AdWords Conversions Now Converted Clicks and Conversions

AdWords Conversions Now Converted Clicks and Conversions

AdWords converionsFlexible conversion counting allows AdWords merchant to determine what constitutes a conversion value and delineate between conversions and other types of clicks.

“Flexible Conversion counting replaces today’s conversions (one-per-click) and conversions (many-per-click) columns with Converted clicks and Conversion columns–helping you understand the relative value of each click that results in a conversion.”- Google

AdWords new conversion columns Converted clicks and Conversions allow merchants to track and tailor conversion value.

Here are the two types of conversions advertisers can track on AdWords: 

Converted clicks– Only clicks that drive conversions

Conversions– Allows advertisers to see the relative value of each conversion click (all conversions or unique).

Google’s video explanation of the AdWords conversion update walks you through a advertiser scenario example:

AdWords Conversion Update: What It Means For Advertisers

For advertisers, Google’s AdWords conversion update gives advertisers more control over what to define as a conversion.

AdWords conversion update

Flexible conversion counting comes on the heels of other AdWords conversion updates estimated cross-device conversions and cross-account conversion tracking. The addition of the counting method is the biggest change to AdWords tracking since it impacts automated/manual bidding strategies.

Get On Top Today! Call On The Maps Digital Marketing Agency. 866.610.5977

By  Mary Weinstein

SEO Strategy

SEO - Search Engine Optimization

SEO - Search Engine OptimizationThe Positive Negative SEO Strategy

 

There’s a case study on Moz on how to get your site back following a link penalty. An SEO working on a clients site describes what happened when their client got hit with a link penalty. Even though the link penalty didn’t appear to be their fault, it still took months to get their rankings back.

Some sites aren’t that lucky. Some sites don’t get their rankings back at all.

The penalty was due to a false-positive. A dubious site links out to a number of credible sites in order to help disguise their true link target. The client site was one of the credible sites, mistaken by Google for a bad actor. Just goes to show how easily credible sites can get hit by negative SEO, and variations thereof.

There’s a tactic in there, of course.

Take Out Your Competitors

Tired of trying to rank better? Need a quicker way? Have we got a deal for you!

Simply build a dubious link site, point some rogue links at sites positioned above yours and wait for Google’s algorithm to do the rest. If you want to get a bit tricky, link out to other legitimate sites, too. Like Wikipedia. Google, even. This will likely confuse the algorithm for a sufficient length of time, giving your tactic time to work.

Those competitors who get hit, and who are smart enough to work out what’s going on, may report your link site, but, hey, there are plenty more link sites where that came from. Roll another one out, and repeat. So long as your link site can’t be connected with you – different PC, different IP address, etc – then what have you got to lose? Nothing much. What have your competitors got to lose? Rank, a lot of time, effort, and the very real risk they won’t get back into Google’s good books. And that’s assuming they work out why they lost rankings.

I’m not advocating this tactic, of course. But we all know it’s out there. It is being used. And the real-world example above shows how easy it is to do. One day, it might be used against you, or your clients.

Grossly unfair, but what can you do about it?

Defensive Traffic Strategy

Pleading to Google is not much of a strategy. Apart from anything else, it’s an acknowledgement that the power is not in your hands, but in the hands of an unregulated arbiter who likely views you as a bit of an annoyance. It’s no wonder SEO has become so neurotic.

It used to be the case that competitors could not take you out pointing unwanted links at you. No longer. So even more control has been taken away from the webmaster.

The way to manage this risk is the same way risk is managed in finance. Risk can be reduced using diversification. You could invest all your money in one company, or you could split it between multiple companies, banks, bonds and other investment classes. If you’re invested in one company, and they go belly up, you lose everything. If you invest in multiple companies and investment classes, then you’re not as affected if one company gets taken out. In other words, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

It’s the same with web traffic.

1. Multiple Traffic Streams

If you only run one site, try to ensure your traffic is balanced. Some traffic from organic search, some from PPC, some from other sites, some from advertisements, some from offline advertising, some from email lists, some from social media, and so on. If you get taken out in organic search, it won’t kill you. Alternative traffic streams buy you time to get your rankings back.

2. Multiple Pages And Sites

A “web site” is a construct. Is it a construct applicable to a web that mostly orients around individual pages? If you think in terms of pages, as opposed to a site, then it opens up more opportunities for diversification.

Pages can, of course, be located anywhere, not just on your site. These may take the form of well written, evergreen, articles published on other popular sites. Take a look at the top sites in closely related niches and see if there are any opportunities to publish your content on them. Not only does this make your link graph look good, so long as it’s not overt, you’ll also have achieve more diversity.

Consider Barnacle SEO.

Will creatively defines the concept of barnacle SEO as follows:
Attaching oneself to a large fixed object and waiting for the customers to float by in the current.
Directly applied to local search, this means optimizing your profiles or business pages on a well-trusted, high-ranking directory and working to promote those profiles instead of — or in tandem with — your own website.“

You could also build multiple sites. Why have just one site when you can have five? Sure, there’s more overhead, and it won’t be appropriate in all cases, but again, the multiple site strategy is making a comeback due to Google escalating the risk of having only one site. This strategy also helps get your eggs into multiple baskets.

3. Prepare For the Worst

If you’ve got most of your traffic coming from organic search, then you’re taking a high risk approach. You should manage that risk down with diversification strategies first. Part of the strategy for dealing with negative SEO is not to make yourself so vulnerable to it in the first place.

If you do get hit, have a plan ready to go to limit the time you’re out of the game. The cynical might suggest you have a name big enough to make Google look bad if they don’t show you.

Lyrics site Rap Genius says that it is no longer penalized within Google after taking action to correct “unnatural links” that it helped create. The site was hit with a penalty for 10 days, which meant people seeking it by name couldn’t find it.

For everyone else, here’s a pretty thorough guide about how to get back in.

Have your “plead with Google” gambit ready to go at a moments notice. The lead time to get back into Google can be long, so the sooner you get onto it, the better. Of course, this is really the last course of action. It’s preferable not make yourself that vulnerable in the first place.

By diversifying.

By Peter D. 

Get On Top Today! Call On The Maps Digital Marketing Agency. 866.610.5977

https://onthemaps.com

Search Engine Optimization – SEO

SEO

A Startling Case Study of Manual Penalties and Negative SEO

Google SEO

This January, I was at a talk at SMX Israel by John Mueller – Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst – about how to recover from a manual penalty. The session’s moderator opened the talk by asking the hundreds of people seated in the room to raise their hands if they had ever been affected by or had a client that was affected by a manual penalty. Nearly the entire room raised their hands – myself included.

