You Don’t Really Want SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is such a big buzzword. At least twice a month I am approached about doing SEO for an existing or potential client. As we begin to delve into their goals though, it often turns out that what they really want is Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

And it turns out that CRO isn’t much of a buzzword even though it is a critical piece of digital marketing. If you want to get more leads through your website, you first have to know if you are getting leads from your website.

If you know how many leads you are getting from your website, we can then look at the number of visitors to your site and, with simple math, calculate your conversion rate:

If you have 100 visitors to your site and get 1 lead, your conversion rate is:

1 (lead) ÷ 100 (visitors) = 0.01 then multiply by 100 for the percentage = 1%  (conversion rate)

Sound low? It is. Conversion rates vary widely but if you have a higher than 1% conversion rate, you are doing fantastic.

Now that we have a conversion rate established, we can go about the process of optimizing the conversion rate. There are many things you can test or try. Sometimes it is simply a matter of changing colors on a button or call to action (yes, that might be all it takes). Other things that you can do include:

  • Removing unnecessary steps (fewer clicks often increases conversion rates)
  • Creating better / stronger calls to action (CTAs)
  • Use design to clarify what the next step is
  • Remove unnecessary CTAs – if they make it to a form page, remove opportunities to click away
  • Don’t ask for unnecessary information – growing your email list? You don’t need a physical address.
  • Add urgency to the CTA – “Offer good through Saturday!”
  • Don’t your CTA lower on the page or even on a different page
  • Use testimonials – others “tooting your horn” will work better than you doing it yourself
  • Make sure your page loads quickly – if it is slow to load, people leave
  • If you have the staff resources to manage it, add a chatbot to your site so you can interact in real time

All of these, and a whole lot more, are ways to increase your conversion rate, increase customer satisfaction and grow your business.

If you want to see what might work on your site, give us a call or fill out this form

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The Art Of Digital Marketing Is Science

The Art Of Digital Marketing Requires A Bit Of Science
Digital Marketing Takes Work

There are a lot of artists out there. They love to create beautiful campaigns that look and feel marvelous. Sometimes you will see a post or part of a campaign that makes you laugh out loud. That too is a good part of the art.

A picture is indeed worth a 1000 words and some of the best pictures make for artistic digital marketing that takes your breath away. And a video? Well if a picture is worth a 1000, a video is worth far more. Some of the most artistic digital marketing campaigns move you to like, share and comment.

And if digital marketing were a popularity contest, that might be enough.

But bringing in a bit of science to help you with your digital marketing campaign can actually help your business grow.

You remember back in science in high school? You create a hypothesis. Then you do a test. Then you measure the results. Then you draw a conclusion based on that and from there you can create a new hypothesis and let the science keep rolling.

How does that work?

Hypothesis:

If I create one blog every two weeks for twelve weeks around a new product that we make, and strategically share that on social media I’ve identified as platforms the target customer uses, I can increase sales 10%

Test:

Create six pieces of content, keeping it short, interesting, and using images  that are not stock images. Post one every two weeks to your blog, share on identified social sites, tagging others and using hashtags as appropriate.

Measure / Evaluate:

Well we found that posts where we focused on our clients got the most interaction and we actually generated three leads as a result of those two posts. We’ve already converted one. One is a bit dicey and likely won’t convert but the other is in the funnel and looking good.

Conclusion:

It seemed like the posting frequency was just about right and it really helped to have it all planned out in advance. If we can sustain this program, our sales should increase between 11 and 15% over last year.

That’s one example of how you can conduct a digital marketing campaign with science. What all was used in this example?

  • Content Marketing – creating unique content and posting it to a blog
  • Social Media Marketing – posting to social media websites using tags and hashtags to engage others
  • Conversion Rate Optimization Marketing – determining a conversion rate based on number of interactions that actually turn into business

Other types of digital marketing that should be considered:

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Paid Search Campaign
  • Email Marketing
  • Paid Social Media Marketing (similar to paid search campaign)
  • 3rd Party Marketing (placing your ads / links on other websites)
  • Mobile Marketing (includes many of those above plus texting)
  • Affiliate Marketing (using influencers to promote your business)

The art of digital marketing is an important component but the science of digital marketing should not be overlooked. Over the last couple of years the phrase “follow the science” has been overused and abused. But integrating science into your digital marketing outreach is important if you want to be successful.

