Archive for the ‘Web Marketing’ Category
in Search Engines, Web Marketing
An announcement was made by Google today that “carousel” has been officially launched for Google’s Knowledge Graph local search results. You may have noticed the interactive band of images pop up at the top of your search intermittently for the past several months. Now it’s official – carousel is here to stay!
According to Google’s announcement “Starting today, when you search Google for restaurants, bars or other local places on your desktop, you’ll see an interactive “carousel” of local results at the top of the page.”
Not only is this new way to search aesthetically pleasing- it’s interactive and helpful too! When hovering over the one of the images you are able to see it’s location pop up on the map. Click and you’ll get extra details like address, phone and user reviews. Use the arrows to the left and right on the carousel to visually page through the search results without jumping from website to website.
Did you notice local results are gone? They ARE the results in the carousel. Also, try zooming in or out on the map…the carousel results are automatically updated to reflect what’s in the map’s viewable area.
What do you think of the new image carousel? How will this impact searches in the future? Weigh in below, I’d love to hear your opinions!
Posted in Search Engines, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Pay-Per-Click, Web Marketing
Since then, PLA’s are dominating the ecommerce related searches. So much so that it is becoming obvious that PLAs are taking the lion share of qualified clicks and some advertisers are shifting to PLAs exclusively.
Text ads just can’t compete.
It is easier to ‘show’ than ‘tell’.
To even the playing field, forthcoming image extensions for AdWords are likely to become a game changer in the world of pay-per-click.
Driven by the success of PLAs, Google will make image extensions soon only available for the top ad spots.
If you are an ecommerce site, you will definitely want to include a product image. Text will provide the additional information to encourage the click.
But the text will not be the “eye trap” anymore. Visual interest will need to be spiked and having image extensions is the only option along with utilizing PLAs.
A lot can be learned from existing PLA campaigns.
Our team at Beacon has setup several PLA campaigns and we can attest to their success over rival text ads. Currently only in beta, Beacon Technologies has applied to take part in this seismic shift in pay-per-click advertising.
Posted in Pay-Per-Click, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Branding, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing
Over the past few months Pinterest has been introducing tools to help your business capitalize on the rapidly growing social media site. Pinterest kicked off “Pinterest for Business” by allowing businesses to verify their website. This step shows pinners you’re a credible source. Once verified, if you haven’t already, you’ll be prompted to switch to the new look. When you make the switch you’ll notice larger images, rearranged navigation and new ways to discover pins. With this new look also comes Pinterest Web Analytics. With this basic set of analytics you can see what people are pinning from your website.
But perhaps the largest of all the changes is the introduction of Rich Pins. These pins dynamically pull website information like price and availability and display the information right on the pin. This allows brands to drive more revenue right from Pinterest. See ModCloth’s example below. Pinners can see immediately that the shoes are in stock and currently listed for $64.99.
Currently Pinterest is offering three types of Rich Pins for businesses: movies, recipes and products. Movie pins will pull in user reviews and ratings. Recipe pins will include things like ingredients and serving info. Product pins will have item availability and price. These pins are also mobile-ready, making it easy for customers to purchase on the go. To enable Rich Pins you’ll need to install a bit of code on your site. The code is retroactive after you include the meta information on your website. Check out Pinterest’s developers page for details. What do you think of the changes Pinterest is making for businesses? Can you see this social media platform helping to grow your business?
Posted in Branding, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Analytics are great and very important for helping get your site a better ranking and being recognized. It’s also great for seeing what people are most interested on your site. Understanding the gathered information can help guide what’s most important on your site to fit the customer or client needs and maximize your site to its fullest extent.
There are analytics for tracking pages to see what page gets the most hits. Other analytics include tracking files such as PDFs, images, documents and other files you want tracked. Many sites also use onclick tracking for site web forms and specific links. For instance if you have a contest going on, you may want to track how many people are using the form or clicking on certain links in the contest to see what works best.
Using different aspects of analytics can improve your site value, increase revenue and make it stand out in search sites, such as Google and Bing. Our SEO team is partnered with Google to bring the best and up-to-date analytics setup that is available. Click here for more Google Analytics information.
Tags: analytics, google analytics
Posted in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Over the past few days, Google has rolled out its latest search algorithm update…Penguin 2.0. Google has said on numerous occasions that search engine optimization can be positive and constructive by making pages more accessible and easier to find. However, many sites have been using ‘webspam’ techniques to have their pages rank higher without providing good or unique content to users. Penguin 2.0 serves to tackle these webspam entities.
Beacon’s Director of Digital Marketing, Brad Henry, helps explain this important update… “Google completed one of their larger algorithm updates yesterday. I think it’s important to note that what you see at one location won’t necessarily indicate how everyone sees your result. For the best understanding of how this change has impacted your site, I would look at several signals including webmaster tools query reports, keyword position reports, traffic volumes, and manual spot checks. If your SEO practices have been using tactics focused around quality content generation for the purpose of relevance and for the purpose of link distribution, you will most likely fair well with this update because this update is focused towards removing spam websites and devaluing spammy link tactics. If you’ve been hiring link building firms targeting article banks, comment spam, and buying links, you may have some issues.“
About 2.3% of English-U.S. search queries are affected to the degree that a regular Google user may notice. For more information on this update and how it may affect you, please reference the Penguin 2.0 statement from Google and Matt Cutt’s blog.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to Contact Beacon today.
Tags: google algorithm, google algorithm update, google penguin, link buying, low quality websites, penguin 2.0, search engine optimization, webspam
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Like it or not, Hollywood has a tremendous influence over the way we think. It affects the products we buy and the candidates we elect. Look at how many sites deal with the topic of celebrities. Whether you’re an actor or a blogger, if Hollywood has taught us anything its that there are three key indicators as to whether we’ve “arrived”.
Firstly, one must have a stalker. Since I’m a frequent target of Google re-marketing and they seem to know everywhere I’ve been, I can check that one off.
Secondly, one must be followed by annoying paparazzi. Did I say re-marketing earlier?
Finally, one must check oneself into a rehab program. Part of this final step is the acknowledgment that there is a problem, and this blogger is ready to do so.
I am a plug-in-aholic.
We all know the symptoms. It can be so easy to get caught up in the added functionality, knowing that mother’s little helper will get us through the night, enabling us to take care of all those seo tasks without having to actually write the code ourselves. Then load time slows and bounce rate starts to climb. Things begin to spiral out of control as our client threatens to leave us and take the kids. Only when we hit rock bottom do we realize that there is only one answer.
Fortunately, they make a plug-in for that! (I really am hooked, aren’t I?). Think of it as the nicotine gum of the plug-in world. This little beauty will identify the offending WordPress plug-in (or two, maybe three in my case) through an easy to understand pie chart visual, right there in your dashboard.
One simply clicks the “start scan” button and, within roughly a minute, the scanner will crawl your site and monitor its performance. The results will be served up like the visual above, identifying the plug-in that needs to be purged from your menu.
Looks like with The P3 Profiler available free from WordPress, I’ve finally “arrived”.
Tags: blogging, Plug-ins, seo, slow load times, wordpress plug-ins
Posted in Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Google Analytics, Web Marketing
“I do not want to increase the qualified traffic to my company’s website,” said NO ONE EVER!
Depending on the goals you set for your company to either 1) increase traffic for brand awareness, or 2) increase qualified, relevant traffic to increase conversions, Google Analytics should be your Jedi Master, helping you meet your goals through a logical, data driven process (aka- the force). While Google Analytics is not as robust and sometimes serves up sampled data, it will still give you the ammo needed to make educated on-line strategy decisions.
Here are three elementary activities to help you on your quest, young Padawan:
- Learn what pages are generating the most page-views. Once you learn where this traffic is landing, review what the are clicking on, what events they conduct, and what conversions you have set they are achieving. This will be your benchmark to improve upon. If most of your traffic lands on the homepage, do conversion optimization on the homepage to try to improve your metrics. It is also important to create a secondary dimension as well to see where this traffic is coming from so you know how to market to them, as well as reviewing the search terms they used to arrive on these pages so you can better understand user goals and SERP agendas.
- Discover when users are reviewing your site’s content. By learning what days and the time of day users are active on your site will help you determine the best time to market to them through the use of post dissemination on social media as well as emails distributed to their in-boxes. You can also avoid upsetting your users by conducting necessary website maintenance when website activity is at its lowest.
- Use advanced segments to better understand how users migrate through your website. Let’s say you have an eCommerce website that sells custom light sabers (really trying to stay with my Star Wars theme) with a section for light and dark in the top navigation. By creating an advanced segment with all traffic that view the dark side light sabers, and then another advanced segment that targets traffic that view the light side light sabers, you can then compare these two demographics to learn from their behavior. This will help you learn metrics specific to these two sides.
Tags: google analytics; using google analytics; how to use google analytics
Posted in Google Analytics, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Web Marketing
According to the AP, in 2012 the average American had an attention span of 8 seconds. That’s one second less than the attention span of your average goldfish according the same research (and the Goldfish weren’t on Ritalin).
