A Balanced Ventilation System With a Built-In Heat Pump

first_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Members A small manufacturing company in Illinois called Build Equinox has developed a new ventilation appliance called the Conditioning Energy Recovery Ventilator, or CERV. Build Equinox was founded by an engineer, Ty Newell, and his son Ben Newell. (Ty Newell designed and built the Equinox House, which was described in a GBA article published in 2011.)The CERV is a balanced ventilation system that includes an integrated air-source heat pump — a type of appliance that has been dubbed a “magic box” by Passivhaus designers. According to Ty Newell, Build Equinox has sold about 50 CERV units.There is just one model of the appliance; Ty Newell told me that “one size fits all.” The CERV is unlike any other appliance sold in the U.S.: Operating the CERV When the CERV is commissioned, the user has to choose the sensitivity of the CO2 and VOC sensors. Even though the human health effects of 1,000 ppm of CO2 are not really comparable to the human health effects of 1,000 ppm of VOCs, the manufacturer of the CERV requires CERV users to choose a single setpoint (in parts per million) for CO2 and VOCs. While this setpoint can be raised or lowered, the CO2 setpoint and the VOC setpoint move in lock-step.Peter Schneider, a senior project manager at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation in Burlington, Vermont, has specified several CERV systems. “I set them at 1,000 ppm,” says Schneider.According to the CERV owner’s manual, “In general, a lower air quality setpoint will result in better quality air and higher energy consumption, while a higher air quality setpoint will result in lower quality air and lower energy consumption. On one hand, you do not want to be overventilating your house and producing unneeded conditioning demands on your systems, while on… Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details.center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

Intelligence Bureau bosses disclose their wealth

first_imgAfter IAS officers and Delhi Police bosses, the assets of the country’s top snoops working in the highly-secretive, Intelligence Bureau (IB), are out in the open.The home ministry on Thursday disclosed that IB chief Nehchal Sandhu, among the country’s senior-most IPS officers, has declared to the government that he owns a house in Chandigarh.Sandhu’s declared that he inherited this house from his father, who had purchased the same in 1985 for Rs 5.5 lakh. But IB special director Ajit Lal, virtually the number two in the organisation, owns as many as six properties. He has disclosed to the government this year that he owns a DDA flat in Vasant Kunj, a flat in Gurgaon, a flat in Noida, which he purchased for Rs 55 lakh, another flat and a house in Ranchi and a plot of land in Rishikesh.Another senior officer working as IB special director, Yashovardhan Azad, declared a flat in Patna and another house in Delhi’s Patparganj area. Azad also has two plots of land, one each in Jabalpur and near Bhopal. Azad’s batch-mate from the 1976 cadre, Ram Niwas Gupta, is also serving as IB special director presently. His assets include a flat in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, for which he took a bank loan and pays an equated monthly installment (EMI) of Rs 17,650. Gupta also owns a plot in Greater Noida.Rajatava Bagchi, who recently retired as IB special director owns four flats – three in Kolkata and one in Jaypee Greens, Noida.For more news on India, click here.For more news on Business, click here.For more news on Movies, click here.For more news on Sports, click here.advertisementlast_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Stories of the Week: Social Media Strategy

first_img this week urges you to take a step back, do your homework and form an actual social media marketing do and its ability to filter and organize clutter.   InboundMarketing.com 2. Mashable Is Twitter hinting at a cure for information overload, Pete wonders?  He discusses the possible opportunity for a new job position based on content organization – the real-time Web curator.  Should journalists assume this new role and capitalize on this trend?  In any event, Pete’s sure a “curation” economy is starting to take shape. Optimize This Lesson: Author: Keep your message simple Developing a Social Media Marketing Strategy Lesson: Stop Building Microsites? let your content go on of Learn how to use social media for lead generation. ProBlogger of Todd Defren 3. Describe your idea in a concrete, tangible way  CNN.com Author: Think PR Squared Does your company have a Among Bernie’s recommendations are to listen first and define your objectives, whether they be geared toward competitive differentiation, market share growth or the expansion of your brand.  His final words of wisdom are to ” Appeal to and evoke readers’ emotions Look at how others are using social media, but evaluate what works best in your particular industry and for your own company before trying the same things. Lesson: Lesson:Attract readers to your business blogby creating content with “sticky” properties. for social media marketing.  What are your objectives?  What are the opportunities?  What are your competitors doing?  After all, there’s more to social media marketing than tweeting and Facebooking… Marelisa Fábrega Originally published Nov 6, 2009 7:11:00 AM, updated July 18 2013 Want to learn the best social media marketing advice from expert in-house marketers?  Read Lee’s post, which includes tips on social media strategy (oh how we’ve come full circle!), how to decide on tactics, and measuring success. . strategy?  If you’re inclined to answer “yes” because you have a Twitter handle and a Facebook page, you may want to re-think your answer. to leverage Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to generate leads and customers.center_img Lately, I’ve been noticing that content overload on the Web is becoming quite a popular topic.  To this point, Pete’s article discusses Photo by Anil Jadhav Tell a story  Author: of on Create Twitter lists using your company Twitter account to organize leaders/content in your industry. Our top article on Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die How to Write a Blog Post That’s Stickier than Velcro While he doubts the majority of microsites has an ROI worth your time/investment, he does however share his thoughts on when one might make sense – when your company is part of a highly regulated industry that needs to be cautious with content, disclosures and consumer engagement. 4. before you ,” sharing it with and promoting it to your community. .” Bernie’s main message is that, for a business, a social media strategy serves one simple purpose: “enabling your company to engage in authentic conversations with your community so you can improve your ability to attract, retain and serve your customers.”  Still, he encourages readers to stop to do some research first — inside the company and out — to gain valuable insight that will drive their strategies. Video: How to Use Social Media for Lead Generation Author: Illustrate that your message is credible by quoting statistics, studies, etc. Author: Lesson: Find inspiration to get started in the social media-sphere from experienced marketers. 5. “Sticky” ideas are those that are spread, remembered, and that people act upon.  Marisela’s guest post explains the six common traits of sticky ideas, a concept originated by the bestseller, ” Use an unexpected approach to capture readers’ attention Lee Odden Twitter’s new list function Twitter Lists: Journalism Becomes a Real-Time Job strategy One thing’s for sure – the benefit of social media involvement is hard to ignore. of Online Marketing Blog 1. Wondering if creating a microsite might be a good idea for that new campaign you’re promoting?  Exploring the topic of campaign microsites, Todd questions their worth and whether they generate any real traction. Bernie Borges Download the free video Pete Cashmore 25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips 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

