Conversion Rate Optimization Tips and Strategies

So your getting some website traffic and you’re wondering how you might be able to increase your leads. The answer is Conversion Rate Optimization. Maybe you’ve heard of it before and maybe you haven’t. In simple terms it’s really about what you can do, normally onpage, to help increase the number of people that visit your website and complete the form. You may also be optimizing for other end goals such as booking a demo, downloading a whitepaper, getting a social media share, etc.

For most people they focus on trying to attract more website traffic in the early days and that’s fine but if you haven’t optimized your site, then the chances are your letting a lot of leads slip by.

Lets break down some of the top tips and strategies for Conversion Rate Optimization and see if we can help you increase your conversions.

Before we do that though.. how do you know if your current conversion rate is actually good or not? Well this all depends on a number of factors.

Factors that effect Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Where is my traffic coming from?
  • Where am i sending my traffic to? (Website or Landing Page)
  • What am I trying to convert for?
  • What industry i’m in?
  • How fast is your website load time?
  • Which location i’m targeting?
  • What information am i trying to collect?
  • What type of conversion am I looking for (Lead, Purchase, Demo, Call etc)

All these will impact your conversion rates… Some typical stats are:

Website Conversion Rate: 
  • Average Conversion Rate for a website is around 2.45%
  • Top 25% of website convert at around 5.31%
  • The top 10% of websites convert at around 11.45%

Once you take into account your industry and where you get your traffic from, these numbers vary widely.

So now you know what conversion rate optimization is, lets try to understand the process.

Conversion Rate Optimization Parts

By going through the process you will start to understand what can impact your conversion rates and more importantly how you can track them, test them and ultimately increase your conversions.

To ensure you get the right results, make sure you have all your tracking set up correctly. It’s imperative that you have Google Analytics installed along with some form of Data Analytics tracking platform like Heap Analytics, Amplitude, Mix Panel, Kissmetrics, Full Story and plenty more.

Traffic

Where you get your traffic from can be the greatest clue to improving your conversions.

If we take 2 main traffic sources being Google and Facebook, we can quickly understand the difference in these 2 traffic streams:

Google: Traffic is coming to you based on user intent. They have done a search with Google to find something which you rank for or are advertising on and thus if they click on your link, you should have a pretty good idea of what they are looking for and you are serving up a solution to their problem… thus the conversion rate should be higher.

Facebook: Traffic is coming from a source where you are interrupting peoples behavior when they are not looking for what you have but your ad or post may have caught their attention. In this case you need to do a lot more to not only get the click but then convert them on page too.

 

Landing Page

Once your getting traffic you have a couple choices of where you can typically send them and it will depend on the type of business you are running. The options can include:

  • Homepage of website
  • Landing Page
  • Landing Page with Lead Magnet
  • Service/Product Detail Page
  • Service/Product Collection page

Each of the above options may be a viable option but it really depends on what your looking to achieve. Is it building an email list, is it making a purchase, is it signing up for a demo etc.

 

What is a lead magnet?

Most of you are trying to get leads. The whole point of advertising is to build your email list and convert to a sale either now or at a later stage. There are so many ways you can do this but the ideal way is to build a purpose built landing page to capture users email addresses from a particular marketing campaign.

Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is something you can give away for free in exchange for the users email address. It has to be of significant value for the user to handover their email. They are constantly being bombarded with advertising and marketing emails so you need to make it legitimately hard for them to say no! This can be the different between your page converting at 2% or 10% or higher. If this is the case, make sure you really think about what the best thing you can give away is.

Some examples of lead magnets for a B2B business could include a whitepaper or a free trial, while for an E-Commerce business, it could be a 10% coupon which they can use at checkout in the next 7 days.

 

Maximize Your Leads Potential

It’s one thing getting the lead but make sure that once you have it, you do everything you can to nurture it and get the sale. This can include re-marketing campaigns through Google Ads and Facebook, drip email campaigns using automated email flows based on the user behavior of the lead, activation and on-boarding email flows and more!

Don’t just think about getting the email, think about the whole user journey and what its going to look like. Now that doesn’t mean don’t launch your campaign until its completed because as your about to find out, it never is!

What we encourage you to do is have something that’s good enough so you can test out the initial campaign, make sure leads are converting and then update as you go along.

 

Conversion Rate Optimization

The process of conversion rate optimization is best described as understanding the user flow or user journey from initial interest to sign up or purchase. We want to understand the whole life cycle of the client through the entire sales funnel to better understand where a user may drop off and see if we can fix it. You can do this with the data analytics software provided above and can overlay heat maps and user recordings using software like Hotjar.

Keeping in mind the purpose is now to increase the conversions at each stage of the journey. If we focus on stage 1, it is typically to get the lead. So this means it comes down to the landing page where we send the prospect. Some aspect of the page that can dictate the results include:

  • Design
  • Copy
  • Form Location
  • Form Size
  • Lead Magnet / Giveaway
  • Page Speed

Once we know what we can change, we can then start our AB split testing.

Whats AB split testing?

Put simply, AB Split Testing is taking your original content and comparing it to a different version to see which produces a better result. For example, you could develop one landing page and that could convert at 5%. Once you are comfortable that its pretty consistent, you could then develop a second version which may have a different form or CTA and see if that second version achieves a higher or lower conversion rate. In this instance the software would evenly split the traffic between the 2 pages allowing you to see in real time which version was performing better. If B was performing better then you could simply implement it.

Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion Rate Optimization Considerations

While most people might tell you to test the button color or the CTA, there is a lot more than goes into a conversion test if you want to truly get the best results. This graph below shows that Design changes have the lowest impact on optimizing conversions while reducing friction (e.g. reducing the number of fields in the form) had the next biggest impact. However the largest impact which is usually the last to be tested is the Copy and the intended Behavior of the prospect. So when you’re thinking about testing your next landing page, think about what’s truly going to have an impact rather than just doing testing for the sake of doing testing.

Conversion Rate Optimization

 

Sometimes even the simplest of changes can have a huge impact on the end result. Check out this example which is one of many shared by Karl Gilis from AGConsult in his talk about How to turn that ad clicker into a customer?

Conversion Rate Optimization

In a test by David Walker from Segmatic, he identified that while CTA/Text tests can result in an uplift of 1-3%, going BIG and changing your offer / Proposition Testing can have uplifts of 10-40%. You can hear more about what David thinks when it comes to split testing and the fact that up to 50% of the time your tests may return a false positive in his talk: Testing Strategies for Paid Search.

In another talk by John Ekman from Conversionista, he breaks down the goals of AB split testing and what sort of outcomes could result from going down this path. more importantly he talks about how you can do it at speed and get real results that can compound your business growth. He shares all this and more in his talk: AB Testing Better Results Faster.

There is so much that goes into optimizing conversions that it really is a process that never ends. Below we have shared some other talks that may be of interest to anyone that has sufficient website traffic to start looking at the idea of website Conversion Rate Optimization.

