What is Dark Social and How Do You Track It?

Dark social doesn't refer to some odd meeting of "chosen" social media professionals. It's the term used to describe social sharing activity that can't accurately be tracked, as it isn't picked up by your web analytics platform. For instance, when someone shares links to your site through private messaging apps, email, or a plain old text message, those shares don't have referral tags on them. When someone clicks one of these links, it is considered "direct" traffic. And while that's good because traffic is traffic, the reality is it can greatly skew your Google Analytics. So, dark social is the…

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Factors That Affect Website Speed

Research shows nearly half of web users expect a website to load within two seconds or less, and they tend to leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load. This may not sound like a big deal, but 78% of online shoppers who experience issues with website performance say they won't go to the site to buy again, and 44% would tell their friends about that poor experience. When you consider that research also shows a one second delay in page load time can contribute to a 7% reduction in conversion rates – you're not only…

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Our 14 Step Website Migration Checklist

If you've determined you need to make changes to your website – either through a re-design, changing your URL structure, making the switch to HTTPS, or switching to a different CMS, it's not a one-step process you can just decide to do on a whim. Making changes, particularly to the URL structure can have negative SEO effects if you don't know what you're doing, and if you don't follow a series of steps. I wrote this step-by-step guide to help save you frustration and preserve any existing ranking you may have.   Step 1: Plan Your Migration Choose the right…

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Learn How to Properly Optimize Your Facebook Ads Strategy

If you're running any kind of ad campaign on Facebook or Instagram, you could be spending way more money than you need to. Before you start running any new campaigns, take a few minutes to read through this to make sure your ads are as optimized as possible. Are your ad conversions where they should be? Are you paying too much for each click? This guide will help.   Get Your Goals Straight Before You Begin If you don't know what you're hoping to get out of your campaign before you start building it, you're at risk of making missteps…

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Stepping Up Your Facebook Live Game with 360 Videos

Facebook Live has been a hit for many brands. Despite the fact that Facebook Live is only one year old, 20% of videos on Facebook are live. Since it became an option, daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has grown more than 400%. Now, Facebook is making an improvement to the streaming feature, making it possible for brands to stream 360 degree videos directly to their news feed. This falls in line with Facebook's push into virtual reality (VR) since they purchased Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion. According to a company spokesperson, viewers who have a Samsung Gear…

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The Complete Guide to Image Optimization for the Web

Images are a vital part of the user experience, but they also account for the most data on your page. This means it can have a dramatic effect on your site's loading time, which we know can impact conversion rates. Research shows 47% of users expect a website to load within two seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a website that takes three seconds or more to load. Each one second delay contributes to a 7% decrease in conversions. How can you make sure your images are high enough quality to add to, rather than detract from the user…

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Mastering the Use of Device Specific PPC Campaigns

People use different devices for different tasks. Would you go app shopping for new apps on your tablet or smartphone from your desktop? Probably not. Would you try out a new business program on your tablet? Probably not. So, it makes sense to use device-specific PPC campaigns when your business is targeting behaviors that are also device specific. Search and shopping behaviors are different from the desktop to the tablet to the smartphone. When you're able to learn how your target audience is using their devices, you can capitalize on this information to enhance your PPC campaigns, thus giving you…

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Conversion Rate Optimization: Tips and Tricks You Need to Know

You've built (or paid for) a stellar website. You've invested in market research and built an amazing product, and you've got a great sales and customer support team to support it. But, people just aren't responding the way you'd hoped. They're either not coming to begin with, or even worse, they're coming, taking a look at everything, and then bailing on you without converting. You're at your wits end. You're not sure what to do. I have the answer: create a conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy. Here are some tips to help you get started.   Keep a Close Eye…

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Diagnosing Why Your Organic Traffic is Failing – And How to Fix It