Remember, if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there. If you take the extra steps beyond the art of digital marketing to get to the science, you will actually be able to measure success as a phase of the campaign ends.

If this all sounds great to you but you aren’t sure where to start, we can help. Call or Fill out our contact form to get started.

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Finishing Strong

Sometime in the first or second week of November, many business people slowly begin to checkout. It’s time for Thanksgiving and then Christmas and then New Years. It’s not time to close new deals or even to push to the finish on existing deals or projects.

But that is really just an excellent way to waste 1/10th of the year.

If it seems like your prospects or projects are beginning to taper off, here are five ways you can bolster your year and finish strong

  1. Review your website. Things change over the course of a year. Are the offerings / services / products displayed all still accurate? Anything new to add? What about personnel?
  2. Review your calls to action. Whether it is for your website or your social media presence or your online ads, are the calls to action generating action? If not, determine if you need more activity or better calls to action (or both).
  3. Check your traffic. If you have an established conversion rate (XX number of visitors generates X number of leads), is your traffic volume headed in the right direction? If you don’t know or don’t have a conversion rate, then you probably need to revisit #2 above. You should be able to measure visitors on your website, interactions on social media and how your brand and keyword phrases perform in search.
  4. Refresh your digital marketing goals. Social media, for example, can be a powerful tool for connecting with prospects but you need to have a clear plan. And remember, social media marketing is not a popularity contest. It isn’t the number of fans or followers but the quality of the connections and the way you interact.
  5. Hire a digital marketing firm to help you out. Sounds like a self-serving step but pause and consider. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing in your business? If managing your website and your digital marketing is not high on the list, then why not turn to the pros who do enjoy it and are good at it?

Whether you are struggling to hold the line, growing like crazy or somewhere in-between, staying engaged all the way to the end of the year will yield benefits both for 2021 and to launch 2022 off to a strong start.

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Turn Your Digital Marketing Around

What Is The Core Of Your Digital Marketing Campaign?
What is the core of your Digital Marketing Campaign?

The core of digital marketing is your website. It is your website where you have the most control. You can publish content about what you do, what you offer, any special events or sales you have, interact with customers and pretty much whatever else you need it to do.

Other web sites might opt not to share your content or run your ads. Social media sites might change how their advertising works or what you can and cannot post. But you have control over your website.

So that is the starting place. But as you begin to build out a digital marketing campaign, the obvious first step is to set goals for your campaign. And those goals should be clearly defined and measurable.

The following are not goals for a digital marketing campaign:

  • I want to make my site look better.
  • It should have more pictures
  • I want to get more likes*
  • We will have more followers on Facebook*
  • I want a lower “bounce rate”*
  • I want to drive more traffic to my website.*
  • Can we make the pictures bigger?
  • We have a new logo
  • I want to be ranked number 1*

But the ones with asterisks could be turned into defined, measurable goals. What does make a good goal? It needs to be clearly defined so you can actually measure it. Here is an example of a clearly defined, measurable goal:

“We will get three qualified leads each month through our social media marketing campaign.”

Now we have a goal that we can measure and we can begin to lay out HOW we will reach the goal.  For social media, you must provide VALUE to the reader / viewer. You want to capture their attention and move them towards a Call to Action. You often seen tantalizing headlines online like “This Simple Trick Will Close the Deal Every Time”. While they are often bordering on the ridiculous, they keep doing them because they work. We’re not suggesting you go the ridiculous route but you can learn from these to make your headlines, images and content highly enticing and clickable.

The following are good goals for a digital marketing campaign:

  • We will get 10 more likes each week for our corporate presence on LinkedIn which will give us a wider audience each week and from which we will convert three of these into customers each month.
  • We will have 25 more followers on our Facebook account each month and increase click throughs to our website by 10 each month (this should be teased out a bit further even – . . . to our website by 10 and increase ecommerce sales by three customers)
  • People aren’t really going experiencing our site. We will lower the bounce rate and increase engagement so that we get more subscribers to our newsletter.
  • We have a conversion rate of .1% (we get a new customer for every 1000 visitors to our website) so we want to increase our traffic to 10,000 visitors a week so we get 10 new customers each week. We will accomplish this by being ranked in the top 10 for our five best key phrases.

