What You Missed at The Ecommerce Expo 2019

This year the Ecommerce Expo returned to Croke Park as an even bigger event than the years previous. With over 25 exhibitors and 10 incredible speakers throughout the day, it’s hard to pick out just one highlight from the event. Attendees had the opportunity to learn exclusive industry tips from the big players like Facebook and Google, as well as receive first hand advice from successful startups. From SEO strategies to sustainable business methods, the Ecommerce Expo covered important need-to-know content for business owners. If you weren’t able to attend the expo, there’s no need to stress about what you missed because we’ve picked out 6 tips from the day with takeaways from some of our amazing speakers to share with you.

 

    1. Leverage Google Machine Learning to Simplify and Grow

The “Age of Assistance” means that customers are getting more curious, demanding, and impatient than ever before. It’s really hard for companies to predict what a user will do, and that’s where machine learning plays a part. Google Ads machine learning will help to automatically optimize your account by predicting user behavior based on browsing history, context, and user data. There are 4 main ways to simplify & grow with Google ads machine learning: targeting, creatives, bidding, and attribution.

 

     2.  Remember Sustainable Business Models

As the subject of responsible shopping and its impact on the future of the environment grows in recognition, the more important it is to people to support sustainable forms of business. Next to oil, retail is the second dirtiest industry in the world. Shoppers can change this. 86% of consumers want to support companies who make a stand for social issues. 87% of millennials attributed sustainability as something they would be willing to pay more for. With that in mind, a more sustainable business model can help your brand help your customers to reduce the shopping industry’s carbon footprint.

 

    3. Use AR in your eCommerce Business when Applicable

75% of consumers expect online retailers to have AR. In 2016, return costs for UK retail amounted to £60 billion. In the future, AR will be an indispensable tool for online retailers. The objective of eCommerce is to provide customers with a convenient alternative to shopping in stores. However, the potential of having to go through the hassle of returns will often deter potential customer sales. AR serves as a solution to this problem by further enhancing customer experience and convenience of online shopping. AR allows customers to visualize and test out your products before purchasing, increasing their willingness to purchase and decreasing potential sale losses.

 

    4. Combine SEO & PPC Practices to Increase Profit

Using SEO, you can optimize your brand’s website to increase organic traffic through higher rankings in a search engine. A good SEO strategy is necessary for customers to find you online. PPC practices allow you to rank higher in paid results at the top of the page in a search. This is important because if your brand doesn’t rank highly on the page, then a competitor’s brand will, which will result in lost sales for you. While each strategy is important on its own, combining both will allow you to have a stronger digital strategy, giving you the optimal online presence.

 

   5. Take Facebook Ads to the Next Level

Use ads manager for more advanced advertising. Ads Manager will allow you to see analytics for your campaigns so you can check their progress and make adjustments if necessary. By installing the Facebook pixel on your website, you can track if users take certain actions on your website after clicking on your Facebook campaign. This information can help you to further optimize your campaigns. When making new campaigns, creating custom audiences can serve as advantageous for your business. Not only will creating a custom audience help you to tailor your campaign to the most relevant users, but it will also allow you to retarget visitors who have visited your profile in the past. Additionally, you can use Lookalike audiences to reach new customers and further grow your brand’s reach.

 

  6. Create a World-Class Customer Experience from Day Zero

The rate of change today is rapid, and will continue to increase exponentially in the future. Therefore, it is important to provide your customers with a world-class experience from the beginning. To do this, you must be responsive on all your platforms. If customers cannot reach you, they will not bother doing business with you. Having top quality products with a clear warranty and consistent delivery time helps to create transparency and trust between you and your customer. A distinguished logo, user-friendly website, and localized content helps your brand to appeal to customers from across the world, in turn, broadening your audience reach. Keeping your company up to date and continuing to make bold choices will help to distinguish your business from others. Ultimately, in order for your brand to grow, it’s important to offer a big company type of service even as a startup.

 

We hope these tips from some of the best experts in the industry will help you and your business to thrive. Make sure to check our updates about the Ecommerce Expo so you don’t miss out on what’s in store for next year!

