3 January 2013 Economists say motorists can expect a few more petrol price cuts during 2013.Last week, the Department of Energy announced that the price of petrol would drop by up to 15 cents a litre and the price of diesel by nearly 30 cents a litre from Wednesday, 2 January.Economist Dawie Roodt attributed the drop to a strong rand and said he wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again.“My suspicion is that the petrol price is likely to keep on falling over the next couple of months,” Roodt said. “I expect the rand to remain fairly stable over the next couple of months. I’m also not surprised to see the oil price coming down as well.”Economists say the drop will not impact spending, but will provide slight relief for motorists following the busy festive season. Sapa
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Blog Optimization The Long Tail is like the Force(Yes, as in Star Wars). It permeates everything you do online and binds all facets of your internet marketing. Well, perhaps that is a bit farfetched, but it is a very important concept and relevant for anyone trying to create an online presence for themselves or their business.For those who came in late, the term “long tail” was coined by Chris Anderson to describe the business strategy of e-Tailers such as Amazon.com that sell a high volume of say thousands of popular items (the head portion in the graph below, in red) and low volume of hundreds of thousands of niche or unique items (the mustard tail portion in the image below).According Anderson’s long tail blog, over the course of time if you grow the tail portion of graph “the potential aggregate size of the many small markets in goods that don’t individually sell well enough for traditional retail and broadcast distribution may someday rival that of the existing large market in goods that do cross that economic bar.” The tag line of his book is aptly termed “Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.”Now that you know about a bit about the long tail here’s how you can leverage the long tail in various parts of your day-to-day marketing:1. Optimize Your Site for Tons of KeywordsSEO is an important part of your inbound marketing strategy and you should optimize your site for hundreds if not thousdands of keywords, especially long tail key phrases. e.g. “internet marketing for lead generation” would be a good long tail key phrase, compared to just inbound marketing. Long tail key phrases may drive a low volume of traffic but as you can see in the graph above, the combined traffic of all the keywords in the tail portion really matter. Also, in my experience, visitors to your site from long tail key phrases tend to be better leads as they are searching for something very specific.Avinash Kaushik, an analytics guru, recommends that you use SEO to tackle keywords in the head of your long tail graph and use PPC to drive traffic for long tail keywords. Here’s a gritty but awesome article by him.2. Create a lot of contentIs it a surprise that sites with the most content also attract the most visitors? Craigslist.org, eBay.com, Amazon.com, etc. are great examples of sites providing a huge variety of content that helps them attract millions of visitors. What are some of the ways you are leveraging the long tail in your marketing? Please share your thoughts in the comments!HubSpot Free Trial Above is a snapshot of popular pages from the HubSpot blog. The blog home page and a couple of articles that made it to the Digg and Reddit home pages continue to drive a lot of visitors. But over time look at how many page views we get for all the other pages! Even towards the far end of the long tail the last 20 or so content sources drove more than a 1000 page views. That is serious business!3. Grow Your Followers and Fans BasePart of your strategy should be to gain more followers and fans on various social networks and sites. In the example below, Dan Zarrella shows us this incredible distribution of retweets per follower.Here you can see that there’s a core group of most engaged followers (the head) that does a lot of retweeting. At the same time, the sum of the retweets by people who only retweet ocassionally is also a force to reckon with! Please bear in mind that the key to getting retweets is more about engaging people on twitter and sharing valuable content and less about gaining sheer numbers of followers.4. Invest in a Link Building StrategyNow I don’t mean that you should go out and pay a bunch of people to link to your site. What I sincerely wish is that everyone actively works on trying to pubish good content so other people link to your site. Some of those sites will drive you a lot of traffic and visitors. But as you can see above there are scores of site that can drive you a little bit of traffic every day and if some of those sites drive quality leads … you can invest time and energy in building a relationship with them so you can grow that funnel. 5. Spread Your Content AroundIn the first graph below you can see the traffic HubSpot gets from all the social media sites where we actively share or upload content. If we did not share content on all the sites to the right of LinkedIn our site stats would be lighter at least a few thousand visitors.Taking that a step further, below are the leads we generated from the above sources. What would you give to get an extra few hundred leads?6. Maximize Your Website FootprintAt HubSpot we do a great job at offering a lot of free tools and growing the traffic on those sites. It’s like investing in real estate for investment purposes and over time we grow our portfolio of web properties each growing in reach.Agreed, it is not easy for everyone to build lots of tools and manage multiple sites. But you could invest in a blog and you could build micro sites that serve a similar purpose. The result of such an activity is the graph below — each site driving qualified traffic and leads back to your main hub.The Take-Away From the Long Tail for MarketersMaximize your opportunity by investing in a multitude of niche areas and sharing your content widely.Diversify your keyword, content and web asset portfolios. You yield better results and reduce the risks by not putting all your eggs in one basket.There is significant value in getting bite-sized results from many sources. Topics: Originally published May 5, 2009 7:44:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Optimize your website to get found by more prospects and convert more of them into leads and paying customers with HubSpot’s inbound marketing system. Start your trial now!
