Does Your Organization Need An App?

A hand holding a smartphone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve blogged before about the importance of being mobile-friendly. There are two ways businesses and nonprofits can be mobile friendly: either on the mobile web or with an app. It may seem like every organization under the sun has an app these days, but we’re here to tell you it isn’t necessary for everyone. Read on to see if your organization could use an app.

If You Want A Feature That Can’t Be Implemented On The Web
Websites are there to deliver your organization’s mission, services, and location, but when you want to give your audience an experience, an app might be the way to go because there are certain features you can’t implement through your website (e.g. a camera, geolocation, biometrics, sensors, etc.).

You Want To Improve Your Customer Experience.
Apps are widely successful for retail companies. You can do so much with an app if you manage a store. If you run one, your app can be used to display your products, send coupons, inform customers about sales, and start a loyalty rewards program. An app can really improve your relationship with your customers.

You Want To Have An Interactive Gaming Experience.
Gaming is another feature that works better through an app than it does on a website. A popular game on app these days is Geocaching, a scavenger hunt-type game. You can use Geocaching to tell your organization’s story. Through it, you’ll have users travel to different locations to unlock new stories.

Your App Idea Has A Delivery Element To It.
If your company is in the food industry, a delivery app is a must. It’ll help you stay on top of competition and give your customers instant gratification.

Have you been thinking about an app for your business or nonprofit? Sperling Interactive is experienced with app development and would love to help you! Contact us today at (978) 304-1730.

The Most Important Tools Your Website Should Have

A women on a laptop with a mug, paper, and pen next to her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re about to launch a new website, there are certain tools you will need to get the most out of your website and digital marketing efforts. It’s what we like to call our  website launch Checklist. Check it out to see if you have everything you need before your site goes live.

Set up Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a tool that will unveil who is visiting your site. Through it, you can find out who is visiting your site, how the visitors are getting to your site, and where the visitors are coming from, geographically speaking.

Set up Google Tag Manager

Google Tag Manager should be used in conjunction with Google Analytics to collect more data. Tags are snippets of code you can add to your site to track numerous things including scroll tracking, monitoring form submissions, remarketing, or tracking how people arrived to your site. Google Tag Manager is easy to use and simplifies the process of working with tags. Businesses of any size can benefit from Google Tag Manager as it enables you to add and edit tags without a developer.

Set up Google Search Console

Google Search Console can tell you who is linking to you, if there is malware or other problems on your site, and which keyword queries your site is appearing for in search results.

Set up Yoast SEO if you’re using WordPress

This plugin is one of the most downloadable plugins of all time. Through this free plugin, you are able to add an SEO title, meta description, and meta keywords to each post and page of your site. You’re also able to include social sharing information. What’s great about SEO by Yoast is that it analyzes your focus keywords, checks your word count, and evaluates your meta description, images, slug, links, and page title so you’re able to edit those bits easily.   

Have a custom 404 page

A 404 page is the web page user goes to when they’ve mis-typeda URL or have a broken link. You’ll want to build a custom 404 page to your business or nonprofit and helps redirect users.

Need more help understanding these tools? Contact Sperling Interactive today!

What You Need To Know About The 2018 Social Media Algorithms

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year, three of the biggest social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn – changed their algorithms. When a social media platform changes its algorithm, this means it has changed the way it lists posts in its users’ news feeds. Algorithms change all the time and for numerous reasons, thus here’s what you need to know about today’s current ones so you can stay visible in your target audiences’ news feeds.

 

Facebook

Since January 2018, Facebook has begun to prioritize posts that generate conversations, especially those from users’ friends and family members. Facebook is trying to have their users engage in more person-to-person interactions than person-to-brand interactions. They are doing this because they’ve noticed that users spend more time on their platform when they are engaging with posts created by other users. To reach more people via Facebook, create content that will engage your target audience and illicit a response (e.g. comment, share, and react). Additionally, you might want to consider boosting posts you really care about and running Facebook ads.

Instagram

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, and this year it also made changes to Instagram’s algorithm. Like Facebook, Instagram also rewards content with high engagement. Not only that, Instagram loves it when its users experiment with its features. What’s really big with Instagram right now is Instagram Stories, which currently has 300 million daily users. When you play around with the Instagram Stories features like its filters, polls, and the ‘swipe up’ option, you also boost engagement with your followers.