So unless our target demographic has gills, we have only 8 seconds to get our message across and capture the visitor’s imagination. That’s why info-graphics can be very useful tools. And you don’t need to be an artist to create an effective one. You simply need to have a worthwhile message and an entertaining (and economical) way to present it.
With a good info-graphic, you can not only convey a message visually (which seems to be the way more and more of us learn these days), but you can also entice others to share the visual and link build back to your own site through use of an embed code. I’ll go into that in a future post. Lets first tackle the obstacle that gets in the way of most of us ever considering the use of info-graphics; the task of creating a compelling image that also looks professional.
While I generally use Photoshop to create my info-graphics, I’ve found two very useful web based online graphic creation tools I’d like to share with you…tools that will make you look like a pro.
This is a great web based program that offers a simple drop and drag method for creating info graphics. There are six basic templates or themes to select from. Choose the one that most resembles the look you want and select effects like text, special template props (theme graphics, different shapes for badges, text, etc!). The info-graphic image you create will save as a PNG to your desktop. Its free & awesome and if you have a burning desire to pay for their service, they also offer a pro version. You need provide only your email address to sign up.
Easily operates in a similar drop and drag fashion as Piktochart. The one big exception are the extra vector art as they offer a great variety of vector objects one can make use of from, all categorized by subject in a drop down menu. And their templates – of which there are a dozen to choose from – are meant to be more data heavy. Like Piktochart, it’s a simple drop and drag operation. And like the option above, it’s free.
If creating the art has been the obstacle for you, check out the tools I’ve mentioned above and let me know your thoughts on their relative effectiveness and easy of use. I’ll save the topics of economical writing and methods for accurately monitoring results for future posts.
Tags: creating infographics, info-graphics, infographics, link building, linkbuilding, linkbuilding tools
Posted in Web Marketing | No Comments »
in eCommerce / ASPDNSF, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Most companies are in business to make money. They spend lots of time and funds to create a highly efficient eCommerce website, and then focus on the big picture to create revenue. However, while focusing on the big picture you should always remember that it’s the small stuff – the little details – that can make or break your transaction conversions.
Listed below are my top 5 tips how to improve your eCommerce website.
1) KISS- Keep It Silly Simple. Customers need to be able to find your products. That being said, make sure your navigation is set up logically, your product detail pages contain breadcrumbs to allow your users to back up easily, and that your site search is quick and serves up recommendations if nothing is matched (or an item is misspelled) with a query entered. Also, try to incorporate a site search feature that allows for auto-completion of words to help users that can’t remember the exact product name they are looking for.
2) While most will disagree on online dating sites, looks are so very, very important. Make sure your product image is flattering. Don’t have a lot of distractions, and having clothes on a body instead of laid out flat on white table tops allows users to have more confidence in the items they are reviewing.
3) Show me the money…I mean details. Including sections on the product detail tabs like online reviews, fabric components, and how items are shipped leave users with a better feeling. They will also not feel the need to bounce to another site (where they could be easily distracted) to try to find product reviews about your products and brand.
4) Don’t be shady. Provide any easy and accessible link to your privacy and shipping policies for customers to find. Exhibiting and practicing easy return policies will allow users to feel like they aren’t being backed into a corner. A friend of mine has an online store on Etsy (who I believe has one of the best site policy pages because they give the added bonus of showing the date the policies were last updated). Also make sure you have obvious ‘contact’ call outs for customers to get in touch with you as needed.
5) Don’t guess, let the data drive you. You should all be using some form of analytics to watch your traffic flow through the site to see where they are bouncing and dropping off. Knowing what sites they are coming from can prepare you to how to market to them. You can also learn the number of users on mobile devices to make sure your site is user friendly for them, too.
Tags: improving eCommerce website
Posted in eCommerce / ASPDNSF, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | 1 Comment »
in Web Marketing
Beacon and the team recently met with our long-time partners, VecoPlan. VecoPlan develops, produces and sells superior systems and machines for shredding, conveying and processing which are primarily used in the recycling process. Beacon is VecoPlan’s web management partner. We have been successfully providing design, development, managed hosting and digital marketing services for many years and enjoy working with their awesome team.
At our meeting we spent the first half talking about how Beacon’s services have led to a 100% year over year increase in leads. Leads that have fueled VecoPlan’s growth. The second half of the meeting we toured their facility to introduce some new member’s of the team to their operations. It was interesting to learn about the systems Vecoplan produces and how they are turning ‘waste’ into valuable materials that are used to produce new products, mulches and even fuel.
Check out the image below of Kim James showing Brad and Andrea one of their innovative machines that will help provide a more green and sustainable future.
Tags: Beacon Clients, digital marketing, Managed Hosting, Vecoplan, web design, Web Development
Posted in Web Marketing | No Comments »