 

Conversion Optimization Talks

Metric Insight for Conversion Journeys by Tim Stewart
Setup and analysis of key metrics to understand where users lose their way on the conversion journey.

Conversions & Reciprocity by Edgar Špongolts from ConversionXL
Edgar has more than a decade of experience of running various companies. All of this experience is applied through crafting meticulous CRO strategies that maximize the value gained from an optimization process.

A Conversion-Centric Approach to Content Marketing by Hana Abaza from Shopify Plus
We’ve all been in the room when someone asks the golden question: How do we get more traffic to our content? Here’s a better question: How do we hit our goals with the least amount of traffic possible?

Conversion Rate Optimization: How to Unlock Your Website’s Potential by Chris Dayley fromDayley Conversion
With 95% of conversion decisions happening in the subconscious brain, motivating action and improving conversion rates is challenging, to say the least. The key is to learn what you’re audience wants and needs using big data and advanced analytics, that helps to surface the right content and shape user experience in a better way.

7 Tips to Never Have a Bad Landing Page Again by Justin Rondeau from DigitalMarketer
Landing pages are essential, but if you try to wing it, you’re likely going to end up with the dreaded Frankenpage. In this session, Justin will share his 7 best tips to ensure that your landing pages actually convert! There are two kinds of user tests: Active Tests & Passive Tests.

Conversations That Convert: All the Talking Points You’ll Ever Need by Derek Halpern from Social Triggers
Derek is one of the greatest online salesmen alive will teach you what it really takes to sell online – plain and simple.

 

Advanced Conversion Optimization Talks

3 Ways to Growth Hack Your Funnel Into a Conversion-Driving Machine by Paul Klebanov from SEMrush
If you’re like most growth marketers, your funnel could use more leads. A lot more leads. And most importantly, leads that convert – day-in, day-out. Paul Klebanov learned a few hard lessons in funnel optimization but came out of it a better growth marketer.

Conversions in a Landing Pageless World by Purna Virji , Microsoft
How will customers transact in a landing pageless world? The reality is, our digital purchase behaviors have been changing rapidly in small but growing segments such as Amazon image search or ordering pizza from Dominos via your Xbox. We’re reaching a point where the landing page – and sometimes even keywords – are not necessary anymore.

Strike Conversion Optimization Gold

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how A/B testing and analytics work together
  • Discover tools that help you maximize your analytics and you’re A/B testing

Summary

Dan McGaw is the CEO, Head of Analytics, and Founder of Effin Amazing, a martech company that helps businesses become data-driven. They also help integrate martech stacks and create marketing automation within organizations.

Dan jumps right into it by stating one huge mistake that businesses often make – failing to integrate A/B testing with their analytics.

Going Beyond A/B Testing

Two main tools come into mind when we talk about A/B testing – Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer. These tools are great, but they only do two things:

  • Lets you build different variations of a single website
  • Puts users into buckets to make sure they see the same variations

Now, most people find these tools useful because they tell you which variations are more statistically significant. The problem is, the significance you’re looking at comes from a single perspective. You’re looking at a single metric, and not at the whole picture.

Here’s how Dan realized that this is a huge problem. Dan used to run growth for a different company. He ran an A/B test that had a huge impact on conversion. This resulted to better traffic and a higher number of signups. One day, he got a message from one of their engineers asking if he looked at their lifetime value recently. Dan was confident, because he knew that he increased it by 75% over the last 6 months. But what he didn’t know was that the number has dropped significantly over a 3-month period.

Basically, he was too busy being happy about the statistical significance of their A/B test results. He saw that people kept on converting. But what he didn’t see was that people were also dropping out too early.

Relying on your current A/B testing tool without pairing it up with your analytics will ruin your business. Remember that signups will not give you your ROI – lifetime value will. You have to look for ways to look not only at conversions, but also at metrics like churn and MRR.

Dan names a few tools that can help you look at your data from different perspectives:

  • Kissmetrics
  • Mixpanel
  • Google Analytics

Basically, tools like these allow you to cleanly integrate your analytics, allowing you to look at more metrics and see the more long-term impact of your data.

 

Definitions

Analytics – relies on the application of statistics, computer programming, and operations research in order to quantify and gain insight to the relevance of data

A/B testing — a test that compares two versions of a webpage or app to determine which one performs better

CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization; the practice of improving the conversion rate in any advertising, marketing, sales or other business practice to prompt more people to take an action

WYSISYG editor – “what you see is what you get”; allows a developer to see what the end result will look like while the interface or document is being created

MRR – Monthly Recurring Revenue

Churn — attrition or turnover of customers

 

Resources

Effin Amazing

Optimizely

Visual Website Optimizer

Kissmetrics

Mixpanel

Google Analytics

Segment

Questions

  1. What tools do you use for A/B testing? Do these tools allow you to integrate your tests with your analytics?
  2. Was there ever an instance where your A/B test yielded specific results that did not turn out to be good for your lifetime value? How did you fix the problem?

Lean Growth Marketing – Testing & Tracking What Actually Matters

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the stages customers go through before they become passionate advocates of the brand or product
  • Know what customers value the most in each stage of their journey and understand how to deliver that value

Summary

Brant Cooper is the Co-Founder of Moves the Needle, a company that helps businesses get closer to customers, becomes more agile, and become more entrepreneurial in this fast-changing world.

Brant starts out by taking out his Platinum American Express card and sharing how this card makes him feel special. He says that this card makes him feel like a VIP. But when you think about it, there was a time when Brant wasn’t even aware of what this specific Amex card can do for him.

The same thing can be said about every customer in the market. Before they made a purchase, they went through different steps. It is this journey that businesses and marketers have to understand for them to know how to make every person in their client list more than satisfied.

Brant takes us through 7 stages customers go through to help us realize what aspects we should be looking out for aside from the usual vanity metrics. These steps, he shares, are the real pathway towards growth.

 

Aware

The first step in Brant’s “value stream discovery” is awareness.

For Amex, they went for the traditional snail mail. But it wasn’t just any snail mail – it came in a thick, fancy envelope addressed directly to Brant. Now, Brant would usually sort his mail beside the recycle bin. This allows him to throw anything he doesn’t find interesting straight to the trash. This envelope, he felt, was too interesting to be thrown out. He opened it and the letter talked about world travelers and how Amex fits in with this lifestyle. Interestingly enough, it didn’t tell Brant how to sign up. All it gave him was a URL that he’s supposed to visit to find out more.

Basically, this is where a business makes the consumer aware of their presence.

 

Intrigued

Now that Brant is aware that Amex had a platinum card, the next step is to get him intrigued. And to get people intrigued, you have to tell them what your product promises.

In the case of this card, it promised to:

  • Let him make purchases the same way any other credit card would do
  • Pay for his global entry so that he can bypass customs
  • Give him a priority pass that lets him into exclusive airport lounges
  • Replace any electronics or goods purchased on the plane within 60 to 90 days

Brant emphasizes that every utility promise has to be followed through, of course. Otherwise, it’s the fastest way to ruining your business.

