The Website Marketing Group Blog

About The Website Marketing Group Blog

Michael Doyle - Managing Director of The Website Marketing Group

After 14 years of working in this industry, every day is a new learning curve which is why I love the job.

In this blog, you will find some of our findings on various “the best things of the web” to keep you up to date with the latest news in the Internet business.

From small businesses to Australia’s leading brands across multiple sectors and disciplines, this means we know what works and what doesn’t, allowing us to deliver tangible results that benefit your business where it really matters.

Whether it is a new brand identity-logo design, a social media marketing,  a complex website, an email marketing campaign or all of the above and more, our team can deliver the solution for your business.
Contact us today on 1300 911 772.

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Congratulations to the TWMG Team ! The Website Marketing Group has been successful in making the Smart50 for the SmartCompany Smart50 Awards 2011.

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Paid or Free Facebook Advertising: Choosing The Right Strategy For You

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Whether you spend any amount of time using it, when it comes to advertising and marketing, Facebook has become a valuable platform.

One example was a business that wanted to do a promotion around the holidays. They were in the process of releasing a new app, so they ran some promotions and gave new users a 50% off coupon for signing up. They created a huge amount of organic content from the promotion and were very successful with it.

Now, it should be relatable that it’s easier to achieve this type of success around holidays or other big events, but how do you stay successful during the rest of the year? To answer that question, you have to look at two things: creativity and targeting.

In a basic sense, with better creative and better targeting, you have better performance. What is less obvious is that, because you have better creative and better ad targeting, you will also have a higher click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate. Directly, that means a lower cost per click (CPC) and CTR, implying you’ll achieve 10% – 30% more clicks for the same budget, which translates to better performance in the end.

Creativity

When it comes to creativity, it’s recommended to jump on new things that Facebook releases.

When Facebook releases new features, it seems that they give those features extra exposure on the platform because they want them to perform well. This is similar to lead ads; they’re simple and effective. A user will see an ad and click on it. They select what information they want to share, and then the email address is sent to the advertiser. When paired with local incentives or opportunities, it becomes a really nice method for collecting email addresses for businesses in which past advertising performances weren’t that great.

So, it’s good to hop on new Facebook features as they’re released because, if you’re first to adopt – and, thus, get the leverage effect of being the first mover – you’ll likely have higher performance. What’s nice about this is that an audience network will grow out of this mobile space and into the desktop environment, where you can buy more targeted ads across different devices to continue with your social campaigns.

This is a huge step forward – and a direct response to those who say Facebook hasn’t worked well in the past for advertising – as they continue to evolve and figure things out just as the industry does. Dynamic product ads (DPAs) were once considered only for retail or ecommerce; but lately, there are other businesses leveraging the dynamic retargeting functionality – even those that are not retail clients such as the travel vertical.

Targeting

Another important concept with regard to targeting is that you shouldn’t overlap. Overlap tends to waste delivery opportunities due to a frequency cap of two per day. In fact, separating your audiences is key to targeting specific users with specific content and not overexposing your content to uninterested people. When it comes to customer audience, one interesting strategy is to use lookalike audiences based on your initial custom audience.

Lookalikes involve choosing an email list that’s derived from your first-party data, and then Facebook figures out groups of people – or audiences – that look similar to the ones that you have. This is also called a tiered lookalike strategy.

With this process, you start with, let’s say, 1% of a target audience, and you bid to the right amount. From those results, you select a second customer audience based on the same criteria, or you select the same customer audience and build a second lookalike tier, excluding the first one. This results in specific tiers containing the 1%, the 2%, the 3%, and so on.

Conclusion

In the end, when it comes to Facebook advertising, you have to ask yourself, “What do I want to optimize toward?” This could be conversions, clicks, video views, or any other metric that your business is focused on.

The next question is, “What am I willing to pay?” In this case, you want to ensure that you’re receiving true value out of your investment. Here, true value means that you shouldn’t underbid – invest too little and you won’t get the delivery in the ads – but, you also shouldn’t overpay. Make sure you’ve done your research on what is an acceptable price for the intended return on investment.

5 Great SEO Tricks To Be More Discoverable On Instagram

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Instagram has exploded in popularity since it first launched in 2010.

Now with more than 500 million monthly active users, including both consumers and businesses, some 70 million photos are shared on the platform every day. Marketers have been using Instagram for promotion from the get-go, but it wasn’t until recently that the company rolled out a dedicated profile for businesses. And now that there are more features for business owners and marketers, as well as a new algorithm in effect, it’ll become increasingly difficult for a business to stand out in coming months.

