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Digital Marketing

You’ve put a lot of time and money into developing a professional, custom website to promote your top of the line product or service, but your website visitation seems to be sporadic at best. Is the investment really translating into more sales? It can be hard to tell, but don’t worry, there are some techniques that we employ to find out.

If you’re an online marketer or sell some type of product or service through your website, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of something called A/B or “Split” testing. If you haven’t heard of it, or if you’re a little shaky on the details, what follows is a brief overview of the techniques, the benefits and applications.

What is Split Testing?


Simply put, split testing is nothing more than a tactic used by digital marketers to put you as in touch with your customers as you can possibly be.

As a business owner or web designer you may love the way a certain page looks or how a product description reads, but the cold, hard truth is that it doesn’t matter what you think — it’s all about how your choices influence your potential customer.

Split testing (sometimes called A/B testing) is used to test multiple versions of website components to see which ones lead to more conversions (Actions). Its purpose is to improve marketing efforts, and the reason it’s often referred to as A/B testing is because you’re showing potential customers two versions of a page, email, etc. You review metrics to see which page yielded the best results–A, or B.

What are the benefits of Split Testing?

Split testing can provide some substantial benefits to your business.

First and foremost, split testing eliminates guesswork. You’ll have hard data and metrics that you can use to steer your website in the appropriate direction, ensuring that you’re maximizing your return on investment (ROI).

Split testing will give you and your company cold, hard and measurable results. You can set up any number of parameters, but rest assured that a good split test can show you site visits, audience engagement, revenue and even something as simple as the number of clicks on a given webpage.

How and What to Split Test?

Getting started in split testing involves setting up analytics, which will normally use tracking codes to show results. 

Sales page headlines are among the most common components that are split tested. This is important because these headlines are often what will draw a potential customer to your website in the first place.

Page headlines will show up in search engine results, and the law of the land is that the customer will go with whichever headline is the most engaging. Split testing different options will let you know which option gets the highest number of conversions.

You can also test images in various areas of your website. If you have multiple logos or photos, it’s easy to test and see which ones entice visitors to click the most. This is extremely useful, as customers generally respond to visual components like photos and video more than written long-form copy. Don’t believe me? Test it! You can easily set up a test to see if written copy generates more conversions than a video.

And speaking of conversions, one other component that often gets tested is the call to action prompt.

Do you get more sales by placing an “Add to Cart” tab on the page, or do customers respond better to “Order Now”? Split testing can make it crystal clear.

Split testing is one of many tools used by our team at Sanctuary to help its customers design websites that are beautiful, informative and most importantly, convert visitors into clients. Split testing, combined with other digital marketing tactics provided by Sanctuary will ensure your digital marketing efforts are successful and turn your marketing investment into real results.

Split Testing 101 – What you need to know

How Important is Google to Local Businesses?

In the digital marketing world, we focus a good portion of our efforts on getting found or showing up in Google and Google-owned networks for a good reason. In case you haven’t noticed, Google pretty much owns everything related to the internet. Of course, this is an overstatement,  but their products and related advertising tools have extensive reach and can be extremely valuable to businesses owners, particularly those in our North Canton community.

Consider Google’s Dominance  

Google’s DominanceDid you know that Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second? That works out to over 3.5 billion searches per day! You can’t afford to ignore how your business appears when people search for it – or what people are saying about you online.

Consider Google’s Economic ImpactEconomic Impact of Google

In the state of Ohio in 2015, over 34,000 businesses and non-profits benefited from using Google and it’s various advertising tools such as Adwords and Adsense. Google estimates it helped generate $2.92 billion in economic activity for Ohio alone (nationally over $165 billion). The potential economic impact is another reason why every small business should have a plan for utilizing Google.

Consider Google’s Local Rankings

Small businesses specifically have an advantage in their local markets because Google is very focused on returning results that are unique to the location where a search takes place, as well as the best possible result for the users. Google does this by considering these three factors for local results:

1. Relevance

2. Distance

3. Prominence

There is not much you can do about the distance factor in this equation. However, the Relevance and Prominence portions are areas you can influence. Every local business needs a local presence on Google, which requires a plan for providing relevant information to the search engines and for building prominence within the online community.

