What Are Algorithms? (a 4 min read)

What Are Algorithms? (a 4 min read)

For most marketers and digital nomads, algorithms are a bit like a blockchain.  Everyone understands a bit of it, but ask them to explain what and how it works – good luck or expect a long complex answer that seems to go off topic but does not really answer the question. 

You know it.  We have all been there. So what are algorithms exactly (without going off on a tangent)?

What Are Algorithms – The Official Definition:

I like BBC’s definition:

An algorithm is a sequence of instructions or a set of rules that are followed to complete a task. 
Source: BBC Bitesize

So what does that mean exactly?  Let’s demystify some of this term loosely bounced around in the context of someone who has an attention span of a 2-year-old on YouTube (yes I have a 2-year-old at home and yes he has been getting too much screen time).

It is like asking your computer to run a program with a specific goal in mind.  The algorithm’s goal can be to provide good search results that answer the query in the easiest and quickest time possible using complex data technology (if you thought of Google’s algorithm here, you get a star!)

Or it can be showing you videos on your streaming app feed for ones you have watched a lot in the past or have shown interest in (you guessed it, YouTube)

Or it can be your friends’ updates and or ads on topics you have shown interest in by browsing on their platform (Facebook, Twitter, or really any other social media platform is using an algorithm for this).

The internet runs on these algorithms. Websites have algorithms.  Search engines have algorithms. Online or mobile apps have algorithms.  GPS has algorithms. Video games have algorithms. Artificial intelligence?  Dating Sites?  Social Media sites?  Well, you get the point.

In a nutshell, this task or guidance provided to machines in a form of code is not easy to do and there will never be 100% correct results for every user, every query, or every action that takes place online.  Because of this, these algorithms must ‘optimize’ – keep trying to feed you things to ensure your satisfaction remains high (or keeps going in the right direction), so you a) spend more time on their platforms or b) come back often and or tell your friends about it.

Hopefully, you can see that algorithms aren’t as mysterious as you originally thought before starting down this post 😊. We are talking concepts here and not technical definitions, so you understand what they are designed to do and the intricacies around them.

Related: What Should Businesses Do Today To Establish Trust Online?

Related: What Is Web Development

Why algorithms have gotten a bad rep lately?

So why the heat lately?

Well, on social media – let’s take Facebook for example – it keeps giving you posts, ads, and content on topics you have shown interest in.  These algorithms track all the online behaviour of users, and slice and dice your profile to match you with ideas, products, communities that they think you will engage with well. Well, that on the surface is not bad, but it allows you to create a more tunnel vision and groupthink.  Polarized topics can form groupthink and it becomes harder for us to connect with others who may not hold our viewpoint over a period of time.

This leads a more divided society that is constantly only fed their own view point on mass (now this is getting a bit political here – so I am not going to expand here, but I think you can see what I mean by this. Hopefully).

Case in point – ever heard of mySpace and their child exploitation scandals that gave this social platform a bad reputation and lead the likes of Facebook (and others) to take its place? mySpace used algorithms and did not put checks in place to ensure bad behaviour and criminal activity is not rewarded.

Also, more research is emerging that talks about predictive analytics used in algorithms punish the poor.

So use of algorithms without proper checks and constant oversight can lead to outcomes that are less than ideal and may even be construed as “trust breaching” or ‘unethical’ to many.

Privacy Concerns 

Algorithms aren’t always perfect.  

What Are Algorithms? Code screen on black background.

Ever heard of cookies?  Well, these are pieces of code that are saved on your browser on the machine you accessed it from and are used to track your behaviour, interest, demographics online by other websites that can then advertise to you.

A lot of folks have been becoming uncomfortable with this idea of being tracked so we can be advertised at a later date.  This means online surveillance by companies is only increasing and people are starting to learn about how this impacts their behaviour including security concerns, purchasing intent, and more. 

Companies can and have taken advantage of it and some as a result may have also suffered because of it.  Take Facebook and their scandal with Cambridge Analytica where the consulting company (not the social media giant) was able to acquire personal and private data on Facebook’s platform and sold it to US election campaign officials.  This constituted a breach from Facebook (and conceded it as a “breach of trust” after being caught).  Facebook was later fined $5 billion.

We are still figuring out as a digital community, world, and society at large what impact these pieces of code have on our daily lives.  Some of it is good and some of it is not so good.

With innovation, many companies have been very accepting of adapting these tools (these algorithms) to help them stand out, deliver more with less, and find ways to get more people dependant on their platform.  If people keep coming back and keep sharing their personal and online behaviour traits, it makes it easy for these companies that use algorithms to market to them.

Our job at Web Worx Labs is to give our voice to technologies and use them ethically where possible.  We bring light to this issue as we recognize and understand the legitimate concerns many have come to express over the years with these technologies.

Have thoughts to share?  Questions or need more clarity.  Comment below or reach out at info@webworxlabs.com. Contact us via email by filling out our contact form: https://www.webworxlabs.com/contact-us/

 

What Is A Good Digital Marketing Budget For Your Company in 2021? (Post COVID-19)

What Is A Good Digital Marketing Budget For Your Company in 2021? (Post COVID-19)

What Is A Good Digital Marketing Budget For Your Company in 2021? (Post COVID-19)

Good Solutions & Offerings Still Needs To Be Marketed

Even in post COVID-19 times, a good digital marketing budget is a must.

One of the things that business leaders need to understand is the importance of digital marketing in the new normal. While there are some leaders who have a hard time figuring this out, we just want you to remember about Apple from the 90s. Not the Apple today but from back then.

I may be dating myself – but there was a time when Apple was not the giant it was and Microsoft and IBM dominated the world of Tech.

So what happened? How did Apple come to dominate and the likes of Microsoft, IBM, and other dinosaurs today come to take a back-seat in market-caps? (don’t get me wrong, IBM and Microsoft are still innovating, but they have not been able to get their leadership position in 2021).

When Steve Jobs took the reigns, he knew that the company needed a lot more than good products. They needed a well-thought marketing strategy that allowed people to get to know their products. So, with this in mind, he set up his action plan and the reality is that he did it. No one can believe that when Jobs took over Apple at that time, the company was near bankruptcy.

While not all companies can be Apple and not all business leaders are Steve Jobs, the truth is that we can all learn from this real example. A good digital marketing plan can help your company grow.

Digital Will Play A Bigger Role Post COVID-19

With most western nations expected to roll-out the vaccines in 2021, we expect digital marketing to play a bigger role than pre-COVID-19 levels.

According to the latest research in 2020 of surveys done with Chief Marketing Officers – there “Digital is King” and is expected to account for 80% of the total Budget.

Source: Gartner.com – CMO Spend Infographic 2020-2021

Additionally, in the same research paper, the analysis revealed that CMOs do see tech as the path to more customer intimacy and recovery. In 2021, with the vaccines rolling out and traditional marketing activities and in-person eventing coming back into play, digital will account for approx. 26% of the total marketing budget spend across many industries in big business.

Different Industries Have Different Budgets

While having some amounts in mind is a good thing, you can’t forget that the money or percentage that you decide to invest in digital marketing ultimately depends on your industry. Education tends to be the industry that has a high budget for marketing, followed by consumer services, and transportation, and the industries that tend to have smaller marketing budgets are usually a part of the mining/construction and energy industries.

Different Industries Have Different Levels Of Adaption To Digital:

Digital Marketing Budget Impact - changes in behaviour. CMO Survey graphic.

Source: The CMO Survey. Conducted by Deloitte, AMA & Fuqua School of Business. Results Published June 2020.

A great summary attached in the link showcases that there are opportunities in Manufacturing & Pharma industries not adapting as fast in providing a better digital experience in a post-pandemic world.

I suppose that is to be expected, given many manufacturing businesses that were hard hit because of the pandemic was likely saving the spend in marketing given the loss in revenue. Others that may have seen the increase in revenue because of the pandemic (think PPE suppliers) were so intent and likely focused on fulfilling demand, that digital spending were likely not the priority in this interim.

However, digital experiences expected to return in 2021 as that is the sentiment across most industry market leaders as per below:

Source: The CMO Survey. Conducted by Deloitte, AMA & Fuqua School of Business. Results Published June 2020. Pg 16.

As the above chart shows, a bulk of marketing leaders expect the digital to play pre-pandemic roles in generating revenue by July 2021 (given this survey was conducted in June 2020 in the middle of the pandemic). This is in line with expectations as western markets have the vaccines being rolled out and will likely be the case as the world gains immunity and things come back to normal.

Finding The Right Number

So, what percentage should you devote to marketing? What should be taken into consideration?

The truth is that there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. Nevertheless, and even though you may have the biggest budget in the world, you need to know how to apply it.

If you decide to pose this question to different marketers, most of them will say that it depends on your industry. And they are right. However, if you push them to give a more detailed answer to this question, most of them will say that if they need to say a number they would say 10%.

In our opinion, there isn’t a magic number like 10% or 15% of your revenues. The truth is that the budget that you dedicate exclusively to marketing depends on many different factors.

Even during the pandemic, when companies took a significant drop in revenues, the percentage of marketing spends increased to the highest level in the last 10 years as a percentage of total revenue. This indicates the importance of marketing spends even during the pandemic. There was a drop in marketing dollars, but the percentage increased and there was changing the mix towards more online or customer experience vs. offline marketing training initiatives within the budget from a survey done by TheCMOSurvey.org.