Similar to Facebook’s algorithm, Instagram wants to present its users with more of what they find interesting and less stuff that would be considered intrusive, less relevant, or ‘spammy,’ such as business content and company posts.

But with a little creativity and the right tools, it is possible to maintain and build upon your Instagram growth – here are five things you can do to start making your brand more discoverable on photo-sharing platform.

1. Publish Higher Quality Images

Instagram is all about visual engagement, so the quality of your posts is extremely important. Your audience is used to seeing bright, colorful, and engaging images – if you’re uploading dull and uninspiring content, then they’re going to scroll right past without giving your updates a second look.

Your Facebook fans might forgive a boring post here and there, but your Instagram followers are less likely to forget your mishaps.

The good thing is, it doesn’t take an expensive camera to take quality photographs for your Instagram. Above all else, this is a mobile application – if you have a newer smartphone, then your camera is probably capable of taking quality photos.

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That’s what you want to aim for, anyway: authentic, high-quality photos taken in the moment and shared by your brand.

Here are some basic tips for taking better Instagram photos with your smartphone:

  • Get up close; new cameras can focus and capture amazing details. This is great for product photos
  • Crop pictures instead of zooming, as this might make images grainy
  • Don’t apply a filter “just because”
  • Don’t add artificial blur; go with what your camera does
  • Avoid using flash
  • Try different angles
  • Focus on one subject at a time
  • Be interesting, funny, and sharable

2. Run with What’s Trending

Pay attention to what’s trending, both on Instagram and around the web. Hashtags sometimes carry over from one social channel to another. If you find a trending topic that is relevant to your industry or your audience in some way, then leverage it to get their attention.

If a trend features one or more hashtags, be sure to use those when you write captions for your posts or curate content. Fans use hashtags to follow discussions and see what posts other people have made on subjects that interest them. Including a relevant hashtag in your trend post will cast a wider net so new followers can discover you and your content.

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To really expand the reach of your posts, consider using Instagram’s ad platform – if you combine paid promotion with a popular hashtag, you could get your brand in front of a huge audience even on a modest budget.

But before paying for advertising, be sure to spend time carefully choosing the right audience. This ensures your promotion will get in front of the right people.

Bonus Tip: Research the most relevant hashtags and use several of them in your post. A TrackMaven study showed that interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.

3. Cross-Promote

If you want more of your audience to discover your brand on Instagram, then make every effort to cross-promote it across other channels, both on and offline.

  • Offer promotional stickers with products or include them in giveaways
  • Host an Instagram account takeover with an influencer
  • Share your images and videos on other social channels and point back to your Instagram account
  • Include your Instagram account in email signatures with a call-to-action to follow
  • Include calls-to-action in your content marketing
  • Post printed badges or stickers around your location (if you’re a brick and mortar business)

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4. Swipe What Works

Smart marketers have a swipe file they refer to for headlines and other content ideas when the creative well dries up – you should do the same with Instagram.

Find out what’s popular and what’s most engaging for others, especially brands, and run with it.

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You can find a ton of inspiration by following other brands on Instagram. While searching through other brands’ images, pay attention to the posts that garnered the most engagement (likes and comments). Look for patterns in what audiences enjoy and try to leverage that insight with your own posts.

5. Engagement Matters

One of the most effective ways to get noticed on Instagram is to engage with people.

Browse your brand’s followers on Instagram and start engaging the most relevant people, especially influencers. By responding to people and commenting on their images, you’ll gain regular followers who appreciate your natural (non-promotional) engagement.

Snapchat Is Changing Its Brand Name To Snap Inc.

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Snapchat is re-branded as Snap Inc., which is reflective of their broadening product scope that they’re moving into wearables also.

To coincide with the release of its Spectacles, Snapchat Inc. has undergone a major rebranding. From now on, the main body that oversees both Snapchat and Spectacles’ day-to-day activity will be known as Snap Inc.

The company’s Twitter accounts have already been updated to reflect the change.

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Spiegel believes that the new name will not only benefit potential investors, but customers too.

Snapchat Has Launched Spectacles, The New Smart Eyeglasses

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Finally, Snapchat’s smart eyeglasses is ready for all of you selfie lovers.

We’ve been waiting for Snapchat to respond after Instagram launched Stories, and now we may have seen just what their counter-punch will be, with the first look at their long-awaited smart glasses project, called Spectacles.

Spectacles enable the wearer to capture their perspective without having to take out their phone and film the moment – in speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Snap Inc. (Snapchat’s new company name) CEO Evan Spiegel describes this as being “like a wall in front of your face”, taking you away from the moment.

