The Spectrum Group Online Where Visibility and Transparency Connect Wed, 29 Mar 2017 16:00:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 48765153 6 Social Video Metrics You Must Track Wed, 29 Mar 2017 16:00:54 +0000

Video Metric Tracking

With more than 70 percent of U.S. marketers planning to use social video ads, and various social media videos getting billions of views daily, it is important that you create a refined social video marketing strategy. This strategy needs to be based on research and data. When expanding, measuring, and improving your social media strategy, tracking the right social video metrics is extremely important.

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Keeping an eye on your video metrics will allow you to understand what the viewers are connecting with and how you can improve to increase engagement. Boosts your video’s ranking. Though not all networks include detailed metrics like Youtube, it is simple to track views and viewer engagement on all social media platforms.Here we’re going to show you 6 different metrics to help improve your understanding of making video a success on social platforms.

Social Video View Counts

Before we start, here’s a cheat sheet of what counts as one video view on the main social media platforms:

Facebook: 3 seconds
Twitter: 3 seconds
Instagram: 3 seconds
Snapchat: Immediately upon opening
Youtube: 30 seconds

With that in mind, let’s discuss some other important video metrics that you need to remember when creating video content. Now, knowing the length of time it takes for a view to count, you need to make sure the content exposed in that short time is captivating enough to keep people watching. The longer the user views the video, the more the person should become engaged. Data from Facebook and Nielsen highlights that 75 percent of the value of a video campaign is often achieved in the first 10 seconds of the video. So make it count!

Social Video Metrics that Matter

There are many social video metrics to consider that finding the right one is tough. From sound quality to click-through rate, there is much to research when creating a video.

Here we’ll show you 6 important things to track:

Watch time. This is the total measurement of time that all viewers have spent watching your video.The average time watched will show you how much of your video viewers are actually watching. This can help you compare the viewers’ interest between the various videos you’ve posted–then you can adapt your strategy accordingly. An example–you’re creating 30-second videos, but your viewers are done watching after 20 seconds. It’s then time to try condensing your videos!

Average percent. Tracking what percentage of your video the average viewer watch. This metric will show you if your video is connecting with the intended audience properly.

Audience retention-Presented in a graph, this metric shows you that x-percentage of viewers viewed x-percentage of your videos. You can see if there’s a common drop off at a certain point in your video. If this is the case, take a look at what’s happening in your video at that point and work out why people are dropping off.

Sound on vs. sound off.  How many viewers are actually listening and watching your video? Turning the sound on is a point of engagement when the video starts muted. YouTube has recorded that 96 percent of the videos posted are watched with the sound on and almost 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off because this is a function of autoplay. If most viewers aren’t listening to the sound of your video, focus on the visual message of the video instead.

Social sharing. This metric measures how often people share your video social, by links, tweets and facebook shares. When viewers are sharing your content, it’s being extended for further engagement.

Click-through rate and conversion. Click-through rate is the ratio of how many users click through to your website in comparison to the number of people who were exposed to your video. Conversions show the number of people who a specific action based off of your content.

There are many different metrics you could keep an eye on when creating your social video strategy. Are you monitoring any of these social video metrics for your videos?

How can we help?

Are you creating video content? What social video metrics do you check to see how your content is performing?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Pixabay
Photo credit – Bottom: Max Pixel

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Link Analysis Best Practices Sun, 26 Mar 2017 16:00:57 +0000 Journey-to-Midway-Island

Penguin Savvy Linking

If you’re reading this article, you are probably aware of how powerful — and dangerous — links can be to SEO. With Google’s Penguin 4.0. a website’s links are routinely analyzed. Meaning if websites didn’t adhere to inbound link quality guidelines, they suffered in organic search. Not sure if your link profile is helping or hurting you? A link analysis is an excellent place to start. I’ll share my best tips on what should be included in a link analysis project.

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Tangible Benefits

Google continues to reward websites that focus on quality links and provide helpful content. Conversely, they are penalizing websites with thin content (pages with little or low-value content) and irrelevant/poor quality links.

Understanding and managing your link profile enables you to:

  • Components-280x186Find poor quality links, remove them so they stop hurting your business.
  • Keep a clean link profile which is a major signal to search engines that you are worthy of higher visibility in organic search.
  • Identify potential businesses/domains to cultivate more links that drive qualified sales leads.
  • Compare your link profile to competitors so you can do better in search and get more business.