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6 Ways to Optimise Your Youtube Practices

Billions of people watch videos on YouTube everyday. This makes the platform the second largest search engine after Google. Videos have risen as an important part of online marketing. While many companies have come to realize the power behind videos, they don’t necessarily know how to optimize their YouTube practices or content. How can you make sure that you and your brand capture this traffic? Taking just a few extra steps to optimize your videos will give you an online advantage, making your content easier to find and to share.

1. Name Your Video with a Target Keyword

The title of your YouTube video is important as it serves as a meta tag, which tells the search engines what the web page and your video is about. Just as it is important to optimize your written content for your website, it is important to identify keywords that help to identify your video. For this reason, it is important to use keywords in your video title. When people browse or search videos on YouTube, one of the first things that they notice is the video title. The title is what determines whether or not the viewer will actually click to watch your video. As long as your keyword fits naturally in your video title, it will serve you well to optimize your title.

2. Write Your Description with SEO in Mind

The description boxes on YouTube videos can also be helpful for search engines and viewers. Description boxes can be up to 1,000 characters, however, many viewers do not read past what YouTube automatically displays for description boxes, which would be only the first two or three lines of text. Despite this, it is still beneficial to optimize your description box with keywords and phrases. An optimized description allows your video to show up in the suggested videos sidebar on the website, which helps to expose your video to more users.

3. Tag Your Video with Related Keywords

Using tags on your video allows both YouTube and your viewers to know what the content and context of your video is. By using relevant tags, YouTube can place your video in the suggested videos sidebar as a similar video, in turn, broadening the reach of your video. Tags should be a mix of the most important keywords and more general keywords. However, it is important to avoid using irrelevant tags as Google may penalize users who do.

4. Track the Right Metrics

YouTube Analytics allows you to see your greatest areas of success as well as areas that need improvement. The three main reports that YouTube provides are Revenue Reports, Watch Time Reports, and Interaction Reports. Other important analytics to keep track of include audience retention, demographics, playback locations, traffic sources and devices. These analytics will

allow you to see everything from what location and devices people are watching your videos from, to how people discover your videos and when they stop watching them.

5. Encourage Embedding

If someone embeds your video on their site, it allows your video’s rating to be boosted in search engine results. If you embed your video on your own website, you also give your site the opportunity for increased traffic by giving search engines added content to rank. Embedding your videos on a website acts like a back link, enabling your videos to be placed in search engine results, resulting in more views. It also helps you reach a wider, more diverse audience apart from just your usual YouTube audience.

6. Encourage Your Viewers to Like and Share Your Videos

The most important interaction metrics that YouTube shows you on your interaction reports include Subscriber numbers, Likes and Dislikes, Comments and Sharing. These metrics show you how viewers feel about your videos and give you the opportunity to interact and form relationships with your subscribers. It is beneficial to promote your videos on your other social media platforms, like Facebook or Twitter, if you have any. It is also important to encourage your viewers to comment, share and leave a Like on your video. Similar to Views, the more Likes that you have on your video, the better your YouTube SEO ranking will be.

Having a strong YouTube presence can have a huge impact on your brand reach by giving you the opportunity to engage with the billions of users on the platform. Once people watch your video, you have the chance to expand your communication with them by encouraging them to go to your company website, ultimately leading to conversions. By optimizing your YouTube practices, you can take full advantage of the branding power that the platform provides.

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LinkedIn

5 Steps to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

With over 500 million professional profiles, LinkedIn allows you to form a strong network between other professionals and like-minded individuals. LinkedIn can connect you with potential employers through their powerful job board, offer you the ability to build your professional brand, can help rank your name on Google, keep you up to date on industry news, and help you to grow your personal network exponentially. In an era where online presence is continuing to grow in importance, it has never been more necessary to work on your personal branding.

It may feel as though your profile is lost amongst the millions of others, but making your profile stand out may be easier than you think. To ensure that your profile does not go overlooked, here are 5 steps to optimize your LinkedIn profile:

1. Make Your Profile Attractive and Well Rounded

It’s best to fill out as much of your profile as you can. The more information you include on your profile, the better your chances are of making new connections and standing out to potential employers or customers. It is also important to keep the content on your page clear and easy to follow so visitors to your profile will see the information they’re looking for without having to sift through content that is not relevant.