This is to be expected as due to this pandemic, social distancing measures and multiple lockdowns that occured, we were little cut off from delivering off line or in person marketing initiatives.

So how do we know what percetange is right for your company or brand having understood a greater shift towards digital?

The marketing budget of an established company like Apple (in its current state), for example, should be completely different than the marketing budget of a company that is still in its beginning or the growth phase.

According to a study made by Gartner Research, larger companies that have revenue over 5 $billion tend to spend, on average, 13% of their revenue on marketing.

This is also in line with the research shared by The CMO Survey where in the middle of the pandemic, marketing spends as a percentage of revenue were between 11-13%.

In what concerns to smaller companies which include the companies that have revenue between $250 and $500 Million, they tend to spend about 10% of their annual revenue, on average, on marketing.

Smaller companies will likely have a higher percentage of revenue but a lot lower dollar amount given their size. Even on a shoe-string budget, there are core digital and traditional marketing activities that budget should allocate funds to keep their pipeline humming and nurture existing and future customers.

So our recommendation at Web Worx Labs is that you should plan your budgeting cycle by having at least 10% of your revenue allocated to marketing activities to help derive future sales, grow your presence and awareness, and continue generating new business for your brand.

Conclusion

With a higher or lower budget for marketing, the most important thing to retain is that this budget is crucial as well as where you apply it.

Digital marketing has a huge influence on how people look at your company, at your products and your brand presence vs. others offering similar solutions in the markets you compete in.

Successful digital marketing campaigns are part of the mix and do bring a lot of value (sales, revenue, leads, new customers) to your company.

If your business is starting to grow, this is the perfect time to make a true investment in your brand via marketing.

Do you need help in understanding where digital marketing fits in your media marketing mix?  Call us at 1 833 WEB WORX or reach out via email info@webworxlabs.com and we would be happy to assist.

You can also schedule a free consultation if you have questions on how the digital marketing budget can impact your brand’s growth potential. Reach us via filling out this contact-form

Or if you have thoughts you want to add to this article or think we missed something in the analysis above – let us know and we would be happy to add your thoughts to the discussion!

Happy budgeting!

Related: Comprehensive Guide On Types of Advertising

Types of Advertising

Types of Advertising

Types of Advertising – Detailed & Comprehensive Guide

Advertising? The most significant form of marketing communication done to promote or sell a solution through a non-personal message and openly sponsored format.

Arguably the most popular discipline within the marketing function.

Introduction

There are several types of advertisings. However, not many people are fully aware of them.

Although now the current generation knows what exactly advertisements do but still to sound a bit academic, let us give you a more detailed overview and begin by looking at the very definition of advertising.

“The businesses are trying to persuade people to buy products or services.”

It’s the act or practice of swaying towards a purchase.

Several ways have been introduced from traditional/legacy media to new/modern media?

The history of advertising can be traced to ancient civilization when Egyptians used papyrus (thick paper) to make wall posters and write sales messages.

Advertisers have a vast array of choices, and in this blog, we’ll lay out many of the types of advertising.

Advertising is communicated through various media formats; it can be either through traditional media or digital media.

Today, we breakdown the different media that are available for businesses and brands to consider when looking to advertise.

Traditional Media 

This form of media communicates with one-way technologies, involve print media.

We can further classify media into direct mail, newspaper, magazines, outdoor advertising, radio broadcasting, and television.

New Media or Digital Advertising 

This form of media enables people to telecommunicate with each other through search engine results, websites, articles, blogs, social media platforms, and text messages.

You can even call new/modern media digital media because of the use of electronic devices.

Both types of advertising are still in use, but with the advent of new media, traditional media has faced many challenges.

Which doesn’t mean that it has lost its worth.

With the advancements in digital media, it is said that advertisers had spent $40 billion more on internet ads than on TV ads last year.

You can also check the full stats of global advertising spending here from 2014 to 2021.

spending in billions chart from statista- types of advertising blog

Image source; Statista – Worldwide spending in Advertising in billions

Today, businesses want to promote their brands and services by capturing the minds of people through new methods.

Worldwide the estimated spending on advertising is undoubtedly going to increase in the upcoming years, as businesses want to promote their brands and services by capturing the minds of people through new methods.

A good marketing strategy for brands includes a good dose of offline or traditional marketing and digital marketing.

Are you curious to know about the tactics used in advertising to reach consumers?

The following list is our approach to provide a detailed and comprehensive overview of the types of advertising options available to a brand large or small.  By now means is this list complete, but a good guide with lots of options depending on your unique needs and your marketing mix.

The following list will help your business to grab the attention of your targeted audience to generate higher exposure, visibility and overtime growth for your business.

We begin our breakout with traditional media and then get into digital advertising to round out a complete picture.

Direct Mail

Image Source: Aviaro

In advertising, direct mail is one of the oldest types in which prospective buyers receive a message by post or mail service.

Direct mail is used by businesses in which they send letters, brochures, catalogues, postcards, and promotional material to their potential clients and customers.

The most significant advantage of this type of advertising is it allows you to communicate with your targeted audience one-on-one. This method is beneficial as it provides direct and detailed information about the product sent to the buyers and attempts to establish direct contact with the consumer.

In contrast, in other types of advertising, you’re never 100% sure who is receiving your message.

There are disadvantages to this form of advertising as it suffers from certain flaws because it is sent directly to the clients. It has limited reach, and response rates are often low as many consumers throw direct mail pieces away without giving it a read.

This can get costly if the advertiser is not getting the desired result.

Be mindful of the fact that if you’re going to choose direct mail, you have to do it right.

For a particular demographic and buyer personas, this advertising type may still be useful. Know your customer, and if you feel that the communities and customers you are targeting open direct mail, this may be a great tried, true, and tested way to advertise.

Newspapers and Magazines

Image Source: MyImaginaryFriendGraphics

One of the most used formats in the 20th century to advertise to your target audience is by using print media. This format usually comes in two mediums of communication, i.e., newspapers and magazines.

As you may already know, print journalism has been in decline as such this medium is reaching far fewer people than it did in the past.

However, many still get printed newspapers on their doorstep. Besides, doctors, dentists, and lawyers’ offices are usually filled with magazines to help their patients or clients pass the time.

Newspapers are still essential 

Even though the reach is shrinking, the right message can resonate with the target audience if done right.

Several benefits of newspaper advertising cannot be found elsewhere, including television, radio, or even the internet.

The cost of advertising is more affordable than many of the mediums and offers better targeting. Newspaper adverting allows brands to target a specific audience that is often difficult to reach through other mediums.

Newspapers effectively reach more customers because of the ability to be an engaging and trustworthy source.

However, given its declining reach, this channel for advertising should not be solely relied upon to get your word out.

Using Magazine Advertisement To Increase Your Ads Shelflife

You might be thinking, “it may seem pointless to advertise in magazines?”

The reason being that other mediums have reached millions of consumers and “who reads print magazines in this day & age?”

Well, it is not pointless. Hear us out on this one.

magazine - types of advertising

Because ads in magazines have a more extended staying power or shelf life than other digital ads that come and go.

You have the power to stay in the minds of the consumer much longer in comparison to other mediums by advertising in a magazine.

Advertisements in magazines are very creative vs. perhaps other simpler formats because of being colourful and “prestigious,” which appeals to the readers.

However, the cost of advertising in magazines is higher and has much less flexibility compared to newspapers.

A fun fact about magazine advertisements is that those published on the right-hand page are more expensive than the left-hand page.

Still, newspapers and magazines both can have a more significant impact and exposure because millions of people are still reading this in this day and age (in the post-COVID19 world).

In 2020, newspaper circulation still stood at 19.6 million copies (yes million) in the heart of the pandemic year within Canada alone.  So people do get exposure to print.  

If your target audience demographic leans older, in remote areas or has less access to the internet, then this medium of advertising should be a strong contender to get the message out.  

Radio Advertising

Image Source: Adweek

When you’re thinking about methods of advertising to promote your business, radio might not be the first thing that comes to your mind.  

Podcasts are on the rise.  With over 18.5 million episodes and 525,000 active podcast shows, no wonder the transition to this form of audio info/entertainment is happening.

However, radio is still holding a good share of the market. Even in the post-pandemic world, the numbers have stayed steady if not increased in the 2020 year:

Source: Statista

Especially in the era of social media, radio might seem “dated” to the younger generation (those that are 37 years and younger today).

But radio can be something important when it comes to market your advertising depending on your target audience.

Radio advertising, as compared to other media, offers more affordability.

It also offers broad reach to the targeted audience and can be beneficial for your enterprise by delivering a timely message.

If you want to go with radio advertising, a few things you must keep in mind.

Among other broadcast mediums, which have visual appeal, radio can only impact your target audience through sound.

But it covers all types of listeners, whether literate or not, to advertise your product.

Don’t forget that people listening to your advertisement on the radio are probably doing something else at the same time, like doing household chores or driving.

They are likely multitasking (driving or working for example) and listening to your advertisement at the same time.

So, try to make your key information more prominent about the product you’re selling.

As with any other form of advertising, given the steady share in the market, it is a good medium to get your brand out there.  

Television Advertising

back of head of a guy looking at a television - types of advertising

Image Source: EuroBusinessInfo

Watching tv is one of the most common and modern leisure activities, and advertising on television is one of the fastest-growing mediums of marketing.

