6 Steps to Start an Effective Small Business Blog

Posted by frank harris on 24/04/18 10:29

blog jan 2018The process of starting a small business blog is quite simple, however creating a successful blog that stands the test of time? Well, that is going to take some time, work and effort! The good news is that once you’ve laid out the basis for your blog from the start, you are more likely to find success in the future.

 

In this article, we are going to walk through the simple pre-planning and launch process that every blogger needs to follow. This initial pre-planning and launch process is crucial for any bloggers that want to launch a small business blog that not only needs to be taken seriously but can also stand above the crowd in a world with over 300 million blogs in it.

Successful Blogging in 6 Steps

As mentioned earlier, the foundation of your blog is what’s going to make it stand out from the millions of other blogs out there that are still using default WordPress templates and just focus on content creation and nothing else. Each of the six steps mentioned above are all key components to making it big in the world of blogging today.

 

1. Pick Your Topic

There are millions of blogs in the world today. Some are niche specific, others are a wide range of business topics and the rest are just for personal use or hobby related. Whatever you decide to make your business blog about, try and stay on topic and it’s always best to go as niche specific as possible. (resource: how to find your avatar)

 

2. Create Your Avatar

Just like a store or business knows who their best customers are, a blogger should know the personas coming to their site as well. Plan out who your blog content best relates with and build out a perfect avatar for your site.

3. Domain Name and Hosting

There are a few different places you can go to start a blog for free, but each of them also comes with many limitations. It is highly recommended that you invest money in your own domain name and premium hosting. This way your site will always be up and secure, while also being owned by you.

4. Content Creation

Blogging is all about creating content, but it’s not just about the creation — it’s about the value that you provide to your audience. This also goes back to your niche topic. Make sure all your content has purchase and is related to the overall focus of your blog. When creating content for your site, you should also consider using evergreen content — which allows you to continually promote and use the same content for months and years to come.

5. Blog Launch

With the pre-planning phase of your blog taken care of, it’s now time to launch your blog. Setup your domain name, hosting and install WordPress so you can start publishing content for the world to see.

6. Content Promotion

To actively grow your blogging audience and readership, you are going to need to focus on content promotion as well. This includes occasional guest blogging on other sites, sharing your content through social media and connecting with other site owners to see how you might be able to link to each other’s content and resources.

 

With all the six steps taken care of, your blog will be light years ahead of the millions of other business marketing blogs out there that are just taking up space. Blogging takes a decent amount of time an effort to gain traction, so don’t give up! It takes time to see results.

 

For a more detailed look at business marketing blogs why not have a look at the eBook that can be obtained from the link below:

 

How to use Blogging in Small Business Marketing

Tags: small business blog, small business blogging, b2b marketing blog

7 rules for Small Business Content Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 23/04/18 15:33

content marketing 2018 1Here are seven rules that we have recognised can help you optimise your small business content marketing.

  1. Create what your Personas Need (not what you want)

We’re all selfish, especially in our business lives. We want to accomplish our tasks, push projects forward and drive growth.

 

When we start planning our digital marketing content with sales goals or product features at the centre of the process, we create promotions and product guides. We tell personas what we want them to know without thinking about what it means to them. 

 

If we start with the needs of our personas, their interests and problems, their opportunities and hopes, we create business content that helps them, as it drives sales as well as sharing with them a deeper ongoing relationship.

  1. Develop a Content Marketing Strategy and Framework

Think about the purpose and goals of your content marketing. Consider what content you want to publish, for whom, where, when, how and why. Ask yourself who your intended personas are – who do you want to engage, for whom does the content deliver its value?

  1. Match Content to your Personas and your Goals

Consider the purpose of each piece of content and where the content will fit into a purchase or customer lifecycle. 

  • Transitional content enables a transition along the sales funnel. 
  • Transactional content persuades and enables prospects to complete a transaction. 
  • Relationship-building content builds trust, respect and loyalty in ways that transcend individual transactions. 
  1. Conduct a Gap Analysis in your Search Campaigns

Look for gaps on search engine result pages (SERPs) to identify valuable search positions that you do not currently own. Identify the type of content you should produce to increase the traffic to your website. Review the keywords used by your audiences, the volume of searches for a particular term and how these can be improved. 

 

Take a look at your competitors to see how they are performing and where you need to improve. 

Use Google’s Keyword Tool, your analytics and other tools for analysis.

  1. Adhere to Governance, Planning and Coordinating the Distribution of your Content

Without governance, strategy is merely a good intention. Follow best practice guidelines around standards relating to the creation, curation and distribution of your online content within a content schedule. 

