By Sarah Weise (UX Director, Booz Allen Digital Interactive) and Carrie-Ann Barrow (Partner, Bixa) When I was growing up, my Italian grandmother made the most delicious marinara sauce. The kind that would simmer for hours and scent the entire house with garlic and love. Grandma Nucci’s sauce was legendary, and she was often asked for her recipe, but no one could quite replicate it. Unknowingly, she always seemed to leave out some crucial ingredient when she recounted how it was made. I’ve spent my career encouraging digital transformation through lean and mean User Experience (UX) techniques: how to integrate…Read entire entry »

Social media is a relatively new platform on the digital media marketing game, leaving plenty of room for mistakes, mishaps, and miscommunications. Even the biggest corporations make social media blunders, ranging from slightly embarrassing to full-on catastrophes. Being a scapegoat for social media fails isn’t an easy job, but someone has to do it. Here are a few cringe-worthy moments that can teach us all. DiGiorno Pizza – #WhyIStayed After the release of disturbing video footage showing Ray Rice punching his wife, the hashtag #WhyIStayed trended around social media as a poignant message from abused women explaining what made them remain in violent relationships. Like many brands, DiGiorno Pizza was simply looking for a way to join the conversation when they tweeted “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” However, they missed a crucial step – understanding what the hashtag was about. Four minutes later, DiGiorno tweeted an apology for its severe lack of tact, explaining that the…Read entire entry »

The time, effort, and money you put into optimizing your content is all for nothing if your target audience doesn’t read it. Writing for the right audience is as important as focusing on the content itself. Producing content for the best audience for your brand is the only way to boost sales and increase conversions – reaching the people you need to reach the most. Target Your Audience If you don’t know who you want reading your blog, you can’t possibly know what to write. The first step in writing for the right audience is defining who that audience is. Are you targeting Millennials? Stay-at-home moms? Business executives? Identifying the ideal audience for your content is the only way to reach the consumers you want to convert, by tailoring your tone and information for the right crowd. Narrow the F…Read entire entry »

How well do you really know your target audience? Do you know them or do you just think you do? Most of us, marketers included, can be guilty at times of trusting our instincts a little too much, and while instincts can be great, sometimes they can be misleading. So how do you test your instincts when it comes to knowing your target audience? Today’s Tool Tip Tuesday will show you how to do just that! Discover what questions and queries your target audience is asking Google with an insightful tool called AnswerThePublic.com. You probably already have personas that you built using market research, consumer surveys, social listening, and more, but imagine a tool that can essentially spit out what your audience is asking Google right now. I’m sure you’re already familiar with Google and Bing’s auto suggest function, which is great for coming up with content ideas. Just start typing and see what pops up: …Read entire entry »

The organization of your website’s content and web pages plays an important role in search engine access, indexation, comprehension of information context, and user experience. In many industries and topic areas, standardized and logical taxonomies are publicly available—and when applied properly, they can be used as a component of your website’s information architecture. What Is Taxonomy? Taxonomy is the science of classification. While this may recall sessions of introductory biology, it goes beyond the classification of living things. When applied to information, taxonomy is most simply described as classification according to a predetermined system. The precise and deliberate organization of content eases information retrieval and informs contextual relationships between entities. Let’s look at an example before I lose ya in this jargon. Example Taxonomy: ICD-10 The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services provides classification and coding of heal…Read entire entry »

In an era of instant gratification, the modern consumer expects brands to deliver what they want, when they want it. In the past, Google hasn’t penalized sites for slow mobile page speeds. This resulted in a plethora of companies ignoring the issue, and ultimately unhappy customers. Finally, Google has confirmed that mobile site page speed will be part of the algorithm for mobile search results – a relief for consumers, but a potential issue for brands. Why Optimize a Mobile Site? It’s important for brands to realize that a mobile site does not automatically inherit its desktop site search engine optimization (SEO) ranking. Instead, Google uses an algorithm that ranks mobile sites using the desktop rating with additional criteria for the final ranking. Google updated t…Read entire entry »

It’s 2016, and content is still at the forefront of virtually every marketing technique, digital and traditional. Whether it’s video, photo, or content, marketers need to know how to stay on top of content and get the most for their efforts. Content has been a buzzword for more than a decade, yet many business owners still don’t know how to maximize theirs to get more of an impact. Here are a few quick tips to show you how to leverage your content the right way. #1: Form a Plan According to the Content Marketing Institute, the majority (53%) of the top most-effective B2B content marketers have a documented strategy. Documentation can be simple – just a few page…Read entire entry »

In the land of (SEO), backlinks is always a buzzword. A page with a lot of backlinks typically ranks higher on search engine results pages. The why of backlinking is clear – the more people who visit your page, the higher Google ranks its popularity. It’s the how that leaves many business owners stumped. Getting high-quality sites to add your link doesn’t have to be a mystery. Use these six tips to get your links out there the right way. Produce High-Quality Content The best way to get backlinks for your site is to create valuable, relevant, high-quality content. Popular articles such as how-to tutorials and lists are always good choices when it comes to creating content that will get backlinks. Other sites will reference your how-to list when mentioning the same subject …Read entire entry »

While my heart lies in the world of SEO, there is no doubt that the world of SEO is surrounded by other digital factors that impact your campaign success. For other SEOs, fear not, this is not a bad thing. However, we must understand and also accept that if we are going to gain competitive intelligence about our competitors we have to think about other great nuggets of info outside of just SEO and PPC factors that can help us succeed in our digital marketing campaigns. I have found that when I have my “Search blinders” on, when it comes to competitive analysis, SEMrush and SpyFu are the best competitive tools out there. When I think big picture, I take to another competitive tool that I feel helps me harness more than just keyword presence of keyword bid insights. This tool is called SimilarWeb, and I plan to take a brief walk through selected sections to highlight how you can gle…Read entire entry »

If you’ve gotten online within the past week, chances are you’ve read something about Pokemon Go. Not sure what it is? Well you can go read this piece on Lifehacker or watch this video below: I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t this a kids game?” The answer is, no. In this article by Vox, StartApp claims that more than 40% of users who have downloaded the game are over the age of 25. …Read entire entry »