Top 10 Most Egregious SEO Mistakes

first_img SEO Originally published Mar 13, 2008 11:08:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 As an Internet Marketing Advisor at HubSpot, I get to talk to all of the people who are interested in learning more about our inbound marketing system and who want to do internet marketing more effectively.Some of them know that they want our help; know what they need to do and they have a pretty good idea of how to do it. They just need some guidance and the right tools and systems in place.Most people, though, still have a lot to learn. Search Engine Optimization, although only a piece of what we help people do, seems to be the most common challenge that causes people to initially seek our help. It’s also the thing that people seem most confused about, as well as the thing that people make the most mistakes doing, whether they have a SEO consultant involved or not.The name of the game for search engine optimization is extremely simple. Once you’re up and running with the right tools and systems, all you need to do is….Publish new GREAT content on new pages on your website REGULARLY.People get so confused about SEO. They are usually just wrapped up in all of the details.But, if you want to do SEO correctly, there’s one thing that you will spend the majority of your time doing: writing great content.We’re talking 90% of the time you spend doing SEO should be spent writing about you, your industry, your business, your products, your services and the problems you solve for your clients. All stuff that should be second nature to you.Yeah. You need to learn a few other things.But, if you can write, you can do SEO. The rest can be taught. And the rest should not distract you from writing.Unless… you fall victim to one of these mistakes.Top 10 Most Egregious SEO MistakesDavid Letterman Style, here it is:#10. You’re optimizing your website around really common (probably really popular) keywords that you’ll never be able to rank for. In the last week, I’ve had two people tell me they wanted to optimize their site around “leadership”. I said, good luck competing with Wikipedia and Everyone of your title tags has the same keyword phrase in it. And it’s your company name. The title tag on a page is probably the most important on-page SEO factor to consider when creating new pages. You probably already rank well for a search on your company name, so you can safely leave that out and still get that traffic. So, make sure you pick appropriate keyword phrases for each page that are phrases that someone is going to type into a search engine in order to find a product or service like yours.#8. Dynamic URLs without your keywords in it. You bought a fancy shopping cart or content management system (CMS) that uses dynamic urls with all kinds of random numbers and random letters in the url. Your URLs should be readable by humans because search engines read words like humans too. The words in your URLs is another very important signal to search engines what that page is about. So, get yourself a CMS that allows you to control your urls or get yourself a URL rewriter. Include your keywords in your URLs.#7. You used images as headings. Headings are usually the big bold letters right above the content at the top of a page usually below your navigation. See “HubSpot Inbound Internet Marketing Blog”. That’s a heading. If these are “words built with images” (designers do this to control the font of the text), search engines aren’t reading them. These should be text. Pick a web safe font that’s close to what you want. Go with that.#6. Number 6 is equally egregious, but a little less common nowadays unless your website is circa 1997… If your navigation is built using image buttons instead of text, you’re giving search engine one less signal about what that page is about. See #7 for a fix: Use text.#5. All of the above. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve seen sites with all of the above mistakes. Really. Honest.#4. Doing SEO after the website is designed and built. For some reason, people think SEO should start afterwards. I’ve been racking my brain for an analogy, but it’s really pretty simple: Do you go on a trip before you pack? Do you launch a business before writing some sort of business plan? Do you visit to a friend’s new house without printing out driving directions?SEO done right allows you to determine what content to write in order to get traffic from search engines. And you shouldn’t design a site before you know what content will be on it. I’m not saying that you should change your business model or product name based on what keywords will be easiest to rank for, but you should consider it. I guarantee you that your competitors or smart internet marketers are doing this homework. Why not claim the search traffic for your business? It only takes a little bit of planning.Plus, if you go to a designer or web developer that isn’t an expert at SEO (Most aren’t – even though they say they are), they may not implement a system that allows you to publish new pages and optimize your site around your keywords without paying them $100/hour to make the changes and additions for you. Someone that knows SEO will launch your website in a system that allows you to easily do SEO on a continous basis.Which brings us to…#3. Our design firm “DID” SEO for us. This one is probably the most common. There is no such thing as “BEING DONE” with SEO. It’s an ongoing thing. Just the other night, I logged into HubSpot’s Keyword Grader tool and found 2 new keywords that we should target. We rank not-quite-on-the-first-page for both of them and both of them could deliver several hundred visitors/month once we get to the first page. That’s hundreds more visitors we could attract to our site – with a bit of effort. And we already rank for “internet marketing”, “internet marketing software” and a bunch of other great phrases that are relevant to our business. Doing SEO once is like doing prospecting once. If your salesperson said “I called prospects last month” as a reason for not calling any new prospects this month, what would you say to them right before you fired them?#2. You built your website entirely in flash. You might as well put an invisible shield up between you and the search engines because they don’t see you.#1. And the number one most egregious mistake. Drumroll, please… Your site is built entirely in flash, you’re a web design firm, and you advertise that you do SEO. I’ve run into two of these people recently. I won’t link to them even though they deserve to be called out.That about covers it. I hope this was a fun way for you to learn HOW TO DO SEO and not just HOW NOT TO DO SEO. I recently wrote a more detailed post on my blog about how to continuously identify new keywords for your content creation and link building efforts which details the few things that you need to know besides content creation to do SEO effectively. It should dispel any misconception that SEO is some mysterious science not comprehensible by mere business mortals. Have you seen other egregious SEO mistakes that should be included in the Top 100 List?  Leave a comment below and share with the community.Free eBook: Introduction to Search Engine Optimization Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img It’s about time your business started taking advantage of SEO to increase organic traffic.Download this free ebook to learn how to successfully optimize your website and content to get found online. Topics:last_img read more