Setting the Plot

One of our clients, whom we are very lucky to have, is a company called Ginger Software. Ginger has a set of context-sensitive grammar and spell check tools that can be integrated with e-mails, browsers, Microsoft Office, and more. When we began working with Ginger, they were in a great state from an SEO perspective. I won’t get into traffic specifics, but their site has an Alexa ranking of around 7,000.

Ginger was getting traffic from thousands of different keywords. They had links from news portals, review websites, forums, social bookmarks – all part of a really great backlink profile. Ginger could be in a whole separate case study about the benefits of a content strategy. They have put months of work into online tools, sections about spelling mistakes, grammar rules, and more. These things have attracted great traffic and links from around the world.

The Plot Thickens

Given the above, you can imagine our surprise when one day in my inbox I found the dreaded notice from Google that gingersoftware.com had a site-wide manual penalty for unnatural inbound links. We quickly set up a call and went through the tooth-rattling ordeal of explaining to our client that they weren’t even ranked for their brand name. Organic traffic dropped by a whopping 94% – and that for a website that gets 66% of its traffic from Google-based organic search.

I’m not going to highlight where they got the penalty … because I think you can tell.

Full Disclosure

Before we go on any further with this case study, I should come clean. In the years of my working in SEO, I have shamelessly bought links, posted crappy blog and forum comments, and run programs that automatically build thousands of spam links. I have bought expired domains, created blog networks, and have ranked affiliate sites with every manner of blackhat technique.

With that off my chest – I will say with as clean a conscience as possible, we did absolutely nothing of the sort for Ginger. While everyone at yellowHEAD has experience with all manners of SEO tactics, in our work as an agency we work with big brands, the presence of which we are categorically not willing to risk. Ginger is a true example of a site that has ranked well because of an extensive and well-thought out content strategy; a strategy driven by creating valuable content for users. When analyzing Ginger’s backlinks, we were amazed to see the kinds of links that had been created because of this strategy.

I was positive that this link would be a spam forum comment or something of the sort. Turns out that it’s a page on a fishing forum about Zebra Mussels. Someone got confused and called them Zebra Muscles; a veteran user corrected them by linking to Ginger’s page about muscle vs mussel.

The Plot Thickens… More.

As we dug deeper into Ginger’s backlinks, we quickly began to find the problem. Ginger had recently accrued a large number of extremely spammy links. Bear with me for a little bit because these links require some explanation. GingerSoftware.com was being linked to from random pages on dozens of different websites in clearly spun articles about pornography, pharmaceuticals, gambling, and more. These pages were linking to random marginal articles on Ginger’s website like this page always using the same few keywords – “occurred,” “subsequently,” and a few other similar words. The only thing these words had in common was that Ginger was ranked in the top three for them in Google.

I had to blur most of the text from this page, as it was inappropriate.

Now, needless to say, even if we were trying to rank Ginger’s site let’s call it ‘unconventionally,’ we wouldn’t have done it to unimportant pages that were already ranking in the top three from articles about pornography.

Now here’s where it gets REALLY interesting

Further investigation into these pages found the same exact articles on dozens of other websites, all linking to different websites using exactly the same keywords. For example:

 

Link to Wiktionary.org

Link to TheFreeDictionary.com

 

Link to Thesaurus.com

So – What the $#@!%!#$^ are these links?!

As I mentioned in my disclosure previously – I am no newcomer to link spam, so I happen to know a bit about what these links are. These articles were, first and foremost, not created by us or by anyone else at Ginger. They were also not posted with Ginger Software or any of the other websites linked to in those articles in mind. These articles were posted by spammers using programs which automatically build links (my guess is GSA Search Engine Ranker) in order to rank websites. Each one of these articles linked to some spam website (think something like the-best-diet-pills-green-coffee-beans-are-awesome . info or some nonsense like that) in addition to linking to Ginger.

These programs find places on the internet where they can automatically post articles with links. As a way to ‘trick’ Google into thinking the links are natural, they also include links to other big websites in good neighborhoods. Common targets for these kinds of links include Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, and other such websites.

Ginger was not the victim of negative SEO, but was simply caught in the crossfire of some spammers trying to promote their own websites.

We Had Doubts

Once we found these links, we honed our search to find all of them. We were able to do this using Ahrefs, which is a fantastic tool for any sort of link analysis. We organized all of the links to Ginger by anchor text and went after all of the ones with the aforementioned keywords. We removed as many of these links as possible, disavowed the rest, and filed for reconsideration as described above.

As confident as we were on the face of it all – we had serious doubts. We knew how important it was for Ginger’s business to get over this penalty as quickly as possible and didn’t want to get anything wrong. We couldn’t find any other “bad links” besides these ones but we kept thinking to ourselves “there’s no way that Google completely slapped a website due to some spam links to these random pages.” There had to be more to it than that!

Ginger themselves handled this situation incredibly. Where they could have yelled and gotten angry, instead they said, in a sentence “Ok – let’s fix this. How do we help?” With Ginger’s help, we mobilized dozens of people inside their company, trained them on finding bad links, manually reviewed over 40,000 links, contacted all domains which had spam links on them, disavowed everything we couldn’t get to, and submitted the request for reconsideration on December 17th, only five days after the site got penalized. The extreme sense of urgency behind this came both because of the importance of organic traffic for Ginger Software, and because the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holidays. We knew that everyone going on vacation would significantly increase the amount of time it took to have the reconsideration request reviewed. You can find a very long and detailed explanation of the process we used to clean up Ginger’s links here.

Despite the speed with which we were able to submit the request, it took nearly a month to hear back from Google. On January 15th, we received a message in Google Webmaster Tools that the penalty had been revoked. We, and the staff at Ginger, were ecstatic and spent the next few days glued to our ranking trackers and to Google Analytics to see what would happen. Rankings and traffic quickly began to rise and, as of the writing of this article, traffic is at about 82% of pre-penalty levels.

Lo and Behold – Rankings!

 

The (Very) Unofficial Response from Google

Getting over the manual penalty, in some ways, was almost as surprising as getting it. The fact that all we did was remove and disavow the negative SEO links and the penalty was removed indicates that, indeed, the penalty may have been caused entirely by those links.

At the manual penalty session of SMX, towards the end of the talk, I crept slowly towards the front of the room and as soon as the talk was over, as unexpectedly as a manual penalty, I pounced to the front of the speakers’ podium to talk to John Mueller before everyone else. I explained to him (in a much shorter version than this article) the situation with Ginger and asked if they were aware of this at Google and what they plan to do about it.

John responded with something along the lines of the following:

“You mean like when somebody creates spam links but also links to Wikipedia? … We have seen it happen before. Sometimes we can tell but sometimes it’s a little bit harder… but [if] you get a manual penalty from it you will know about it so you can just disavow the links.”

