Array https://www.vizioninteractive.com Tue, 15 Oct 2019 22:24:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 What’s Your PPC ROI? https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/whats-your-ppc-roi/ https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/whats-your-ppc-roi/#respond Tue, 22 Oct 2019 13:18:15 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18313 Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can provide a substantial return on investment (ROI) if you devote the time and effort to crafting detailed and impactful text ads and calculating your success over time. PPC ads can be expensive, but, if they provide an acceptable ROI, they are well worth the investment. It’s essential for modern businesses looking […]

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Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can provide a substantial return on investment (ROI) if you devote the time and effort to crafting detailed and impactful text ads and calculating your success over time. PPC ads can be expensive, but, if they provide an acceptable ROI, they are well worth the investment. It’s essential for modern businesses looking to expand their digital reach to know how to calculate ROI with their PPC ads to inform their paid advertising strategies for the future.

What Is PPC?

PPC advertising is a fairly straightforward concept with very complex implications in practice. Essentially, an advertiser develops a text ad for display on Google, Bing, or other search engines, and the advertiser pays a predetermined price to the search engine every time a search engine user clicks on the ad. PPC advertisers bid on different keywords, and many different competitors within a single niche market will probably aim for the same or similar keywords.

When the search engine detects a search for a keyword with bids from advertisers, the search engine algorithm then determines how to rank their PPC ads based on several factors:

  • Bid amount. High bidders are more likely to rank higher in the displayed list of ads. However, paying more per ad is not a foolproof method for guaranteeing appearance in search results.
  • Page quality. High bids aren’t a guarantee that those ads will appear at the top of a list of PPC ads for a particular keyword. If one page is of significantly higher quality than another, it may rank above the other even with a slightly lower bid.
  • Google and other search engines use countless different metrics to track how relevant different pages are and displays them accordingly when a user searches for a particular keyword or keyword string. The more closely related a PPC ad is to the user’s search query, the more likely that PPC ad is to appear toward the top of the displayed ads in the search results.

With a firm understanding of the basics of PPC advertising, marketers can then determine the ROI of their PPC ads with some basic calculations. However, determining the exact value of a PPC campaign requires long-term analysis and keen understanding of the different variables that come into play over time.

Calculating PPC Marketing ROI

PPC ads require consistent effort and attention. Advertisers must configure their ads carefully and then bid upon their corresponding keywords. Ideally, the keywords with the highest chances of conversion should carry the largest bids, but marketers will need to adjust them over time. Managed PPC advertising services can help maintain the long-term efficacy of a PPC ad campaign.

Calculating the basic return on ad spend is relatively straightforward. Here’s a good way to begin calculating the overall ROI of a PPC ad campaign:

  1. First, calculate the overall ad spend for a PPC campaign. For example, assume you spend $10,000 on PPC ads.
  2. Next, determine the conversion value of those ads. Following the previous example, imagine if the $10,000 in PPC ad spend resulted in 500 leads, and 250 of those leads converted for an average of $100 each.
  3. Finally, divide the conversion value by the overall ad spend.

Following the previous examples, this would appear as (250x $100)/$10,000, or $250,000/$10,000 for a return on ad spend of 2500%. This is an idealized example and most advertisers will see much more modest returns, but it’s easy to see how PPC ads can generate tremendous value for any brand.

In the previous example, the PPC ad campaign generated 500 leads but only 250 converted. This does not mean the other 250 are wasted potential. PPC ads can generate more brand awareness, increase conversations around your brand, and gradually convert warm leads to direct sales eventually.

Additional Values to Track

The basic PPC ROI calculation provides a great benchmark to track over time. Marketers will need to include other variables in their calculations such as manpower spent on chasing down leads and closing sales and total revenue to determine the exact value of every PPC click. Eventually, this data can help determine the average cost of conversion for a brand’s customer, or the overall investment required to convince the customer to finally convert to the brand.

It’s also necessary to track ad spending over time. For example, if your brand sells seasonal products, you want to arrange your highest bids on your winter-oriented products during the winter and then adjust accordingly for the change in seasons. Similarly, if certain products seem to only sell during specific times, it may be wise to ramp up the bid amounts on the PPC ads for those products in a timely manner to capitalize on the likely increased traffic during those times.

PPC ad campaigns are fantastic marketing assets as long as the marketing teams behind them are willing to put consistent effort into refining them, testing new ad structures, and adjusting their PPC ad settings in response to changing trends.

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A Guide to Google Heatmaps https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/a-guide-to-google-heatmaps/ https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/a-guide-to-google-heatmaps/#respond Thu, 17 Oct 2019 13:15:55 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18310 You have likely spent countless hours creating your brand’s marketing strategy, including heavy investment into top-tier web design for a beautifully presented and responsive website, but do you know how visitors to your site actually use it and view your published content? Making informed decisions is a cornerstone of modern digital marketing. One of the […]

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You have likely spent countless hours creating your brand’s marketing strategy, including heavy investment into top-tier web design for a beautifully presented and responsive website, but do you know how visitors to your site actually use it and view your published content? Making informed decisions is a cornerstone of modern digital marketing. One of the best but most often overlooked tools to help with this are Google heatmaps.

A heatmap will display your website content in a way that allows you to see which parts of each page capture visitors’ attention the most. Google Analytics heatmaps are conversion optimization tools that allow you to see what works and what needs more work on your website.

Understanding How Heatmaps Work

Think of an infrared display, or “heat vision,” as you have likely seen in movies and TV shows: a specialized display shows heat in varying colors. The coolest areas are darker hues of purples and blues, and warmer areas blend to greens and yellows. The hottest areas appear orange and red. Google heatmaps work very similarly, showing you where people spend the most time on your website using the same principles as a thermal imaging display.