This type of advertising has gained substantial popularity among the masses these days.

TV advertising is the most dominant way to reach a large number of consumers.  For baby boomers particularly – this is still the number one source of media consumption (in the post-COVID-19 era).

A great research study done by Global Web Index details the breakout by demographic here.

Because this medium includes sound and sight to convey the message to your audience.

Advertising on television allows you to show and tell a wide range of audiences by grabbing their attention.

Engaging television ads are not just walking and talking messages.

They foster emotions, empathy, and leave an ever-lasting impression on the viewer’s mind.

These elements make television ads costly compared to other mediums but also more effective and impressive.

Cinema Advertising

Image Source: Pinterest

Ever thought of advertising right before a movie starts at a movie theatre?

The ads broadcast in cinemas are just as same on television but have one privilege over their smaller screen counterparts. And that is the captive environment of the cinema in which the audience has no chance or option to change the channel, ignore it, not even easily walk away because they are at a movie theatre.

Also, did you know that cinemagoers are four times more likely to be emotionally involved in your ad than a television audience?

When they remember the movie – they also remember the advertisement displayed in between.

That is pretty powerful!

So, this option is one of the most creative and smart techniques to promote your brand and make sure your message is heard.

Undoubtedly, it can be – but with COVID19 and the future of the theatre industry in peril, this can have an impact on the viability of this option.  Nonetheless, when and if it does get back to its usual audience sizes, this is a good option for marketers to use as an advertising medium.

When going for this advertising option, choose the timings and movie when you want your ad to appear on the big screen.

Options now exist to have your ad seen before the movie begins or during intermission.

In my opinion, it is always better to promote your brand before the film starts – because, in an intermission, many people leave for a break (and many North American movies do not offer the intermissions).

This type of advertising is much more expensive than other options discussed so far but does provide more contract and targeting and because of this has a higher value as it serves hundreds of people at once.

This can be effective and part of your marketing mix, if you have larger budgets and can afford expensive mediums to build lasting impressions.

Outdoor Advertising

OOH – stands for Out-Of-Home advertising.

Why this is out of home when radio can be out of home or cinema or other formats are definitely out of home is beyond me at this point.  Nonetheless, it is a term that stuck.

As the name suggests, this type of advertising is created to reach consumers who are in a public place, or outdoors.

This advertising falls into four main categories:

  • Billboards.
  • Street furniture.
  • Transits.
  • Digital outdoor advertising.

Billboard advertising

Billboard advertising - webworxlabs mockup of billboards at work when showing types of advertising

Image Source: FreeMockUp

We all are aware of what billboards are and can easily find them either on highly visible, heavy traffic areas or less-travelled roads in rural areas.

Drivers and travellers see them almost everywhere, as they are a cost-effective advertising method.

The stunning visuals on billboards leave an impression on the viewer and help you get the best bang for your buck.

Street Furniture

Image Source: Cityam

The use of street furniture for advertising is one of the efficient and cost-effective approaches.

Let us tell you what certain displays fall into the general category of street furniture such as benches in parks, busses and bus stop shelters, pole and telephone kiosks, news racks, etc.

Transit Advertising

Transit Advertising

Image Source: Local Advertising Journal

The most popular form of transit advertising is ads on the sides of the busses.

This is also common in subways, taxis, along airport walkways to highlight their products.

Digital Outdoor Advertising

Example of a type of advertising showing outdoor ads

Image Source: ReadytoQuote

This type of advertising is also known as digital signage.

Electrical technology is used to change what is displayed on a screen.

This specific type of advertising has gained much popularity within modern times because of the advent of digital billboards, which easily attract consumers.

Ultimately advertising follows the consumers wherever they go, and all the categories mentioned above, offer ways to reach a broader audience in a local or regional market.

Great for general brand awareness and consideration of top-of-funnel advertising.

Digital Advertising

Unlike traditional advertising, digital advertising provides much more precision and control in reaching the target audiences.

The control in digital advertising comes from “cookies” or tags that are installed on a user’s machine when they visit a platform or a website.

This visit by the user gives the website owner pertinent intelligence that it can use in understanding, storing, defining the characteristics of demographic and preferences, taste, location, and historical buying and browsing patterns. These cookies assign a unique identifier for each visitor and allow the website owner to keep track of the same user when they revisit the site.

All different types of users visit this website or platform, and this massive amount of data is collected (big data) and synthesized. In essence, it gives the publishers, website owners or platforms a high level of precision to have advertisers place ads in front of a very targeted audience.

The platform or site can then sell this space to advertisers much the same way a newspaper does.

As an advertiser looking to advertise on the platform or website, you use the data to really segment and specify when, where, and how frequently you want your ad to appear.

Various types of publishers are available online, and these include search engines, social media platforms, video streaming services, and market places.

Pay Per Click Advertising

The most common form of online advertising is pay-per-click.

This form gives the advertiser to place ads in front of the target audience on the publisher’s platform.

The advertiser only pays when the user clicks on the ad.

Impressions are usually free (depending on the type of campaign you configure).

Is that not amazing in digital? That your brand can get exposure without having to ever pay for advertising when you configure most campaign types on Google.

This is a significant difference from traditional media formats where they charge for every time it is printed or distributed.

Here distribution is usually free, and only when the customer’s curiosity is intrigued, and he or she has shown interest, the publisher track and collects.

Related: Learn About Our Pay Per Click Advertising Services

Related: Learn About Digital Marketing Lead Generation With Advertising In Our Training Page

There are various forms of Pay-Per-Click advertising, including social media, search engine results pages, and video viewership.

Social Media Advertising

LinkedIn Social Media Advertising Example - For Types of Advertising

Image Source: Hootsuite

Most social media channels and platforms exist to monetize ways to provide advertising capabilities to the brands and companies for the users or traffic on their platforms.  So they all offer pay-per-click advertising services.

While there are other advertising approaches, social media advertising has taken over the market by storm.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, this strategy can help achieve your business objectives.

This type of advertising is used to grab the attention of the social media platform users to bring in consistent sales, awareness, leads, consideration or build trust and loyalty. 

Social Media allows you to promote your brand in several ways; some of them are:

  • In-stream ads
  • Text-based ads
  • Photo and video-based ads

Also, these help in increasing your fanbase/follower-base and or sales as well – depending on the type of campaign you configure in the social media platform.

From people engaging with your page (likes and engagement), to people booking appointments or giving their phone number to follow up are all options in this wide world of social media advertising.

Now the question is, which type of social media platform will help your business grow?

Here, we have compiled the list of influential social media advertising platforms you should be familiar with in 2021 (if not present and active in all of them):

  • Facebook.
  • Instagram.
  • Twitter.
  • Pinterest.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Snapchat.
  • TikTok
  • WhatsApp

You can take a look at all of these social media platforms and quickly find out which ads are worth your budget.

We understand there are many advertising options out there.

It might make it challenging to decide which ad platform you could get the best ROI from.

If you need help deciding whether social advertising is right for your business, you can ask us.

We’ll help you select the right ones or ones we believe may be the best fit for your brand given the business model you have.  You will need to narrow down what your short and long-term goals are as well.  If you are looking for immediate sales then certain types of ad campaigns on specific platforms may yield better results on social media vs. other options.  

On the other hand, if the goal is long-term brand building and you already have a good presence on one social media channel (or ought to have given your audience hangs out there) – then, it is a good idea to advertise and stay on top of mind with longer-term campaigns for brand awareness and consideration.

Related: Our Social Media Marketing & Management Services

YouTube Advertising

With the increase of viewership on YouTube, no blog on advertising will be complete if there is no mention of YouTube.

More than 3/4 of the adults in the US use YouTube according to research shared on Hootsuite’s blog.

That is a huge number of users and they are only increasing!

We covered television and social advertising earlier, but this medium has so much content that is consumed and uploaded on a daily basis that it is becoming the go-to spot for an increasing number of brands to get the word out about their brand via ads, original content creation and influencer collaborations.

It is like a mix of TV, social and influencer forms of advertising all rolled up into one.

Really recommended for most brands who want to get a good message out and build brand impressions over time.  Not so much as a lead generation mechanism, but a good tool to showcase thought expertise, build trust and create awareness. 

Amazon Advertising

Do you sell on Amazon?  Or are you an e-commerce brand that is considering amazon?

If you are an e-commerce brand and want to market on this crazy online retail shop, you first need to have a presence.

With Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) – vendors and sellers can now advertise on this powerful and very active online store to get in front of their target audience very quickly.  This is because it offers a lot of the same ad formats like social media networks and Google in how to reach target audiences.  These formats include:

  1. Native Ads
  2. Product Display ads
  3. Headline search ads
  4. Sponsored Ads
  5. Video Ads

You can learn about Amazon advertising formats here.

Final Words

We have walked you through a ton of options for the major types of advertising options available to you today (whether online or offline).

Now it’s your turn to choose the right platform to research, deliberate, analyze and narrow which mediums and platforms are your best options to run your campaigns on.

Most businesses do not have infinite resources, so there will likely be a prioritization of some over others.  We hope you find the above insights, analysis and recommendations useful in finalizing the right media mix for your brand (as every brand is different).

If you’re still not sure about where to allocate your budget or your ad campaign isn’t performing well, let us know in the comments below we’ll be happy to help you.  We may not be the right fit for offline advertising, but we may be able to help you with graphics creation, photography, advertising or general marketing and branding support if you need it.