I have to say, I was pretty surprised with that response. While it wasn’t exactly an admission of guilt, it wasn’t a denial either. He basically said yes, it can happen but if it happens you will get a manual penalty, so you’ll know about it!

So What Does It All Mean?

One wonders if Google understands the impact a manual penalty can have on a business and if they truly accept the responsibility that comes along with handing out these kinds of punishments. Ginger, as a company, relies on search traffic as their main method of user acquisition and they are not unique in that sense. There are a few important takeaways here.

1.) CHECK YOUR BACKLINKS

No matter who you are – big or small, this is crucial. This kind of thing can happen, seemingly, to anyone. We have instated a weekly backlink scan for Ginger Software in which we look through all of their new links from Webmaster Tools, AHREFS, and Majestic SEO. If we find any more spam links (which we still are finding), we try to remove them and add them to the disavow list. Time consuming? Yes. Critical? Yes.

2.) Negative SEO is Alive and Real

It has been my thinking for a long time that links should not be able to hurt your website. At the most, a link should be discounted if it is considered bad. The current system is dangerous and too easy to game. With Ginger, it was obvious (to us at least) that these links were no doing of their own. The links were in absurd places of the lowest quality and linked to low-benefit unimportant pages of Ginger’s website. If this was actually a negative SEO attack, imagine how easy it would be to make it look like it was the company’s doing.

3.) Google is making themselves look REALLY bad.

The action that Google took in this case was far too drastic. The site didn’t receive a partial penalty, but rather a full-blown sitewide penalty. According to the keyword planner, for the top four branded terms for Ginger, there are 23,300 searches per month. In this case that became 23,300 searches per month where people could not find exactly what they were looking for.

Google has an amazing amount of work on their hands staying ahead of the spammers of the world, but they have also become the foundation of the business models of companies worldwide. To quote from FDR and Spiderman(who can argue with that???), “with great power comes great responsibility.” We can only hope that Google will heed these words and, in the meantime, we will be happy with the fact that Ginger are back up and running.

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The Beginners Guide To LinkedIn

Linkedin

Linkedin.com

LinkedIn is considered the non-sexy, sleeping giant of social networks. It keeps a low profile, perhaps due to the professional nature of its users. Nonetheless, LinkedIn continues to exert a powerful influence on connected job seekers, brands, recruiters and industries.

Founded by Reid Hoffman in 2002, LinkedIn has grown to 225 million members in over 200 countries, making it the world’s largest professional network on the Internet (by comparison, Twitter has more than 500 million registered users, and Facebook has surpassed one billion). Currently available in 20 languages, LinkedIn remains a relevant platform the world over.

That being said, we doubt you spend 20 minutes on LinkedIn per day, like Facebook’s power users do. So, if you need a crash course on what LinkedIn has to offer, browse the network’s most prominent features below. Or send this to your recent grad as he or she prepares to enter today’s daunting job market.

Have you used LinkedIn to find a job, network with professionals or research hot topics in your industry? Please share your own tips in the comments below.

1. Profile

LinkedIn Edit Your Profile

 

Like most social networks, LinkedIn hosts your personal profile, a page on which you may list information like job experience and professional skills.

However, unlike many other social networks, it’s important to complete your profile to the best of your ability — especially if you’re using LinkedIn for the job hunt. LinkedIn measures your “profile strength” from 0-100%. The higher your profile completeness, the more likely you are to appear in search results. For instance, when you list skills like “Final Cut Pro” and “Photoshop,” potential employers may come across your profile when they perform an advanced search based on those keywords. Handy.

To ensure that your profile is 100% complete, LinkedIn recommends including the following information.

  • Industry and postal code
  • A current position with description
  • Two more positions
  • Education
  • At least five skills
  • Profile photo
  • At least 50 connections
  • A summary
  • Work samples or projects
  • Volunteer experience

2. Connections

Of course, to get those “50 connections” mentioned above, you’ll have to expand your network on LinkedIn. Don’t worry — LinkedIn’s algorithms and data mining make it pretty easy.

I recommend first performing a series of basic searches to find people you know by name. (See the search box at the top of each LinkedIn page.) Click the “Connect” button next to people’s names to add them to your network. You may send a custom message along with that invitation to make the connection more personalized.

Once you have made several connections, head to the “People You May Know” page. LinkedIn’s algorithm will likely have begun determining additional suggestions based on your connections’ networks. LinkedIn labels these connections by degree. People you’re already connected to are “1st degree” connections. People you’re not yet connected to, but who are linked to your 1st degree connections, are 2nd degree connections. And so on. You’ll see a blue icon that says “1st,” “2nd” or “3rd” next to their names.

You may also choose to connect your email’s contact list to LinkedIn for the purpose of finding additional connections. Head to “Import Contacts” and allow access to your contacts to pull up a list of potentials. Be aware, however, that this may generate a huge list of people, especially if email services like Gmail tend to save every address you’ve ever contacted.

3. Groups

LinkedIn Groups

 

LinkedIn groups are spaces in which professionals and experts can share content, ask for advice, post or search for jobs and network with others. Groups are tailored to brands, associations and societies, support groups, causes, publications and industries in general. That can mean anything from “On Startups – The Community for Entrepreneurs” to “Cal Alumni Association | UC Berkeley.”

On the other hand, don’t confuse LinkedIn “groups” with “companies.” Coca-Cola has a “Coca-Cola Current & Former Employees” group, but its business lives on “The Coca-Cola Company”company page. More on that later.

With over 1.4 million groups to choose from, you’re likely to find at few that fit your field and interests. Keep in mind that many groups require authentication before the manager permits you to join. However, nearly one-third of groups don’t require review, and are labeled “open.”

Once you’re familiar with group functions, you may choose to create your own group. That means you’re the group owner, but you may also appoint a group manager and moderator, who are responsible for supervising discussions, subgroups, settings, etc.

4. Companies

LInkedIn Company Page

 

Just as you have a personal profile page, many companies choose to represent themselves on LinkedIn, too. Like Facebook brand pages, you may choose to follow the activity and updates of companies on LinkedIn.

Company pages contain general information, such as a business overview, list of employees and press mentions. Many companies also choose to list job openings on their pages, and some even encourage applicants to apply through LinkedIn, a very handy tool of the network.

Once you follow a company, you’ll see its updates appear on your LinkedIn homepage alongside those of your connections. Mashable, for instance, tends to post business-related articles on LinkedIn, since that seems to be the content most pertinent to the network’s audience. Businesses also use LinkedIn to post company announcements, such as acquisitions, new hires or updated policies. LinkedIn warns against update spam, however: “Businesses that post updates excessively are subject to review by LinkedIn and could risk having their page deleted.”

If you’re interested in adding your own company to the network, LinkedIn advises you take the following steps.

