Tags:#web#Weekly Wrap-ups How the Old Spice Videos Are Being Made10 Inspiring TED Talks for StartupsPicking the Right Programming Language for Your StartupBankrupt Gay Teen Site May Be Forced to Hand Over Personal Information of UsersThe New Digg: What It Means For Power Users & PublishersMore coverage and analysis from ReadWriteWebThe Future of the Cloud: Our Newest Research Report – Free We’re delighted to announce ReadWriteWeb’s fourth premium report, The Future of the Cloud: Cloud Platform APIs are the Business of Cloud Computing. Thanks to the generosity of our partners VMWare and Intel, we’re providing this report at no cost to you. The Future of the Cloud highlights cloud computing’s impact on IT organizations, and explores both its disruptive nature and the new markets and opportunities it’s creating. It also covers the impact of the transition on IT organizations in areas such as security, data, the new fundamentals of service provision, network architecture and the need to make the cloud part of a long-term systems and technology strategic plan. For more information or to download the report, visit here.Real-Time WebEnvolve: A Facebook-Like Chat Room for Your SiteEcho Unleashes the Masses with Real-Time Comment WidgetMore Real-Time Web coverage.Augmented RealityAugmented Reality Becoming More Like the Read/Write WebBen & Jerry’s: How a Big Brand Explores Augmented RealityMore Augmented Reality coverageInternet of Things Steve Ballmer Announces That There Will be Tablet AnnouncementsBlackBerry 6 Preview Features Social Feeds and New BrowserNoSQL Database CouchDB Turns 1.0ReadWriteBiz Our channel ReadWriteBiz is a resource and guide for small to medium businesses. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… How Steve Ballmer Ruined the Cloud and the World CupA Business Intelligence Tool for Those Who Want More Than a SpreadsheetTwitter: Comparing its Velocity, not DowntimeReadWriteEnterprise Our channel ReadWriteEnterprise is devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ and using social software inside organizations. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts ReadWrite Sponsors Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting How to Scale Code Deployment Like Twitter DoesWhy Press Releases Aren’t Always the Best Way to Get PressTutorials Made Easy with IORADReadWriteCloud Our channel ReadWriteCloud, sponsored by VMware and Intel, is dedicated to Virtualization and Cloud Computing. RFID Helps Indian Company Trap Ghost WorkersMIT Creates Cloth That ListensMore Internet of Things coverageMobile WebMasterCard Launches Woot-Like iPhone App for Daily DealsSurvey: Over Half of Location-Based Services Users Fear Loss of PrivacyFacebook’s OpenGraph is Coming to the Mobile WebMore Mobile Web coverageCheck Out The ReadWriteWeb iPhone App We recently launched the official ReadWriteWeb iPhone app. As well as enabling you to read ReadWriteWeb while on the go or lying on the couch, we’ve made it easy to share ReadWriteWeb posts directly from your iPhone, on Twitter and Facebook. You can also follow the RWW team on Twitter, directly from the app. We invite you to download it now from iTunes. Why Your Company Should Have a Facebook Page (Not a Profile)New HootSuite Features Offer More Insight About Your CustomersEnjoy your weekend everyone.Subscribe to Weekly Wrap-upYou can subscribe to the Weekly Wrap-up by RSS or by email below.RWW Weekly Wrap-up Email Subscription form: Old Spice’s social media campaign exploded late this week and, unsurprisingly, what readers really wanted to know about was how the videos were being made. We also continued our exploration of the significant Internet trends of 2010: the Internet of Things swaddles you in cloth that listens; I scream, you scream, we all scream for augmented reality-flavored ice cream; and there’s now a real-time, Facebook-like chat room for your site. Read on for more.Top Stories of the Week ReadWriteStart Our channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.