For many businesses, the local population, will be the most significant customer base. And even if your business reaches national or global markets, how you appear locally in Google can be an indication of your domestic or global presence.

Consider Google’s Potential Traffic  

When time, effort and budget are directed towards a businesses local search presence the results can be amazing. Consider this example of a client whGoogle Traffic o shifted their focus to providing Relevance and showing Prominence in their local search area.

After implementing a strategic optimization plan over a three-month span, their result was a 63% increase in organic traffic from Google! This increase in organic traffic allowed them to cut their PPC budget by more than $6,000 a month while maintaining continual growth in web traffic.

An additional benefit often seen is an impact on Bing and Yahoo traffic. While the user groups on these search engines are much smaller, they work in nearly the same way as Google does so your optimization efforts will carry over exposing your business to even more users.

Larry Page and Serge Brin, Google’s founders, once wrote: “Our goal is to deliver services that significantly improve the lives of as many people as possible.” Even though Google has become the giant monster that it is, their philosophy still holds true today. Capitalizing on Google’s dominance in the digital world and focusing on your local rankings can allow your business to thrive in the digital world and significantly improve your life.

If you are not sure where to start when it comes to Google or how your business appears in Google locally give us a call, leave a comment or fill out our contact form. Together we can build a strategic optimization plan and get your business showing up where it counts!

How Important is Google

content-pyramid-iconOver a decade ago we were preaching “content is king” – long before the field of content marketing was an actual thing. Sure good design, great page layout, and mobile friendly design are important. But it’s great content – and the presentation of that content – that ultimately sells your business.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a group of publishers at a seminar in Orlando on various digital marketing topics. One of the sessions I facilitated was an open discussion on “riding the jump to mobile” in which we discussed how mobile, especially in that particular industry, is really driving the approach to how we plan and present websites. One of the participants asked a great question; one that we hear frequently from the businesses with whom we work:

“People keep telling me that pages need to have less and less copy, especially for mobile users. Is that right?”

The answer? Sometimes – but not always!

It’s a commonly perpetuated myth that users don’t want to read; that all website pages should be short and visual with little copy. Instead, we are finding that website visitors will consistently spend a good deal of time reading long and in-depth articles if the topic interests them or meets a specific need. Long-form content, or articles over 1,000 words, are making a strong comeback – largely as a result of the mobile explosion. Users no longer prefer to click around to other pages or navigate through a series; they want to get all the information available with one click.

Not all of your website copy should be treated the same. Here’s a glimpse into how to take a strategic approach to planning your website copy.

Strategic Approach to Planning Website Content

A helpful picture for planning your website content is to think of it as a pyramid. At the top you have the least amount of information, as you go down a level it grows, and at the bottom it is most expansive.

content-pyramid-small
Download Graphic as a PDF

The key approach to remember here is that you provide bite-sized chunks on the main pages of your website – a sampling of what is available and important – and use it to entice readers further into the site. The deeper you go, the more specific detail and in-depth information you give on individual topics. And if you have plenty to say that is valuable to a customer, don’t be afraid to use as many words as are necessary to do it as you get deeper into the site.

These high quality, descriptive, detailed, deep pages are great for searchers who have specific questions and often want to learn all they can – without having to make a phone call.

Best Practices for All Website Pages

No matter the approach, poorly written or formatted copy will kill a visit no matter how few or many words it contains. Here are three best practices you need to keep in mind that apply to all the pages of your site.

Pages Should be 250 Words Minimum

When it comes to developing best practices for copy and search optimization, what Google says is generally what goes. And for good reasons: Google owns the search market, and in the vast majority of cases the largest single source of traffic to your website is Google.

Google is clear that each page of your website should have a minimum of 250 words of unique copy (so not counting header, footer, or sidebar material). If it doesn’t make that minimum, it will be held back in the search results.

