number of unique visitors and cumulative visits.

Here’s an overview:

— Determine which pages are popular and analyze the content of each

— View the number of hits

— Check out the bandwidth used by visitors

— Consider the time-spent on your site by the average user

— Note the high bounce rates, especially starting on your home page

— Look at the visitors’ locations, referring sites, browsers and operator systems (including mobile users)

— Review your HTTP status codes (e.g. there are about 12 possible internal errors to review)

2. Weak conversion into sales

Even if your rate of visitors is positive, poor sales can be a concern. It’s important to learn why you’re not converting sales.

Solution: Look at your Google Analytic data to see where the visitors leave. You can also start usability testing with usertesting.com and use testing tools at Visual Website Optimizer. (Note: These are unpaid recommendations.)

You might need a simple page redesign or even a site rehab. After your home page, look at your product listing page and shopping cart. Retailers continually complain about visitors who start to buy products but abruptly abandon the shopping cart.

3. Download speed

Your site should download in seven seconds or less. Not only do your visitors get impatient, but Google especially won’t like a slow download speed and will penalize your site’s ranking.

Solution: You can shrink your image files. Next, optimize your content and browser caching.

4. Unnecessary challenges to update your site or add content

If it’s too difficult to update your site, you probably need a content management system.

Solution: You would benefit from easy-to-understand functionality and use of interfacing. The goal should be for a minimum of coding. Your visitors will appreciate simplicity.

5. A mobile Web site

Increasingly, visitors are using smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. Worse, a mobile-ready site is critical for connecting with Millennials.

Solution: Make sure your site is responsive to such users with a specific mobile strategy.

6. Opt-in/sign ups

You have a considerable investment in your site. It’s a problem if you can’t capitalize on visitors. Loyal followers are a good thing.

Solution: Above the fold on each page — preferably in the upper right — insert an opt-in for visitors to put their e-mail addresses so you can contact them or forward content to them.

7. Out-of date content

Brick and mortar retailers know to refresh their window displays and endcaps to entice shoppers. If your site isn’t fresh, you’ll miss opportunities for growth. Quality of content is king on Google, but the search engine’s crawlers also take note of content change.

Solution: One quick fix is to paraphrase your content. Another is to update your key-search words and phrases for enhanced organic search results.

Even better, update your buttons, total redesign your site, including your e-commerce process. Get knowledgeable close friends and family to use your shopping cart for all products to check usability and to prevent buyers’ remorse. Then, monitor the visitor results.

Finally, if your site needs to be totally re-worked, you will find it more cost-effective to buy a site template. Terrific-looking, cost-effective templates are available at Creative Market and Envato. (These are also unsolicited recommendations.)

8. Social Media

Do you have social media links on your site for your visitors to share your content? If not, get busy.

Solution: Depending on your sales objectives, you need to insert social media buttons above the fold. At the minimum, retailers need Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter links.

Bloggers usually need Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and Twitter.

From the Coach’s Corner, related information:

Worried Your Web Site Losing Visitors? Best Practices to Fix it — If your site’s visitor numbers are falling, there are five possible reasons. The key is to know what’s wrong before you start applying solutions. It used to be that Web-site owners only had to worry about losing traffic in the summer.

Web Site ‘Priming’ – 6 Tips That Will Help You Succeed — If you want to increase your odds for Internet success, you might consider priming your Web site. Priming is a method to motivate users to make decisions when they visit your site.

Download Speed Matters for WordPress Web Sites – 5 TipsActually, download speed matters on all Web sites. Even if your WordPress Web site has compelling content with graphics and pictures, image and user convenience are equally important. So your site’s download speed matters – a lot.

11 Tips for the Best Business Mobile Web SiteIf you operate a retail business, it’s increasingly important for your Web site to be easy-to-use for mobile users. The use of smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing, especially among Millennials — young adults aged 32 and under.

5 Factors to Get Peak Google Results for Your Web Site – StudyWhat do top Web sites have in common? Successful sites produce a high number of Facebook and Twitter messages, but the sites minimize the volume of ads on its pages according to an authoritative study.

Domain names and websites are Internet real estate.”