keywords Originally published Apr 1, 2010 7:55:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 It might be reasonable to think that only larger firms have sufficient resources to create hundreds of pages that make it into Google’s database. To test this, we calculated customer size mix for each category of indexed pages. Our proxy for customer size is number of employees. Improve each page’s optimization Our analysis of over 1,400 firms shows a clear positive relationship between pages indexed by Google and the leads a company generates; companies with more indexed pages tend to generate more leads. based on results from these companies. The report and this article were written by Sophie L. Schmitt. consider To represent the relationship between Google indexed pages and leads, we divided customers evenly into five categories based on number of Google indexed pages. For each of these categories, we graphed the median number of monthly leads. We used median instead of average to lessen the impact of outliers. incremental 50 to 100 indexed pages can cause double-digit lead growth Off-Page Search Engine Optimization: Marketers are likely to ask: Marketing Takeaways lead generation best practices It is interesting to note that the number of inbound links did not have a meaningful relationship with leads. Inbound links did correlate well, however, with unique visitors. This implies that for those interested in generating leads, quality of sites vs. quantity is more important when building inbound links. to quickly increase number of pages On-Page Search Engine Optimization: as per Google’s methodology to maximize chances of having all of your web pages included in the index: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Build page volume: . What we found is that Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at 1:00pm EDT Learn how companies are using inbound marketing techniques to generate higher volume and lower cost leads and customers. State of Inbound Lead Generation report Reserve Your Spot Now placing This is the first of three articles that share findings from The State of Inbound Lead Generation Date and time: The graph above shows the strong positive correlation between the number of Google indexed pages and median leads. More specifically, it reveals that an building inbound links Is Company Size a Factor for Growing Indexed Pages? starting a blog Want to read more? Download the full up until customers reach several hundred Google indexed pages. Customers with more than a few hundred indexed pages appear to be in a league of their own as median leads are more than 2x that of the prior category. Increasing Google Indexed Pages by 50-100 Causes Double-Digit Lead Growth Live Webinar: The State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Measuring SEO in the right places on web pages such that Google and other search engines know what each page of your web site is about, and what keywords to rank you for , a new HubSpot report based on statistical analysis of 1,400 customers’ inbound marketing activities. The study identifies for achieving significant volumes of Google indexed pages. Size and number of pages are mildly positively correlated, mostly in the extreme categories of Google indexed pages. While HubSpot’s large customers formed the biggest group with 311+ indexed pages in Google, small and medium-sized customers together outnumbered large ones in this category. In addition, small customers formed the largest group with 176 to 310 Google indexed pages. What are techniques for growing the number of Google indexed pages on my site? Topics: size is not a critical factor from reputable sites, thus demonstrating your popularity to search engines
In an inbound marketing world, the careful alignment of sales and marketing Marketing Takeaway: Social media guru Chris Brogan explains how to demonstrate the value of social media marketing. on Social Media B2B Marketing Takeaway: 1. link building Marketing and Sales Alignment Adam Holden-Bache Author: Use similes and analogies. to learn how to get your company started with social media. Author: conversion. Keeping in line with his belief that reading a blog post should provide a similar experience to the indulgence of an ice cream cone on a hot day or the thrill of a roller coaster ride, Bamboo Forest reveals five search engine optimization 2. Should Your Content Aim for Traffic or Conversion? Marketing Takeaway: Sean D’Souza Create the unexpected. can be tremendously beneficial to business success. But are enough companies taking steps in the right direction to facilitate the collaboration between these two departments? Topics: 4. : content that attracts and content that converts. Julie Joyce’s article suggests several ways to think outside the box and shake up your different types of blog content Author: While both offer different advantages for your blog and its readers, Sean emphasizes the fact that each style can (and should) live on your blog. There’s no need to choose just one strategy, and a mixture of both types of articles will not only attract a larger number of prospects but will also afford you better Author: The New Yorker Marketing Takeaway: 5. techniques 3. Feed your blog promotion in social media There are risks associated with incorporating social