Tips For A Successful Rebrand

The word 'branding' typed out on a typewriter.

We all remember last year when Massachusetts’ own Dunkin’ Donuts dropped its name to just Dunkin’. Dunkin’ Donuts had been known on a first name basis by fans for years, and it was dropping the ‘donut’ to transform itself into “a beverage-led, on-the-go brand.” What Dunkin’ underwent was a rebrand. Rebranding may seem like it’s just changing your company’s name or logo, but there’s a lot more to it. Here our top tips on how to have a successful rebrand.

Make Sure You Have A Purpose

There are many reasons a business rebrands itself. They may feel their current brand is too generic. They’re feeling embarrassed to pass out business cards or share their website’s URL.

It may be because they are merging with another company or have acquired another one.

Or it could be because their business has evolved. They have new markets and therefore need a new brand to connect with their new audiences.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to have a ‘why’ behind your rebrand.  

Check For Trademarks

The last thing you want is to fall in love with a name or logo that is already being used by another company.

Sometimes companies will hire a law firm to perform comprehensive trademark searches, but you don’t have to do that. You can look for trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on their website. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is the federal agency in charge of maintaining the national register of trademarks.

You should also perform a Google search of the name you’re thinking of going with. This website can tell you if the domain you like is still available.

Don’t Forget A Tagline

Just Do It. Because You’re Worth It. Finger Lickin’ Good. These are a few well known company taglines. Taglines are important as they represent your company’s mission. They are something competitors can’t steal from you and it’s what differentiates you from them. We recommend your tagline be no longer than five or six words and that it shows off your organization’s personality. Check out our previous blog on the difference between taglines and positioning statements for some more inspiration on taglines. 

Create A New Brand Guide

A brand guide is a formal document that dictates how branding elements can be used such as fonts and colors. Every organization needs a brand guide as it will keep your brand consistent every time it is used, be it via your website, business cards, social media, email signatures, letterheads, brochures, physical space, etc. Brand guides will also keep everyone inside your organization and outside of it on top of how to use and communicate your brand going forward. 

Alert Your Team

As we mentioned, your brand is more than your name and logo. It’s your company experience, and as such, everyone on your team from your customer service reps, sales reps, and marketers to accountants, project managers, and owners each impact how outsiders perceive your business. You should let your team know you’re going to rebrand and make sure they understand the company’s new core values so it can shape how they conduct themselves professionally. To go back to our last point, everyone at your organization should have a copy of the brand guide.

Go Public

What’s the point of doing a rebrand if you’re not going to announce it to the world. Have a press release published in your local newspaper. Write a blog post exploring the 

‘why’ behind your rebrand and the creative process. Share the news on social media to all of your followers.

Sperling Interactive is a branding company that knows how to make you stand out from the crowd. We can work with businesses, nonprofits, and schools to deliver an impactful and consistent name, logo, and tagline. 

Media Buying & Planning

A nighttime photography of Piccadilly Circus.

Have you just launched a new product or service for your business? If so, congratulations! Now, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to market this new offering. One beneficial way is through media buying. 

Like search engine marketing, media buying is very much a formula. There is a whole process behind media buying. As such, for today’s blog post we’re going to be covering all the steps for a successful media buy. Before we begin, let’s dive into what media buying is. 

What Is Media Buying? 

Never heard of the term before? Media buying is the procurement of media space and time to display ads. Media buying falls into the paid media category and includes print ads, radio advertising, commercials, and even digital ads. Because it is so diverse,  it can be a very beneficial avenue for businesses to help them achieve their marketing goals.

Know Your Audience 

Before you launch a campaign, you need to first determine who your target audience is. What is the age, gender, social status, marital status, location, and hobbies of your ideal customer? Paint a picture of who they are. These insights will help you not only with your messaging, but it’ll help you choose where you display your ads. 

Research Your Target Audience


Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to do research on your audience. Businesses need to know where their ideal customers and clients spend their time and what leads to their purchases. As we blogged about earlier this year, not every generation buys the same way. Read our blog post, How to Market to Different Generations, to learn more about the four different generations- baby boomers, gen X, millennials, and gen Z. Older generations are more likely to respond to traditional forms of media like print, radio, and TV whereas younger generations prefer social media, blogs, and YouTube. 

