Tag Archive | "Based"

Google selects canonical URLs based on your site and user preference

If a different URL is chosen, it doesn’t negatively affect your site.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Search Engine Land: News & Info About SEO, PPC, SEM, Search Engines & Search Marketing

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5 Elements of a Successful Email Based Lead Nurturing Program

email lead nurturing

Today more than ever, sales needs marketing’s help. Busy customers are making traditional sales methods less and less effective. Sales metrics that once had sales teams fist pumping around the office in success, are making for discouraged sales teams.

In fact, B2B sales prospects often go through 57% of the sales process before even talking to a sales team. The modern buyer educates themselves by reading blogs, downloading white papers and signing up to receive more information.

That means that the chances of catching them on the phone is highly unlikely. According to a past study from MarketingSherpa, 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.

When exploring new options for converting sales leads into customers, consider using an email based lead nurturing program to help move prospects through the sales funnel. The 5 elements below can help guide you along your journey.

#1 – Segment Your Email List

Of course this is easier said than done, especially if you’ve been building your lead list for many years. It may take some work, but it’s not impossible. Below are two helpful tips to get you started:

Step 1: Begin incorporating and requiring segmentation information in lead capture forms. Depending on your prospect base and how the information will be used you can include simple qualifiers such as:

  • Company Name
  • Title
  • Area of Interest

This ensures that new audience members are categorized appropriately from the beginning.

Step 2: Encourage contacts to self-identify. You can use an email blast such as a newsletter to encourage action by your readers. This could include having them complete a short survey or quiz about their needs, or simply asking what sort of information they would like to receive.

#2 – Develop a Lead Nurturing Strategy

Once you have a handle on the current state of your email list, it may be worth taking the time to develop a few user personas based on the data that you have. Proper persona development can help guide your strategy for different communication streams.

Each target should receive a different series of touch points based on need. Keep in mind that a good email nurturing campaign will include other forms of supporting content as well. This can be in the form of blog posts, or other content marketing assets.

#3 – Set Lead Nurturing Goals

Understanding what exactly you want to accomplish can help drive your lead nurturing strategy and execution.

Business Goals

Your business objectives should focus on the percentage of business revenue that you expect to come from your lead nurturing program as well as some sort of lead quality scoring to determine worth of leads.

Marketing Goals

Ultimately, marketing goals should lend themselves to the overarching business goals. Typically the exact marketing goals will vary from campaign to campaign. Form conversions, opens and click through rates should all be marketing goals that you are tracking.

#4 – Sales Leads & Subscribers Are Not the Same Thing

People that sign up to receive your monthly newsletter should not automatically be incorporated into a lead nurturing program. Your time is better spent focusing on leads that come in through specific campaigns and lead capture forms.

Create landing pages for content assets and lead nurturing that are easy to understand and encourage conversions.

#5 – Consider Marketing Automation

Marketing automation can simplify the lead nurturing process. However, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Marketing automation can be a large investment and requires the appropriate resources to execute effectively.

Start by following the steps above and when you reach a point where your lead nurturing is not effective or begins to scale, begin hunting for a marketing automation solution that can assist in your lead nurturing process.

How Much is it Costing You to Ignore Lead Nurturing?

The intent of any digital program should be to inform prospects, build trust and authority and help your company be the best answer for their need at just the right time. Deploying a full fledged lead nurturing program may seem impossible.  If budget or resources are a hurdle, start small and begin adding as you build momentum.

What have you found to be your biggest challenges in using digital marketing initiatives to help drive inquiries and leads?

Image via Shutterstock.

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Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

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Value Based SEO Strategy

One approach to search marketing is to treat the search traffic as a side-effect of a digital marketing strategy. I’m sure Google would love SEOs to think this way, although possibly not when it comes to PPC! Even if you’re taking a more direct, rankings-driven approach, the engagement and relevancy scores that come from delivering what the customer values should serve you well, too.

In this article, we’ll look at a content strategy based on value based marketing. Many of these concepts may be familiar, but bundled together, they provide an alternative search provider model to one based on technical quick fixes and rank. If you want to broaden the value of your SEO offering beyond that first click, and get a few ideas on talking about value, then this post is for you.

In any case, the days of being able to rank well without providing value beyond the click are numbered. Search is becoming more about providing meaning to visitors and less about providing keyword relevance to search engines.

What Is Value Based Marketing?

Value based marketing is customer, as opposed to search engine, centric. In Values Based Marketing For Bottom Line Success, the authors focus on five areas:

  • Discover and quantify your customers’ wants and needs
  • Commit to the most important things that will impact your customers
  • Create customer value that is meaningful and understandable
  • Assess how you did at creating true customer value
  • Improve your value package to keep your customers coming back

Customers compare your offer against those of competitors, and divide the benefits by the cost to arrive at value. Marketing determines and communicates that value.

