Services Include:

Search Engine Optimization

Local Search Optimization

Paid Search Advertising

Social Media Marketing

Website Analytics

Boost Your Marketing with User-Generated Content

Anode-User-Generated-Content-TweetEverywhere you look someone is declaring “content is king”! However, creating all that content on a regular basis can be difficult. User-generated content (UGC) can help create content and provide numerous other benefits. UCG capitalizes on people’s desire to express themselves, connect with like-minded people and earn rewards from brands they love. That content can then be repurposed in many ways for your campaigns.

So What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content takes many forms including reviews, social media posts, blogging, contest photos and question-and-answer forums. This content can be on a third-party site or directly on a site you control. Basically, whenever someone is talking about your brand online, they are creating UGC.

Why Brands Need User-Generated Content

Obviously, you need the content. But what else can UGC provide?

  • Greater understanding of target audience – What people say can help you better understand their needs and concerns and anticipate future desires.
  • Increased engagement – UGC allows you to deepen your engagement and connection with consumers by creating a two-way dialogue.
  • Trusted content – An Nielson report states that 84% of consumers trust earned content more than any other form of advertising. The greater the trust people place in content, the greater its influence.
  • Stronger community – As consumers interact with each other, a community builds around your brand. The community members can then act as your brand ambassadors.
  • Greater website traffic – UGC can drive more traffic to your website or microsite as people gain greater awareness.
  • Increased time of site – If the content is on your site, people will spend more time on your site and possibly convert.
  • SEO benefits – The more content you have the more content can be indexed. Also, UGC will naturally contain the keywords people are using most.
  • Greater customer satisfaction – Setting up forums and community boards increases the likelihood that consumers will quickly find the specific answer they need.

How to Use User-Generated Content

UGC can be quite fragmented and spread across so many outlets. However, brands can influence consumers to generate it using multiple techniques.

Share content posted on social media
If you have fans posting pictures or videos of themselves using and enjoying your products and services, share it on your social media accounts with a link back to your site if possible.

Incorporate UGC into your contests or giveaways
An easy way to gain UGC is to make it part of a contest or giveaway. Require people to post videos, pictures or specific text with a unique hashtag. With permission, that content can then be repurposed.

Crowdsource ideas for your next campaign using social media
Marketing campaigns can be expensive, and sometimes your ideas get stale (think: car commercials). Ask your fans to submit ideas, and use the best one(s) as your next campaign. You can also test ideas this way. For example, you could directly use the idea or turn, say, a collection of videos into a commercial.

Feature UGC on your website
With the creator’s permission, include UGC on your website. This content could be a collection of the best entries in a contest or a featured consumer or content. The extra love shown will only increase brand loyalty. Also, the content on your site will be viewed as more authentic and genuine.

Incorporate UGC into your traditional marketing
With the creator’s permission, you could incorporate visuals and text into your marketing campaigns. This content could be requested as part of a contest, testimonials or reviews. Repurposing UGC will increase its lifespan.

Integrate user-generated content into your marketing strategy is easy and affordable and provides a constant stream of fresh content that enhances your efforts. Tap into this powerful form of content and leverage it to influence today’s consumer. Start with something simple like a contest. Done right you will reap the benefits of sales driven by consumer created content.

Episode #05: Press Releases and SEO

In this episode of the Small Business SEO podcast, I talk with Joe Beaulaurier about the role of press releases in online marketing.

Online Press Releases

Online Press Releases

Joe recently wrote about the continued death of press releases on his personal blog: http://www.joebeaulaurier.com/press-release-dead/

Joe owns Whatcom Marketing and is a consistent expert in the online marketing industry.

We discussed the Google Panda update. Here is a good resource to learn more about Panda: http://searchengineland.com/library/google/google-panda-update

Listen: iTunes and Stitcher.

Play

10 Blogs You Should Be Following

writing-fountain pen

photo credit: matsuyuki via photopin cc

Keeping up with a fast changing world and spotting trends is no easy task. I follow a bazillion (or is it gazillion?) blogs on different aspects of marketing, social media and business/entrepreneurship. The blog post emails are blowing up my inbox as I write. I could spend all day reading them and learning more and more but then wouldn’t get to implement what I learned for my clients or myself.