  1. Deliver the Right Content to the Right Person at the Right Time

Consider how different content types can be distributed in different formats on different platforms to achieve different goals. To get you started on this have a look at Econsultancy’s Periodic Table of Content Marketing for guidance. 

 

periodic table of marketing

 

  1. Content Innovation and Agility

Digital marketing places emphasis on being able to respond in a timely manner. Identify opportunities where it is appropriate to put content out there, and then objectively and progressively adapt it over time.  Consider the 70:20:10 rule which translates to spending. 

  • 70% of your effort on the low-risk, bread-and-butter, tried-and-tested content. Optimise it, amplify it and refine it, but don’t break any rules with it.
  • 20% of your time innovating off what is known to work and what may engage more deeply with specific audiences, but is still likely to have broad appeal. This content stretches and tests the boundaries that constrain the 70%.
  • 10% spent on brand new high-risk ideas that, if successful, could become tomorrow’s 20% or 70%.

So, there are the 7 rules. If you want to understand why you should be executing digital content marketing, then check out the eBook from the link below now:

 

small business content marketing

Tags: content marketing, b2b content marketing, small business content marketing, b2b content

10 Online Marketing things to do on LinkedIn, but probably aren't

Posted by frank harris on 19/04/18 14:38

LinkedIn_logo_2016_1With 277 million users and counting, LinkedIn has become the definitive business social media online marketing site.

 

If you're just using the site as a place to keep your resume online, then you're missing out on some great opportunities. LinkedIn has been rolling out several new features, including a new publishing platform and a revamped "Who's Viewed Your Profile" function.

Here's a look at 10 ways you can make LinkedIn a more valuable tool for keeping in touch with your network and getting recruiters to come to you. 

1. Follow your favourite "Influencers" in Pulse. 

You may not have been paying attention, but LinkedIn has been churning out original content from thought leaders around the world. The site's Pulse page collects posts from handpicked "Influencers" like Richard Branson, Martha Stewart, and Bill Gates. 

2. Share Relevant Articles with your Network and Write your own.

While Facebook and Twitter are great outlets for sharing light-hearted viral content with friends, LinkedIn is the place to post and share articles and videos relevant to your industry and business in general. 

3. Weed out Connections that are no longer useful.

LinkedIn's developers initially skipped a "block user" feature in an attempt to be a truly open networking site, but they finally gave in to users' demands for one. 

4. Monitor who's Looking at you and adjust accordingly. 

All users should now be able to use the revamped "Who's Viewed Your Profile" feature. Even non-Premium users will be able to see how users are finding them, and what industries these users belong to. 

5. Join Groups to Improve your Visibility.

LinkedIn says that active group users get four times as many profile views as those who don't use this resource. A good place to start is to join some industry peer groups and see what discussions are going on. 

6. Use the "Relationship" Tab to keep track of your Contacts.

If you would like to add someone you don't personally know, send them a personalised message explaining why you would like to connect and how sharing your business network can be beneficial. 

7. Endorse and Recommend your Connections.

Don't forget to make use of endorsements and recommendations. It helps your connections build credibility and makes them more likely to return the favour. LinkedIn is also a perfect place to recommend colleagues with a brief anecdote, as well as ask for recommendations from previous employers. 

8. Use a Professional Headshot and a Customised URL. 

Multiple reports have shown that LinkedIn pages with profile pictures get more views than those that don't. Your photo should be clear, not include other people, and be appropriate for your industry. 

9. Make your Page easy to Scan. 

The worst thing you can do is have your profile be one long list. Recruiters won't bother learning about you if your page is a chore to read. Make sure you distribute your information across each of the sections LinkedIn offers, and arrange them in an order you consider most relevant to your industry. 

10. Be sure to Write a Summary. 

Finally, don't neglect the crucial "Summary" box. Think of it as a first impression of your professional profile. It is also the perfect place for keywords that will enhance search engine optimisation (SEO) benefits for your page.

 

As I said at the start of this article, LinkedIn is the best online marketing business social media site. However, it's only part of your online marketing campaign - you must not neglect others. My eBook, accessed from the link below, will help you decide why you need to use social media and how to choose and use them to build your business:

 

B2B & SMEs Mobile Marketing

Tags: social media marketing, linkedin marketing for SMEs, b2b social media marketing, social media, social media communities

How to Construct Interactive eBooks for Lead Generation

Posted by frank harris on 13/04/18 10:19

Content-Marketing- 0318When it comes to lead generation, we often rely on eBooks, especially in the B2B world.