If you've noticed even after a seemingly well executed SEO campaign that your organic traffic is falling, don't get discouraged. There are several reasons this could be happening. I'm going to go through the most common issues and provide ways to address them, so you can start to see an increase in your organic traffic again. It's important to remember competition is rising. Every day countless new websites come online, while others shut down. There's already someone out there gunning for the same keywords. Everyone wants (and needs) organic traffic to sustain their online businesses, so getting and holding onto…

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How to Choose the Best Font Selection for Messaging in Marketing

I've already written a post on the importance of considering color theory in your branding, so today I want to extend that and talk about choosing your fonts. Just like color, fonts can evoke certain thoughts and feelings, so it's important to make sure your fonts match your brand message. Today's marketers are saddled with more tasks than ever before, and in the content creation cycle, the constant need to produce stellar content that resonates with your audience is often priority over the design details. Of course, the content matters, but its presentation can make or break how well it…

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How to Protect Your Blog from Copyright Infringement

In today's society, new content is produced at an alarming rate – and with everything just a search away, it's super easy to find (and steal) whatever you want. If you're worried about someone stealing your blog content for use as their own, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.   Run Your Content Through Copyscape Copyscape allows you to check for plagiarism. The free version allows you to paste the URL of the page you want to check, and see if there's anything else out there like it. Of course, it will find commonly used phrases,…

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How a Small Team Can Win Big in Content Marketing

If you're looking to build an engaged audience and are more interested in long term marketing wins, content marketing can be one of the best strategies you can use. However, content marketing can be intimidating if you are working with a small team or small budget. Even a one-person team who must handle content strategy, creation, and measuring success can be a rock star with content marketing if they know exactly what to do before they set out to do it. That's why thinking long term, reaching out for help when you need it, and testing ideas with your campaigns…

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Micro Conversions vs. Macro Conversions: Why You Need Both

There's a tremendous amount of data out there for marketers. According to the IDC, we generated 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion GBs) of information in 2011. In 2012, we added another zettabyte. And by 2020, we're expected to hit 40 zettabytes. With all of it to sort through, it can be difficult to determine what metrics really matter, and which ones to keep an eye on. Should you be paying attention to the number of Facebook likes? The number of web visits? What about bounce rate? Even if you love getting lost in data and analytics, it can be overwhelming. So…

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6 Ways to Ensure You Have Transparency in Social Media Marketing

Transparency is part of who we are as human beings – that is, unless you're a pathological liar. I'm willing to bet most, if not all of you reading this, take pride in your honesty in your day to day lives, right? Transparency is necessary to bring the human quality to social media – to bring authenticity, build those personal connections. Transparency builds trust – and trust is absolutely necessary for customer retention. Did you know 1/3 of millennials prefer to use social media as their method of communicating with brands? If you want to win them over, transparency is…

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10 Tips to Crafting a Landing Page Design That Converts

Landing pages are an important part of the sales funnel – they're where you direct your visitors when you want them to do something – whether it's sign up for your email list, or buy your new product. You'll likely have several landing pages to build over the course of your career, since each landing page needs a single message and purpose. This list of best practices is just that – a guideline to help you get started when designing your landing pages. You'll have to experiment to learn what works best with your audience. Ultimately, your customers are in…

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4 Ways to Increase Your Content Exposure on Social Media

Social media has done small business owners everywhere a great service, when you stop and think about it. No matter how small your business is, your business can promote itself on social media to people from around the world. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have given small businesses owners microphones. Which is great, until small business owners inevitably realize that when everyone gets their hands on a microphone, it’s a lot harder for you to stand out in the crowd. Whether you’re new to the world of social media marketing or you’ve been involved for years now, it’s no secret…

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Breaking Down and Optimizing Your Business Marketing Budget

No matter what kind of business you’re running, it’s essential that you have a marketing strategy that’s expansive, practical and effective. Small business owners have some tough decisions to make here. If they’re new to the world of digital media marketing, creating a marketing strategy from scratch can be an intimidating task. With so many options and conflicting information available, it can hard for business owners to decide where to start. Even if they manage to decide on where to start, actually implementing those systems properly and in conjunction with the other aspects of a successful marketing strategy is no…