But aside from the utility promise, the “fluffy marketing”, as he calls it, is also necessary. This is where the “world traveler” part comes in. This is an aspiration that comes with the product, but is not necessarily a promise that the business can make true. It’s more of the experience.

 

Trusting

When it comes to trust, Amex already has a huge advantage. After all, they are an established financial institution. In addition to the already trusted name, their page was abundant with testimonials not just from any client, but from actual world travelers. This is more than enough to push anyone to fill out the form.

 

Convinced

Now, all that’s left to do is to push Brant to hit that submit button. Note that the card costs $400, an amount that would make anybody think twice about finalizing the purchase.

But then Amex had an FAQ section that instantly showed Brant that the global entry fee was $200, the priority pass was $180, and the airline fees cost up to $200. That’s definitely way more return than the required investment. This is something that would convince anyone.

 

Hopeful

Once Brant signed up, he immediately wonders whether the $400 truly was worth it. He was starting to wonder if he made the right decision. This is where drip campaigns come in handy. Upon signup, it’s important to reach out to the customer right away to show them how they can start claiming the promises given to them.

It’s the same thing with mobile apps. When you download and run an app, it doesn’t leave you out in the cold, making you feel lost. It’s supposed to take you through a mini-tutorial that would tell you how to maximize your purchase as quickly as possible.

 

Satisfied

Once a product’s promise has been fulfilled, the customer is left satisfied. Now, you can’t just base satisfaction on things like number of log-ins or any other vanity metric. This is because you don’t really know what’s going on in the customer’s mind. They may be experiencing difficulty or are not seeing the benefits, but are not expressing it out loud. So you have to be on the lookout for more specific signs of dissatisfaction. Are they sticking to a single product but are not exploring anything else? They may not be using the product as often as you want them to.

 

Passionate

Some businesses stop when their customers are satisfied, but this should not be your final goal. You have to pursue them until they become passionate. Passion shows when the customer starts talking about you to their friends. Word of mouth, though a traditional type of marketing, is still one of the best tactics that can take you places.

Although your business may survive when you have satisfied customers, it’s having passionate customers that would pave the way for growth.

What can drive passion? Well, it can actually be the simplest of things. It could be an amazing customer support team. It can be a simple innovation, like turning soap into liquid soap so that they can be more presentable.

HubSpot is actually one of the best examples that Brant gave. You can’t get people passionate about software. However, they blow everyone off with their content marketing, and that’s why people are passionate about the brand.

For growth to truly happen, it’s not just about looking at the usual metrics. It’s all about looking at what each customer values the most at each step of their journey.

 

Definitions

Value stream discovery – a process that lets you figure out what assumptions and metrics matter at every stage of the value stream

 

Resources

Moves the Needle

Questions

  1. Do you monitor all 7 stages that Brant mentioned in his talk? Which ones do you feel you should pay more attention to?
  2. What actions are you taking at each stage to pull the customer into the next one?
  3. Would you say that most of your customers are passionate about your product? How can you increase this level of passion?

How to Become a Great Marketer

This is a summary on How to Become a Great Markert based on a talk by Arman Rousta at the Growth Marketing Conference a few years ago. If you would like to watch more of the talks from GMC or read our summaries simply click here.

Summary

Arman Rousta is the CEO of Blueliner Marketing, an agency that is not just known as an influencer in their field through their agency portfolio, but also through the 7 core principles that they embrace as a team.

He shares that they came up with these 7 pillars due to the need to organize amidst the rapidly changing ecosystem that we all now work with. The trends and tools are ever changing, and these principles will help make the transitions and adjustments more organized and efficient. These 7 principles are also the best way for any marketer to become great.

How to Become a Great Marketer

Becoming a great marketer means you have to want it. You need that deep-rooted desire to actually have that greatness. This desire will push you to do whatever it takes to achiever whatever it is you want to achieve.

There also has to be that balance between your natural-born gifts and your skills. You can’t live on what you’re born with alone. You also have to put in the hours of practice and hard work to hone the skills that you need in your craft.

It is also important to work on your weaknesses. Think about it as conducting a SWOT analysis on yourself. You play to your strengths, but you also work on improving those weaknesses.

Arman remembers Vince Lombardi’s commitment to excellence. It’s not just about the quality of the game being played, but the life you live as well. This is why, he says, the people who are happiest and most fulfilled aren’t necessarily the ones who work the hardest. It’s also about having a sense of pride in what you do.

Which brings us to the next important element of being a great marketer – having joy. It’s not just about being the best, it’s also about adding that emotional component into what you’re doing. Of course, what brings you joy will always change over the years. This is why you also have to regularly look at yourself and see what gives you a sense of purpose. As you age, this will change.

Despite how important it is to find joy in what we do, we can’t work solely on the things that we want to work on all the time. There will always be tasks that we don’t enjoy doing, but are crucial to our role. This is something that we’ll have to deal with.

One thing that makes it a great season to be a great marketer is the interconnectedness that we can freely experience. Arman’s team, for example, is made up of under 50 people spread out across 5 continents. That’s something marketers weren’t able to take advantage of before that you can maximize now.

 

7 Core Principles

Here are the 7 core principles that should dictate the way a great marketer works:

  • Time mastery – Looking not only at the amount of time being used, but how it’s being used
  • Being goal-oriented – When you set your sights on something, you find a way to get things done
  • A holistic concept – Looking not just on the company or the investor, but on the team, the environment that surrounds it, the customers, etc.
  • Innovation-driven – Coming up with even the simplest ways to make something better
  • Business intelligence – It’s not just about tracking and measuring everything related to your business and marketing strategies, but everything else in your personal life as well
  • Flexibility and agility – When you become rigid, you risk missing out on opportunities and great ideas
  • Being collaborative – It’s about getting people to work together and share ideas.

Arman finishes the talk by leaving two important reminders. Don’t let fear stop you from taking risks and chances in life, and make sure you do what you love and love what you do.

 

Definitions

Black hat SEO – practices used to increase a site or page’s rank by applying tactics that violate the search engine’s guidelines

White hat SEO – the use of optimization strategies focusing on the human aspect, instead of the search engine algorithms

Quantified self – a movement that aims to incorporate technology and data acquisition into the regular aspects of a person’s life

 

Resources

Blueliner Marketing

Udemy – The 7 Pillars of Digital Marketing

Health City Cayman Islands

 

Questions

  1. Among the 7 core principles, which of them do you fail to focus on? How do you plan on integrating them into your usual routine moving forward?
  2. How often do you assess the way you work? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you plan on making the most out of your strengths? Can you improve on your weaknesses?
  3. How are you achieving balance between maximizing your core gifts and honing your skills?
  4. Are you taking advantage of the technology and the interconnectedness that it brings?