Another way to make your profile easier to find is by customizing your URL. Customizing your URL serves as a quick, easy way to make your profile standout over others. A custom URL also comes across as a cleaner look if you wish to include your LinkedIn profile on business cards or your email signature.

2. Make Your Profile Easier to Find with Keywords

If you want more visits to your profile, it is important to make sure that your profile is easy to find. This can be done by using keywords throughout your profile. Keywords will gain you a higher search engine page ranking, which in turn will allow prospective customers to find you easily. The effective application of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques can potentially double, or even triple, visitor traffic to your profile. Aside from your name, your Professional Headline is the most highly rated field in the index. It is important to have keywords listed in your headline field to increase your ranking amongst other users who have the same terms. Keywords can also be added to your title. For example, instead of having the title “Senior Consultant”, adding “Senior Consultant – IT Project Management” will help to give a clearer explanation of your position while getting in as many appropriate keywords as possible. Having skills that are endorsed also plays a heavy factor into your profile searchability, so it is beneficial to add keywords and accept endorsements on them. While not everyone may understand SEO concepts, it is important to remember that more content on your profile, especially with relevant keywords, will result in more visitors.

3. Use Status Updates to Your Advantage

LinkedIn status updates serve as the perfect opportunity to improve your personal brand, expand your influence, and generate leads. LinkedIn performed its own research which shows that by posting every weekday, you will reach 60% of your unique audience. Another study showed that people looking for jobs improved their chances of being contacted by a recruiter ten times just by posting weekly status updates.

LinkedIn status updates have the ability to have a major impact, unlike status updates on other social media platforms. This is because a LinkedIn status update showcases your professional status and features your photo, name, title, business and engagement metrics.  You can use LinkedIn status updates to your advantage by sharing news stories about your company or updates about your work with those in your network. You can post an article that your followers find interesting or an image that attract attention and provides value. Updating your status regularly shows your network that you are active in your industry and that you keep up to date with relevant news.

4. Join and Create LinkedIn Groups

Whether you create a group or join an industry related group, the icons for those groups will appear in your profile. LinkedIn Groups have useful management features that are not available on other social media platforms. These features allow you to send an overview of daily or weekly activities that occurred within the group to members as a summary. When creating a LinkedIn Group for your brand, it is important to make the focus on topics that your customers care about, instead of focusing on promoting your company. This will spark more conversation and engagement between your customers in the group. Successfully run LinkedIn Groups can help provide you with a great place to build your professional community.

5. Give and Receive Quality Recommendations

Asking and giving recommendations broadens your network and establishes a positive reputation. While having recommendations and endorsements can help you to stand out in a sea of profiles, vague recommendations can actually have the opposite effect. A good way to start is by improving the quality of recommendations that you provide for others. If you have asked for a recommendation in return, you can provide that person with some guidelines to help the recommendation to stand out.

A good recommendation will include:

  • Your key strengths
  • Why it was enjoyable to work with you
  • One word that the person writing your recommendation would describe you with
  • A problem that the person writing your recommendation had which you helped them to overcome.

To make all of these points stronger, it is important to reinforce each idea with a specific example. While any recommendation is great to receive, highlighting your benefits and the value that you bring can really help you to standout in a crowded job market.

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Struggling To Keep Your Business Resolutions?

New Year. New…Same Business

So, 2018 ended, you had 2019 all figured out; it was going to be your year for business profits, but somehow it’s mid January and you’re still struggling to keep those New Year’s Resolutions. Rings a bell?

As with our own personal lives, our business needs focus and dedication. However, without planning and structure, we end up losing that focus and get sunk into a vicious cycle of procrastination and poor results. In fact, only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. Ask a former smoker how they stopped smoking and they might tell you how many attempts it took and how hard it was to stick to it.

Your business, without a laid out process and smart goals, will struggle to compete, to bring in more leads and generate extra revenue. While you dream away about your business goals, the competition is already doing it and taking your customers away.