The Odisha Assembly witnessed pandemonium on Thursday after Bishnu Charan Sethi, deputy leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, stoked a controversy when he said that triple talaq victims were being forced into prostitution.The BJP MLA was replying to the Congress members who had on Wednesday criticised the BJP-led government at the Centre for pushing through the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill in Parliament.Mr. Sethi claimed that some political parties had been opposing the Bill with an eye on minority votes. Those opposing it should keep in mind that the legislation was passed to protect the interests of women, he said, while adding that he had only quoted findings of some survey reports.“What is wrong in quoting survey reports in the House? I have not made any adverse remark against any community, but quoted survey reports that say Muslim women dominate the red light areas in Mumbai and Kolkata,” Mr. Sethi saidThe practice of “triple talaq” was abolished in 38 countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh, the BJP leader maintained.“The Bill has nothing to do with religion and is aimed at eradicating a social evil. Now, one cannot divorce his wife just by uttering ‘talaq-talaq-talaq’ in an inebriated state or via a mobile phone message,” he addedBJD protestsMr. Sethi’s statement soon evoked strong opposition from members of both opposition Congress and ruling BJD members. The Congress MLAs rushed to the well of the House to disrupt the proceedings, while some BJD members protested by standing on their seats.Senior Congress MLA Narasingha Mishra countered Mr. Sethi by saying that the BJP leader should not make statements against a particular community that would incite communal tension.Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro had to adjourn the proceedings after he failed to restore normalcy in the House. Similar scenes were created by Congress MLAs in the post-lunch session, forcing adjournments. The Speaker had to adjourn the House five times and finally for the day after transacting some normal business amid uproarious scenes.Meanwhile, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Niranjan Patnaik demanded that Mr. Sethi apologise for making derogatory statements about Muslim women. The party will protest if Mr. Sethi did not apologise, Mr. Patnaik said at a press conference. (With PTI inputs)
. How effective are ? Are they actually generating customers and leads for your business? 1. Use Facebook and other social media sites to Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack “sweet” Fan Page In fact, Facebook Fan Pages Made 36% more visits to DG’s stores each month helped the bakery chain reach a wider range of people and connect with them on a more personal level. More people felt inclined to visit and spend more money, and a large portion of customers felt increased loyalty to the brand. Topics: Spent 45% more of their eating-out dollars at DG 4. Listen to customers’ feedback. Customers are more likely to share reviews about products/services as well as good or bad experiences online, so utilize the information presented for your company’s benefit. and updated it regularly with pictures, contests, reviews and other items designed to interact with their customers. Three months later, they surveyed over 13,000 customers on shopping behavior and store evaluations and received a significantly higher and more positive response from those customers who became Facebook fans. the study Spent 33% more at DG’s stores , reaching a larger audience and attracting potential customers, prospects, vendors and 5. Keep expenses low by building a Facebook Fan Page for free. Take advantage of low-cost, online resources instead of spending money on direct mail and paper advertisements. Here are 5 key takeaways from Dessert Gallery’s example: found that compared with typical Dessert Gallery (DG) customers, the company’s Facebook fans: 2. Engage with your community for free and easily post up-to-date information about promotions, new products, upcoming events, etc. establish an online presence Facebook Engagement , a popular Houston-based bakery and café chain, experimented with a Facebook Fan Page to measure how helpful the popular social media site really is. They set up a Creating a Facebook Business Page Had 14% higher emotional attachment to the DG brand 3. Strengthen customer relations by interacting with customers directly on a social level as opposed to a business level. Originally published Mar 8, 2010 11:30:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Dessert Gallery Had 41% greater psychological loyalty toward DG even media
The list of data you could gather is endless, but there are a few key online metrics that can give you a clear idea of where your website stands relative to the competition and what you can do to be on top. . HubSpot’s Blog Grader that measures a site’s overall SEO readiness, including a scan for keywords, conversion forms and more. On a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being best, your website grade gives you a snapshot of your overall effectiveness in getting traffic to your site based on inbound marketing best practices. 3) Traffic Rank Originally published Nov 22, 2010 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 This simple metric indicates how many pages the search engines think you have. (Sometimes, based on your site structure, you might have more pages than they index.) More indexed pages generally means more content and more chances to build links and rank online. If your competition is blowing you out of the way on the other metrics, you can be almost certain they have a lot more pages. One of the ways you can easily create more pages is through blogging — every blog article is a new page and a new opportunity to rank for a valuable keyword by providing remarkable content to your audiences. ranking from Alexa . 