Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VALENCIA – Eddie Bauer is closing its Westfield Valencia Town Center store as a national boutique chain, Buckle, prepares to move in with its trendy jeans, shirts and accessories. Eddie Bauer, a retailer known for classic, outdoor-inspired clothing, will shut its doors at the Town Center on Jan. 25 after nearly 12 years in Valencia. Buckle, carrying casual wear including Lucky Brand Jeans and the Roxy brand, is slated to open at the vacant corner storefront in spring, said Lindsay Lebby, the mall’s marketing director. Officials with Buckle, based in Kearney, Neb., did not return calls for comment. According to the retailer’s Web site and recent Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the company was founded in 1948 and operates 341 stores in the United States, including 11 in California. Lebby said this would be the company’s first store in the Los Angeles area. A spokeswoman for Redmond, Wash.-based Eddie Bauer said the decision to shutter the Valencia store was made as part of a regular review of business. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “It’s part of our normal review process,” said Lisa Erickson, spokeswoman for Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. “We look at a number of factors, ranging from terms of the lease (and) sales to location.” Signs at the Town Center store referred shoppers to the retailer’s Simi Valley Town Center location, which opened in October. Eddie Bauer also has stores in the Glendale Galleria and Westfield Shoppingtown Santa Anita in Arcadia. The chain, which opened its first store in Seattle in 1920, has been reorganizing and revitalizing its brand since emerging last year as an independent company from the bankruptcy of its parent, Spiegel Inc. Erickson said the closing was unrelated to the bankruptcy, which shuttered 88 stores. According to an SEC filing last month in which the Eddie Bauer Holdings proposed a stock offering on the Nasdaq exchange, the company announced plans to close and add about 25 stores in 2006. “This is about looking at this on an individual basis and how it fits with the larger real estate portfolio and making the determination to be in the best location for our business and our customers,” Erickson said. “This does not signal Eddie Bauer getting out of the retail business.”
If you’ve read even a little about search engine optimization (SEO), you probably know that one of the single most important factors used to determine your search ranking is the number and “power” of other pages that link to yours. The more links the better, and the more “powerful” those links, the better. Much of SEO is centered around getting lots of good links in to your website. their control the anchor text. As such, this gives Google an external point of validation around the site content of the external site. Giving the site a link is a “vote” for that site – and the anchor text you use is a “contextual vote” that helps Google reaffirm the theme of that website. Why And How You Should Give Outbound Links you Google Loves Links: As we already know, links make the (Internet) world go round. Without links, the Internet doesn’t make much sense. Links are also the cornerstone of Google’s PageRank algorithm. If you haven’t done so already, I’d suggest taking a peek at “ Right way: We’ve got a previous article on SB2 that talks about how to how you should provide links out to others. out ”. So, it would stand to reason that since links are so important to Google, it would encourage people to create links (and conversely, discourage websites from not having any links out at all). The argument is that Google incents behavior that helps it deliver better results to its users. Nothing is more important than links between related websites to make this happen. So, I would argue that if your website is overly frugal with outbound links, Google doesn’t like it as much as if you had at least a few strategic links that helps Google help its users. My advice: Don’t try to be an island – share some link love. The Importance Of Google PageRank much Link Building search rankings, it will help with your own search engine optimization efforts as well. And, as long as you’re going to go to the trouble of linking out, take an extra minute and make sure you do it the right way by using the right anchor text for the link. The sites that you link to will be appreciative and it helps the right circulation of positive search engine karma. to is an important factor in training Google so it can establish context. better (and right) way to do this: The second way is much better than the first for multiple reasons. First, the link is easier for readers to click on (and know that it’s a link). But, more important is the fact that we now have the anchor text as “improve your organic search results on Google”. When the search engine spiders “see” this link, they factor in the anchor text when determining what the target page is about. The reason that the anchor text is important (vs. the page title that the original article itself has) is that generally when you are linking to external (third-party) sites, Training Google Via Links: In addition to helping Google out by powering it’s PageRank algorithm, links are also a great “signal” for you to send to Google as to what topics your site is related to. As you might suspect, if you link out to an interesting article or two on a key topic of interest to your business, Google uses this as one more way to “figure out” what your site is about. So, in addition to whatever content you have on your page, the content you link Linking The Topics: But, that’s not what this article is about. This one’s about why and In summary, I strongly advocate making sure that you provide links out to related websites to yours. It not only helps others by helping them improve to read that article. here Right Way: When providing links out to other sites, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Let’s first take a look at the wrong (but unfortunately very common) way that people link. Though none of this should be particularly controversial, if you disagree with any of these points or have some additional thoughts to share, please leave them in the comments. I’m also happy to answer any questions too. . See what I did there. The word “here” is what is known as the “anchor text” for the link. It is critically important to the search engines when they look at links. By just making the word “here” a hyperlink, I’m giving Google very little help in terms of hints as to what I think the page I’m linking to is about. Instead, here is a improve your organic search results on Google Wrong way: We’ve got a previous article on SB2 that talks about how to improve your organic search results on Google. You can click Originally published Jan 2, 2007 4:29:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Internet marketing strategy Website Redesign Analyzing Learn how to redesign your website with an internet marketing strategy in mind with Mike Volpe, HubSpot’s VP of Marketing. Topics: Free Webinar: Website Redesign for 2010 Keywords determine your ranking within search engines. Be sure that your keywords correspond with your Download the webinar greatly simplify your marketing program Record All Incoming Links to Your Current Website. It’s very important to examine what assets you currently have and make sure that any incoming links aren’t broken once you make changes to your website. This is very important in order to avoid the dreaded 404 error page for people finding your site through Google and other robots. Define your Strategic Goals. in the New Year, keep in mind that a grab their attention Choose Keywords Carefully . . Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . Test your content with customers along the way to be sure it is useful, intersting and makes sense. If you’re not blogging, consider adding a blog to your website offering as it could Make Sure You Have Content Creation on the Brain. ? What is memorable enough about your website that you will capture the repeat visitor? just to keep up with Joneses and learn what users currently experience on your site. Try to create a list top three reasons why customers visit your site so you can address those needs with your redesign. attract people to your site and learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine. Carefully Consider Your Theme and Your “Look and Feel”. – involves changing and enhancing several components of your website including changing navigation structure, adding new content and functionality, in addition to design modifications. Your visual presence on the web should always accurately reflect your company’s image and personality, as well as be consistent with any print or offline collateral your organization may utilize. If you’re considering redesigning your company’s website in 2010, here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re on the right track: website redesign project target audience’s informational needs People come to your site for content. So, make sure all of your content is clear, up-to-date, accurate, easy to locate and well-written. Be sure to include more than just your company information – provide articles, blog posts, fresh news links, and other information that will Investigate What Your Current Site Visitors Are Doing. Never jump into a website redesign Your theme and “look and feel” will communicate vibes to visitors. Additionally, remember that your “look and feel” should be consistent throughout all collateral both online and offline. . Document the purpose and quantifiable goals for your redesign. It is essential that you are able to articulate your reasons and goals before you can go any further. photo by in order to get the most out of it. Your company’s website is without a doubt one of its most important assets. Your 2010 website redesign must be done in the context of a greater website redesign vision web traffic data Define Your Target Audience. Before you embark on recreating your Get into their shoes and think like they think. What are their needs? What are their interests? What will Originally published Jan 11, 2010 1:32:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 kharied
, ran into a technical glitch that priced everything on the site at $49.95 or under for several hours on Sunday morning. Items that ranged up to thousands of dollars could be bought at $49.95. over the weekend that cost them $1.6 million but ultimately used the blunder to boost their brand image. honored popular shoe site Webinar – PR 2.0 for Marketers: Why Social Media Participation Matters What can marketers and business owners learn from this? of building honest relationships with their customers, Zappos.com held up their end of their promise to deliver phenomenal service. Instead of allowing the media to criticize the mistake, they used the press to display their commitment to consumers. The free publicity helped generate buzz for Zappos, secured its reputation for stellar customer service, and greatly increased the reach of 6pm.com across the web. that embraces exceptional customer service and successful use of social media, made an to learn how inbound marketing and PR can be combined for results. stated, “While we’re sure this was a great deal for customers, it was inadvertent, and we took a big loss (over $1.6 million – ouch) selling so many items so far under cost. However, it was our mistake. We will be honoring all purchases that took place on 6pm.com during our mess up.” When Zappos.com realized the mistake, they shut down the site to fix the problem and restore the original prices. But here’s the best part: the company Aaron Magness from Zappos.com Topics: core value expensive mistake Want to learn more about how creating remarkable content can lead to PR coverage and lead generation? Staying consistent with their 6pm.com the prices they mistakenly sold the products at. Originally published May 24, 2010 2:30:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Download the free webinar Zappos.com, the For many businesses, it is important to remember that social media and traditional media can play a huge role in generating buzz for your company and impacting your brand image. Taking advantage of PR, even in bad situations, can help your company shine amongst your competition. By flipping an unfortunate incident on its head, your company will not only gain credibility for admitting its mistake but also receive customer trust for handling the situation in a transparent and honest way. So what happened? Zappos.com’s sister site, Brand Management Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Hologram Publishing Share the Love and author of Trade Show Teacher Twitter feeds social media marketing and the analytics it provides The Tradeshow Coach , before, during, and after a trade show is proving one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your booth and cement the relationships you’ve come there to forge. And when it comes to collecting those all-important leads, social media is second to none. , recommends creating special groups on LinkedIn before your trade show. This way, you can post relevant information about the show, and your customers and prospects can weigh in with their thoughts both during and after the event. Originally published Jul 13, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Drive Traffic, Build Awareness , also believes social media can be an invaluable weapon in a marketer’s trade show arsenal, but she emphasizes that while the means and media to reach trade show