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7 Methods To Research & Analyze Your Audience For SEO

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How can you get more relevant website traffic and improve your conversions? Learn how to dive deep into your audience for better SEO results.

When I describe SEO, I explain that it is a mix of marketing, technical know-how, and psychology.

From a marketing perspective, you must have an overall understanding of your product, the problems it solves, and how to best communicate to your audience.

From a technical perspective, you must be able to create a foundation for your website that improves search performance.

Now, from a psychological perspective… that is where an SEO can really make a difference.

If you can learn how to not only identify your ideal website visitor but also determine who they are and what motivates them, your SEO work will really pay off. You’ll have the traffic numbers and also the ROI to support your efforts.

SEO isn’t just about the numbers (i.e., keyword ranking positions, number of backlinks, traffic, etc.). It is also about understanding the audience and building an SEO campaign around that information.

When SEO is centered around the right audience, targeted traffic increases, which leads to more conversions.

There are several methods that will help you research and analyze your audience for SEO.

As you will see in the list below, there are tools weaved throughout each method to make things easier along the way.

1. Use Keywords To Gather Demographics Data

Keyword research is one of the core tasks of SEO. Keywords should be targeted and relevant to your products or services, which is something you likely already know.

Once you have a solid list of keywords, select the top five that represent your brand the best and find out the demographics associated with those words and phrases.

Google Trends will provide you with demographic information tied to the location and will show you how the keyword has trended over time.

Google Trends really came in handy during the pandemic when people’s online behaviors were quickly shifting.

One of my clients publishes recipes, and the question came up regarding the types of recipes people were searching for when they were stuck at home.

It was banana bread.

Apparently, comfort food was the focus when we couldn’t leave our homes. You can see in the screenshot below how the trend for “banana bread” skyrocketed.

Google Trends exampleScreenshot from Google Trends, June 2022

But, what about the demographic data?

Google Trends provides great data on the location, but there is also another tool I like to use for further demographic information, Demographics.io. This tool ties demographic data to keywords.

Using the same banana bread example, below is the data of people who were searching this keyword.

Demographics toolScreenshot from Demographics.io, June 2022

Tip: How To Apply This Information

Identifying demographic information, including age, gender, and location can help you in SEO in many ways.

You can look for local link opportunities in the geographic areas where queries occur.

In terms of age and gender, you can determine topics, interests, and other terminology that is relevant to those groups.

2. Identify Who Is Visiting Your Website

This method is kind of like painting the target around the arrow.

However, it is important to understand who is coming to your website and then you can determine if that is the correct audience.

One of the easiest ways to get this information is from Google Analytics.

Under the Audience section, you are able to view a range of audience information, including age, gender, location, and interests, as shown below:

Analytics DemographicsScreenshot from Google Analytics, June 2022

Tip: How To Apply This Information

This data can give insight into the audience and will help you as you recommend content topics and target geographic areas.

On the other hand, you might look at this information and realize that it does not align with your organization’s target markets.

In that case, you need to take a close look at your keywords and content to make sure there is no misalignment.

3. Analyze Other Brands

To gather information about your target audience, you can look beyond your own website and analyze other brands and competitors.

You would be looking for demographics and psychographics – basically, you want to collect as many insights as possible. The following tools can help you with this type of analysis.

Quantcast

Quantcast pulls together insights on purchase behaviors, occupations, device usage, demographics, domain affinity, and more. The example below is an analysis of Goodreads.com.

Analysis of Goodreads.comScreenshot from Quantcast, June 2022

Analysis of Goodreads.comScreenshot from Quantcast, June 2022

Audiense

Note: I love this tool and use it often.

According to Audiense.com, they build the audience using eight different criteria, “which can be combined together allowing the creation of highly targeted audiences: Demography, Relationships, Behavior (activity), Conversations, IBM Watson Personality Insights, Location, Interests, and Twitter profile.”

Audiense then creates audience segments by “clustering individuals based on ‘who knows who’ i.e., how these individuals are interconnected. We take into account who follows who and cluster them together – for instance, if person A follows person B then they’ll be clustered together.”

The first screen of the report provides a snapshot of the audience data, as shown below.

Audiense InsightsScreenshot from Audiense, June 2022

What is so great about this tool is that you can drill down even more. Just check out the breakdown of information available (see the red box on the screenshot).

Audiense Insights GoodreadsScreenshot from Audiense, June 2022

Tip: How To Apply This Information

Similar to the last method, this data can give insight into the audience and will help you as you recommend content topics and target geographic areas.

You might also find some great link building ideas based on your interests

4. Use Social Insights

Social platforms are one of the quickest ways to get information about an audience.

You can view follower/fan information directly on your company’s Facebook page, as shown below:

Facebook Insights

You can also view competitors’ and other brands’ audience information on Followerwonk.

What’s great about this tool is it also provides you with a word cloud to show you what users are talking about:

Followerwonk word cloudScreenshot from Followerwonk, June 2022
Tip: How To Apply This Information
Specifically, the word cloud in Followerwonk can help you identify other keywords you might have missed and can also present content marketing ideas.

5.Send Out Surveys

This method is the most straightforward out of all of them on this list. If you want to understand your audience better, send out a survey.

To get a decent number of surveys returned, keep it short and sweet. Ask questions about basic demographics, overall interests, pain points, and needs.

Here is a great resource on how to create your survey: How To Create & Use Surveys For Content Marketing.

6. Identify Questions

With Google increasingly showing answers directly in SERPs, identifying common user questions has become that much more important.

Plus, we want to anticipate the long-tail queries of our potential audience, so we can get in front of them at the right time. There are many tools that provide common questions, including:

These tools pull from various data sources, so it is worthwhile to check out them all. Below is an example from AnswerThePublic.

