Outdated SEO Tactics To Stay Away From in 2018

“There Is Nothing In This World To Fear, But Change.”

WRONG!

Change is necessary. Change is beneficial.

CHANGE IS THE FUTURE.

Why do we say all this? We live in a world that undergoes drastic transitions with each ticking second.

In business, you need to stay updated and in line with the latest trends. To stay on top, you need to embrace change ahead of your competition. We know, to stay on top you need to stay updated. Why?

SEO’S have changed the digital marketing strategies ever since renowned search engines like YAHOO, Google, Bing, etc. changed their algorithms to favour a much more AI perspective.

digital marketing strategies

Google’s announcement of the use of Rank Brain, as their artificial intelligence system aids in finding pages that don’t have the exact keywords mentioned in the search query.

In short, multiple factors now determine SERP, which makes the conventional ones such as keyword density, linking, and various other norms outdated.

CHANGE, get it? They did, so why can’t you?

Yet, not everyone stays updated and some prefer relying on age-old SEO tactics that were once or sometimes never a success. Hence, they falter from what was once a successful venture during one time, to an abysmal debacle.

The reputed British Broadcast Corporation, BBC was slapped with a penalty in the year 2013 for having unnatural links pointing towards a particular webpage.

In February 2011, Forbes.com was caught in the act of selling links on its own website, without a second thought of adding ‘no follow’ attribute.

 

You certainly don’t want that, do you?

 

Wrong SEO strategies prove to be a bane than a boon, and rightly so, they need to be avoided at all costs.

So which ones are outdated; how do you know which ones to stay away from and if there’s a diamond in the haystack, should you embrace them? Will it actually helpful?

 

 1. Plagiarism:

There’s this huge misnomer in everyone’s mind that replicating the traits of successful companies or anything for that matter, guarantees success.

Nope.

plagiarism

While it’s good to owe inspiration from either the structure of the page or even the contextual combinations, blatant plagiarism is a huge demeanour.

No one wants to see the same thing twice.

Visitors who notice them jump to the conclusion that the webpage (propagating it to the business itself) isn’t inventive enough, and lacks knowledge, and prone to neglect.

 

 2. 3rd party “Paid” Links

What are you actually paying for?

Matt Cutts says “The vast majority of the time things are incredibly clear: people are paying money outright for links.”

Ninety-nine percent of the time it’s abundantly clear that these are links that are being bought and paid and sold and all that sort of stuff.

third party paid links

Not only is it like taking the easiest route, these links may possess a stagnant structure that may have been replicated countless times.

Google and various other search engines have always been on the lookout for such stagnancy and they remove quite a few of them too.

Google banned Google Japan from buying paid links.

Now isn’t that enough to stop you?

 

3. Keyword Stuffing :

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the box still underuse. Not for anything good, at least.

So obviously, for your content to be recognized by the search engine the keywords need to stand out. Everyone knows that.

But stuffing a hundred keywords or so into it?

keyword Stuffing points

Not only is it unnatural, but it also hinders a certain level of user-friendliness, making it a     viable technique to actually lose customers than anything more. Search Engines don’t like it either and you even stand the chance of being penalized and possibly banned.

It might’ve worked in the past when things were very simple but now, both the search engine algorithm and the visitor’s mindset are different.

How different?

Enough to not fall prey to gimmickry.

 

4. Bots, Spam, Ads, and ClickBaits :

A deadly dozen, to say the least.

Gone were the days when all the content on the web were tailor-made to the needs of the business or the website, and a writer painstakingly sits and writes each and every portion of the text.

With automation and artificial bots come not only the luxuries of having loads of contents prepared by the minute, but also a multitude of problems associated with it.

Why?  Even they go crazy sometimes.

bots

If a certain word repeats all over the content or maybe a similar structure elsewhere was already there, something could smell fishy.

Even if people may miss that, Search Engines do not and it may incur penalties or even less traffic than expected.

Clickbaits take use of flashy yet misleading headlines that would seem to be inviting to the visitor’s eye, particularly to gain traffic through visiting the links and even unknowingly sharing them.

There’s nothing much to say about ads and spam either. Who loves them? Want to make extra money? Improve the content and not resort to stuff like these.

 

5. Cloaking:

Cloaking is merely “sophisticated hiding”.

It’s like presenting a rigged version of the actual webpage such that it satisfies the algorithm of the search engine and hence can be called upon when the visitor searches for the particular keyword.

cloaking is merely sophisticated hiding

Doorway pages, there are called which are specially optimized for specific keywords. The page altogether may be entirely different, and may even serve another purpose probably with even questionable content.

Google has banned Cloaking of any form, need I say more?

British Motor Works (BMW) was penalized for cloaking in 2006.

 

6. Article Spinners :

Similar to spam, they were created to produce variants of the same keyword, to establish an alternate version of the same page.

article spinners

This in turn gave rise to numerous low-quality articles and Search Engine algorithms like Google Hummingbird got updated to further filter out unnecessary variants.

 

7. Spam Comments

Most of the blogs and websites have a dedicated comments section that allows users to post their views on the corresponding content.

However, this was prone to misuse since a lot of bloggers put website links as well, along with the comments – a genuinely false move to induce traffic.

spam comments

More or less- SPAM.

 

8. Automated Link Building:

Marketers took use of generic software that built links that were embedded in blogs, comments sections, forums etc. They would mostly be redirected to numerous articles that were generally very poorly written.

automated link building

An ultimate time waster, especially since they might seem to contain information we think we might actually need but often end up as a huge disappointment.

Rap Genius, the famous lyrics-based site fell prey to Automated link building; they faced consequences from Google for allowing users to post links alongside lyrics content resulting in an unnatural hike in traffic.

 

9. Interlinking Websites :

The wrong thing here would be striking the perfect balance between what’s useful and what’s abuse.

Many websites require interlinking them with others for a steady flow of information and even to redirect the user according to their wish.

interlinking websites

The problem lies in its misuse. In most cases, arrays of unwanted websites are interlinked of which none might be relevant.

The Google AI has the skill to notice patterns within interlinking spam for its use and it efficiently curbs the rise in low content irrelevant links.

 

10. Short /Thin form Content:

Most of the websites used to get away with this technique where a short word pertaining to nothing specific other than the use of the same word 2-3 times would allow search traffic for their site.

short content

The content may be unrelated to the topic and may not even have other words at all.

 

11. Link and Article Directories :

The Panda Update for Google’s AI bought to a close, the misuse of these directories which basically allowed websites to be categorized based on the needs of the user.

link and article directories

However, misuse crept in especially due to the simplicity of installing the software which powers them, allowing them to create multiple irrelevant links.

Article Directories were even worse.  They were rewritten and became bloated with low-quality content.

 

12. Exact Match Domains :

Matching the domain with the exact keyword phrase allowed microsites such as these to rank up higher than the actual domain for multiple days.

exact match domains

 
13. Paid/ Spammy Guest Blogging

This went out of hand mainly due to its uncontrollable nature.

 

spammy guest blogging points

While guest articles were featured on multiple websites, these “guests” took shape of marketers who posted links of completely unrelated subjects along with the content.

A wide flurry of such tactics furthered the need to retrospectively control the content before posting it on the website, and with AI alterations they were taken to their traditional grassroots, favoring the actual content developers.

 

 14. Online Press Releases :

Wannabe website services mimic real journalists by shooting out online press releases with the desire to be scraped up by other websites to induce traffic for their own venture.

Not only is it a genuine time waster, but these releases would also be sold out by sub-standard websites with less visibility that doesn’t offer anything to the client sites which buy them as well.

 

Read More

Most Effective Link Building Strategies in 2017

It’s a known fact that Google loathes to confirm any kind of its search engine updates, so it’s always a guess-and-play strategy until there’s an official announcement.

While dealing with SEO marketing, there are some things about which Google has been constant throughout all of its updates, like, spammy links, low-quality content, keyword stuffing, over-optimized anchor text, etc.

Although page content quality is a necessity to remain on the web now, that’s not going to give you page rankings unless you build quality links.

Google’s webmaster guideline is getting strict day by day and this why you need to change your game-plan if you want to stay longer in the game.

Google’s search engine updates have now even started to look after things like the mobile-friendliness of your site, and the fact that improving UX will also increase your page rankings says a lot about how

Google is making it hard for SEO to work on. You need to put in efforts to get in page rankings through other ways too.

As we’re witnessing revolutionizing changes in the mobile industry day by day, mobile phones are proving sufficient in all forms when the user is away from his desk.

The web is now rapidly being optimized for the mobile view, and you should do it too before you start losing mobile users. Just by keeping few factors in mind you can increase your customer to a wide extent, increase your page speed, fix mobile-friendly errors present on your site.

mobile-search-updates

Figure 1: https://www.moovweb.com/beyond-mobilegeddon/

 

However, the Google updates have never stopped the search engine marketers from developing ways to rank up their pages. Link building is coming up as the most important skill in SEO and that’s why you need to master it now. In this post, I’ll be going in brief through all the possible link-building strategies one should know by now.

 

What are the most effective link-building strategies of 2017?

 

1. Create Linkable Assets
Content Marketing is the new Link Building!

This is one of the oldest techniques being used even before SEO came into being. No content is perfect and you can always approach your audience with better, fresh, and updated content.

Come up with content that would appeal to your audience so that you could generate links.

content-marketing

Pretend you’re an online seller of body-building supplements, for example. For your business, a typical linkable asset could be something like a blog post about 10 side effects to be aware of while taking supplements.

Clearly, it offers valuable insight to your readers and displays your concern towards them without getting too self-promoting. You might as well catch the attention of other websites when they come across your post and if your content is great, that they will gladly post it on their website.

Resource guides, infographics, tutorials, visual content, etc. can serve as linkable assets that fetch you the quality links you want for building a great link profile.

 

2. “Ask the Experts”, Panels, Interviews

Whatever industry you belong to, you can always create these types of posts. Frankly speaking, experts love to be featured on the web because even they need to create an audience for themselves and set up a reputation. With these, you are helping them as much as you’re benefitting yourself.

The first task in the line would be to structure a list of experts in your field of business.

According to their level of comfort-ability, you can outline a panel discussion, interviews, “ask the experts, or an expert round-up on any particular issue.

panel-discussion

Sketch ideas for content, and then put together the group of experts suitable to answer the topics in your content.

The primary benefit from these posts is that you’re getting multiple links instantly because all the experts will share your post on their websites, which will again give you immediate access to their audience.

Once you are ready with your content, always make a clear plan about how to promote your post later. Remember these are busy people you will be dealing with, so keep in mind that you might have to remind them a few times before they take action on your content.

 

3. Unlinked Brand Mentions

There must’ve been times where you’d forgotten to give a link back while mentioning a particular product/service in your posts.

And chances are that if you have been online for some time, there could be many other websites that might have mentioned you in a post or article and forgotten to give a link, there’s simply no reason why you shouldn’t have a link back.

unlinked brand mentions

You can always use tools like Google Alerts, Mention.com, and Moz to keep a track of such unaccredited mentions. You can reach out to the website or individual whenever you get an alert for your mentions and turn those mentions into links. If you keep doing this for a good period of time, these mentions can cumulate into a massive boost to your page.

 

4. Broken Link Building

There must be pages on your website which you’d have taken down or have shifted to a different URL. While you’re aware of this, it could be possible that there must be sites that’d be still linking to your older links; which are now 404 probably, if I’m not mistaken.

Since users are getting a 404 now, you’re losing them within clicks.  Use tools like Ahrefs, Moz to find those broken links on your website and, send the updated link to the webmasters.

broken link building

Another technique you could also do is, find broken links of your competitors by scanning their websites in Ahrefs. Since those pages are long dead, you could probably rebuild similar pages on your website and reach out to people who are still linking to those old dead pages, with your fresh and updated pages on similar content.

You will be surprised to notice, how many people will happy to replace those old links with yours, and thank you for it.

 

5. Snatch Links from Lower Quality Content

This is one of the steps from the Skyscraper Technique, which I’ll tell you about later in the post. When you’re out there searching for ways to build links, it’s often right under the nose.

If you’re aware of the competitors in your field, go through the posts where they’ve been mentioned on the internet. When you go through the content, try to spot instances where you think you’ve got a better content on your blog/website.

Let’s say you’re browsing blog posts about how to make soap at home, and you end up on a super boring 400-word blog post about the soap industry and whatnot. If you already have a crazy insane post on this exact topic, ping the webmaster and pitch your content.

Since you have a better and thorough resource they’ll definitely link to your post, because they have clearly demonstrated a liking for such posts in the past, and you are only offering them something better.

 

6. Create Educational Resources

Backlinks from .edu domains are a serious ranking boost, right? Well, it’s not that hard to get them as it sounds.

Educational resources result in high-quality links all the time. Tutorials, extensive how-to guides, manuals or other contents that teach students something valuable instead of promoting your brand are very well appreciated and prove valuable to the users at the same time.