attendees is evolving, the fundamentals of producing a successful trade show event remain largely unchanged. “The biggest mistake I see companies, large and small, make when approaching their trade shows,” Friedmann says, “is not setting quantifiable goals for the show.” And that applies to your booth marketing as much as it does your social media marketing, she says. “The business value of Facebook and the other social media is still largely untapped at trade shows,” says Scott Wherley, vice president of global customer insights with , Friedmann says, to help you reach specific goals, such as, “We want to gather 300 leads, do 50 client demos, which, within six months, will lead to five sales worth a total of $10 million.” The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Trade Shows Trade Shows creating valuable, fresh content Linda Musgove, the , one of the world’s largest event organizers. “Some companies are doing it well, but many are not making the most of this opportunity.” , a provider of custom content for companies, large and small. , and the rest of the online universe dominating campaigns coast to coast, trade shows remain firmly rooted in the physical world. Here are some ways you can leverage social media to get the most out of your trade show presence: social media marketing Trade shows are places to meet and greet, schmooze, and hopefully, gather leads by the bucketful. But they are also one of the most competitive battlefields in business. After all, where else are all the competitors in any one sector lined up row after row, one after the other, competing for customers? The opportunities to leverage social media marketing at trade show are only just beginning to blossom. Have you seen some real attention-grabbing uses of social media at recent trade shows? Did you stumble upon a social media trade show nugget that drove prospects to your booth in bunches? Let us know how you’ve seen social media used at a trade show to drive traffic, build relationships, and close the sale. Wherley says manufacturers, for example, are sending out tweets during the show, offering discounts on their products for those who come to their booth within a prescribed time (say, the next 30 minutes). Image credit: As virtual as marketing has become, what with SEO, email marketing, Facebook marketing, This is a guest blog post by Dave Clarke, an award-winning editor and editorial director in the marketing departments of Fortune 500 companies such as Oracle and Symantec. He is currently editorial director for Susan Friedmann, AKA that boosts SEO and creates and sustains awareness. A physical trade show presence and a virtual presence are not mutually exclusive, though; in fact, just the opposite. Ratcheting up your Reed Expositions ThinkGeoEnergy Topics: Friedmann says if one of your objectives for the show is to gather leads—which is the goal for 70-80 percent of companies attending trade shows—quantify that goal. “It’s not enough to say, ‘We want lots of leads.’ If doing demos for prospects is part of the plan, determine ahead of time how many demos you’re targeting. Use your Don’t Forget the Fundamentals Other companies are posting to their blogs several times a day before and during trade shows. In the days and weeks leading up to the show, they are building buzz about the event. During the show, marketers are posting “Special Reports,” updating show attendees from the trade show floor about upcoming presentations and special sessions, and, simultaneously, keeping their blog subscribers who were unable to attend the show in the loop as to what they’re missing—all while
local markets. by more people who are looking for your products and services in local searches. Your argument might be that potential customers can simply go to your corporate website and input their zip code to find the franchise in their area. Yes, but how about saving your prospects a step? their What are some other reasons that every franchisee should have its own website? Establishing a social media presence help your company get found helps you better engage with your local audience, something that is more difficult for your corporate marketing team to do because they just don’t know the local market as well as their franchisees do. Social media also allows the local franchisee to build relationships and loyalty over time with prospects in 1. You Will Get Found More Often Social media is the new word of mouth its own By using a CMS to tailor communications to your local market, you are no longer held hostage to the whims of your webmaster. How awesome is that?! local area franchise. Not convinced? Here are our top three reasons why every franchisee needs Image Credit: The twist is that you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of the second “w” in “www” — the “wide” part. If set up correctly, you will widen the top of your sales funnel by generating traffic you were not previously getting from search engines, blogs, and the social mediasphere. These are people who have never heard of you before but now have the opportunity to find your website if it’s 2. You Can Tailor Communications to Your Local Audience Maintaining your own website on a content management system (CMS) is now easier than its ever been. Content management systems are built so that non-technical people can maintain, update, and edit their own websites. Using a CMS allows for easy editing and the ability to their . . Originally published Aug 9, 2011 5:05:00 PM, updated July 08 2013 optimized correctly SEO regularly add new content Margaret Ornsby Franchise businesses employ over 7 million people in the U.S. At HubSpot, we speak with franchise companies with hundreds of individual franchisees in their networks, but some do not maintain individual websites for their franchisees. This is a problem, because although potential customers can find your corporate website, often these same potential customers would rather receive information tailored from It may seem obvious, but maintaining individual websites for your local franchisees or distributors will 3. You Can Amplify Your Local Reach Using Social Media website and . Many franchises think it’s sufficient to simply maintain a corporate social media profile. But simply having a corporate social media profile is not enough these days. If you want to amplify your franchisees’ reach, each individual franchisee should have a social media presence connected to its individual website as well. There are several reasons why each franchisee should have a social media presence. internet marketing strategy Topics: Inbound Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack and offers to your site. This allows you to create customized information tailored to your local market as opposed to the generic offers often pushed down from corporate.
Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Ecommerce Marketing Originally published Aug 3, 2011 11:10:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Of all the buyer behaviors that can indicate a consumer’s position in the buying cycle , few are as obvious or compelling as an abandoned cart. According to a 2010 Marketing Experiments study, over half (56.2%) of all shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes the checkout process. An optimized e-mail campaign that re-engages consumers after they’ve abandoned a cart has been shown to more than double eCommerce conversions.Here are 5 ways to improve your eCommerce conversion rate by using optimized Abandoned Cart Nurturing: Do the Two-Step: Any conversions are directly affected by the complexity – or “resistance” – in the conversion event. The more information that you ask for and the greater complexity the checkout process, the less visitors will actually convert on any form. This holds equally true for eCommerce. Although we do need to collect critical information such as billing and shipping information in order to complete an order, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the first step in the checkout process. Make the first page ask just for “First name” and “E-mail Address” and use that information to initiate an abandoned cart nurturing campaign if they don’t convert on the second page. Make Your Message Immediate: The longer that you wait to re-engage with a prospect, the less likely they are to recall the informational and emotional justifications that they had for beginning the checkout process to begin with. You should re-engage with a customer that has abandoned a cart within no more than 24 hours. Express Concern: The primary reason behind a customer abandoning a cart is not always the price – nor should it be framed as such in the initial e-mail. In your first e-mail after the customer has abandoned the cart, express concern that a technical or functional error prevented them from completing their order. In many cases, this might actually be the reason the customer abandoned. Many times users simply forget that they started the cart, and need a reminder. You can also use this as an opportunity to emphasize additional competitive advantages, such as your amazing customer service. Offer Incentives: In your second e-mail, include an incentive offer. The same Marketing Experiments study showed that including an incentive to complete the purchase can increase your eCommerce conversion rate by up to 263%. Get Them to Take Another Action: If they’ve abandoned the cart and not reconverted within your first few e-mails, try to reconvert them on an informational offer that engages them with a lead nurturing campaign. Although an abandoned cart may be a very strong indicator of intent, it’s possible that they’re looking for more information about your company or the product before they complete their purchase.There are a number of reasons that a customer can abandon a cart, such as lack or trust in the store, uncertainty in price advantage, feature confusion, shipping concerns, and more. Your automated abandoned cart nurturing campaign should address as many of them as possible. Topics:
Originally published Sep 13, 2011 3:01:00 PM, updated July 28 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Whoever said business content had to be limited to text? Creative content can be fun and effective, and it can take the form of more than just text-based blog articles and ebooks. And there are so many possibilities! Infographics, cartoons, and slideshows can all be great content options. But perhaps one of the most fun and engaging forms of content you can create is video!Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. Video can give marketers a chance to appeal to more visually oriented prospects and customers, and it can also give you a chance to give them a peek into your unique company culture. And did we mention how fun it is? If you’re still not convinced of the power of video, check out some of our own top inbound marketing videos for inspiration … and perhaps a chuckle or two.1. You Oughta Know Inbound MarketingSynopsis: Popular music video about a frustrated outbound marketer who sings her heart out about the horrible life of outbound marketing. Original lyrics sung to Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know.” 2. Link LoveSynopsis: HubSpot’s Rebecca Corliss longs for the inbound links of colleague Rick Burnes, who refuses to link to her website in an emotional love story that comes full circle. 3. “Inbound Marketing” The Movie [Trailer]Synopsis: Anna Darling, a struggling marketer on a mission to bring inbound marketing to Outbound Enterprises, refuses to adhere to her company’s dated and ineffective marketing methods. As she suffers the wrath of her boss and colleagues, her best friend offers encouragement and an office romance fuels her fire.4. Foursquare Cops – Episode 1Synopsis: The first episode in the comedy web series, Foursquare Cops.5. The Adventures of Captain Inbound – Episode 1Synopsis: Greta Get Found, Chris Covert, Annie Analyze, and Captain Inbound work together to defeat the Sultan of Spam in the first episode of the Captain Inbound web series!6. Inbound Marketing RapSynopsis: Inbound marketing music video featuring the SEO Rapper.7. The Marketing Office (Twitter Spoof)Synopsis: HubSpot hasn’t always been fluent in the language of Twitter. It took intensive training sessions led by HubSpot’s social media frontiersman and CMO, Michael Scott … er, Volpe.8. Baby Got LeadsSynopsis: Music video about rapping marketer, Sir Convert-A-Lot and his obsession with lead conversion and inbound marketing. Original lyrics sung to Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back.”9. Dude, Cold Calling Is for LosersSynopsis: Inbound Marketing vs. Outbound Marketing talk about how cold calls and telemarketing don’t work.10. Don’t Let Unicorns Fool YouSynopsis: Vulgar unicorns, who live in a fantasy world, share misleading marketing fantasies in this animated video. Which video did you enjoy the most? Are you incorporating creative content such as video into your marketing efforts? Topics: Video Marketing