Search listening tool AnswerThePublicScreenshot from AnswerThePublic, June 2022

Electric cars keyword from Answer The Public

Tip: How To Apply This Information

Create content around common questions to attract long-tail searches among your audience and to increase your odds of showing up as a direct answer in Google SERPs.

7. Research Secondary Data

Once you know age/interests/etc. of your audience, you can fill in the blanks through further research. Look for studies regarding one of the key aspects of your audience.

For example, if you determine that your audience is in the Baby Boomer generation, head to Google Scholar and look for published research on this group.

Tip: How To Apply This Information

Use this additional research to sketch your personas and get a better view of who it is you are trying to target via SEO.

Final Thoughts

It might seem like a lot of extra work to dive into your audience before getting into SEO tasks. However, it is well worth the time.

You will be able to drive better traffic to your website and improve your ROI on SEO.

If you are interested in original article by Mindy Weinstein you can find it here

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10 Local SEO Strategies For Doctors And Dentists

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Do you want to increase search visibility for your practice? Here are 10 essential local SEO strategies for doctors and dentists.

Google contributes a large percentage of traffic to many healthcare websites.

For doctor appointment bookings, 57% of patients start by using online search. And when patients are searching for a healthcare facility on Google, they genuinely mean business.

SimilarWeb finds that 85% of the traffic to ClevelandClinic.org, 83% of the traffic to HopkinsMedicine.org, and 87% of the traffic to MayoClinic.org comes from organic search.

But ranking on Google isn’t as simple as creating a website. The online world has grown way beyond that now.

Patients today search for doctors in their vicinity. That means you need to rank for your local audience to generate appreciable traffic in your clinic.

This is why local SEO has become necessary for all modern dental and medical practices that want to harness the internet’s potential and use it to grow their profits.

In this article, you will find 10 local SEO strategies that can help you get found by an audience that matters the most to your practice.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a type of SEO that helps your website appear higher in the search results for location-specific searches.

For example, a Nashville-based dental practice ranking for searches like “dentists in Nashville”.

Sometimes patients also search with key phrases like “dentist near me”. In that case, search engines use the searchers’ IP address or geolocation to connect them with relevant and nearby businesses.

Local healthcare SEO is a powerful tool that helps your medical practice gain substantial online visibility. If done correctly, it can help you get among the top-3 “pack” and help you win the search results even if your website does not appear on the first page.

Why Should Doctors And Dentists Consider Local SEO?

The first thing most patients turn to when they feel like visiting a doctor is, ironically, the internet.

If someone feels they need to see a dentist, they wouldn’t open the yellow pages and search the “D” section of the directory for the local dentist. Instead, they will turn to Google, or some other search engine, type in a key phrase like “dentist near me”, and book an appointment with whoever they like best.

That’s the approach most modern patients adopt. And practices that wish to maintain or increase their foot traffic need to adjust according to this approach so they could be among those that appear in response to location-specific and relevant searches.

Local SEO helps make that possible.

By optimizing your Google Business Profile to rank for relevant local searches, you can diversify your traffic acquisition channels and be where your customers are looking for you.

Once you rank for relevant local searches, your patients will know you as an option they have. And given other factors are met, they would be more likely to reach out and book an appointment.

Increasing foot traffic to your medical practice is just one of the ways local SEO contributes to your revenue.

It also helps you save on costly online ads, which reduces your marketing spend and eventually pushes your bottom line.

Local SEO also allows you to be where your peers are and compete with them on a level playing field. By ranking side by side with your competitors, you would be more likely to get a share of their prospective patients, which would be a million times better than giving up all your online patients to them by not being found in the local search results.

All the benefits that local SEO brings to your practice are increased appointments at your practice and more revenue. Let’s talk about some top strategies to help you get started with local SEO.

10 Practical Local SEO Strategies

After reading all the benefits of local SEO, you may be inclined to assume that it is expensive, time-consuming, and tedious, like regular SEO. However, that’s not the case.

It is true that certain local SEO factors require time and dedication to generate truly viable results but getting started is much simpler.
Here are top local SEO strategies that might help you find profit-driving online visibility:

1. List Your Practice On Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile, formerly known as Google My Business, is the source of local online visibility.

Google Business Profile helps small businesses find exposure and showcase their services or products to the interested audience. It offers all the tools you need to create an optimized, accurate, and descriptive listing that helps your patients learn what they need to know about your practice.

You need to have your practice listed on Google Business Profile to leverage local SEO benefits.

Sometimes Google automatically creates business listings on GBP. In that case, you would need to claim that listing, verify it, and check it for accuracy to ensure it does not drive your prospective patients away by disseminating incorrect information.

Also, adding the appointment booking link to your Google Business Profile can instantly increase your appointment bookings as one of LoudGrowth’s clients saw a 44% increase after adding the appointment booking link.

2. Double Down On Keyword Research

Keyword research is the heart of local SEO as it tells you what keywords to optimize with so that the search engines can link relevant queries to your listing and potentially drive patients to it.

Local keywords are distinct from regular keywords as they are marked by location-specific phrases like “Dentist near me” or “Pediatrician Nashville”.

To start with local keyword research, you first need to be intuitive and get into your patient’s mind.

What do they think when they are looking for a doctor? What are the words that they may use to search for a doctor?

Brainstorm a bunch of key phrases and create a list.

Once you have a list, find keyword research tools, and search the phrases from your list.

Shortlist the keywords relevant to your phrases and have the right balance between search volume and competition.

It is important to note that the search volume for local key phrases is usually low. Therefore, don’t hesitate to shortlist relatively smaller SV keywords.

You can also use keyword tools to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for. These words are proven to connect searching patients with practices like yours. Therefore, they can also help you find the right kind of visibility.

3. Capitalize On Google Posts

Google Posts is a free tool that offers local businesses a fantastic opportunity to engage and communicate with their audience.