This is the step beyond keyword matching. When we use keyword matching, we’re trying to determine intent. We’re doing a little demographic breakdown. This next step is to find out what the customer values. If we give the customer what they value, they’re more likely to engage and less likely to click back.

What Does The Customer Value?

A key question of marketing is “which customers does this business serve”? Seems like an obvious question, but it can be difficult to answer. Does a gym serve people who want to get fit? Yes, but then all gyms do that, so how would they be differentiated?

Obviously, a gym serves people who live in a certain area. So, if our gym is in Manhattan, our customer becomes “someone who wants to get fit in Manhattan”. Perhaps our gym is upmarket and expensive. So, our customer becomes “people who want to get fit in Manhattan and be pampered and are prepared to pay more for it”. And so on, and so on. They’re really questions and statements about the value proposition as perceived by the customer, and then delivered by the business.

So, value based marketing is about delivering value to a customer. This syncs with Google’s proclaimed goal in search, which is to put users first by delivering results they deem to have value, and not just pages that match a keyword term. Keywords need to be seen in a wider context, and that context is pretty difficult to establish if you’re standing outside the search engine looking in, so thinking in terms of concepts related to the value proposition might be a good way to go.

Value Based SEO Strategy

The common SEO approach, for many years, has started with keywords. It should start with customers and the business.

The first question is “who is the target market” and then ask what they value.

Relate what they value to the business. What is the value proposition of the business? Is it aligned? What would make a customer value this business offering over those of competitors? It might be price. It might be convenience. It’s probably a mix of various things, but be sure to nail down the specific value propositions.

Then think of some customer questions around these value propositions. What would be the likely customer objections to buying this product? What would be points that need clarifying? How does this offer differ from other similar offers? What is better about this product or service? What are the perceived problems in this industry? What are the perceived problems with this product or service? What is difficult or confusing about it? What could go wrong with it? What risks are involved? What aspects have turned off previous customers? What complaints did they make?

Make a list of such questions. These are your article topics.

You can glean this information by either interviewing customers or the business owner. Each of these questions, and accompanying answer, becomes an article topic on your site, although not necessarily in Q&A format. The idea is to create a list of topics as a basis for articles that address specific points, and objections, relating to the value proposition.

For example, buying SEO services is a risk. Customers want to know if the money they spend is going to give them a return. So, a valuable article might be a case study on how the company provided return on spend in the past, and the process by which it will achieve similar results in future. Another example might be a buyer concerned about the reliability of a make of car. A page dedicated to reliability comparisons, and another page outlining the customer care after-sale plan would provide value. Note how these articles aren’t keyword driven, but value driven.

Ever come across a FAQ that isn’t really a FAQ? Dreamed-up questions? They’re frustrating, and of little value if the information doesn’t directly relate to the value we seek. Information should be relevant and specific so when people land on the site, there’s more chance they will perceive value, at least in terms of addressing the questions already on their mind.

Compare this approach with generic copy around a keyword term. A page talking about “SEO” in response to the keyword term “SEO“might closely match a keyword term, so that’s a relevance match, but unless it’s tied into providing a customer the value they seek, it’s probably not of much use. Finding relevance matches is no longer a problem for users. Finding value matches often is. Even if you’re keyword focused, added these articles provides you semantic variation that may capture keyword searches that aren’t appearing in keyword tools.

Keyword relevance was a strategy devised at a time when information was less readily available and search engines weren’t as powerful. Finding something relevant was more hit and miss that it is today. These days, there’s likely thousands, if not millions, of pages that will meet relevance criteria in terms of keyword matching, so the next step is to meet value criteria. Providing value is less likely to earn a click back and more likely to create engagement than mere on-topic matching.

The Value Chain

Deliver value. Once people perceive value, then we have to deliver it. Marketing, and SEO in particular, used to be about getting people over the threshold. Today, businesses have to work harder to differentiate themselves and a sound way of doing this is to deliver on promises made.

So the value is in the experience. Why do we return to Amazon? It’s likely due to the end-to-end experience in terms of delivering value. Any online e-commerce store can deliver relevance. Where competition is fierce, Google is selective.

In the long term, delivering value should drive down the cost of marketing as the site is more likely to enjoy repeat custom. As Google pushes more and more results beneath the fold, the cost of acquisition is increasing, so we need to treat each click like gold.

