Archive | December, 2012

Will Google AdWords Express Promote Your Google+ Page?

New Way to Promote Google+

Recently, Google offers small and local businesses to use its AdWords Express service. It provides a way to promote Google+ pages apparently everywhere, but on Google+ itself, which Google reasserts should be an ad-free zone. This omission may make these ads less effective for those seeking for new customers or followers to their Google+ pages. Meanwhile, it gets those same small businesses spending their marketing budget to promote their Google+ pages for Google.

AdWords Express & Google+ Pages

If you’re not familiar with AdWords Express, it’s Google’s version of automated paid search. With AdWords Express, small and local businesses who are in a time shortage and don’t have time to properly set up campaigns let Google run their ads. Then, Google chooses where to show the ads. Some will appear in Google search results, based on terms that Google selects. Some appear within Google Maps. Some appear on non-Google sites that are part of the Google advertising network.

Since some small businesses don’t have websites, Google has offered them free ones to use with AdWords Express through its “Get Your Business Online” service. However, Google has said that business owners can drive visitors to their Google+ pages. Christian Oestlien, a member of Google Product Management, announced that AdWords Express would now “offer” business owners a new way to promote their Google+ pages. Along with the announcement, Oestlien mentioned that this option would be available for all Google properties, except Google+. In fact, Oestlien took a pseudo-swing at Facebook by stating:

“…We only show these promotions when they’re appropriate—not overwhelming people with random ads when they’re trying to spend time with friends.”

Why No Advertising On Google+?

Many could argue that if you are trying to “attract more followers”, they would want to do so on Google+. Why does it show social network ads in search? Why, for instance, do you show them for your Google+ page in maps? This is a hard stance that Google+ took throughout 2012. It simply isn’t a better place for admins to try and grow fans with ads than from targeted ads in the social network.

Well, Can You Advertise To Just Google+ Users?

No. A Google representative has confirmed that the only targeting option is “normal targeting,” so it will reach everyone. This is a huge negative for those AdWords Express advertisers who are trying to build a following for their Google+ page. Seeing that you can’t advertise on the social network and you can’t target those across the Google network with a Google+ enabled account, you have no guarantee that a click is coming from someone who has a Google+ account or if they have even heard of Google+ before.

So Just What Is This New Service That Google Is “Offering”?

Google’s announcement concerning to AdWords Express reads like this:

  • You give your money to Google to handle online advertising
  • Google spends your money across their network
  • Instead of driving traffic to your site, the new announcement ”offers” businesses the ability to let Google drive traffic to a Google property
  • The goal is to “attract new followers and customers” but Google can’t show ads within the social network itself.
  • Nor can active Google+ users be targeted

Why Is This A Bit Suspect?

While Google+ has been relatively successful, it has come at the hands of a huge investment. Ranged from advertising during big NFL games, to worldwide print and TV campaigns, to big NFL partnerships, Google has spent inordinate marketing resources on the Google+ product. In a way, Google is now leveraging AdWords Express users’ budgets to do so, too.

The conspicuous lack of ability to target ads on Google+, or even to target users who are on Google+, makes un-targeted, poor advertising for those looking to build their pages. The majority of those users who click on the ad will have to be sold on Google+ first before they can follow a brand page. Instead of hitting active users, advertisers are simply handing money to Google to blast the budget across the general Google network.

None of the other social networks operate in this fashion. Facebook offers a variety of advertising options across the social network, Twitter has a handful of ad options across Twitter. The key is that all of these are on the network that has that social scent trail to it.

So Is This New Service Helpful For Anyone?

Is this worth doing? In some cases, absolutely. If a company doesn’t have the resources for a website and they don’t want to promote their Facebook page, this gives them an option to get up and running. If you are on a low budget and need a landing page, this option may be very tempting to get fresh prospects. The issue isn’t with the “attract new customers” statement that Oestlien made, but more about the attraction of new followers aspect as there is no Google+ user targeting built into the service.

While this new targeting may look valuable, serious lack of targeting makes it tough to recommend to anyone. From Google’s standpoint however, this would be an ideal selection for advertisers as a big byproduct of the budget is more awareness of the Google+ product. For more information, please visit our main page or call us today at 1300 911 772.

Using Social Psychology to Revamp Prospects into Paying Customers

Strategy for Marketing

When it comes to revamping more prospects into paying customers, you will be dealing with how well you understand your buyer’s mind and what they want from your business.

The problem is the fact that your time can not scale in every circumstance, and there may come a point where you are not able to know each and every one of your customers personally. In that case, what are you supposed to do?

The answer is to turn to rigorously tested research in social psychology.

We’re all different, but in certain circumstances our brains are prone to respond in a very similar manner. Understanding these common elements in the human mind can help you to find more ways to ethically move more buyers towards saying “Yes!” to your products or services.

In this article, you will find 7 social psychological studies that will help you to understand what makes your customers “tick”, and what you can do to create a more effective selling experience.


1. Play the devil’s advocate

Are you familiar with how the term “devil’s advocate” came to exist? It’s actually from an old process the Roman Catholic Church used to conduct when canonizing someone into sainthood. A lawyer of sorts was instructed to be the devil’s advocate for the candidate, taking a skeptical view of their character in an attempt to find holes in their arguments for why they should be considered.

The marketing world has an important lesson to learn from this process.

According to research by social psychologist Charlan Nemeth, the role of devil’s advocate certainly plays a part in persuasion, but it is not one of creating dissent.

Nemeth concluded that when people are confronted with someone who truly appears to oppose their position (true dissenters), they begin to try and understand their perspective.

Those who are playing devil’s advocate actually increase the effectiveness of the original argument! This is could happen because group members do not take the critiques from the devil’s advocate as seriously, and since the group is now bringing up (and dismissing) possible alternatives or flaws, they are more confident in their original stance.

For marketers, this offers an opportunity: playing devil’s advocate for your own products can actually enhance your persuasive efforts as people see their concerns addressed (and dismissed) before they buy.

What to do: Playing the role of devil’s advocate has been found to increase people’s resolve in their decision making, not hinder it. Be your own devil’s advocate and back up typical objections with solutions for your offerings.


2. Use urgency in a smart way

Creating a sense of urgency in your copy is one of the oldest tricks in the book … and still one of the smartest. To top it off, Cialdini lists “scarcity” as one of the 6 pillars of influence, and it’s easy to see why: great demand leads to greater sales.

