We recently held a webinar focused on digital marketing and how to optimize for success in 2017.
Three members of the Americaneagle.com team spoke on this topic; Tim Rohlwing, SEO Strategist, Joe Gustafson, Social Strategist, and Corte Swearingen, Director of Testing and Optimization. In part one of this webinar recap we will discuss the topics of SEO and email marketing; in a second post, we will review Corte’s presentation regarding A/B Testing.
Read on to learn more about each of these topics and how they can become part of your online strategy for 2017!
Search Engine Optimization
In his discussion on search engine optimization, Tim explained that SEO is the front door to your business; far too often companies build websites and just expect the traffic to magically arrive. Today, you need to build your traffic to take your website to a higher level; good, solid SEO results lead to more traffic and, ultimately, to more conversions.
On the B2B side, over half of marketers are saying that SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation.
He then went on to explain that the impact on sales really comes down to your Google ranking. The better you can get your ranking, the more likely you are to have sales success. The image below demonstrates this:
Tim then discussed some of the technical attributes of SEO, including character count for titles and meta descriptions. In addition to SEO, Google looks at other aspects of your site that affect your ranking, detailed below:
Good content is also essential to good SEO. You should always ensure your content, besides using natural keywords and canonical tags, is:
- Unique and engaging
- Fresh and frequently posted
It is also important to avoid the following when writing copy:
- Internal duplicate content
- External duplicate content
- This content
- Keyword stuffed content
There are a huge range of factors that impact SEO. In addition to what we already discussed, overall components of a good SEO site include the following:
- Mobile friendly
- Unique product descriptions
- Secure website / SSL
- Structured Data
- Accurate content
- Good user experience
- Fast page load time
In his part of the webinar, Joe explained that email marketing is crucial in keeping your customers. He began by outlining some trends and metrics relating to email marketing:
- Today, email is designed for mobile first, desktop second
- A/B Testing has become crucial to optimizing for email marketing success
- Email marketing accounted for 25% of Black Friday sales
- Returns on email are currently skyrocketing ($4.25 to$1) - a clear ROI compared to many other advertising campaigns
Steps to Success
- Clean your list
Start by cleaning your list – hard bounces, soft bounces, and unresponsive emails are incredibly damaging to future email performance. As little as a 5% hard bounce rate can affect if your email will be delivered to those actively looking for it.
Change your popup
The popup request for email addresses is likely to be problematic in the near future. Consider a softer approach to obtaining an email address – for example a ‘tell me more’ option, or have your request slide into view or come down from the top of the screen.
Take your entire list and separate it into demographics or customer preferences. Send multiple emails at the same time to different segments of your list to have activities and purchases that are running parallel to each other. This way you’ll be sending many smaller emails with better click through rates.
- “First Name" Personalization
This is going to be very important in 2017. To drive brand loyalty, use one-to-one personalization – for example geo-target or supply intelligent product suggestions based on previous purchases.
What should you do?
- Quantify your email - from A/B testing to working hand in hand with your creative team, analyze how effective your email has been after being sent. Consistently analyze your dashboard and KPI’s.
- Use Interactive media as it can change how your emails are read and how your customers engage with them - you can even give your customers the ability to purchase directly from their email inbox.
- Continue with SEO and SEM, continue investing in content, and continue to learn about your customers.
If SEO is how you get the traffic, and email is how you keep the list, social strategy is how you maintain the community while being a soft sell in between purchases.
Today we’re seeing less emphasis on the number of likes your page has and more emphasis on how you move customers from your social channels to your site. One social platform that has become a major player in this area within the last year is Snapchat.
As with all of your marketing strategies, measuring ROI is key. It’s important for your social media efforts to also have an ROI figure.
A great way to improve your ROI in 2017 is through video. Joe explained that the picture superiority effect suggests images will have a bigger impact on your audience that words. The picture superiority effect explains that if you hear something, you’re likely to recall 10% of it 3 days later – if you see something, you’re likely to recall 65% of it 3 days later. Viewers who ‘like’ a company’s video online are over 90% more likely to make a purchase from that company in future.
Some considerations for 2017:
- Paid social media video campaign
- Mission statement video for website usage
- Product showcase videos
- Staff videos
- Video Case Studies
The Analytical MindsetWhat is measurable?
- Consider what action you want users to take next
- Assess the possible user journey
- Monitor hard data over vanity metrics
VR (virtual reality) and Augmentation is the next marketing frontier. You can use it to:
- Craft brand experiences
- Use as a sales tool
- Gather customer feedback instantaneously
- Enhance broadcasting experiences
Thanks for reading part 1 of our webinar recap! Visit again soon for Part 2 – A/B Testing.
You can also view the presentation slides or watch the recording.