Thoughts on SEO

So, here I am to discuss in depth for chapters five and six, i.e 1) Off-Site Search Engine Optimization 2) Paid Search Marketing. Both of these topics are very interesting to me

Off-site search engine:

Off-site SEO refers to techniques that can be used to improve the position of a website in the search engine results page (SERPs). … In general,  SEO has to do with promotion methods – beyond website design –for the purpose of ranking a website higher in the search results. Section 1 explained about Links,Link  is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own. A hyperlink (usually just called a link) is a way for users to navigate between pages on the internet. Search engines use links to crawl the web; they will crawl the links between the individual pages on your website, and they will crawl the links between entire websites. There are many techniques for building links, and while they vary in difficulty, SEOs tend to agree that link building is one of the hardest parts of their jobs. Many SEOs spend the majority of their time trying to do it well. For that reason, if you can master the art of building high-quality links, it can truly put you ahead of both other SEOs and your competition, to select which of these will have the highest return on the effort invested. As a general rule, it’s wise to build as vast and varied a link profile as possible, as this brings the best search engine results. As with any marketing activity, the first step in any link building campaign is the creation of goals and strategies. Unfortunately, link building is one of the most difficult activities to measure. Although the engines internally weigh each link with precise, mathematical metrics, it’s impossible for those on the outside to access this information. Next is Content marketing which is my favorite one, so content marketing helps to improve conversions because it allows you to connect with and educate your leads and customers. Not only in building trust and relationships.

Paid Search Marketing:

Paid search marketing is an inexpensive and scalable form of web marketing designed to connect your ads with searchers actively seeking what you provide.

At Search Engine Land, we generally use SEM and/or “Paid Search” to refer to paid listings, with the longer term of search marketing used to encompass both SEO and SEM. Below are some of the most common terms also used to refer to SEM activities:

  • Paid search ads
  • Paid search advertising
  • PPC (pay-per-click)
  • PPC (pay-per-call) – some ads, particularly those served to mobile search users, may be charged by the number of clicks that resulted in a direct call from a smartphone.
  • CPC (cost-per-click)
  • CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions)

” GREAT CONTENT DESERVES GREAT RANKING “

https://moz.com/learn/seo/off-site-seo

https://econsultancy.com/what-paid-search-ppc/

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Thoughts on SEO

Email Marketing

https://mailchimp.com/email-marketing/

Email is everywhere.  On average, I would bet it is safe to say that I send and receive upwards of 30 emails a day.  These are just the ones that are relevant to my daily functioning at work, not including the junk mail, spam, and advertisements.  This week we learned about display advertising, and email marketing.  Email marketing is an invaluable tool that marketers can use to optimize their reach.  There are many forms of email marketing that can be beneficial.  Email is highly customizable.  This makes personalization very attainable.

“Personalization – it is not about first/last name. It’s about relevant content.”Dan Jak

Creating an email list, or database of clients, is the first step to starting your email marketing efforts.  It is important to make sure that your clients and potential clients want to receive emails from you.  Failure to do so can land a business blacklisted for spam.  By requiring your customer to indicate that they are ok with receiving promotional materials when they visit your site, check out online, or make a purchase in the store it helps reduce your risk of being caught up in the spam filters. 

The majority of online retailers offer discounts the first time you visit their site if you sign up for their email list.  You will see this as a pop up many times.  One website I visited recently gave me a pop up window shortly after I entered their site.  It offered me 40% off any single item at check out if I signed up with my email address!  This is one way for a company to build their promotional email list.  Another way is at check out.  Most sites make you sign up for an account when you make an online purchase.  As part of their sign up process you typically need to uncheck a pre-checked box indicating that you would like to receive promotions.  If you fail to uncheck the box, you automatically become part of their mailing list.

 Today I received 25 promotional emails.  I get emails on a daily basis from companies I shop at regularly, and some from companies I rarely or never use.  I recently went through my email and “unsubscribed” from about 15 lists.  I decided to unsubscribe because I was receiving excessive emails.  This is no fun for anyone! I have included a screen shot with some of them. It is really crazy how many emails I get from places that I never even open.  I do appreciate getting the occasional promotion from places, but I get very frustrated when I get emails from the same company daily.

I get emails multiple times a week from Victoria’s Secret, Groupon, Esty, and Kohl’s.  It is annoying!  Do any of you have similar experiences?  How do you handle it? 

