Digital Marketing For Your Small Business

digital marketing

It can be difficult for start-ups and small businesses to cut through the clutter and establish themselves. To build momentum, sustain momentum, and develop a loyal following of customers and brand ambassadors takes a lot…

A lot of capacity and resources, a lot of time, and often a lot of money.

Unless you’re in some alternate reality where each day begins with a Rod Serling monologue, those are all of the things (time, budget, resources) you probably lack as a small business.

Digital Marketing Twilight Zone
There’s the signpost up ahead, your next stop…The Digital Zone!

Despite the understandable shortcomings, you still have to grow fast (and smart) if you want to succeed.

Good news. Rapid growth is possible! And not just growth that’s fast and smart—it can also be incredibly cost efficient. All it takes is a solid digital marketing strategy.

The Importance of Digital Marketing  

Each day, the average person spends 5 hours online and Google alone logs more than 3.5 billion searches. What are they all doing? Well, 82% of consumers conduct research online while 79% shop online, according to Forbes and Tech Crunch, respectively.

In An Internet Minute…Everything Can Change

Internet Minute

The moral of this story is pretty simple: In order to drive results for your business, you need to be there, front and center, when and where your target audience is gathering information and making purchasing decisions.

We’re in the middle of a digital revolution with technology and advanced marketing tactics constantly evolving.

Screen Time Per Day

None of this is lost on the small local business owner, but without the knowledge, time, or experience to keep up with it all, it can be overwhelming.

It’s said that by 2021, digital marketing spend in the U.S. will reach about $332 billion.

So, daunting as it may seem to implement digital marketing, it’s also absolutely necessary. It’s almost a given that your competition will have a strong online presence, making it all the more imperative that you do, too.

Digital Marketing For Local Success

You’re not the ubiquitous Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

You can’t be everything to everyone.

Even if you could, you certainly can’t cost-effectively reach them all. Small business, local business, niche business… your purview is more limited—and that’s okay.

In fact, it can be a huge advantage. If you start by really understanding your customer. Dig deep…conduct research…develop personas.

  • Identify customer pain points and moments of delight
  • Determine communication touch points to best complement your customers’ journey
  • Visualize your customer journey map
The Customer Journey

Targeted Digital Marketing

When you have a good grasp on your audience and what motivates them, it’s time to get smart about how you target and reach them with your message.

Many local businesses feel the need to come in hot, cast a massive net, and believe they’re painting a marketing masterpiece with broad random strokes.

In the end, they simply can’t outspend the competition on such a large scale. They lose.

When you stay focused and targeted, you win.

Digital Marketing Geo Targeting
  • Geographic Targeting: Reach online users in a specific area.
  • Demographic Targeting: Reach online users of specific ages, genders, incomes, and professions.
  • Category Targeting: Reach online users with specific topic and informational interests.
  • Behavioral Targeting: Reach online users with behaviors showing interest in specific products and services.
  • Contextual Targeting: Reach online users interested in your products or services.
  • Job Title Targeting: Reach online users interested in a specific industry, field, or profession.
  • Search Retargeting: Reach online users who may not know who you are but are looking for your product/service.
  • Site Retargeting: Reach and stay top-of-mind with online users who already know who you are.

That’s a lot of pinpoint reach for your brand, but what exactly are your potential customers being “reached” with?

Hyper-targeted display ads, relevant search engine marketing (SEM) results, and sophisticated search engine optimization (SEO). All tailor-made to drive action.

From there, sky’s the limit. If you’re measuring, capturing, and tracking, you can seamlessly move them through their customer journey with thoughtful email campaigns, killer content, compelling videos, and so on.

Your Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy

Small Business Digital Marketing Strategy

This all sounds great, right? But we know what you’re thinking.

“Something like this could take my business to the next level, but it’s extremely complicated and surely more than I can afford to spend on marketing.”

Think again.

The best digital marketing agencies will work with you in lockstep to identify a digital marketing strategy that is best suited to your needs and the needs of your customers.

And the even better digital marketing agencies specialize in custom, budget-friendly, ROI-focused digital marketing campaigns for small and local businesses who would otherwise find such services inaccessible and too expensive.

Enter Twelve Legs Marketing.

It’s time to give your business legs with a robust digital marketing strategy. We can help.

Email Marketing For Lead Nurturing

email marketing on computer and mobile

nur·ture /nərCHər/ – the process of caring for and encouraging the growth or development of someone or something.

Not all leads are created equal. In fact, about 75% of leads in any marketing funnel are not ready to buy.

leads-marketing funnel-sales-email nurturing

Let’s say someone comes to your site and downloads a free ebook. In order to get the content, they fill out your landing page form, providing you some basic info (name, email, maybe even a phone number and some insightful comments). Wisely, you’ve planned ahead and while the ebook itself is “free,” you’ve captured valuable information in return.

Now you have a lead.

“The Glengarry leads are for closers only…”

Better yet, you have a potential customer.

But as we’ve established, unless they’re in the minority, they’re not going to make a purchase.

They must be educated…informed…motivated. They must be nurtured.

Why Is Email Lead Nurturing Important?

Because while they may not be ready to invest in your product/service right now, they could be your ideal buyer in the future.

In fact, according to Hubspot, 74% of companies say that converting leads to customers is their top priority. Here are some other eye-popping statistics that underscore the importance of lead nurturing:

  • 96% of visitors who come to your website aren’t ready to buy…yet (Marketo)
  • Gleanster reports that 15-20% of the “not yet ready to purchase” opportunities converted into sales with lead nurturing
  • Lead nurturing emails get 4-10 times the response rate compared to standalone email blasts (DemandGen Report)
  • 74% of top-performing companies use automated lead nurturing (Gleanster)
  • Nurtured leads produce an average 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads (Demand Gen Report, 2014)

Lead Nurturing Made Simple(r) in the Digital Age

CRM, email tracking, marketing automation, oh my!

