DIGITAL MARKETING FAQS

Depending on your industry, there are a number of ways to calculate Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).  If you sell a monthly service, you could take your (average revenue per monthly per customer) X (gross margin) X (the average number of months a client stays with you). If you run a home service business (hvac, plumbing, etc.), you might take your (average revenue per job) X (gross margin) and also take into account the number of times a customer uses you over a period of say 10 years and how likely they are to refer you to other people.

ROI stands for return on investment. If you Google “marketing ROI,” you’ll get a million different defintions. Which you use depends on your needs and business situation. The most simplistic version is to take the gross profit generated from a particular marketing investment, subtract the cost of the marketing campaign from it and divide this number by the cost of the marketing. ROI is typically expressed as a percentage, so multiple your answer by 100. So, if you spend $1,000 on a marketing campaign that generates $5,000 in gross profit, your ROI would be 400%.

ROAS stands for return on ad spend. To calculate ROAS, you take the revenue generated from the advertising campaign and divide it by the cost of the advertising campaign. If you pend $10,000 on an ad and it generates $100,000 in business, your ROAS would be $10. ROAS can be a useful metric when you want to compare the performance of two different advertising channels.

Website conversion rate is a critically important metric used to measure and improve website performance. It is typically calculated by dividing the number of defined conversions by the number of visits to your website (expressed as a percentage). In some industries, and depending on what you’re actually trying to measure/improve, it might be calculated using a segment of visits (vs. all visits). For example, a local plumber serving Colorado might have a 4% conversion rate when using all visits, but a 14% conversion rate when visits are segmented to only calculate the number using visits in Colorado–after all, can the local plumber really expect a visitor from China to convert? Not likely.

If you want to track your organic rankings in Google, there are a number of commercially available SEO tools that will get the job done. However, few people realize that you can use Google Analytics to track your SEO rankings. Not only can you customize Google Analytics to show your keyword rankings alongside the rest of your data, unlike other tools, Google Analytics is an excpetional bargain at the low, low price of FREE!! Read on for the step-by-step setup guide.

Web marketing people love to create new terms for things you thought you already understood! In the world of Internet marketing, the word “conversion” represents any action on your website that is more valuable than someone that visits your site and leaves without doing anything. What constitutes a conversion depends entirely on the industry and on the individual company. For most companies, it’s a web form submission (aka. a lead). Other terms that are interchangeable with “conversion” include: goal, upper funnel action, lower funnel action, lead, action, and event (I’m sure there are dozens of others, but you get the point).

One of the more commonly referenced website analytics terms is “bounce rate.” What is bounce rate? What does it mean? Is it an important metric to monitor? Let’s start with defining what a bounce is. A bounce occurs when someone visits your website, views a single page, and leaves. In this scenario a website tracking tool like Google Analytics, would report one bounce or a 100 percent bounce rate (depending on which type of report you run/view).

CALL TRACKING......

What is Dynamic Number Replacement?

Dynamic Number Replacement (DNR) and Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) are a call tracking technologies which allow advertisers to change the phone numbers on a given website based on parameters set by the advertiser.

Content Marketing......

What is content marketing?

When you create content with the intention of attracting and engaging prospective customers, you’re engaged in content marketing! The content you create can be articles, blog posts, case studies, custom magazines, email newsletters, microsites, webinars, videos, and much, much more.

Search Engine Optimization......

On September 26, 2013, Google announced that it had revamped and updated it’s search algorithm, the formula it uses to sort through all the information on the web and return to you what it believes to be the most relevant and authoritative results. The nickname for the new update is Hummingbird, which is said to be because it allows Google to return results quickly and precisely.

Co-citation and co-occurrence are an alternative to traditional link building for SEO. While definitions vary, co-citation happens when website A links to websites B and C. In this scenario, websites B and C are said to be related through co-citation because they both are linked from website A. Co-occurrence refers to the text before and after a hyperlink.

NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. NAP is critical for businesses wishing to rank well in the local organic search results, because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches. What can businesses do with their NAP to boost their local search rankings?

For starters, make sure that your NAP is correct – both on your website as well as on other sites throughout the web. Local SEO experts believe that Google and the other search engines cross-reference your NAP information across a variety of websites as a validation that you are a legitimate business. For example, it’s incredibly unlikely that a “made for SEO spam site” (i.e. not a real business) is going to have a physical address listed on their website let alone consistent NAP information on sites ranging from local directories and Yelp to the Internet Yellow Pages. The more “local citations” you can build up with consistent NAP information, the better.

Where should you enter your NAP?

In terms of local citations, it’s probably worth listing your business on any reputable directory – especially local directories and/or industry specific directories. InfoUSA, local chambers of commerce, the BBB, Yelp, Citysearch.com, IYP sites (painful, but probably worth a shot), 411.com, merchantcircle.com, foursquare.com, etc.