sharing elements in B2B email marketing? You betcha, says Social Media B2B, whose article discusses the fact that certain content included in email marketing campaigns may not be suitable for social sharing (e.g. proprietary information). Using magazines with a balance of different types of articles to attract new readers and convert more customers. Social Media and the Sales Team Cosmopolitan sales and marketing alignment bloggers can use to create a truly unforgettable, great experience for their readers: While Todd’s article focuses on the disconnect between sales and marketing for companies mainly in the retail industry, the overall theme of Before you jump on the social sharing bandwagon, review and evaluate content in individual emails prior to delivery. Use humor. on Search Engine Journal Download the free webinar Risk and Reward of Social Sharing in B2B Email Marketing Most internet marketers are aware that generating inbound links is invaluable to Todd Defren Originally published Oct 25, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 on Copyblogger efforts by searching differently, reaching out in a new way, realizing that less is sometimes more, brainstorming, thinking in a different place, getting a second opinion, and persisting in your efforts. Webinar: How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss Julie Joyce If your tried and true link building efforts start to fail, try something new! . But what do you do when your go-to link building efforts are no longer returning the results you used to rely on? Search Engine Journal suggests you try something totally different. Photo Credit: Keep your blog’s readers coming back for more by creating for them an unforgettable experience at every blog visit. Bamboo Forest In this week’s top inbound marketing article, Todd Defren discusses the problematic disconnect between many businesses’ sales and marketing teams in terms of social media engagement. Marketing Takeaway: on Problogger Author: Be a contrarian. as analogies, Sean stresses the importance of and describes two very is one that can be applied to businesses in any industry. and social sharing of email content Todd specifically focuses on how the disconnect applies to social media engagement, highlighting a great point about how marketing and customer service teams seem to be experiencing congruency, yet marketing and sales teams are still struggling to find the proper balance when it comes to Use quotes. Shake Up Your Link Building Efforts on PR-Squared What other great inbound marketing blog articles have you come across in the past week? Align your sales and marketing teams and determine a mutually beneficial approach to social media involvement. Holden-Bache highlights a short list of email content safe for sharing and reinforces the rewards that can come from enabling the . Tim Parkinson 5 Techniques to Make Your Next Post Unforgettable . However, he raises an important point that email marketers should proceed with caution and evaluate emails on a content-by-content basis to determine if social sharing links are appropriate. business blogging Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
E-Commerce Websites Originally published Jan 12, 2011 1:30:00 PM, updated August 09 2019 For a business to grow it must consistently reach new customers and communicate effectively with existing ones. If you have a physical storefront you’ve probably realized these two requirements for growth are not easily achieved. Creating an eCommerce website allows a retail store to break-through the limitations a physical location presents, while increasing sales of its products.Download Now: Ecommerce Marketing Plan Template4 Reasons an eCommerce Website is Necessary to Grow Your Store: 1. Collect lead and customer data for email marketing.We know it’s tough to collect email addresses and other useful information during checkout in your store. Shoppers at the finish line of making a purchase will normally decide not to extend the process by providing info for the clerk to plug-in regardless of the offer. Gathering information online is much more effective as website visitors can do this on their own time.Take into consideration the fact that you only have the opportunity to speak to someone making a purchase, leaving out all prospective customers who leave without a bag in their hand – collecting leads online is a more effective method.Email marketing gives you the ability to increase new and repeat business by strategically and continuously re-engaging prospective customers. This opportunity doesn’t exist for businesses strictly running a physical storefront. You’ll also need to develop ways to capture email addresses with various offers your website can provide.2. Reach new prospective customers through search engines.A large factor in a physical store’s success derives from location. If you’re not in a good one the visibility of the store is lessened. Having an eCommerce website levels the playing field between prime locations and less trafficked areas. Instead of your physical address determining your business’s location, your ability to rank in searches engines determines how visible you are. Potential customers who haven’t driven past your stores or heard about your from someone else, have the ability to find you