So you don’t have to decipher where to start I have gathered a list of 10 blogs I follow and why. Picking a list of my favorites is impossible so I simply scanned my inbox. Some of these blogs are written primarily by one person while others are written by large teams.

Chris Brogan @chrisbrogan

Chris Brogan, CEO of Human Business Works, provides business, marketing and sales insights along with personal development advice. His posts often arrive at exactly the right time I need the information or a kick in the pants. You also definitely need to sign up for his weekly newsletter. It’s a great way to start your Sunday. His laidback, conversational style is genuine and makes you feel like you are talking with a longtime friend. He also has a podcast for those who don’t like to read. I can’t wait to read his latest book, Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth.

Gini Dietrich / Spin Sucks @ginidietrich

When I first encountered Gini Dietrich, I thought Spin Sucks was only for public relations professionals. However, much more is discussed on Spin Sucks for both the PR and marketing professional, including branding and social media. Not only are the posts well-written and informative but the discussions are thoughtful. Along with writing her own posts, she has fabulous guess bloggers and hosts Livefyre discussions. Also, for some fun, she writes a weekly post called Gin and Topics. These posts contain five videos that she finds or are submitted to her.

Derek Halpern / Social Triggers @derekhalpern

Ever wonder about the psychology behind how people behave online? Derek has the lowdown. His blog will help turn people into loyal subscribers, increase sales and grow a website’s reach. Along with text posts, he does a lot of short videos, and I also love finding out which freeze frame facial expression he’ll have. He has a straightforward, passionate approach and backs up his information with extensive research from top academicians and experts.

HubSpot @HubSpot

HubSpot has a large team of writers covering all areas of marketing. They provide best practices, tips and hacks for marketers of all levels. Along with blog posts, they offer multiple whitepapers, templates, case studies and other freebies you won’t want to miss. If you have a marketing question, they likely have a post with an answer. Oh, and I hear the HubSpot marketing platform is great, too.

Jon Loomer @jonloomer

Jon Loomer talks about all things Facebook. He writes about best practices and explains in detail how to do Facebook advertising. When anything changes on Facebook, he is on top of it and often talking about it in advance. He is my go-to source. I even has his Facebook image dimensions post bookmarked.

MarketingProfs Today @Marketing Profs

Ann Handley and her great team bring a wealth of marketing information through its blog. I don’t think there’s a marketing-related topic they don’t cover. You also get access  to free webinars, case studies and whitepapers. I’ve attended some of the webinars and have been impressed.

The Moz @Moz

The Moz writing team brings a  great deal of information, tips and tricks about content marketing, analytics, SEO, email marketing and social media. I find it to be a great resource personally and when I’m writing blog articles.

Mark Schaefer / {grow} @markwschaefer

Mark Schaefer is the author of the classic book The Tao of Twitter along with great books. He writes about digital marketing, social media, marketing strategy and business. His insight into what’s happening in those areas is valuable. While I don’t always agree with his opinion pieces, he does make me think; that’s always good.

Marcus Sheridan / The Sales Lion @TheSalesLion

Marcus Sheridan writes about inbound and content marketing, social media and branding for businesses. He got started with online marketing when he started blogging as a way to save his pool business. I love how he shares his personal experiences both good and bad. It makes you feel that you can also  have the same success. When I’m not reading his blog posts, I catch his Mad Marketing podcast.

Social Media Examiner @SocMed_examiner

Social Media Examiner’s writers provide information on how companies can maximize their use of social media, blogs and podcasts. Along with articles, this blog provides expert interviews, case studies and industry research reviews. I often go to this site to find an answer to a specific social media question.

This list could go on and on. I strongly encourage you to explore these blogs and many other great blogs that are out there. Don’t just read what they post online. Subscribe to their blogs for additional information. Where did I learn about these blogs? Twitter. So, yes, social media works.

Three Tips for Becoming a Better Blogger

Lost in all the romanticism of the inbound marketing craze is this simple fact:

Creating content is hard.

Yes, content works. Yes, having fresh, relevant blog posts on your site will help improve your search engine optimization. And we’ve already discussed the importance of quality blog posts posted less frequently over not-so-great posts posted daily.

