Published by Nat Miller, October 31st, 2012
Smartphones, tablets, netbooks, and other mobile, internet-equipped devices have changed the way marketers look at search engine optimization forever. Statistics indicate that by 2014, the majority of online searches will be performed from a mobile device, eclipsing desktop search traffic by a wide margin. Furthermore, 90% of mobile searches result in actions such as visiting a business or purchasing a product. In a nutshell, mobile searchers are instant action customers, searching for product reviews on their phone as they stand in the store next to the product on the shelf. Siri and Google Maps are the most convenient way to find restaurants or business locations. And Yelp has revolutionized location-based searches across the board. The shift to mobile searches has affected the way in which marketers optimize their sites, most poignantly in the use of responsive web design and mobile specific search optimization.
Responsive web design is an industry best practice recommended by Google and ensures that all of your desktop pages are accessible by mobile searchers, which increases your online reach. Additionally, mobile searchers tend to ask very specific questions and will often use voice-activated search tools, making mobile optimization a crucial step in any SEO program. Alchemy Viral recently developed an infographic that portrays all of the “ins and outs” of mobile optimization. A number of SEO pointers are provided within the graphic, yet Alchemy Viral is quick to suggest that the most important aspect of capitalizing on search traffic of any kind is quality content.
OffWhite has been developing quality content across various media for over 30 years and has been optimizing websites for mobile searches since the first iPhone was released. We saw the mobile market looming as a forthcoming reality and proactively developed our processes to ensure our clients remained viable regardless of advances in technology. We also developed our online marketing management program, Ed.it™2, to seamlessly integrate with all mobile devices, allowing you to update your website or manage analytics from anywhere in the world on your phone, tablet, or laptop.
OffWhite remains an innovator in online marketing and we would love to share some of our ideas with you on your next project.
To learn more, contact Jane Cirigliano at 800-OFFWHITe.
Published by Chris Hlubb , October 30th, 2012
The advent of the internet has created an online marketplace all its own, separate yet connected to the markets that brick and mortar companies use to drive commerce in their respective sectors. And while marketers have long known how to gather and quantify information about real world markets, the internet is a different story.
Site analytics can only tell us so much about customer behavior and at some point real customer feedback needs to be gathered. Wouldn’t it be nice if your website could serve as a 24-hour repository for that information? A recent module update to Ed.it™2 provides this capability and a whole lot more. The form builder module in Ed.it™2 allows you to upload and create any type of form to gather information from any page on your website. Whether you want to post an application form, event registration form, or a lead-generating landing page, it can all be created using the new form builder.
Form builder gives you complete control over the text fields and answer styles you allow users to provide. Varying answer styles include explanation boxes, check boxes, and upload fields. It also allows the site administrator to quickly and easily move the form between webpages if needed. Form builder provides instant access to your data, sending an email containing answer information and alerts each time a form is completed and submitted. All of the information gathered in the submitted forms is compiled in an easy to access Excel database file, which can be exported for analysis as well. Depending on the interaction scheme of your website, there are numerous tools available to customize follow up messages to best suit your needs. Additionally, a customized follow up email can be developed to thank the user for filling out your form or for providing additional contact information. A website is only as good as the interest it creates for a company and the Form Builder module for Ed.it™2 is an effective way to interact with and gather information from your customers.
For more information on the Form Builder update or to learn more about OffWhite, contact Jane Cirigliano at 800-OFFWHITe.
Published by Nat Miller, October 29th, 2012
Social media is ubiquitous in modern life. Interactive communication continues to expand with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare, Pinterest, and more like them. One area of considerable social media growth across all markets is photo blogging. Photo blogging allows us to share visual experiences across continents and technology platforms. Instagram is arguably the largest name and most innovative tool for marketers in the photo blogging arena. “With a value of one billion dollars and 80 million users, Instagram can’t be ignored,” said Jason Howie, author of the article “Using Instagram for Social Media Marketing.” In Howie’s article, he mentioned nine points on using Instagram to effectively market your company or brand:
- Don’t rely just on Instagram.
Instagram is not the end all for online marketing and works best when used in conjunction with other forms of social media. Visually friendly sites are the best, because they offer the best virtual impact for sharing and discussing photos.
- Involve your community.
Interact with the vibrant blogging community by commenting on your and your friends’ photos. This creates “buzz” and increases your exposure.
- Let your community see behind the curtain.
To be successful, your blog should be active, post interesting pictures, and show people the world beyond the faces at the counter or in the office.
- Let your employees be involved.
Employees help develop legitimate activity quickly. Encourage them to participate. There is no better way to interact with customers than allowing employees to submit their own photos.