In spite of this, I have some research that explains how urgency can completely backfire on you and ruin your meticulously written copy.

How can this be? More importantly, how can you prevent it from happening to you?

The research comes to us from a classic study by Howard Leventhal where he analyzed the effects of handing out tetanus brochures to subjects.

Leventhal handed out 2 different pamphlets to participants, both sparing no detail on the horrid effects that the tetanus disease can have on the body.

The difference was that the control group received a version of the pamphlet that had the effects of the disease and nothing else.

The second group received a similar pamphlet, but theirs had minimal information that indicated where they could schedule an appointment to get vaccinated.

The results?

Those who had the second pamphlet (with the sparse follow-up info) were much more likely to take-action: the rate that they followed through to get vaccinated was vastly superior to the first group. They were also more engaged with the tetanus information they received.


Even though the follow-up information provided in the second pamphlet wasn’t at all comprehensive, Leventhal concluded that our minds are susceptible to blocking out information that evokes a sense of urgency if there aren’t any instructions regarding what to do next.

Those in the first group were prone to convincing themselves that, “I don’t need to worry about this because it won’t happen to me anyway,” whereas those in the second group had less incentive to feel this way because they had a plan to take action and couldn’t easily put it aside.

What to do: Urgency can be “blocked” by your customers’ minds if you don’t give them specific instructions on how to solve the problem that you’ve identified. Don’t give vague instructions, tell your audience exactly what to do when the time comes.

3. Highlight strengths by admitting your weaknesses

Is it a good idea to admit to your faults? After all, people don’t really want the “real” you, right?

Research from social psychologist Fiona Lee would assert that it is, and in fact, it may be the best strategic decision to highlight your strengths.

The study she conducted looked at companies who admitted to missteps and examined what effect (if any) these admissions had on stock prices. Lee and her colleagues had experimenters read one of two fictitious company reports (both reports listed reasons why the company had performed “poorly” last year).

The first report placed emphasis on strategic decisions. The second placed emphasis on external events (economic downturn, increased competition, etc.).

So what were the results?

The test subjects viewed the first company far more favorably than the second.

Interestingly, Lee found (after examining hundreds of these types of statements, over 14 real companies) that the companies who admitted to their strategic faults also had higher stock prices the following year.

Her conclusions were that admitting to shortcomings in areas like strategic thinking showcased that a company was still in control, despite their faults. Blaming external forces (even if true) created a sense that the company didn’t have the ability to fix the problem (or were creating excuses).

What to do: Customers still don’t want you to overly share irrelevant details. However, admitting to honest errors helps your customers understand that you are in control of the situation and not prone to making excuses.

4. Embrace the power of labels

You might think I’m referring to brand labels, but far from it: I’m telling you to label your customers!

Sounds like bad advice, right?


As it turns, the research has shown us that people like being labeled, and they are more likely to participate in the “group’s” message if they feel included in it.

The study examined the voting patterns of adults to see if labeling them had any effect on their turnout at the polls.

After being casually questioned about their normal voting patterns, half of the participants were told that they were much more likely to vote since they had been deemed to be more politically active. However, this wasn’t actually true, these people were selected at random. The other half of participants weren’t told anything. Despite this random selection, the group that was told they were “politically active” had a 15% higher turnout than the other group.

Our brain seeks to maintain a sense of consistency (even if it’s artificial), and this is why the foot-in-the-door technique works so well even on prepared minds. We enjoy being consistent so much that if we feel apart of a group by being told that we are, it’s still likely to affect our response.

For instance, smart people are obviously going to be interested in an internet marketing course that’s made for smart people, right? The label is at work to make you realize you’re part of a desirable group.

What to do: Even when given an artificial connection, people tend to take action in order to maintain a consistent image if they are labeled as being apart of a group. Don’t be afraid to label, people like being members of groups that they approve of.

5. Make their brain light up “instantly”

There are few things that our brains love more than immediate stimulation.

As a matter of fact, research has shown that instant gratification is such a powerful force that an ability to control against it is a great indicator of achieving success.


In terms of your customers, you’re actually looking to do the opposite: in this case the gratification is about getting instantly rewarded by doing business with you, and your copy should remind customers of this benefit at every turn.

When your customers are on the verge of purchasing a product from you (or about to sign up for your email list), they are heavily influenced by how quickly they can receive their desired outcome.

Several Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies, including one with nicotine addiction, have shown that our frontal cortex is highly active when we think about “waiting” for something.

On the other hand, our mid-brain is the one that lights up when we think about receiving something right away (that’s the one we want to fire up!).

Words like “instant”, “immediately”, or even just “fast” are known to flip the switch on that mid-brain activity that makes us so anxious to buy.

Researchers have noted that the key to these words is that they allow us to envision our problem being solved right away; whatever pain point we are seeking to fix by buying becomes more enticing if we know we won’t have to wait very long.

What to do: Our brains love “instant gratification” and light up when thinking about eliminating pain points instantly. Let people know that they will be rewarded quickly and they will be more likely to make the purchase.

6. Know how to sell to your 3 types of buyers

Every business (no matter the industry) is going to have to deal with the 3 types of buyers out there.

All other aspects aside, these 3 groups are defined by the “pain” that they receive when purchasing something. Neuroscientists have defined human spending patterns as a process of “spend ’til it hurts!”, so understanding these different levels of pain points is essential to increasing your sales.

According to the research, all customers are grouped into the following categories:

  1. Tightwads (24%) – people that spend less (on average) before they hit their limit
  2. Unconflicted (61%) – average spenders
  3. Spendthrifts (15%) – people that are able to spend more before they hit their limit

Guess who is the hardest group of people to sell to? Since they take up nearly a quarter of your potential customers, you should learn some of the smart techniques to minimize buying pain for your “tightwad” customers.

Fortunately, the secret boils down to utilizing well-written copy.

According to some remarkable neuroimaging studies, minimizing buying pain for “tightwads” (and everybody else) can be accomplished successfully by incorporating the following strategies…

1. Re-frame the value

If I told you that my product costs $1,000 a year, you’d definitely approach with a little hesitation, right?

Right. That’s because $1,000 isn’t peanuts.

What if I told you instead that my product costs $84 a month? Not bad right? If you got enough utility out of it for your business (or for yourself) every month, it would be a very worthy purchase.

