What Exactly is Retargeting?

Chances are you have noticed those ads that seem to be following you as you move around the net or on Facebook, shortly after you’ve visited their website. The reason is because when you visited the website your computer or mobile devise was “tagged” and you were added to a list, so you could be “retargeted”, or shown ads now that the advertiser knows you are interested in their products.

Basically, retargeting is an advertising technique, where a tracking code is dropped on a website visitor’s browser for the purpose of adding them to a list and placing specific ads in front of them later while they search the internet and/or social media platforms.

This may sound a little creepy, but the fact is, if you visit a site thats sells stuff you are interested in, you are likely to click on the ads afterwards, especially if you left the site because you got distracted, or were not quite ready to buy yet, because you are interested in this. And let’s face it, what are the chances of you getting distracted and leaving the site without taking any kind of action, thinking you’ll get back to it later? I’ll take a -not so wild- guess: extremely high.

Here is a quick fact:

90-98% of visitors don’t buy or take action on their first visit.
-Marketing Sherpa

So after all that effort to get traffic to your website, you end up loosing such high number of visitors (to never come back) before taking some kind of action, who are highly likely to be looking to buy for products some time soon, it only makes sense to put effort into staying in their radar.

And it does pay off, as studies show:

The average click-through rate for display ads is 0.07%, and the average click-through for a retargeted ad is .7%”
-Source CMO.com

As the stats show, placing your ads in front of them afterwards you increase the chances of them returning to your website and completing the desired action, whether making a purchase or booking an appointment, or signing up for a free offer.

Here is a diagram that illustrates the retargeting process:

what is retargetingIn Short:

1. Prospect visits your site
2. Prospect gets a tagged
3. As prospects is browsing your site, the phone rings, they get a text message, the person they were waiting for arrives… you get the idea… so they leave for ever.
4. Prospects sees your ads as they browse around the internet, and/or on Facebook.
5. As they see your ads they remember and click again returning to your site.

The Huge Benefit of Retargeting
It is said that a person needs to see an offer 4-7 times before they make a buying decision. Retargeting allows you to not only place your message in front of prospective customers multiple times, but also to highly personalize the ads to better connect with them and move them towards the purchasing decision.

The ability to segment your audience allows you to create a list of people who visit your sales page and then another one of people who have already made a purchase. You can do this for each product and service you offer. Then you create different retargeting ads for different audiences,  avoiding buyers seen ads for products they have already purchased.

In having such ultra-targeted and focused ads, you will notice a huge jump in your ad response and advertising investment return, which is one of the major benefits of incorporating retargeting in your advertising campaigns.

Wondering how it would work for you? Get in touch, we are here to help! Click here and fill our the form provided or schedule an appointment.

6 SEO Common Mistakes And How To Correct Them

Reaching the top of google has become sort of the Mecca for businesses, yet getting -and remaining- there is not a simple task, and what you or someone that you hire does in the name of SEO can have a lasting and significant impact for your pages, both positive and negative.

Although SEO factors have drastically changed in the last couple of years, and the “original” ones play a smaller role nowadays,  you’ve got to be aware of the basics of what works and what doesn’t, and also what may actually be counter-productive, and even damaging in some cases.

We’ve listed the 6 SEO mistakes we see most often, and if you are making any of them, you’ll want to address them immediately.

1. Ignoring Mobile – This is a major one. With nearly 70% of web users going online via mobile, Google is now ranking those sites that adapt to mobile screens much higher on mobile searches, and labeling those that don’t with a rather unflattering tag that reads: “May not work on your device”. You can read more about this and check how Google sees your site on mobile here.

2. Having a Welcome Page – Although these are not as popular as they were a few years ago, we still see them around, even in newer sites. These are pages that greet visitors and have nothing on them but a large image and a button to “enter” the site. The problem is that when google crawls your page it finds zero content on your home page, and doesn’t know what to rank it for.  And for the visitor, the extra step to find out if this site will have the information he/she is looking for, increases the chances of them leaving the site.

