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Top 50 SEO Utilities to Boost Your Traffic and Sales

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3 Pillars of Social Login
The SMB Content
Marketing Checklist
SEO
Tools
PLUS
TOP 50
INSIDE THIS ISSUE...
Solving the Web’s...
INTEGRITY.
HONESTY.
TRUST.
Establish trustworthiness and provide
assurance that your online business
has been authenticate...
Resource Center
FINELY FOCUSED INFORMATION FROM INDUSTRY SPONSORS
Why Unified Commerce Platform
is a Must for Business Gro...
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Top 50 SEO Utilities to Boost Your Traffic and Sales

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Despite a steady stream of changes and often volatile shifts in ranking/position, the state of the search marketing industry remains strong. According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization’s (SEMPO) 10th State of the Industry report, which surveyed more than 500 digital marketers and agencies about their online marketing activities across
digital channels, search engine optimization (SEO) is the most prevalent marketing activity for 94 percent of individual marketers/clients and 92 percent of agencies – significantly higher than when the survey was conducted in 2013 http://withDrDavid.com Search-based advertising is also top of mind with today’s enterprises, with 84 percent of agencies/consultants and 83 percent of marketers/clients indicating they run paid campaigns.

Despite a steady stream of changes and often volatile shifts in ranking/position, the state of the search marketing industry remains strong. According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization’s (SEMPO) 10th State of the Industry report, which surveyed more than 500 digital marketers and agencies about their online marketing activities across
digital channels, search engine optimization (SEO) is the most prevalent marketing activity for 94 percent of individual marketers/clients and 92 percent of agencies – significantly higher than when the survey was conducted in 2013 http://withDrDavid.com Search-based advertising is also top of mind with today’s enterprises, with 84 percent of agencies/consultants and 83 percent of marketers/clients indicating they run paid campaigns.

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  1. 1. 3 Pillars of Social Login The SMB Content Marketing Checklist SEO Tools PLUS TOP 50 INSIDE THIS ISSUE... Solving the Web’s Cruft Problem Build Business Models with a CRO Focus DECEMBER 2015DECEMBER 2015 THE MAGAZINE FOR WEBSITE SUCCESS WEBSITEMAGAZINE.COM Everyday & Everywhere Web Analytics http://Success.withDrDavid.com
  2. 2. INTEGRITY. HONESTY. TRUST. Establish trustworthiness and provide assurance that your online business has been authenticated by an outside verification team of professionals. 10% OFF THE TOTAL COST OF THE FIRST YEAR PROMO CODE: HONESTY • Improve immediate and long-term image & trustworthiness • Increase sales, sign-ups...conversions! • Complimentary consulting (including help developing a professional privacy policy) • Appear FREE in our directory of Trusted Sites Toll-Free: 1.800.581.2024 International: 1.773.458.2105 That’s what displaying the ValidatedSiteTM Seal of Approval does for your website. R EVIEWED BY •CL ICK TO VERI FY • • • alidatedSitealidatedalidatedalidated
  3. 3. Resource Center FINELY FOCUSED INFORMATION FROM INDUSTRY SPONSORS Why Unified Commerce Platform is a Must for Business Growth To be successful in omnichannel commerce, companies can no longer rely on legacy siloed or homegrown business applications. No matter what a systems integrator tells you, these siloed bits of technology will never communicate as effectively as one unified platform. Sponsored by GoECart 12 Campaigns to Run this Holiday As all retailers know, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, if you’re ready for it. In this eBook we will explore key tips and tricks to keep your customers before, during and after the holidays, as well as the top 12 campaigns to run this year.  Sponsored by Windsor Circle The ROI of Responsive Design By now, the concept of responsive Web design is well known, and increasingly perceived as a necessity. Mobile shopping is soaring. Download our eBook discussing the ROI of responsive design and how to build the case to your executives for why responsive technology will grow your sales. Sponsored by MarketLive Back in the Hopper: The Marketplace Fairness Act Three versions of remote sales tax legislation are in circulation and each would create different consequences for those selling online. Read this two-page overview to learn why and how passage of a federal Internet sales tax law could impact your business. Sponsored by Avalara 10YEARS Download free at www.WebsiteMagazine.com/resources Website Magazine’s Resource Center presents whitepapers from our sponsors that provide information, specifics and metrics to help you make decisions for website success. Download free at www.WebsiteMagazine.com/resources. Scan to visit our Resource Center at www.WebsiteMagazine.com/resources Top 9 Tips to Consider When Selecting an E-Commerce Platform Executing a multi-channel business requires the right e-commerce platform. Here’s our take on what a small- or medium-size business should consider when choosing their new e-commerce platform or re-platforming to replace legacy systems. Sponsored by GoECart Automated Replenishment Guide Don’t let your customers run out of their favorite products. By leveraging predictive analytics, powered by Windsor Circle, you can ensure your customers never miss an order. Download this free guide to learn how to set up automated, data-driven replenishment emails and benefit from recurring revenue. Sponsored by Windsor Circle http://Online.withDrDavid.com
  4. 4. GET THE DIGITAL SCOOP Check out Website Magazine’s email news- letters covering search, e-commerce, social, design and more at wsm.co/webscoop. Stat Watch: Wealthy Webbies Enterprise Ready: Big Data’s Impact on Revenue & Marketing Small Business Lab: Content Marketing Checklist Quiz Time: This Year’s Biggest ‘Net Developments Top 50: SEO Software Mastering Search: SEO Roles by Department E-Commerce Express: Shopping Cart Recovery Design & Development: Solving the Web’s Cruft Problem Web Commentary: The Attention Economy Explore Website Magazine’s DEPARTMENTS 09 10 12 13 14 16 18 20 40 Payingregularandrigorousattentiontowebsiteperfor- manceandanalyticsisconsideredfundamentaltothesuc- cessofeachandeverydigitalenterprise;butit’sonlythe firststep.Webworkersandtheenterprisesthatemploy themneedtoknowwheretolookandhowtousethatinformationonceithas beenfoundtocross-sell,upsell,planandmostimportantly,innovateandmake measurableimprovements. THIS MONTH IN WEBSITE MAGAZINE A Call for New Visibility Practices Publishers everywhere are at the mercy of the “domain average” metric used to establish view- ability scores, but there are better options. CRO-Focused Business Models To create a distinctive advantage over competi- tors, it has to be done with portions of the busi- ness they cannot easily inspect or duplicate. Post-Holiday Email Retention With bargain and gift hunters galore, the win- ter months improve retailers’ email lists but the focus should then shift to retention. 3 Pillars of Social Login Using social login to build complete customer pro- files and create seamless experiences requires that brands understand these key elements. Using Psychology to Improve Conversions While there is no magic formula for content or design, it is possible to understand a target audi- ence and which elements prompt their action. 30 32 34 38 36 24 Everyday & Everywhere Web Analytics
  5. 5. GENERAL MANAGER: David Ruiz druiz@websitemagazine.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Peter Prestipino peter@websitemagazine.com MANAGING EDITOR: Amberly Dressler adressler@websitemagazine.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Allison Howen ahowen@websitemagazine.com *CONTRIBUTORS: Rich Wagner TJ VanToll Eric Wheeler Tim Ash EJ McGowan Liraz Margalit Stefan Koenig GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Shannon Rickson shannon@websitemagazine.com ADVERTISING: Kelly Springer kspringer@websitemagazine.com Brian Wallace brian@websitemagazine.com SUBSCRIPTIONS: Sandra Woods sandra@websitemagazine.com The Magazine for Website Success Reaching the largest audience of Web professionals of any Internet industry publication 999 E. Touhy Ave. Des Plaines, IL 60018 Toll Free: 1.800.817.1518 International: 1.773.628.2779 Fax: 1.773.272.0920 WebsiteMagazine,Volume10,Issue12,December2015,(ISSN# 1942-0633)ispublished12timesayear,JanuarythroughDecem- ber by Website Services, Inc., 999 E. Touhy Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018. Periodicals Postage Paid at Des Plaines, IL and at ad- ditional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Website Magazine, 999 E. Touhy Ave., Des Plaines, IL 60018. Canada Post: Please send undeliverable items to: 2835 Kew Drive, Windsor ON, N8T 3B7 Copyright2015byWebsiteMagazine.Allrightsreserved.Materi- als may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission. For reprints of any article, contact the editor. *Theopinionsexpressedbycontributorsarenotnecessarilythose of Website Magazine. www.WebsiteMagazine.com From the EDITOR Changing Perspective on Web Analytics It’s OK to admit – Web analytics can be confusing (and a bit of a bore). Except, it’s not; actually, it’s one of the single most important activities today’s enterprises and marketers can engage in as there is no better (data-based and repeatedly proven) way to correct what’s wrong and set a business on the course to success. If your company is serious about making improvements, analytics is where to start. What many fail to understand about the practice of analytics is that it requires detailed attention every day and from every corner of the enterprise. There needs to be a culture that supports such initiatives, and personnel committed to its success. Those that do adopt a data-driven culture (focusing more on the successful completion of goals rather than aggregating vanity metrics), enable access to meaningful data among key personnel and set consistent performance benchmarks are those able to make optimal use of their digital presence. It’s time to change the industry perspective on Web analytics. In this month’s featureofWebsiteMagazine,thefocusisonhelpingreadersengageinausefuland productiveanalyticsinitiative,discovertherighttoolsandtacticstouse,andlearn how to overcome the implementation hurdles to capitalize on the true power of analytics. It’s time to start putting analytics to good use in every enterprise. This issue also includes guidance on many other topics essential to ‘Net success. Website Magazine readers will learn how to improve their big data performance, understand how search engine optimization roles vary by com- pany department and discover ways to eliminate the cruft from their digital experiences. There are also other very insightful contributions on email mar- keting, lead generation, viewability and more that should not be missed. As always, we hope you enjoy this issue and invite you to join us on the ‘Net where our editors and industry contributors explore the topics that mat- ter most to digital success. Best Web Wishes, Peter@WebsiteMagazine.com Website Magazine is Growing... Digitally! In the December 2015 digital “flipbook” edition, ‘Net professionals will have access to more content than ever before. Expanding our coverage area sig- nificantly to include additional contributors, special interviews, and software product and application reviews, as well as a preview of Website Magazine’s 2016 Digital Power Players Awards. Readers can access this special edition (and the available archive) in its entirety at wsm.co/digitalwm15. Find Website Magazine at these Internet industry tradeshows. AffiliateSummit Jan. 11-12 Las Vegas, NV NRFBigShow Jan. 17-19 New York, NY eTail Feb. 22-25 Palm Springs, CA dig i t a l p l a y e r s c lub