Research Time & Messaging 

To be successful, you also need to factor in the right place, time, and messaging. 

These days timing is everything when it comes to advertising. Knowing where you audience is at a given time is the difference between a strong ROI and thousands of dollars just wasted. This article from Centro shows daily, weekly, and seasonal consumer trends.  

Equally important is messaging. Powerful messaging will express the value of your brand and it’ll help your ideal customers and clients resonate with you. To write compelling copy, think about what differentiates your business from others like it. Use imagery to tell your story and don’t forget to keep the copy simple. Don’t be too wordy. 

Research Competitors 

Knowing what your competitor is doing is always critical. You should ask yourself, do they have a media buying strategy? What are their marketing strategies? What is their key messaging? Knowing this information can help you save time and money. 

Choose The Media

Next, you have to select which media you want to go with. Your ad could be displayed in a newspaper, travel guide, magazine or on a commercial, billboard, or the radio. When choosing your media, be sure to think about your audience. Baby boomers are more likely to pick up a print publication. The ways Generation X likes to be marketed can be comparable to Baby Boomers and/or Millenials. Millenials like engaging with creative, interactive forms of media.

Allocate Your Budget

Ah, budgets. While they can be annoying and anxiety-inducing, they are always important when money is concerned. 

Negotiating 

Whether you select a radio station or newspaper publisher, it’s important to negotiate beforehand, not after. Look for deals and ask for discounts. Be sure to compare offers before you make a final decision.  

If you’d like the extra help with media buying, let us know. At Sperling Interactive, we have done media buying campaigns for various businesses.

Interview With Our Director of Search Marketing, Ray St. Amand

A photograph of Sperling Interactive's director of search marketing, Ray St. Amand using a laptop.
Managing digital marketing campaigns is no easy task what with SEO and social media algorithms constantly changing, and we are so grateful to have our director of search marketing, Ray St. Amand, on staff. Ray manages all aspects of our pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and SEO efforts and oversees four digital marketers. He always make it point to educate himself so our team can stay ahead of the curve. Today we decided to sit down and interview Ray about his role at Sperling Interactive, how he develops marketing strategies, and his personal interests.

Where are you from? 

I was born in Salem, Massachusetts but grew up in Beverly, Massachusetts.

What does your day-to-day life look like as the director of search marketing for Sperling Interactive? 

My day-to-day is always evolving. One day I could be focusing on a new campaign launch for a client while the next day I could be having client calls and meetings throughout the day. Guiding and mentoring my team is always my top priority as well. Each day is different which makes me love my role.

What is your favorite part about search engine marketing? 

I personally love conducting website audits and finding new ways to improve the sites’ functionality and user experience. I also enjoy developing content plans. There is just something calming and satisfying about clicking through every page of a website and thinking as a user would.  

Digital marketing is one industry that changes all the time. How do you keep up and continue learning? 

I am always reading new articles, subscribing to weekly newsletters from popular marketing blogs like Search Engine Land and Neil Patel. From there, I take the things I’ve learned and put them into action while testing my own creative ideas at the same time.

What do you wish people knew about search engine marketing? 

Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, a search engine marketing strategy takes time to progress. It isn’t like flipping a switch and being flooded with leads and results. It takes time to mold our strategy, analyze the data, and make adjustments when necessary. 

What’s your favorite thing about Salem? 

The beautiful history of architecture. I love walking around some of the old neighborhoods and imagining what it looked like hundreds of years ago. My favorite area is the Wharf area and Derby Street. I lived off of Derby Street for three years and loved how the Willows, the Commons, the waterfront, and Downtown area so close in proximity.

What is something no one knows about you? 

That’s a tough one. I’d have to say my passion for cars. My father was a mechanic in Salem back in the 70’s and 80’s and growing up we’d always work on the family cars together (mostly me handing him tools and finding the bolts and nuts that fell in tight places).

You can learn more about our awesome staff here,here, and here

The Benefits of Retargeting For Your Business

An iMac computer opened up to Google Analytics.
Retargeting is a marketing tactic we do for a lot of our clients here at Sperling Interactive. We have found it to be a powerful way to get the word out about our awesome clients. As a result, today we wanted to explain what retargeting is and the benefits of retargeting for your business.