How to Become a Better Leader. Growth Through Mindfulness

 

This is a summary on Mindfulness Leadership is based off a talk by Aaron Kahlow at the Growth Marketing Conference a few years ago. If you would like to watch more of the talks from GMC or read our summaries simply click here.

Summary

Aaron Kahlow is the Founder and Chief Facilitator at Conscious Company Media. He has started different companies before. He’s built them, grown them, and nurtured them. This is why he truly understands where CEOs, marketers, and entrepreneurs are coming from.

If there is one fact that Aaron emphasizes, it’s this – that growth for the sake of growth is never a good strategy. There always has to be a mindful and meaningful outcome at the end of the day. It’s not just about growing because a boss or a client says this is how it should go. This is why mindfulness truly is essential in any business.

 

Leadership Traits that Work

Mindfulness plays a huge role in being a leader.

Here are leadership traits that work versus ones that don’t:

  • Poise versus drive — Being able to hold your calm amidst the storm and thinking things through versus merely getting things done
  • Grace versus passion — Showing deep inner confidence versus having to consciously exude all the time
  • Authenticity versus egoic self-confidence – Being authentically confident versus having to exude this confidence based on ego
  • Transparency versus management skills
  • Real connection versus team building elements learned – Having a real connection with people versus having to go through team building exercises to momentarily put people together
  • Clarity or perspective versus accomplishment – ­Knowing clearly where you’re going

These traits may be completely opposite of what we’ve been trained to look at when it comes to leadership. But these are what makes leaders really thrive not just in their respective fields, but as a human being as well.

 

Presence as a Core Pillar of Mindfulness

Aaron defines mindfulness as that moment-to-moment awareness without judgement. It is supported by its three main pillars – presence, acceptance, and compassion. In this talk, Aaron focuses on presence.

Understanding whether you are truly present means thinking about whether you are “mind full” or mindful. Your head may be buzzing with a lot of things that get you nowhere. But what truly takes you places is being mindful, especially about your presence.

Presence comes in three main forms:

  • Grounding in the now — This means being fully in that moment that nothing else outside of it matters. This means getting rid of thoughts about your last meeting or the notifications popping up on your gadgets.
  • Observing the mind – This means separating yourself from your feelings. After all, you are not your thoughts and feelings; these are mere emotions resulting from your thoughts and may cloud reality.
  • Creating space between thoughts and reactions – This means avoiding the potential mess you step into when you react without thinking.

When you are truly present in the moment, you get a better perspective on what you really should be doing as opposed to merely reacting to everything that happens.

 

Tips in Improving Your Presence

Here are a few tips that can help improve your mindfulness:

  • Remove distractions.

It is important to be intentional with your time by removing all distractions. It’s not about what’s coming up on your screen, it’s about what you’re doing at a given moment. For example, it’s not wise to have your email notifications on. When you’re working on a report and a notification pops up, this takes your mind away from whatever you’re supposed to do.

Some would say that they can multitask. Aaron quickly calls this a myth. The brain can only work on one thing at a time, but it can jump from one thing to another so fast, it gives the impression of multi-tasking. This pulls up mental exhaustion, which can greatly affect performance.

  • Be grounded.

Focus on what’s happening at the moment. If you’re stepping into a meeting, make sure you clear your head of anything going through it that transpired in the past meeting. This allows you to be 100% in the meeting.

Aaron shares that before going into a meeting, he would often walk past the meeting room, walk around the block for a couple of minutes, and come back in. Remember that you’re in that meeting to make decisions, and you can’t make great decisions if you’re distracted.

  • Check in with your body.

Research was done about how the body reacts faster than the brain. 10 poker players were hooked up to sensors. They used two decks – a red deck, which was stacked with bad cards, and a black deck. Through the 7th hand, the players started sweating each time they received a red card. But it was only on the 15th hand that their brain noticed that the red cards weren’t stacked ideally.

There are times when you would feel your stomach become queasy before sending an email. In that case, don’t send it. The body has a way of sensing when something isn’t right, so listen to it.

  • Be fully present in the moment.
  • Work on the necessary skills.

There are three important skills to work on:

  • Meditation – This strengthens the brain’s ability to settle down and see things clearly.
  • Awareness – This means removing all masks and filters that you have and looking at the world without judgement.
  • Building a routine – The way your day goes matters. Aaron shares that his routine includes taking walks. You can have a few minutes of calm while you have your morning coffee before really digging into the nitty gritty of the day.
  • Have a paradigm shift.

Most self-help experts would tell you to change your thinking and be more positive. For Aaron, it goes way beyond thoughts. It’s about living intentionally instead of merely reacting to circumstances.

What are the rewards of mindfulness? The extra energy, confidence, clarity, resilience and reduction of stress and anxiety are just a few. It does take courage to take this step, but it’s the only way to truly thrive in your chosen space.

 

Resources

Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Conscious Company Media

 

Questions

  1. How many distractions can you name in your daily routine? Thinking back, can you think of mishaps or issues that resulted from these distractions?
  2. Do you have pauses in between your daily tasks? Despite your busy schedule, where do you think can you squeeze in these short moments to ground yourself and improve your presence in the workplace?

Top 5 SEO Conference Keynote Talks

January 2019 Update

If you’re looking to grow your organic reach, there is no better way to start than thinking about your SEO strategy. Since the whole internet revolves around a simple search from Google, where the user has the intent to find something, understanding the Google algorithm and having an SEO strategy in place to help rank in the top 3 can be a good way to increase your SEO organic traffic.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, when it comes to SEO everyone has to play by the same rules and thus you are all on the same playing field. With this in mind it can actually be fairly easy in some cases to rank for long tail niche keywords that your competitors might not think about. There are lots of SEO tools to help determine what keywords to rank for.

If you want to rank on Google or any of the other search engines such as BING or Yahoo, follow the steps in these Top 5 SEO talks to get a better understanding of what’s required to improve your SEO rankings.

Let us know which SEO talk is your favourite.

You can also ask us to hunt down your favourite SEO conference to add to the 99starts platform! Simply make the recommendation here.

 

Talk 1 – The 10 Hacks for SEO to Drive Content Success

mathew barby

Let’s face it; any investment in content marketing demands a boost in organic search traffic. But SEO continues to be the dirty work that nobody wants to do. This session will teach you how to change all that, and instantly remove the SUCK out of SEO that bogs us all down, with a few hacks that make-it-easy and transform your content into a traffic driving machine. You’ll learn 10 things about SEO that get you on the fast track for success. And yes, SEO can be fun if you master the art and science with these new hacks that accomplish in minutes what used to take days or weeks.

Featured at Content Marketing Conference

Speaker:

Matthew Barby is the Director of Acquisition Marketing at HubSpot , a NYSE listed SaaS business operating in several locations around the world. Alongside this, I’m an advisor to a number of startups and large SaaS businesses, an investor, lecturer, and global speaker. Also the co-host of The Decrypting Crypto Podcast.