These days most universities have resource pages, with links to different sites, for their students and faculties.

edu site backlinks

Pretend you’re an event planner, for example. You could structure an insightful guide explaining the dos and don’ts while organizing a small-scale event/fest in the University.

Then pitch your content to the universities and spread the guide among students. If the university lists it in their resources, there you have earned yourself an .edu link, and most importantly you’ll end up getting tons of new audience and potential clients for your business – Thanks to your newfound glory!

 

7. Scholarship Opportunities

It must be clear by now how important Edu links are in terms of boosting your page rankings. Although it might not be clear how to get it, it is easier than the normal convention. If you can create something to which universities might like to link, you’re golden.

Here’s how it works: Build a page on your website describing the scholarship (like this one), with necessary information like where to apply, etc. When you’re ready with the scholarship page, it’s time to find the Universities that usually Link to Scholarships.

scholarship opportunities

You can manually search or use inurl:.edu “scholarships” as well. When you come across a scholarship page that seems like a good fit, approach them with your requirement list for the scholarship. Do not forget to give them an estimate of the # of scholarships you have.

 

8. Visual Assets

Visual assets like images, diagrams, infographics, charts, and other visual-oriented pieces of content are proven ways to gain attention from your users. Mostly it is because visual content is easier to grasp as they produce quick info on the topic.

content marketing

Visuals assets are really easy to link to. For example, when you publish a graph on your site, you get a link anytime someone shares that graph on their site. This powerful “share my infographic and link to me when you do” relationship simply doesn’t go well for text-based content.

 

9. List Posts

List posts, or listicals, are a numbered list of techniques, tips, reasons, myths…or just anything on a particular topic. Again, list posts are liked by users as well as bloggers.

list posts

List posts have come across as on the most valuable assets now. In fact, after analyzing 1 million articles, it was discovered that list posts generated more backlinks than any other content formats, and even outperformed quizzes, videos, and infographics.

 

10. In-Depth Ultimate Guides

These in-depth ultimate guides are comprehensive resources that cover everything one should know on a given topic and a little bit extra around it. Ultimate guides have an insane amount of information in one place. This is why it is loved by the readers who are out there in search of answers.

depth ultimate guides

11. Email Outreach

Link building has now moved from the comments section to personal inbox now and this is why it’s getting easier and convenient day by day. The sooner you grasp that link building is not limited to just the internet anymore, the better for you.

The first step of any email outreach is targeting the right people. And for that, you need to use tools available on Ahrefs and Buzzstream, and other websites built for SEOs. Use hunter.io or anymailfinder.com for getting the emails of your webmasters from their posts/pages.

email personalization techniques

Find the people who’d probably like to link to your post and then comes the important task. If you don’t want to end up in the trash of your target webmasters, personalize your email as much as possible, but don’t forget to lose the corporate touch. Most importantly, build scripts for email but again, don’t forget to personalize.

 

12. Resource Page Link Building

Resource pages are like yellow pages on the internet. They exist solely for the purpose of putting all the web pages on one topic in a single place. This is why they make the perfect spots for link building.

One simple way to search for resource pages would be: “Keyword” + inurl:links

The audience you gain on resource pages are genuine, primarily because this is the audience that is trying really hard to grasp the topic, and secondary there is no “buy now” button on the resource pages which makes them completely trustworthy.

 

13. The Skyscraper Technique

The Skyscraper Technique is the most awesome of all the techniques devised ever. In this technique, you can steal audience from right under the nose of your competitors. How?

skyscraper technique

 

Step 1: Find the outdated pages on your competitor’s website.

Step 2: Create updated and extensive content on these topics and outreach to the webmasters who’ve linked to the outdated posts from your competitor’s website.

Eventually, it’s content that matters, and if you’ve managed to create something better, people will link to it.

 

14. Give Testimonials

Everyone providing any kind of product/service on the web loves to display testimonials. So, if you happen to use a service/ product that you love, try sending the owners a testimonial.

mystore

Just add subtly that if they want to display the testimonial on their posts, they can do that as well. Most people would take the offer and probably boast about their new review to their Social Following as well, letting you leverage some of their followers who see your brand.

 

15. Blogger Reviews

If you’re someone dealing in a software product, consulting service, information product, or anything for that matter, you have a golden opportunity to turn that into high-quality backlinks.

reviews

There’s a simple trick here, offer your product to bloggers and in return ask them for reviews. If you’re charging a particular fee for the product, waive it off for the blogger and they’ll happily to the rest.

Keep a mild tone and talk about getting mentions on their blog, the rest is self-explanatory. Now, don’t ask them upfront about giving a link/review, which will then violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

 

16. HARO (Help A Reporter Out)

There are a million reporters looking out for sources every day and by registering on HARO. When you register yourself as a source, wait until you receive queries from your field of expertise, I’m sure there must be developments in news from your industry often.

All you need to do is, sign up as a source at www.helpareporter.com and thereafter follow the guidelines accordingly. Once your register, you will start receiving emails from HARO with requirements from reports who are actively looking for news sources.

help a reporter out

While providing your response to reporters, you have the choice of staying anonymous but obviously, that’s not why you’re there. You will get mentions for your website once the news is published online.

It is one of the best ways to get rich backlinks from authority news sites.

 

17. Submit Your Site to Website Feedback Sites

This is totally off the board, but a source for getting links anyway. There are a lot of sites that are designed to give you feedback on everything that is there on your website.

website feedback

The thing to note here is that most of these sites will give a link back to your site.

All you need to do now is send your site with a brief description of how you intend to improve it.

 

18. The Moving Man Method

As there is a number of websites growing every day on the web, there are also many websites shutting down every day. The moving man method is all about utilizing the opportunity created thereafter.

You can use Google to find out the shutdown websites by using keywords like these:

your niche + shut down

your niche + closed

your niche + not working

website is unavailable

 

The next step would be to find the webmasters linking to these broken/closed links. Personally, I’d suggest you go for the webmasters with higher authority sites first.

When you outreach to the webmasters with an updated and possibly better replacement from your website, they should be glad about it. However, make sure that your content is really good.
Watch it in action in the video below  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVMaSvTVmGI

 

19. Guest Posting Gigs on Twitter

On Twitter, there are sites sharing guest posts on a daily basis. That’s your cue, you can reach out to them through tweets/DM and do a guest post.

Although it is a time taking process, then it is a new source of the untapped audience for you actually. If you succeed at getting few guest-post gigs, you can work around and there’s no end to possibilities.

twitter post

You can always rely on Twitter to get a constant flow of such new gigs. Few examples for your Twitter hunt could be:

 “your niche” + guest post

“your niche” + guest article

“your niche” + write for us

“your niche” + guest author

 

20. Transcribe Videos

Video transcription is a very new source of building links as the video boom is still new on the web. Hence, this can be used as a flexible link building strategy. In every industry, there are experts who have established a major audience base with their video channels. On the internet today, you’ll find a good number of videos uploaded daily, varying from Webinars, Presentations, Tutorials, Q&A’s,Hangouts or Vlogs (video blogs). You can always associate with these video-makers and generate new traffic and audience for yourself.

content marketing trends

Video transcription is another way to make link-worthy content because you are getting original content directly from experts in your field. You can also aquiret links by associating with them as they always provide transcription with their video.

Here’s how to do it: First, search on YouTube for key experts/bloggers, and find videos without transcriptions and ping them that you’d like to make transcriptions. Send them when you’ve it done.

It also helps you stand out from the rest of your competitors as you’re helping the influencers. Whatever relationships you build this way will last longer and give you a permanent audience. You get a targeted audience on your page when influencers share your transcripts.

 

21. Hacking Quora

In recent years, Quora has emerged as a last-end solution platform for everyone on the web. There is major traffic on Quora of people looking for answers to every sort of thing and this is the untapped audience you have right there in front of you.

Here’s how to get referral traffic from Quora:

hacking quora

Look for the threads getting maximum traffic on Quora, using Ahrefs. Put in keywords of your niche and find out relevant threads with good traffic and high rankings. Publish answers to these threads with traffic. You’ll find high-traffic questions with low-quality answers or even without any answers.

The most important factor here is that Quora lets you reference sources in the answers and hence it’s easier to link back to relevant websites. However, keep in mind that you do not go over the top and appear too self-promotional. There’s always the chance of getting blocked/banned from Quora if they ever suspect you constantly promoting any particular thing.

 

22. Build links with blog comments

In this technique, it’s all about utilizing the blog comments on your own blog and outline a list of prospective links.

In most of the blogging mainframes, you’ll find the name, website (if they’ve one) and email address of the commenters. Once these people have commented on your blog, it clearly indicates their liking for your stuff. So, now all you’ve to do is make a list of those commenters who own a blog themselves in the same field as you do.

blog comments method

Run a scrapper to collect the websites of all such prospects and check if you could find any content on their website that could relate to you. If so, start an outreach campaign to build links with their website/blog.

The key thing to keep in mind while outreaching is to personalize your outreach emails. Because always keep in mind, there is a human on the other end of your email.

 

23. “Ranking for Links” Technique

There are millions of blog posts getting published daily on the internet. Bloggers need to put references from different sources to back up their points.

How do they get these sources? On Google, right?

So there is a huge probability that your blog/website could be one of those reference pieces. All you need to do now is rank up your pages containing these pieces, “reference” terms.

ranking-factors-2017

Note down a list of topics/keywords from your industry with a high probability of getting cited.

You must probably have content built already on these keywords/topics. In general, these kinds of keywords/topics are usually queries or informational terms. So, first of all, make a list of such queries for your niche.

Next, run these keywords through SEO tools and find the terms with low Keyword Difficulty and high search volumes. Now, all you need to do is, just put together contents around these topics and rank up for them.

If you succeed in ranking for these kinds of “reference” terms, there are chances that you’ll get backlinks on a consistent basis from these bloggers seeking references for their own content.

 

Summing up!

The methods which I’ve mentioned above are tried and tested and are backed up with various case studies. However, in the field of SEO, keep in mind that there are a lot of factors contributing to your page rankings. Even while link building, it is important to have a positive approach and keep attempting unless you reach the top.

Link Building is getting personalized day by day, and I cannot stress more on this. Never lose hope, if you have confidence in your page content, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t outreach to even the top players in your field. As a cautionary step, be wary of spammy links and avoid links from sites with low-trust authority lest you could get reprimanded and lose ranking.

Great! Now you’re ready to hunt. All the best!

If you’ve any doubts or suggestions, feel free to mention those in the comments.

Read More

Most Effective Website Performance Optimization Tricks in 2017

The first impression might be your only chance foray impression.

Almost every business boasts of a website that furthers its reach to the ever-increasing online community. However, not all of them truly prioritize the importance of website performance optimization, which undermines the capabilities of defining the reach of their franchise.

Adding to that, website visitors grow impatient and much more demanding especially with online competition growing by the day.

FEVAD (Federation of E-Commerce and Distance Selling) in 2015 says almost 57% of the internet users require the website to be loaded in 3 seconds or less.

It’s common sense actually, a website that takes a longer time to load will be given the least preference by any user, right?

Ask yourself that question.

Businesses rely heavily on customers, the building blocks of any enterprise and they need to know that the brand favours them. They don’t want to wait.

Unpleasant impressions generate unsatisfactory reviews that spread particularly fast, resulting in losing traffic and most importantly MONEY.

Amazon says a site being 1 second slower may lead to about a $1.6 billion loss a year in sales.

Tech giant Google paid for half a second delay in its loading time with a 20% downturn in traffic.

Time surely is money, isn’t it?

With the internet flooded with websites almost serving similar purposes, the need of the hour would be to strike the perfect balance within your site, which can please the audience, generate traffic as well as serve their purpose.

website speed

Everything in this world is subject to change and so, why not websites?

Statistically speaking, a 15.4% increase in download was recorded when Mozilla upped their page speed by almost 2 seconds.

Kinsta says “People prefer fast loading trivial pages rather than slow relevant ones.”

This doesn’t present itself as a huge conundrum at all since you simply need to outpace your competitors to stay on top.

Somebody call Usain Bolt!

HOWEVER! 

You certainly don’t need the Jamaican’s strategies to code a website for you whatsoever, because we have presented a few TIPS AND TRICKS for you to stay ahead of the competition and boost your page amongst the global audience.

You can thank us later.

Here we go:

Implementing all these in one go might be a cumbersome task, so it’s better you go by each step one by one and analyze the difference in loading time.

It’s essential that you do not blatantly copy them for its sake, understand first and then implement.

 

01. Go Minimal

Organize your webpage such that it stays soothing to the eye- as lean as possible. Extra lines, line breaks, images, and other unwanted paraphernalia go down the drain.

extra lines, line breaks,

Draw inspiration from the homepages of multi-billion dollar companies like  Apple, Audi etc. and analyze their structuring methodology.

I’m sure you’d understand the fine line between inspiration and plagiarism.

 

02. Image Optimization

A picture is essentially worth more than a thousand words and it certainly weighs that much too.