What is retargeting?

There are a number of reasons why people who visited your website don’t buy from you or reach out to you.  It could because they’re comparing prices, browsing and doing their initial research, or they got distracted. First impressions are important but they can also be forgotten about. That’s where retargeting comes into play.

Retargeting involves targeting individuals who have shown initial interest in your product or service. They went to your website, but left without completing any action (i.e. filling out a form, purchasing a product, registering for an event, etc.) Retargeting tries to get people who have repeatedly visited your site to convert.

Retargeting vs. remarketing

These two terms may sound the same but they are actually different. Remarketing is the term used to describe re-engaging prospects with email. An example of remarketing is a company sending a person an email to remind they have abandoned their shopping cart.  Another example is when a company sends you an email after you bought a product with products similar to the one you bought as a way to engage you with their company again. Retargeting, on the other hand, entails display advertisements. It’s the ads you see as you explore other websites while crawling the web. This blog post of ours dives deeper into how retargeting works. 

The Benefits of Retargeting

More sales

This is certainly a goal for every business doing retargeting. Whether or not your business has an online store, getting sales should be your website’s ultimate goal.

Attracts prospects

The people you retarget showed initial interest in your offerings. Retargeting is a way to nudge them. As we noted before, there are various reasons people don’t return to your website. Retargeting is a way to remind them about you.

It increases users’ time spent on your website

When you are using retargeting, you are reconnecting with prospects and this leads to users spending more time on a website.

It increases brand awareness

Only 2% of web users make a purchase on their very first visit to an online store and about 96% of all website visitors visit websites when they are not ready to buy. Studies have shown it takes most customers seven interactions with a brand before they build trust and buy from it. Retargeting allows your brand to have more interactions with your prospects. It helps people remember your logo, products or services, and slogan.

There are multiple ways to retarget people

Website visitors can be targeted through either pixel-based retargeting or list-based retargeting. Pixel-based retargeting reaches anonymous website visitors and list-based retargeting reaches contacts in a database. 

Pixel-based targeting is powered by browser cookie technology. The website has a bit of code that is invisible to users. Each time a new visitor comes to your website, the code embeds a cookie onto the visitor’s browser. When the visitor leaves the site, the cookie will track future web traffic. 

List-based targeting is usually used on social media platforms and allows you to retarget people in your business social media database. The advantage of listed based targeting is your ads can be highly customizable given the knowledge you have of the contacts. 

You can also target specific audiences with retargeting. You can target people based on their interests and demographic. You can target warm leads such as site visitors who abandoned their shopping cart.

As you can see there are many ways to target prospects and there are many benefits to it. To learn more about retargeting and how it can help your business, call us at (978) 304-1730. We’d be happy to have a complimentary call with you.

Website Launch: Premier Bride

The homepage of premierbride.com.

Anyone who’s planned a wedding before knows the process can be overwhelming. With so many vendors to choose from it can be hard to know where to begin and where’s the best place to find them. If you’re in the same boat or know someone who’s getting married, direct them to Premier Bride, one of our latest websites! Bringing couples and wedding vendors together is what Premier Bride does best. 

Premier Bride is an award-winning publishing and marketing venue that helps couples plan their wedding locally. They are a company that operates with both the engaged couple and wedding service providers in mind. They offer real time wedding information, helpful tips, photo galleries, and quality wedding services. 

We started working with Premier Bride at the beginning of this year. The main goal with this website was capturing couples who are planning their wedding. Premier Bride wanted engaged couples to use their site throughout the whole process of them planning their big day. One of the problems with their old site is users would get stuck in circles when they were trying to find vendors. The navigation wasn’t clean, and as a result, it left users confused. Additionally, Premier Bride wanted to make sure vendors knew couples are using their site as an active source. 

Premier Bride’s Old Site

Here’s what Premier Bride’s old site looked like.

The homepage on Premier Bride's last website.

Premier Bride’s old homepage.

The drop down menu that would appear when you would look for your wedding location on the old site.

Here’s the drop down menu that would appear when you would look for your wedding location on the old site.

The old homepage for Premier Bride Boston.

The former page for Premier Bride Boston. You would look for vendors in your area by utilizing the left sidebar. 