Hard to believe there was a time when lead nurturing was a manual process.

marketing-trends-future

With decades of digital marketingexperience, we at Twelve Legs have access to robust drip marketing tools and techniques that can keep leads engaged and moving through your sales funnel. Set up the canvas, identify content and key messaging points to communicate throughout, then press play. And based on performance, it’s quite easy to make adjustments on the fly, digitally speaking.

It can all be done at a relatively low cost, too, when you eliminate much of the overhead.

Are Your CRM Data Insights Maximized?

In order to run an automated email nurture campaign, your leads will need to be collected and categorized in some sort of system or database.

According to Eloqua, Taleo Corporation saw many benefits to their database through lead nurturing:

  • Increased the number of opportunities entering the pipeline by 118%
  • Nearly eliminated “unrated” leads from their database
  • Improved conversion rates at every stage of the funnel
  • Saw an additional 30% of visitors convert to marketing qualified leads

If you have customer relationship management (CRM) software in place, excellent. Now it’s time to make sure your contacts are all polished up.

Successful marketers should always have a steady stream of leads entering their database. So it’s important to keep it as clean and accurate as possible.

Identify your high/low priority leads, and remove all the ones that are fruitless and illegitimate—because a solid lead nurturing campaign starts with an audit of your database and careful review of each new lead to determine:

  • Is the contact info is accurate?
  • Did they share key purchasing preferences/details?
  • Did they fill out more than one lead capture form?
  • Do they interact with your content regularly?

The more “yes” responses each prospect elicits, the hotter the lead. When you’ve completed your database audit and vetted your leads, it’s time to categorize!

Adding Leads to Email Nurture Campaigns

If you’re getting the most out of your CRM, you’re probably increasing online conversion rates.

Start by creating categories that put each lead group on its own unique nurture path.

email nurture-lead funnel-marketing campaigns

For example, if a lead didn’t provide many specifics, and commented that they’re “at least 12 months away from a potential purchase,” they may be tagged as “Long Cycle Leads” and placed into a more general nurture campaign. Their journey starts with awareness—it’s your job to stay top-of-mind with gentle reminders and relevant content that showcase the best aspects of your brand. This could go on for months. Make it hard for them to ignore you…not by browbeating, but with a compelling email once or twice a month. Simply keep them informed and be on their radar when they’re ready.

If a lead is expressing interest in your product/service through multiple capture forms and notes a few challenges they/their organization face, you might create a bucket for leads who share common pain points. The nurture campaign here can be a little more specific and aggressive, always highlighting the ways you can alleviate their “pain.”

You can get as granular as you’d like when it comes to categorizing leads, really.

For most marketers, a few nurture paths will suffice, based on the level of engagement demonstrated by different leads.

Using the form submission info you gather, and knowledge of how often they interact with your content (website, email newsletters, social media, resource downloads, etc.) can determine if the lead is “highly engaged,” “somewhat engaged,” “minimally engaged,” and so on. Each group can enter a different nurture campaign with targeted content, messaging, and calls-to-action.

Types of Lead Nurturing Emails

Each prospect’s situation will be different, and while your specific nurture campaign should account for that, the structure of your campaigns can be consistent. For automated drip campaigns, find a template that works for each type of email you’re sending at each stage, and tailor the content and message based on the group of leads you’re communicating with.

As an example, here’s a simple series of email types that could be set up to move a “somewhat engaged” lead to “very engaged/ready to convert” lead throughout a campaign spanning just a few weeks.

  1. Awareness Email: At this stage, they want to be educated with resources, research data, and insight. Send them a Newsletter email that spotlights some relevant content and news about your product/service/brand. Right now your prospect is looking for answers.
  2. Consideration Email: They’re starting to get more serious with more intensive research on whether or not your offerenings could be a good fit. Send them a Multimedia email featuring a blog post, promotional video, and/or tangible resource.
  3. Decision Email: They want to know exactly what it will take to buy from you, and why they should choose you over your competition. Send them an Offer email with a clear CTA to “buy now,” or “give us a try with this special offer,” or “set up a consultation.”

According to the Aberdeen Group, companies who effectively nurture their customer through the buying experience have:

  • 54% greater return on marketing investment
  • 5 times greater revenue from referrals
  • 18 times faster sales cycles

Always Measure and Analyze Your Email Nurture Campaigns

What you don’t want to do with your nurture campaign is set it and forget it.

Carefully monitoring opens, clicks, and click through rates is important for each nurture campaign you deploy.

If you have the capacity, this will allow you to set up triggers for more nuanced follow-up emails and nurture paths depending on the actions each lead takes as a result of your communication.

Ultimately, your nurture campaign will inform whether you move on completely from a lead, optimize your campaign to further engage a lead, or contact a lead with your ironclad sales pitch!

An effective nurture campaign speaks to the needs and concerns of a prospective buyer while taking them on a journey. A journey that hopefully enlightens them with all the things that differentiate your product and ends with a closed sale, happy customer, and brand ambassador for years to come.

5 Most Important Decisions When Planning a Company Event

planning a company event
company networking event

We recently hosted a small networking event here at the Twelve Legs offices in downtown Colorado Springs.

It was a true joint effort, not only among our team, but also our event partners—ANB Bank and local non-profit Pawsitive Kidnections.

In the end we had about 50 professionals turn out for a fun and productive evening. It was a pleasure to welcome our current clients, prospects, and friends to check out our (relatively) new office space while enjoying good food, good drink, and good company.

If you’re considering planning/hosting an event at/for you business, good for you! It can be a very rewarding experience, but it does take a fair amount of effort. We learned a few things from our recent event, and wanted to share some quick tips to keep in mind and questions to ask if you’re preparing for a company event of your own.