8 Great Tips From An Email Marketing Maven

first_img Email Marketing Originally published Nov 3, 2008 4:10:00 PM, updated October 30 2019 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Scott Kirsner from The Boston Globe posted a video interview on his blog today with Gail Goodman, CEO of Constant Contact .  We’re really big fans of Gail here at HubSpot.  She is, as we say in Boston, “wicked smart” and an exceptional entrepreneur (ConstantContact went public last year).  HubSpot is fortunate enough to have Gail on our board of directors. Oh, and by the way, Gail knows a thing or two about email marketing.  ConstantContact has over 200,000 customers. Quick Tips From An Email Marketing Maven 1.  It’s all about relevance.  Be interesting.  Don’t be self-serving.2.  Keep it short and sweet so people read it immediately.  “I’ll get to it later” is the kiss of death.3.  Don’t revert to your “formal” voice when writing.  You’ve got a personality, show it.4.  Put a teaser in the email, and a link back to your website.  Engage them there.5.  Links in the email are great because they’re trackable.  You can figure out what’s working.6.  Once a month is about the right level of frequency for most small businesses.7.  Two things that get your email opened: #1:  “From” and #2 “Subject”. 8.  Most important:   Be Empathetic!   If you “listen between the lines” in the video, you’ll see several times where Gail suggests asking yourself “how would you react?”All things considered, we’d rather you focus on inbound marketing .  But, if you’re spending some energy on email marketing, you might as well do it well and get your messages read. Topics:last_img read more

How to Kill Your Viral Marketing Contest

first_img Social Media Marketing Book extended play . The opening slot on Slash’s Monster Energy Bash Well, I’ve been a huge Slash fan since I first heard GNR in L.A. in 1987. Over the years, I’ve dressed up as Slash for Halloween (alongside a beautiful Axl), photographed him in venues large and small, and attempted to play with the world’s most fun GNR tribute band, Mr. Brownstone. Topics: (votes in our case). In fact, the contest organizers gave a magnet for traffic, inbound links, viral interest and ultimately conversions This is a guest article written by Ilya Mirman, VP Marketing at Cilk Arts, a HubSpot friend and customer. You can follow Ilya on Twitter Live Webinar: The Science of ReTweets With Dan Zarrella Your Next Record viral marketing tools and techniques Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Let’s jam?! $10,000 in new gear and endorsement deals from Ernie Ball Music Man The ” Reserve your spot now DM me Remove the “need to register in order to vote” hurdle. You’ll be glad you did. There will be a ton more traffic and votes, which will further help separate the wheat from the chaff. (And yes, I’ll be first to admit that “Motel Detroit” is chaff.) You’ll also get: The good news is that the contest will go on for several more weeks. So, Vote for Filthy Knuckle . our band page A $10,000 Guitar Center shopping spree What to do NOW? , produced by producer Mike Clink (of Guns N’ Roses, Megadeth, Mötley Crüe) some great advice on how to promote your band for a 30 minute overview of the Science of ReTweets! Originally published Mar 16, 2010 8:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 BUT: The contest organizers — perhaps unwittingly — added a HUGE speed-bump into the mix.  In order to vote, fans must first REGISTER, answering all sorts of questions and sharing data they might not want to share just yet (e.g. their contact info, demographics, etc.). The result is that this inevitably reduces the pass-along value. Rather than Filthy Knuckle is Born Viral Campaigns An editorial feature on your band in Guitar World magazine Date and time: , and we wrote/recorded/mixed three songs in an evening. (Two of them suck, but one has actually grown on me: “Motel Detroit.” I think it’s sloppy, but has an arc…) The Speed Bump viral spreading So when I heard about the contest, I thought it’d be a blast to participate. With a couple friends, I formed the “supergroup” I have three suggestions: Filthy Knuckle 1. Guitar Center: And while some friends have certainly helped spread the word about Filthy Knuckle, I know the hurdle has cost us at least one substantial endorsement: that of my brother, 2. HubSpot blog readers: Friday, March 19, 2010 at 1:00pm ET  ! (Seriously — there’s no better way to communicate the problem with the registration hurdle than hijacking the contest in a fun direction.) A 3-song , and you have a shot at the greatest prize in the universe:  to learn what makes tweets contagious and how to create tweets that will go viral and increase your reach and authority.. . No, it’s not because he still holds a grudge for his broken thumb or stitches on both eyebrows acquired during the decade that I was bigger than him. Rather, he didn’t want to impose on his 26,000 Twitter followers to go through the contest registration hassle. Photo courtesy of Tim Griffin. And then it was off to the races: use all the things HubSpot has taught us about turning comedian Eugene Mirman Many of the bands have figured this out and have found a bit of a way to game the flawed system: since we are all registered, it’s far easier for us to vote for each other than to get unregistered friends (and their friends) to vote. As a result, we are seeing bands offering to trade votes, become each others’ fans, etc. The top band has 15 fans…we have 11. WTF?! (with each person voting and then telling at least one other potential voter about it), we now have a dramatic reduction filter of 95-98% at each connection, given that the vast majority would not bother to register. So for all the work and investment Guitar Center and Slash put into promoting this, building widgets for people to share via Facebook and MySpace, every visit when that hurdle is in place represents a missed opportunity. (By the way — how’s Filthy Knuckle doing? Ridiculously awesome, for some strange reason. With a Buzz Factor of 99.59, we are in the top 20 out of the 3,500 bands. I seriously can’t figure that out, because these are real musicians, many with a great sound.) 3. Slash: Join Dan Zarrella, HubSpot’s Social Media Scientist and author of the ” contest has all the makings of an absolutely kick-ass idea. Submit your band’s songs, promote it using Slash (the legendary guitarist from Guns N’ Roses) will write, record and perform your single. into @IlyaMirman in the age of the Internet — network, embed, drive press, etc., — and they’ve come up with “Buzz Factor,” a metric based on band views, plays, etc.last_img read more