LinkedIn

Of the three social media platforms, LinkedIn is the least social one, as it geared toward connecting professionals. LinkedIn does prioritize posts that receive engagement, but it also focuses on content that offers value. Whatsmore, LinkedIn has a spam filter, so every time you upload something to LinkedIn, even an image, a bot decides whether the content is spam, low-quality, or clear. So whenever you’re about to share an industry article to LinkedIn, make sure you fact check it.

Do you need help generating social media content? At Sperling Interactive, we can help you spread your message in a way that aligns with the new algorithms.

Facebook Metrics Glossary

An iPhone with the Facebook login on it. Three notebooks and a pen are next to the iPhone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In January, Facebook changed its news feed algorithm. From now on, Facebook is going to prioritize posts from users’ friends and family members over brands’ posts. Because of this change, it is now more important than ever before to start utilizing Facebook ads to promote your business or nonprofit. But what do all the metrics on the Facebook dashboard even mean? In our final blog post in our glossary series, we’ll be defining Facebook ad metrics.

Frequency – This is how many times an ad was shown to a specific user over the selected time period. Depending on your goals, you may want to keep the frequency up or down. Our benchmark tends to be between 1-5 for frequency count. If you get closer to ten, you start to flood users’ news feeds and might overdo it, resulting in them opting out from seeing your ads or unfollowing your page.

Reach Reach is the total amount of users to whom your ad has been shown.

Impressions – Impressions is the grand total of times your ad was shown in a user’s news feed.

Button Clicks – This metric shows how many times someone physically clicked the “Learn More” or “Sign Up” button on your ad. If you have a lead gen ad, you would want this number to be high, but if you are pushing awareness ads or services, having a low button click is okay as long as the link clicks (see below) are producing the results you want.

Link Clicks – A link click is when someone clicks the visible link in your ad.

Clicks (All) – This incorporates all the clicks on your ad, whether it be to your Facebook page, link in copy, button, or when someone engages with your ad by commenting or liking your content.

If you liked this post, be sure to check out our blog posts on pay-per-click glossary guides.
How To Understand Google Analytics
Metrics To Know & Understand For Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
How To Understand Google Adwords 

Marketing And Advertising Predictions For B2C Businesses in 2018

A laptop, plant, and notebooks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that the dust has settled from the holidays, media gurus are getting a better sense of what is going to explode this year in marketing and advertising for B2C businesses.

AMP Story. This trend is for any publishers and news outlets reading this. Google is following in SnapChat and Instagram’s footsteps by hopping on the story train. Unlike SnapChat and Instagram, AMP Story is not an app. It will be featured on both the mobile and desktop versions of the web and will lean heavily on images and visuals to broadcast news. Google hopes publishers and news outlets will use AMP Story to produce new content, not repurpose current content.

Omnichannel Marketing. There are many ways for B2C businesses to connect with their customers. Omnichannel marketing involves looking at your business from your customer’s perspective and providing a strong customer-friendly experience across all channels in which you interact with them, be that through your physical store, website, social media channels, email marketing, etc. Through the omnichannel marketing approach, every channel is inter-connected so the customer views the brand in a positive light. Omnichannel marketing focuses on analyzing data to assist with the customer satisfaction of your brand and so the customer encounters the same experience and messaging everytime they interact with the brand.

According to Emarsays, a leading provider in marketing software, companies that have “well-defined omnichannel customer experience strategies in place achieve a 91% higher year-over-year increase in customer retention rate on average, compared to organizations without omnichannel programs in place.”

Chatbots. Chatbots are getting bigger because artificial intelligence is getting better. They can not only help you answer queries from prospective customers or clients, they can be used in your sales funnel. According to Entrepreneur.com, chatbots can also provide personalized shopping advice to users based on their past shopping history.

Are you a B2C business? At Sperling Interactive, we can design your website, optimize your website for the web, photograph your products, post content to your social media, and rebrand your business.

What does mobile-first indexing mean and how will it affect my business?

What Google's mobile-first indexing means?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At a webmaster conference in mid-February, Google announced that starting sometime in March it would prioritize indexing the mobile version of a website over the desktop version of a website. What this means is Google is going to start ranking its search listings based off the mobile version of a site.

