Navigation

rappamtSummer is a glorious time. Here at GB, we see some rare, but welcome downtime. The great Brendan Bailey gets his rollercoaster fix at Hershey Park, Anthony Rappa dangles dangerously off of the side of mountains, and I finally get to work on our website, getting it back up to snuff with the latest technology.

Wonder what a digital marketing company does to their own website to retain a competitive edge? Well, I’m happy to tell you.

#1 – Have a contact form? Get a privacy policy!
We’ve all seen them, though most of us have never read a single one. We’re talking about “privacy policies,” the dreaded fine print of the internet. Google rarely comes out and says “DO THIS” when it comes to search engine optimization, leaving the challenge to people like us at GB to figure it all out. However, one of the recent commandments that the mighty Google has released is that the future of SEO IS ALL ABOUT USER EXPERIENCE.”

So what does that mean? Essentially Google wants to refer the highest quality businesses to their customers (the people doing the searching) in hopes they have a great experience both on, and offline. Google feels that if they refer you to a shady business and you have a bad experience, you may not return to them for your search needs in the future. What does that mean for you? In short, its probably a good practice to think like a big business when it comes to your website. The “big, reputable guys” all have privacy policies noting what information they are collecting and where its’ going for pages such as contact forms, so why shouldn’t you?

This is a small and easy update to your site that Google really does check for. Recently, some of our paid campaigns via Google received a lower quality score for not having a privacy policy on a page where a lead generation form was located, so we make sure to resolve that issue for both our client’s advertising, and our own campaigns.

#2 – Open Graph Search SEO
This definitely falls more onto the technical side of things, and it can seem a little bit complicated. In short, for the non-techies out there, the Open Graph Protocol makes each page a social object.

Here is a handy application of how OG can help your website in a way that people can actually see, not just some hidden code in the background of things:

You’ve probably had the experience of placing a link into your Facebook status box in efforts of sharing something with your friends and having Facebook automatically create a little excerpt for you along with a thumbnail and hyperlink. Sure, this is very handy, but what if the information you’re trying to convey to your raving fans, so that they, in turn can repost your genius all over the web,  isn’t properly generated by Facebook? You’ve seen this when you post a serious news article, and Facebook decides that a photo of a cute baby duck is an appropriate accompaniment, or when they post a string of nonsense tags alongside a photo you’re trying to share. Open Graph allows you to describe each page, article, video or entire website as you see fit, so social sites can index it better, and, most importantly, you can decide how your content is presented to your audience, with your original intent intact. Here is an example:

 

Open Graph Example

#3 – Installing An SSL Certificate
Finally! Google comes right out and says something they want! Google wants to make the web a safer place. While a little controversial, they call for something called “HTTPS Everywhere.” This basically calls for a higher level of security on your website by purchasing something called an SSL certificate. This is already very common in the ecommerce world, but Google wants to bring it to the rest of the web. Some may feel this is overkill on static websites, but we’re not here to debate, we’re here to get higher rankings, and Google makes the rules on that front.

What’s the point?

Again this comes back to Google’s original claim of SEO benefiting sites that lead to a stronger “user experience.” So now, if you visit our website, you will notice it says https://www…… instead of the typical http://www…. a quick way to tell if a site is secure.

Honorable Mention
Play Space Invaders Pinball On Our Site!

gameoverWhile it will likely have no effect on our SEO we’ve successfully added the ability to actually play a hybrid version of Space Invaders and Pinball on the Culture page of our website. This is purely for our, and your, enjoyment, but we’re pretty sure it’ll improve the user experience too. Whether or not Google agrees is yet to be seen.

Click here to check it out and give a try!

What’s your highest score? Post it in the comments!
Enjoy the rest of your summer, we’ll see you again soon!

 

 

 

 

Jesse Wroblewski is the founder of Long Island, NY based digital marketing agency Generations Beyond. Jesse has been known to throw up the devil horns at the site of beautiful CSS code.

keithI’ve been hearing the same argument about website design since the late 90’s.