  6. 6. Easy to use – ready to go. The 1&1 Cloud Server provides superior CPU, RAM, and SSD performance. Give your cloud projects the perfect combination of flexibility and efficient features. BEST! TEST THE Easy to use – ready to go. The 1&1 Cloud Server provides superior CPU, RAM, and SSD performance. Give your cloud projects the perfect combination of flexibility and BEST! DOMAINS | MAIL | HOSTING | eCOMMERCE | SERVERS 1&1 CLOUD SERVER *1&1 Cloud Server is available free for one month, after which regular pricing starts from $4.99/month. No setup fee is required. Visit 1and1.com for full offer details, terms and conditions. Intel, the Intel Logo, Intel Inside, the Intel Inside logo, Intel Experience What‘s Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. 1&1 and the 1&1 logo are trademarks of 1&1 Internet, all other trademarks are property of their respective owners. ©2015 1&1 Internet. All rights reserved. 1and1.com TRIAL TRY FOR 30 DAYS1 MONTH FLEXIBLE PAYMENT OPTIONS1 CALL SPEAKWITHAN EXPERT 24/71 ® T O P P E R F O R M E R Load balancing SSD storage Billing by the minute Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2660 v2 and E5-2683 v3 1 month free! Then from $4.99/month.* 1 (877) 461-2631
  7. 7. Net BRIEFS QUICK HITS The Perfect Marketing Email The perfect marketing email includes percent-off deals, question marks and 6-10 word subject lines. This data comes from a Retention Science report, which shows that 38 percent of custom- ers are more likely to click an email with a percent- off deal, while 47 percent are more likely to convert when compared to emails with dollar-off deals. What’s more, punctuation marks can have an impact on open rates, with data showing question marks increase opens by 44 percent when compared to exclamation points. The Best Customer Service Channel Is… Millennials favor the online world while baby boomers prefer the offline – at least when it comes to customer service. Ac- cording to a recent study from Sitecore, millennials are almost three times more likely to believe personal technology brands are best in treating their customers, while baby boomers are nearly 80 percent more likely to believe brick-and-mortar retailers treat their customers best. Regardless of channel, businesses need to make customer service a priority, as 89 percent of the study’s respondents said they would switch brands if they received poor customer service. QUESTION OF THE MONTH $33 Million Social intelli- gence company Brandwatch has complet- ed a $33 million Series C funding round led by new investor Partech Ventures. The fund- ing will be used to accelerate the develop- ment of the company’s core technologies and products. $2 Billion In an acquisition re- portedly valued at $2 billion, IBM is purchas- ing The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and Web-based properties including Weather.com. The acquisition is expected to be used for IBM’s new Watson IoT (Internet of Things) Unit and Watson IoT cloud platform. $5.9 BillionIn a blockbuster acquisition in the mobile gaming indus- try, Activision Blizzard has entered into an agreement to acquire King Digital Enter- tainment (the maker of Candy Crush) for $5.9 billion. Activision Blizzard expects the acquisition will position the company as a global leader in interactive entertainment across mobile, console and PC platforms. ? $ WHO GOT PAID? Whatisyourcompany’sdigitalresolu- tionfortheNewYear,andwhy? To answer this question and possibly be included in an upcoming issue of Website Magazine, visit wsm.co/decqotm. Data Scientists Winning at Life & Work Data from Glassdoor reveals that data scientists have the best work-life balance with a rating of 4.2 out of 5.0, followed by SEO managers (4.1) and talent acquisition specialists (4.0). That said, work-life balance has actually decreased in recent years, with data showing overall work-life satisfaction ratings falling from 3.5 in 2009 to 3.2 in 2015.
  8. 8. ᰠ䤀渀昀漀吀爀甀猀琀 眀愀猀 愀戀氀攀 琀漀 搀椀猀猀攀挀琀 琀栀攀 椀渀昀漀爀洀愀琀椀漀渀 爀攀氀攀瘀愀渀琀 昀漀爀 愀挀琀椀漀渀愀戀氀攀 戀甀猀椀渀攀猀猀 椀洀瀀爀漀瘀攀洀攀渀琀⸀ᴠ ⴀ䴀漀渀愀 䄀琀愀礀愀Ⰰ 䌀䔀伀 ☀ 䘀漀甀渀搀攀爀Ⰰ 䴀甀洀稀眀漀爀氀搀 ᰠ倀氀愀挀椀渀最 愀搀猀 椀猀 渀漀眀 愀 猀挀椀攀渀挀攀 眀椀琀栀 洀攀愀猀甀爀愀戀氀攀 爀攀猀甀氀琀猀⸀ 倀攀漀瀀氀攀 挀氀椀挀欀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 眀攀 洀攀愀猀甀爀攀⸀ᴠ 䜀漀漀最氀攀 䄀渀愀氀礀琀椀挀猀 䔀渀栀愀渀挀攀搀 䔀ⴀ䌀漀洀洀攀爀挀攀 椀猀 愀渀 愀洀愀稀椀渀最 瀀氀愀琀昀漀爀洀 琀栀愀琀 椀猀 琀愀欀椀渀最 琀栀攀 眀漀爀氀搀 漀昀 椀渀琀攀爀渀攀琀 爀攀琀愀椀氀 戀礀 猀琀漀爀洀⸀ 一漀眀Ⰰ 椀渀 挀漀洀戀椀渀愀琀椀漀渀 眀椀琀栀 䤀渀昀漀吀爀甀猀琀ᤠ猀 瀀愀琀攀渀琀 瀀攀渀搀椀渀最 搀愀琀愀 椀渀琀攀最爀愀琀椀漀渀 瀀氀愀琀昀漀爀洀Ⰰ 䄀渀愀氀礀稀攀⸀氀礀∡Ⰰ 椀渀琀攀爀渀攀琀 爀攀琀愀椀氀攀爀猀 挀愀渀 氀攀瘀攀爀愀最攀 琀栀攀 瀀漀眀攀爀 漀昀 䜀漀漀最氀攀 䄀渀愀氀礀琀椀挀猀 琀漀 挀漀洀瀀愀爀攀 琀栀攀 挀漀猀琀 漀昀 愀挀焀甀椀猀椀琀椀漀渀 愀挀爀漀猀猀 攀瘀攀爀礀 挀栀愀渀渀攀氀Ⰰ 猀椀搀攀ⴀ戀礀ⴀ猀椀搀攀 椀渀猀椀搀攀 䜀漀漀最氀攀 䄀渀愀氀礀琀椀挀猀Ⰰ 琀漀 洀愀欀攀 渀攀愀爀 爀攀愀氀ⴀ琀椀洀攀 搀攀挀椀猀椀漀渀猀 漀渀 愀搀 戀甀礀椀渀最⸀ 嘀椀猀椀琀 椀渀昀漀琀爀甀猀琀氀氀挀⸀挀漀洀⼀眀洀 琀漀 氀攀愀爀渀 洀漀爀攀⸀ ⴀ 刀攀椀搀 匀椀欀攀猀Ⰰ 嘀倀 漀昀 䴀愀爀欀攀琀椀渀最Ⰰ 䌀漀眀愀渀ᤠ猀 䄀甀挀琀椀漀渀 䠀漀甀猀攀 匀愀眀 愀 㐀㈀─ 椀渀挀爀攀愀猀攀 椀渀 漀渀氀椀渀攀 戀椀搀搀椀渀最Ⰰ ㄀㘀㌀─ 椀渀挀爀攀愀猀攀 椀渀 戀椀搀猀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 ㄀㠀㔀─ 椀渀挀爀攀愀猀攀 椀渀 戀椀搀 瘀愀氀甀攀 椀渀 琀栀攀 ǻ爀猀琀 ㌀  搀愀礀猀 昀漀氀氀漀眀椀渀最 椀洀瀀氀攀洀攀渀琀愀琀椀漀渀⸀ 匀愀眀 愀 ㄀㄀─ 攀挀漀洀洀攀爀挀攀 挀漀渀瘀攀爀猀椀漀渀 椀渀挀爀攀愀猀攀 愀渀搀 愀 ㌀  ─ 洀椀渀椀洀甀洀 爀攀琀甀爀渀 漀渀 愀搀 猀瀀攀渀搀⸀
  9. 9. Have tips, stories, or funding or acquisition news to share? Tweet us @WebsiteMagazine 7 Plugins Every WordPress Site Should Use wsm.co/7plugins A fast, secure and user-friendly site is crucial for better search positioning, user engagement and to drive conversions. These WordPress plugins can help Web professionals achieve just that. Communities for Care, Content and Conversions wsm.co/sapcare Ratings and reviews are an inte- gral part of today’s shopping ex- perience. To help retailers gener- ate the content they need, SAP Jam unveiled a new Communi- ties solution in October. Need More Customer Data? Improve Your Design wsm.co/desdata15 For most businesses, customer data is as good as revenue. Not every enterprise knows, however, just how much a website’s design can impact the personal informa- tion a visitor decides to disclose. WEBTECHWATCH# + LaunchKit: The new Super User Dashboard (https://launchkit.io/users) from LaunchKit provides mobile developers visibility into the users who are opening/engaging with their app the most. Just install the open-source SDK, define the “Super User” and LaunchKit will track their activity including app opens, total time in app, taps on screen and screens loaded, all without fingerprinting or advertising identifiers. Develop- ers can also group their users by quality and target those users with specific messaging. POPULARWITHWMREADERS + APP FOCUS Instagram Unveils Boomerang Instagram is making images even better with its new mobile app, dubbed Boomerang. Us- ers can leverage the app to stitch a burst of photos together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward. What’s more, users have the ability to share their Boomerang videos to Instagram and Face- book directly from the app. DiscovermoreappsatApplicationMagazine.com. Net BRIEFS + +
  10. 10. DECEMBER 2015 | | 9.com U.S.-baseddevelopersearnmoreannuallythananyother country($89,631.68),butdonothavethemostpurchasing powerastheycanonlybuyroughly20,000BigMacswith thatamount,whiletheirpeersintheUkrainecanpurchase about22,000hamburgerswiththeir$26,190.48salary. (StackOverflow,2015) MicrosoftCorp.,AppleInc.,GoogleInc.andfive othertechfirmsnowaccountformorethana fifthofthe$2.1trillioninprofitsthatU.S. companiesareparkinginlow-taxcountries. (Bloomberg,2015) Dell’s2015purchase($67billion)ofdata storagecompanyEMCisthelargest tech-specificacquisitionever,followedby Facebook’s2014acquisitionofWhatsAppfor $19billion. (Dell,2015) $139,500 AverageannualtechwagesarethehighestinCalifornia ($139,500),followedbyMassachusetts($121,000), Washington($119,300),NewJersey($111,600)andthe DistrictofColumbia($105,600). (CompTIA,2015) 1 20,000 $2.1 Trillion Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has the tech world’s highest ratio of CEO pay to median worker pay – earning 615 times (or about $85 million) an average Microsoft worker’s salary (or roughly $137,000) ac- cording to 2015 Glassdoor data. While Nadella is not yet one of the richest peo- ple in tech (his initial pay package likely skewed the ratio), Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison’s pay ratio isn’t far behind at 573:1. Oracle’s Ellison also sits second on a list of 100 tech billionaires and millionaires – with an estimated net worth of $50 billion. Microsoft Co-Founder Bill Gates tops the list ($80 billion). While tech titans like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ($48 billion), Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ($41 billion) and Google’s Larry Page ($33 billion) round out the top five wealthiest people in tech, there are some industry disruptors on the list who weren’t there as recently as a year ago. Uber Co-Founders Garrett Camp and Travis Ka- lanick, for example, have a reported net worth of $6 billion each, but were not on any Forbes list prior to 2015, proving the tech industry is still quite lucrative for upstarts. This is especially true for software. In fact, Q3 2015 data from Pricewaterhouse Coo- pers indicates that despite being down 17 percent in the number of funding deals, the software industry receives the highest level of funding for all industries, receiving $5.8 billion going into 412 deals. Wealthiest Webbies 615:1 Stat WATCH
  11. 11. | DECEMBER 201510 | .com Consider this: According to an IBM report on big data, nearly 15 petabytes of data are created each day – that’s eight times more than all of the information in all of the libraries in the United States. Facebook alone processes 10 terabytes of data daily. For perspective, the entire Cornell Law Library is only one terabyte of information. With this influx of information, it’s no wonder ex- ecutives are overwhelmed, with publications running headlines like “BIG Data Equals BIG Headache For Ex- ecutives” (Forbes) and surveys showing that companies still aren’t applying data adequately. A report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, for example, cites that 35 percent of executives lack the understanding of how to apply big data, and 62 percent of chief information of- ficers (CIOs) report that big data buzz has resulted in unrealistic expectations from executives. However, harnessing big data – especially the ex- ternal factors that impact business performance – is critical to maintaining a competitive advantage in to- day’s rapidly changing business landscape. The trick is being able to take the extraordinary amounts of data and boil it down to the information that truly affects business performance and operating decisions. Under- standing how these key micro- and macro-economic factors can improve financial performance and deci- sion making is critical for companies seeking to come out on top in today’s highly volatile market, and the good news is that new technologies are making it easy to pinpoint the factors that correlate directly to a busi- ness – without the need for statistical degrees or a so- phisticated understanding of economics. Armed with critical information on how external drivers like foreign markets, commodity prices, manu- facturing activity, consumer behavior, online traffic and weather data impact performance, businesses are poised to improve decisions in several key areas, including sales and demand forecasting, identifying marketing opportunities and threats and ultimately enhancing financial performance. Sales and demand forecasting Accurate sales and demand forecasts are imperative to making smart decisions companywide, yet most quar- terly forecasts miss the mark by 13 percent, accord- ing to research from KPMG International. That means decisions on supply purchases, product offerings and availability, pricing, promotions and more are based on erroneous assumptions. Typically, such forecasts have been created using internal insights into sales and demand from previous quarters, but correlating those internal insights with the external factors that truly drive demand is crucial to improving these forecast measures. For example, Tiffany & Co., which obtains half of its sales outside the U.S., attributes nearly seven per- cent of its May-July losses this year to changing cur- rency rates. Additionally, the global demand for luxury diamonds declined significantly during the month of August thanks to a slowdown in China, the world’s second largest economy. By integrating such informa- tion into sales and demand forecasts, companies are in a better position to plan for and react to such changes in the global economy. RaceTrac Petroleum, for example, was able to pre- dict its foot traffic with 99 percent accuracy by exam- ining how external factors impacted its sales, finding that weather was a particular determinant to traffic patterns and sales of key items. By incorporating its sales and vendor data with external drivers of perfor- mance, RaceTrac now stocks its shelves based on a more complete picture of business performance and has improved its forecast accuracy and financial per- formance as a result. Big Data’s Impact on Revenue & Marketing By Rich Wagner, President & CEO of Prevedere Big data has been a hot topic for years, butfewcompaniesknowhowtoharness the unprecedented amount of available information for bottom-line benefits. Enterprise READY