Google Posts allow you to display up to ten of your most recent posts, which, according to some sources, stay live for up to 7 days. You can use this space for announcements, offers, and to promote your services, and explain your features to the audience.

You can display textual content and images both through Google Posts and end it with a CTA that links to your local landing pages.

Pro tip: make sure to use UTM parameters so you can track how much traffic is coming from your Google Posts.

Google Posts are designed to give quick information to prospective patients and convince them to take the desired action.

These can be utilized for many different post ideas such as offers and specials, products and services, events, business updates, etc.

A study conducted on 600 GBP profiles revealed service and discount-related posts bring the highest conversions in comparison to other ideas posts.

It is critical to have a proactive Google Posts strategy because this space is to communicate recent messages with prospective patients, you will need to work on not only sharing Google Posts but also updating them as the situation changes.

For example, your practice is offering free flu shots close to flu season, and you are promoting that via Google Posts. Once flu season passes, you will need to replace this post with something else since outdated content can tarnish your reputation.

To leverage its power and use them to drive results, you will need to write crisp, concise, and to-the-point copy that clearly communicates your value.

To leverage its power and use them to drive results, you will need to write crisp, concise, and to-the-point copy that clearly communicates your value.

Also, keep in mind that though Google Posts have a 1500-character limit, only a few words are visible above the fold. So you have to concentrate as much information as you can in that space.

Google Posts come at zero cost and offer an excellent opportunity for you to engage with your audience and promote your service. However, you will need a verified Google Business Profile to be able to leverage this tool.

4. Health And Safety Attributes

Ever since the pandemic, people want to know the health and safety practices of places before they visit them.

Therefore, Google has included health and safety attributes in GBP listings. Apart from these essential attributes, there are other information nuggets that you can use to be more intuitive and give your prospective patients the information they need.

Apart from the health and safety attributes like temperature checks, mask requirements, staff safety precautions, etc., you can include other attributes as well, like whether patients need to book an appointment beforehand or can they get a walk-in appointment.

These attributes offer peace of mind and trust and give the prospects the information they need without them having to look for it.
You can add the attributes directly to your listing through your GBP.

5. NAP And Office Hours Consistency

According to a survey, 62% of respondents said that they use GBP listings to find business contact numbers and addresses.

This indicates that perhaps the number one reason people turn to Google for local businesses is to find out about their office hours, contact number, and address.

We can safely conclude what could happen if any of these is incorrect.

The prospect would be annoyed and likely to leave a negative review.

Imagine your office hour is listed as 9 am to 5 pm from Mon to Fri, as it is by default sometimes. But you practice from 1 pm to 4 pm on alternate weekdays.

Can you imagine the frustration of someone who saw the office hours on Google and dropped by your practice only to find out the timing was incorrect?

Again, imagine the frustration of someone who calls your practice using the contact number from Google but ends up trying for hours without a response.

These instances are likely to lead to a negative review on your GBP listing, which is something we have to avoid at all costs.

Therefore, you have to ensure that your office hours, name, address, and phone number (NAP) are all listed accurately on your GBP.

You also have to ensure that this information is consistent across all your customer touchpoints because even minor inconsistencies can lead to significant downfalls.

6. Local Landing Pages

When doing local SEO, many people are confused about whether they should link the call to action (CTA) to the website home page or have separate landing pages for each distinct keyword.

In this case, the most viable option is to link the CTA on your GBP listing to your local, keyword-relevant landing page.

You can use this landing page as the next step to your communication with the prospective patients and dive into more detailed information concerning the keyword.

For example, your keyword is “Pediatrician Boston”.

You can create a landing page that responds to the common pain points people in Boston have that would concern a pediatrician and communicate clearly how you can solve the problem.

Think about your user’s problems and try to address them on your landing page. Use clear and to-the-point headlines and arrange your textual information to keep the readers engaged.

Talk about benefits, not the features of your service, and include attractive, appealing images across your page to keep the audience engaged.
Also, make sure to optimize your page with the right keywords that are relevant to the service you are talking about on the page.

Try to include social proof, like testimonials and reviews, and trust signals like awards and certifications on the page to make your users trust your practice.

Place a CTA strategically on the page. Choose one action and stick to it if you want your readers to book an appointment, make your CTA “Book Your Appointment” or something like that. Don’t use a mix of CTAs and avoid the paradox of choice.

Embed a dynamic map at the bottom of the landing page, making it easier for the searchers to locate your facility.

Finally, don’t forget to optimize your landing pages for mobile users because half of all healthcare website visits come from mobile phones.

7. Local Link Building

Backlinks are your website’s URLs that are placed within the content of other websites. And the process of acquiring these links is called link building.

Google favors websites with a high volume of backlinks because it sees such websites as trustworthy and authoritative.

People seek out and get backlinks from relevant high authority websites for regular SEO. But for local SEO, you would need to get links from local entities so Google can trust your presence in that locality and rank your website for searches coming from there.

The process of acquiring links from your local websites is called local link building, and there are many strategies through which you can get a link from local websites.

You can create helpful content for doctors and dentists and get it posted on your community blog with a link back to your website.

If your practice makes enough revenue, you can sponsor a local school team or students from the local school or college and get a link from these institutions.

You can also join your local chamber of commerce and post in their news section to get a link from there.

Most cities have local newspapers. You can create PR content for these newspapers, offer advice, or write articles for them and link back to your website. These websites often enjoy high domain authority, so you can get valuable links from them.

You can also find local business directories and get your practices included in them to get another backlink.

These are just a few of the many local backlinking strategies. If you can get creative, the sky’s the limit.

8. Make Good Use Of GBP Calls And Messages

Businesses listed on GBP can get direct calls from google searchers.

Therefore, if you have included your phone number on GBP with the intent to receive calls and messages from your online audience, make sure you have someone to receive and respond to them.

Not responding to internet-driven calls and messages can lead to a bad customer experience, which can manifest as negative reviews and lousy promotion, which can be detrimental to your practice.