 

But How Do We Get There?

 
Sticking to the plan is key
 
Goal – What you want to achieve. Are they SMART goals?

Plan: Identify your target audience. Make lists! Stick to it! How are you going to get there?

Action – Take small actions everyday towards your goal and you’re a step away from a successful business.

 

Here’s what you can do to stick to the plan and grow your business in 2019:

 

Stop wishing, start doing it!

 

1. Work Your Brand

Nothing speaks more to a customer than a Name they can relate to. Your business will appeal to them based on how you promote your brand.

What makes your brand stick? Is your product animal or environmentally friendly? Do you engage and give back to the community?

By having a strong brand you become an Authority in your Industry, driving more organic customers than your competitors. Examples of strong brand names are: Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Virgin.

Brand building ties in with your Blog Content, where your audience reacts to it based on how you connect with them.

Build a strong brand and you’ll have an empire!

2. Revamp Your Website

Unless you’ve been living in the 80’s, you might’ve noticed that everything these days is done online and that’s where you would want to be in order to have a successful business. Nothing wrong with Big hair, lacey shirts and leg warmers though! Ok, perhaps a bit less on the hair length, but you get the idea.

Your website is your online presence and that’s where your customers will find you to learn about your business, your products and services, and how it meets their needs.

In 2018 alone 47.3% of retail purchases were done online and that’s how powerful businesses online presence is when reaching their target audience. Customers know what they want and make their research before purchasing. Therefore it’s so important to keep UX in mind when building a customer focused website to stay ahead of the competition.

3. Know Your Target Audience

Your website is up and running. Now you’re open for business and ready to sell to everyone. Right?

Wrong! Your target audience is who you want to sell to. There’s no point selling a product without knowing who is more likely to buy your product or service.

Your audience is your most valued asset. The wrong target audience equals less business and poor revenue.

Engage with your customers, run polls, surveys. Find out who your customers are and go get them!

4. Social! Social! Social!

Socialising is a great way of engaging with your audience. Who doesn’t like a good old conference? But when resources are limited and the average person spends a significant amount of time on their mobile, 52.2% in 2018 alone, a robust social media strategy and presence can help you reach your desired audience and drive consistent results by maximizing and optimizing your Social Media Marketing efforts.

When building your online presence, make sure to use online channels relevant to your target audience. No point in boasting about how great your company is on LinkedIn if your target audience is primarily B2C and loves a good old Tweet!

Whether it is via organic or paid Ads, Blogs or email, social media engagement is key to increase your conversion rates.

5. Get Blogging

Engage with your audience! Build a Blog; create a series of Blog Posts and use a platform to help you do your job. Platforms such as WordPress, Joomla or Tiki Wiki, among others, will help you to get there.

Whether this is done in-house or through an agency, make sure your topics are current, relevant and that they speak to your audience. Content Marketing is key when it comes to capturing new leads.

6. Be First. Be Seen – High Ranking SEO

Have you ever heard of people who have grown up in a house with 5 siblings and was always last at the dinner table? It’s safe to say we know who was the one getting only the leftovers.

Picture your business in the same position. When people look for your services online, if they can’t find you they won’t know you exist, then you will be the one with the leftovers; customers who only found you by chance.

Want your customers to find you on the Search Engines? make sure to rank high on them by implementing a good SEO strategy and techniques that will attract your desired audience to your website first, leaving no room for the competition.

Driving traffic to your website is important and that’s where a Defined SEO Strategy will help you in doing so.

As an old colleague would say: “The best place to hide a dead body would be on the 2nd page of Google”. Who clicks past the 3rd result, let alone the 1st page when researching on Google?

Be first! Be seen and your customers will find you.

7. Have a Mobile Friendly Website

So you’ve got a new and exciting website. But how user friendly is it? Is it optimised for Mobile?

The majority of online purchases is made via a mobile device; to have an online platform that caters for mobile users increases the probability of purchase since 70% of online purchases come from a mobile device.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with the majority of small businesses, where 90% of such will only have a desktop website.

By having a mobile optimised website your audience will feel appreciated and will most likely purchase from you.

Keep in mind, a happy audience is an audience you get recurrent revenue from.

8. Email Marketing

Emails can be a very powerful thing and you can make use of the best tools in order to reach your audience.

A good headline, good timing and great content is what can get your customers across the line as it is great for lead generation.

When your content is good your customers engage and subscribe to your newsletters. This drives continuous traffic to your website and increases the chance of a repeat purchase.

9. Customer Service & Customer Experience

Having a business is great but having customers is even better. Have doubts? Ask any retailer on Black Friday! Your customers are your best advocates and the best ones to tell you what you’re doing right or wrong.

Focusing on a customer based approach and on great Customer Experience; from your website navigation, to onboarding, customer care and post sales processes, you will have your customers behind you and advocating for your brand. Make sure you don’t confuse the two with Customer Care either.

Meet your customers on a regular basis. Find out what they want. Are you meeting their expectations?

Value your customers and you might be one step closer to Customer Loyalty! Do it right, and you will get customers for life!

 

Wrapping up:

Your customers will thank you for any effort put into your business in order to help them in their buying journey, and will advocate for your brand when things are done right. As long as you devise a Customer Focused Strategy aligned with your Sales & Marketing goals following a defined process, you will certainly have positive results.

Brainstorming sessions, weekly reports, strategy review; it’ll all help you in the end! All in all, having a business requires hard work, but why work so hard when you can work smart?

Remember, your business is gold but your customer is king!

 

 

Want more insights like this or wish to know how we can help your business?

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What You Missed At #LearnInbound

This years Learn Inbound event took place in The Mansion House on the 13th & 14th of September, and was once again a delight to attend. Guest speakers from all around the world came to share their thoughts and expertise on the changing digital marketing landscape. Anyone who attended is better off for it, but if you were unfortunate enough to miss it don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take you through the highlights of the conference. Thankfully many keynote speakers shared their slides for anyone interested in inbound marketing to read online.

Barry Adams

Barry Adams is a well known specialist in SEO, and owner of “Polemic Digital”, an SEO agency based in Belfast. Barry’s best work comes in the form of his expertise in Technical SEO, travelling Ireland to speak about the three pillars of SEO; Technology, Relevancy and Authority. His presentation on “Technical SEO in the real world” was one of the highlights of the Conference. Make sure to check out Barry’s advice below and apply it to your website.


Britney Muller

To no one’s surprise, Britney Muller’s presentation on The “Future of SEO” was one of the most popular talks of the festival. There were no seats left as Britney weaved her way through the both daunting and bright future that SEO has as a digital marketing tool. The specialist over at Moz and also the founder of Pryde Marketing was kind enough to share her deck online; check them out below:


Aleyda Solis

One of the more intriguing decks of the week came from Orianti founder Aleyda Solis, who is also an experienced international SEO consultant, author and speaker. Aleyda gave a presentation titled “OK, How can I rank for Voice Search”, capturing the minds of even the other keynote speakers at the conference. The presentation gave more realistic predictions on voice search and its impact on SEO and display going forward. Her slides already have thousands of views since the event; so check out below to make sure you don’t get left behind!


Ian Lurie

Ian is the founder of the agency “Portent”, who cover all aspects of internet marketing. He spoke about Content workflow using Github and Markdown. This article is a must read for all content creationists, speaking through structure and also different tools to help you help you create and publish the best possible content. Check out the tweet below, and take a read of Portents blog for more insights on everything digital.


Dana DiTomaso

Dana DiTomaso is the president of “Kick Point Inc”, and spoke about an often overlooked aspect of digital marketing; reporting. These slides were eye-opening to anyone working in an agency who has delivery monthly or weekly reports to various clients. Dana’s advice on communication and language when talking to customers with different goals and ideals was particularly helpful. Check out her slides below.


Paddy Moogan

Paddy is the co founder of “aira.net” and the publisher of the linkbuildingbook.com. Paddy also spoke about content, this time about how bets to build up your inbound links. The presentation, “Content driven link building: what does good look like?” went down a treat, describing how its best to have a process and a data-led system in place to build up your links. Check out the slide deck below.