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The Engagement Checklist: A Guide to Creating Shareable Content Across Multiple Mediums

Engagement: it’s the buzzword of the digital marketing world. If we’re not careful, it’ll become the ‘synergy’ of our industry. Which would be a shame because despite its overuse, the concept of engagement is still a crucial aspect of successfully executing a marketing strategy. Small business owners may have more tools than ever before to reach out to audiences, but the marketing rules have changed. Audiences have come to expect more from their marketing content than a catchy jingle or a celebrity endorsement. Forget about the fact that thanks to the accessibility of digital marketing tools, every other small business…

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Interactive Content 101

It's no secret that customers hate it when you advertise to them. That's why they go blind and deaf to the sights and sounds of another self-promotional blog post or social media update. The internet is full of content, and consumers are bombarded with it every single day. If you want to stand out, you have to provide something of real value – something your consumers want and need. That's how you create good content. But as marketers get more creative with their content marketing efforts, consumers find themselves lost in the noise, still. Having a remarkable product or service…

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The Beginner’s Guide to Successful Remarketing

When you browse the Internet, have you ever noticed that certain companies seem to be following you around? You visit one website, and then all the sudden, you start seeing ads for them on Facebook, and start seeing suggestions to like their page in your feed? As creepy as it may be, it’s intentional, and that’s just part of marketing these days. Also known as retargeting, remarketing refers to that very process I just described. If you visit one site, and then go on to the next one, you may start seeing ads for that first website on the second…

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Could a New Design Be Coming to Google’s Mobile Search Results?

According to an article on Search Engine Journal, Google's testing a new design for search results – both paid and organic. The new design, which appears to be only available for certain searches and in certain locations, is likely still in the early testing phases. There's no confirmation at this time that the changes will go live for everyone for all searches, but just in case, it's always a good idea to stay on top of what's happening. The new design is similar to what we see now, but there are some subtle differences. There are only two ads at…

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9 Key Ingredients to Building a Killer Twitter Profile

Twitter has been around since 2006, and has evolved quite a bit over the years. Despite all the changes, one thing has remained the same – if you want to make a splash on the network and really build relationships with your followers, you must start with a good profile. Think of Twitter as a landing page for your personal brand, because every time you follow someone new, they're given the chance to follow you back. Your profile is what they'll use to make that choice, so it matters. When you consider that most Twitter users get multiple follow request emails…

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How to Build an Impressive LinkedIn Profile to Get You Noticed

LinkedIn is a powerful social network, and not just for those in the B2B space. LinkedIn users are more likely to actually visit your homepage, and have higher conversion rates compared to other social media platforms.If you want to make the most of your time and effort spent connecting with others there, it all starts with a stellar profile. The thing with LinkedIn, though, is you can't treat it the same way you'd treat a personal Facebook profile. Yes, it takes time and effort to get it done right, but anything worth doing is worth doing the correct way, wouldn't…

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Color Theory and Web Design: What You Need to Know for Marketing

Color is an important aspect of web design, because it can make or break even the most well laid out websites. Color has the power to evoke emotion, which has a tremendous influence on how people view brands, and how they feel while using a website. Plus, you can use color to dictate where you want someone's attention to go, which helps with conversions.   What is Color Theory? Color theory is the study of color. Before I get too deep into theory and how to choose the right schemes for your website and other branded materials, let's get some…

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How to Master Writing SEO Friendly Product Descriptions

Your product descriptions need not only to describe the product you're offering, but do so in such a way that appeals to your audience and the search engines. It's a task that's hard for many businesses to accomplish. Getting it right will no doubt take time, but it's an investment in your business, so it's worth it, right? Here I break down everything you need to know step by step. Start with Your Customer Persona Your customer persona, also known as your buyer persona, is a critical piece of the puzzle here. If you don't know who your customers are,…

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