Obama’s Campaign Guru Shares How Technology Impacts Social Change

first_img Flickr Obama’s campaign explains: “The world needs an easy way to meet up with people. The most amazing things happen when people meet up. This is more important than the iPad.” another social startup, the tech guru has much to share about the role technology plays in social change. Meetup Scott Heiferman TechCrunch Disrupt conference Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Meetup The panelists explain that today’s online world is about creating a culture of sharing, whether it be content through blogs, photos through Social networks allow people to connect with each other and build relationships online. Businesses and brands take advantage of the growing popularity of social media to interact with consumers and create a personalized image online. How about beyond the web? or some type of offline event and have people come in contact with other like-minded individuals, who all share the common grounds of knowing your brand. Such meetings spark new thoughts and ideas, which will 1) benefit your company, 2) inspire social change in communities, and 3) create a sense of inclusion among fans. Taking social networks offline is an emerging trend, and the first step to true social change. , weighing in on an increasingly important question: Take social networking to the next level and have people meet in person. , a site designed to help people self-organize and meet each other, with the goal of improving themselves or their communities. CEO Download the free webinar , and  followed a similar route, whose advocacy for change drew in fans and followers and ultimately, sparked a movement. . Relationships are key to building social platforms, and it’s crucial to empower people to nurture these relationships beyond just the internet. to learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine. Hughes As digital tools create communities, how will they create change in the offline world?center_img Originally published May 27, 2010 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Having a concrete message attracts fans, who become avid followers, who, when united together, become a movement. “With existing networks, it’s easy to build a movement. You have to make sure that energy turns into practice and action,” states  is a man of social wisdom. From co-founding Facebook to developing President Obama’s powerful online campaign to now creating A fitting example is . , or status updates through , NY Congressional Candidate, the trio took part in a robust panel at the  Marketing Takeaway Reshma Saujani Topics: Create a Meetup , CEO of Webinar: Re-thinking Marketing Want to learn more about how you can use inbound marketing to grow your business? Facebook Jumo, Heiferman Chris Hughes Social Media Campaigns Along with last_img read more

5 Ways to Prepare for the Future of Email Marketing

first_imgCharles Kettering, the former head of research for General Motors, once said, “My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.” If you share his sentiment, you will want to hear what the future of email marketing holds for us. The consumption of email on mobile devices is only going to increase. Get ready for this by optimizing your messages for mobile viewing. Avoid tables and large images in your email templates. Accoridng to MarketingSherpa’s 2010 report 5. Build Social Authority Originally published Feb 4, 2011 9:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 3. Focus on Lead Nurturing Instead When you ask people to sign up for your newsletter, you are cultivating your house email list. When someone opts in to receive updates about your offers and special promos, you are cultivating your house list. “It is a list you work to build over a long period of time,” said Karen. And you know what? Your house list performs better than the vast majority of your other email marketing tools. It enjoys a high adoption rate and provides high ROI, so make sure you leverage that channel and expand it further. Karen Rubin Instead of purchasing lists, consider focusing more on lead nurturing campaigns. Lead nurturing is the practice of sending event-triggered emails to a specific segment. You launch these by targeting email subscribers based on their recent conversion events. For instance, if someone visits your luggage eCommerce site and downloads a report about flying in times of tight security control, you can follow up with a luggage checklist for secure travel. HubSpot TV Co-Host This is the topic 4. Optimize for Mobile Renting lists is not only expensive, but also ineffective. The return on investment from rented lists is much lower than that of house lists, about 10-15%. It is a marketing approach that is less inbound and more interruptive. That is why if you engage in renting lists, you risk losing your reputation as a trust agent and becoming notorious for spamming people who didn’t formally opt in.center_img MarketingSherpa’s recent Email Marketing Summit , HubSpot’s Product Manager and 2. Forget About List Rental . Here are some of Karen’s insights that will prepare you for the future of email marketing: , 67% of people do not display images by default in their email system. Also, try to build shorter copy where the call to action is at the very top. Do you think another major innovation will define the future of email marketing? If so, which one? , tackled in her presentation at 1. Cultivate Your House List Topics: Email Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Rev Your Referral Engine With John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing [@InboundNow #29]