  1. You’re a current company employee and your position is on your profile.
  2. A company email address (e.g. john@companyname.com) is one of the confirmed email addresses on your LinkedIn account.
  3. You associate your profile with the right company. You must click on a name from your company name dropdown list when you edit or add a position on your profile.
  4. Your company’s email domain is unique to the company.
  5. Your profile must be more than 50% complete, ranked Intermediate or All-Star.
  6. You must have several connections.

5. Jobs

Job search and recruitment tools are among LinkedIn’s most valuable features. More and more companies are encouraging candidates to apply for jobs via LinkedIn, due to the social network’s credibility and ease-of-use.

Head to the “Jobs” tab, where you’ll find options for applicants. Perform an advanced search for available jobs by keyword, title, location, company, salary and industry. (A search for “developer” within 50 miles of Manhattan turned up 1,697 results.) Save jobs to review later, and even save searches to check back later for updated results.

As an employer, you may post an available job to LinkedIn for $395 for a 30-day period. (Bulk packages are available for better deals.) Once posted, these jobs will not only appear in search results, but also in the “Careers” tab on your company page.

Finally, recruiters may “find talent” on LinkedIn, but they must upgrade to a premium subscription plan to search for potential hires.

6. Updates

LinkedIn Updates

Unlike content shared on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn updates tend to be industry- and professionally-focused. Keep that in mind if you’re attempting to increase engagement.

You can share updates from a number of different places, both on LinkedIn.com and from outside web properties. Post a status update from the LinkedIn homepage, and it will be shared as well as posted to your profile under the activity feed. Also, when you engage in discussions in LinkedIn groups, that activity counts as an update.

Post updates from sites like The New York Times by clicking the LinkedIn social share button next to an article. Or add the LinkedIn sharing bookmarklet to your browser toolbar to quickly share most sites as an update.

Finally, you may also connect your Twitter account to LinkedIn. This not only expands your network, but allows you to post tweets on LinkedIn as if they were status updates. Once tweets post to LinkedIn, users can interact with them as if from Twitter.com, by retweeting, replying and favoriting. Like updates, tweets post to the homepage and live in the activity feed on your profile.

Just as LinkedIn advises brands to cool it on excessive updates, you should practice the same self-control. Users appreciate information, not excessive traffic on their feeds. That being said, you can mute certain connections, if you choose. Hover over a user’s update on the homepage and click the “hide” button to stop receiving updates from that user.

7. Applications

Applications allow LinkedIn users to customize their profiles and share content in different ways. For example, you may choose to add the WordPress app so that your latest WordPress blog posts share with your LinkedIn network. Do the same for SlideShare presentations you or your company have created.

Keep in mind that most apps require permissions to access some of your basic profile information, such as your name or job title. However, all applications must abide by LinkedIn’s privacy policy, which means they’re not allowed to reach any private information not easily accessible by browsing the site.

8. Mobile

LinkedIn MobileLinkedIn has mobile applications for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows and Palm devices. The app is useful for posting status updates and checking group updates on-the-go, but its inherent advantages lie in networking.

Pull up the mobile app to find LinkedIn connections and exchange information at events. After meeting someone, you may choose to email that person a link to your profile, so he or she may connect with you later — no business cards needed. Or search for that person on your LinkedIn mobile app and add him as a connection then and there.

You may also choose to download LinkedIn connections to your smartphone’s address book for later contact.

9. Upgraded Account

Once you’ve explored LinkedIn Free, you may choose to upgrade to a LinkedIn account with more features. Starting at $19.95 per month, LinkedIn has premium subscription plans forbusinesses, job seekers, recruiters and more.

One of the distinguishing features of most upgraded accounts is the ability to send InMail to anyone. InMail is an internal LinkedIn message sent to a person with whom you are not connected. You can message people you are already connected with free-of-charge, but you can’t message non-connections; you must InMail them — and those InMails are limited. Users with a Basic (free) account can purchase up to 10 InMail credits. The basic business premium account allows you three InMails per month, while the Business Plus plan allows 10, and the Executive 25 per month. So, choose your InMails wisely.

Upgraded accounts also have access to more search results, which can be a huge bonus for LinkedIn recruiters. You also have access to additional tools for saving and organizing profiles, and you can view the full list of people who have viewed your LinkedIn profile.

By Rebecca Hiscott

Get On Top Today! Call On The Maps Digital Marketing Agency. 866.610.5977

https://onthemaps.com

A Beginners Guide To Facebook

Facebook Marketing for Beginners

Facebook Marketing for Beginners

Against all odds, you likely know someone who still hasn’t succumbed to the lure of Facebook. Maybe you’re a beginner yourself. Or perhaps you just haven’t had the gosh darn time to explore every last corner of the world’s most expansive social network.

Below, we offer a refresher course for those eager to learn more about the basics of Facebook. Let’s take a social stroll through the network’s main features, policies and culture norms.

Even if you’re a pro, it’s fun to look at the platform through a beginner’s eyes. If you were a Facebook virgin, what would you think of the social network?

1. Timeline

Before you begin searching for friends, it’s important to complete your Timeline (aka your personal profile), which includes everything from uploading a profile picture and cover photo to outlining your employment history to determining your relationship status (OK, that’s optional). It’s called a timeline because you can include information, important milestones and memories spanning your entire life. Timeline is incredibly nuanced, and encourages you to include as much detail as possible, and many, many people do — so, don’t be shy!

2. Friends

Once you’ve filled out a healthy portion of your Timeline, start searching for and adding “friends.” Trust us, you won’t be at a loss. Chances are, many of your co-workers, family members, classmates and neighbors are already on the network. Search for them in the search box that appears on the top of the site.

As you accumulate friends, Facebook will be able to suggest additional contacts as its algorithm generates connections among your growing network. You’ll see a list of suggested friends on Facebook’s homepage, in the “People You May Know” sidebar.

3. News Feed

Finding friends on Facebook is incredibly important, not simply to connect for connection’s sake, but to stay up to date on their latest news, thoughts, activities, whereabouts and tastes. And the place to access that information is the News Feed.

Once you’ve logged into Facebook, the first thing you’ll see is the News Feed. There you’ll view friends’ status updates, new photos, links to articles, etc. One of the most recent changes Facebook made to its News Feed is the order in which updates appear. Facebook’s algorithm and your own activity determine what “news” is most important, and thus, whether it makes the top of your News Feed. Think of it like the front page of a newspaper, determined by an algorithm rather than an editor. Therefore, you won’t necessarily see updates in the order they’re posted, but in order of timeliness and “importance.”

If you prefer to see things in chronological order, simply click the “Sort” option at the top of your feed and select “Most Recent.”