Heatmaps exist in various forms, but they all serve similar functions as visual representations of data:

  • Hover heatmaps track mouse movements on a page. This allows you to easily see how users move their computer mice across your webpages, informing how they consume the content published to your website. Hover heatmaps use the same basic principles as eye-tracking technology, but the accuracy of mouse movement tracking is questionable since little research exists to support a strong correlation between cursor position and user gaze.
  • Click heatmaps track user clicks, showing you which links and buttons are most often clicked. This informs you as to how users prefer to interact with your site and which elements of your webpages draw their attention the most. These heatmaps are quite reliable as they essentially display aggregate data; areas that receive the fewest clicks appear coolest while areas with more clicks appear warmer.
  • Attention heatmaps display which portions of your webpages receive the most visual attention with respect to horizontal and vertical scrolling. These heatmaps are especially valuable for pillar-style content pages and longform content pages, informing the site owner as to which portions of the content cause the average user to stop and read. Generally, the very top of the page appears the warmest because that is what every user will see when first clicking to the page, and warmer areas throughout the rest of the page show where users are stopping their scrolling to read.
  • Eye-tracking maps actually track users’ eye movements, but these tools usually require some type of end user agreement or similar consent from users to collect and analyze their eye-tracking data. For example, if a smartphone user agrees to allow their device to collect eye-tracking data, marketers can then use the collected data to determine where the user’s eyes spend the most time on the page.

Different heatmaps offer different advantages, and it is impractical to simply invest in robust heatmaps of every kind for your web content. Instead, why not use a readily available heatmapping tool built into one of the staple components of your marketing toolkit?

Heatmaps on Google Analytics

The new heatmap feature on Google Analytics allows you to enhance your Page Analytics with heatmaps. Google Analytics is already an incredibly potent tool for any digital marketing professional, so why not take your analytical toolkit to the next level by exploring heatmaps and discovering a new conversion optimization asset for your marketing arsenal?

While some third party heatmap tools may offer a more diverse range of features than the Google Analytics heatmap, you are very likely already using Google Analytics, so the presentation and functionality will feel familiar and comfortable, and the capabilities are more robust than you might expect:

  • Easily see which portions of your webpages are most overlooked or scrolled past; this can help inform your content structure going forward.
  • Identify clickable icons visitors may be overlooking because they do not appear “clickable.”
  • Track your peak traffic times to see when users are visiting your site the most. This helps you organically promote your content by posting it during peak traffic.
  • Gain valuable insights that inform your pay-per-click campaign using Google AdWords.
  • Identify the best places for calls to action, signup links, and data entry fields.

Google Analytics heatmaps are ideal for measuring the success of your website’s home page, various landing pages, and the blog posts you publish to convince readers to convert to your brand. Ideally, you should leverage the insights you gain to increase engagement and keep users interacting with your website as often as possible and for as long as possible during each session. Retain your heatmap data so you can draw insights from future testing. Over time, you’ll see your heatmaps evolve as users start spending more time interacting with your website and the content you publish to it.

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Amazon Marketing Strategy Tips for the Holidays https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/amazon-marketing-strategy-tips-for-the-holidays/ https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/amazon-marketing-strategy-tips-for-the-holidays/#respond Tue, 15 Oct 2019 13:16:04 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18301 The holiday months offer an incredible opportunity for any consumer-focused business. If you plan to take advantage of the highest annual spending season, you need to focus your attention on the biggest outlets for selling your products. Amazon continues to be the king of online retail, offering retailers all over the world an intuitive ecommerce […]

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The holiday months offer an incredible opportunity for any consumer-focused business. If you plan to take advantage of the highest annual spending season, you need to focus your attention on the biggest outlets for selling your products. Amazon continues to be the king of online retail, offering retailers all over the world an intuitive ecommerce platform with unprecedented reach. A few tips can help propel your Amazon marketing strategy to new heights.

Why Amazon?

Amazon commands the lion’s share of all product searches on Google. When a user searches for any type of purchasable product, it’s a safe bet that one of the top links will lead to an Amazon product page. Naturally, this leads many marketers to believe that selling on Amazon is simple due to sheer numbers. However, this is only true for your company with a sound Amazon marketing strategy tailored to your brand. Amazon may offer tremendous potential reach, but you also run the risk of your product pages becoming lost in a vast sea of thousands of other listings.

Amazon secures billions of dollars in sales every year, and the number of people turning to ecommerce outlets for their holiday shopping continues to grow year over year. The Amazon Marketplace can be lucrative if you have a solid strategy for advertising on Amazon and outshining your competitors’ offerings. The following tips can help significantly in this endeavor.

Target Your Listings Carefully

You need to ensure your product listings appear in the right search results. Do not settle for generic or basic product listings. Go into as much detail as possible and offer potential buyers an in-depth look at the products you offer. If people are visiting your product listings but not completing purchases, this may be because you failed to include detailed, accurate, or well-written descriptions.

Take time to develop strong listings that fully cover the features and benefits of your listed products. Make sure your listings are tailored to your ideal customers, and update your listings regularly. If you haven’t updated your product listings on Amazon in a while, the encroaching holiday season makes now the perfect time to do just that. Be careful not to completely overhaul your product listings; this may cause more harm than good. Make smaller adjustments and pay close attention to the effects of every adjustment you make.