Watch this talk now

 

Talk 2 – SEO in 2018 with Rand Fishkin

rand fishkin seo

What lies ahead for SEO? The Wizard of Moz, Rand Fishkin will share his insights on key trends for 2018 and beyond.

Featured at Web Summit Conference

Speaker:

Rand Fishkin

In 2004, I co-founded the SEO software company, Moz, where I served as CEO until 2014. In 2018, I left and founded SparkToro, a software and data company focused on helping people understand how and where to reach their target audiences. I’m also the author of Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World (2018) and a frequent keynote speaker on marketing and entrepreneurship topics around the world. In my spare time, I mostly like to hang out with my wife, Geraldine, and eat pasta.

Watch this Talk now

 

Talk 3 – Combine Paid & SEO Strategies to Increase Your Bottom Line

Arnie Kuenn

The customer journey has totally changed – forever. According to CMI, it takes between 7-13 touches to deliver a qualified sales lead. Customers now use mobile devices to research potential business partners before buying a product or service. They check your business’s website, read reviews, conduct several searches and check social media posts. You must implement both paid and SEO strategies to make your brand visible at the right moment of the journey.

Are you focusing equally on paid and organic search in your marketing efforts? You should be. If not, you are missing out on serious revenue potential by not allowing paid and organic to work together.

In this session you will learn:

— How the search results are changing
— How paid media is changing
— Why it’s not SEO vs. Paid
— How to grow your own audience
— Real world case studies

There is no war – there is only search. Discover how to leverage both paid and organic to grow exponentially.

Featured at Content Marketing Conference

Speaker:

Arnie Kuenn is the CEO of Vertical Measures which is a digital marketing agency in Phoenix, Arizona. He is an SEO expert who has in depth knowledge about making paid and organic work together for better results for companies. He handles vertical markets for different industries to support their marketing and advertising needs.

One of Our favourite quotes from the talk:

 “It doesn’t matter if you’re B2B, B2C, whatever it is 93% of the time, before any of us go to buy anything, we turn to a search engine.”

Watch this talk or read the 7 minute summary!

 

Talk 4 – Site Speed for Digital Marketers

mat clayton

We all know that site speed matters not only for users but also for search rankings. As marketers, how can we measure and improve the impact of site speed? Mat will cover a range of topics and tools, from the basic quick wins to some of the more surprising and cutting-edge techniques used by the largest websites in the world.

Why does site speed matter?

Well, for one thing, site speed matters because Google says so. They first said that speed affects rankings in 2010, and they confirmed it once again this year.

Site speed also affects conversion. As Mat eloquently puts it, people don’t exactly decide to buy something after making them wait so long for a page to load.

A faster site would also mean Google bots can crawl more pages. And, overall, it just gives your users an overall better experience.

Featured at Search Love

Speaker:

Mat Clayton is the co-founder and Chief Technical Officer at Mixcloud.

Mat is an engineer by heart, which explains why he sees the importance in bridging the gap between people in engineering and people in digital marketing. And one of the areas where these two groups overlap is site speed.

Learning Objectives

After watching this video, you should be able to:

  • Know what factors affect site speed
  • Pinpoint specific elements that could be dragging down your speed

 One of Our favourite quotes from the talk:

“It might not be your job. But hopefully you have a bit more of a conversation with developers about how you want to order things, how you want to prioritize speed in your roadmap and what you guys can do to help them.”

Watch this talk or read the 7 minute summary!

 

Talk 5 – Smarter Reporting with Data Studio

brandy lawson

Leave the energy-wasting agony of useless, ignored reports behind. Learn how to use Google Data Studio to create reports that take less time, contain more insights, and bring the dream of data-driven decisions into reality. Using auto-updating dashboard-style reports, transform your reporting time from data-thrashing to exploring insights and highlighting the actual return of SEO activities to the business.

Featured at Search Love

Speakers:

Brandy Lawson is the founder of FieryFX, a boutique agency that helps influential women leaders ignite their businesses online.

Learning Objectives

After watching the video, you should be able to:

  • Create more engaging and interactive reports using Data Studio
  • Present reports in a way that clients understand
  • Cut down the usual time it takes to complete reports

One of Our favourite quotes from the talk:

“There can be a difference in perception of value and understanding of the terminology. The stuff that we understand and value is not necessarily what the client understands and values. And it can be difficult to quantify in the beginning, to evaluate and measure for the person till the phone starts ringing.”

Watch this talk or read the 7 minute summary!

Top 5 Keynote Talks for SaaS Start-ups and Scale-ups

*January 2019 Edition*

Looking to start a SaaS business or thinking about scaling your existing one?

There is so much to learn about building a SaaS start-up from product market fit to learning to scale. It doesn’t matter whether you are B2C or B2B there are going to be a number of things you need to learn to get the SaaS business model right.

Done it before… well you got a head start then but you probably haven’t achieved what some of these guys and girls have achieved in their SaaS businesses.

Below is our current top 5 list of must watch keynote talks from SaaS Founders and executives that are leading the SaaS revolution!

Let us know which SaaS talk is your favourite!

You can also ask us to hunt down your favourite SaaS conference to add to the 99starts platform! Simply make the recommendation here.

Talk 1 – What does it take to go global as a B2B SaaS start-up?

global saas company

 

A panel of global businesses talk about scaling, the issues and troubles that a company will typically experience and how you can prepare yourself for failure before it happens.

For most industries, the local or national market is relatively small. It doesn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that a lot of businesses explore the idea of going global much earlier than in any other country. But this endeavor doesn’t prove to be easy. Technology may be offering a number of business solutions that make globalization possible, but operations-wise, there is a lot left to explore.

Featured at B2B Rocks Conference.

Speakers:

  • Mac Wang – Head of ANZ @ Stripe (Moderator)
  • Dai Williams – SVP  Global Partnerships @ SiteMinder
  • Krish Subramanian – Founder and CEO @ ChargeBee
  • Amanda Cornish – Head of Product Payments @ Xero
  • Remi Roques – Managing Director @ Ayuda Media System

Learning Objectives

After watching this video, you should be able to:

  • Know whether it’s time for a business to go global
  • Know what regions and countries to target next
  • Understand the most common challenges that come with globalization

One of Our favourite quotes from the talk:

“If you build a company culture that promotes diversity and inclusion from day one, then when you go into new markets and you see new cultures, new ideas, new people, your people are already geared up to be able to deal with some of those challenges and to accept and actually embrace some of the differences.”

Watch this talk or read the 7 minute summary!

 

Talk 2 – Marketing a SaaS Business for Explosive Growth

explosive growth marketing saas

Not all industries are created equal. Some have low barriers of entry, some are very niche, and some are just starting up. They’re different. They don’t all follow the same rules. These executives talk about the unique challenges and opportunities in growing a SaaS company. You’ll learn: Why growth is different for SaaS businesses, what tactics should be in your SaaS marketing playbook and which metrics SaaS marketers really care about in B2B & B2C.

