Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers Blog

    Why Mobile Marketing Matters for Email Marketing Campaigns

    Why does mobile matter for your email marketing efforts?

    Topics: Email Marketing Mobile Design Lead Nurturing

    How to Improve Sales With Website Conversion Paths

    Conversion Path: The path a visitor takes through your website to become a lead. A typical conversion path requires a call-to-action, a landing page, a form, and a thank-you page.

    Topics: Convert CTA Design Mobile Blogging Strategy Websites Usability Buyer Persona Landing Pages Lead Generation Inbound Marketing

    How to Improve SEO by Addressing Duplicate Content

    Topics: SEO Websites Strategy Design Mobile Content Marketing Inbound Marketing

    Common Business Website Problems

    Just having a website doesn’t cut it anymore. Those days have been long gone! A website is often the face of the business and the first place that an individual interacts with a business, whether it’s a B2B (business-to-business) or B2C (business-to-consumer) environment. Despite the fact that the first impression of a business is made through the website, there are common business website problems that are constantly occurring.

    Topics: Close Usability SEO Websites Design Attract Mobile Content Marketing

    A Website Redesign Should Include These 4 Things

    If you are planning a website redesign in 2015 there are 4 areas you MUST include to ensure you get the outcome you're really after, more business. I shiny new look and feel will certainly help to build trust with your visitors when they arrive, but if you have no visitors to see it, what's the point? It's an absolute must to have as much focus on your efforts (think SEO, content marketing, social media, sponsored advertising) to get high quality traffic to your site as your efforts to make your site look better.

    1 - A Blog

    In case you haven't heard... you have to be producing content if you want to get high quality traffic to your site. I'm not talking about people searching for your brand name, or people using local search to find a local supplier. I'm talking about new, high quality visitors that need what you provide and search for terms around your offering versus your brand name. That's how you grow your business.

    The absolute easiest way to generate content on a consistent basis is through a blog. If you aren't familiar with what a blog is, you are viewing one right now. Generally speaking, they are regularly updated sections/pages of a website that tend to be less formal, but often educational in nature. Blogs provide a nice, categorized way to share content about your products, services, industry and ideal buyer questions. We all know that being sold to sucks. We'd much rather be educated than sold to. A blog will do that for your buyers.

    2 - Content Marketing

    This area is a nice tie-in with blogging as you can often take your blog topics and expound upon them to create higher value content worth exchanging an email address for. The idea with content marketing is that you have educational content that your ideal buyers will find valuable enough to give you some basic contact details in exchange for it.

    When they do so, you've generated a lead. Your job then becomes nurturing that lead through a continued educational effort until they move closer to being a qualified lead that you should be talking to. This is often done through email marketing, social media and CRMs.

    3 - Responsive Design

    This could technically be tied to the redesign of your site, but it may not be completely obvious at first. Responsive design, as we've covered many times in the past, is a way of developing your website that allows your site's design to adapt (respond) to the size of the device being used to view it.

    In other words, it makes sure that smartphone users have a smartphone-optimized view of your site, as well as tablets, TVs, etc...

    Google recently indicated that by the end of 2014, over 50% of the searches done on Google will be from a mobile device. That means there are tons of people looking at your site on a mobile device too. If the experience sucks because the visitor is stuck zooming way in and panning around to read your content, they won't stick around.

    4 - SEO

    Search engine optimization should no question be part of any website redesign or ongoing marketing effort. Some of the items above will go a long way to helping your SEO strategy, but you need a site developed using SEO best practices that ties to your SEO strategy to be successful. You do have a SEO strategy, right? Installing a few Wordpress plugins on your blog is not an SEO strategy, especially not one you can monitor performance of and improve over time.

    When you do a website redesign, you have to be super careful not to undo any positive SEO effect you are getting to your current site.

    So Much More

    There are so many more areas that you or an agency you hire should do on an ongoing basis to ensure that you meet your business objectives, but these 4 will be a great start when coupled with a website redesign. The main point I want you to take away here is that a shiny new "skin" to your site won't help you grow your business if you don't generate an increasing amount of high quality traffic.

    Topics: Close SEO More Attract Mobile Content Marketing Inbound Marketing

    Curated List of 4 Great Web Marketing Resources This Week

    Feeling guilty that you didn't read any web marketing resources this week? No worries, we've compiled some of our favorites to give you some weekend reading material. Enjoy!