Remember, a single mistake in advertising can be costly.

To keep an eye on your mistakes, you can hire an expert here to handle your online ad campaigns and start promoting the brand.

Questions? Don’t be afraid to reach out.  You can reach us at info@webworxlabs.comm for any advertising queries you may have!

10 Strong B2B Marketing Strategies That Will Grow Your Business

10 Strong B2B Marketing Strategies That Will Grow Your Business

10 Strong B2B Marketing Strategies That Will Grow Your Business

 

Business owners who own B2B companies use traditional marketing activities, which typically involve promotion, advertising or campaigns, publicity sales, and distribution.

Companies have used all these traditional means of marketing for years.

The truth is that when you have a B2B company, you have multiple marketing strategies that you can use, both online and offline.

Most B2B marketers are aware of what they need to do to promote a B2B and that some factors are specific to this kind of business, and only the more advanced marketers know about them.

Here are ten best practices and tips to help improve and have a more positive impact on your B2B marketing strategies. So, make sure that you check the best ones. Enjoy!

#1: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For B2B Organizations:

In the world of digital marketing, in most B2B environments, such things are often heard like “ SEO has become less relevant, ineffective, and it’s too competitive.”

 

-Ahh! That is not true.

Although it has become a bit more challenging to compete with other marketers with SEO in recent years, then again, smart marketers know ways to use effective SEO strategies to continue driving leads and sales for a B2B company in a strategic way.

Remember one thing that SEO strategies are always subject to change.

This is because a variety of factors keeps changing and updating with time, including updates in the algorithm, changing user behavior, and location.

Wait! What are the critical SEO strategies, and how can they help your B2B company?

Feeling curious to get this answer? Have a look at the basics of SEO, and check out the SEO page here.

However, to get ahead in SEO, you need to spend time on the following elements:

  • Generating unique, relevant, and high-quality content.
  • Building links.
  • Outreach.

Several SEO consultants think that the real goal of SEO is to increase the position of any business in search engines.

You need to know that many different marketing strategies can be used to drive more traffic.

SEO is different for B2B companies, and so are the strategies. As Columnist Garrett Mehrguth notes in this article, “B2B companies need to think differently about SEO.

Are you doing your SEO wrong?

Need help or advice on how to approach your SEO campaign? Reach out!

Related: SEO Services For B2B & B2C Brands 

#2: Pay Per Click (PPC) For B2B Professionals:

Presenting to you another great marketing strategy! PPC stands for “Pay Per Click.”

PPC is a form of advertising that can help your B2B company grow online.

All you simply have to do is pay a fee each time when one of your ads is clicked. It is a way of buying visits/audience to earn visitors through paid marketing.

What does a PPC campaign do?

With a PPC campaign, you will be able to reach your targeted audience and you have a wide variety of platforms and mediums to run your campaigns on.

Some of the most known and used PPC platforms include Google Ads, Bing Ads, and the major social media platforms.

However, if you are a B2B company and your business is aimed directly at consumers, then LinkedIn advertising is also worth considering.

Before you start a PPC campaign, learn how to do it right.

The first thing you need to do is to have a clear sense of your goal that you have for the campaign and define a set of keywords that you want to target.

Then, you will need to write an attractive and relevant ad and make your bid on each one of the keywords that you want to target.

Depending on your quality score and on how much you pay, your ad will be displayed, and you will only pay for the clicks that your ad generates.

There are many different strategies that you can use to ensure that your campaign is successful.

Nevertheless, one of the main advantages of using PPC is that the results are immediate, and you can monitor them in real-time.

This also allows you to make changes to the ad, add or delete keywords, and change the bids depending on the results that you are getting.

An excellent resource for understanding PPC – is written by Larry Kim. You can also read a great primer about PPC on our webpage here.

Related: 5 Simple Tips To Optimize Google Ads

Related: PPC Management Services

SEO Vs. PPC

Above, we have discussed the two main strategies for boosting traffic to your website.

Still, it is not necessary to make a single choice to reach a targeted audience either via search engine optimization (SEO) or PPC ads.

Both can be used to get powerful outcomes. Nonetheless, one of them surely serves long-term advantages.

Benefits-of-SEO-And-PPC1 by SEJ

 

This above picture says it all! However, when combined, both can give excellent results and work for hand in hand with B2B companies.

Related: Tips To Rank Higher in Search Engines

#3: Content Marketing an Effective B2B Strategy:

The strategy of content marketing is the distribution of useful, relevant, valuable, and consistent content to attract and focus on people (company owners and wholesale buyers) to drive profitable customer action.

The core aim of content marketing in B2B is to build a valuable relationship with the audience that leads to long-term customers.

 

Content marketing in B2B is not an easy task and can be very challenging, as it requires a strategic approach for creating a B2B marketing strategy.

Naturally, content marketing is a method B2B companies use to reach the ideal audience through a plan by creating unique content to convey what their business is all about.

Avoid making your content too promotional, as people will eventually lose their interest, trust, and faith in your company.

The best way of gaining authority and trust is by creating useful and engaging content.

Many B2B marketers, as part of their more comprehensive digital strategies, use content marketing.

The content that you should be publishing must depend on your industry trends and demographics.

Quality content has become a digital marketing powerhouse and offers an impressive ROI.

There are many different types of content that you can create, from the traditional “How to” to product reviews, guidance, tips, among so many others.

However, the most important thing is that you are delivering the content that your audience likes and wants.  And the second most important thing is to market it!  Promote it on social media, advertise it, share it friends and family – but get the word out about your content.  Because if you don’t market your content, then you will not be able to leverage the benefits that the content can really provide.  Again, the “marketing” in content marketing is very crucial.

#4: Social Media For B2B Marketing:

In this digital era, no one can question the power of social media.

To gleam the B2B Company, you have to put two main ingredients, social media content and social media advertising together.

Being a user of social media platforms, the very first thought that comes to your mind while watching other brands killing it on social media is the B2C companies (business to consumer).

The reason is that you rarely hear about B2B companies crushing it on social media.

This does not mean that B2B marketers start to treat it as an afterthought.

It can be the most beneficial channel to increase customer engagements, which automatically means an increase in sales.

We know that social media has played a vital role in allowing many companies to build their names and become known among those who are not aware of any specific brand.

Social media platforms differ from one another, and so does their marketing strategies.

In the image below, you can see the percentages of B2B companies that taste success through social media platforms.

 

Image Source: LYFE Marketing.

However, they offer several ways to help you connect with your targeted audience.

LinkedIn is a great social media platform that allows you to connect to other business leaders, decision-makers in your industry directly, and you never know when a new opportunity can arise.

Just like most of the B2B companies, don’t restrict yourself just to LinkedIn.

It makes sense that LinkedIn has gained the reputation of being the best social media platform for B2B companies, and the Content Marketing Institute found that 63% of marketers have rated it the most effective social media platform.

Having a presence on other platforms can also be a one-two combination in your social media strategy.

Facebook Ads offer a more powerful way to connect with the same audience if targeted correctly when they are not thinking about business.  This can be a great way to double your exposure online and build trust so it becomes easier to close those leads over time.

Need help with B2B social media marketing?

At Web Worx Labs, we have helped large & small B2B brands develop a robust social media strategy. We are here to help!

Related: Social Media Marketing

#5: Marketing Automation:

Marketing automation refers to software platforms that help you automate your marketing actions, reducing cost, and improving effectiveness.

In basic terms, it is a process of replacing repetitive manual processes with automated ones.

At the same time, it allows firms to personalize and scale their marketing programs.

When you have a B2B company, it’s not easy to supply the right materials when they are needed. Nevertheless, when you do it, you can be sure that your prospect conversions will increase.

Marketing automation can help you do this in multiple ways:

– Lead Scoring: 

Whenever you have a new lead, it may be difficult to know its quality.

So, by using marketing automation, you will score the different interactions the company has with the lead.

Simply put, you will only put your sales team in contact with the lead when you know they are ready to buy from you.

– Lead Nurturing:

While you can easily attract people to your website, you want to ensure that they have the best experience.

Again, marketing automation can help you get better results since you can; for example, implement drip campaigns based on the user’s behavior.

– Persona Personalization:

Marketing automation can help you define different categories of your prospects. We are all different.

Nevertheless, some specifics are familiar. This can help you target the people who have more money to spend, for example.

#6: Customer Relationship Management (CRM):

CRM refers to practices and strategies used by B2B organizations to analyze and manage customer interactions and data throughout the dealing, intending to improve customer services relationship.

CRM, concerning B2B, is essential for the success of modern business. Remember that the core focus of your business should be your customer because your B2B customer is a company, not an individual.

You need to make sure that both your marketing and sales teams are in direct touch and that they complement each other.

The secret is to have good communication between the two teams that allow them to work in harmony/together to figure out every detail about your marketing campaigns.

Together, they should be able to evaluate if the campaign went well, what they did well and not so well, which campaigns were responsible for the largest ROI, among others.

#7: Sponsorship – A B2B Marketing tactic:

Sponsorship is a crucial component of marketing. It is a way to market your brand and is a very popular marketing technique.

Focusing on the online world is great, but you can’t forget that you also have a market in the offline world.

So, one of the things you can do to get your company known and establish new contacts as well as do a bit of branding at the same time are sponsorships.

Just think about networking sessions or sponsoring an event. This allows you to connect with real people in a physical space.