7) Keywords in Top 100 HubSpot’s free 30 Day Trial to get your own Competitors Report. HubSpot’s Website Grader The lower this number the better. A Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , this is an indication of how much traffic your site gets compared to all other sites on the Web. If you ranked #1, you’d be the most popular site in the world. Your goal is to have a rank lower than your competition. One way to get similar data online is to check out your Compete rankings Companies just like yours are trying to rank on the first page of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Some businesses rely on consultants, SEO firms or Pay-Per-Click ads to try and get placement in front of the right audiences. If you practice inbound marketing, you know that creating, optimizing and promoting high quality content can help you improve your search rankings. But how do you know what a good benchmark is — or how much work you need to do to move ahead of the pack? On a scale from 1 to 100, your blog grade is based on the level of traffic your blog receives and the quality and quantity of links pointing to it. Compiled by Competition on the web is fierce. score from 1 to 10, 10 being best, is provided by SEOMoz , this report will provide you with actionable recommendations to improve your blog’s effectiveness. This is an overall grade provided by 6) Indexed Pages This is an approximate count of the number of keywords on your or your competitors’ sites that rank in the top 100 search results. That means you are showing up within the first 10 pages. The higher the count, the better, because it means you get more chances to attract qualified visitors to your site. 1) Website Grade Conducting Marketing Research 2) Moz Rank 4) Blog Grade Topics: Is there a competitor that’s beating you in online rankings? Do a little research to find out why and then develop an inbound marketing strategy to improve your position and start winning more visitors, leads and sales online. You can do the work of getting a lot of these stats from the different tools mentioned above — or, consider getting a quick benchmark by using The chart above, featuring a few of HubSpot’s own websites, combines the key metrics you should consider as you develop benchmarks for your inbound marketing strategy: 5) Inbound Links Yahoo’s Site Explorer This This often overlooked metric is one of the strongest indicators of your potential online rank. An inbound link is like an online vote for your content and site: the more votes you accumulate, the more attention search engines give you. To beat your competition online, you need to build more inbound links with higher quality. You retrieve such data from public sources, like and measures link authority and popularity. High quantity and quality inbound links are key to improving your rankings in most search engines.
Charles 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. 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 SlackSlack
Originally published Jul 1, 2011 8:35:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Some of the most common blogging advice is to write great posts. The problem is that few experts (if any) actually go into detail about how to actually write compelling and interesting blog posts . That ends today. Today, we are going to review the elements of great blog posts so you can use these traits to write the best blog post ever. Part of writing amazing content is being willing to ignore previous assumptions of blogging best practices . Here are common blogging assumptions to ignore on your quest for the perfect blog post. 1. Length Matters – The number of words in your blog post doesn’t matter and is not a predictive indicator of the success of a piece of content. The truth is that people have been successful with all variations of blog post lengths. Brian Solis tends to write long, in-depth blog posts while Seth Godin usually sticks to very short posts. Both have been very successful, which helps demonstrate that length simply doesn’t matter. 2. Comments Matter – Maximizing the number of comments for a blog post should not be your goal. The goal of your business blog is to drive visits, leads, and customers. As Dan Zarrella recently pointed out , comments do not contribute to these important metrics on which a blog should be measured. Comments don’t matter. 3. Perfection Matters – Yes, grammar is important in a blog post. Yes, the idea must be conveyed clearly. However, perfection is the enemy of great business blogging. Being timely tops being perfect. Publishing content on time even if it is only very good and not perfect is critical to great blogging . Blogging is an iterative process. The more you blog, the better you understand your content and your audience. Perfection stops blogging progress and ultimately doesn’t matter. Now that we have outlined what doesn’t matter, let’s instead focus on the key characteristics that, when combined, make the best business blog post ever written. 7 Traits of Great Blog Posts 1. Actionable – Whether they found the blog post through a search engine , an email, or a social network share, the core reason people click through to an article is to solve a problem. What makes people share a post with others is the actionable insight it provides to solve a problem. Provide clear takeaways and actionable steps in blog posts to ensure your idea resonates with readers. 