As you can see from all of the good goals, we want to ultimately send visitors to your website and it is from there we need to convert them – whether conversion is making a sale, getting a form filled out, getting another newsletter subscriber or whatever your conversion point is.

So with your website being the center, your first step in digital marketing should be to make sure your site is optimized for conversion and that you are measuring the rate of conversion. With that baseline established, you can then set goals for any other campaigns you create and understand the value they are bringing.

Do you need help setting up your digital marketing? Give EduCyber a call at 303-268-2245 – ask for Brian.

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Five Hidden Reports in Google Analytics that Every Business Owner Should See

Reports In Google Analytics
Five Hidden Reports in Google Analytics that Every Business Owner Should See 6

Every website should be using an analytics package that tracks what is happening on the website so you can make intelligent business decisions about how web visitors experience your website. Google Analytics is probably the most popular, in part because it is free. But it can be intimidating finding the data from reports in Google Analytics that you need to understand what is happening in your business.

Because there is so much data and because Google is continually updating the package themselves, it is important to know where the hidden reports are so you can get to them. Below are the five reports in Google Analytics every business owner or website manager should be paying attention to.

Before you start looking at reports in Google Analytics though, you need to have enough data to understand what is happening. We normally start with a year to date report – in the top right corner you can select the start date and end date for your reports. If you’ve been using GA long enough, you can even do a comparison to the previous year so you can detect trends that way.

The obvious reports of Audience Overview and Acquisition Overview are not the topic for today – but they are important reports you should review. We’re going to look at the five hidden reports that can unlock the secrets of how people are using your website.

Reports in Google Analytics:

  1. Events Overview. Found under the Behavior tab, this report reveals specific actions that users take on your site including if they clicked a “mailto” link which is typically used to send you or someone at your organization an email. If you have pdfs or other downloadable files you can also see how many (and what) they downloaded. If your site is coded properly for clickable phone numbers, you can also see how many people clicked to call. And you can also see how many people clicked a link on your site that took them elsewhere.
  2. Outbound-link Report. Closely related to the first report, the Outbound-link Report can reveal where people go when they leave your site. This report is found under Behavior -> Events -> Top Events -> Outbound-link. From here you need to look for Primary Dimension (between the chart at the top and the data below) and click on Event Action. Lots of sites, for example, have their social media icons on their site. This report can show you how many people actually click those links. Or if you have referral partners or members and there are links to their sites, you can show them how much traffic you are sending their way.
  3. Mobile Overview. This report can be found under Audience -> Mobile. It is critical to know from a design or usage perspective, what device visitors are using when they visit your site. Is it a computer? A tablet? A phone? What is the breakdown on these? If you look at your website a lot on a computer, you might think it is working pretty well but then find out that your users are mostly on their phones. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the wrong medium. This mobile overview report can save you from making that mistake.
  4. Queries Overview – this report and the next require that you have connected your analytics to the search console but if you have, ooo boy do you get some good data. The Queries report is found under Acquisition ->  Search Console -> Queries. This delightful report shows you not just what is happening on your site but what Google understands about your website. You see the terms that people have actually searched for when Google thought that a page on your site is what people are looking for – this is called Impressions. This doesn’t mean someone clicked to your site, just the number of times the site showed up somewhere in Google results. You can also see the number of clicks – from Google to your site – which leads to a click through rate. This report also shows you the average position of your site for that search – hint: if you aren’t in the top 10, you probably aren’t going to get many clicks.
  5. Landing Pages Overview. This is the juiciest report you will find. Much like the Queries overview, it shows the number of impressions, the clicks, and the average position. In most instances, your home page is the top page signified by “/”.  You will be able to see how many impressions the home page received and how many of those turned into clicks. The interesting part is you can then click through to see what terms people were searching for when your homepage appeared. This report, in particular, can reveal a lot about how both Google and visitors see your site. If the terms don’t match what you do or what you offer, you might need to rethink and rework your page or site.