Premier Bride’s New Navigation

The homepage of premierbride.com.

Premier Bride’s new homepage. 

We wanted to keep the homepage simple since Premier Bride is a multi-site website. There is a site for each Premier Bride location under one WordPress installation. Users go to the location that most applies to them. 

The homepage for Premier Bride’s Boston site.

The mega menu for Premier Bride's new website.

We decided to keep the navigation simple too. Local Wedding Vendors and Advice  Planning is the only place where users get a drop down menu. Users can also use the search bar to find vendors that best match their wedding vision.

The wedding ceremonies and chapel page of Premier Bride.

The Boston Ceremony Sites & Chapels web page. Users scroll down to view all the venues in the Boston area. Users also have the ability to enter their zip code or filter A-Z.

A New Aesthetic 

Phil Condon, the developer for this project, explains “we had to develop one market theme that all of the sites share. Because WordPress (the content management platform we used to build the site) can pull dynamic content, it makes each site unique. Each site uses a database that pulls the content onto the pages.” 

“Premier Bride wanted a traditional wedding feel with a modern design. They wanted a design that would make them stand out from other wedding planners,” described designer, Jose Gonzalez. To capture this, Jose decided to let the photos of couples getting married and the cursive font in the heading tags do much of the story telling.

“I think it’s cool each site has the same bones, but they can all be tweaked to be their own unique site. Every site offers a new user experience,” said Lauren Termini, one of the project managers.  

Optimizing For Search Engines

Every site at Sperling Interactive is optimized for search engines. Our search engine marketing director, Ray St. Amand, stated the key for this multi-site was including locations in the meta titles. A meta title is the name of a web page. The title is displayed in the browser and visitors and search engines read it. A mistake to avoid when creating a meta title is any keywords that are too vague. Adding the city or region into the meta titles for each Premier Bride site was important as it helps couples planning their weddings in that location find Premier Bride. 

The catering page on Premier Bride's website.

Boston Catering-Beverage is the meta title for this page. 

To show Premier Bride’s effectiveness to wedding service providers, Ray put UTM codes on the vendors’ links. A UTM code is code added to the end of a URL that tracks the performance of a campaign. Through a UTM code, a vendor can see who came to their site via Premier Bride. 

After building the websites for several event venues like the Hawthorne Hotel, Danversport Yacht Club, and Publick House Historic Inn it was fun creating the website for the ultimate wedding planner. It was a large project for sure, but one we were up for the challenge of!   

To learn about other websites we launched this year, check out here and here.

Marketing Tips For Home Service Businesses

A modern kitchen.

We’ve done blog posts before where we gave away our top marketing tips for some of the main industries we serve- schools and travel and tourism. Today we wanted to write a blog post for another industry we do a lot of work with- home service businesses- and how companies in that industry can better market themselves. 

Get Your Home Service Business Featured In A Magazine 

We may live in a digital world, but print is not dead. Many homeowners get inspiration for their homes in home magazines be it the publication’s website or a hard copy of their latest issue.

There are a ton of home and garden magazines out there, and while it can be tempting to go with the national, household name magazine, there are also popular online magazines, regional magazines, and blogs that may be interested in displaying your work and whom can help build traction for your home service business. 

When it comes to pitching, we advise doing one pitch at a time. You want to wow the editor with a customized pitch. The worst thing for editors are pitches that feel automated and impersonal. You should deliver your pitch via email as most editors don’t like cold calls. Make the pitch short and to the point. Another thing you’ll want to attach to your pitch is high resolution photos of the project. 

To increase your visibility to the publication’s editor, keep your website up to date with fresh content. You want to make your home service business look like it’s in business and popular.   

Have A Pinterest Account 

Speaking of places homeowners like to get inspiration, Pinterest is another fantastic outlet for home services businesses, particularly interior designers, architects, and construction companies. Use your Pinterest account to showcase your own projects as well as outside projects that your business could either replicate or your target audience would be into. When it comes to content on your website, don’t forget pins. A pin is any image or video that someone chooses to save to Pinterest. We advise all of the photos on your blog posts should have pins. 

Blog

Just like print isn’t dead, neither is blogging. Blogging prevents your website from looking stale and it impacts SEO. Every blog post you write is a chance to rank for certain keywords that are relevant to your home service business. You will want to put your keywords in the post’s title tag, meta description, heading tags, and the content. 

