Monday, July 28, 2014

QR codes here to stay

QR code Dead or Alive

There are those that believe that the time of QR codes have come and gone. And others believe that we're just getting started.

I believe they are here to stay and have only scratched the surface of their capabilities.

QR Code Marketing
QR Code Marketing

A QR code is like any tool. They have their place within the marketing mix and when used correctly they can be extremely effective. Please keep in mind that QR codes are just one type of image trigger that you could place in your marketing. There are many others, like: image scanning, digital water marketing, and proprietary codes like SpyderLynk.

A QR code is an image embedded with your marketing message. When the QR code is scanned by a smartphone (the QR Code to the left will redirect you to another page, see other QR Code examples) scan the information in the image can trigger a number of events and experiences for the users. For instance, when someone scans a QR code this trigger can take the person to a website, trigger a phone call, save contact information into their address book, add events to their calendar, trigger an email being sent or a text message.

Maybe you want to have them do a post to a social media site like Twitter or depending on their operating system you can display different content. If they're on an Apple iOS device you can have one message delivered to that device and if they are on Android, you could have a different piece of content delivered to those devices.

Steve Steinberger

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Internet Marketing 24-7: Pin It for SEO

Internet Marketing 24-7: Pin It for SEO: Pin it for SEO To send traffic to your site, you must interact with your audience! How about "Repins" with Pinterest. With Pi...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Are you Mobile?

One-Third of US Organic Search Traffic Said to be Mobile

July, 2014 by

Mobile Search devices accounted for 34% of US organic search visits during the second quarter of the year, up from 31% during Q1, details RKG Digital in its latest quarterly digital marketing report.
Mobile Search

The iPhone alone contributed 12% share of organic search traffic, slightly higher than the iPad’s 11% share, such that Apple devices together accounted for almost one-quarter of US organic search traffic. Mobile’s influence continued to be far higher on Google and Yahoo than on Bing.

Smartphones and tablets accounted for 36% of Google organic search traffic during the second quarter, up from 33% in Q1 and 29% in Q2 2013. Mobile devices accounted for 37% share of Yahoo organic search traffic which was flat from the prior quarter but up 10% points from the year-earlier period. Bing dragged down the overall average as a result of mobile being only 17% of its organic search traffic.

Mobile search visits increased by 18% year-over-year, although overall organic search traffic declined by 7% as a result of a continued drop in desktop search traffic. Organic search traffic held steady at 31% share of all US site visits.

Meanwhile, mobile’s role was just as pronounced in paid search as smartphones (19%) and tablets (18%) combined to account for 37% of paid search clicks. Despite generating a slightly higher share of clicks than tablets, smartphones drew just 9% of paid search spending, versus 19% captured by tablet traffic.

Social media continues to be a fractional player in terms of traffic, averaging just 1.6% share of US site visits. Some 42% of social site visits came from mobile devices, up from 40% share in Q1 and 25% share in Q2 2013. While that’s a higher figure than for organic or paid search, it appears to be fairly low given that almost three-quarters of time spent with social networks is via smartphones and tablets.

Steve Steinberger

Building a website | DIY or hire help?

DIY or hire help?Building a websiteperforming the SEO and continuing the online marketing yourself or 
DIY Web Development
hiring help is a decision you may be pondering. There is no right or wrong answer to this, but here are a few key points to think about before you decide: time, money, and expertise.

Do you have the time to build your own website? Some know how to build websites or have invested in a website platform that helps them build it on their own. Being able to build a site and having the time to build a site can be two very different things, so be realistic with your availability.
Even if you hire someone to do build the site for you,  prepare to budget time to manage the project. This may require writing or supplying copy, reviewing design revisions and gathering components the designer may need, like photos or videos. 

Are there funds to hire someone? If not, the decision on how to proceed may be determined by this point alone or if branding is super critical maybe you can't afford a site that isn't top notch. If that is the case it may be time to get professional help.

The last thing to think about is expertise. If  you have the expertise and confidence to tackle your own website then, great. Depending on the complexity of the website, there can be many components that may need to come together. Do you need video, a copywriter, a shopping cart, a database or simply a landing page? Do you have the expertise in all these areas to get the job done.  

So do your due diligence and talk to a few different candidates before you choose. Choosing based on time, money and expertise are important decisions that will help you critically evaluate what works best for you or your organization. 

Steve Steinberger

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Social networking links

Social networking links

In the link building world you may have heard these 2 terms, nofollow and dofollow or follow links.