  1. Determine which organizational employee is best suited to plan or act as the liaison to your selected event planner. Clearly communicate your intentions to this employee.
  2. Decide the main purpose of your event and don’t try to combine too many objectives or dilute your intentions. Will it be a customer appreciation, prospecting, employee appreciation event, or something else altogether?
  3. Decide on the size and budget for your event. Plan on a 20 to 30% attendance rate based on invites sent (with very few RSVPs).
  4. How will you send the invitation? Hard invite, Facebook, email, or a combination of all methods? Will you send reminders?
  5. Do you have enough employees available to meet and greet your guests to maximize your objective?

Every event will be a little different, and every company will have its own objectives. But if you answer the questions and check the boxes above, you’ll be on your way to a smooth and successful event that impresses your attendees and leaves you feeling accomplished.

How Radio Advertising Communicates Your Message

radio advertising

As an advertiser, you need to answer two fundamental questions about your advertising media investments: 

  1. Where is your money going?
  2. Is it working?

Strategy is the key to accurately answer these questions, and ultimately ensure your marketing success.

Lucky for you, the variety of advertising platforms available these days enables you to plan a successful marketing strategy tailored to specific business goals. Businesses have many choices when it comes to advertising, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. 

As the digital age continues to rapidly change the marketing landscape and create new possibilities for how and where we target consumers, radio advertising probably seems like it went out with the transistors. 

Well, call Ripley’s…because believe it or not, radio advertising is still a marketing tool employed by many businesses. 

But really, how effective is radio advertising right now? 

With the rise in technology and successful companies like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music, you may be questioning how many people still listen to the good old fashioned terrestrial radio. 

Turns out, plenty. 

According to Brad Kelly, Managing Director of Nielsen Audio, “Each week, more Americans tune into AM/FM radio (93%) than watch television, or use smartphones, tablets, or computers.”

So we know that radio can reach large audiences with a decent dedicated budget. The costs you can expect to incur with radio advertising include:

  • Airtime obviously comes at a price, which increases or decreases based on the size and desirability of the listening audience. 
  • Producing professionally sounding commercials costs money. Some radio stations will throw that in as part of their advertising package. That won’t work if you want the same advertisement running on several different stations at once, however.
  • Hiring voice talent for your radio ad would add additional cost for the production of your ad. 
  • These fees might not cover the cost of any music royalties necessary, as well as the work from the talent and the cost of writing the ad.

The costs for radio advertising will depend both on the time of day and the type of show being sponsored. For example, an ad that runs in a prime-time slot on a very popular show will be much more expensive than one that runs in the middle of the day during music play. This cost is subjective, however. Popular radio shows will have more listeners, and you will have a wider pool of consumers. This in turn could make your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) lower. CPA is figured by taking the sales that resulted from an ad and dividing that figure by the actual cost of the ad.

Media, like any industry, is full of terminology. Nearly every medium has a different way of measuring its effectiveness. Broadcast uses gross rating points, newspapers use circulation, billboards use traffic counts and websites use impressions or clicks.

The more you know, the better your strategy will be.

Important Radio Advertising Metrics 

  • Media Cost is the price you pay to present your advertisement. There are many different ways to price media including points, impressions, clicks, leads, actions, days, weeks, months, etc. However, it’s ultimately about the amount you pay to present your advertisement, which is Media Cost. Media Cost excludes the cost to create the advertisement and other management costs.
  • Media Market describes the set of people that could potentially be exposed to your advertisement. The media market is often described using Designated Market Areas or DMAs, which are trademarked by Nielsen. However, Media Market can be any market you define.
  • Population is the total number of people in your Media Market.
  • Rating is the percentage of the Media Market that will likely be exposed to your advertisement. Rating is an estimate based on past performance often sourced from surveys.
  • Average Persons is the number of people that, on average, will be exposed to each Spot. Average Persons is calculated by multiplying Population by Rating then dividing by 100.
  • A Spot is a single broadcast of an advertisement. Typically, an advertising placement includes multiple spots.
  • Reach is the number of people in the Media Market that will likely be exposed to one Spot. Reach can also be expressed as a percentage, which indicates the percentage of the Population that is exposed to at least one Spot.
  • Gross Rating Point (GRP) is a measure of the size of an advertising campaign by a specific medium or schedule. GRP is calculated by multiplying the number of Spots by Rating. It measures the balance of frequency and reach for broadcast and it is the best way to compare broadcast media.
  • Cost per Point (CPP) is a measure of cost efficiency which enables you to compare the cost of this advertisement to other advertisements. CPP is calculated as Media Cost divided by Gross Rating Points (GRPs)
  • CPM (Cost Per Mille in Latin, French, and Italian—mille means one thousand), also called Cost Per Thousand (CPM), is a standard measurement. CPM means the amount of money it will cost to show a thousand people the ad one time. This allows people to compare one medium to another. For example, you use the CPM to compare a newspaper with a circulation of 100,000, a radio station with 500,000 listeners and a website with 2 million visitors.* If you use only the actual cost of an ad to compare these three advertising options, you may end up paying more to reach each potential customer even if you buy the least-expensive ad.
  • Return on Investment (ROI) refers to the amount of money you generate after making an investment in something. To calculate ROI, the benefit (or return) of an investment is divided by the cost of the investment. The result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio. A common goal for many advertisers is to increase the return on investment (ROI) from their advertising spend.

Market Analysis

Using a number of simple, objective parameters, you can confidently decide what media and communication channels are your best marketing choice. 

Radio stations design their programming to attract certain listeners and then sell those listeners to advertisers in tiny increments. As with TV, advertisers look carefully at listener ratings to determine who and how many listeners their ad will reach on a given station. Because the radio market is fragmented you should be able to get detailed information on radio shows in your area.

Before investing in radio advertising, verify the station’s audience numbers. Look over their media kit to get a feel for not only the number of listeners, but also their characteristics and demographic data. Do their listeners align with the characteristics of your ideal customer?