The thing is, that’s the same as $1,000 a year!

If you’re offering something that has a recurring cost or that could be broken down into smaller increments, look into how you might be able to incorporate this into your pricing.

2. Reduce pain points through bundling

Neuroeconomics expert George Loewenstein has noted that all customers (but especially conservative spenders) prefer to avoid purchasing multiple accessories if there is an option to complete their purchase in one swoop.

He cites our willingness to upgrade from different car packages, but how difficult it is for the brain to justify each individual upgrade (“Yes, I will pay extra for the navigation… and leather seats… and…”, etc.).

Lowenstein would assert that these individual purchases create individual pain points, whereas a bundled purchase creates only one pain point, even if the price is much higher.

3. Sweat the small stuff

We know that “don’t sweat the small stuff” isn’t all that applicable to copywriting, but just how small of a change matters?

In what I’ve named the goofiest bump in a conversion rate that I’ve ever seen, research from Carnegie Mellon University University reveals to us that even a single word can affect conversions.

Researchers changed the description of an overnight shipping charge on a free DVD trial offer from “a $5 fee” to “a small $5 fee” and increased the response rate among tightwads by 20 percent!

Has the word “small” ever felt so big? With a single added word increasing conversions by that amount, I think it’s safe to say that the devil is definitely in the details.

What to do: No matter what business you’re in, you will always have 3 types of customers. Know how to sell to tightwads, they make up a large base of your potential buyers and you can reduce their buying pain with the right choice of words. Check it here for more detailed types of clients.

7. Make an enemy

In the business world, meaningful connections are paramount to your success.

That being said, you still need an enemy.

Why? When could this ever be a good thing?

Turns out, it’s a great thing if you’re looking to achieve a cult-like addiction for your brand.

In a highly controversial study entitled Social categorization and intergroup behaviour, social psychologist Henri Tajifel began his research trying to define just how human beings were able to engage in acts of mass hatred (such as the Holocaust).

His findings were shocking to say the least.

Tajifel found that he could create groups of people that would show loyalty to their in-group and outright discriminate against outsiders … all with the most trivial of distinctions!

In the tests, subjects were asked to choose between two objects or people that they had no relation to (one test had people picking between 2 painters). Despite these trivialities, when it came time to dole out REAL rewards, subjects had a huge bias towards their in-group and avoided handing out rewards to the so-called “other guys.”

Sounds an awful lot like big companies going toe-to-toe, doesn’t it? Like the Mac vs. PC commercials or Miller Lite takes potshots at un-manly light beers.

The thing is, you don’t need a physical enemy, you need to be against a belief or an idea. Copyblogger would assert that real publishers are self-hosted and that well-written content is the center piece of the web.

Solidifying your unique selling proposition is as much about deciding who your ideal customer is not as much as it is about defining who they are.

What to do: You’ll never find your brand’s true voice without something to stand against. This doesn’t have to be another brand, but in order to divide your ideal customers into your “camp,” you need to be against some ideal, belief, or perception, the way Apple was against “boring” PC users in their ads.

Clients Identification and How to Deal with Them: An Infographic


Click to Enlarge

It is very important to know what your clients need. It shows that you really care about them. Do you want your clients feel the same way too, satisfied and well content? Find out more about our satisfied clients and be a part of them!

15 Most Creative Footer Designs in 2012

One of the most literally overlooked aspects of website design are footers. As the name suggests, footers are located at the very bottom of a web page that provides detailed information like About Us, FAQ, or Sitemap. It also usually links to other areas of the site or outside web properties, such as social media profiles.

All web designers use this space in many different ways. Some of them are full of heavy information, including “fine print” like Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policies. Other footers are used primarily for linking to other sites or pages on the site. Another popular use of footers – and something that is found on most of them – is to provide contact information, which can range from links to social media profiles to an email address and/or phone number to a real world shop address. Moreover, some designers use this area as a call-to-action to attract users to sign up for an email newsletter or other promotional strategy.

The way a site owner utilize their footer is massively dependent on the action they want visitors to take. However, the footer will be useless if the design doesn’t catch the users’ attention. A good design is one that is creative, engaging and match with the look and feel of the rest of the website.

For some inspiration, take a look at these 15 coolest website footers:

1. Foxtie

A company’s mascot with simple interface of detailed information and social media bar. Very attractive and eye-catching.


2. Me and Oli

Beautiful hand drawings serve the visitors’ eyes very well.


3. Mecannical

What are the correlations between a footer and a pair of shoes?


4. The Midnighters Club

Mystery always enthralls its audiences. Dolls and Ouija Board in the footer add the mystical touch in this website.


5. Mom and Popcorn

Old-fashioned commercial advertisement style. Unique.


6. Tapbot

Futuristic and anime-esque style templates will invite more clicks rather than just some plain words.


7. Poogan’s Porch

Interactive and visitor-friendly, with menu-like interface.


8. Rancid

The footer is dominated by red, black and white, which is consistent with the entire website’s appearance. It also resembles a crumpled sheet of  paper.


9. Seed Hunter

No external links on the footer, which is uncommon. However, the credits are presented with some images that match perfectly with the theme of the film.


10. Soho Fixed

“Lively” interface and cool photographs. The footer area serves its main function (company’s further detailed information, email subscription and social media menus) with beautiful looks.


11. Superior Contracting Services

The footer area looks like a blueprint of a house, which match artistically with the company’s services.


12. The Pixel

No external links and detailed information about the company. Instead, you will find a drunk pirate (?) that sleeps under the main site’s tree. The artwork is colorful and simply gorgeous.


13. The White House

Plain, elegant and simple, yet very informative.


14. Urban Pie

Funny footer design, with comical doodles and customized search box.


15. Weblabs Solution

A cup of coffee with modest menu. Feels so natural and intuitive.

Using Social Media to Boost Your Sales

Using Social Media to Boost Sales

Smart salespeople have learned to explore the power of social media. However, many companies are still seeing social media tools and networks as a pointless and even scary place for their sales teams to focus on.

It’s amazing to see how this stereotype remains. We have to realize that there is potential for confusion if sales reps are left “out in the wild” to create their own messages and brand assets, but the loss from restraining this powerful field is far greater. Today’s qualified prospect is often far easier to find and reach using social channels. They often share invaluable buying signals and data from various social media.