first_img social media and inbound marketing podcast You can follow John on Twitter Strategic partners and referrals Topics: his own marketing agency Educating referral sources on your ideal customer , which was named a “must-listen” by Fast Company. John also owns @ducttape I’d been blogging for probably a year at that point already as well. What I quickly found out was that in circles that were online and were a little tech savvy, it was a great way for me to get an interview with people who — if I’d sent them an email that said, ‘Hey, let’s chat sometime’ — would’ve deleted it.” “Doing everything you can to make referring to you easier is certainly part of the system.” the products . He’s also a contributor for Click Here to Subscribe to Inbound Now How John leverages podcasting for his business Podcasting Identifying what makes your company unique Podcasts are a great way to introduce alternative this book Regular leads vs. referred leads Connect With John Online John’s tips for marketers “When is the last time you raved about a perfectly adequate or satisfactory experience? Nobody talks about boring businesses.” and The Referral Engine “When I started to write Regular Leads vs. Referred Leads , my intent was to document what businesses with lots of referrals do and tell everybody how they’re doing it.” Duct Tape Marketing audio podcast Duct Tape Marketing Each company needs to highlight what makes them unique. It’s not features, benefits, great customer service, or price. The secret to getting more referrals A strategic partner is a non-competing business that supplies great products or services to the same market and customers as your business. Create opportunities for co-branding and develop those relationships. John’s Final Tips for Marketers ways to get in touch with them . The first 15 guests you have on your show should be your strategic partners. Give them that exposure. Then you’ll start to attract bigger names. as well as his latest book, to your audience. an independent, Duct Tape Marketing Authorized marketing consultant Educating Referral Sources on Your Ideal Customer Make sure to follow up with referred leads you receive. Reply with a formal letter, mentioning the person who referred them to your business, and let them know they’re going to get special treatment because of their relationship with the referral source.center_img and has done so for the past 25 years. He’s the author of Make sure your existing customers know how to spot your ideal customers and how to introduce your business to them. Formalize this on a web page or in a presentation. and on ! John Jantsch joins us for another exciting episode of Inbound Now, HubSpot’s “Anytime you have the opportunity to personalize your communication with a lead, the better.” he has to offer (including See how you come into contact with prospects and customers, and add some new A difference between regular leads and referred leads is that sometimes referred leads are on a different sales/timing cycle. A regular lead may visit your website, then immediately contact you because they’ve seen that you’ve identified their exact problem. A referred lead often comes in the shape of someone sharing your business with someone else who may not know they need help yet. These are different education processes. and You can also turn this idea around and use it to recruit strategic partners by sending them a letter and asking them to teach you the best way to introduce them to your current clients. Ask them for help in spotting their ideal clients. the AMEX OPEN Forum. Strategic Partners and Referrals Once you have that information, you have to find a way to communicate it simply. Get them to your referral source. his home study marketing course ), and get in contact with Evaluate your customers’ experiences (your processes, products, services, etc.), and fine-tune them. Assess where you can change things so your customers have a positive, fun, and simple marketing experience. Also, don’t forget to follow-up with the referral source. Thank them, and let them know the outcome of the referred lead. Also, when it comes to scoring interviews, “come be on my show” has a little bit more weight than “answer these questions” or “let’s chat”. Podcasting helps to give you access to other people in your industry. Winner will be chosen July 20th 2011! “The definition of marketing is getting someone who you need to know, like, and trust you. Well, what are your know, like, and trust touches? After that, what’s your try, buy, repeat, and refer?” The Secret to Getting More Referrals his blog In this episode, we chat about: his podcast “Most people think of their own customers when they think of referrals. But probably a greater opportunity is this idea of creating your own strategic team or strategic partners.” “For me, it started off just being another kind of, ‘Hey, this looks like an interesting way to create and spread content.’ Here’s the secret to getting more referrals: be referable. Companies who receive a lot of referrals (60-80% of their business) focus on creating a great customer experience first. Then the happy customer becomes their lead generation machine. his latest book in your area. John is creator of the . Check out all Identifying What Makes Your Company Unique Inbound Marketing forms of content The way to do this is to ask your best customers (not through a survey, but through real interaction) why they hired you, what you do that other companies don’t do, and what you could improve upon. You’ll start hearing some common themes about what’s unique about your company. Originally published Jul 14, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated July 03 2013 Don’t forget to share this post!last_img read more