Ask the station about its Nielsen numbers. As the definitive source for comprehensive audio metrics and insights, Nielsen measures listeners however they tune in.

Tips to Planning a Successful Radio Ad Campaign 

  • Know your target audience
  • Request a high frequency of ads
  • Find the most affordable rates 
  • And perhaps most importantly, quality professional production is essential

The Pros and Cons of Radio Advertising 

Advantages 

Radio is affordable, targeted, and pervasive. 

A 30-second ad spot on the radio is far more affordable and easier to create than its television equivalents, and radio ads can be incredibly cost-effective in reaching local customers.

Since radio stations often target style with specific demographics like pop or talk radio, you can make sure your spot is heard by the right audience…within reason. 

Radio ads can also be quick and easy to produce.

Disadvantages

Traditional radio is a one-way medium. Because of the way radio content is served, advertisers cannot make use of big data to target ads to individual demographics the same way they can with internet advertising.

One of the biggest downsides of radio is the mindset of the listener. It’s too easy to be distracted, have the radio on simply as “background noise,” or just flat out change the station when the commercials hit. Even if they hear and digest your ad, it’s most likely not something they’ll be able to act on instantaneously like they could with a digital ad. 

Then there are the  products and services that need more of a visual representation, and radio does them no favors. 

In short, your marketing efforts can easily get glossed over when advertising on the radio. 

Traditional Media or New Media?

In the sea of many advertising opportunities, it’s easy for marketers to feel overwhelmed. 

Fact is, more and more people are turning to digital media for their news, entertainment, etc. And there’s a public perception that conventional radio is an outdated medium. The radio, especially in the eyes of the younger generation, seems more and more distant. 

All that said, after researching and confirming your potential reach to your target audience, you may discover that radio can complement and boost your ad campaign by reaching consumers during the day, in the car and away from home, when they’re on the go and potentially closest to the point of purchase. 

Which brings us full circle. Where is your money going?… And is it working? 

If you have clear answers to these two fundamental questions, then you have the key to your marketing success. 

If you need help, the Twelve Legs Marketing team has years of experience in both digital and traditional media, and we’re here to help!

The Scoop on Print Advertising

digital vs print advertising

To the digital native, print is something that may have been effective in the town of Bedrock, but this is the 21st Century. 

Who pays attention to print advertising anymore? 

Our computers, smartphones, and devices spoon feed us targeted ads and content when and where we’re looking, so…

Are Print Ads Dead?

Ultimately it depends on your audience, your budget, and your perspective.

According to AllianceBusinessServices, 56% of customers feel print marketing is still the most trustworthy amongst other avenues of marketing. And 82% of internet users trust print advertising when making a purchasing decision (WebStrategies).

Print readership is still very high among the 65+ age group, and there are some universal pros that will always be associated with print: it’s tangible, credible, engaging, and can be a great branding tool. 

All that said, revenue in the newspaper publishing industry decreased by about $4.5 billion between 2011 and 2018, and is projected to continue its downward spiral. Similarly, the future of magazines isn’t very glossy, according to the New York Times.

Marketing Rule of 7

Then there’s the ol’ Marketing Rule of 7. Basically, the more your ad is seen—the more touches your brand has on a potential customer—the more likely you are to move the needle and eventually convert the sale. Of course, that was developed back in the 1930s when movie studios decided seven was the ideal number of times a radio spot had to be heard to boost box office sales. 

But Clark doesn’t give a damn, and neither do we…

Fast forward 80 years with all of today’s product noise and competition and the sweet spot number of ad touches is much higher than seven.

Now consider the time and financial investment it takes for your target consumer to see your print ad seven-plus times. Likely thousands of dollars over several months. 

With digital marketing, it can be done for pennies on the dollar, and in a fraction of the time.

In the digital age, your ads are constantly seen by customers. Often at least seven times a day—crushing the “Rule of 7” in a mere 24 hours.

So, while print may not be dead just yet, each breath it takes becomes a little more shallow.

The Downsides of Print Advertising 

  • Print Media Has Diminishing Readership: More and more people are ditching their subscriptions to print publications for the more seamless and convenient online electronic versions.
  • Print Media is Expensive: Newspaper and magazine ads can be costly, especially in widely circulated publications, or if you want a big full-color ad. The window in which your ad will be visible is also small, decreasing your ROI.
  • Print Media Limits Advanced Targeting: The granularity with which we can find and target online users (geographic, demographic, behavioral, category, contextual, job title, etc.)  is truly staggering. Sure, you can be strategic about the publications you show print ads, but with nowhere near the precision of digital capabilities. And without the ability to click and interact with your print ad, you won’t capture any vital user data that can be used to retarget consumers online for maximum exposure and branding.
  • Print Media Takes Too Much Time. Most magazines are monthly, and many newspapers will run for only one day so there is a limited timeframe. Scheduling can be a nightmare and unreasonable lead times make your marketing efforts anything but nimble.
  • Print Media is Tricky to Measure. Peter F. Drucker once famously said, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Think about it, when was the last time you got an actionable report about your prints ads? Unless you have dedicated phone lines, vanity URLs, and dedicated promo codes, measuring the impact of print is a herculean task. Even with the right tools, you might not see the results you were hoping for, especially for the investment you have made on those color ⅛ page ads.

So What’ll It Be…Print or Digital?

There’s no doubt that print campaigns can pack a punch, elicit an emotional tug, and ultimately prove to be effective. 

Plus, a nice multi-platform marketing mix that uses print and digital in complementary lockstep is a good solution for many businesses. 

But the fact remains, companies looking to grow through a strategic marketing approach that’s timely, targeted, and cost-effective are turning away from traditional print advertising in favor of increased digital marketing. 

There’s simply no match to the depth, breadth, and pinpoint refinement you can accomplish in the digital world. You can tell a much more compelling story with a bevy of personalized content, and you can do it all at the drop of a hat with a relatively small budget. 