Choose the Right Keywords

Just like you optimize the content you publish for search engine rankings, you need to optimize your Amazon product listings to capture search traffic on the Amazon ecommerce platform. Take some time to do some experimental keyword searches to find the keywords that resonate most strongly with your product listings. Amazon Seller Services is a fantastic resource to get you started, and you should follow the same general best practices that you do for Google SEO:

  • Avoid keyword stuffing. More doesn’t always mean better. While you certainly want to include as many relevant keywords as possible in your product listings, stuffing your listings only wastes space and essentially works against you.
  • Avoid breaking up keyword strings. Your best keyword strings may be a little awkward to fit naturally into your listings, but you should do your best to separate them with spaces instead of punctuation.
  • Use keyword variations. Try including singular and plural versions of your keywords for maximum effectiveness. Users perform searches in different ways and accounting for these slight variations will help boost your listings’ visibility.

Devote the same attention and energy to your Amazon keywords as you do to the keywords in the content you publish, and you’re sure to see a noticeable uptick in traffic to your listings and successful sales.

Invest in High-Quality Product Showcases

Have you ever searched for a product on Amazon and noticed multiple sellers using the same basic photos for the product? Set your listing apart with high-quality professional photography of the products you list on Amazon. Use a high-definition professional photo of the product for the main photo and add secondary photos that show the product from additional angles. Think of the things a customer would want to see about a product and make sure your photos help them make educated purchasing decisions.

Customers are more likely to trust listings that go into thorough detail and offer several angles of the listed product. You may even want to consider adding a few photos of the product in use, if feasible.

Leverage Product Reviews

Modern online shoppers are incredibly discerning, and one of the first things most online shoppers do before completing their purchases is read the reviews of a product and a seller before committing to those purchases. For example, imagine two sellers offering the same product for the same price, but one seller has significantly lower customer review scores. A customer reading those reviews may notice consistent complaints of poor service, inaccurate listing details, or other problems that steer buyers toward the competitor’s listing.

Amazon advertising not only offers customers an easy way to read product reviews, but also weighs those reviews based on relevancy, detail, and time of posting. Newer, more detailed reviews tend to appear higher on a product’s list of reviews, so find ways to incentivize your customers into leaving detailed positive reviews on your product listings.

Every Amazon seller has access to a wide assortment of tools to create the best product listings possible, you just need to devote the time and energy to capitalizing on them. These tips are a great starting point for you to develop winning product listings, just remember to always keep your target market in mind when making your adjustments and strive to make your product listings the most complete and most attractive to outshine your competitors.

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PLA Marketing Do’s and Don’ts https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/pla-marketing-dos-and-donts/ https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/pla-marketing-dos-and-donts/#respond Thu, 10 Oct 2019 13:30:50 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18307 If your company sells products to consumers, advertising those products is a fantastic way to drive sales and increase awareness of your brand. Product listing advertisement (PLA) pertains to the listed ads for purchasable products seen on Google Search. When a user searches for a specific product, the highest-rated and most relevant ads appear at […]

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If your company sells products to consumers, advertising those products is a fantastic way to drive sales and increase awareness of your brand. Product listing advertisement (PLA) pertains to the listed ads for purchasable products seen on Google Search. When a user searches for a specific product, the highest-rated and most relevant ads appear at the top of the search results. If you sell products online, you want your PLAs to appear amongst the top results.

PLA marketing is a bit trickier than other forms of Google marketing. Developing solid product listings requires time and effort. The following best practices can help you navigate the PLA marketing side of Google, enhance your product advertising, and boost your sales.

Do: Measure the ROI on All PLAs

It costs money to list PLAs on Google, and you need to ensure the money you’re spending on your PLAs offers an acceptable return. PLAs are most useful for advertisers who want to list specific products or groups of products, and just like Google text ads they require a pay-per-click pricing format. When you decide to list a PLA on Google, you must set a bid price and pay that amount when a user clicks on your PLA. While the pricing of text ads revolves around keywords, PLAs refer to ad groups for pricing, so it’s essential to have a firm understanding of your products’ ad groups to determine how much each click will cost you.

Advertisers also have the option to add special features to their PLAs, including:

  • Special Offer links. These come at no additional charge and simply place a “Special Offer” tag within your PLA to notify users that a promotional offer exists for the displayed product.
  • Product Rating displays. Advertisers can display a rating with each listed product as long as the product has received at least three reviews. Google displays these ratings with a simple and intuitive five-star system.
  • Trusted Store badge. Google verifies online retailers and offers the Trusted Store badge to retailers, allowing them to display a condensed report card covering their customer service records, shipping reliability, and timeliness of responses to customers’ questions.

You will need to carefully review your products and determine which are your best sellers. PLA marketing works best for companies that offer many different products, but that doesn’t mean a brand with a smaller product catalog cannot find success on the Google Shopping Marketplace. Evaluate your product offerings and consider how to craft PLAs for them. Taking time to identify your best selling products and those that may be underperforming allows you to dedicate the necessary marketing budget to those items.

Do: Segment Your Bids

When you pay for PLAs, Google offers the option to set up different bidding structures for different products. Generally, a good rule of thumb is to denote at least three categories for your bids: Good, Better, and Best. The “Best” category should comprise your top 10% to 20% of best selling products. Devote your highest bids to your “Best” products as these are most likely to sell and offer the best return on investment. Your average-selling products should occupy your “Better” bidding slots, and the remainder should comprise your “Good” listings.

Segmenting your bids in this manner ensures you capture the easiest sales of your best selling products while avoiding wasted money on lower-performing products. Remember, consumer trends and tastes change over time. You will need to occasionally audit these segments and move your products around accordingly. You’ll also need to adjust your bids based on the time of year. For example, it’s pointless to keep winter clothing items in the “Best” category during the summer.