Facebook Most Recent Stories

4. The Status Update

A status update is anything important to you at a particular moment in time that you deem shareable with Facebook friends. Through a status update, you can communicate your present activity or whereabouts (via a “check-in”), post a link to an interesting article or site, share photos and videos, and even create a poll.

Create a status update either from the News Feed or from the top of your Timeline.

However, I recommend first taking a look at many of your friends’ status updates before launching into your own. Each person has his or her own style and frequency, but many newbies aren’t aware of typical Facebook “etiquette” when it comes to updates. In general, Facebook users resent “spammy” updates — in other words, sharing every single activity on your schedule and thought in your brain (“I just boarded the 6:05 train”). Boring. These days, Facebook is a space for sharing valuable information and fostering conversation. It’s not a platform for minutiae.

5. Brands

Although a major part of Facebook, friends are not the only entities with whom you can interact. Most major brands and a growing number of small businesses use Facebook to engage with, share deals and seek feedback from consumers and fans. Companies like Coca-Cola and Disney have tens of millions of fans interested in the latest company news and culture.

Take stock of the brands you’d like to follow, search for their timelines and “like” them on Facebook. You’ll start seeing their updates appear in the News Feed right alongside those of your friends. Feel free to interact with brand updates.

6. The “Like” Button

One of the most powerful tools on Facebook, the “like” button not only communicates your support of activities, brands, articles and products to fellow users, but also to Facebook and third parties. The “like” button lives on nearly every piece of Facebook content: status updates, photos, comments, brands timelines, apps and even ads.

However, you’ve probably also seen Facebook “like” and share buttons on external sites: shopping, news publications, mobile and social apps, and ads. These sites are utilizing Facebook’s social plugins. When you “like” something outside of Facebook.com, it appears on your timeline, where friends can comment on the activity.

When Facebook expanded this functionality outside of Facebook.com, it opened up a rich social layer that most social networks had never before imagined. On the other hand, keep in mind that Facebook keeps track of your “like” activity and uses it to “improve the quality” of ads on the site. If sharing that kind of data makes you nervous, you’re not alone. Just be mindful that Facebook can share this behavioral data with third parties. For more information, see Facebook’s full data use policy.

7. Tagging

Facebook Tagging

Facebook tagging means you can mention and directly link to another Facebook user, whether in photos, status updates, check-ins or comments. For instance, when you tag someone in a photo, that user will receive a notification, and the tagged photo will appear on his timeline — that is, unless he has disabled the tagging feature.

The tagging tool fosters conversation and creates additional connections among users. If I want my mother to see an article I posted on Facebook, I’ll tag her in the update by typing her name — Facebook autofills with friend suggestions for easier tagging (see above). “Hey Anne Warber(a.k.a. mom), I thought you’d like this article about pandas!”

Check-in and photo tagging work a little differently. When you check in at a location, you can add Facebook friends who are with you by searching for their names, and thus, tagging them. Tag friends in photos by selecting the “tag photo” option at the bottom of the selected image.

Facebook Photo Tagging

It’s important to remember that everyone has a different preference when it comes to tagging. Some people will instantly view content they’ve been tagged in and subsequently remove it, for any number of reasons: They don’t like how they look in a photo, they don’t like people knowing where they are, etc. Be aware of their concerns for privacy and your own.

Head to Privacy Settings > Timeline and Tagging to adjust your own settings, should you wish to review tags before they’re posted or control who can see your tags.

Facebook recently introduced a hashtag system similar to Twitter. A hashtag can be added to any post — a status update, a photo, a link, etc. Just know that any status, photos or other Facebook updates with a hashtag will be visible in searches. You can search for posts with specific hashtags by typing the hashtag in the search bar at the top of the page.

8. Privacy

Facebook Privacy

Frankly, we could write an entire book on Facebook privacy. But in the interest of time, we’ll mention the major types of privacy you need to be aware of as a Facebook user.

  1. Inter-user privacy: Friends with your boss on Facebook? Consider adding him or her to a “list.” Then you can choose what updates they can view. You may also choose to limit certain lists from viewing posts other people tag you in by visiting the basic privacy settings.
  2. Public profile: You can control the information non-friends can see on your public profile. Almost every feature of your profile has an edit option, which allows you to select who can view that information (public, friends only, only you, etc.). Learn more here.
  3. Third-party access: In order to use Facebook Open Graph apps like Spotify and Pinterest, those companies need to access certain information on your profile. They’ll ask for permissions before you begin using the app. Be aware that each app has different privacy risks. If you don’t want that information to be accessible through Facebook’s APIs, learn how to turn off access. Similarly, you can also opt out of Facebook social ads — the ads that appear to you based on brands your friends like.

By Stephanie Buck

Get On Top Today! Call On The Maps Digital Marketing Agency. 866.610.5977

https://onthemaps.com

A Beginners Guide To Twitter

Twitter

Twitter

Do you have a parent, friend or colleague ready to ditch his or her digital training wheels and head into Twitter’s open wilderness? These pointers should get them started. And even Twitter experts might benefit from a quick refresher on the platform’s valuable tools.

First, the basics: What is Twitter all about?

It’s a platform wherein users share their thoughts, news, information and jokes in 140 characters of text or less. Twitter makes global communication cheap and measurable. Profiles are (usually) public — anyone in the world can see what you write, unless you elect to make your profile private. Users “follow” each other in order to keep tabs on and converse with specific people.

On Twitter, following someone is not necessarily an admission of friendship, but nonetheless affords interaction and conversation — at least in short bursts.

The first step is to understand and master the vernacular. There are certain words and jargon native to Twitter that you may already have heard in passing. These terms and their abbreviations (in parentheses) are essential for understanding the network.

  • Tweet: A 140-character message.
  • Retweet (RT): Re-sharing or giving credit to someone else’s tweet.
  • Feed: The stream of tweets you see on your homepage. It’s comprised of updates from users you follow.
  • Handle: Your username.
  • Mention (@): A way to reference another user by his username in a tweet (e.g. @mashable). Users are notified when @mentioned. It’s a way to conduct discussions with other users in a public realm.
  • Direct Message (DM): A private, 140-character message between two people. You candecide whether to accept a Direct Message from any Twitter user, or only from users you are following.You may only DM a user who follows you.
  • Hashtag (#): A way to denote a topic of conversation or participate in a larger linked discussion (e.g. #AmericanIdol, #Obama). A hashtag is a discovery tool that allows others to find your tweets, based on topics. You can also click on a hashtag to see all the tweets that mention it in real time — even from people you don’t follow.

Twitter has a great online glossary that you can refer back to, should you get mired in a vocab morass.