3. Misusing Keywords  Keywords are an important part of SEO, but not quite the way it was not too long ago, when SEO revolved around keyword manipulation. Today the Google algorithm has changed to the point where it can detect keyword “stuffing” and other keyword manipulation, and will “punish” those sites pushing them down the rankings.  The best practice today is to use keywords naturally on your pages as part of informative content, utilizing related keywords and synonyms, so it reads well from the end user perspective.

4. Using Tags and Tag Clouds – This was another popular practice especially for blogs, but it’s a bad idea today. The first and most important reason is that it automatically results in duplicate content issues, and second, it uses up valuable virtual real estate on your website, and has little or no purpose to your visitor.

5. Using Flash – Although designers have mostly stopped using flash animation in newer websites, we still find way too many out there using flash. It not only has a negative effect on your SEO, but it can ruin your mobile rankings, unless you have a separate mobile website.

6. Not Taking Advantage of  Internal Linking – An effective way to secure better rankings these days is to make sure your pages are optimized well, and sound internal linking is an important element to this end. Google loves this, and it is far easier to implement than getting those valuable external links.

And there you have it! If you need help or would like to discuss your current SEO situation please schedule a free consultation, and we’ll be happy to address your specific issues.

Your questions and comments are welcome!

The 2 Components of a Content Strategy That Works

Content has become the hottest marketing topic these days and for good reason: we live in the age of information, and that’s why content is king.  This doesn’t mean that posting random updates, with no theme or purpose is all you need to do, on the contrary, this practice can actually have a negative impact on your brand’s credibility. In fact, there is a proliferation of thoughtless content in all possible formats that is totally irrelevant to the brand that’s posting it, has no substance, and it’s poorly written. That’s why you need a content strategy.

Those of your competitors that are thriving online are producing relevant content on a regular basis, and that’s how they seem to be everywhere: their content shows up when you search not only for the services they provide, but also for industry information. They become a resource. The question is, how can you do the same? What makes content relevant and where can you find it?

The answer is simple: create content that your ideal prospects and clients are interested in. In order to do accomplish this there are 2 tasks you need to do first, that you will get done by answering the following 2 questions:

Who are you talking to?
For the content you create to be of interest to your ideal clients, you need to know who they are in the first place. I know this may sound obvious, but so many business owners and even marketers, skip this step. So the first step is to develop your perfect customer profile or “buyer persona”. Think in terms of the group of people who you actually want to work with. The more specific you get the easier it will be to come up with topics that will interest them. To do this you need to go deeper than just age and income brackets, gender, and geographical location, which are important, but you also want to include their education, profession, household composition, marital status, interests, preferences, purchasing habits, as well as challenges and concerns as they relate to your products and services.

Ideally, you want to have these characteristics written down, and add items as you may find more details when evaluating your results from analytics data. One obvious place to start is within your own customer base, and select those you love to work with and want to “clone”. You can survey what they have in common, down to interests and preferences, such as TV shows they watch, hobbies, and how they spend their free time, for example, especially those that relate to the “problems” your products and services solve.

What information are they looking for?
Now that you know who your ideal customer is, finding what they want to read about is the next step, and this is when keywords come into play. Keywords still form a critical piece in online marketing, regardless of the medium, whether it be for ranking pages on your site or blog, videos, imagery, paid search, etc., keywords are one of the most important components when planning your content.

So put on your thinking cap and attempt to get into the mid of your ideal customer who’s searching for you. What are they typing in the browser? What is their intent?. Being on top of your keywords is critical to have a clear picture.

How do you find your best keywords? There are lots of keyword research tools out there, such as the Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, some offer a free version. You want to use these tools to also understand your niche or market, what your competitors are ranking for, and what keyword phrases are getting the most and best traffic.