Many business owners forget about the importance of face-to-face interactions. So, don’t act the same way.

You’ll tend to remember a lot better about a conversation that you have offline than when you are online.

In case you have a small budget and you can’t sponsor any event – you can still bring your business to the physical world.

Just discover a session or event that can be meaningful to your audience and donate your workspace.

#8: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) For B2B:

In Internet marketing, the CRO system is defined as a process of understanding users’ complete actions.

For example, how they move through your site and what is stopping them from becoming your customer.

In short, it is a method used to improve the performance of your website and, over time, has gained an excellent reputation.

One of the things that many business owners tend to forget is related to the amount of information they have about their prospects and don’t even realize it.

The data that you have based on how they behave on your website is simply huge.

And this can be a great help when you want to ensure that you are doing everything you can to increase your conversion rate.

There are multiple things you can do to increase your conversion rate to get better ROI. One of them is performing simple changes on a specific page and measure the results using an A/B testing.

You can also add more valuable content to your website and can offer a valuable eBook or white paper that interests your audience and display it in a pop-up window.

Remember to add the most important element for your website—the “Call to Action” button. To optimize your conversion rate, make sure to make your webpage loading as quickly as possible.

You can test your page loading speed through Google’s nifty tool PageSpeed Insight.

 

You just have to enter your webpage URL, and then you’ll get to know, “what is the loading speed of your page?”

Trust me; this is a very simple test, but harder to implement.  Improving site speed helps with everything from CRO, SEO, Ad Performance for your PPC campaigns and everything in between.  Don’t take short-cuts here!

Related: Learn about AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages Initiative By Google To Help Improve Speed of Sites Around The World.

#9: Don’t Forget About Mobile:

Usage of mobile phones is increasing day by day because most of us in our free-time (Before going to bed or wakeup) rush to our mobile phones to browse on social media, read articles online or check emails on our smartphones.

All of us are on our phones all of the time, and I think this explains why websites need to be optimized for mobile devices.

We expect to find everything required on the internet and always pursue the results that appear on top of the first page of the search engine.

Imagine how frustrating it can be when you find out the webpage you’re visiting does not work on your phone?

 

Well, it can be incredibly frustrating!

So, if your website is not user-friendly, then how will potential prospects access your content and convert into leads?

What you need to understand is, a mobile-optimized website is a must thing as usually B2B buyers are now using smartphones to conduct business.

Mobile-first sites usually have all positive ranking signals because it helps in several ways to generate a high lead.

74% of mobile users say that if a site is mobile-friendly, then they are more likely to revisit to a company’s site in the future, maybe to crack a deal.

While you may don’t see many orders coming from mobile devices, this doesn’t mean that your prospects aren’t visiting your website using their mobile devices.

So, you need to make sure that your website is fully responsive and your visitors can have a good user experience.

Besides websites, advertising on mobile apps is a great option if you care more about building impressions and awareness.

Another technology that is up and coming and can be powerful is an omnichannel chatbot that is particularly useful in the mobile as it can triple your chat marketing campaign reach with three channels — SMS, native web chat, and Facebook Messenger. A great tool called Mobile Monkey that Larry Kim recently founded to help businesses improve conversion rates is definitely worth checking out.

Related: Learn about our approach to web development & how it ensures mobile responsiveness.

#10: Online PR:

PR (aka Public Relations) is a way of building relationships with B2B companies. It is one of the ways to let your consumers know who you are and how you can help.

This is more a process of gaining the trust of your audience through content that proves expertise and reliability.

There are four principal ways to accomplish B2B PR.

1.     Earned media:

Is it merely the reliance on the third source to earn free publicity that is earned by becoming a part of the online community?

This all is gained through online reviews; build up backlinks from reputable sites, bloggers, and influencers.

2.     Owned media:

Content that you own and is created by you to demonstrate your industry expertise.

Owned media includes blogs, eBooks, podcasts, white papers, case studies, etc.

3.     Paid media:

The content for which you have paid to promote the paid media that is used to give a little boost to your content to reach the new audience.

Paid content can be included in a budget and does not need to break the bank.

4.     Shared media:

This kind of media is content that is created with the sole aim to reach the audience on social media like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

If you want to reach your audience more efficiently, shared media is one of the best PR strategies.

However, effective PR can be the make or break for any smaller companies who want to get their names and services out to the public.

When you want to make a special announcement, launch a new service, a new product, a new physical location, a redesign of your website, or anything else, one of the things that you should consider doing is an online PR.

Online PRs will help you with brand recognition as well as with marketing reach.

Wrapping up:

While there are many other marketing strategies that a B2B business can implement, these are the ones that tend to work better and take your B2B strategy to unbeatable heights no matter what your industry or niche is.

However, make sure that you implement one at a time and monitor the results.

Depending on your industry, you may get better results in some of these strategies. Afterward, you may want to have a higher budget.

Do let us know if you know other marketing strategies that have worked for your B2B Company and think that they will be useful in the year ahead!

What is Email Marketing and How Does it Work?

What is Email Marketing and How Does it Work?

What is Email Marketing and How Does it Work?

 

#With this post today – we hope to help you understand “What is Email Marketing?” better.

We have a simple definition for you to understand what is email marketing.

Email Marketing is a powerful form of digital marketing strategy.

Email Marketing uses the power of email to connect with your customers regularly.

In more fancy words, it is an act of commercial marketing by using email, which is typically sent to prospects and customers.

This channel is powerful because it allows prospects to become customers, and one-time buyers to become loyal raving fans!

Sounds fantastic, you say?

The very first question which I had in my mind about email marketing is, where did it begin?

2019 Guide on How to Send Cold Emails and Get Results

 

Image Source: Keap

The first-ever email sent by Ray Tomlinson was in 1971 or 1978, depending on your source.

The very first email then marked a historical moment at the beginning of the modern communication era.

While the first marketing email was sent by Gary Thuerk in 1978 to 400 users, promoting DEC machines.

Yes! We have emails around us for about four decades.

So email marketing is one of the original and initial forms of digital marketing.

It has been around long, and with everything digital, new technologies replace old.

However, to this day, and after four decades, this is one of the most effective marketing strategies.

The reason is that they get the right attention from your prospects and customers.

Are you also thinking that in the era of social media marketing, does email marketing has any worth?

It is safer to say that social media platforms can come and go.

However, email marketing has outlasted many social media platforms. It will outlast many more to come (does anyone remember Myspace or even Google+)?

What if I tell you that email marketing still ranked as a more effective marketing strategy than Social Media Marketing (SMM).

You’re going to think that I have gone crazy, right?

Social media is absolutely a more mainstream and popular marketing strategy marketers are pursuing.

But this doesn’t mean that it has taken charge of email marketing.

Email marketing, when done right, can have a much better ROI and results than social media marketing.

But this post is not a comparison between the two strategies.

Let’s continue delving a bit deeper into email marketing.

As often as social media platform advertisers would like you to believe – email marketing is not dead!

Even when options to engage with your customers are growing with PPC, affiliate, and many other forms of digital marketing.

Even with all that, email marketing continues to rank at the top!

And if you were still on the fence – we have this below meme for you after the above chart from Smart Insights:

Now you want to know why email marketing is on the forefront?

Because everyone you know has at least one account and it is merely the best and most cost-effective way to make more sales online.

Now here are some specific details that highlight some of the real power features of this form of marketing.

Benefits of Email Marketing

Digital Marketing Company | First DigiAdd - Blog

 

Image Source: Firstdigiadd

The below points to highlight and are easy to showcase how email marketing can help you get in front of your target audience.

  • Email marketing is still growing strong today because 91% of consumers check their emails every day than any other communication channel. So a successful email marketing campaign can do wonders for your business.
  • On email, you own your list, and you know that no one can take that leads away from you like on other social media accounts. Because on other social media accounts, you don’t know when and why your account could be suspended or deleted.
  • It is consistently a great way of reaching your potential customers by sending them emails daily. It also helps you to stay in touch with your audience and the core customers by informing them about your business.
  • When it comes to converting prospects into customers, email marketing is the way to go, it is more effective than social media and provides a high Return On Investment (ROI).
  • It is economical and cost-effective as it allows business owners to reach a large number of consumers without damaging their pockets.

Here are a few and critical benefits of email marketing.

And why you absolutely must use this strategy for the online promotion of your business.

This is an evergreen marketing channel that allows you to connect with your audience, promote and engage them in the right way.

Get Help from The Experts

If you’ve been ignoring email marketing and had no idea how to reevaluate your strategy, then don’t hesitate to call or message our team.

Our digital marketers are always here to help you in developing a cost-effective email marketing strategy for your brand or business.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Let us know in the comments that what email strategy keeps your readers engaged?

Get to Know the History of Google Algorithm Updates

Get to Know the History of Google Algorithm Updates

Get to Know the History of Google Algorithm Updates

 

 

A Complexed design representing how Google changes its algorithm itself.

Image Source: Techwyse

Google algorithm is a term known by all of those who are in the realm of internet marketing.

To provide better search results, Google updates its algorithm every year.

However, those not familiar or in the industry may not be aware of its importance.

In today’s world, having familiarity and knowing how it can impact a company’s top or bottom line is an essential step in doing a strategic assessment and risk management.

Not staying up to date can impact a company’s organic search ranking, visibility, traffic, conversions, revenue, and finally, income.

The point is, it’s all connected.