Nofollow - means you do not get a link vote for your site. The Google bot will not crawl the link and won’t pass any votes onto your site. (the link doesn’t count)

Dofollow link instructs search engine spiders to follow this link. Following a link can give the site owner additional link votes. (the link counts)

You still with me? Whaaaa…….
Social Media Links
Social Media Links

Take Facebook, the single most important social network. Links from Facebook to external pages are nofollow links. I am not total convinced that this true. Some other social networks use follow links.  There are some nofollow links between Google+ accounts but the external links are follow links. Myspace provides nofollow links while LinkedIn provides follow links, but in both cases, they're not direct links to the reference sites.

Some social networking sites evidently tried to decide which links should be followed and which shouldn't. Digg says that they provide follow links in cases that the story has reached a certain popularity. Twitter used to use nofollow links but seems to have switched to follow links.

Is there SEO value to social networking nofollow links? That is, will the search engines consider the links for ranking purposes? Will social network links help push your site up in the search results? In theory, no.

The major search engines, Google and Bing, ignore nofollow links for ranking purposes. They may actually follow the links in some cases but both search engines claim they do not use nofollow links for ranking purposes.

So is social networking useful or not for SEO? In some cases, definitely useful as you'll get follow links. The official position of the search engines is that you should go ahead and promote your site in the social networks because links bring traffic regardless of search results ranking. A well-executed social networking campaign can help a website get traffic directly bypassing the search engines. Social networking is no silver bullet and  doesn't work very well for all types of businesses.

So what to do? Get a Facebook and Google+, Twitter and Linkedin account. You'll also want to use the usual social networking share buttons and try to encourage people to link to you from their social networking accounts.

Steve Steinberger

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

5 data aggregators local search depends on

5 Data Aggregators local search depends on. Are you listed with them?

InfoGroup's point of interest (POI) data is used by the top 5 internet search engines, 90% of in-car navigation systems in North America, mobile navigation, GPS, and internet yellow pages.
local search visibility
Local Search Visibility | Local Search, Claimed Listing 

Dun & Bradstreet
D&B is the world's leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses. D&B's global commercial database provides quality business information that customers rely on to make critical business decisions.

Compass offers comprehensive and accurate information on U.S. businesses to websites like LinkedIn and Facebook, mobile companies like Nokia, and credit bureaus like Equifax and Experian.

Factual provides access to definitive, global data to power web and mobile apps. Thousands of mobile apps and websites use Factual's data, including Booyah, Foursquare, and Trulia.

nSphere powers local search on over 500 niche vertical directories like Car and Driver, Computer User, Dogster, EZTrader,, Golf Week, JD Power, Kiplinger,, and many more.

Steve Steinberger

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Reducing webpage bounce rate

Reducing the bounce rate

Bounce rate is regarded as an extremely effective and simple metric. The higher the bounce rate the less effective the digital customer experience. Knowing your bounce rate can also help determine the quality of your traffic. High bounce rate coupled with large volumes of single source traffic could indicate poor referrals.
Webpage Bounce Rate
Webpage Bounce Rate

Knowing that your website’s experience is not effectively optimized is only half the answer. What we really need to know is why the bounce is occurring in order to take the right corrective actions.

Are you getting the right traffic? The first step in the detective process is to figure out if your visitors are intentional or unintentional. Unintentional visitors are those visitors with no interest in your offerings. They usually view only a single page of your website and spend less than 4 seconds engaging. They usually leave your page without even looking at it and in all likelihood, shouldn’t have landed on your page in the first place.

Intentional visitors are those visitors who have an interest in your product offerings. If they viewed a single page and had an engagement time of between 4-10 seconds, they may have the potential to come back at a later time with the right messaging or follow-up. Intentional visitors have lots of interest in your offerings and will usually have an engagement time of over 10 seconds. Because they are considered in the bounce rate, these visitors still click away from your page. They probably didn’t find what they were looking for. Or they were nervous about making a commitment to ‘buy’ or provide their details to the online form.

Things to consider:

1.      Does your page load fast enough?
Before you look to optimize the content on the page make sure the page is technically sound and loads in a reasonable time.

2.      Does your content meet visitor expectations?
Intentional visitors are interested in your services and the content your website has to offer. But they’re leaving because there’s something missing from your page.  ClickTale has a cool feature where you can view your web pages with heatmaps. You can see if visitors are being distracted by other elements on the page and never get to the call to action part. This can be anything from an unnecessary link to an interactive visual that you never assumed would hurt your conversion.

