Simple Machines Marketing

Marketing, Simplified

Marketing in the 21st century can be really confusing. With so many channels and trends, it's easy to lose sight of your strategy. This is a blog about solving marketing problems by going back to the basics.

 

5 Tips to Improve Your Mobile Website Conversion Rates

Mobile optimization, the creation or editing of mobile websites to ensure that they look great and function properly on all mobile devices, can make or break your chances of converting mobile users. With the majority of American adults now owning smartphones (58% as of January 2014, according to the Pew Research Center), it’s crucial that your website is not only search engine optimized, but that it is also conversion optimized, as well. Conversion optimization is the method of creating an experience for a website visitor with the end goal of increasing the percentage of visitors that convert into customers. Websites that have been properly conversion optimized will experience conversion rates worth getting excited about. Have you optimized your website for mobile, but struggled to see any payoff in terms of your conversion rate? Che... Read more »

 

How Website Encryption Will Affect SEO

Google to begin factoring HTTPS encryption in search rankings  In a move to promote better online security practices, Google has announced that it will start using website encryption as a ranking signal. While encryption will be a lightweight signal at first – affecting less than 1% of global queries initially – the move by the search giant likely forecasts lower search rankings for sites that fail to make the security update. Website encryption is normally depicted with a padlock in the URL bar and https://at the beginning of a URL. This step by Google is designed to motivate developers to employ HTTPS – or TLS (Transport Layer Security) which uses digital certificates to encrypt traffic and secure information shared over the domain. Google hopes to have everyone   on the web using HTTPS on the... Read more »

 

How to Eliminate Copy That is Scaring Off Your Customers

Have you ever landed on a website, interested in purchasing a service from a company, only to be overwhelmed by the volume and organization of information? How quickly did you exit out of the tab? One of the more damaging mistakes a small business owner or marketer can make is being too verbose. You surely have incredible amounts of knowledge and passion to share about your business, but your potential customer is probably not interested in hearing it. Don’t take it personally. Much like you, they’ve got busy lives and would prefer to just get straight to the point. Consider this: a visitor lands on your website, after doing a quick search for a local floral shop. Ready to purchase flowers for their mother, they are inundated with a novella’s worth of copy. The visitor doesn’t want to spend much time searching... Read more »

 

Why You Need Must-Have Marketing Milestones

We’ve touched on the process for assessing marketing channels a number of times on this blog – looking at how to calculate marketing ROI and how to assess social media success. These posts look at how to assess marketing on a channel-by-channel basis, but what about assessing the success of a longer term marketing plan with several moving parts? In my experience with clients, I’ve found that the key here is to define what “success” looks like upfront – and part of this is differentiating the things that you want from your marketing from the things that you need. About that project plan… Assume you’ve recently signed on with a marketing agency. After the initial discovery phase, the agency comes back to you with pages and pages of research, recommendations and – finally – a project plan. Let’s say our hypothe... Read more »

 

Guest Blogging Simplified: Avoiding Google Penalization

This week, Google started taking action against guest blogging websites found to be in violation of their SEO guidelines, following through on the warnings issued starting in January. This situation has left SEOs questioning whether or not this spells the end of guest blogging. Search Rankings Gone Bad: The MyBlogGuest.com Effect Google’s Matt Cutts announced on Monday morning the search engine’s penalization of a “large guest blog network” via Twitter. It was later confirmed that MyBlogGuest.com, the penalized site, took a big hit in search rankings. Even when searched by name, the domain is no longer visible in search – with the exception of paid advertising.  Not only has MyBlogGuest taken a hit, so have the publishers of their content. Search Engine Land alone received 215 comments regarding publishers wh... Read more »

 

How to Create a Quality Twitter Following

With 78% of small businesses gaining new customers via social media, there’s no surprise that Twitter is at the top of just about every small business owner’s mind. One of the most common things we hear from our clients is that they know they should be on Twitter but don’t think they have the time or resources to make it worth the effort. In fact, as a small business owner, you should already have one of the most important resources you need for Twitter: your mission statement. Twitter is a vehicle to help share and advance the mission of your organization, to grow awareness surrounding it and to engage others who may find it relevant. By sticking to your mission and leveraging resources available to you, you can develop a quality following that won’t monopolize your time or break your budget.  Quality Foll... Read more »

 

How to Assess Social Media Campaigns

If you’re not measuring your social media marketing returns, you’re not alone. According to a recent survey by Tata Consultancy Services, 44% of companies surveyed reported that they do not have mechanisms in place to measure the impact of their social media efforts. By comparison, about 18% reported negative returns on their social media investments, while 38% saw positive returns. Unlike some more traditional marketing channels that lend themselves to relatively concrete cost-benefit analyses, social media comes with a host of unknowns and gray areas, making a direct assessment of this sort virtually impossible. While you may not be able to calculate an exact ROI, this doesn’t mean you can’t quantify the results and measure the impact of your social media campaigns. Yes, you’ll have to accept a certain level of... Read more »

 

How Small Businesses Can Harness the Potential of Tumblr

(Today's guest post comes from Bernadette Coleman, who shares some of the benefits of using Tumblr along with tactics for getting the most from this platform.) With so many social media and blogging platforms available, it can be overwhelming for businesses to decide which should be used to showcase their brands. While Facebook and Twitter are often the first places brands turn to, Tumblr is also an effective channel for many small businesses. This 77 million-strong blogging platform attracts an average of nearly 4.5 billion impressions on a weekly basis. Tumblr is a free micro-blogging platform that can serve as a powerful tool in promoting brand awareness. Tumblr’s primary users are young people around the age of 25. If your brand focus is on this market segment, you can’t afford to miss out on this channel.... Read more »

 

Create a Plan to get the Most from Your Analytics

If you’re in any way involved in the management of your business’ website, it’s a given that you’re familiar with website analytics. Odds are that you’re using Google Analytics (or a plugin for it), and depending on your role in the business, you’re either being given reports from analytics or you’re pulling the data yourself. It’s always good to know how much traffic your site is getting and how that changes month to month, but this is really just the tip of the data iceberg, and learning how to create a plan to better harness the power of website analytics is a crucial way to make the most of your digital marketing efforts. Start with Objectives You have a website and you want to increase traffic – that much we’ll assume is true. But beyond that, what interactions and relationships do you want to foster with you... Read more »

 

The End of Search Traffic Data from Google

Recently, we made a significant change to how we report on SEO work. Before the change, we included a metric in SEO reports called “HVK traffic” – traffic from visitors searching for high value keywords – as a way to gauge how many visits a website was attracting due to SEO efforts. HVK is another way to think about non-branded organic traffic; someone who searches for your services/products but doesn’t search for your business by name is an HVK visitor. These are the keywords the site is optimized for, and the primary goal of SEO is to increase these visits. Unfortunately for marketers and businesses who rely on this data to help optimize their websites for search, Google has been steadily encrypting more and more organic searches – meaning instead of seeing what keywords search visitors used to find your websi... Read more »

 
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