Why ADA Compliant Websites Are So Important + How To Make Your Site Compliant

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ADA is an acronym that stands for Americans With Disabilities and it became a law in 1990. This act prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in any area of public life. In January 2018, new federal regulations were put into effect requiring all federal institutions’ websites to be meet AA compliance on all items.

Even if you aren’t a federal regulation, It’s been that more and more ADA compliance lawsuits are winning in court. With most people owning a smartphone and other mobile devices, it’s not a surprise that many of today’s discrimination cases are trickling into the digital world.

Today, any business that is considered a “public accommodation” must have an ADA compliant website. The most common types of businesses people considered to be a “public accommodation” include B2C businesses, retail, or any type of business the public could easily access. We at Sperling Interactive believe that even if you have a B2B business, you should still have an ADA compliant website. This will make you more SEO friendly, and also, who doesn’t want to accessible to all web users?

Other Reasons Why You Should Care

According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, more than 1 in 8 Americans have a disability, making them the largest minority group in our country. We’re in the era of the Internet, but that doesn’t ensure everything online is user-friendly for those with disabilities. Another fact from the Pew Research Center is disabled Americans are less likely to be found online. About a quarter of Americans with a disability say they never use the Internet. Disabled adults are 20% less likely to own a traditional computer, smartphone, or tablet. Groups of people who will be impacted by a non-compliant website include but are not limited to  individuals who have impairments with visuals, motor skills, hearing, communication, learning, and cognition.  

How Do I Make My Website ADA Compliant?

Your site probably already has some of the items for an ADA compliance website checked off, but here are some important fixes to make that are a bit more complex .

-The text must meet a minimum contrast ratio against the background.
-Website visitors must be able to navigate the site through their keyboard only.

-Those with a visual impairment must be able navigate with a screen reader software.

-Your website must handle text scaling up to 200% without causing horizontal scrolling or content-breaking layout issues.   

Contact Sperling Interactive today to see how we can make your website accessible for anyone!  

Why Call Tracking Is Important

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Think phone calls are passé in today’s digital world? Think again! These days, marketers are relying on call tracking to optimize their digital advertising efforts.

What is calling tracking?

Call tracking, also known as call analytics, call attributions, and call intelligence, is a form of marketing analytics technology. It helps businesses measure the calls they receive from their websites and pay-per-click campaigns.

Why call tracking works

Phone calls lead to buys. After people engage with a business’ online content, what can push them to buy from that business is a phone call with them. It makes sense. When people make a call, their intent to buy is generally higher and they’re typically further along in the customer-purchasing journey.  Phone calls give them a chance to interact with the company, gain more information from them through asking questions, and ultimately determine if they trust the company.

Call tracking can teach you what keywords are working. The phone calls you receive will tell you a lot about how your campaign is going. If people start calling, asking for a service or product you don’t offer or make, you’ll know that you’ll have to add some more keywords to your negative keyword list and re-adjust your landing pages so you don’t misrepresent your business. In turn, this can improve your search engine optimization.

Call tracking can let marketers know when people are calling. By knowing what times people are calling your business, marketers can better run campaigns and divy up their budgets better so more clicks lead to phone calls.

Call tracking records phone calls. This can be beneficial for businesses as it lets them know how they’re communicating with potential clients and customers and ways in which they can approve. It also teaches them more about their target audience so they can continue to better their marketing and sales tactics and evolve their business.

Call tracking can track outbound calls, too. Outbound calls are just as important as inbound calls. Calling tracking can help you see how your correspondence with a potential customer or client is panning out.

Call tracking can help you see how your marketing efforts are going. With call tracking, you can really see how your marketing efforts are working and what marketing tactics are bringing in leads and conversions because of the data it provides. From there, you’ll know what marketing efforts to spend less time and money on.

Are you interested in installing call tracking for your website and digital marketing campaigns. Call Sperling Interactive today at (978) 304-1730.