  12. 12. Marketing opportunities and threats Incorporating big data in the form of external insights into sales and demand forecasting also drives smarter marketing decisions. Knowing how demand changes in light of changing weather, changing consumer confidence levels and chang- ing disposable income levels allows companies to price more competitively – running promotions when interest wanes and keeping prices steady during strong markets. Likewise, such analysis is vital for determining when to introduce new products. For example, a car manufacturer that knows it can expect declining sales three months after housing costs start to fall may want to hold off on introducing a new model until housing prices start to rebound. If at the same time it knows that used car sales surge in similar conditions, it may want to encourage dealers to stock up on used inven- tory to meet increased demand. A clearer picture of companywide performance Internal performance data plays an important role in helping executives better understand how their company performed year over year (YOY). Yet with- out incorporating external drivers into this analysis, financial teams will only understand a portion of the factors that impact bottom-line revenue. Today, there are millions of data sets from orga- nizations and governments available. Companies must make sense of this big data and integrate it into their internal forecasting process to create a reliable set of economic indicators that reveal the ebb and flow of customer demands. With this data, they can better plan for “what-if” scenarios, predict performance and com- municate potential changes. A seamless forecasting process Businesses large and small are constantly faced with the challenge of how to better predict com- pany performance. With the vast amount of exog- enous data available, executives now have access to the information they need to make smarter decisions regarding sales and demand forecasts and budgets. Making sense of that data and cor- relating it to business performance is the critical challenge now faced by corporate executives, but smart technologies are making this information more accessible than ever before.
  13. 13. | DECEMBER 201512 | .com In fact, The Content Marketing Institute reveals there has beena10percentincreaseinbusinesstoconsumer(B2C) marketers who document their content strategy over the lastyear(37percentversus27percent).What’smore,48 percent of B2C marketers meet with their teams either daily or weekly to discuss their content plan. In order for small business (SMB) owners to keep pace with the competition it is imperative that they are equally as strategic as their big-brand counterparts. With the New Year right around the corner, there is no better timetostartplanning,andthechecklistbelowprovidesa great starting point: TakeInventory– Begin by taking a look at 2015’s content. What type of campaigns garnered positive results and which were virtual flops? When taking inventory of previous initiatives, look at the content of each campaign as well as the format and channel it was distributed in. For example, did infograph- ics resonate better than videos? Did lists work bet- ter than informative topics in email campaigns? Did Facebook posts get more shares at night? Scope Out the Competition – The competition can be a big inspiration. Research, however, must go beyond a competitor’s blog. Don’t forget to look at email campaigns (this is why it’s a good idea to signupforyourcompetitor’semaillist),socialposts, video content and more. For instance, did the com- petition have success with a social contest? How often did they create videos? Did their blogging rely on contributor posts? What Does Your Audience Want? – Audiences leave clues everywhere about the type of content they prefer, but it’s up to marketers to discover them. One channelsuretoofferusefulinsightissocial.Simplytype in business-related keywords on networks like Twit- tertofindoutwhatconsumersaretalkingabout,then create content around those topics. Moreover, look to frequently asked questions that could be repurposed into an informative blog post. A pet store owner who getsalotofinquiriesaboutthebestwaytoremovepet stainsfromcarpets,forexample,maywanttoconsider writinga“HowTo”articleonthetopic. Brainstorm – After conducting the aforementioned research it is time to brainstorm. Think about new contentideas,angles,formatsandchannels,anddon’t forget that some content can be repurposed. In the previous example of a “How To” article for remov- ing pet stains, the business owner could repurpose the topic by creating an instructional video, and/or makinganemailcampaignthatfeaturestheproducts needed for the process. Lackinginspiration?Foravarietyoftoolstohelpbrain- storming sessions, visit wsm.co/stormtools. CreateaContentCalendar–It’stimetoputideas on paper and create a content calendar for 2016; and don’tforgettotakeholidaysandcompanycelebrations into consideration when making one. Keep in mind thatwhileitisimportanttofilloutthecalendarascom- pletelyaspossible(especiallythefirstquarter),itisalso necessary to leave a little room for flexibility, as cam- paignsmaychangeastheyearprogresses. Assign Tasks – Once the content calendar is cre- ated,itistimetoshareitandtentativelyassigntasksto team members. This makes each colleague aware of whatisrequiredofthemsotheycanstartbrainstorm- ing ideas for their assignments. Track Results and Revaluate – To truly succeed in2016itisimportanttotrackresultsastheyeargoes forward.Byreviewingcampaignresultseachquarter, marketers can continuously optimize their strategies. Don’t know what to track? Check out this list of 29 es- sentialcontentmarketingmetricsatwsm.co/basic29. It can be easy to get inundated with tasks during the holiday rush, but it is important for SMB owners to set aside time to prepare for the upcoming year. Creating a content marketing plan is a good starting point be- cause it can help shape everything from email to social (and even search!) campaigns. The SMB Content Marketing Checklist By Allison Howen, Associate Editor Brands have become very strategic with their content marketing plans. Small BUSINESS LAB
  14. 14. DECEMBER 2015 | | 13.com Every year is a big year in the tech industry – the ideas become more innovative, the strategies get savvier and theunthinkablebecomesareality;2015wasnodifferent. From the introduction of numerous new generic top level domains (gTLDs) like .tech and .sex to the unveil- ing of “Buy” buttons on major social networks like Face- book and Twitter, each week of 2015 had more than one headline-making story. Although it may be difficult for busy Web profession- als to keep up with all of the latest digital developments when occupied with their day-to-day business tasks, Website Magazine is here to keep ‘Net professionals in the loop. In fact, by visiting WebsiteMagazine.com, visi- tors can find a daily roundup of each day’s top tech sto- ries and get this news delivered to their inbox by signing up for weekly email newsletters that cover the topics of e-commerce, search, social, design and more. In the meantime, find out how in the loop you actually are by testing your knowledge of the top tech developments in 2015 with Website Magazine’s December’s Quiz Time. Get the answers to this month’s Quiz Time by visiting wsm.co/qtdec15 or by scanning the QR code on the left. 1. What is the name of Google’s new parent company? a. The Search Justice League b. Zebra c. Alphabet d. Online Architect Cheat sheet: wsm.co/googleparents 2. Which commerce plugin did WordPress’s parent company, Automattic, acquire in 2015? a. OrderStorm b. WooCommerce c. Ecwid d. SalesCart Cheat sheet: wsm.co/wmbigmovers 3. Whichsocialnetworkgaveemojisthehashtag treatmentin2015? a. Instagram b. Facebook c. Twitter d. All of the above Cheat sheet: wsm.co/emojipound 4. Which big-name tech company unveiled a stock photo service? a. Adobe b. Microsoft c. Twitter d. Yahoo Cheat sheet: wsm.co/stocknew 5. What is the name of Amazon’s new product discovery ser- vice that features a pinboard-style design (similar to Pinterest)? a. Amazon Closet b. Amazon Inspires c. Discover by Amazon d. Amazon Stream Cheat sheet: wsm.co/amazonpin Quiz TIME TopTechDevelopments of2015
  15. 15. Despite a steady stream of changes and often volatile shifts in ranking/ position, the state of the search marketing industry remains strong. According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization’s (SEMPO) 10th State of the Industry report, which surveyed more than 500 digital marketers and agencies about their online marketing activities across digital channels, search engine optimization (SEO) is the most prevalent mar- keting activity for 94 percent of individual marketers/clients and 92 percent of agencies – significantly higher than when the survey was conducted in 2013. Search-based advertising is also top of mind with today’s enterprises, with 84 percent of agencies/consultants and 83 percent of marketers/clients indicating they run paid campaigns. What’s interesting about the report is that it reveals marketers are gradu- ally diversifying their digital efforts. In relation to social media, for example, 65 percent of marketers and 66 percent of agencies managed social media (with Facebook Ads and Facebook Promoted Posts garnering the most use). Email also remains an important channel and is used regularly by digital marketers. What stands out in the report, however, is the intense focus the digital business world places on all things SEO. While it remains one of the most ef- fective channels, the practice of search engine optimization can be challenging. Respondents to the SEMPO report revealed the most significant challenge is managing the ROI of SEO efforts, staying abreast of search engines’ indexing algorithms and technology, as well as optimizing destination pages. With so much competition, and the degree and volume of change in the way search engines return sites, enterprises are actively seeking solutions that can provide a surer way to accelerate their SEO success. In this month’s edition of Website Magazine’s Top 50, readers will find many of the leading software solutions to support SEO initiatives on any scale. While this is not a comprehensive list by any means, it will serve marketers and agencies well as they pursue solutions to enhance effort and performance. Search Engine OPTIMIZATION SOLUTIONS Top 50 Get a preview of Website Magazine’s upcoming 2016 Digital Power Player Awards at wsm.co/powerplay16. Digital Power Players Moz.com Wordstream.com KeywordSpy.com Majestic.com Raventools.com SEMrush.com Conductor.com Serps.com Woorank.com ScreamingFrog.co.uk SpyFu.com BrightEdge.com UpCity.com Ahrefs.com Ubersuggest.org AdvancedWebRanking.com Searchmetrics.com Link-Assistant.com Webceo.com CognitiveSEO.com AuthorityLabs.com Traffictravis.com BrightLocal.com HitTail.com KeywordDiscovery.com BuzzStream.com Positionly.com RankRanger.com Rioseo.com Analyticsseo.com Rankwatch.com seoClarity.net Seoadministrator.com WebPosition.com Ontolo.com KeywordEye.com Axandra.com Serpfox.com WebMeUp.com Linkdex.com Ranktrackr.com Seosuite.com GeoRanker.com Colibri.io SheerSEO.com Trendmx.com GinzaMetrics.com Lotusjump.com Seoeffect.com Linkfool.com 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. RANK WEBSITE dig i t a l p l a y e r s c lub