Calls to Action Intuition is a powerful and often unexplainable phenomenon of human nature. Using hunches based off of past experience and knowledge, we often believe we can predict another person’s actions or intentions. This cognitive miracle empowers humans to trust their gut feelings and make decisions with little to no objective support. It’s a beautiful thing, but one that often has negative repercussions on your marketing.When it comes to designing landing pages, there is a difficult balance to achieve between making data-driven decisions and using your intuition. Rather than making guesses or assumptions to fuel your landing page’s performance, your success is dependent on trial-and-error. Based off an accumulation of industry-wide trial-and-error findings, marketers have formulated “best practices” for optimizing landing pages. The truth, however, is that these best practices don’t work for everyone. There’s no one size fits all when it comes to landing page design.So if you can’t depend on intuition and you can’t depend on trial-and-error what does that leave you with? How about a combination of both.With a little bit of intuition and a lot a bit of trial-and-error, you can ensure that your landing page design separates industry best practices from the best practices for your specific business. Just when you thought your business was on top of its landing page optimization by following the industry best practices, here is your Trojan Horse of landing page design tactics and their unexpected results:1) Calls-to-ActionThe impact of your call-to-action is dependent on two things: where you place it and how you phrase it. With that being said, let’s first take a look at the importance of where you place it.Despite what best practices say, putting your call-to-action above the fold is not always the answer. For anyone unfamiliar with what above the fold is, it refers to the portion of your website or landing page that is visible without having to scroll down.In recent years, studies were released stating that content placed above the fold attracted 80% of a consumer’s attention. Marketers were right to interpret this as a sign to always place their value proposition above the fold. They were wrong, however, to think that meant their call-to-action always had to be there.The image above illustrates a test where Michael Aagaard of Content Verve yielded a 304% increase in conversions by moving the page’s CTA below the fold. Aagaard speculates that this is the result of a direct correlation between the complexity of a product offering and its location on a landing page.Similar to the way you would handle any situation in life, the complex ones require more time. Instead of forcing your call-to-action on a visitor before they even understand your offer, gradually introduce them to your product/service in a progressive fashion.If your product or service requires a lengthy explanation in order to convey the full scope of its benefits, it is better to put the call-to-action at the bottom of your landing page. That way, you are giving your visitors more time to digest the information before trying to pressure them into taking your intended action.The second factor of a call-to-action that we are going to look at is how you phrase it. One of the most beautiful and frustrating things about the English language is our ability to say the same exact thing at least 10 different ways. Your call-to-action is no different, except that the choice you make out of those 10 different options, even if they all mean the same thing, could make all the difference to your visitors.The image below illustrates the impact that using “Get” vs “Order” made on conversion rates.As you can see, using “Get” in the call-to-action increased conversion rates by 14.79%. Even though both calls-to-action provide the same offer, the way that offer is phrased has a different psychological impact on prospects.Best practices typically suggest using actionable language in your CTA. CTA’s such as “Sign Up”, “Register”, “Download”, and “Order” are the commonly used actionable phrases. The truth is that while “Order” emphasizes what a visitor has to do, “Get” converts better because it emphasizes the benefit the user will receive. This benefit-focused approach is a marketing tactic that should also be incorporated throughout your landing page copy, not just your call-to-action.2) ImagesUsing images on landing pages is a common best practice. The split-test below shows one original landing page and its variation, with the only difference being one has an image and one does not. Can you guess which one performed better?Like most people, if you guessed that Version B won, you are wrong. Version A surprisingly had a 24% increase in submissions without using an image on the page. While the image of the woman above the opt-in form in Version B may have contributed to the overall aesthetics of the page, looks aren’t everything when it comes to conversion.Like everything else on your landing page, your image needs to have a purpose for being there. Not only does the image in Version B scream “stock photo” (even though it isn’t), it pushes the opt-in form further down the page, which as I mentioned in the previous section, is not necessarily always a bad thing, but is something you need to take into consideration depending on the complexity of your product. In this case, it looks like the CTA performed better above the fold. And if you are going to use a generic-looking stock photo, at least use these awesome ones featuring Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco.Instead of adding images just for the sake of doing so, make sure every image on your landing page communicates an aspect of your offer that your copy does not. Let’s take a look at the T-Mobile landing page below.While I don’t think anyone is going to complain about having a picture of Catherine Zeta-Jones on this landing page, the truth is that she has no purpose for being there other than to look good holding a T-Mobile phone. The image provides no real benefit to the visitor and can distract them from the message and intended action that T-Mobile is trying to communicate. While this landing page was most likely effective for converting the millennial demographic, the older, less tech-savvy generation would benefit much more from seeing an image of the phone and its features. One surveyed shopper in particular said, “Zeta-Jones is a very pretty woman…I just wish I could see the buttons.”On the other hand, the image in the landing page below is an example of one that effectively utilizes an image. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it shows a preview of the actual product being advertised and a demonstration of how it’s used. Images don’t even always refer to those of people or your product. The split-test below illustrates the impact that an eTrust image had on form completion rates. Take your guess on which version won before reading the results. Originally published Mar 20, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Just like the previous example, a majority of people got this one wrong. Version B proved to be more effective, with a rise in completion rates of 12.6%. This goes to show that, believe it or not, there are times where security badges can actually hurt your landing page’s performance.What is intended to make your visitors feel safe and secure can sometimes lead to a wrongful association of you asking for money. Since visitors are used to seeing security badges on the check-out pages of websites, putting these on your opt-in form can actually scare them away thinking that you are going to ask for their money next. While frequent web-users typically don’t make this association, not all of your visitors fall into that category; therefore sometimes it is better to save the security badges for later on in your sales funnel, or a different part of your landing page than the opt-in form.3) Landing Page and Ad CopyWith the rise of Google Adwords came the importance of relevancy between ad copy and landing page copy. This correlation impacts both your Quality Score and search engine ranking, but how important is it from the perspective of your visitors? Let’s take a look at the split-test example below.To answer that question, matching your ad copy to your landing page copy is extremely important to your visitors. Even though Version B in the example above has a more compelling headline and clearer sub-header, version A increased leads by 115%.Alone, the header and sub-header copy in Version A are weak. The header does not communicate anything related to the business’s value proposition and sub-header is too vague. What Version A does do well though is tie the landing page in with the PPC ad that drove the user there in the first place.With on average only seven seconds to capture a visitors’ attention, it’s important that you immediately convince your visitors they are in the right place. Version A’s title reassures visitors that they are in the right place and uses a sub-header that matches what was used in the ad copy. While an image of the actual PPC ad used in the test above is not available, the image below shows an example of how your PPC ads should be aligning with your landing page.The better and sooner your landing page complements your ad copy, the better your page is going to convert. This is probably the only time (I hope) you will hear this from a fellow marketer, but when it comes to ad copy and landing page alignment, treat your visitors like dogs.Create a scent trail for them to follow that keeps stringing them along towards your intended action. If you do not immediately assure them they are moving in the right direction towards what they are looking for, they are going to assume they are in the wrong place and start sniffing somewhere else.4) Social ProofThere’s no question about the value of social proof. It creates a bandwagon effect that persuades visitors to take your intended action simply because “everybody else is doing it”. With that being said, take a guess at which variation performed better in the experiment below.If you made the obvious guess, which is the variation on the right––you are wrong. “But I just told you there’s no question about the value of social proof?!” That is, there’s no question about the value of social proof if you are doing it right. Today, we live in an era filled with Facebook pages that boast millions of followers, and the standards for social proof and follower counts is higher than ever. The truth is, sometimes it’s better to have no proof than low proof.Social proof can hinder your landing page goals if it is not up to par with your visitor’s [high] expectations. Failure to meet these expectations typically results in a lack of trust from your visitors. The same applies to a lack of social shares on the content you produce. Fortunately, leaving out social proof is one of the elements of your landing page that won’t hurt your performance. It just won’t help it. If your numbers are relatively low, you can keep your social sharing buttons but simply disable the counter from displaying.5) Navigation BarsA popular best practice is to avoid putting navigation bars on your landing pages. Although they are helpful to implement on your website, when it comes to landing pages they tend to distract and lead visitors away from the intended action. Yet, 84% of landing pages still include navigation bars. So, exactly how detrimental really are they to your landing page? Let’s look at the test below to find out.The only difference in the variations above is that the one on the left has a navigation bar and the one on the right does not. There are no surprises here in terms of which one won. Eliminating the navigation bar means fewer distractions for visitors and the ability to focus on the primary reason they came to this landing page in the first place. What is a surprise, however, is that eliminating the navigation bar increased their conversion rate from 3 to 6%. That may seem like a small number, but in retrospect that is a 100% increase in conversions from one minor change.Simpler is always better when it comes to landing pages. The easier you make it for visitors to focus on their primary objective, the easier it is to convert them into customers.If there is one thing that you should have learned from all of these landing page A/B tests, it’s that you never really know what’s going to happen. Just because those results came out of the split-tests ran above, does not mean your business will have similar success. The more tests you run, the better idea you will get of how your particular audience reacts with the different elements on your landing page. Your business should never have a final destination in mind when it comes to A/B testing. Your landing page could always be better, which is why it’s up to your business to test again, and again, and again.So what else can you do right now to start optimizing conversion rates and begin producing happier customers? Stay ahead of the curve and check out our ebook covering more practices for turning visitors into leads.
