Month: July 2016

Learn 5 Key Things About SEO In About 5 Minutes

If you’re a marketing director or website content manager, you might be wondering what SEO or Search Engine Optimization is all about and whether it’s “for real” or just another upcharge your agency or web development company is trying to pop on you to add more charges to your bill.

We’ll be honest. You don’t have to do SEO, but if you don’t you’re missing the “O” part of SEO – that is, your website will not be “optimized” for search engine. In other words, you’ll be on the worldwide web, but no one in the world will be able to find you.

Don’t think it matters? Take a look at this:

5 Cold Hard Facts:

  • Searching for answers. 76% of internet users use a search engine for find local businesses.
  • Google is still king. Links in the second position receive 10.1%. Links in the third position get 7.2%, and links in the fourth position get 4.8%. Links below fourth average under 2% of click-throughs.
  • Google is king. Links in the top position of a Google search query page receive 18.2% of all click-through traffic.
  • Google still rules. Google sends 90.6% of traffic. Yahoo! Sends 3.78%. Bing sends 3.72%. After that, no one else matters.
  • Your website is in a worldwide haystack. Search engines don’t know a good site from bad the way you know a good site from bad. They rely mostly on relevance and importance. They look at your site like a good party. If a lot of people are coming and going, staying and commenting, the search engine will look at your site and rank it higher.

5 things you’re doing wrong.

  • Use of iFrames. In some cases it makes sense to pull content directly from another site. For example, let’s say you wanted to pull a content stream from While they may offer an embed code you can copy and paste on your site to feature the streamed content, you won’t gain any SEO value for content hosted within iFrames.
  • Ironic copy. Search engines are smart and they’re getting smarter all the time, but they don’t understand irony. If your headline says “Home to Georgia’s Best Peaches,” but the article is about a resort in Costa Rica that serves peaches from Georgia, the search engine will be confused.
  • Content behind logins. Search engines cannot register to see your page or fill out online forms. If you have a registration barrier to content, a search engine will not be able to cross that barrier and will not know what you have on your site.
  • Duplicating pages. Some Content Management Systems (CMS) will end up posting duplicate pages by default. Aside from confusing the search engines, having a site with loads of duplicate content can dramatically impact the perceived quality of a website.
  • Hiding content in plain sight. Videos, graphics, and logos are important elements that keep your site interesting to users. However, putting all your content in a graphic (.jpg or .png) or in a video format, means that search engines cannot find it. Users might like it, but it’s invisible to search engines. Instead, try to provide as much content as possible in textual format.

5 things you’re doing right.

  • Effective title tags. Okay, so we’ve all done a search online. We’re then presented with a page full of results. Within that page are short, abbreviated descriptions. As we said, short. You’ll notice that the description is cut off at the first 65-75 characters. So it’s best to convey that key information in those first 70 or so characters. Get to the point, quickly. Everyone appreciates it.
  • Indexable content. Put your most important content in HTML. Flash, Java, images and video formats are not indexable by search engines. That does not mean you shouldn’t have those elements. It just means that the majority of your important content and keywords should be in an HTML text format.
  • Video attracts viewers. Websites with videos are 53% more likely to rank on Google’s first page. While it is dangerous to put all your website’s content in a video, you can optimize the content of your video by putting a transcript on the same or other page. Your visitors may not read it but the search engine will.
  • Keywords are key. Using keywords related to the topic of your site vastly improves your search engine scoring. Relevance is key to keywords, too. For example, “new cars” might be one of the most highly searched words on the internet, but sprinkling those words into your content will not increase your search engine score if you sell cakes. Before creating content for any site, Telegraph Creative starts with keyword research that identifies the most important keywords to make sure that we include those words in the content as part of the creative process.
  • Correctly linking pages. Linking to pages within your site is the way you can tell Google which pages you deem most important. Generally, the more times a page is linked to the more authority that page is given by Google. Furthermore, internal linking provides you with the ability to provide topical relevance to the search engines. Whenever linking to other pages on your site, make sure to link with keywords or key phrases that are similar to the phrases you want to rank for in Google.

We Know What You Did This Summer. (And We Know That You Know.)

It’s pretty typical. What we at first resent, we come to see the value in. New technology often follows a pattern similar to the five stages of death. First, we deny it, then we’re angry about it and eventually we accept it. Most new technologies go through this because they disrupt our sense of normality. Some never make it to acceptance (remember Google Glass?).

So what about retargeting?

Once we get over the creepy notion that advertisers can follow us around the internet, many have come to accept it as a preferred alternative. At this point, most people who use the internet know they’re being tracked and we accept it as the price we pay for the convenience the internet offers.

The simple reason we find advertising messages annoying is that because so many are served as an interruption to the programming we are receiving. They cut into TV shows, break up sporting events and ruin the flow of a movie. And if we’re not in the market for a car, (or whatever the ad is about) the message is even more annoying. But what if you were in the market for car? Suddenly, the message is a little more interesting.

The problem with traditional advertising is that it’s just a game of luck. As the saying goes, they’re shooting the pellets into the sky and hoping the birds fly into them.

Retargeting is just the opposite. It identifies a marketer’s target by tracking online activity. It then follows them with ads based on their interest.

So, if I’m interested in golf, I’ll search and read stories about golf. My browsing history will indicate that interest and retargeting will follow me with advertising for items related to golf. I’m less inclined to view such messages as an interruption as they are clearly based on my interests and, in fact, may enhance my knowledge and enjoyment.

The Art of Retargeting

As with most powerful tools, they have to be used responsibly to be most effective. Even though you have the knowledge, you can push it too far. So here’s three simple retargeting tips:Don’t push it. Even though you know a prospect’s interest, don’t over-do your retargeting. As this study from Rapp Media indicates, 3 times or less is the magic number

  • Don’t push it. Even though you know a prospect’s interest, don’t over-do your retargeting. As this study from Rapp Media indicates, 3 times or less is the magic number
  • Don’t be lazy. If you’re going to retarget, don’t show the same ad over and over. You have 3 tries. Get it right.
  • Be relevant. Feed them information that is relevant to their interest.

When used properly, retargeting is a powerful tool that leads to direct results. Contact Dewar Gaines for a presentation of a case study on how we have helped our clients see outstanding results through retargeting.

B2B Lead Generation: How To Market to B2B Decision Makers Online

Lead generation, the process of driving qualified prospects into the sales funnel, is the single most important activity for B2B marketing and sales departments. According to DueDil “State of Sales Report”, 61% of sales and marketing professionals stated lead generation was very important. To put this in perspective, only 35% thought knowing their prospects’ budget was very important. All in all, 89% of those surveyed said lead generation was important or very important for the success of the organization – by far the leading predictor business success according to those surveyed.

Other factors deemed important included knowing key employees and decision makers, identifying and qualifying leads by need, and ensuring the prospect had the authority to purchase.

Lead generation is a sort of dance between the marketing and sales departments. Without effective marketing, the sales department is unable to do its job effectively. And, in many cases, without feedback from the sales department, the quality and effectiveness of lead generation efforts by the marketing department will greatly suffer.

As the overall marketing and business ecosphere continues to become more complex and more technology solutions become available, decision makers are reacting by wanting to make decisions based on more thorough research. For marketers, this means the creation, distribution, and amplification of high-quality content will pay dividends if the content matches the buyer persona of the prospect.

Marketing to B2B Decision Makers

B2B marketing provides several unique challenges:

  •   B2B decision maker’s time is much more scarce
  •   There’s usually one organizer but several decision makers
  •   The purchasing process is much more complex than B2C
  •   Their buying motivations usually consist of competing interests

Gone are the days of making a major decision based solely on the recommendation of a fellow executive. Today, B2B decision makers want to make absolutely sure they’re choosing the best product (or vendor) among many alternatives. Furthermore, the organization-wide implications and complexity of decisions has never been so palpable. As such, B2B decision makers are doing more research than ever before. This provides marketers (and those selling targeting B2B audiences) with an opportunity to reach their audience at the earliest stages of the conversion funnel.

B2B Decision Makers Reliance on Content for Purchasing Decisions

B2B Buying Behavior (and Thus Lead Gen) Starts with Search

An interesting study by Regalix found 86% of B2B decision makers start the first phase of the conversion funnel – Awareness – with organic search. Surprisingly, even to someone who preaches the value of organic SEO daily, organic search remains important throughout the entire buyer journey and outperforms paid search in every way.

What are these high-value prospects looking for when they search? High-quality, education content to inform their decision. In fact, over 75% of B2B decision makers rely on content more than they did a year ago. But, knowing they’re looking for content isn’t enough. Executives with this type of buying power are picky. And, when landing on websites, they expect to find certain types of content.

There are a few important takeaways from this survey of B2B decision makers. (Demand Gen Report “B2B Content Preference Survey”)

Long Form Content Rules

The most impactful forms of content were white papers, e-books, and case studies. None of these are novel approaches to content creation; however, they pack the substances B2B decision makers require before making a decision. And this makes sense – many of the price tags on enterprise-level software could be hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, in their defense, they’d be doing their own organization a disservice not to expect comprehensive research and analysis before making a decision. (If you don’t believe me, just check out the length of a Forrester Report. I think the last one I “read” was 120+ pages.)

One exception to this rule is content in the middle or lower portion of the funnel. In these cases, B2B marketers should worry more about selling the prospect in the most concise and effective way than ensuring the prospect is has a multitude of resources to answer his or questions with.

B2B Decision Makers Are Evolving But Still “Old School”

The most preferred content forms are usually printed on paper and read by actually flipping pages with one’s fingers. Webinars and videos, the two most effective forms of interactive content, are certainly on the rise and shouldn’t be ignored; however, more “new age” content formats such as podcasts and interactive presentations have yet to catch on with this audience.

A Mix of Content Types is Your Best Strategy

Having a variety of content formats available is always the best idea. For example, videos may have a higher conversion rate but it might take piquing the prospects interest with more traditional content before they’ll consider watching video content.

B2B Content Sharing

Just like most other citizens of the web, business executives with serious buying power share content too. But, the way and places they share it are quite a bit different.

The biggest mistake a marketer could make is to underestimate B2B decision makers’ likelihood of sharing content. According to Quartz “Global Executive Study” , 91% of B2B decision makers said they would share content with colleagues and peers if it was compelling. By far the most common form of sharing content is email. Marketers targeting B2B buyers should ensure they have intuitive, email share buttons near any public content facing content. For those that want to get a bit more sophisticated, try this: After gathering a prospect’s email and contact info, send them an autoresponder that contains the requested content along with an email tracking pixel. The most advanced providers of email analytics software will allow you to see how many times and to what people an email is forwarded to. Be sure to go research any email addresses the content was forwarded to so you can add them in your CRM.