A professional salesperson has to be able to scan their prospects for clues to information that might provide conversation starters and common ground. Things like diplomas, photos and awards were data points for relationship building. Nowadays, this data (as well as information about buying patterns, challenges, company culture and news that may impact purchasing needs) is often shared freely in social media.

There’s a famous saying that’s often applied to the world of business: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. However, the influence of social media in the sales environment has transformed this equation into: It’s not who you know, it’s what you know about who you know. And it’s never been easier to know a great deal more about who you know.

While the process of sales may always involve face to face education and persuasion, many elements of prospecting, relationship building and adding value can be greatly aided through the consistent use of social media.


Blending social media data into CRM systems is becoming common in marketing, but smart salespeople are taking it much deeper by mining networks like Twitter to develop and save searches related to their products and services. When someone complains or asks about something related to their search they may find an open invitation to start a conversation with a prospect.

Your lead mining toolbox might include:

  • Twilerts – a service that sends you alerts via email when your search terms are used on Twitter.
  • Google Alerts – a free service that sends alerts for your chosen search terms when they are found in Google.
  • TweetDeck – a free app that allows you to monitor Twitter for search terms and follow selected lists of Twitter users.
  • Google Reader – a free tool that allows you to subscribe and read RSS feeds. By subscribing the blogs and news feeds of your prospects, you can scan for important nuggets. You can also use the Reeder app on your iPhone to make it easier to scan and share the contents that you find.


Mining social networks is only part of the equation. Social networks are all about connecting and, in many cases, discovering who is connected to whom. Using research tools such as InsideView or SalesLoft can open unlock potential opportunities for connection.

A particularly useful tool for following job changes, a tremendous network connecting practice, is This tool is great for LinkedIn and alerts you to profile changes in your network.


A great deal of relationship building energy is focused on getting and closing the deal. Still, as most sales professionals know, the long term money is in continuing to grow the relationship after the sale. This is where loyalty, repeat purchases and referrals happen and this is the moment where you use socially enabled tools for content sharing, filtering and curating. One of the best ways to establish an increased value is to provide value in ways that may be, or at least seem to be, unrelated to the products and services you offer.

There are some service providers that being chosen these days based on their ability to find and share the good stuff in addition to making sense of the changing stuff. You might consider these tools:

  • Using your Google Reader play to create industry specific feeds.
  • Using tools such as Storify or to create custom pages.
  • Using Q and A sites like Quora to hone in on key industry challenges.

The changing world of sales has in some ways become more complex and in others more openly, yet one thing that will likely never change is the fact that the professional salesperson always consistently finds ways to offer more value that win the customers’ heart. Learn more about social media marketing by visiting us at The Website Marketing Group.

Santas on computers

Getting Beyond the Social Media Buzz

Getting Beyond the Buzz

When General Motors pulled its ads from Facebook, it set off a boisterous debate about the value of social media. Executives in many C-suites today are asking: How do you compare the effectiveness of a Facebook comment with an ad that runs on TV? Or a tweet with a glossy magazine spread? Am I getting my money’s worth? These are good questions, which until now have been impossible to answer.

A recent survey found that 91% of companies believe social media doesn’t significantly impact sales. The reality is that it’s hard to say for sure because nobody  has demonstrated that they can measure the return on investment on social media. This metric blind spot means CMOs can’t make informed spending choices between social and traditional channels.

It is believed that social media can have a great value as a part of companies’ marketing mix – not because of some gut feel but because we can measure it. At one large packaged goods client, for example, we proved that digital had an ROI that was, on average, six times greater than TV. After isolating the effects of digital display from other social content (such as user comments and viral activity), the analysis also found that social media had a much higher impact than other digital media. As a result, the company is shifting more than 30% of its TV budget to social media.


Social media doesn’t live in a vacuum

Measuring social media’s impact is complex, requiring a more sophisticated appreciation of how social media fits into the broader marketing landscape.  A tweet may lead a customer to a website; a television ad may resonate after the customer reads a comment on a site; and a billboard may encourage a customer to “like” a Facebook page later in the day.

Given the potential crossover effect, any social media measurement needs to account for the impact of both digital and off-line interactions. Metrics should also factor in the impact of broader external influences, such as fluctuations in market activity and seasonality. And this all needs to be done simultaneously to capture the true impact of each channel.


Figuring out what your earned media is worth: a social GRP

Digital media comes in three flavors: owned (e.g. your website); paid (banner ads you buy on other sites); and earned (what people blog or tweet about you). Earned media is of particular importance because of the amplification power of social media so we set out to isolate its value.

As a model, we took TV advertising’s GRPs (gross ratings points) – a function of the percentage of the target audience reached by an ad and the number of times viewed on average. Marketers can  plug this GRP into marketing mix models (MMM) that analyze the effectiveness of each marketing channel. Social needs its own GRP so that marketers can calculate the relative value of earned media.

The Social GRP metric must account for three elements:

  • Effective reach. Currently the most used social media activity measurement is “buzz.” Buzz, however, measures the number of people talking or writing about a brand or product (“mouths”), but not the number of people exposed to these messages (“eyeballs”). It’s great to have 1 million Twitter followers but if they don’t read your tweets, that’s empty buzz and it doesn’t have much sales impact. Reach matters only if your audience listens to or reads what you’re saying.
  • Audience relevance. Not all buzz is created equal. Your message is only as effective as the people it reaches. Imagine, for example, an ad for a high-end car that sets off a storm of social media buzz, but that buzz turns out to be young males who generally can’t afford to buy the car talking about the music track in  the ad. That kind of buzz is virtually useless to the car company.
  • Sentiment. Measurement efforts need to take the complexity of the social media conversation into account. Unlike TV advertising, where ads deliver positive brand messages, social media ranges across positive, negative, and neutral sentiments. For this reason, you need to calculate three separate social GRPs for each sentiment because they have different impacts on sales.


Show me the social money

This Social GRP has already helped companies better manage their social media investments within their overall marketing mix to drive sales In one example an internet broadband provider watched new customer acquisitions slow to an unacceptably low pace despite significant investments in traditional media.  An assessment of the Social GRP showed a tremendous amount of negative sentiment as complaints about long waiting times on the phone help line went viral through social media.