Website Redesign SEO Mistakes to Avoid

first_img Originally published Sep 7, 2010 3:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 We’ve already discussed what you need to think about before you even begin your website redesign project , now we’re going to discuss what SEO elements you need to keep in mind once you start the process.Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignOnce again we turned to our well versed team of HubSpot Partners to gain insight into how they approach the process.Don’t Lose Sight of Your Old SiteSure, your website might need a redesign, but that doesn’t mean everything you currently have is terrible. Partner Tony Meister of NetSolutions Group says “the biggest mistake…would be to leave out 301 redirects consequently sacrificing all the work that was done to get the rankings. On that end, another mistake would be to neglect [thinking] about navigation structure and how the [old] site effectively leverages SEO in the subpage hierarchical navigation.”Even if you do decide to completely redo the navigation, Tony’s first point holds true. Your old site hopefully had some SEO rankings that you, at some point, invested time (either in content creation, keyword research or more) to get. Make sure everything is done correctly in order to not waste the time you’ve already spent on it.Make Sure SEO is Always Being EvaluatedYes, SEO is not the end all to be all when you are redesigning your site. However, that doesn’t mean that it should be overlooked in favor of design, content, etc. Top Line Results’ Todd Hockenberry states, “SEO is [often] an afterthought and not the primary driver that it should be.” While SEO might not be as visually appealing as a great website header or logo, think about which one is more likely to bring leads to your site and invest your time wisely.The SEO ScoopSure there are some people who get downright giddy when they talk about SEO. You may or may not be one of those folks. But even if you aren’t, any good website designed with inbound marketing in mind takes into account SEO strategies. No matter how gorgeous your new site looks, if visitors can’t find you online, no one is going to be able to appreciate your hard work and you certainly won’t see the benefits. Website Redesign Topics: 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