  16. 16. Making Your Website a Lead Generation Machine for 2016 Wednesday, December 9, 2 p.m. EST/11 a.m. PT/1 p.m. CT FREE WEBINAR REGISTER NOW: http://wsm.co/wmwebinars Would you buy a shiny new convertible if it had no engine? It might look pretty, but it would never take you anywhere. If your website is not attracting the right kind of visitors and turning them into leads, then it’s not taking you anywhere either. A company’s website is its most powerful marketing asset. Join Rachel Rosin, Marketing Programs Manager for Demand Gen of Act-On Software, to explore principles and tactics that will get your motor running at full power going into 2016. Rachel Rosin is responsible for the development and execution of webinars and email campaigns designed to attract, capture and nurture prospects and leads. She is also a key player in content development for lead and pipeline cultivation, with a focus on increasing conversion rates. Register Now for this On-Demand Webinar: http://wsm.co/wmwebinars SPEAKER BIO REGISTER NOW Rachel Rosin Marketing Programs Manager Demand Generation, Act-On Software Sponsored by Resource Center FINELY FOCUSED INFORMATION FROM INDUSTRY SPONSORS Website Magazine’s Resource Center presents white papers and webinars from our sponsors that provide information, specifics and metrics to help you make decisions for website success. www.WebsiteMagazine.com/resources. Scan to visit our Resource Center at www.WebsiteMagazine.com/resources. WEBINAR SERIES SERIES
  17. 17. | DECEMBER 201516 | .com Despite the evidence proving SEO’s importance (see sidebar), not everyone believes it is their personal re- sponsibility to optimize for placement on the search engine result pages (SERPs). Although there are so many front-end and back-end factors accounted for in Google, Yahoo and Bing’s algorithms as related to search results page placement, all Web professionals should know how their individual work may impact their enterprise’s overall “findability.” While the fol- lowing will serve as a high-level view of SEO roles by department, it will help brands encourage (and educate) their team members to start thinking like an SEO professional. Content Writers There has never been a better time to be a writer. Com- panies are rapidly hiring both staff writers and guest contributors (read, “Thanks Content Marketing, Writers Have Jobs” at wsm.co/jobcm) to develop content at a rapid clip in hopes of improving user engagement, lead generation and, ultimately, search rankings. The problem with asking a writer to write for SEO, however, is that many of them have to speculate as to what that means. This could result in an article stuffed with keywords, for example. Let it be known: A writer should not change for the sake of SEO. They should develop content that solves By Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor SEO ROLES byDepartment The role that search engines play in the ability for an enterprise to be found online iswell-known. Mastering SEARCH Sites listed on the first Google search results page generate 92 percent of all traffic from an average search (Chitika). Onaverage,71percentofsearchesresultinapageoneorganic click(Moz). Searchaccountsfor34percentofwebsitetraffic,secondonlyto direct(Yotpo). On average, users conduct 12 billion searches per month on the Web in the U.S. (Comscore). Organic Matters
  18. 18. a problem, is easy to consume (e.g. subtitles, graphics, etc.), is timely, links to relevant sources, offers a com- pelling headline and ends when the problem is solved. It is these elements that will lend themselves to good content that will be visited often and linked to from other sites. Headers, keywords, metatags and other SEO tactics are secondary to good content (addressed further at wsm.co/seodeets). That is not to say, however, that there aren’t ways to improve content’s engagement and viral potential, like including numbers in headlines, colorful images above the fold, etc. (read more at wsm.co/viralboost). There are also ways to make informed decisions as to what to write about. What’s trending on Twitter, for example, can spark a writer’s creativity, while frequently asked questions (see sidebar) from a support ticket sys- tem can fuel problem-solving-type content. These real-time topics should be on top of a set editorial calendar. Creating an editorial calendar will en- sure there is always fresh content for users and the search engines to index and that an organization covers the breadth of topics it needs to persuade and engage users. Further reading, “Why Businesses Should Combine Content Marketing with SEO” at wsm.co/seowrite. Social Media Managers The impact social networks have on how a company ranks in the search engines may still be up for de- bate, but at the end of the digital day all good con- tent needs to be shared. When shared, the chance of getting more clicks increases – and that is always beneficial to an enterprise. A social media manager should use a variety of insights into what to share and when. Buffer, for example, offers its clients the Optimal Timing Tool to recognize when posts should be shared depending on location, number of posts a day and levels of engagement throughout the day (see image). Optimal timing can also be determined within Facebook Insights (as it shows when a brand’s users are most active on the social network), but it’s not the only way to use social to improve SEO. Further reading, “Quick List of Social Media Best Practices for SEO” at wsm.co/qlsocial. Designers & Developers Website Magazine recently published, “Web Design for SEO: Building a Strong Foundation” at wsm.co/seodevs and “SEO Design Lessons from the Pros”at wsm.co/prodevs, which go into greater detail about the major impact design and development has on SEO initiatives. Even still, it bears repeating that the decisions these digital professionals make impact everything from how a search engine crawls a website and how a user is able to interact with it to its device friendliness and page speed. Software Buyers Even though some executives are out of touch with the day-to-day operations of an enterprise’s SEO ini- tiatives, they are typically the ones relied on to pur- chase critical software for a company. Choosing the wrong content management system, for example, can hinder a company’s SEO efforts if it has a poorly developed code base or features archaic default nam- ing conventions. Further reading, “A Software Buyer’s Checklist for SEO” at wsm.co/seocheck2. Technical SEO is as important as the topics mentioned above (and addressed frequently at wsm.co/mastersearch), but different employees in a company need to know what impact they can have and are currently having on their employer’s bottom line. The basics of search is as good as a place to start as any. Customer Service&SEO While service reps aren’t usually tied to website content, the service that they provide can have a huge impact on SEO. Read more at wsm.co/csandseo. By using Buffer’s Optimal Timing Tool, social media managers can ensure they schedule posts for when they are most likely to be shared, clicked and liked – impacting a piece of content’s traffic numbers and possible rankings. + + +
  19. 19. | DECEMBER 201518 | .com On one hand, it can signal friction in the checkout process (e.g. lengthy forms, slow load times, high shipping costs, login issues, etc.) but on the other, shopping cart abandonment can merely indicate a shopper is in the research phase of their buying ex- perience. Retailers need to look to their analytics to understand the differences. This is because the majority of con- sumers use online shopping carts as a place to store products and, further, 37 percent of consumers who expect a shop- ping cart reminder also expect to receive a coupon to motivate them to finish their purchase (source: Bronto, 2015). According to Kahuna’s (a commu- nication automation company) Doug Roberge, the issue is that items sit in shopping carts and fail to get purchased. Roberge advises that in order to over- come this, marketers need to be aware of what’s waiting to be purchased and leverage tools that help highlight the best time for a conversion push (see sidebar). For example, if the item is a larger purchase, the brand might allow the customer a bit more time before re- minding her of the unpurchased item. “Overcoming e-commerce friction is a delicate equation that shouldn’t be rushed or pushed too aggressively, but marketers can’t wait on the sidelines just hoping cus- tomerswillmaketheirforgottenpurchases on their own,” said Roberge. For luxury or big-ticket items brands should consider developing content that informs the potential buyer about the product. An email about the cost- or energy-saving benefits of a new washing machine can keep the product top of mind for the person who left it in their shopping cart. If opened, this message could serve as the perfect segue for an email containing a promotional offer (e.g. free delivery). The re-marketing of products with longer lifecycles should be more sensitive to the investment the user will have to make. When it comes to smaller, more everyday pur- chases, retailers can increase the frequency in which they serve retargeted campaigns. While nobody wants to be bombarded with ads, they are expected. When best practices are followed (check out, “3 Retar- geting Best Practices for Retail” at wsm.co/3retarget), retargeting is a highly effective way to get shoppers to recover their shopping carts. In fact, a 2014 study from Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) indicated that 72 percent of millennials (age 25-34) will pur- chase products left in their cart if they are offered them again at a discounted price. The problem, however, is that the majority of that same demographic are using ad blocking, according to Charles Nicholls, SVP of product strategy, marketing solutions at SAP and, “when they go dark, they go dark forever.” (For further insights, read, “How Marketers Can Overcome Ad Blocking” at wsm.co/adblocksos.) When marketing messages are contextual, consistent and relevant (the three elements of fix- ing a broken marketing system as discussed at SAP hybris Summit in October), however, brands have a fighting chance. Relevancy goes beyond retargeting with the products in a user’s cart. It also responds to user intent and hybris Profile has a rather unique method of addressing the natural decay in intent that arises when someone abandons a website, shopping cart or other brand experience. For example, if a per- son is looking at a camera, leaves the site and then comes back to look at the camera again, the “intent score” goes up and so too does the frequency of per- sonalized emails, landing pages, etc. If they come back to the website without ever viewing the camera again, the intent score goes down. If someone buys a different camera altogether, the Profile solution ends the retargeting entirely. While retailers think abandoned carts were per- vasive in 2015, they will likely increase in the New Year as sites remember carts for longer (see images) and modern shoppers test which companies will in- centivize them to complete their purchases. Retailers not leveraging retargeting are behind the curve, but simple strategies won’t be enough to lure modern shoppers to purchase. Creating wishlist capabilities, intent scores and more will set the bar in 2016. E-Commerce EXPRESS There are two sides, positives and nega- tives, to shopping cart abandonment. By Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor Getting Shoppers to Recover their CARTS Oriental Trading Company keeps shopping carts for 30 days and uses them to retarget instantaneously across the Web.