Featured at Growth Marketing Conference

Speakers:

The panelists head the growth and marketing teams in their respective organizations, allowing them to give relevant insights on how to market a SaaS company towards explosive growth. The panel members are:

  • Ali Tajsekandar – CEO and Founder @ Wishpond
  • Juney Ham – Entrepreneur in residence @ Atomic |  CMO @ Hired
  • Jessica Meher – VP for Marketing @ InVision

The talk is moderated by Conrad Wadowski – CEO and Founder @ OPS.TV

Learning Objectives

After watching this video, you should be able to:

  • Find out how SaaS businesses that have been in the market for some time grow their businesses
  • Find out what tools other SaaS businesses use
  • Have an idea on the structure that other SaaS organizations have
  • See how other SaaS businesses hire the right people for growth
  • Understand other strategies that other SaaS businesses have that contribute to their growth

One of our favourite quotes from the talk:

“What we focus on is creating things that are remarkable and going to get talked about and going to be loved by our user base. And that strategy so far has worked for us, focusing on keeping your users happy using the product, making them fans and champions.”

Watch this talk or read the 7 minute summary!

 

Talk 3 – How to Reuse Recycle and Repurpose Your Content for SaaS Businesses

content marketing saas

When it comes to content, it should always be quality over quantity. This is why it is sometimes better to repurpose old content instead of creating new ones frequently.

In repurposing content, you have to think about a few relevant factors:

  • Users complaining about too much content that they don’t have time to go through everything
  • In-house marketers struggling to create new content because the industry they’re part of is boring
  • Agencies who have no budget, no real ROI, and no way to measure results
  • CEOs who do not want their stories to be featured in any content about their own brands

Sounds familiar? Although these factors make the process more challenging, Ashley uses Bufffer as the perfect example on how you can reach your goals while going through these hurdles.

Featured at SearchLove Conference

Speakers:

Ashley Ward – Digital Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Author and Evangelist @ SEMrush

Learning Objectives

After watching the video, you should be able to:

  • Understand how the Buffer experiment can be applied to your own setup
  • Know what rules to follow in repurposing content
  • Know what the difference is between recycling and republishing content
  • Measure your own results to see which actions are working
  • Use the right tools in measuring the different KPIs

One of our favourite quotes from the talk:

“When it comes to content, we want to create less content and promote what we already have. It’s quality versus quantity. Sure, we can pump out tons of content. But if none of it is quality, it doesn’t really mean anything for our users or for our brands.”

Watch this talk or read the 7 minute summary!

 

Talk 4 – The Ultimate B2B Growth Marketing Stack for a SaaS Company

growth marketing stack saas

You’re short on time. We all are. So when it comes to turning leads into conversions at scale, you need a few shortcuts – a strong, reliable stack that does much of the work for you. And Dan McGaw has one so good he also didn’t want to share it but he is in this talk. Discover how Dan’s analytics-first stack drove record-breaking growth numbers for Frame, Real Thread, Pair, Effin Amazing, and more.

Featured at Growth Marketing Conference

Speaker:

 Dan McGaw is the CEO of Effin Amazing, an analytics and growth consultancy firm that helps companies get their analytics in order, and assists in marketing, automation, operations and then conversion rate optimization. His field of expertise has exposed him to different tools and he shares his growth stack to help others build their own. He has been a digital marketer since 1998 and spent most of his life on analytics.

Learning Objectives:

  • How to choose the right tools
  • The five tools that are highly recommended
  • Growth in the martech space

One of our favourite quotes from the talk:

“Now, what you want to understand is that when you go on the market and look for tools, you choose tools based upon their ability to be integrated with other things. If you go shopping for a tool and it is on its own silo and it cannot be integrated very easily, don’t choose the tool.”

Watch this talk or read the 7 minute summary!

 

Talk 5 – Founder’s Feedbacks for B2B SaaS Start-ups

Founders feedback saas

Listen to a panel of Founders share their ideas and experience to help B2B start-ups and growing businesses.

Featured at B2B Rocks Conference

Note: This talk is perfect for those that are thinking about starting a SaaS business but haven’t started yet or are still in ideation stage.

Speakers:

Ben Brophy, CEO and co-founder of Upwire, plays the role of moderator as the panel discusses B2B startups from the point of view of founders. The members of the panel are:

  • Alan Crabbe, Co-Founder of Birchal
  • Danielle Lewis, CEO and Co-Founder of Scrunch
  • Monica Wulff, Co-Founder and Director of Startup Muster
  • Jessica Ruhfus, CEO and Founder of Collabosaurus

Learning Objectives

After watching the video, you should be able to:

  • See the different reasons founders had that prompted them to start their companies
  • Know the pros and cons of being a solo founder versus a co-founder
  • Understand the intricacies that come with raising capital for a startup business
  • Learn from the startup journey that other founders have gone through or are going through

One of our favourite quotes from the talk:

“I have seen a lot of startups and a lot of failure is that you’ve gone in and smacked your head against the wall going, ‘Actually we know better than the market, this is going to work. This is going to work.’ When it doesn’t.”

Watch this talk or read the 7 minute summary!

Reuse, Recycle: How to Re-purpose Your Content and Make the Big Bucks

Ashley Ward from SEMrush talks us through the Buffer content experiment where they refrained from creating new content for four weeks and focused on reusing and recycling existing content, thus republishing content. Understand the reasons why they reused content, what steps they took and finally what the result was and if you should recycle your content too.

To watch the talk in full about republishing content, click the link.

Learning Outcomes

After watching the video, you should be able to:

  • Understand how the Buffer experiment can be applied to your own setup
  • Know what rules to follow in repurposing content
  • Know what the difference is between recycling and republishing content
  • Measure your own results to see which actions are working
  • Use the right tools in measuring the different KPIs

Summary

When it comes to content, it should always be quality over quantity. This is why it is sometimes better to repurpose old content instead of creating new ones frequently.

In repurposing content, you have to think about a few relevant factors:

  • Users complaining about too much content that they don’t have time to go through everything
  • In-house marketers struggling to create new content because the industry they’re part of is boring
  • Agencies who have no budget, no real ROI, and no way to measure results
  • CEOs who do no want their stories to be featured in any content about their own brands

Sounds familiar? Although these factors make the process more challenging, Ashley uses Bufffer as the perfect example on how you can reach your goals while going through these hurdles.

The Buffer Experiment

Buffer is a social media management platform known for creating amazing relevant content.
They decided to do an experiment that required them to:

  1. Refrain from creating new content for 4 entire weeks
  2. Repurpose evergreen content into ebooks and SlideShares
  3. Update old blog posts into audio and graphics

Before getting started, Buffer did a thorough content audit. The audit took a long time to complete, but from there, they were able to list down 10 pieces of content that they can use. They decided to divide the content and repurpose certain pieces at certain weeks in their 4-week experiment.