How to Map Lead Nurturing Content to Each Stage in the Sales Cycle

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 Lead nurturing is a crucial part of your marketing and sales success. Studies show that 50% of leads are qualified but aren’t immediately ready to buy something from you [Source: Gleanster Research]. With lead nurturing, however, you can bring those leads through your sales funnel and garner 4-10 times the response rate compared to a regular email blast while doing it [Source: SilverPop/DemandGen Report]. To nurture those leads correctly, however, you need to somehow adjust your messaging based on their point in the sales cycle. But how do you do that?The best lead nurturing campaigns begin with content mapping, a process in which you decide what content is most appropriate for a person to receive at a given time. And to be honest, sometimes it feels like you have to be psychic to nail it. But while a little bit of psychic ability would certainly help, there’s actually a structure you can follow to map your content very accurately for your lead nurturing campaigns — after which you can simply make tweaks on your messaging, email sending frequency, and calls-to-action based on feedback, open rates, click-through rates, and other email marketing metrics. Here’s how you can map lead nurturing content to every stage in the buying cycle.Understanding the Buying CycleTo understand content mapping for lead nurturing, you need to understand the buying cycle. People have broken it down into many sub-stages to align with their particular business model, but it can universally be boiled down to these three stages:Awareness: Leads have either become aware of your product or service, or they have become aware that they have a need that must be fulfilled.Evaluation: Leads are aware that your product or service could fulfill their need, and they are trying to determine whether you are the best fit.Purchase: Leads are ready to make a purchase.Content mapping becomes important during these stages because prospects’ needs are different depending on which stage in the buying cycle they fall into. David Skok explained the buying cycle well on For Entrepreneurs with a retail scenario. When you’re walking around on the weekend and wander into a store with nothing in particular you’re looking to buy, you don’t want too much attention from a hungry sales person. It’s annoying, because you’re in the awareness stage. But when you make a beeline for the store because you need to buy a black sweater immediately, you want a sales person to approach you right away so you can find the sweater, purchase it, and get out of there. That’s because you’re in the purchase stage of the sales cycle.The same concept applies when someone is interacting with your brand online. If they’re just seeing you for the first time, they have different informational needs — and thus require different content — than someone who is ready to purchase something from you. Mapping the most appropriate content to each stage in the buying cycle will help you speak to the individual needs of each lead so you’re having the right conversation with the right people at the right time.How Content Mapping WorksDoing content mapping is very specific to each individual business — you have a different sales cycle, different buyer personas, and different content assets and topics than other businesses — but the content mapping structure outlined in this section will be transferable to any scenario. Here are the 4 questions you need to ask yourself when content mapping.1.) What are the logical pathways to take a lead from awareness, to evaluation, to purchase?Content mapping can be tricky because you have to work backwards. Start by determining the logical pathway a lead would take when navigating through the sales funnel. To do this, you’ll need to lay out several scenarios in which leads convert into customers, and trace back which actions they took from their first conversion to close. If you’re using HubSpot software, you can take a look at the activity history of leads to see what patterns emerge.What pages did they visit? In what order? What offers did they convert on? What emails did they click through? Here’s an example of what a logical conversion pathway might look like:Visit company blog >> Convert on ebook call-to-action >> Click through to site on ebook nurturing campaign offer >> Navigate to Product/Service pages >> Click through to site on case study nurture email and download data sheet >> Receive free trial email >> Download free trial >> Receive coupon >> Become a customerThere will be more than one logical conversion pathway, but as you examine how your leads have historically converted into customers, a few pathways will emerge as the most common, the shortest, and the most profitable.As you’re determining these conversion pathways, you may notice that there are pieces of content, calls-to-action, or nurturing campaign emails that you aren’t sending out yet, but should be. That’s okay! One of the benefits of doing content mapping — aside from improved content relevancy for your lead nurturing campaigns — is identifying holes in your content strategy that you can now remedy.2.) What specific content assets can be deployed along those pathways to help advance leads to the next stage in the buying cycle?Now that you know the logical pathways a lead might take to convert into a customer, what type of content assets should they receive to nurture them along that path? It seems like the options are endless, but there are actually certain types of content that are more appropriate for certain stages in the sales cycle than others. Reference this table of content asset types that are aligned with their appropriate stage in the sales funnel.The content assets listed in the ‘Awareness’ stage are appropriate for that stage of the buying cycle because they help educate your lead — not on your solution, but on their need.  The content assets in the ‘Evaluation’ stage, however, speak directly to how your company can help solve their needs, bridging the gap between the educational assets and product/service information. The assets in the ‘Purchase’ stage require more action from the lead — actions the lead is more likely to take because they’re now more educated about their problem and why your company is a good choice for solving it.You’ll notice some content asset types appear in more than one stage of the buying cycle — webinars, for example. This is due to the content in that content asset type. A webinar from the ‘Awareness’ stage of the buying cycle would be educational about a general subject matter, while a webinar from the ‘Evaluation’ stage would be centered around your specific solution.When assigning content asset types to the touchpoints in your conversion pathway, you should also assign topics to those assets. Those topics will obviously change depending on the nature of your business, but here’s an example of how to execute this step correctly based on the conversion pathway defined above:Visit Unicorn blog >> Convert on Unicorn Hygiene ebook >> Click through to site on ebook nurturing campaign offer “10 Best Tools for Grooming a Unicorn” >> Navigate to Unicorn Accessories product pages >> Click through to site on Glittery Farms Unicorn Grooming Case Study nurture email and download Unicorn Grooming FAQ >> Receive Unicorn Grooming Kit Coupon email >> Redeem coupon and become a customerNotice how the content asset types move along from ‘Awareness’ assets — like an ebook — to ‘Evaluation’ assets — like a case study — to ‘Purchase’ assets — like a coupon. We will examine an example of a real business’ content asset types and how they map to a conversion path later in this post as well.3.) What content assets are you missing?At this point you might be saying, “That’s great, but I don’t have all of those content assets at the ready.” That’s ok. Remember, in addition to knowing when and where to use your content assets, part of content mapping is identifying which content assets you need to create to execute lead nurturing effectively. Once you’ve created your list of content assets and where they belong on the conversion pathway, perform a content audit to see what assets you already have and which ones you need to create. Then get going with content creation!4.) How do you need to adjust the messaging in those content assets to align with the persona to whom you’re speaking?If you haven’t created buyer personas yet, pause at this step in your content mapping exercise, read this guide to creating buyer personas, and create them. Pay particular attention to the question of how to identify the personas — if you can’t identify them based on their information and behaviors, you can’t appropriately target your marketing to them.For example, a company that sells personal tax software may find that they have two buyer personas — one that is identified as a professional accountant, the other identified as an individual looking to prepare his or her own taxes. You wouldn’t speak to these two audiences the same way, right? That’s why it’s important to not only create your buyer personas, but ask them to self identify when they become a lead so you can appropriately segment them in your lead nurturing, create content messaged just for them, and map the content appropriately.If you have created your buyer personas, ask yourself how you need to tweak the messaging in your already existing content assets (and those on your list to create) to speak most appropriately to each persona. Some content assets you may find can exist as they are — an FAQ about your product or service, for example — while others may need to be rewritten — like a case study, perhaps — to be more easily digestible for two personas who don’t quite speak the same language.Applying Content Mapping to a Real-Life ScenarioNow you know how to map content to each stage in the buying cycle, but let’s take it from (unicorn) theory to real life application. HubSpot customer Magic Software successfully moves leads who filled out a form to receive an educational whitepaper — a top of the funnel offer — through the ‘Awareness’ stage of the buying cycle to the ‘Purchase’ stage with these content asset types. Take a look:Step 1: Download an educational whitepaper — this lead is in the ‘Awareness’ stage and is looking to learn about integrating two pieces of software.Step 2: Instead of pushing the lead right to the ‘Evaluation’ stage, this email encourages the lead to review more educational content in their Resource Center about software integration.Step 3: Now that the lead has spent some time reading educational materials, it’s time to move them gently along to the ‘Evaluation’ stage of the buying cycle by offering some software integration webinars. The lead is still being educated, but webinars are a more time intensive content asset to consume, and indicate a lead’s willingness to seriously consider your solution.Step 4: Still in the ‘Evaluation’ stage, this email makes the jump from the webinar — educational but high-commitment content — to content centered around the solution they offer. Now the lead is ready to read about how a Magic Software product can solve their software integration problem through its product documentation.Step 5: Finally, this lead moves to the ‘Purchase’ stage of the buying cycle with high-commitment content. This email asks the lead to sign up for product training — an offer only a lead seriously considering a purchase would redeem. Because this lead wasn’t rushed through the buying cycle, but instead received content appropriate for their level of interest and education, they are in a far better position to turn into a customer.Have you mapped content to each stage in your sales funnel? Share tips from your experience in the comments!Image credit: Sudhamshu Originally published Feb 16, 2012 12:40:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Lead Nurturing Topics:last_img read more