  20. 20. DECEMBER 2015 | | 19.com
  21. 21. There isn’t an exact term for what Simpson means, but the sentiment is agreed upon by many in the Web development community. Between modals, app-install prompts, mo- bile Web fails, ads, mobile redirects and Eu- ropean Union (EU) cookie prompts, Web developers (just like average users) increas- ingly hate using the Web. The term that this article will use to describe thephenomenais“cruft”:thepoorlydesigned, unnecessarily complicated or unwanted code and page elements that the average website includes, which does not contribute to what the user is trying to accomplish (e.g. read an article,buyaproduct).Toputthisintocontext let’s look at an example. Visitors to the CNN article in Image A wanted to learn about psychopaths, but before reading they were required to view and experience social buttons, the temperature and a terms-of-service modal. That’s cruft. Loading the article took 200-plus HTTP re- quests and used approximately 2MB of data, tak- ing about three seconds to load using Wi-Fi. A test of this Web page actually indicated that it would take about 13 seconds to load on an average mobile network. This example wasn’t selected to single out CNN, but because it is now representative of the av- erage Web experience. So, what is causing the cruft in the CNN example? A deep dive into code reveals some 200-plus HTTP requests (ad related and serving tracking/analytics functions); 25 of which are to different domains. Since minimizing HTTP requests is a well-known best practice for mobile Web performance, why do many mobile websites violate this rule? Money. Why does CNN show ads? To make money. Why does CNN include tracking services? To learn more about the reader, to show targeted ads, to make money. Why does CNN use social media buttons? To By TJ VanToll, Developer Advocate at Telerik Open Web evangelist Kyle Simp- son recently opined on Twitter about whether there was a term for hating the Web more and more as a user but liking it more as a developer. The Web’s CRUFT PROBLEM Design and DEVELOPMENT A. User engagement can be impacted negatively when cruft distracts users from their goals.
  22. 22. encourage sharing the article, to get more page views, to get more ad views, to make money. Again, this isn’t intended to call out CNN as the “bad example,” but rather to show a specific model that has become pervasive for content on the Web. Developer Brian Rinaldi argued that the  content model of the Web is broken because Web users thor- oughly devalue content and writers. He contends that because users refuse to pay for content, publish- ers must resort to drastic tactics to make money from their writing. Many people are attacking the cruft problem, but interestingly the innovation is mostly coming from outside the browser world. Flipboard was perhaps the first successful attempt at fixing cruft. Flipboard takes content from around the Web and provides excerpts and links to the full content. This provides a pleasant browsing experience without all the cruft. Flipboard has gone beyond this content pre- view role and now partners with certain content providers to display full articles directly within the Flipboard app — foregoing the browser entirely. Image B shows the same CNN article in the Flip- board iOS app. The same content is visible, yet un- like the browser version, the Flipboard article is cruft free and loads nearly instantaneously. Flipboard’s success hasn’t gone unnoticed. Its business model has been more or less copied by oth- ers, including Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple’s Apple News. The way Web users experience and con- sume content is changing, so how is the technology and development community reacting to the cruft problem and what is being done? HTTP/2: The HTTP/2 specification offers to sub- stantially decrease latency on the Web by serving compressed HTTP headers and loading resources in parallel over a single TCP connection. Once imple- mented in browsers, HTTP/2 should substantially lower the load times of sites relying on a large number of HTTP requests. Mobile-friendly: Last year, Google announced that it will penalize sites that aren’t mobile-friendly in their search results, and display a “mobile-friendly” label next tosearchresultsthatmeettheirguidelines.Thisisasmall tweak, but one that early research shows is having a no- ticeable impact on how digital experiences are built. Proxy browsers: Opera Mini has long been acting as a proxy browser, caching resources on its servers to reduce the amount of data that needs to be sent to each individual device. Chrome for Android and iOS now includes a similar option to help users in- crease speed on the Web. Ad blockers: Ad blockers are the primary tool for attacking the Web’s cruft on desktop devices, but they have yet to make their way into users’ mobile workflow, largely because mobile operating system vendors have actively prevented them. Google has a fair reason for actively discouraging ad blockers, as it derives 80-90 percent of revenue from online adver- tising. Apple has also prevented ad blockers, but now allows ad-filtering extensions in iOS 9. A Cruft-Free Future? Despite these existing cruft-reducing features, this is still an area ripe for innovation. Why is it that for publishers the only real monetization option is to inject bulky ads that produce a worse experience for everyone? There’s no clear answer here, though many have spent years searching. While this is by no means the end of the open Web, it’s time to clean up the mess. B. The same article displayed in Fliboard is now “cruft free.”