If you’re not a writer though – or even if you are – the process of blogging takes work. It takes a plan. And, you know … writing. Sometimes a lot of writing. It can be very intimidating and, if you’re not totally comfortable, can lead to quick burnout.

As someone who has been through the cycle of blogging like crazy, then sitting dormant for six months (or longer) and then blogging again for a couple of months only to have it fall by the wayside again … I feel your pain. It’s not easy.

The best way to combat this is to have a plan.

These are things that I’ve frequently recommended to my students to help improve not only the quality of blog posts but the consistency as well. Today, though, I recommend them for all of us. We all could use a refresher from time to time to help improve our blogging.

With all that said, here are three tips to help make us better bloggers.

Set aside time to write every day.

Pardon me while I rely on a cliché – practice makes perfect. Just as an athlete practices with her team or a musician practices with his ensemble, writers need to practice. And that practice should be daily.

So, set aside a block of time – 30 minutes or so – every day to write. What you write may not ever be published. It might just be a way of getting your thoughts onto paper or into a document. (Yes, journaling counts!) Or maybe what you write eventually turns into a blog post. Either way, taking time to focus each day on writing helps you hone your craft and can help get those creative juices flowing.

Write about what you know.

If your content is of quality, odds are good that people are finding your posts through search. And if that’s the case, one of two things is likely true – either your reader is seeking specific information to answer a question or is already knowledgeable about the topic and seeking more in-depth information.

In both of those cases, if you’re writing about something you don’t have a great deal of knowledge about or experience with, your readers are going to see through that very quickly.

As a writer, you’ll find it much easier to write about topics that you are comfortable with and understand thoroughly. It may take a while to get the structure exactly right or the subheads working in the way you want them to, but the writing process itself will be much easier. If you’re writing for your own site or your company’s site, don’t fight this. Write about what you know. Your readers – and potential customers – will see the genuine, authentic expertise and learn to trust you as an expert.

After you’ve gained some experience writing things you’re comfortable with, then start moving into doing research and writing about topics that you aren’t quite as familiar with. But trying to start with the unfamiliar will only leave you frustrated and less inspired to blog.

Never hit publish immediately.

No matter the deadline or the rush to get a new blog post up on your site, after you finish writing a post, resist the urge to publish it immediately. You can build it in your content management system and find all of your images and all of those important things, but once it’s ready to go, let the content itself sit for a bit of time. Get away from it. Take a walk. Move on to something else and then come back to it later. Maybe even wait until the next day to revisit it. You need to step back from what you’ve written to be able to properly edit and catch mistakes or holes in your information. Or, better yet, have someone else take a couple of minutes to read it. It may cost you a little bit of time, but you won’t regret it later.

Give these three tips a try over the next several weeks. See how your writing improves. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover that blogging can be enjoyable!

Image Credit: Gualberto107 via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Episode #03: Developing Stories and Keeping Promises with Nancy VanReece

Nancy VanReece, www.nancyvanreece.com is owner of Carpe Diem Management.

Nancy VanReece

In this episode, Nancy and I talk about using tools to build a story.

Nancy specifically talks about how she helps companies fulfill the promise they made, whether it’s delivering the best pizza or quick service. Whatever that promise is, it’s part of the story.

We discussed many of the tools that are available to tell those stories.

Every tool is not right for every business.

Lowes’ is doing some great stuff with Vine, https://vine.co/Lowes. That led to a conversation about Vine celebrities that can be found on tour with MagCon, www.magcontour.com. Clearly, not the market Nancy and I are targeting, but fascinating regardless.

To get a sense of how Nancy VanReece helps companies find their “World Cup Moment”, check out this recent blog post: http://www.parachutemedia.co/our-blog/2014/6/12/whats-your-world-cup-moment

3 Types of stories that we all want to hear

  1. The Ascending Narrative
  2. The Descending Narrative
  3. The Oscillating Narrative

What is your story?

Find more on Nancy’s Prezi presentation, http://prezi.com/jt6w3tczix4-/what-is-your-story-promise-inspiration-b/

You can discover more about the great work Nancy does at www.parachutemedia.co

Other ways to connect:
Nancy on Twitter: @NancyVanReece
Nancy on Instagram @NancyVanReece
Nancy on G+: +NancyVanReece

Listen: iTunes and Stitcher.

Play

49 Free Photo Resources to Make Your Content Rock

photo resources-photographerPhotos and other visuals speak more than a thousand words these days. Therefore, companies are adding a graphic designer, a stock photo subscription or a photographer to their budgets. However, what if your business does not have the money in the budget but still needs professional looking visuals or simply needs something immediately? What do you do? You turn to the Internet for free photos and tools.

What is Creative Commons?

As you search the Internet for free images, you will notice most of the images are offered via one of six types of Creative Commons (CC) licenses. Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that offers licenses to the public for free. Creators can choose which license reflects the rights they wish to retain and waive and then offer their works to the public. No need for individual negotiations! Just carefully check the rights and attribution requirements before using any image.

Free Photo Websites

Now that you understand the CC license, let’s start looking for some great free photos for commercial use. We have gathered a small collection of search engine sites and direct image gallery sites. Don’t be surprised if you lose track of time checking out all the great images; I do every time. Images are high resolution unless otherwise noted. Some sites offer only free images while others offer a mixture of free and paid.

  • bigfoto.com – Bigfoto.com offers a royalty-free photo gallery contributed primarily by amateur photographers and organized by geographic areas. A link to bigfoto.com on your website or a click on the Facebook Like button or Twitter follow button is required.
  • Can We Image – Can We Image allows you to search Wikimedia Commons, and results link directly to the photo’s source.
  • Compfight – Compfight is a Flickr search engine and can be filtered by license needs.
  • Creative Commons Search –  This site offers easy access to image search services offered by other organizations. Users are encouraged to check the licenses on search results.
  • Death to the Stock Photo – Death to the Stock Photo delivers photos in a zip file to you monthly via email.
  • Dreamstime – Dreamstime has a searchable free section for people who create a free account. Dreamstime offers these photos under its own license, not CC.
  • everystockphoto.com – Everystockphoto.com allows you to search for free photos from many sources, and the photos are license-specific. Membership is free.
  • Flickr – Flickr is a humongous repository of photos. Sign in with a Yahoo email account and filter by commercial use. Image resolution and license terms vary.
  • Flickr: The Commons – This site is a subsection of Flickr for public domain photos from libraries and academic institutions. Image resolution varies.
  • Foter – Foter is a search engine that pulls from multiple sources and requires a free account. It has over 190 million images and is also available as a WordPress plugin.
  • FreeDigitalPhotos.net – FreeDigitalPhotos.net has a large collection of free photos and illustrations with the option of purchasing smaller and larger sizes.
  • freeimages – Freeimages has over 400,000 free images to choose from in its gallery.
  • FreeMediaGoo.com – FreeMediaGoo.com offers a limited gallery of free photos, textures and backgrounds.
  • FreePhotosBank – FreePhotosBank is a large gallery of searchable photos and backgrounds. The thumbnail images make viewing photos hard so you have to click on more photos than normal to find the one you want.
  • Freerange Stock – With a free membership, you can download photos and textures directly or edit them in Pixlr prior to download. Photos are created by in-house photographers or contributed by community members.
  • Gratisography – Gratisography does not offer a search option for its photo gallery, but you can sign up to be notified by email when new photos are added.
  • IM Free – IM Free is a curated collection of photos you can search or view by category, and all images are available for commercial use.
  • Image Finder – Image Finder’s gallery is searchable by keywords and findings filtered by commercial use.
  • Little Visuals – Little Visuals primarily offers collections of landscape photos. You can get seven random images emailed to you every seven days.
  • lorempixel – Creating a website or print material and need a placeholder image? Lorempixel lets you choose different sizes, categories, color and black and white with its random generator.
  • morgueFile – morgueFile has a large collection of free images you can search for by keyword and then filter further. 
  • New Old Stock – New Old Stock has a wide variety of vintage photos from public archives. Unfortunately, it’s not searchable. (Image resolution varies.)
  • The Pattern Library – The Pattern Library has a limited number of wacky patterns. The site is not intuitive to use. Move the cursor around the screen and you’ll start to see how it’s set up.
  • Photo Pin – Photo Pin is an image search engine for Flickr. (Image resolution varies.)
  • Photober – Photober offers a limited image gallery you can view by category.
  • picjumbo – Picjumbo has a nice image collection organized by category.
  • Pickup Image – Pickup Image claims to be the “largest collection of free photographs. Freely download high quality premium free stock images,  public domain photos.” The images focus on landscapes and other outdoor scenes.
  • pixabay – Pixabay offers photos free of copyright restrictions under the Creative Commons Deed C0 license and pulls images from multiple sources.
  • The Public Domain Review – The Public Domain Review offers public domain images from the pre-16th century to the 20th century. You can search by time frame, medium or source. (Image resolution varies.)
  • Refe – Refe has a gallery of free mobile photos.
  • RGBStock – Free registration is required to download RGBStock’s large image gallery of photos and graphics.
  • SmartPhotoStock – SmartPhotoStock has a gallery of about 3,600 photos for bloggers – some free, some paid. A link back to the site is required.
  • Superfamous – Superfamous features the photographs of Dutch interactive design Folkert Gorter under the CC Attribution 3.0 license.
  • Unsplash – View the photos already collected, and sign up to receive 10 new photos each week by email.
  • Unprofound.com – Unprofound.com provides free photos sorted by color and a simple search function.
  • Wikimedia Commons – Wikimedia Commons offers over 21,000,000 free images in a highly categorized system. Creators use multiple license types so be sure to check.

Once you have found the photos you want, you may wish to edit them, create a collage or infogram, or otherwise alter them assuming the license permits it. Sometimes you are feeling extra creative and want to create original content.

Image Editing & Creation Tools

  • 0 to 255 – Finding the right color shade can be difficult. This site shows variation of different colors.
  • Canva – Canva is an online photo editor and image design tool with great tutorials on how to get the most out of this tool so you don’t have to be a design pro.
  • GIMP – GIMP is a free program for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It is expandable with plugins and extensions to increase the number of tasks it can do.
  • HTML Color Picker – Want to know the color code for a particular color in an image? Upload the image and choose the spot with the color to find the HTML code, HEX value, RGB value and HSV value.
  • Infogram – After a quick registration, you can start creating an infographic, and who doesn’t need an infographic these days?
  • Paint.NET – Paint.NET is a free image and photo editing software for computers that runs Windows. It includes many of the features of PhotoShop and an online community provides support, tutorials and plugins.
  • PicMonkey – PicMonkey runs in your browser so you can edit photos, create collages and designs. It is easy to understand and does not require an account.
  • Pixlr – Pixlr is a photo editor that runs in your browser and offers features similar to PhotoShop.
  • Recite – Recite is an easy tool to turn quotes into great graphics.
  • Skitch – Skitch is an Evernote product that lets you add annotations, shapes and sketches to images.
  • Social Image Resizer Tool – Quickly resize images to the right size for social media with this tool.
  • Web Photo Resizer – Resize your image files for faster loading and do some simple editing.
  • W3Schools – Along with loads of programming information, resources are available to help you find the perfect color.

These lists are far from complete, but I hope they provide you with a solid resource set for finding and creating the images and other images for your communication and marketing needs. I have used these sites for many of my own projects as well as client projects. Although these sites offer the photos for free, please carefully review the licenses to make sure you are complying with usage restrictions and attribution requirements. Enjoy exploring these resources, get creative and make your content rock.

Behind the High Bounce Rate Issue

“Oh, no! My site’s pages have high bounce rates. What do I do? The world is coming to an end!” Sound familiar? That’s the message being perpetuated about bounce rates when actually the issue is more nuanced.

What is bounce rate? Google says it is “…the percentage of visits that go to only one page before exiting a site.” The bounce rate is intended to help you determine the efficacy of your site.

High bounce rates

Five ways people could “bounce”:

  • Clicks on an external link
  • Presses the browser back button
  • Types another URL into the browser
  • Session timeout
  • Closes the browser window

Bounce rates vary greatly by industry, site type and page intent. Therefore, a magic bounce rate does not exist so don’t go chasing unicorns. Generally, people consider 50% or lower as being very good. However, you can have high converting pages with an 80% bounce rate.

Reasons for a High Bounce Rate

Let’s take a look at why a bounce rate may be high for a page or website:

  • People founded what they needed and left
  • Wrong traffic targeted
  • Misleading PPC advertisements
  • Content isn’t engaging or outdated
  • Poor website design
  • Intrusive advertisements
  • Slow load time
  • External links
  • In-page actions, such as video plays
  • Tracking profiles for only some of your pages

Are All High Bounce Rates Bad?

Now, not every high bounce rate is cause for alarm. The goals of some pages aren’t to get a visitor to spend a lot of time on site but to take a specific action. For example, if you have a page with contact information, a person might leave after getting the phone number or address. That would count as a bounce but could result in an offline conversion. Also, a regular blog reader may visit a site to read the latest post and then leave. Knowing the purpose of each page and looking at returning versus first-time visitors can be beneficial.

What Can You Do to Lower Your Bounce Rate?

But what if the goal of your website pages is to keep people onsite? What steps can you take to lower the bounce rate?

  • Add links to related information on your site
  • Offer high quality, relevant content with clear calls-to-action
  • Enhance website usability – fonts, color contrast, organization, bulleted lists, large headlines
  • Use intuitive navigation
  • Design site specifically for target audience
  • Decrease page load time
  • Use mobile responsive site design
  • Reduce number of advertisements, especially above the fold
  • Open external links in new windows
  • Customize 404 page with search box and link back to home page
  • Turn off autoplay
  • Avoid pop-ups
  • Fix broken hyperlinks

Before making a bazillion tweaks and changes to your site, first review the individual pages and overall site to see what’s performing as expected and what’s not. Once you know where you problems are, you can start implementing specific tactics to lower the bounce rate, making your pages stickier. 

 

Three Simple Tactics to Improve Your Online Marketing Efforts

Search engine marketing can at times feel overwhelming. There’s the link building and the advertising and the analytics and … so much more.

Improve your SEOYes, there are a lot of moving pieces – and the fine team at Crescent Interactive is ready to help you with all of them.

But if you’re looking for something simple that can make an immediate impact, might we suggest one of the three tactics below. These suggestions are the results of recently published research or survey findings and can make a significant difference in your online marketing efforts.

1. Try call tracking with AdWords

If you’ve ever wondered which ads or marketing campaigns resulted in the most phone calls to your business, this is a great tactic to try.

MarketingProfs does a much better job of breaking down the step-by-step details, but the gist of it is this – create a custom call tracking number for your actual phone number and configure AdWords to trace it.

This call tracking number can be specific to each ad and, with some proper configuration on your landing pages, can “follow your user” throughout the process. If you create a different call tracking number for each ad you place, you’ll know exactly which ad each caller clicked on to get the information.

2. Pair Your Search Marketing with a Social Campaign

If you’re looking to make the biggest impact you can with a search campaign, be sure to pair it with a simultaneous social campaign. According to research by Marin Software, companies that spent money on search campaigns gained an average of 68 percent higher revenue per conversion when combined with a social campaign.

That’s nothing to scoff at.

Users that clicked on both the social and the search ads had a higher conversion rate as well.

3. Create Quality Content

This one should be a no-brainer by now, but this time, there is survey data to corroborate.

The best search engine optimization tactic is to simply create quality content that people want to read.

According to a survey conducted by Ascend2 in April, quality content was by far and away the No. 1 answer from the 442 marketing and sales professionals who participated. A distant second was keyword research and management, while frequent website updating was third.

Interestingly enough, creating quality content was also identified as being the most difficult tactic to execute, even more so than link building, which was No. 2.

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So, have you tried any of these tactics? Have they worked for you? What kind of results have you seen? Leave a comment below to tell your story.

Why You Should Use Secondary Calls-to-Action

Marketing experts advise companies to use prominent calls-to-action (CTAs) for their websites, social media, emails and any other communication. We are to tell people exactly what we want them to do – a single action. But what if they aren’t ready for it or interested? That’s where secondary calls-to-action come into play.

What is a Secondary CTA?

A secondary CTA is a call-to-action that provides an alternative action to the primary action you want people to take whether they are website visitors, prospects or leads so you don’t lose them altogether. They let you further engage and potentially capture people who are not interested in your primary CTA or may need additional information before taking the desired action. Your secondary CTA is typically less prominent than your primary CTA and requires less commitment. For example, your primary call-to-action may be to start a free trial period for new software with a secondary CTA to take a tour of the software’s features.

This example is from Moz, where it is promoting its new marketing analytics software, Moz Pro. If you are like me, you want to get more information to maximize your 30-day free trial experience, or you may prefer to just jump in. Moz kindly provides you with both options.

Secondary Call-to-Action - Moz Pro Software

Benefits of Secondary Calls-to-Action

Using a secondary call-to-action has many benefits than using a primary CTA alone:

Increased Time on Website
People today are spending more and more time checking out your business and researching the solutions to their needs. This is especially true in the complex B2B environment where the conversion process can be quite long or any large personal purchase like a car. Sending people to an online demo, related articles, etc. will keep them exploring your website instead of jumping to your competitor’s.

Incremental Conversions
Ideally, primary CTAs match where a person is in the conversion process.  However, a lead may have already downloaded multiple e-books or articles but still may not be ready to move ahead. If you are using tools like progressive profiling, then you can gather more information on a leads as they continue to convert on the secondary CTAs to create better personalized lead nurturing campaigns.

Move Leads to Next Stage
Despite sophisticated technology, we can never truly know when someone is ready to move forward in the sales process. Secondary CTAs at least keep people moving incrementally along, which is better than not at all. You may also have people who have only converted on a couple offers so you don’t feel comfortable for the big score just yet. However, what if you provided a lesser option as a primary CTA and the big one as your secondary? Some people may be ready to make the big commitment. They don’t need any more nurturing. This way you’ll get both groups.

Support Other Company Goals
Not every call-to-action has to be focused on the “ideal” sales action. Other actions may be just as important to your company. These actions can be used as either primary or secondary calls-to-action based on your current goals. You can have the CTA involve social sharing and connection, email newsletter subscriptions, promoting a company-sponsored event, fundraising or any number of other business goals.

So don’t just create primary CTAs and walk away. Instead, make sure you are capturing and converting as many people as possible with the addition of quality secondary CTAs. You may be surprised how many people will take the ultimate action with just a bit more nurturing.

 

Landing Pages: A Marketing Must Have

Landing Pages-parachutist

photo credit: pmarkham via photopin cc

You spend tremendous amounts of time, money and effort getting prospective customers to your website but then nothing. Crickets. What’s the missing piece here in your online marketing efforts? Landing pages!

What is a Landing Page?

A landing page is a singly highly focused website page that an advertisement or other hyperlink direct people to “land” on to take a specific action. Some potential actions include downloading a white paper, completing a demonstration request or signing up for a newsletter.

Some Reasons to Use Landing Pages

  1. Lead Capture – So many campaigns simply send people to the home page. Instead, send them to a page that details the benefits of taking a specific action and include a lead capture. These leads can then be segmented, nurtured or distributed to the sales team.
  2. Advertising Conversion Effectiveness – All advertising is more effective if it sends prospects to a targeted page that does nothing but support your advertising message.
  3. Promote Multiple Products – Instead of having a general product or service page, create pages that are focused on individual products or services and are tailored to specific audiences.
  4. Keep Visitors Focused – The typical home page allow visitors’ attention to wander. Properly executed landing pages help focus them more effectively on your offer and nothing else.
  5. Increase Conversion Rates – Because you are giving visitors exactly what they want, your conversion rates increase.
  6. Better Qualified Leads – Unlike general visitors to your website, people who arrive on a landing page do so because they clicked on a specific ad or link. They are already interested in what is being offered. With the landing page, you can provide more information on the benefits of taking a specific action.
  7. Better Metrics – Each time a prospect completes a lead capture form or takes other specific actions, you can collect more demographics about them and understand which ones are more engaged. You also gain better insight into your marketing efforts, such as how well your offers compare and how prospects are converting on your landing pages.
  8. Increase Appearance in Search Results – By having multiple focused pages, your website has a better chance of showing up in search results.

Instead of losing prospects, capture them by using landing pages and convert them to sales. Numerous resources exist to help you create and test landing pages. Take advantage of them. Your bottom line will thank you.


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