-Marc Ostrofsky


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of marin at www.freedigitalphotos.net

For Strong Local SEO Performance, Avoid 6 Errors



Certainly, you know a key strategy to attracting customers is to have a strong Internet presence. That means strategizing for strong local search-engine optimization (SEO).

With strong local SEO performance, your business will have online top-of-the-mind awareness in your community. You want to be easily discovered by potential customers.

ID-10039150 ambroPlus, one obvious goal for any company is to generate repeat customers. Telephone books are passé.

Because most consumers no longer use hard copies of the big telephone directory, SEO will also aid your customers when they want to look up your address or phone number.

So avoid these six errors:

Error No. 1 — effective Internet listings

Not having an effective presence on  Google+ BusinessBing Places for Business, and Yahoo Local. Such listings put you in the spotlight on the search engines.

As you know, Google has about a 66 percent market share. Bing is second and Yahoo third. There are a few remaining search engines, but they’re powered by Google.

It goes without saying, but many companies fail to make certain their contact information and hours are posted correctly.

Consistency is important — the information should be completely and exactly worded as the contact page on your Web site.

Error No. 2 — duplications

Failing to verify duplication of listings. Duplications should be eliminated. It portrays your business as disorganized.

Consumers aren’t impressed and search engines aren’t wild about duplication either.

With strong local SEO performance, your business will have online top-of-the-mind awareness in your community.

Error No. 3 — reviews

Lacking creativity in obtaining reviews. Consumers are influenced by positive reviews .

They’re also beneficial in improving your Internet presence because search-engine crawlers consider them to be relevant.

If you have negative reviews, take proper steps to deal with them. Note: There are 14 ways to profit from online reviews.

Error No. 4 — preferred listings

Not focusing on the search engines’ preferred listings. Many businesses use a shotgun approach by listing anywhere and everywhere.

Quality counts most, such listings with Facebook, foursquare, Local.com, Mapquest, Yelp and YP.com.

Error No. 5 — links

Ignoring effective link-building is another oversight of many. That calls for links from high-quality sites.

Ways to start: You’ll realize stronger results with links from the news media and inserting a toolbar for users to share your content.

Error No. 6 — content

Failing to freshen your site’s content. Consumers have become very savvy. They now prefer a personal connection — content directly from your site’s blog or other pages. Search engine crawlers notice, too.

From the Coach’s Corner, I’d also read this related information:

SEO Tips to Rank No.1 on Bing and Google — There are striking similarities with Bing and Google — Web sites for top brands rank the highest and No. 1 sites are dominant because they have quality content, as well as strong social media signals and backlinks. Those are the conclusions from a 2013 Searchmetrics study.

SEO and Other Strategic Tips for a No.1 Rated Blog — To own your blogging niche, you must understand the evolving process — important basics in search engine optimization (SEO) and other strategies.  If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you know success doesn’t keep come automatically. Blogging is arduous work. You must have a strategic blogging goal. Is it to promote your business or e-commerce?

SEO: Despite Hoopla over Social Media, Web Searchers Stay Longer — If you want your Web site to dominate your competitors, you might want to consider that social media doesn’t enhance your odds as much as risking more investment on content and search engine optimization techniques.

Task-Management Checklist for Digital Marketing — To generate revenue from digital marketing, naturally, you must strategize to use best practices for customer relationship management and for pursuing new business. What are the task-management tips to maximize your time and energies in digital marketing?

You Risk Sales If You Don’t Use This Mobile-Web Strategy — You know, of course, strong brand perceptions and emotional engagement drive sales. You also know your mobile-site strategy should be a priority, as a  result of the skyrocketing popularity of mobile devices. But here’s a question: Is your mobile site actually hindering brand perception and emotional engagement?

“…The objective is not to ‘make your links appear natural’; the objective is that your links are natural.”

-Matt Cutts 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy of Ambro at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Sales Lessons for Car Dealers and Other Retailers



Guess who makes most of the decisions for the family in buying cars? Seventy-three percent of moms say they’re the chief decision-maker .

Increasingly, as you might guess, moms visit Internet sites to shop for cars but want face-to-face meetings before buying, according to a 2014 study by C+R Research funded by Cars.com.