Pulling it together
Once you have a list of keyword phrases identified, each of these can be turned into a topic, that can be addressed from different angles, and shared in multiple formats, such as your own blog posts, industry news articles to be shared, videos, images, quotes, etc.

Say for example that you are a landscaper, and one phrase you have identified is “best grass for hot climate”. Content that talks about the types of grass is the obvious one, but you can also talk about watering tips, maintaining a lawn, reasons why it won’t grow in certain places, and why a complete maintenance plan, such as yours, is best.

Further, knowing your customers’ profile and interests, will add angles to the topics. Using the same example landscaper example, if your best clients are homeowners with pets, for example, you’ll know that safety will be a topic they will be interested in, so topics related to toxic plants will be of interest.

There point is, knowing your customer’s questions and concerns will give you the opportunity to address them, and position your company as the expert that understands what’s important to your clients.

And there you have it!

Handling negative reviews

When a customer leaves a negative review it gives you the golden opportunity to make  corrections and improvements to your services, especially if you have employees that face the public and you might not really know how they handle themselves.

Every business owner wants nothing but good things to be said about their business and that only happens if customers are happy with their services. If your are committed being the best, knowing what your customers really think of your service and what matters to them is very valuable.

However, when it comes to negative reviews,  not every business owner takes negative critique well, and instead of making corrections to improve their service, or attempt to make it right to the customer, some make it a lot worse.

We found these examples of business owners extreme way to handle the situation:

 

Restaurant owner tracks down to harasses reviewer

A group of friends go eat at an asian food New York restaurant and one of them leaves a one star review on Yelp, with a detailed explanation of why he wasn’t satisfied. The owner was able to track him down through Facebook and started sending a series of really nasty, even threatening messages. This turned out to be a costly decision, all his messages quickly spread in social media, and a group started a Facebook page promoting the banning of the restaurant! This guy eventually apologized but the damage to his reputation was already done.

 

British couple gets fined  £100 for posting a negative review

This british hotel was getting poorly rated consistently with complaints about their state of disrepair. In order to prevent bad reviews, instead of making any corrections, they decided to fine those who didn’t like the hotel and rated them, and started warning customers of their policy in their booking document that reads  “…For every bad review left on any website, the group organiser will be charged a maximum £100 per review.”

A british couple who didn’t read the small print and left a one start review on Trip Advisor, found this out when they got the extra £100 charge on their credit card.
Beverly Hills Dentist Sues Over Bad Yelp Review

A woman had cosmetic dental work done which left her with bigger teeth than everybody to a point that she couldn’t close her mouth. After two years of no resolution, her then husband wrote a pretty bad review of the dentist, calling him a butcher and a crook. The dentist sued the couple in turn, claiming it was another dentist, not him.  I don’t know how that will end, but probably not well for neither of them…

 

What to do instead

If you are one of those who takes it personally and get’s offended, take a deep breath and go for a walk. Accept that this comes with the territory.  If you want to be known for the great service you provide, then be open to feedback that will ensure you are on top of your customer service game from your customers perspective, which is the only one that counts. Welcome negative feedback and take it as an opportunity to quickly address any issues, and more importantly, as an opportunity for dialogue with your customers to show them you care about their satisfaction. It is as simple as responding to the comment promising to address the issue and make things right for them. Keep in mind, those searching for reviews will also see hoe you handled it.

How do you handle reviews? Do you have a systematic way of collecting them? Do you check regularly what’s being said? Whatever you do don’t be those guys…

Sources: Mashable, ABC news, UpRoxx

Content as an Effective Marketing Tool

Effective content marketing is achieved the same way perfect mac and cheese is: by getting the mix right.

Kraft has been getting it right for years and has been reaping the benefits as a result. As Advertising Age editor-at-large Jack Neff reports, the food giant earns four times as much ROI from its content marketing strategy as from targeted advertising. The practice started 18 years ago with the enterprise’s Food & Family magazine, which has since evolved from a free publication to paid circulation.
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