9. Local Reviews

Patients want to make sure the person they are going to consult is good at what they do. More importantly, they want the peace of mind that the facility is up to their standards and does not have a bad reputation. Due to these reasons, 98% of people read online reviews.

Therefore, the majority of healthcare consumers say online reviews influence their decision when selecting a healthcare service provider.

Therefore, you need to ensure your GBP listing features enough diverse reviews to win the prospective patients” trust.

Getting reviews, however, is not as straightforward as you may want it to be. Fully 74% of consumers write online reviews.

People would love to leave a bad review, but they rarely go out of their way to leave a good one.

Therefore, you will have to pursue positive reviews for the sake of your profit.

What you can do, in this case, is to follow up every patient’s appointment with a request to leave feedback on your GBP listing.

Make sure to go through all your reviews and remove any personally identifiable information that people may have shared accidentally in their reviews.

Also, while responding to positive reviews is important, address the negative reviews as well so the rest of the world knows you prioritize your patients” experience and work to make it a good one.

10. Multiple Professional Listings At One Address

Google allows you to share an address with various other businesses sharing the same location and have an independent GBP for your business, given that your business is distinct and has its own Tax Identification Code.

So, you can create an independent listing if you have a clinic located within an office building that houses many other businesses.

However, if you have a large hospital with several smaller clinics, it might become challenging to create an independent listing for each hospital.

Because you need to have distinct businesses, each of which files its taxes independently and has its own phone numbers to create a different listing for businesses operating from a similar location.

Final Words

Local SEO can unlock a new traffic channel for your practice. By helping you rank for local prospective patients, it can allow you to generate more bookings and consequently increase profit.

However, before you can enjoy its benefits, you will have to do the hard work of creating and maintaining a healthy Google Business Profile listing.

Once you have an optimized GBP listing, you will be more likely to harness the potential of SEO and garner more appointments for your practice.

If you are interested in original article by Atul Jindal you can find it here

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retail-content-marketing

11 Retail Content Marketing Trends To Inspire Your Next Campaign

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Are you planning retail content marketing for your next campaign? Take a look at these 11 trends for your brand.

No matter what digital platform you use to promote your business, continually coming up with fresh content ideas to capture your audience’s attention can be a real challenge.

Popular content comes and goes before you’ve even hit “publish” on your latest post, so how do you plan effectively for your next big marketing campaign?

If you’re feeling stuck and looking for some ideas, take a look at these 11 trends that you can adapt for your retail brand.

1. Provide Value To Stay Relevant

With every piece of content you create, you should always be thinking, “what will a viewer get out of this?”

Fitbit does a great job here, posting tips and advice for their followers to improve their mental and physical health.

Cocokind balances its aesthetic content in the beauty space with informational posts on building a skincare routine and walkthroughs of how to incorporate their products into your existing regime.

There are plenty of other brands to distract your audience with their own content, so focusing on the value you provide will help keep your brand top-of-mind and relevant to your customers.

2. Get Your Customers Involved

No one wants to see a constant barrage of sales content from any brand. But when you have a product you need to push, how do you keep people interested and engaged?

You tap into your existing customer base to harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

And that’s exactly what Vacation Inc. did.

In April 2021, Vacation Inc. launched their now Nordstrom and Ulta-partnered screen with an 80s beach vibe campaign.

Customers could generate honorary job titles and share their new business cards on their own social channels.

Within days of launching the presale, over 10,000 people had “changed careers,” with roles like “Emergency Tequila Shot Salt Secretary” and “Catamaran Fly Fishing Specialist” (my personal role).

Vacation Inc.’s success came from capitalizing on an already-growing fanbase across social media.

The fun, interactive content quickly spread with little effort on the brand’s part post-launch, leaving their customers to do the work and brand evangelizing for them.

3. Double-Down On Short-Form Video

It’s no secret that video content is becoming a major component of any good content marketing campaign.

As of 2021, Wyzowl reports that users spend an average of 18 hours a week watching video content across different platforms and, specifically, shorter videos.

This is hardly surprising given the rapid rise of TikTok.

But if you’re not using this kind of content, now is the time to start thinking about it.

Luxury Italian fashion house Gucci is an excellent example of making video content work as a retail brand.

Balancing behind-the-scenes content for new collections with famous faces wearing their pieces, Gucci has continued to adapt its marketing strategy to fit the needs of a more video-focused audience.

4. Make Content That’s Actually Entertaining

We all know that the purpose of marketing is to sell more products and win more customers.

But nothing is stopping you from having fun while you’re doing that!

With so much competition and audiences looking for instant gratification, entertaining content should be a top priority for any retail brand.

No one does this better than Aviation Gin.

Leaning heavily on the wit of its owner, actor Ryan Reynolds, the company continually uses humor and satire to entertain their audience.

Their “alternative” to the Peloton Girl ad instantly built connections with viewers, thanks to its cheeky overtones and reminders of why the original went viral for all the wrong reasons.

Creating funny marketing content is one of the most difficult approaches to get right.

When you do, it can really pay off.

5. Highlight What Matters Most To Your Brand

In a consumer environment now highly concerned with environmental and social issues, relatability when it comes to brand values has never been more important.

One of the best performers in this space is DTC beauty brand, Jones Road.

Founded by makeup veteran Bobbi Brown, Jones Road has quickly developed a fan base thanks to its cruelty-free products and body-positive content.

The brand’s TikTok account is a good place to look for inspiration if you’re hoping to promote your company values more clearly.

How-to and tutorial videos serve an educational and informative purpose while weaving narratives around self-empowerment to create emotional connections to their audience.

The brand has also grabbed the attention of non-traditional audiences on its social platforms, thanks to videos aimed at customers over 50 on Instagram and TikTok.

By embracing who they are and what they believe in, Jones Road has quickly become a standout brand for successful video content.