2. Combined Relevance – Metaphors are a timeless storytelling element. Don’t leave metaphors to novelists. They should be an active part of blog posts. Comparing two seemingly different things and drawing connections between them is a valuable way to combine relevance and generate more intense interest in a subject. 3. Urgent – Journalists write articles based on who, what, when, why, and how. As a blogger, answering the “why” isn’t enough. Instead, it is critical to answer “why now?” The web is flooded with content. Content that is urgent and timely wins in the race for attention. 4. Visual – Making a blog post visual doesn’t mean filling it with images and videos (not that video and images aren’t important in blog posts). However, they aren’t the only ways to make a blog post visual . Use section headers, numbers, bullets, and other text elements to make it easy for readers to understand your idea quickly. 5. Solution-Based – As we said earlier in this post, on the web, people are looking for solutions. Products aren’t solutions. They are part of a solution. Don’t cram a blog post full of product content. Instead, provide educational content that runs parallel to your product offering. 6. Entertaining – Informative doesn’t mean boring. Just because you sell sheet metal, doesn’t mean your business blog can’t also be entertaining. Have your shop crew make some fun and timely creations out of sheet metal and post an image or video of each new creation. Have someone outside your company review your blog post to check for entertainment. 7. Definitive – Great blog posts aren’t meek or subtle. They are clear, direct, and definitive. Take a stand, make strong word choices, and don’t waver on your advice. Be the expert on your topic. How do you write great blog posts? Photo Credit: cliff1066™ How to Write a Blog Post Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
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 SlackSlack
Topics: Ever gone into your analytics and seen your bounce rate hovering around or above 90%? If so, you’re in trouble. That is a high bounce rate. And it’s very, very bad.Bounce rates are website killers. The problem is, many webmasters simply expect bounce rates to stay at high levels. I’m convinced it doesn’t have to be this way. You can bring your bounce rate down as long as you know what to do. I’m tired of reading the same hackneyed information about “reducing your bounce rate,” so I decided to stop looking for the advice that doesn’t exist and create some of my own — a list of not stupid ways to crush your bounce rate. 5 Quick Facts About Bounce RateFirst, let’s just run through a few quick facts about bounce rate to make sure we’re all on the same page about what it is. A high bounce rate is bad. You will not be able to win any arguments with me on this one. A high bounce rate is a very bad thing, and it causes other bad things to happen, too. If your bounce rate is high, it may have a negative impact on your rankings. Some bounce is inevitable. You’re not going to eliminate all bounce. Accept some of it as human fate — the destiny of the web. Bounce rate is not exit rate (but it’s related). Exit rate is the percentage of visitors who left the site from a certain page. Don’t confuse the two.Reducing bounce rate is site-specific. There’s no such thing as a set of rules that is guaranteed to reduce your bounce rate. My article is tactical, but I’m not giving you a list of design techniques or wonder-hacks that will automatically slash bounce rates. I’m giving you strategic ammunition that you have to load and fire. So far, we’re in SEO kindergarten still. This is just preparation for the solid and strategic advice that I want to share with you in the next section.How to Crush Your Bounce RateLet’s nail it. How do you crush your bounce rate? Follow these steps, and I guarantee that your bounce rate will begin to fall. 1) Know who’s visiting your site.Here’s the big problem about the conventional pabulum on bounce rate reduction: It doesn’t get at the root problem. Immediately, such advice launches into tips like redesign your website! Or add more pictures! Those are not true bounce rate solutions, though. You want pictures? This website has them, but you can bet I’m going to bounce as soon as possible. Such design advice doesn’t cut it. You need a more fundamental approach to crushing your bounce rate. You need to know your visitor.To find out who’s visiting your site and what kind of content they like, check out your analytics. Take a look at how many of your visitors are new vs. returning, for example. That single data point alone helps you understand how to structure your page, what type of messages to put in place, and how to create your copy. Knowing what language your users read, their demographics, and what they’re interested in is also incredibly important. Understand your audience before you change anything. Know what language they speak, where they live, what they search for, and why they visit your site. You won’t be able to take any real bounce-rate crushing action unless you first understand your visitor. 