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Jennifer Dawson

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Is There Still Money To Be Made With SEO?

Posted by Jennifer Dawson on Fri, Jun, 15, 2018 @ 09:06 AM

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Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

 

SEO has been at the forefront of the marketing sphere and web development for many years now. Some business owners have started to question the relevance and effectiveness of investing in either in-house SEO experts or outsourcing SEO tactics to an external agency. However, the Internet is still the fastest, easiest way to reach audiences, and there is still plenty of money to be made by employing strategic SEO practices.

In fact, so many companies in the U.S. have recognized the value in SEO, that leading annual SEO spending has increased steadily every year over the past decade - from $11.44 billion in 2008 to $72.02 billion in 2018. Even though digital marketing strategies like social media are now the hot topic of marketing teams, start-ups and small business owners recognize the massive value in cutting-edge SEO practices. On average, Google processes 40,000 search inquiries per second—adding up to 3.5 billion searches every single day. Clearly, your ideal audience’s online experience will likely begin and end based on your website or brand’s SEO, making it more important now to your profitability than ever before.

How SEO Has Shifted in the Past Few Years

Focusing on SEO best practices is essential for boosting your overall profitability, but the way you approach SEO must reflect the most up-to-date standards in order to make money. In the past, it was enough to simply publish webpages with the knowledge that it would build back-end visibility in organic search engines queries, leading to new paying customers and leads. Now, major search engines like Google have become more strategic in ranking websites so as to reduce the amount of regurgitated, fake or false content.

Just as the search engines have become increasingly strategic, your business must also delegate SEO tactics to experts that are aware of the best practices of this year. Though it is exciting that the Internet is always evolving, this means that marketers and SEO experts must stay on top of their game and be sure to incorporate the latest trends, software, and processes to their strategies in order to rake in the big bucks. The SEO practices that worked in 2016 simply do not work anymore—it is no longer about generating as much web content as possible. Instead, being in touch with current trends—such as creating long-form, keyword-rich content that can be disseminated through various inbound strategies—is critical to your company’s SEO, profitability, and overall web presence.

What Your SEO Strategy Must Now Encompass

To remain current and increase your sales, there are several updates to SEO best practices that you must be aware of. One is Google’s mobile-first indexing, which began in 2016 and continues today. Google’s mobile-first index allows Google to give content that performs best on mobile devices a higher ranking. Page load speed is therefore extremely important, so be sure to check your image sizes and browser caching before you send out content online.

Another change to SEO is that you can no longer rely entirely on back links to boost your rating on search engines. Instead, optimizing your content should be the foundation of your strategy for link building. Return links are simply not as important anymore as unique, idea-driven content is. If you have engaging content to share, chances are this content will be noticed by industry leaders—who may even share the content themselves, adding real value to your brand.

Although the best practices for SEO has shifted in recent years, it is still a highly relevant and paying technique for business owners and marketing teams to take into consideration in order to grow a company’s visibility and brand online.

Tags: SEO

The Rising Role of Email Analytics in Events Management

Posted by Jennifer Dawson on Fri, Jun, 08, 2018 @ 08:06 AM

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Photo by Slim Emcee (UG) the poet Truth_From_Africa_Photography on Unsplash

 

Big data is shaking up the business world, with revenue expected to quadruple from $33.5 billion in 2017 to around $134 billion in 2021. Despite this, most of this revenue comes from IT and tech companies, with traditional businesses struggling to wrap their heads around the analytics. If your company is in events management, then you need to start using big data to inform decisions if you wish to get ahead of the competition. Your Google SEO plan should begin with email, since this is the most effective way to advertise events services. You can improve results by investing in big data and crunching the numbers to help boost profits.

 

Emailing the Right People

Marketing experts agree that email has the greatest return on investment, ahead of social media marketing. When selling your events services, you are more likely to receive a customer through their email inbox than by taking out a paid Google or Facebook ad. However, you need to analyze the market trends in order to ensure you are reaching the right people.

 

Only a subsection of people will be interested in the events that you can provide, so don’t waste your time emailing everyone. Check the data to see which kind of people are opening your emails. The chances are, it is people who already previously expressed an interest in your service. Analysing the data allows you to pinpoint your market and target your emails more narrowly.