Whilst this is still only correlation, the results give us a really strong indication of what length of content is earning more links, social shares, and organic traffic.An area that I’m continuing to explore more is the impact that links and social shares have on organic traffic, and I’ve got some interesting results around links in particular to show later on in this post.The Effect of Title Length on Social SharesThe below chart looks at the impact of blog titles towards how many times they’re shared across both Twitter and Facebook.From analysing the headlines of each blog post on our Marketing Blog, I found positive correlation with headlines between 8-12 words in length for gaining the most Twitter shares (on average). Looking at Facebook, you can see that titles with either 12 or 14 words within them performed the best when it came to acquiring Likes.Headlines consisting of 11 or 14 words in length are shared the most across social media. (Click to Tweet) Ran a number of tests that compared multiple data points against each other to find correlation trends.It’s worth mentioning at this point that the study was purely focused around finding correlation. As a result, this doesn’t offer us any absolute answers on one element of the blog post causing an increase in traffic, links, or social shares. That said, correlation analysis can give a very strong indication of what’s working, even without proving causality.Enough scene-setting; on to the findings!The Anatomy of a Shareable, Linkable & Traffic-Friendly PostThe Effect of Word Count on Organic TrafficThe chart below shows the average volume of traffic generated from organic search to a URL, broken down by the word count of that post. From the data, it’s clear to see that there’s positive correlation between high performing pages within organic search and word counts of over 2,250 words. The sweet spot seems to be 2,250-2,500 words.(Note: Posts with <250 words are likely featuring an infographic or a collection of many images accompanied by very little text.)Articles with a word count between 2,250 and 2,500 earn the most organic traffic. (Click to Tweet) Originally published Sep 16, 2015 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 This data went against what I thought it would say, which I found really interesting. I'm going to look at how this compares against our actual Twitter and Facebook posts as well, but that's going to be a whole study in itself (you'll have to wait for that!).The Specific Words in a Title That Get More TweetsThe next analysis is definitely one of my favourite sets of results and it's based around which words appear within article titles and how this impacts the number of shares they get on Twitter.Within the top row of the chart below, I've added the average number of tweets that a page within the Marketing Blog gets so that you can see a benchmark figure. When you add any number into a title, for example, "25 Ways That Matt's Data Is Awesome" (sorry, I couldn't resist), there is an 18.62% uplift in tweets.When you add "ebook" into the title, the post is shared 8.08% more, whilst "How" added 9.1% more tweets. The two other big ones are "Infographic," which achieves 100.05% more, and "Template," which achieves 114.60% more.Articles with the word "Template" within their title are shared 114% more on Twitter. (Click to Tweet) The Effect of Word Count on Inbound LinksThe final word count analysis is about the correlation between an article's word count and the number of external websites linking to it.Again, there's strong positive correlation towards the content with a larger word count. Articles with a word count over 2,500 earn the most links. (Click to Tweet) Warning: Remember that these are average scores and there are more factors involved in someone tweeting a URL than a single word within the title. That said, the first person to create a blog post titled "38 Infographics That Show How an Ebook Template Will Boost ROI" will get ALL THE TWEETS! (Disclaimer: It's unlikely that you'll get "all the tweets ...")The Topics Earning the Most LinksThe next area that I've looked at is the primary topic of the blog article. This chart shows the correlation between an article written about a specific topic and how many different websites link to the article (on average).The idea behind this would be to understand which topics tend to earn more links. (Note: I removed any topics that had fewer than 10 posts assigned to them to avoid an unfair test.)The results show "A/B testing" articles get linked to the most, but as a note on this particular result, the standard deviation was particularly high amongst URLs in this topic. After "A/B testing," articles written around "calls-to-action," "content marketing," "email marketing," and "design" were most positively correlated with high volumes of linking domains.The most linkable HubSpot Marketing Blog posts are on A/B testing, CTAs, content marketing, email marketing & design. (Click to Tweet) Don't forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack The Effect of Word Count on Social SharesStaying on the theme of word count, I dug into what kind of effect it's having on social shares. Just to clarify, by "social shares" I mean total shares across all major platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest).As you can see, the trend largely supports that of the organic traffic vs. word count chart -- higher word count is correlated with more social shares. (Though the <250-word posts do receive a higher number of social shares than others in the <1,000-word category.) It could also be argued that there is a strong dependence on social shares for organic traffic growth (but that's a whole different discussion). Articles with a word count over 2,500 get shared the most on social media. (Click to Tweet) I've always had a love affair going on with data. Any campaigns that I've worked on in the past have revolved heavily around number crunching and analysis.So when I recently joined HubSpot, I decided to use my love of data to help us understand what our "winning formula" is for content that is heavily shared on social media, earns lots of links, and brings in tons of organic traffic. To say that the results have been interesting would be an understatement. Before I go into what we've found, let me just explain a little more detail around the study itself. So, here's what was done:We extracted each of the URLs of every blog post that we've ever published on the HubSpot Marketing Blog (a total of 6,192 blog posts).From each of the URLs, we extracted:The article titleThe number of words in the titleThe number of words in the articleThe authorThe number of overall viewsThe number of organic search visits (between May 1, 2015 and July 31, 2015)The topic(s) of the articleThe number of external links to that URLThe number of individual domains linking to that URLThe Page Authority scoreThe number of Tweets, Google +1s, Facebook Likes, LinkedIn shares, Pinterest pins, and total social shares The Effect of Anchor Text and Links on Organic Traffic and Social SharesThis last section is one that I was most excited about. The impact of anchor text within SEO is something that's been