Sadly, sometimes there’s a catch. Most small businesses don’t have the in-house capacity to manage a digital marketing strategy. Inevitably, they outsource to an agency who has hundreds of digital clients, and they don’t get the care, attention, or results they deserve.

In a perfect world, they’ll get the conscientious attention to detail of an agency with a select client base consisting of mainly small and local businesses. 

The world of Twelve Legs Marketing

A Good Website is The Foundation of Your Business

a good website for your business

The headline calls it the foundation. It could also be described as the cornerstone. Linchpin. Epicenter, heartbeat, lifeforce…

Whichever hyperbolic term you prefer, that’s how critical a website is to your business. A website can make or break your success. That’s not hyperbole—it’s a fact.

Digital Marketing Small Business

The average person spends 5 hours online every day…and Google alone logs more than 3.5 billion searches. What are they all doing? Well, 82% of consumers conduct research online while 79% shop online, according to Forbes and Tech Crunch, respectively. 

The importance of a website extends to every aspect of your marketing strategy. As the backbone of your company (last one, we promise), every piece of content, every advertisement, every communication (digital or traditional) will compel customers to visit your website. 

So when your target consumer is acting on an ad, researching, or shopping products or services in your market sector, chances are they’ll visit your website before ever setting foot in your store or speaking to a salesperson. 

And you know what they say about first impressions. 

A website is your frontline marketing and sales workhorse, 24/7/365—promoting your brand to interested users while educating, informing, and hopefully driving action. 

What Are The Essential Elements Of A Good Website?

  • Easy Navigation: The best websites are all about function over flash. User experience (UX) is paramount. Visitors should be able to find what they need in just a couple of clicks, and while every website is unique, they don’t have to be over-complicated. For most businesses, Home> About Us> Services> Contact Us are the only sections necessary. With clear menus and calls-to-action throughout, of course.
Ice Heating & Cooling has easy website navigation

Ice Heating & Cooling
(powered by Twelve Legs Marketing)

  • Mobile-Friendly: 88% of consumers will start their product searches online, and 68% of them will be on their tablet or mobile device. Back to the importance of UX, if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, potential customers will be annoyed. It’s a detriment to your brand.

The Farm Custom Lots
(powered by Twelve Legs Marketing)

  • Clean and Alluring Design: Your site is the most important extension of your brand, so it should be attractive, enticing, and use only the colors, fonts, images, and logos that visually align with your business.
Example of a website page with a clean & clear design.

Q2B: Practical Quantum Computing
QC Ware: Enterprise Solutions for Quantum Computing
(powered by Twelve Legs Marketing)

  • Strong Copy and Compelling Content: Much like a good-looking design can visually communicate your brand, the voice and tone of your message is essential to helping you stand out. Weave in relevant, action-oriented keywords, influential content, and customer testimonials. When you greet your visitors with thoughtful copy, you humanize your brand and differentiate your company.
  • Speedy Load Times: We’re an impatient species, and it’s only gotten worse in the digital age. If your site doesn’t load within a few seconds, users may bounce. Professional web design will always keep UX and load times top of mind.
  • Clear CTAs, Easy Conversion: Whatever it is you want your visitor to do, it should be crystal clear the moment they hit your site. Fill out a contact form, download an asset, learn more, or straight-up “Buy Now,” it must be obvious and seamless for users to convert with a quick click.
Examples of a website that includes a clear call to action for the user.

James Lee IT: Recruiting Solutions
(powered by Twelve Legs Marketing)

  • Search Engine Optimization: You may have checked every box leading up to this bullet point with a website fine-tuned to drive sales—but just because you built it doesn’t mean they’ll come. Your site structure and content need to be optimized for search engines like Google. Professional website design includes SEO services that will illuminate your site and produce targeted, relevant clicks.

Does Your Business Have a Good Website?

If you have a website that’s firing on all cylinders, pulling in impressive analytics, and attracting and converting customers, that’s great! Chances are you’re optimized with most (if not all) of these essential elements.
But if your website could use a little freshening up, or (gasp!) you don’t even have a website to begin with, the skilled and experienced web development team at Twelve Legs Marketing is here to help.

Guide: How To Add a Manager to Your Google Analytics Account in 5 Easy Steps

google analytics dashboard

Learn how to add a Manager to your Google Analytics account in 5 easy steps. Why would you want to add a manager to your Analytics account? Well, there could be many reasons from adding a colleague to allowing partners to help you track and read the available data.

Please note that this guide offer answers to basic questions. If you need help with advancing how your Google Analytics tracks actions on your website, feel free to reach out. We are always happy to help!

Add Google Analytics Manager in 5 Steps

1. Start by logging into your Google Analytics account. Once there, please navigate to the bottom left and select the gear icon.

2. Next, select “User Management”.

3. In the top right corner, select the “+” button, which will open a secondary menu.

4. From the available options, select “Add users”.

5. You need to add users who have Gmail accounts, either GSuite email accounts, which can be custom or addresses ending with “gmail.com”. Once the address is added, scroll down and review the options you have available. If you are adding a partner, you would most likely need to give them “Edit” access. If they should also be able to manage users, the very last option will have to be selected too.

Once all needed options are selected, don’t forget to click on “Add” in the top right corner. That will trigger an email to the new user, informing them that they now have access to your Google Analytics account.

The Digital Marketing Dictionary

the digital marketing dictionary

A –

Anchor text is a clickable word or phrase (hyperlink) within the copy of your web page. It is recommended that you anchor text is keyword rich and that it points to relevant content. For example, if you are discussing the Honda Power HS720AA snow blower, don’t just link to Honda’s homepage, rather point to that specific product page, describing the product.

AdWords is Google’s owned and operated advertising service, which allows businesses to pay to display ads in the form of short text messages (text ads), graphics (display ads) or videos (video ads via YouTube).

