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, 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 ( 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.

How Long Should A Website Last?

When creating a website, the idea of how long it’s meant to last should always be kept in mind. On average, 3 to 5 years is the standard length to a website’s life. The design and coding is an important factor to take into account when creating your site. It’s also important to question what features are better for your website? Is it still helping your business? Or is it easy to access and navigate for your customers and clients?

The best ways to maintain the website’s life is to have constant and frequent updates on everything – many times allowing you to add new features and functionalities to your website as time progresses. After a few years, a website can begin to lose its appeal and can cause unwanted issues for your customers. Similar to seeing an old restaurant lose its appeal, customers can identify when and what websites are new and which are dying out. Therefore, a redesign has the potential to produce better results of turning visitors into sales, or even provide other valuable improvements to your business.

Here are some solutions to help keep your website looking brand new: 

  • Making sure your website contact is up to date like the contact information, or checking if your business hours and location are still current. If your staff members are also included in the website, it’s a good idea to keep track of the current ones as well. Aside from accurate content, providing important information to your website such as FAQs, articles and information for clients will allow them to frequently visit your website for anything they need.
  • Social Media is a big deal for any business success. Make sure your social media accounts are all linked correctly. By linking your media accounts directly, it allows everyone to follow the accounts to their preferences – Use buttons such as “Like/Follow/Share/Connect”.
  • Another cool feature you can design into your website are blogs or discussion forums. It gives you and your audience a better way to connect, as well being a great opportunity to keep track of any event, information or product that your business promotes.
  • Attract your audience eyes by providing more images and/or videos. This is a great way to add content that can help extend the time your site design remains for viable.

Depending on your business, a fresh design varies from an entirely new website. Different elements can be added or changed on a regular basis. In many cases, applying new designs to your already existing website does the trick and saves you time from having to redo it from the ground up. This lets you redesign and rebuild more quickly and effectively while still giving you the chance to update any changes later on.

The 3 Secrets of Successful Website Content

Businesses today require more than just price, quality and convenience. Instead, it requires a successful online foundation it can continue to strive and attract its customers. When using a successful online process, it’s important to know which factors will make your audience come back. Here are some tips to help you better engage your audience and keep your content to a perfect amount.

  1. Engaging but To-the-Point Content – When dealing with content, your main goal is to engage your audience but also to get your point directly across. For example, think Buzzfeed. The articles aren’t incredibly long, and the paragraphs are properly divided out to get their points across. The best way in doing so, is to point out examples that are short and directly will get your goal across to your readers.
  2. Compelling Imagery – It is much easier to process information with images. It  breaks up long chunks of text, as well as create a stronger experience for the audience to scan the site they are seeing. When using images, use images that are professional and relevant to what your content addresses. In addition to this, use images that are high quality which will bring a unique experience to your audience.
  3. Satisfying UI/UX – User Interface and User Experience is all about how the site looks and flows to your audience. Of course you’ll want it to attract the eye, as well as be intuitive and easy to navigate. However, it’s important to have it clean and consistent (user experience) before look (user interface). You shouldn’t have to teach your user how to navigate your product. In doing so, you avoid using too many new, intriguing features so it’s not overwhelming to your readers.
  4. Know What You’re Trying to Say – It’s important to know exactly what you want to say, and what your main goal is when having an online presence. In doing so, you can represent accurate and related topics and suggestions that better represent your brand. You’re also able to better engage your audience to social media platforms that will represent your brand to not only your needs, but to the needs of your customers as well. For example, if your business is strictly photography, platforms such as Instagram or Facebook can be a better platform to your brand because you are able to promote your photos and engage your customers accordingly.

With these four helpful tips, your website will be able to have accurate content to better suit your customers and your businesses.

PR Essential You Need to Know

When dealing with Public Relations, you never stop growing professionally and even personally. With every new development in the business, you adapt and take in a bit of information every time. With the right skills and motivation, a successful career in PR isn’t hard to come across, however, which essentials are needed in public relations? Follow along for a list of the top skills a PR must have.

  • Communication – From being a good listener, communicating with others is something that will happen every single day. As a PR person, you must be able to pick up on the slightest tone or emotion during a conversation. Aside from not allowing your emotions cloud your judgement, having a clear way of speaking and choosing words carefully, allows you to build a relationship with your client.
  • Expert in Social Media – The social media is redefining communication today as we know it and being knowledgeable about social media is an important factor. Knowing your client’s voice is vital to their needs, and knowing how to brand that out on social media is what they will need. Making use of Google Alerts and other tools keep you on top of the hot issues and on top of the competition.
  • Research Skills – A good researcher, in order to communicate accurately, needs to be knowledgeable about their clients and what their needs are. This allows you to keep track of a fast-paced markets and keep you up to speed with current affairs.
  • Be Creative – As a PR professional, not only will you be creative in writing, but being creative in ways to promote new businesses and approaching new clients. As a profession that is always calling for fresh new ideas, having a creative streak is a crucial skill to have. If you can think out of the box, you’ll make your clients happy.

Better Photos for Your Website Using A Smartphone

Ever wonder how people take these wonderful and bright photos on their phones? How could they get a perfect angle, with the right amount of light without a fancy camera? You look through their Instagram and Flickr for inspiration and next thing you know, you’re trying to take pictures like them. With practice and patience, taking top notch pictures on your phone will become a habit for you. Here are some tips to try to get a better photo without the use of a professional camera!

  • Use Grid to Balance – The grid is your bestfriend. Using the grid is great to help improve the balance and focus point of your photo. With a series of lines on the screen of your smartphone’s camera, based on the rule of thirds – a photographic composition principle that says an image should be broken down into thirds, vertically and horizontally, giving you nine parts in total to use. By  points onto your focus, your photo will become more balanced, leveled, and focused.
  • Edit, Don’t Filter – Why use the same filter many, many people are using as well? Branch out and be creative. By editing your photos, you can get creative with lighting and choosing what colors are going to bring your photo to life. There are several helpful apps that are perfect for editing to help you get perfect exposure, filtering, convert to black and white and help get rid of blemishes and unwanted spots. A few apps that are free and great for editing are VSCO and even Snapseed, which is great to use for tools like removing any unwanted object or to enhance the mood of your image.
  • Focus on One Subject – The best photos always include that one subject, whether it be a plate of food or one specific person. In which case, spending extra time on the shot is an important key. By tapping on the screen, it allows the camera to instantly focus on your subject, helping you ensure the right focus and lighting.  Always remember not to let your focus take up too much of the frame, but instead allow two-thirds of the photo to be negative space – letting the focused subject stand out even further.

With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to get the right focus, with the perfect lighting and edits to get your picture perfect!