Halloween kicks off the holiday season for advertisers, and last year, $7.4 billion was spent on this day. A quarter of people start shopping in September, and another quarter waits until the last two weeks of October. Candy, decorations and costumes are popular.
Make sure your Halloween items are easy to find and buy. Consider adding sitelink extensions so shoppers can go straight to them. Remember that human and pet costumers are incredibly popular. Plan your mobile strategy accordingly, and note that visitors using mobile spend half the time on a website as those coming from a PC. Design accordingly. Use keywords like “costumes,” “selection,” “online,” “save,” “custom,” and “party”.
You should use trusted and true strategies that really work. This includes guest posting, which is still alive and well, although it has changed. It’s a more legit form of link building than it used to be, because it must be done on a personal level. It’s more about the quality than the link.
Creating how-to guides on your website is another great step. Use images, videos, quotes, and more. Conduct expert interviews in your niche to get a lot of valuable links. Sponsoring events is another strategy with good potential. One that companies are starting to do more is offering scholarships. The initial cost is high, but you might see a good ROI.
Traditional marketing is on its way out. The goal for any business is to evolve from traditional “push” marketing to a realization that your customers are your most important asset, and referrals and word of mouth are key for growth. A more mature digital strategy counts on building connected, personalized experiences.
Consumers haven’t changed, but how they make decisions has. You must deliver the right message, in the right context, at the right time, on the right device. Today, it’s about experience marketing. Focus on the needs of the customers. Put your people before technology. Connect across channels; create new processes, adapt every part of your business, and touch your customers.
Link building can be a dangerous game, but it works. More links correlate with higher rankings. Content marketing is becoming a primary method of link building.
Reach out to influencers and build relationships. Do some guest blogging, focusing on top-notch, relevant content. Snag an interview to expand your network, and promote it. Create an expert roundup post. Put together a useful guide that addresses the struggles of your audience. Make an infographic, get listed on directories, engage your communities, use broken link building, and get some press. Also, consider partnering up with another company to benefit the both of you.
To be effective in SEO, we need links. View websites in your industry and find their social media profiles. Become part of their communities, so you’ll show up in their feeds. Create a linkable message, one that has a long media momentum that gives webmaster a chance to share their own opinions.
Your message should be incomplete. Don’t mention background information on your website, so that people will click to find out more, but do make sure your message has a good title and an interesting image. Repeat this, and you’ll soon create your own followers.
Stories can create powerful content. We live in an overly cluttered world, and people want to see things that are personal. Personal content provides authenticity, which is vital. It also makes things more real. People want information, especially if it makes them feel smart.
Creating a personal brand online can increase traffic to your site. Set up a twitter account. Have business blogs under your name, so you can set up a unique voice. As people learn to trust you, you can strengthen your brand. Focus on authentic stories of moments, in your own voice. Pay attention to flow. Have a “personal” business social media profile, interact with your clients, and maintain a focus for your stories and brand.
Content marketers still need to get high-quality external links for SEO success. The links need to come from reputable sites, and should be naturally gained. This requires human outreach and communication.
Some strategies that work: just ask for links. Add yourself to a web-based directory. Use social linking, through social media and other online sources such as blogs, forums, and Quora. Offer your services as a guest blogger to another site, which also gets you exposure to new audiences. Create good video content, as this is more easily accessible to many. Link to your social profile. Links and content working together provide the platform you need to rank well in Google.
On Facebook, updates now make video management easier. Page admins have new distribution and customization options. Also, it offers new News Feed Preferences and the carousel ad format has been extended to mobile ads. Google+ is no longer a requirement for accessing Google services.
On Instagram, you can now search on your desktop. LinkedIn just celebrated 1 million unique publishers. Pinterest offers buyable pins now to iOS users. Reddit’s AMA Subreddit was made private. Snapchat now lets you view Snaps and Stories with a tap, instead of a prolonged touch. Google has started indexing Twitter, but so far has only do so for 3.4 percent of tweets.
The five-touch rules says you should reach out to a customers five times over two weeks. Most customers must be “touched” three times before responding, and if they don’t respond by five, the likelihood of a response is very low.
Don’t think that an ad is all you need. This is just the first “touch,” and you need two more before you convert. Also, do not worry about bugging customers. This is the wrong attitude, and you’re missing out on an opportunity. Get sales help from people who know you by asking them to review you or give you online feedback.
Online advertising changes come out every 8-12 weeks, so you can’t plan a year ahead of time. You need a flexible and adjustable marketing strategy. Also, you need to separate budget, campaign spending, and actual cost.
Don’t start with multiple platforms at once; start small and scale it up. Decide to use push-marketing, which looks at demographics so that social media is more effective, or pull-marketing, which is better for keyword-driven platforms. Start cross-channel remarketing ASAP, which will help drive conversion rates. And don’t rush through funnel split tests.
To understand how offline activity affects online results, look at direct traffic, which is the single largest indicator of how marketing materials affect your online business. Also, look at spikes in brand queries on search engines – people will be searching for you if your marketing was successful.
Google Analytics can change display campaigns based on data from email marketing tools. Link your customer management data to Google Analytics to integrate them. Segment your users and use remarketing here. Also, utilize custom URLs to segment visits for offline marketing, which will ensure that hits come solely from your offline marketing efforts.