Location Focused Keywords

An important thing to note is that most home service businesses tend to service a particular area. If that’s the case for your home service business, you might want to have the region or town/ cities you service in your keywords. 

Create Content Around Design Trends 

Talking about design trends on social media and in your blog posts is an excellent way to show your up-to-date and know all the trends. This is a great idea for architects, interior designers, and remodelers/contractors.

Instagram

Instagram is the most visual social media platform and is a must for home service businesses. Like home magazines and Pinterest, home owners love getting inspiration from this source. You can post photos of projects as well as create mood boards.

360° Virtual Tours

As we blogged about earlier this year, VR experiences are on the rise. Nothing will wow prospectives more than the ability to feel like they have stepped inside foot one of your projects.

Give A Sneak Peak At Projects In The Works

Utilize social media to give followers a sneak peak of projects in the works. People will like being along for the ride, and it’ll give you a chance to show prospects your creative process. 

Invest In Job Signs

This traditional marketing outlet never goes out of style. If you’re a home service business whose work appear on the outside of a house,  a sign outside is a great way to get people who pass by and are impressed with your work the chance to contact you. 

Do A Newsletter

An alternate way to get people to know about your home service business and work is newsletters. You can use newsletters to spotlight projects, share blog posts, and feature testimonials. 

At Sperling Interactive, we have worked with an array of home service businesses. We’d be happy to consult with you over the marketing strategy for your home service business at (978) 304-1730.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

You have probably heard the term ‘inbound marketing’ before. It has become quite the buzzword, and right now it is the future of marketing. 

How Inbound Marketing Differs From Outbound Marketing 

Inbound marketing is the process of attracting prospects to your business’s products or services through content that educates and delights. Inbound marketing is an online marketing strategy that entails your website, blog, social media, email marketing efforts, etc. 

Outbound marketing is often viewed as traditional marketing. Tactics for outbound marketing include telemarketing, radio/TV, trade shows, seminars, emails to purchased lists etc. 

Why Outbound Marketing Is Becoming Less Effective 

Outbound marketing is called outbound because it is all about pushing your message out there in the hopes of it resonating. Over time, this strategy has become less effective. As this article from Hubspot states, because people are becoming more and more inundated with outbound marketing efforts, they are starting to utilize ways to block them out like caller ID, spam filtering, and Sirius satellite radio. 

Outbound has a low ROI because it targets everyone and anyone. Inbound targets the right type of traffic to your brand. You attract these people by knowing and understanding your ideal buyers. 

Why Inbound Marketing Is The Future

As we noted above, inbound marketing requires the Internet, and as a society we are using the Internet now more than ever before. An estimated 1.92 billion people are expected to purchase something online in 2019

The Internet provides buyers with instant information gratification. They can learn just about anything there is to know about a brand from their pricing and reviews to their turnaround on delivery and staff in just a few clicks. 

Another reason why inbound marketing is the future is customer buyer behavior is changing. Brand trust has never been more important. Due to the Internet, consumers have more options than ever before and they can also compare those options. 

Due to the political climate, people also caring more about authenticity and integrity from brands.  As this article from Crowdspring states, millennials in particular have a deep distrust of traditional advertising. A study found that only 1% of the millennials polled would trust a brand because of their advertising. This generation alone is one reason why outbound marketing is becoming less popular. 

The Different Types Of Inbound Marketing 

There is no single inbound marketing tactic that works well on its own. While we rely on SEO to draw visitors from an organic search, SEO doesn’t work if there’s no content on a site. Without social media promotion, blogs don’t reach interested people. 

Inbound marketing is about targeting verses advertising to the masses. In inbound marketing, the mission is to represent customers and be found verses representing a company and finding customers. It’s 1:1 targeting verses mass advertising. 

Although it varies greatly from business to business, these days buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their journey before they before they engage with a vendor’s sales rep. In inbound-marketing, efforts build upon themselves over time. 

To wrap things up here’s why inbound marketing works: 

  • It Increases Brand Awareness 
  • Puts Customers In the Driver’s Seat
  • Is Fact-Based Over Intuitive-Based 
  • Improves SEO


At its core, inbound marketing is curating a strategic content strategy tailored for each stage of the buyer’s journey. By doing so, you are providing valuable content towards each specific user. 