Format for Readability

HTML markup such as headers and subheaders are critical for search engine optimization and for your readers. Using shorter sentences, paragraphs of alternating length, and good organization and formatting makes your content easy to scan and enjoyable to read. Make good use of:

  • An engaging page title (be descriptive and convey action)
  • Headers and subheaders
  • Bullet and/or number points for lists
  • Link to other pages on your site when you mention topics that are covered in more depth elsewhere
  • Bold sentences that convey key ideas
  • End with a specific call to action related to the page’s topic

Good formatting is key on short pages and long-form articles alike. Need an example? Follow how this post is formatted!

Write Quality

Every page of your website should be well-written, unique, and convey important information, key messaging points, benefits and differentiators, calls to action and your unique personality. Cookie-cutter or typo-ridden pages waste your time and your visitor’s time. And ultimately they drive potential customers away.

Great Copy is Strategy, Not Just Writing

Website content that converts visitors into customers requires strategy, not just well-written copy. And it certainly requires more than simply copying and pasting from a brochure or other materials.

Want to get started with a strategic plan for how you write and present your business through website content?

Contact Sanctuary Marketing Group today for a free assessment. Our team of strategists and writers will help you develop a content plan that grows your business.

Shorter Isn’t Always Better: Strategic Approaches to Mobile Copy

Emails, are you sick of them yet? On any given day I can expect to receive between 30-50 emails, and I know people who receive two to three times that amount per day. With all of this information to filter through it’s easy to see how promotional emails can get lost in the mix.

So as a small business owner or marketing manager you may be asking yourself; “Why bother putting in the effort if no one is going to see or open my promotional emails?” Good question.small-business-email-marketing

Here are 10 eye-opening facts about Email Marketing that you should know:

  • The total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to increase to over 4.3 billion accounts by year-end 2016. – Radicati Group
  • Email marketing yields an average 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States. – Direct Marketing Association
  • For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44.25. – EmailExpert
  • Companies utilizing email in lead nurturing campaigns generate 50% more sales-ready leads and at 33% lower cost. – Hubspot
  • Email conversion rates are three times higher than social media, with a 17% higher value in the conversion. – McKinsey & Company
  • 91% of consumers check their email at least once per day on their smartphone, making it the most used functionality. – ExactTarget
  • Marketers consistently ranked email as the single most effective tactic for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. – Gigaom Research
  • You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet. – Campaign Monitor
  • Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social. – Monetate
  • Email’s ROI was 28.5% compared to 7% for direct mail. – Chief Marketer

These statistics show that email campaigns – done correctly – can indeed produce tangible results. Email shouldn’t be ruled out as a valid marketing tactic, no matter how personally annoying they may seem.

 

Wondering whether or not an email campaign could be beneficial for your business? Sanctuary Marketing has a team dedicated to delivering results through email marketing campaigns. Contact us or gives us a call to see if this might be the right marketing tactic for your business.

 

Email Marketing Campaign Stats

There is a network of marketing professionals that spreads across the United States, bound together by the same mission of educating and equipping others in the marketing world. This network is one of the largest families of volunteers that works day and night to host conferences, connect professionals, research the industry and much, much more. This network is called the American Marketing Association and I am proud to be a part of it!

 

American Marketing Association What is the American Marketing Association?

The resounding calling of the American Marketing Association is to be the most relevant force and voice shaping marketing around the world; an essential community for marketers. How does an association comprised entirely of volunteers live up to such a high calling?

Consider for a moment the variety of tools, tactics and theories that comprise marketing in general (and we’re talking both digital and traditional marketing here). From paid ad placements to organic social media efforts and local mailings, there is a lot that a marketer has to understand when trying to execute. Then there is the discussion of return on investment (ROI), wondering if all of your hard work paid off for your business. And on top of that, nobody knows what the next marketing trend will be?

Now imagine a marketing association comprised of thousands of professional marketers, each person with their own expertise and experience. This team is broken into local chapters and thrives on planning and executing events, like speaker luncheons or speed networking for college students. Now you’re starting to get the idea of why the American Marketing Association is so important; With a team like this, I don’t have to worry so much about keeping up with what is trending! I get to meet up monthly, seeing new faces or reconnecting with colleagues, and learn what is and isn’t working in the professional marketing space.

