Monthly Archives: October 2018

Is Your Digital Marketing Strategy Holiday Season Ready?

Did you know that according to the National Retail Federation, the revenue generated during last year’s holiday season was over $690 billion? What’s more, around about 20% of the sales were made online.

Over the past few years, consumers’ purchase journey has changed drastically. Technology and smartphones have led to even the most traditional customers taking the long route for making a purchase – from the mobile app to the web, to the brick and mortar store. The more savvy buyers, like most of the millennials, prefer doing most of their shopping online.

Therefore it is now imperative for businesses to up their digital marketing game to make the most of the holiday season. After all, this is the time when most of the people are going to want to get done with their shopping. Here are a few suggestions on how you can add more power to your digital marketing strategy this holiday season.

Build on the hype with prospecting campaigns

Prospecting campaigns are the kinds of campaigns that enable you to target those people who may not yet be aware of your brand. As these campaigns are generally used to cast a wide net, they are perfect for building brand awareness and the products and/or services offered to the customers. The new visitors to the site can then be retargeted with personalized ads, based on their browsing history.

Make mobile your priority

Reports suggest that businesses that invested in mobile prospecting campaigns earned saw 81% increase in their ROI. Even their mobile retargeting campaigns managed to garner strong click-through rates throughout the holiday season. Salesforce predicts that mobile traffic and orders are expected to overtake the desktop traffic this year. Hence, it would be a wise decision to focus your holiday marketing strategies around mobile.

Target the last minute shoppers

Panic purchase is indeed very real! There are many people out there who keep delaying their gift purchasing until the very last minute and then go into a frenzy to get it all done in time. Targeting these last-minute shoppers with your digital marketing campaigns can easily lead to a boost in sales during the holiday season.

Retarget through November & December

Reports show that businesses that ran retargeting campaigns through November last year saw an 85% rise in sales and an 80% boost in their total revenue. In order to ensure that you do not miss out on any sales opportunities, it is better to focus your efforts on retargeting all through the holiday season.

Bring in the influencers

With social media playing a huge role in almost everyone’s life these days, investing in influencer marketing strategies gives a brand great reach, connections and impact. This is especially true for the holiday season. When a person, who a lot of people already relate to and ‘follow’, endorses your brand and products and/or services, it is bound to have a positive impact on website traffic and sales.

Final Takeaway

Even if you have not yet been able to come up with any special plans for your digital marketing for the holiday season, it’s not too late. You still have time to amp up your marketing strategies with the help of the tips given above so that you can bring in more traffic and boost your sales.

Is The Traffic To Your Site Taking A Nosedive All Of A Sudden?

The best time for any website owner would be when the website traffic shows consistent growth, the conversion rate is steadily on the rise and the page views look up and good. However, no matter how well a website may be performing, the chances of this performance being permanent are close to nil.

The threat of a drop in website traffic is always there. The reason for a decline in traffic could be a number of things. Often times novice site owners and SEO professionals overlook this unusual decrease in traffic and by the time they realize what has happened, it’s too late to do anything about it.

What Could Be The Reason For The Drop?

There are a number of factors that could lead to a decline in traffic. Let’s take a quick look at what the most common ones are, shall we?

  • Change in the consumers’ preferences – Something as simple as a new trend wave can have a great impact on website traffic.
  • Changes done to the website – Modification of website design or content is one of the most common reasons for the traffic to take a dip.
  • Issues with the mobile site – A desktop website that does not have a responsive design is to bound suffer from loss of traffic in this era of smartphones.
  • Google’s algorithm updates – Google is known to update its algorithms on a regular basis and these updates are known to cause a dip in site traffic.
  • Insecure URL – When Google starts warning visitors that a website is insecure, most of them usually turn away from it.
  • Webpage indexing issues – A poorly organized website usually makes it difficult for Google Bot to properly index it and that means low traffic.
  • Hacked website – A hacked website can only lead to problems and these problems generally cause the traffic to take a hit.

How To Find Out If You Have A Problem?

The first thing you need to do is determine whether it is a sudden drop in traffic or a steady decline. A quick drop in traffic could possibly be a result of any kind of technical issue or a Google Penalty. A gradual decline in traffic may be caused due to a Google algorithm update.

One of the easiest ways to find out is to monitor the stats on Google Analytics for a considerable period of time. Check if the drop in traffic is really sudden and unreasonable or is it because of the seasonality, holidays, or something along the same lines.

Final Takeaway

Even if you are too busy with the other aspects of your business, it is always a good thing to take some time out of your schedule, no matter how hectic it is, to keep an eye on your website’s performance. While the occasional traffic drop can be expected, sudden, steady and long-term drops must be investigated. Extended downtime in website traffic can prove to be extremely dangerous for your site’s search ranking.

All That You Need to Know About ‘Dark Social’

Contrary to popular belief, social media marketing is not just about getting the likes and the shares. A lot of digital marketers and SEO specialists indulge in practices that fall under the ‘dark social’ category to get more traffic to their clients’ websites. So what does dark social really mean? Let’s take a quick look.