How to Audit Your Website for Improved SEO and Conversions

first_img Originally published Apr 23, 2018 10:41:04 PM, updated October 30 2019 Topics: Conversion Rate Optimization What Is a Website Audit?A website audit is an examination of page performance prior to large-scale search engine optimization (SEO) or a website redesign. Auditing your website can determine whether or not it’s optimized to achieve your traffic goals, and if not, how you can improve it to increase performance.When was the last time you gave your website a checkup?Download Now: Free 8-Week Conversion Rate Optimization PlannerIf you’ve never before audited your website, it’s been a while since you have, or you’re planning a website redesign in the near future, use this post as your go-to website audit checklist to make sure your website is primed for maximum SEO and conversion results.Keep in mind that in most cases, you’ll probably want to pair up with someone with a technical brain for this, whether that be someone in your in-house IT department or an outsourced party.The Benefits of a Website AuditBefore we dive into the things you should be keeping an eye out for as you’re auditing your website, let’s review some of the benefits of doing one. Here are some of the top benefits from a marketing perspective:Website Performance OptimizationWebsite audits usually evaluate a site not only for its content, but also for its technical performance.As a result, an audit will give you a chance to inspect the robustness of your website’s technical framework and infrastructure, assess how friendly your website is to search engines, and determine how easy it is for users to navigate and intuitively find content on your website.Search Engine OptimizationBy conducting a website audit, you’ll be able to identify any missed SEO opportunities and remedy any misguided or poorly executed SEO pitfalls (e.g. keyword stuffing, exact match anchor text links, etc.) throughout the content of your website.It will also allow you to re-focus your SEO efforts on users first and search engines second. This will safeguard you from constantly chasing changes to search ranking algorithms, meaning you won’t be applying misguided practices just to show up in the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).Conversion Rate OptimizationThirdly, website audits enable you re-evaluate the effectiveness of your website in terms of lead generation and conversion. As a result, you’ll be able to spot any previously overlooked opportunities to convert visitors into leads so you can add relevant CTAs, as well as identify deficiencies in your landing pages so you can optimize them to boost conversions.As you can see, assessing both the content and technical aspects of your website will open up opportunities to drastically improve the traffic and conversions your website generates.The 4 Assessments to Make When Auditing Your WebsiteLet’s talk about how to pursue each of the three benefits above, and what you should specifically be checking for in this four-part website audit.But first, enter your website into HubSpot’s Website Grader — this will give you a general overview of your website’s strengths so you can gauge your focus on each of the assessments that follow in this article.How’d you do? Got an idea of which website audit benefits you need the most? Here we go.1. Website Performance AssessmentIn the first part of your website audit, you should be focusing on how users navigate your website — from your homepage, to blog posts, to landing pages, and any related content in between.Make a list of the pages on your website and ask yourself the following questions to evaluate them for optimization opportunities: Is Your Website Optimized for Maximum Usability?The more visitors you can attract to your website, the more opportunities you’ll have to generate leads and, ultimately, customers. But only if your website performs well.As I’m sure you can imagine, just having a website does not guarantee results. As part of determining the overall efficiency of your website, your audit should check to make sure your site is designed with your visitors in mind. The design and overall navigability of your website should correspond with what a person would come to the site to seek out, such as more information on a business-related topic, resources, product/pricing information, testimonials, etc. This will largely depend on your individual business.The main goal here is to make it easy for people to get to the information they’re looking for. As a result, you’ll likely see conversion rates improve on their own.To audit your website for usability, consider the following:Are all the main value propositions of our business easily accessible via our main navigations/menu items?Do we have a simple yet intuitive website design and page layout? Make sure pages aren’t too cluttered; littered with ads, CTAs, or links; or void of internal links altogether.Are your conversion paths and/or shopping cart or checkout processes intuitive? Are there a ton of distractions along the way that could be creating friction for your site visitors?You might also consider doing some user testing with members of your target audience to ensure you’re effectively surfacing the content they’re looking for, and that they find it easy to navigate to the parts of your website they’re interested in.How Is Your Website’s Overall Speed?Are there excessive page sizes and/or long page load and server response times? Does your site go down frequently? Site speed can be impacted when image files are too large or HTML and CSS needs to be cleaned up, all of which can drastically improve your site speed.Ultimately, fast-loading and optimized pages will lead to higher visitor engagement, retention, and conversions. To quickly check a web page’s load time, download MozBar, a toolbar by Moz that you can attach to your browser for simple page analysis every time you visit a website.2. SEO AssessmentOptimizing the performance of your website is crucial to holding onto visitors, but the above question isn’t the only one you should be asking. You should also audit the content you’re publishing to ensure it’s actually solving your visitors’ problems.Is Your Website Content High Quality?As you evaluate your content for quality, think about it from your target audience’s perspective. Did this information leave me satisfied? Did it answer all of my questions? Does it give me all the resources relevant to this topic? Do I know what to do next?Keep in mind quality content should appeal to the interests, needs, and problems of your buyer personas; be interesting and well-written, provide valuable, thorough and detailed information about a particular topic; and leave the reader with next steps (such as calls-to-action, links to resources, etc.).If you’re still not sure if your content is high quality, evaluate it with this checklist:” How to Tell if Your Marketing Content Is Actually Valuable.”Is Your Website Search Engine Optimized?Make sure all your web pages are following on-page SEO best practices. To audit your content for on-page SEO, conduct a keyword analysis in which you do the following:Consult your analytics to review keyword performance. Which keywords are giving you the biggest gains in traffic and leads?Assess how well you’re factoring keyword performance into your content strategy. How much relevant content are you adding to your website to target those keywords?Review basic on-page SEO elements like URLs, page titles, meta description, and copy. Make sure keywords are included where