Google’s algorithm can indirectly impact your bottom line.

Let’s get into what the heck is a Google algorithm and how you can safeguard your business from it.

To understand Google Algorithm updates, you first have to understand what an algorithm is.

An algorithm is defined in several ways. Here are a few of them for you to understand it better.

Algorithms are a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.

So it is a big sophisticated computer program using a set of commands to perform a particular task.

This still doesn’t explain it, does it?

Let’s switch gears to apply the concept to a more well-known example of an algorithm that is used by billions daily “Google”.

So what is the Google Algorithm?

Here is how Encyclopedia has defined Google Algorithm:

“The formula Google uses to rank the resulting Web pages from a user’s query.”

Google algorithm is responsible for 80% of all searches done on the world wide web.

This algorithm is adaptive and offers a wide range of personalized results.

Google’s sophisticated search program uses numerous criteria to deliver more relevant results for users who use it.

It keeps adjusting the results based on the behavior of the users.

Following a strict criteria, it evaluates all the web pages it has indexed to ensure the user gets the best possible answer from the billions of web pages out there.

And it does this in a fraction of a second with tens of thousands of queries a second.  That is a crazy piece of tech.

Google continues to update its algorithm all the time,  which can affect search engine results – and thereby, your site’s traffic.

How people prepare themselves when Google is about to release the algorithm.

 

In one way, Google is the traffic police!  You have to comply with its strict search content criteria for your pages to rank.

You can comply knowingly by managing your SEO efforts (or have someone manage it for you), or you can simply be ranking without knowing unintentionally.

However, it is important to brace yourself because the Google algorithm keeps updating regularly.

The search algorithm of Google is reportedly changing around 500 to 600 times per year and releases significant algorithm changes that have a substantial impact on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).

Pro Tip: If you want to get into much more granular changes for Google – stay up to date with Search Engine Roundtable – where the SEO community tracks all the significant changes and reports on it regularly by the excellent work done by Barry Shawrtz at seroundtable.com.

However, we will spell out the most significant updates for you to look for when looking to understand the Google Algorithm updates better.

But what are these changes, and why Google keep releases new updates quite often?

Well, to help you understand the significant algorithm changes of Google in the past, we’ve enlisted all the critical updates and revisions of Google Algorithm.

Types of Google Algorithm Updates:

  • Panda Update.
  • Penguin Update.
  • Hummingbird Update.
  • Pigeon Update.
  • Mobile-Friendly Update.
  • Pirate Update.
  • EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update.
  • RankBrain Update.
  • Top Heavy Update.

Google Panda Update:

Panda update of Google's algorithm released by Google.

 

Google launched “Panda” in February 2011

Panda was designed to target the poor quality sites that made their way on the top of Google’s SERPs.

Sites with poor user experience can be hit by Panda too.

Panda keeps updating from time to time and cleans up occupied search result engine from low-quality content for high-quality content.

Google Penguin Update:

Penguin algorithm update of Google represented by real life Penguin

Google’s Penguin update was announced on 24 April 2012, which aimed to reduce the rankings of those websites which violate Google webmaster guidelines.

They did this by using the techniques of black-hat SEO, a practice entirely against search engine guidelines.

Penguin is a part of Google’s core ranking algorithm since late 2016, which means penalties are now applied faster than before, and recovering from penalizing also takes less time.

Google Hummingbird Update:

The hummingbird algorithm update released by Google

 

This search algorithm has a codename of “Hummingbird” was announced on 26 September 2013.

Google named this algorithm hummingbird because of being “precise and fast.”

The specialty of penguin is that it provides the best results by understanding the meaning behind the words searched.

Also, penguin enhanced semantic search by this process.

There are two significant hazards you need to avoid one is exact-match keyword targeting, and the other is keyword stuffing.

Know all about the  Google Hummingbird algorithm here.

Google Pigeon Update:

Representation of the pigeon update released by Google.

 

The pigeon was launched on 24 July 2014, to increase the ranking of a local business listing in a search.

This algorithm created closer ties between the local and the core algorithm.

In this algorithm, the same practices and factors can be used to rank local and non-local Google results.

Do you know why this algorithm was called “Pigeon”?

Well, its because Pigeons tend to fly back home.

And so does this algorithm after having a substantial impact on local search result rankings.

This algorithm provides more accurate, relevant, and useful local search results by improving distance and local search parameters.

FYI – Does anyone notice a “P” theme going with these updates is it just me (wait Humming Bird update was not a “P” theme)?

Google Mobile-Friendly Update:

Representing the Google's mobile friendly update.

 

The Mobile-friendly ranking algorithm was launched on 21 April 2015.

It was designed by Google to give a boost to mobile-friendly pages in mobile search engine results.

The site version appears on desktops might get challenging to use or even view on mobile devices, and the number of mobile users increases day by day.

So, Google to improve user experience launched a mobile-friendly ranking algorithm to give priority to those websites that appear well on mobile devices.

A site can be checked through a tool that tells either it is mobile-friendly or not.

You can check on the internet if your site is mobile friently or not.

 

Google Pirate Update:

Pirate symbol to reflect an algorithm of Google that was called Pirate algorithm

 

In this digital era, piracy has become a significant issue.

However, to demote pirated sites to appear in search engine results, Google introduced the “Pirate Update.”

Google launched “Pirate” in August 2012.

The main intention behind this algorithm update is to prevent sites that have received a large number of copyright infringement reports from ranking well in Google listings.

This filter is updated periodically and also catches the new pirated sites, which somehow manage to escaped before being caught.

(And we are back with “P” updates!)

Google EMD (Exact Match Domain) Update:

Google launched EMD in September 2012.

EMD aims to prevent site and pages with the poor-quality content from ranking.

Its because they had words that matched search keyword terms in their domain names.

This small algorithm change has reduced low-quality exact match domains from showing up high in the search results.

Remember, there is no such problem with EMDs.

However, they could be a sign of a spammy for the website whose URL exactly matches with a search engine query.

Telling viewers not to rely on exact match domains for SEO

 

Google RankBrain Update:

pictorial representation of rankbrain - an algorithm of Google.

 

RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system launched on 26 October 2015.

It helps Google to determine the most relevant results in search engines.

This allows Google to become as smart as a human being in the sense of acquiring knowledge and can somehow summarize what a page is about.

The primary function of RankBrain is to identify query-specific relevance features of a page and then arrange the result in SERPs according to it.

Google Top Heavy Update:

Google launched “Top Heavy Update” in January 2012, to prevent the sites which are top-heavy with advertisements from ranking well in search result listings.

This algorithm affects the sites with less amount of content or if there are many ads displayed beside relevant content.

Because of the advertisements, these sites are too distracting for users. Hence, they are not user-friendly at all.

This distraction is because of too many ads that also influence their ranking.

Wrapping Up:

So here are all the major Google algorithm updates to date, maintain the ranking of your site by understanding these algorithm updates, and prevent your site’s ranking from dropping down.

Also, make sure that you keep yourself up to date with the changes in algorithms with time because you never know Google is always ready to surprise you.

Funny representation of how Google updates its algorithm.

 

Can you see a pattern here?  What do all these changes have in common?

Google is trying its very best with every update to help the user experience on its search engine be the most reliable and simple for the end-user – the searcher.

If you add up all those searches, the one item common in all of them is that it is trying its best to enhance the reliability and relevancy of its search results.

This change was to provide users with answers for questions better that they type each time they use its search engine.

The stronger the site that follows these practices, whether it is good content, high speed, and not spammy links – the better it will rank in Google’s search results.

Its logical and programmatic approach to help Google continue to dominate the market share it has.

Google wants to reward good sites and penalize the sites that have spamming or shady practices.

They want to improve the overall customer experience with this.

It knows the stronger the relevancy and reliability of the search results, the more likely the users will continue to stay on its engine.

The more people use its search engine, the more ad revenue it can make (as that is its primary source of monetizing the search engine).

In our practice at Web Worx Labs, we have seen national and internal organizations become penalized because they do not stay up to date with these changes or are using less than white-hat SEO practices.

Our advice is that you design your site to meet all the requirements of at least the above.

Also, stay within the “spirit” of the enhanced user experience for your target customer.

If you are wondering that what caused your website ranking to fall, feel free to contact us for a consultation and site audit.

Or you can do a FREE Site audit yourself on our page.

We are always looking forward to helping business owners and marketers with their website rank and visibility.

So what do you think?

Is there an update we should mention that you think we missed?

Let us know in the comment section, and if it is cool or fits, we will make sure to add it to our list!

Top 3 SEO Risks Worth Taking in 2020

Top 3 SEO Risks Worth Taking in 2020

Top 3 SEO Risks Worth Taking in 2020

 

SEO Risks - The Ones To Take & The Ones To Avoid - ITSguru

 

Image Source: ItsGuru

The decision to take risks in search engine optimization is all about calculation and hitting the right balance.

There will be moments when you may feel that the time is not right, especially when you are just above the danger mark.

Just like any other risk-taking venture, you need to look at the positives and negatives before you decide to take risky SEO efforts.

It is always a case of weighing your options for and against the decision.

Calculated SEO Risks Worth Taking in 2020:

How User Experience (UX) Design Affects Your SEO | SEO Optimizers

 

Image Source: SEO optimizers

User Experience

Any SEO expert or professional, would know that Google, the search engine that provides the largest platform to this industry, swears by user experience.