online. Everyday someone is searching for something relevant to your stores products and eCommerce site gives you the ability to get found by and sell your products to them directly through the web.3. Increase visibility of store promotions.Every store has certain promotions and are always looking for ways to spread the word about their newest deals. Your eCommerce store is another avenue to market your special promotions. These promotions are also a great way to execute on the first point of this post, collecting email addresses. Visitors to either one of your stores (online and offline) should be exposed to these promotions so they can take advantage of them. Promotions help the business grow shor- term with increased sales and long-term since promotions typically include a sign-up step – giving you the ability to reach out to these people later for repeat business.4. Allow prospective customers to shop where, how, and when they want.If you only have one way people can shop for your products you’re missing out on the percentage of shoppers who prefer to (and sometimes are only willing to) shop the alternate way.Many people like to shop online to avoid traveling time and traffic while enjoying the comfort of their own home. Shopping online also gives them the ability to shop when they want; including times that your store is closed. Remember, your eCommerce store is ALWAYS open. Regardless of an individual’s reasons, more and more people are turning online to get shopping done.Others prefer to drive to the physical store so they can touch and examine the products. Even if they found your store online and researched your products in more detail, they may decide to make the commute to the store in order to make the purchase.The advantages of one store will counter the disadvantages of the other which allows store owners to cover all of their bases and eliminate the possibility of these disadvantages affecting their sales numbers.To learn more about the benefits of have both an online and offline location, also known as “click and mortar”, and how the two can work together please register for our “click and mortar” webinar .Photo credit: aota.org Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
LinkedIn Marketing What This Means for MarketersWe already knew LinkedIn was a powerful tool — back in January, we reported that it was 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter. But for marketers that are interested in improving their Facebook presence, it just became an even more powerful tool. If you have a strong LinkedIn network, it looks like the opportunities for cross-platform promotion are ripe.But really, it’s not just Facebook you can grow from your LinkedIn presence. The reason that spike in referral traffic occurred isn’t because LinkedIn users are somehow more interested in Facebook updates than those on any other social network — it’s just that the decrease in Twitter content has caused a (wait for it) decrease in Twitter referral traffic. Because it’s just … not as easy to post Twitter content as it used to be. So people stop. No surprise there.That means if you start publishing more content to LinkedIn — regardless of where that content resides — it will get more visibility amid the now far less competitive LinkedIn feed. Want more blog traffic from LinkedIn? Post more blog content on LinkedIn. Want more LinkedIn followers to convert on your landing pages? Post more landing pages on LinkedIn. Want more of your LinkedIn followers to be Twitter followers? Post more Twitter content on LinkedIn. It’s a lot easier to get your content to stand out in the LinkedIn crowd, now that a lot of the riff raff has been cleaned out.Have you seen referral traffic from LinkedIn to Facebook spike in the past two months?Image credit: Grim Santo You may remember that about two months ago, Twitter and LinkedIn announced they were parting ways. What their breakup meant was an end to the ability for marketers to sync updates from the two sites — so no longer do you see tweets from your company’s Twitter stream showing up on LinkedIn. And even if you weren’t syncing every tweet, some marketers were taking advantage of the LinkedIn hashtag function that automatically pulled in tweets with the hashtag #li or #in. That is, until Twitter and LinkedIn called it quits.As a result, you’ve probably since gotten used to logging in to LinkedIn to repost a Twitter update that you want to appear to your professional network on LinkedIn, and/or you’ve started to select the little Twitter icon that you see on LinkedIn that lets you automatically share your LinkedIn updates on Twitter.Or have you?Some new data released by PageLever and reported by Mashable reveals that marketers may not be taking that extra step, as referral traffic to Twitter from LinkedIn has dropped significantly since the June 29th announcement … while referral traffic to Facebook from LinkedIn has skyrocketed. In fact, Facebook received 1000% more page referrals from LinkedIn in July — the month after the syncing ceased. Take a look: Originally published Sep 20, 2012 4:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Wowza. Even more impressive? With that post-breakup burst, LinkedIn is now surpassing Google and Bing combined as a source of referral traffic to Facebook Pages.
