Walking Cape Town’s Fan Mile

first_img29 June 2010Cape Town’s three-kilometre Fan Mile from the city centre to the majestic Green Point Stadium has become a hit with international fans, offering a fusion of cultures, a melting pot of different nationalities, and a place for supporters to congregate en route to the stadium.Last Thursday, a record 72 910 people were on the Fan Walk. On Tuesday, Cape Town will look to set a new benchmark when European champions Spain take on Portugal in a highly anticipated round of 16 contest that will attract thousands more football lovers to the Mother City.Cape Town can be cold and wet in winter, yet the city has found innovative ways to entice fans.Supporters travel in droves from the city centre, meandering along the breath-taking V&A Waterfront as they make their way to Green Point. This 20-minute route is popular not only for the landmarks along the route, but because of the wonderful atmosphere fans are experiencing.At the final group match in Cape Town, the Netherlands’ “Orange Army” mixed with Cameroon’s equally brightly-clothed fans to create a colourful montage on the Fan Walk. And Fifa.com took the opportunity speak to a number of fans about their experience here.Dutchman Cornie Jansen, who had only landed in South Africa a few hours beforehand, hailed the “unbelievable” atmosphere. He said: “To be honest, I didn’t expect something like this here in Cape Town. A friend of mine suggested we take the Fan Walk, and it turned out to be a brilliant experience.“I met so many other fans from back home,” Jansen said. “The most important thing is, we all share the same goals, we all want Netherlands to win the World Cup. In my first few hours in Cape Town, I have fallen in love with this city.”Another Netherlands fan, Roel de Jonge, has been following Bert van Marwijk’s team around the country along with his friend Antoine Pruijssers. He said: “I have been to Durban and Johannesburg, but I have to say that Cape Town stands out. Of course I’m told that in the last few days the weather has been bad, but today, it’s perfect.“Today, I walked more than three kilometres to the stadium, and the experience was among my best football memory – the people here are extremely friendly, the city is beautiful,” De Jonge said.“I’m sure a lot of people, including myself, have been surprised by what they have seen in South Africa so far, it’s been an awesome experience on and off the field.”City of Cape Town spokesperson Pieter Cronje said: “The fears have been allayed and positive media coverage has spread a confident and optimistic message to audiences across the globe.“The city is also seeing that an increasing number of people are coming to the public areas to experience the World Cup and to be part of the festivities on match days, even though they do not have tickets for the games,” Cronje said. “The Fan Walk in particular has proven extremely popular, even with non-ticket holders and has become an integral part of the World Cup in Cape Town.”The Fifa Fan Fest™ on Cape Town’s Grand Parade has hosted more than 234 000 people.The V&A Waterfront is enjoying trading similar to summer peak-season levels, and is reporting daily visits of between 150 000 and 160 000 people, according to the city’s statistics.After Spain-Portugal on Tuesday, the Green Point Stadium will also stage the quarter-final match between Argentina and Germany on Saturday, and a semi-final on 6 July.Source: Fifa.comlast_img read more

API of the Week: Snapr API – Add Geolocation Info to Your Mobile Photo App

first_imgSnapr is a mobile application for sharing geo-tagged images. Its goal is to create a “live map of the world’s photos.” It also has an API that enables developers to add location information and Instagram-like social photo feeds to your own mobile photo apps. You can also use Snapr’s API to give users the ability to send photos to multiple services from one application. Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Why You Love Online Quizzes The API is core to Snapr’s strategy. Snapr is more focused being the ecosystem than competing directly with services like Instagram. According to the company’s blog post about the API: “In fact we love our API so much that it has more functionality than our currently available app and website!” Tags:#APIs#hack klint finley 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees?last_img

A New Congress and New Hope for Flood Insurance Reform

first_imgThe 116th Congress, divided between a Democrat-controlled House and a Republican-controlled Senate, will more than likely continue to be driven by party rivalry, but reforming the broken National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) could, and should, be one area where bipartisanship is possible. Flooding disasters ignore political boundaries, impacting both red and blue communities. And for communities not directly impacted, flooding is still a financial drain since the federal government has spent billions of taxpayer dollars to help communities recover after flooding, including bailing out the NFIP. The new Congress must not continue to dither and delay on reform; its predecessor kicked the can on reform 10 times since September 2017. The NFIP expires May 31, 2019. The 116th Congress should use the next five months to make the NFIP the cornerstone of United States’ post-flood recovery efforts, because in its current form the NFIP is a liability. As climate change continues to expose more Americans to devastating flooding, the new Congress must make NFIP reform a priority.RELATED ARTICLESFlood, Rebuild, Repeat: The Need for Flood Insurance ReformHome Buyers Face Stacked Deck to Learn of Past FloodsResilience: Designing Homes for More Intense StormsBuilding Resilience for a ‘Close Encounter’ with DisasterClimate Change Resilience Could Save Trillions Major flooding disasters are occurring more frequently, and will continue to increase in frequency for the foreseeable future due to climate change and population growth, causing greater damage to people and property. To better help people mitigate, or even better, avoid flooding impacts, Congress should do the following: Help more homeowners access voluntary buyouts Through the NFIP, Congress should provide more assistance to help homeowners, who so desire, move out of harm’s way. Currently, the NFIP places significant emphasis on rebuilding flooded properties — often multiple times — instead of helping homeowners voluntarily relocate out of high-flood risk areas. Nationwide, the NFIP has paid to repair or rebuild more than 30,000 properties an average of five times. As the climate changes and flooding disasters occur more often, the number of families whose properties have flooded and are repeatedly rebuilt by the program is growing. Provide greater access to flood risk and NFIP data Prospective home buyers, as well as renters, are often kept in the dark about a property’s flood history and risk of flooding in the future. NRDC: How States Stack Up on Flood Disclosure. The key to the color bar at the bottom reads as follows: “None [red] / Inadequate [yellow] / Adequate [light green] / Better [medium green] / Best [dark green].” For example, in 21 states, there are no statutory or regulatory requirements that a seller disclose a property’s flood vulnerability to a buyer. The other 29 states have varying degrees of disclosure requirements, creating a hodgepodge of state and local laws. Additionally, very little information collected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the NFIP, like the number of repetitively flooded properties that are located in a community (an indicator of flood risk) is made publicly available. This information deficit distorts market signals and hinders fully informed decision-making about how to best avoid or mitigate damaging floods, putting people, property, and the NFIP at greater risk. As part of NFIP reform, the new Congress should mandate greater disclosure and transparency of flood risk data. Such reforms should include: Nationwide disclosure requirements of flood risk information upon the sale or lease of a property. As a condition of participation in the NFIP, states should be required to enact disclosure laws that provide the following information about flood risk:  Whether the home has ever been damaged by a flood and the cost of the damage;  Whether the home is located in a 100-year or 500-year floodplain; Whether the seller and/or previous owners ever received federal disaster aid that would require all future owners to obtain and maintain flood insurance on the property. A public right-to-know provision. FEMA should be required to create a centralized, free, open-to-the-public data system to share information related to flood damage claims, number of repeatedly flooded properties, and whether communities are properly enforcing local building and zoning codes required under the NFIP. A homeowner right-to-know provision. Upon request, FEMA should be required to provide homeowners a “right to know” about their property’s past history of flood insurance coverage, damage claims paid, and whether there is a legal requirement to purchase flood insurance because of past owners’ receipt of federal disaster aid. The House of Representatives earlier provided for such reforms in the “21st Century Flood Reform Act” (HR. 2874), which passed in 2017. But a new Congress will have to start with a new bill, which should also include these measures to ensure that homeowners and communities have a right to know about past floods and the potential for flooding in the future. Improve the flood mapping program The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for mapping the nation’s hazardous flood areas, including coastal areas susceptible to storm surge. Federal, state, and local governments, property developers, and community planners rely on the risk information in FEMA flood maps to decide what to build, where to build, and how to build. Additionally, FEMA’s minimum floodplain building and land use requirements only apply in areas that are mapped to the 100-year flood level. However, a 2017 investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General revealed that 58% of all FEMA flood maps are considered inaccurate or out-of-date. Inaccurate and out-of-date flood maps put communities at risk. Moreover, flood maps produced by FEMA fail to account for escalating flood risks in the future that are attributable to sea level rise, increasing incidents of severe weather, and other impacts of climate change. Development decisions that would appear safe today, will still face a serious risk of flooding in the future. FEMA flood maps must not only be accurate and up-to-date, but also forward-looking to better protect people and property, and ensure long-term sustainability of the NFIP. A Federal advisory committee, established to review and make recommendations to FEMA on how to improve the mapping program, specifically recommended such an approach. Congress must ensure FEMA’s flood maps are current and are set on a glide path to include projections of future conditions to accurately depict flood risk. Fully funding the mapping program and encouraging states and NFIP communities to develop more granular flood maps, including future conditions projections, in exchange for greater grant funding should be included in any NFIP reform package. Continue to move the program toward risk-based rates Congress should continue to move the NFIP toward full risk-based rates to impress upon homeowners their true risk of flooding. Subsidization of policy premiums masks flood risk, distorting market signals that may normally discourage investment in flood vulnerable areas. In contrast, according to the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Process center, insurance premiums based on risk “provide individuals with accurate signals to the degree of hazard they face.” However, a transition to full risk-based rates raises potential equity concerns. As policy premiums transition to full risk-based rates, low- to moderate-income households could be priced out, choosing either to continue to forgo coverage or drop existing coverage if the cost becomes too burdensome. Unfortunately, simply providing affordable insurance will not stop flooding from happening. If inexpensive insurance is the only assistance a low-income household receives, they can become trapped in a cycle of flooding and rebuilding. NRDC highlighted this growing problem in the Seeking Higher Ground report. Any reforms aimed at providing affordable flood insurance must also be coupled with assistance that helps people reduce or eliminate their vulnerability to flooding in the future. Congress should create a means-tested affordability mechanism to assist low- to moderate-income NFIP policyholders to obtain and/or maintain coverage, and also couple that assistance with greater access to mitigation assistance. Possible mitigation assistance could include: Provide qualifying NFIP policyholders the option of a voluntary buyout as an alternative to an insurance payout if the property is substantially damaged. Provide qualifying NFIP policyholders a higher amount of Increased Cost of Compliance assistance to cover the costs of elevation, relocation, or floodproofing. Provide qualifying NFIP policyholders access to grants or low interest loans to fund mitigation projects. Climate change impacts will exacerbate flooding Climate change is exposing, and will continue to expose, the vulnerability of the flood insurance program. As sea levels rise and heavy rains become more common, coastal and riverine communities can expect increasing vulnerability to flooding. Absent reform, the NFIP will only become more vulnerable. One only needs to look to the 2017 and 2018 hurricane seasons as examples of what may come and the inadequacy of the NFIP to address rising disaster costs. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused $9.8 billion in NFIP damages, and Hurricanes Florence and Michael are projected to have caused another $5 billion and $3 billion, respectively. And these are just the costs to the NFIP. The federal government will likely spend tens of billions of dollars more in disaster aid. Democrat or Republican, no one will be immune from a future of more intense and costly flooding. The 116th Congress has the power to enact meaningful reforms to the NFIP. There are Democrats and Republicans in both houses who see the same problems and agree on the same solutions; now leadership just needs to set aside politics and actually make reforms that have bipartisan support.   Joel Scata is a water and climate attorney with the Healthy People & Thriving Communities program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. This post originally appeared at the NRDC Expert Blog.last_img read more

No Website Is An Island: Why and How To Link To Others

first_imgIf 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 SlackSlacklast_img read more

Let A Million Diggs and Reddits Bloom

first_imgThe advent of social content sites like Digg and Reddit are an important trend on the internet. and it’s in early alpha — but sort of works.  If you’re a business geek, we’d love for you to check it out.  If nothing else, we think you’ll find some great content of interest there.  If you’re curious about what would motivate us to do such a thing, you can read the of these niche-topic social content sites — just like there are millions of blogs today. Traditionally, there have been relatively few television stations that carry a wide variety of un-segmented content. Recently there have been some new entries into the space, some of which are going general purpose with sub-categories and others of which are going into narrow segments. It is interesting to note the historical differences in the industrial structure in the tv/cable industry versus the magazine/newspaper industry. Originally published Apr 12, 2007 3:44:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 millions What do you think the industrial structure of social bookmarking sites will look like in five years? Wired So, what does this mean to you? Along the specialization/segmentation spectrum, I am predicting that the industry will look a lot more like the magazine/publishing industry than the tv/cable industry. We are currently at the beginning of the social content industry and there are a handful of players including Digg, Reddit, Youtube, del.icio.us, Netscape, etc that make up its industrial structure. that just focus on the tech crowd. This difference in industrial structure makes a lot of sense because the barrier to entry to create content Do you agree with me? The barrier to entry for new sites is going to get low relatively quickly. your For example, there are local newspapers like the For example, ABC carries news, sports, soap operas, movies, etc. make a market for advertisers has traditionally been far higher in the tv/cable industry than in the magazine/newspaper industry. DailyHub.comlast_img read more

Why You Get No Love From Google’s Spiders [cartoon]

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Nov 17, 2009 3:55:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 SEO Topics: Search Engine Optimization Kit Getting No Love From Google? Learn more about how you can optimize your site to rank higher in search engines so you get found by more qualified prospects. Download our search engine optimization kit. last_img

Prepare for the Year of Mobile, This Time for Real

first_img The first piece of advice Neal offered to marketers was to not annoy people. Ask yourself whether mobile communication will irritate your target audience or solve real challenges? Use mobile to assist people, not creep them out. As Neal said, you need to be creating “mobile services that delight customers.” this Maybe whether 2011 is the year of mobile depends on you. Are you prepared for it? Don’t Annoy People will be the year of mobile. Or is it? is a mobile feature that lets you skip the check-in line and pick up your keys in a more expedite way. Neal shared that more than 15,000 people have signed up for Texpress Check-ins. Caesars Entertainment Texpress Check-in Topics: Tie Your Business to Geo Fits Focus on ways in which you can tie location to your business. Tie content to geographic information and further segment mobile offers based on that. That will connect you with customers when they are most engaged with your brand. For hotels, this optimal moment is when you make reservations. For airlines, it is when travelers are at the airport, totally immersed in their journey. When is that moment for you? In most cases, the journey of a mobile customer will start from your company site. At Caesars, for instance, people first fill out their reservation forms on a computer. It is towards the end of this transactional process that the hotel introduces the mobile element. Start The Journey From The Site Use Customer Data You Have Access To . Neal Narayani, Director of Marketing at Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Mix Up Customer Service & Marketing , shared how his company’s adoption of mobile marketing resulted in higher revenue. Here are some of the takeaways from his presentation: MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Email Summit Two years ago, 2009 was announced as the year of mobile marketing. When we entered 2010, the marketing community again held our breath for that moment of utter mobile innovation. Now that 2011 is here, everyone is sure Before starting to experiment with mobile marketing, know what it is that you want to measure. Is it application downloads or visits? Is it email sign-ups? Neal advised to have these metrics in mind since methodical testing is critical. These hopes and hesitations were thoroughly discussed during the mobile marketing session at Know What You Want To Measure Originally published Jan 28, 2011 1:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Texpress switches from a marketing role to a customer service function. On the day of departure, guests can check-out using their mobile devices. In this way the feature continues to solve the problem of long lines and rushed travel. Mobile Marketing “We know your check-in day and check-out date,” said Neal, explaining why Caesars offers relevant offers to its guests. Knowing that the average stay of a hotel guest in Vegas is two days and a half, Texpress will send three offers (one a day) in an effort to engage the visitor during her stay. For instance, the mobile service will send information about featured shows and dining options. “We continue to engage you with mobile throughout your stay here,” said Neal.last_img read more

5 Best Practices for eCommerce Abandoned Cart Nurturing

first_img 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:last_img read more

The Winning Formula for Sustainable Lead Generation

first_imgGetting foundConverting traffic into leadsAnalyzing the effectiveness of your lead generationWhen time and resources are dedicated to the pursuit of these three things, you’ll find yourself better able to predict your lead flow, thus enabling you to set and hit realistic (or lofty!) lead goals. Now let’s break down the steps for this effective lead generation recipe so you can ramp up your efforts this month, or start January 2012 with the formula for success. Getting Found 1.) Blog, blog, blog. If you haven’t already started a blog, do it. If you have one, write for it consistently. If you’re not sure how often you should blog, take a look at your organic competitors. If they are blogging twice a week, outdo them and blog four times a week. Just make sure you’re not winning the quantity game by sacrificing quality . 2.) Keep other web pages up to date. The frequency with which you post and update content matters in search engines, and to people. Blogging is a great solution to this, but don’t neglect the rest of your website. Update your event pages, news pages, product and service pages, and ‘about us’ pages to stay up to date with the pace at which your industry moves. No, you won’t update these as much as your blog, but keeping the content fresh and timely is crucial to maintain relevancy. 3.) Create content around topics people care about. Remember that content you create should be above all else helpful. Otherwise people will not read it and share it, and you won’t get found. If you’re having trouble coming up with topics , talk to your customers, prospects, customer service team, and sales team. This is first-hand information about what dogs people on a daily basis, and perfect fodder for content creation. 4.) Create content around keywords people are searching for. This step in the lead generation recipe should be visualized with giant, flashing, neon-light warning signs behind it. The warning is, content should be topic-driven, not keyword-driven . That being said, you absolutely should perform keyword research when determining topics and writing content. Use tools like HubSpot’s Keyword Grader to identify appropriate keywords and Google Insights for Search to see which keywords are trending in your industry, and you’ll have an easier time not only brainstorming topics, but developing topics around what people clearly need more information on. 5.) Optimize your content for organic success. All that keyword research should be applied beyond topic generation. Optimize the content you publish so you get found in search engines. Remember that long-tail keywords consist of 70% of organic searches, and they drive extremely qualified traffic. So try to optimize your content for long-tail keyword phrases as well as head terms for quicker (and more!) success. If you’re still getting up to speed on long-tail search optimization, not to worry; we’ve written a long-tail search guide to walk you through everything you need to know. 6.) Don’t discount paid search. Paid online search, when executed in conjunction with an organic search strategy, is not inherently bad! It is a great way to drive leads around keywords that are too competitive to target in your organic strategy. Use paid search to target difficult but valuable keywords for which your competitors rank, unless they are branded, of course! If you’re new to paid search, read our paid search guide to get up to speed and start your own campaign. 7.) Distribute your content using social media. Getting found in search engines is your goal, but part of what helps you get there and generate more traffic to convert into leads is through social media. People need to know you and your content exist. People are on social media. Include social sharing buttons on your content, and post your content to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn to grow followers and get a broader audience for your website’s content. 8.) Leverage your email list. If people have opted in to receive email updates from you, make sure you’re sending them daily or weekly digests of the content you’re producing. These people have asked you to communicate with them; remind them you’re still there and doing amazing things! Other relevant updates should be emailed, too, but only for that which they’ve expressed interest.  Converting Traffic Into Leads 1.) Create downloadable content assets and other offers. Blogs drive traffic, but that traffic needs to be converted into leads. One way to do that is by offering downloadable content assets like whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, slideshows, and other offers like free trials, production demos, etc. that can be acquired for free by completing a form. 2.) Create targeted calls-to-action. Insert calls-to-action throughout your site that drive visitors to landing pages with forms to convert a visitor into a lead. To be effective, however, calls-to-action should be targeted to the visitor. For example, if you received a visitor to a product page, they might be interested in a free trial of that product or a product use case. If you received a visitor to a how-to blog post, they might enjoy a free ebook that continues the discussion of that concept. 3.) Create optimized landing pages. Creating a landing page to convert your visitors into leads is important, but it’s crucial that it’s laid out correctly. Not following best practices will result in quick abandonment and a dismal number of leads come month end. To make sure you nail this, take a look at this guide to the layout of an effective landing page . 4.) Improve landing pages with A/B testing. Once your landing pages are set up following best practices, you can generate even more leads if you A/B test. HubSpot offers advanced landing page features like A/B testing , or you can research another tool to let you capitalize on success and make incremental improvements that will yield more leads. 5.) Complement successful landing pages with paid search. Once you’ve got a landing page that’s driving tons of leads, get even more out of it by expanding the landing page’s reach with paid search. Center the keywords on the offer associated with that landing page, and watch more leads come in. 6.) Continue to nurture your leads. 50% of leads are not ready to buy from you . This means that to make all of this effort worth your while, you need to continue to nurture so they move through the sales cycle and become a customer. Set triggers based on their on-site and off-site behavior so your sales team and marketing automation system know when and how to communicate with a lead, whether that means delivering a new whitepaper via email, or having a sales person reach out on the phone to set up a product demo. Analyzing the Effectiveness of Your Lead Generation 1.) Analyze where your traffic is coming from.  Is the bulk of your traffic coming from social media? If so, which sites? Or is it coming from paid search? And how much traffic can you attribute to referrals? If you know where your traffic comes from and in what quantities month over month, you can analyze the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts. 2.) Analyze where on your site traffic lands.  Know which assets drive the most traffic so you know not only what people are interested in, but also where you should focus your time to generate better results. For example, if you see a steady growth in traffic landing on your product pages, perhaps you should include more product-related calls-to-action on those pages to boost your lead generation. 3.) Analyze which offers convert the most. Create more content around these topics, and offer them more frequently to generate more leads. On the flip side, analyze which offers don’t perform well so you can either filter out those topics or perform further testing to understand if their poor performance is a function of landing page layout or the call-to-action design. 4.) Analyze how high quality the leads are.  All of this effort will bring you more leads, but do you know if it was worth it? Track how long leads are in the sales funnel, how many leads turn into customers, and how much it cost to acquire the leads, and the customers. You’ll find that some leads perform better than others, and be able to parse out lead behaviors that indicate they are a more worthwhile lead to target. What steps do you include in your winning recipe for lead generation ? Share your suggestions in the comments! Image credit: Images_of_Money Lead Generation Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:center_img So how do you ensure you hit that leads goal every month, instead of experiencing intermittent (and often random) success? It all comes down to a recipe for success that includes, yes, many moving parts, but all of them well within your reach. The ingredients for the recipe are: Originally published Dec 23, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017last_img read more