That is undoubtedly the prime factor of SEO rankings.

So, trying to improve the user experience offered by your website. It is worth taking a risk.

You can look at the bounce rate of your site, along with metrics like site duration and time on page, to figure out how you are faring for your visitors.

Any effort or change made to this effect is worth the risk.

 

URL Restructuring

A bronze-age site structure with an outdated eCommerce platform is a sure way to kill a website!

More often than not, SEO professionals are working with URLs that are not keyword-rich.

As a result, the response from Google is quite poor.

Also, when users are not clicking on your link even when you are ranking, Google takes a very dim view of your site’s ability to deliver the required content.

This implementation pulls down your rank even further.

How to Create SEO-Friendly URLs

 

Image Source: Backlinko

The above image by Backlinko will explain to you what we mean by a keyword-optimized URL.

Users don’t have any idea of your content from your URLs unless they are optimized with proper keywords.

So that is a path you should walk down and modify.

It may mean temporary slipping of rankings for your website, but it will be beneficial in the long run.

A/B Testing

 

Image Source: Optimizely

A-B Testing 

This method is the most radical risk that you can take.

You would change the whole framework of your SEO initiative and testing it against different keywords and meta tags.

As the name suggests, you need to work with structure A and compare the results with structure B.

Whichever gives you better results will be the way forward for you.

You can see the results on Click-through Rates or CTR.

Try not to overhaul the entire site at a single go.

Do it gradually for the most important pages and then expand it according to the results you get.

SEO risks should always be about finding the right way ahead, not about proving yourself right.

Being a professional SEO Agency, we ensure all the A/B Testing is done to compare the data and provide ROI focused strategy.

Search Engine Optimization – Why It Matters and How to Do It Yourself

Search Engine Optimization – Why It Matters and How to Do It Yourself

Search Engine Optimization – Why It Matters and How to Do It Yourself

 

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a common marketing strategy that businesses use to help their website rank higher in major engines’ search results.

Despite its popularity, some business owners remain skeptical or even unaware of the power of SEO.

This mostly stems from underestimating the value of SEO, or insufficient understanding of what SEO involves.

With all the resources available online, it can be overwhelming for the uninitiated to wrap their heads around what search engine optimization is or what it takes to achieve results.

If you’re fortunate to have enough funds, you can outsource SEO work to experts like us who will handle your SEO for you.

However, we understand some small businesses are on a tighter budget, but that does not mean they have to miss out on the benefits of SEO.

In this blog, we will explain the benefits of search engine optimization.

We will provide a checklist of what you need before starting SEO.

Also, we will walk you through how to do some basic optimization for your business website.

Want to develop or improve your business website? Give us a call, and we’ll give you a customized quote based on your business goals.

Related article: 3 Reasons Your Business Needs a Website

Importance of Search Engine Optimization

First, let’s talk numbers.

As of 2017, over 4 billion people worldwide have access to the Internet.

That’s more than half of all the people on Earth.

One thing most of these people know how to do? Use a search engine.

Search engines are not a new concept anymore.

Since their inception, they have become an integral part of Internet users’ behavior online.

Take the biggest search engine in the world, for example, Google. According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 searches every second on average.

That’s 3.5 billion searches per day and over 1 trillion searches per year.

For further clarification, look at the infographic image below:

Global social media research summary 2020 | Smart Insights

 

Image Source: Smart Insight

What do these numbers mean for you as a business owner?

It means lots of opportunities to reach your target audiences online.

But the Internet is dark and full of competitors.

So how do search engines sift through the noise?

They rely on complex algorithms that automatically crawl websites and rank them according to several factors called ranking factors.

Ranking factors determine where a website will rank in search engine results.

These include factors such as page speed, meta tags, relevant and rich content, mobile optimization, and more.

For your website to rank high in search results, it needs to be optimized for these factors.

Keep in mind that there are no guarantees when it comes to SEO.

But if you do the work right, and don’t try to trick the search engine algorithms, you should be fine.

When it comes to ranking, you want to aim for the first page of search results, and the top 3 results on that page.

Why? Because results in these positions get the highest traffic.

The screenshot below, based on research by Search Engine Watch, breaks down the traffic percentage for each result on the first page.

You’ll see that the first result gets the most traffic, while the last result gets the least traffic.

This number decreases the further down the result is.

 

Increase Your Sales with SEO

If the traffic numbers don’t convince you, let’s try dollars.

Using our extensive SEO expertise, we came up with a hypothetical scenario for a daycare business that charges $1,400/month per student to give you an insight into what your business numbers could look like with SEO.

These assumptions are just to show the potential for modeling and planning purposes only – but it will give you an indication of how the return and costs work.

 

The average revenue after the business has taken the first spot on the first page is $1,138 on the low end and more than double for the realistic scenario.

This means that there is additional revenue coming in every month.

Also, more traffic is being generated by the keyword through SEO efforts.

This can work on additional business models, where the average revenue per transaction is low – how?

By using more keywords and higher converting keywords.

Whether it’s an e-commerce website, a service-based business or something in between, search engine optimization can deliver results when done right.

We have a proven track record for helping businesses increase their sales through search engine optimization.

Read Our Case Studies

If you have questions about implementing SEO for your business, do not hesitate to ask.

We will create a scenario analysis for your specific business model.

But if you want to DIY it, keep reading.

SEO Starter Checklist

The first thing you need before you can even consider doing any search engine optimization is a well-designed, functioning website.

By well-designed we don’t mean a fancy site with a ton of features, it simply needs to have the main elements of a good website:

  • An easy navigation menu
  • Easy and quick access to the most important information about your business, including the address and phone number (if applicable)
  • Relevant, high-quality images
  • Relevant content
  • Fast loading times
  • Responsive design

You can learn more about the steps involved in website design here.

 

Once you’re satisfied with your website, you can start prepping for search engine optimization.

There are two parts to SEO work: on-page and off-page optimization.

This article will focus on on-page optimization, but the following are the basic first steps for any SEO work.

Keywords

Keywords are the words or phrases a user types into a search engine to find information, products, or services.

They are one of the most important ranking factors for search engine bots (complex algorithms that crawl websites).

These bots help search engines categorize the billions of websites on the Internet.

Before doing any SEO, you need to select the best keywords that are relevant to your business.

Using a hypothetical chocolate business called Wonka’s Chocolates, relevant keywords for this business can look like this:

  • Wonka’s Chocolates
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Chocolate chip cookies Ontario

Tip: The more specific your keyword, the better your chance of ranking.

Mobile Optimization

In 2015, Google announced an update to its search engine algorithms that prioritize mobile-optimized websites.

In other words, websites that are optimized for mobile will be prioritized in mobile search results.

It is very important to have a responsive website, not only for the benefit of search engine rankings but also for your customers.

Percentage of people who use their smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet has been increasing significantly for the past 4 years.

In 2018, 52.2% of all web traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones.

That’s more than half of all worldwide web activity.

If your website is not optimized for mobile screens, search engines will not show it to mobile users.

Even if your website shows up, the lack of a responsive design can turn away mobile device users, negatively affecting your brand image.

Don’t know if your website is mobile optimized?  Ask for your free site audit today!

Get Your Free Site Audit

Fresh, Relevant, & Engaging Content

As a business owner or an executive, your website is your online storefront.

It should be regularly maintained and updated with information that is relevant to your consumers.

Neglecting to do this will hurt your SEO rankings, as search engines prefer websites and web pages that are constantly updated with new and relevant content.

The best way to do this is to have a blog on your site where you regularly post high quality, relevant content.

This will signal to search engines that your website is always up to date, and that it provides relevant content to users.

Go the extra step and promote your blog articles on your business’ social media to generate traffic to your site and maintain interest in your brand.

Now that you have the essentials of SEO, it’s time to get technical.

On-Page Optimization Techniques

On-page optimization takes place on the website itself.

This is where some HTML knowledge comes in handy as this part of SEO work takes place on the backend of your website.

If you’re not familiar with HTML, don’t worry, we break down the steps, so it’s easy to understand.

Optimizing Content

We just talked about the importance of content and having regular, updated relevant content on your website.

But content alone is not enough.

The next step is to optimize it.

One way you can do that is with keywords.

Remember that list of keywords you carefully selected?

Now it’s time to put it to use so that when search engine bots crawl the pages of your website, they can associate your content with relevant search engine queries.

In other words, as the owner of Wonka’s Chocolates, you want your website to show for queries looking for chocolate products that you make or sell.

How do you add keywords to your content? Easily.

Let’s take one of Wonka’s Chocolate products as an example: Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Ideally, you would have a page on your website dedicated to this product.

It will have at least one image of the product and some information or details about it.

It so happens that one of your keywords is Chocolate Chip cookies.

This is your chance to integrate this keyword into everything on the page strategically.

Talk about the product and provide answers that your customers might have.

For instance, why are your Chocolate Chip cookies better than your competitors’?

Where do you get the ingredients? The more content you add that would be relevant to a site visitor, the better.

Optimizing Images

As far as search engine bots are concerned, everything on a web page is content.

Content includes text, images, videos, links, the works.

Your Chocolate Chip Cookies page will naturally have images of the product.

But search engine bots don’t have eyes, so they can’t see that beautiful photo of chocolate chip cookies you have on your page.

You’re going to have to describe it to them. How do you do that? Alt text.

Alt text is a text description of an image on a web page that is helpful to both people with visual disabilities, as well as search engine bots.