Read on for the Twitter basics, but remember that Twitter is an experience. The more you use it, the more enjoyable and resourceful it will become. We hope you stick with it, as it can pay dividends in great conversation and personal connections with people around the world.

1. Signing Up

In order to engage in conversation, you must introduce yourself. By creating a handle (see glossary above) you can quickly describe who you are. A handle is essentially your address or calling card, and is how people will interact with you and include you in conversation.

Your profile pic, header image and bio should also reflect who you are. Unless you’re planning to create a satire or spoof account, you should use your actual picture and real name, so people feel more comfortable interacting with you.

2. Following and Followers

We once heard Twitter described as a crowded banquet hall. Picture people milling about, having conversations — some are snacking on delectable treats, some are staring at the ceiling. It’s a lot to take in all at once, but if you hone in on a few people that seem interesting and start a genuine conversation, you might encounter a new and interesting network of contacts. Before you know it, you’ll have a nice little group of people with common interests.

Twitter Followers    Once you’ve squared away your username, photo and bio, you need to seek out people to follow. You can find them in a few different ways.

Our advice is to follow your friends and people you know, at first. When you open your account, Twitter’s algorithm doesn’t know you very well, and thus, cannot logically suggest people for you to follow, just yet. (However, the company is trying toimprove its suggestions feature.) It merely suggests random celebrities and other folks with thousands of followers. Therefore, following people you know will make your initial foray more worthwhile.

You may also want to explore people your friends are following to naturally increase your Twitter perspective.

Once you get rolling, Twitter will give you better follow suggestions, based on the industries/fields associated with your interests. With time, you’ll become adept at discerning who is worth following and who is not. There’s no set strategy for this — it’s completely up to you and your own personal tastes. If someone follows you, there’s no requirement to follow them. If someone is tweeting too much and clogging your feed, feel free to unfollow him immediately.

3. Entering the Fray

Now that you’ve been observing the updates and musings of those you follow, it’s time to join the conversation. You could try to send a 140-character observation into the ether and hope someone sees it, but there’s a better way to engage with people around your interests.

The next time you see a particularly fascinating tweet, click “reply” and add your two cents.

Interacting with ordinary people is a great way to get the hang @of the “@mention” (just use the “@” sign before that person’s handle). Clicking “expand” or “view conversation” on a tweet will display all the responses that message received, including tweets from people you aren’t following. You can see when someone follows or @mentions you in the @Connect tab at the top of the page.

You might also notice a vertical blue line connecting some tweets. When two or more users you follow are involved in a conversation, Twitter automatically groups those messages together on your timeline, displayed chronologically from when the most recent tweet was sent. Up to three messages in the conversation will appear on your timeline, connected by the vertical line. If there are more than three messages in the conversation, click on any one to view the entire conversation.

Once you feel comfortable with these tools, it’s time to start interacting with more influential Twitter users. Twitter gives you the power to directly connect with government officials, celebrities and cultural movers and shakers. By @mentioning specific people, the odds that they see your conversation increase drastically. Who knows? They might even respond or retweet to their own personal audiences.

4. Direct Communication

Another way to communicate with Twitter is through direct messaging (DM). The messages are private, between you and the receiver, but keep in mind what you say could still be leaked — so make sure whatever you send is something you’d feel comfortable having publicly posted.

Since the network’s debut, it was believed that a user had to be following you before you could send them a direct message. However, it was discovered in October 2013 that a feature in settings allowed users to choose whether they wanted to be able to receive messages from their followers, even if they didn’t follow them back.

To enable the feature, go to settings and look under the “Accounts” section, where you should see a check box marked “Receive direct messages from any follower.” At time of writing, the feature wasn’t available for everyone. We’ll update as more information becomes available.

Twitter Direct Message

 

5. Retweeting

Retweeting is a common way to share something interesting from someone you follow to your own set of followers. Pertinent information tends to spread virally via retweets. It’s important to remember that a retweet should be thought of as quoting someone or citing a source.

There are a couple of ways to retweet someone (see image below). You may choose to simply hit the retweet button that appears when you hover your mouse over someone else’s tweet. When you click this button, the tweet will be sent to your set of followers, using the original tweeter’s profile pic alongside a note that you have retweeted the post. Additionally, a small green icon will appear in the top-right corner of the tweet. This is illustrated in the top example of the picture below.

Another way of retweeting arose from the Twitter community itself. This way is a ever-so-slightly more labor intensive, but gives you the opportunity to comment on a tweet before you retweet it. Simply click to expand the tweet, copy and paste its text, and then create a new tweet by clicking the compose icon in the top-right of your profile page. Be sure to include the letters “RT” and the handle of the person who originally tweeted the information. (This is illustrated in the lower example in the picture below.) Notice that the tweet now appears in your timeline, with your profile pic and your comment before the original tweet.

Again, these are two ways to perform essentially the same action. It’s up to you to determine when it’s appropriate to include a comment in your RT.

Twitter Retweets

 

6. Hashtags

Hashtags label and indicate the subject matter of certain conversations taking place on Twitter. The hashtag is represented by the number sign “#.” Putting one of these little symbols in front of a word or phrase indicates a subject you think is worth talking about. The words you use after the hashtag become searchable because Twitter tracks them. That is to say, if you click on a particular hashtag, you’ll be able to see all tweets that have also used that hashtag. It’s a grouping mechanism that allows you to get the general public’s sense about a specific topic or issue.

This is a very convenient way to drop in on subjects as broad as #OrganicFood or as focused as#BehindTheLaunch. Feel free to create your own subjects — just make sure you don’t use any spaces between words in a hashtag. The #Discover tab at the top of the page will display content and hashtags that might interest you, based on your own tweets.

7. Mobile Apps

Twitter is all about what’s happening now. And let’s face it: Not a ton of interesting things happen at your desk. That’s why it’s important to keep up with Twitter while you’re on the go. Maybe you’ll snap an excellent photo with your smartphone. Maybe a brilliant tweet will pop into your head while you’re at the supermarket.

Twitter is available on both iOS and Android devices.

We suggest using the official Twitter app first. When you’re ready to try some advanced functionality, there are some great third-party apps. Check out our recommendations for Twitter iPhone apps.

 

8. Crafting Your Voice

Now that you’re up and running, focus on being yourself and crafting your online beat. When you start to situate yourself as an expert in a specific subject area (for example, in comedy or politics), you’ll notice that people will begin to follow you for advice and expertise. You may not know who they are, but that’s perfectly acceptable. Twitter isn’t about following people you already know; it’s about engaging interesting people from all over the world.

As you start building your “brand” on Twitter, think about why people are following or talking to you. Are you an expert in a particular industry? Are you opinionated? Funny? Do you share great news articles or interesting photos?

The bottom line: Be authentic and true to your values and you’ll quickly become a valuable member of the Twitter community.