6. Use Influencer Partnerships To Educate Your Audience

Partnering with influencers isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Strategically working with people your customers already follow is a good way to get your brand in front of new audiences and remind existing customers about what you offer.

Wine expert and sommelier Amanda McCrossin’s educational TikTok content has quickly seen her become a go-to resource for wine drinkers around the world.

From her product recommendations for different occasions to winery tours to interest vacationers, this channel is a good example of how to partner with influencers to create interesting, educational content that viewers want to see.

7. Hop On The Audio Bandwagon

For video-first channels like TikTok, or even Instagram Reels, finding the right audio to set the tone for your content is essential.

It doesn’t take much for a soundbite to go viral these days.

Having a catalog of video ideas that you can quickly film and publish is a great way to jump on these trends as soon as they appear.

Trending sounds can come up out of nowhere, so you need to be prepared if you want to use these audio clips in your own videos.

Wine bottle brand Partner in Wine does a great job with this, staying up-to-date with all the popular TikTok and Instagram sounds and posting their own content using these.

This makes them searchable within the apps via these sound clips, opening up a whole new potential audience.

8. Build Trust With Subject Matter Experts

It’s one thing to create educational and informative content for your audience.

But if they’re new to your brand, how do they know they can trust what you’re saying?

One of the best ways to build your credibility here is through partnering with subject matter experts.

This is a tactic commonly used in B2B marketing, but retail B2C brands are also starting to see success here.

Interior design brand Studio McGee uses their frequently-updated blog to provide lifestyle and design tips from both their in-house experts and guests.

Whether it’s organizational tips and tricks or design inspiration, the company clearly shows why they’re the people to trust when it comes to home decor.

9. Jump On Pop Culture Moments

Just like trending sounds, you never know when a moment will arrive in the cultural consciousness, you can use to promote your products.

Take beauty company Lemonhead LA.

Already a hit with notable celebrities like Beyonce and Lady Gaga, the brand cemented its place as the go-to glitter makeup company thanks to its products appearing in season one of the HBO show “Euphoria.”

The brand went on to release a limited-edition collection inspired by the show, which quickly became a hit with their customers.

Bloomingdale’s has also been successful with this approach, creating a pop-up collection of Regency-inspired products following the success of Netflix’s Bridgerton.

There’s no telling what pop culture can inspire, so stay on top of what’s happening.

10. Branch Out Of Your Comfort Zone

When you’re working with a limited marketing budget, trying out new platforms or channels is a risky move.

For the most successful brands, though, it can really be worth it.

Whether starting a new social media account or embracing an entirely different content format, experimenting with something a little different can quickly put you ahead of your competitors.

Trader Joe’s gave podcasting a go in 2018, expecting to run a five-part series to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at the brand and its story.

You may not think many people would be interested in an audio deep-dive into a grocery store.

But the podcast became so successful that they’re continuing to put out new episodes to this day.

Thinking outside the box is the tell-tale sign of a great marketer.

But don’t forget to do your research before you pitch any big strategy shifts like this.

11. Think Beyond Single-Platform Silos

With technology so firmly integrated into our daily lives, retail experiences are no longer strictly online or offline experiences.

Customers want and need an omnichannel experience, taking them from their phones to the store and back again.

Plenty of studies have shown the benefits of omnichannel marketing, from greater customer reach and satisfaction to higher profits across all company sectors.

Target is one of the best for this type of marketing, foregoing their individual channel focus and thinking across multiple platforms.

One of their most successful partnerships recently has been with Pinterest, specifically the Pinterest Lens feature.

Within the Pinterest app, users can take a photo on their smartphone of products they like and the Target app will show them similar products in their own collections.

While your retail brand may not have the budget and customer reach of a multi-billion dollar company like Target, the same idea still applies.

Instead of creating content strategies solely around one marketing platform, think about how you can integrate all of your efforts to provide a memorable and unique experience for your customers.

In Conclusion

There are hundreds of possible options for creating engaging marketing content.

(And we’re certainly not advocating that you try all these at once!)

But with some strategic thinking, your brand can make any of these trends a success.

Promoting your retail brand effectively through content marketing is possible, so if you feel inspired, it’s time to start working on your new content marketing plan.

If you are interested in original article by Rachel Vandernick you can find it here

Turn to Blogs for Design Inspiration Online

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Finding good web design inspiration online can occasionally feel like you are panning for gold. Regardless of what your personal interest might be when it comes to design, you need to make sure that you have a source that always offers something interesting. Editor X is one such design blog, committed to offering inspiration to businesses, web designers, and any other interested parties who might be out there. Here are some of the reasons why this is such a good site to follow.

A Range of Blogs

Editor X accepts creators from all over the world and in a variety of industries. This means that you are never going to run out of web design inspiration. Regardless of the industry where you might operate, you could find a website that is exactly what you wish to emulate. This website could even be for a completely different sector, and yet there will be design elements that suit you.

After all, you might want to create a website for your brand that is very unlike anything else that you might see in your chosen industry. How do you do this if not by looking into designs from others? Editor X allows you to browse a wide variety of different options quickly and easily so you are able to quickly home in on what you want to see. Inspiration can come from anywhere, after all, and so it is vital that you give yourself to draw it from sources you would never have thought to look at.

Filters by Choice

Of course, you do need to think a little about what you want to see. Having the full library in front of you can be a little overwhelming, so you need to make sure that you are able to cut it down to view precisely what it is that you want to see. Though you might be willing to view a wide range of aesthetic inspirations, there could be functional preferences or needs within that you might have to accommodate.

After all, there are some functions that some companies will need to support on their site. There is no point in designing a site that will not be able to deliver this functionality and then trying to add it on the side where you can. It might make for a site that is clunky and difficult to use both as a customer and a back-end user.