- Popular hash tags are dead.
You need to use less hash tags and more photo and promotion specific tags.
- Create your own hash tag and engage people that use it.
Creating, using, promoting, and monitoring your own hash tag has benefits. These benefits include: photos are easily found related to your company, easier to determine true fans beyond the followers, easier to engage in the community, and your brand is readily shared when you encourage the use of your own hash tags.
- Geo-Tag Instagram photos.
This app gives the user the ability to transfer the location of the photo being taken to other social media. It also incorporates a photo map on the user’s profiles displaying where the photo was taken. It can help you promote an event, and by design, the location and products at the event.
- Find the perfect timing.
According to SimplyMeasured, the best time to post pictures for engagement is between 5-6 p.m. as many people have this window of time free and are checking up on their social media after a day at work.
- Play with your photos.
Encourage employees to take photos, don’t be afraid to be creative, and use editing tools to enhance your photos.
Technology is constantly advancing and to compete in today’s marketplace marketers need to be aware of effective tools that can drive traffic and customers to their brand. OffWhite has 28 years of experience establishing effective marketing campaigns for a variety of companies and we have always utilized the most effective tools for the job. Social media easily integrates into all of the websites that we build and Ed.it™2 is the perfect platform to manage your entire integrated online presence, regardless of audience. Contact us today to learn how to stay connected and let Ed.it™2 drive your online campaigns.
Call Jane Cirigliano at 800-OFFWHITe for more information.
Published by Jane Cirigliano, October 26th, 2012
Most marketers today have a preset dashboard of analytics that they monitor to keep track of performance, changes, and ongoing updates to their SEO and site optimization programs. Here are five common analytics that even the most basic SEO campaign can benefit from:
- Site-Wide Organic Traffic
Daily updates on organic traffic provide insight into your site’s performance overall and highlight where you should be focusing your time and resources.
- Total number of Unique Keywords Driving Organic Traffic
Much like a stock portfolio, your keywords should be varied, focused on diversity and growth in coverage. This KPI indicates how well each of your terms is performing and lets you know where you may need to make some adjustments.
- Referral Traffic Growth
Keywords are only part of your online inbound marketing program, making it important to monitor your referral sources from other programs as well.
- Individual Channel Net CPA
Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) is an important driver of marketing dollars and should be analyzed for pay-per-click, organic searches, referral traffic, and direct traffic sources.
- Growth in Total Conversion Value
Possibly the most important KPI, the overall value-driven growth from all website conversions provides a holistic view of the success of your online marketing campaign.
OffWhite monitors the above and so much more for each of our digital marketing clients. Our Ed.it™2 marketing dashboard program integrates seamlessly with Google Analytics and a number of other major analytical platforms to help you get the most from your online presence. Whether your campaigns involve monitoring site traffic during specific sale periods, integrating social media into your site presence, or analyzing referral analytics for incoming inquiries, Ed.it™2 can provide the suite of tools you need.
To learn more about Ed.it™2 or see some of our past analytics work, contact Jane Cirigliano at 800-OFFWHITe.
Published by Nat Miller, October 25th, 2012
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a term that strikes fear in the heart of many website owners. In the past this practice has seemed so complicated and convoluted that many people simply ignored it. However, SEO is not only an important part of a holistic web presence plan, it is also absolutely essential to connecting with customers on the internet. Online technology is ubiquitous today and having the capability to capture customers searching from their mobile phones, tablets, netbooks, and laptops is a crucial step in any marketing program.
The development of an SEO program does not have to be a complicated or expensive process. Good SEO programs provide quality content that speaks to customers’ needs. Additionally, there are three important technical steps, outlined by Eric Enge in his recent article on “Bare Minimum SEO: 3 Things You Must Do”, that will ensure success in any small business SEO program. They are:
- Checking page indexing status.
- Focusing on target keywords.
- Obtaining links.
Essentially, you want to make sure the search engines are finding your site in the first place, which is why you should check the indexing status. You can then utilize specific keywords and social links to help increase that status. Recent Google paradigm updates have made it easier for pages with quality content to rank higher within organic search results. Good content coupled with social interaction (through social media and other online venues) helps drive site traffic, of which Google’s bots take notice. At OffWhite, we are constantly working with clients to develop well-rounded, holistic marketing programs. This includes SEO programs incorporating a variety of aspects to drive results for your website. Ed.it™2 is our trademark platform that allows us to optimize online content, update links, integrate with social media platforms, and track links and site analytics, all from a single dashboard.
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Offenberger & White, Inc. (OffWhite) is an integrated marketing solutions company based in Marietta, Ohio, USA.
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