2) Know what your visitors want. Once you’ve gotten to know who your user is, you need to know what they want. Attracting the right user to your website is all about targeting the right keywords. Ideally, you’ve done some keyword research and have identified the keywords that you need to be ranking for. You should already be ranking for branded keywords, and comprehensively covering other niche keywords. Keep in mind that, depending on the nature of your site, your bounce rate may vary. Here is the information that I presented in my infographic guide to decreasing bounce rate. The chart below displays Google Analytics benchmark averages for bounce rate across different types of websites.If you know exactly what your visitor wants and give it to them, then they have virtually no reason to bounce. The only way you’ll be able to do this is through successful content marketing. 3) Pour everything you’ve got in to UX.By now, you’ve gotten two things straight: You need to know your visitor.You need to give them what they want.By this point, you’re well on your way to getting rid of sky-high bounce rates. What else could possibly cause a visitor to bounce? One of the main things is the site’s usability. User experience is everything. The user must feel comfortable, confident, and clear when they’re on your website. This article isn’t a design tutorial, but let me give you a few specific points:Put the good stuff above the fold. If the user doesn’t see what they’re looking for above the fold, they are more likely to bounce. If your content is relevant to the user’s query, make that obvious by displaying it above the fold. Make your navigation intuitive. If the user wants to navigate — i.e., not bounce — make it easy. Place navigation where it’s expected, and make navigation choices obvious.Look professional. Good design is a marker of a good website. Savvy web users can distinguish a shoddy website from a professional one simply from a quick glance at the overall design. In a Search Engine Watch article, Nick Eubanks makes the point that “design has become a legitimacy signal.” In other words, poor design means that you look illegitimate or unprofessional in the eyes of your visitors. Their response is to bounce. One of the strongest defenses against high bounce rate is to make a website so awesomely functional and beautiful that it makes people stay and click.4) Make them click. Just about everyone misses this one. We blather endlessly on about killer headlines, and the right keywords, and more pictures, and engaging design, and ad nauseum. But we forget to talk about this one thing: You’ve got to make them click. In order to explain it to you, I’m going to circle back to Google’s definition of bounce rate: “Bounce Rate [=] … single-page visits.”A bounce happens when a visitor goes to your page, then leaves your page. That’s it. If the user is not clicking anywhere else on the page, the visit will most likely become a bounce.Here’s the kicker. Your site could be so good that bounce rate goes higher. How the heck does that happen? If you 1) know your user, and 2) give them what they want, and 3) have sick UX, then you could have successfully created a bounceable page. Why? It may very well be that you’ve created a page that is so successful that the user doesn’t need to go anywhere else. She has the information she needs, and she’s done. She bounces. Goodbye.And so your bounce rate goes up, much to your chagrin. So, here’s where real bounce rate reduction starts to happen. You’ve got to make the user click — to perform some action or some movement on the site. Let me explain how you can do this:Add conversion paths from every page on your website. Perhaps it is a blog subscription or a “read more,” or a CTA. Whatever the case, optimize every page for conversions. This is what I do on my personal website, with very high success. Make “hot” zones clickable. If there’s a place that people tend to hover over and it can be clickable, add a link it to make it clickable. I suggest using CrazyEgg to conduct heatmapping for this purpose. A good page not only gives users the information they need, but it also asks them to act on that information. That action — compelled by a CTA — is going to involve a click.The moment your visitor clicks, they are no longer part of the bounce rate statistic. That’s what you want. 5) Go beyond mobile friendly.Here’s another point that everyone is missing: Mobile usability. Designers and webmasters have been singing the praises of responsive design long enough. It’s a great song, and I appreciate all the responsive sites that are out there. If your site is not responsive, pardon my bluntness, but you just need to get with the program. Get responsive or you will die. (End of rant.)But a responsive site isn’t enough. Your site should be usable on a mobile device. I’ve seen plenty of great responsive sites that still don’t have mobile usability going for them. Though site isn’t trying to crush a 1,200 pixel width into a 300 pixel screen, it’s still not good enough. The site must be brilliantly intuitive and beautifully usable on a mobile device if you want to avoid mobile bounce rates.If your website has mobile traffic — and I will be shocked to death if you don’t — then you need to think about more than just mobile friendliness. You need to think about mobile usability. Your mobile users are a growing segment of your traffic, and if they aren’t getting the site usability they need, they will bounce. And your bounce rate will reach those agonizing highs. ConclusionThis has not been your typical reduce-your-bounce-rate post. This is more strategic, high-level, and hopefully helpful. Don’t be content with industry average bounce rates. Defy the bounce rate benchmarks for the type of website you have. Even though there will always be some bounce rate, I think you can get it lower. Here’s the great thing about reducing your bounce rate: Once you get your bounce rate lower, your conversion rate goes up. Your SEO goes up. Your CTR goes up. Your rankings go up. Bounce rate is a powerful metric — it actually shapes the way that a site ranks, because it’s one of the few user-dependent features of a website’s ranking. By reducing your bounce rate, you are paving the way for success in so many other areas.What tips do you have for reducing your bounce rate? Definition: Bounce rate is the number of visitors who left your site without visiting any other pages on the site. Google, ever so careful about metrical nuances, puts it this way: “Bounce Rate is the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).” Originally published Aug 11, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 28 2017 Web Analytics Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
How to Make a Survey in Microsoft WordWhen you open Microsoft Word, start with a blank document, or search for “form” in the Templates gallery.Show the developer tab.Click where you want to add content to your survey in the template, then choose the type of control you want to add to the survey field.Input instructional text or drop-down menu options by clicking “Options” in the developer tab where you’ve already dropped a control. Once you’ve completed your survey, click the “Review” tab, click “Protect,” then select “Protect Document.”Share your form with recipients. Over the years, I’ve received my fair share of bad surveys. These tend to be easier to identify than good ones — in fact, you’ve probably taken some yourself. These surveys often have poorly-worded questions and tend to drag on forever. You might find yourself unable to complete this survey due to boredom, frustration, or the time investment required.Good surveys, on the other hand, are merely forgettable. The best experience you can aim for as the creator of a survey is for the respondent to a) finish and submit the survey, and b) think, “Well, that was tolerable.”Want 5 free customer satisfaction survey templates you can implement immediately? Click here.Are you ready to learn how to create good surveys that your customers will actually fill out to provide you with valuable feedback and insights? There are some basic guidelines to make sure people walk away without feeling frustrated from an overly complicated survey wording or design. Below are a few tips you should follow — along with specific instructions for creating surveys using different tools.How to Create a SurveyChoose the right platform.Make the survey as short as possible.Don’t ask “yes” or “no” questions.Randomize your answer options.Keep your question text neutral.Use matrix questions judiciously.Make sure your question text and answer options allow for every type of survey respondent.Include a “red herring” question to weed out inattentive or fake respondents. 1. Log into your Microsoft Office 365 account.You can set this up on OneDrive, or create one for free.2. Select “Forms” from the starting menu in the upper left-hand corner of OneDrive to get started.Select “New Form” to get started creating a new survey.3. Give your form a title and a description that recipients will read when they receive it.Then, click “Add question.”4. Select which type of answer recipients will be submitting.Options include multiple-choice, text, a rating system, etc.5. Fill in the questions you want to ask, the options you want to offer, and repeat this process, creating new questions until your form is complete.Make sure you flip over the “Multiple answers” or “Required” buttons, if applicable.6. Send it to recipients using the “Share” button in the upper right-hand corner.You can send the survey via email, link directly to it, or embed it on a web page. 1. When you open Microsoft Word, start with a blank document, or search for “form” in the Templates gallery.Choose the template that best meets your needs, and click “Create.”2. Show the developer tab.Show the developer tab on a PC by clicking “File” > “Options” > “Customize Ribbon” > “Main Tabs” > “Developer” > “OK.” Show the developer tab on a Mac by clicking “Word” > “Preferences” > “Authoring and Proofing Tools” > “View” > “Show developer tab.”3. Click where you want to add content to your survey in the template, then choose the type of control you want to add to the survey field.For example, if you want respondents to type in an answer, choose “Text Box,” or if you want respondents to select from a group of answers, select “Combo Box.” (The control will appear as a grey box in Word.)4. Input instructional text or drop-down menu options by clicking “Options” in the developer tab where you’ve already dropped a control. This will allow respondents to choose between a set of answer options.5. Once you’ve completed your survey, click the “Review” tab, click “Protect,” then select “Protect Document.”That will protect recipients from editing the questions while allowing them to fill in their own answers.6. Share your form with recipients.They can fill it out and print, or print and fill it out by hand.How to Make a Google SurveyOpen your Gmail account menu, and select “Forms.”Select a blank form, or use a template from the gallery that best suits your needs.Write a title and description of your survey for recipients.Start creating your form questions by selecting the type of question you’re asking.Add multimedia elements, different sections, or different formatting options to your form using the sidebar menu.Adjust settings in the “Settings” gear.Send the survey to the email addresses of your choosing. Survey Creation 1. Select which type of survey you want to create.You can sign up for SurveyMonkey with a free or paid account, and after filling in some details about how you’re planning to use it, you can start walking through its survey creation guide.2. Name your survey.Once you’ve chosen which type of survey you want to deploy, name it and assign it to a category.3. Add or choose survey questions.You can start typing in your own survey questions, or you can choose from the questions SurveyMonkey recommends for the type of survey you’ve selected.4. Decide how you want to send it to respondents.SurveyMonkey offers a variety of different options for deploying your survey, including the ability to buy responses from a broader pool.At the end of the day, you’re asking busy people to take time out of their day and give you data you want. To ensure that they have the best experience possible, and that you get the best quality data, try to incorporate the tips above.And if you’re interested in building forms directly on your website to capture valuable information about your customers, you can try HubSpot’s free form builder tool. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack How to Create a Survey on SurveyMonkeySelect which type of survey you want to create.Name your survey.Add or choose survey questions.Decide how you want to send it to respondents. 1. Choose the right platform to create your survey.Choose the right platform to create and share your survey. If you’re trying to survey your Facebook fans, your survey should probably live on Facebook. If you want to email your customers a survey, you might want to make your survey using Google Forms.Additionally, think about how you want to use the data. If you’re collecting a ton of data that you want to break out and analyze, you should create your survey using Microsoft Excel so you can download the results as a spreadsheet.2. Make the survey as short as possible.Focus on what’s really important. What data do you need to make your argument, launch your campaign, or change a product? Extraneous, “good to know” questions bog down surveys and deaden their focus. Remember that your survey respondents don’t really care about what is interesting to you or your company — they care about how quickly they can finish the survey. It’s important to note that drop-offs happen more with longer surveys. What would your boss prefer: A nice and thorough survey with only 15 completed responses, or a shorter, tighter survey with 200 responses? Probably the latter. If your survey is on the longer side, guide your respondents through the sections. Let them know what you’re going to ask them. Give them cues when they’re almost done (“In this last section, we’re going to ask you …”). If your survey tool allows it (Google Forms does), show them a progress bar so they know how much of the survey is left. And always thank them for taking the time to give feedback.3. Don’t ask “yes” or “no” questions.Respondents have a tendency to answer yes when asked a “yes” or “no” question. It’s a psychological bias (unless you ask if they’ve done something wrong).Instead of asking directly, try to get at the answer in a more roundabout way. Give them a list of options and ask if they use or know any of the items listed. Only let respondents move on if they happen to select the item(s) that you are interested in. Then, you can be sure the people who answer your question are more likely to know what they’re talking about.Don’t do this: Do this: 4. Randomize your answer options.There’s also a first-choice bias in surveys, where people automatically click the first answer listed. It’s prevalent in “select all that apply” type questions. Randomizing your options helps to combat a survey taker’s tendency to check the first option they’re given.Most survey tools will allow you to anchor options such as “Don’t know” or “None of the above” at the bottom of the list and exclude them from randomization.Not so great:Great: 5. Try to keep your question text neutral.You’ll influence your respondents if you ask a leading question. That could suit your needs, but be aware that if you publish your results and people see the leading question text, they may end up questioning the authority of your data. Here’s an extreme example to show you what I mean: “Don’t you think product X is amazing in the following ways? Yes, it is amazing because of x. It’s amazing because of y. It’s amazing because of z.”Instead, ask: “How would you rate product X on a scale of 1 to 5?” And if you want to know what specifically they like, you can follow up with people who answer 4 or 5 on why they love it. You can do that with the people who answer the lower ratings, too. This gives you way more actionable data on what people love about your product and what you need to work on.Leading question that is clearly pushing an agenda:Neutral questions that will get you honest feedback:6. Use matrix questions judiciously.Your survey should not have more than a few matrices. These are for asking complicated questions — so only use them for questions that really matter.Additionally, each matrix should have no more than 5-7 row or header options to prevent survey recipients from being visually overwhelmed.This is manageable:This is terrifying:7. Make sure your question text and answer options allow for every type of survey respondent.You may live and breathe your product or industry, but you should not assume your survey respondent knows what you’re talking about. It never hurts to give examples and explain concepts or jargon to educate respondents who are less knowledgeable than you. Likewise, make sure you give answer options that give your respondent an out if they don’t know an answer.A