Picture yourself at the mall doing some shopping.  After trying on a great outfit at one store you decide to leave without buying.  As you continue to stroll through the mall, a sign appears that reminds you about that amazing outfit that is on sale.  It practically whispers in your ear. . . “Don’t forget how great it looked on you! It is still at the store.” The advertisement recaptures your interest and causes you to head back to purchase the outfit.  In short, that is retargeting.

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website. For most websites, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. Retargeting is a tool designed to help companies reach the 98% of users who don’t convert right away. Still confused about how retargeting works?  Here is a great info-graphic from Retargeter Online to illustrate how this marketing strategy works.

what_is_retargetingHow does Retargeting work?

Technically speaking, all that is needed to get started with a retargeting campaign is a JavaScript tag in the footer of your website. This code creates a list of people that visit your site by placing anonymous retargeting “cookies” in their browser. This list allows retargeting vendors to display retargeting ads to your potential customers as they visit other sites. This, then, keeps your brand front and center to the right people at the right place.  Thus those window shoppers become happy customers and hopefully loyal customers.  Retargeting can tailor its ads to certain groups, such as people who looked at shoes vs pants or people who stayed on the website for an extended amount of time.  Retargeting usually has a distinctive call to action such as a special promotion or deal to get the viewer to convert into a customer.

Once you have decided to take on a retargeting program you will need to decide which tool you will use to achieve the best conversion rates.  There are quite a few options for actually implementing your retargeting campaign. There are tons of third-party platforms to do web and social retargeting, such as PerfectAudience, AdRoll, Retargeter, Bizo, and many more. You can also do retargeting through specific platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Link Building 2015

What is link building?  How does it impact SEO?  And why does it seem so confusing? According to a recent survey(2015) on Moz Online, 80 percent of companies engaged in SEO are spending more than $1,000 a month on link building. These are impressive numbers!  So, while it may be constantly changing, and every company may have a completely different SEO program of link building, it is still alive and well in the realm of business marketing.  Let’s look further into link building and why your SEO program continues to need this strategy.

What is link Building?  Link building can increase the number of high-quality links pointing to a website, in turn increasing the likelihood of the website ranking highly in search engine results. Link building is also a proven marketing tactic for increasing brand awareness. Since the late 1990s search engines have treated links as votes for popularity and importance in the ongoing democratic opinion poll of the web. The engines themselves have refined the use of link data to a fine art, and use complex algorithms to perform nuanced evaluations of sites and pages based on this information. Google considers links valuable in its ranking algorithm because they’re an indication of trust, credibility, and authority. When another website links to yours, it means they found something valuable on your site, and that makes you more valuable by proxy. While Links aren’t everything in SEO, search professionals do attribute a large portion of the engines’ algorithms to link-related factors (see Search Engine Ranking Factors 2015).

Link building seems to change as the search engines change their parameters. There are many ways to build links in 2015/2016. Here are just a few of the ways to build links to increase your SEO ranking.

  • Natural Link Building – Links that are given naturally by sites and pages that want to link to your content or company. Maybe they have seen your “How-To” videos, read your blogs or enjoy the content on your site.  In any case their link to your company is natural and ranked highly.
  • Manual “Outreach” Link Building – The SEO creates these links by emailing bloggers for links, submitting sites to directories, or paying for listings of any kind.
  • Self-Created, Non-Editorial – Hundreds of thousands of websites offer any visitor the opportunity to create links through guest book signings, forum signatures, blog comments, or user profiles. These links offer the lowest value, but can, in the aggregate, still have an impact for some sites.

Web Marketer Inside Tips: Rosemarie Calder

The internet has become an integral part of everyone’s lives including staying organized, being social and, of course, online consumerism.  With 3 billion people globally using the internet as of November 2015, it would be a mistake not to have your company’s name and brand out there in the cyber world.  That is where Web Marketers come in to play. Web marketing takes many forms and has seen a major shift from the traditional print and television marketing of the not-so-distant-past.  Social Media, Re-targeting, SEO, and online advertising are just a few of the outlets that these professionals can use to raise brand awareness and target the best audience for the product or service your business provides.  At Sperling Interactive, one of our talented Web Marketers is Rosemarie Calder.  Let’s take a few minutes to get to know one of our talented marketers and find out some of her insider tips and advice.

Meet Rosemarie Calder

While Rosemarie would describe herself as quiet and mindful, she is a force when it comes to finding ways to get a website on the map in the cyber world.  She specializes in SEO such as link building, re-targeting and AdWord campaigns.  In practicing these skills each day she has many quick tips to give your marketing campaigns a boost. Here are some of her tips and insider ideas to make the most of your company’s marketing dollars.