The best use for an alt text is to make sure it clearly describes the image while also including the relevant keyword, so your page can rank.

Adding alt text is fairly straightforward.

You go to the backend of your website, find the image you want to optimize and look for the <img> tag.

This is where you will enter your alt text.

Here’s what this looks like:

Optimizing Images

 

On the left is how the image appears on your website.

This is what it looks like in code: <img src=“https://wonkaschocolates.com/chocolate-chip-cookies.jpg” alt=“Wonka’s Delicious 12 pc Chocolate Chip Cookies”>

Simply add the alt text in between the quotation marks, save/update your web page, and you’re done!

Have a question about SEO? Ask us!

Ask Us a Question

Optimizing Meta Tags

A title tag is what a user sees in their browser tab. It’s also what appears as the title of the page in search results.

This is another significant aspect of your website that gets crawled by search engine bots.

The title tag tells the bots what this page is about.

When optimized, your “chocolate chip cookies” page would have a title that looks like this:

<title> Wonka’s Chocolates | 12 pc Chocolate Chip Cookies </title>

Similarly, the meta description can include relevant keywords that are specific to each unique page on your website.

The meta description is what a search engine user sees when your website/page shows up in search engine results.

The title and meta description are very important as they tell the search engine bots what the page is about and how it’s relevant to what the user is searching for.

Using the same format as above, this is what your meta description could look like:

<meta description=“Made with fresh ingredients and crunchy chocolate chips, Wonka’s chocolate chip cookies are the perfect snack for kids and adults alike”>

Tip: Keep in mind that you only have a limit of 150 characters (spaces included) for your meta description before it cuts off from view. Keep it short and relevant to the page.

Optimizing Site Links & URLs

Links and URLs on your website are key areas you can optimize for.

You can even optimize your domain name, but only attempt that if you know what you’re doing.

For individual page URLs, make sure that the URL is optimized for the page-specific or content specific keyword.

Going with the ‘chocolate chip cookies’ example, the URL for this page can be “www.wonkaschocolates.com/chocolate-chip-cookies-sudbury-ontario.”

Tip: avoid using underscores (_) in URLs.

Optimizing Header Tags

Last but not least, header tags are important because they tell search engine bots what the content on the page is about.

Header tags look like this <h1> </h1>, <h2> </h2>, <h3> </h3>, etc.

<h1> has higher priority than <h2>, so you want to add the most important information/keyword in between the <h1> </h1> tags.

Also, there is only one <h1> on a single page.

This tag should be at the top of your page.

Moreover, <h2> and <h3> tags can act as subheadings for content. For example,

<h1> Chocolate Chip Cookies in Sudbury </h1>

<h2> Why our chocolate chip cookies are the best </h2>

<p> We use only organic, ethically sourced cocoa beans to make our delicious chocolate chip cookies.

We manufacture them in our factories in Sudbury, Ontario, to allow us to maintain high-quality production. </p>

Common SEO Mistakes

Common SEO Mistakes

 

Search engines are smart, and they get smarter every day.

So, there’s no point in trying to trick them into getting them to rank your website higher.

You risk getting penalized if you do. When you’re doing on-page optimization yourself, avoid the following:

  • Duplicate content

It is extremely important not to have duplicate content on many pages of your website.

This includes other websites or sources online.

Avoid copying content from other websites.

Take the time to write your own unique, relevant content.

  • Overuse of keywords on a page

Keywords are an important ranking factor, but you’re not helping yourself if your content is cluttered with them.

Keep it simple, and don’t over-use your keywords on a web page.

  • Non-user-friendly content

It used to be that developers created web pages that had nothing but keywords on them, but search engines got smart about it.

Always remember to write content for your users first, and for search engines second.

Closing Thoughts

As any expert will tell you, the above was merely the ABC’s of SEO.

But it should be enough to help give your website a boost in search result rankings.

Like your blog, SEO work needs to be regularly maintained. If you do it once and forget about it, your rankings will suffer.

It can also be challenging to stay on top of Google’s constant updates, plus the smaller changes they apply to their algorithms without announcing it.

These are all aspects that a digital marketing agency proficient in search engine optimization can take care of for you.

The goal of this blog is not to turn you into an SEO expert as it is a rapid and ever-evolving field.

There are many challenging aspects in SEO work, from constantly updating and improving your website to staying on top of search engines’ algorithm updates.

Despite its challenges, good SEO work yields long-term results, providing a higher ROI compared to other digital marketing strategies like AdWords (now Google Ads).

Unlike AdWords, search engine optimization is essential for any business website.

An optimized website keeps both search engines and your customers happy.

Now you have the tools you need to take a shot at doing your SEO.

But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, or want to avoid the hassle, reach out to us today.

We customize our plans to fit your business needs.

Reasons for a Website in Today’s World!

Reasons for a Website in Today’s World!

Reasons for a Website in Today’s World!

 

The number of internet users is growing every day. Let’s rephrase that internet users are increasing by every second.

As of January 2018, there are over 3.8 billion internet users, according to Internetlivestats.com.

This means that approximately 40% of the world population is “connected” to the digital world.

According to a study, in 1995, only 14% of U.S citizens had access to the internet.

In North America, as of today (2018), 396 million users have internet connections (Not so far behind is the U.S. with 312 million users).

That means at least four out of every five customers are using the internet.

Not having a presence online nowadays is akin to not having a logo or a business card.

The internet has truly revolutionized the way we think, live our lives, and do business.

Here are key reasons why it is important to have a website:

First impressions

WDB Agency Blog | Is Your Website Making a Good First Impression?

 

Image Source: WBD

According to AdWeek.com, 81% of shoppers conduct research online before they make a purchase.

That statistic is very consistent with the one we shared above.

What one can derive from these two simple yet powerful statistics is that of the people who have access to the internet, use it to conduct research online before they buy.

Not too shocking, but it makes sense and has powerful implications in the world we do business today.

This means is that 4 out of 5 customers get to know about a company well before they walk through the front door.

Customers have become well informed on navigating on the internet and who they will conduct business with.

The preliminary research phase of the buying pattern has become second nature to shoppers.

Customers now online, finding solutions out there for their problems or needs and wants, review product options available, and the businesses that sell them.

They will then narrow down their search to a select few that offer what they like.

Most importantly, if they like what they see online about that business.

The first impression they get from the company, the value proposition, the branding, the logo, the state the website is in – all within seconds, and a couple of clicks.

This process has become so automatic and easy to use because of search engines and smartphone technology.

If a business does not have a presence online (i.e., no website), then that business is being neglected in terms of the consideration when being researched by a customer who is looking to shop.

These businesses are losing sales by not investing in something so basic now, yet a very important requirement and point of entry in any industry.

Not only are they losing money but credibility in the industry at the same time.

By having a website, you tell your customers you are serious about their business with you.

Another key point to emphasize is that it can be even more damaging to your business if it has a website but has a poorly functioning or designed website.

Websites that are slow to load, crash, old, too basic, or not functioning properly will give the impression that this business does not care about its customers to put up a functioning well-designed website that can influence their purchasing decision.

So, it’s safe to say that when it comes to having a website, first impressions count.

How Your Business Can Acquire More Customers With Website Marketing

 

Image Source: PDRWeb

Help people (and customers) find you easier.

Google is the biggest search engine in the world and utilized by the majority of the market (80%+ according to searchenginejournal.com).

Before they look for a product or a solution, they try to see what is out there by searching it for it on Google.

The highest-ranking sites get most of the attention of the users.

However, if the customer needs to refine and find a local business, then Google helps with that too.

Having a website that is search engine optimized puts any business at an advantage, as it allows Google (the world’s biggest search engine) to do the work for you.

Properly developed, maintained, and hosted websites will allow you to rank higher in the areas your customers are searching for.

Well designed websites work by helpings customers who are looking for you find you.

If the business website is not optimized for the search engines where people look to research online first, then that business is losing the opportunity and with it – growth.

Let the search engines do the work in bridging the customers to you by having a website that makes it easier for Google to find your business and, thereby, the customer to find you.

 

Define yourself first

Why is it so important to define yourself and be active online?

or why should you at least have a presence via a website if not active?

Because if you do not define you, others will define you, and you will lose control of your reputation in the digital world that has a direct impact on the real world.

Google search “bots” are already looking to capture any and every business out there.

Google makes money by being the best place where anyone can find what they are looking for.

This service is allowing them to become a reliable source for any kind of research.

By helping their users find what they want, it makes money by providing businesses very specialized, complex, advanced (algorithms and all) to promote and market their businesses in a subtle way.

So it is in Google’s interest to help find you and connect the consumer to you.

If you do not have a presence online, the Gods at Google will allow the customers to define you.

One bad experience like a negative post will mean severe consequences for your business in the future.

Don’t let that happen – define yourself first.  Do not let the users of search engines define you without having your say first.

Closing Thoughts

The internet is here to stay.

The number of people using the internet grows by the second.

The world has become more connected, smaller, and, most importantly, smarter because of the internet.

Most people research online before they make any kind of purchase.

Having a website has become a basic necessity for today’s world.

It allows us all to find each other faster.

It allows us to define ourselves first before others use limited information to brand our reputation in the digital world.

The first impression of a business is established online.

Way before a customer has a chance to connect with you in person or walk through the front door.

Make your first impressions count; contact us today and see what we can do to grow your business!