It  should be noted mobile-first index is an experiment Google is running and the reason they are doing this is because desktop search queries are continuing to drop. As of 2017, 60% of searches are done through a mobile device, a 10% increase from the previous year, making the mobile version of the web the primary search engine people use.

If you don’t have a mobile version for your website, Google said it will still index your site. If you do have a mobile version, Google requests that all of the pages remain the same on both versions. With this new indexing system, Google has stated web pages that are not mobile friendly will not perform well. Now more than ever, it’s important to make your entire website mobile friendly as sites that do have a mobile friendly experience are expected to potentially receive a boost even for searches done on a desktop. In theory, if your content is optimized for mobile, there shouldn’t be any big impacts with how your site performs in search results.

Another factor you should think about before this ranking system rolls out that will affect your ranking is the speed of your mobile version. Google will also take into account your title tags and heading tags when ranking and if your images are optimized for mobile.

Google is planning on only having one indexing system in the future instead of different indexing systems for mobile and desktop. This indexing system will serve both mobile users and desktop users. This indexing system will just focus on mobile content. As Google’s mobile-first indexing  continues to improve, the goal is to make it be the only system used.

At Sperling Interactive, we can not only build you a mobile version of your website, we can also optimize it to perform well in search results too.

Advertising Mistakes To Avoid


 

 

 

 


Are you about to create an advertising campaign for your business? Whether you choose to advertise online, offline, or through both, there is a general rule of thumb when to comes to advertising as a whole. Here are the biggest mistakes to avoid.

Putting yourself in the ad. Owning a business is hard and every business owner has the right to feel proud of what they’ve accomplished, but if you’re a business owner, don’t include yourself in your advertisement and marketing collaterals. Not to sound harsh, but people don’t care about the sacrifices you’ve made to get your business to where it is today. They care about the quality of your products and/or services. Save your business story for press releases and articles.

Not determining a target audience. Every ad should have a target audience in mind. Do not advertise yourself to everyone, even if your business can serve just about anyone. Advertising to everyone is just going to waste your time and money and will not result in new clients.

Advertising in the wrong places.  This one ties in with having a target audience. By identifying who your target audience is, you’re able to find out where, when, and how to advertise to them. Look at the places online and offline your target audience spends their time and advertise there. Make sure you always ask potential clients how they heard of you so that you can know what marketing strategies are working for you.

Using only one medium. As with content marketing, you should repurpose your advertisement, too. Repurposing your advertisement is when you use a variety of media to advertise your business.

Running only one ad.  Don’t rely on one ad exploding your business. People today are constantly bombarded by advertising. We see approximately 5,000 ads/branding messages per day, which is one every 11.52 seconds. Fortunately, you can control your ads frequency with many ad platforms online such as Facebook Ads and LinkedIn ads.  

Not including copy. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but you can’t neglect ad copy in your ads. Copy gives people context and additional information. By not having copy, your audience could misconstrue what it is you’re trying to say. Because without copy, your ad is up to interpretation.

At Sperling Interactive, we can help you create efficient print and digital ads for your business or nonprofit.

How To Tell You Have A Bad SEO Strategy

SEO Audit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you do your business’ SEO work, you’ll probably know by now that it’s complicated because it constantly changes. With that, it can be hard to tell if what you’re doing is helping or harming you. Today we’re covering four tell-tale signs you’re making bad SEO efforts for your business.

You’re not using specific keywords. You may think you know the keywords that apply to your business, but if you are putting in too general of keywords into your content, you’re not going to be found by the people hoping to discover your business. Get specific as possible with who you service and what you offer. Opt for long-tail keywords, which are longer, more specific keyword phrases. Long tail keywords get lower traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion rate as they are more specific. Long tail keywords should be utilized by companies that offer specialized products or services.

You’re applying black hat techniques instead of white hat techniques. Blackhat SEO techniques are techniques that focus on search engines instead of human interest. They include keyword stuffing, spammed blog posts, link farming (the creation of websites just to increase the popularity of a link), hidden content, and duplicate content. Blackhat techniques go against search engine guidelines and should not be practised. Instead, businesses should utilize white hat techniques, which obey search engine guideline and center on human interest. White hat techniques includes back linking, link building, using relevant keywords, and writing content for humans. White hat techniques will also provide users with the best user experience possible.