Don’t get lost in the data. There is a lot and Google has recently released version 4 of their analytics which will likely change how to access these reports in Google Analytics. But do pay attention to the data. If you don’t you might find your site is not helping you grow. To get a complete understanding of your digital marketing, you need this data.

And if your site isn’t helping your grow or you are troubled by the results you see in any of these hidden reports, we’re only a phone call away at 303-268-2245.

Because we are the power behind your website.

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Leveraging Your Web Site During the COVID-19 Crisis

Web Site Review1
Leveraging Your Web Site During the COVID-19 Crisis 8

So you are unexpectedly forced into downtime. Can’t go to the office. Can’t go to the restaurant. Can’t go to the theater. Set aside the frustration for a moment. What can you do?

Remember way back when you were too busy to take the time to work on your site (last week)?

Now you have the time for you and your staff to revisit your website. You might be surprised. Earlier today we met with a businessman who had recently changed to a whole new website with a new URL. As we went through his site and his listings, we discovered that many of his social media and external sites linked to the previous site or to the previous email.

What things should you look for?

Basic five

  1. Is your logo and tag line current and up-to-date across all media?
  2. Is your name consistent on every page and on all your social media?
  3. Check your physical address. One thing search engines need is the same address where even “Ave.” and “Ave” can be seen differently. Make sure your address is absolutely identical. If you belong to any trade associations or chambers, check them as well.
  4. Look at your site on a phone. Does it look right on every page? Does the mobile responsive part work as expected?
  5. Review your color scheme. Does your site follow the scheme properly? Are all the colors matching your approved standards?

Intermediate five

  1. Request testimonials
  2. Request reviews
  3. Are your forms all working? Is there a next step after a form is filled out?
  4. Is the contact information accurate and up-to-date?
  5. Check for bad reviews on social – Facebook, Yelp, Google, etc.

Advanced five

  1. Are there any pages or content on your site that no longer applies to what you do?
  2. Are all of the images appearing properly? Do you need any new or different photos?
  3. Have you added any new services or products that are not yet on the site?
  4. Are your blog and social media profiles current and accurate?
  5. Is there a clear path or next step on each page?

Need help? We are available for phone or online support. Contact Brian at 303-268-2245 ext 4 or visit https://www.educyber.com/contact-us/.

We are the power behind your website.

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Misguided Marketing

Over the course of the last several years, we have had many customers come to us asking for Search Engine Optimization. We do SEO (and we do it well) so we are happy to accommodate.

Are Your Marketing Goals Misguided?But as a part of our marketing assistance, we seek to understand the goals of the SEO program. On a few occasions the customer’s goal has not been to get a higher ranking with the search engines. Those conversations go something like this:

Customer: I would like you to do SEO for my site.
EduCyber: Sure thing, let’s take a look at your numbers. First, what is your conversion rate for your web site?
C:            ???
E:            How many leads are you generating from your site on a daily, weekly, monthly or even quarterly basis?
C:            I’m not.
E:            So if we get you ranked in the top ten for all of your keywords and you are still at a conversion rate of zero, will you be happy?
C:            Of course not!
E:            So let’s look at what you want to accomplish.
C:            I want the phone to ring!
E:            Ah, we can help with that.

And in many cases what we do is first tweak or in some cases redo the site to clarify and simply the Call To Action (CTA). Once we’ve done that we can establish a conversion rate. Once the conversion rate is established, then we can look at whether SEO, Pay Per Click, Social Media or some combination of those is the appropriate solution in order to get more business.

Are you wondering if you might be practicing misguided marketing? Some of the comments we hear from folks include:

  • We tried social media, it didn’t work.
  • I don’t get any feedback from my SEO firm.
  • I get all kinds of reports from them but I don’t understand any of them.
  • We’re paying a lot of money but not getting any tangible results.
  • I’m told we rank high but the phone isn’t ringing
  • I’m paying for clicks and I see the reports but no one is contacting us.

