Global airline profits to fall in 2017 as oil costs rise

first_imgThe International Air Transport Association is predicting global airline profits will fall 16 per cent next year amid higher oil prices and slower global traffic growth.Next year will also see almost 4 billion travellers to take to the air and 55.7 million tonnes of cargo transported as the industry accounts for almost 1 per cent of global GDP. An IATA global forecast released on Thursday predicts 2017  will see global profits slide to  $US29.8 billion, or $US7.54 per passenger,  after reaching a cyclical peak this year of $US35.6 billion.It also lowered its 2016 profit estimates from a June estimate of $US39.4 billion due to lower global GDP growth and rising costs., although they remain slightly ahead of 2015’s figure of $US35.3 billion. Nonetheless, this was still the highest absolute profit generated by the airline industry and the highest net profit margin of 5.1 per cent.IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said the industry continued to deliver strong results, although what were record profits for airlines were considered normal for most other businesses.“Even though conditions in 2017 will be more difficult with rising oil prices, we see the industry earning $29.8 billion,’’ de Juniac said. “That’s a very soft landing and safely in profitable territory. These three years are the best performance in the industry’s history—irrespective of the many uncertainties we face. Indeed, risks are abundant— political, economic and security among them.’’Next year’s profit is expected to be hit by a rise in oil prices from an average this year of  $US44.60 a barrel to $US55. This will push up jet fuel prices from $US52.10 per barrel to $US64.90.IATA’s forecast noted that while this will account for almost 19 per cent of the industry’s cost structure next year,  it will still be less than the average of 33.2 per cent in 2012-13. One impact of the higher prices will be a slowing in traffic growth from 5.9 per cent this year to 5.1 per cent next year.  Although capacity growth will also slow, industry load factors are expected to fall from 80.2 percent this year to 79.8 per cent.“The negative impact of a lower load factor is expected to be offset somewhat by a strengthening of global economic growth, ‘’ IATA said in its analysis. “ World GDP is projected to expand by 2.5 per cent in 2017 (up from 2.2 per cent in 2016).“Along with structural changes in the industry, this is expected to help stabilize yields for both the cargo and passenger businesses. This is a welcome development as yields (calculated in dollar terms) have fallen each year since 2012.’’Industry consolidation means North American carriers are expected to remain the most profitable with net profits of $US18.1 billion, down from $US20.3 billion this year. They will also have the strongest net margin of 8.5 per cent and the highest average profit per passenger of $US19.58. Capacity next year is expected to grow by 2.6 percent compared to demand growth of 2.5 per cent.European carriers will see a significant fall in aggregate net profit from $US7.5 billion this year to $US5.6 billion next year, the equivalent of $US5.65 per passenger. Capacity growth of 4.3 per cent will outstrip demand growth of 4 per cent in a region IATA characterised as being  subject to intense competition “hampered by high costs, onerous regulation and high taxes’’.The association also noted that terrorist threats remained a real risk despite returning confidence after recent incidents.In the Asia- Pacific, carriers were expected generate a net profit of $US6.3 billion next year, down from $US7.3 billion, with per passenger profits at $US4.44. Capacity was expected to jump 7.6 per cent and outstrip a 7 per cent growth in demand.“Improved cargo performance is expected to offset rising fuel prices for many of the region’s airlines,’’ the analysis said. “The expansion of new model airlines and progressive liberalization in the region is intensifying already strong competition. In addition, profitability varies widely across the region.’’The forecast for the Middle East came with a warning that the region’s rapidly expanding carriers face threats in the new year that included rising airport charges and growing air traffic control delays.The  carriers were expected to make a net profit of $US300 million, down from $US900 million.“Average yields for the region’s carriers are low but unit costs are even lower, partly driven by the strong capacity expansion, forecast at 10.1 per cent …. ahead of expected demand growth of 9.0 per cent,’’ IATA said.Profit per passenger in Latin America is tipped to be less than $1 as the region’s carrier post a net profit $US200 million, down from $300 million this year. Capacity is expected to grow at 4.8 per cent ahead of demand growth of 4 per cent.“Despite some signs of improvement in the region’s currencies and economic prospects, operating conditions remain challenging, with infrastructure deficiencies, high taxes, and a growing regulatory burden across the continent,’’ IATA said.Regional conflict and low  commodity prices will again see African carriers make an overall loss of $9.97 per passenger or $US800 million. Capacity in 2017 is expected to grow by 4.7 per cent,  ahead of a 4.5 per cent growth in demand.last_img read more