Don’t: Neglect Negative Keywords

Keywords are as essential to PLAs as they are to Google text ads, but PLAs tend to rely even more heavily on negative keywords. While positive keywords indicate which keywords resonate most strongly with your listed products, negative keywords function in the opposite manner and prevent your listings from appearing in certain search query results. Negative keywords are a great way to differentiate products that carry different monikers in different parts of the world.

Don’t: Skimp on Product Photography or Use Questionable Photos

Basic stock photos are not an acceptable choice for your PLAs. It may seem easiest to upload a basic picture of the product or the package but investing in professional product photography offers the highest return on investment. Avoid edited and watermarked images and only include photos of the listed product. You should also avoid any images that fall outside the realm of “family-friendly” to avoid unnecessary penalties against your PLAs.

Google commands the greatest share of search engine traffic in the world, and more people than ever are shopping online and starting their purchasing research on Google. PLA marketing offers fantastic return on investment, but only if you take the appropriate steps to ensure your products appear in the right searches with accurate info, competitive pricing, and a great return on investment for your marketing budget.

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Content Marketing Conferences Left In 2019 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/content-marketing-conferences-left-in-2019/ Tue, 08 Oct 2019 13:27:26 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18304 When was the last time you attended a professional content marketing conference? 2019 might be more than halfway over, but there are still plenty of fantastic marketing conferences and events planned for the coming months. Content marketing professionals with a finger on the pulse of the best upcoming conferences and marketing events have a competitive […]

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When was the last time you attended a professional content marketing conference? 2019 might be more than halfway over, but there are still plenty of fantastic marketing conferences and events planned for the coming months.

Content marketing professionals with a finger on the pulse of the best upcoming conferences and marketing events have a competitive edge. If you have attended any of the previous content marketing conferences in 2019, you’ll be delighted to learn that many more events remain for the rest of the year, each packed with unique learning and networking opportunities. Check out the following list of upcoming content marketing conferences and events.

Advertising Week: September 23-26 in New York City

If you’re interested in attending one of the biggest content marketing events of the year, Advertising Week in New York City is for you. With more than 100,000 expected attendees, hundreds of registered press, and a packed lineup of thought leadership content and special events, any content marketer is sure to make valuable connections and gain keen insights to drive their businesses forward. Tickets cost between $239 and $1,869 depending on the package you prefer, and you also have the option to purchase a virtual pass for only $99 to explore everything Advertising Week has to offer remotely through the digital portal.

Hawkefest: October 3 in Los Angeles

Looking for something outside the norm for your next content marketing conference? You may want to check out the “anti-conference” Hawkefest in Los Angeles. Hawke Media, the founding organization and host, has a full day of collaborative fun and themed events for content marketing professionals and the best and brightest from countless industries. This year, Hawkefest will take place at the Houdini Estate, so you can explore a Los Angeles cultural landmark while you enjoy thought-provoking collaborative projects and networking in a conference environment that truly breaks the mold.

PubCon Pro Las Vegas: October 7-10

Interested in one of the biggest marketing events of the year in one of the most fun cities in the country? Pubcon Pro will host their second conference of the year in Las Vegas, with tickets ranging from $399 to $4,999. This “full stack marketing conference” will feature several main stage speakers, site clinics for audience members to submit marketing ideas to their peers for review, and PubCon Labs for onsite advice from industry leaders.

MarketingProfs B2B Forum: October 16-18 in Washington DC

Most marketing conferences offer speakers and events catering to both B2B and B2C marketers, but the upcoming MarketingProfs B2B Forum in Washington DC focuses on the B2B side of marketing for a more finely tuned experience. B2B marketing professionals can purchase a Workshop-Only Pass for $1,095 and enjoy one of the best B2B networking events in the country. One of the keynote speakers attending this year is Ann Handley, the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs and widely regarded as the best in the business.

Incite Brand Marketing Summit NYC October 21-22

Of all the content marketing conferences happening this year, the Incite Brand Marketing Summit in New York City promises to be the most senior meeting of digital marketing, content production, and social media professionals from the biggest brands. Tickets cost between $1,795 and $2,895, and attendees will have the chance to meet with and learn from over 500 marketing professionals, more than 55 professional speaker, and three tracks devoted to inspiration, networking, and learning. Brand marketers from Google, Facebook, Estee Lauder, PepsiCo, and many other top brands are expected to attend, so this is a CMO-led event you will not want to miss.

Content Jam: October 28-29 in Chicago

Every marketing professional knows that industry conferences are fantastic networking opportunities, but Content Jam in Chicago will take this a step further and offer more time for meaningful connections between industry professionals. Content Jam is sure to be packed with collaboration workshops, peer review exercises, and countless other activities for marketing professionals to expand their skillsets and showcase their professional acumen. More than 400 marketing professionals and top-rated industry speakers will attend and share their insights, and attendees will have ample opportunity to connect with industry leaders, innovative speakers, and professional peers from all over the country.

Forbes CMO Summit: November 13-15 in Dana Point, California

Every year, Forbes hosts an annual CMO Summit, and the 15th Annual Forbes CMO Summit takes place in beautiful Dana Point, California this year. While this event is invite-only, you can apply for your invitation online. Tickets cost $1,950 each, or $1,495 if you catch the Early Bird special before September 18. This exclusive event is a celebration of innovation, thought leadership, and brand engagement. Attendees will have the chance to rub elbows with some of the biggest names in the marketing sphere and connect with new contacts in brand-building, marketing, and digital advertising.

Content marketing is a constantly evolving field. These conferences are great opportunities for professionals of all industries and skill levels to forge new professional relationships and learn from the brightest minds in the marketing world.

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What Is a Link Audit and Why Should You Do One? https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/what-is-a-link-audit-and-why-should-you-do-one/ Thu, 03 Oct 2019 13:30:04 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18291 In the earliest days of the search engine optimization (SEO) world, when companies first realized the importance of ranking well on search engine results pages (SERPs), Google was rife with duplicitous marketers using black-hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing and deceptive and manipulative link schemes. Understandably, this issue caused many problems. Google unveiled the Penguin […]

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In the earliest days of the search engine optimization (SEO) world, when companies first realized the importance of ranking well on search engine results pages (SERPs), Google was rife with duplicitous marketers using black-hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing and deceptive and manipulative link schemes. Understandably, this issue caused many problems. Google unveiled the Penguin update in response. Starting in 2012, Google Penguin aimed to punish pages using deceptive linking tactics and keyword stuffing. Over the next several years, Penguin evolved and eventually became part of the core Google Search algorithm in 2017.

While most modern digital marketers do their utmost to keep their SEO tactics as clean as possible, some fall to complacency or make understandable errors that bog down their SERP rankings. If you have noticed a decline in organic search engine traffic to your site, it may be due to the link profile of your website. A link audit is a smart way to determine the viability of your current linking environment.

What Is a Link Profile?

Google Search ranks pages on various criteria. Update history, content quality, domain authority, and link profile are some of the most pertinent ranking metrics that determine websites’ positions within SERPs. Your link profile is the history of all the links within your website as well as external links that lead back to pages on your website.

Prior to the Penguin update, it was not unheard of for some unscrupulous marketers to simply copy/paste links to their websites on message boards, forums, and comment sections of many other websites to artificially inflate their link status. This is no longer viable thanks to Penguin. It’s now up to digital marketers to ensure their websites’ link histories are genuine and secure. They can accomplish this by performing a link audit.

Goals of a Link Audit

A link audit is a pretty straightforward concept; you spend time investigating the entirety of your website’s link profile and remove high-risk links to improve your SEO results. This can be a very time-consuming process, but it is well worth the effort and investment to ensure your website has a solid link profile.

During a link audit, you’ll gain a stronger understanding of the websites linking to your own and identify high-risk and inappropriate links. This is essentially damage control, as Google and other search engines typically penalize websites with poor or compromised link profiles. In comes cases, a bad link profile can even lead to Google or other search engines de-indexing your website.

The primary goals of your link audit should include:

  • Reducing the likelihood of search engine penalties and site de-indexing.
  • Attracting healthier inbound links.
  • Uncovering technical problems that diminish SEO success.
  • Resolving canonical issues with multiple iterations of the same pages due to inbound linking conflicts.
  • Identifying linking issues as soon as possible.

Link auditing is a necessary process, and it is not a one-off endeavor; you will need to regularly audit your website’s links to ensure a healthy link profile and maximize the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.

Perform a Proper Link Audit

The best way to begin a link audit is to define your goals for the audit. Are you attempting to simply gain a better understanding of your website’s link profile, or are you trying to discern the strongest and weakest aspects of your website? Are you trying to assess the reason behind a recent drop in traffic to your site, or do you want to have a competitive edge over your competitors? Are you trying to prevent future SEO problems by reviewing your site’s inbound linking history? These are just a few examples of acceptable and attainable goals for your link audit. Define your intentions for your link audit to guide the process.

One of the most important steps in a link audit is to remove questionable, dangerous, or otherwise high-risk backlinks. Generally, the most dangerous include websites that trigger malware or virus warnings upon visiting, sites that include pornography, online gambling, or discussion of dangerous topics like terrorism sympathizing, and websites full of unrelated links (commonly referred to as spam sites).

Luckily, the Google Penguin update includes a disavowal tool that allows site owners to disavow questionable backlinks over which they have no control to prevent Google from indexing them with their websites. Remember, while it is important to remove questionable links, you do not need to completely remove all low-quality links. Some of those links may be more important to your SEO than you realize, and some lower-quality sites that link to your own may have a future upswing and become tremendously beneficial to your site’s link profile.

Benefits of Link Auditing

Link auditing offers you a better understanding of your website’s SEO viability and the link ecology within and around your site. Ultimately, the best benefit to performing a thorough link audit of your website is improving your website’s credibility and authority. This, in turn, encourages healthier backlinks from other reputable sites and increases the efficacy of your SEO tactics. Link auditing may be a complex and time-consuming endeavor, but the payoff is well worth it.

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How to Create an Effective Infographic https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/how-to-create-an-effective-infographic/ Tue, 01 Oct 2019 13:30:50 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18288 Content marketers always need to be searching for new ways to convey value to their target audiences and customers. This could mean offering valuable promotions or supplying an audience with relevant and valuable information and insights. However, content marketers also face unique challenges in today’s fast-paced digital advertising landscape. Modern customers face near constant bombardment […]

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Content marketers always need to be searching for new ways to convey value to their target audiences and customers. This could mean offering valuable promotions or supplying an audience with relevant and valuable information and insights. However, content marketers also face unique challenges in today’s fast-paced digital advertising landscape. Modern customers face near constant bombardment of content and advertisements from all angles, and it’s vital to make timely but memorable impressions on potential leads.