After calculating the effects of the negative social media, the company was stunned to learn that the loss in potential customers was close to $45 million – which more than offset all incremental customer acquisitions generated by a multimillion dollar TV advertising campaign. With this  understanding of the impact of social, the company quickly invested about $1 million to improve customer service and turn the sentiment to a much more positive mix. More importantly, customer acquisition improved.

For companies to make informed decisions in the social age, they need hard facts and sophisticated analytics. Social media can no longer thrive on buzz alone. A better strategy must be applied for each business owner to maximize the social media marketing’s function and our teams at The Website Marketing Group are highly trained in this area. Give us a call today at on 1300 911 772 or visit our social media page.

Email Marketing: A MailChimp Field Guide

If you cannot view the attached PDF below, please Download Here.

Digital Marketing and Social Media Guidelines

Here’s a common situation, which may sound very familiar to some:

A buddy approaches you and asks for some marketing help. The last few years of striving it out in a job they care little about has paid off, they now have a business idea of their own, some money in the bank, and a revived focus for their career. They are untouchable, fueled up with energy and ambition, and all they want to do is get stuck straight into their new project, make things happen and make some dollars. It’s time for them to let the world know, but the problem is they don’t know how to and the best way to do so. So they look on the web and can quite easily be pulled in every direction by the pure volume of articles, 101’s, books, video’s, guides and expert opinions.So after spending a few weeks/months learning, trying, failing and succeeding , they ask their buddy who works in Marketing for help, as he must know:

  • How do I get my site ranked on Google?
  • How do I know if my marketing is working?
  • What marketing strategy should I be doing?
  • Should I set my brand up on Social Media?
  • How do I monitor my brand on Social Media?
  • Should I use ‘this’ tool? Should I pay for ‘this’ service?

Even the most successful marketing gurus certainly do not have the instant key that will ensure success. However, experience and insights are good things. The tools selection of marketing is essential. They help us to gain accurate insights that become good inspiration. They help us to formulate short and long term strategies, and they are our “silent-reliable-butler” when benchmarking and tracking KPI’s. They also help us to be as efficient as possible with time and situation, whilst not compromising on visibility and quality. The tools that you choose to use are that varied. This post will prevent you from being that person who is still trying to figure out how to light a fire with sticks when matches are available. Below is a quick top-level pointer to some of the basic tools that we use, and would recommend. There are tons more tools out there (good, bad, and in-between) but this should set you on your way. It’s then up to you to discover what works for you.

There are many tools, but which one I have to use?

Digital Marketing Tools

First of all, there is an old proverb that says something like “a good workman never blames his tools”. This shouldn’t be misinterpreted to mean if a bad job is done it can’t possibly be down to the workman’s tools. A ‘good’ workman should choose the best tools for the job, which give him or her the best results in the best time possible, all with the best return on expense. A good workman, together with good tools, will result in exceptional results. The good workman won’t have any need to blame his tools.

Most people are aware that there are bunch of digital or social media marketing tools out there. The abundance of available tools ranges in quality, usefulness and cost. There are many free marketing tools that are great, and also many paid tools that are pretty rubbish, and vice versa. So to make sure you don’t get trapped in the quicksand of bad and/or expensive tools. It’s also worth noting that there are sometimes subtle differences between certain tools.

  • One tool may be ‘better’ than another because it may suit a very specific objective slightly more than another tool.
  • Another reason for what is the better tool may be cost versus return (for example, a tool may be substantially more expensive than another but only slightly as well)
  • It may simply come down to subjectivity of the user’s own preference, such as the opinion that one interface is ‘better’ than another.

Planning & Analytics

Planning is Important

It’s amazing how much this little nugget is neglected!
What’s the situation? What are your objectives? Are they good and achievable? How are you benchmarking and measuring these objectives?

Planning, benchmarking and campaign analysis are the basic needs to any campaign, whether spending millions or just a little. The results achieved will be directly proportionate to your planning and analytics.

Planning & Analytics – Low cost/free tools

  • Google Analytics: Data is everything for you. You MUST set-up and regularly use analytics. This will let you see how many people come to your site, where they come from, how long they stay, what keywords they use to find your site, what marketing campaigns they are coming in on, what campaign drives the most amount of leads/sales, user behaviour as they go through the sales funnel, etc. Google Analytics is free and extremely simple to use. There are loads of tutorials on the web as to how to set up use it, and you really don’t need to be technically minded at all to do so.
  • Google Trends: This is an extremely useful tool to view and compare search engine traffic on Google for up to five keywords at a given time. It lets you filter the data by location, date range and also vertical. This tool will help you plan, analyse and predict search trends, whilst also giving you valuable insights into rising search terms similar to the words you are analysing. Google Trends is highly recommended.

Search Engine Marketing

“How do I get my site ranked on Google’s Search Engine?”
The million dollar question and probably deserves to be a blog post in its own right, but below are a few bits of advice and links to help the tools.
Search Engine Marketing
The short and vastly simplified answer is that there are two main methods of attack. For maximum results, both methods need to be understood, considered, utilised and then monitored: Organic Search and Paid-Ads Search.

Organic Search

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or getting ranked organically on a search engine such as Google is a bit of black art, in that there are a lot of opinions on it. Google doesn’t actually say in granular terms how to get ranked; after all a large part of their business makes money from the paid search! Google has a complicated algorithm that determines what sites rank organically for specific keywords, it is constantly being updated, and search engine results are also personalised to a specific user.
That said, Google’s focus is on the user and quality of their search engine results. Google wants people to use their search engine over a competitor (kind of dominating on that front) because their search results are most relevant. So what Google does is give out best practice guidelines to web masters.I would encourage anybody new to SEO to have a read of SEO for beginners guide by Google which is actually a very easy read but a great overview of the basics. Even though Google have recently updated their Search Engine algorithm, I still think this guide is a useful overview to get the background on best practice web content creation.

Content Writing – Think Niche – Be Relevant

This post isn’t about SEO tactics and content writing, but here is little pointer.

A big consideration when writing web content is thinking about what keywords you use on your website. Don’t try and focus on generic keywords that represent entire and vast genres (e.g. Photography, Mortgage, Insurance, Clothes, Consultancy). With generic terms you are competing against thousands upon thousands of well established websites, all desperately trying to be found on Google.

Think more niche. The more niche the keyword, the less available traffic, but:

  • The better the quality of the traffic
  • The less competition.
An example of this would be Outdoor Extreme Sports Photography versus Photography.As mentioned above use Google Trends to analysethe actual keyword popularity, and to discover niche keyword opportunities.