Algorithm is a set of rules followed when search engines display results or social media platforms show you information. Each platform has its own algorithm, meant to make the user experience better and serve relevant and interesting information.

Alt text is a short description, added to images on a website. These descriptions reside in he HTML part of the website and serve to inform search engines of what the images is about, but also inform users of the contents of the image in case they cannot load the visual content.

B –

Back links are links pointing to your web pages, from an external website. The key to success with back links is having high quality links, from authoritative websites, relevant to the content on the page they are pointing to. It is not recommended to aim for high volumes of links, if they are not high quality, or to purchase backlinks.

Bounce rate is a percentage value, which represents how many people visit one one page during their session. The higher the bounce rate, the more people visit one one page at a time. That is not necessarily a bad thing, as in digital campaigns landing pages aim to deliver enough content before the user takes an action such as calling or filling out a form.

Black hat refers to the use of aggressive SEO strategies, techniques and tactics that focus only on search engines and not a human audience. Because these tactics aim to challenge existing SEO algorithms, often they do not obey search engines guidelines and can lead to penalties.

C –

Content is, collectively, everything that carries information on your website – text, images, videos. As Google put it a long time ago, “Content is King” and we should aim our website’s content to provide quality information to our users, rather than try and saturate with keywords in order to rank better.

Conversion is an action you want visitors to take on your landing page.

Cost-per-click (CPC) means that when a searcher sees your ad, you only pay when they click and go to your website.

Click-through-rate (CTR) is the number of clicks that happen, divided by the number of total generated impressions.

Crawler also referred to as “bot” or “spider” is a piece of technology, which systematically browses the web or pages on a specific website with the goal of indexing available content. As SEO professionals, we use crawlers to get a full audit of all existing pages on a website and check-in with the overall health of the site.

D –

Deep linking is when you implement links within your content, pointing to internal pages on your website, not just the home page. For example, if I were talking about drone videos, I would point the anchor text to the respective page on our website, which does in further depth on drone videography. Why would I not just send you to the homepage? Well, because the last thing I want is to give you the impression that if you follow the anchor text link you will find more information, to only leave you on a page, where you need to figure our where to go next.

Disavow in SEO terms stands for asking Google not to take certain links into account when assessing your site.

Duplicate content is when the same or very similar copy is replicated on multiple pages. Google frowns upon duplicate content, so it is important to not copy paste content directly from other websites or pages on your site. Sometimes, having duplicate content is inevitable. In those cases, it is recommended to use canonical tags.

Directory in SEO terms are websites, which host lists of businesses, which usually fall under the same category. These websites are used for creating backlinks to your site.

E –

External links are link you place on your website, which lead to external websites. One of the main purposes of the online space is to build a network of information, which is helpful to you, so an extra bonus for an external link would be if the source you take people to has high authority. Think of it as references in a book you are reading.

F –

Fresh content is key to any website. Being able to provide the most relevant information possible and update your pages on a regular basis, to make sure every word is accurate make you serve your customers better. In addition, Google crawls websites on a regular basis and looks for the freshest and most informative content out there. If any search engine detects that your website has not been updated over the span of 10 years, your ranking will most probably start dropping.

Feed is a string of information, which is automatically shared with multiple sources. For example, a blog could benefit from automatically submitting new content to RSS directories and RSS engines, which in turn can signal to search engines to re-crawl your site

G –

Google is the most used search engine on the Internet. With over 3 billion searches daily, it rightfully deserved its own verb “google it”. It is important to have your website optimized for as many search engines, as possible, however, with Google being the leader in the search space, often times they call the shots, so we better optimize for Google first.

Gateway page is a page, designed to be the portal to your website for both search engines and users. These pages are highly optimized and positioned to show high in searches for well-defined keywords or keyword phrases.

 

H –

Headings are exactly what you think they are – brief introductions/descriptions of the next section of information we are about to consume. Headings are used by search engines to get a better understanding of the content on a page, so it is recommended to include keywords.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a computer language, designed to allow website development.

.htaccess (hypertext access) file is a directory-level plain text configuration file for web servers, which, in simple terms, controls access to a certain directory in your server. The .htaccess files can be used to generate server-side redirects such as 301 and 302.

I –

Internal links one page on your website with other pages from your website. The SEO benefits of having internal links include spreading “SEO juice” and making your website navigation easier.

Inbound links are links coming from another site to your own website.

Impressions measure the amount of times your ad was seen by a person/loaded on a page.

J –

Javascript is a coding language, which adds a number of dynamic features when used with your HTML. There are exceptions when Javascript might not work properly for some users. Also, limiting the amount of Javascript on your site can help with site speed.

K –

Keywords are word or phrases (string of words), which users use in search engines to navigate their information needs. Keywords should absolutely be part of you website’s content, however, they should be used with care and variations.

Keyword density is the number or times your targeted keyword or key phrase appears in your copy, over the total number of words. It is measured as a percentage. Alas, there is not a perfect % for you to aim for. However, you could over-stuff a page and trigger penalty filters.

Keyword research is using available tools to research what volumes of searches selected keywords generate as well as study the intent behind different queries. Keyword research is vital for both SEO and PPC campaigns.

L –

Link building is the effort of creating incoming links to your website from external web properties. SEO benefits of investing time in link building, include increasing your website’s authority and rankings. These links should be developed in a natural way and, ideally, would come from other high-authority websites.

Landing Page is a page on a website, created specifically to support marketing or advertising campaigns. It is where a visitor “lands” when they have clicked on an online ad (text, visual or video). Landing pages are designed with a single focused objective – known as a Call-to-Action (CTA).

Long tail keywords is a phrase/combination or 3, 4 or more keywords, which are very specific to what you are selling. These phrases show high intent in purchasing, as they are commonly used after initial stages of research are completed. An example of a long tail keyword would be “red leather women cowboy boots”. In this example, the user tends to be looking exactly for what they are going to buy.