At Sperling Interactive we offer search engine optimization, search engine marketing, social media, blogging, and email marketing. We work hard to implement inbound marketing for each of these services for each of our clients.  To speak with us, call (978) 304-1730. 

How To Create An Effective Facebook Business Page

Scrabble tiles on a table that spell out 'Facebook.'

Facebook may not be the youngest social media platform out there, but it is still the king with 2.41 billion monthly active users. Despite the controversies the company dealt with last year, it is clear with that stat Facebook is not going anywhere soon.

Facebook isn’t just a place for you to see what is going on with your friends and family; it is an invaluable tool for brands to interact with their audience, and we still find there are a lot of small businesses out there that don’t have a business Facebook business page. For those who haven’t set one up yet, today we’ll be exploring how to create an effective Facebook business page.

Create A Business Page, Not A Profile

While a Facebook business page looks like a regular profile, it is different. For one, it has business tools like Facebook advertising and analytics/insights. 

Another reason why your business shouldn’t have a regular profile is people can’t ‘like’ you. They have to ‘friend’ you.

Thirdly, it’s a policy on Facebook’s terms of services that you can’t use a personal account to represent something other than a person. If you’ve been posting content for your business under a profile, here’s how to convert to business Facebook page. Here’s how to convert your profile to a page.

Claim Your Page’s URL

Upon creating your page, Facebook will assign a long number to your page’s URL. To make your page easier to share and find, be sure to customize the URL with your organization’s name. Here’s how to change your Facebook page URL.

Have A Captivating Cover Photo

Facebook lets you upload a unique cover photo for your business page. The desktop dimensions for a cover photo is 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall and the dimensions, for a mobile device it’s 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall. A cover photo can be an image, graphic, or a video. Regardless of what you choose, your cover photo should be branded and represent your business. Even though your cover photo is bigger than your profile picture, don’t upload a cover photo that has too much text or clutter.

Choose An Appropriate Profile Picture

Your profile picture is one of the most important aspects of your Facebook business page so choose your image appropriately. It’s your thumbnail image after all. Most businesses opt for their logo, which we would also recommend. If you’re a solopreneur or consultant, you may want to go with a professional head shot since you’re  the face of their business. The minimum dimensions for a Facebook profile picture is 180 pixels x 180 pixels.

Optimize Your About Section

Your About section is the one first places people go to learn more about your business. Do a thorough job with the About section page. You want people to feel like they know what your business is about and who it’s for. Take your time filling out your description ( you have 155 characters maximum), categories, contact information, location, hours, and pricing.

Add Milestones

The milestones feature allows you to highlight some of your biggest business accomplishment like awards won, product released, and other major events. Be sure to add your milestones to your about section.

Earn The Very Responsive Badge

If you respond quickly to messages, Facebook can reward you with a badge that reads ‘responds very quickly to messages’ below your cover photo. You earn that badge if your response rate is 90% or if you have responded to messages within 15 minutes over the last seven days. If you’re not responsive with messages, don’t worry, nothing will appear.

Post At YOUR Optimal Times

As we noted above, Facebook business pages come with some handy business tools like analytics/insights. Be sure to look at your insights every week to not only get insights into what content to post, but to learn when is the most optimal time to post for your audience. 

Have Facebook Friends Like The Page

The best place to get your first fans is by inviting your friends and family on Facebook to like your page. They’re already fans of you as an individual so they’re bound to want to engage with your business.

Promote Your Facebook Page On Your Website & Email Signature

To acquire even more fans, we recommend promoting your Facebook business page on your website and email signature.

Always Use Images In Posts

Images make a big difference in an overcrowded social media feed. Visuals attracts followers, engage followers, and makes your post all that more memorable.

Boost Posts That Get The Most Engagement

To make the most of your content that gets the most engagement, boost those posts. Boosting ensures a post will appear in front of a larger audience that isn’t following you but it bound to like your content due to their demographics and/or interests.

If you don’t have a Facebook business page and would like help making one that delights, contact us today at (978) 304-1730. At Sperling Interactive, we’re experts at social media strategy.