Paid-Ads Search

Paid Search Advertising is one of the best and most efficient Digital Marketing tools a brand / person should use to grow their business; caveat if used properly. You need to be careful that you spend sparingly and monitor what the traffic you are buying does. For example, if you spend some dollars, how many visits do you get from this, and from these visits how many actions do you get such enquiries. Those leads will act as a guide to determine how many sales that you might win. You will then be able to work out your ‘Cost Per Acquisition’ (CPA). If you spent $1,000 on driving traffic but it generated 500 sales at $50 each, you would be pretty happy right. That’s kind of how it works, if managed properly. Google has loads of free online courses to teach you on this.

Social Media: Management & Monitoring

One of the best and most cost effective ways you could possibly get people to your site/blog is via word of mouth and Social Media. The opportunities in social media are endless and ever growing. From being a valuable customer service channel, to driving awareness of a product, to engaging with your target audience. Brands’ success on Social Media really is in direct relation to their level of planning, creativity, resource, and on-going analysis of the data. Consider and test all of these elements, and you’ll be on your way.
The problem, if you can call it that, is there are new social networks coming out all of the time. Don’t overstretch yourself. You don’t need to be on every social network. Better to focus your efforts on a couple first and build up greater engagement than have poor engagement but be on all of them.

Key to Social Media Success

Social Media Success

Objectives: Success is just a metric of an objective. Define a realistic objective and then measure success against that. Right now, for the majority of brands, selling directly via social networks is not a realistic objective, so therefore if measuring success on this, you will fail. That’s not to say social can’t help selling, as it really can. Word of mouth and endorsements from friends are the most powerful way of selling, you just need to be creative, engaged and not talk like a car salesman.
Frequency: Doing a trillion Facebook status updates and tweets in a day is really not the right approach! The key to all social media is engagement. The higher the frequency of posts (particularly on Facebook) the more you are diluting your own message, and clogging up your fans/followers news feeds; which is annoying. Big big brands like Starbucks and Coke will normally only post 3-4 Facebook updates a day (max), and they have millions of followers!
Quality over quantity: Despite what some people / books would have you believe Social Media is not  about quantity of followers, that is quantity should not be your primary focus. Social Media is all about the quality of the engagement/interaction.
Key Social Media Sites:
  • Facebook: Creating a business/brand page is simple and quick to do. Leverage your buddies to promote you (they are your biggest assets), and you will start building an audience. Make sure you keep your posts short and sweet.
  • Twitter: If you do it right, Twitter is an amazing tool to build a quality engaged network that will help promote your content, as well as assist you learning a lot from other like minded people.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share images and videos you find on the web. You can browse boards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. Depending on your specific business, objectives, and creative; Pinterest can be a great network to drive traffic / brand exposure. Pinterest have recently launched brand pages, which now makes it even easier for brands to be set up on this network. Here is a Pinterests 101 guide from Pinterest themselves.

Social Media Management:

You have set up your Social Media properties, it’s important that you closely monitor interaction on there, keep your posts fresh, and engage with like-minded people talking about subjects relevant to your business. Well, this is where Hootsuite comes in. Hootsuite is a fantastic social media management tool. You can use the free edition, or if you want more functionality such as assigning interactions to specific team members, and more detailed analytics, you can upgrade it to the pro account. Here is a useful 101 video guide to Hootsuite by Hootsuite.


Blogging is a great way of keeping your web content fresh and engaging. Having and maintaining a blog not only keeps your own mind focused and up-to-date on relevant subjects, but it also shows your audience that has a genuine interest and passion for the subject area, and that you are a leader in what you do. All of this helps build your personal/brand’s credibility.

I use Blogger – it is free, a google tool (which has its benefits), very easy to use and makes your blog mobile friendly, which is key in this day and age. There are hundreds of templates you can use, and there is a huge online community to help if you don’t know how to do something. Word Press (Paid &Free) (is probably the most widely used Blogging platforms), and amongst many others there is also TypePad. They are all very easy to use and setup, and all are good for different types of blogging. Have a play, and at the end of the day it comes down to what you feel most comfortable using.

Email Marketing:

Despite what some people would have you believe, Email Marketing is still a very powerful method of marketing and the way to keep your service/brand in your audience’s mind. As with Social Media, you need to be considerate of the frequency of emails you send. Frequency for email marketing really comes down to your business type, and what the user opted in for.

MailChimp is a fantastic Email Marketing product and one that I highly recommend. Here is a Best practice guide to Email Marketing by MailChimp.


If you are creating a survey, again there are many good and cheap products available to you. The two survey tools below are the ones I am most familiar with. Both of them have simple interfaces and easily integrate with your Social Media properties such as Facebook.


Knowledge is power, or to step that one step further as per a comment from the great Tony Robbins, “Knowledge is only potential power until it comes into the hands of someone who knows how to get himself to take effective action. In fact, the literal definition of the word “power” is “the ability to act.“Arguably one of the most important ‘tools’ is your own brain. Digital knowledge today can very quickly become old news tomorrow, even though it can be time-consuming to keep up-to-date with everything it’s essential you keep your finger on the pulse. Here are a few tools above and beyond those mentioned within this article that help you keep your finger on the pulse.

News Apps / Alerts:

  • Zite – From social media to sport news. This is a brilliant news aggregation tool.
  • Flipboard – Similar to Zite, but not as good. The interface is great though.
  • Google Alerts – Very handy tool that allows you to set up email alerts for specific keywords that you want to monitor across the web.
  • Get Abstract – One of the best services out there to help with learning. This subscription service is a very large collection of business book summaries. The key elements / learning of each book are summarised and available to read. This not only enables you to ‘read’ more, but also helps you decide whether the book is of use to read from start to finish or not.

Well, that’s it. A quick crash course on some of the tools that are at your disposal. The key to success is clear objectives, considered strategy, research, analytics and a pragmatic mind: test, refine, test, refine.

The Top 25 Responsive Websites of 2012

1. Ableton

“Never have I seen Futura used so bravely!” exclaims designer, speaker and author Elliot Jay Stocks of Edenspiekermann’s work for Berlin-based music software developer Ableton. “It works, though, combined with bold imagery and a vibrant colour palette.”