9. IPO Filing

In October 2013, the company filed an S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $1 billion in public offering. Read it below:

Twitter’s IPO Filing from Mashable

On November 6, 2013, Twitter set its final IPO price at $26 a share — meaning it would actually raise around $1.8 billion and be valued at around $18 billion. Facebook, by comparison, went public at $38 a share and raised $16 billion from its public offering.

10. Changes to Photos and Videos

Twitter also announced in October 2013 that all photos and videos in tweets would begin, by default, appearing in full — making its appearance more like that of Facebook. (Up until this point, photos and videos, such as Vine videos, had appeared as links which users could expand by clicking.)

Reception across the board was mixed. Some users argued it was a positive feature that meant less clicking and easier scrolling; those who opposed said it opened up the door for seeing photos and videos they might not necessarily want to see (think: NSFW content.)

Although it’s a default function, it’s still possible to disable it. For mobile devices, simply open the settings in the app and deselect the “Image Previews” tab. There’s not yet a concrete way to disable the function on desktops, but if it’s inappropriate content you’re worried of coming across, open the settings tab on Twitter.com and choose to be alerted whenever “Sensitive” media pops into your feed. It’s a heads-up, if anything:

twitter

Sensitive-content-warning

For more tips or advice on what works best for you please comment.

By Brandon Smith

Get On Top Today! Call On The Maps Digital Marketing Agency. 866.610.5977

https://onthemaps.com

The Beginners Guide To Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr

Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform that churns out millions of posts on a daily basis. There are currently 108.6 million blogs on Tumblr, which might seem intimidating to anyone not already using it.

Tumblr could be useful to you for many reasons, depending on what you’re looking to get out of it, for example, inspiration, scrapbooking, communication, or a portfolio.

The site is a mix of bloggers, brands, and tastemakers. But to keep it simple, there are essentially two types of bloggers on Tumblr: those who create original content and those who curate, or re-blog posts.

Depending on how you want to utilize the platform, this guide will help you move from a Tumblr novice to a power blogger.

1. Getting Started

Tumblr registration is simple: You only need an email address, password, and username. How

tumblr

ever, considering the number of existing blogs on Tumblr, it’s possible that you won’t get your first choice of username.

With Tumblr, you can change your URL later, so if you absolutely hate it down the road, that can be fixed — but keep in mind that change will affect SEO.

Be sure to upload a default image, too, to complete your profile.

2. What Do I Do With This?

Once you have an account, there are a number of following options, depending on how you want to utilize the site.

Some use Tumblr to write and create original content, for example, to document lifestyle, travels, milestones, or to showcase work.

Tumblr hosts some hilarious parody and nostalgia blogs that cater to specific persons, places, or things.

If you’re not creating your own content, Tumblr is also great for curating. Many users browse the web for the best and most interesting things they can find. It’s up to you to decide what that is: hilarious videos, inspiring quotes, breathtaking photos? Whether you like animals, fashion, art, music, film, or just a random assortment of interesting finds, decide what you want to blog about before going further.

3. Customizing

Aside from suiting your blog to your personality, one of the most fun things about Tumblr is the ability to customize themes. Tumblr themes offer the ability to customize the look, feel, and functionality of your blog.

Try to avoid the default theme, simply because there are hundreds more to choose from, and many talented designers have put a lot of effort into them.

Some themes are free, but if you really want your blog to stand out, consider paying for a premium theme that offers more personalized options.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you can customize further by editing HTML, changing colors or font type, adding a background image, or adding pages.

4. The Dashboard

Tumblr’s dashboard is really user-friendly, no matter the format of content you want to post.

If you’re not ready to publish a post or want to come back to it later, you can either save it as a draft or schedule it in the queue. Both options are on the right side of the dashboard, or in the pull-down menu when you’re trying to post content.

At the top of the dashboard, next to your profile picture, you’ll see a series of colorful icons labeled by format: text, photo, video, etc. Depending on what you’re trying to share, the options in each individual post box are really easy to figure out.

For added convenience, you can place the Tumblr bookmarklet at the top of your web browser.

The tabs at the top of the dashboard allow you to filter between views: either just your posts or those from people you follow. (We’ll talk more about your followers later.) If you want to see your posts in the back-end, click on your tab. To view it as your chosen theme, click on your profile picture.

Each post in the dashboard has a series of buttons at the top-right, which lets you engage with others by re-blogging and liking their posts. (This is where the distinction between original content creator vs. curator is most prominent.) Most original content bloggers don’t re-blog very often because they are publishing to a certain style or subject.

However, the more followers you have, the more quickly their posts move on your dashboard — remember, there are millions of posts each day. If you want to keep all of your favorite posts in one place, the little heart at the right corner of each post is your friend. You can then click the heart tab on the far-right to access all of the things you’ve liked in one place.

5. Navigation

By now, you should be set up and ready to “tumble.” But half the fun is discovering what other people are posting, especially if you’re using the platform to curate, or re-blog. So, how do you find other interesting people and blogs?

Tumblr has a series of tags, which you can view in Explore, that separate individual posts by different interests — for example, art, humor, music, fashion, television, etc.

A select group of people manages each tag and hand-pick posts best-suited for the category.

Additionally, Spotlight is a Tumblr feature that showcases various noteworthy blogs within each tag.

6. Connecting With People

Tumblr is not just for self-engagement. There are a number of ways to connect with people you know and reach out to new people.

First of all, by authorizing Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook, you can see which of your friends are already using the platform.

See the envelope icon at the top-right where you can send a message privately. The feature offers different styles of paper-themed backgrounds and fonts, which makes each message seem more personal.

Some users have also enabled the “Ask Me Anything” feature. Keep in mind the user can post any question on his site, but you can always opt to ask anonymously.

7. Mobile

Once you’ve successfully navigated the basics of Tumblr, take your blogging on the go. The platform has a free mobile app — available for iOS and Android.

The mobile app’s features are pretty similar to the website, except that the dashboard appears slightly more minimal. Otherwise, all of the things explained above are available on mobile. You can still post all the same formats of multimedia, and even customize your blog.

Tumblr is as vast as it’s the never-ending dashboard. There’s a lot more to the site, but this overview should give you a good head start.

What tips do you have for someone testing out Tumblr for the first time? Share your advice in the comments.

 By Christine Erickson

Get On Top Today!

On The Maps Digital Marketing Agency

or call 866.610.5977

25 Ecommerce Web Design Conversion Hacks for Profitability (Infographic)

ecommerce web design conversion hacks

25 eCommerce Web Design Conversion Hacks to Make Your Website Profitable

There are roughly 47 billion web pages competing for our attention. Of these, about 12 to 24 million are e-commerce websites, though only 650,000 (or 3 percent) actually net more than $1,000 per year in revenue.