3.     Do your calls to action perform?
Check your calls to action. Do they stand out enough on the page? Or are they blending in with additional page elements? Sometimes the most important calls to action fall below the fold line so most visitors are not even aware they exist.

Bounced visitors don’t have to be lost customers. A few tweaks to your landing page can save your company thousands in revenue especially if the fix is something that can be achieved relatively quickly and economically.

Steve Steinberger

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Forget SEO

Forget SEO for a moment

Sometimes SEO is not the problem with your site. Web site viewers can be unpredictable beasts. So your site must have certain aspects worked out before SEO will make a difference. A few months ago a new client came to me and said, "We need more search engine traffic." So I took a look at the client's web site and I said, "Maybe, but first, you need a new web site." The site looks like it was created back in the 90’s. As it turned out the client actually had a fair bit of traffic but he wasn't getting many calls.

At that time he was selling only over the phone. When he did get calls he got a lot of questions. People wanted to know where he got his products and whether they had warranties, etc. When I see web sites like this I think of that old phrase 'Man …. This site sucks'.  It just won't work. It doesn't matter how much traffic you get to your site. It's not going to succeed. "Who built this site," I asked this client? "Your nephew, the office manager?" "Not quite the office manager," he told me. "It was Denny, the warehouse manager." Ok, I guess it’s different if your warehouse manager is also your web designer.

You need to honest with yourself about this issue. Is your site unprofessional looking and downright ugly? An ugly or unprofessional looking site WILL NOT work well. Your site is your face to the world and if it looks like it was built by an amateur it conveys the impression that your business is run by amateurs. When I am surfing for a product or service and I see an amateurish looking web site, I just click to the next. This may have been the best deal and the most reputable company on the planet but come on my first impression is just awful. Do you put any stock in the guy selling you a gym membership at the same time he is smoking a cigarette. Really… really come on.     

Try this….

It’s an experiment. Find five competitors to your site and load them in different tabs in your web browser then load yours in another window and move from tab to tab viewing each site in turn. Now be honest would you buy from your site? If the answer is no then you need a change. It doesn't matter how much you SEO optimize your site. If it doesn't create the right impression, “it aint gonna work”.  If your site is confusing or makes it hard to find what you are looking for then SEO optimizing the site may not be the most important thing right now. You may need to start with a new site.

There is no point bringing people to the site to get frustrated and leave. These things need to be mentioned because they really are critical. 

Steve Steinberger

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Website Analytics Overdose

Why is website analytics so difficult?

You are not alone.

Why do business people struggle with understanding website analytics or even understanding the potential of what analytics can deliver to your business? It starts in a number of different ways but really what we have to do is look at analytics with the right understanding of the potential of what it can do. Analytics are essential to your online integrated marketing plan. Anything you do online can be tracked, tested, and optimized. If you're not using analytics properly or not at all, then you don't know what to do to improve your marketing.
Website Analytics Overdose
Website Analytics Overdose

If you have a website and you're using your website for sales, leads or content distribution then analytics are your primary means of measurement. It's the only way to know if you are really making money with your website.  Analytics is the only way to know what your website is doing. If you are doing any search engine optimization, pay per click, email campaigns, online display or any type of conversion testing then analytics is for you. It will make your website better.  If you're doing any of those things then the only way you're going to know if they're truly working is analytics.

Website Analytics will provide a specific return on investment measurement for all of your marketing activities. It's a requirement for anyone involved in online marketing.  The issue with analytics is that there is no formal schooling. There are no university or college courses which will allow you to major in website analytics.

Google offers a few online courses and some universities do as well. Very few get into the specifics of how analytics work and what they provide.  In reality anyone in this industry has less than 20 years of true experience. That has resulted in people having to take their own initiative to learn how to do things better, whether through attending conferences, reading books or utilizing digital training courses.

Is analytics a marketing responsibility or an IT responsibility? Traditionally IT has been responsible for analytics even though marketing needs it to better understand what's happening. Analytics involves multiple disciplines of understanding. There is a technical side of analytics, a marketing side and an implementation side.

The result of analytics is to have a better approach to how you budget your online marketing. You will better know where you can spend the money for the most effective return. You can set specific targets of where you want to be because you now know where you are. Without analytics, without understanding all of these things you can't have clear goals, clear budgets, clear expectations for how each of your campaigns are going to run.

Whenever anyone says I think this will works. That should tell you that they are not running in an analytics based environment. An analytics based integrated marketing plan focuses on testing in order to try those assumptions, come to a conclusion and improve the site based on the findings.

Steve Steinberger