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  25. 25. Asaresult,payingregularandrigorousattentiontowebsiteper- formanceandanalyticsisconsideredfundamentaltothesuccess ofeachandeverydigitalenterprise;butit’sonlythefirststep. While most view the default graphs, statistics and charts available in the myriad technology solutions used by ‘Net professionals daily as sufficient (be they marketing automa- tion, customer relationship management, Web experience or e-commerce platforms), it is possible to dig far deeper into an enterprise’s available data pool and gather insights and answers into what may just be the primary issues web- sites are experiencing and, more importantly, what can be done about it. Web workers and the enterprises that employ them simply need to know where to look and how to use that information once it’s been found – and do so from a mature and sound perspective. Mostofthedatacompanieshaveattheirdisposalissimply ignored. Regular performance reports are out of reach com- pletely(unavailableentirelyinsomecases)fromkeypersonnel. Data is discarded at crucial moments of the digital experience, or was never collected in the first place. It is difficult to deny that customer data is not being used to its fullest potential within many enterprises and it is preventing companies from cross-selling, upselling, planning, and most importantly, inno- vating and making measurable improvements. It’s tough, if not impossible, to retain customers, plan inventories, personalize experiences and/or eliminate rogue actors in relation to fraud and security, without a deep un- derstanding of customers and the information that results from their online activity. Those that do take advantage of the available data tend to have a significant competitive edge (and greater revenues as a result) and that’s reason enough to pursue the practice with a great deal more rigor. And it should start now. According to a new study by the Economist Intelligence unit, commissioned by Wipro, there is a strong relationship betweenearningsgrowthandthestrategicuseofdata.Adapt- ingtothisnewrealitywillnot,however,beeasy.Seventy-four percent of executives surveyed expect the range and types of data they collect to expand in the next two years. While it couldprovetobeabreakoutmomentandvalidatetheinvest- ment into analytics offerings up to this point, to maximize data use, today’s brands need to find opportunities to cope with the overload, the worries about quality and the general lack of skills within their enterprises now as well as in the future. They need to prioritize analytics and business intel- ligence (BI) initiatives every day, and everywhere. The goals for any enterprise’s analytics initiatives are relatively straightforward – assist in delivering growth and identifying growth opportunities, control costs and manage risk. In order to make sense of the vastness of information available, analytics solutions and enterprise processes must be in place so the delivery of those goals becomes a reality. Collecting, understanding and acting on business-related “intelligence” is critical to digital operations today. By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief Everyday & Everywhere Web Analytics
  26. 26. DECEMBER 2015 | | 25.com Not everyone is comfortable with diving into some of the complexities of analytics and lucky for them, there’s another way to get a decent understanding of how users are interacting with a website (and its content) thanks to visual analytics solutions. Heatmap software solutions, like the oft-mentioned Crazy Egg, do an excellent job of revealing action and interactions taken by users, but there are also numerous other solutions. Discover five powerful visual analytics solutions at wsm.co/visanalytics. Visual Analytics
  27. 27. The Right Tools (and Tactics) for the Job What Web professionals really want to know (the rea- son they are even moderately interested in analytics and intelligence tools in the first place) is if their efforts and resources are resulting in some positive effect – revenue, awareness, engagement. To get the most useful informa- tion, however, requires using the right tools for the job to reveal the right data (at the right time and for the right people during their brand journey). Fortunately, there is no shortage of solutions available. Google Analytics, which offers a suite of powerful fea- tures and benefits, is arguably one of the most popular (just over 69 percent of the top 10,000 sites use Google analytics according to BuiltWith), but there are many oth- ers worthy of closer examination. Its closest and most significant rival at the enterprise level is that of Adobe Analytics. While the company’s Marketing Cloud offer- ing is considered pricey in relation to similar offerings, Adobe’s real-time data and reporting functionality, as well as its advanced segmentation capabilities (and integration with other Adobe products including its development and testing tools, and new Audience Marketplace, which will allow advertisers and marketers to buy and sell second-or third-party data), make it an ideal solution for those with more sophisticated demands or those who are planning on scaling their enterprise up and expanding the capabilities of their analytics and data initiatives. Adobe and Google garner a great deal of attention among business-focused consumers of analytics solutions (and for good reason), but there are, as most likely know, plenty of other powerful options that do not nearly receive the awareness they merit. Piwik comes highly recom- mended among Internet retailers thanks to the platform’s strong e-commerce tracking capabilities, integration plugins for leading providers including Magento and PrestaShop, as well as its advanced reporting mechanism. Kissmetrics is also a very popular business analytics tool lauded by the digital community and known to be particularly good at making it easy to build and interpret funnels. Its path report, for example, identifies the most common steps between the first visit and a conversion. With integrations available for numerous third-party tools, it too (if not always) tops the list of considerations of analytics tools often among Web professionals (particularly Internet retailers). These are just some of the most utilized website ana- lytics solutions on the market and they serve Web profes- sionals well in their pursuit of insights that matter when the aim is delivering improvements and growth. No enter- prise is alike, however. INDUSTRY OPTIMIZED There are solutions available that were designed for specific types of companies, industries and markets. Fuel’s new Fuel Gauge marketing Dashboard, for instance, provides a good example of a solution that serves a niche industry segment well. Hotel and resort mangers using the platform can gain insights into their website, booking engine, email market- ing, social media, online reputation, guest satisfaction, or- ganic and paid search and more, in one system. Brittain Resort Management & Hotels (BRM) is the first to utilize Fuel Gauge to for its 14 properties and will track each re- sort’s marketing efforts, as well as conversion, occupancy and revenue tracking in real-time. Geo-MARKET OPTIMIZED While Fuel’s industry-based approach will be logical for hoteliers, location-based marketing technology provider SIM partners approaches the analytics opportunity from another perspective. The company recently launched Velocity Insights, a suite of features for its local market- ing automation platform that aims to help companies move beyond simple performance metrics to provide actionable analysis of their local presence. The solution provides insights into the visibility and performance of a brand’s location pages, measuring “listing health” by applying a proprietary scoring algorithm that assesses factors such as location data accuracy and reach across influential data publishers and aggregators. The system also provides demographic, Web and ranking insights to help companies optimize performance. OPTIMIZED FOR SCALE As analytics technology solutions become increasingly more sophisticated, enterprises are focusing on the value it pro- vides across the enterprise. Amazon Web Service (AWS), for example, launched QuickSight in early October, a solution to make data analytics available and understandable to any employee making business decisions, no matter how tech- nically advanced their skill level. One of the most significant mistakes that Web professionals make is viewing all of their analytics at once but it is more useful to view the data in smaller batches and groups and there are nu- merous, incredibly useful ways to do so. For example, traffic can be segmented by the source of traffic, by device type or browser, by returning versus new visitors and a whole lot more. Segment- ing traffic in this way offers an opportunity to understand how well a website is satisfying users. Discover more creative ways to segment website traffic at wsm.co/6segments. The Power of Segmentation
  28. 28. The Authenticated Testimonials seal lets people know we can be trusted. And trust has its advantages such as increased website conversions & sales. -Alan J. www.SupplyHero.com ’’ ’’ Phone: 1.866.904.5414 InternAtIonAl: 1.773.272.0998 AuthentIcAtedtestImonIAls.com How AutHenticAted testimoniAls work: We contact your customers to verify each statement. Authenticated testimonials provides a verification seal to display on your website. Prospects are more inclined to trust and purchase your products or services!
  29. 29. QuickSight is an aggressive player in the cloud data analytics software market as Amazon can likely offer more advanced, less expensive tools that will enable its customers take advantage of insights from data analyt- ics at every level of the organization. QuickSight will start at $9 per user, much lower on average than the cost of the traditional BI services. The new tool also in- tegrates with AWS’s data services, so organizations can scale to hundreds of thousands of employees to crunch data, run search queries and create data visualizations quickly. The new tool uses a new “Super-fast, Paral- lel, In-memory Calculation Engine” (SPICE) to perform calculations and render visualizations. The point of profiling the variety of analytics and intel- ligence solutions is to reveal that there are offerings avail- able, powerful ones, which can provide an enterprise the information it needs to make decisions that will benefit the bottom line. Even with the best approach, however, other challenges remain. Hurdles & the True Power of Analytics When Website Magazine launched 10-plus years ago, it was not uncommon to hear the word “hits” used as a means to convey website performance (as if it were an accurate representation, which it wasn’t). Today, the industry has become far more sophisticated (moving from elementary activity reporting in the past to ad- vanced event-based performance tracking and predic- tive intelligence functionality today) and there are many challenges to overcome in the course of a brand’s digital life as a result. The first challenge is often in understanding the indus- try terminology as well as the broader concepts and theo- ries of analytics and BI. As enterprises begin their journey toward success with these initiatives, however, the follow- ing are the basic terms and phrases that will serve as the foundation for most analytics efforts. Yes, industry veter- ans should already know these, but a regular revisiting will ensure initiatives are staying on course (and improving). Visits, Sources, Bounce Rate, Time on Site, Pages per Visit – these are the fundamentals of website analytics. These relatively self-explanatory metrics can provide an im- mense amount of insight into campaign and business per- formance. It is when they are used in association with each other (and in tandem with supplementary data), however, that their true power becomes apparent. One of the most significant problems in the realm of analytics today is that those responsible for these ini- tiatives tend to group all website data together, instead of segmenting by source, referral, demographic or de- vice. The sheer number of variables in aggregated data makes it incredibly difficult to see patterns, which can reveal potential tactics, channels or processes. The aim that should ultimately be pursued is one of action. The whole point of gathering and examining analytics data is to be able to act on the real information available and that can’t be done without knowing what is causing ac- tion and activity. The reason Web professionals struggle with Web data analysis is because they tend to act quickly, instinctively and (as are all humans) often subject to emotions, jump- ing to (often incorrect) conclusions accordingly. There is, of course, a better way. It is necessary to connect data at a deeper level by focusing on the metrics that ultimately matter most to an enterprise’s goals. As a result, it’s exceed- ingly important to communicate what’s happening – and those basic metrics outlined previously do not suffice. The solution is to build in key performance indicators from the outset that will satisfy analytics initiatives. Start & End with Goals & Events Today’s businesses work in a performance-driven world; a world no longer content to measure unique visitors and page views, but rather with the satisfaction of goals and the occurrence of events. As acquisition costs continue to rise, this shift was inevitable. Goals can be pretty much anything that indicates a con- version – such as making a payment or donation. Not all goals defined by an enterprise, of course, must be so closely tied to revenue; goals can also be set up for indirect revenue actions including creating an account or making a form- based inquiry. Say for example that a website offers an email newsletter; with a confirmation/thank you page in place, tracking the success of marketing and promoting that asset and channel is possible. Goals are essentially specific actions that when tracked can provide an opportunity to produce improvement – more revenue, more registrations, etc. Whether for direct or indirect revenue, tracking activity through the goal fun- nel provides an opportunity to analyze the entrance and exit points that impact a goal. Analytics systems can often do much more than this though; it’s actually possible to measure any and every action thattakesplaceonawebsitethroughtheuseofeventtracking. Web pages, just like the companies that create them, are made of many parts. There are links within content, calls- to-action (CTAs), sidebar navigation, the list is long. While clicks on these links may not always tie to some measurable goal, they do and can provide an opportunity to understand performance on a more granular level. Sayforexamplethatamarketerwantstotracktheperfor- mance of on-site content marketing efforts in relation to the numberofpeoplethatexpressinterestinanewsletter.Aform maybesetuponthecompany’sownpage,butitisimportant to track how strong CTAs are in generating a response. Event tracking those CTAs can be done quite easily by appending