Stephanie Rieger, designer and co-owner of Yiibu, a wee mobile design consultancy based in Edinburgh, agrees: “This [is a] gorgeous, fun and delightfully on-brand site. Parts of the site are a bit heavy but given the audience, the nature of the brand and the need to incorporate music and video, I think they’ve done an awesome job. Be sure to hunt for the many little creative (and practical) design touches – like rotating column labels on a software comparison table to better fit smaller screens.”


2. Adobe & HTML

“This site, which showcases Adobe’s web-related products, is actually more of an adaptive layout rather than a real responsive design,” explains designer and developer Stephen Hay. “Performance could be significantly improved, and I’m not fond of the navigation taking up most of the space at the top of the page on mobile. The reason I mention this site here is that both the adaptive layout and the content signal that Adobe, behemoth of print design software, is beginning to acknowledge the modern web and the needs of its designers. Adobe, with its design roots, has an opportunity to turn this site into a graphically appealing, full-blown responsive design.”


3. An Event Apart

“The freshly redesigned An Event Apart is not only gorgeous but also wonderfully crafted,” says Tim Kadlec, web developer and author of Implementing Responsive Design. “[The developers] use SVG icons when they can, and fall back to PNGs if they have to. Images are lazy-loaded as they come into view. For example, as you scroll down an events page you can see the speaker images subtly fading in. All this plus an appealing and clean design!”


4. BBC News

“The best responsive site of 2012 was the BBC News mobile website,” says Paul Robert Lloyd, designer at Clearleft and author of .net’s monthly Responsive column. “While it doesn’t yet scale up to desktop browsers in terms of layout, it’s responsive in the truest sense of the word.

“Designed with a mobile-first mentality, it scales to meet different device characteristics beautifully. It is a fantastic example of progressive enhancement. There’s lots of discussion around responsive images, but the BBC’s approach is starkly pragmatic. The markup references just a single image, that for the headline story, and conditional loading means only more capable devices receive the highly optimised images for other stories. The site is not only accessible from any device but blazingly fast, too.

“In the next year, I’d like to see greater focus on performance over visual design and layout. In that regard, the BBC News mobile site is a great example for others to follow.”


5. Build 2012

“One of my favorite parts of the year is to see what Andy McMillan and Kyle Meyer come up with for the new Build conference site,” enthuses Reagan Ray, lead designer and one third of Paravel. “They went responsive for the 2012 version and I think it’s their best effort to date. Can’t wait to see 2013.”


6. Contents

“Contents magazine may have an unfair advantage with Ethan Marcotte himself as their creative director – but nobody said my choices had to be fair,” says Mat Marquis, designer/developer working at Filament Group in Boston and founder and chair of the Responsive Images Community Group for the W3C.

“Contents boast beautiful typography and an overall design that keeps their content – as one might expect – front and centre at any size. The design is backed by per-issue illustrations that wrap around the copy in differing ways depending on the breakpoint. The illustrations enhance the design, but never serve as a distraction. It’s a genuine pleasure to read, and that’s really what this ‘web design’ stuff is all about.”


7. CSS-Tricks

“Again: choosing a site with Chris Coyier’s name on it feels a little like cheating, but fair’s fair – the guy is a beast, and he did a hell of a job with this redesign,” Mat Marquis laughs. “Chris manages an insane amount of useful information on his site and he does so with a design that’s not only logical and usable at every screen size, but has a ton of personality.

“Honorable mention here goes to Chris’ (not yet fully responsive when editing) which is an incredibly useful tool for creating quick demos and test cases. There’s some amazing work on there.”


8. Currys

“Currys may not have what we consider to be the level of design a lot of agencies and personal sites have, but I’m picking it for its significance to the wider uptake of responsive design techniques. It’s the first truly large-scale ecommerce site I’ve seen that’s embraced responsive design,” explains James Young, creative director at Offroadcode . “It provides a good experience on a range of devices while dealing with a massive amount of content and products of all shapes and sizes, and includes an easy-to-use buying process –all within a single code base that’s clearly been well considered by the Currys web team.”


9. dConstruct 2012

“Apart from the incredible speaker lineup, the dConstruct site itself is a beautifully crafted responsive experience,” says Ben Callahan, president of small Ohio-based agency Sparkbox. “My favorite detail of the site is the navigation. Note the added iconography for a smaller viewport experience. This shows that real care was given to the touch target area and signifies an implicit value [placed on] those users viewing the site on smaller devices – a mobile-first mentality. Well done @clearleft!”



“When a site with the media complexity of Disney went responsive, it really showcased the validity of the approach for delivering multimedia content on the web,” remembers Scott Jehl,web designer/developer at Filament Group. “The site’s understated, clean design highlights the rich imagery from Disney movies and television that can be viewed online on the site, and a nice use of Ajax and makes for subtle, non-jarring page transitions. The site also layers nice contextual interactivity, such as gesture-driven carousels for touch devices and off-canvas page-pushing navigation on small screens.”


11. Fray, Issue 3

“Issue 3 of the Fray, ‘the web’s original storytelling magazine’, was my favourite responsive design I saw this year, and maybe my favourite ever,” recalls Scott Jehl. “In addition to its beautiful responsive cover design where design elements from the cover artwork are reused throughout the layout, each of the articles in the issue has its own unique custom art-directed design, much like we see in print magazines, but less frequently on the web. Many of the layouts incorporate finely tuned CSS to beautiful effect, like the skewed title and byline of the ‘Braces’ article, and offset pull quotes throughout. Just a warning: the site’s subject matter is aimed towards adults.”



Stephen Hay says: “The design is visually simple (practically no images), but it’s clear what its intention is: to help you find information quickly. For government websites, this is no easy task. I love that this site is not only responsive but a perfect example of how well-thought-out content and structure can lead to a clearer user experience, regardless of the device used. It’s so important that governments present their information accessibly; I’m sure the simplicity of this site will be an example to other government organisations will follow.”


13. Heroku Status

“Heroku is a deployment service for web applications, so this site skews towards a very technical audience,” says Scott Jehl of his second choice. “Heroku’s status site is merely a place for monitoring the service’s uptime, with status notifications for any current incidents and a timeline of reports. The small-screen presentation is conservative, but very functional and semantically rich, with a cleanly designed list presentation. However, in wider viewports, the timeline morphs into a vertical data visualisation where incidents are boxed and linked to time points via curvy HTML5 canvas-drawn lines, making the content more engaging.”