“We need to tell our client’s everything we do on the home page without having to scroll”
Or
“Our clients don’t know to scroll so we have to be concise and get our message across immediately”

This phenomenon is known as staying “above the fold” which is where the screen cuts off your webpage and you are forced to scroll (gasp) to see more content.

I began website design in 1999, a time when AOL was dominant. Their interface took up a majority of the screen. Placing their web browser inside that interface, combined with the smaller monitors of the day, and precious bandwidth to conserve due to dial-up viewers web designers like us were challenged with conveying proper messaging and design within a 6 inch, low resolution space on a good day.

Now more than 15 years later, technology has changed, screen sized are gigantic compared to their predecessors, our very DNA for consuming data has evolved yet we still hear the same request about “the fold phenomenon”. Why? Is it valid?

No!

Now I realize you may be coming to this very blog searching for advice because you do not fully understand website design and marketing. So lets try and relate this concept to something everyone knows about. Television.

It’s been said in the ad world that the mark of a good commercial is “if you can watch it with the volume off and still understand what the company does and its value proposition” its a good commercial. While this concept certainly sounds not only feasible but desirable for your commercial think about the top commercials of all time.

If you were to watch the Budweiser frogs commercial with no sound, would you know why Budweiser beer is better? How about the famous Clydesdale spots? Try watching these top 25 Super Bowl commercials of all time without sound and see if you catch my drift:

In short, commercials as well as websites have the ability to connect with clients on multiple levels. You can use them to build trust, convey a feeling, make people laugh, or even annoy them into submission.

Thinking of these potential branding medium and opportunities as a spreadsheet of logistics to convey as to why your product or service should be used is a recipe for disaster, or at least a band-aid for lack of creative thinking. Not to mention massive missed opportunity.

Your website is an unparalleled opportunity for branding, building trust, showing off corporate culture, exposing your vision and more. Take advantage of it, hell push it as far as the medium allows. Trust me, your visitors WILL scroll!

quote2
Photo: Nathan Barnatt who is actually extremely creative, he just looks that way.

Jesse Wroblewski is the founder of Long Island, NY based digital marketing agency Generations Beyond. Jesse has been known to throw up the devil horns at the site of beautiful CSS code.

Having an event on Long Island? Need to get the word out? Generations Beyond has created this free PR Checklist for you to utilize in getting the most exposure for your event via the availability of free postings online.

Click the image below to download your copy of this handy, free checklist!
Think you need more help? Contact us today! We’re great at publicity and packing out events!

li_list

MORE MARKETING FREEBIES FROM GENERATIONS BEYOND:

 


Facebook-Decrease

Facebook has recently switched up how posts are seen by users. This new change has small businesses scrambling to reach their followers as they discover only 2-5% of their audience is actually seeing posts, favoring a more “pay to play” approach as opposed to organic or viral methods.

Does this mean Facebook is a dead end?

No! While it is more difficult for businesses to be visible on Facebook, consumers are still more likely to buy from brands they follow on social media.

Here are some ways to improve visibility on Facebook:

 

  • “Like” your business page on your personal Facebook account

– Invite family & friends to “like” your page as well. Encourage your employees to “like” your page.

– Like, Comment and Share posts from your business page to your personal page. The more interaction on the post, the more people will see it.

  • Focus on post quality vs. quantity

– Pictures over text, videos and links from popular/trusted web sources will improve your posts’ chances of reaching your audience

  • Look to the big guys for what works

– Most of social media marketing is trial and error; let the bigger companies with large marketing budgets figure out what doesn’t work. Use them as a template for what you should be posting.

  • Stay on the pulse of your industry and market

– Trends come and go so quickly, once we find out about them on mainstream media outlets, they are already on the way out. Find the most important/knowledgeable sources in your industry and discover the influential voices in your market. Keeping ahead of the trends will keep you relevant on social media.


