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Monday, 28 July 2014

16 stats that show the value of SEO, Content Marketing and Social Media

Anyone else love a good juicy statistic? We certainly do!

In this blog post we've rounded up 16 stats for you that demonstrate the value of SEO, content marketing and social media - three things which go hand-in-hand with internet marketing and e-commerce success.

SEO statistics


Outbound leads cost 61% more than inbound leads. An example of an outbound lead could be direct mail or print ads, sources of inbound leads include SEO and content marketing. HubSpot.

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads have a 1.7% close rate. Search Engine Journal.

44% of online shoppers start their buying journey with a search engine. IPSOS.

75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. Hubspot.

70-80% of users searching on Google and Bing ignore paid ads. Search Engine Journal.

Search is the largest traffic driver providing 41% of visitors compared to 11% coming from Social Media. Search Engine Land.

Content Marketing statistics


Companies that blog have on average 4 times more indexed pages, pages that Google has deemed valuable enough to store in its index. Social Media Today.

Companies with blogs on their websites have on average 97% more back links. Social Media Today.

90% of consumers find customer content useful and 81%  trust advice from blogs. Social Media Today.

Social Media statistics


There are 3.2 billion interactions on Facebook and over half a billion tweets published every single day. KissMetrics.

77% of B2C companies and 43% of B2B companies have acquired customers on Facebook. HubSpot.

34 percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter. Digital Buzz Blog.

Marketers reported that demand for social media marketing increased by over 60% in 2013. Moz.

Seventy-one percent of social media users are more likely to purchase from brands they follow online. Balihoo.

Interesting content is one of the top three reasons customers follow brands on social media. Social Media Today.

50% of Companies struggling with SEO aren’t integrating social media. Search Engine Land.

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We hope you've found this collection of statistics both interesting and helpful to your online marketing efforts! Let us know if you've got any SEO stats you'd like to share by commenting below.


Monday, 21 July 2014

6 steps to fit blogging into your busy schedule

Running a business takes a lot of time, for many businesses writing blog posts can come way down their list of priorities. Which is a shame because creating interesting content for your website is so important to its success in search engines – so how can you streamline your blog writing process so it fits into your busy schedule?

1. Decide how often


Consistency is key. Decide how often you want to schedule blog posts, which day of the weeks and what time you want your blog posts to go out. Hubspot research showed that you’re likely to get more views, links and comments if you publish in the morning.

Once you’ve decided on your schedule you need to stick to it! Block out time in your calendar and be consistent with it.

If you can have a couple of back up articles on the ready then you'll have something to fall back on if you miss the odd deadline.

2. Always be on the lookout for ideas


Have somewhere to store your ideas. It’s hard to think up ideas on the spot so collect and jot down ideas through the week when they come to you. These could be questions that customers are always calling to ask, inspired by an interesting article you’ve read or a different spin of on article that’s done well on a competitors blog.

The key to a successful blog post is to create value for the reader. Every single blog post you write should help your reader in some way. Every single one.  Use this rule to judge if your article idea is a good one… or not.

You’ll end up with a bank of ideas to choose from when you come to putting pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard. Spend just 5-10 minutes choosing one of your ideas.

We’ve also written a whole blog post on blog post ideas here.

3. Start with an outline


First decide on your title, keep it under 65characters and make sure it’s compelling. There are some more tips on blog headlines here.

Next write your introduction, conclusion and list the points to include in the body of the blog post.
Your introduction should be clear and engaging; it should tell your reader why they need to read the post and what it will teach them.

Conclusions should be a simple summary of the main points from your post and include a call to action. Calls to actions are really important, if the reader has enjoyed your post you want to keep them on your website moving along the journey to becoming a customer. The call to action could link to a related product, webpage, or another relevant blog post.

4. Write


Now it's all about adding meat to the structure you have and since you’ve already decided what your points are you’ve already done the hard bit.

When you’re writing be sure to keep things simple. That means no jargon! Jargon only alienates readers, you want to reach out to them.

Keep your writing to the point, if you can say it in half the words then why don’t you? Longer content is only a good thing if it tells the reader more.

Back up what you say with stats or links to studies. This both substantiates what you’re saying and it tells the reader that you are well read on the subject.

5. Get someone else to proof and schedule it


There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, it’s really hard to spot your own typos because you know the article you’ve written too well. A fresh pair of eyes is needed.

Secondly, proofing, adding pictures and scheduling a blog post can take an extra 30 minutes – which is time you probably don’t have when you’re busy running a business. Getting a member of staff  to do this for you solves this problem.

6. Don’t forget to promote your content


If you’re a busy person, you want to see the largest return for every minute you spend on something.

Promoting your blog posts will not only get it in front of more people it will also make it more discoverable in search results. You can promote your blog posts by including a link from your newsletter, Tweeting it, putting it on Google+ and Facebook. Again, this is something you can delegate to one of your team. (We could actually write several articles on this... I'll add it to my list of blog post ideas!)

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So that’s it; decide how often, get your creative juices running with ideas, outline, write, get help proofing and promote your articles.

Hope we’ve made blogging sound a little less scary and a lot more manageable! It really is something that can benefit your businesses’ online presence tremendously so if you can crack the art of producing great content efficiently, you’re on to a winner.

Monday, 30 June 2014

6 ways to improve your bounce rate to boost SEO results

Bounce rate, as explained by Google is “the percentage of visits in which users view only a single page of your site.”

If you have an e-commerce website, your aim is to get visitors to stick around, look at your products, read about your business, put items in their basket and make a purchase – then you need to get your bounce rate as low as possible as a high bounce rate means low conversion.

Bounce rate is also used by Google to measure how relevant a website is to the search terms or keywords used to find it. This means that if a website has a high bounce rate, not only will it convert fewer visitors, its Google rankings will be negatively affected. And on the flip slide, lowering your bounce rate shows Google that your website is relevant and useful, positively impacting your rankings.


How do you find out your bounce rate?


a) Firstly you’ll need to have Google Analytics set up.

b) If you’ve already done this, go to Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages.

c) Select Comparison View from the icons at the top right of your data table.


d) Select Bounce Rate from the (compared to site average) drop down, and you should see a chart like this:

Now on to how to reduce your bounce rate.


1. Drive quality traffic


As mentioned above, bounce rate tells Google how relevant a website is to search terms used to find the website. Driving quality, relevant, hungry-to-buy traffic is more important than getting large volumes of less interested visitors as poor quality traffic will only result in a high bounce rate.

First concentrate on ranking in Google search results for keyword terms that correlate closely to what your website is about, rather than more vague and competitive keywords with a large number of monthly searches.

2. Focus on customer intent


One reason that visitors don’t stick around on a website is not being able to find what they’re looking for. You know the frustrated feeling; you instantly hit the back button and go to the next website in the list of search results.

Overcome this by thinking about what your customers are most likely to want, need, expect, be looking for on your website and then clearly provide a route to that information from your landing pages. (A landing page is any page that a visitor enters your website on.)

Use enquiry emails to provide you with insight into questions customer couldn't easily find the answers to on your website. You can use these questions to create an FAQ page, write blog articles on, add information to your landing pages, improve your product pages, and so on.

3. Get your website looking its best


With the online world becoming increasingly competitive, customers have higher expectations, they’re more impatient and less tolerant of poor design. Good design now signals legitimacy, trustworthiness and providing a quality product and service.

Google actually gives redesigning the landing pages of a website as the first piece of advice to websites with high bounce rates.

4. Improve usability


Usability is just as important as design. A website which looks amazing but offers a very tedious checkout process will lose customers to its competitors. How easy a website is to use is actually a reflection of the quality of customer service provided, it will not only build trust it will keep your visitors on your website, reducing your bounce rate. You can read more about how to improve your usability here.

5. Make your website mobile friendly


This is simply a website that will resize according to the screen it’s being viewed on. It’s a great way to optimise your website for those browsing on mobiles or tablets. Mobile traffic now accounts for one quarter of all web searches and 30% of shoppers say they will abandon a website if checkout is not optimised for mobile.

Additionally 57% of mobile users will leave a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Clearly, making your website accessible to mobile users can have a massive effect on reducing your bounce rate.

6. Give visitors a clear reason to buy from you


We've already mentioned how competitive e-commerce can be; this final point is one we couldn't leave out. Is it obvious to visitors why you are different to competitors? If you provide the best value for money, best quality product or fastest delivery service is this clearly stated on your website?

This differentiation actually comes down to brand definition. Visitors need to be given a compelling reason to stick with you rather than going back to the previous, maybe slightly cheaper but not as great, product. Providing this will keep them glued to your website and to you as a customer.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

New Phone Number

Hello there.

Please note that our NEW telephone number is now 0191 27 66 904 or 07960 117077.

Thank you.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Goodbye Thomas Zehetemair


Yesterday we witnessed the entire audience of Sage Gateshead Hall One standing to applaud Thomas Zehetemair farewell after twelve years of musical directorship of the Royal Northern Sinfonia. Twelve years that has seen the opening of Sage Gateshead and the Queen bestowing the title 'Royal' to the Sinfonia.

As he gave his goodbye speech there were more than a couple of us with teary eyes.

It's not the last we'll see of Thomas though, he'll be returning at Christmas as Conductor Laureate to conduct the Messiah.

It's quite fantastic really to have such acclaimed musicians and a world class music venue a stone's throw away from us.

And we're not just saying that to be nice because they're our client.

Sage Gateshead is really up there when it comes to acoustics - with special air-filled-concrete, funny shaped wooden walls and lots of curtains. It's acoustically perfect. Which is why it attracts talent like Thomas Zehetemair.

If you've not yet been... you should.

Monday, 9 June 2014

15 e-commerce best practices you CAN'T ignore

The purpose of this blog article is to showcase some best practices when it comes to e-commerce websites in terms of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), User Experience (UX) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).

So here are just a few examples of how to make your e-commerce website not only user friendly but Google friendly too.

1. Product reviews using rich snippets


Rich snippets are any additional pieces of information included in a search result. Here's an example of a product review rich snippets as displayed on a search engine results page.



2. Advertiser and business reviews using rich snippets


Here's how advertiser and store reviews using rich snippets are displayed on a search engine results page.



Other examples of how rich snippets can be used include:


  • Reviews
  • People
  • Products
  • Businesses
  • Recipes
  • Events
  • Music

3. Display delivery information prominently


It’s important to clearly display delivery costs, free delivery and free delivery threshold options.







4. Homepage advertising / marketing


Give your visitors (and Google) something new to look at each time they visit your website. Keep it fresh. This can include displaying special offers, sale items, what’s new and more.





5. Star ratings


Displaying product star ratings in the category view of your website will help your visitors to decide which are the best products based on customer reviews.





6. Customer product reviews


Here's an example of the use of summary scores for different aspects of a product.



And here's an example of how customer reviews can be displayed a product page.



7. Reviews of your business


Prominent placing of reviews of your business from external review engines such as Trust Pilot can help your customers to trust you more.


8. Google+ reviews


Positive Google+ reviews reassure customers searching for your brand in Google of your quality. Google+ has so many other features to take advantage of too so it shouldn't be ignored.



9. Give your customers confidence


Tell them why they should buy from you.



10. Stand out from the crowd


Tell your visitors how and why you are different from your competitors. This should be displayed prominently on your website. (And it shouldn't be that you're simply cheaper than your competitors). Your brand agency can help you with this one.



11. Compare products


The functionality to have an easy to view product comparison table is advantageous in certain retail markets such as electronics, household appliances, automotives etc.



12. Tabbed product pages


Great to keep your product pages informative yet non-cluttered.



13. How secure is your website?


Let your customers know that it’s safe to buy from your website. This must be clearly displayed for any visitor (repeat customer or new prospect) to see.





14. Validation error


Don’t make your customers re-enter information twice if they make a mistake first time round filling in a form.



15. Thank you page optimisation


Here's an example of social sharing, related items / customers also bought etc. on a thank you page after checkout is complete.



These are just some examples of what you can be doing to help make your e-commerce website as usable as possible for your prospects / customers. There are so many other things to consider including customer retention and the optimisation of your checkout process but these are for another article.

Thank you for reading and if you'd like to chat to us at angelfysh about how we can help you get the best out of your e-commerce website then please get in touch.

Friday, 30 May 2014

18 stats to help you write the perfect blog post

... sounds like a big claim... but these 18 stats will shed light on how to get your blog posts more social shares and therefore back links (which are so important to help you rank well in Google). In this post we'll look at five easily measurable factors and show how they can be used to make your blogging a success.

Article length


These few stats will help you answer questions like: how long is the optimum length of a blog post? And does the length of your content matter?

1. Articles that are over 1,500 words long receive on average 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes... read more.

2. Longer content can convert up to 45% better... read more.

3. The average content length for a Google top ten ranking is 2,000 words or more... read more.

 
(With all of this said, we’re not giving you an excuse to ramble! If your post is naturally long then great but don't waffle just to make your content longer.)


Blog headlines


The headline is your mini sales pitch to get people to click through to your blog, it's your moment to shine. So what works best?

4. 77% of press releases indexed in Google news had headlines that were too long, and so appeared truncated... read more. So make sure when you're writing to keep your headlines under 65 characters long.

5. More than 1 in 4 of all headlines won’t fit into a tweet! ... read more. This is another reason to follow the 65 character golden rule.

6. The blog title length sweet spot is between 14 and 16 words long with up to 5 times more back links than a title with 24 words... read more.


Blog articles with lists


List blog posts are everywhere. Have they been overdone? Maybe… but the stats show that there are a few compelling reasons for their popularity:

7. A study by SEOMoz showed that blog articles using lists receive twice as many back links... read more.

8. 22 out of 25 of Econsultancy’s top 25 blog posts of 2013 were lists blog posts... read more.


Blog articles with images

 



The average number of  images per blog post is 3.2 per post but are there any benefits to be gained by adding images?

9. 40% of us are visual learners, we’ll respond better to visuals than plain text... read more.

10. Articles with images get 94% more views... read more.

11. Photos are linked to twice as much as text updates... read more.

12. Infographics can help businesses grow traffic by 12% more than those who don’t use them... read more.


Blog articles with videos


We would all (well most of us) probably guess that well produced videos would have a positive affect on our website... but producing video content does take a lot of effort, so is it worth it?

13. Pages with videos are 50 times more likely to appear in Google search results... read more.

14. Visitors spend twice as long on pages with video content... read more.

15. The percentage of people who will click on a video in Google search results is 41% higher than for normal search results... read more.

16. 700+ videos are shared on Twitter every minute... read more.

17. 76% of YouTube users tell someone about a video they have seen... read more.

18. 75% of executives says that they watch more than one work related video a week... read more.


To round things off, SEOMoz gave us this stat: blog posts with videos, images and lists attract up to 6 times more back links than a plain post. We're talking to ourselves just as much as anyone else with this post... we'll be adding more videos in future!


We hope this blog post has given you a few easily actionable tips to get your blog articles more visibility, more back links and more social shares.