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) is an algorithmically determined relationship between a key terms and meaning of content. Search engines crawl pages and by collecting the most common keywords and key phrases, they categorize the page and assign a meaning to it.

M –

Meta descriptions are short snippets of text, which describe the content on your page. These should be relevant and unique to each page, and include your target keywords.

Metrics are chosen pieces of data, which show how successful an effort is. Examples of metrics include, but are not limited to, clicks, conversions, cost-per-acquisition, conversion rate, etc.

N –

NAP stands for a business’ name, address and phone number. In the world of local SEO, the consistency of these three pieces of information, across the web can help a business rank better, but more importantly reduce the chance of potential customers not being able to connect with you. The abbreviation can also have W at the end (NAPW), which stands for website.

Niche is a topic discussed on your website, which has a defined focus. Being able to narrow down a niche will make keyword research easier.

Noindex is a marker that can be placed on the backend of a web page, which signals to search engines that the page should not be indexed. For example, if you are running a campaign and want to keep the contents of your landing page exclusive to only people who engage with your ads, you would mark the page as “noindex”, so search engines do not display it in regular searches.

Nofollow is a marker that can be placed on a link within a website, to signal to search engines that SEO “juice” should not be passed to the final destination (page) of the link.

Negative SEO are actions aiming to lower the rankings of a competitor’s website in searches. Most of the time, these activities are off-site, however, there have been instances where sites have been hacked and content altered.

O –

Organic search results are displayed as a result of a user inputting a search term in a search engine. These results are unpaid and displayed in order of relevancy and ranking. Most traffic from search engines is generated from search results.

Outbound links are links on your website, pointing to external websites.

P –

Penalty is a form of punishment for a website, which is accessed as spamy or is not following the rules of white hat SEO.

PPC (Pay-per-Click) is a model of advertising where you are only charged when people click on your ads.

Page Rank is Google’s way of measuring the importance of a page. A number of variables are taken in account when calculating page rank.

Q –

Quality of content is becoming more and more important when striving for high ranking. Having useful (quality) content and links on your site can trump the quantity of those.

R –

Redirect is the practice of taking an existing URL address and pointing it to different content. This approach is used when old content is removed from a website of when a website is moved to a new domain.

Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) in simple terms means retargeting ads to people who are using searching on Google with text ads (instead of showing them banner ads).

Return on advertising spend (ROAS) is a marketing metric which calculates advertising as a cost, rather than an investment.

ROAS = revenue from ad campaign / cost of ad campaign

The rising costs of advertising and the availability of advanced attribution and offline measurement has begun moving the industry toward more business-focused metrics, such as ROI, and away from ROAS.

ROI stands for return on investment.

ROI = profits-costs x 100 / costs

It is a performance measure, used to evaluate the efficiency of your advertising or SEO investment. ROI is calculated by taking the total benefit or return from your digital efforts and dividing it by your total spend. ROI is measured as a percentage.

S –

Social Media are websites used by people to socialize and share information. Healthy presence on social media is very important to SEO success.

SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is the page displayed in a search engine as a result to a query you input in the search bar.

W –

WordPress is an open-source website platform, which was originally developed for blogging. The platform simplifies web development through multiple free and paid available themes and is SEO friendly.

X –

XML (Extensible Markup Language) is a simple and flexible text format, used to simplify the formatting of information through technologies such as RSS.

Y –

YouTube is the second biggest search engine. Owned and operated by Google, YouTube offers a lot of potential for brand exposure and user engagement. The platform offers video hosting and sharing capabilities, usage analytics and paid advertising positions.

What is SEO?

google search seo

The Internet User Today – Optimizing for a New Generation of Searchers

Often times we measure time in the sense of seconds or minutes. So what does a minute mean in digital terms? There are some impressive infographics out there such as the What Happens in an Internet Minute? created by Intel, but here are a few pieces of data for context:

In one minute there are:
• 38,194 photos uploaded on Instagram
• 57,870 page views on Pinterest
• 347,222 tweets on Twitter
• 100 hours of video uploaded on YouTube
• 4.1 million searches on Google!

Yes, Google serves 4.1 million queries in an average minute every day of the year. In case you didn’t know, Colorado is 32nd most connected state in the US, with 99.8% of the population having access to mobile broadband service and 96.2% of the population having access to fixed wireless service. But why are the above numbers important?

In Colorado nowadays (as well as the U.S. altogether), there are hardly any people who do not have access to the Internet. The Internet is a significant part of our lives – the way we spend our time, the way we spend our money, the way we entertain our selves, the way we communicate with friends and family, as well as the way we seek, obtain and manage information. If you still do not agree of the importance of online presence, let’s look as a few more statistics.

86% of consumers use the internet to find a local business. (Pew Research Center)
95% of mobile users who perform searches, look at local results. (Google Statistics)

It is now a fact that Search Engines are the #1 resource used by consumers looking for products and services from local businesses. (Nielsen/NetRatings, a service of The Nielsen Company).

So what we can summarize from above is that nearly everyone in Colorado is connected to the Internet, people are very likely to have used a search engine at least once in their endeavors online and they are not necessarily limited to only one device. If you are in business, the Internet is for you!

Why is Page Two of Google Search Results the Best Place to Hide a Dead Body?

Moving forward in this discussion, I will be focusing on Google as the main example of a search engine. Why you ask? Well, Google holds approximately 65.44% of the search engine market share (followed by Bing with only 15.82% market share). In addition, most search engines have similarities in the way they determine what results to display and if you are well optimized for Google searches, you are likely to be well optimized for most other main players.

If you have a website currently you might have searched for specific terms, relevant to your industry to find where you stand against your competition. What a standard search engine results page (SERP) looks like is this:

Search engine results page - SERP

As you can see, there are three main components of search results:
• Advertisement
• Local Results
• Organic Results

In the next few paragraphs we will focus on Organic results, however, will also dedicate a blog post for each of the other two types of results.