  30. 30. some unique event tracking code to each, which will provide data on the effectiveness of every click. If a form is getting plentyofvisits,butnotconversions–theCTAsinthecontent are working, but it’s the form that may need work. Event tracking can be used to track a variety of activ- ity, from file download and video plays, to link clicks on interactions on embedded AJAX page elements. Since there can be so many different events that can be tracked, Web professionals should consider grouping events by category or type (e.g. link or file), defining the action (e.g. click or download), labeling it appropriately (to know which event it is specifically) and adding a value depending on its worth. Events are really meant for tracking activity on any page element that does not have a destination URL (such as a thank you page). That being said, some incredibly useful insights can be gathered from using events (that just are not possible with goals). Say for example that there are videos on a website and a marketer is interested in measur- ing if users are skipping through them (because they are insufferably boring). By appending event tracking code on forward and rewind buttons, this insight can become very clear, indicating whether videos are engaging or not. Hopefully enterprises have moved beyond basic activity reporting and are investing their time and resources into capitalizing on the true power of analytics – understanding on a finite level what’s making a difference. With a clearer picture of how well an enterprise is performing, it’s time to put that analytics data to use. Developing an Analytics Initiative The real problem with Web analytics is that it is a real chal- lenge to make good use of the data collected. Calculatingreturnoninvestment(ROI),forexample,isno easy task as most fail to include the costs associated with the entire production and deployment of a project. It can prove useful however when there is a plan in place. If enterprises want to convert as many visitors to customers as possible, and are tracking goals in addition to key metrics like sessions and pageviews,followthisthree-stepplantoensureanalyticsefforts mean something to the success of an enterprise. Define the Audience Need Consumers want a specific product or service because it satisfies a need. When brands know what need that is, they are able to craft experiences that address their wants and desires. Analytics systems are useful in that they provide cues and clues about the audience includ- ing their interests, the manner in which they access a site, not to mention how well an enterprise is at captur- ing their attention. Do users consume more long-form or short-form content? Do videos produce greater time on site than other assets? Establish Baseline Conversion Rates Conversion rates will be different for every enterprise, but when you know what it is (and for every referring source and channel) it is possible to emphasize the ef- forts and processes that yield the greatest result. Web- sites don’t often have one conversion rate, but rather many. Group similar offerings on a site to determine what, if any, discrepancies exist. Employ testing (A/B, multivariate) to identify what works. Assign & Calculate Revenue Each action and interaction can be given a value. While an actual sale should be given a greater value than a click-through, as one requires further nurturing, analyt- ics can be used to help assign and calculate or determine real-world value. From there, it’s just a matter of assign- ing dollars to action. When you know what is working and what is not, it is possible to prioritize decisions for the benefit of the bottom line. Managing improvements spurred on by a rigorous ana- lytics initiative is made much simpler thanks to the influx of business intelligence tools, solutions that aggregate es- sential data, analyze information from disparate sources, and help executives make sense of the data and more importantly, to drive change more quickly. Analytics Everywhere… Every Day Analytics can be a full-time job and it can often take a dedi- cated professional to wade through the volumes of data available. If you know where to look and what to look for, only then can your brand be on the fast track to ‘Net suc- cess. Enterprises must adopt a data-driven culture, enable data access to all business users, and create a consistent un- derstanding and interpretation of data. To help guide Web professionals through the business intelligence landscape, Website Magazine has developed a whitepaper exclusively for our readers, which can be downloaded at wsm.co/bidollars. Business Intelligence: Generating Dollars from Analytics Change
  31. 31. | DECEMBER 201530 | .com Media buyers typically measure ad views based on the average viewability of a website domain. That means they monitor a website but don’t account for how key issues — such as load times, ad placement, website lay- out and historical averages — can distort the metrics, leavingthepublisherwithawatereddownscoreandthe advertiser with a less than optimal experience.   Using a domain average is not an effective way to measure viewability. The good news is that advancements in viewability are being made. For example, several vendors such as OnScroll have emerged that won’t even load an ad unit unless they know it will appear in view, while others differentiate through demonstrated higher viewability metrics. Still, the antiquated domain average metric re- mains the norm. The truth is that in-view ads are worth a lot more than the out-of-view ads. As an industry, online ad buys should use the view- abilityofindividualunits,notthehistoricalaverageofall ads on websites.  A Closer Look at the Problem Today, viewability rates are calculated by the average load percentage of all ad slot positions (top, side and bottom) over a period of time. For most viewability measurement companies, the evaluation process looks something like this: ad slot number one loaded 90 percent, while ad slot number three only loaded 20 percent of the time. When these two numbers are averaged, this website receives a 55 percent average viewability rate. However, slot one is way more valuable than slot three. Publishers that are engineering high viewability into their sites may not be getting enough credit for this effort and other publish- ers may be propping up slot threes with higher than actual average scores. Whyareweevaluatingtheentiredomainversusthe individual ad? It may be easier, but the easiest path isn’t alwaysthebestpath.Whatdoesthisaveragescoremean to publishers and advertisers? Not much. Solutions: A Lens into the Future of Viewability As the industry demands higher viewability stan- dards, publishers will need to ensure they can deliver. Here are three ideas for improving on the viewability benchmark today: Make the shift from buying via domain aver- agemeasurementtobuyingviaadunitmea- surement. It delivers a much truer ad view metric that benefits the industry as a whole. It benefits advertisers with more specificity for better targeting and measurement. For publishers, it boosts cred- ibility through viewability. By supporting a pricing model that drills down into the ad unit level as op- posed to the domain average, publishers will attract more and higher level advertisers. Find good viewability partners. Publishers should work with viewability vendors like Integral Ad Science that make publishers more attractive by scoring the overall and specific ad unit viewability score for their site. RedesignforWebandmobile. Publishers need to redesign their sites to fully monetize them. The good news is that this is already starting to happen. AdAge recently reported that facing pressure from advertisers, dozens of media companies, such as Conde Nast, are re-evaluating where display ads ap- pear to ensure viewability. Publishers should think about new placements, not just the standard placements in the same content blocks. They should be creative with how ads are inserted into the natural flow of content as viewed on various devices. Let’s clear up a popular myth: People often per- ceive their ads will perform better if they are above the fold. This is not necessarily true; it depends on what the site visitors are doing. Scrolling down is actually a sign of an engaged audience, so test basic assumptions during this redesign phase. Above-the- fold metrics will quickly cede to currently “in view” and we’ll all be better for it. An ad that’s never seen is not worth much. Billions of dollars are at stake for publish- ers’advertisingrevenue.Thereason?They are at the mercy of the “domain average” used to establish viewability scores. By Eric Wheeler, CEO of 33Across Net ADVERTISING Average is Never Good: A Call to Embrace New Viewability Best Practices
  32. 32. To order your copy, go to: www.domains360book.com THE WAIT IS OVER What’s Inside Domains 360? Readers will discover... + A Brief History of Domains + Details on the Technical Landscape + Guidance on Mastering Domain Management + Tips for Establishing Domain Portfolios + Insights on Buying & Selling Direct + And Much More! Order your copy of Domains 360 Website Magazine’s latest book by Editor-In-Chief Peter Prestipino is available for purchase at www.domains360book.com. 10YEARS CELEBRATING
  33. 33. By Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners UNLEASHING CONVERSIONOPTIMIZATION THROUGHYOURBUSINESSMODEL Sure, testing is important as a way to validate changes to a Web experience, and make sure that changes are not actually making things worse. On the other hand, one of the problems with testing is that it operates on the Web experience. This creates inherent limitations. Testing is just like the drunk person looking for their lost keys under the streetlamp at night because the light is better there. Similarly, many CRO practi- tioners never wander far from the cozy and comfort- ing routine of repeatedly running tests, which at least on the surface produce some kind of clear measurable results (whether good, bad or inconclusive). They get comfortable in the repeatable nature of the testing ac- tivity itself, and familiar with the process. This is a false sense of security, and will often result in a myopic out- look that leads to stagnation. YourownnarrowviewofCROwillseverelylimit theamountofbenefityouwillderivefromit. So how does a CRO professional break out of this rut? Thekeyistolookbeyondthewebsiteorlandingpagefor additional leverage by thinking of a website as the part of theicebergvisibleabovethewaterline.Mostofthepower willcomefromthevastportionthatliesbelow.Thisisan importantpointinthecontextofcompetitors.Ifanenter- prise wants to create a durable and defensible advantage againstthem,itismucheasiertodoitwiththeportionsof the business that they cannot easily inspect or duplicate. Test, test, test! This common refrain has come to dominate the perceptions and activities of the conversion rate optimiza- tion (CRO) community. Conversion CORNER
  34. 34. As a CRO, the job seems pretty clear – squeeze more value out of existing traffic arriving on a website or landing page. So that’s what they spend their time doing – looking for increased efficiencies. This may in- volve digging into analytics, optimizing traffic sources hitting the site, segmenting an audience to achieve a better fit or testing alternative content. Some things, however, are either implicitly or explicitly out of bounds. One of the most common sacred cows is the actual business model. In other words, CROs are not allowed to change the calls-to- action (CTAs), or the format and sequence in which they are collected. An online educational business, for example, has the goal of generating leads for their sales force. Typi- cally the CTA on the site will be some sort of long and involved form (for a free information kit or something similar). Once the form is completed, the sales person will relentlessly try to “close” that prospect. What’s wrong with that? Although it seems like a perfectly le- gitimate strategy, it is not. The company is requiring someone to give up a lot of information early in the process (severely re- stricting the number of people willing to invest the effort to fill out the form). Then it is trying to hard- sell them on the phone (even though in all likelihood they are not ready to act). In other words, the business model requires a standing broad-jump on the part of a website visitor, and herculean effort on the part of the phone sales force. Imagine the following instead. A website visitor arrives on a site, self-selects (via properly constructed user-centered site navigation) into a specific role, downloads a relevant e-book (without any informa- tion required in exchange except for an email address), receives a targeted email follow-up sequence that es- tablishes thought leadership and provides helpful infor- mation over time, eventually follows an email link back to a targeted landing page on the site where they get an opportunity to chat live with a knowledgeable rep (while still remaining anonymous), the chat rep then schedules (in real-time) an appointment to talk to a ca- reer counselor (the sales rep) on the phone (collecting the information needed during the chat), the sales rep reviews the info collected and calls at the agreed-upon time to try to close the sale. Now at first glance, this may seem like a concep- tually more-complicated business model, but looked at from the standpoint of both the prospective student and the business it has many advantages. From the per- spective of the prospect, the relationship unfolds slowly and naturally. The value received along the way is more than what is being asked for in return. The steps are incremental and non-threatening. There are no big hurdles to surmount. The person feels like they are in control of the process, and are more likely to extend incremental trust and expend additional effort as the relationship deepens. From the standpoint of the business there are ben- efits too. It is much easier to create content that speaks to a targeted audience and is seen as more personal and valuable. Much of the early stage follow-up can be done with automated email sequences – not requiring any incremental effort or human involvement. Early stage qualification can be done much more cost-effectively via chat than on the phone. The best-trained phone sales people are getting to talk to receptive prospects. The phone sales people will have higher utili- zation rates (connecting with prospects a higher percentage of the time due to appointment pre- scheduling instead of outbound cold-calling follow- up). It’s a classic case of win-win. Efficiency is doing things right – effectiveness is doingtherightthings. Of course it takes some work to set all of this up. Email sequences will need to be developed, online chat will need to be staffed, all of the information collected about the prospect will need to be passed to the phone sales reps ahead of their appointments, the phone reps will need to be retrained to take advantage of the new workflow and available information (and to adjust their technique to a more gentle “close”). Beyond the specific example of educational lead- generation above, business model innovation can be done in a number of settings. In the e-commerce sphere it can take the form of frequent-buyer loyalty clubs, referral programs and incentives, and changing a one-time purchase into some kind of ongoing sub- scription-based payment model. In lead generation it can involve cross-referrals to other businesses that want to reach the same audience. The possibilities are limited only by a person’s own imagination. Now is the time to start thinking more broadly about a company’s business model and not simply about its online marketing campaigns. How can marketers help engineer a better business model? If it benefits the business and aligns more naturally with the needs of the audience, then they know they are on the right track. Tim Ash is the CEO of SiteTuners, Chair of Conversion Confer- ence and bestselling author of “Landing Page Optimization.” 10B2B Lead-Generation Opportunitiesfor YourBlog Thesearetheelements thatshouldn’tbemissed- wsm.co/blogb2b.
  35. 35. | DECEMBER 201534 | .com Email EXPERIENCE Afterputtingeffortintopullinginnewcustomersforthe holidays, the key to long-term success is retaining those new subscribers and fostering strong customer relation- ships. However, the biggest mistake many marketers make in retention is treating new subscribers like the rest of their contact lists. Below are a few tips and best practices to most ef- fectively retain this season’s new subscribers and turn them into loyal brand advocates: HoneYourHolidayTactics The holiday season is a great time to prepare new sub- scribers for a lifetime of happiness with a brand. Mar- keters should use these first few months to grab their attention and leave a lasting impression. Thiscanbedonebyrevampingthestandardwelcome message with a personalized seasonal greeting. Holiday subscribers aren’t a brand’s average contacts and shouldn’t betreatedassuch.Addingapersonalizedtouchwillmake a strong first impression and give them an idea of what a long-termrelationshipwiththebrandmightlooklike.Ad- ditionally,marketersshouldmakesuretransactionalemails are well branded. Holiday subscribers will likely receive a flood of transactional emails during the season, so a com- panywillneedtoensureitstandsoutabovetherest. SlowandSteady,Santa Oncebrandshavethesenewcontacts,theyhavetotreat them uniquely and avoid approaching them too ag- gressively. There should be a “slow and steady” period in the initial engagement, focused on building rapport rather than overwhelming new contacts with a blizzard of emails. To build trust and “introduce” a brand to new subscribers, companies should send informational con- tent over promotional deals – they’ll probably be cut- ting down on the shopping after the holidays anyway. Futher, if marketers purvey information, send surveys and request feedback about the customer experience, it provesthattheyappreciatethebusiness.Thiswillensure a brand is still top-of-mind without being overbearing. Re-GiftingIsn’tAlwaysTacky A retailer’s contact list will likely double, or even triple, in size between Halloween and the New Year. Retailers shouldusethisasanopportunitytorecycleoldcontent. Allofthecontentwillbebrandnewtoholidaysubscrib- ers,sotheycouldbeamorereceptiveaudienceforcam- paigns that have some more life left in them. This will allow marketers to not only predict which campaigns will garner success (since they’ve executed on them be- fore), but to also maintain efficiency despite a flourish- ing contact list. BetheGiftthatKeepsonGiving The secret to retention after the holidays is continuing holiday engagement even after the holiday season ends. Bystudyingcontacts’engagementwithabrandthrough- outtheholidayseasonthisinformationcanbeleveraged in upcoming holidays in the New Year. By using report- ingandanalysistools,companiescanidentifywhattype of product or deal attracted holiday subscribers to their brandinitiallyandusethatinformationtotailorandper- sonalize deals moving forward. For example, if a man bought a woman’s necklace around New Years, send him jewelry promotions around Valentine’s Day. Or if a womanpurchasedchildren’stoysforChristmas,deliver toy promotions around Easter. Don’tBeaGreedyGrinch Subscribers earned over the holidays aren’t always long- term wins. Email marketers should work to build a re- lationship with new contacts for the first few months of the New Year, but may want to taper off if they don’t receive engagement. Further, they will want to use en- gagement scoring to determine who is open to com- munication. If recipients are not interacting with the content, they should temporarily be suspended from the mailing lists and re-engaged after Christmas. Holiday subscribers can be valuable contacts long after December but only if approached correctly. Still, evenfailureinaretentioneffortcanbealessonthatpays off. Use new subscribers as a testing group if you lose more than half after the holidays end, and re-evaluate your overall email marketing strategy to optimize for retention. In short, don’t waste the opportunity holiday contacts offer. Whether they’re naughty or nice, there’s insight to be gained. With so many festive promotions to offer during the holiday season, attracting new customers from Black Friday through the New Year isn’t a problem for most email marketers. The true challenge is getting new subscribers to stick around after the holiday hype dies down. By EJ McGowan, General Manager, Campaigner at J2 Global Post-Christmas EmailRetention
  36. 36. DECEMBER 2015 | | 35.com WEBSITE MAGAZINE IN YOUR INBOX WEBSITE MAGAZINE IN YOUR INBOX for our channel-focused weekly newsletters at wsm.co/email15 Sign up for one (or all) of our weekly newsletters, choose from e-commerce, search, social, design and dev, and our industry trends news. It’s as easy as entering your email address! Subscribe Sign Up
  37. 37. | DECEMBER 201536 | .com Analytics INSIDER Understanding their behavior, their needs and the im- petus for their actions requires a basic comprehension of psychology (and some great digital customer experi- ence tools to gather the required data). While there is no magic formula for button colors that convert, killer copywriting or winning layouts, it is possible to get inside the mind of a target audience and understand which elements prompt action. IntrospectionandWebBehavior The process of understanding behavior could be best described by the psychological term “Introspection,” which essentially means to examine one’s own con- scious thoughts and feelings, to obtain privileged access to one’s mental states. That’s not easy to do, however, when it comes to Web behavior. Introspection (and self-observation) is a method in which people are asked to verbally report their mental processes.Forexample,tosaywhytheymadeaparticu- lar choice or how they arrived at a particular judgment.  The main criticism to this method is that there is always a gap between what people report about themselves and their actual behavior. Therefore, when trying to optimize a website, relying solely on visitors’ feedback regarding their experience is not the ideal approach. Instead, brands are using solutions to visualize visitors’ online behavior to bridge the data gap in understanding action and inaction. Introspection’sSubstitute:Behaviorism Introspection is about human self-reflection rather than external observation. It reflects the inner pro- cess of the human mind. In contrast, Behaviorism is more quantitative and looks at the external, observable causes of human behavior.  To be practical in the realm of Web analytics, the context of actions is of the utmost importance in under- standingbrowsingusage.Whiletraditionalanalyticscan analyze conversion rates and detect whether a website has succeeded or failed in reaching its goals, they are ineffective at providing a broader view.  When engaging in more refined exploration of humaninteractionontheWeb,analysisbasedonserver access logs alone (as is the case with traditional analyt- ics) is anything but sufficient. To see the entire picture, it is necessary to examine and understand the visitor’s behavior, motivation and resulting actions. AkeyelementintheBehavioristapproachtounder- standingonlinebehaviorisgatheringmouse-movement data, which can pinpoint user intent and interests. Mouse-movement recording technology provides a series of interesting advantages when compared to classical usability tools. For example, it can be mass deployed, allowing for large datasets; it can reach typi- cal and first-time visitors in their natural environment; and, most importantly, it is transparent to visitors, so no experimenter bias or novelty effects are introduced, allowing them to browse websites in their natural envi- ronment as opposed to lab conditions.  Session recording technology enables businesses to easily examine what is going on behind the screens, in the minds of the users. For example, it can reveal how many users considered clicking the buy button versus how many of them actually clicked it. Or, it can pro- vide insight into the order in which they complete the fieldsofaform.Marketerscanusethistechnologytoget quantifiable answers to the questions that plague them, including whether people actually scroll down the Web page (and how far), where they hesitate on the page (and for how long), as well as what elements they are interacting (engaging with or concentrating on). Session recordings provide answers to these ques- tions and many more. Videos can be generated for in- dividual or for segments/groups or users (for example, based on engagement time, location or first-time versus returning visitors). Likewise, recordings detect page el- ements that visitors interact with the most, the rate of scrolls (to infer interest), or whether the pages viewed have a minimum scroll reach (which may indicate that some visitors are searching for specific content but are not being successful), to name just a few. NoRoomforGuesswork WhileitispossibletoguesswhatchangestoaWebpage or website will achieve the highest conversion rates and thenhopeforthebest,thisisclearlynotthebestpractice for online marketers as it wastes time and money, both valuable resources. Using Introspection and Behavior- ism principles to develop valid hypotheses, understand behavior, run controlled tests and evaluate the results is the only path to improvement. If there is one important lesson learned from the many studies conducted in the Web usage, analytics and optimization fields, it is that to see results, online busi- nesses need to “feel” their clients. By Dr. Liraz Margalit, Web Psychologist at ClickTale UsingPsychologytoImprove WebsiteConversions
  38. 38. DECEMBER 2015 | | 37.com Take out an ad on WebsiteMagazine.com! If you want to reach a tech-savvy audience, advertise in the industry’s top publication. Over 50% of our subscribers are C-List executives, and overall, 84% of our subscribers influence purchases at their organizations. “DoYouSeeMe?” “I see you! and so do your customers!” Go beyond! Website Magazine offers the following advertising opportunities: • White paper hosting • Job board advertising • Newsletters and eBlasts • Website advertising • Webinars • Video hosting • Listing on website
  39. 39. | DECEMBER 201538 | .com With email passwords, social media passwords, banking passwords, etc., the last thing most want is to have to remember another login to make a simple purchase. In fact, in a recent Web Hosting Buzz report, 86 percent of retail customers say that they are bothered when they have to create a new login and username. For this very reason, social login has become in- creasingly popular among retailers looking to turn website visitors into returning customers. Retailers know that improving conversion rates (e.g. purchases) begins with improving the customer experience. Al- lowing visitors to register with a simple click to log in with their existing social media profile from Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn eliminates the need for long regis- tration forms, verifications and password recovery. In fact, 77 percent of consumers reported a preference for social logins in the Web Hosting Buzz report. Despite its benefits, many businesses fail to take full advantage of the potential of social logins – using them ineffectively or not at all. In order to use social logins to build more complete profiles of customers and cre- ate seamless experiences, retailers must understand the three pillars of social media login. I. Go beyond gamification Interactive elements including quizzes have proven suc- cessful in reaching today’s consumer, creating fun and entertaining ways for visitors to interact with a brand and share content. Many enterprises use social login to access thesegames,butlimitingsociallogintobrandengagement campaigns means companies are losing out on important insights. Using social logins merely for short-term market- ing efforts limits the ability to enhance customer experi- encesandcreatecomprehensivecustomeridentities. When social login is used only for one-off cam- paigns,alltheinformationaboutuserbehaviorislimited only to the game. Instead, implementing a social login for all digital marketing efforts – from shopping carts to commenting tools to customer service inquiries – will help digital marketers connect the dots between all of the ways a customer interacts with their brand. Inthequestforsimpleandintuitivedigital experiences, website visitors are growing increasinglyfrustratedwithhavingtocre- ate multiple usernames and passwords for each site they visit. By Stefan Koenig, CEO and Co-Founder of Hull Social Media MAVENS Enhancing Customer Identity Management: 3Pillarsof SocialLogin

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