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Link Analysis Components

  1. A Comprehensive List of Links.  For example, we use 4-5 professional-grade link tools in addition to the information available in Search Console to aggregate a list as no one source is complete. We then organize a spreadsheet with key pieces of information (e.g., if the link is toxic or helpful).
  2. Competitive Comparison. SEO is a competitive sport. A link analysis will help determine how your website stacks up against your competitors. It will also give you ideas on how to identify opportunities and build new quality inbound links from credible and authoritative websites that boost your website’s authority.
  3. An Executive Summary with Recommendations. Receiving a spreadsheet with a bunch of links and appended data isn’t very useful. Interpretation of the information is key. As I analyze a profile, I cull out insights and make recommendations on how to manage a link profile moving forward (e.g., what needs to be cleaned up and how to keep it clean).
  4. A Disavow File. If you have links hurting your website, you should absolutely receive a disavow file to upload into Search Console.  By doing so, you alert Google that you are actively managing your website’s link profile.

A link analysis is the first step in preventing a potential Google manual penalty. Recovering from a penalty is long and arduous. You want to avoid that journey at all costs.

How can we help?

Launching a website and need help with design? Or, are you tweaking your landing pages to improve sales conversion?

We are the spectrum group online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

photo credit – top: kris krüg
photo credit – body: Bretislav Stasa

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WordPress Website Accessibility Thu, 23 Mar 2017 16:00:45 +0000

Maximizing Your Potential

When you’re designing a website there are a lot of different questions you have to ask yourself about your customers. Everything from what color it should be to where your call to action buttons should go to generate the most revenue. Working out the answers to these questions is tough for every business. So if your business wants to make their site friendly to people with disabilities it might look like you are adding an extra level of complication by considering WordPress website accessibility.

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However, in 2017 your website should be accessible to everyone, so don’t limit your customer base unnecessarily by excluding people with disabilities until you’ve seen how much work it will take you.

WordPress Community Dedicated to Inclusion

Building a website to cater to people with disabilities isn’t impossible and if you’re using WordPress, there is a large amount of information on various community forums that will help guide you.

The excellent, and incredibly detailed, Accessibility Handbook is a great place to start. This WordPress Wordpress Website Accessibilitycommunity is dedicated to improving the accessibility of WordPress websites to make them easier to use for the one billion people in the world with disabilities.

The first questions they suggest you ask when creating a website are:

  1. Is all my content available to everyone who visits my site?
  2. Can all visitors use every function on my website?
  3. Can all visitors understand my content?
  4. Can users use my site on any device?

Just by looking at the basic nature of these questions you can see how important having an easily accessible website is and, as well as the obvious benefits to anyone who has a disability, there is also a knock on SEO benefit to ensuring your website is legible and functioning on all devices.

How to Start

Getting started can be pretty simple. For example adding proper descriptive Alt-Text to your images will enable people who have visual disabilities to have the description of the image read aloud to them by their device. Again, as long as your images are relevant to your content, doing this will help your SEO while also making your site easier to use.

Another easy to take step is adding subtitles to any video content you have on your site. Closed captions will make it possible for any deaf or hearing impaired users to understand your videos and, again, doing this will have a knock-on effect on your SEO, as it will make it easier for YouTube to rank and classify your video properly.

WordPress Website Accessibility

As well as providing detailed information on how to make your site more accessible, the WordPress guide also suggests installing the WP Accessibility Plugin. This plugin will help less technical WP users to get to grips with making their site easier to get into for people with disabilities.

Is your website available to everyone? Do you have different language options or closed captions on your videos? We’d like to hear how you try to cater for everyone on your site.

How can we help?

Do you think you need help setting up WordPress website accessibility? Is your website optimized for any visitor?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: JISC
Photo credit – Bottom: Wikipedia

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Social Video Content Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:00:55 +0000

8 Billion Views a Day & Counting

More than 50% of YouTube videos are watched on a mobile device. Businesses who target 18-34 year olds have a better chance of reaching this target via online video content than any cable network in the U.S. So, It’s safe to say that social video marketing is on the rise. But how can your business leverage and optimize this channel?

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Today, social video is an important tool in your content marketing arsenal. Present on various platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Youtube– you need to be thinking about to marketing your business through video.
At the moment Facebook gets around 8 billion video views per day, and Snapchat gets around 10 billion video views per day according to a recent Bloomberg report. Video traffic is high and as time goes on, views will continue to grow with younger audiences. Even more so if mobile devices continue to improve in quality. Therefore, it’s important to organize, create and learn how to optimize your videos for success.

Tips on Optimizing Video

To maximize engagement with your followers and future customers, here are some key ways to optimize your videos:

  • Gain attention with compelling visuals from the start. With social media mainly being a mobile activity, keep in mind that users are scrolling through a lot of content. This is your first impression. Many viewers find auto-starts to be annoying even presumptuous. So make sure you dispel that straight away. If you use static images, use compelling visuals that captivate your consumer and keep them interested so they can’t wait to hit “play.”video content
  • Expect viewers to see with no sound. Research from Digiday shows that the majority of videos that autoplay on social media—up to 85 percent— do so with the sound turned off. Try to make your video content powerful enough to also be understood without sound. Take advantage of automated captions (like Facebook’s automated captions tool) or try your own but make sure your message gets by with just visuals.
  • Try using Vertical Video. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube have all created vertical video formats to accommodate mobile scrolling. This makes the video viewing area maximized so users don’t have to rotate their screens. Obviously, this goes against the grain of all film since the inception of the medium. So learn how to do vertical video well.
  • Carefully choose your thumbnail. Remember that autoplay isn’t always the default setting. If it isn’t then you need to pick the right thumbnail. Make sure it is compelling enough to entice the user to click, but don’t make it too clickbaity, nobody likes being tricked to watch a video.

Build your Social Video Content Strategy

Video will increase your business’ visibility. Social video marketing has the potential to generate qualified traffic and audience engagement from multiple platforms if executed properly. Learn the formats each social media platform uses and start creating and optimizing your video content. Stay tuned to our blog for a post in the coming weeks about optimizing video for each social platform.

For more information on live video marketing, you can check out our post on live stream video broadcasting.

How can we help?

Do you create video content? How is it recieved by your customers?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Pixabay
Photo credit – Bottom: Pixabay

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Writing Social Content That Works Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:00:07 +0000

Reading On Social

Writing social content and writing content for social media is a slightly different animal. While the aim of the content is pretty much the same (bringing a lead closer to making a purchase) the reader isn’t always the same person.

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Content that gets consumed and, perhaps more importantly, shared on social media is different to a blog post. Find out what you need to make your written social media content as good as your blog.

Content that Gets Shares

  1. 300 to 500 words – social readers are not as likely as an organic search to want to settle in and read a long form post. Try to keep your content short and sweet. Don’t overload it with fluffy language and pretentious prose. Keep it simple, chuck in a few keywords and get it published.Try to make your point, or pose your question, in the opening sentence or paragraph. Then expand upon it with sources to back up what you’re saying in the next one and finish with a conclusion summing up what you think, why, and asking for their opinion.writing social content
  2. Put a large image in the post – Social media lives of images. From Facebook to Instagram and even LinkedIn, a good thumbnail will get you a click. So make sure your post has a compelling and relevant image to support it.It seems that on social, the bigger the picture, the better. Readers are coming from a largely visual platform are expecting it, and with the increase in screen quality on mobile devices full sized images are now the norm. So add an image that covers the screen.
  3. Include links. If you’re referencing facts put the sources in. While readers from social might not want to settle into war and peace, they will be likely to link hop and follow links you provide. If they’re new to your content linking to a respected source will help give you credibility while also helping you guide where the reader goes after visiting your page.A well-placed link will also enable you to avoid unnecessary explanations and asides, helping to keep your article concise. So as well as making your article look scholarly, it will also keep your word count down as per point 1!

Writing Social Content

If you follow these three points your social media writing should be getting engagement all over the place. Do you have tips for sharing written content on social media?

How can we help?

Do you need help writing social content? How many shares do your posts typically get?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Pixabay
Photo credit – Bottom: Luc Legay

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What is Website Caching Wed, 15 Mar 2017 16:00:11 +0000

Do You Really Need It?

Put simply, website caching increases the speed in which your site renders to your visitors’ devices. Speed is one item that Google looks for in a website. It’s one of the few SEO factors you have 100% control. So do you really need website caching? In most cases, the answer is a resounding yes! If you can speed up your site and gain a competitive advantage, why wouldn’t you?

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The term caching refers to the temporary storage of documents or files which enable them to be loaded more quickly if they are required. So instead of the server asking for every piece of information on a website each time someone requests to view it, the server will save some pieces of information and have them ready. Then it doesn’t need to start from zero when loading everything. It’s a little like visiting your grandma’s house… where she stocks some of your favorite foods in anticipation of your arrival.

How Website Caching Works

Let’s take a blog post as an example. Normally when the blog post is requested, either from a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) or from a website’s navigation page, it then transfers from the server into HTML. Then the visitor’s browser displays the post.

Now that the blog post has been loaded once and if website caching is enabled, the server stores the HTML file itself in its RAM memory. As other visitors visit the same post, the post loads more quickly. But what if you’ve updated the blog post in between visitors? Don’t worry, the server is alerted. That’s server caching. Website caching is your secret weapon

Another type of website caching is browser caching. Browser caching essentially follows the same process as server caching but is done on a more individual level. For example, when you loaded this blog post, your browser cached some information about our website. So when you come back next time, the post loads more quickly as it will have retained some information from your previous visit.

Cache Me Outside, How Bout That

So caching your website will make it load more quickly. But how important is that? If your site is already well coded, it should load within a couple of seconds maximum. So what real benefit does shaving a few tenths of a second off give you? Well, quite a big one.

Patience is at an all time low. People want what they want and they want it NOW. Users are not prepared to wait for a page to load. This is especially true on mobile, where any website lag seriously damages user experience. Search engines know this and take site speed it into account when ranking websites. Improved site speed through website caching has two practical effects: 1) a better user experience and 2) an SEO benefit. While the user ‘might’ not notice a tenth of a second, Google will. Curious to see your website’s site speed? Try Google’s free PageSpeed Tool.

How can you set up website caching?

If you’re running a WordPress website like we are, you can install a caching plugin. We use Simple Cache Plugin which we find to be good and, well, simple… We get great results because we manage our own hosting servers and we make sure that speed is optimized at both levels. Most likely your website hosting service controls your server speed. If you pay for managed hosting, some caching features may be built in. So be careful not to overlap what they’re already doing.  Also, if you’re running one plugin, don’t be tempted to turn on a second. It will either slow or break your site!

How can we help?

Do you have caching enabled? Do you think you need more than website caching to get your site up to speed?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Pixabay
Photo credit – Bottom: Wiki

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The Customer Journey in Google Analytics Wed, 15 Mar 2017 16:00:07 +0000 Customer_journey_needs_a_map

A New App to Map the Path

Working out what turns a person from a lead into a customer is the challenge that faces most businesses. You have to be a detective, looking for clues of where your lead left their fingerprints, what they interacted with, and what finally made them turn into a prospect or customer. Then, after you’ve done this several times using Google Analytics data, you should see a pattern emerge. This pattern eventually allows you to map the customer journey, showing you where to best funnel your marketing dollars to grow your business.

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With many businesses, the problem comes not in finding out what makes a customer buy but finding the pattern that allows you to scale the information to grow your business. So we were excited when we saw that Google has developed a web app using all the data collected via their Analytics platform. The app enables benchmarks for the customer journey across different industries.

The Customer Journey by Industry, Location & Company Size

The app allows you to filter by company size, industry and location (although the location options are fairly limited) and then it shows you which marketing channel fits where on your customer journey.

Google's Customer Journey calculator

Then, giving you the option to drill down even further, you can look at what stage each channel (e.g., brand paid search, display, organic search) is most effective. For example, you can determine if AdWords remarketing works best at the beginning of the funnel, near the end, or both. The tool allows you to see what’s working for other companies. Obviously, this data isn’t as detailed as it could be; yet it offers a great overview of what seems to work for several different industries. It is an especially useful tool from the agency side as it can give you a quick insight at a glance.

We suggest using the app as a guideline to investigating your own data. If your industry shows that Social should have a big role in the early stages, take the time to look at your social channels to see if that rings true. If it doesn’t, then you rethink and retool your social media strategy to capitalize on this missed opportunity.

Content Mapping

If you do decide to look into your customer journey and find the gaps, we also suggest content mapping. Resources, such as this HubSpot guide, can help you match the right content to the right platform at the right time. But don’t forget your own Analytics data to find those pieces of content that resonate with your visitors. Update your website content, even the evergreen pages, to keep pace with trends and your customer’s appetite for information.

What do you know about your customer’s journey? Are you in the dark about what’s around the corner?

How can we help?

Do you know your customer’s journey? Have you mapped your content to the right spaces along the way?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Patrick Barry

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Smart Bidding AdWords Tue, 14 Mar 2017 16:00:30 +0000

Machine Learning In Action

Smart Bidding is a function on Google AdWords that uses machine learning to help you optimize your bid strategy for every conversion. Find out what’s going on inside Smart Bidding’s brain, and if you need to turn it on in your AdWords account.

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Why Do You Need to Be Smart?

Bidding itself has become more complex. We’re bidding on different devices in different locations at different times with different ad formats. All of this makes the process of putting one fixed CPC (cost per click) value on a keyword less and less useful thus limiting your chances of getting conversions.

The idea of AdWords Smart Bidding is that machine learning can take in a wide range of contextual signals using the parameters you give it to give you the ability to have flexible bids, maximizing your conversions. Basically, Smart Bidding makes real-time bid decisions on every auction you’re eligible for, based on the chance of you winning.

Can You Use Smart Bidding?

First, you need to have a few things set up to use Smart Bidding:

  • Conversion tracking must be turned on. Smart Bidding is about conversions. If you’re not tracking them, it won’t work.
  • You need to have enough regular conversions for the machine learning to learn. You can use it with low conversion value, but the more data it gets the better it will perform. So if you’re not getting many conversions, maybe it’s best to wait until things speed up before turning on Smart Bidding.
  • Know the value of a conversion so you can calculate return on investment.

Different Strategies for Smart Bidding

Enhanced CPC/ Target CPA

Best for getting more conversions or sales. Enhanced CPC still relies on some manual decisions on bids. Giving you an increased bid, or decreased bid, when it thinks it can help a conversion. A bit like nitrous oxide in a racing car. Giving the engine a boost when required. This allows you to keep some control on your bids, which is good if you’re on a smaller budget.

Target CPA Focuses on Conversions

The key here is that it does not focus on the cost of those conversions. It will aim to stay within your target CPA, but it is designed to push for as many as possible. Not as low a cost as possible. Google recommend you only use these methods if you have 30 conversions within the last 30 days. To give it enough data to make good decisions.

Target ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)

Best if your goal is to increase actual revenue. Again sets bids real time, while trying to meet your target ROAS. So here the bidding is aiming to get you the best value for money on every conversion you get. Focusing on ROI over quantity of conversions. Here Google thinks that their Smart Bidding tool needs more information to work well, so they suggest that you don’t use it unless you have at least 50 conversions in the last 30 days.

Get Smart

Deciding if AdWords Smart Bidding is for you depends on your account performance. If you’re still struggling to get conversions, then you need to focus on getting things moving before letting the robots take over. If your account is already functioning well and you feel Smart Bidding could give it an extra boost, then why not try it out?

Do you use Target ROAS, enhanced CPC and Target CPA? Has it help your AdWords account performance?

How can we help?

Do you use automated bidding? Or are you manually managing the bidding process?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Mark Jensen
Photo credit – Bottom: Pixabay

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2017 Social Marketing Trends Thu, 09 Mar 2017 17:00:02 +0000

In The Moment

Coming into 2017 social media marketing is here to stay. It’s important to educate yourself on current trends and social media platforms. That’s where your customers are spending more and more of their time. Even LinkedIn, the most boring of social networks has almost 500 million users. So if you’re not on keeping up with social, you’re missing out. Let’s explore a few of the most common social media platforms used for digital marketing: Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Mobile Apps Teach Us to be Present

According to Forbes, Snapchat has already pushed the social marketing envelope forward. It’s helped bring back a more “instant” way of communicating, leading to more in-the-moment and live content. It has facilitated more mobile-centric app developments and, for better or for worse, they have introduced vertical videos into the mainstream. As well as those awful dog filters… Additional products from Snapchat are also planned to be developed regarding message exchanges and the way the consumer can view the product from a first-person perspective. The competition is also getting in on the act with Instagram currently pushing their similar video product and Whatsapp launching their own photo sharing option. All of these apps make it easier for digital marketers to give a first hand, authentic, experience to the consumer, taking away some of the polish of Instagram or Facebook.

Facebooking the Future

Any user of Facebook can see how it has evolved over the years and It’s inevitable that in 2017 that will continue for users and for businesses. Specifically looking at Facebook advertising, it seems that changes will continue to shape the future of only advertising.2017 Social Marketing Trends

Facebook’s CFO, David Wehner, stated that “We continue to expect that ad load will play a less significant factor driving revenue growth after mid-2017,” so; coming up with new options, ad locations, or other ideas for businesses to reach their consumers should, logically, be their focus if they want to bring in more money.

The plan to push boundaries of technology make Facebook more immersive will be beneficial for each business when it comes to reaching their consumers. A few things have already launched in Facebook towards the end of 2016 that have already been a step forward in the social marketing world. These things include: Monetized video (FacebookLive), Call-to-action buttons for business pages, marketplace launch, and workplace launch. With these being new, we can expect to see these features mature over the coming year.

Twitter Updates

Twitter is another social media network that isn’t sitting back. Twitter for Business have recently spoken about four new trends they expect to see in social marketing in 2017. For Twitter, this year is about the focus on customer experience. The usual banner ads, sponsorships, rich media and video ads will continue to strive throughout the year, however, Twitter intends to create Analytics 2.0. This will help marketers tie business objectives back to profit, revenue, customer retention, and satisfaction, giving as clear ROI as they can.

This should make measuring your business more significant and manageable. There will be better and more video content available to express the reality of your business and what it has to offer. As Twitter states — “expect virtual and augmented reality to take us into the future. Brands that fail to incorporate visuals and videos will be left by the wayside.”

How to Keep Up with 2017 Social Marketing Trends

Are you keeping up with 2017 Social Marketing trends? Here are some ways that we keep up with social marketing trends. You can:

  • Create a popular hashtag stream on Twitter, as well as create a list of influencers in your industry. This will collect any tweets on hashtags you have added. For example #socialmedianews
  • Create Google Alerts from some influencers, so you get mailed if people like Neil Patel or Seth Godin post a new blog. Even things as simple as exploring Instagram’s’ ‘Explore’ tag to browse more up to date content and get inspiration can be important for your Business. If you’re not a fan of Google Alerts, try other apps like Feedly to curate articles on topics most relevant for your business.
  • Always stay educated and up to date with blogs, alerts, and research to stay in tune with what there is to offer for both your business and the consumer. Some great blogs and resources for you to stay current on social marketing include Hootsuite, CoSchedule, and Forbes.

What do you think are 2017’s social marketing trends?

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Wiki Commons
Photo credit – Bottom: Christiaan Colen

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How to Pause Your Website Wed, 08 Mar 2017 17:00:34 +0000

Running a business from a website is a lot like having a 24hr convenience store. We are so used to the internet being there and available whenever we want it. And we assume a website is up and running. But at times that isn’t always possible. What happens if you need to pause your website?

Why Would You Pause a Site?

Sometimes you need to take your site down for maintenance, make an upgrade or perhaps your office in the real world is moving and you won’t be able to process ecommerce orders. So, how can close your site without annoying your customers?

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Turn off Your Shopping Cart – Pretty self-explanatory, but by turning off your shop, you’ll also stop any orders from coming through. You can leave the rest of the site turned on, allowing users to browse your catalog or reach out to you, but they won’t be able to place any orders. This is great if you’re changing warehouse or doing something on the back end that means you won’t be able to complete any orders while you pause your website.pause your website

If you choose to do this you have to remember three things. Tell your customers, or edit your site in some way so they understand when you’re closed and when you’ll be open again. You also need to stop the search engines from displaying your cart on the SERP. To do this you should de-index the page or block it from crawling through the robots.txt file.

Use an Intrusive Interstitial – If you’re going to block off the whole site with a popup or something similar we recommend you use an interstitial to get the idea front and center to anyone who visits your site. This way the visitor will be sure what is going on and will note that it is only temporary. While a change in content could be missed, or a post on the homepage, an intersentential will not.

If you’re going to set one up you will need to make sure that the server returns a 503 HTTP result code (“Service Unavailable”). This will tell Google not to index the content temporarily, without harming your ranking for one week. So as long as you’re planning on getting the site up and running again in 7 days you won’t lose any SEO credit. If you’re going to be down for longer than a week, your SEO rankings will start to be damaged whatever method you use.

Pause Your Website In No Time

These two options are the easiest ways to turn off your site without losing your ranking or your customers. As with closing a store in real time, the key is communication. If you’re running an online service, make sure you communicate well in advance to anyone who’s going to need access to your site and then follow the options above to catch any stragglers.

How can we help?

Do you think you might need to pause or turn off your website? Are you worried pausing your website might lose your SEO ranking?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Mark Jensen
Photo credit – Bottom: Wiki

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