 

American Marketing Association Leadership Summit

Speaking of being brought up to speed on the latest trends and collaborating with other professionals, I wanted to make mention of the annual conference designed for American Marketing Association board members. I attended the conference this year as the incoming President for the Akron/Canton Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Every year, the conference brings hundreds of marketing leaders together in Chicago and consists of three days of learning what it takes to succeed in the marketing world in your local chapter. My favorite part of the weekend is what is called LOUD TABLES and is made up of over 30 tables, each with a different topic like Social Media Marketing or Hosting Events or many others. A timer is set for a short period and everyone bounces back and forth with what they’re learning and what is working for them in their own environments.

I’d encourage you to take a look at this thread to get more of an idea of what the community actually looks like at the American Marketing Association Leadership Summit: twitter.com/hashtag/amasummit

Of course, I’m only scratching the surface on what the AMA is about and why I enjoy being a part of the Akron Canton AMA. You’re welcome to contact your local chapter or even email me directly if you have any questions!

The American Marketing Association

Have you ever Googled your business name? Try it. Like what you see? If not, you’re not alone. Every year millions of dollars are spent on online reputation management to combat bad reviews, false claims, upset customers and the like. Once negative comments are posted to the web, they are often difficult to overcome or replace and can impact future business.

Yelp, which was founded in 2004, collects millions of reviews each year. Users will search for a specific type of local store or service, and receive a list of results like the ones shown below As you can see, ratings and reviews are front and center. For many of your potential customers, these reviews are critical decision-making factors. Good reviews are gold, bad reviews are costly.

Yelp Reviews

Fortunately, you aren’t entirely at the mercy of your customers when it comes to garnering positives reviews. You can take an active roll in encouraging reviews – but monitoring and managing reviews on the web takes time and budget.

In a lengthy article on Forbes.com, Cheryl Lock outlined three steps to managing reputations online. They are:

Be Vigilant

Monitor what people are saying. Set up alerts and get notified when mentions are made. “Don’t let negative reviews and blog comments linger without a response.”  The longer these comments sit without a response, the more difficult it can be to address the situation.

Be Proactive

“Unashamedly embrace self-promotion.” Promote and solicit customer reviews and success stories. Saturate social media and the web with positive comments about your company. Doing so will provide an alternate narrative for potential customers to read.

Be Honest

“Admit when you’ve messed up or failed to live up to expectations.” Transparency is refreshing and will carry weight with customers. Never expect to satisfy every everyone.

 

Red Robin is an example of a company doing it right. (Side note, when visiting Red Robin go for the Banzai burger!)

Typically we have great experiences here, but on one occasion it wasn’t quite up to our expectations so we did what many people do, we Tweeted about it. Within a half hour of posting the tweet, we received a response. Without placing blame, either way, their reaction team had reached out, established a rapport, set some expectations and turned a negative comment into a positive.

Red Robin Tweet 1Red Robin DM

Red Robin Reponse Team

When it comes to reputation management keep to the three basic steps.

  • Monitor
  • Response with honesty and Integrity
  • Be Proactive

 

Not sure where to start? Simply Google your name or business name – or better yet let us do the legwork for you. Give us a call and we’ll walk through this process with you.

Sanctuary Marketing group specializes in Digital Marketing and can assist you with your online reputation management needs.

Combating The Negative Review
Local Search Ranking Factors

Ever wonder what it takes to rank high in the search engines? Ranking factors, despite being perceived as a great mystery, are in reality relatively straight forward. Create great content, get people to link to it, make sure your business listings are in order and you’re all set! Of course, I’m oversimplifying things. There’s a bit more to it than this, however knowing what the search engines are looking at provides a perfect place to start.

Every year the top SEO service providers pull their shared experiences, tests, and case studies to produce a Top Ranking Factors list.

For local business owners, this list is a valuable resource for deciding where to spend time and budget to put your business in the best possible position to be found in the search engines.

Check out this infographic on the top Local Ranking Factors.

Local Search Ranking Factors

Sanctuary provides optimization services for local businesses. Let us help you get your business showing up at the top of the search engines.

Search Engine Local Ranking Factors
Black-Hat-SEO

Back in 2012, Chris Auman wrote an article titled “5 SEO Tactics to Avoid at all Costs.” Needless to say, a lot has changed over the past four years when it comes to digital marketing and SEO.

