- 69% Of Responsive Websites Take An
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- Why Responsive Design Matters
In 2012, marketing campaigns began to use more inbound elements in their efforts to generate more lead traffic and convert these to sales. The MarketingSherpa 2012 Inbound Marketing Handbook states that when going into 2012, the most important lead sources were SEO, social media and blogs.
Statistics from the MarketingSherpa handbook indicate that ‘94% listed SEO as an important lead source,’ while ‘85% listed social media as an important lead source.’ Blogging meanwhile came in at third place, with ‘68% listing blogs as an important lead source’.
Some good case studies of companies who used these marketing tactics include the regional eye care provider, Hauser-Ross Eye Institute & Surgicenter based just outside of Chicago. They managed to use geo-targeted keywords to bring in more traffic to their business, ‘through the side door’. In doing this, they brought in 333% more revenue. The key to their success here is that the company found their niche and conducted the keyword research necessary to create a strategy that’s right for them.
Social media strategy for attracting more inbound marketing
Meanwhile a good example of a successful social media strategy which is being used to generate more lead sales is software company, Firefish Software – an online recruitment software company. They started in January 2010 and by October 2011 they had created a campaign which utilised the best of their marketing activities; trade shows, traditional marketing activities and outbound lead generation, i.e. social media.
By executing an inbound strategy and focusing on creating multiple inbound social media channels, i.e. building twitter followers and increasing Facebook fans, FireFish managed to build on their success quickly from an early stage. Along with promoting FireFish both virtually and at trade marketing shows, the overall effort was on focusing the inbound marketing team’s efforts rather than on sales.
The results speak for themselves and over a one year period, the inbound strategy proved to be successful with a 335% increase in FireFish’s overall website traffic, along with a 190% increase in leads generated. This meant a higher quality of leads and a customer retention rate of 94%.
Create fresh content
A good example of how content marketing has been successfully used to attract more inbound traffic is by creating user-generated content. Coffee4Less is an ecommerce website which offers coffee and other related products. The website allows customers to write reviews of their products. As a result, they have seen a 10% lift in organic search traffic and a 125% higher conversion rate for the visitors who interacted with them. This was all from having 6,000 reviews added to their website over 3 years.
The reason for each of the above case studies receiving an increase in inbound traffic is because there is a consistent flow of fresh content being produced in each of these instances. Based on these statistics, which of the above strategies will suit your business in attracting inbound traffic to your website in 2013?
Published on January 11, 2013
Tags: Web Design London
The year 2012 saw an exciting change in the way we view web design, as more websites started transforming their layouts to become more responsive and mobile friendly. So what exciting trends in web design can we expect to see this year in 2013? Here are just a few…
Responsive web design
This won’t just be for handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones. It’s already being tested across a range of sites including Mashable, USA Today, TIME and even the WordPress blogging site. The idea behind this is to create a fluid, responsive website where content can be distributed across all platforms; whether you’re viewing it on a desktop computer, tablet or handheld device. Large screen web browsing is thought to become commonplace whether at home or in the office boardroom. All of this could transcend into other devices such as web-enabled car dashboards and even the possibility of using Siri or Windows 8 from the comfort of your own car.
This term was coined by Apple and refers to the latest generation of computer displays which contain a pixel density which is now four times that of non-retina displays. The problem is that there can be issues with image-heavy websites as retina displays can make some of the images appear ‘grainy’. Web designers and developers have started creating pixel query solutions, retina.js and HTML/CSS in a bid to solve these problems and created a more ‘Retina friendly’ web experience.
Twitter Bootstrap will take precedence
In 2013 we can expect to see more support for the Twitter Bootstrap platform and more readily available resources appearing to support this web creation platform as it gains more widespread usage.
Content marketing is still king
After the 2011/12 Google updates Panda and Penguin changed SEO tactics businesses had to adapt their approach. No longer could they rely on keywords and meta-tags to rank their website more highly. Now only websites with relevant high quality content would rank in search engine results. In 2013 this principle will become essential for a business’s online survival. This may mean businesses have to invest in their content marketing to produce a website which is valuable, useful and share-worthy.
Web design education will be made easy
Now anyone can educate themselves to become a web designer or an app developer thanks to Treehouse and The Starter League which teach people all over the world to code, design and ship apps using a variety of tutorials and projects to get you started. This means in 2013, the task of web designer/web developer will become a skill which is more readily available, if people wish to learn it.
If you’ve ever wondered if a blog is worth the hassle to your business, you should check out online retailer ZAGG whose blog has given them a 172% ROI while earning them 10% of the company’s website traffic according to a recent MarketingSherpa.com article.
If you want to emulate their success, you need to understand a few factors around why they have earned such great results and how the blog alone is a great return on investment.
The first thing you need to do is to focus on sales. ZAGG’s blog isn’t shy about promoting their products which in their case is electronic goods and accessories for items such as iPhones, iPads, digital cameras, etc.
By writing about their products in great detail, it allows their target market to decide for themselves what they will buy, based on the advice and recommendations presented in the blog. This makes ZAGG appear knowledgeable and trustworthy as it establishes them as a ‘voice in the know’ when it comes to selling electronic goods.
Produce regular content
The second factor to consider is that to be successful you have to get blogging regularly. This is what ZAGG did as they only started the blog in January 2011 and the idea was to start with a three-month pilot to see how it went. They soon realised, every time they posted a blog, their website traffic increased and so did their sales.
The next step is to take your content viral and share updates about the blog on social media channels like Facebook, twitter and Google+. ZAGG did this by understanding their audience’s preferences and over time created and published different types of posts including news, how to posts, along with entertaining or promotional posts.
Interact with your audience
If you can engage your core market with your brand by getting them to read informative blog posts produced by your website, it will increase sales. You need to encourage your readers to shop with you too however, as getting them to read and share your blog posts isn’t enough – you need to convert these leads into sales.
The best ways to do this is to display adverts on your online shop, buttons which promote products, deals, etc. It’s also a good idea to use a graphic on the blog homepage and on every post so that visitors can tell that they’re on your official blog, which establishes trust between your brand and your target market.
Selective email marketing is one approach which ZAGG has utilised to increase their sales. They selectively promote their posts between their Facebook and twitter pages, so the email content showcases their best posts. It’s working for ZAGG as their content emails give them an 82% higher click-to-open rate than their promotional emails.
Finally, it’s important not to overdo the SEO. Increasing your website traffic is more about creating compelling content that a web visitor can’t help but click on.
Published on December 11, 2012
Tags: Web Design London
Hootsuite, the social media management tool which allows users to preview and schedule social media updates, has introduced a range of new features to make sharing updates even easier. The enterprise tool has now added Vimeo for video, self-hosted Wordpress.org blogs as well as the picture, video and audio sharing service, Via Me.
Alongside these features, they’ve also added a Pinterest tracker – Reachli. They have also added Scripted, which is a freelance writer marketplace to its third-party App Directory. This has taken the number of sites and services which Hootsuite supports to 41 in total, for all Hootsuite Free, Pro and Enterprise users.
What are the benefits of these new services?
Hootsuite’s most important app for tracking images is Reachli, as it’s the first one that allows users to upload and track images on Pinterest, the popular image sharing website. This is a positive move by Hootsuite and a step in the right direction when it comes to the future of content sharing. It allows you to pin pictures, campaigns and to view metrics on pins.
As Hootsuite already has a range of similar services in its App directory – i.e. YouTube as a video service, Wordpress is the first traditional blog platform to be integrated, although Tumblr which is an alternative type of blogging system, is already supported by its services.
The Vimeo feature allows users to upload, share and view videos using the dashboard on Hootsuite. There is also the option to cross post the videos to other places. Wordpress.org blogs can now be created and pages edited via the Hootsuite dashboard.
Users also have the option of moderating comments. Using Via Me you can upload a range of different visual and audial media to your account and then follow the feed to others too. Meanwhile, Scripted allows you to promote your freelance writing services and find other people for your writing jobs.
Why has Hootsuite added these new creative features?
The move by Hootsuite is to expand their presence on the web from being just another social media management tool to becoming a dashboard for business engagement. Eventually this will be used by more than just social media managers and marketers as it extends across the web and continues to support other websites.
These new additions have been made to encourage content creators to have the necessary tools to get more creative with their updates. This is ideal for Hootsuite’s user base which they claim is mainly made of artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers. As social media and web design is becoming increasingly more image based, Hootsuite’s decision to integrate these design tools means they remain a relevant service for sharing web content.
The decision also puts Hootsuite in a good position, by differentiating itself from other social media dashboards for enterprises such as MediaFunnel, SocialText, Sprinklr and Spredfast. These new creative tools will enhance their services while appealing to a broader audience, not just social media managers.
A recent chart by MarketingSherpa surveyed a number of marketers and found that 70% of respondents believe that their online optimisation efforts have made an impact on their offline campaigns or other marketing strategies.
Respondents were encouraged to answer this question so that it could be analysed whether online marketers had any plans to integrate optimisation lessons within their larger marketing plans. Part of this can be that website optimisation gives marketers the opportunity to test elements of value and use these results to isolate products, messages and campaigns that will resonate with their audience.
This then begs the question of why marketers don’t use web optimisation findings to improve their overall results and attain more sales. In fact, data by the 2012 Website Optimisation Benchmark Report found that marketers who had advanced their levels of optimisation within their marketing practices were 57% more likely to take what they had learnt from testing optimisation protocols in offline campaigns and any form of broader messaging.
How online strategies can improve offline sales
This survey is an encouraging sign that website optimisation is the future when it comes to influencing marketing strategies. Any marketers having problems with improving sales offline might need to know how to utilise their web marketing efforts to interpret the results. From this a strategy can then be formed which will ultimately convert to both online and offline sales.
Consider the example of Hewlett Packard and how they combined their offline and online marketing strategies to boost their sales by 2,050%. The computer manufacturer did this by creating a targeted email database and website with content to connect a niche audience and drive sales.
HP faced the challenge of how to better communicate between their IT managers on college campuses and they wanted to convince their target market that HP had the hardware and the expertise necessary to make the IT managers stronger assets to their schools.
By arming the IT managers with as much information about HP’s products both offline and by creating a targeted email database and website, it meant that the HP brand was at the top of their mind when it came to making a purchasing decision.
HP built a database of IT managers by creating a microsite to host content which was specific to each audience, launching a lead-generation campaign involving direct mail which was sent to IT directors and managers. This direct mail encouraged them to visit the InformED microsite they had created and to register to receive the newsletter in return for a free T-shirt.
By enrolling the managers into subscription lists and then continuing to grow and nurture these lists, HP’s 18 month campaign saw 100% higher average revenue per subscriber than their average revenue from higher education customers.
The HP case is a perfect example of how website optimisation can interlink with an offline marketing strategy to have a huge impact on your marketing sales.
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