The Results

After the 4th week, blog traffic went down, as expected. However, the decline was not as significant as expected.
These are the results of the experiment:

  • Blog traffic went down by only 4%
  • Average new sessions increased by 1.15%
  • Organic traffic went up
  • Referral traffic from SlideShare went up from 50 to 90
  • Overall site reviews increased by 380%
  • 2,300 ebook downloads
  • A new email drip campaign
  • Maintained a less than 5% drop and unique visits

Overall, these are amazing results considering that there was no new content created in 4 weeks.

Republishing vs Recycling

Before repurposing your content, you first have to understand what the difference is between republishing and recycling.
Republishing means using old content and updating it. You could update some old stats, add some fresh graphics, redistribute it, etc.

Recycling means getting that old content or topic and turning it into brand new content in a different form. You can turn it into a podcast, or maybe, a video.

The Rules of Re-purposing Content

To apply the same effects that the Buffer experiment produce on your own brand, these rules have to be followed:

1. Don’t republish all of your content.
Buffer chose 10 pieces of content to repurpose. You can do the same, or you can choose 5, or maybe 20.

2. Wait for two weeks before republishing content.
Before repurposing content, make sure Google has had time to index, check, and get a feel for the original content. This usually takes at least 2 weeks.

3. Don’t change the url.
Changing the url would mean having to do heavy maintenance, like changing links leading to the old url, fixing old social media posts, etc. Just avoid doing it if you want to avoid the work that goes with it.

With these rules in mind, you can now start repurposing content.

Applying the Buffer Experiment to Your Own Content

Here are the steps you can follow to effectively repurpose your content:

1. Define your content goals.
Make your content goals specific. Buffer, for example, set their goals to 50 new post likes, 25,000 video views, 10,000 ebook downloads, etc. Take note that different content goals and content types produce different results. If you want customer education, for example, training courses would be a great way to deliver old content.
2. Audit your content.
Auditing your content shows you your most popular pieces of content, what topics your audience wants to hear about, and what kind of content works best. It will show you which authors draw in the most audiences, too.
Once you start auditing your content, make sure you update your data weekly.
3. Create a “Gem List”.
Create a list of content that you want to repurpose. Some of these can be recycled, while some can be republished. When it comes to recycling, you can choose content that come with a lot of data, like listicles. Data is always easy to update. When it comes to republishing, you can choose how-to’s and turn the old text format into an infographic, or perhaps, a video.
4. Distribute the content.
Without the right distribute strategy, your content will just sit in the cyber world all alone. The way content is distributed can make or break the content’s effectiveness.

When it comes to content distribution, you can go through three routes:

  • Paid – social ads, native display advertising, retargeting funnels, paid influencers
  • Earned – SEO, reviews, shares, mentions
  • Owned – website, blog, social media, YouTube

Although Buffer waited for 4 weeks before checking their results, remember that your case may be different. Study you content audit to figure out how long it takes for your content to really get traction. From there, you can see how long your ideal timeline should be.

Measuring Your Results

Once you’ve re-purposed your content, it’s time to measure the results. This would allow you to see what tactics worked, and which ones didn’t.

Defining your key metrics proves to be the most important part of measuring your results.

Different content types may require different key metrics. Website traffic, for example, may be a relevant factor for blog posts, but it may not be important for your podcast.

Key metrics include:

User behaviour

  • Page views
  • Unique visitors
  • Pages per session
  • New and returning users
  • Average time on page
  • Page depth
  • Bounce rate
  • Traffic sources

Tools you can use to track user behaviour are:

  • SEMrush reports
  • Google Analytics
  • SimpleReach
  • Chartbeat

Engagement

  • Likes
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Mentions
  • Incoming requests
  • Republications

Tools you can use to track engagement are:

  • Social media platform analytics
  • SEMrush social media tracker
  • Mention
  • Brand24

SEO outcome

  • Organic traffic
  • Dwell time
  • Backlinks
  • Keyword rankings

Tools you can use to track SEO outcome are:

  • Google Webmaster tools
  • SEMrush On Page SEO Tracker
  • SEMrush Domain Analytics
  • Google Trends
  • Majestic

As for B2B marketers, they say that sales lead quality proves to be the most important metric, even more important than sales and conversions.

Company revenue would be something to look at if you’re in the B2B market. This includes:

  • Existing leads touched
  • New leads generated
  • ROI
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Conversion rate

To track these, you can:

  • Track returning users on Google Analytics
  • Check CRM for new and existing leads
  • Compute for the conversion rate

Key Takeaways

Here are some key takeaways from Ashley’s presentation:

  • Don’t be afraid to update your old content. Be more scared of leaving old stats in circulation – this could your or your client’s brand look outdated.
  • Turn text into video and audio. This is the content of the future.
  • Put your content on SlideShare and Quora. SlideShare generates a lot of traffic, while Quora allows you to connect with your audiences.
  • Turn old blog posts into ebooks. You can give them away to increase leads. If your client thinks giving something away for free can damage their reputation, you can charge $4.95 for it and get some reviews on Amazon.
  • Think mobile-first. Mobile devices will reach 79% in global internet use by the end of 2018. This means that you’re missing out big time if you haven’t jumped in on the mobile trend just yet. In creating mobile-friendly content, make sure everything is responsive in terms of text size and image size. Keep load speeds to 2 seconds or less.

Definitions

Page views – the number of users visiting a specific page
Unique visitors – distinct individuals visiting pages in a website within a given time period regardless of how often they visit
Pages per session – the average number of pages viewed in a website within a single session
New users – first-time users
Returning users – users who have been on the site before
Average time on page – average duration between the point when users land on the page and when they leave the page
Page depth – the average number of pages users view in a single session
Bounce rate – the percentage of users who leave the site after visiting a single page
Traffic sources – different sources that send traffic to a website
Mentions – instances when the brand or username is referenced or mentioned online
Republications – instances when your content is shared or republished somewhere else
Organic traffic – visits to a page or site coming from search engines; traffic coming from unpaid sources
Dwell time – the length of time a user spends on a page
Backlinks – incoming links into a page
Keyword rankings – how a site ranks on search engines based on the chosen keyword
Cost per acquisition – measures the cost to acquire a single paying customer on a campaign or channel level
Conversion rate – percentage of users who complete a desired action

Resources

Buffer
SEMrush
Google Analytics
SimpleReach
Chartbeat
Mention
Brand24
Google Webmaster tools
Google Trends
Majestic
Content audit template

To watch the talk in full about republishing content, click the link.

Questions

  1. What goals are you hoping to achieve in repurposing your content?
  2. Looking at your existing content, can you name two or three that can be considered good candidates for republishing? What about content that can be recycled and turned into other content formats?
  3. Looking at your current campaigns, do you have paid, earned, and owned distribution channels? If one is missing, what tactics can you use to start taking advantage of that area?
  4. What key metrics are you currently measuring? What metrics are not part of your current process but should be?
  5. How mobile-friendly is your content? What shortcomings do you think you have in terms of producing mobile-centric content?