Despite all the information on the web about how search optimization has changed and what not to do when it comes to SEO, we still find many companies dealing with old SEO tactics. Perhaps these are still around because of a less than reputable SEO provider or maybe just because companies haven’t had the time or budget to addressed their approach to search optimization.

With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit these tactics for a little refresher on what you should not be doing. What Chris wrote in 2012 is still very much relevant in 2016.

 

Top 5 SEO tactics to avoid at all cost Black-Hat-SEO

#1: Keyword Stuffing – Keyword stuffing may happen if you are writing about something that requires certain keywords to be repeatedly used but it is still something that needs attention. While overusing certain keywords once worked to get your site or blog bumped to the top of a Google search, it now has the opposite effect. Saturating your piece with the same words over and over is a clear abuse of SEO and can now get you booted from search. Also, it makes the content clunky to read.

#2: Paying for Links – Having links and backlinks is something else that should happen naturally. Paying for this type of connection is considered unethical and will probably not get you the results you want. Creating fake websites just to increase the backlinks to your site is not an ethical practice to follow, which ties into the next point.

#3: Hiring someone to leave fake comments or to write false reviews and testimonials – The idea is that you should be attracting authentic versions of these for other users to see. If you want to encourage visitors to your blog or users of your product to leave real comments, reviews or testimonials that is one thing. If you go out of your way creating false reviews, you are operating with black hat marketing techniques.

#4: Hidden or Invisible Text – This is the practice of using text that cannot be seen by visitors to a site or blog but is detected by search engines. Again, it is considered a less than ethical tactic to use to rank higher on search engines. Using hidden text is seen as a form of spam,  frowned upon by most and if used, the site runs the risk of incurring a penalty from the search engines.

#5: Using Misspellings – This happens when you create content using keywords that are commonly misspelled as part of your content marketing plan. Using the misspelled version of the word but directing it to the correctly spelled version is frowned upon and not a good practice to get in the habit of for SEO.

While it may be tempting to use some tricks that are “in the gray area” you will more than likely be sorry you did. In the long run, it is never worth using these types of black hat approaches to SEO. Yes, it may take more time to build up the desired effect from white hat techniques, but the results will be better and longer lasting.

 

Avoid making these mistakes, whether intentional or not. If you are not sure whether your site falls into these traps or not or need direction on how to update your marketing approach, contact us. Sanctuary Marketing group has Digital Marketing strategists who are experts at this, and we’re here to help.

5 Sketchy SEO Tactics
What is mobile first?

We’ve heard a lot lately about mobile websites, responsive websites, mobile marketing and having a ‘mobile first’ approach to your website and digital marketing. Everyone at this point agrees that having a mobile website is important. But what does this phrase really mean?

What ‘Mobile First’ is not

Mobile First Design

Many believe that ‘mobile first’ means that you simply need to get yourself a website that’s optimized for mobile devices. Just ‘optimize it’, you know?

I think there’s still a large amount of people who think they need to develop a standard website and a second mobile version. This thought alone stops them in their tracks.

To some it means that you think about mobile being your main focus. Many people are developing websites that work good on mobile phones, but aren’t so effective on desktop computers. Mobile first does not mean disregarding desktop users.

I’ve even seen extreme cases where people have developed a site that completely disregards the desktop presentation in favor of a tiny interface that mimics a phone. In the example I saw, the developer completely hid important desktop interactions such as scrolling because they’re assuming that most users are able to move down the page using their finger!

Preparing your website presence for mobile visitors is important because the growth of users accessing information and not being tethered to a desk will be growing for a long time. But ‘mobile first’ does not mean developing a separate mobile website, focusing only on specific users and treating desktop visitors like they’re going the way of the dinosaur.

Mobile growth is huge, but we’re not even close to a point where we have the luxury of focusing solely on mobile visitors to our websites. Yes, we will still be using a mouse and sitting at a desk for many years to come in one form or another.

What is mobile first?

What does ‘Mobile First’ mean?