Link building has been a consistent and reliable strategy for improving search rankings, but must be adapted for modern use. If people buy into the old ideas, Google will crack down harder because people are engaging in link-building activities the wrong way. The Internet will become a worse place, and link building will get a bad reputation.
Note that today, quantity doesn’t matter as much as quality – one great link outweighs 100 low-quality ones. Every link does not need to be manually built; let the links come to you naturally. Unless you’ve done something egregious, you probably won’t get a penalty. Also, link building is not an independent strategy. It should be integrated with content and social. Building links should not be the focus. Instead, build your brand.
Only 49 percent of marketers only use basic metrics, and 17 percent have no metrics at all. Look at what matters, including average finish, which reveals engagement level. Look at content longevity, the number of return readers, and time engaged with content. You’ll also want to measure audience contribution, the life cycle from the time a user signs up for an email to a purchase, and how many links you’re getting from thought leaders.
Also, don’t forget cost effectiveness. Make sure you know how many leads you’re getting per keyword, and figure out if you can make a direct link from content marketing and increased revenue. Know your production costs and distribution costs per piece.
Guest blogging became abused, but it can still be respected when someone is asked to contribute to an authoritative site. Directory listings are reviled, but relevant local ones still matter. Expired domains can still be located and used successfully. Infographics have power. Link building gets a bad rap, but we can all work together and realize there’s a place for every method.
Balance is good, and comes from not putting all your eggs in one basket. Some techniques might seem less effective today, but if done well, may still work in small quantities. What is outdated: the idea that there’s just one way to do well online.
Online shops use techniques that influence buyer decision, such as creating a feeling of urgency – there are only X items left, or X hours left. Use words like “now,” “immediately,” “instant” and “hurry up.” Pricing tricks include the decoy effect, offering one pricing plan that seems more of a deal than another.
Social proof should not be underestimated: reviews, orders count, number of customers, social sharers, followers. Gamification lets people achieve something – rewards, badges, a mystery wheel. You should test these marketing strategies to find your best solutions, and make sure to take your conversion rate into account.
Build daily habits that improve SEO and marketing success. Every day, you should write and publish one article, because new content is the single best way to drive traffic to your site. Update one old article: change the title, the headings, the intro, add a section, add links, rewrite the conclusion, gain a link, or share.
Post a link to an article on every social media platform. Interact on at least one forum; promote intelligent discussion. Reply to one tweet, Google+ update, FB post or LinkedIn discussion. All this work will take less than two hours a day and have a snowball effect. Plus, you’ll develop skill and ability over time.
You should establish social dialogue as part of your content. Do this through interactive and side-scrolling graphics, along with guided animated content. When video is good, it holds viewers’ attention, and goes towards creating a positive user experience and increasing visibility.
Consider putting together a choose-your-own-adventure tour. This educates the public and advocates making good decisions. And then there is more conventional interactive content, such as quizzes, surveys, and calculators. These are simple tools that can help streamline your calls to action. Make sure to value quality over quantity, use a story-first approach, and look to add value to the user experience.
People are using mobile devices to perform quick queries in the moment, right when they need information. Implement a strategy that includes a moments map, which can examine the entire consumer journey. Understand customer needs at every moment, and then use context to deliver the right experience. Optimize across this journey.
Google breaks down types of searches into four categories: I want to know, I want to go, I want to do, and I want to buy. Look at your queries, tailor mobile-specific ad copy, and investigate remarketing. Use cross-device conversions as a guide. Focus on the user and the situation and intent of every moment in the buying cycle.
Pinterest’s latest feature, introduced last week, are Cinematic Pins. These are video-like promoted pins, or ads, activated by scrolling. Pinterest says the new feature enables enhanced storytelling, and gives users control.
Pinterest has also introduced a number of new pricing options for advertising on the virtual pin-up board, which will allow cost-per-engagement and cost-per-action monetization, and you will start to see these rolling out to U.S. businesses this summer. New audience targeting helps marketers target their pins based on interests, life stages, and other areas. Pin Factory, a creative studio, is also available for use.
Building high-quality links is a hard job, and takes “sweat plus creativity.” Building links the right way means not buying or selling links; instead, create high-quality content that will attract natural links. Don’t go for excessive link exchanges just for the sake of cross-linking. Make sure reciprocal linking makes sense.
Don’t stuff your anchor text with money keywords; use brand keywords or navigational phrases. Avoid adding links to just any web directory; search for trusted ones in your niche. This also goes for web directory listings. Look for active, relevant discussions to participate in.
Coupons are popular among every demographic. In 2012, 92.2 million U.S. adults redeemed online coupons; this number is expected to go to 124.4 million in 2016. And 59 percent of people think that providing basic login details in return for personalized offers is a fair deal. Also, 85 percent prefer personalized offers based on previous purchases.
More people are using coupons on their mobile devices, and a majority of those people are finding coupons through retailer emails and search engines (57 percent and 53 percent, respectively). Effective digital couponing integrates with email, includes visual appeal, targets customers, partners with a distributor, uses text messaging, encourages sharing, and offers measurable results.