Infographics are simple but effective tools in any marketing professional’s arsenal. An infographic is essentially a detailed list of information and statistics presented in an easily digestible visual format. Visual content is extremely effective in the modern marketing landscape, and well-crafted infographics can provide a marketing professional with a competitive edge.

Benefits of Using Infographics

Why use infographics? Modern consumers and online browsers want the most relevant information as quickly as possible, and infographics enable marketers to deliver this in a visually captivating presentation. Marketers will notice several benefits to using infographics:

  • Infographics are eye-catching. If the average person browsing the web has the option to digest content from your infographic or a competitor’s clunky page full of dully presented statistics, which do you believe will draw the user’s attention first?
  • Infographics are quick, valuable resources for speedy digestion of information. Instead of reading through complex statistics, readers can refer to visual representations of the same data to absorb the information faster and more completely.
  • A well-made infographic confers authority to your brand. When a user notices that you have developed an eye-catching and detailed infographic that covers lots of useful information in an easily digestible format, this inherently cultivates authority for your brand in the mind of the user.
  • Thoughtful, accurate, and visually appealing infographics set you apart in your niche. If your competitors cannot offer your target consumers and audience the same information in an appealing format, this sets you ahead of the pack in your market.

Infographics are a fantastic method for transmitting useful and relevant information to your customers. In some cases, they may be the deciding factor for a consumer considering a purchase from you or your competitors.

Developing High-Quality Infographics

The heart of any infographic is the information it contains. Your infographic may be beautifully rendered but fall flat due to misrepresented statistics, flawed research, or incomplete or outdated information. Start your infographic development process by clearly defining the objective you expect the infographic to fulfill. Are you presenting information specific to one topic or a general overview of a broader topic? Define the scope of information you wish to cover, and then begin researching relevant statistics and data that covers that scope.

Your research phase is the most crucial part of infographic development. No matter what topic or data you decide to cover, it is absolutely essential that you ensure your information is accurate and reliably sourced. Some of the best sources to use include:

  • Government agencies. For example, if you are presenting an infographic concerning traffic data or vehicle accident rates, you would probably want to refer to statistics from the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Most government agencies release reports concerning their areas of involvement in public life, and they have a responsibility to report this information as accurately as possible to the public. Government sources are some of the most reliable you can find for an infographic.
  • Scholarly sources. Fields like medicine, technology, and applied sciences evolve constantly, and new research breakthroughs are almost always making waves in these communities. If you’re reporting any kind of scholarly data, be sure to find reputable sources with recent data and check for conflicting studies. In some cases, conflicting studies can actually enhance your infographic.
  • Research centers. Many non-government organizations, nonprofit organizations, and think tanks publish their findings on a regular basis. If your market could benefit from the information included in these reports, verify their contents and include them in your infographic report.

These are great starting points to find the information you need to create a relevant and valuable infographic. Once you’ve defined the scope of your infographic project, compiled your data, and verified your findings, you can begin with the design phase.

Constructing Your Infographic’s Visual Design

Now that you have the information you wish you present to your readers, present it in a visually captivating way that allows for easy digestion of the included data. If you have an in-house graphic design team, consult with them to determine the best ways to visually represent your data. This is the time to get creative. Pie charts and bar graphs may make it easier for readers to consume the information you wish to convey, but these formats aren’t terribly interesting.

If you need outside help with the construction of your infographic’s design, you can find lots of free tools, templates and other assets online. Think outside the box for ways to represent your data in interesting ways. A few options to consider might include:

  • Flowchart-styled infographics.
  • Visual timelines.
  • Side-by-side visual comparisons.
  • Large-scale graphs with visually interesting construction.

Infographics are great assets for virtually any brand. Consider your design options and carefully define the scope of your project to create a successful infographic that captures your audience’s attention and cultivates credibility for your brand.

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What Is a SOW? https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/what-is-a-sow/ Thu, 26 Sep 2019 13:05:35 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18285 Project managers in all industries must keep tabs on various moving parts to ensure their deliverables come through complete and on time. One of a project manager’s responsibilities is to ensure all key players perform the work required of them to complete the project. A statement of work (SOW) is a document that details the […]

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Project managers in all industries must keep tabs on various moving parts to ensure their deliverables come through complete and on time. One of a project manager’s responsibilities is to ensure all key players perform the work required of them to complete the project. A statement of work (SOW) is a document that details the project-specific activities, deliverables, and details a vendor or service provider offers a client toward a project.

This may sound straightforward, but a good SOW has several essential elements, all of which are necessary for project managers to accurately track progress and ensure accountability for all key players.

Why Are SOWs Vital?

Modern project management often requires coordinating projects between in-house teams, outside vendors, contractors, and other stakeholders. A multifaceted project for virtually any industry will require careful collaboration and adherence to the overall project timeline. One of the primary functions of a SOW is to ensure accountability and completeness of all aspects of a project.

SOWs also cut down on miscommunications by making expectations clear to all project participants. A good SOW should include the following information:

  • A clear list of expectations for the service provider.
  • A description of the quality and service level expected from the provider.
  • Applicable restrictions pertaining to the provider’s services.
  • Pricing for the provider’s services.
  • Governance and regulatory terms and conditions to which the provider must adhere.
  • A schedule for the project, including deadlines for project activities and deliverables.

In some cases, a project manager will need to outline a very specific description of everything expected of a vendor or service provider. Ultimately, the more detailed and descriptive a SOW is, the more control the project manager has over that aspect of the project. Project managers must also know the different types of SOWs and when to use them.