Mobile first simply means that you start developing your website user experience from the mobile visitor’s perspective and work your way back to the desktop — and even the TV. In the near future, experiences such as virtual reality may even require us to develop experiences that are larger than life.

‘Mobile First’ is a ‘Responsive’ approach to design which means that you start thinking about mobile users first, but you develop ONE effective RESPONSIVE website that’s laid out to deliver an effective experience for all users.

In his book titled ‘Mobile First’, Luke Wroblewski states: “Mobile design is the process of gradually applying constraints until an elegant solution remains.”

This is where you start.

This simply means that you begin with a focused, minimalist approach. What a user experiences on their phone is exactly what they need for that device and then as you move to tablet, laptop, desktop and beyond. You ‘enhance’ the experience in ways that benefit the user based on their screen size and their place in the world.

All visitors to your website are important. Not just the people on a mobile phone.

Why a ‘Mobile First’ Responsive approach to website design?

Efficiency:

Summit Academy Desktop
Summit Academy Desktop

First off, we don’t want to build and maintain more than one website. Can we agree on this? Ok.

Removing Limitations:

Designing for mobile doesn’t have to be limiting. It can also help you think through ways to enhance your user’s experience and encourage mobile use. You can incorporate location detection, capture and input from a camera and connections through Bluetooth Proximity detection (device closeness to physical objects) just to name a few.

Responsiveness:

Summit Academy Mobile
Summit Academy Mobile

Starting with mobile helps you to design something that will work well anywhere, not just on mobile devices. Responsive website design is the the future. Not separate mobile website solutions.

Speed:

Thinking about mobile users first also forces you to make decisions early that will affect important things like the speed of the website.

Focus:

In ‘mobile first’ UX design, we’re forced to focus on the most essential elements of the presentation that fulfill our main goals.There simply isn’t room for everything. A ‘mobile first’ approach forces us to articulate our goals and cut everything else. It’s so much easier to just throw everything on the site and hope the user stumbles through the clutter. An ideal ‘Mobile First’ approach forces us to strip our site down to the essentials and then ‘enhance’ the experience later if needed.

Simplicity:

Lastly, many people these days have an attention span of a 12 year old child. They’re busy, they’re distracted, they’re basically one eyeball and a thumb on a mobile device and barely more than that in the office and at home. Starting the design process knowing that this is your target audience will help you to simplify, simplify, simplify right out of the gate and apply that simplicity to all user experiences on any screen.

How Sanctuary Can Help With Developing a Mobile First Approach

Developing a mobile first approach requires a particular finesse and understanding of online technology and best practices. If you are looking for help with planning and implementing a mobile strategy, contact Sanctuary. We are located in the Historic Hoover District in North Canton, Ohio and serve the greater Akron / Canton area.

Mobile First – What you need to know

google_analytics logoAs a small business owner, you have many things to keep track of. What visitors are doing on your website may be on that list, but if it’s not, it’s time to start thinking about it. For most small businesses, their website might be the primary source of leads or a point of sale. For others it is an invaluable marketing tool. In any case, your website is there to bring you more business.

Tracking or “analytics” is how you know your website is either working to make you money or costing you money. Tracking the visitors to your site can yield valuable insights as to who is visiting, how they found you and what they are doing. With this information, you can find ways to gain more traffic, improve sales with the traffic, find holes or conversion roadblocks on the site along with many other insights.

Awhile back we at Sanctuary wrote a blog post 9 Great Google Analytics Features. Since then Google has provided even more new features and reports that can help you easily measure the success of your website. Here are a few of those updates.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking ReportThis Google Analytics feature provides a true measuring stick of how you stack up against the competition within your industry. Google uses hundreds to thousands of other sites within your industry category to create Benchmark numbers or averages. You can then compare how your site is performing in terms of acquisition and behavior metrics compared to the rest of your specific industry. Additional filters include by location, size of a site by daily sessions, channel grouping, and by a device. This report can show you where you are doing well and where you need to up your game to breeze by the competition.