Google Launches ‘Google Related’ to Offer Contextual Search Results

first_img Google announced tab or window. If users find something they like, they also have the opportunity to +1 it using the built-in buttons. Ultimately, Google Related makes it very easy for searchers to find related content and make even more informed decisions and opinions based on various sources in their searches. A More Contextual Web The new feature shows users additional content relative to the content on the page they’re already viewing, as they’re viewing it. To getter a better grasp at how it works, check out Google’s video below. Originally published Aug 16, 2011 3:02:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 the availability of Topics: search engine optimization efforts As a marketer, you should be regularly conducting keyword research. This will enable you to identify and define the most appropriate keywords on which you should be focusing your Here’s more proof that the developers at Google don’t sleep (honestly, what’s the point of those , a new Google Toolbar feature for Internet Explorer as well as an extension for its Chrome web browser. How Google Related Works is a step in the right direction, especially if it can offer rich results and make the tool available for more web browsers and to more users. So say you’re reading an article about the launch of a new product or service you’re researching. With Google Related, you’ll also have the option of viewing other content relative to that topic — like videos, product reviews, or other mentions of the product across the web. The concept of contextual search, or providing related info and results based on a variety of sources, is nothing new. However, no tool created to capitalize on the concept has been successful yet. new Google Related Google’s tool Marketing Takeaway sleep pods . Once identified, spend time optimizing your website’s content and keep your keywords in mind as you’re creating new content. ?). Today, What do you think of Google Related? Will you use it in your own searches? Using the Chrome extension, this related content is served up by Google in a thin bar at the bottom of your screen. Hovering your mouse over the bar will cause it to expand, enabling you to view the content directly in your browser window without having to open a As with most other advancements in search, the launch of Google Related emphasizes the importance of effectively optimizing businesses’ websites and content for marketing. Although it might be related to a topic someone is reading about online, poorly optimized content risks being left out in contextual search results. Google Updates Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

The Anatomy of an Effective Facebook Business Page

first_img LinkedIn Company Pages Originally published Oct 19, 2011 3:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: Successful inbound marketers understand the value of an effective Facebook presence complete with an engaging business page that attracts a lot of ‘Likes’ (By the way, have you liked HubSpot on Facebook yet? ;o). But for those just getting accustomed to Facebook business pages and all they have to offer, the experience can seem daunting.To give you a good sense of the various elements of a Facebook page and how to use those elements effectively, let’s dissect the anatomy of a Facebook business page. We’ll use HubSpot’s Facebook page as our subject. (Note: No Facebook fans were harmed during the dissection of this Facebook page.)The 13-Part Anatomy of a Facebook Business Page1. Welcome Page: It’s a great idea to consider creating a custom tab (see number 8 for more info) to welcome new visitors that land on your business page. Set this as the ‘Default Landing Tab’ so new visitors automatically see this page first (you can do this when you’re editing your page under ‘Manage Permissions’). Use this page to welcome new visitors and entice them to ‘like’ your page. (HubSpot customers can get more leverage out of this by installing HubSpot’s Welcome App, which shows visitors a form that can convert them into leads without even having to leave the Facebook page.)2. An Awesome Image: Be sure you upload a relevant image to your page. Make the most of the real estate this image space provides. For instance, instead of just uploading your business’ logo, create a custom image that provides additional information or promotes a particular offer. (Read more about designing your image smartly in number 4…)3. Your Photo Strip: Upload pictures to your page’s photo albums, as they will get featured in a photo strip at the top of your page. Get creative, and use this strip to create a more customizable Facebook page, as these companies have done.4. Your Thumbnail: The thumbnail image that appears next to your wall posts and comments is automatically generated from your page’s image (as discussed in number 2). Be mindful of this when you create your image, as you’ll want to make sure your thumbnail image can work independently of the larger image. Facebook allows you to make minor edits to your thumbnail by dragging the larger image to adjust to fit a smaller thumbnail size.5. Questions: Pose questions to your Facebook fans to encourage discussion and conversation on your Facebook page. Fans of your page are there because they want to be social, learn from you, get valuable information, and engage with others. Spark discussions by asking questions regularly.6. Freshness: Just like your website shouldn’t be static, neither should your Facebook page. Make sure you’re regularly engaging with your fans. Stay tuned to your audience and how they respond to your posting frequency. Don’t spam your audience with too many posts, but make sure you’re providing a steady flow and variety of updates.7. Engagement: Being engaging with your fans should elicit engagement from them, too. An effective page generates ‘likes,’ comments, shares, and buzz that expands the reach of your page and attracts new fans. Use Facebook Insights to measure and analyze how effective you are at engaging your fans and making it a must-subscribe page.8. Applications and Custom-Built Tabs: Explore the various Facebook applications available to you, and add those that will help you create a richer, more engaging Facebook page. Does your business have a YouTube channel, a SlideShare page, or a Flickr account? Consider adding apps for those sites to pull in content from those channels onto your Facebook page.Furthermore, you can use iFrames to create custom tabs that act like landing pages for your page. Use these custom tabs to showcase customer testimonials and case studies, promote featured content or lead gen offers, provide more information about your products/services, or publicize your presence on other social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.9. Content: Offering helpful and interesting content is one of the best ways to maintain a solid Facebook presence. Offer a healthy mix of content types, including blog posts, webinars, ebooks, and content from other thought leaders as well.10. ‘About’ Information: Consider this space your elevator pitch. Use it to clearly and concisely explain who you are and why you’re valuable. You can even provide a link to more information here, too.11. Fan Posts and Page Tagging: Create a richer and more interactive experience for your fans by enabling them to post freely to your page’s wall as well as tag you in posts they publish on their own walls. (i.e. Posts your page is tagged in will not only appear on their walls but will also appear on your page’s wall.) This capability can be managed in your page’s setting under ‘Manage Permissions.’12. Responsiveness: It’s great to initiate discussion and engagement by asking your fans questions and posting content and other updates, but it’s also important to be responsive as well. Respond to both positive and negative commentary. If you’re dealing with a particularly negative Nancy, take the conversation off of Facebook and ask them to contact you over email or by telephone instead. 13. Basic Information: Make sure you’ve completed your basic information. There’s nothing more annoying than visiting a Facebook page, looking for additional information, and finding none. Use this section to expand upon your ‘About’ elevator pitch, offer more in-depth information about your business, and link to your website and other social properties.Still haven’t created a page for your business? Here are some simple steps you can follow to set up your Facebook business page and get started in creating an effective Facebook marketing presence!Get fresh examples of how to leverage Facebook business pages by liking HubSpot on Facebook! Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning an Awesome Flash Mob