While this may seem few in the big scheme of things, consider that if you were to endeavor to visit each revenue-generating eCommerce site from the comfort of your couch and with a bag of Doritos, spending only one minute per page for 18 hours every day, it would take over one and a half years to visit all of them — and probably more than a few bags of Doritos.

In other words, it takes more than a Squarespace eCommerce platform and a few products to get your business into the Fortune 500.

To get noticed through this saturation, Technician, an eCommerce website developer that provides high-quality “valet-type services” to its businesses has developed a list of 25 powerful eCommerce conversion hacks all entrepreneurs can use to increase traffic and improve conversion rates.

For a list of the best eCommerce Web Design Companies in 2021 check out this article by Design Rush, a B2B Marketplace Connecting Brands with Agencies.

1. Speed up to amp up conversion rates.

As internet speeds get faster, even a few extra seconds to load a page can create a poor shopping experience. Make sure your site is operating on the highest speed bandwidth you can afford.

2. Maximize on-page SEO.

Focus on “conversion-oriented” keywords, which will get highly targeted traffic to your online store.

3.  Use responsive design.

Your website should have a responsive design and be easy to view, navigate and read. More important, you should be focused on a mobile-first strategy, since most web traffic will soon be coming from mobile devices.

4. Test different eCommerce web design layouts.

In order to understand what works best with your consumers, test different layouts of your website (“A/B Testing”) and monitor which results in the best customer conversion rates.

5. Show contact information. 

Make it very clear and easy for visitors to find your contact information, including all social media links, and consider providing instant online live-chat options for visitors.

6. Make your ‘Call to Action’ bold and clear.

Be clear and tell your visitors what you would like them to do. Do you want them to buy a product, download a free brochure, or sign up for a newsletter? By being transparent, you generate trust and will increase conversion rates.

7. Create smooth navigation between pages.

Do not create confusing or misleading distractions between pages that will ultimately create frustration and resentment with your visitors.

8. Improve site search and recommendations.

When customers want to find something quickly, they will look immediately for a “search” function. If your search function is difficult to find or does not help visitors find what they seek, they are more likely to leave without searching themselves.

9. Provide social proof.

Visitors are much more likely to purchase from an eCommerce website that has positive feedback, testimonials, and endorsements posted where they can easily be seen.

10. Actively pursue reviews.

While it may seem vain and imposing to your customers, asking them to review your products online will help generate social proof.

11. Add security seals.

In light of the increasing importance of cybersecurity, visitors want to know that they will be safe while visiting your site and that their information and data will be protected. Partner with a reputable site security provider and clearly show their seal on your website.

12. Personalize the experience.

Use software that allows you to track visitor history and provide personalized recommendations, feedback, and interactions.

13. Highlight your return and guarantee policy.

Put your consumer at ease by promptly stating your policies on returns and refunds front and center.

14. Provide a section for sales and specials.

Just like people who dash right for the clearance rack in the back of a clothing store (it is not just me, right?), provide a link to a page that provides information on available specials at the time of visit.

15. Get visual with your products.

Provide ample photos of your product, both alone and while being used, in order to show perspective. To make a real impact, produce high-quality videos of your products in action.

16. Write spectacular descriptions.

In addition to helping with SEO, carefully crafting your descriptions, or “copy,” will set proper expectations and provide your customers with clear descriptions of what they are buying.

17. Manage shipping costs.

All businesses understand that shipping can make up a significant portion of the product cost. Closely managing this cost allows you to pass along lower prices to customers and even offer free shipping — something that can dramatically impact conversions.

18. Use trigger words.

Placing words like “free” or “special” can give your visitors the impression that they have visited at the right time. Just be sure that what you offer as “free” or “special” will actually add value to your customer.

19. Create urgency.

Marketers have long known that creating a sense of urgency is one of the best ways to increase conversions. Special offers, such as “Limited-time” specials and deals, are one way to do this online.

20. Offer first-time visitors a discount.

The cost of acquiring customers can be very high for an e-commerce site. For this reason, it is important to make a good impression and convert these first-time visitors when you have them.

21. Offer a price-match guarantee.

If you are like me, you have no less than 10 browser tabs open when you shop online, comparing prices of identical and similar items across multiple websites. Put your customers at ease by assuring them they will get the best deal possible with a price-match guarantee.

22. Upsell and cross-sell.

Use data to understand your website visitors and upsell or cross-sell a product or service as often as possible. These days, most visitors will not mind the personalized recommendations, as long as they are relevant.

23. Make checkout (ridiculously) easy. 

Most of us are familiar with the situation when, after spending a good amount of time shopping online, we get to the checkout step only to find a complicated and imposing multi-step process that ultimately just makes us leave. Streamline your checkout process and reduce the number of chances you give a visitor to abandon their virtual shopping cart.

24. Offer multiple payment options.

Your website should be flexible enough to deal with a wide range of shoppers, from the conservative and anxious to the more liberal and trusting.

25. Improve your post-interaction emails.

Use professional customer relationship management (CRM) software, such as MailChimp or Infusionsoft, to effectively communicate with your customers after they have visited. In conclusion, these  “transactional emails” can have a dramatic influence on whether they return to purchase or repurchase.

 

-ecommerce-credit-card-online-purchase-man

Google Ads

Google Ads

Google Ads Call Conversions To Get More Granular, Enable Target ROAS Bidding

Google ads are continuing to refine the way advertisers can track and optimize for conversion tracking events in AdWords. Last week, advertisers using call extensions and tracking call conversions were alerted that, at the end of April, they’ll be able to split call conversions up based on call length.

The new call conversion tracking capabilities will allow advertisers to name specific conversions according to call length and edit call length settings in the Conversions section in AdWords (found under Tools and Analysis).

For example, you can create a conversion action named “Product 1″ for calls longer than 60 seconds and another named “Product 2″ for calls longer than 30 seconds. Then just choose which of these conversion actions you’d like to count for any ad group in your account.

Advertisers can then assign custom conversion values to these actions and apply bidding strategies for Target ROAS.     google ads conversion rates

Google began including call conversions in the overall conversion count in October last year. The total number of conversions won’t change, but call conversions will be grouped by their conversion action names. So a 30-second and a 60-second call will show up under the two conversion names you’ve assigned them, per the example above.

The change will be automatic. Advertisers should review their campaign settings and add any new call-length conversions. Advertisers still have the option of opting out of counting calls from call extensions as conversions by unchecking the option to “Count calls as phone call conversions” in call extensions settings, or by using your own number instead of a Google forwarding number.

by 

Get On Top Today! Call On The Maps Digital Marketing Agency. 866.610.5977

Originally Posted in 2014 – Updated 2021