Capturing the moment is what Spectacles is all about – Spiegel, again talking to WSJ, described one of the first times he wore the glasses, on vacation with fiancé Miranda Kerr, in particularly passionate overtures.

“It was our first vacation, and we went to Big Sur for a day or two. We were walking through the woods, stepping over logs, looking up at the beautiful trees. And when I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes. It was unbelievable. It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”

How To Create Effective Titles and Headlines (Infographic)

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Writing content for your website or e-commerce store requires a lot of hard work. Sadly, there are many content creators that unintentionally undermine their efforts by choosing ineffective headlines that fail to attract readers.

Whether you rely on search engines to drive traffic to your site or you use social media platforms to spread content to readers all over the planet, you need to develop smart headlines that will encourage people to give you their time. Before you publish your next article, consider that content creators publish millions of articles each day. How will your content stand out from the pack?

Professional writers who work for prestigious magazines often develop half a dozen or more titles before deciding which one they want to use. You probably don’t want to devote that much energy to writing your next headline, but you need to know that you face stiff competition from other content creators who take their work seriously.

If you don’t feel that you have a talent for writing catchy headlines, then you can follow a few tips to make your titles more effective. For instance, you can attract readers by referencing current events or internet memes. After you draft a couple of options, ask yourself whether the headlines are unique, specific, urgent, and useful. If they are, then you probably have good ideas. If not, then you might want to rethink your approach.

There aren’t any secret tricks to writing great titles for online content. As long as you follow expert advice, you should find that your headlines improve quickly. Take a closer look at this infographic to learn even more tips that will help you write effective headlines. You’ll start crafting catchy titles in no time.

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Infographic credit: CopyPress

Instagram Announces Its 500k Advertisers

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Instagram announced that there are more than 500,000 businesses using the platform for advertising.

That’s a pretty amazing achievement considering they only launched their ad API just over a year ago. What’s more, Instagram says that in the last six months alone, the number of advertisers on the platform has more than doubled.

That, of course, would’ve been influenced by the introduction of their business profiles and analytics tools which make it easier for brands to understand how and when to reach their audiences with ad content. And the other factor in this would be the introduction of their feed algorithm, which would have prompted more businesses to consider Instagram ads to reach their established audiences.

Accompanying their announcement, Instagram has released a range of stats on how businesses have been using their platform to reach a bigger audience, including:

  • 50% of Instagram users follow a business, with more than 60% of them indicating that they’ve learned about new products or services via the platform.
  • 75% of Instagrammers have taken action after being inspired by a post – “like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend”.
  • The top five countries using Instagram ads are the US, Brazil, the UK, Australia and Canada.
  • Since opening their ads platform to all businesses last September, more than 1 billion actions have been taken on Instagram ads.
  • More than 1.5 million businesses have already converted to a business profile on the platform.

And while Instagram didn’t include any revenue figures along with those notes, it’s safe to say that advertising on Instagram has been a success thus far, and looks to be a big winner for the app, and parent company Facebook, in future.

It’s certainly been a big year for Instagram. The platform hit 500 million users in June, then followed that up with the introduction of their Snapchat-cloning “Stories” addition two months later. And while the platform did take some criticism for blatantly copying a key Snapchat feature, the option has already proven popular, with more than 100 million users using Stories every day.

Right now, however, Instagram is no doubt monitoring their growth and engagement stats, in response to their latest additions, and working out how to double-down and improve the user experience, while also adding to their ad offerings and boosting their revenue-generation potential. And with 500k advertisers already on board, you can bet Instagram will be providing a significant contribution to Facebook’s bottom line when the next reporting period comes around.

Top 100 Website Design Tools You’ll Love (Infographic)

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If you are a freelancer, a consultant, a marketing employee, or a confirmed designer, today’s infographic should interest you.

The following web design tools have been cleverly divided into several categories. For each category, you’ll find both free and paid tools. There is a favorite tool for each category.

Always keep in mind that the list is neither exhaustive nor objective. Still, it should help people saving hundreds of hours looking for appropriate tools.

Here are two categories that have particularly caught our attention:

  1. Our favorite typograhy tool is Frontface Ninja, a web plug in that lets you identify the font of the page you are browsing.
  2. When it comes to stock photo, we love Stocksy, which allows user to download distinctive and qualitative stock pictures.

Take a look at the infographic for more detailed bits. Maybe you’ll find something useful to redesign your website.