There’s a common belief that has spread through the SEO community faster than a cold in a nursery school that linking to another website will negatively impact your website’s rankings and SEO. But is it true? Can linking to another website hurt your website’s organic rankings? Is this always the case or are there times when linking to another website can actually improve your site’s rankings?

Think for a moment about what Google ultimately wants. Google wants its users to find the most relevant and authoritative websites for any given search query. When you link from your website to other relevant and authoritative websites, you’re adding value and providing a great service to searchers.

To us, it stands to reason that Google would interpret your actions as helpful and that they might actually cause a lift in your site’s authority and perceived relevance—two extremely important factors for getting ranked on search engines.

We’re in the process of performing some tests to determine (with more certainty) whether outbound links help or hurt your website’s rankings and SEO.

In the meantime, before linking to another website, you should consider the following:

  • How strong is your website’s authority?
  • How often have you linked to other relevant, authoritative websites in the past?
  • How strong are your website’s rankings today?
  • Is your site informational or commerce-oriented?
  • Is the website you’re considering linking to relevant to your business/topic?
  • Is the site you’re considering linking to an authority or subject matter expert?
  • Like a good referral, does the site you’re thinking about linking to make you look better/smarter or suspect?
  • Set SEO aside, would the site you’re considering linking to be beneficial to your visitors/audience?

We’re of the general belief that your long-term SEO strategy is simple—free from tricks. To have a website that ranks consistently high in the organic search results, you must establish and promote your site as THE authority for what you do in the markets you do it. If linking to another website provides support for the argument or point you’re trying to make, provides genuine value for your readers, and makes you look good, you should link out to the website in question. If the website you’re linking to has the potential to make you look worse or to call into question your intellect, don’t create a link.

What is an XML Sitemap and why is having one important for SEO? Good question! Think of your website as a house and each page of your site as a room. You can think of an XML Sitemap like a blueprint for your house and each web page were a room, your XML Sitemap would be a blueprint—making it easy for Google, the proverbial home inspector of the web—to quickly and easily find all the rooms within your house. XML Sitemaps are important for SEO because they make it easier for Google to find your site’s pages—this is important because Google ranks web PAGES not just websites.

There is no downside of having an XML Sitemap and having one can improve your SEO, so we highly recommend them.

XML Sitemaps are especially important if:

  • You have pages on your site created dynamically (e.g. some e-commerce sites)
  • Your site is not well-structured or well-linked (internal links)
  • Your site has few external links or is new (a newly developed site just set “live”)
  • Your site is large and/or has lots of archived content that may not be well-linked

Just like it sounds, duplicate content happens when one web page has the same (or nearly the same) content as another web page. Search engines like Google are trying to match searchers with the most relevant and authoritative websites (based on the search query). The problem with websites that contain substantially duplicated content is that they don’t add much value to searchers/visitors. Imagine if you did a search and Google returned 10 websites with nearly the same content!

Avoiding duplicate content is easy for most small medium sized businesses and websites, but things get a bit more difficult when you have an e-commerce site or you’re a dealer for a widely distributed product. For example, let’s say you have a window replacement company and one of the brands you carry is Weather Shield. If you simply take the product descriptions from Weather Shield’s site and paste them onto your site, you’re going to create large amounts of content on your site that are duplicated from Weather Shield’s website.

Instead, if you find yourself in this situation, what you should do is to create unique content based on Weather Shield’s original content. Explain to your target audience how Weather Shield products solve their unique problems. This might mean making your content geographically focused or highlighting the specific features and benefits of Weather Shield products that are most appealing to your audience.

When Google makes a major change to their algorithm, they often give it a name. In April 2012, Google made a major update to their organic search ranking algorithm dubbed “Penguin.” The target of Google’s Penguin update is… wait for it… webspam! The likely targets of the update – sites violating Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines (sites participating in keyword stuffing, link schemes, and various other types of over-optimization).

Periodically, Google updates their organic search ranking algorithm. When they do, the updates are often given nicknames. On or around February 23, 2011, Google made a major update to their algorithm dubbed “Panda” by some and “Farmer” by others. According to Google, the update impacted roughly 12 percent of the organic search results, and the goal was to reduce webspam (low-quality sites ranked highly in the Google search results). Most of the sites negatively impacted by the updated appeared to be “content farms” – sites creating page after page of relatively low-quality content (hence the name “farmer”).

Google’s Panda updated reinforced to many SEO companies, the value of creating unique, relevant, and remarkable content.

The majority of the world now uses the internet to solve their problems, and about 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. When most people hear “search engine,” they think of Google. However, Google isn’t the only search engine consumers use to find information—there are multiple types of search engines. For example, Bing is the default search engine on many computers and browsers, most East Asian users use Baidu, and Yahoo! still commands some search volume.