Even though Cars.com would seemingly have a conflict of interest, nonetheless the data appears to be accurate based on my experience.

ID-100234444 stockimagesWith consumers trying to cope with information overload – you’ll increase sales with long-term customer loyalty – if you build trust with consumers.

“There’s a lot for moms to consider when purchasing a new family vehicle, because their car is often tasked with hauling not only the entire family or carpool, but also all of the gear that goes along with them,” said Jennifer Newman, Cars.com’s Expert Mom.

Even though 71 percent of surveyed moms say research on the Internet is their preference, 68 percent want to negotiate in-person at the dealership.

Fifty-nine percent of the moms also say want to find a dealer with which they can have a long-term buying relationship.

Some disturbing information:

“More than 60 percent of moms surveyed said they trust the information they find online more than what they’re told from dealers, which means dealers need to go above and beyond to prove their authenticity and value,” said Jack Simmons, Manager of Dealer Training at Cars.com.

More findings:

— 90 percent of moms want the negotiation of the price to be as simple and easy as possible

— 71 percent of moms agree that shopping online for a new or used vehicle makes the process so much easier

— 66 percent of moms trust the information they find online more than information they receive from the auto dealer

— 62 percent of moms feel that most dealerships treat them like a valued customer

— 75 percent feel dealers are pushy and aggressive

From the Coach’s Corner, if you want more revenue, here are editor’s picks for maximum sales:

10 Tips to Optimize Your Web Site for Higher Sales — If you haven’t optimized your Web site for sales, you might want to reconsider. There are more and more indications that online shopping will continue to grow.

14 Steps to Profit from Online Customer Reviews — For competitiveness and profits, businesses can’t afford to ignore the potential of online reviews. They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce. Reviews are important because they influence prospective customers to buy from you. They’re also beneficial in improving your Internet presence because search-engine crawlers consider them to be relevant.

How Mobile Strategies Are Most Effective with Cross-Channel Marketing — Businesses are increasingly using mobile apps to sell products, but the most successful know how best. They use cross-channel marketing tools.

5 Critical Fundamentals to Build the Best Sales Staff — The crucial question: How can a company develop a top sales crew? Short answer: Start with a premise — if it were so easy then everybody would be doing it. Long answer: Some companies are achieving stellar sales results in complex global situations by adopting best practices.

Checklist – Top 18 Attributes of the Best Salespeople — What’s needed to be effective in sales? Merely having a gregarious personality will no longer cut it in the 21st century. As a manager, if you want to improve your company’s sales performance, become a winning sales organization and review your recruitment techniques in hiring salespeople.

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

-Mary Kay Ash

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net


14 Tips to Profit from Online Customer Reviews



For competitiveness and profits, businesses can’t afford to ignore the potential of online reviews. They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce.

Reviews are important because they influence prospective customers to buy from you. They’re also beneficial in improving your Internet presence because search-engine crawlers consider them to be relevant.

Relevance is critical in a digital world to attract customers.

Online reviews provide you with a fertile source of unique and frequently updated content with relevant keywords.

Friends Free PhotoThey’re a source of valuable market research for understanding consumers.

This paves the way to allow you to provide enhanced service to your customers, which leads to higher sales as consumers develop trust in your company.

Even negative reviews are an opportunity for growth.

They help you to monitor your word-of-mouth for customer satisfaction, and to deal with any problems.

In effect, reviews are also tools for search engine optimization (SEO).

Effective SEO means you benefit from a fertile source of keywords for improved rankings, and research for better customer service.

Obtaining reviews

To get positive reviews you must be creative and assertive to ask for them.

Reviews are important because they influence prospective customers to buy from you. They’re also beneficial in improving your Internet presence because search-engine crawlers consider them to be relevant.

Here are 14 tips:

1. Lay the groundwork for positive reviews. Focus on exemplary customer service.

2. If a customer seems pleased by a purchase, ask the person to write a review when they get a moment. Avoid offering discounts or other incentives.

3. E-commerce companies can request comments via e-mail.

4. In some cases, businesspeople can provide written tips on how and where to write reviews.

5. Depending on your sector, get reviews planted in the same environment as your competitors. Do your research. For instance, consider HomeStars, RateMDs, Urbanspoon or TripAdvisor.

6. Invite reviews on generic review sites: Angie’s List, Citysearch, Consumer Search, Insider Pages, Google Reviews/Local/Places/+, Yahoo! Local Listings, and Yelp.

7. Encourage reviews on Web sites that carry extra business clout, such as the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports. Note: If you decide to act on this strategy, first develop a relationship with the sites.

8. Encourage consumers to share on their social networks. There are about 300 social-sharing sites. The most prominent are Facebook and Twitter. (LinkedIn discontinued its “Products and Services” service in April, 2014.)

9. Leverage the power of sites you control. Invite customers to share on your Facebook and Twitter pages. You might even add a section for testimonials on your own Web site. While you’re at it, insert your social-media buttons, and an “AddThis” toolbar for your customers’ use.

10. Send a personal e-mail to your frequent customers inviting them to leave a review.

11. If you are in frequent contact with customers via e-mail, include links to your online review profiles in your e-mail signature.

12. If you have a monthly newsletter, include a link to your social networks, especially Google+. If you want to start a newsletter, scroll down to the “Coach’s Corner” for a link to tips.

13. Install a review station in your business with a computer or tablet to make it possible for customer to sign-in to your online profiles to leave a review. Include a feature, “Review of the month.” Extroverted consumers will be likely to leave a review.

14. If you do get a bad review, respond right away with a soft, positive tone to show the world you care about providing excellent customer service.

Finally, a caution about Google reviews — don’t focus entirely on soliciting reviews via Google. Too many Google reviews are a red flag to Google’s crawlers.

From the Coach’s Corner, related tips:

SEO Tips to Rank No.1 on Bing and Google — Study — There are striking similarities with Bing and Google — Web sites for top brands rank the highest and No. 1 sites are dominant because they have quality content, as well as strong social media signals and backlinks.

Marketing – Have You Considered the Potential of e-Newsletters? — There are several benefits if you include e-Newsletters in your marketing mix. The most salient is that they’re a great way to achieve top-of-mind awareness with your customers. Further, as a form of content marketing, they’re a favorite of B2B marketers.

Why Companies Are High Maintenance to Customers (but Don’t Know It) — Businesses are losing more than they know because they inconvenience customers. Such negative customer perceptions result in lost opportunities in revenue growth, tarnished branding and smaller profit margins, according to a study.

Energize Your Customer-Loyalty Program with 6 Steps — The quickest way for established businesses to optimize revenue is to have a stellar customer-loyalty program — there are six steps you can take for repeat sales and referrals. If you’re not a great steward of your current book of business, it’s futile to look for new customers.

Make Your Blogging, Social Media and PR Work to Attract Fans — Businesspeople have discovered social media is a work in progress. It takes huge amounts of time, not only to implement innovations, but to succeed.

Want More Business? Build Trust with Consumers…Here’s How — With consumers trying to cope with information overload – you will increase sales with long-term customer loyalty – if you build trust by using best practices.

“Too many brands treat social media as a one way, broadcast channel, rather than a two-way dialogue through which emotional storytelling can be transferred.”

-Simon Mainwaring 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





10 Strategies to Shine and Make Ad Designing a Breeze



Designing simple banner ads without strategic planning no longer suffices. The click rates have declined significantly, especially in B2B.

To shine in the clutter of Internet advertising, there are at least 10 tips to keep in mind. That’s true in your mobile or Web site strategies.

entrepreneur-593356_1280Here are 10 tips:

1. Make it simple to understand

Don’t be too cute or you’ll confuse your target audience for a few seconds. Users make a split-second decision on whether to click on your creative.

Provide a tempting motivation with simple language. Synthesize your ad with the site.

2. Use rich media

Movement will help to catch a user’s eye. Google offers a rich-media development tool: DoubleClick Studio.

3. Harness mobile advertising

Particularly with Millennials who are increasingly using smartphones, mobile ads are all the rage.

4. Create multiple ad sizes

There are seven Web ad sizes, and flash and HTML5 options. Then, use the ones that work for you.

4. Remember marketing 101: Test, test and test

Create options to test and to see what works well. You can even create a focus group, which can be a group of tech-savvy friends to look at your ads and give you feedback.

5. Keep in mind the acronym, WIIFM

Users subconsciously will ask the question: “What’s in it for me?” Get to the point right away with an irresistible opportunity.

6. Relevance works

Know your audience. Your ad should integrate well with a blog or other content.

7. Consider native advertising

Native advertising — a text look — is creating revenue for many marketers. That’s where the ad looks like an article — part of the Web site.

8. Insert a “click here” link

It works well as a call to action.

9. Create an interactive ad

An interactive ad allows users to choose their path to follow. It will be a journey they enjoy while learning about your company.

10. Garner information

Most ads take users to a site. But some users are reluctant to go. It’s possible to collect information, such as an e-mail address. It’s do-able on your own Web site, which means you’re likely to have a higher rate of conversion.

From the Coach’s Corner, related content:

What are the Secrets for Success in Advertising? Creating 5 Perceptions — New evidence links advertising quality and execution to making the cash register ring, and it shows creative counts more than the media plan.

9 Tips to Evaluate Online Advertising Options — Are you at a point at which you want to advertise your company on the Internet? But you’re unsure which sites are the best for you?

How to Best Profit: Word-of-Mouth Advertising, Customer Service — To increase your sales revenue with word-of-mouth advertising, here are 10 tips.

‘Why Facebook Is Failing Marketers’ — Forrester Study — As a digital advertising option, hundreds of savvy marketers rank Facebook last in “business value” according to a critical Forrester Research study.

Internet Shoppers Demand 3 Cs – Customer Experience Study — Success in e-commerce is increasingly challenging for retailers that want to dominate in brand preference, customer loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising. 

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





11 Tips for the Best Business Mobile Site



If you operate a retail business, it’s increasingly important for your Web site to be easy-to-use for mobile users.

The use of smartphones and tablets is skyrocketing, especially among Millennials — young adults aged 32 and under.

Studies also show the majority of mobile aficionados use their devices to access the Internet.

Such data continually changes — mobile sales and use of the Internet is consistently rising.

So whether you run a car dealership or restaurant, don’t miss out on this growing sector of consumers.

Mobile users are even important for information sites.

(For example, not to be self-serving but global-mobile users regularly comprise at least 15 percent of the visitors’ data here on the search engines’ No. 1 ranked biz coach site.)

In general, think consumer convenience and simplicity.

Here are 11 specific strategies:

1. It doesn’t have to be an expensive process for HTML sites or WordPress formats to be mobile-friendly.

To create your mobile site, you might wish to consider these companies:  bMobilized, Dudamobile, Mobify and MobilizeToday or Screenfly. (I’ve never done business with any of these.)

2. Once you take the mobile-friendly plunge, make certain you test your site on a wide range of mobile devices, especially the most popular — Androids, iPhones and iPads.

Here are two companies that analyze mobile sites:  MobilePhoneEmulator, mobiReady.

Incidentally, Google ranks sites in part for their mobile friendliness. So take precautions for a top Google ranking.

3. Provide the most-salient information on your home page. That means including your contact information, directions (with a link to Google Maps), hours and location.

So make it easy as possible to contact you. Insert a link on every page so consumers can just click to telephone you.

4. Insert the fewest-possible number of images, and make them small. Insure that they load fast. Large images will aggravate mobile users because they take too long to load on the pages.

5. Capitalize on the popularity of touchscreens. That means you must insert large buttons and links with plenty of white space, which will be easier for users. Otherwise, you risk annoying visitors.

6. Bear in mind mobile users dislike filling in forms. Instead of forms to be completed, insert dropdown menus and sufficient numbers of links on which users can click.

7. When it comes to content, less is more. Write economically. Too much copy in content makes it harder for mobile-device users.

8. Streamline your site’s architecture. Prioritize. Keep the site’s navigation simple. Learn and understand what’s most important for your site to be appealing to mobile users.

9. Make your site social-sharing friendly. That’s especially important for Millennial consumers. Many will access your site from recommendations by their friends’ social media. If you excite influencers, they will share your site with their followers.

10. Be enthusiastic in your copy. Where feasible, include simple images with thought-provoking questions. Again, use an economy of words.

11. In content marketing, your e-mails should also be user-friendly. Make them easy-to-read. Your provider should be able to provide you with mobile-friendly templates.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more mobile-site tips:

You Risk Sales If You Don’t Use This Mobile-Web Strategy — You know, of course, strong brand perceptions and emotional engagement drive sales. You also know your mobile-site strategy should be a priority, as a  result of the skyrocketing popularity of mobile devices. But here’s a question: Is your mobile site actually hindering brand perception and emotional engagement? 

Strategies to Create the Best Possible Mobile Apps — Consumer and enterprise penchants for mobile technology have skyrocketed but we’ve only scratched the surface in developing quality, application solutions. Mobile apps are expected to support initiatives for a company’s return on investment. 

How Mobile Strategies Are Most Effective with Cross-Channel Marketing — Businesses are increasingly using mobile apps to sell products, but the most successful know how best. They use cross-channel marketing tools.

Internet Shoppers Demand 3 Cs – Customer Experience Study — Success in e-commerce is increasingly challenging for retailers that want to dominate in brand preference, customer loyalty and word-of-mouth advertising. That’s because consumers want more and more in the three Cs — channels, choices and convenience. 

Marketing – Why Visual Content Works on Facebook, but Hashtags Don’t — Ninety-eight percent of top brands have a Facebook fan page, but Facebook’s hashtags don’t enhance engagement with consumers. 

“It may not always be profitable at first for businesses to be online, but it is certainly going to be unprofitable not to be online.”

-Esther Dyson


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Good Blogs Have Nothing to Fear from Google’s Updates



Alarms bells are sounding all over the Internet after Google’s seemingly incessant algorithm updates. The search engine’s changes can be unnerving for bloggers, but there’s no reason to panic.

Use patience and tenacity to succeed.

On another page, I’ve written about the five factors to get peak Google results.

stockimagesBut you won’t benefit from obsessing about the right strategies, if you don’t focus on five tips:

1. Exemplary content with strategic keyword usage is vital.

Google has made it clear it wants to highlight the most relevant content.

Google places a high value on useful information.

The right keywords will attract users. If you write evergreen pieces, they’re often read two or three years later but will seem like fresh material to your users.

Even if there are dated details in a blog, they can be updated and noted as such. Then, it’s advantageous to promote your piece again via your social media.

2. Attract centers of influence.

It’s a good day when professionals ask permission to share your content and domain with their B2B customers. Also, it’s great when other bloggers cite your work, or when Twitter followers and LinkedIn connections promote your writing.

So write in a friendly but authoritative style.

3. Make full use of your social media.

Share your work on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you have enough space, ask your followers to re-tweet your tweets.

If you allow enough time, Twitter doesn’t like it, but you can Tweet your content in other dayparts to reach the maximum number of followers. All good blogs will insert social media buttons so readers can conveniently promote content.

4. Don’t get cute with links.

Google is very sensitive to disingenuous link building and sharing. Focus on writing great content to earn backlinks from credible sources.

So be patient but tenacious in pursuing your blogging goals.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more detailed sources of information:

Checklist: 14 Strategies to Rock on GooglePeriodic changes in Google’s search criteria and algorithms have indeed hurt many Web sites. But it’s possible to bullet-proof your site’s prominence on Google by taking 14 precautions, which is worth your time and energy. Google has perennially owned about a 66 percent search-market share in the U.S. and a 90 percent share worldwide. 

Google Insights – 23 Key Questions about Your Web SiteGoogle has unveiled vital information about what it considers important for Web site ranking. Without divulging proprietary information, Google emphasized it’s all about value – quality for Internet users. In other words, there are no shortcuts for success. 

Google Speaks Out About Frequency vs. Value — Are you concerned about your Web site’s popularity on Google? Here’s how the search engine differs from users in Web site content value vs. frequency.

Google Details its Reasoning for Best Web Site Rankings — The world’s most popular search engine has released detailed information on how it evaluates and ranks Web sites. Released in November 2011, the information is still critical for domain success. Ordinarily, for proprietary reasons, Google is a bit guarded when discussing its algorithm processes. But a blog post by engineer Matt Cutts was unusually informative.

Download Speed Matters for WordPress Web Sites – 5 TipsActually, download speed matters on all Web sites. Even if your WordPress Web site has compelling content with graphics and pictures, image and user convenience are equally important. So your site’s download speed matters – a lot.

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.”
-Louis Pasteur

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Security — Cybercrime Hurts Apple Products, too



For years in terms of security, Windows has been considered inferior to Macs. But no longer as a result of malware security epidemics.

If you’ve got an iPhone, get busy. Apple continues to have bugs and security issues.

Apple issued security patches for all of its operating systems on Jan. 23, 2017. The vulnerabilities were in in iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, the Safari browser, and iCloud for Windows.

Apple was forced to release an update just a few days after the rollout of its iOS 8 in late Sept. 2014.

But just after going live – within 90 minutes – Apple canceled the update that was suppose to fix the software glitches because it had numerous problems.

There were hundreds of tweets by Twitter users complaining they could get any cell signals right after the update.

Apple was forced on Feb. 21, 2014 to fix a vulnerability with iOS 7.0.6.

Apple was under increasing pressure starting in 2012 to take preventative security measures by cyber experts in the wake of 600,000 malware-infected Macs.

“Myths die hard,” writes nationally known security guru Stan Stahl, Ph.D. “Users can no longer naively claim that they don’t need to be concerned with security because they use a Macintosh.”

Cybercriminals don’t discriminate

He believes cybercriminals see no difference between Mac OS X and Windows.

“It’s cold comfort that this particular vulnerability surfaced in Java-so well known as a source of attack exploits that we recommend users disable it,” he writes.

“The lesson we need to take away from the Mac OS X story is humility in the face of software complexity,” he adds.

As one of the nation’s leading authorities, Dr. Stahl is a principal at Citadel Information Group, www.citadel-information.com, in Los Angeles.

“In the 1980s I was a staff security engineer at TRW when my manager gave me a piece of wisdom that applies to the myth of Mac security,” he writes:

“There are three kinds of knowledge,” he said. “There’s what you know that you know you know. There’s what you don’t know that you know you don’t know. And there’s what you don’t know that you don’t know that you don’t know.”

Dr. Stahl warns about the dangers of the third category of what we don’t know.

“It’s this third category that is most dangerous — what we don’t know that we don’t know we don’t know,” he writes. “This-our hidden ignorance — is what gets us into trouble. Believing the myth of Mac security-jumping to the conclusion that Macs are secure because we don’t know about their insecurities-is dangerous because the myth keeps us from taking the actions necessary to protect sensitive information on our Macs.”

More about myths

“There is the myth that IT can effectively manage cyber security; that senior management doesn’t need to get involved,” believes Dr. Stahl. “There is the myth that antivirus and anti-malware solutions provide sufficient security.

“There is the myth that ‘we have nothing of interest to a cyber criminal.’ And the most dangerous myth of all-that we can be secure if we simply do A, B and C, whatever A, B and C happen to be,” he warns. “It is these and other myths that keep us from being open to what we don’t know that we don’t know we don’t know.”

His parting shot:

“When it comes to cyber security management, myths are particularly dangerous,” he writes. “Our greatest security weakness-our greatest vulnerability-lies in the security myths we believe. That’s why the stories of more than 600,000 Macs infected by the Flashback malware is so important, for it serves as a warning about the dangers of all cyber security myths.”

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more security insights:

— Our Mobile-Banking Warnings about Security Prove Prophetic

— 5 Safety Measures to Thwart Mounting Social-Network Attacks

 Who Profits from Android’s Security Issues? Not Users.

 Lesson about Passwords after Theft of 16,000+ UCLA Patient Records

— Cyber Security: Is Your Business Prepared with Precautions and Response Philosophy?

“If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.”

-Richard Clarke 


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at www.freedigitalphotos.net

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.