What Is Market Segmentation

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What is market segmentation?

Market segmentation is a type of marketing where you target specific groups of people. When you do market segmentation, you essentially put your target audience into groups and create specific campaigns geared towards each group. There are four types of market segmentation: geographic segmentation, demographic segmentation, psychographic segmentation, and behavioral segmentation.

Why is market segmentation important?

When you use market segmentation, you show your diverse audience that you respect them because you’re coming at them with marketing that they resonate with. You’re showing you know that even in subgroups, not everyone in your target audience is the same and you hear all of your target audience’s needs and concerns. You basically win over people by not generalizing groups of people.

Geographic segmentation

Geographic segmentation is when you create a specific marketing strategy for people within a certain area. Businesses that really benefit from using geographic segmentation are ones that serve a specific community, sell seasonal products, or companies that just opened a store in a new territory.

Demographic segmentation

Demographic segmentation is a hyper-focused approach. It’s when you target people based on their age, gender, race, religion, family size, ethnicity, income, and/or level of education. This type of market segmentation is favorable for businesses where their audience is a certain demographic.

Psychographic segmentation

Psychographic segmentation is when you market to people based on their personalities. Our personalities are influenced by our values, morals, interests, hobbies, and lifestyle. Psychographic segmentation is another hyper-focused market segmentation. Retail, publishing, and travel are three industries that should use psychographic segmentation.

Behavioral segmentation

Behavioral segmentation deals with consumers’ buying habits. Consumers’ purchases, money, time, and lifestyle all make up this marketing strategy.  With this market segmentation, get into your consumer’s head before you take action. When does your target audience most need you.

Let’s say you own a card company, for instance. You’re most profitable during Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the holidays. The slowest time of the year is August as it’s summertime and there are no holidays. You want to make sure you’re doing the big bulk of your behavioral segmentation marketing during the end of January, the beginning of May, the beginning of June, and the end of November. You don’t want to wait to close to these holidays to start your marketing campaigns as you’ll lose people. With behavioral segmentation, it’s all about reaching your target audience before they make a decision.  

After reading this blog post, do you feel you need help marketing to your target audience? Contact Sperling Interactive today for a plan of action! At Sperling Interactive, we’re all about stretching your marketing dollars further.

 

How To Eliminate Click Fraud In Your PPC Campaign

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Spam or fraudulent clicks can be a leading reason why businesses and nonprofits don’t utilize Google Adwords to promote themselves. It’s an understandable reasoning for a organization to have if they don’t have much knowledge of pay-per-click campaigns. Spam and fraudulent clicks can occur, but they can also be avoided. Continue reading to learn solutions on how to cut down on the amount of spam and fraudulent clicks you receive.

 What are fraudulent clicks?

Fraudulent clicks generally come from competitors and ad publishers looking to get something from your ads. Competitors will repeatedly click on ads to cap out your daily budgets and ad displayers are clicking on ads to give themselves more money. For years, search engines didn’t do much about this, but now they are.

What Google is doing

Of the search engines, Google is doing to the most to decrease fraudulent clicks. Google has created filters to detect fraud and prevent advertisers from wasting money. Google also has Google’s Ad Traffic Quality Team, which manually analyzes clicks before the advertiser is charged, and they investigate when you file a report of invalid clicks. If you use Google Adwords, you can block IP addresses with their feature, IP Exclusions.

How to run your own investigation?

Three things you’ll need are the IP address, click timestamp, and action timestamp. If you see a lot of clicks from a particular IP address and no conversion, there’s a high chance they were fraud clicks.

It might not be fraud

It’s important to note that not every questionable click is fraud. You may just need to adjust your ad targeting. Your targeting could be so broad, which is why you’re receiving a lot of clicks but not a lot of conversions.  

Do you need help running an effective pay-per-click campaign? Call Sperling Interactive at 978-304-1730. We can help stretch your marketing dollars further.

Does Your Organization Need An App?

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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

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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

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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

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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.