There might be some key areas that you need to include in your site such as custom menus or an online shop. It is important to build a site where these are native and easy to use, and where you can easily add additional tools and plugins when needed. Though a site can appear fluid when viewing it as a user, many know that the building blocks behind it also need to be neat and tidy. There are some things that cannot be ignored here.

Creating a Community

An online space like Editor X is much more than a mere library to explore – it is also an online community that web designers will be able to interact with and draw inspiration from in greater detail. This is something that is always incredibly important for companies and individuals of all levels. Just as you might promote your business on social media, so might you decide to look into an online community through some of the channels that you turn to for inspiration.

With Editor X, you get the chance to submit your site and potentially get it listed on the page. You can also enter the marketplace to find support within a certain area of your sector. Online communities such as these are often designed to uplift just as much as they are designed to offer inspiration. By choosing to engage with such communities, you might be able to create a much finer site than you initially hoped for.

Find the Blogs to Suit You

Of course, you need to make sure that you draw inspiration from many different niches in your quest for the perfect website. Editor X is a great resource to turn to as it has many different examples all in the one reliable platform. However, you need to ensure that you take in as many pieces of inspiration as you can.

It could be as simple as checking out some of the responsive sites available through the Editor X design blog, or you might decide that you want to make this just one of the blogs that you follow. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you have a clear reason for implementing certain design tactics from blogs that inspire you. In doing so, you will hopefully be able to pick up the reasoning and purpose for each post you create, giving you confidence in making decisions for your own site.

If you are interested in original article by Ankit Kumar you can find it here

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A Beginner’s Guide to Using Breadcrumb Navigation in Web Design

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Navigation plays a critical role in the success of a website design, impacting how easily visitors find the information they’re looking for, and overall ease-of-use. These days, there are many types of website navigation to suit your site’s aesthetic and practical needs—from traditional horizontal menus, to hamburger icons (which are a favorite on great mobile websites), lightbox menus, and more.

Today we’re not going to talk about a navigation menu per say, but rather a unique and handy UX design element that many brands, businesses and personal website owners are implementing onto their websites: breadcrumbs.

Breadcrumb navigation, when paired with an organized and visually appealing website menu, can boost the effectiveness of your design by guiding visitors through your online content. In this article, we’ll discuss what breadcrumb navigation is, in what cases it will benefit a website and the best practices for adding them to your own design.

What is breadcrumb navigation?

Breadcrumb navigation is a secondary navigation located at the top of a web page, just beneath the header. Similar to the breadcrumbs Hansel and Gretel used in the fairy tale, this digital trail of text links helps users find their bearings, retrace their steps, and identify shortcuts.

When should you add breadcrumbs to your site?

When you create a website, you should always include primary navigation for top-level pages and categories, usually in the header.

Even if you build a single-page site, primary navigation links and website menus acquaint visitors with your site’s content—enabling them to find sections. You don’t always need breadcrumb navigation, but it can benefit your user experience.

You may add breadcrumb navigation to your website for these common reasons:

Your navigation is deeper than two layers

If you can fit all categories and sub-categories into the main navigation without overcrowding, then you don’t need a breadcrumb navigation. Think of breadcrumbs as a space to handle deeper navigation layers—such as sub-categories, product filters and so on.

You launch a site with major growth potential

Even if you don’t launch your website with much content, you’ll likely add more over time. If create one of these sites, you should build breadcrumbs in right from the start:

  • eCommerce
  • Content (e.g. blogs, magazines, newspapers)
  • SaaS
  • Any site including a support center or knowledge base

Your pages don’t have sidebar links or an internal linking system

If you share relevant links or categories on your internal pages, then you might not want to take up additional space with a breadcrumb navigation. For instance, your blog readers may find it valuable to find top-level categories on the sidebar dropdown menu. They also may simply like to see relevant links at the end of articles.

Types of breadcrumb navigation (with examples)

Websites generally use two types of breadcrumb navigations in UX design:

01. Location-based breadcrumbs

Also known as hierarchy-based breadcrumbs, location-based breadcrumbs display a link trail, starting with the home page and ending at the current location.

Take a look at this breadcrumb navigation example from Target:

example of breadcrumb navigation on target website
example of breadcrumb navigation on target website

The structure goes like this:

Target (home) / Shoes (category) / Kids’ Shoes (sub-category/current page)

The breadcrumbs let the visitor know that they’re looking at the Kids’ Shoes search results page and include the number of results (i.e. 828). While not a necessary detail, it’s a useful touch for large sites like Target.

Beyond eCommerce sites, sites with varied content can use this breadcrumb structure, too. Here’s an example from IKEA’s “Inspiration” area:

image screenshot of ikea website using breadcrumb navigation
image screenshot of ikea website using breadcrumb navigation

The last item differs between these two structures: Target shows the search results page category while IKEA displays the current page name:

Home > Inspiration > A stately look for any era

The general structure is more or less the same. As users look from left to right, the categories narrow. This breadcrumb navigation style enables users to navigate or backtrack to upper level categories rather than start a search from scratch.

Visitors may find it helpful to see the categories and related sub-categories laid out this way. This breadcrumb navigation also gives them a better sense of the website’s offerings, inspiring them to go down a different path if their initial search wasn’t fruitful.

2. Attribute-based breadcrumbs

An attribute-based breadcrumb trail enables users to remove filters if the current results don’t give them the right products. This navigation still provides context as to the user’s site location and their current page view, but isn’t usually designed as a series of hierarchical links.