    Google Will Now Detect if a Website Won’t Work on Your Device, Warn You

    Have you ever tried to view a website on your phone and found the experience to be really bad? Yes, you have, don't lie. Google is now helping it's Android brethren by giving you a warning in the search results to let you know if a site won't work right on your phone. For now, they are focused on flash sites. Don't be surprised if that extends to non-flash sites in the future. Responsive design anyone? Thanks to Kellex at Droid Life for the great update.

    Infographic - Smart Ways To Combine Content Marketing With SEO

    One of the great things about content marketing is that it doesn't live in a silo. It feeds so many other tactics!! It's great when you get more mileage from a time investment. This infographic shows all of the channels for content distribution that you could/should be using.

    5 Mistakes Your Sales Reps Are Likely Making

    This is a quick read that all business owners, salespeople and even marketing folks should read. Because content marketing is all about speaking to your ideal buyer's problems, # 3 was probably my favorite of the bunch.

    A Simple Plan for Measuring the Marketing Effectiveness of Content

    Simple is a good thing! Measurement is a GREAT thing. It's also one of the biggest advantages of web marketing. This simple plan walks even gives you a spreadsheet format to get started. Need examples? No problem, this great article has plenty.

    Topics: Close SEO Strategy More Attract Mobile Content Marketing Curated Goodness Inbound Marketing

    A Mobile Friendly Website is Not an Option, it is a Necessity

    It's not a secret that mobile devices have changed our lives. We are now connected to these devices and find ourselves using them probably more than we would like to admit. Yeah, we still call an iPhone a phone...but how many calls do you make or take from your iPhone? It's now to the point where it doesn't even really matter how many minutes I have available on my plan, I never use them. Now what is important to me is data! It is just more convenient to text, email, like, retweet, etc.

    Topics: Close Usability Websites Mobile

    A 12 Month Marketing Strategy Should Include Mobile

    Start sarcasm...

    Are you ready to have your mind blown? Hold on to your hats...

    Lots of people use smartphones and tablets to browse the web!

    Feel free to take a minute to recover from that astonishing fact. I understand. New information can really be a shock at first.

    ...end sarcasm.

    Seriously though, if you were to look at your website's analytics, you'd probably be surprised at the number of visitors to your site that are on smartphones or other mobile devices. If you want to know how many for sure and you use google analytics, here're the steps when you're logged in:

     

    Now you need to ask yourself if you want to be friends or foes to the mobile device using people that are viewing your site. Additionally, you need to ask if your competitors are being friendly to mobile device users.

     

    The Past Is The Past. The Present Is The Present. The Future Will Be Different Too.

    Like anything based on technology, the best way to do something last year is not necessarily the best way to do the same thing this year. Unfortunately, it might be different next year too. The important part is that you are willing and able to adapt. A couple of years ago, we would have suggested that you have a set of mobile-friendly pages that your site directs mobile devices to. This worked, but it meant duplicate sets of pages. And reinventing the wheel with some functionality. That's no fun.

    More recently we have moved to creating responsive sites that reformat themselves to accommodate the screen size that they are being used on. This means they may hide aspects of the site for smartphones, while show them for tablets, etc... They key difference is that the site exists singularly. One site reformats itself (responds) to look correct on many devices:

     

     

    Your Prospects Won't Deal With This

    I don't mean to pick on businesses/sites, but you get the idea here. The screenshots above are from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 that is enormous. The experience is even worse on a smaller smartphone. Zooming in and panning around looking for things is not a good user experience. Don't make your prospects do it. Instead, use responsive design or mobile-specific pages.

    Topics: Close SEO Websites Strategy Design More Attract Mobile Inbound Marketing

    Combating Showrooming In Your Store

    Showrooming - The act of examining merchandise or products in a store and then buying it online, often for lower prices.

    35% Of All Americans Engage In Showrooming

    Combating showrooming can be tricky. Regardless of smartphone ownership, 35% of Americans engage in showrooming. Ultimately, this means a whopping $217 BILLION spent online instead of in stores, after the product had been looked at in stores. This is obviously a huge loss for local retailers.

    The most showroomed stores are big names such as Bed Bath & Beyond, PetsMart, Toys 'R' Us, and Best Buy. In rural areas such as Bradford, PA, it's the smaller stores that really suffer. These are not huge corporations, these are small, family-owned businesses that truly depend on those sales. They tend to provide more value and service than online retailers and can use that to their benefit when trying to reduce the showrooming that happens with their store.

    Combating In Store Comparison Shopping

    Mobile devices have made in-store price comparing very easy for consumers. This puts stores at an informational disadvantage. There are a couple ways to ensure that in-store comparison shopping doesn't get the best of your store. First, by providing a high-level of hands on help with your shoppers, you are making it clear to the buyer that the products price comes with support and value that clicking an "add to cart" button doesn't. Second, in-store shopping will start with a Google search in many instances. You can be there when they search by investing in a very locally-targeted PPC campaign. We have several posts on Pay-Per-Click advertising posts on this blog and more info on our website. We would be happy to help as well.

    Avoid Price-Match Guarantees Unless...

    You will sometimes see large retailers use price match guarantees to reduce showrooming. This has the negative effect of promoting in-store price shopping. They are often depending on the consumer to buy other items as well, making up for any losses with a price match. This isn't always an option for small stores. We recommend avoiding price-match guarantees unless you limit the price match to competing local retailers. By offering a price-match for online items compared to your in-store items, you are severely undervaluing your in-store service and value. Additionally, it's got to be a priority to sell the value that you add in store to the consumer by sharing nightmare stories of folks that have showroomed your store, and make sure they know that by buying from your store, you will provide service after the sale if need be.

    Create High Value Product Bundles

    Another in-store option that is a bit more difficult for online stores to create and rank in search engines for is the product bundle. This is when you take 2 or more products and make getting a discount based on purchasing the entire bundle. As you can imagine, locating the exact bundle that you are offering in-store through a search engine will be quite difficult for a consumer. The trick is figuring out what to bundle.

    Sell The Store's Value

    I have heard complaints from many retail clients that some of their patrons bring in products that the store sells, but the patron bought online, seeking support. Even the best of patrons may do this. This has got to be where you draw the line. Combating this should start as soon as a new customer enters your store.

    All of your staff needs to be trained to sell the store and the store's value to their customers, not just what you have sitting on your shelves. By consistently doing this, you are setting the buying criteria for patrons. They will understand that you have much more value than a faceless online outlet store.

    Be Online For Your Customers

    If you have a bricks and mortar store, in this day and age, you need a website to compliment it. Ecommerce would be great, but simply having a presence is better than nothing. By running a strong pay-per-click campaign in your local area, you can be sure that you stay in front of local patrons that are looking for products and services that you sell.

     

    Topics: Close PPC Attract Mobile

    Small Businesses MUST Embrace Mobile Pay-Per-Click (PPC) & Click-To-Call

    70% of mobile searchers use click to call... - Google Study (http://p80.us/3b7433)

    Picture this. You're out for lunch with a friend, planning to do a little Christmas shopping afterwards so you start putting together your list of gifts on your smartphone. While you're at it, you start adding the stores that might have some of the gifts you want to buy. Of the stores, you ask:

    • Are the gifts in stock?
    • How long are they open?
    • Do they have any sales going on?

    All questions that you could go online to get answers for IF the small businesses have websites that are regularly updated. What we tend to see is that most small business owners barely have enough time to get their normal daily tasks done, let alone update their websites/social media/etc...!

    Since you are already on your smartphone, it would probably be faster/easier to just call the stores. I bet you don't have them on speed dial, and you're more than likely NOT carrying a phone book with you, so you turn to trusty ole Google!

    A quick search for the store name yields a pay-per-click advertisement to the exact store you are looking for with a nice button that lets you click to call the store. Now you can immediately get all of the answers you are after, because that store was smart enough to invest in a small pay-per-click campaign.

    But Our Businesses Isn't Open 24/7!?!?

    I feel you! Not to worry, your ads can be setup to ONLY show when you're open. That way you don't have a zillion voicemails when you get back in. Maybe you want to run the ads even when you're closed and have the calls sent to a mobile device instead? There are plenty of options, but only if you make the investment in mobile pay-per-click (ppc).

    How Much Does This Cost?

    On average we've seen click-to-call clicks cost significantly less than traditional click-throughs to websites. For example, we have a client that currently spends $0.45 per click-to-call compared to $0.78 for all clicks. That's about 42% LESS per click and it gets them directly talking to you versus checking out your outdated website. Even a VERY modest ppc budget could allow you to capture all of the mobile customers you have.

    Why Do Most People Click To Call?

    How Do You Get Started?

    First, I think it would really benefit you to check out the Google Study here: http://p80.us/3b7433

    Second, contact us for a no obligation, FREE discussion to answer any questions you have and to see if Mobile PPC is right for you.

    Topics: Close PPC Attract Mobile