One of the things we learned about this week is cleaning your email list.  A company should make sure to maintain an updated database with relevant and active participants on their email list.  Email marketing managers have the ability to find out what happens to their emails after they are sent.  There are a few categories that a marketer can identify. Hard Bounce is what is referenced when an email bounces back to the sender immediately.  If this happens, the email address should be immediately removed from the email distribution list.  A Soft Bounce usually means an email inbox is full.  If this happens about four or more times, the address should be removed.  Another method of tracking is Non-Opening.  When an email goes unopened by the recipient for several months, it throws up red flags to the spam filters.  A company can avoid death by spam filter if they monitor and manage their email lists closely.

I guess my biggest take away from this week is to create a strategy and stick to it.  Do A/B testing on subject lines constantly.  Find new and creative ways to reach out to your clients.  Use your email list to be a gentle, friendly reminder that your business is there, just waiting to serve.  Do not be an annoyance to your patrons.  Do not overwhelm people to the point where they unsubscribe from your list.  Do not be the one to get caught up in spam filters.  Have a specific plan in place that will help your business thrive through email marketing!  Use the glorious technologies we have today to thrive!

“Email has an ability many channels don’t: creating valuable, personal touches – at scale.”  – David Newman

Email Marketing

Emails

https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/mail

This week I decided to clean out my email inbox. I had over 1,ooo emails that I scanned but didn’t really look into. So I went through them. Majority were from surveys and the rest were from eBay and Amazon.

I signed up for the eBay and Amazon notifications because I do a lot of online shopping. I want to know when items that I am interested in go on sale. The survey emails I just get. I don’t know how they got my email address but they are always there. I receive emails from these senders multiple times every day. I never look at the survey ones but I will look at the eBay and Amazon emails. If the subject line catches my attention I will read through the email. Every email subject line is different. For the most part the subject line matches the content of the email. I rarely click on anything within these emails. If I am interested in a n item, I leave the email in my inbox until I have time to actually read through and look at the item.

I think all these senders send too many emails. They should only send 2 or 3 a day. eBay and Amazon send good offers and content. I also believe that I get all of these emails because they are sent to the entire database. I do believe these emails accomplish its objective. Some of the emails catches my attention and I will click on the items to learn more about them.

Emails are a very effective way of attracting customers and keeping current customers coming back. Emails should continue to be used to market ones products.

https://www.businessinsider.com/hidden-meanings-in-tech-company-logos-2014-6
Emails

Blog Post #4 Emails

Everyone has an email and I am pretty sure everyone in this class has to have an email. Without emails we wouldn’t have ways to communicate with each-other other than talking in person and through texts. I’m not sure about you but I think emails are very important. We use emails daily, from sending someone a work message to even messaging a friend even though we can just text them, but either way emails are a very important communication tool that we are allowed to use for free. With that being said, why do you think companies like to get you as a consumer on their email list?

Looking throughout my emails there was a lot from NWTC everything from student involvement, rave alerts, my classes, counseling, and even jobs they reached out to me. I like getting emails from the school because it keeps me in the loop, all I have to do is check my email and most of the information is already there, a really good platform of communication. I usually get emails from NWTC daily and it doesn’t bother me anything since it sometimes answer my question and I don’t have to ask my instructors anything. I don’t really look at a lot of emails because usually everything I need to read is just in the first couple of words and if it appeals to me I’ll read it but other than that I don’t really check them

I like reading emails that I am expecting to get, anything from shoe release dates, my order conformations, to getting an email saying that my work was received through Black Board. When I did get my school refund I remember just reading the subject line and all it said was, “School Refund” or something along those lines and I clicked immediately. I think once you put something in bold letters are even just putting something important in the subject line is important because the person receiving the email will know if they want to click on it or not, they can get a general idea of what is happening.





Companies use emails because they want your feedback so that they can send it to their database. It is a good method because at least a few people will click on your email and read it and maybe even write back. I usually do not click on company emails or even sign up for emails from a company but that’s just me. I know they’re just trying to get their name out and market but I don’t like seeing a lot of emails I literally just use them for school and job purposes. I think I would rather get a text about what their company has to offer to be honest. In the end though we all send and read emails, so it doesn’t hurt to sign up for a couple company emails, besides one day when you’re sending out emails you can learn and see multiple ways people/companies send out their unique emails.

Image result for emails

https://www.google.com/search?q=emails&client=firefox-b-1-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjlOLIh9bgAhVC4qwKHYM5DvsQ_AUIDygC#imgrc=nmMgaqVArZ231M:

https://www.google.com/search?q=emails&client=firefox-b-1-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjlOLIh9bgAhVC4qwKHYM5DvsQ_AUIDygC#imgrc=P1K9a7h1Ato5lM:


Blog Post #4 Emails

You’ve Got Mail!

I’m at a point in my life where my personal e-mail is used almost exclusively for receiving marketing or promotional e-mails from companies. Thankfully, with Gmail, most of those e-mails are diverted into a separate folder (a folder that I am very thankful for for a number of reasons), and I am able to choose to rifle through my promotional e-mails at will. On average I receive about ten e-mails a day to that folder, and it’s extremely interesting to see what it was that I have signed up for over the years.

