Let’s face it, web marketing can be overwhelming, to say the least. There are 200+ ranking signals, and I personally have identified and promoted 600+ web marketing actions that make for an effective web presence.
Tons of time and attention are given to website content, optimization and a number of other web marketing aspects. What often gets ignored is website navigation, which is shame because it is actually one of the most important parts of your web presence. Get it right, and your navigation will guide visitors easily through your site and to their (and your) ultimate goal. Get it wrong and the only place you will guide visitors off your site.
So HOW can bad navigation cost you customers? I count the ways (six of them to be exact) in my latest article for SEMRush.
I’m not much of an algorithm chaser, but I fully understand the need to stay abreast of the algorithm changes and updates. In fact, the best SEOs are those that refuse to chase the algorithms but rather understand what it is the algorithms are looking for with today’s changing technologies.
However, because technology changes, as does how people use the web, search engines have to adapt to stay relevant. Which means that there are some factors that will be a part of tomorrow’s algorithms that we’ll need to account for.
Over the years, many things that were important for optimization have become less so. But even as the search engines add, remove or tweak the factors in their algorithms, even things that become less important overall are still important.
Quick example: If today the search engines looked at 10 factors for rankings and tomorrow they added 5 more, would you assume that the first ten are no longer relevant? No, of course you wouldn’t. Certainly they are less relevant, but not irrelevant. Each factor went from a relevance of 1 in 10 to 1 in 15, but that doesn’t diminish the the fact that it is still a factor.
It’s with this premise in which we look at SEO. While the search engines look at hundreds of factors, and the weight of each factor changes with each tweak, we still understand that a factor is a factor.
And URL readability is a factor. Do the search engines care about readility? No, but using relevant keywords in the URL can and does play a small role in the ability of the search engines to determine the topic of the given page.
There is no doubt that having a good shopping cart/checkout system in place is valuable to your visitors and vital for maintaining strong site conversion rates. But what could be equally important as your checkout process is what happens when your visitors are adding products to their cart.
Social media can’t survive without content. It’s like Amazon without books (or digital music, or household items, or . . . oh, you get the point). But posting on social media can be intimidating, especially for those who are new to it. Really, what are you supposed to post?
That depends a lot on your audience, which specific network you are posting to, and even what type of voice your company has decided to use. However, there are a few tips that work universally. Here I’ll focus on two specific concepts that have been accepted as best social media practices—posting “RITE” content and following the “Rule of Thirds.”
While retargeting audiences are naturally more engaged than broad contextual or demographic audiences, it’s important to set campaigns up correctly to maximize performance. Here’s a quick overview of how to setup a retargeting campaign on an Real-Time Bidding (RTB) platform.
Step 1: Adding retargeting code to your website
To create a new audience, you need to place a piece of code on your website. You can either build an audience of all visitors to your site or create more specific retargeting lists for different pages. There are other types of retargeting – including search retargeting – but site retargeting is the most common.
Once the code has been placed, any user who visits these pages has a cookie placed on their browser. This cookie tells advertising platforms which users belong to a retargeted list so that ads can be shown. The whole process of retargeting is anonymous – only the cookie is recognized.
Step 2: Creating a campaign on an RTB platform
Once a retargeting list has been built, you can then use it as a targeting option when creating a campaign. This is usually a simple process, and other targeting options can be layered with a retargeted audience for an even more specific campaign. You might decide to retarget users in a certain state, for example, if you are running a location-specific offer.
Bidable also provides a number of additional options when retargeting a campaign. These include when to start retargeting a user (immediately or a certain number of hours after a visit), whether to target all users or specific segments, and how long after the cookie is placed to target the users. It’s important to test the effect of changing these variables on your campaign’s performance.
Step 3: Ad is served to users around the web
Whenever your retargeting pixel is detected on a placement available to an RTB network, there is a chance for your ad to be shown. Impressions on RTB platforms are sold via auctions in real-time. Whether your ad is shown depends on your bid relative to other advertisers.
RTB platforms can serve ads on thousands of different locations around the web. This makes the chances of reaching retargeted users very high. For the greatest potential reach, you should create banners of different sizes, so that your ads appear on more placements. RTB platforms can also provide information about which banner sizes have the most volume.
Why is retargeting important?
Most users who visit your website will probably never convert. The exact percentage of non-converting users varies, but it is almost certainly a large amount. Many of these users are never seen again, even though they may have been interested in your products.
Note that Retargeting as a term is not to be confused with Real-Time Bidding. Retargeting is one tactic of many that can be employed through so-called Demand Side Platforms (DSPs). Demand Side Platforms have revolutionized the online marketing industry over the last few years because instead of negotiating directly with publishers, or buying impressions in fixed rate packages from ad networks, advertisers can now purchase inventory through real-time auctions. This allows them to be a lot more targeted in their advertising and in addition that advertising is much cheaper than direct advertising.
Guest blogger Rosy Rana is a writer about all things digital marketing and specializes in online advertising, search engine optimization and social media strategy. Being in the industry for 5 years, Rosy has worked with clients in a diverse set of industries including health, electronics, real-estate and the mobile application ecosystem and is currently a writer for Bidable, the self-serve RTB advertising platform.
There is an old myth out there that keyword optimized content sucks. There has been some truth to that, much as there is truth to the common belief that all lawyers, politicians, and insurance agents are shysters. Yes, some are, and some “SEOs” have been known to produce really crappy content.
But don’t throw all keyword optimized content and SEOs out with the lawyers, politicians, and insurance agents.
Digital marketing allows small businesses to compete with the “big boys” in a way that has never been possible before. But what are small businesses doing with this opportunity? Clutch, a research company that provides analysis on leading service firms, sought the answer to that question with their recent survey “Small Business Marketing Plans 2015.”
It’s pretty hard to find the perfect .com URL these days. To make more URLs available, ICANN (the agency in charge of regulating domains) has created numerous new TLDs (top level domains). This, ostensibly, creates millions of additional options for businesses to find and register the “perfect” URL.