An HTTP Report in 2016 reads “64% of the weight of a webpage lies solely on its images.” That certainly puts things into perspective.

image seo, image optimization

You would’ve noticed too, images take more time. Now I didn’t have to tell you that right?

 So what can you do?!

  • Choose to insert pictures only where it actually matters – in JPEG if you prioritize quality and PNG for lesser significant ones like logo etc. BMP’s and TIFF’S are a NO GO!
  • Properly sizing the image based on the corresponding requirement inhibits unnecessary junk data formation that burdens the bandwidth.
  • Tools like Smushit, JPEG/ PNG Stripper allows effortless optimization at the click of a button.

 

03. CSS Delivery Optimization

Not long ago, the optimum size of a web page was considered to be around 30KB, including all elements like images, text, and so on.

The advent of CSS and JavaScript modernized and broke this 30KB barrier and provided users with much more enriched experience.

ccs, delivery optimization, ccs blocks

By reducing the cycles of reading code by using “shorthand” method, the speed of delivery can be optimized. Basically, just leave redundancy out of the question.

Preferring an external style sheet, which can load before rendering the page to an internal style sheet helps too. It all depends on how the “coding specialist” works his way through.

Reduce complicated scripts and redundant lines of code. Seems fair enough, right?

 

04. Compression techniques

CSS and Javascript can be optimized in more than one way, actually. We discussed the delivery system before.

 compression strategies

Now, let’s look at how we can compress them as such.

  • Minify the CSS and JavaScript to compress them by subsequent combination of CSS and JavaScript removing blank spaces in between.
  • Others include CSS Optimizer, Clean CSS and a lot more.( Hey don’t get lazy Google them and find out)
  • GZip compression aids by finding elements of code similar and temporarily exchanges them with shorter characters.

Caution: Using Gzip to compress images, PDF etc may lead to the new file being larger than the previous version; also old browser support may not be guaranteed. (Who uses old stuff too, btw?)

 

05. The “404 Error”

This might be familiar among coders and something they dread as well. It pops up in the case of missing files or pages.

Although it may seem to be simple, a typical 404 error requires about 50-100 MB of memory to get delivered. Seems hard to digest? I said it’s something people dread.

404-error Page

 

Plugins offer numerous ways to check and debug errors of this kind but they stay in the server for too long, which wastes the resources of each corresponding server.

So it’s preferred to use tools like Screaming Frog to crawl, identify error pages and fix them so that they don’t waste too much bandwidth and reduce visitor wastage.

There’s Visual SEO Studio and WildShark SEO Spider Tool, which are freeware alternatives for Screaming Frog.

 

06. Offloading Assets

By this, we mean separating contents like CSS, images, etc from the main server and relying on other servers to load them.

This, in turn, reduces the reliance over a single main server, by offloading it to others thereby reducing the time take to load the page.

dedicated hosting, offloading assets

Sharing is indeed caring.

We also suggest a few offloading sides for your needs:

You can also make use of dedicated hosting, which is a little pricier but offers way more speed than shared ones.

 

07. Server Optimizations

server optimization, apache optimization

Choosing better servers with more RAM and cache sizes would necessarily improve the performance index.

Regular software updates and creating mirror serves helps balance the load between serves allowing faster access times.

 

08. Plugin Usage

server crashes

Unnecessary plugins not only fall prey to multiple server crashes, and it takes longer time to load.

That “awesome” transition or element you saw in “that” website might not always be the right choice for you.

 Choose your elements wisely.

 

09 Debugging

debugging, coders beware

Coders beware!  You guys would completely relate to this.

Even the smallest mistake, estimating to a semicolon may result in a memory dump problem that may crash both the site and server.

Render codes repeatedly until you’re positive that the lines would not cause issues and using debugging applications like Microsoft Visual Studio would help you in the long run.

 

10. Speed Tests

Multiple platforms offer speed tests that rate the loading speeds of websites and determine how fast your site loads, in comparison with others.

They also help provide necessary information as to where the problems exist and some may even offer advice to change aspects of the site.

Sites like Pingdom, GTmetrix and some to name a few.

speed tests, speed test google

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just take a deep breath. The Developers at multibillion-dollar businesses like Dropbox, Apple, and Microsoft etc have gone through the same thing.

It’s true, like really!

They make amends even now, with optimizations occurring by the minute. They don’t want to replicate a success mantra, they want to create more.

Of course, for the non-tech savvy people, we introduce you to a platform where you can outsource work related to webpage optimization and a lot more too.

Our company Prime One Global will take care of this and in the end, you can boast of a website catering to the needs of the client as well as the customer.  To learn more, connect with us [email protected] or ping us on our Facebook Page.

 

Before You Go!

All these might sound complicated, but that’s how the websites work. You need to know the technicalities involved in enhanced optimization.

Rounding off with the important points, customers require loading speeds to be at optimum and for that, stick to a minimal design and select the image formats based on their use.

Just think from the perspective of a prospective visitor. Would you wait a long time for a website to load?

Of course not.

Patience still is a virtue these days, but then as we live in a world digitized in almost every aspect within it, to stay ahead we need to embrace change.

Read More

Here’s Why Good SEO Doesn’t Need To Be Expensive!

If you have been shopping around for SEO Services in the market for some time, you are probably aware of the fact that companies are selling SEO Services at 50 bucks a month and there are companies selling as Expensive Enterprise SEO services at $5000 a month.

This major rift in the price is an aggravating factor for most new businesses entering the SEO game.

But we stand by the saying that “Good SEO is never cheap, and cheap SEO is never good!”

Most of our past clients will tell you that SEO is by far the best ROI they have ever experienced. We have customers spending $$$$$ on Television Advertisements, Radio, Newspapers, Magazines, Celebrity Branding and what not, but SEO is the most compact, and measurable form of investment.

If you are reading this blog right now, then chances are you were looking for an SEO Provider, but are facing one of the following problems if I am not mistaken:

  • You LACK THE KNOWLEDGE to implement SEO for your company
  • You don’t have access to EXPERT INFORMATION you can blindly trust
  • You have been BURNT IN THE PAST by an SEO company
  • You are confused where to ALLOCATE MARKETING BUDGET
  • Your BUSINESS IS STAGNANT, and you are out of ideas

Needless to say, you have one of the following goals as well, but you are far from them:

  • You want MORE CUSTOMERS and LEADS
  • You want to PROFIT MAXIMIZE your current customers
  • You want to AUTOMATE your marketing and earn while you sleep
  • You want to free yourself from everyday business OPERATIONS and focus on other things

Whatever be your case, you should continue reading to understand the true cost of SEO for your business!

Digital Marketing Today

Who is Enterprise SEO for?

  • Business Owners and Marketers who want to grow their profits exponentially by selling software (SaaS), Platform (PaaS), Infrastructure (IaaS), Information Products, E-commerce Products or Online Services.
  • Entrepreneurs who are constantly on the lookout to tap new ideas and get their voice heard by people who matter.
  • Marketers who want to stay ahead of the competition by investing in the form of marketing that continuously adds value to their business.
  • Ambitious individuals who understand that being successful is a matter of Time and Effort. Luck is no excuse.

Who Enterprise SEO is NOT For?

  • People, looking for get rich money schemes or people who want overnight results from their investment. (This mindset sucks)
  • Affiliate Marketers and Bloggers Looking for more traffic
  • Brick and Mortar store owners who sell low ticket products or just don’t have an investable profit margin. (We love you guys, but you are better off with a combination of Local SEO, Online Reputation Management, and Link Acquisition Services)
  • and Again, anyone who wants instant results just because they paid for the services.

 Expensive Enterprise SEO

Good SEO Doesn’t Necessarily Have to be Expensive, the Actual Cost of SEO is Relative!

Why I say relative, is because the term “expensive” is relative from client to client. For some customers, an SEO campaign for $10,000 might be intolerable, while others may call it a bargain for the value they are receiving.

There are 4.82 Billion Websites on the web. Source, and out of that 91 % of the websites are not optimized for SEO. Every site, niche, and client has unique requirements, and a custom solution is of supreme importance in this case.

Though $10000 or even $5000 in not necessarily going to rate for our Enterprise SEO services, there are some cases where we have charged over those figures in the Web Hosting Industry (for example), which is entirely relative to the benefits they received for the price.

[divider height=”30″ line=”1″]

Good SEO Take Time and Research

While some uninformed SEO providers may tell you that SEO is all about using automated software and mindlessly building backlinks to your website, with the Penguin 4.0 rolling out in real-time, there is bad news for them, and their clients, and even for you if you happen to associate with them.

Note: If you have purchased SEO Services from such providers in the past, it would be a good to get your link profile checked and quarantined immediately to avoid the Penguin Hammer!

Good SEOarch

There is a lot of research and strategizing that goes into a full-throttle SEO campaign. Terms like on-page SEO, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Conversion Optimization and Inbound Marketing all come into play. After a fully run SEO Campaign, you might start to see some results right off the bat, but technically they are just the icing on the cake, as compared to the long-term results that you might aim for.

Just Like a Lawyer charges for the time spent on researching your case, the same is the case with a Search Engine Optimizer or Consultant. There are quite a few metrics and baseline reports that need evaluation before even starting industry research to evaluate the present standing of a client, by which a custom Enterprise SEO Strategy is developed.

Crawling deeper into the tunnel, SEO Research takes into consideration learning about the Industry and the Area where the client wants to compete in. Learning more about the direct and indirect competitors in the market. Finding the Achilles Heel of your competitors and capitalizing on their mistakes. When doing SEO, you not only have to deploy as many strategies as your competitors are using, but also more if you want to beat them shortly. Such influential factors are the primary reason for relatively high-end price of SEO.

[divider height=”30″ line=”1″]

Good SEO Takes Strategy and Expertise

Every professional SEO firm will have some trade secrets of their own, which they have picked up from their years of research or Top Dogs in the professional SEO Network. Either way, these strategies are their ace of spade, and they use it along with Proprietary Tools and Tricks to get results for their clients. Though every client might require a custom strategy, the base of all SEOs will remain the same.

SEO is an art . Thus an SEO Firm is an artist. We believe the measure of SEO should not be in the price, but what it gets you in return for the price. In the last few years, especially after the launch of Penguin 3.0 in 2014, a vast majority of SEO businesses shut down. You know the reason why.

When you pay top dollar for the service you receive, you can expect a reliable SEO company (one that will not shut down after another Google Algorithm Update) always to use ethical and white-hat SEO strategies that will get you long term gains, not penalties.

[divider height=”30″ line=”1″]

How Do We Price Our Service?

Now, I can’t speak for other SEO agencies, but if you are wondering why Prime One Global’s Enterprise SEO Services cost as much as they do, then I can explain. Prime One Global has its unique way of operating SEO Campaigns. When you come to us, we treat you like our own. We treat your business like our own. We understand that actual business growth can only happen when our clients grow with our business. This is why we make it a point to learn about each and every aspect of your business to better manage your SEO campaigns.

All our services come with the following:

  • Around The Clock Dedicated Account Manager – We hold ourselves responsible for your business. This means that you will have access to a dedicated account manager who understands SEO, 24×7. You can contact your manager via Email, Skype or Phone whenever you need.

Most of our clients understand that Prime One Global Account Manager is one of the key USPs of our service. They take guidance from the account manager on not only the proceedings of the campaign but also on other things like how to manage their online reputation, keep their blog active, respond to negative reviews or run advertising campaigns on Facebook or Google.

  • Full Suite Dedicated Support Team – Not only will you have access to the Account Manager, but you will also be connected to the various members of staff who are responsible for different parts of your campaign in our Enterprise Client Dashboard. In general, we have around 9-11 Members running a Digital Campaign and each member has a separate role to play, which you will be well aware of.

From task execution through task completion, you will be kept in the loop by the team members, and you can always ask questions about anything you do not understand. From Digital Marketing Strategists to SEO Consultants and Analysts, Website Auditors, Developers and Designers, Copywriters and Social Media Managers, you will have them all in a single dashboard. Imagine if you had to hire them all individually and train them in-house. We take the hassle away and become an extension of your business.

  • Detailed Monthly and On-demand Reports – And no, our reports are not filled with technical Jargons that you cannot understand head or tail from. Our reports are neatly crafted to make you understand the value you are getting for your money at the end of each month.

Most companies provide SEO reports with a bunch of fancy numbers showing the amount of traffic your website is getting at the end of the month. But we understand that this traffic is no good to you if it doesn’t help your bottom line. You will get actionable advice for the next months with the reports that connect your data to a number of leads that you acquire and how you can use the data to expand your business shortly.

So, as we said earlier, the cost of good SEO is relative and always reasonable to a number of benefits you receive for your money.

[divider height=”30″ line=”1″]

The Undeniable Truth Most SEO Firms Will Never Tell You!

As the adage goes – “You Get What You Pay For,” same is the case with SEO. Have you ever been offered low-key SEO services by a company saying they can do it all for like 50 bucks a month, better yet 500, if you are willing to take an entire year’s plan? Well, guess what, when something appears too good to be true, it surely is.