At Generations Beyond, we’re proud to be the people that clients turn to when they need to “push the envelope” or think outside the box… it’s what we call “going beyond,” and it’s our specialty.  However, there are times in marketing where even the folks at Generations Beyond have to recommend coloring inside the lines. One prime example of this is the world of e-commerce. While it’s important to utilize a thoughtful and strategic process to get people to notice your brand and your shop, once they get there, it’s extremely important to “color inside the lines” and give them an experience they are used to.

When an online shopper visits your website, places item into their cart, and for whatever reason decides not to go through with the purchase, that’s called “Cart Abandonment,” and it’s the greatest problem that most e-commerce shop owners have to overcome.  From both  design & marketing perspectives, it is important to note that online shoppers are both coveted, and, increasingly demanding when it comes to their shopping experience. Anything from a slightly unexpected event, such as a pop-up in the wrong place, or even something as small as an out of place font, to a change in what the customer perceives as the standard checkout procedure, can lead a potential new client astray, and right to your competition.

It is for this reason that when a potential client has a “great idea” such as having an animated shopping cart fly across the screen each time the “add to cart” button is pushed, to help “set their store apart” from the rest, we, in an unusual move for GB,  take the path of sticking to what already works.

Aside from design & programming, here are some additional reasons your clients may be abandoning their carts:

oob

Jesse Wroblewski is the founder of Long Island, NY based digital marketing agency Generations Beyond. Jesse has been known to throw up the devil horns at the site of beautiful CSS code.

We will presenting a webinar in partnership with LogMyCalls on Thursday, March 27, 2014 entitled:

 

“The Future Of Client Connectivity”
30 Minutes with Generations Beyond‘s Digital Trust Engineers
To register free visit:
https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/521032599

blog


event_postAfter The Event.

After the event, you should continue to cover the happenings of the show.

Use your blog to do a post-show wrap up. Post your final photos, and send out general thank-you’s to attendees, new followers, new clients and new prospects.

Send out personalized thank-you’s via private messages to your prime suspects, and don’t forget to return the favor and follow your new prospects back via pertinent networks.

Finally, when it’s all done, be sure to count up all those new prospects you’ve created via social networking and apply an ongoing ROI number to those efforts! It’s useful for current and future marketing plans and I’d love to hear about your results!

Click here for Part #1 of this article.


info_hot

In short, Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.

Why should you use infographics for your business?

  • Easy to scan and view makes messaging more successful
  • Tailor made for social sharing – boasts viral capabilities
  • Boosts brand awareness
  • Increases traffic
  • Shows an expert understanding of a subject
  • 40% of people respond better than just plain text
  • Don’t take our word for it, check out this article on Forbes

To say we are all overwhelmed with data is a given. Infographics are unquestionably a great way to help seperate your data from the pack and get your story across to potential clients and visitors. Take a look at a sample infographic we created to explain why anyone should work at Generations Beyond:

infographic


Click here for Part #1 of this article.

instaThe social media tools mentioned already can also be your default tools for marketing to your audience during the Tradeshow event, however there are constantly new and powerful social networking tools popping up all the time to help you best achieve your marketing goals such as Instagram. Instagram is an amazing, online photo sharing tool which can be used for personal or professional means.

It is not necessary to know or use every tool out there! Use what you are comfortable with until you become restricted by them. Chances are there is another tool out there that will help you achieve your specific social networking goals. If there isn’t congratulations! You may be the next social media startup!

Utilize the same tactics mentioned already to continue to speak to your audience. Photos speak a thousand words. Let your clients at home in behind the scenes of the show, share photos of the event, show prospects who could not make it scenes of the event setup and/or breakdown. Share tips or photos from the keynotes or seminars.

People are vein. Take photos of attendees visiting your booth. If they would like a copy of the photo give them your card to be contacted later. Or better yet, “Follow Us On Twitter” to get your copy. You just boosted your network of prospects by one!