The e-mails I receive really end up falling into three categories: makeup, clothes, or sports. The companies that I receive the most e-mails from are Ulta, Victoria’s Secret, and the NBA. The first two are both companies that I have worked for, which is why I signed up for their “loyalty” programs, and I began receiving e-mails from the NBA when I purchased their streaming service League Pass. On average I receive about one e-mail from each of these companies per day. They are also the companies whose e-mails I am most likely to open. Of the roughly ten promotional e-mails I receive a day, I usually only open about one of them every week. Most of the e-mails I tend to open are those offering exclusive or limited time deals in the subject line, as those are the ones who catch my attention most often. For example, scrolling through the promotional e-mails I had received over the past few weeks, all of the Ulta e-mails that I had opened were pushing or promoting some sort of sale or hot buy. In those instances, however, the e-mails did not work, as I did not purchase any products over that span.

The e-mails under the “Promotional” tab of my e-mail, received just today.

Here are a list of the ten companies I get the most e-mails from, and why I signed up for the e-mail list.

  • Victoria’s Secret
    • Signed up when I started working for them
  • Ulta Beauty
    • Signed up when I started working for them and needed to start my own loyalty account
  • NBA
    • Signed up when I purchased NBA League Pass
  • Bath & Body Works
    • Signed up when making an order so I could stay informed on deals and sales
  • MAC Cosmetics
    • Signed up to receive and amount off my first purchase
  • Stubhub
    • Signed up automatically when purchasing baseball tickets
  • Beautylish
    • Signed up for a percentage off my first order
  • Starbucks
    • Signed up when I signed up for the Starbucks Rewards program

The last e-mail that I opened from one of these companies was from Victoria’s Secret. The subject line “3 Days. 3 Deals.” I honestly only clicked on the e-mail because I was curious what promotion I would have to be pushing the next day at work, and I never had any intention on buying something. That being said, I know for a fact that the reason I clicked on that particular e-mail rather than one of the other e-mails I got from Victoria’s Secret was because I like a good deal, and if I found the deal to be interesting enough, I would have purchased something the next day, after my shift was over. The e-mail itself was exactly as advertised, displaying the deal of the day and a direct link to where I could purchase the product, as well as links to their other products. In very big font, the words “today only”. There was also a flashing graphic that promoted the “3 Days. 3 Deals.” tagline. The e-mail’s call to action was to make a purchase in the limited time frame, and it was effective enough to make my click on it, so I feel like it did it’s job pretty effectively. I believe the content was consistent with what I expect from the brand, but I believe they could have included at least one of their other promotions that they were running at the time, because I know they had a few. I believe this e-mail most likely went to the entire e-mail database, as it is not particularly tailored, and the subject is pretty broad. The e-mail is not segment dependent, although I believe that it would only be effective towards the portion of the segment that purchases from the PINK branch of the Victoria’s Secret. The next e-mail from the sender was the appropriate next step, as it was sharing the deal for the next day. One suggestion that I found very intriguing as how to improve social media strategy was incentivizing reviewing order confirmation e-mails. According to shopify.com, (https://www.shopify.com/guides/email-marketing/strategies) those who used post transaction e-mails to promote leaving reviews lead to reviews products having a 10% higher conversion rate.

The first visuals displayed upon opening the e-mail.

With all of these e-mails arriving in my mailbox every day, the question I have to ask is: do these even work? The answer seems to be yes. According to Anik Singal of The Balance Small Business, (https://www.thebalancesmb.com/does-email-marketing-work-4043443) e-mail marketing is still a very integral part of marketing for mot businesses. According to Ascend2, 82% of companies surveyed use e-mail marketing. Based on what we know today, e-mail marketing will continue to play a vital role in the marketing strategies of companies in the years to come.
“91% of US customers use email daily. In fact, it’s the first thing most people do at the start of each day.”

“91% of US customers use email daily. In fact, it’s the first thing most people do at the start of each day.”

-Anik Singal (https://www.thebalancesmb.com/does-email-marketing-work-4043443)
You’ve Got Mail!

What Not to Do

While scrolling through my email list I noticed one website, in particular, showing up multiple times. Cappex is a scholarship site that I unknowingly signed up for a few months ago in hopes of finding some neat scholarships.

Although I do not remember signing up for this email list, the reasoning is pretty clear. No one likes paying for college and considering the fact that I’m planning on going to a four-year school, I’m going to need all the help I can get. So, while submitting an application for one of the scholarships, I must’ve put in my email and now I get three emails from them daily notifying me of scholarships.