What is Dark Social?

Despite how fishy it all sounds, it isn’t anything dubious or scary. ‘Dark Social’ is basically a term coined by one of The Atlantic’s senior editors, Alexis C. Madrigal to describe website traffic and social media interactions that are difficult to track and measure through traditional analytics. Often referred to as dark social traffic, this kind of website traffic doesn’t seem to have any specific source. This is mostly the result of content and links being shared through emails, text messages and DMs (Direct Messages).

The Most Common Sources of Dark Social Traffic

  • Native Mobile Apps – A lot of people use native apps such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. to copy-paste and share a great deal of links. Surveys reveal that these copy and paste shares represent as many as 80% of all shares.
  • Messaging Apps – The rapid growth of instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. has also given rise to dark social interactions. Reportedly, there are over a billion people around the globe who use WhatsApp to talk about and share information on various brands.

How Does it Affect a Business

The thing about dark social interactions is that although they are difficult to track, they more often than not lead to conversions. Say a friend of yours shares a link with you through Facebook or WhatsApp, you are will most likely click on it, won’t you? Hence, one can say that dark social traffic is just as valuable to a brand as the traceable traffic. After all, it is word-of-mouth between people who most likely know each other.

Ways to Find Out How Much Dark Social Traffic you Get

    Make use of link shorteners. This makes it possible for you to get a slightly better understanding of the clicks that your tracked links receive.
    Upgrade your share buttons by using tools that allow you to use inline or sticky share buttons. It will be easier for you to track these links even when people share your content through emails, text messages or instant messaging apps.
    Do a quick audit of all your direct traffic in whatever analytics platform that you use. Chances are that most of the long links listed under direct traffic were not typed in manually and hence, they may have actually come from dark social.

To conclude…

There really isn’t much that you can do about the dark social traffic you get. However, it is expected to grow even further. Several industry reports suggest that dark social is bound to impact social media marketing plans in 2019. If as a brand or a digital media professional, you plan on using it, it is advisable to first know all the basics and understand how to track it.

The Kinds of Google Link Penalties You Want to Avoid At All Costs

Who wouldn’t want their fully-fledged website to have good rankings on Google? A solid link-building strategy that ensures good traffic and gives your website the much-needed boost on Google rankings is always welcome, right? However, Google has its own standards of ethical and unethical link building practices, disregarding which will lead to a much-dreaded Google penalty. Getting a Google Penalty is a sure-fire way to put your site at a disadvantage.

So before you go on to implement any new link-building strategies for your website, understand the most common types of Google link penalties and how you can avoid them. Here goes…

1. Excessive Reciprocal Linking

A very popular link-building strategy among webmasters once upon a time, wherein two website owners would swap links for their sites’ mutual benefits. However, this process of reciprocal linking is now considered as an unethical practice and can lead to a severe Google penalty. As far as possible, avoid excessive reciprocal linking; especially if you are new to the world of blogging.

2. Algorithm Link Spam Penalty,/p>

Flouting Google’s link algorithm will lead to an algorithm link spam penalty, an action taken by Google’s automated algorithm. Under Google’s Penguin Algorithm, this penalty is levied on websites that buy links or obtain them through link networks. The moment your site gets penalized, the organic traffic will take a nosedive and it might even get de-indexed. Avoid partaking in such practices!

3. Manual Link Spam Penalty

While the automated Google bots are out there doing their job of hunting down faulty or spam link-building practices, Google has in place an entire manual review team that hands out manual penalties. These penalties are just as disastrous for your site ranking as the algorithmic penalties. One complaint from your competitor or the Googlebot about your spammy link profile, and your website’s earned you a manual penalty.

4. Low-Quality Link Penalty

As the entire point of giving out link penalties is to promote ethical link building practices, relying on tactics like getting backlinks from dubious, low-quality sites is a sure way to get your site penalized by Google. It is always better to rely on backlinks coming from reputable sites, which not only add to the credibility of your website but also to your brand value.

5. Unnatural Outgoing Link Penalty

If any guest post or blog that you plan on publishing on your website contains links that point back to the guests’ sites, it will have a negative effect on your site’s link profile. Always make it a point to manually review the content that is submitted to you for links from low-quality sites. It is also a good idea to not allow any ‘Nofollow’ links in user-generated content

6. Private Blog Network

A particularly common penalty that can be avoided very easily! Using a network of blogs or websites that are owned by you to link to each other is an unethical link-building practice that is bound to be detected by Google sooner or later. Getting caught and penalized by Google for using PBNs is extremely harmful for your sites’ online reputation.

To Conclude…

Getting penalized by Google for a link profile that violates Google’s webmaster guidelines will have an adverse effect on your website’s reputation. It is better to instead focus all your efforts on building a healthy link profile using the most ethical link building practices.