Non-Keyword Related Things That Hurt SEO

A graphic of a smartphone and laptop with with analytics on their screens.

For many non-search engine marketing professionals, they’re often told keywords are the most important component of SEO. But over recent years, having a website that offers a positive user experience has been proven to be more important than relevant keywords. There are many things that impact positive user experience and below are twelve things that hurt SEO.

The Site Isn’t ADA Compliant

ADA stands for The Americans with Disabilities Act. The act was established in 1990 and it prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including the Internet. 

For a website to be ADA compliant, people with disabilities must be able to read and understand the content on the site. This means a transcript for audio-only media and closed captions on videos. Website ADA compliance also includes page contrast, the placing of descriptive text behind images, and organizing the site in a way that is easy for screen readers to access the content in a logical way. A site that isn’t ADA compliant hurts SEO because the site isn’t accessible to everyone.

If you want to learn more about ADA compliance, be sure to check out the seminar we are presenting in October at the Enterprise Center.

There’s No Blog Or Blog Posts

A blog is another thing that provides sites with a positive user experience and by not having one can it can hurt SEO. 

Blogs provide  positive user experience because they help build brand trust. Regular blog posts give sites fresh content, and by not utilizing one, it can give users the impression your site hasn’t been updated in a long time. 

Another way blogs improve SEO is you’re able to rank for long-tail keywords. Longer, more specific keywords are good for businesses that are small and have big name brands as competitors. Half of all searches are for terms that are four words or longer.

Thirdly, a quality blog gives sites more reasons to link back to your site.

No Social Media Posts

Just like with blogging, by not being active with social media you are hurting your SEO. An active and engaged social media presence sends search engines the signal you have good authority. Additionally, social sharing drives traffic to your website and social media profiles rank in search engines.

Slow Page Speed

With positive user experience in mind, slow page speed greatly hurts SEO. In today’s instant gratification world, people are impatient and want information fast. A slow page speed also means search engines can’t crawl as many pages.

Technical Errors

Technical errors like broken links and missing pages hurt SEO. You don’t want people coming to your site only to find the thing they need is broken.  You can use Google Search Console to see if there are any technical issues with your site.

No SSL Certificate  

Naturally, Google prefers sending users to trusted sites. Standing for secure sockets layer, an SSL certificate creates higher consumer confidence and encrypts form data. You can tell your site has an SSL certificate by looking up at your address box and seeing if you have ‘https’ in your URL. Last year, Google started labeling HTTP sites as “not secure.”

Spam Comments

Spam comments are something every blog deals with, and unfortunately it can hurt SEO. Spam comments hurt SEO because Google considers where your site links to as a strong indication of what kind of site you are. The comments discredit you and impact your site’s authority. Be sure to always monitor your comments so you can avoid looking spammy. And remember, it’s your site and you can decide whether those comments appear. 

Poor Spelling & Grammar

You know how you can tell you’ve received a spam email by its poor spelling and grammar alone, well search engines are also wary of sites with these mistakes. According to Search Engine Land, sites with higher ranked pages tend to have less spelling mistakes and grammatical errors than lower ranked sites.

Too Many Page Links

Pages with too many links are not user-friendly. When you have too many links, you give Google the impression your content isn’t valuable and you’re trying to stir users to somewhere else. Always make sure your links are relevant and are not going to distract users from the content on the original page.

Duplicate Content

Google loves original content and sees duplicate content as a shortcut. When updating your site or adding new pages, double check that a significant amount of content is not anywhere else on your site. If you have some duplicate content on your website because it is useful for users, put ‘no index’ or ‘no follow’ on those pages so that they don’t hurt your SEO.

At Sperling Interactive, all of our work is aimed at creating positive user experiences. Whether we built your website or not, we can optimize your site for search engines and provide positive user experiences. To learn more about the work we do, give us a call at (978) 304-1730.

How To Optimize Your Landing Page

I spoke to a colleague recently that works for a corporate company as a loan originator. They mentioned having a landing page through their company and were looking for ways to better optimize their page, both from a conversion perspective and an SEO perspective. In today’s blog post, we’ll be breaking down what a landing page is, what  landing page optimization is, and how to optimize your landing page for both conversions and SEO.

What Is A Landing Page?

