84 Percent of Website Visitors Convert on the First Visit

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Yes!!  The data is available, thanks to https://www.straightnorth.com/  and my “confirmation bias” could not be happier 🙂

No, we do not need to wait until the initial site visitor will become “ready,” site visitors are ready now, and we, marketers, should take advantage of it.  The report 10 Ways to Make Your Lead Generation Website Convert on the First Visit gives recommendations on how to use the data to benefit our companies.

Lead generation websites: If you do not make a great first impression, you will not earn a conversion, and you will only get a second chance 15 percent of the time.

Companies that want a full pipeline of sales leads MUST pull all the stops and make their websites first visit conversion machines.

Another popular confusion is clarified in the report:  only 23 percent of online leads come from mobile devices (data source is 70 percent B2B and 30 percent B2C).

Based on my personal experience in B2B and B2C, the number is even too high for B2B; the 30% of B2C in the sample might have received the most of mobile attention.  Each company should probably evaluate its own opportunity cost of heavy investment in mobile.

Yes, we, B2B marketers, can be in love with our long sales cycle and sophisticated buyers journeys, but we can increase effectiveness of our marketing efforts if we think about first visit more.  And – there is nothing to loose 🙂

MIMA – Data + Tech

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Nina Hale started the new format of MIMA monthly events with a reminder that our target audience is the same person – not a hypothetical “digital” or “traditional,” but the same person who, on ocasion, might pay attention to different marketing channels.

10 years ago it was possible to “specialize” in a single tactic – SEO or PPC for example.  However, now everything needs to “play together” and there are tools that allows measure this complicated interplay.

  • Research website and keyword searches to learn what they care about
  • Create content to meet that need
  • Use paid to get the content in front of them
    • Sponsor posts to targeted audiences (their engagement also helps your SEO)
    • Programmatic display
    • Paid search
  • Remarket to drop-offs
  • Find look-alike audiences that match your best customers
  • Interesting: programmatic display can be good from the perspective of cost per lead (I have not seen that, but it might differ by industry)

Nina recommended Quantcast – a free tool (and I did not know, how embarrassing!  😉

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Another tool is Think with Google – the comparison of assists from different industries is quite interesting (and I did not think about using this tool in this capacity before)

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Nina suggested to align messages based on targeting options – this is a great slide to think through the process.

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Josh Becerra talked about conversion optimization – a topic dear to every marketer’s heart – and suggested a couple of tools:

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CallRail – a call tracking tool

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LuckyOrange – form tracking and click mapping tool

Josh’s most insightful point (from my perspective) was: “your site is always in beta…”  do not consider the site “done” for a set period of time – always try to improve and optimize.

Christina Lefebvre’s part of the presentation dived into the known topic of marketing automation and highlighted a few interesting points.

As the sales process 70% complete before the prospect contacts sales… “marketing now needs to do half of the sales job…”  🙂 

An excellent slide showing the “sweet spot” of marketing automation

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And a very easy to understand (even for a non-marketer, hopefully) slide with the stages of the sales cycle.  Excellent slide taking into the consideration “skipping” stages and “returning” routs.

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Christina mentioned again the industry mantra – marketing automation requires knowledgeable people to be useful, and without adequate resources, it will not be used to its full potential.  And, unfortunately, it is a state of the modern business 🙂

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We, as an industry, can do better!  It is a great time to be in marketing – so much improvement is just around the corner 🙂

Event presentation

MN Search – SEO Tools of the Trade with Christopher Hart

linkdexTime flies – just a few years ago we hardly had a tool or two for SEO needs, and now we are talking about tools classifications and platforms.  SEO tools became its own ecosystem that require a knowledgeable navigator.

Christopher Hart is part of Linkdex – one of enterprise SEO software providers.

Notes from the event:

  • Interesting – Chris mentioned the internal search as one of the primary tools – and it makes complete sense.
  • The individual tools evolved into platforms with complete set of data
  • Another interesting point: small businesses and large enterprises adopt marketing technologies similarly with the only difference of small businesses adopting social faster and large enterprises concentrating more on automation tools (what is understandable)
  • SEO needs to change
    • SEO started as exploiting search engines (no longer possible or makes sense)
    • need to understand the audience 
    • need to appeal to the audience and make them advocates
  • MOZ industry survey 2014  (conversions and content become more and more important)

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  • Social should be handled in house (“you are the only ones who remotely understands your business)
  • SMO won over CTO on budget
  • What changed in 2014: “gaming the system is no longer possible”
  • Pay attention to Structured Data (this is important for the presentation, not ranking, but can affect the business)
  • bookRanking – “set of data to use to do something else” – in itself does not have a value as a target metric
  • Very interesting piece of material (think content marketing 😉 ), Digital Marketing Transit Map.  The map shows connection to the major “hubs” in the industry and allow to see each individual line separately.  The map truly looks similar to a subway map of any major European city. The map (as a piece of content) has enough calls to action on the page to make it beneficial for the creator 🙂

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MIMA Summit 2013

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Interesting and inspiring event!  The topic seem to be perfect – it is permanent stat of change in marketing 🙂   We all probably don’t know what to think – is it bad (where is not enough time to keep up!) or good (oh – look at all the opportunities!), but we all have to adapt… or else 😉

My notes from the event:

  • SLJournalism:  some part of the profession changed dramatically (newspapers are practically dead), but some parts remained important and will never change.
    • Changed: ability to “own” a niche – easy access to a very specific audience that was not possible before
    • Changes: “the scourge of the kitten video” – utilitarian video that brings views
    • Will never change: great reporting and great writing (people will read long stories if they are right for them)
  • Interesting: the publication is concentrating on the video experiment…  however, if a person new to marketing will just see the “video” as the main objective, in the reality, the main objective is the innovative topic, and video is just a chosen format (or channel) for the topic.
  • Content for slow experiences (excellent notes from this session by Vertical Response) – interesting: people perceive experience as “slow” if it is boring, but do not perceive an equal amount of time as “slow” if the experience was engaging.  The same principle can be applied to content
  • crutchExample of “slow” content – Crutchfield.  Interesting – Crutchfield migrated to the web its core business model – fantastic in-depth content for a specific niche market.  The model is rather based on business strategy, and content is a tactic.  The organization also centered around customer service, which include content in every form – print, web, chat, and technical support.
  • Other organizations providing  fantastic long-form (and helpful) content are REI and Patagonia
  • In content marketing field volume alone confers no advantage; one insight is more important
  • Brand is a powerful force, but the knowledge behind the brand is of greater value.  Lowe’s wonderful example of useful tips delivered via Vine

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  • Do not value your content over the job it is supposed to do.  An example: a DoSomething.org video received over 1.5 million views…  but contributed nothing to its objective.  It could not be considered a success.

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  • afternoonMetrics – interesting point: just counting available data points allow much better understanding of the situation than pundits are able to do by evaluating only data they favor.  Election prediction was not hard if results all available pols could be simply tallied.
  • 85% correlation where eyes move and people click (evaluation of click-mapping tools)
  • When people come to a web site, they came for a specific reason.  Content to satisfy the need has to be on the site.  Multiple areas with call to action encourage clicking of the back button.
  • Best online solution will not help if the basic research is not done (selling phones in Hong Kong online did not succeed because common method of purchasing phones is to do it in person from multiple street sellers).

MN Search – Mobile

Excellent event!  Three superb presentations; Aaron Weiche’s presentation is probably the best one on mobile marketing topic I encountered so far 🙂

The most interesting concept from Aaron’s presentation is complexity of technical issues in our world, and rather limited impact mobile strategy can create (at this point in history 😉  ).

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Mobile User Experience starts from user’s objective.  Why would you access Target.com from:

  • targethome?
  • road?
  • inside the store?

According to where the person is the need for the information and user experience varies.  Questions need to be addressed:

  • Who?
  • Where?
  • Which device?
  • Goal?

After this exercise all user goals and business goals are listed and prioritized.

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Prioritization allows company to agree on what is more important (and what content is more important) before any content has been created.  Then, the content prioritization is applied to the site’s architecture.   All of these activities happen before design phase starts.

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Basic principles of mobile:

  • Keep it simple in terms of design
  • Keep it simple in terms of content
  • Reduce “digging”
  • Take advantage of native capabilities

Know thy user, and YOU are not thy user

Proliferation of mobile is happening fast, Even Google thinks that mobile is faster than they anticipated.  However, mobile has significant challenges and marketers seem to be struggling with these challenges.  Ha!  It feels identical to our struggle with first generation of web sites 😉

almost literal translation of the web site into mobile site does not result in a good site from user’s or marketing perspective.

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How navigation is handled in mobile?  Use “hamburger” icon.  Even Microsoft is using it 😉

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Mobile channel can be served differently, and companies have different approach to their mobile customers.

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Responsive design – the site design is “fluid” – one content that is presented differently on different devices; content is the same, some pieces of content may disappear depending on the browser size.

Dynamic (or adaptive) design – the site design is specifically adjusted for certain type of devices; content is the same, but it is positioned differently based on the specific device where the site is viewed.

Parallel design – the mobile site is completely different from the main company site.

Wonderful example of mobile specifics – mobile situation suggests that most likely the user would find phone number that can be tapped is more important than other information normally presented on the main site.

Mobile-layout

Interesting points:

  • Responsiveness of the site is not a ranking factor
  • Google bot and Google Mobile bot are different
  • Mobile SERP is changing more often (Google)

Need for testing of major changes:  one organization was going through brand change and took advantage of the moment with major home page upgrade, including HTML5, parallax, etc.  Unfortunately, the conversion dropped 20% and nobody noticed the drop for a few months.  Now the company has a rule of testing all changes for the home page.

Screen sizes – a list of popular devices with corresponding screen sizes (and popularity!)

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Aaron’s complete presentation:

MIMA – Facebook for Business

phoneInteresting – this was the first event in my memory where conversation about prevalence of mobile was illustrated not by an image of an iPhone 😉

As Facebook considers itself a publication and a platform at the same time, it concentrates on mobile first.

facebook-studioDuring popular vacation times general advertisement engagement activity decreases, but not on Facebook – it remains the same.

48% of people use Facebook while exercising in a gym 😉

A note was repeated several times during the event: any social marketing initiative needs to start from business objectives and not “social metrics.”  Generating followers or likes is not a business objective 😉

Facebook maintains Facebook Studio, which works as an award-based recognition forum for marketing initiatives.  Though my attempt to find b-to-b examples lead only to one – Jive – a promotion of social business software (what somewhat makes sense for Facebook environment).  Interesting point of the campaign is a superior performance of Facebook comparing to email and even Wall Street Journal on the main objective – download free trial of social business software 😉

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MN Search – Google+

Google-plusGreat event as usually – Search Snippets is an excellent format!  We have opportunity to hear opinions of local gurus and, hopefully, smaller time frame does not put too much burden on them.

Food was also delicious (even for the person who is more interested in fruits than drinks 😉  ).

Interesting points from the event:

  • Ha!  Google+ might be understated, but it is definitely deserves more attention.  As James Svoboda pointed out, it may be an “Unsocial social Network” – but it does exists and has some unique features.

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  • Jeff recommended to use very reasonable metrics for Google + activity (he recommended to be in over 1000 circles…  hm… I found my barely active profile…  which is in 110 circles only – I guess, I need to start learning more about Google +  😉  ).
  • Jeff also found a song (with over a 1,000,000 views about Google+
  • rippleGoogle+ has an interesting Ripples feature.  Ripples show spread of a post throughout the community, which can be watched as a video – very interesting!
  • Bob (it was a pleasure to see you again and to listen to you presentation!) shared a few interesting points on using Google+ for the sports/entertainment industry.  Bob reserves Google+ for exclusive content, which is not available on any other networks. However, other networks are used to promote the content that resides on Google+.
  • From the perspective of sports and entertainment, Bob is trying to bring the arena to the screen and the screen to the arena – to provide the most important part that the audience wants – access to the stars.

Josh

Josh brought Google Glass to the event – it was beyond interesting!  A few of us absolutely had to check it out and the experience has been amazing!  The screen is visible very well and easy to activate.  Voice commands (take a picture or video) were received and interpreted by the device very quickly (despite my accept); the curious part was that search terms with my accent were not “understood” by the device – but humans have the same problem occasionally 😉   Thank you, Josh!!  It was a treat! 😉

(Josh wearing Google Glass – Google Glass has been used to make recording of MN Search presentations)

book-and-iAnother thanks to Mn Search and Josh for providing a free You Should Test That! book from the couple of events ago.  I am reading the book and love it.  Oh, I should have come on the correct event two months ago early enough, but I barely made it before the presentation…  I will officially blame traffic 😉

It was a wonderful event with plenty of material to investigate…  and a wonderful incentive to pay attention to Google+  to make sure it won’t become one of the abandoned networks where I once registered my profile.