At first, I was very interested in the emails. Some of the subject lines were really promising for a High School senior looking to pay for a bachelors degree in a couple of years. If you were a poor high school student and you saw an email with the subject line “$68,000 in scholarships waiting for you!” what would you do? Anyway, I clicked on a couple of them before I realized that it was all the same information, just formatted in a different way.

After clicking on them I was brought to this very nicely formatted email with a few of the scholarships that would eventually lead to the aforementioned amount. Overall it looked enticing and very believable. Again, being the student I am, I clicked on the highest value scholarship that didn’t have any essay attached to it. Which, of course, was the first option.

After looking back at a couple of the emails I didn’t delete. It seems as though these emails are sent out in a group but to a specific list. When I first visited the site I remember filling out something that asked me about what I was planning to do with my four-year education and at the time, I was planning on going into Digital Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I’m assuming that’s the information I put in because the scholarship choice has to do with business.

The first scholarship listed in the email

The other options don’t fit those same criteria, however. The other four options have little to nothing to do with business and don’t have a price tag on them. Which not only makes them less interesting for me but also makes me less likely to click on them due to the fact that there was no apparent value associated with them. And, as their client, I want money.

After I clicked on the option that had the dollar amount attached to it, I was brought to a very blank webpage (as in the design). After looking into it though, it doesn’t even seem like they know what they’re doing. I clicked on the learn more button associated with a scholarship that’s meant to be for the Better Business Bureau. Instead of being brought to that application, I was brought to a completely unrelated page.

As seen above, there are three boxes. All of which, just by looking at the content, seems like sponsors or ads for another site or program (to their credit, the options do have something to do with colleges, but absolutely nothing to do with the scholarship I was hoping to fill out). As the customer, not only does this confuse me but knowing what I know now it makes me even more interested in what they were thinking. I have to scroll past all these ads, to get to a point where I can say “No thanks” and even that is hard to notice.

After clicking “No thanks” it takes me to another page on their website where I then have to click something again in order to be brought to the actual scholarship application.

If the objective of this email was to get me to click on a bunch of things, they did a very good job of accomplishing that. However, if it was to get me to apply to the scholarship, they didn’t get me to do that.

Between the constant emails daily about loads of money in scholarships that aren’t even shown to me, the advertisements that I have to go through to get to the page on their website, and then finally clicking another link and being taken to the actual scholarship, I would not consider this good email marketing. The number of emails was off-putting and the time it took to get to the application threw me off the idea entirely.

With these tactics, this company could very easily find themselves on the spam list of most of its users. It’s very clear that these emails are very information oriented and the marketers don’t seem to care about whether or not they’re keeping users involved. However, I am grateful that they at least let me unsubscribe.

Overall, the emails I received from this company were very uninteresting and unhelpful for someone looking to find scholarships. I hope you enjoyed reading this! I look forward to writing about whatever next week’s chapters are about!

“Creating good email marketing content requires combing creativity with good analysis”

– Stukent Textbook

What Not to Do

Never Empty Email Box

There are certain emails that I get that I am not sure how I actually get them since I never signed up for them. The never ending emails that we get day in and day out come from things that I have clicked on through other emails or websites. I feel that even though they say they don’t share your email, they do behind the scenes when there is sites that are connected with other sites.

One of my favorite emails are the Victoria Secret ones, the main reason there sales are amazing and that is the only time I will shop there. They always have some sort of catching sale line for their subject line. For instance, Flash Sale…who doesn’t love a flash sale at one of the stores you shop at. Once you open up the email it adversities what is on sale and it is one click to pick the items.

Panties
Always a good sale

This email was spot on for getting my attention. One click and the page had exactly what they were advertising in their subject line. It is a sale that is only a few hours long and it is open starting at a certain time.

There are other emails I receive that advertise sales but there is more confusion on what is actually on sale.
Get Your Gear Some Gear for Less Than $30 This is the subject line from a Groupon email. This line and most of their other subject lines don’t draw me in. They have advertised that you can get an extra amount of on your purchase through a certain time, it never works on what you actually want to buy or what they have advertised in the email.

Going back to Victoria Secret emails, there next emails are going to include sales on swimsuits. If they do it right it will be eye catching subject line, meaning BOGO 50% off. That does it everytime at that store. Swim season is coming along with vacations, perfect time to advertise their suits.

The one thing about this store and emails is it doesn’t reach every women out there. There is a certain age and size that it aims to push towards. The emails are easy to read, easy to buy off and explain the selling market behind it very well. The bad thing is that it aims for only certain women, and that to me is where I wish it was a email that everyone can get something off of. Regardless the size and the money you have. The brand influences that piece along with other top brands.

Never Empty Email Box