Sometimes referred to as a capture page, destination page, or a static page, a landing page is a standalone page web users are brought to after clicking on a search result, online ad, or the link in an eblast, newsletter, or social media post. Landing pages educate, encourage, and attract. Lead generation is the most common goal of a landing page.

Below are screenshots of landing pages we’ve created.

The landing page for Destination Salem's free travel guides.

The Cape Cod landing page for SunPower by BlueSel.

 

The contact section from BlueSel's landing page.

 

A landing page for the nonprofit, Bridgewell.

 

The section of Bridgwell's landing page that describes their services.

 

The 'Request More Information' section from Bridgewell's landing page.

 

The landing page for Be Better Now.

 

The testimonial and special offer from the Be Better Now landing page.  

What Is Landing Page Optimization? 

Landing page optimization is the process of enhancing or improving each element on your landing page to increase conversions and improve SEO. The biggest reason why landing pages fail is they don’t meet their audience’s needs. Unintuitive design, non-descriptive or misleading headlines, unrecognizable calls-to-action are all contributing factors. 

To work effectively, landing pages need to be curated for a specific audience and have a clear call-to-action. In today’s digital world, landing pages are often the first exchange people have with a business. They most often offer users something in return for their contact information, and we highly recommend businesses apply that to theirs to offer value. These offers are usually ebooks, subscription to the organization’s newsletter, or a free trial of a product.

If a landing page is meant to be read or convert, a good bounce rate is 60%-80%. If your goal is to drive traffic or have the user visit multiple web pages, a healthy bounce rate would be between 30%-60%.

Optimized landing pages can improve the overall ranking of the website they are on and can give more insights to Google on what your organization is about.

How To Optimize Landing Pages For Conversions 

Use Your Data

As we said before, the biggest reason why landing pages flop is they fail to meet their target audience’s needs. Design your landing pages based on the information you already have about your audience. Be sure to use the information you have of your audience from your website. It’s important to note that you make the most improvements to your landing pages by pushing them live and then making tweaks as insights and data come in about your audience.

Limit the Number of Calls-To-Actions 

You don’t want to overwhelm web users. Stick with one call-to-action and keep your text limited. People only read 20% of the content on a webpage so long sentences and paragraphs don’t work well. Just have the bare necessities.

Have Consistency

You need to make sure the messaging, design, and tone matches the search result, ad, social media post, or newsletter that brings visitors to the landing page. You want your page to match the expectations the visitor had based on their previous interaction.

Write A Catchy Headline

The amount of time it takes you to create a landing page is the amount of time it  should take you to think about the headline. Your headline is just as important, if not more important, than your landing page itself. Because no one’s going to click to your page if there’s no incentive to leave the page they are on. 

Keep The Most Important Information Above The Fold

The term ‘above the fold’ comes from the newspaper world. Digital folds are the points at which the user must scroll to gain more information.

Put In Testimonials

Testimonials help build trust. They are proof people love your business and they can also let visitors determine if they are the right fit to work with you.

How To Optimize Landing Pages For SEO

Have A Custom URL

A custom URL containing certain keywords can make the page more alluring for search engines. Make sure the main keyword for your page is in your URL.

Determine Relevant Keywords

Keywords are the words that you want search engines to rank your page for. You can do a Google search or use Search Console to determine the best keyword for your landing page.

Strategically Place Your Keywords

Once you determine your keywords, you’re going to want to place them strategically on your landing page. The areas you should consider are title tags, meta description, and your copy.

Have A Fast Page

Page speed has never been more important. We see fast page speed as one of the six pillars that makes up SEO. People will X out of your landing page fast if the page load is slow.

Don’t Do Once & Forget


SEO requires ongoing work. Check out this blog post we published back in May to learn why. As such, you want to make sure you use Google Analytics and Google Search Console once a month to see how your landing page is performing and how it can be better optimized. These two tools can inform you what people are searching for to find your landing page, how long users stay on the page, and if there are any technical issues with the page that need fixing.

At Sperling Interactive, we are masters at crafting optimized landing pages for conversions and SEO. We’d be happy to perform an audit of your landing page and give you feedback on how to improve it. We can also create a landing page for you and run a campaign around it. Give us a call at (978) 304-1730 to learn more about us and how we can serve you.