 

They’ve long been known to have highly perceived value and convert well.

 

However, not much has changed over the years. A whitepaper is still a whitepaper. You fill in a form, you download it, you read it.

 

How can we improve eBooks and make them more engaging?

Here are some Econsultancy examples of Interactive content. It’s a marketing trend that many smart marketers are getting clued up on. Instead of exploring interactive content on a broad level, here’s how you can make your eBooks and whitepapers more interactive.

Find a Topic and Test

To get a quick start, I highly recommend you take already existing piece of content or eBook (providing it’s still relevant) and give it an interactive spin.

 

We’ll get into how in a second (the costs and effort of testing are lower than you’d think), but for now think of this B2B marketing tactic in terms of framework. Interactive eBooks work best in a course format.

 

So, if you’re thinking about creating interactive content out of an existing eBook, first decide if the different chapters and sections would make sense in a course format.

 

If your content is not relevant in interactive form, then a tool for finding topic ideas is BuzzSumo. Type in a keyword and you’ll find the most popular pieces of content related to that keyword. This a great tactic when looking for the most popular current topics.

 

Once you have a topic for your interactive eBook, let’s get creating.

Building your Interactive eBook

Interactive content may sound sexy, but the potential resources needed to create it can be incredibly daunting.

 

Luckily, there are tools out there that make it super easy to create interactive guides quickly and easily. One that I recommend is Guides.co.

 

Guides.co gives you a platform to easily create and promote interactive guides. You can structure content in different sections and give readers actionable tasks, which is what makes them truly interactive.

 

The other benefit is that you can embed media elements like video, which is something you can’t do with ordinary eBooks.

 

Because you’re giving your readers specific activities throughout each step of your guide, it gets them to commit to your content and take some action.

 

The more they invest themselves into your content, the more likely they will be to take a stronger call-to-action at the end of your content, such as a consultation or purchase.

 

Another great Guides.co feature is how it provides landing pages. Most importantly, it’s conversion-driven, as people must opt-in to read your content. This saves you the effort of building landing pages from scratch.

Now you have your content and a platform to deliver it in, it’s time to drive traffic. A good distribution plan is key to effective content marketing, so let’s dig in.

Distributing & driving traffic to your interactive eBook

Distributing your interactive content is no different to ordinary content, and although it’s a complete topic in itself it does deserve a mention here.

 

First, be sure to distribute amongst your owned media. Mentioning it in relevant blog posts, sending out to your email list and making your customers and partners aware is a good start.

 

If you’ve established strong social media influencer relationships, be sure to ask them for help in getting the word you. Good influencer marketing ensures a strong win-win-win situation, so make sure there’s value for both your influencers as well as their audiences. Relevancy is key.

 

Communities are an undervalued source of valuable followers. If you’re not establishing yourself as a presence in forums and other communities relevant to your market, now is a good time to do so.

It’s often seen as a fairly old school digital marketing practice, but as long as you’re targeting active and passionate communities this still works very well.

 

Finally, if you’re using paid amplification, such as Google PPC and Facebook ads, ensure you test the receptiveness of your interactive content on a small scale first.

Conclusion

Interactive content is growing increasingly popular, but like all content marketing efforts it should always contribute to your overall marketing goals.

 

The great thing about interactive eBooks is that, as your readers progress, they’re committing themselves to your content. Every time they take some form of action they’re essentially giving a 'micro-yes'.

 

Each “yes” makes them warmer to a call-to-action that guides them further down the funnel. So, when they come to the end of your content be sure to ask them to commit further. This could be in the form of a purchase, consultation or other lead generation mechanism.

 

No matter what it is, take advantage of this heightened state of engagement and guide them further down your sales cycle. This is where the real success lies.

 

For example why don’t you move further down my funnel by downloading the relevant eBook that you can get via the link below>>>

 

eBook writing

Tags: get more leads, lead generation companies, leads, lead nurturing

Is an “Affordable SEO Marketing Package” Sensible for your Business?

Posted by frank harris on 12/04/18 16:08

SEO JUly 17-4A couple weeks back, a small business owner, spoke to me who was redesigning his website. Their web developer was offering them a monthly SEO package as a component of the entire sales process. Not having researched SEO in-depth, they were reluctant to make the investment without more information.