LIST OF TOP SEARCH ENGINES AND THEIR SEARCH ENGINE MARKET SHARE

Desktop:

  • Google: 73.04%
  • Baidu: 13.28%
  • Bing: 7.91%
  • Yahoo!: 3.70%
  • Yandex: 1.11%
  • Ask: 0.42%
  • DuckDuckGo: 0.24%
  • Naver: 0.10%
  • AOL: 0.06%
  • Dogpile: 0.03%

Mobile:

  • Google: 81.53%
  • Baidu: 16.18%
  • Yahoo!: 0.89%
  • Bing: 0.80%
  • Yandex: 0.26%
  • Naver: 0.13%
  • DuckDuckGo: 0.11%
  • Ask: 0.05%
  • Dogpile: 0.02%
  • AOL: 0.01%
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE USING SEARCH ENGINES?

The data from Internet live stats shows that the number of daily searches on Google is over 3.5 billion, which equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.

In the past, .co domains were used for the country of Columbia. Recently, domain registrars like GoDaddy have begun pushing them to webmasters and business owners from all countries as an alternative to .com. If you’re wondering whether a .co domain will rank well on Google, the answer is, “yes.” Major companies like Overstock.com have even started using .co in their traditional advertising and marketing (go to O.co as a shortcut to Overstock.com); however, .co domains don’t seem to get the same weight that .com domains get, so if you’re a small business you should definitely first try to get a .com address.

When one website links to another website, it’s called a link. Other terms commonly used by SEO companies and online marketers include: backlink, linkback, inbound link, incoming link, inlinks, and inward links. Links are important for SEO because search engines like Google use them as a gauge or measure of a website’s relevance and authority.

Pay Per Click Advertising.....

What is Pay Per Click Advertising?

The acronym “PPC” stands for “Pay Per Click,” and it refers to Pay Per Click Advertising. Many people don’t realize, but when you do a search on Google, what you’re seeing on the results page is a mix of PPC ads and organic or natural listings. At present, the PPC ads are typically found at the top of the page and sometimes along the right hand side and bottom of the page (we say, “at present” because Google has been known to change the location of paid ads from time to time).

Websites and Web Design.....

There are multiple ways to make your website mobile-ready. One currently popular option is to create a mobile-specific version of your site. Typically, this version is hosted on a separate domain such as m.www.bluecorona.com. Mobile-specific sites offer several advantages. They’re inexpensive to build. They’re typically very fast, and the content can be customized for the difference in user intent between people visiting your site from a desktop vs. a mobile device. The drawbacks of having a mobile-specific site are that, while they’re inexpensive to initially build, they’re more expensive to maintain. 

Another popular option for making your site mobile-ready is to re-build your website onto a responsive framework. Unlike a mobile-specific website, responsive sites do not utilize a separate URL. With a responsive site, you’re showing the same HTML code to all visitors, but adjusting the styling of various assets to better display on different types of devices. In a way, the opposite of creating a mobile specific website. Responsive websites are more expensive to create initially, but far less expensive to maintain over the long-run. If not properly—and heavily optimized—they also tend to be slow.

People spend, on average, 3.3 hours a day engaging with digital media on their smartphones. Because of this shift in consumer behavior, it’s no longer enough to have a website that only works from a desktop computer.

What is a responsive website design? A responsive web design automatically adjusts for different-sized screens and viewports. With a responsive website, someone can browse your website from any device and it will still look and function perfectly.

In 2010, Google surfaced their mobile-first strategy, signaling a wider paradigm shift—consumer online content consumption switching from primarily desktop usage to mostly mobile usage. In 2016, Google began rolling out their mobile-first index, which looked at mobile versions of websites first, and desktop versions second.

Designing a website to be mobile-first means you design it to first be consumed on a mobile device, second on a desktop. Designs are clean, minimal, and easy to interact with on a small screen.

The Shift to Mobile-First Website Design

In 2015, website traffic from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets outpaced web traffic on desktop devices for the first time. Since then, mobile usage has continually risen to the point where more than half of all internet website traffic comes from a mobile device. Consumers are spending more and more time on their mobile devices—according to the latest Meeker 2018 Internet Trends Report, time spent on mobile engaging with digital media has reached 3.3 hours a day for the average consumer.

About 91 percent of mobile users say access to content on a mobile device is critical, and most users will leave a site if they’re unable to immediately find what they’re looking for. Additionally:

  • 57 percent of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site (socPub)
  • 57 percent of all US online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets (BrightEdge, 2017)
  • 69 percent of smartphone users also say that they are more likely to buy from companies with mobile sites that easily address their questions or concerns (BrightEdge, 2017)
  • People today have 2X more interactions with brands on mobile than anywhere else—that includes TV, in-store, you name it (Google, 2017)
  • 50 percent of B2B search queries today are made on smartphones and will grow to 70 percent by 2020
  • Three in four smartphone owners turn to mobile search first to address their immediate needs (Google, 2017)

Google’s Mobile-First Index

To respond to consumers’ increasing preference for mobile websites, Google implemented the mobile-first index, which now powers over half of Google’s search results. How it works is instead of crawlers reading the desktop version of the page, they now look at the mobile version. In simpler terms, Google crawls and indexes your web pages based on how they render on a mobile device instead of a desktop computer

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