How Marketers Can Incite Hunger Rather Than Just Serving Food

In this talk summary, we look at the keynote talk Rand Fishkin gave at a recent SearchLove Conference as he breaks down the importance of SEO and the fact we should focus on the demand it can bring and not just the rankings that result from good SEO.

Learning Objectives

After watching this video, you should be able to:

  • Understand why there is a bigger need for demand creation instead of just going for higher SERP ranking
  • Go for branded search terms instead of just individual generic queries
  • Create a demand not only within the SERPs, but outside of it as well

You can watch the full talk by Rand Fishkin about SEO Demand here.

 

Summary

Rand Fishkin is one of the co-founders of Moz. He is now with a new marketing technology company he founded, SparkToro.

For anyone in the field of SEO, reaching the top position in SERPs is the ultimate goal. But the ideal SEO scenario does not always happen. Oftentimes, SEO people mock companies for getting the concept of SEO wrong. But looking at Etsy’s track record could make you think twice about your judgment.

As a result to Google’s update in early March, Etsy lost 24% of their usual page one results a mere one day after the update. SEO people were shocked at the size of the loss, but for the rest of the world, that didn’t matter. That’s because Etsy was still experiencing incredible growth, especially in terms of stock market prices.

What’s the point here?
Basically, there are two paths that we can take – rank better in searches, or create more searches.
You would have to realize that SEO should not be limited to individual queries that are already there. Otherwise, you’d be wasting time tracking keywords like custom jewelry, vintage toys and handmade goods, Etsy’s main referring keywords. You’ll be left scratching your head in wonder why they’re still doing so well. Rand Fishkin recalls how he used to lose sleep over Moz’s rankings. But maybe what he should have been sweating about was focusing on Moz’s brand.
At the end of the day, it should be about how you’re creating the demand. The ultimate goal should be about branded search terms. After all, if it’s a specific query, Google has no other choice but to give answers to the navigational intent. And when you create the right kind of demand, the results would point to you.

How to Grow Demand Directly Through SEO

So how do you create the kind of demand that puts you in the spotlight?

  1. Search suggest
  2. Related searches
  3. People also search
  4. Rank, solve a query, earn loyalty

These would be the most obvious steps. However, the real focus should be on growing demand outside of SERPs.

How to Grow Demand Outside the SERPs

Here’s a clear roadmap on creating demand:

  • Associate your brand with a problem, need, or experience
  • Create an awareness for this problem, need or experience
  • Amplify the problem, need or experience
  • Increase brand visibility to the right people at the right time and place
  • Go for simple, repeated messaging that ties a need to your brand

Rand shared a Reddit post that excellently describes the scenario.

The Redditor was complaining that he was always seeing ads for cars, but he hates driving and takes public transport, so he has no intention of buying a car. He always sees ads for women’s products, but because he is a man, he doubts that he’ll ever buy any of those women’s products he sees. He proceeds to ask why companies are wasting money advertising to him, when he will never have any real need for any of these products.

Another user answered this beautifully.
He told the Redditor that in 10 years, he may decide to get a job outside the city, in which case, he’ll think of buying a car. He may be out with his girlfriend one day, and when his girlfriend starts talking about her hair, he may vaguely recall about a product he came across with that would work perfectly for her.
The work isn’t about the short term. That’s just a small portion of it. What brands should be focusing on would be long –term sale attribution. It’s about planting a seed that would eventually trigger a recall in the consumer’s mind. It’s about reinforcing branding.

How do you reinforce branding?
A brand is a promise. So when someone sees Brand X, it equates to Y attributes.
A brand should also be a memory trigger. So when someone experiences Problem Z, it should trigger a memory that Brand X is the potential solution.

Knowing these, you should also realize that brand marketing is similar to sending a coded message. This message should:

  • Remind people that the brand exists
  • Reinforce anything associated with the brand – shapes, colors, sounds, emotions
  • Send a nudge when the right time to use the brand arises

Everything should be used to reinforce the message subtly. Tweets, emails, landing pages, visuals, ads – all of these should be aligned with the brand promise.

Pro Tips in Demand Creation

Here are a few pro tips that could help in demand creation

1. Stop being so scared of controversy.

Penzeys Spices, after Trump’s win, released a statement about the Republican Party’s “open embrace of racism”. Traditionally, people would be shocked to see a consumer business go against a portion of the people who could potentially buy their products.

But after this move, they only lost 3% of their customers and gained a 59.9% increase in online sales.

2. Stop being so literal with language.

Before, people didn’t really care much for kale, quinoa, or blueberries. But when someone introduced the term “superfoods”, all of a sudden, they were all the rage.
People didn’t even care that there were studies published proving that there was no scientific evidence backing up the claims of superfoods enthusiasts. As it turns out, “naming” something can make things happen.

3. Let the product market itself.

InVision is a prototyping tool that designers use. What makes InVision great is the fact that it is not just easily shareable, it was also designed in a way that it requires the user to share the designs they make.
Now, that’s a great marketing tactic! It allows the product to market itself the moment a designer shares the prototype via the tool itself instead of sending soft copies through email.

4. Leverage customer affinities.

Rachel Yang has a restaurant in Seattle called Jewel. And when you look at the menu, you’ll see that some of the dishes listed there have a small icon that indicates they are part of Rachel’s cookbook. This is a great move, knowing that people who like eating at her restaurant would also be more likely to buy the cookbook.

5. Help your customers advocate for you.

One funny story is from a testimonial from someone who got a mattress from Leesa. The customer shares that he almost died because the mattress was so comfortable, he slept right through a fire in his building.

6. Align influencers’ motivations with your own.

When Rand left Moz, he published a blog about his Executive Admin, Nicci Heron, and how she has helped him through the years. After this, a group called Office Ninjas reached out to him and said that they would love to award Nicci with an award that they exclusively give out to Executive Admins.

Office Ninja may be a tiny organization, but they’re quickly growing because of steps like these.

Rand finishes off with one final thought – that all these should be done so that the SEO people do not just get the blame when they don’t reach number 1, but also get credit when the big numbers come in.

Definitions
SEO – Search Engine Optimization; the process of improving organic traffic into a website to increase ranking on search result pages
SERP – Search Engine Results Page; a list of responses to a query launched in a search engine
Grey hat SEO – the practice of using SEO methods that may be technically acceptable, but ethically questionable
White hat SEO – the practice of using SEO methods that focus on the needs of the human audience

Resources Mentioned
SparkToro
SimilarWeb
Jumpshot
Google Trends
GetResponse
Sistrix

Questions

  1. List down your current SEO tactics. Would you say that you’re more focused on ranking higher, or on creating more demand?
  2. What actionable steps can you take to increase demand for you brand, products and/or services outside the SERPs?
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