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Infographic credit: Illustrio

5 Tips To Improve Your Site’s Conversion Rate

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Having a website that showcases products is useless if customers don’t buy the products. In fact, we have no business calling them customers if they don’t buy. Because the rule of business is: we sell, they buy. 

What good is a website if it just sits there in the cyberspace, taking up space and waiting for the domain and hosting to expire? Unless this is the original intention, which I’m sure it is not, then a website is not really a website in every sense of the word. To use the analogy of a once great leader, “Your website is less useful than crap.”

Conversion rate is the percentage of site visitors who actually buy the products and services being offered. The higher the ratio of customers, the higher the revenue. That is how this game is played. Revenue is the name of the game, and conversion is the rule of the play. Websites must convert users, plain and simple. Site visits must have ROI for without it, businesses are doomed. 

Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO comes into play. CRO is the process of maximising the efforts of making site visitors take action. It takes time and lots of research and resources. In short, CRO is a costly venture. Big firms spend lots of money hiring other firms that specialise in CRO. For indeed, there are firms and agencies dedicated solely to CRO.

But what about the small and medium businesses that have no budget for CRO? Good news then that the Internet is a level-playing field. And it being a platform where SMEs have an equal footing with the big boys, the power of CRO can be harnessed DIY style.

Here are some tips you might want to consider to raise your site’s conversion rate.

1. Conduct Split Tests

This reliable method has been practiced ever since the beginning of the business era, when ancient galleon trade merchants studied markets and sold products based on their conclusions. Split testing, sometimes called A/B testing, is the process of creating two different versions of a landing page and testing it to two sets of users. Whichever converts better, we go for it. Below are particular sections that we need to focus on.

2. Call To Action

Call to Action, or CTA is the button or link that we want users to click. It is simply where the action is going to take place. Every click on the particular button is potential revenue.

That being said, make sure that you place the CTA where users can see it immediately. Meaning, above the fold or on the upper section of the page, before the users even begin to scroll down. Placing the CTA above the fold is strategic simply because users see it right away before they change their minds. 

But this does not mean that we skip the CTA at the end of the page. Some users would want to read first before they take action. So if they don’t click on the upper fold, they continue to read the content sandwiched in the middle, then they can still take action at the end of the page. A website or a landing page can have many CTAs as long as they are strategically placed and lead to only one action. 

3. Make it Clear

The purpose of CTA is to lure potential customers. You don’t want potential customers to get lost in all the content and finally leave the website. Or worse, get carried away with the aesthetics and art, and forget that we are actually selling something. Your CTA, as the name suggests, must drive the user towards your goal. In design-speak, that means proper layout and fonts. Avoid using artsy fonts and elements that make the headline hard to read. Keeping it simple often works better.

4. Forms

Studies show that users have little patience with step-by-step actions. Modern users who are most likely using a smartphone or tablet instead of a laptop or PC, have little patience in filling-up forms. With this in mind, make the forms shorter and concise. There’s no point in making it complicated for the user. Think: we are about to convert! The user is already filling-up our form! Instead of adding additional steps for him, by all means, let’s carry him on our shoulders all the way to the check-out counter if this would convert him to become a buyer.

Take note: studies based on years of experience state that a lot of potential customers walk away just because of the failure of captcha images to load. What a shame!

5. Testimonials

People tend to believe in products and services especially if they see other people buy them. That means “people”, not “celebrities”. You don’t need celebrities endorsing your products. First of all, you don’t have the budget to do it. In fact, using famous people is not a testimonial but a commercial. Testimonials are the exact antithesis of commercials.

Consumers have outgrown product endorsements from celebrities. People tend to believe people who are on their same level. Small and medium businesses would want to see other small and medium businesses saying your products worked for them. People don’t want to see stock photos but actual pictures of people proclaiming your product rocks. Testimonials breed trust.

 

There you go, folks. CRO presented DIY style. Your goal is to convert without spending too much money in hiring experts to raise your conversion rate. These simple tips would help you get started. 

Now convert! And forever make your website useful.

Introducing Google Trips

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After “Shop The Look” and “Duo”, Google is releasing another app called “Trips”.

Created to give you everything you need to have the best holiday ever, “Trips” is an online/offline app that helps you plan your perfect trip, while suggesting local events, places to eat, things to do and all the best activities and experiences in that area. Along with all of the aforementioned features, this app is also equipped with downloadable off-line content.

However, the biggest catch is the user’s data. Now, Google will know exactly when, where and how long you’re going. Then you’ll know when you get there. It’s a re-targeting and contextualised dream for Google to sell to marketers. Take a look at the promotional video below.