One of the most important things that are required for Website Ranking is content. Web pages rank individually and not websites. So, a considerable amount of time, money and research goes into creating those materials. Proper care has to be taken into crafting the page titles, optimizing the meta tags, checking keyword density, outbound links, interconnecting links, call to actions and images to say the very least.

Thus, a considerable amount of time has to be spent on creating the content for your website, which no cheap firm is ever going to provide to you. One of the incentives of working with Prime One Global is that you get One or Two dedicated copywriters for your account. A perk, which most SEO companies do not want to give you.

Back in 2013, one of our clients left us, because they found an “Affordable” Solution to their SEO. The fact that the company was offering them the moon for pennies did not apparently strike them as obnoxious. They left us saying that we were charging too high for what they were getting only to come back to us in 2014 with Penguin 3.0 rolled out.

Their website traffic looked something like this.

Optimized _Product Descriptions

Similar was the case with their website. They started losing leads and lost a significant amount of business in the consecutive months. Thankfully, this time, when they came back, we knew that we had earned a client for life. Immediately we got on with the link profile audit and link removal outreach plan. After a few months, we submitted their website for Google Reconsideration, and phew… they started to get back their old tracking in a year.

[divider height=”30″ line=”1″]

THIS IS THE ACTUAL COST OF CHEAP SEO. THE PRICE THEY HAD TO PAY WITH THEIR OWN BUSINESS.

They learned the hard way that using an unreliable and inexpensive SEO company is not a good idea for long term rankings. So, should you learn from their mistakes?

Now tell me something.

Good SEO Doesn’t Need to Be Expensive, Right? The Price is Relative. I would love to hear what you have to say about this in the comments section below.
Apart from this, there is also another breed of BAD DOGS (read SEO)

Some SEO Companies that don’t charge you a feasible monthly fee (by feasible I mean the cost to at least support the infrastructure and staff for running a White-hat SEO Campaign), actually want to keep charging you for keeping your website Ranked. They want to lock you into a contract and as soon as you leave the company your rankings drop.

These companies only rent out links and create a very spammy link profile, which again is not an ethical way to do SEO. There are some businesses that do not give you ownership of your website and contents, and when you decide to leave them, they tell you to part ways with your site and content. So, it is always a good idea to ask as many questions to your SEO Provider before hiring them.

[divider height=”30″ line=”1″]

The Verdict

SEO is termed as relatively inexpensive if you look at it from the marketing point of view. Take it as an investment that you do for your business. When you compare the costs of marketing in other traditional media channels like Newspapers, Magazines, Billboards, Televisions, etc., the cost of marketing through Search Engines is comparatively lower. If you are already spending some budget on traditional marketing campaigns. You should compare that same spend to the value you would get if you were to invest in doing SEO for your business.

Now does the cost of SEO look too expensive to you? Take a look at some of our preset SEO Packages that serve as a base for most of our campaigns. If you are looking for a custom-tailored SEO Campaign for your business, then we would be happy to create one for you too.

Remember, SEO is not a one-night-stand. SEO is trying to establish a long-term relationship with the search engines, where you keep the visitors happy, and the Search Engines keep you happy by sending in more and more visitors. If you still think that SEO is too expensive, then you are just not getting the right results from your investments. Contact Prime One Global today for a no-obligation, free consultation on how we can drive more leads to your business, and get more money in your bank. Good Day!

Read More

2016 Digital Marketing Trends To Focus On – Prime One Global Analysis

Maybe you are an Online Digital Marketer or a Blogger, Freelancer, Entrepreneur, Local Business Owner or from any other trade, but one thing will remain constant for everyone. You all need marketing. The effort and resources needed to market your products or services may be different. But, without marketing, there is no exposure and your business is bound to get stagnant at some point in time.

 “Digital Marketing in 2016 is an investment that is done for the betterment of one’s Business”

I will be talking about essential marketing strategies that are never going to die, some that are going to be more useful than ever in 2016 and some that we need to leave behind because they will not work anymore.

Successful Entrepreneurs and Business Owners spend an average of 30 minutes a day on Business Education and Self Development.

That is a form of marketing. It is time invested in understanding the changes in your Demographics, Market Place and Key Performance Indicators of your Business.

Realizing the opportunities when you intelligently utilize today’s marketing channels like Social Media to build a long-lasting, relatable and profitable relationship with your customers in an entire community of referring fans for your business, is how you can excel at marketing.

2016 Marketing Channels To Avoid At All Costs 

Vine, Foursquare and Swarm have died a silent and painless death in 2015. If you are using any of these channels, it might be a good time now to write it down and scratch these out of our routine. Blogging still remains a very important strategy. However, content with no strategy is not going to get you very far. Spend more time on planning out your content instead of randomly churning out articles for your business or getting them outsourced. Digital Marketing Trends continue to reveal that the use of Stock Images and Video footage has declined a lot last year itself. Consumers have seen it all, they want original and authentic feeds.

As Google and other email corporations become more stringent, ” sending a bunch of emails to your subscribers is not going to work either “ Instead you will need to focus on Email Automation and Personalization (more on this in the blog).

Banner Advertisements are on a decline too. There is a mobile movement going on for the past few years and the rise of smartphones is creating smarter consumers and creating more opportunities for smarter marketing. Consumers have become “banner blind”, so investing in banners is not a great idea unless you are already getting good results from a particular source.

Also, it might be high time to consider whether you need to allocate more funds to marketing your business on desktops vs. mobile environments.

THE MOBILE MOVEMENT STUDY

digital-devices-tablet-map-isoOver 2015, mobile search queries have skyrocketed to new heights. People search for everything from Travel Information to Product Reviews, Local Restaurants to random Trivia to become more knowledgeable.

While Word of Mouth and Display in Stores do lead to people to search for products on their smartphones…

71% of consumers search for a product because they saw an advertisement.

4 out of 5 people take an action based on an advert they saw either on PC or on their Tablets and Phones. Mobile Advertisements are the new trend.

82% of Mobile Users notice mobile Advertisements. However, 79% of Top Advertisers still do not have a mobile-optimized website. It is more important than ever this year to provide your visitors with a good mobile experience. Don’t just check this box if you have a responsive website. It is important to check how your website functions on different browsers and different gadgets to get the most out of your time and resources spent on marketing. (You can contact me if you need help with creating a great mobile experience for your consumers).

Consumers today use a smartphone to keep updated, stay connected, for entertainment or to search for information on the go and obviously to make a smarter shopper. The shift is already happening,  Don’t miss the mobile movement.

Here’s my list of the top 15 Latest Digital Marketing Trends for 2016
  1. Re-targeting,
  2. Promo Marketing,
  3. Google Tag Manager,
  4. Email Marketing (Automation and Personalization),
  5. Marketing Automation,
  6. Content Marketing (with a twist),
  7. Buyer Follow-up Plan,
  8. Search Engine Optimization,
  9. Social Selling,
  10. Conversion Rate Optimization,
  11. Sideway Marketing,
  12. Self-development and Business Education,
  13. Podcasting (You read it right, people still listen to podcasts),
  14. Google Ad Words PPC,
  15. and YouTube Video Marketing.

This list is in no particular order. You may or may not have even heard about some of the ways, but if you find something interesting or questionable – Let me know through the comments section.

Now since you have a fair idea of what to expect inside this blog post, let us move into the details of each of the aforementioned tactics.

#1. RE-TARGETING / RE-MARKETING

Also known as “Pesky Salesman” Marketing. Re-targeting (Re-marketing) aims at balancing branding and direct response.

Since too much direct response can lead to consumer saturation and too much branding entails brand exposure without any direct correlation to an increase in sales, Re-targeting is a form of marketing that aims to balance both aspects of branding and direct response.

Re-targeting allows you to deliver certain value in advance and be assured that there will be a follow-up regardless of any contact detail or sale acquisition.

How Re-targeting Works

For Re-targeting to work, you need to ensure that you have great content. As sending users to landing pages related to content has lower costs than sending them directly to a product landing page, this method has an overall lower cost per lead.

Your first priority should be to build a pixeled audience. You can do this from either Google or Facebook, both are great in their own ways. Then remarket your products to only the pixeled audience which left your landing pages without converting.

Here is a very interesting read I came across on HubSpot about retargeting ideas. If you find the resource helpful, don’t forget to bookmark their page for future reference.

RE-MARKETING STORY

A quick look at Remarketing with Google AdWords and Analytics

A quick look at Remarketing with Google AdWords and Analytics

Watchfinder, a premium, and pre-owned luxury watch retailer discovered that less than 1% of visitors were purchasing from their website. Since the average order value on their website was close to $3,500, the company found that buying decisions often spanned over a long period of time. Watchfinder’s challenge was to re-engage and converse with these users who had shown interest in the luxury watches to incite them to return to the website and make a purchase.

This is where re-marketing came into play. Once their remarketing campaign was properly set up and executed, they had a massive 1300% increase in ROI. Their average sales volume also increased by 13%.

Click here to read their full case study in detail.

#2. PROMO MARKETING CALENDAR

Don’t just look at the Promo Calendar as a list of days when your company blasts festive emails to all your subscribers. If planned in the right way, a Promo Marketing Calendar can help you reach your company milestones faster.

Here Are 6 Effective Ways of Using a Promotional Calendar

  1. Break Larger Business Goals into Smaller Milestones
  2. Create Success Checkpoints and Breach KPI’s
  3. Set project Deadlines and Track progress
  4. Understand How and When to Allocate Resources
  5. Increase Brand Awareness Amongst Consumers
  6. Increase Revenue From Your Email Marketing Lists

Keep the focus on your marketing plans first, and use the promotional calendar as a means to overcome the aforementioned objectives.

So, how can you go about creating the perfect promo calendar marketing plan?

Have you been using promo marketing for your business before? If so, take statistics of the last few years and narrow down on the promotions that worked and the promotions that failed. Once you have the list, you can focus on enhancing the promotions that worked for your business. Think of it as an immediate source for generating sales.

Write down a 12-month revenue goal that you plan on obtaining. Perfection is the key. You need to have something to work towards, but do not overlook your business milestones. Write down what you expect to achieve out of every promotion.

Now, create a list of holidays in your financial year and slot them into appropriate months. Here is an interesting resource that lists down all possible promotional holidays on the calendar. Source.

Marketing Calendar 2016

Jot down your slow and fast business months. Every business faces a down phase in the year. For example – Some businesses sell more on vacation time than others. Trying to heavy promote your business during slow months is only going to build resentment for your brand.

Categorize non-revenue and brand awareness generating goals separately.

These can be-

  1. Blog Launch
  2. Podcasts
  3. Webinars
  4. Books
  5. Etc…

Keep seasonality in mind when plotting promotions since no business have even earnings all throughout the year. Always have a certainly expected figure for every promotion. That way, you can measure its success. If you fail to meet your expectations for any promotion, then carry forward the deficit to the next promotion. Keep going until the end of the year.

List all your additional requirements.

  1. If you need to launch a new product/service
  2. Acquire New Leads
  3. Launch new campaigns
  4. Create a more pixeled audience etc.

Use the Promo Calendar wisely, and incorporate other marketing tactics into it. There are endless combinations. Feel free to contact me if you need ideas on how to get started. Trying to focus on the entire calendar can be overwhelming to start with, focus on quarterly or half-yearly plans at first.

#3. GOOGLE TAG MANAGER

Imagine being able to see every single click that happens on your website??!? The Google Tag Manager not only allows you to do just that but is also very easy to set up. I am not going to show you how to set up GTM, but if you need help you can get in touch with me through the comments at the end of the post.

Refer to the Google Tag Manager as a Dashboard that helps marketers accomplish just about any goals related to marketing.  Google Tag Manager does not replace Google Analytics, but it supercharges GA to an extent that the reports provided by analytics are much more detailed and useful.

 

google-tag-manager-extreme-seo

Though the GTM has an extensive learning curve, the time you spend on setting up GTM will eventually add up in the long run. It makes it easy to place tracking pixels and scripts on various parts of your website like specific button clicks and page views.

As a beginner, you should stick to only tags and triggers in GTM, later on as you gain more confidence you can start accessing the advanced data layers.

Resources:

  1. Learn how to use Google Tag Manager
  2. What you need to know about Google Tag Manager
  3. Why Google Tag Manager
  4. Google Tag Manager Dashboard

moving onto email marketing…

#4. EMAIL MARKETING

Email-Marketing Email Marketing is not all about blasting your subscription lists with tons of emails throughout the day. In fact, if you are doing this you are not going to get any benefits at all. Email marketing in 2016 is more about automation and personalization.

Also, pay very close attention to what you write in your emails because that is the most important piece of copy you are going to write.

Take into consideration a very hypothetical situation –

Let’s say that you send out 10,000 emails that get a 10% open rate with another 10% of readers clicking on the link and 5% of them buying your product = 5 Sales.

Now if you just aim to improve your copy to double your open and link click rate – 10,000 emails that get 20% open rate and 20% link click rate and 5% buy = 20 Sales. Which is a direct 400% increase in sales just by writing a better email copy?

Email-marketing-automation

Here is a very interesting resource on writing great Email Subject Lines to boost your open rates.

Take notes on some of these positive keywords that boost email CTR:

  1. Exclusive
  2. Free Delivery
  3. Gift
  4. Latest
  5. New
  6. Sale
  7. Alert
  8. News
  9. Video
  10. Daily
  11. Weekly
  12. Editor
  13. Update
  14. Breaking
  15. Limited
  16. Review

Here are some negative words that you should cut immediately from your Email Subject Lines –

  1. Free
  2. Only
  3. Learn (Discover a new way) – *rolls eyes*
  4. Report
  5. Today
  6. Webinar
  7. Win
  8. Forecast
  9. Subscription
  10. Discount
  11. Trial
  12. Facebook
  13. % Off

Further Resources:

Use your emails to help your customers to work with you. Give them the information they need to interact with your brand. Use effective CTAs to incite them to take action.

Understand that change is a constant thing. If something is working today, it may not work tomorrow. Always keep testing. Your competitors are testing.

Learn new things and implement them yourself.  Test and verify yourself.

#5. MARKETING AUTOMATION

Use Bots to connect with your target market relevantly with Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation refers to software that aims to automate the goals of marketing. Especially, repetitive tasks like Emails, Social Media and other common website actions. Most marketers opt for it, try to set it up and leave it unfinished because the process is very overwhelming.

In simple terms marketing automation refers to software and tactics that help companies to have a buying cycle like big eCommerce websites. This helps them to encourage better brand communication with consumers and convert stuck-on-the-fence users into reliable and repetitive buyers of the business.

Problem with Marketing Automation

Most marketers live under the impression that marketing automation orbits all the essential marketing tools necessary for the growth of a business including lead generation software. This mere delusion leaves most marketers automating the middle of the funnel without any solution to generate new leads and create new business relationships.

marketing-automation-cycle

Marketing Automation Case Study

Sixth Division built a $3MM Coaching and Services Business in 4 Years.

How do you say?

Solely with lead generation tactics and marketing automation.

Sixth Division acquired leads through four channels, namely –

  1. Facebook
  2. Google
  3. Live Events
  4. And partners

After acquiring leads, SixthDivision invited prospects to a Webinar. At the end of the Webinar, they showcased a single product for the prospects to buy. Once converted into buyers, SixthDivision had their entire follow-up plan automated.

They sent out a Three Email Series to all buyers to schedule a consultation.

The first email was a video that introduced them to SixthDivision. This video confirmed the date of the consult and showed them what they could expect from the consult.

The second video was a simple reminder about the upcoming appointment. The Date and time were planted in three places – the Subject Line, picture and Closing Sentence.

The third email was a pre-consult message reminding them about things they should have ready before they take the call.

This simple and effective automated plan allowed them to scale their business seamlessly and grow it into a $3MM Coaching and Services business in 4 Years.

#6. CONTENT MARKETING

how to create a succesfull content strategy

Content shall always be the king of the internet. Just that its ways are changing. Previously you could get away with an unplanned content strategy and still extract decent ROI out of your marketing campaigns, but now the rules of the game have changed.

As smartphones are enabling smarter users, people are becoming very particular about the kind of content they see in their news feeds. You can’t impress them with any random “tech-joe” talks. You need to have carefully researched data and plan to even invite them to click and reach your landing pages.

This calls for a twist in the tale and here is how you can go about it.

content-marketing

 

  1. Break Your Longer posts into Shorter and Detailed Versions. Don’t give all your information away at once. This will lead to higher bounce rates on your website if you manage to get the clicks. Instead, focus on giving away beginner-friendly information in earlier blog stages and then move on to advanced information in the later stages.

The best way to go about is to publish one part every week. Unless users are really interested in whatever content you throw at them, focus on sending one informative post every week to their email. You can remind them throughout the week about your post, but avoid information overload at all costs.

  1. Choose a post that worked well and enhance it. Add more information to it and update it. Once you update an old post you can publish it with a “More Information Title” or something similar and publish it again.

If you have a recurring post that can be updated periodically, make it a point to update it and republish it with a new title. Push the old content down and add the changes to the top of the post.

Google loves websites that keep updating their old posts. Sending signals that you have updated an older blog post will definitely entail more SEO benefits and traffic.

#7. EIGHT WEEK FOLLOW-UP PLAN

eight-week-customer-followup-plan

Starting from the moment a customer purchases their product, this is how it will look like….

 

First Week –always-listen-first-customer

Focus solely on establishing a relationship with the customer. Give them a walkthrough of the product or a video guide and let them enjoy its benefits.

Second, Third and Fourth Week –

Focus solely on social proof by introducing them to other customers who have used your products. Show them testimonials on Social Websites and invite them to leave feedback themselves.

If you have an online community or forum, introduce them to it and ask other members to congratulate them on joining. Basically, establish a friendly rapport with them, not just a buyer and seller relationship.

Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Week –

Start measuring your results. They have used your product for almost a month. Now it’s time for you to reach out to them and help them document it for you. Get even more testimonials and proof of results, reward those who keep the chain alive and continue to show new people the power of your products.

By doing these little things, you can save a lot of money and invest it into other marketing channels.

Keep in mind that your motive is the encourage advocacy of your brand. There is no way those customers are going to turn against you once you have been with them for the first sixty days and they have shared their unbiased testimonials with their followers on social platforms.

The more you can get people to use your products and share their experiences. The better chances you will have at convincing newer customers and showcasing them the power of your brand and that YOUR BRAND is THE SOLUTION TO ALL THEIR PROBLEMS.

#8. SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

SEO-Process

Do not forget the power of earned media. Go to the Google Adwords Tool and do a search for your industry keyword.

Power-Of-Earned-Media

If you are in the Fashion Industry, try searching for “Fashion” and the average bid should show you an estimate of what the keyword is worth in terms of clicks.

Likewise, you could be from the Makeup, Self-Development, Women Care, Beauty etc industry.

Now, let’s take a keyword that is worth $0.15 cents. If you are able to rank for that keyword and get at least 5.879 visitors a day from organic traffic. You are technically saving $881.85 a day for marketers who are advertising for that keyword. Now if you take into account the yearly expenses 881.85×365 = $321875.25 yearly. Magical isn’t it?

Always try to include an industry keyword in your domain name. This makes your chances of ranking in the long term a lot easier as compared to fully branded domain names.

Remember, Copywriting is the end all and be all of the marketing. It is present everywhere. Be it a 150 Character Tweet you want to promote, or a short AdWords Advertisement, the subject line of your business email or the content that goes onto your website and blogs. Always hire quality writers and better still, train and recruit them in-house.

What Are Possible Signals to Google That Your Page Rocks?

  1. The CTR on your website – a number of clicks from your homepage to other internal pages of your website shows that visitors are interested in what you are sharing with them. So craft a good copy and CTA that gets clicks into the deeper inner pages.
  1. Headlines play a very crucial role. Always keep testing your headlines. Remember the thumb rule of marketing – What is working today, will not work tomorrow. Your competitors are always testing, so should you.
  1. The average time people spend on your page is also a key indicator of your website’s quality. The more the average time, the better your chances of ranking shall be in the eyes of Google.
  1. Scroll Rates – Consumers cannot make a purchase if they cannot see the buy button. Ensure that your website copy incites users to scroll around and doesn’t have any blocking elements or irritating popups.
  1. Use original photos and videos on your website as a means of keeping people engaged with your content for a longer period of time. Use long and in-depth videos to show customers more about your product and services.
  1. Last but not the least, Grammar, Quality Links, Social Shares, Relevant Images, Captions, Author Authority etc, will help visitors stay on your page for a longer duration, decrease your bounce rates and increase your overall SEO score as well.

#9. SOCIAL SELLING

Social-Selling-Marketing-Trends-2016Let’s not talk about Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn marketing separately. That is why I am putting all of these under one tab and we can call it “Social Selling.”

Before I get into the nitty-gritties of Social Selling, it is important to understand how a typical sales funnel looks like.

Lead Capture –> Sales Page –> Order Form –> Upsell –> Thank You

Don’t use social media as a platform to directly sell your products. Instead, focus on advancing the customers from one stage of the sales funnel to the other.

Brands that constantly try to sell directly to their pixeled audience increase churn and eventually burn their lists. People eventually become blind to their advertisements and promoted posts.

The aim of Social Selling should be to establish a rapport with your customers and increase purchase frequency by establishing continuity and credibility.

Use platforms like Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Linked In and Twitter to build Likability and Trust amongst customers.

eric-qualman-social-media-quote

Start with Giving Value First and Establishing Credibility

Send visitors from Social Media to an Ungated Offer. It can be a Blog Post, Resources, Checklist, How-to Guide etc, but don’t ask for anything in return just about yet.

Alternatively,

You could also try sending them to a gated offer like White Paper, PDF Ebook Download etc, and try to get their emails first. Testing is the key here.

Alternatively,

You could offer them deep discounts on evergreen products, services or software. Use this technique if you are selling something that needs no introduction. For example – Digital Services like SEO, Copywriting, Explainer Video Creation etc. These services need no introduction, and there is already a heavy demand in the market for them.

The idea here is to use value first to drive traffic from Social Media to your website or platform.

Now, Embed Core Offers into Your Ungated Content

Plant an offer or propose a sale towards the middle or end of your content and try to convert them into buyers. Don’t go for your most expensive products, use cheap ones instead. The idea here is to make them swipe their cards and spend as little as a dollar towards your business. Just create a connection.

Or, Upsell Products from Deep Discounts

For every group of people who are willing to spend money to buy your products, there will be some people who can always spend more. The idea of Upsell offers is to aim at those customers and try to sell more from the 2nd stage of the funnel because they have already shown interest in purchasing your products.

Pixel and Retarget Customers Who Left from Funnel Stage One

Customers who clicked your promoted posts and went to your website were interested in what you had to share with them. Pixel those customers who leave from this stage and re-target other products that fall into the same interest category.

INCREASING BUY FREQUENCY AND REPEAT ORDERS

 

Frequency-and-Order-Value

The mathematics is simple here. More than 70% of Customers turn to Social Media for after-sales service. If they get a reply, they are most likely to purchase from you again and become stable customers. If they do not get a reply, there is a 15% chance of them not placing any orders in future.

77% of customers say that valuing their time is the best way a company can provide better customer service.

So, ensure that you reply to all social messages within 12 hours and that resolution to customer’s problems is provided within 24 hours at all costs.

Use Social Listening Tools Effectively

Statistics report that more than 50% of customers do not tag the Brand when they are talking about it on Social Media. Thankfully, you have ways to eavesdrop on their conversations on Social Media. Use it effectively, and you can reach them right in the nook of time.

  • Hootsuite – an entry-level searchable tool that monitors your social media
  • Mention – a mid-level tool that monitors streams – listen for keywords
  • Radian6 – an enterprise-level tool to monitor social media

#10. CONVERSION RATE OPTIMIZATION

Conversation Rate Optimization. Conversion Does Not Have One Definite Meaning. The Meaning Of The Word Differs From One Website To The OtherSo, you are spending money on Facebook Advertisements, Google PPC, Retargeting, Offline Advertisements, Billboards etc, but have not allocated any resources on Conversion Rate Optimization?

You might be technologically challenged as an Entrepreneur, but if your I.T Department has not mentioned anything about optimizing the conversions on your website, it might be a good time to reconsider hiring the right guys.

 

Marketing is not about the number of visitors that come to your business, but it is about the number of visitors that convert into trusted and returning customers of your business.

So instead of focusing on driving new leads to your business, your focus should also be on improving the amount of “what-sticks-and-what-doesn’t” on your website. This is where Conversion Rate Optimization comes into play.

Resources:

  • InstaPage – create a landing page in just 3 minutes
  • Unbounce.com – build and test landing pages without I.T.

Conversion-Rate-Optimization

There are various tests you could be running on your website to Conversion Optimize it, here is my list of what’s really going to be on target in 2016

  1. Conduct Offer Tests – like product bundling, visitor interest-targeted messaging, writing a benefits copy above the fold, offering discount coupons on website headers etc.
  2. Geolocation Tests – Use of different images, wording and language according to Geolocation tests.
  3. Personalization Tests – This is going to be a big one in 2016. More than 60% of marketers have called it the game-changer. It’s about personalizing who sees what and when.
  4. Shopping Cart Recovery Tests and Email Reminders for Shopping Cart Abandonment
  5. Button Color and Standard CTA Tests are also here to stay. (forever).
  6. Lastly, do not forget to do mobile optimization tests. Mobile-Friendly Websites go way beyond the means of just responsive websites. You need to test how your website works and functions on different devices like Mobile, Phablets, Tablets, Laptops, Desktop Computers etc.
  7. Also, plan different advertisements and content for different devices. For example – the banner ad you use for desktops might not gain the same traction on mobile devices. Your content strategy should differ according to the device.

#11. SIDEWAY MARKETING

When you do not have a huge marketing budget but your competition is stiff, it’s better to market your business sideways than to get into a head-on collision with your competitors (who can easily crush you).

If you already have an Email Marketing Subscriber List, try running it through Towerdata.com

Towerd@ta

As soon as you scan your list on Towerdata, the website will give you age, gender, marital status, income, zip code and more of the people on your list. You will also get an overall snapshot of your market – length of residence, home market value, presence of children, charitable donors etc,

You can also collect purchase data and interest data from Towerdata.com. Once you have all the information in front of you, you can market your products and personalize your future emails, even more, to gain more traction from the email marketing list.

Apart from giving all the above information, Towerdata.com also gives you the net worth of leads.

When I ran a list of one of my Makeup and Beauty Industry clients on Tower data, it returned that more than 50% of the leads were high net worth.

But the cost of Beauty leads acquisition = $4.52/lead

So instead of buying Beauty leads, I bought 1000 Cosmetic leads for $0.69 each = $690 investment. Guess what? Women who were interested in cosmetics are bound to be interested in the Makeup and Beauty Niche. This way I not only acquired $4552 worth of Makeup and Beauty Leads (Immediate 650% ROI), with just $690 Investment. But also knew that at least 50% of the leads would be high net worth.

Can you see how this data can be used to sideway market your business to cheaper leads and still extract more than decent ROI from it?

Take for example the Golf Industry. You can venture into the Golf Niche, but sell products like properties, luxury cars, business loans etc., to those golfers. Because people in this niche and mostly affluent and have a classy taste for everything.

The core idea is to think of what people in your market are doing when they are not doing what you are selling. Think outside the box. Do You want to sell Insurance to people? But Insurance leads would cost you a massive $10-$18 per lead. Instead, search for Dog Lovers or Dog Breeds, which you can acquire for a few cents. Once you have that in place, try to get customers into your den with cheap tripwires like (Dog Tags and Dog Care Ebooks) and then Upsell them “Pet Insurance” once they opted for your Dog Tags. See what we did there? There is a simple science behind it, and this can be implemented in each and every industry.

#12. SELF DEVELOPMENT AND BUSINESS EDUCATION

15.92Why is Self-Development and Business Education placed in the Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2016 you ask? Why shouldn’t it be? Marketing is an investment in any form that is done with the aim to grow your business in the long run. Marketing should add value to your business, and Self Development and Business Education thus is an important part of marketing.

I will repeat myself from the Introduction – Most successful entrepreneurs and business owners spend an average of 30 minutes a day on business education and self–development. While the majority of entrepreneurs shy away from the idea of personal development, strangely because they think that the idea of being a better person is silly or stupid.

We all want to be better individuals but we resist it because somehow the idea of facing all-out internal junk scares the hell out of us and we would rather give big speeches and take less responsibility than vice versa.

self-developmentWhat we believe in, will set the stage for everything in our lives and will also determine the course of our expertise and experience. Successful entrepreneurship requires inculcating a set of beliefs that the majority of the people do not hold. Self-Development and Business Education will arm you to be better prepared for situations that normal people cannot handle. Like how to cope with business pressure during low volume months, or how to use negative publicity that your competitors do, in your favour.

All sorts of weird human tendencies sabotage our personal success. This is the subconscious mind and is not rational. We need to change our Self-sabotaging and Success Blocking Tendencies. Self-development can teach you how to cope with the fear of added responsibility, criticism and failure. It will also teach you how to cope with success blocking tendencies like Laziness, Procrastination. You do not want to become this perfect godly figure, but just a better version of yourself.

Think of it like this – Every minute you spend on self-development as an Entrepreneur will take away a dollar from your marketing efforts because, you are going to be making better decisions, managing your time effectively and learn how to deal with stress, which is a critical progress killer.

Resources:

  1. Understanding personal development
  2. 25 Personal Development Skills to Learn for free
  3. 7 Habits of highly effective entrepreneurs

moving onto Podcasting….

#13. PODCASTING

Radio might be dead, but Podcasting is still a great form of marketing. People love media, especially if you are able to deliver it to them at their convenience. The art of directly marketing into your customer’s ears is one that needs a little bit of honing.

Finding your ideal voice is the most difficult part of Podcasting. You need to venture outside your comfort zone and find the right tone and setting for your Podcast.

Podcast Equipment

Photo credit: Nicolassolop

Here are the basic tools that you need to start a Podcast –

Don’t aim to be a perfectionist when you first start Podcasting. Your initial Podcasts may not get as much attention as you think you deserve, but eventually, if you have the right mindset and deliver quality information, people are going to pile up and wait for you to release the next episode.

Use Podcasting as a storytelling tool. Don’t be a script nerd and read out from the paper. Just write down the points and be natural. People tend to understand when you are speaking naturally and when you are being superficial. They will lose interest if they find that you are reading from a script.

You can also invite other influencers into your Podcast and have a great discussion with them for everyone to hear. In this case, too, you need to ask the right question and avoid scripting of any sort.

You need to be consistent with your podcasts. Once you get frequent, people are going to wait for you to release the next episodes on time. If you don’t, they will get emotional and leave or think that you are just not too serious about the affair.

To find the ideal format for your Podcast, try releasing a few episodes at first and experiment in each. Then ask your audience which episodes they liked more than the others to narrow down on what’s going to work and what’s not going to work for you.

#14. GOOGLE ADWORDS PPC

PPC-Marketing-Tactics

 

1. Ad Messaging Enhancements

Adwords-ad-extensions

Earlier you were limited to a mere 95 Characters on PPC Ads, but now you can spice up your advertisements with a ton of Extensions and actually deliver more information to get targeted clicks.

Now, Ad Copy Writing for PPC is not just about the script. You need to carefully plan and design your advertisements, just like you craft your landing pages.

There are seven manual ad extensions to choose from. Click here to read more about them. Google has also included structured snippets, which is really cool.

 

2. Video Ads

Video Advertisements aren’t a new thing, but 2015 does seem like the year where they have been used extensively. 2016 is going to be no different. With Google incorporating the True View Video Advertisement campaign into AdWords, this trend is already on a hike.

Most marketers are adding these as the icing on the Cake, especially if their clients have a high budget.

This is an ideal time to exploit this strategy before it explodes in the near future.

3. RLSA (Remarketing List for Search Advertisements)

Though this feature was officially launched in 2013, most advertisers are still not using it. RLSA lets you effectively modify bids, search ads, keywords when past website visitors do a Google Search for products similar to yours.

You can initially review how customers are behaving on your website after clicking on your Ads. If the cost of acquisition of returning visitors is higher on your website, then you can lower the bid on search advertisements for first-time users.

Google Adwords is huge. There is more to it beyond these three important elements. But If you are starting out, focus on getting the first two points and later move on to other advanced options as you become comfortable

#15. YOUTUBE VIDEO AD MARKETING

YouTube Video Marketing Secrets

More than 73% of Smart Phone enabled users to watch at least one video on YouTube every day. If that is not reason enough to get into Video Advertisements in 2016, then what is?

  • 53% of viewers who watch a video get inspired or entertained.
  • 70% of millennials use YouTube videos to learn something.
  • “How-to” searches are on a hike (70%) of total searches this year.

When viewers go on YouTube to watch a video, they see an advertisement on the right-hand side or a pre-video advertisement.

Most marketers do not get into video advertising for two primary reasons –

  1. Starters Block – They do not know what to do.
  2. Or, they do not know how to do it.

Videos allow you to get the right advertisements in front of the right people, at the right time.

youtube-advertising

 

Start by using Open Broadcaster Software  – you can directly stream into YouTube, Vimeo, Twitch etc with CTAs and Keywords.

  1. Start recording a video.
  2. Use them as in-display advertisements (10 cents per viewer)
  3. Link to your landing page

You can also do in-stream Ads (like the ones that play before a video, or ones that can be skipped in 5 secs).

To get the best results, your advertisements must be very engaging in the first 5 seconds.

You can also target your advertisements through videos. You can have them display on specific videos.

Use Retargeting to build lists of people who have already seen your video and get back in front of them. You can import Pixel from Facebook Campaigns and Google Adwords Campaigns. Video Advertisements are short, attention-grabbing and crisp. If you haven’t launched a video marketing campaign for your brand yet, it is time to reconsider your marketing efforts.

Closing Calls

Hand with marker writing: Change Your Mindset

As customers and marketers constantly evolve with the ever-changing technology, it is important for everyone to stay updated. At the end of the day, it is not about how many marketing tactics are you using for your business, but about how much you are extracting out of your marketing campaigns.

What is working today, might be considered old fashioned or outdated tomorrow. As a marketer, it is high time to understand that we cannot take anything for granted. What may have worked for us in the past, might hold no significant value today? Technology is not the only thing that is changing, our customers are evolving too and the way they choose to connect with our brands is evolving too.

“The only thing that remains constant is change.”

As you’re building your marketing plan for 2016, keep the “dying” trends in mind. Don’t count on what worked for you before but rather learn what has changed and come up with new ideas and new ways to leverage the technology at hand.

At Prime One Global, we understand that running a business can be overwhelming. On top of this, making time for self-development and staying updated with marketing tactics is not easy at all. That is why we keep updating our marketing skills in all spheres. Get in touch with me for a no-obligation, free consultation and I will have a Dedicated Marketing Manager from Prime One Global guide you on the ways you can market your business in 2016.

Have a good day!

Here is a list of Useful Resources, Tools and Software That Will Help You Become Better at Marketing Your Business

2016 Digital Marketing Trends

Competitor Research –
  • Datanyze.comfind different tools in various industries
  • BrightKite– Top product research platform for all caregivers with detailed reviews
  • BuiltWithFind out what software and plugins your competitors are using
  • Compete– Competitor intelligence at its finest
 Business Management –
Ecommerce + Conversion Rate Management Tools
 Keyword Research Tools
 Competitor Intelligence and Customer Research
 Landing Page and Funnel Builders
 Social Media Management

Pinterest and Instagram Marketing and Management

 Video Publishing and Editing Tools
 Analytics and Tracking Information
  • HotJarcreate session recordings, improve form design, heat map, surveys and form analysis.
  • Google AnalyticsFreemium Subscription, check traffic acquisition, Source, Referrals, Behaviors, Site Content Flow, Check Sessions by hour, Find best performing content etc.
  • CrazyEggBest heat map, scroll mapping, understand how people from different sources interact with your website
  • GryticsFacebook Group Analytics and management. Find when members are most active, understand when to interact with them.
 Onsite Remarketing / Retargeting
  • ioSocial Shares, Contents, Giveaways, On-site Retargeting
  • OptiMonkContextual exit popups, hello bar, scroll pops etc.
 Affiliate Networks
 Live Chat Solutions
 Website Tag Managers
 Research and Data
 Project Management
 Lead Generation and Email Deliverability
 Productivity Tools
  • Gliffyfor charting funnels and creating a flowchart for offers.
  • comquick mockup tool
  • GrammarlyCheck plagiarism and grammar in content
  • Copyscapebest plagiarism checker
  • PiktochartCreate beautiful graphs and infographics easily
  • FreePik.com – Free vector graphics
 Quality Control and Debugging
  • Bugherdcreate stick notes on a webpage
  • Twilioappointment reminders
  • LoadImpactton demand load testing for developers.

 

Feel free to get in touch with me about any of these tactics in the comments section below or you can also leave feedback on our official Facebook page. If you think I missed something out, let me know and I will add it to this post in near future.

 

Read More

Read This Only If You Are A Webmaster Looking To Hire an SEO Strategist.

Mondays have an extremely sad correlation with the life of us SEOs. Not because they are simply ‘Mondays,’ but because they denote the start of a new week. The onset of new Action Plans like the legendary plans for Work, the seven-day Social Action Plans for clients and blablah blah and yeah! Action plan for the family too. It’s more like a script that we live by today (a protocol that cannot stop and cannot be overridden) – and even with all this routine and discipline in our lives, every weekends with a fear of a Google Apocalypse or maybe some screw ups here and some accomplishments there (talk about being modest).

Now why am I talking about Monday? Because it was Monday (4th May) last week, that I got the idea for this blog post. I had just woken up from sleep, and I opened my email (out of routine), trying to see what was in store for the week ahead. There were 27 unread emails, of which most of them had such peculiar Subjects.

SEO BS

Screencap Courtesy: To 4 of my awesome clients who gave me permission to share this screen without finding it offensive.

Every day there is a rise of a new fraternity on the Internet, which claims that SEO is dead, Every single day there are new “Guru” SEO firms claiming even faster rankings than pre-penguin times and EVERY SINGLE DAY there are new ‘Professional Copywriters’ who claim to do something called ‘SEO Writing.’ (What is that again?)

With all this useless hype and bullcrap sprayed on the webwork, it’s hard to understand the right from wrong. Especially in the case of webmasters (like my clients’ above) who have been victims in the past of self-proclaimed ‘SEO Gurus.’ That is when I came to a conclusion – “The fault is not in the system we live by, but in the mentality of the people that keep their hopes on it.”

I have yet to come across a webmaster that would channel dark magic (read black hat techniques) on his websites and throw a party when his website got penalty driven.  But every week there are a few people who come to me in search for immediate results. What sort of immediate results?

  1. Can you rank my newly furnished website in a month?
  2. Can you do SEO writing for my blog and increase my traffic?
  3. Local restaurants wanting to increase their footfall.

And other such questions. I am not saying that SEO is impossible or something, but what I want to say is SEO has to be understood. It might be that you have been under the wings of wrong SEO Firms, which gives you false positive ideologies like the ones I mentioned above.

Or

You might have bought a book on SEO from a very legit author 3 years back, which was trending back then and may have cost you a thousand dollars, but in truth – that book holds no significant value today. You can sell it for scrap much like your yearly newspaper deposits. The rules of the game has changed yet again, and we must adapt and welcome them, instead of being stuck with prehistoric notions that get us nothing but misfortune.

Take a look at this small experiment that I did:

I used Moz-SEO Bar Plugin for Firefox – It’s pretty neat.

Google-sERP-Experiment

Take a look at what I searched for and the results. Do you find any correlation between the search results to the common SEO assumptions that are prevalent?

  1. Rankings are directly proportional to AuthorityNow I won’t say that is completely untrue, but these statements are only as true as this screenshot. Clickminded is ranking above SEW and Hobo-web in spite of having a lower authority than them. Also, Moz is in the 11th position for this keyword in spite of having DA – 92 / PA – 77.
  2. More Content Than Competitors Equals Better RankingsAgain this is not true at all. Especially in this case you will notice that the 1st and 2nd Websites have comparatively lot less content than the 3rd and 4th Also in terms of Content and Authority, SEW and Hobo should have a better chance for top place rankings according to the books, not to forget MOZ which has exceptional authority and content, but in the 11th position. 
  1. SEO Content is important to Rank In SERPsWe are not living in 2013, and there is nothing called SEO Content writing in 2015. It is a thing of the past where keyword density played a crucial role in ranking for keywords. Back in 2010, the more the keywords on your page, the better were your chances to rank, but that’s now how things work nowadays. Google has this amazing system in place that scans a document for word references, synonyms, related terms and other important factors to decipher whether an article is relevant to a particular keyword or not. How do I reach this conclusion? – My search query is ‘SEO Guide in 2015,’ but you can see Rank 1 and Rank 2 don’t even have the word Guide in the Titles, however Rank 3 does have and neither of these websites have used “SEO Guide in 2015” anywhere in their 2000+ words body.

Why do you think all this doesn’t match with the current assumptions related to the SEOsphere and all the bull crap coating on it? Simple, because there are no rules in SEO.

Welcome to “We are a Professional SEO Firm” BS!

I will have 10 Seo firms pitch to you and 8 out of 10 times this is how the firms will pitch to you –

Hello and Welcome to XYZ Company. We are a Professional SEO Firm based in …… blah blah blah.

But, it is easy to fall for the big claims of the former SEO types and mistake them for professionals.

One of the best way to test the caliber of an SEO firm is by looking at their past case studies. I know case studies can sometimes be conjured to entice clients, but it will give you a fair idea of their understanding of the SEO field. ANOTHER important thing to look for when talking to a potential SEO firm is to look for guarantees. Throw in questions like –

“Can you guarantee my 1st-page rankings within a month?”

“What kind of Guarantee do you give?”

If these SEOs know what they are doing and understand this field, there is no way they can give you a biased guarantee – that too without conducting a thorough SEO audit of your website.

They might guarantee you organic and strong rank improvements for life, but to say that they can take you to the top of the pole and stick you to the moon – Now that’s where the alarm bells in your head should start ringing.

Things to Ask Yourself Before You Hire Your Next SEO

  1. Is the company willing to school you and involve you in their SEO process? If you show interest in learning what is happening behind the scenes are they eagerly accepting your inquiries or dodging it with SC-fi statements that make little or no sense to you?
  2. Will they conduct a thorough SEO Audit of your website before running your online marketing campaign? Will they provide you with an SEO report before they start the work? Avoid companies that jump directly into link-building even without auditing your current link profile and Website on-page structure.
  3. Do they promise high rankings and rank retention for a long period? Avoid such ‘Idiots’ at all costs.
  4. Do they understand that your sole purpose for ranking is to drive more business to your website? They can rank you for meaningless keywords that make no sense to your business or such keywords which hardly get searched for.
  5. What will you get after they have run your campaign? Will they give you a detailed report of their work along with action plans for your company to carry on the task after they have handed over the profile? If they aren’t giving you detailed reports and action plans, they are as clueless as you are about SEO.
  6. Are they bent on signing you into a long term contract? While this is not a clear signal and can sometimes trigger false positive thoughts, but you should look out for all the above traits first. Companies that want to sign long term contracts like six months or 1-year contracts are not completely wrong, but there are two sides to a coin always.
  7. Don’t look for short term or speedy rankings. Think like this – there are other companies in your industry. And imagine if all are paying different SEO companies to rank for the same keywords as you. Short term rankings will only give you a short-lived sense of pride while ranking in the long term in the right way will give your business the stronghold it needs to be established online.
  8. Don’t opt for Link sellers or SEOs, while claim to have their own high-value domains – these are BIG FAT RED SIGNALS you should stay away from.
  9. There is nothing called SEO Writing, at least it does not exist in 2015 and will never come in fashion in future. Today, Google Guidelines have become more ‘quality-content’ centric. So no more keyword stuffing and keyword density checking – all this doesn’t exist anymore. If they are offering you SEO Writing Services for your blog – this is a clear signal of their inability to follow current trends.
  10. There are no hidden secrets in SERPs, and there are no magic recipes. Yes there are powerful backlinks and weak or spammy backlinks, but if a company tells you that:

“We have insiders at Google and can rake you to the top like putting up a star on the Christmas tree” – then by all means turn around and (you know what to do).

“We have some secret strategies that are guaranteed to boost your sales and rankings.” No no no, if they had all that – then they wouldn’t be talking to you in the first place.

So What Should You Do?

‘Hire us! Because we are a professional SEO firm. (Shameless self-promotion spotted).

Noo!!?! Do what you think is best for your business and choose the SEO company that you think solves all your queries before starting your project.

I hope this post was helpful in some way or the other, and I also hope that other amateur SEO firms learn a lesson from this as well. I had no intentions of blowing your mind up or making you think wrong of the current SEO firm.

All the information in this thread is not pointed at anyone and is purely for educational purpose. Additionally it would be a wise decision to understand the basic tricks of the trade so that you can be aware of certain things that are important for being a part of the SEO game in 2015.

SEO is adaptive, and it will change tomorrow. Sometimes to such an extent that what you read today may be completely irrelevant tomorrow so be focused and be aware of the Google Quality Guidelines.

Here is some more food for your brain to chew on:

1.    Mobilegeddon – The Webmasters Guide To Survival On The Internet

2.    How Regular Link Removal Is Better Than Investing 1000$ On SEO

3.    8 Point Checklist For SEO in 2015 – Revisiting The 2014 Updates

Connect with us on Facebook! or leave us a feedback in the comments section below.

Read More

A Smart Guide to Reach Out to the Best Web Analytic Tool

Best Web Analytics Tools Review

 

Imagine a train running on a rail track without showing any indicators such as fuel used, distance covered, and engine temperature. Similarly, visualize an airplane in the sky moving towards the east without showing the engine’s temperature, speed, working status of the engines, and remaining fuel amount on the control board in the pilot’s cockpit. In both the situations, the driver or pilot does not know what is actually happening or how the train or plane is actually working.

Do you think such a lack of awareness can make the driver or pilot reach up to the intended destination safely and efficiently? Practically, the answer is ‘No’. Well, such an incidence can also happen with your online business site in case you do not know what is exactly happening on it once it goes online. To know what is happening at your site is nothing but analyzing it.

Questions That Inspire You to Analyze

Best web analytics 2015

Let us consider a real-life scenario of your business wherein you are a cloth boutique firm and I am an individual looking for some official as well as casual stuff from brands only, due to bad experience of using unbranded shirts and pants in the past. Now, I only need to look at branded items and I reach on your site through my friend’s recommendation.

Like me, there will be many more people out there who will be interested in your online store. So, how do ensure your brand awareness and popularity online? Well, this is ensured only if you find answers to the following queries, and improve them for brand popularity in case they are dissatisfactory:

  • What is the site’s rank on the search engines result pages?
  • How many visitors are landing at your site each day?
  • How many new visitors are finding your site each day?
  • Which pages are the visitors hitting the most?
  • Which pages are encouraging purchase?
  • Which products do the visitors love more?
  • Is the Web site design effecting in keeping visitors for long on a page?
  • From how many different sources does the traffic (visitors) come from?

Well, these queries are like indicators that show you what is happening on your site. They measure the performance of your site in the most relevant niche and give you a report of how successful or improvable the performance is! If you are not keen on doing this yourself, services like the Commence sales tracking and reporting services are available for hire. It’s best to leave it to the experts if you are not inclined yourself and there’s no shame in that.

Think a Minute

Do you think without the above answers, your online site can ever fulfill your business goals? If you do not track or monitor, it is like leaving the train (site) at its own speed (capabilities), which can get de-railed any time (lost online visibility or rank). After all, you should know where you are standing (site rank) to move further to the target!

Easiest Method that Encourage You to Analyze

Encourage to analyze

Well, this is none other than the Web analytics tools! You can obtain quick answers to all the above questions by using a Web analytics tool. With a simple yet powerful design for notifying you about the site’s performance, these tools aid in tracking different statistics. Through these statistics, you can see the number of people viewing each page, sources from where they came from, and the number of site features that are most popular.

The Web analytic tools track key metrics of your site to measure traffic and Click-Through Rates (CTRs) for new page or content as well as comprehend your visitors’ requirements and behavior. These measurements tell you whether your site needs improvement or not!

Quick Aid

If the absence of above statistics keeps you awake even at night, you are truly eligible for getting a Web analytics tool.

Before I take you on a quick tour of some most important tools in the World of Web Analytics 2.0, let us find out the metrics that you got to measure with them.

Metrics (Data Indicators) That You Should Analyze

metricks

Think a Minute:

Do you think it makes sense to look for a tool when there is no idea of what information needs to be tracked? Well, the information that should be tracked can vary from simple visitors count to complex analysis of visitors’ behavior. Therefore, the question can arise as to which vital metrics should be paid attention to while analyzing the site through a tool. Here is a simple breakup of vital metrics:

Category 1: Primarily, you will have to know how many people are visiting your site. While this one seems easy to find, it is actually not. Metrics answering this query include:

  • Unique Visitors: Shows the total number of visitors on the site during a set period. It does not include repeated visitors. This statistic reveals how effective your marketing efforts are in reaching a wider audience.
  • Repeat Visitors: Shows the number of visitors coming back to your website multiple times. It indicates how big is your loyal fan base!
  • Visits: Shows the number of visitors to a specific page or site. The trend in the number of visits over time shows you insight into your brand’s popularity. When you compare with the number of visits to each page, it shows which parts of your site are useful.
  • Page Views: Shows the number of times a visitor views a specific page. Increased page views simply denote that your site is becoming more engaging.

Category 2: You will now be interested in who these visitors are and what they are doing on your site when they visit. This helps in knowing which site pages or features attract them the most and which ones go unattended. Metrics in this category include:

  • Visitor Information: Includes region or country, Web browser in use, and more details about the visitors.
  • Registered Users: This shows what each logged-in user did on your site in case your portal requires visitors to log in. This facilitates a more detailed understanding of what diverse visitors are doing on your portal.
  • Bounce Rate: This shows the percentage of visits during which a visitor left your portal after looking at just one page. This statistic reflects visit quality. For instance, a high bounce rate for a blog is not a point of worrying because reading one article and leaving the site is sensible. However, for an eCommerce site, it is a point of worry because it indicates that the entrance pages are either non-attractive or irrelevant to the visitors.
  • Click Path: This shows how the visitors navigate across your site. Also known as click tracks, these visual representations show the visitors’ journeys. For example, a click path can reveal that 10% of home page visitors prefer clicking the Resources link, while 50% clicks on Current Offers, 25% go on the About Us page, and 20% leave the site.
  • Conversion: Tracks the number of people responding to your CTAs (Call to Actions) or doing what you want them to do. For example, it can show the number of users who clicked on a Newsletter link to subscribe to it or on Free Offer on the home page and went ahead to grab it. This metric is somewhat complex as it needs to be set in a tool but is truly a valuable one.
  • Top Entry and Exit Pages: Shows the pages through which most visitors tend to enter and leave the site. It is unwise to assume that the home page is always the entry page.
  • Site Search: Shows what people search on the site in case the analytic tool supports it. The metric helps you comprehend what visitors want from your site.

Category 3: Next, you would surely like to know from where the visitors are coming to your site. Knowing this information can help in better comprehending the types of sources that move people to your site. Metrics include:

  • Organic Traffic Sources: Show the percentage of people who come to your site by clicking its organic listings on the search engine results page. If the percentage is below 40%, it simply means to revamp your content.
  • Search Keyword: Shows the words or phrases that the visitors typed in the search box of search engines such as Google to reach to your site. This helps in determining the effectiveness, competitiveness, and success of keywords. It is wise monitoring your keywords for ensuring that you reach out to your target audience.
  • Inbound Links: Shows the number of links to your site coming from other sites. Many tools also show which of these links get people to your site. This metric provides an insight as to how effective is your link building strategy and what types of sites consider your content useful. The rule is that the higher the other site’s domain authority, the more valuable is the link.

While the aforementioned metrics should be adequate to get started, many robust analytics tools come with even more sophisticated metrics and analysis features. In fact, many people earn their livelihood by analyzing these statistics, who are typically professionals hired for a profound analysis for big sites.

When considering the diverse analytical tools for your business, the assortment of options can lead to confusion, as you might not know how to use them. This is why it is recommended hiring a professional to dig the virtual space of your site and generate all vital reports.

I just cannot go ahead without stating about a golden rule existing in this regard. It is known as the 90/10 rule, which means if you are spending $100 on analytics for making new decisions for your site, it makes sense to invest $10 on the analytical tools and $90 on analysts with great expertise. Without a proper understanding of the details given by the tools, the reports remain as raw data (no processing), which is of no use for your business.

Bryan Eisenberg, who is the marketing consultant affirms that investing in tools and people who require the former to be successful is the key. However, what matters is the people comprehending that data. According to Avinash Kaushik who is the author of Web Analytics: An Hour a Day, “The quest for a tool that can answer all your questions will ensure that your business will get scrapped and that your career (Web Chief Marketing Officer and Analysts) will be short-lived.” Therefore, he suggested focusing on ‘multiplicity’, the use of multiple tools for different purposes.

In addition, it is worth keeping in mind that neither all tools have the same number of metrics nor do they work in the same way. Because of the high level of complexity involved in the world of analytics due to unique site’s characteristics and visitors’ varying background of preferences, each tool is designed to deal with the metrics in a different way. This is perhaps why Mr. Kaushik focuses on using multiple tools. Using multiple tools simply deepens your level of insight into the site’s success rate as well as a customer base.

Identifying the web actions as those of a ‘unique visitor’ is complex as well as subjective. Therefore, several tools tend to compute these statistics differently. For example, a few tools consider traffic as per a log of the pages on offer by the Web server, while some depends on the reports provided by cookies (information packs sent by the browser of each user). Therefore, while using different tools, it is common to have different values for the same metrics.

For big businesses, tools that are more robust can really be useful, although at a handsome cost, but for small and mid-sized businesses, cheaper and even free tools are available for getting the desired control over the site statistics. Obviously, you will not use all the available tools all the time but employing a few is simply the need of the hour as well as a vital part of your overall web strategy.

Think a Minute

It is now clear no single tool can be the best for analyzing the site. Then, how do you determine the most suitable suite of tools for analytics?

Recall Web Analytics 2.0

web analytics tutorial

According to Mr. Kaushik, Web Analytics 2.0 is defined as the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data from the site and competition for driving a constant improvement of the online experience of customers and prospects, translating to your set outcomes (online and offline).

Rather than only a data analysis process, Web analytics 2.0 is an ongoing process of three-tiered data analysis and delivery service for all types of businesses. First is the data itself, as it reveals the clicks, page views, traffic, and more for both the site and direct competition. Second comes what is done with that data, or how you process the gathered information from Web Analytics and apply it to both existing and new customers for ensuring a meaningful and better experience.

The last tier involves how the aforementioned actions are aligned with the most vital business objectives (both online and offline), such as sales, social presence, customer engagements. In short, herein, the data itself facilitates watching how your site is performing.

Based on these tiers, Mr. Kaushik has also come up with an acceptable order of key components of Web Analytics, which are:

  1. Clickstream: Measures ‘What’
  2. Multiple Outcome Analysis: Measures ‘How Much’
  3. Experimentation and Testing: Measures ‘Why’
  4. Voice of Customer: Measures ‘Why’ just as the third component
  5. Competitive Intelligence: Measures ‘What Else’
  6. Insights: Gives ‘Gold!’

Making your site reach the desired performance levels is simply not easy. It takes persistent tracking as well as frequent measurement of diverse metrics for optimizing usage. This is exactly where the concept of Analytics is implemented by using tools belonging to its different component levels. This is how you ‘multiplicity’ is used – employing the most suitable tool at each component stage. Let us now look at the most reliable and efficient Web Analytics tools available per component.

Clickstream Analysis Tools

Clickstream measures data for each page visited, including details such as how the visitor came on that page (keywords, social media support taken, and ads), how long the visitor was on that page or site, and what the visitor did (purchased, subscribed to an offer).

Google Analytics (Free, Ideal for all Businesses)

google analytics for blogger

This one is among the most robust, simpler, and profound analyzers in the market and creates detailed statistics about visitors. You can find out the sources that bring your visitors to your site, their actions on the site, and their frequency of coming back. You can even find their demographics such as geographical location and interests, number of daily visits, number of currently active visitors, and daily revenue generated by the site. Because it is integrated with Adwords that is largest paid search platform online, Internet marketers can ideally monitor the landing page activity and employ the necessary improvements.

For small business owners, it is perhaps the only comprehensive as well as easiest tool to rely upon.

Pros: Ease to set up and use, support for mobile sites, goal tracking, custom data gathering and reports, fast report generation, PDF reports download, quick sharing of dashboard, good help to get started, multiple dashboards support, world-class analytical tools

Cons: No brand-matching customization (limited fonts and layouts), less metrics (widgets) per dashboard, requires constant training, limited goals, Premium version costlier although advanced

Piwik (Free for Hosting on Your Web Server)

piwik wordpress

Go for this one in case you a technically oriented person and loves adventures. Piwik is an open-source tool executing on MYSQL and PHP. It is perhaps the leading open source tool providing valuable insights into the market campaigns, visitors, and more for optimizing the existing strategy for ensuring the best online experience of your visitors. The tool is designed as an open source alternative to Google Analytics.

For those who do not like sharing all data with Google, Piwik is an ideal substitute.

Pros: Privacy as data on your server is not shared, customizable interface, real time reports, security ensured by blocking URLs and traffic, tracking ability for multiple sites, several data export formats supported, Android and iOS app, no limit on data storage like Google Analytics, all Google Analytics features included, exhaustive help files

Cons: A bit of time-consuming installation process

Woopra (Free For Up to 30,000 Actions per Month after which it is Chargeable (Many Packs)

woopra alternatives

Woopra is another top-notch tool providing real time tracking of multiple sites for improving customer engagement. It wins over Google Analytics only in terms of update in which the latter takes more time. The desktop tool shows live visitor stats, including location, pages on which they are on, and pages or sections that they have been visited.

I recommend the tool especially for e-commerce site owners who get a chance to chat live with their visitors.

Pros: Well-organized interface, real time viewing, possible customer insights revealed, mobile app supported, notifications for important customer activities, customization of customer data, behavioral profiles for each customer by watching what they did on the website.

Cons: Confusing for beginners due to much data on the dashboard.

You can extend your control and above tools’ power by using Google or Bing Webmaster Tools. These tools help obtaining SEO details and major diagnostic data about your site. It is also recommended using Feedburner for tracking the activity of Clickstream occurring within the RSS feed.

Multiple Outcome Analysis

The outcome analysis is likely to happen within the tools mentioned above and below this section. For instance, you shall be configuring goals and ecommerce tracking in Piwik or Google Analytics. Similarly, campaign’s profit and margin are computable in Microsoft Excel through a relevant database query. Therefore, no specific suggestion of tools for this component.

Experimentation and Testing Tools

These tools aim at improving user experience and increasing the chances for having conversions (leads). At this stage, you should consider conducting different tests such as clickmaps, heatmaps, multivariate (MVT) testing, A/B testing (multiple versions of a site executing simultaneously), geotargeting, and so on. Because there are many tools, I will be covering them briefly.

  • Google Website Optimizer (Free): It is a powerful A/B and Multivariate (MVT) testing solution that rotates varying content segments to see which sections get the most clicks. You can choose different page sections for testing such as images and headline.
  • Optimizely: It is for those who wish to test very fast, especially A/B testing. It is a new but simply tool offering powerful results for improving the site performance without having any kind of technical knowledge.
  • Crazy Egg: This tool employs the Heatmap technology to offer a visual picture of what visitors are doing on pages, where they are moving their mouse, where they are scrolling, and where they click. Such tracking allows observing the most attractive sections of pages and improving the ignored sections for optimizing user interaction. You can also split the data to see how visitors from a single traffic source behaved in comparison with those from other sources.
  • MouseFlow: This tool records what the visitors do on your site, right from moving a mouse to filling a text box. It helps in tracking the visitors’ behavior and comfort level through heat maps as well. Mouseflow combines Crazy Egg and UserTesting features.
  • UserTesting: This one employs a distinct way to test your site: get real time feedback from visitors in the chosen demographic. You pay for participants chosen to answer your questionnaire regarding your site. A video with the user and her or his activity is recorded and you get the feedback in an hour, stating the user’s actual thoughts. The tool is costly, but worth for real time instant feedback.

Voice of Customer Tools

Clickstream data provides insights into what the visitors did on the site, but it does not say why they left the site without staying there for long. Well, this needs visitor research that can be done by the below described tools.

  • Kissinsights (Kissmetrics – Free to Paid): It helps in real-time customer acquisition and retention by revealing information on user habits and engagement before and after they use your It is easy to install and use, as it asks all queries to customers via a simple dashboard for getting customized feedback in the form of short comments. Its data funnel points to the weakest point/step blocking conversions, while the revenue tracking features show what customers do after purchases. In short, you get all data required for increasing conversion rates.
  • 4Q (iPerceptions – Free): This is a pure online survey tool allowing you to comprehend the ‘Why’ aspect of visitors. Surveys facilitate gaining vital insights from the customer real experiences. It answers questions such as how satisfied are the customers, what they do at the site, are they doing what they need to do, and so on.
  • Qualaroo: This is also a real-time survey tool for getting feedback from the users currently on the site. However, it stands apart because it allows you to use any combination of variables. For example, it helps asking shopping experience when the visitor fills the shopping cart and usage experience while leaving the site. You can get both entry and exit reviews. Consider this tool for sites with a high turnover of visitors and site owners who need to know ‘why’.
  • Clicktale (Free to Paid): This one is most prominent in the customer experience analytics, which aims to optimize usability as well as maximize conversion rates. The most useful features are session playback and visitor recordings, which enable watching everything any visitor does on the site. You get to see the recordings of each action of a visitor, right from the first to the last click. The tool also comes with scroll maps, heatmaps, and visual conversion funnels for gaining more useful details about visitors and their habits. However, it is a costly choice.

Competitive Intelligence

Existing since the invent of business, competitive intelligence includes knowing what the competitors are doing, which can be then done better and faster. Such data enable you to recognize what is known and what is unknown as well as analyze ecosystem trends, failures, weaknesses, opportunities, and rising customer preferences. This details help in planning better marketing programs.

  • Google Trends & Google Insights (Free): Both tools for search are now merged into a single tool. The Trends tool offers worldwide visitor data for sites deployed anywhere in the world and makes it easy to comprehend traffic and search keywords. The Insights tool simply points out to the global database of customer intentions; you can know what your customers are thinking and feeling. You can use this tool for analyzing industries, emerging trends, share of search, and offline marketing strategies as well.
  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool (Free): Consider this tool for refining your SEO strategy as per the most searched keywords, download specific user-typed queries, and gaining insights into specific brands under analysis.
  • Facebook Insights (Free): Track the popularity on Facebook by tracking follower counts, post comments, and likes through this tool based on users and interactions. It helps in improving customer engagement on the biggest social media platform.
  • Twitalyzer (Free): This one offers detailed dashboard with several metrics for measuring Twitter influence and engagement on your brand identity. You can track your account’s impact on followers, retweet level, and level of conversation engagement. It is easiest one to use for your Twitter account.
  • Klout: Consider this one for having the cleanest metrics for measuring performance on Facebook and Twitter.

Conclusion

With Web Analytics tools, the modern responsibility of improvement has been given to us. With so many tools available, it is not difficult to improve your online visibility as well as performance. However, the need is to choose a few of the above tools to collect all the data and process it for taking the right decision. Although Google Analytics is still the most famous tool out there, it is better to use it in combination with other tools to push your site to its maximum potential.

In case of no tight budget and customization as a top priority, it is recommended to select the paid tools that offer all the features and metrics for improving the site’ performance and expand the online customer base.

Read More