Types of SOWs

Different projects will require various vendors, experts, service providers, and contractors to reach competition. These stakeholders will all have different responsibilities and contractual obligations, so it’s crucial for project managers to provide them with the most appropriate SOWs for their project-related responsibilities. SOWs exist in three main forms:

Design or Detail Statements of Work. The most basic form of SOW clearly explains the exact requirements of a job to the contractor, vendor, or service provider. This type of SOW generally includes a list of specific details such as required tolerances, quality control requirements, materials to be used, and how the project manager expects the provider to perform the work required. The project manager assumes a measure of risk by using this type of SOW since it essentially instructs a vendor or service provider to complete a task in a very specific way.

  1. Time/Effort or Materials/Unit Rate Statements of Work. This is a generic form of SOW that can apply to virtually any kind of project. This SOW will highlight the time required for the vendor or service provider to complete the work and the materials needed for the job.
  2. Performance-Based Statements of Work. If a project manager does not have clear expectations as to how a provider completes a required task, a performance-based SOW is the preferred format. This type of SOW will include parameters for objective completion and may include compensation stipulations for the vendor or service provider based on the level and quality of work completed.

Each type of SOW can be useful for different types of projects; it’s up to project managers to determine how best to use SOWs and which types are most appropriate for a given project.

How to Write a Solid SOW

Regardless of the type of SOW your project requires, it is essential to know the basic elements that every SOW should include. Many organizations develop templates for different types of projects, and these templates can be easily tailored to different stakeholders, vendors, and service providers as required.

When writing a SOW, the project manager should begin with a clear description of the purpose of the project. This helps keep different stakeholders and project participants focused on the ultimate goal of the project and help them identify issues as early as possible to prevent miscommunications and slowed project timelines.

Other basic requirements that should form the introduction to the SOW include:

  • The location where the project will take place or where the vendor will complete the required tasks listed in the SOW.
  • The full scope of the work to be done within the project.
  • A clear description of the time period during which the project work will take place.
  • Expected deadlines for project deliverables.
  • Industry-specific standards and regulations vendors and service providers must follow.
  • Payment schedule for project participants.
  • Clearly defined responsibilities for project-related expenses.
  • All project-specific special requirements.

No two projects are exactly alike. While some project managers may refer to the same SOW templates for similar projects over time, they should always take time to carefully construct their SOWs specific to every stakeholder involved in their projects. SOWs should be as specific as possible and well-worded to eliminate confusion and keep all project participants on track to complete their objectives safely, effectively, on time, and within the stipulated parameters.

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Mastering the Call to Action in Writing https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/mastering-the-call-to-action-in-writing/ Tue, 24 Sep 2019 13:05:14 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18282 Written content is an incredibly powerful marketing asset – as long as you know how to maximize its effectiveness. One of the most crucial components of any effective piece of written content is the call to action (CTA), or the portion of a piece of written content that compels a reader to take the next […]

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Written content is an incredibly powerful marketing asset – as long as you know how to maximize its effectiveness. One of the most crucial components of any effective piece of written content is the call to action (CTA), or the portion of a piece of written content that compels a reader to take the next step on their journey with your brand. CTAs should have places within every channel of your published content, including your marketing emails, press releases, social media posts, and blogs published to your site.

A CTA may seem like a straightforward concept at first, but there is quite a bit of psychology behind a good CTA. It’s vital to create CTAs that compel the appropriate reaction without sounding pushy, convey authority without sounding condescending, and convey value without being overbearing. A good CTA should drive the behavior you want to see from the people reading your content in a positive way. The following tips will help you maximize the effectiveness of your CTAs and increase the return on investment of the content you produce.

Step One: Understand the Role of the CTA

A well-constructed CTA should accomplish three specific goals:

  1. Motivate your sales funnel.
  2. Offer customers what they want.
  3. Increase the effectiveness of your digital advertising.

Creating better CTAs requires a firm understanding of the purpose behind CTAs. A good CTA should serve as the transition between two phases of a buyer’s journey with your brand. CTAs instruct readers and customers what to do next, how to get the most value out of your brand, and convey tangible value.

Believe it or not, many customers want CTAs and expect them without realizing it. They want to know what to do next once they begin engaging with your brand. After consuming a piece of content, the average customer will expect you to request an action, and the CTA should act as a guide to the next phase of the customer’s relationship with you.

Step Two: Be Direct

Your CTA should stand apart from the rest of your content and offer clear directions to the reader. Ideally, your CTA should take the form of a button linking to the next step in the buyer’s journey or at least stand out from the rest of the content in an obvious but unobtrusive way. Contextualize your CTA buttons to add value to the overall content piece and make sure your customers know what you want them to do next.

The directness of your CTA’s wording is up to you, but it’s important to make your expectations and directions clear. Consider the following examples of CTAs with varying levels of directness and urgency:

  • “Contact us today for more information about our products and services.”
  • “Sign up for our email list today to download a free eBook.”
  • “If you have questions about this service, reach out to our team for more information.”
  • “Click here to take advantage of this promotional offer.”

Depending on the type of product or service you’re attempting to draw your customers toward, you may want to experiment with different types of CTAs, include multiple options for taking the next step, and trying different visual design formats to see what works best for your content.

Step Three: Keep the CTA Cohesive but Prominent

Create some type of contrast between your CTA and the rest of the page without making the CTA stand too far apart from the rest of the content. Ideally, a CTA should be prominent without seeming detached from the rest of the content. For example, the CTA at the end of a written article or blog post should likely have its own heading and paragraph with an obvious link or button somewhere within the text.

Remember that some people who visit your site may grow so accustomed to seeing the same type of CTA on every page that they begin to automatically disregard them. Consider running some A/B testing to see which CTA formats work best so you can keep things interesting for your readers – and remember to change it up. No one wants to see the same tired line at the end of each post.