The tactics that can be utilized during the event are endless. Remember one of the keys to building a network of quality followers is giving prospects a good reason to follow. I’ve seen company’s utilize social media for real-time scavenger hunts, or even free prize giveaways. The only way to get clues or notices of giveaways is to follow the company’s social networks. You have to be in it to win it.

Click here for Part #1 of this article.


trade-show-social-mediaAlmost all businesses jump head first into setting up their social media profiles. They brand them, make them look perfect, put the obligatory social media icons across the top of their website and then… ummmmm wonder what now? Hand it off to the young intern I guess?

This is an all too common, short-sighted mistake made by many businesses in today’s digital age to try and keep current with marketing trends. Using social media to market and network your business can prove to be a challenging task. However, a company event such as a tradeshow can be a boon to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn marketing efforts.

Let’s start with your overall corporate image. For a small business owner, exhibiting at a professional, industry tradeshow can help boost your overall corporate image due to something called the “Halo Effect.” The halo effect occurs when one positive characteristic of a business affects the way that business is viewed by others. For example, if you see a person walking down the street who is well dressed and wearing glasses, studies show that in addition to noticing their nice appearance you will automatically assume that person is also smart and successful.

Signs of growth, expansion and/or appearing on a public stage within the leaders of your industry bring with it connotations of a successful and competent business. So let’s utilize this event, all of it’s accompanying ulterior benefits and social media to let as many people know about your event and make it as big a success as possible.

Before The Event. This is the prime time to log on to your social media networks and begin networking and inviting potential clients your event. Your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles should at this point be populated with many of your contacts already. These networks do an amazing job of locating people within your contact lists as well as other people closely related to those in your contact lists. If not, be sure to check those inboxes on those accounts and accept and approve these networking requests!

Once these networks are established begin posting announcement about your upcoming exhibit. Furthermore, aside from these broad, general messages find those prime, prospects and personally invite them to your booth via private message. These prospects could be those suspects whom you already know and have unable to successfully nail down yet, or even people you may not know as well or at all who live or work close to your upcoming event.

In addition to the above tactics for Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter is an amazing tool that will also help you find those people not already in your network attending or thinking about attending your event.

San Diego Comic Con is a personal favorite of mine of which I’ve both attended and exhibited at. Months before the convention begins you can utilize the search term #SDCC and find literally thousands of people talking about the tradeshow in real time. Attendees, fellow exhibitors, distributors and/or sales reps are just the beginning.

Your tradeshow marketing efforts begin NOW! While some may see this as daunting, true marketers will see this as an opportunity to begin networking with others at the event, months before the event, during the off-time, not those precious, often hectic eight hour days of the tradeshow.

By simply searching for people “tweeting” utilizing the hashtag #SDCC I can:

    • Find attendees that might be potentially interested in my product, similar products, complimentary products or even (gasp) interested in my competitors’ offerings.
    • Locate fellow attendees and form strategic relationships and share the load of the pre-show effort marketing tasks. This can include sharing lists or mentioning each other within other marketing efforts (newsletters etc).
    • Locate my tradeshow neighbors and begin a relationship well before the show, not in those rare downtimes during the show. Tradeshow neighbors are ALWAYS helpful to have.
    • Locate businesses, distributors and or sales representatives attending the show. Invite these FRESH prospects to my booth to talk further.

Regardless of semantics you can see how using these simple networking tools can lead to endless new prospects before the doors of the tradeshow even open for setup. Check with your tradeshow administrator to see if they have a designated hashtag for their event. If not, no problem! You can start the trend and make one up yourself and pass it along to fellow exhibitors. After a few emails you will be surprised how quickly your efforts will be picked up and appreciated.

Click here for Part 2 of 3 – Using Social Media to Market Your Tradeshow Appearance – DURING YOUR EVENT