If you find yourself saying or thinking these, give us a call at 303-268-2245 ext 4 or visit https://www.educyber.com/request-free-call/ to schedule your no pressure evaluation of your site and goals.

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The 5 Requirements for a Powerful Manufacturing Website

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The 5 Requirements for a Powerful Manufacturing Website 11

Powerful Manufacturing websites are a niche that make them different from other kinds of websites. They need to display their products in such a way that searchers can find and visit the page of the specific product they want. They need to be searchable. But they also need to show the quality of the product, of the people making the product and even the process and standards that go into creating the product.

Here are the five requirements for a powerful manufacturing website that actually connects with customers and potential customers:

  1. It needs to have a product database. Whether you actually sell directly online or just show the products, the database needs to function like an ecommerce site where you can view individual product pages, get the specs, perhaps even see reviews and get support for the product.
    All of this can and should be done through a product database so you can dynamically display different products – by category, most popular, possibly even by price or SKU.
  2. The design of the site must be compelling. Unless you are a big, nationally known brand, you want to engage visitors right from the start on what they need. The first step of that process is to confirm for them that you are a legitimate source for the product they need.
    Compelling images of your products, perhaps being created or finished are an excellent way to show your workmanship, display what you actually do and impress with your quality work.
      1. It needs to have a product database. Whether you actually sell directly online or just show the products, the database needs to function like an ecommerce site where you can view individual product pages, get the specs, perhaps even see reviews and get support for the product.
      2. All of this can and should be done through a product database so you can dynamically display different products – by category, most popular, possibly even by price or SKU.
      3. The design of the site must be compelling. Unless you are a big, nationally known brand, you want to engage visitors right from the start on what they need. The first step of that process is to confirm for them that you are a legitimate source for the product they need.
      4. Compelling images of your products, perhaps being created or finished are an excellent way to show your workmanship, display what you actually do and impress with your quality work.
      5. Finally you need to have clear and effective calls to action. One of the biggest downfalls for manufacturing websites is displaying information without moving folks to the next step. By having a good next step on each page of your site, you will not only engage your web visitors but convert them into customers.

      Does your site do all five of these? If not, give EduCyber a call. We can tweak your existing site or design a whole new site to help you grow.

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The Ugly Baby

Ugly Website

You’ve probably seen this – a parent who is so proud of their beautiful baby that the rest of the world is afraid to tell them the truth.

The same thing often happens with web sites. Especially websites put together in house. “We ‘birthed’ this site and it is gorgeous” is the mentality that folks have.

That is why it is so important to have others try the site. If possible you want to have impartial 3rd party folks try the site. We have had numerous folks come to us wanting to help make their “beautiful baby” better by tweaking it.

When it comes to websites, it is sometimes possible to tweak a good site to make it great. But it is never possible to tweak an ugly site to make it good.

What do I mean by an ugly site? Here are the most common symptoms:

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  1. No call to action – just a lot of information but no way to act on it.

  2. Too many calls to action – we’ve seen sites with dozens of calls to action – sort of like walking into a crowded room and having everyone calling your name at once – makes you turn around and leave.

  3. Graphics that distract visitors from the call to action. If your call to action is on the left and you have pictures of people in the middle, looking to the right, visitors won’t look left, they’ll look right.

  4. Too much movement. Having an engaging website is to be desired. If you endeavor to engage by several different sections having movement, it is just distracting and leaves visitors lost.

  5. Unchanged in ten or more years. Yes, we regularly have clients come to us who have not updated their site in that long. And yes, by 2019 standards, they are ugly.

  6. Not responsive. Not unresponsive, just not responding to mobile devices. If your site doesn’t conform to responsive standards, it will look ugly on a phone. Just today – in July of 2019 – I came across a site that is not responsive. It just shows a much smaller version of itself. Drop down menus don’t work, hard to click on links because they’re too close together – just a mess.

If you have an ugly site though, there is a cure. We can help. We make beautiful web sites. And you will love the Return on Investment you get because that is how we design every site – with ROI in mind. Call 303-268-2245 ext 4 to turn your ugly baby into an integral part of your business.

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