You commonly see these breadcrumbs laid out like this example on the Gaiam website:

screenshot image of breadcrumb navigation on yoga website
screenshot image of breadcrumb navigation on yoga website

This breadcrumb navigation contains no links. Instead, we see the top-level category “YOGA MATS” (which is unlinked) and with the activated filters:

  • Standard
  • 5MM
  • Latex-free
  • 4-star & up

Bed, Bath & Beyond does something similar with its breadcrumbs:

screenshot of breadcrumb navigation on bed bath and beyond website
screenshot of breadcrumb navigation on bed bath and beyond website

The retailer separates its breadcrumb navigation from its filter breadcrumbs. The breadcrumb navigation has two links at the top:

SHOP BY ROOM | BEDROOM

The filter breadcrumbs says “Sleep – Product Type: Comfort Set” and then lays out the activated filters in dismissible blocks beside it:

  • In Stock
  • Comforter Set
  • Queen

History-based breadcrumbs

There’s technically a third breadcrumb navigation type based on the user’s current session path: History-based breadcrumbs.

Websites don’t commonly use them as they are rarely practical. Customers likely compare various products when shopping at the retailer’s eCommerce store. First, they look at one brand’s product, then the same brand’s product in a different size or color. Then they’ll explore other brands.

In that one session, they might view 10 or more types of an individual product. If the site used a history-based breadcrumb navigation, it would be a mess. So, unless your users tend to take a linear path, a history-based navigation doesn’t make sense. It won’t help the users and it’ll look messy, too.

Benefits of using a breadcrumb navigation

In the Hansel and Gretel story, breadcrumbs were useful only to them, whereas with digital breadcrumbs—the website’s visitors and the brand reap the benefits:

Enhanced website usability

Even if you build a website with familiar patterns and intuitive interactions, the content mass and site complexity could still present an obstacle to some users. For this reason, you can commonly find breadcrumb navigation on websites these days.

Breadcrumb navigation enables you to design a lean website menu, moving the extra navigational details to the top of each web page. This small website component improves your users’ experience in big ways:

  • Make backtracking easier
  • Keep users from getting lost or overwhelmed
  • Introduce users to new sub-categories
  • Help them more clearly understand everything your brand does

As constrained space affects the user experience, breadcrumb navigation also improves mobile usability.

Reduced bounce rate

Breadcrumbs create a pain free navigation-experience as visitors don’t have to rely on the main navigation and their browser’s “Back” button. It also gives users tools to easily discover more content. When done right, it should result in improved visitors’ time-on-page metrics and decreased bounce rates.

Improve search ranking

Breadcrumbs help organize websites with lots of content or inventory. This organization makes it easier for search engines to learn a website’s purpose, index its content and recommend it for relevant searches.

Google even shows off a website’s breadcrumb navigation in search results.

Tips for using a breadcrumb navigation

In addition to adhering to website navigation tips, keep these other breadcrumb navigation creation tips in mind:

1. Put the breadcrumbs in the top-left corner

While it’s not a hard rule, a designer usually places breadcrumb navigation on a website’s top-left corner as familiar users instinctively look for them there. Plus, this spot naturally draws new users’ eyes.

2. Signify clickable text

When you design hyperlinks for your web pages, don’t set them up to look like plain text as it makes it nearly-impossible for visitors to recognize clickable text.

While users might assume they can click breadcrumbs, distinguish the non-clickable breadcrumb text from the clickable. CVS does this:

image of cvs website using breadcrumb navigation for eye care shopping
image of cvs website using breadcrumb navigation for eye care shopping

With Home, Shop, Personal Care, and Eye Care underlined, CVS shoppers will know which links will take them somewhere else. Also, with the final breadcrumb “Contact Solution” not underlined, they know they’re on this page and not a sub-category.

3. Use separators between breadcrumbs

Because a breadcrumbs trail is small, you can’t rely upon white space to make it clear where one breadcrumb begins and where one ends. Therefore, place a symbol in between each link.

Websites commonly use these two types:

The greater-than symbol (>) that Dollar Shave Club uses:

screenshot of dollar shave club website using breadcrumb navigation
screenshot of dollar shave club website using breadcrumb navigation

The forward-slash (/) that Chewy uses:

screenshot of chewy website using breadcrumb navigation
screenshot of chewy website using breadcrumb navigation

While you’ll generally find these two styles on websites, any symbol that denotes hierarchy or a relationship (like an arrowhead) works. You might also add a brand-specific symbol, if you have one.

4. Be mindful of size

Breadcrumb navigation shouldn’t take up too much space on your web page. In fact, most designers make their breadcrumbs a pixel or two smaller than the rest of the on-page text so that it doesn’t distract from the main content.

That said, take note of the size. You want a font large enough for every visitor to read but not too big that it makes the breadcrumb trail too long. It should only take up a single line on the page.

5. Deal with breadcrumbs differently on mobile

A long breadcrumb trail won’t fit on a smartphone screen. And you don’t want to force your mobile breadcrumbs to wrap as it will push the main content down further on the page and frustrate the user.

You can have a user interface that remains clutter-free even while providing visitors a helpful secondary navigation system by limiting the number of default breadcrumb links on a mobile website, and adapting your design to fit a smaller screen.

If you are interested in original article by Jenna Romano you can find it here

link-building-results

How Long Does It Take To See Results From Link Building?

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We all want fast link building results. Learn the factors that impact link building and when to expect positive changes.

It’s almost a standard question: SEO clients want to know how quickly they’ll see results from link-building efforts.

They want positive change as soon as possible and it makes sense – a lot of time, work, and money go into building quality links.

Realistically, though, it can take 3 to 12 months to see any change in your site’s visibility.

It’s helpful to consider a few important factors that influence the impact velocity of link building, too.

Let’s look at these factors and a few examples of how fast link building brings results in different niches.

6 Aspects That Influence The Effectiveness Of Link Building

In my experience building links for different companies, I’ve noticed these factors, but results will vary depending on individual cases.

Let’s break down these factors influencing link-building effectiveness in more detail.

1. The Authority Of A Site

Domain ranking (DR) is a metric that includes how many backlinks a website has received from trusted resources. Usually, the higher the DR, the higher the website’s trust score. 

You can check your site’s DR with tools such as Ahrefs, Semrush, MOZ, and Majestic.