Storytelling This post originally appeared on Inbound Insiders, a new section of HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Blog.Opinions are like blogs: Everyone has one.In fact, most of the business world has finally caught on to the fact that in order to succeed in a post-outbound world, you need great content.But what happens once everyone has caught on and businesses are blogging simply to stay healthy, kinda like eating their green beans?What happens is you get a ton of boring, uninspired, mediocre content polluting your RSS feed.As Maximus famously proclaims in Gladiator, “Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you are here?”Well, no.We’re here to be inspired, right? I mean, I’m not talking the last twenty minutes of Rudy inspired, but rather inspired to read more, and maybe buy something. We have a challenge. A question. A need or even a want. And we’re looking for that moment of inspiration to help make our purchase decision easier.Somewhere along the way of this mass information age, many forgot this. They forgot that storytelling is the main ingredient for inspiration.It’s why we cry at the end of Forrest Gump. It’s why we cheer at the end of Rocky (all six of them). It’s also why some of us buy Dunkin’ Donuts over Starbucks (or vice versa).We’re here to be told a story. And in the process, be inspired to take action or behave in certain ways. And while storytelling goes far beyond just your blog posts, it’s often your most shared resource; therefore, it’s the best place to start.Story vs. ArticleLet’s consider the difference between marketers and journalists. Journalists remove themselves from articles to ensure objectivity — but marketers? Marketers should be inserting themselves into their stories. That’s what differentiates an article, from a story.Great brand stories are not objective. In fact, the most successful ones are highly subjective.Is Snapple really made from the best stuff on earth? Of course not. However, millions of people buy into this story every single day.Shift your focus from writing articles to telling more stories. Start by asking yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish for my customers?” Then consult your buyer personas and focus on key personality traits to identify the type of tone and language that will be most effective at appealing to them.Get creative. Insert yourself into each story. Detail your experiences.This makes you and your brand much more relatable. Hyperbole vs. JargonOften we get caught up in those industry buzz phrases we think are necessary in order to attract business.”Achieve Your Goals and Experience an ROI.”… As opposed to those other companies that vow to not achieve your goals and guarantee no ROI?No company is saying that. As a result, we all end up saying the same thing. How are you supposed to separate yourself from the competition with a strategy like that?No one understands this concept better than the household brands we all know and love. Part of the reason we do know and love them is because we identify with their story.Does America really run on Dunkin’?Is Folgers really the best part of waking up?Probably not. However, we buy into these stories because of the way they make us feel.A healthy dose of hyperbole never hurt anyone. In fact, it’s highly effective in telling a remarkable story and differentiating your brand.Experience vs. WordsStories don’t always have to be about words.In fact, great storytelling encompasses your entire brand experience, not simply what is written about or said.Take Starbucks, for instance — I know, I know, I’ve got caffeine on the mind — who goes after an entirely different audience than Dunkin’ Donuts. This effectively separates them from an already massively successful brand. Starbucks targets a more affluent audience and aims to create a more high-end, “our barista remembers the way you like your coffee,” type of atmosphere. Everything from the furnishings, to minimal drive-thrus, to a menu most people have a hard time pronouncing, stays consistent with the overall story.Starbucks customers are willing to wait a little longer. They’re even willing to pay a little more.Is the coffee that much different? Or is it the story and experience these particular customers are buying? It’s certainly debatable, however, these two massively successful coffee chains have managed to dominate completely separate markets and attract two different audiences all through the act of storytelling.So while many of us may not be able to match their marketing budgets and overall reach, we can certainly learn a lot from the manner in which household brands separate themselves from the noise with hyperbolic, unique brand stories.Developing Your StoryIn developing a unique story, consider your buyer personas and focus on both personality and behavioral traits in order to develop a story that resonates.Who are you trying to attract?How can you tell a story that inspires them to act?This story will be the core of your entire marketing strategy.Your story shouldn’t be about what you sell, but rather how you sell it.This is a guest post by John Bonini (@Bonini84), marketing director at IMPACT Branding & Design. Visit the IMPACT Blog for more content from John and the agency. Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Oct 15, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017