widely debated for years now. The data that I've been analysing should give some insight into the effects that both anchor text and links are having on search rankings.One thing that I really wanted to bring to light is the importance of links. I've been banging on about the importance of links for a number of years now, in particular the role that anchor text plays in the ranking process. Having an understanding of this can give you an indication of what the "sweet spot" is in terms of number of links required to rank content for competitive keywords.What I wanted to find out in this specific study was:How much of an impact does external exact-match or partial-match anchor text within links have on our content ranking for a specific keyword?How much of an impact are the number of external links that each blog post earns influencing search engine rankings?Whilst this isn't black and white, it gives you a good way of setting objectives to hit within content campaigns.To find this information out, I had to add to the previous analysis. Here's a breakdown of what I did to get these results:To expand on the data that I already had, I filtered down on any URL from the blog that had some level of organic traffic going to it between May 1, 2015 - July 31, 2015. This allowed me to only analyse data on URLs that have some level of visibility within the search engines (resulting in 2,796 articles).Using the new Webmaster Tools API from Google, I gathered the top keyword driving traffic to each of the individual URLs. This helped me quickly see which was the major keyword for each of our blog posts (special thanks to the guys at URL Profiler for enabling me to do this).Gathered all of the external links pointing to each of the URLs on the blog, along with the anchor text being used to link to it. (Note: This crashed Excel SO many times -- there were over 650,000 rows in my spreadsheet.)To make a good comparison, I split up the top 100 blog posts that brought in the most organic search traffic between May 1, 2015 to July 31, 2015 to find trends that appeared in our top performing content vs. those in the rest of the blog posts.Quick Glossary of TermsExternal Links: Hyperlinks coming from web pages outside of our domain (i.e. someone linking to us from their website).Anchor Text: The word or words used to link back to our website. For example, within this sentence, the anchor text would be "sentence."Exact-Match Anchor Text: This is when the anchor text is the exact same as the keyword that you're trying to rank for. For example, let's say we write an article titled, "Why Does Matt Produce the Most Boring-Looking Bar Charts?" and we were targeting the keyword 'bar charts'.An exact-match anchor in this example would be any link that simply links to us with the phrase "bar charts." For example, "Matt tries to keep things simple by producing bar charts that may not look great but tell really interesting stories."Partial-Match Anchor Text: This is similar to exact-match anchor text except that instead of the anchor only being the target keyword, it will be any anchor text that contains the target keyword in amongst other text. So, using the example of "bar charts" again, this would be an example of partial-match anchor text: "Hold on to your seats because we're about to leave bar charts behind and enter into the crazy world of pie charts."So ... onto the fun stuff.The Distribution of Anchor Text on the Marketing BlogThis pie chart shows the average breakdown of anchor text for a blog post that is not in the top 100 organic traffic pages on the Marketing Blog.The data shows that 0.60% of the links to a URL have exact-match anchor text, 11.56% have partial-match anchor text, and then the remaining 87.84% is made up of other anchor text (i.e. "hubspot," "click here," etc.).Now let's take a look at the top 100 blog posts (in terms of generating organic traffic and ranking well in the SERPs).There's a big shift here: 1.10% of anchor text is exact-match, 20.86% is partial-match, and the remaining 78.04% is "other anchor text."Whilst these are average scores, one big trend is clear: Our top performing blog posts in search engines feature more exact-match and partial-match anchor text. (Click to Tweet) Note: I'm not saying that you should go out and start building a ton of exact match anchor text to your content. I'm merely observing what our backlink profile looks like and the correlation it's having with organic traffic data. So take a big deep breath and cancel that order for "10,000 HIGH PR LINKS **AWESOME STUFF ONLY**" from Fiverr.com.The Number of External Links, Exact-Match Keywords, and Partial-Match Keywords for Top PostsNext up, I've compared the top 100 blog posts (orange) against the rest (blue) to show the average number of external links that each page has, as well as the average number of partial-match and exact-match anchor text.This, in theory, could be used as an indication to guide us on how many links, and exact- and partial-match anchors we roughly need our blog content to earn to rank for major keywords. Obviously we wouldn't have control over the anchor text coming through to the site, but it's useful to know so that we can understand the ideal backlink template for our SEO.The Number of Links' Effect on Organic TrafficThe below chart shows correlation between pages on the blog that have x amount of external links vs. how much organic traffic they receive. I've grouped the number of external links analysed to make it easy to see trends, and I tried to make sure that there was an even sample size across each group to make a fair comparison.In short, this looks at whether having more external links = more organic visitors. The data supports the idea that more external links result in more traffic from organic search, with posts that have 300 or more links representing the pages with the largest organic traffic coming through to them.This last chart is particularly interesting as it shows data comparing the average number of social shares that a post on the blog receives vs. average number of links that it earns.You can see a clear trend of pages with more social shares having more links. Whilst social shares aren't a direct Google ranking factor, they clearly have a huge indirect impact that can result in the page earning higher volumes of organic links.In short: Posts with 300+ links generate the most organic traffic and social shares. (Click to Tweet)Final ThoughtsRemember that the findings that I've presented aren't black and white. This is a correlation study and it doesn't prove 100% that x amount of links or anchors will definitely get you to the #1 spot in Google. But what this kind of analysis does is give clear guidance on the types of things that could be contributing to the success of a piece of content. There are tons more factors that come into play here, but I really wanted to give you all a data-backed insight into how each of the varying aspects of our content have an impact on search engine rankings, links, social shares, and organic traffic as the insight gained here can be useful for building and tweaking inbound marketing campaigns that you're working on right now. Social Media Analytics Topics: