The Spectrum Group Online https://online-sales-marketing.com Where Visibility and Transparency Connect Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:00:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 48765153 Content Ideation Guide https://online-sales-marketing.com/content-ideation-guide/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/content-ideation-guide/#respond Tue, 19 Jun 2018 16:00:30 +0000 http://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=12165 Content Ideation Guide

A 5-Step Simple Process

Content marketing fuels SEO. It enables search engines to index your business. It’s energizing link building. More than ever, there’s pressure on businesses to publish quality content frequently. If you’re a managing editor or writer, then this content ideation guide is for you.

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Personas & Strategy as the First Step

Before you commission a blog post or write a web page, you first need a strategy. To formulate a content marketing strategy that will grow your readership and revenue, I suggest creating customer personas. These are fictionalized representations of your buyers. By outlining their backgrounds, motivations, and needs, you can craft content that educates and converts.

So, here’s the first step of my content ideation guide. Consider answering these questions:

  • Related to what your business offers, what are biggest challenges your target audience faces?
  • If they were able to solve those challenges, what’s the impact (e.g., ROI, next step)?
  • What information would help them do their jobs better? What are their job titles, skill sets, education level?
  • What search terms are used to find businesses similar to yours?
  • Where does your target audience congregate (online and offline)?

There are probably hundreds — if not thousands — of questions you can ask. Use those answers to write working personas; doing so will help you create more relevant and targeted content.

Tactical Ground Rules

Once you have your strategy and persona(s), gather a team to brainstorm. The next element of my content ideation guide is to set up ground rules related to web pages, blog posts, white papers, etc.

  • Establish categories so your content is focused yet allowing room for creativity. Here’s an example. I write for a professional shredding company. While paper shredding is definitely a major category, I created other categories based on who uses those services (e.g. financial firms, lawyers, medical offices, victims of identity theft). I found there were related and newsworthy topics that gave the content greater reach and value.
  • Define tone, voice & relevancy so it reflects your brand and the message you want to project. For example, use of jargon and industry terms may be appropriate for some brands as they have an educated or technically oriented audience. However, you may alienate those new to your service. When defining what a good idea is (and not), establish rules on how each will be judged worthy of further work. That way opinion and biases won’t get in the way.
  • Research search terms to attract your audience. When you know your search volume for certain terms, their value (e.g., AdWords bid), and how competitive they are, you can strategically pepper them into your content. I teach my clients to use one keyword per page. You want to send a clear signal to search engines: each page should answer one question. Otherwise, it’s confusing and you may be unnecessarily competing with yourself on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Enlist Others

Even the most brilliant minds need help. Content ideation is no exception. Armed with a strategy, personas, and ground rules, you’re ready to pull together a collaborative team. I’ve found that by enlisting the help of others — especially those with different skill sets, points of view, and responsibilities — helps keep ideas fresh and relevant. Seek help from:

  • Product managers or developers
  • Customers where you have great two-way communication
  • Writers and/or other content contributors
  • Strategic vendors or partners
  • Trusted colleagues inside or outside of your organization

Content Ideation Tools

In researching the elements of my content ideation guide, I literally found hundreds of tools available. Here are a few of the sources I use:Repurpose-Content

  • Feedly – Here you can create a list of websites and blogs to follow for content ideas. You can have several different lists to cover each of the topics that you want to write about.
  • Google Analytics – The best place to start. You can see which are your best performing content and pages, then work from there.
  • Search Console – Additional data to add to Google Analytics, so you have a full picture of how your pages are performing.
  • HootSuite for research (hashtags, social listening) – Not just useful for scheduling your own posts, HootSuite lets you follow other social platforms for inspiration.  Basically a Feedly for social media profiles.
  • Other Google Products:
    • AdWords Keyword Planner – You’ll need to be an AdWords user to use this tool, but it allows you to see various details on keywords that can help give you an insight.
    • Trends – See which keywords are getting the most traffic around the world. Especially useful at the time of big events like the World Cup.

Organization: The Final Piece of the Content Ideation Guide

Day-to-day management is probably the most challenging aspect of content marketing. You may be great at generating fabulous ideas, Yet if you can’t organize those content ideas into actionable steps where things actually get written, it’s a huge waste of time.

I suggest using an editorial calendar in a format that allows collaboration (e.g., Google docs, Office 365). This is a powerful and nimble way to gather ideas, parse out writing assignments with reference links, and schedule them. View this post for a template and methodology for creating a customized editorial calendar for your business. If you want additional help, just give me a call.

I suggest setting a time every week for the following activities:

  • Research ideas
  • Update editorial calendar with ideas, reference links, examples
  • Create writing assignments with keywords and deadlines
  • Writing
  • Editing, polishing, and styling
  • Optimizing the content and meta
  • Scheduling

Collecting Content

As you can see creating content isn’t as simple as brainstorming a list of blog post titles.  What tips do you have on keeping your content creation process flowing smoothly?

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: Sean MacEntee
photo credit body: opportplanet

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Website Design for Senior Citizens https://online-sales-marketing.com/website-design-for-seniors/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/website-design-for-seniors/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2018 16:00:54 +0000 http://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=13740 Web_design_guide

Accessibility

Recently we worked on a web design project for a client that helps seniors. In the process, we had to rethink user experience and go beyond mobile responsiveness. Using the coolest new plugins or the most trendy design weren’t the most important elements for this target audience. It was about creating something simple, easy to navigate, and that exuded trust. 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day, according to The TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies. If your business caters to this demographic, here are five things to consider.

Website Design for Seniors

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A user’s experience on a website typically centers on readability. There are several components that affect readability, especially in addressing website design for seniors:

  • Font size – All jokes about fading eyesight aside, font size actually is important. As people get older eyesight often deteriorates. Addressing this issue goes beyond simply increasing font size. Too big and it looks amateurish. On a typical website, letter size varies. For example, headers are bigger and bolder yet still need to work with longer-form content. We found a way around the problem by using a font resizer plugin on WordPress. The resizing plugin allows users to choose how big or small the type appears. As a side note, if you’re going to use a plugin like this, make sure your website theme is responsive to the font size changes. It won’t work if your theme isn’t compatible.
  • Colors – Color psychology is something you could spend hours worrying about. We Website Design for Senior Citizenskeep it simple (so it doesn’t look like a circus) and choose colors with contrast in mind. From experience, the colors that work poorly are yellow and light orange. Of course, color choice all depends on your website’s background color. If your type color doesn’t have enough contrast, it won’t matter how big the font size.
  • Text structure – Following on from the above points, consider the structure of your text. Nobody likes a wall of text, even voracious readers. For seniors, this is even more important. When you can, break up your paragraphs and add indents. Also, consider increasing line spacing. If you find it difficult to scan/read, the use of bold and headline functions aid in making the important bits stand out.
  • Font style – Choosing a font can be difficult as it tends to be a personal preference. Generally, we suggest avoiding overly fancy or decorative scripts. Fonts that have been seen to work well are straightforward and sans serif like Veranda or Arial. Be aware that some fonts will render differently across browsers.
  • Design style – This point is less about seniors and more about knowing your audience. Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age. Remember they grew up in the 1950s and 1960s. They came of age during the golden years of advertising. When appealing to this demographic, you may want to evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Design for Everyone

Designing a website for seniors is not unlike designing a website for anyone else. You need to make sure what you’re putting up is intuitive, clean, easy to navigate while still keeping it as aesthetically pleasing as possible.

Do you have any tips for designing a website for seniors?

How can we help?

Are you interested in Website Design for Senior Citizens? Or just interested in designing a great website?

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: Jeremy Keith
Photo credit – Bottom: Ethan Prater

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Clever Website Thank You Pages https://online-sales-marketing.com/website-thank-you-page/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/website-thank-you-page/#respond Thu, 14 Jun 2018 16:00:32 +0000 http://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=12854 Sticky note with Thanks For VisitingBeyond Good Manners

Many of us were taught to say please and thank you when we were growin up, and those good manners translate well to the online experience. Your website thank you page says a lot about you and your brand. In this post I’ll share lessons we’ve learned while helping our clients say thanks, track those conversion in Analytics and and gain more business.

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Tie to Analytics Goals

Setting up goals in Analytics takes a bit of care. A specialized website thank you page created for after a form is filled out should trigger a goal in Google Analytics. If you’re not tracking your online marketing, there’s no way of knowing what’s working and what isn’t. For example, we tie thank you pages to goals for things like:

  • Filling out a form
  • Registering for an event
  • Downloading a white paper
  • Signing up for a newsletter feed

We like to tinker even further with Google Analytics goals, adding sales funnels and assigning a monetary figure (an estimate of what this goal is worth in closed business). Even if you put $1 as the value of a goal, Analytics can calculate the value each page. The benefit? You can see what pages are most often viewed and which pages best lead to a goal completion. Then you can pay close attention to each page’s metrics, modifying content, calls to actions, and graphics — all elements that influence user experience, as necessary. We also recommend having different website thank you pages so you can differentiate between forms and related goals.

Building Credibility

Staff Appreciation CupcakesNow that your visitor has done something that triggers a website thank you page, you want to send an appropriate message. This is where buyer psychology comes into play. Often I joke with my clients that they propose marriage on a first date. If I’m new to a website — especially where the product is expensive or the service is complicated — I’m most likely not ready to “get a quote.” I want to look around a bit, learn more about what you do, how you’re different and how you can help me. I may read several blog posts, view case studies and see if you have any client testimonials. In essence, woo me.

Remember that your thank you page provides an opportunity to further reinforce a positive brand experience. Show credibility by having customer testimonials or reviews. If you have special designations — like a certification or affiliation — add those logos as they build trust.

What’s Next

First, confirm the action. The text could be as simple as “Thank you for signing up for our [insert webinar name here]!” Then tell them what happens next. It could be as obvious as “Check your email for confirmation and details on how to join the webinar. If you haven’t received it in 10 nanoseconds, check your spam filter.” If they bought a product, show a picture so they can get excited about receiving it.

If your visitor just downloaded a white paper, you have a pretty good inkling of what they’re interested in. Is there something else you can offer?  Perhaps include links to related content, a refer-a-friend offer or a “how did we do” survey.

If they filled out a “request a quote” form, tell them when you’ll contact them and how (call or email). Nothing is more frustrating for a visitor than thinking their request went into a mysterious black hole. Again, this is an opportunity to show your brand’s personality so have some fun with your content.

Opportunity To Share

Was a purchase made? Excellent. Your thank you page can make it easy for your newbie customer to share their experience on social media or rate your service. Tell them how to follow you on Twitter or subscribe to your blog, for example. We’ve found that social sharing for some brands can help with sales conversions. Understanding your audience’s motivation and then slowly nurture leads can lead to marriage 😉

A Great Website Thank You Page Shows You Care

A website thank you page with a few sentences of text, no images and lots of white space communicates: you don’t care very much. A visitor took the time to do something on your site. Really think about that interaction and send the right message. Show them you appreciate them. Send the right message in my opinion.

Have you found a stellar thank you page? What about it made it great?

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: Kamilla Oliveira
photo credit – body: Clever Cupcakes

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How to Fix 404 Crawl Errors https://online-sales-marketing.com/404-crawl-errors/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/404-crawl-errors/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 16:00:11 +0000 http://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=14036 Crawler Errors

Avoid Problems When Migrating a Site

If you have ever migrated a WordPress website from one server to another, there’s a chance that you checked your inbox a week or two later and found an email from the Search Console team warning you about an increase in 404 error pages. When you migrate a website it’s important to ensure that all of your old links still work. You don’t want a customer or someone who has visited your site before, thinking your site has disappeared if they follow a link they used to use. The same principle can also damage your SEO, losing hard-won equity for pages that are getting good organic search visibility.

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Giving Google Directions to Avoid 404 Crawl Errors

So if you’re moving www.acmecorp.com to www.acme.com, match all the old URLs to the new website. So www.acmecorp.com/about-our-team would become www.acme.com/about-our-team, (not www.acme.com/about-us).

However, that isn’t always possible, and sometimes things are missed. This is where 404 crawl errors appear.

So how do you fix them when they appear?

  1. First, find the errors. They are listed in your website’s’ Search Console under Crawl, then Crawl Errors. Once there you will see a list of the broken links that you need to fix.404_not_found
  2. After finding the broken links in Search Console, you need to create Redirect on your website. We recommend using the Redirection plugin. Once installed, open up the admin panel on your WordPress website and find the Tools menu on the left-hand side toolbar. Then pick the Redirection option.
  3. Then you need to determine where the broken URL should be going and set up a redirect from the old URL to the new one. Once you have set up the redirect on your website you can confirm to Google that the link has been fixed in Search Console.
  4. If you have any remaining crawler errors (links that you don’t have a replacement link for) you need to remove those pages from Google so it no longer searches for them. To do this you will need to open up another tab from Search Console. Go to the Google Index section and select Remove URLs. Here you tell Google to stop letting people search for the URLs that no longer exist.
  5. Check that the broken URLs should be deleted. Look at the link and try and see where it should be going. If you decide you no longer need it,  press the Temporarily Hide button on the Remove URL’s page. Then enter the URL you want to remove and hit continue.
  6. Rinse and repeat the above until you have no more crawler errors!

If you follow the above steps you should be able to clean out your 404 crawl errors in no time. When was the last time you check Search Console for your 404 crawl errors? If it’s been a while, it’s time for maintenance!

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: Majento
Photo credit – Bottom: Jeremy Keith

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Is There a Best Time to Share Your Content? https://online-sales-marketing.com/best-time-share-content/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/best-time-share-content/#respond Tue, 12 Jun 2018 16:00:41 +0000 http://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=14495 Social_header

Sharing is Caring

Working out when is the best time to share your content is something that lots of marketers get stuck with. After spending all that time writing and polishing it you want people to read it. So working out exactly when to show your baby to the world can be daunting.  Should you post your blogs at 9:23am on a Tuesday, or 3:47pm on a Sunday?

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Personally, I think that the exact timing of when you post your content isn’t something to get too hung up on. Especially as every business has different readers, with different habits. For example, I like to read about sports news before I start work at 7am. But others might read on their lunch break. But, while there isn’t an objective best time to publish for everyone there have been a number of studies published that can give you an idea of when people are more likely to be engaging, and on what platform.

When is the Best Time to Share Your Content

Blog Posts

Posting your blog is often the first step you need to take into the ‘what time should I share my content’ quagmire, as many companies will then share their blog content over social media.

Research carried out by SproutSocial and KissMetrics shows that blog posts do tend to have times where they are more likely to be viewed and engaged with. Their research found that the optimum time to post a blog and get traffic is 11am EST on a Monday. However, this is followed by the information that, if you post blogs at ‘non-popular’ times you are more likely to receive social shares. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t…

Facebook

In 2018 almost every company has a Facebook profile. Sharing content on Facebook regularly is key if you want to make use of the platform, so at what time should you be furiously refreshing your page to see how many likes you’ve got?Best Time to Share Your Content

The research from SproutSocial shows that the best time to post content on Facebook is mid-week between 12 and 3. So time to think of some lunch related, or “hump day” content?

Twitter

As with Facebook, Twitter is another popular social media platform for many businesses. Offering a way to get a message across to customers, and also as a way of judging public opinion.

SproutSocial’s investigation found that the best time to Tweet is on Friday in the late morning. So people are more likely to read your tweets just before lunch.

LinkedIn

While LinkedIn is the most professional social media platform, LinkedIn content sharing seems the most unpredictable. Some things that gain virality on LinkedIn have little relevance or merit (maths puzzles or profile updates from attractive women).

However, the best time to post content on LinkedIn is Wednesday after 3 pm. Again, showing that people are more likely to engage with your content in the middle of the week. Perhaps things are getting pretty boring on a Wednesday?

What Time is it Anyway?

In conclusion, the best time to share your content is different depending on the platform. The general trend seems to be that your content will receive more engagement and views if you’re publishing it in the middle of the week. But outside of that, there are not any clear conclusions to draw.

As with many aspects of online marketing, we suggest trial and error. Make a note of when you post and look at the engagement you get. Eventually, you should notice a trend and then follow that. If you’re stuck for ideas on what time to start then try the times above and if they don’t work for you, play around with them until they do.

How can we help?

Do you publish content regularly? Have you worked out when the best time to share your content is?

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: Tanja Cappell
Photo credit – Bottom: Endless Watts

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GDPR is Here. Are You Ready? https://online-sales-marketing.com/gdpr-ready/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/gdpr-ready/#respond Fri, 08 Jun 2018 16:00:27 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=17962

European Legislation in America?

After four years of deliberation, the European Union officially adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2016. GDPR gives citizens who live in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland more control over how their personal data is collected and used online. As a result, businesses collecting any user information online are potentially impacted by the new standards. With the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) into effect as of May 25th, 2018, the following information is meant to help U.S.-based businesses be in compliance for web visitors and customers from the EU.

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What is GDPR?

GDPR gives citizens who live in the European Union more control over their online personal data. Here’s the the official legal text of the regulation if you’d like to read. The most significant changes are:

  • Companies have to be transparent about what information they’re collecting, what it will be used for, how long the data will be stored, how they’re collecting it, and if that information will be shared with anyone else. Companies should limit the period for which the personal data are stored to a strict minimum. Companies should also inform users of the risks, rules, safeguards and rights in relation to the processing of their personal data and how to exercise their rights in relation to such processing. They can only collect information that is directly related to its intended use. If the company later decides to use the collected data for a different purpose, it must get permission from each individual again.
  • Any information and communication relating to the processing of those personal data (e.g. privacy policies and disclosures) should be easily accessible, easy to understand, and put in clear and plain language.
  • Individuals have to take a clear affirmative act establishing a “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous” consent to their data being collected and processed, such as by an oral statement, or a written statement, including by electronic means. Pre-ticked boxes or agreed-by-default policies and notifications that rely on inaction will no longer work as a way of getting user’s consent. Companies have to send clear and concise consent requests, and they can no longer block users from accessing services or content if they refuse to have their information collected. Companies should also make it as easy to withdraw as to give consent.
  • Individuals have the right to access their collected data, withdraw consent for personal data collection, and/or request for rectification or erasure of their personal data. Companies are obliged to respond to requests from the users without undue delay and at the latest within one month and to give reasons where they don’t intend to comply with any such requests. If someone decides to revoke their permission, the company has to erase the data from the systems, as well as anywhere else it has shared that data.
  • Companies need to take reasonable steps to ensure appropriate security and confidentiality of the personal data, and that personal data which are inaccurate are rectified or deleted. If a personal data breach occurs, companies should notify the personal data breach to the supervisory authority and consumers within 72 hours after having become aware of it.
  • In order to demonstrate compliance with GDPR, companies should maintain records of processing activities under its responsibility.
  • Failing to comply with GDPR can come with some very steep consequences. If a data breach occurs because of non-compliance, a company can be fined as high as €20 million or 4% of the company’s annual global revenue, whichever amount is greater.

Should I worry about GDPR?

GDPR is only supposed to apply to the EU and EU residents. However, just because your business isn’t Europe-based doesn’t necessarily mean that GDPR won’t apply to you. If your company conducts business in Europe, collects data about users from Europe, advertises itself in Europe, or has employees who work in Europe, GDPR applies to you, no matter where you’re based.

On the other hand, if it’s clear that your company’s products and services are only available to consumers in the United States, or anywhere else outside the EEA, GDPR won’t apply to you.

What should I do to become GDPR compliant:

Go Through Your Data and Check Your Google Analytics

When you are using Google Analytics, Google is your data processor, and you and your company are considered the data controller in this situation. Since Google handles data from people all over the world, it has had to take steps to become compliant with GDPR. However, you and your company also need to make sure your Google Analytics account is set up to meet the new GDPR standards.

There are several things you can do in Analytics to be GDPR compliant:

  1. In Analytics, you now have the ability to delete the information of individual users if they request it.
  2. In Analytics, under the Admin tab > Property column > Tracking Info > Data Retention, you can control how long individual user data is saved before being automatically deleted. Google has set this to be 26 months as the default setting. If your company is US-based and strictly conducts business in the United States, you can set it to never expire if you want to.
  3. Audit all the data you collect to make sure it’s all relevant to its intended purpose and that you aren’t accidentally sending any personally identifiable information (PII) to Google Analytics. PII includes anything that can potentially be used to identify a specific person, whether on its own or when combined with another piece of data, like a birthdate, a home address, an email address, an IP address, or a zip code.
    1. To keep getting geographical insights about the visitors to your site, turn on IP anonymization.
    2. If you use Google Tag Manager, IP anonymization is relatively easy. Just open your Google Analytics tag or its settings variable, choose “More Settings,” and select “Fields to Set.” Then, choose “anonymizeip” in the “Field Name” box, enter “true” in the “Value” box,” and save your changes.
    3. If you need assistance with your Google Analytics or Tag Manager account, let us know. We can check your settings, make sure goals are tracked accurately, and train you on reports to monitor.
  4. Make sure pseudonymous information like user IDs and transaction IDs is protected and put in alphanumeric database identifiers, instead of plain text.
  5. Follow the steps Google has mentioned in some of those emails they’ve sent out. As long as GDPR applies to you, you’ll need to go into your organization settings in Analytics and provide contact information for your organization. Additionally, if you’re based outside the EEA, accept the updated terms of processing by going into your Google Analytics account settings. If you’re based in the EEA, the updated terms have already been included in your data processing terms.

Update Your Site’s Privacy Policy, Forms, and Cookie Notices

If your company has a legal department, it may be most ideal to involve them in this process to ensure you’re fully compliant.

GDPR requires a site’s privacy policy to be easily accessible, easy to understand, and put in clear and plain language. It should clearly state what information is being collected, what it will be used for, how long the data will be stored in the system, how it’s collected, and if that information will be shared with anyone else If you are using third-party tracking tools, such as Hotjar and CallRail, please remember to reveal the data collection process in your privacy policy.

Forms and cookie notices need to provide the same kind of information. Consent notifications with generic and vague messages like, “We use cookies to give you a better experience. By using this site, you agree to our policy,” or pre-checked notices are not in compliance with GDPR. You have to send clear and concise consent request that allows users to give a clear affirmative act establishing the agreement to their data being collected, such as ticking a box, choosing technical settings, or agreeing to the policies.

Check Your Email Marketing and Marketing Automation

Make sure to follow best industry standards. Only send messages to those who opt-in to your list and make it easy for people to unsubscribe. If you are not sure how your contacts opted in, or any of them don’t have their country listed, you may want to either remove them from your list, or put them on a separate segment so they don’t get any messages from you until you can get that figured out, or send them a new opt-in email asking them to confirm if they’d still like to receive messages from you.

Update Your Gated Content and Forms

Gated content include things like free reports, white papers, or webinars. It is often used by companies as a way to generate leads. Under this strategy, web visitors trade personal information (PII) for access to the content. Since GDPR prohibits blocking access to content if a person doesn’t consent to their information being collected, this process is now trickier.

GDPR requires companies to prove that the information they collect is necessary for them to provide the deliverable. It also requires that any forms used on a site for gated content need to clearly state how the information being collected will be used.

If you don’t get a lot of leads from EEA users, you can just block all gated content from European visitors. Or, you can make that information freely available to all visitors from Europe.

Harden Your Site Security

Do everything you can to harden your site security: keep your themes and plugins up to date, and remove unused ones. Only use trusted themes and plugins. Regularly backup your site. Monitor incoming attacks. Use SSL for data security. Use a secure hosting environment. Conduct periodic security audits and core reviews. And the list goes on and on. Not only for the sake of being GDPR compliant, you should do all of these anyways.

Keep A Record of Everything You’ve Done to be Compliant

GDPR requires companies to maintain records of processing activities under its responsibility,  in order to demonstrate compliance. So make sure to keep records of everything you’ve done to be compliant, including documenting how people opt in to being on your marketing lists, and data security documentation regarding how you are protecting your users’ data.

GDPR In A Nutshell

GDPR is a broad reform that gives EEA and Switzerland citizens more control over their personal data collected and used online. To become compliant and avoid potential fines and punishments, consider checking:

  • Collected data,
  • Google Analytics settings,
  • Privacy policy,
  • Forms and cookie notices,
  • Email marketing and marketing automation practices,
  • Gated content,
  • Any other online marketing process that involves user data collection.

If you have questions about how GDPR applies to you, we suggest talking with your legal department or legal counsel.

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: Pxhere
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Facebook for SEO https://online-sales-marketing.com/facebook-for-seo/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/facebook-for-seo/#respond Thu, 07 Jun 2018 16:00:58 +0000 http://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=13620 Facebook for SEO? Does it help your SEO to run a good facebook profile

Does A Facebook Profile Boost Visibility

Which of the above images would you pick if you had to choose the effect Facebook has on your SEO? Social media popularity and SEO are very different things. Typically SEO is seen as something that every company has to do. Social media is still trying to justify itself, showing an ROI for the time and effort spent on channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. As social media grows in importance, the distance between the two is closing, creating a significant overlap. Despite the fact that Facebook has taken a bit of a beating recently, they’re still the biggest social media player out there. So, let’s look at Facebook for SEO and how it can your website’s visibility in organic search.

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Spot the Difference

First thing’s first. The name of your Facebook account should reflect your business while also taking into account SEO. The first word of your Facebook page’s name is given the most importance by Google. But do not use it as an excuse to jam in as many keywords as possible.

Next in importance is the About Us section on your Facebook page. This is, unsurprisingly, the part where you explain what you do to people who are looking at your profile. But the About Us section also acts as a kind of meta description for your Facebook page, meaning that again, you should be using relevant keywords, to help your company show when you want it to.

Third, ensure that all of your NAP (name, address, phone number), business locations and hours, and website information are kept up to date. Facebook is increasingly used as a directory to check where something is. Often searchers look at your Facebook page to see if you’re open or where you’re located. This is especially useful as many companies use Facebook messenger as a kind of live-chat option for their customer service teams. If your details don’t match those on your website, not only does it possibly damage your SEO, but it confuses potential customers.

Facebook Search

Remember that Facebook itself has a search function. All of the optimizations mentioned above will help you improve your Facebook SEO, as well as boosting your website’s visibility. Often you’ll see many companies on Facebook with the same name, or variations on that name. If your company name is already out there in another form, it’s important to make sure your Facebook page has the right keywords to get it showing at the right time.

You can help you Facebook SEO by posting regular status updates (again including keywords as long as they are #relevant). You can cross promote blog content, carry out competitions and many other different things. But remember to keep your main keywords associated with your account and company in mind.

Facebook For SEO Ranking

Facebook is front page material. If you search any big brand, from Coca-Cola to Google, New facebook reactions hahayou’re likely to see a Facebook link on the first page of search results (and possibly in the sidebar on the right-hand side). So even if Google doesn’t count links from social media sites (and it seems that’s still up for debate), a well-constructed and tended Facebook page will rank on its own. It can help you claim a larger percentage of the front page results yourself. If you have optimized Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Facebook pages, along with some brand-related SEO ads, and a fully optimized website, you’re looking at controlling up to six spots on the first page.

Messenger

Facebook Messenger is quickly becoming an important customer service tool. If your profile is well constructed it will attract attention and you may get messages through Facebook messenger. Because of this, you need to make sure you’re checking your company Facebook page regularly. People expect a quick/ instant response when they’re using instant messaging tools, so don’t leave them waiting.

Don’t Do It Just For The Sake Of Doing It

Creating a Facebook profile for your company, and maintaining it has enough value on its own. When you recognize the SEO bump it can give your website, it becomes a no-brainer. However, you know your audience best. If they aren’t engaging on this social channel, don’t invest a ton of time and effort. Keep your Facebook profile updated and accurate. If you can grow your audience via Facebook, the regular posts with an eye toward trending content and keywords make cents (pun intended).

What do you think about Facebook for SEO?

How can we help?

Have you optimized your Facebook for SEO? How up to date are your social media accounts?

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 »

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Eight SEO Chrome Extensions https://online-sales-marketing.com/seo-chrome-extensions/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/seo-chrome-extensions/#respond Wed, 06 Jun 2018 16:00:57 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=14887 SEO Chrome extensions

Boost Your Browser

If you use Google Chrome like us (and almost 75% of all internet browsing public) then you’ll probably have a few extensions. For example, you might have a Chromecast plugin so you can stream YouTube from your laptop onto your TV. Or, you may have a VPN so you can watch BBC TV in the States. But these add-ons aren’t just for fun, they are also great for managing your business’ online presence. Here are six of our favorite SEO Chrome extensions.

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Favorite SEO Chrome Extensions

Nimbus

Nimbus is a nice extension that helps you to take screengrabs and modify them. So if you’re preparing a quick presentation, or sending an update to a client, or member of your team, you can take a screenshot in Nimbus, annotate it, blur out anything sensitive, then get it sent. You may find this tool useful as you create web content (a major component of SEO) on the fly.

BuiltWith

BuiltWith is a great little application for to X-Ray a website. The application lets you see what any given website is…built with. We find it especially useful if we’re speaking to a new client or prospects, as it can let us know what systems and software they’re using on their site. We’ve found that not all website platforms have an SEO backbone, and this handy tool lets us see what’s what.

google_chrome_for_android_icon_2016-svgCheck My Links

Inbound links are the most powerful component of SEO. Check My Links is a helpful little SEO Chrome extension that allows you to quickly assess the number of links on a page, tracking down which ones are working, and which are not. It is also useful if you’re using the broken link building technique to improve a site’s SEO. Quality inbound links boost your organic visibility and broken links signal how diligent a Webmaster manages a site.

User Agent Switcher

This tool is essentially an emulator letting you see what a page looks like in a different browser, or on a different device. So instead of needing to have IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari all installed on your device, you can just use the Agent Switcher to simulate what the page would look like from another browser. While Chrome has the 75% of market share, make sure the other 25% can view (and buy) from you.

Open Multiple URLs

Open Multiple URLs does exactly what you’d expect it to do. If you’ve ever been given a CSV full of links to check or a list of 301 redirects to set up, you’ll know the pain of individually right-clicking and opening in a new tab hundreds of times. Well, OMU takes that pain away.

Word Count

Again, another useful app with a self-explanatory name. Word Count will count the number of words that you have on a page or in a particular situation. This stops you wasting time copy and pasting text in and out of Word or Google docs. This extension is especially useful if you’re doing things like a landing page analysis where you need a quick overview of what’s on a page. Does your meta data (title tags and meta descriptions) show well in organic search? Use Word Count to ensure you’re using all available characters without truncation.

Lighthouse

Another useful plugin for Google Chrome is the Lighthouse plugin. You can now plug Google’s useful tool into your chrome browser, making it easier to carry out site speed tests and other website related reporting. This tool is a great time saver if you’re carrying out updates to your website and trying to make it function better.

Open SEO Stats

Open SEO Stats (formally called PageRank Stats) is a great SEO plugin that finds all sorts of useful information on a page. The tool will help you find anything from word count, to meta descriptions and is great if you’re carrying out a content audit on a website.

What SEO Chrome extensions do you use? Got a great app to add to our list?

How can we help?

Do you worry about keeping up with technology? Does the idea of downloading Chrome extensions give you a headache?

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 »

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Who’s Calling? – Call Extensions https://online-sales-marketing.com/call-extensions-2/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/call-extensions-2/#respond Tue, 05 Jun 2018 16:00:34 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=17318

Who Can I Say Is Calling?

If you’re running an AdWords account then you need to make sure that all of your Ad Extensions are running to maximize your chances of getting clicks. From callouts to structured snippets your arsenal of extensions should be fully loaded at all times. Call extensions are no different. If your business can receive phone calls, you need to be using, and tracking, call extensions.

Ring-Ring, Ring-Ring, Ring-Ring

Call extensions are vital if your business has a brick and mortar store. If a customer finds your business for the first time online, they might want to confirm your store location, check opening hours, or see what you have in stock. By having a call extension on your ads users can click straight on the ad and a call will be put through to you. Meaning that they don’t need to leave the first page of search results (if that’s where your ads are) to get in contact with you.

A Local Shop, for Local People

If Local SEO is a part of your strategy then setting up call extensions, and making sure your call tracking is working, is very important. Using a service like CallRail will also let you see the location from which the calls are made, which can help you decide where to focus your advertising budget.Call extensions

Tracking the Calls

If you want more visibility on the calls your business is receiving from PPC you can use third-party tools like CallRail to help you track the numbers that call your business. CallRail has a number of features that are useful to PPC users. One being call recording which allows you to go back a work out how many calls were sales related. Another being their dashboard that easily shows you what times of the day, and days of the week, you receive the most calls.

If you have enough call volume to make use of it, CallRail now have a keyword recognition tool that can pick out which keywords are mentioned on the calls themselves. Meaning you can get keyword insights from every customer call.

Can I speak to …?

One obvious consideration before adding call extensions is; will there be someone there to answer the phone? If you don’t have staff available to answer the phone then having a call extension listed could do more harm to your business than good. Callers will think your business is closed and it is likely to cause a negative impression.

Call Extensions

But, if you’ve got people to answer the phone, call extensions are a must have to any AdWords user. To you have a good click to call ratio on your account? We’d love to hear how you got it.

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 »

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Optimize Your Remarketing for Conversions https://online-sales-marketing.com/optimize-remarketing-campaigns-conversions/ https://online-sales-marketing.com/optimize-remarketing-campaigns-conversions/#respond Fri, 01 Jun 2018 16:04:50 +0000 https://online-sales-marketing.com/?p=16292

Remarketing: Adapting to Rising Tides

Omni-channel shopping is becoming the norm in the digital era. 81% of consumers search online before making purchasing decisions, while 82% of smartphone users consult their phones while making a purchase. So, if you’re running PPC campaigns you need to to be remarketing as well as marketing because you’re unlikely to catch a customer the first time they hear about you.

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This is where remarketing comes into power – it allows marketers to reconnect with people who have visited their websites, or used their apps, by displaying relevant ads to them across different channels and devices. This, when working properly, should push the conversion rate up to the next level by following leads until they make a purchase.

Remarketing 101

As we said earlier, remarketing allows marketers to show relevant ads to people who have visited their website or used their apps, even when they are on different channels and devices. If you are running PPC ads you can easily get started by adding a remarketing tag (a snippet of code that you get from Bing Ads or AdWords) to your mobile app or the pages of your site, creating your remarketing lists with custom rules and parameters, and building your campaigns using the lists.

Benefits of Remarketing

  1. Increased touch points and strengthened impressions: Now you can reach people after they have visited your web page or used your app, generating many more touch points, showing them relevant ads when they are visiting other related websites, searching for your business, or using other apps.remarketing
  2. Customized audience lists for specific goals: Tailor your lists to your advertising goals. For instance, create a “Demo Request” list to show ads to the people who requested for demos or watched videos on your product page but didn’t complete a transaction.
  3. Real-time data indicating your campaign performance: You’ll have insights into how your campaigns are performing and where your ads have been shown in real time.
  4. Efficient pricing and easy ad creation: Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads remarketing services are dedicated to offering you a better user experience. Tools that allow you to easily craft ads and create high-performance campaigns with automated bid strategies like ROAS (return on advertising spend) and target CPA (cost-per-acquisition) are available at no extra cost. With remarketing, ads often cost less than general PPC ads.

Webinar Highlights

Chris Hoag, Sr. Account Manager at Bing Ads, Kendall Todd, Sr. Account Manager at Metric Theory, and MJ DePalma, Sr. Global Channel Marketing Manager at Bing Ads, shared some insights about remarketing, as well as some hands-on strategies on how to build remarketing campaigns. Here are some takeaways we picked up from the discussion:

Major vs. micro conversion

“A micro conversion is an action taken that is not your final conversion event (purchase of product or service), but is an event that indicates interest and intent, such as a newsletter sign up or white paper download,” says Kendall Todd. Micro conversions can be critical, as they guide your audience one step closer to the bottom of the marketing funnel – and what could help to generate more micro conversions? Remarketing.

What remarketing techniques work for low traffic websites?

“Cast a wide net to ensure you can hit that 1,000-member threshold (the threshold for running any remarketing campaign on Bing or AdWords) so you can start as soon as possible but also look to run concurrent audiences that visit important pages on your site or interact with your content – they may take a while longer to hit that threshold but will be worth it when they do” said Chris Hoag.

Build your lists and layer them with creativity

Think about the concept of omnichannel marketing. You can build lists of leads from your Social Media pages, SEO, loyalty programs, video or chat experiences, etc. These are likely to be very different people. So be creative about your remarketing campaign. Don’t just create a one size fits all ad. Try and tailor the ads to the different places these people might have come into contact with your brand.

Other Tools

As well as Bing and Google’s PPC platforms, you can also use more sophisticated targeting tools like AdRoll. AdRoll adds another layer of sophistication and brings all of your retargeting efforts into one place. So you can track the same customers over multiple different platforms while measuring the results all in one place.

Remarketing is as much of an art as it is a science. But you can make good use of it to reconnect with people who’ve come across your brand or product, create micro to macro conversions, and make your business appear omnipresent.

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: Mark Jensen
Photo credit – Bottom: Pixabay

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