first_img Topics: How to Plan a Flash Mob:Be creative.Pick a fun tune.Learn the moves.Choose a date, time, and location.Surprise everyone.Be a cinematographer.Upload & promote your masterpiece. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Download free resources for executing your best event yet. [Free Kit]Flash mobs, when executed well, can be a great way to generate buzz, express your business’ creativity, and even garner some media attention and coverage. Want to inject some personality and creativity into your company’s marketing strategy? Consider orchestrating a flash mob! Last week, HubSpot employees did just that, dressing up in orange HubSpot track suits, sporting zombie makeup, and taking over the food court at the local mall to dance to the spooky Michael Jackson hit, “Thriller” in our very own Halloween flash mob. Here’s a step-by-step guide to planning and executing your own flash mob, using our own experience as an example.Step 1: Be CreativeThere’s nothing more exciting than watching or partaking in a surprise flash mob that interrupts people’s mundane daily routines. Flash mobs are a great way to stir up attention and create some buzz. Be creative, and think of ways to make your performance unique from previous flash mobs. There needs to be more to your flash mob than just a dance routine to make it stand out. Some flash mobs involve the performers’ hidden talents, some singing, theatrics, or getting hundreds of people to stand still for a few minutes. Your flash mob can be flashy, thought provoking, artistic, or even be used as an advertisement.Step 2: Pick a Fun TunePick a song that will catch everyone’s attention. Purchase a loud, portable stereo and cue up your upbeat dance song, classic throwback, or even a holiday related Christmas carol.Step 3: Learn the MovesGather a group of your friends and/or coworkers who are willing to participate in the flash mob. Find someone who is an experienced dancer or choreographer who can breakdown the moves for everyone. Practice regularly. The key is to really perfect the routine if you want to impress onlookers.Step 4: Choose a Date, Time, and LocationThe best places for flash mobs are large, high-traffic public spaces where people wouldn’t expect something out of the ordinary. Whether you choose to target a local beach, a food court at the mall, or a train station, pick a day and time of the week during the location’s busiest hours.Step 5: Surprise EveryoneAn important thing to consider is that your performance needs to have the element of surprise. A well-executed flash mob performance should be kept secret up until the moment it begins. Catching your audience off guard is crucial. Make sure you video tape not just your performance, but also everyone’s reaction.Step 6: Be a CinematographerPack your cell phones and some HD video cameras, and capture some high quality video footage. A multi-camera shoot will provide sufficient coverage with wide shots, close-ups, and plenty of reaction shots of unsuspecting viewers. Make sure you have a camera operator that is part of the action and on the same level as the dancers. Have another camera operator shooting a wide/establishing shot from a higher angle looking down on the dancers. Your wide shot will show the scale of your flash mob. THE BIGGER, THE BETTER.Step 7: Upload & Promote Your MasterpieceYour flash mob may be over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t milk more from the performance. Edit and share your video on your website, blog, YouTube account, and Facebook page. Tweet links to the video or your post about it on your blog. You can still generate a ton of buzz from people who weren’t lucky enough to be present for the live showing. As we said before, staging a flash mob is a great way to generate brand exposure and a ton of buzz. Have fun with it! And check out the final product of our own flash mob below!Are you yet motivated to organize your own flash mob?center_img Video Marketing Originally published Oct 31, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated September 05 2017last_img read more