Monitor value. Does the firm keep delivering value? To the same level? Because people talk. They talk on Twitter and Facebook and the rest. We want them talking in a good way, but even if they talk in a negative way, it can still useful. Their complaints can be used as topics for articles. They can be used to monitor value, refine the offer and correct problems as they arise. Those social signals, whilst not a guaranteed ranking boost, are still signals. We need to adopt strategies whereby we listen to all the signals, so to better understand our customers, in order to provide more value, and hopefully enjoy a search traffic boost as a welcome side-effect, so long as Google is also trying to determine what users value. .

Not sounding like SEO? Well, it’s not optimizing for search engines, but for people. If Google is to provide value, then it needs to ensure results provide not just relevant, but offer genuine value to end users. Do Google do this? In many cases, not yet, but all their rhetoric and technical changes suggest that providing value is at the ideological heart of what they do. So the search results will most likely, in time, reflect the value people seek, and not just relevance.

In technical terms, this provides some interesting further reading:

Today, signals such as keyword co-occurrence, user behavior, and previous searches do in fact inform context around search queries, which impact the SERP landscape. Note I didn’t say the signals “impact rankings,” even though rank changes can, in some cases, be involved. That’s because there’s a difference. Google can make a change to the SERP landscape to impact 90 percent of queries and not actually cause any noticeable impact on rankings.

The way to get the context right, and get positive user behaviour signals, and align with their previous searches, is to first understand what people value.


SEO Book

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Mobile Marketing: 7 tips based on CNET’s mobile newsletters

When upper management asks to develop a mobile marketing strategy, marketers may find themselves scrambling to devise a plan and completing a project audiences do not want. Diana Primeu, Director of Member Services, CNET, discusses how her team was able to plan a mobile newsletter strategy through research efforts and time.
MarketingSherpa Blog

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Marketing Video: How to deliver relevant marketing based on different personality types

At B2B Summit 2012, keynote Sally Hogshead was insightful and inspiring. We asked her a few questions following her keynote to help the MarketingSherpa blog audience understand how to market to different personality types. Watch the video for her answers.
MarketingSherpa Blog

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Will Facebook Stock Have A Big Day Based on Q3 Report?

If the pre-market trading is any indication, today could be a rare good (dare we say) great day for Facebook’s stock. As of this writing, the stock is up nearly 19% pre-market. Of course we will see what kind of day-trading profit taking will occur to temper the upswing but this kind of a day could be the one that finally pushes Facebook’s languishing stock (off nearly 50% from its IPO number of $ 38) in the right direction with a little momentum.

So why the change of heart by investors and why is this important to marketers? Well, to marketers it is obvious. Many are likely to be over-invested in Facebook as a marketing tool. I say over-invested because depending too heavily on a third party platform has its pitfalls and drawbacks. Being diverse in your marketing is as smart as being diverse in investments. Too much weight in one direction means the fall is much worse if that platform stumbles out of favor for any number of reasons.

The reason behind the hope? Yesterday’s 3rd quarter results that took a back seat to Apple’s big announcement day made people happy. In a nutshell, advertising is working and mobile is geting traction. Investors like that since there have been doubts about the viability of both areas for the social media giant. TechCrunch reports

Facebook answered the big question of whether it’s transitioning to become a mobile ad company by noting in today’s earnings report that 14% of total ad revenue from Q3 2012 came from mobile — about $ 150 million.

The older Sponsored Stories and newer non-social app install and Page ads appear to be gaining traction with advertisers. That number will need to grow significantly in future to keep up with the user shift, as mobile monthlies increased 61% year-over-year to 604 million.

There are plenty of deep-dives into the numbers floating around various sites so I won’t bore you with a ‘me-too’ analysis.

What I will say is that watching this stock since its IPO has been interesting. It seems like Facebook has a semi-teflon like ability to ward off disaster in a situation where many other companies would start showing signs of falling apart. Look at Groupon and Zynga. Two recent high-fliers with meteoric rises to the top and relatively ugly falls from grace. With Facebook you don’t get that sense despite the poor stock performance to this point. Maybe they are too big to fail already?

No matter what the reason, the company is showing signs of weathering the early stock price storm over the long haul (probably way too long for those still holding those $ 38 IPO certificates). I have no crystal ball and really have no desire to try to predict where this all goes. As a marketer myself, my only concern is that the platform works for me and my efforts. Of course, if I take my eye off the ball and Facebook does a MySpace, it’s on me if I haven’t put plan B,C,D,E etc., etc. in place.

Do you have one just in case the social media giant someday turns into a little person?

UPDATE: Stock opened at 9:30 am EST up about 23%

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

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Google: Title Tags Can Change Based Off Of Language/Country

This might be an obvious point to many SEOs but Pierre Far from Google clarified that if you have specific landing pages for the same product but targeting different languages/countries…

Search Engine Roundtable

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