When you perform a query Google’s promise is “to determine the most relevant search results to be returned (“served”) to you.” What you end up seeing in the organic search results are what Google (and most other search engines alike) have indexed (made sense out of) as they most relevant and high quality content available. In the screen shot above you might have noticed that Google found 184,000 pages relevant to our search and due to real estate space on the page it only displayed 4 in the organic search results. The rest belong to page 2, 3, 4, etc. You probably are wondering “So what!?”

Page one results enjoy 92% of all search traffic. Only 4.8% of traffic continues to page two. I don’t know about you, but often times of I don’t find what I am looking for on page one I put myself at fault for not searching for the right term. Who would think Google doesn’t display the right thing!

So if that is not competitive enough, let add to the equation the importance of not only being on the first page of Google but being in the top 3 results!

What you see in the graph below is the percentage of traffic by Google results position. What is key to point out is that the first position of a search results gets 33% of all the clicks. The second position gets almost half of the clicks (17%) and the third one only 11%. So if we were to add the top three results on the first page of Google search, we can conclude that they take 61% of the 92% of all search traffic!

Let’s put it in simple math, if 100 people searched for the same thing today, 92 of them will not go on page two. And out of those 92, potentially 56 will select one of the first three results Google delivers.

Organic traffic volume based on search position

What Does it Take To Get To Page One of Google Results? / The Four Main Pillars of Good Optimization

Once my clients understand the importance of being well and strategically optimized for search results the next question I usually get is “How long until we can be on page one?” Believe it or not that question is as tough as figuring out life, because there are a number of variables that come into the picture, such as:
• As everything else with marketing, there has to be a strategy in place, in this case a content strategy – what is this website about and who are the targets we will be addressing
• Your website needs to be in top condition from a technological and a user experience stand point
• Intensive research is needed before anything can be put in play
• Search algorithms (search engines’ bread and butter) change all the time, so Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a one time deal, but has to be worked on constantly and needs dedicated time and attention

As vague as the above might sound, through our experience, we have derived four main pillars supporting optimization efforts:
1. Content Strategy
2. Content
3. Design
4. Technology

Foundation of SEO

Why Are We in This?

Strategy is the key to any marketing success. Based upon strong understanding of our business and ideal target clients, it helps us determine the WHY is the whole picture. Why do we need a website with specific content and functionality? Why do we engage social media channels and why now dive in all social media channels at the same time?

Content Is King!

The actual content is the meat we start putting around our strategy. It is the WHAT of the puzzle. Knowing who our audience is and what vehicles we will be using to reach and converse with them is essential to successful and engaging content. The reason we need all of the in-depth knowledge of WHY is because at the stage of building high quality content we need to start understanding behaviors. What information does a certain demographic need and find valuable? What excites our audience vs. make them scroll without paying attention? When our target is looking for a solution to their needs what term do they use?

Keyword research is crucial to providing high quality content, which is searchable, because in the very essence of searches being matched with results, search engines connect words with words. There are high-volume words people use and lower-volume words. For example, in Colorado on average people search for the word “car” 14,800 times, while the word “vehicle” is searched for 880 times.

Keyword relevance

In Colorado Springs, the word “car” is searched for 1,300 times, while “vehicle” is searched for 90 times.

Keyword relevance

In the examples above, there is a clear difference in volume of searched terms, showing that more people are likely to search for “car”, instead of “vehicle”. If you only used the word “vehicle” in your content, you would show for the relevant word, however, would be missing a great opportunity by not implementing the synonym. And vice versa, if you only used “car” you would potentially be ignoring everyone who uses an alternative word.

As people perform their research they go through multiple stages. The difference between initial interest and final decision can be big when it comes to the search terms they use to find what they need at that exact moment. In the second example, focusing on Colorado Springs search volumes, there are two additional examples throwing “red convertible” in the mix. While the volumes here are much, much smaller, the intent shown by the user is different – they are more likely to be in the lower end of the purchase funnel, as they are very particular about the car/vehicle they are searching for. Even though the shear volume of traffic is not there, these keywords might end up having much higher ROI for certain businesses.

To quickly summarize, keyword research is a very important stage of SEO. Knowing what your clients call your products or services, as well as, what alternatives they might be using will help you provide them with relevant content. And in addition, volumes are not the whole picture. Being able to drill deeper down and discover what people might be searching for right before they convert with help hone down your ROI models.

Designing For the Users

Often times when we mention design, clients only think of looks. As much as looks are important, they are a component of the overall experience a user has on your website. How easy can I find what I am looking for? How easy can I navigate the options you are giving me? Are there any technical difficulties preventing me from moving forward or going back?

In today’s very noisy and segmented environment, we have evolved to be very distracted and more importantly, very impatient. The average attention span for the not very focused goldfish is nine seconds. According to a study by Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the affects of an increasingly digitalized lifestyle on the brain.

Now knowing how easy it is to lose someone’s attention, let’s revisit user experience (UX) – if I cannot find something interesting (short if possible – I know this post you are reading is exactly that) or get to the bottom of what I am looking for within seconds, I will leave your web property and very likely never return. Guess what! Google tracks users on your website – how long do they stay for, how many pages they look at, etc. If Google senses that something is off with your user experience and it happens over and over again, it will most likely lower your ranking = push you further down in search result and give your spot to a competitor.

You might have heard about Google’s mobile friendly update released in April 2015, “Mobilegeddon”. That was not so much

Technical Health of Your Website

Research performed by ComScore revealed that PC/Laptops are primarily used in the beginning stages of a local business search, while phones and tablets tend to be used more in the middle and end stages.

Online buying by device

What that hints at is that if our business does not show for a user in a search, despite the device they are using, there is a very high chance that we will be missing a huge opportunity to capture the user in very important stages of their buying decision.