14. Lotta Nieminen

“Lotta’s clever site encourages exploration, as the left and right sides of the screen tease content from the adjacent sections,” enthuses Elliot Jay Stocks. “I half expected this to break at different widths, but the behaviour stays consistent at all times, and combines media queries with JavaScript to stack and resize individual columns sensibly.”


15. Microsoft

“The new Microsoft site is exciting to me for so many reasons,” Ben Callahan reveals. “To see a giant like Microsoft get behind responsive web design in this way really demonstrates how far we’ve come in the past two years. The design clearly embraces the Metro style and gives us a level of cleanliness and space that is missing on most corporate sites. There is also a significant amount of navigation, which can be a real challenge to make usable across a wide range of viewports and interaction models. I love the fact that the drop-downs are behind click or touch [events] as opposed to :hover. I believe we’re going to see much more of this in the near future, even at larger resolutions. Well done!”

Reagan Ray, who worked on the site, says: “Trent and Dave are too modest to toot the Paravel horn, so I will. We were happy to play a small part in such an exciting time for Microsoft. I think it’s a great example of a large corporation adopting responsive design.”


16. Polygon

“Polygon is an insanely rich responsive gaming site that puts its big brothers (IGN, Gamespot, and so on) to shame,” praises Dave Rupert, lead developer of Paravel and co-host of ShopTalk with Chris Coyier. “The big graphics get my gamer senses tingling. The interior posts are an amazing blend of art direction and responsive architecture.”


17. Riot

Elliot Jay Stocks comments: “Simple, centred, one-page sites might seem like they translate to responsive design easily, but it takes skill, consideration, and a keen eye to make everything re-adjust seamlessly. Riot’s website does just that.”


18. Skinny Ties

“While I don’t own any skinny ties, other than a handful of 80s leftovers tucked away in a storage bin somewhere, I do think this site is beautifully executed,” says Ben Callahan. “It’s also encouraging to see responsive techniques being used on more complex sites: in this case, an ecommerce experience. The navigation on this site is unique throughout all viewport resolutions, but works exceptionally well on the small end of the spectrum. Its visual nature is perfectly sensible for a store of this size and it remains usable despite the use of :hover on touch devices. Well done!”


19. Starbucks

“The responsive is great, but what’s even more inspiring to us is the web-based style guide that comes with it,” Trent Walton, founder of Paravel, points out. “It conveys the power of the fluid/responsive layout much better than a .psd or .pdf can.”


20. Tattly

“I’ve just included a dangerous time sink in this list,” warns Mat Marquis of this temporary tattoo site, “so I apologise in advance to you and/or your boss. I’ve burned through an embarrassing amount of time browsing the designs on Tattly across various devices, and I’m never left wanting for an experience I can only get at a certain breakpoint. They’ve done a great job making sure their site translates well to a huge range of device/window sizes, and perhaps even more importantly, they provide me with a sure-fire way of making myself look like a badass. Y’know, for a few days at a time, anyway.”


21. The Next Web

“While I’m still not a fan of the sticky sidebar thing, this site is pretty amazing,” Dave Rupert admits. “The whitespace and typography create a really relaxed environment. I’m pleasantly relieved when I visit TNW on a tablet: it has a great feel and good reading experience.”


22. The Shape of Design

“Frank Chimero’s take on a responsive reading experience is inspiring on all levels,” says Trent Walton. “His online version of The Shape of Design is a joy to read. The unobtrusive chapter navigation works well and the media-query font-size scaling keeps everything wonderfully proportional.”


23. Time

“Following The Boston Globe’s lead, Time has made its mark on the world of responsive news websites with its implementation,” applauds Stephen Hay. “The fact that there is one fewer news website in the world offering us a link to ‘the full website’ on mobile is already enough, but the site really does look good on mobile: it’s the Time identity through and through. Some of the text might be a bit small on some devices, but the developers have left scaling on: always a good idea. Some steps could be taken to improve performance, such as serving scaled images [but] nevertheless, it’s a step in the right direction.”


24. United Pixelworkers

“I’m a fan of the bold simplicity of United Pixelworkers and the solid grid layout and navigation treatment for small screens works well,” says James Young. “As with the Currys site, this is an ecommerce site that makes it easy to complete my primary task – buying goodies – on any device.

“It’s a shame you jump to Shopify to complete your purchase, and I’d love to see at least a branded checkout completion page soon, but it’s still very easy to buy your T-shirts.”

“Responsive ecommerce is difficult, but the Pixelworkers seem to have figured it out,” adds Dave Rupert. “Great homepage, great product pages, great checkout flow. If you’re looking to create a wonderful responsive ecommerce site, this is your bar.”


25. University of Notre Dame

“I love some of the things University of Notre Dame has gone on under the hood,” raves Tim Kadlec. “It uses RESS to reduce the page weight on small screens. It also uses geolocation to enhance the Campus Tour feature. If the site detects you’re on campus, it identifies which locations are closest and offers you walking directions. It’s a helpful way of using the context of the user and the capabilities of the device to enhance the experience.”

Facebook Modifies Its ‘Nearby’ Service to Compete with Foursquare

A New Rival for Foursquare

Location based check-ins aren’t a new thing on Facebook. However, the company is getting ready to compete even more closely with Foursquare and Yelp with the newest update of Facebook Nearby. The service will take advantage of the 250 million users who tag posts with their locations every month to help you discover more locations based on the likes, check-ins, and recommendations of both friends and other Facebook users. This will be such an extensive hands-on with the service, and it appears heavily inspired by Foursquare. When users tap the “nearby” button in the Facebook mobile app, they’ll now receive a customized listing of locations; before, it simply just pulled up a list of what was closest to you.

This list is created by a variety of factors, including whether friends of yours have checked in, liked a location or whether they have rated and left a text description. There are also a variety of different sub-categories you can drill into (like food, coffee, nightlife, or arts) which appear to directly mimic the categories found in Foursquare’s app.

Friends can recommend their favorite places and write a short review, just like Foursquare!

Overall, it looks like a major improvement over Facebook’s old location-based engine that appears to leverage the company’s purchase of Gowalla last year. If you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, Facebook says the new Nearby features will be rolling out to Android and iOS users through an app update later.