Giving wildlife a sporting chance

first_imgLions and other regional carnivores now have added protection through the efforts of the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Golden Lions Rugby Union.(Image: Luke Harwood) MEDIA CONTACTS • Hayley Komen  Communications manager, EWT  +27 11 486 1102• Krystle Geach  PR and media manager, GLRU  +27 11 402 2960 x130 RELATED ARTICLES • EWT making tracks in conservation • West African lion linked to Asiatic cat • Raggies to help shark conservation • World’s largest nature area, in Africa • Lions return to Great KarooLyndon JafthaThe Gauteng-based Golden Lions Rugby Union (GLRU) has teamed up with the Endangered Wildlife Trust to boost conservation efforts in 2012. This makes the Lions the first professional rugby team to formally enter into a conservation project.According to GLRU public relations manager Krystle Geach, the main focus will be on saving South Africa’s carnivores, but the team will also give prominence to the protection of rhinos.The venture, announced in October, is expected to give extra impetus to the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) efforts, and bring the concept of conservation to a whole new audience.The GLRU, which also undertakes social responsibility projects such as developing rugby facilities in townships, was approached by the EWT and wasted no time in agreeing to the partnership.Vanessa du Plessis of the EWT said that the project would communicate the NGO’s mission and vision powerfully and efficiently, and because there are so many sports fans in South Africa, the message will be spread far and wide.It is hoped that the partnership will increase conservation awareness through the GLRU’s website, its social network sites Facebook and Twitter, and the newsletter that is sent out fortnightly during the rugby seasons.In addition, the EWT will keep fans up to date on their projects and events via the Lions magazine, which is distributed five times a year to ticket holders and is also available in various retail outlets.And to drive the message home, EWT news will appear in match day programmes, while announcements and images will also be displayed on the big screen in stadiums on match days.Sustaining our diversityThe EWT was established in 1973 with the aim of promoting a healthy planet and a world that values and is able to sustain its diversity of life. The organisation’s mission is to protect threatened species and ecosystems in the Southern African region.Through some 80 projects across the region, the EWT is helping to preserve wetland ecosystems, reduce conflicts between humans and wildlife, and more.Current projects include the Airport Wildlife Programme which aims to increase aviation safety by reducing bird strikes; and the Healthy Rivers Programme, which focuses on the conservation of freshwater species and ecosystems throughout Southern Africa.One of its most important projects is currently on many minds locally and abroad – the rhino poaching crisis. In addition to working in the field and with like-minded organisations, the EWT, through its partner Afrika Force, has produced a fashionable beaded bracelet that is sold at a number of retail stores around South Africa.The bracelets provide an easy way for people to support rhino conservation, and bring in an income for the men and women who make them.There is also the precarious situation of endangered carnivores, such as the African wild dog, whose population in South Africa now numbers less than 400 individuals. At the same time, the lawful and unlawful trading of leopard and cheetah is negatively impacting on the existence of these big cats.The EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme aims to conserve predators by securing new habitats, conducting vital research, and addressing important problems such as the trade and illegal killing of these threatened animals.last_img read more

FD Early Intervention Webinar: Creating Supportive and Inclusive Environments

first_imgSocial Emotional Development in the Early Years: Creating Supportive and Inclusive EnvironmentsDate:  November 12, 2015Time:  11:00 am – 12:30 pm EasternLocation: Social Emotional Development in the Early Years: Creating Supportive and Inclusive EnvironmentsCreative Commons Licensing, [Flickr, Baby Learns How To Grab 1-March 17, 2013]Amy Santos, PhD, and Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, will discuss the importance of creating supportive and inclusive environments to promote social emotional development in young children with disabilities. Santos and Ostrosky will discus specific topics including:  1) Research studies that highlight the impact of supportive environments on children’s social emotional development 2) Evidence based strategies that parents and military family service providers can implement in their respective settings 3) Considerations when assessing children’s natural environments 4) Parent coaching strategies to assist parents and caregivers reflect on and adapt their environments to support their children’s social emotional development.MFLN FD Early Intervention webinars offer CE Credits through the Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) at the University of Illinois. The EI team is actively pursuing more CE opportunities in states other than Illinois. Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, & Virginia participants can obtain a certificate of completion to submit to their credentialing agencies for review for CE credits. Please check back frequently to the webinar Learn Event web page to receive updates on our progress. Access to the webinar page can be found here.For more information on future presentations in the 2015 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.last_img read more

Five Legitimate Reasons Your Business Doesn’t Need A WebSite

first_img think arelegitimate that didn’t make the list above, please share them in thecomments.  I’ll do a follow-up article and capture the ones Imissed. Legitimate Reasons Your Business Doesn’tNeed An Effective Website One of the primary reasons for having a working, effective website is to increase the number of clients you have and grow your revenues.  If you’re not looking to grow your business significantly, there’s probably little reason to try and find more clients or grow your revenues.   You’re not looking to grow:  .  Most of these reasons are little more than rationalizationsfor existing behavior.  But, there are some reasons that are actually very good Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack As you read through the above, notice some of the reasonsthat did If you have the luxury of running a business for which there is very little (if any) competition and you’ve got an offering that people must have, a website is probably not crucial.  Your clients need what you have and there’s nowhere else to go.  Congratulations!  Though a shiny new website might impress your spouse and colleagues, you probably don’t need one to improve your business.   If you are looking to increase staff, chances are that your prospective recruits (particularly the kinds of people you want to hire) will likely want to learn more about you.  The web is a great place to do that.  This is particularly true for new entrants into the workforce that have grown up with the Internet.  When faced with the decision of joining an organization that has a vibrant and interactive website where they can learn about what the company does and what makes them “tick” vs. an organization that simply has a brochure on the web – most recruits will pick the one with the more expressive website, all other things being equal.  Small businesses are particularly well served as they don’t have the brand and resources that can help attract exceptional people outside of their immediate network.  A website can help with that. I’ll admit that there are many businesses that do a great job of getting referral customers and tapping their existing network for new business.  If this is you, then perhaps a website is not that important.  This assumes of course that your rolodex will Note:  Just because you qualify for one of thesereasons doesn’t necessarily let you off the hook.  But if a few ofthem are true (or one of the big ones like #1 or #2 apply), then you probablycan get away with a flat website that doesn’t do very much. you You don’t expect to sell the company any time soon:  You’re operating in a virtual monopoly: center_img some You’re Not Hiring Any Time Soon: I’d like to share the really good reasons why aworking website may not be relevant for your business.  asset I have conversations with business owners every weekregarding Internet strategy (and why they need one).  Most of these conversationsare with smart people with reasonably successful businesses.  When facedwith the discussion of their website, they often come up with lots of reasonswhy an effective website isn’t all that relevant for them.  Sure,they understand the need to have For more and more types of businesses, the website is an important that factors into valuation discussions.  This is particularly true if you have a startup business, a hi-tech business or one that “scales” well (i.e. adding new customers does not increase costs proportionately).  The reason is quite simple.  If you have an effective website and can demonstrate that it is successful at helping you get new clients, you have a better business than someone who doesn’t.  The Internet is a great way for many businesses to have a low customer acquisition cost.  The other nice thing about the Internet as a vehicle for marketing and sales is that it can be more easily measured.  Imagine if you are selling your business and are able to show the acquirer a chart of your web traffic (and how it’s grown over time) and clear data on how that web traffic translates into revenues.  (You will likely find that the two are highly correlated).  If I were on the buying said, I’d sit up and take notice. make this list.  Exampleswould include “I don’t sell an online product, so I really don’tneed a website.”  Or, “My clients don’t really use theweb, so there’s really no reason for me to invest there.”  If youhave reasons that not to be an effective mechanism for you to get all the new business you need. continue web presence, but they really don’t believe that for their particularbusiness an effective website is going to make that big of a difference.  Theyhave lots of reasons why this is so. Originally published Nov 7, 2006 12:00:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Your rolodex is sufficient for lead generation: last_img read more

ReTweet This to Win One of 3 Apple iPad Tablets from @HubSpot

first_img Yep, that’s right, 3 of the nicest Apple tablets that get announced today will be given out to 3 random people who ReTweet this post, using the ReTweet button below. Update: this contest is closed and we will be annoucing winners starting Monday. Originally published Jan 27, 2010 12:57:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 We also love you guys, our customers, and our fans, so to celebrate not only the release of what is sure to be an amazing computer, but also how awesome you all are, we’re going to give away 3. Who doesn’t love sexy gadgets? And perhaps the most anticipated new one since the iPhone is the Apple tablet, to be announced today. Sound good? Well, get Tweeting! 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

When is the Best Time to Publish Blog Posts? [Infographic]

first_img on the topic. Based on over 170,000 blog posts I’ve created a visualization of the best times and days to post for views, links and comments. Click on the image below to see it full-size. Originally published Dec 8, 2010 5:51:00 PM, updated October 18 2015 For more data like this, be sure to Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . In working on the data for mycenter_img big overarching post for ProBlogger Science of Blogging webinar tomorrow register for tomorrow’s webinar Over the past few years, I’ve researched and written a lot about the best time, and recently, I wrote a , one of the most important questions I could ask my data was “when is the best time to publish a blog post?”last_img read more

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: A Puppet’s Holiday Duet #HoHoHubSpot

first_imgBaby, It’s Cold Without Inbound MarketingRebecca: I really can’t stayUnicorn: But baby, it’s cold outside
Rebecca: I’ve got to go awayUnicorn: But baby, it’s cold outside
Rebecca: This evening has been …Unicorn: You need inbound marketing
Rebecca: … So very niceUnicorn: I’ll make your website optimized
Rebecca: My mother will start to worryUnicorn: Beautiful, what’s your hurryRebecca: My father will be pacing the floorUnicorn: Let’s go write one blog post more
Rebecca: So really I’d better scurryUnicorn: But my mane is soft and furry
Rebecca: Well maybe just a half a drink more Unicorn: Let’s check our lead gen while I pour 

Rebecca: The neighbors might thinkUnicorn: Baby, it’s bad out there
Rebecca: Say, what’s in this drinkUnicorn: Cold calls and ads out there
Rebecca: I wish I knew howUnicorn: To check your analytics now
Rebecca: To break this spellUnicorn: Your conversion rates, they sure look swell
Rebecca: I ought to say no, no, no, sirUnicorn: But our bounce rate is getting much lower.Rebecca: At least I’m gonna say that I tried Unicorn: Our marketing is giving me pride
Rebecca: I really can’t stayUnicorn: Baby, don’t hold out
Together: Baby, it’s cold outside Holiday Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:center_img Hu, the HubSpot Unicorn, is known for many things. First and foremost, he is known for his constant need to get his mouth washed out with a bar of soap. But more importantly, he is known for his ‘coming to light’ moment this holiday season, finally stopping the spread of those awful marketing myths and embracing inbound marketing.What most people don’t know is that Hu is also an amazing singer. How else do you think he gets all the ladies? So to celebrate the season, Hu and HubSpot’s very own Rebecca Corliss decided to duet an updated holiday classic in order to spread marketing and holiday cheer. The lyrics are listed below the video so don’t hesitate to sing along! Happy Holidays from HubSpot and the HubSpot Unicorn!  Originally published Dec 12, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016last_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

Would You Dare Advertise on Reddit?

first_imgFor marketers, Reddit has a lot of things going for it: most notably, an audience that’s both young and huge. Last month, Reddit drew 71 million unique visitors who viewed 4.8 billion pages. Their big challenge, however, is to find a way to make money from that audience without driving it away. Lately Reddit has been experimenting with a new sponsored content campaign in which Reddit creates original video content based on ideas generated by Reddit users. The program has won praise from Edelman content chief Steve Rubel, who writes in AdAge, “The internet isn’t TV, and Reddit knows that and has an approach to original content that might just work if it can stick to what made it a success. Reddit knows that the best way for marketers to get involved is not just through content, but conversation.”The first attempt in content creation is “Explain Like I’m Five,” a series of videos inspired by a subreddit of the same name. (A subreddit is what Reddit calls a topic-specific domain. There are about 5,000 active user-generated subreddits on Reddit.) The videos are sponsored by DonorsChoose, a charity that helps teachers get supplies for their classrooms.The video series, which takes complex topics and explains them to 5-year-olds, is hosted on Reddit’s YouTube channel, aggregated on the DonorsChoose website, and promoted on the ‘Explain Like I’m Five’ subreddit — in an effort to motivate Reddit users to donate to the charity. Reddit even asks its community to contribute ideas for scripts for new videos. Here’s one video:Reddit is trying to identify other subreddits that could lend themselves to being turned into original programming. Next up for a video treatment is a subreddit called “Crazy Ideas,” says Reddit General Manager Erik Martin. Martin says that, for now, Reddit sees the idea as experimental and isn’t selling it in a big way. “There are maybe a few brands we would work with. But it needs to be the right idea and the right sponsor,” he says.As Rubel points out, Reddit’s challenge will be to add mainstream advertisers to its mix without losing its edge and turning off its audience.To be sure, this is the same challenge most user-generated sites confront as they try to attract advertisers (e.g. concerns about porn on Tumblr, or the recent scandal where advertisers suspended Facebook campaigns because of offensive content). But even in the anything-goes world of user-generated content, Reddit pushes the limits. The site contains a huge amount of stuff that could be called “not safe for work.”The trick — for Reddit and for marketers — will be to reach the attractive parts of the Reddit universe and steer clear of the less savory elements. Whether it can be done remains to be seen. Martin points out that “the vast majority of content on Reddit is [safe for work],” and that advertisers can target content that’s safe and be sure that their ads will not run next to racy content.Also, keep in mind that getting in early will have an extra benefit — your brand could get pulled along in all the coverage about the Reddit program. DonorsChoose got mentioned in the Steve Rubel article in AdAge, and this one here on the HubSpot blog, as well as here on a teaching blog, here on Entertainment Weekly, and here on Mediabistro.Thoughts on Reddit’s new sponsored content program? Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jun 4, 2013 4:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Native Advertisinglast_img read more