Company websites best source of new sales leads

September 30, 2011

Corporate websites are the top online source for new sales leads, behind only personal connects and referrals, according to a new survey from marketing technology company Demandbase.

According to the “2011 Demandbase National Marketing and Sales Study,” 23% of marketers cite their websites as their top online source of leads, followed by email (14%), online ads (7%) and social media (3%). However, 87% say their websites need improvement in tracking and reporting on unregistered site users.

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Read full study: 2011 Demandbase National Marketing and Sales Study >

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Introduction to Defensive Web Design

September 29, 2011

There are several types of design and every web designer decides for himself which approach he takes, but today we take a look at a particular one of them, called Defensive web design. What does it mean? The defensive design is also called contingency design and refers to the idea that the interface has to be designed in such a way that potential failures will not force the user away from your webpage, but will keep him there.

The contingency design can contribute a lot to your success, because all designers know there is not a product without flaws, therefore getting the best out of these flaws will help you keep your visitors close. Contingency design is familiar to a context that happens a lot in the stores. When the client goes and asks for something that is not in stock, he will not get rejected. The shop assistant will most of the time recommend another product. The defensive design does the same thing: takes the client’s mind away from the problem and helps him with information or makes him try again.

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Google+ Business Profiles Are On the Way

September 28, 2011

arketers, start your Google+ engines! Speaking at Ad Age’s Digital West conference last week, Google’s Christian Oestlien, said it’s “close to unveiling Google+ business profiles.”

Right now, only Ford and General Motors have official profiles, but since Google+ opened the gates to everyone and anyone, a few “unofficial” profiles have popped up for brands such as Snapple and Taco Bell. Most of these branded pages are blank which leads me to believe people are place holding in hopes of a coup. It’s not going to happen, though, because there’s no limit to how many times the same name can be used.

If a company wants to complain about misuse of their logo, Google+ will listen and possibly shut down the offending profile, but it doeesn’t sound like verification will be a priority at all.

The other kind of brand pages that are popping up are franchise homes. Sunnyside Toyota in Cleveland has their own (empty) brand page, as does Alexander Toyota in Yuma. This pattern is starting to look very familiar. Yes, I’ll say it, it’s Facebook all over again.

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The 4 Classic Ways To Recession-Proof Your Brand

September 27, 2011
The companies weathering this storm share basic strategies for reacting to the adverse climate. Each one focuses on reinforcing their value to consumers.

OK, the debt disaster has been avoided. For now, anyway. But the economy is still teetering on the edge of a cliff. What can you do about it? Well, you could be saving it.

A recent study by the National Retail Federation found that “consumers are still pessimistic about buying.” The study blames the economy. Brilliant. But really, whose fault is the current state of the economy? The government? The banks? Wall Street? Consumers? Retailers? Manufacturers? We’ve all had a hand in it for sure, but until companies focus on real innovation and bringing customer empathy back to their brands, I fear the markets will continue to be flat. Consumers will spend their money only on the things they must and only with the brands that are engaging and communicating with them on an emotional level.

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Three Ways to Supercharge Social Media with Google Analytics

September 21, 2011

If your business is participating in social media, dig into Google Analytics to uncover actionable insights that will immediately improve your social efforts. We’ve identified three ways Google Analytics can supercharge your social media initiatives.

#1. Optimize Social Traffic

Create an advanced custom segment to look at the percentage of traffic that came to your website from social media versus other places and what that social traffic did once they got to your site. Then compare them against a control group of people that had not interacted with social media. Go further than just looking at whether Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn is driving the most traffic. Look for how social media compares in areas like lead conversion rates, website bounce rates and time spent on your site.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Blog SEO with Inbound Links

September 20, 2011

Are you looking for innovative ways to improve your search engine rankings?

In an earlier post I talked about the need to fully optimize your website and blog posts for search engines.

However, content optimization will only take you so far. For a website to really take off in the search engine rankings, it needs to generate incoming links from relevant and reputable websites. And you have little control of incoming links.

To increase the likelihood of obtaining high-quality incoming links, here are seven things you can do:

#1: Create Content Others Will Want to Share

All search engine optimization (SEO) starts with content. The first step to generating incoming links is to create content that others will want to share. Blog posts that solve problems, provide a valuable resource, entertain, demonstrate innovation or even create controversy can all generate incoming links. Average content won’t cut it. It needs to be outstanding.

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5 Myths About Pitching Your Story to the Media

September 19, 2011

You’ve got a great story with your company, and you think it’s one that deserves to be told. If you’re not sure how to get your news in magazines, websites, newspapers and blogs, read on. I’ll address a lot of common misconceptions about PR.

1. I need a PR team or agency to do the pitching.

Not true at all. If you’re a small business owner with the time and inclination to learn how to do your own public relations, you don’t need to hire a professional (though they might have the contacts to make the job easier).

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