  • Google AdWords Google AdWords has a keyword planner to provide fresh ideas and help suggest new keywords based on your website and services. Try to be specific as possible when choosing those words. It is best to review your campaign at least once a week and make adjustments accordingly. When reviewing consider: CTR, average position, conversion rate, quality scores, and your budget accordingly. 
  • Re-targetingRe-targeting is focusing special advertisements towards people who have already visited your site. Visitors can get distracted very easily on the web and may leave your site for various reasons. By running re-targeting ads, you can try to entice your visitors to come back to your page. Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, and Google AdWords are just a few companies that offer re-targeting advertising options. When writing re-targeting ads, it is good to thank them for visiting your page and to try to offer a deal or sale to try to encourage them to come back. Try to keep it simple. 
  • SEO TipsThere are many ways to optimize a search for your business/service or product.  Here are three of my best pieces of advice. First, it is important to have quality dynamic content on your site. Posting relevant blog entries weekly will help boost your ranking. Also, the higher quality the information, the more recognition and visits to your page. Secondly, when optimizing each page of your site, try to focus your page titles, headers, and meta descriptions around one relevant focused keyword for each page. Finally, building links to quality sites still helps your organic search rank. Whether it is built into your business process or you hire an agency to do it for you, having quality links to your site are essential to improve your search rank.


Check back here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages for more web marketing insider tips!

Dos and Don’ts of Business Blogging

stock-illustration-26308096-education-and-school-and-education-speech-bubble-black-whiteThinking about starting a blog for your company?  Well, there are copious amounts of statistics out there that illustrate how beneficial blogging can be for your business marketing strategy.  For example, did you know. . . ?

  • B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
  • Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links.
  • Blogs on company sites result in 55% more visitors.(Source: Hubspot)

While these stats are impressive and show how the pay off can be high for business blogging, it is important to realize that there are some basic rules to follow if you want your blog to create interest and ultimately convert readers into consumers of your brand.  A blog, or web log, can personalize, inform, and create interest in your company, service or product.  Let’s look at some critical Dos and Don’ts to get you started on blogging.

DO –

  1. Get Organized – Before you begin writing, formulate a list of topics that may be of interest to your readers.  Would they want to know more about your field?  Do they need “How to”  blogs?  Are they looking for professional opinions that your leadership could provide?  What angle are you hoping to take with your blog? Create a list of topics and plan them out on a blog calendar.  Whether you decide to blog once a week or once a day, keeping it consistent is important to not only the search engines who will register your increased activity but also to the readers who will come to expect information at certain times.
  2. Find a Voice – There really is nothing worse than reading a blog that sounds like wikipedia!  Be yourself and talk to the audience as if they are right  there with you.  This is a chance to show off what you know and your company’s personality all at the same time.  While your topics may draw in readers, your personality will keep them coming back!
  3. Titles, Headlines and Leads– These three things are extremely important.  Capture the audience’s attention right off the bat with a catchy opening line, statistic or relate-able story.  If they are not interested after the opening, they may not continue to read.
  4. Images – Always include some sort of image that relates to your topic.  Preferably use custom images that can highlight your company but if need be there are some great free images sites out there that can help you put a picture to the words.  (Top Sites to Find Free Images)
  5. Link to Social Media – Link or post a link to your blog on social media to encourage viewers to find your writing.


DON’T. . . .

  1. Offend or alienate any group– While it is okay to take a stance on issue that impacts your field of business, it is not a good idea to make statements that may turn off your viewers.
  2. Count Words – While search engines recognize meatier text over 500 words, shorter blogs that get to the point are fine as well and may be what your readers need.  On the flip side, if you have something to say and realize it may take more words, do it.
  3. Forget to edit – Mistakes are inevitable and the internet is filled with bad grammar and spelling errors, but try to edit your blog posts carefully to send a positive image of your company.

Marketing Trends to Follow -2016

Being trendy may not be on the top of your New Year’s “To Do” list.  However,  if you own a small business or even a large corporation, you may want to be up-to-speed on the marketing trends for the new year.  Staying on top of the rapidly changing technology and ways to attract your targeted audience is enough to spin the heads of even the most organized and alert marketing team.  Here are just a few points from experts at Forbes, Hubspot and Impress as they measure the trajectory of marketing in 2016.

  1. Increased Emphasis on Content – The Content Marketing Institute suggests that companies that have not joined in updating regular content on their website should join this trend or risk being left behind.  While content is not new (Content is King after all) there are added benefits to stepping up quality content generation.  These include: a boost in search engine ranking, the perception of your brand as current and active, and a connection and engagement with consumers that may lead to higher conversion numbers.
  2. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile – While it was once considered innovative to have a website that was responsive in design, it is now imperative to have a website that is easily viewed on all size screens including: desktops, tablets and smartphones.  Without this responsive design, your website may be not be optimally viewed by more than half of your readers.  Now that well over half of Americans view and buy using a mobile device, this is “do-or-die” time for being mobile ready! 
  3. Fine Tune Social Media – Yes, it seems everyone is now on social media – tweeting, posting and pinning.  It is no longer going to be good enough to be out there but to use your marketing dollars wisely.  Use analytics to find out where your customers are being social.  What social media do they use most?  How do they engage social media?  Do they share, repost or retweet? Then fine tune your plan for where and when to use those precious marketing dollars.
  4. Be Vigilant of Cyber Security – While internet security may not be in the realm of the marketing budget, it should be on the radar of marketing teams in 2016.  Consumers will be reticent to buy on websites that do not appear to be up-to-date on the latest security measures given the many problems that were encountered in 2015.
  5. A Rise in Video Ads – Online video is not new but Google is finally getting on board with in-SERP video advertising. t’s a sign that users are becoming more accepting of video ads online, and as that trend continues, expect to see more types of video ads popping up in more unexpected places. (Forbes)