 

“I am a small business in the mist of redesigning our website… I have not had time to research SEO to be at comfortable place. …can I wait to pull the SEO contract trigger till the site is done or do I need to rebuild the site with the SEO provider as a partner in the generation… could I hire an independent after the fact and have as good performance from someone or group who did not build the website?"

 

You can replace “web developer” with “PR Firm”, “Branding Agency”, “marketing consultant”, etc.

 

First: as a fellow business owner, I never like to be rushed into a significant business decision without a reasonable level of preparation.

 

But more importantly, this decision maker needs to understand what the fee being proposed gets the company; in terms of production, deliverables, and potential impact.

 

Here is a paraphrased version of my reply:

  • I agree that SEO best practices done in coordination with a site redesign are important.
  • That said, I am inferring that this “package” is for ongoing work (i.e., link building, content development, etc), and not just onsite work specific to the redesign.
  • Make sure to get a list of key responsibilities and actions the SEO package will address, to better evaluate value and impact.
  • Consider obtaining competitive quotes based on this responsibility list or additional online marketing related needs.

How to Evaluate a Monthly SEO Marketing Package

In addition to the above, here are some additional points to consider in the evaluation process, regardless of the vendor in question.

  • Why do you need SEO in the first place?

It’s obvious to me but as an online marketing consultant, I certainly have bias You want to make sure SEO will help your company reach desired business goals and objectives. In other words: "how does this investment compare to other marketing channels invested in? How effective are those channels at generating business for you? Ultimately, answers to these types of questions set a baseline for SEO programme expectation."

  • How does the SEO vendor explain their process?

While some SEO vendors may not wish to reveal their list of tactics, basic philosophies about SEO should be explained and related to how they relate to broader business goals. They should also be able to provide examples of tactics in action where possible.

  • What benchmarks does the SEO vendor recommend for measuring performance?

Even though your organization will (should) have its own KPI’s in place already, it’s important to ask the SEO vendor for recommendations on performance measurement. In most circumstances, benchmarks should include a mix of business performance and production-specific SEO measurements.

  • Does the SEO vendor have demonstrable, related client achievements?

Individual keyword performance is not now a part of the puzzle. The SEO vendor should come prepared with case studies (comparable ones if possible) illustrating background, challenges, and results – and be able to back this up with references you can reach out to direct. Do they understand you and your business model for success? Are they even asking? (Red alert if they are not of course).

  • Finally, what are the actual contract terms being agreed upon?

Beyond SEO and any further offers made as well as being purely business-based, how easy is it to get out of a signed contract? You want to know what your total financial commitment would be if performance fails to fit your agreed expectations and how proactive you need to be in addressing termination, renewal, and other time-related concerns.

Final Thoughts

In the example leading this post, it turned out that at least one component of the “SEO package” was to simply push various organizational web addresses through a range of social media sites, multiple times a month. Package pricing was influenced by the number of times this tactic was executed.

 

While social media marketing can be a powerful resource for link acquisition and broader brand development (even lead generation), simply pushing web addresses across social media sites as a tactic alone, seems questionable. After all, most social sites “no follow” the links generated, which instructs search engines to ignore these links for ranking relevance.

 

But there is certainly debate on how social media influences traffic and what types of social media signals create that influence.

 

Bottom-line, it’s important not to rush into a decision and to get all the information possible to make an educated decision. Interview the vendor to better understand their philosophy, approach, and examples of how this tactic will be executed.

 

From my perspective, I offer a full proposal that covers everything I will do to help reach the company’s objectives. As an educator, it covers not only traffic generation but lead generation, lead nurturing and advice on how to convert the leads when they are warm.

 

For a FREE hour, or so, consultation on how this works and how I might be able to help you just follow the link below:

 

free online marketing consultation

Tags: SEO for small business, small business seo marketing, b2b seo, seo package, seo marketing

10 Steps to Building an Online Social Media Marketing Communities

Posted by frank harris on 08/04/18 16:06

Social Media PLatforms 0118Online social media marketing communities can boost customer loyalty and brand awareness.

 

But setting up a community takes time and planning. These steps will help get your online community up and running through set-up, interaction and growth.

  1. Define your Value and Purpose

Having an online community will grow your brand, but you need to define what value you are offering people in your community. There must be a need or an interest.