Topics: E-Commerce Websites The holidays are coming quickly. Are you ready? Maybe you’ve already started your prep work so you won’t struggle when the orders start rolling in. If not, now’s the time to start decking the halls. Sometimes you need more than a brief overview to get everything organized. That’s why this checklist is everything you need. Ready to get started?1) Mobile ResponsivenessNot set up for mobile shopping? Your customers will go elsewhere. Projections say 30-35% of shoppers will complete their purchases on mobile devices.2) Site TrafficNot used to an influx of visitors to your site? You don’t want to lose valuable sales while your site is down. Be ready for anything. 3) Site SpeedIf your site takes more than three seconds to load, you could lose up to 40% of your buyers. Check your site speed and streamline whatever you can.4) Content CalendarIf you haven’t already started planning your blogs, videos, tweets, and Facebook posts, get on that pronto. Some are already advertising for the holidays, which puts you behind the times.5) Social InboxKnow what your buyers are saying about you on social media? Now’s the time to start listening. Be ready to meet their needs when they mention your company in social channels.6) Sales PlanningNothing is more embarrassing than launching a sale with the wrong prices and products. Even more embarrassing is losing so much money with your accidental sales that you have to recant. Plan early and pay attention to every single detail. Keep a spreadsheet with all information so you can come back to double-check.7) Sales EmailsYou need time to plan the right copy for your sales emails. If you wait too late, you’ll miss your chance to really move buyers with your words.8) Graphic DesignDon’t leave all the design work until the last minute, or you might not have a graphic designer on staff for much longer. Get all your graphics ready to go—and there will be a lot—well before you’re ready to use them. Emails, website banners, CTAs, gift guides, blog headers, PPC ads… The list goes on.9) Ad KeywordsDo you know which keywords you’ll use for your pay-per-click ads? If not, start planning now. You’ll be in competition with many companies for top search spots, so using the most popular choices isn’t an option. You need a strategy, and strategy takes time.10) Ad CopyWith your keywords chosen, it’s time to consider your ad copy. You need to make sure those terms fit naturally in your copy. If they don’t, you won’t get anywhere with potential buyers.11) Abandoned Cart EmailsStart planning early for those who’ll inevitably leave your site without making a purchase. Keep in mind that 75% of those deserters do plan to buy; they may just need a little nudge.12) Social Media AdsWith paid options extending to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Instagram, you need to determine the best outlet for your paid ads. Then make sure your message fits your outlet and audience.13) Plan ShippingIf you want to offer some shipping deals this season, start planning now. You’ll need to adjust your checkout page so that everyone gets the shipping plan they need. Remember that shipping prices are the number one reason for cart abandonment.14) Plan StaffingWill you need extra hands on deck during the holidays? Now’s the time to plan for it rather than the day of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.15) Plan ReturnsWith a higher purchase rate during the holidays, you also have to be prepared for a higher rate of returns. Sometimes people will make gift purchases that just don’t work out. Are you ready to accept those products back and process refunds or exchanges?16) Track TrafficTo plan for future holiday seasons, you’ll need to know your traffic for this year. Keep an eye on what drives people to your site so you can tweak the results and get even more buyers in the future.17) Customer ServiceAre you ready to field all questions and complaints? Someone should be alert at all hours to keep an eye on social channels, answer the phone, or respond to emails. Keeping buyers satisfied is one of the most important tasks you’ll tackle.And now you’re ready… theoretically. If you’ve never experienced a holiday sales season, nothing can prepare you for what’s about to come. At least you’ll have all your ducks in a row! Originally published Nov 3, 2015 10:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