simple example of this is asking if someone’s team got bigger or smaller. While it may seem innocuous on the surface, you’re actually excluding some possible answers. Maybe the respondent’s team stayed the same or the respondent is a new hire and does not know how big the group was a year ago. Make sure you have options those people can select.Not quite right:Right:8. Include a “red herring” question to weed out inattentive of fake respondents.As a quality check, you can ask a simple demographic question at the beginning and end of each survey. This is especially important when you’re designing longer surveys — because you may be surprised (and dismayed) to see how many respondents forget what country they’re from or how many employees their company has.You shouldn’t always toss out respondents based on just the red herring mismatch, but you can use it in conjunction with other checks to validate the quality of a respondent’s answers. For example, only remove a response if the survey taker failed the red herring and answered “Don’t know” for 5 out of 10 questions in your survey.Now that you know what makes a good survey, it’s time to learn how to actually start creating one. Keep reading to learn how to create surveys in Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, Google Forms, Facebook, or SurveyMonkey.How to Make a Survey in ExcelLog into your Microsoft Office 365.Select “Forms” from the starting menu in the upper left-hand corner of OneDrive to get started.Give your form a title and a description that recipients will read when they receive it.Select which type of answer recipients will be submitting.Fill in the questions you want to ask, the options you want to offer, and repeat this process, creating new questions until your form is complete.Send it to recipients using the “Share” button in the upper right-hand corner. Originally published Dec 10, 2018 5:19:00 PM, updated December 19 2018 Topics: 1. Open your Gmail account menu, and select “Forms.”You may have to click “More” to see this option.2. Select a blank form, or use a template from the gallery that best suits your needs.Options include event feedback forms, time off request forms, and more.3. Write a title and description of your survey for recipients.Make sure it’s clear and properly spelled, as this will be the most prominent wording on the form.4. Start creating your form questions by selecting the type of question you’re asking.Then, you can begin entering options for recipients to choose or write in answers. (Make sure to flip over the “Required” button for mandatory answers.)5. Add multimedia elements, different sections, or different formatting options to your form using the sidebar menu.You can use this to rearrange or break up the order of different survey questions.6. Adjust settings in the “Settings” gear.You can include options to make the form include a quiz, a confirmation message, and the collecting of email addresses of recipients.7. Send the survey to the email addresses of your choosing.Add collaborators to your survey by clicking the “Send” button in the upper right-hand corner.How to Create a Survey on FacebookFacebook offers two options for creating surveys: a simple poll, or the Survey app. The poll option only allows you to ask one question, whereas the Survey app allows you to customize and expand your survey to multiple different types of questions. Read below for instructions for creating both:How to Make a Poll on Facebook1. Navigate to your personal profile or your business Page, and head to the post option to create a new post.2. There, you’ll select the option to create a simple poll to share with your friends or followers as a status update.How to Make a Survey on Facebook1. Enter “survey” in your Facebook search bar.Filter the results by clicking “Apps,” and select the first option that appears (“Survey”).2. Name your survey.3. Give Survey permissions to use your profile information.4. Customize your survey questions and answer options.5. Preview your survey.6. Publish your survey on your profile or business Page.
Branding Topics: The other day I emailed my husband at work to check in on what was for dinner. His response?”To ensure optimal nutrients, I’m going to prepare a ground Bos taurus paired with Peruvian onion circles, blanched lettuce, and thick-cut Sus scrofa domesticus on a brioche.”Wait, what?Even coming from our loved ones, this odd, overly complicated way of communicating leaves us questioning their intent. Yet for some reason, this is the voice we often hear from companies.One minute they employ copy stuffed with jargon and language so formal it leaves you clutching the dictionary, and the next minute they’re trying to tell jokes and be your best friend on social media.For marketers tasked with communicating different messages across a variety channels — website, social, email, ebooks, slide decks — learning how to adjust your content depending on who is writing and what they’re writing about is a challenge. So, how can you shape your business’ tone of voice to communicate your message more effectively?The slide deck below details a specific set of steps to help you kick-start the process of shaping a tone of voice or check your existing approach to ensure you’re still hitting the right audience. Originally published Jun 23, 2015 12:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Want to learn more? Check out the full training guide here. This detailed guide dives into the nitty-gritty of language and includes practical exercises to help guide your thought process. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack