Link Building: How Long Should It Take To See Your ROI?

Link building has long been considered an SEO tactic largely based on patience. Like that of a long con, link-building strategies require that short-term sacrifices be made for the greater good—that is, permanent ROI—which could take weeks if not months to bear fruit. Recently, however, debates have surfaced regarding the average length of time one should expect to wait before their efforts visibly affect rankings and traffic.

Link Building

Below you’ll find both positions as presented by some SEO and link-building experts in the industry.

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The Evolved Consumer Path to Purchase

In today’s highly digitized world, things are done a little bit differently than Dad is used to. We’ve all heard it before: “Kids today are only friends with their phones,” and “When I was your age we talked to each other face toface.” Or the classic, “When we needed new shoes we went down to the corner store, bought a pair from the local shoe salesman, and gave him a nice firm handshake. That’s how business is supposed to be done.”

There’s no denying the nostalgic appeal of the “simpler time.” There is also no denying that our current society could use a little more old-fashioned, person-to-person interaction, but the fact of the matter is that times have changed and so have the ways that consumers behave.

Modern consumers don’t go down to the corner store and buy the first pair of shoes they see; they don’t leave their house until they already know exactly what it is they want and where to get it for the lowest price–if they even leave their house at all. The internet has opened up the door to a whole new method of consumerism. Shopping has become a casual activity done on the phone while the TV begs for equal attention, and making a purchase is now sealed with a click instead of a handshake.

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This hasn’t made physical stores obsolete; consumers still value the process of trying on the dress they’ve been looking at, test driving the car they’re interested in, and asking questions of the salesperson. But the sales process has changed dramatically, and understanding this change while also taking advantage of it is the key to a successful business in today’s society.

Phil Frost of PracticalEcommerce.com had this to say about the changes we’ve seen: “For more than a century, the conventional wisdom in marketing was that customer buying decisions followed a linear, top-down progression known as the funnel…Today, however, the marketing funnel is nearly obsolete. The new customer path to purchase is much more winding and sophisticated, and smart companies have begun to adapt to the new approach.”

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So if the traditional marketing funnel (i.e. Awareness + Interest + Desire = Action) is dead, then how do companies reach consumers and compel them to buy their products? The answer isn’t so straightforward.

Brand Awareness is No Longer Enough

Awareness will always be the first step. Getting your name out there and running advertisements that make your brand appeal to consumers will get the ball rolling, but it isn’t always enough. In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever before and product options are abundantly accessible, remarketing your brand is one of the most essential actions a business can take to gain customers. Even then, once people are aware of your product and have the desire to buy your product, they may still move into an exploratory phase.

According to AdWeek.com, “Eighty-one percent of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase…. On average, a consumer will visit three stores before making their purchase.” Consumers look for similar products on various websites, searching out better prices and sales. They then explore those websites’ inventories, undoubtedly become interested in other products, and the cycle of research continues. Chances are, however, the first time a customer visits your website, they won’t make a purchase. Instead, they will browse around before heading back to the mindlessness that is Facebook or Twitter.

Recapturing their interest is huge here, so make sure you’re tracking website clicks to your website and maintaining remarketing lists to remind users of the product that initially grabbed their intention. Most likely, after browsing the web for a few hours or days, they will be more willing to buy. Tracking your best-performing ads, offering sales on featured products, and improving on original product offers will do wonders for your business.

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Stephen Frost of Forbes.com suggests that rather than thinking of a consumer’s path to purchase as the traditional “marketing funnel,” we should consider a company’s engagement with individual customers as a “customer life cycle.” This is perfectly aligned with the digital marketing landscape and consumer behavior. Even after making a purchase, your customers must continue to feel engaged–offering new ads, products, and sales will do this, while also building customer loyalty and brand awareness.

Convenience will take you far in the digital market place, but building brand loyalty–similar to what companies like BMW, Starbucks, Nike, and Apple have done–takes consistent customer engagement throughout a consumer’s life cycle, from the initial ad-click to well beyond their first purchase.

 

Sources:

Forbes.com

AdWeek.com

PracticalEcommerce.com

Top 3 Google Search Ranking Factors

This past spring, Google’s own Andrey Lipattsev announced the top three search ranking factors, and local SEO pros listened in awe as they updated their strategies and metrics. For the first time in digital marketing history, Google (aka, the king of the online marketing world) has provided us with a sneak peek into what they use to determine search rankings, other than those pesky Penguins and Pandas! So, without further ado, I present to you the much-anticipated top three VIPs of Google search rankings: links, content, and the RankBrain algorithm.

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The Reviews Are In On Online Reviews

Who reads online reviews? Pretty much everyone. By that, we mean over 90% of survey respondents from BrightLocal’s 2015 Local Consumer Review Survey. Conducted over two weeks in July 2015, the report surveyed 2,354 individuals in North America. We’re going to touch on a few highlights from the report, but we encourage you to check out the full report for even more compelling results.

The Consumption of Online Reviews

Graph On Internet Usage For Local Business In The Past 12 Months

Looking at the graph above, it’s obvious that everyday consumers are searching for local businesses more and more, with a good percentage accessing search almost every day. Since 2010, the percentage of consumers who never used the internet to search for a local business has dropped over 10%. As mobile search continues to grow, and our world has wider and wider access to internet, we can expect individuals to continue searching the internet for local businesses.

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Seven Deadly Sins of Digital Marketing: A Mid-2015 Update

There are a lot of blogs, articles, etc. out there that list the seven deadly sins of digital marketing, but like everything else in digital marketing, the lists of “Dos” and “Don’ts” are constantly changing. For that reason, we wanted to give a mid-year update. These are the fieriest seven deadly sins of digital marketing, for now…

Tempting Apple

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6 Signs It’s Time to Revamp Your SEO Strategy

Simply establishing a website won’t put you or your brand on the map. Search rankings are highly competitive, and there are many players in the marketplace who are eager to steal the top spot from you.

If your company, products, services, or brand can’t be found with ease, or is ranking below the third position, it’s time to revamp your SEO strategy. Let’s review six ways to make it happen.

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1) You’re Poor From PPC

Digital marketers know firsthand just how long it can take to perfect their SEO strategy. Since building quality SEO is an on-going effort, many marketers and business owners opt for paid search to see instant results.

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5 Non-Blogging Content Marketing Tips

It seems like you can’t read any marketing-related blog without hearing the golden phrase, “Content is King,” right? There’s no denying the popularity and incredible effectiveness of content marketing, but what happens when you start to suffer from blogging burn out? You start churning out less content, that’s less engaging, and much less effective in terms of leads and conversions, that’s what.

5 Ways to Beat the Blogging Blues

To avoid blogging burn out, it’s time to re-think your content strategy. Don’t get me wrong, blogs are great – so great, that B2B marketers who blog receive 67% more leads than those who don’t.

For the sake of your content (and your sanity), add some creativity to your content routine. Follow these five tips to avoid blogging burnout, and you’ll find yourself typing to the beat of a much happier tune.

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Google Penguin 4.0 | How to Avoid Penguin Penalties with Backlink Audits

Brace yourselves, Penguin panic is here. Digital marketers are deeply passionate about building quality links to improve search engine rankings, but with the anxiety of Penguin Penalties lurking at every click, it’s no wonder that fear has set in. Whether you’re fairly new to the world of digital marketing, or you’re an industry expert, having a healthy understanding of Google Penguin is essential for success.

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What is Google Penguin?

Let’s start from the beginning. In 2012, Google launched the Penguin update with the goal of identifying sites that are guilty of spamming search results to falsely increase rankings – typically done via keyword stuffing or the purchasing of links from link networks.

Since the launch in 2012, several new versions have been released, all of which are designed to make the “capturing” process more effective and inclusive than the last. Today, we’re going to review the newest Penguin update – Penguin 4.0.

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Tips to Optimize Your Business Blog

Are you new to blogging on behalf of a business? If you’re wondering what business blogging is and how it differs from regular blogging you’ve come to the right place. With business blogs generating 55% more website visitors, knowing how to optimize your business’s blog content is a must.

Sharing the right content on your blog not only helps drives traffic to your blog but also helps convert that traffic into leads for your sales team. Avoid the consequences of mindless blogging by following our business blogging tips below: tips-to-optimize-business-blog

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4 Tips to Spring Clean Your Social Media Strategy

Ahh, spring: the perfect time to renew and refresh. Rather than focusing all of your energy on spring cleaning your house or car, why not take some time to spring clean your social media strategy? Chances are, your social pages are long-overdue for a refresher. While social media management is, undoubtedly, a round-the-clock job, taking a closer look at your strategy every few months is key for continued success. Use these four tips to renew and refresh your social media strategy this spring.

4 Tips to Spring Clean Your Social Media Strategy

1) Address Existing Metrics & Performance

Sure, you’re hitting your goals, and your metrics are green at the end of every month, but what does that really mean for your social status? Well, without continued assessment of KPIs and page performance, not much. To keep your metrics relevant, continue to raise the bar and examine your position. For example, if on-page engagement is more valuable than CTR, make note of that in your KPI tracker. Remember: metrics are fluid, so they should change as new goals become important to your bottom line.

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