Sites that initially had a good DR will see the results faster.

The lower the website’s DR, the longer you’ll wait for the links built to bring positive changes. But it also depends on the niche.

Typically, the DR should be no less than 60 for B2B brands and 30 for B2C companies. If your domain ranking is lower, you’ll have to wait longer for results.

Essentially, a website with good online authority may get more chances to rank even better.

2. Positive And Negative Traffic Trends

Simply put, the positive trend speeds up the effects of a link-building campaign, while the negative can hinder the results in the short run.

Google tracks the dynamics and gives preference to those resources that show a stable growth trend.

If a website has a negative traffic trend, it can be challenging to return to the initial point of growth because of reasons that impacted the website’s relevance and trust score.

3. The Brand’s Popularity

One of the crucial factors in link building is whether a website you’re getting a link from is an authoritative brand or not.

A helpful indicator of this would be the percentage of branded traffic a given website receives.

You can check this with tools such as Semrush.

4. Types Of Pages

Typically, the links built to content pages bring positive results faster than commercial pages.

In general, commercial pages target only a handful of keywords, substantially lowering your chances for success.

Also, remember that Google search gives preferences to content pages.

5. Level Of Competition In A Niche

In B2B, for instance, link building is popular, so choosing just this strategy alone to grow your website may not be enough. You have to combine it with producing high-quality content and developing your brand.

But if you come from B2C, link building can become your competitive advantage.

6. Monthly And Overall Link Building Budget

The average cost per link across the industry varies. For example, Ahrefs found that it’s around $350 while Siege estimates about $500.

However, the price per link depends on how authoritative a particular site is. For instance, a link on a site with a domain rating by Ahrefs of 50 and organic traffic of 2,000 per month is not equal to a link from a website with a DR of 80 and organic traffic over 100,000.

So, link-building agencies often set different pricing based on a site’s domain rating and organic traffic.

Based on this, a good starting point might include $3,000 monthly expenses and a $30,000 overall budget.

However, you may need to invest at least $10,000 a month in some niches to start seeing the results.

And, it’s always good to remain realistic about your individual situation and focus on targeting the right keywords rather than trying your luck and failing.

Which factor is the most crucial?

All of them play a significant role to a certain extent.

However, building links on a brand website that sells a real product or service is important.

These websites have the highest growth potential, and the impact of building links to these sites will only grow over time.

5 Examples Of How Link Building Works In Different Niches

Alright, we’ve discussed factors that can speed up or slow down link-building campaign results.

But to avoid making empty claims, let’s look at a few link-building campaigns and how fast they managed to show positive changes.

The first example is a real challenge many people might consider a lost cause.

This site had zero organic traffic, no authority, no branded traffic, and came from a very competitive niche – digital marketing.

So, it’s not surprising that the website didn’t show any changes in organic traffic in the first eight months, although the number of keywords the website ranked for in SERPs grew a bit.

Then, more tangible results appeared after close to 12 months of work.  The website acquired 250+ links with an overall budget of $100,000.

Here’s what this site’s trend looks like now. The number of referring domains grew gradually between January 2021 and January 2022.

organic traffic results ahrefsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

The graph below shows when the organic traffic to this website started growing compared to when it started building links – almost 10 months later.

organic traffic growth ahrefs resultsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

As of now, according to Ahrefs, the organic traffic to this brand’s website is 3,000.

However, Google Search Console shows it even higher.

Ahrefs organic traffic increaseScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

This website took a little over a year to show results from link-building efforts.

The next example is a B2C brand in the niche of home improvement.

The company built 58 links to its website with an overall budget of less than $20,000.

The link-building efforts started in December 2021.

link building results ahrefs Screenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Significant changes in organic traffic started showing in less than five months after the brand launched its link-building campaign.

You can see how the traffic grew in the graph below.

growth graph from ahrefs link building effortsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Here are a couple more cases to illustrate how link-building results appear for B2B vs. B2C.

This is a new B2B brand’s website with absolutely no traffic. This website acquired 40 links for a $15,000 overall budget and ranked by search terms delivering traffic worth $1,600.

ahrefs link building effortsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

The first impact of link-building efforts appeared three months after – approximately from November 2021 to December 2021.

all time results via ahrefsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

It’s worth mentioning that it is an absolutely new brand.

But would the link-building results come faster if the brand was already well-known?

Yes. This company has been around a while, with a website getting tons of traffic and links. It’s also from a competitive niche of SEO tools.

In this case, the site had a slight boost with only 27 links to a page that already had some links. So, it’s 27 links against those 40 that the previous website had to build.

As a result, the organic traffic to it doubled after five months.

ahrefs growth for new brand link building strategyScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

This website had to build fewer links, but its effects also came much faster. The link-building campaign started in August 2021, and you can see the first results in October 2021.

Another example is a new B2C brand selling supplements in the self-care niche.

It built over 50 links to its site with an overall $12,000 budget.

ahrefs backlink profile Screenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

As for the results, the link-building campaign started close to the end of 2021, and the first changes in organic traffic appeared after two to three months.

link building for B2B brand resultsScreenshot from Ahrefs, May 2022

Sometimes the deliverability of link-building campaigns is faster for B2C brands, proving that link building in this niche is far less competitive than in B2B.

Nevertheless, if you look at all the examples, you’ll see that the time when a company starts seeing its first tangible results depends on each case.

Over To You

In most cases, results from link-building efforts start showing up within three to 12 months.

However, it still depends on a few crucial factors.

  • The site’s authority.
  • Positive and negative traffic trends.
  • The brand’s popularity.
  • Types of pages providing the links.
  • Level of competition in a niche.
  • Your link-building budget.

Also, build links on sites that represent trustworthy brands. This way, positive changes to your site’s performance will continue.

If you are interested in original article by Alexandra Tachalova you can find it here