The 6 Month Website Redesign Framework

first_img Website Design Originally published May 27, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Topics: When you’re craving pizza, you have a few options: You could take the easy way out and order a greasy pie or pop a frozen ’za in the oven. Or, you could make one from scratch.Those fast solutions will be satisfying in the short run, but you’ll get more out of making your own dinner. You’ll be more careful with ingredients. You’ll be able to make it exactly how you like it (one quarter pepperoni, one third green peppers, and the rest extra cheese? It’s up to you). And you’ll gain the experience of making something out of nothing.The same is true of website redesigns. You could hastily compile a website in 30 days, but it won’t be the same as if you dedicate your time to making it perfect.The difference is that a quickly built website often only focuses on the look and functionality of the website. As long as it’s easy on the eyes and the buttons all work, it’s considered a success. But inbound marketers can’t have that attitude.Because so much of inbound marketing occurs on your website, a website redesign has to focus on more than just the site’s style. It has to focus on meeting your goals and matching up with your overall strategy.That’s going to take a little longer than just slapping some content on a site page. But how long do you need? If you are planning a strategized website redesign, here’s a rough timeline that you can follow.A few notes: This timeline might vary a bit depending on the complexity of your site. More pages and more features mean more time. And it’ll also vary depending on the team that’s working behind the scenes.An internal team, freelancer, and agency will have different processes that will affect the schedule. If you plan to hire an outside developer, whether it’s a freelancer or through an agency, add in a 30- to 60-day window research and select the right one.Month 1Review of Current SiteYou have to have a good reason to redesign your website. That’s why assessing your current site is the first step — you have to find that key reason for the redesign.Take a good, hard look at the site. What do you not like about it? What do you like about it? This review has to go beyond your personal preferences though — it has to be about the numbers. Study (and record) key site metrics, such as time on site, bounce rate, conversion rate, and more. These statistics will tell you in black and white which parts of your site are failing (and, therefore, which parts to focus on during the redesign).Goal SettingOnce you’re well aware of what’s not working, you can plan goals around what you want your new site to accomplish in the future.Lots of people will skip this step (the goal is just to have a new website, right?). But don’t pass this part up. You wouldn’t launch a campaign without goals, so why would you launch a website without goals? Setting these goals early is important, too. That way, you can plan to build a site that’s optimized to meet those goals.These should be SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive) based on the numbers you reviewed in the last step. Ask yourself: How many visitors do you want every month? How many leads? What conversion rate do you want to see? Write them down and keep them in mind every step of the way.Buyer PersonasYou may already have clear buyer persona stories that guide all of your marketing efforts (awesome!). Even if you do, consider this a good time to revisit and potentially revise them. If you don’t already have thorough buyer persona profiles, you absolutely need them before starting a redesign project.There are a few reasons buyer personas are key to website redesigns. The profiles will determine how you set up your site. The site should easily guide users through the funnel, and the track has to be slightly different for various buyers. Personas also affect your premium content offers, so having ideal buyers in mind well before you start making the website will help you plan to bring in more leads.Month 2Content AuditYou wouldn’t order a pizza if you still had leftovers in the fridge. Just like you wouldn’t overhaul site pages or content that were already resonating with readers and encouraging conversions.That’s why you need to search through all of your organization’s online content assets — old site pages, blog posts, portfolios, case studies, any other materials you use with clients or for marketing purposes. Determine what can be kept, what needs revising, and what needs to be cut completely.For what you plan to keep or revise, determine if it will be at the same URL or a new URL. For things you plan to cut, where will the old page redirect to? HubSpot’s got a handy Excel sheet to plan this all out in a super organized fashion. Bonus: This document helps you plan for SEO while you’re at it — which is crucial at this stage. After all, you don’t want to lose the valuable SEO value your old site has accumulated.Month 3Information ArchitectureNow that you know what site content you’re keeping and cutting, it’s time to plan for new content to fill the gaps and how all of that content will be organized.Your first step: Draw out a site map. Plan what the categories will sit on your navigation bar, and what content will live under each category. Will there be drop down menus? A helpful trick: Don’t necessarily organize content by type or general topic. Instead, organize your pages to create a story or a path for those buyer personas. How do you want your ideal visitors to progress through your site pages? Make it easy for them to follow that path.An easy way to do that: A purpose map. It’s an extension of your site map. On a purpose map, you assign a specific buyer persona, lifecycle stage, and goal to each page (which can save you money and time in the long run). As you do that, you’ll need to add pages and remove pages to complete the buyer’s journey on your site.Write ContentWhen you know the ultimate goal of your pages, you’re ready to write content. Take plenty of time to craft all the content that will appear on your site. Do this early in the process — it’s always easier to design around content