Step Four: Use Visual Guides for Readers

Humans like images and a break from text. Providing your readers with a bit of direction will go a long way toward guiding them down the intended journey path with your brand. A few options to consider for your CTAs might include:

  • Experimenting with unconventional button shapes.
  • Using high-contrast color schemes to draw the eye toward your CTAs.
  • Implementing directional cues like arrows and splash effects to visually guide readers to your CTAs.

These techniques will help draw readers’ eyes where you want them to go, just be careful not to fall into the trap of overreliance on visual cues; focus on the text of your CTAs more than the graphics.

Step Five: Keep Testing to Find a Winning Formula

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to developing effective CTAs. You must create CTAs within the context of their individual pages for maximum effectiveness, and something that works for one piece of content may fall flat with another piece. A/B testing with different CTA styles and formats can help inform your content structure in the future. Keep experimenting and track the top-performing CTAs to find a strategy that works for you.

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A How-To Guide for SEO Content Analysis https://www.vizioninteractive.com/blog/a-how-to-guide-for-seo-content-analysis/ Thu, 12 Sep 2019 13:05:08 +0000 https://www.vizioninteractive.com/?p=18276 Content continues to reign supreme as the driving force behind virtually any digital marketing strategy, but have you developed content specifically to drive your search engine optimization (SEO) results? SEO content is a staple of modern digital marketing, and it is essential to analyze the content you produce so you know what works and what […]

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Content continues to reign supreme as the driving force behind virtually any digital marketing strategy, but have you developed content specifically to drive your search engine optimization (SEO) results? SEO content is a staple of modern digital marketing, and it is essential to analyze the content you produce so you know what works and what falls short of your expectations when it comes to your overall marketing strategy.

SEO has evolved significantly in a very short time, and modern marketing professionals need to know how to measure the success of the content they publish with an SEO-focused perspective. Your content should drive traffic to your brand’s website, products, and services by attracting search engine traffic. SEO is an unpredictable field, and modern SEO experts need to be agile and flexible in response to the hundreds of search engine algorithm changes that occur every year. A solid SEO content analysis strategy can help any brand stay ahead of the curve.

Use Analytical Tools to Maximum Effect

SEO content analysis is essential for increasing your brand’s presence in search engine results and driving more traffic to your site. Google offers the Google Analytics platform to marketing professionals so they can easily track success and failure throughout the lifespan of a content strategy. A few of the key performance indicators you’ll need to track using Google Analytics include:

  • Click-through rate. If you’re developing content for SEO, you need to know how many search engine users are actually seeing links to your content and clicking them on search result pages. Google Analytics will allow you to see how many searchers are seeing links to your content as well as how many are clicking on those links. A high click-through rate is a good indication that your content is appearing in the right search result pages.
  • Bounce rate. When a user clicks on a link and then quickly clicks “back” or leaves the page, this is a bounce. A high bounce rate indicates that users are visiting your site only to decide the site is not what they needed, so they leave the page quickly. High bounce rates generally indicate poor keyword coordination; your content may be appearing in the wrong search result pages or your website is too slow or poorly optimized.
  • Time-on-page. When a searcher clicks a link to your content, how much time does that searcher spend on the page? A high time-on-page average could mean several things. Perhaps a few users visited your page and then walked away from their computers for a long time, effectively increasing the time-on-page metric without actually digesting the content on the page. On the other hand, a high time-on-page metric could mean that the content you’ve published is more valuable and relevant than you may have initially expected.
  • Off-page links. Do you know how many external sites link to your SEO content? When you develop solid content, it inherently builds your authority and increases your brand’s credibility within your niche.

These metrics can provide a benchmark for the effectiveness of your SEO content strategy. Essentially, you can use Google Analytics for a macro-level view of your content strategy’s viability, but you’ll need to delve deeper to find more room for improvement.

Make Data-Driven Decisions
After determining how successful your content has been when it comes to appearing in the right searches and keeping users engaged, the trends you uncover can inform your SEO content strategy for the future. Ultimately, the goal of any SEO content is to attract search engine traffic to the brand’s website and encourage conversion. Your goals for an SEO content strategy should follow a distinct path, and your content analysis strategy should involve asking yourself some important questions about your SEO content:

  1. Brand awareness. The first step in any SEO content strategy is to get your content in front of as many eyes as possible. Has your SEO content continued to drive new traffic to your site?
  2. User engagement. Attracting people to your site is just the first step; you need to make those users want to engage further with your brand’s content by replying, sharing, and interacting with your brand on social media. This takes the initial engagement a step further and cultivates relationships with potential leads and brand advocates.
  3. Customer retention. If your content has successfully convinced users to convert to your brand in the past, do you know what it was about that content that made it successful? Well-developed content will not only entice users to engage with your brand but also encourage them to continue engaging with you in the future.
  4. Lead quality. How much business has your SEO content generated? Have certain types of content generated more leads than others? These metrics can help inform your content development strategy for the future. If you’re curious about the types of content your ideal audience enjoys the most, why not ask them directly by creating feedback tools or surveys?
  5. Conversion rate. Of all the people you successfully attracted to visiting and interacting with your brand, how many went on to complete a purchase for your products and/or services?

SEO content analysis is an ongoing practice; it is not an audit or a one-off project. Setting clear goals, developing content tailored to your audience, and securing customer feedback are great ways to increase brand awareness and drive conversions to your brand, but only if your SEO team puts in the necessary time for thorough analysis.

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