Oli Gardner

More content marketing goodness came from well known marketer and speaker Oli Gardner, who co-founded the landing page optimising agency “Unbounce”. Oli kicked off day two with one of our favourite talks, not just because of his knack for public speaking or creative slide deck, but the insightful information on Google Tag Manager. Read “Content Marketing Is Broken & Only Your Mom Can Fix It” below.

The event was filled with amazing guests, not just the ones above but all the men and women who brought their expertise to the table. The event was run ever so smoothly and I suspect it will once again next year. Thank you to the speakers who shared their slides, and if we missed any decks be sure to share them with us!

Check out the Learn Inbound Facebook page for photos of the event.

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Benefits Of Linkedin

Linkedin offers an online platform for networking, social selling and more for business professionals in all industries. If used correctly, it can be a gold mine with endless sales leads for your company. Linkedin can be a difficult platform to really tap in to, as often it comes across as a clutter of random connection requests and mundane or repetitious industry updates.

We here at Evolution Digital are experts in extracting leads and executing your business goals through the online professional network. We get past the clutter to identify the key benefits of having a prominent, consistent and well-glossed presence in the right areas of Linkedin.

Linkedin Training

Learn about your prospective client/customer/employee

Linkedin offers Directors and Managers the ability to analyse the profile of their prospects; to identify the quality of leads by delving into their professional background. Linkedin is a recruiters dream, with CVs, interests, education and previous work projects all attached to better inform your decision before picking up the phone.

Act as on an online vehicle for you and your brand

Linkedin gives you the opportunity like no other to present yourself and your brand’s image in a circle with other working professionals. Separating yourself from your competitors on Linkedin can give you the edge when it comes to standing out against the crowd and becoming the no.1 choice for Linkedin can give you the edge when it comes to standing out against the crowd and becoming the no.1 choice for whoever is your target audience. Linkedin has over 500 million members, with over half of this logging on each month, and a further 40% of these then logging on every day, proving that it is ripe with opportunity simply waiting to be excavated correctly.

The online home for your company

The use of company pages on Linkedin grew from 24% in 2015 to 57% in 2016. Brand’s are seeing more and more the fact that you are missing out by not being present on Linkedin, however it is crucial to develop goals and not be online just because everyone else is. A well polished company page, with consistent posts shows prospective clients that you are active, and can be the crucial difference in capturing new clients or customers. Relevant and quality content is just as important as frequency. The Company page also gives your brand the chance to:

  • Tell it’s brand story
  • Showcase your clients/projects
  • Show off your business locations and staff, presenting in a professional yet appealing manor.

Linkedin posted the following infographic earlier in the year, showing that marketers identified Company Pages as the no.1 aspect of the social network that they needed help with.

Infographic for Linkedin Products chart

Video on Linkedin

Linkedin was not traditionally associated with video, however things began to change in 2017 when they introduced the native video option for businesses. Since then, they have expanded their horizon further with the advent of sponsored video ads. Linkedin’s Senior product manager Peter Roybal announced last year that users are 20 times more likely to share video content that any other format. This proves the potential impact of your ads or campaigns provided there is engaging content, and you captures user’s attention early.

The right people

Linkedin is effective because of its primary audience; the prominent presence of middle and upper class individuals. Not only is there a strong presence of upper level individuals, but they are also amongst the most active. About 45% of article readers on Linkedin are in the upper ranks of industries, such as CEOS, VPs, managers etc, so you know your time is not wasted.
This automatically makes for higher quality leads, particularly if you seek out the right groups. As of August 2018, there are over 2 million Linkedin groups with over half of its users being a member of atleast one group. Linkedin groups had lost some steam in the last couple of years, but just this month they have announced some changes to breath life back into the area.

Graphic of Linkedin's market classes

www.adscode.com/social-media/infographic-linkedin-facts-stats-2018

techcrunch.com/2018/08/15/linkedin-groups-relaunch

marketingland.com/linkedin-officially-rolls-native-video-uploading-worldwide-not-businesses-yet

blog.linkedin.com/2015/07/09/1-million-linkedin-publishers

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