  • Value

A primary reason for joining is to be in a network with a like-minded group of people, with common interests and connections. As the host, you must work out what these people would get out of being in your community, including one of the following: 

  • Problem solving - users will work together to solve problems, or seek solutions from brand representatives/employees
  • Topical discussions - a group of people with a similar interest to discuss informally
  • Reading interesting content - a community sharing the latest news on specific topics
  • Learn new skills – a group that will help members to learn new skills
  • Purpose

You must work out what value you will get out of your online community, primarily:

  • Increase sales and marketing - Differentiate your company from competitors and create additional value to doing business with your company.
  • Improve customer service - Increase customer loyalty through more interaction and engagement between customers and employees.
  • Empower product management - Partner with customers and prospects to generate and develop ideas for more profitable products and services.

If your community is uninteresting or overly pushes the company’s own product and doesn’t offer anything to users, members will not engage, and the community will struggle.

  1. Choose your Community’s Platform

Depending on the value and purpose as above, you’ll need to choose how you will host your community.

 

Communities used to function on specific platforms, and many still do. But with so many social media marketing networks available today, which function as knowledge and communication networks, it’s rare to use a single platform as each has a different purpose.

 

Facebook and Twitter are the most popular channels, but many companies are managing more than one account on each.

 

How your community communicates is the basis for your network. If people find it hard to navigate or connect with others, they’ll disappear.

  1. Research and Recruit Influencers

Find out who influences people in your community.  Tools such as Traackr and Social Bro can help. Search for hot topics within your community and they will show you where these are already being discussed on social media, and who’s leading the discussion.

 

Influencers probably produce most of content (other than the host) and tend to be the most active. Support your influencers to give them more opportunities to produce relevant content and share with the community.

 

Influencers will direct the tone and content of the community and represent their values.

  1. Programme of Content

Access to thought leadership content is, from research, the main reason for professionals engaging in networks and communities.

 

This means it’s important to plan the content you want to create and distribute. Content should be customised and written with your community in mind. Thought leading content keeps people returning and communicating with others.

 

Organise content in an editorial calendar. This will help to keep content distribution consistent and regular. Content also needs to be organised, so members can find topics that interest them. Navigation and an effective search method are almost as important as the content.

 

Fresh content not only keeps members interested, but attracts new members because having new interesting content, helps in SEO.

  1. Management

Communities need leadership to monitor member engagement. One person should manage your online community, with others managing different aspects of the network, depending how large and active your community is.

 

Oracle highlights, “management involves tracking, technical support, member engagement and community programme and event planning.” Ensure your community has someone to direct all these aspects, or it will fall apart.

  1. Engage

Engagement maintains a community.  Do this by interacting, and they will return the favour by endorsing you.

 

Reaching out to spark interesting discussions helps increase engagement and loyalty. Interacting with members will turn them into advocates. Customers like to have a voice and online communities are the perfect place for them to engage with you.

 

The essence of a community is that it is a place for sharing and discussion.

  1. Offer Support

Communities should offer customer support by finding answers to their questions in discussions with other members.

 

Helping to solve problems for your community will put you in good stead. For many, it’s key for joining a community.

  1. Encourage User-generated Content

User-generated content plays a role in 84% of millennial purchases and 70% of boomers’ purchases, so it’s important to get them interacting, creating and sharing their own content.

 

To prove your company’s worth, the endorsement needs to come from external sources, not you.

  1. Keep Trolls Away

As people are anonymous behind a computer, it’s inevitable you’ll get some trolls looking to insult you or your members and stir up trouble.

 

Be prepared to prevent/manage the damage before a hostile environment is created that will put members off your community.

 

If your community feels threatened, users are unlikely to stay. There’s likely to be disagreements but draw a line between retaliation and abuse.

  1. Keep the Conversation Going

Running a community requires time and dedication so keep the conversation going and stick to your plan.

 

You put in all the hard work of setting up your community, now it needs to be maintained. Good luck!

 

For more tips on social media marketing follow this link:

 

B2B & SMEs Mobile Marketing

Tags: social media marketing, b2b social media marketing, communities, social media communities

Personalised Marketing Experiences for your B2B Buyers

Posted by frank harris on 03/04/18 15:57

personalised marketing 0218What is Personalisation?

Today’s buyers have higher expectations than ever before. As marketers know well, consumers are better informed, more selective, and quicker to say no – or to simply walk away.

 

They are bombarded with so many marketing messages each day that only the smartest, most targeted, most relevant messages are read. If you can’t immediately address their needs, visitors will glaze over your messaging (or bounce from your website) in a flash.

 

And that means it’s no longer enough to have one message – to appear relevant to every individual in your audience, you need multiple messages, personalised marketing messages for each one.

 

But how can you craft individually personalised marketing messages at scale? How can your marketing attract both potential and current customers with every relevant use case for your products, at every stage of the sales funnel, and entice them to make a purchase?