The power of search engine optimization (SEO) is irrefutable. When your organization is easier to find on Google and Bing, you’ll generate more visibility around your work. Your nonprofit will experience the perks that come with bringing more people to your website—from increased membership to PR attention and beyond.When it comes to success with SEO, long-tail is the name of the game. In other words, your best strategy is to target phrases or expressions that you’re using to target your audience. To understand this difference, take a look at the following examples of long-tail keywords:“keyword research tips for nonprofits”“improve distribution to your blog posts”“tips for increasing membership rates for nonprofits”Unlike keyword expressions like “marketing tips” or “nonprofit marketing tips,” long-tail keywords revolve around a very specific search intent. They’re also challenging to identify, as Google releases minimal search engine data to the public. You’ll need to do some research to ensure that you’re taking the right steps forward. The good news? We’ve got a proven-framework for success.Tips for Creating and Optimizing Your Nonprofit’s Keyword Strategy1) Brainstorm a Topic ListGet 5 people in a room with a whiteboard, and start brainstorming a list of topics that are important to your organization. These can be anything: problems that your nonprofit is tackling, communities that you serve, issues you stand for, or services that you offer. The more broad the better—you’ll want to create a list that’s thorough and comprehensive. Worry first about major themes, and then dig into specifics afterwards.With some creative mind-mapping and outlining, you can structure this brainstorm into a list of keywords that you can research. By starting with the keywords first, you’ll ensure an approach that prioritizes your audience’s needs over any algorithm.2) Organize Your BrainstormTake the brainstorms you generated, and start grouping your ideas by causes, communities, and personas. The, translate this ideation process into a cohesive list of topic ideas. From there, create a list of keywords that are relevant to each topic (eventually, you’ll commit to focusing on one keyword per topic).What you’ll soon realize is that there are numerous directions that you can take with your content. Take a step back to understand why, and figure out the directions and angles that are most on-point with your cause. This approach will help ensure that your ideas are the right combination of interesting, engaging, and easy to find through search engines. 3) Research Related The beauty of natural language is that it’s subjective. That’s why, after building your initial blog topic and SEO keyword lists, you’ll want to research similar angles and directions. You might also ask another team member to help—just to provide an extra eye and set of recommendations.Your keyword research should involve SEO tools, conversations with customers, and data from your web analytics software. Cast your net wide and figure out what you don’t know. Look for hidden opportunities to reach your target audiences through search.4) Mix Long-Tail and Head TermsJust because long-tail is the name of the game doesn’t mean that you should avoid head terms altogether. After you’ve managed your SEO strategy for six months to a year, you’ll start to see trends among keywords that are driving traffic.Use this long-tail success data to continue to identify other potential head terms. Think of these as keywords that are more general—and more competitive to rank for in search engines as a result. Using long-tail keyword data, you can better target the head terms that are most aligned with your brand and that make sense to target as a result.5) See Where Your Competitors FallThe search landscape is highly competitive: you’ll want to understand how Google ranks key players in your industry. See where your competitors fall by conducting keyword research audits on their blogs and websites.Instead of looking to replicate what they’re doing however, look for hidden opportunities. Among nonprofits, especially, similar organizations should work together and share successes—not try to outrank each other.The knowledge of how your partner and peer institutions are ranking can help you come up with ideas that you may not have previously seen. Don’t build your SEO strategy in a bubble: know what others are doing so that your nonprofit is visible, too.6) Cut Down Your List to StartWhen it comes to a successful SEO strategy, planning is only part of the equation. Execution is equally important.Make sure that you’re focused in your approach: start by targeting a few keywords and monitoring the results of those efforts. Replicate what works, nix what doesn’t, and keep forging ahead with small, steady tests. Over time, you’ll see trends that you wouldn’t have been able to foresee.Focus with SEO is key. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t see real results.Need More Support?Here’s a free SEO template, along with some in-depth instructions. These resources are designed for the corporate sector, but the tips are just as applicable to nonprofits. Be sure to re-evaluate your process every few months: once a quarter is a good benchmarks. As you start to build visibility in search, you can add more keywords to your lists. Grow slowly and steadily. Watch what your nonprofit peers are doing. Aim to be relevant. Structure, strategy, patience, and creativity will be your best SEO assets. Keyword Research Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Feb 9, 2016 7:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017