Demographics & Interests Reporting

This relatively new feature uses third-party cookies to define your users. This will help you better gain an understanding of who makes up your audience in terms of age, gender, and categories of interests. Through additional segmentation, you can identify what content was successful for certain demographics or what demographics had the highest value in terms of conversions. As a business, you can then relate and market to your specific audience. Demographics & Interests Reports

Visitor Loyalty Reporting

The Count of Sessions and Days Since Last Session reports allow to you to understand better who your loyal visitors are.
Count of Sessions answers the question: How many visitors are just passing by and how many visitors come back consistently? Days Since Last Session is often referred to as “visitor orbit” and shows the loyalty of visitors based on the time since they last visited the site. By digging deeper, we can drill down to find out what brought these loyal visitors back to the site consistently and also what methods did not work for the other visitors.

Segmenting by Users

Google recently expanded their segmentation feature to allow analysts to define segments on a User basis. Previously you could only view data of visitors in terms of what they did by session. Now you can look at how specific users engaged across multiple sessions. This is another way to see how your loyal visitors are engaging across your site. If you have conversions or eCommerce tracking set-up, you can also see how visitors engaged on previous sessions before converting. What led them to convert? What channels or content reeled them in to eventually convert?

Multi-Channel Conversion Tracking

This report is an expansion of the previous feature we referenced. The Multi-Channel Conversion Tracking Report allows you to easily view the top paths visitors took on their way to conversion. Perhaps a visitor originally came to your site via a search engine, left the site, and then came back the next day via a post on Social Media. On that second visit, they then converted for one of the goals you set up in Google Analytics.

Previous data only credited the Social Media visit with the conversion. Now we can see that the true acquisition of the valued visitor came from Organic Search.
This gives us a different level of data when looking at how valued, converting visitors behaved on the site. What sources were best at bringing these visitors to the site originally? What channels brought them back before conversion? This shows more of the complete picture.

 

Google Analytics and Small Business Owners

Knowing a little bit about Google Analytics can help you make good business decisions, but let’s be honest, not every business owner has the time to spend digging through the data. We can help. Sanctuary Marketing Group, located in North Canton, Ohio can help guide you through the information and identify growth opportunities. Our goal is to equip business owners with the information they need to make smart business decisions. Give us a call 330-266-1188 or use our contact form and maximize the information your website is gathering.

Getting the Most out of Google Analytics
Pinterest Buy It Now Button

For those of you that might not be aware of Pinterest, we think it’s time to get pinning on your board. In a snapshot, Pinterest is a place where ideas, pictures, and DIY (Do it Yourself) come together in a beautiful, customizable display. An important note to keep in mind, Pinterest is more than just a collection of amazing cat photos, it’s both a marketing tool and strong contender in the Social Media marketing world.

There is value in Pinterest for a business. The visual impact of Pinterest can expose new brands, products or services to an entirely new customer base. Like Twitter or Facebook, members can have followers who may also share things they like. From photos and images to quotes or recipes, one person pins it and others can share. Members share, followers can re-share and all of these pinned items have the potential to be viewed by a lar

Let’s take a look of how Pinterest is changing the game in which we connect with our audience, from a digital standpoint. First and foremost, Pinterest advertising is referred to as Promoted Pins. Promoted Pins allows you to pick your most viewed and/or repinned pins and send them to a larger, more relevant audience. Promoted Pins helps to bring in more engagement and larger Pinterest Buy It Now Buttonexposure for your brand or company. Like any advertising, you’ll need to set a budget, determine relevant keywords, and decide upon your campaign’s duration. The great thing about Promoted Pins is your able to track your results in real time and change your campaign accordingly.

The next big thing that has hit Pinterest recently is Buyable Pins. Have you ever seen a product on Pinterest and wanted to buy that product right then and there? Well, now you can with Buyable Pins. Pins tagged with a new ‘Buy It’ call-to-action is a brand new approach to how companies and consumers interact with one another. How does Buyable Pins work? Buyable Pins work by setting up your digital inventory through Shopify (or whichever third party storefront you use), your products become verified and transactions take place right on Pinterest. It is important to note that once when your products are verified through your third-party e-store, a blue ‘Buy It’ button will appear on that pin.Pinterest Messages

Lastly, Pinterest gets conversational with new Messages. Messages is a great feature on Pinterest that allows you to connect with friends, customers, and others in a whole new way. Using Messages for the first time can be tricky. Here’s how to get messages to work: If you are on a desktop computer, place your mouse over the image and you’ll see an option to send the image (Click on the paper airplane icon). If using a mobile device, hold your finger down on the image and three icons appear, use the paper airplane icon there as well. Using the messages feature is completely up to you but it could be a strong tool to reach your audience.

