White Paper. The Anatomy of Website Best Practices Part 2: Best Practices and Emerging Marketing Trends

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1 White Paper Best Practices and Emerging Marketing Trends The Anatomy of Website Best Practices Part 2: Content Marketing and Tracking. Websites have evolved substantially in the last 3 years. Learn what content strategies and & tracking elements will separate your business from the fray and maximize your investment.

2 Your website is more than a first impression and the purpose is to prompt conversion from casual shopper to interested buyer. It s all about getting found and generating leads; businesses that understand this are winning. At its core, the magic of the web is that it exposes you to information that simplifies decision-making. Finding what you are looking for may be just the beginning. It can be a lead, an idea, or an expectation but it likely started with a very simple query. For better or worse, once you succeed in attracting a visitor to your site, they are yours to lose. Dynamic Content Marketing Strategy Websites originally intended to be brochures housed on the Internet - are no longer static. Websites are a tool for engagement and commence conversations. Your website is alive and has a personality all its own and that personality is the collective embodiment of all of the best in your business. Inbound Marketing Google and other search engines value quality and quantity. Until recently, blogs were almost exclusively tangential content that was updated once a month (if not less frequently) and then forgotten forever. Enter content marketing (otherwise known as inbound marketing). Content marketing is dynamic and includes articles, newsletters, updates, and social media. Organic ranking, the hierarchy of placement in search, was once thought to be the result of complex back-end strategies and is now almost entirely based on the quality and quantity of the content on a page. If your website was created and left to sit stagnant, it s likely that it will rank poorly in search even if the static, evergreen content adheres to other optimization best practices. Thought Leadership Websites, like academia, function in a publish or perish ecosystem and regular updates are mandatory to maintain relevance. You are an expert and your content is an opportunity to demonstrate your thought leadership. Websites should be curated with expertise from original works to useful shared content. Your website provides your 1

3 business with a platform for promoting a mastery of the field. Ample content not only adds material to your digital portfolio, it helps build your business credibility. Jokes aside, if it s on the Internet, it must be true. Social Integration Integrating the right mix of social media is an effective way to connect with clients and potential clients, promote your services, and demonstrate your thought leadership. Previously, social media had been relegated to a select number of technologically progressive industries. At best, social icons were included on homepages often disabled or linking to outdated content. Today, social media is ubiquitous and cohesion between the website and social media profiles is critical. Twitter, Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn among others, provide businesses with ample opportunities to build their brand awareness, communicate their core message, and engage with current and potential customers in real time. Maintaining a strong social presence can promote a higher organic ranking and can be used as channels for your thought leadership content to flood the Web. Developing a dynamic content marketing strategy requires planning, balancing, and pivoting. These seven principles will position you for flawless execution. 1. Organize content in an editorial calendar 2. Write to your audience 3. Devise a strategy for leading readers to your content 4. Integrate video, graphics, and written material 5. Use content to promote a dialogue 6. Commit to giving away useful content 7. React appropriately to questions, responses, and recommendations across social media channels For more on dynamic content marketing strategies, check out our whitepaper SEO is Dead, Long Live SEO. Integrated Tracking Mechanisms Analytics and tracking mechanisms are the web equivalent of show me the money! In the last few years, tracking behavior has burgeoned into a multi-billion dollar industry. The tools for tracking visitors, clicks, time spent on your site, and shares are constantly evolving. One of the greatest advantages to business is how easy it is for users to identify and analyze these huge volumes of information. 2

4 Marketing Automation Known as marketing automation tools, these instruments can help businesses not only track their web visitors, but helps them engage these visitors as leads. Google Analytics has been around for a while, but the field of lead tracking has exploded recently and the level of detail available on a given visitor to their site can seem downright Orwellian. Websites previously just lived on the Internet and metrics amounted to volume of sales. With Google Analytics came opportunities for tracking key statistics: the number of visitors, how long those visitors stay, and whether or not they signed up for your newsletter or submitted their information by way of the contact form. Lead capture is the catalyst for conversion from a casual shopper to an interested buyer. Download this! Webinar on that! Free infographic! Capture visitors attention (and their contact information) by producing valuable content, free to anyone who provides their address (see what we did there?). Now, there are a variety of softwares that allow for more finely detailed tracking and lead management. Pardot, Marketo, Hubspot, and Act-On are a few of the major players. All of which offer lead generation tools, lead management, detailed analytics, marketing, and social networking. These softwares go further and enable the scoring of visitors according to a variety of other metrics. According to MarketingSherpa, lead scoring is the process of adding and subtracting points to a lead s value over time based on various lead attributes or demographics, and behaviors. 1 These systems are capable of identifying when a visitor arrived on your site, what pages were viewed, how long they stayed on each page, how interested they are in whatever it is your business offers, and the requisite contact information. This is the digital equivalent of serving up new business on a silver platter Results in Real Time Tracking analytics in real time has serious benefits. To start, integrated analytics and marketing automation promotes instant visitor engagement. You have all of the information you need to reach out to the visitors to your site, commence a conversation, and launch into the sales process. Analytics helps businesses do more of what works. You can quit sinking time and money into what isn t working and reinvest in the initiatives that are generating positive results. If your weekly blog post is getting a measly couple of clicks, meanwhile videos of training sessions are watched in their entirety on a daily basis, it might be time to rethink your content marketing strategy. Analytics helps maximize the return on your marketing investment. Raven Tools and Clicky offer a huge variety metrics tracking options to help ensure that you have all for the information you need to make decisions that impact your site. Bare Minimum: You may be able to get by with a bare minimum when it comes to analytics if you aren t currently engaging in any inbound marketing activities: 1. Google Analytics 2. Conversion metrics and goals 3. Monthly reporting that covers clicks, bounces, and time spent on each page 3

5 Taking it up a notch: If you re engaging in any kind of inbound marketing and you re not taking advantage of the myriad opportunities to track and measure your investment, you re going to fast lose money and waste valuable time. 1. Google Analytics 2. Conversion metrics and goals 3. Weekly reporting that covers clicks, bounces, time spent on each page, heat maps, cursor pathways, repeat visitors, mobile stats, and any other data you can get your hands on 4. Lead capture mechanisms 5. Contingency plan to address issues like falling visitors, stagnant clicks, or low levels of engagement The Anatomy of a Website That Works Valuable content helps attract visitors while seamlessly integrated analytics define and measure outcomes. Inbound marketing, thought leadership, and social media integration make for a dynamic content strategy. Editorial calendars, audience dialogue, and responsiveness promote engagement. Developing a style of writing and content that appeals to your audience, as well as graphics and video that serve up premium content without a cost promote the company s value to both existing and potential clients. Marketing automation enables advanced engagement and lead tracking, while analytics provide results in real time. At the very least, analytics provides a glimpse of a websites overall performance while additional metrics can help support a more robust inbound marketing strategy. If you have enjoyed this white paper, please see The Anatomy of Website Best Practices Part 1 to learn more about website design and functionality best practices. 1 Act-On Lead Scoring Retrieved from address 4

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