 

Using real-time personalisation tools, you can create personalised, customised, targeted marketing experiences for every member of your different personas. You can show your potential and current customers the content they want to see, in the way they want to see it. And you don’t even need to come up with new content – whether it’s an eBook, a video, or a blog post, you can personalise the content you already have, showing relevant pieces to targeted individuals.

 

In my eBook related to this article, I’ll show you how personalisation allows you to craft customised experiences for every type of buyer, and helps you get, well, personal.

 

The eBook covers the following 10 areas of the whys and wherefores of personalisation:

  • The Core of Personalisation
  • The Who? What, Where Keys
  • Real-time Personalisation and Marketing Automation
  • Personalisation and Anonymous Leads
  • Make every Piece of Content Work Overtime for You
  • Advanced Personalisation Techniques
  • Real time Personalisation Toolbox
  • Meet Consumer Demands
  • Ten Questions to ask when Considering
  • Personalisation Software

To give you a taster let’s look at one area covered – meeting consumer demands:

Meet Consumer Demands

“These may be times of increased competition and decreased user attention, but it’s also a time of more intelligent, sophisticated technology than ever before. Making real-time personalisation tools a part of your marketing strategy doesn’t require painful implementation, time-consuming maintenance, or an arsenal of brand-new content.

 

These tools are built to operate and optimise automatically. And that’s with zero IT requirements and simple integration with any content-management system.

 

The ability to create personalised experiences for your audience is a huge breakthrough for marketers. More and more, customers aren’t just open to personalised website, email, mobile, and display advertising experiences; they are demanding it.”

 

The eBook will teach you the real meaning of personalised marketing and how you can and should use in in all aspects of your digital marketing efforts.

 

To get your copy just follow the link below:

 

Personalised Marketing Experiences

Tags: buyer personas, personalise marketing, personalised marketing

8 Steps to Optimise B2B Website Marketing Landing Pages

Posted by frank harris on 28/03/18 11:17

landing page optimisationLanding pages are the most effective way to get your message in front of personas and converting them into a lead.

 

This article covers some of the best ways to create a landing page to see improved numbers across the board.

 

The best thing about landing pages and B2B website marketing is that these rules are applicable no matter what business you are in or whether you are simply collecting leads or pushing high-value products. Put these tips and methods into play in your B2B website marketing efforts and you will see higher conversions and revenue.

Why Landing Pages are Important

When it comes to promoting your own lead generation campaigns or through affiliate marketing, you have a few different options on how to best deliver your message and convert your traffic into leads. The main decision is whether or not to use a landing page or to simply direct traffic to the main or contact page of a site.

 

In almost all cases, it’s best to create a landing page to pre-sell your audience and prepare them to take action. This will not only show a higher conversion rate but will also allow you to target your personas whilst delivering a directed message to them.

 

A good example of this would be an online dating campaign. If you wanted to promote a site like Match.com, you may send thousands of people to the site for sign ups via a pop up. However, if you create a custom landing page just for your male audience (with a woman on it) and another for your female audience, it would likely perform much better. You could also take this a level deeper by building specific landing pages based on age, location and individual interests.

 

Once the targeted user hits your landing page, they will be more likely to take action and can then be sent to the lead generation form.

8 Ways to Improve Landing Page Performance

Once you’ve created your landing page, there are multiple ways to improve its performance. Before going live with your campaign, ensure you have a tracking solution in place to measure and compare your results as traffic and leads flow through your site. With minor tweaks along throughout the campaign, you can continually improve your overall conversions and revenue.

  1. Have a Clear Call to Action
    The call to action of your landing page is the most important factor of all. It should be built into your header, the image, description, bullet points and of course have a big button or easy to find “click here” text. Make it easy for the person to see the value in what you are offering and taking the next step to make it happen.
  2. Less Text is More
    In most cases, landing pages are usually short and simply a pre-sell to the main sign up form. Highlight the key points of the offer, it’s major benefits and show some examples or testimonials - with the goal of having the most value in as little space as possible.
  3. Keep the Page Clean
    Cleanliness on landing pages is key, as you want the main call to action to stand out and not get lost in the mix. Keep your pages clean so the focus is clear.
  4. Pick the Right Images
    Photos tell a thousand words, so be sure to choose the right images for your landing pages. Also make sure they are triggering the right emotions and relating with your personas.
  5. Bullet Points Work Well
    Landing pages should be straight to the point, while highlighting the benefits of an offer. Bullet points are a great way to deliver your message fast and not take up too much space in the process.
  6. Use Contrasting Colours
    Don’t use colours on your landing page simply because they are pretty or match your brand, use them to make different areas stand out and trigger buyer emotions.
  7. Create a Sense of Urgency
    By having trigger words like “Limited Time” or “Act Now – Today Only”, you are giving your personas a call to action with urgency. Urgency makes the end user want to act now, as they might lose out on the opportunity if they wait.
  8. Remove Distractions and Navigation
    With landing pages, people are being sent to your page to do only one thing — which is to act upon your call to action. Remove any distractions from the page which might lower this focus or have the user leave your page.

Testing is Key

The final takeaway for this B2B website marketing landing page optimisation guide is that testing is key! You can tweak and change all of the methods above, but if you aren’t split testing these changes, it will be very hard for you to tell what’s working and what’s not.

 

Landing pages are simply the best way to market and pre-sell anything online, so make sure you are using them as effectively as possible.

 

For a tool kit to help you get to grips with everything to do with landing pages, follow this link:

 

B2B Marketing Landing Pages

Tags: b2b website marketing, organic search engine optimisation, landing pages

Why is B2B Organic Search Better

Posted by frank harris on 27/03/18 16:22

organic search 0218Remember when you used to rely solely on search engines for traffic? Were you #1 on Google? It was the only real roadmap to generating site traffic.

 

Today, things are different. We create identities across social platforms, and we promote via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Is B2B organic search passé now?

 

Diversification is a must, and we no longer live or die by Google alone. But have we forgotten about organic traffic and how beneficial it is?

4 Reasons why B2B Organic Search Matters

  1. Organics importance

Research shows that organic is better for delivering relevant traffic. The only channel that performs better in some capacities is paid search ads, but only for conversions, not overall traffic delivery.

 

graph 0218

 

So, neglecting organic listings means your paid traffic is not doing as well as they could.

  1. No control

In B2C businesses, between 40 to 60% of traffic comes from Facebook. And Google traffic is low. Why?

Facebook traffic is real and occurs for good reasons. A site sending millions of visitors via a single referral source is a marketer’s dream come true. Or is it?

 

With Facebook (or any social media site), you are working inside a closed system. This means that while your section of it may be flourishing, you have no control.

 

What if Facebook decides competitor sites are more interesting? Or Twitter decides to personalise the feed? These situations have happened.

 

When using social media platforms for site traffic, you’re at the mercy of that platform.

 

When you don’t have control over the environment you may wind up with a large advertising bill to generate traffic lost when the platform changes how it uses your content. This can happen overnight or over a few weeks giving you no time to adjust.

 

But doesn’t Google do this?

 

Well, yes and no. Sure, an algorithm change can hurt your traffic. However, if you have knowledgeable people, this is not likely to happen, and if it does, you can usually get your visits back.

  1. Site “Stickiness”

Social media and paid ads are traffic generators, but they’re not long-term customer creators. Bounce rates are high, and the number of pages visited is often very low.

 

This makes perfect sense. If I come from my Facebook feed, I’m likely to view one page and leave. On average, these site visitors generally view between 1.2 and 2 pages.

 

Facebook is meant to drive article visits, not overall site traffic and customer loyalty. Twitter is meant to promote customer loyalty, not create post traffic.

 

Organic is different.Matching keywords to user intent means you may be present in many searches. The user may find you consistently, and once they get to your site, they are more likely to stay. Organic users are still your best long-term customers. They have lower bounce rates visit more pages and are more likely to return.

 

So if you want to sell something or gain brand awareness, social is an excellent channel. If you are a B2B company organic is mainly for you. Diversification is key because each platform has a different ROI potential. Organic is one of the strongest of these, and organic+paid can be even better.

 

Social just can’t deliver the same level of quality traffic, even if your site sees 50%+ of its traffic coming from Facebook.

  1. Investment

The issue with paid referral sources, whether Google AdWords or Facebook Advertising, is that the traffic only lasts as long as you feed the meter. Pull your money, and you will see an instant dip in traffic.

 

When you’re paying for traffic, it’s like renting. You get immediate results, but there is no long-term buy-in from most of these.

 

With B2B organic search, the user mindset is different. The user is looking for you, or at least what you offer. When they find you, and you provide an excellent experience, they often return. Repetitive visits, for B2B SMEs, can start to increase brand recognition and loyalty.

 

Also, if you invest in organic, you can, sometimes, lower that investment to maintenance levels or take a break.