relevant.To help you conduct an on-page SEO audit of your content, read the “Step-by-Step Guide to Flawless On-Page SEO,” which also includes a free downloadable on-page SEO template to keep you on track.3. Conversion Rate AssessmentWhile high-quality, search engine optimized content is a great way to boost your traffic numbers, it’s what happens once those visitors are on your website that really counts. Unless of course, you don’t care about conversions (ha!).Is Your Website Optimized for Lead Generation and Conversions?This is where optimized calls-to-action (CTAs), marketing offers, and landing pages play a major role in the performance of your website. Not only do they offer you opportunities to capture visitors’ information so you can follow up with leads, but they also keep your visitors engaged with your content and your brand.To audit your website for maximum conversion potential, ask yourself the following questions:How many marketing offers do I have in my content arsenal to gate behind landing pages?Do I have a variety of marketing offers that appeal to all my different buyer personas?Do I have any landing pages/conversion forms on my website to begin with? How optimized are those landing pages?Do I have conversion opportunities for visitors in varying stages of the funnel?Am I using calls-to-action effectively? Am I missing opportunities to include calls-to-action on various pages of my website?To learn more about CTA selection, check out our post, ” How to Select the Right CTA for Every Page on Your Website.”4. Technical AssessmentOnce you’ve addressed the three primary goals of a website audit, it’s time to loop in a developer or someone from your IT department for a technical evaluation. You could also hire an outside agency — just be sure to do your homework first.Keep in mind that there may be some carry-over from the three assessments above — website performance, SEO, and conversion rate. The technical evaluation, however, addresses all three to maximize the user experience (UX).Here’s what you should be looking for in the technical assessment stage of your website audit …Is Your Website Design Responsive?Does your website have a responsive design? Meaning, is it a mobile-friendly website? The usage of smartphones to access the internet is only growing. As of 2017, mobile devices account for half of all web page views worldwide. As a result, websites must be compatible with that growing demand.For more on mobile compatibility, check out our “Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering Mobile Marketing.”Is Your Website Error Message Free?Are response code errors popping up all over your website where there shouldn’t be any? Calling out 302-, 404-, and 500-level response codes can be useful to tell users that something’s wrong.However, having this happen is also an indication that someone isn’t cleaning up broken links and, as a result, leading users to dead ends. Find those error messages and clean up your broken links. Tools like Google’s Webmaster Tools or Xenu’s Link Sleuth can be very helpful for this.Are Your Website URLs Optimized?Does your site have URLs of excessive length due to keyword stuffing? Do they contain session IDs and/or include tons of dynamic parameters? In some cases, these URLs are difficult for search engines to index and result in lower clickthrough rates from search results.Learn more about SEO-friendly URL syntax practices in this helpful post from Search Engine Land.Does Your Website Have Too Much Flash or JavaScript?Identify areas of your navigation that are entirely Flash or JavaScript. Search engines have challenges reading and accessing these, which could prevent your site from getting indexed.Furthermore, these elements present problems from a usability perspective. Visitors are often looking for a very specific piece of information when visiting your site; if they have to sit through a 10-second visual introduction before they can find your hours of operation, you’re going to have a pretty frustrated visitor on your hands.Is Your Site Structure Optimized for Search Engines?We already talked about site structure as it relates to accessing content and usability for users, but it’s also important to make sure your site structure is optimal for search engines. If pages on your site are not internally linked to from other pages on your site, those pages are less likely to be indexed.Learn more about effective site structure for SEO in this Moz article.Are You Defining How Your Web Pages Are Crawled and Indexed by Search Engines?This can be done through various methods that include everything from robots files and tags, to sitemaps. These measures are a way for you to guide search engines toward your website’s most useful content.Robots Files or TagsThe robots meta tag lets you utilize a granular, page-specific approach to controlling how an individual page should be indexed and served to users in search results. These tags should sit in the section of a given page.The robots.txt file, on the other hand, is a text file that allows you to specify how you would like your site to be crawled. Before crawling a website, search engine crawlers will generally request the robots.txt file from a server. Within the robots.txt file, you can include sections for specific (or all) crawlers with instructions (“directives”) that let them know which parts should or should not be crawled.Public and XML SitemapsYour website should also have public and XML Sitemap files. The public sitemap is one that users can access to review the pages of your site, like the index of a book.The XML Sitemap is for search engines to review pages that get added to your site, all in one place. The usual location of a sitemap.xml file is www.domainname.com/sitemap.xml. The XML Sitemap is something every website should have; it offers an opportunity to tell Google and the other search engines what pages on your site you want to be crawled and indexed.While search engines don’t guarantee they will abide by your sitemap, anecdotal evidence has proven time and time again that XML Sitemaps help provide insurance that your pages are found, and found faster — especially if your sitemap(s) dynamically update your new web pages.Are You Defining Canonicalization of Content?The canonicalization of your website content is the final major technical consideration to make. To gain more control over how your URLs appear in search results, and to minimize issues related to duplicate content, it’s recommended that you pick a canonical (preferred) URL as the preferred version of the page.You can indicate your preference to Google in a number of ways. One such way is to set the Canonical Tag (rel=”canonical”) in an HTTP header of a page. Be sure to have someone check that the Canonical Tag is properly implemented across the site by making sure it points to the correct page, and that every page doesn’t point to the homepage.It’s important to establish an audit framework early on. Ask yourself questions ideally centered around gauging “How am I doing?” These questions may also include things like, “How does this compare to others, especially my competitors?”Website audits aren’t easy, especially if you’re not totally tech-savvy. For additional resources, check out this article by Distilled, which highlights a list of tools to use as you conduct your technical audit; as well as this complete site audit checklist by SEER.I also recommend passing the Google Webmaster’s Guide along to anyone implementing this kind of work. 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

Pinterest FAQs: Answers to 11 Questions You’ve Always Wanted to Ask

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 Feb 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 Topics: Pinterest Marketing Did you know that Pinterest is turning four in March? I mean, where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday marketers were beginning to explore how Pinterest could fit into their marketing strategies. Now, the site has over 70 million active users, and marketers around the world have embraced it as a legitimate social media marketing channel.Though Pinterest is much more mainstream now, we’ve got to be careful. As my mother tells me every so often, sometimes you think you know it all — but you probably don’t.Free Resource: 12 Pinterest Templates for Business Not because there isn’t an answer to your question, but perhaps because you haven’t even asked the question yet. Maybe you think it’s a silly question. Embarrassing to ask, even.But we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve listed the answers to some of your most burning Pinterest questions in the best judgment-free zone to find answers: a blog post.11 Questions About Pinterest You’ve Wanted to Ask1) Okay, I’m on Pinterest. Now, how do I get followers?It’s intimidating to join Pinterest and see a big fat zero next to your number of followers, but don’t worry — they’re out there. Building your reach on social networks takes work and time, but can really turn the dial up on traffic and leads for your business.Because there are two options for people to engage with you on Pinterest — either follow an individual board or your account as a whole — there are quite a few ways you can get more people to follow you. A couple small things you can try include adding a Pinterest follow button to your website, pinning content throughout the day, letting your email subscribers and leads know that you’re on Pinterest, and even following a few other people on Pinterest in the hope they’ll return the favor.2) Um … what am I supposed to be pinning on Pinterest?There are many, many things you can pin on Pinterest. But, before you start pinning, you should to be thinking about your strategy for visual content.Marketers should invest in visual content as part of their overall marketing strategy, but when it comes to Pinterest, there are a few things that can help guide your decisions on what to pin.Beyond regular photos, marketers can post articles, experiment with infographics, and even pin videos. You’ve just got to make sure, though, you’ve got your Pinterest board strategy down first.3) So what’s the difference between a pin, a repin, and a favorite?Just like other social networks (especially Twitter), Pinterest has some lingo of its own you’ll want to understand as you navigate the site.A pin is essentially a bookmark, so when you find something on the web you want to keep or look at later, you can “pin” it to one of your boards.Meanwhile, a repin is when you take an image that’s already on someone else’s board and post it to one of your own. When you do this, notifications are sent to let the other person know you’ve repinned something of theirs.Same thing with anything you like: Pressing that “heart” button on a pin will send a notification to that person that you liked their pin.4) Will people actually use Pinterest in the long run or is it just a fad?Heck yeah they will. As mentioned, the site has millions of devoted followers. It’s also popular no matter what time of day it is. For example, 4.8% of American users check out Pinterest at the office during work hours.And just what are people doing on Pinterest? Well, they’re pinning pins, repinning pins (80% of pins are repins), creating boards, and following other boards of interest.Very Pinteresting, if you ask us. Evidence hints that the site isn’t dwindling in popularity anytime soon.5) Isn’t Pinterest just for women?Nope. While women account for 80% of registered Pinterest users, plenty of men use it as well. While it’s up to you to post content to the site and, in turn, find your core audience — men, women, Millennials, older generations, students, professionals, etc. — using Pinterest for business can help you drive traffic to your site, bring in leads, and even boost sales.I could go on, but instead, I’ll point you to more resources you can check out after this reading this post. Here’s our ultimate guide on mastering Pinterest for marketing.6) I’m scared to ask my manager: How do I decide if Pinterest is good for my business?Good for you for not jumping in with both feet on a popular social network just for the sake of having an account. Smart marketers know they need to evaluate if that new social network they’re considering is worth their company’s time.Here’s a good place to start: Are your buyer personas likely to frequent the site? What are your competitors doing on Pinterest? Once you’ve gathered that information, you’re better equipped to decide if Pinterest is a good social network for your company to have a presence on and if it’ll help with your overall marketing strategy.7) Are businesses actually successful with their Pinterest marketing? Which ones?Yes, and let’s get on the same page about one thing: You can do successful marketing on Pinterest whether you’re a B2C company selling cars or a B2B company selling software.For instance, Staples learned a lot by using Pinterest as a marketing channel. So has Chobani: Yes, the company sells yogurt, but it’s using Pinterest to teach people more about the Chobani brand and lifestyle through the use of different boards and relatable photos.8) Analytics. Data. Metrics. Do those even exist on Pinterest?Yes, there are ways to measure your success with Pinterest. When thinking about the success of your marketing on the site, there are two things to consider.One is how your account is performing on Pinterest itself. The second is the return on investment you’re getting by using Pinterest as a marketing channel.With those two concepts in mind, read our blog post on measuring success on Pinterest. And if you have a Pinterest business account, the platform offers free analytics for measuring this stuff.9) I assume there are some rules for Pinterest, right? What are they?There are definitely “rules,” but they’re not as hard and fast as you might think. Where Pinterest is concerned — and, actually, where social media at large is concerned — is that there’s proper social media marketing etiquette that you should always follow.For instance, it’s best not be too self-promotional, which can be tempting as a business that’s trying to bring traffic to their site. Pinterest actually has a webpage that discusses Pinterest etiquette in which they say, “We think authenticity — expressing who you really are and what you’re really like — is more important than getting lots of followers.” So be sure to take this to heart — otherwise, you’re at risk for being banned from the social site.10) What’s another way to show my pins to my audience without always linking to Pinterest?There’s a couple. Just like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and a slew of other social networks, you can showcase your account on other marketing collateral you have.For example, a quick win is embedding one of your boards right onto your website — and we’ve got instructions on how to do that. But that’s only one of the four ways to cross-pollinate your pins with the rest of your marketing.Pinterest also has a “Pin it” button, a “Follow” button, a “Profile” widget, and a “Board” widget that are all easy to integrate with your website. And the best part? We’ve got a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to use all of these social sharing buttons.11) My website is the cat’s meow. How can I get people to share it on Pinterest?It’s pretty easy to make it … well … easy for people to pin things from your website to their own Pinterest boards.Pinterest has a great Goodies page that shows you how to make a “Pin it” button to put on your website. This button helps your website visitors quickly share your work on their own Pinterest boards. last_img read more

How Use Storytelling to Cut Through the B2B Content Clutter [Infographic]

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 Apr 8, 2014 2:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Storytelling Topics:center_img The internet is a busy, busy place. Every day people all over the world are publishing more and more content — and somehow you’ve got to make your content stand out from it the rest.Luckily, there are lots of ways you can try to get noticed online. Maybe you decide to game the system with Upworthy-style headlines. Or maybe you offer search-engine friendly content. Or maybe you develop a passionate, engaged community that shares all of your content like crazy. Or maybe, you tell great stories that make people come back again and again and again. If you decide to do that last option — tell great stories — and need some help getting started, check out the infographic below by LookBookHQ and Beutler Ink. Keep reading to discover some compelling stats about how people consume content online, and get some tips for using storytelling to make your content stand out.How Use Storytelling to Cut Through the B2B Content Clutter Save Save5 Tweetable Takeaways”79% of people scan the web instead of reading word by word.”  “Professionals spend 51% of their time managing information instead of acting on it.”  “Every 60 seconds, 700,000 Google searches are performed, 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, and 168 million emails are sent.”  “Blog posts with videos are linked to 3X more than text-only posts.”   “90% of surveyed professionals admit to having thrown away information without reading it.”  How do you use storytelling in your marketing? Share your experience with us in the comments. last_img read more

8 Tips on Building Brand Awareness From Top UK Growth Hackers

first_img Topics: Branding tactics have drastically changed over the last decade and marketers have had to learn a whole new playbook — a playbook that is constantly evolving with new technologies and social platforms. It’s increasingly difficult to build and reach new audiences without a solid content and social media strategy in place. In fact, 70% of marketers say that content marketing has actually increased their brand awareness. (iMedia Connection)HubSpot recently analysed data from over 3,500 marketers in the UK and discovered that this exact challenge — brand awareness — is the marketing tactic that they struggle with most. In our research to solve this challenge, we came across some fantastic advice from people and brands who have seen amazing success with getting their brand in front of the masses through content, social, and a bit of creativity. So sit back, relax, and let’s learn from the wise, shall we?1) Innocent Founder, Richard Reed, says:”Remember that every business in the world started small. M&S began life as a market stall, and YouTube was started by two friends in a room above a pizza takeaway. Even in today’s heavily competitive world, little can still get big.”Lesson: Think Like a PublisherInnocent has really adopted the publisher model of marketing — they’ve published multiple recipe books which have had a huge impact on their brand growth — plus they’re not just seen as a company who want to sell a product to make money. Instead, they’re seen as a company that helps people live healthier lives, and one that is socially and ethically responsible.They also maintain a popular blog on which they write valuable content that helps their readers live a healthier life, which enables them to attract and engage an audience. Additionally, 10% of Innocent’s profits go to charity, so they also use their blog to highlight important news from their foundation, and how they are making a difference in poverty-stricken countries. 2) Innocent Community Manager, Joe McEwan, says:”The key to Innocent’s success has been a consistent tone of voice — one that’s natural, honest, and engaging — making social activity feel like a natural extension of the company’s personality.”Lesson: Find Your Tone of VoiceFind the tone of voice that works for your audience and maintain it in all of your communications. Remember, you are marketing to people, not companies, or robots. The first step to getting this right is in creating your buyer personas, and knowing what their goals and challenges are. This will tell you who your audience is and will enable you to change your tone of voice to what resonates best with them.If you don’t know who your buyer persona is yet, or how to create one, you can download our template here.3) Socialable Founder, Lilach Bullock, says:”It’s important to have a variety of different types of content that has the shareability factor.”Lesson: Create Shareable ContentCreating educational and engaging content can help you become an invaluable resource to your target audience. Giving your network exactly what they want will help you grow an organic audience who engages with your brand on your website, follows you across social, and helps your brand grow its reach by sharing your content with their friends and peers. You should always be thinking about how shareable your content is. Ask yourself: “If I read this, would I share it with my friends, colleagues, network, or family?” If the answer is no, go back to the beginning and rethink it.4) Upworthy Cofounder, Eli Pariser, says:”A good headline can be the difference between 1,000 people and 1,000,000 people reading something.”Lesson: Experiment With Your HeadlinesWhen you’re looking to create something that gets maximum exposure for your brand, nailing the headline is essential. At Upworthy, the curators need to come up with 25 headlines for every piece of content. They then select their favourite four, and the managing editor selects the final two to experiment with.Coming up with an attention-grabbing headline for your content will help maximise the reach of your content, and your brand.5) Upworthy Cofounder, Eli Pariser, also says: Originally published May 20, 2014 4:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 “We go for visible, shareable stories and really stay away from doing more typical, text-driven articles and blogging. We lean into images and videos.”Lesson: Don’t Be BoringIn order to build brand awareness, your content needs to be remarkable and shareable. For that to work, you can’t be doing the same thing as everyone else in your industry. Do something quirky that shows off the personality of your brand. Experiment with videos, infographics, and more visual content that can really grab attention.90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. (Sources: 3M Corporation and Zabisco) Additionally, photos on Facebook Pages receive 53% more Likes and 104% more comments than the average post. (Source: HubSpot.)For tips on how to create an infographic in an hour or less, grab our free templates here.6) Socialable Founder, Lilach Bullock, also says:”Social media can play a huge part in growth hacking and really build brand awareness for companies. The trick is to make sure you get the balance right between simply broadcasting and real live engagement.”Lesson: Don’t Social SpamWhen it comes to social media, “good” is far from good enough for getting your brand messaging heard over all the noise out there. Thousands of brands are vying for the same audience’s attention. People are beaten over the head with product information, promotional offers, and branded cat memes.To stand out, your brand needs to stop fixating on best practices and do something remarkable — and the easiest and most impactful way to be remarkable on social is by having a conversation. Listen to what your fans are saying and respond to their concerns, questions, and comments.If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can set up social monitoring streams in Social Inbox to monitor Twitter for mentions of your company name, your competitors, and any variety of keywords so you can be notified by email as soon as something pops up that needs your attention.7) Author/Speaker Brian Carter says:”If you can’t spend $30 per month ($1 per day on Facebook Ads), you shouldn’t be in business.” Lesson: Invest a LittleWith Facebook organic reach at 6.15% and expected to decrease even further, more and more companies are investing in paid content distribution on the platform. With very targeted ad campaigns, great content, and even the smallest amount of cash to spend, companies can reach their current fans and more on Facebook. For more on this topic, read our guest blog from Simon Penson of Zazzle Media.8) Intercom Managing Editor says:”Journalists bring a lot of skills to the table — writing, editing, research etc. But for content marketing natural curiosity is probably the most important. Lesson: Journalists Can Make Great Content MarketersWhether working for a traditional media outlet or in-house, a journalist’s job is still the same — to figure out what makes an interesting story that people are going to want to read about. Good journalists ask questions and challenge assumptions, not just in terms of what your company does but also others in your industry. That’s what produces content that people will want to read.For our checklist on what to look for when hiring a journalist for your content marketing as well as tips on how to build brand awareness with limited resources, download our guide, Growth Hacking Brand Awareness.center_img Brand Awareness 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

5 Data-Backed Reasons to Redesign an Ugly Website [Infographic]

first_img Topics: 1K+Save Website Design Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlackcenter_img For even the most seasoned marketer, website design can be both really exciting (so many possibilities!) and totally daunting (so many possibilities …).The final product is a combination of many, many little details: What should the color scheme be? Should we write in bulleted lists or paragraph form? Is stock photography okay, or should we take our own photos?Though these tweaks all seem like small, inconsequential changes, making the wrong choices can actually stunt your traffic and conversions.So, what are the right choices? Red Website Design gathered the data to answer that question in this easy-to-follow infographic. Learn which parts of your website design impact users the most so you can properly plan, prioritize, and optimize your site.1K+Save Originally published Aug 18, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more