 

Beating the Spam Filter

Another factor big data analysis can reveal is whether your emails are getting through. You could be putting together a brilliant events newsletter with all your best offers and sending them to interested parties, but they may fall at the last hurdle and end up in the junk folder. You can adjust your marketing strategy to determine what increases delivery success rates. If you specialize in weddings, you’ll need a different strategy to a business which organizes festivals.

 

Emails should generally only be sent to potential customers who actively opted in to your services. The newsletter should then have an easy, one-click unsubscribe option. This will help the algorithms to view your email as not spam. Giving the option for users to opt out ensures you are targeting your emails more efficiently towards people interested in the events you offer.

 

Studying Action Rates

Finally, analytics will allow you to see your action rate statistics. Are you aware of how many emails it takes to get a click onto your website? Big data will tell you this. It will also reveal how changing a marketing strategy affects results.

 

For instance, you may find that scheduling your emails to go out in the spring is more effective for advertising weddings, but won’t be clicked on by people looking for events around the winter olympics. You can also view how other factors affect action rate. Perhaps some subject lines work better than others or including special offers at the top is more appealing than having it hidden in the text.

 

Events management is a changing industry and it needs to keep up with the tech giants. Big data suppliers and analytics tools are out there to help anyone with a digital marketing team. Use email for the greatest return on investment and use analytics to effectively target the right people and increase the chance of events business succeeding.

 

Likewise you need to deliver a great customer experience so consider what trade show decorators you will use to communicate a consistent brand message.

Tags: email, SEO, keywords

Are You On Track With Your 2018 SEO Plan?

Posted by Jennifer Dawson on Mon, May, 28, 2018 @ 17:05 PM

 

It's no surprise that Google will remain the top referrer to websites in 2018 and with a referring rate as much as 5 times that of its nearest competitor, it’s vital to website owners to stay on top of trends. 2018 is bound to throw out a few interesting tricks and if you’ve missed out so far, here’s how to do a quick catch up on SEO trends.

Voice assistants are here to stay

Companies such as Google, Apple, and Samsung have spent millions on research and development to streamline the voice search technology.  For advertisers, harnessing the power of voice assistants is critical for survival. When they do this, it will inevitably lead to greater traffic which has a higher chance of generating more sales. SEO is critical in order to rank higher and the strategy should be more aligned to voice search as opposed to the typed search options. A few tweaks and changes to the search phrases combined with carefully placed snippets will play a big role in ranking higher in 2018.

Use Google changes to your advantage

Quite a lot of buzz is happening around mobile indexing and with good reason. Google has found that too many high-ranking websites aren't mobile-friendly. This is not something that sits well with the search engine giant, as many users have embraced mobile technology for their day-to-day internet browsing. Mobile users have overtaken desktop users in terms of internet usage, which is why there is the high focus on getting mobile ranking right. Although this new measure is still in the testing phase, website owners should jump on the opportunity to increase their accessibility in order not to miss out. Another new feature that’s getting a major overhaul is the Google News feature, which will be far more aligned with the search terms. Those who wish to rank there will need to do in-depth keyword analysis as old tricks will no longer fly with ranking.

They do store customer data after all

For years Google assured consumers that they only use the search data for research and training purposes but now that search data populates user intention fields. It takes the information it has on the user and defines the search results according to past responses. This means that two different people entering the same search terms may land up on different choices, based on their previous searches.

The recurring themes for 2018, which website owners should already be on top of, include embracing technology and providing an organic solution to customer searches. Ranking will be far more difficult to achieve if the SEO strategy takes a cookie-cutter approach as customer’s natural requests are used to define the searches, instead of just stand-alone keywords.

Tags: SEO

Pricing Analytics to Boost Customer Loyalty

Posted by Jennifer Dawson on Mon, Apr, 23, 2018 @ 08:04 AM

 

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Photo by wu yi on Unsplash

 

Thanks to Jennifer Dawson for the following.

Around 75% of businesses believe they are customer-centric, but just 30% of consumers agree. The dichotomy should be a powerful motivator for businesses wishing to increase customer loyalty. Considering the Internet of Things and its implications on market behavior, enticing customers with your products or services is no longer sufficient when it comes to achieving business success. Companies like Apple boast a unique percentage of loyal clients; they have managed to strike the exact balance between design, branding, and functionality, but not every product is a feat of design. This is why companies need extra tools, such as price analytics, to attract and retain clients.

Why is Customer Loyalty Key?

According to McKinsey Research, around 58% of customers freely switch from brand to brand. Only 13% are completely loyal to their favorite brands and around 29% shop from others but always return to their usual brands.

Research indicates that older generations are more loyal customers in general, with younger shoppers heavily influenced by the appeal of the Internet. Now more than ever, it is possible to glean information on issues such as value, ethics, price comparisons, etc. Regardless of age, the vast majority of shoppers have no issues with changing from one brand to another following poor customer service.

How Can Price Analytics Boost Customer Loyalty?

Price analytics software can process massive data sets, obtaining information from sources such as emails, social media comments, video files and more to discover important patterns and trends that enable companies to set the rice price for their products and services. Price management initiatives can increase a company’s margins by up to seven percent in a year, significantly improving its ROI. However, many companies fail to leverage the potential of ideal pricing because they lack the right analytical tools. Therefore, they are unable to react with due agility to issues such as changes in demand, pricing expectations, etc.

Price Analytics and Payment Options

The benefits of price analytics extend beyond mere setting of the right price for products or services. They also enable companies to focus on particular customers – those who bring in the most profit. By analyzing their purchase habits and preference, companies can build bespoke customer loyalty reward systems and accept payment methods that favor clients with rewards and points systems. Payment options should not only broad, but also compatible with mobile technology. Research indicates that around 1.6 billion people use their cellphones to shop online globally, and these devices being used to make 19% of all retail e-commerce sales.

Price analytics are important in a day and age when ubiquitous connectivity and the potential to reach a global market, mean that pricing and building customer loyalty according to ‘gut instinct’ are no longer sufficient. Analytics allow companies to employ key considerations when determining price, all of which are vital to attract new customers and retain those who are savvier than ever when it comes to price comparisons and obtaining value for their money.

 

Tags: pricing as a strategic market advantage

Are You Using Your Loyalty Program Properly?

Posted by Jennifer Dawson on Fri, Mar, 23, 2018 @ 08:03 AM

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

 Thanks to Jennifer Dawson for sharing the following:

The cost of running a loyalty program could amount to as much as five percent of your total sales according to an article by KPMG Principal Katherine Black. That is, by no means, a small number. And to make matters worse, just because you have some sort of program in place, it doesn’t automatically mean that your repeat business and total sales will go up. For the whole thing to work, you’ll need to make sure your program is able to form some kind of emotional connection with your customers—and it all begins with proper customer data collection and processing.

 

What type of data is needed?

Aside from the basics like the customer’s name, age and overall demographic, successful customer loyalty programs also require information on your customers’ product preferences and purchasing habits. But this is just the data you collect at the point of purchase. You also need to keep track of what customers are saying about you and your product once they leave your store. In a way, this is a better method of getting honest opinions because the customers would no longer be under any pressure to be polite.

A great way to do this is via social media. If you already have a Facebook page for your brand, then either turn on the reviews feature for it or use it to encourage customers to contact you for feedback. In addition, you could also visit any e-commerce websites that carry your products and check the reviews there. Finally, you could do a quick Google search for your product as well to see if there are any other reviews that you might have missed.

 

How can customer data help?

But how does collecting all this data help make an incentives program more effective? Well, by understanding what your customers want and need, you can easily tweak the rewards that you’re offering accordingly. This will instantly make your program much more appealing and relevant—which will ultimately not only drive existing members to buy more to earn more points, but also entice even more customers to sign up. Needless to say, the more members you have, the more valuable information you can collect.

 

More data = better loyalty

Simply put, the first step in running a successful loyalty program is getting to know your customers. Keep in mind that unless your rewards are relevant and exciting enough, they won’t really do anything to increase your profits. At the end of the day, the better you understand your customers, the more effective your loyalty program becomes.

 

 

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Tags: improve loyalty and retention