You’re not utilizing social media. If you haven’t created social media profiles for your business yet, then you need to hop on that now. Everybody is on it today and it can help improve your SEO because when people share your content it backlinks to your site. Additionally, more and more people are using social media to help them find services. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are the most popular social media accounts, but don’t forget to post content to your Google + account as there are numerous opportunities to reach your audience there too.

You expect instant results. To get good SEO results, you need to be patient and evaluate your efforts. Compare your efforts to organic trends every now and then, research what competitors are doing, and analyze your data in Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Above all else, realize SEO  takes time and if you put in the work you will see improvement soon.  

How To Create A Landing Page That Converts

Landing pages are separate entities from your website. A landing page is the page a person lands on after clicking on an online marketing call-to-action (e.g. search ads, display ads, email campaigns). An effective landing page is important as ads are only as good as their landing pages.

Ask yourself, what is the purpose of this ad and landing page? Landing pages can have multiple purposes. They can be used to sell a product or service, make an announcement, offer a discount, get people to join your email list, and educate visitors on your company and expertise. Before you begin creating your landing page, though, ask yourself who is my target audience and what do they need to know?

Write a catchy headline. According to research, 8 in 10 people will read a headline and only 2 out of the 10 will read the rest. With that said, it’s always a good idea to take your time when coming up with the headline as it’s the first impression you make. When drafting the headline, keep in mind the focus of your purpose and any specifications your target audience may need to know.

Include eye-catching visuals. Research has also shown that 40% of people respond better to visual information than to text. Visuals for your landing pages are not limited to photographs. They can include videos and infographics.

Be mindful. You need to be strategic with your layout. Your landing page should have a logical progression. Start with a headline and maybe include a subheadline, a secondary headline that can be used to elaborate on the primary headline, if needed. Follow that by conveying what is being offered. You’ll also want to add a call to action button, but remember to only have one call to action per landing page so as not to bombard people. Other features you could use are testimonials and any facts you have that prove you’re a trusted brand.

The Dos And Don’ts of SEM


 

 

 

 

 

Earlier this month, we shared the dos and don’ts of SEO (http://sperlinginteractive.com/blog/dos-donts-seo/). Today we will be covering the dos and don’ts of SEM. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a powerful tool to bring visitors to your website through your search ads and display ads.

DO write a strong ad copy. Think about what sets you apart from your competitors and put that into an engaging copy that holds your audience’s attention. This includes a killer headline and call to action. 

DON’T forget geo-targeting. Geomarketing should be used by both small businesses and large businesses. For small businesses, geomarketing keeps your ads local and eliminates your ads from popping up anywhere when you only have a certain community. Large businesses can use geomarketing to create custom ads for specific regions.

DO make sure the landing page goes along with the ad. Now that you’ve created an ad that is getting people to click on it, you need to make sure the landing page connects to the ad so you can convert visitors into customers. The foundation of the ads you post online should be trusted.

DON’T underestimate A/B testing. It’s important to analyze how your ads are performing. In A/B testing, you create two ads and test them both to see which one performs better. You keep the ad that performs better and replace the other ad with a new one. You then have those two ads battle each other out. Over time, you can determine the most profitable ads for your business.

DO write different ad copies for different demographics.  Customizing your ads can help your company reach and retain its target audience. You can enable your ad to reach certain demographics such as gender, age, parental status, and income. For example, if you own a bar in a college city, you may want to target an ad to people in their early twenties. If your bar ever hosts a ladies’ night, you might want to create an ad that will bring women to your establishment.

DON’T neglect a negative keywords list. Negative keywords are just how they sound- words you wouldn’t want associated with your business. Important words to always include on your negative list are ‘bad’, ‘worst’, or ‘terrible’. You wouldn’t want the ad for your business to pop up when somebody is inquiring for the worst in your industry.  

DO check your quality score. Your quality score is your ad campaign’s grade. It is a combination of your ad’s quality and relevance, click thru rate, and historical performance. The scores are out of 10, and the quality score can let you know if your ad is performing below or above average.