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The future of business events?

The future of business events?

I think the trade show and conference industry as we’ve known it is on a downward spiral of doom. But can we have ‘hybrid’ events?

‘Dwell time’ and SEO

‘Dwell time’ and SEO

Of course, we don’t know how long people spend before trying another result, but it’s obvious that it’s an important metric.

RIP those crazy searches

We lament the death of knowing about the searches which make you think “why would anyone type that into Google?” and “why would Google then suggest our site?”

Keep an eye on LinkedIn advertising

Those of you who use LinkedIn regularly will need no convincing that it’s an interesting possible option, but for those of you who don’t, it’s important to accept that many of your prospects and customers do use the site a lot of the time.

Can you erase your bad SEO tracks?

If the list of sites which link to you is full of dodgy sites, which are harming its performance in the Google results, you might like to take a look at Google’s “Disavow Links” tool.

Don’t over-promise: open rates aren’t everything

The expectation engendered by your subject line has a direct impact on response rates, according to this fascinating test, which sent the same email to a group of people, but with five different subject lines …seemingly a classic test of open rate.

Strangers in the night

Hundreds – possibly thousands – of people breeze past your website each week, completely anonymously. They might be potential customers.

What does your site look like in miniature?

Barely a month goes by without Google changing in some way, often in response to innovations elsewhere. You may have stumbled across Google Instant Preview in the past week: this shows little snapshots of the web pages in the results either as you hover over them or if you click on a little magnifying glass. Fun, but does it have any implications for us as website owners? The Inbound Internet Marketing blog thinks so, and it’s worth reading 4 SEO Tips to Instantly Take Advantage of Google Instant Preview to… Read More »What does your site look like in miniature?

Do up your buttons

Here’s a surprising and interesting piece of research. Don’t “Submit” To Landing Page Button Text on the Inbound Internet Marketing blog suggests that the functional (but rather ugly) label “submit” on form buttons actually has a detrimental effect on response. I have to say that I’ve always found “Submit” a little offputting, but have never really gone out of my way to use something more attractive. It would appear that “Click here” and even “Go” are more appealing, however. Now I think about it, a button explicitly saying what it’ll… Read More »Do up your buttons

Why it’s essential to have White Papers and eBooks

The Inbound Internet Marketing blog recently looked at Why eBooks Are Better Than Whitepapers and while I don’t particularly agree with the point being made, it’s somewhere to start when formulating your own approach to creating content. I always think that if you need to define what something is, there’s a problem somewhere, and that’s almost certainly the case with terms like “white papers” and “eBooks”. What are they? To me, they’re just different presentation methods for your company’s sales and marketing cases, and both have their place. Whether you… Read More »Why it’s essential to have White Papers and eBooks

And as you can see from these bullet points…

As a trade press editor for 20 years, I probably sat through several hundred Powerpoint-backed company announcements, and 95% of them made me want to fall asleep. Powerpoint presentations aren’t helped by the fact that the lights normally get turned down as soon as the projector comes on, which makes it important for the slideshow to be more interesting than an unaccompanied presenter just talking in full daylight. Normally things turn out to be less interesting, because the speakers don’t feel they have to try as hard. Well done then… Read More »And as you can see from these bullet points…

Long boozy nights in the Metropole

A discussion at HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog from the USA wonders if the trade show is in permanent decline. Are Marketing Dollars Shifting? Exhibit Industry Down 12.5% says “Trade shows work for some companies. The bigger question is, do they work more effectively than other marketing tactics?” There’s only so much trimming and efficiency-increasing you can do on each part of the marketing mix. Eventually, in a downturn, individual components have to go, and an entire trade show is likely to be the biggest single item in a company’s… Read More »Long boozy nights in the Metropole

Google PageRank, Rest In Peace

You may have heard of Google’s “PageRank”. Indeed, you wouldn’t be alone if you found it very important. It’s a score from 0-10 relating to how “strong” a page is in Google’s rankings, and you can see it in the Google Toolbar, if you have that installed on your browser. Anyway, there was a time when Google PageRank was a brilliant indicator of how a site would perform in the Google results. That time has now passed. Let’s not hear any more about Google PageRank, please. Let it Rest In… Read More »Google PageRank, Rest In Peace

Answering the unasked questions

In my previous article I said that customers no longer wait around until they’re sold to, they go looking for things. That means you need to have the answers to as many questions as possible pre-answered on your website. This can mean something as simple as “yes, we have large blue widgets”, for people looking for large blue widgets. However, most questions, and particularly the way they’re going to be phrased, can’t be predicted in advance. The best chance of catching them is to have plenty of informative stuff on… Read More »Answering the unasked questions

Keeping customers off your website with AdWords

I doubt this is available in the UK yet, but advance warning of something which Google is testing with AdWords – giving people the chance to request a phone call from you. I immediately felt a little uneasy with this, but Why Marketers Should Be Dubious of Google AdWords New Lead Capturing Tool on Hubspot’s Inbound Internet Marketing blog explains what’s happening and expresses my reservations perfectly. It also adds a few things I hadn’t considered. You may of course think that this would be a good feature for your… Read More »Keeping customers off your website with AdWords

“Companies which blog” …now 55% better

Wow. A little study reported on the Inbound Internet Marketing blog shows that companies which blog get 55% more website visitors, 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages. Now, these measurements feed off each other: more links means better Google positions means more visitors. And “companies which blog” are also likely to be the companies which are putting more effort into their internet marketing, so they’re likely to do better. Even so, these are impressive statistics which can surely be attributed at least in part to the existence… Read More »“Companies which blog” …now 55% better

Video: easier and more effective than you may think

It’s possible to make a video for your company which will “go viral” and be viewed far more widely than you’d ever imagined, but you don’t have to do an Eppendorf to make a video worthwhile. In fact, as Six Reasons Videos That Aren’t Viral Are Valuable on the Inbound Internet Marketing blog explains, even one with a limited appeal can be very worthwhile. Videos are amazingly cheap to shoot and distribute nowadays. You don’t need (or want) to hire a serious production studio and a £20,000 budget just to… Read More »Video: easier and more effective than you may think

Does your website move with the times?

I’m not talking so much about having up-to-date content here, but about moving the furniture to reflect the changing requirements of customers. In Is Your Static Content Driving Your Website to Extinction? on the Inbound Internet Marketing blog, the case is made for changing offers frequently and constantly highlighting different items on the site. So many of us keep the content of our home page and sidebars unchanged from year to year. It’s a bit lazy.

Taking the plunge

13 Steps That Transformed One Company From Invisible King to Sought Leader is a recent post on the Inbound Internet Marketing blog which looks at the success in the search engine results being achieved by the Swedish medical systems company Elekta. As with any corporate website, there are plenty of things we can spot which might be improved, but it’s a pretty good effort, I’m sure you’ll agree. However, the real story here – as the article describes – is in the things going on behind the scenes which you… Read More »Taking the plunge

How not to go about getting links

Here’s one of my regular articles imploring you to set someone the task of getting links to your website. Honestly, there is no better way of improving your search engine traffic, yet because it all sounds a bit woolly and seems a bit hard, I bet you haven’t got a link-building project under way. I know, I know… you don’t have the time to do it in-house, and you haven’t subbed it out either, because you don’t fancy the idea of some consultant contacting loads of websites on your behalf.… Read More »How not to go about getting links

A better call to action

We all know the call to action on every advert, every sales letter and indeed, every web page, can make or break all the effort you’ve put into creating it. So every time I come across another decent set of reminders about what to put in your call to action, you’ll see it here. It’s something we all need to absorb by constant repetition. 7 Tips for Effective Calls to Action on the Inbound Internet Marketing blog says that you need to be urgent, specific, well positioned, easy to follow… Read More »A better call to action

Gently nudging people in the right direction

Website design today, and a nice post from HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog which should make all of us take a second look at our own websites. In 9 Ways to Optimize Your Links and Draw Attention to Your Calls to Action we’re reminded that the most important links on every page need to stand out. Do yours? This is a really good article, with every one of the nine points having some merit – especially the one which reminds us to put a “call to action” link (the most… Read More »Gently nudging people in the right direction

Big opportunities for small suppliers

There are some interesting statistics in a recent article titled Survey Shows Inbound Marketing Becoming More Important to Small Businesses on the Inbound Internet Marketing blog. It suggests that small to medium sized businesses are going to be more flexible, adventurous and, I suspect, successful with their marketing in the current economic climate. In recent weeks I’ve heard about one or two companies cutting back their marketing dramatically (and somewhat stupidly). But all of these have been medium to large sized organisations, where the decision has probably been made a… Read More »Big opportunities for small suppliers

The next shift in online marketing

Here’s a long, thoughtful post which you might like to consider over the weekend. Inbound Marketing and the Next Phase of Marketing on the Web on the Inbound Internet Marketing blog looks at just how a major shock in the business and financial markets led people to change their online marketing strategies in 2001, so the current market crises may have the same effect. Back then, web advertising shifted from display (banner) advertising towards pay-per-click (although at the speed most industrial B2B companies operate, that’s only just being realised in… Read More »The next shift in online marketing

The reasons to rip it up and start again

Yesterday I touched on the subject of why online marketing might be something to concentrate on during a recession, and why budget restrictions might mean it’s time to “rip it up and start again” when it comes to business marketing plans. Today’s article goes much further into that idea, and if you’re looking for a well-written argument as to why you should leave all those years of old-school marketing techniques behind, this is it. 6 Reasons You Should Invest in Internet Marketing During the Recession on the Inbound Internet Marketing… Read More »The reasons to rip it up and start again

There Will Be Video

The time was when making a video for your business was a special event, and probably involved bringing in an expensive professional production company. For that reason alone, many marketing professionals have never been involved in making a corporate video at all. Now things are very different. If your company isn’t already churning out videos, I predict you will be, in the next couple of years. Videos work, the quality expectation of viewers is now much less exacting, and the equipment needed is available to everyone. You may be doing… Read More »There Will Be Video

What to put in your company blog

You probably don’t have a company blog. Whilst the number of companies producing them is expanding massively, they’re still rare in industrial circles. And that’s a real missed opportunity. Blogs provide some wonderful opportunities to publish content which would never sit comfortably on your main website – and they also get a surprisingly large following amongst your customers and (more importantly) potential custoners. Why do I go to the effort of writing this one every day? Because it keeps the name of my business in front of you, and from… Read More »What to put in your company blog