 

Pinterest & North Canton Business

Those are just a few noteworthy Pinterest updates. Like any company they are constantly growing and improving, and always a good idea to check the Pinterest blog regularly. Pinterest is much more than another sharing platform, it is growing into a more effective marketing tool. Sanctuary Marketing Group can help a North Canton business get started using Pinterest. Give us a call 330-266-1188 or contact us with questions. Find out if Pinterest is the right fit for your company.

Pinterest – What’s Pin Going On
Internal Linking Plan

Internal Linking PlanWhen reviewing a site from an SEO perspective, one thing I always include on my checklist is internal linking. We can usually tell how well a site is optimized by looking over the linking strategy. Implementing a linking strategy is a key step in optimizing your site, so it should be a part of your overall strategy.

We often assume just because we create a page and publish it that Google will find, index and rank that page. It’s the same line of thought as constructing a baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field. The “build it and they will come” mentality may work if the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson tells people to visit the baseball diamond (Field of Dreams reference), but in the online world this is not the case.

Think of internal links as a network of road signs that will tell Google where to go and what to look at. Driving down the interstate, you look for signs to direct you to your exit, and so does Google. Internal links direct the search spiders down the road of your website. Without these links, the spiders may just ‘drive on by’ the exit and miss your page. Eventually, it may be indexed but to help get the job done faster you need internal links.

 

The top 5 ways I approach internal linking

1) Use Main Navigation

Internal Linking

Putting links on pages that are in the main navigation means that those pages are just 1-2 clicks away. A page that is 1-2 clicks away from the homepage can carry some of the link equity through from the homepage. It also helps bring pages that are deeper in the site up on the IA ladder. However, filling the main navigation with links to every page is a bad idea, so don’t do that. Read more about User Friendly Navigations.

 

2) Use Your Homepage

The homepage is typically the most visited page on a site. This means a large portion of traffic is flowing through here. Utilize the homepage to gain exposure to high-value pages. This will do two things: First it will tell your visitors what is important and direct them to pages that are going to make you money. Secondly it will send a signal to Google and other search engines that these are important pages for them to crawl, index and rank. Links on a homepage are as important as the design of the homepage.

 

3) Capitalize on Popular Pages

This is my favorite tactic for starters. Capitalize on popular pages within your site. Find out which pages have the most external links (and presumably the most authority), pull this list together, and start dropping links to these pages throughout the site. This is a great way to build and share the link equity. External links are a completely different discussion but work in a similar manner. There are many different ways of gaining external links, just watch out for Google Penguins when doing so.

 

4) Use Breadcrumbs

A breadcrumb is a perfect place to capitalize on anchor text using targeted terms. Breadcrumbs also allows for several pages to link directly to each other. They can have 3 or more levels of links which allow for link equity to flow through each page. We always recommend using a breadcrumb whenever possible. They are part of our Best Practice for local SEO and rankings.

 

5)  Develop a Content Hub

Develop a hub of content that is similar or related. This hub will allow for curation of content that can be linked together. When content that is related is linked together, it provides context for the users and will help link equity flow between the pages. It also allows pages to be linked together that might never be connected otherwise. Blogs, related post plugins, categories, and pagination are all ways to achieve this.
These are just a few ways of executing good internal linking. Remember, internal linking is the thread that connects different pages of your site no matter how they are separated. With proper implementation, a good internal linking plan can be another notch in your SEO belt and provide one more signal to Google that you are ready to be found.

 

Get Help with Internal Linking & Digital Marketing for Your North Canton Business

Sanctuary Marketing Group in North Canton can help with developing a strong internal linking strategy. Give us a call @ 330-266-1188 or contact us here to talk with our strategist. We specialize in helping North Canton, Ohio businesses grow through effective digital marketing.

Internal Linking Tactics