 

Although a long break is bad, you can shift resources for a short time.  When you do this, if you continue to produce content, keep a tight rein on technical issues and monitor inbound links, you will not generally lose any significant amounts of traffic, unless you’re in a highly competitive industry, or if you changed something that damaged your site in Google’s eyes.

 

You cannot do this with paid. When the money stops, so does most of the traffic that came with it.

Don’t let Organic Traffic Die

While you’re celebrating your Facebook visits and paid advertising, don’t forget to invest in organic. Organic results will sustain you during times when you cannot afford your paid budget.

 

Organic traffic is a completely different type of traffic from that received from paid or social channels.

Organic is what people are looking for; the rest of these simply put things in front of people who may or may not be seeking what you offer.

 

We know that approximately X people are looking for Y daily. So, getting in front of those people, means a greater opportunity to create long-term relationships and increase overall ROI.

 

To understand how to get more organic traffic follow this link>>>

 

How to get Traffic,   Leads and Sales  to your Business

Tags: inbound marketing, organic search engine optimisation, seo traffic, b2b content marketing

GDPR is only 2 months away. Are you ready?

Posted by frank harris on 21/03/18 15:49

gdpr 0218GDPR will soon impact everything from your people to processes and technology. With just two months until GDPR launches, how ready are you?

 

Plan your time. Know where to focus and deploy the right technology now. Here at 4 steps you should be taking up to 25th May.

  1. Prepare

What are the biggest compliance implications for your data security and privacy? Do you have full visibility over the personal data you possess, both structured and unstructured.

 

If you can’t see your data, you can’t protect it. If you know the data you have, who uses it and how, you can more effectively support competitive advantage.

 

Do you know where all your data resides to assess whether it’s compliant with GDPR? This will also help you understand whether a breach or misuse of data could occur.

Data Discovery & Risk Assessment

Identify what is personal data and where it is in your cloud/on-premise environments. This should involve working with all departments to understand what data they use, store, share and transact.

  1. Protect

Is your data adequately protected against both internal and external attack and misuse? If data is left on unsecured systems, or simply exposed by accident, it is at risk of non-compliance.

 

Retain the value of your data in-house. Losing control of data risks fines, damage to brand reputation, and lost revenue.

 

Can you protect your IT systems from both internal and external attacks? Can you make sure authorised people can access the data they need – from employees to contractors and suppliers – while keeping data from falling into the wrong hands? And if it did, could you render the data unusable?

Data Protection Audit

Now that you know where all your data is, you must evaluate whether the right technologies and processes are in place to help you control access to your data systems.

  1. Detect

Would you be able to detect advanced and stealthy threats that are active in your environment? Could you detect and assess the scale of a data breach as it’s taking place?

 

Data breaches must be declared. Failure to comply can lead to significant fines – up to 4% annual worldwide turnover or €20 million, whichever is higher.

 

Allowing advanced malware to live on your systems risks valuable data being exfiltrated and competitive advantage eroded.

 

Can you rely upon your existing, traditional cyber defences to pinpoint an attack in real-time and protect your personal data assets? Can those systems ‘learn’ from past attacks to better protect your organisation in future?

Cyber Security Technology Review

Evaluate your current cyber security estate to establish whether the technologies you have in place provide an integrated, real-time defence, purpose-built for the era of advanced persistent threats. In other words, those complex malwares that are designed to evade traditional signature-based security. Identify all vulnerabilities and gaps. Work with an expert partner who will help you to create a holistic, integrated approach.

  1. Respond

Can you respond quickly to incidents, mitigate the impact and the future risk? Could you afford to pay up to 4% annual worldwide turnover or €20 million for failure to report an incident?

 

You must notify the authorities (and sometimes affected individuals) promptly, and at least within

72 hours of a breach.

 

According to Article 34.3 (a), if you experience a breach that is likely to result in a ‘high risk’ to the rights of the individuals, you are not obliged to report it if the data was encrypted.

 

Being able to respond quickly in the event of a breach prevents undue loss of data and builds brand trust.

 

Can you:

  • stop a breach quickly following its detection?
  • assess the systems and data that have been compromised and report on how you can remedy the situation?

Next Actions

Even with just two months to go, it’s not too late to prepare for GDPR. Even if you’re not completely ready by 25th May 2018 there’s still time to make your plans.

 

The steps above have concentrated on your IT requirements. If you would lie to learn more about your digital marketing requirements, then I strongly recommend you follow this link:

 

lead generation

Tags: b2b small business marketing, gdpr, digital marketing

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