than to write content around design.While this does include body copy, don’t forget about some of the finer details. Write copy for calls-to-action, forms, meta descriptions, and other micro text elements. If you are redesigning on the HubSpot COS, you can think about smart content and personalization tokens here, too.Develop WireframesIt’s time for the designer to step in so that your site can take shape. Before making your site look awesome with eye-catching photos and beautiful text, figure out where, exactly, all of those elements will appear on the page. That’s what wireframes are for.Starting with wireframes saves so much time in the long run. Rather than moving around tons of design elements, you can simply move placeholders until they are exactly where you want them.There are lots of ways to do wireframes. The easiest route? Sketching on a whiteboard. But if you want sharper wireframes, draft them in Photoshop (or another image editing software), or use an interactive wireframing software like Axure.Month 4Design Mock-UpsOnce the wireframes are in place, it’s time to start making them pretty. Now, you can start adding colors, playing with fonts, and placing photos.This should all be done in Photoshop or another design software. When the design mock-ups are done, they should look almost exactly like what your site will look like on the web. That means they should include real content.Schedule several weeks for this process. First, it’ll take your designer plenty of time to incorporate all the elements. More importantly, though, you’ll likely want to incorporate a review and revision process. After all, you want the design to be pixel-perfect.Month 5DevelopmentYou’ve got everything exactly where you want it. You think your site will help meet your goals and move visitors through the buyer’s journey. The hard work is over. (Woohoo!) Now, go ahead and hand everything over to a coder.Usually, you can sit back and relax and wait for your fully functioning site to be developed. Programming can take a while, though. Depending on who’s in charge of development, the timeframe can vary. Plan for at least a month of coding allowance.2 Weeks Before LaunchDetermine Content PlacementOnce the pages are ready to work with, the first step is to place your content. This includes copying and pasting body text, building CTAs, uploading files, and dropping in images. Keep in mind that you might need to do some copy fitting. Even though you should have designed with content in mind, sometimes, the words you want just don’t look right. This is the time to adjust your phrasing so the message fits.It’s also the time to proofread! Nothing diminishes a site’s credibility like a glaring typo. Avoid that at all costs.Finalize URLs & 301 RedirectsRemember the list you made a few months ago of all your old site pages, their URLs, and where to redirect them? That will come in handy. Now’s the time to put those new web addresses into place. Enter in the right (new) URLs on pages, and set up 301 redirects for old pages. It’s super simple, but a super important step that you can’t skip over.SEOYou should already have a keyword and search engine optimization strategy in place. You’ll want to incorporate SEO best practices now, before the site goes live. On the back end of your site, add meta descriptions, add internal links, and double check that your keywords are in your URL, H1 tags, and alt text.TroubleshootBefore you push that “publish” button, make sure your users will have a great experience from the get-go. Preview multiple site pages in various browsers and devices to make sure they look nice and work well. If not, adjust! Click on all your links, too, to make sure there are no broken links. When everything works as it should, you’re ready to go!Month 6 (Launch Date)It’s the big day! Publish all of your new pages, but don’t sit back and relax right away. Instead, be prepared to fix unexpected problems.Be sure to do a bit of quality assurance today, too. You never know if something went wrong somewhere along the way. Check that your 301 redirects worked and that your site pages are all in the right place.Post-Launch(What, did you think you were already done?)Generate Heat MapsHeat maps are insanely helpful for understanding how your visitors interact with your website. Install a heat map software (like Hotjar, Crazy Egg, or HeatMapper) to learn where your visitors are clicking. This allows you to draw hypotheses around their actions and revise accordingly. Ultimately, you want to make your site easy to navigate.Run A/B TestingMaybe you couldn’t decide if that one CTA should go beside the copy or below it. Maybe you weren’t sure which headline to put on your homepage. After your site has been up and running for a bit, you can set up A/B tests to determine the best long-term solution.Experiment With User TestingUser testing can actually come before your site launch too — in fact, that’s probably preferable. But because most people are in a rush to publish that brand new site, it’s OK to push user testing to after the launch.During user testing, sit down with real people and see how they use your site. What do they like? Where do they get stuck? Use those insights to revise your site.Review Goal AnalyticsRemember those goals you set six months ago? (Sure hope so — they should have been guiding all your web design decisions). Now, it’s time to assess them. You’ll want to compare new site data to old site data to get the clearest picture about what is (and isn’t) successful.The specific analytics you look for will depend on your individual goals, but here are a few good ones to look for:Time on siteBounce rateClick-through rateConversion ratesTraffic sourcesHighest ranking pagesTotal pageviewsWhile this is the end of the timeline, it’s not the end of your work on your website. In fact, your website should never really be “done.” After all, you’ll want to adjust to optimize for conversions, add new content, and change it around as your organization changes. As you move forward, remember that revising along the way is OK, as long as your long-term goals are at the forefront of those decisions. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more