By | Categories Blog | Featured | April 6, 2021

In 2019, roughly 86% of law firms had a website – a figure that was up by 11% from the previous year. Undoubtedly, the need for an online presence is continually growing among attorneys and law firms.

That’s good news!

But the biggest problem with them is that almost half of these websites are maintained by a single lawyer who may or may not have technical SEO knowledge.

And that’s why most law firms fail to get ROI on their digital marketing spends. Although law firms are increasing their marketing budget, this poor management is costing them more than just their initial investment.

So, if you want to generate business from your website or improve your retention rates or increase your site traffic, here is a complete guide to SEO for law firms to help you do that.

What is law firm SEO? Why is it important?

Law firm SEO is a specific search engine optimization practice designed for the legal industry. A whopping 86% of clients find lawyers through Google. So, if they don’t see you there, you only stand to get 14% of the total business in the market.

And since you are competing with other law firms, your firm’s chance of getting clients from that lot reduces even further.

Moreover, people take more than 24 hours to weigh their options before contacting you. So, you need to have better online visibility than your competitors for them to access your services quickly.

But SEO for law firms gets you more than just qualified leads. It helps you build a positive reputation.

Around 98% of clients look at your online reviews before hiring you. So, if you have a positive online presence, you will undoubtedly get approached more than your fellow law firms.

Finally, and most importantly, the first five organic results get 67.60% of all clicks. Since law firm SEO helps you rank higher, you need to start optimizing your site immediately.

How to build an SEO-friendly law firm website in 2021

As of 2021, there are 437,540 law firms in the United States, and more than 80% of them have a website. If your law firm wants to rise to the top of the search results organically, you need to work your way around Google’s algorithms. Here is what you need.

Mobile-optimized

Roughly 76% of your clients use a mobile device to find you. Having a mobile-optimized site is a no-brainer in 2021.

Secure

Google tends to flag websites with ‘HTTP’ as they are less secure and more likely to experience a malware attack. To rank at the top, your law firm website needs to start with ‘HTTPS.’

Optimized homepage

88% of law firms, which focus their SEO activities on their homepage, rank in the first ten spots of the search results.

Keyword-rich

Using niche keywords can help your site rank higher. Law firms that highlight their specializations in their SEO plan enjoy up to 95% more traffic.

Optimized URLs, meta tags, H tags, images

It is impossible to rise to the top if your URLs aren’t user-friendly, meta tags aren’t clickable, H tags aren’t skimmable, and images aren’t optimized for image search.

Interlinked pages

Interlinking your pages allows you to retain your visitors longer. Since search engines consider your visitors’ session durations before pushing you to the top, adding interlinks is an essential SEO practice.

Value-based content

Both humans and search engines prioritize content above everything else. If your content isn’t worth the visitor’s time, it won’t be long before your site disappears into the lower positions. The golden rule of creating valuable content is following the E-A-T approach. (More on that later!)

Local SEO for law firms in Ohio

Local SEO for law firms helps you garner clients from your local area. The results that you find when you look for terms like ‘law firms near me’ and ‘best lawyers in Ohio’ are all part of local SEO.

And there are only two things you need to know about local SEO; one, it always works when done properly, and two, it is relatively simple to set up.

To set up your local SEO, claim your business on Google My Business and follow the steps. After answering a few questions, you will receive your verification code from Google via mail, and people will start seeing your firm every time they use relevant keywords.

How to build links for law firms

Link building or backlinking is a vital SEO practice for improving your site’s domain authority. Since law firms need credibility to stay in business, backlinks allow you to direct qualified and interested leads to your site. So, although it takes some time, it is worth the efforts.

Once you have created an SEO-friendly website, you must sketch out your content objectives. Since link building is usually carried out through content, you must have great content ideas to become instantly popular.

For instance, writing a piece on ‘Sustainable Law Practices’ might help you drive aspiring lawyers to your site. But a piece about ‘How to Choose a Law Firm’ will help you connect with people looking for lawyers.

So, narrow down your topics wisely and use the SEO content marketing guide in this article (below) to write your article.

Then, approach law magazines that accept guest posts. Please do your research and ensure that the sites you pick have a high domain authority before submitting your articles to them. Link your site within the post and watch your traffic grow.

Next, set up your social media pages. (Check out the social media marketing guide in this article below to do that). The more links you have across the internet, the higher your chance of rising to the top.

In essence, search engines love to see more people talking about your business. Since link building can make that happen, it is an indispensable part of doing SEO for law firms.

“Prior to joining Dinsmore, I discovered how Bash Foo can double website traffic and increase online client bookings through their use of SEO and paid ads. If Mike and his team say it’s time to spend some money, understand that their disciplined approach to ranking law firms within Google will and does pay off”. – Glen McMurry, Partner with Dinsmore

SEO content marketing for law firms

39% of law firms have admitted that only one lawyer creates content for their site. The problem with that is, this has been repeatedly found to restrict the firm’s online content activities year-on-year.

In 2017, 31% of firms reported having a blog, and the figure went down to 24% in 2018.

Besides, 55% of them updated their blog only once a month, while a mere 9% posted weekly. To top that off, none of the firms updated their content daily.

And that is the primary reason for low traffic and retention rates.

Law firms that blog enjoy 3,000 search visitors per month on average and those that don’t get only 182 organic search visitors.

The primary reasons to incorporate SEO content marketing for your law firm are; to bring visitors to your website and to make visitors stay on your website.

Here are some of the best practices to follow when creating and optimizing your content for search engines if you want to generate higher traffic and improve your retention rates.

●     User experience

The best content is skimmable. Your visitors don’t always have 15 minutes to read a long piece, but they want quick ideas/strategies to make changes. Heck, if you made it this far in this blog post, you were probably skimming the content. Good for you! We hope this information helps you and your law firm.

Make your content easier to read, more precise, and more research-based. If you are using Yoast SEO to rank higher, use simple sentences while writing to improve your content’s readability score.

●     Content structure

Only 53% of law firms have organized site content. The headings, subheadings, and other highlighted text in your content should give the reader a complete step-by-step picture of everything you are writing about. When in doubt, check your outline. If you can understand your article’s structure without reading the entire passage, then your readers definitely will do, too.

●     Conversion potential

Your content should be relevant for your visitors to convert them into potential customers. When writing, ensure that your article has well-positioned CTAs, unlike 70% of the US law firm sites. Remember that only 3% of law websites deliver personalized, relevant content. So, if you can be one of them, your rank can potentially skyrocket.

●     E-A-T content

To measure the value of content, Google recently announced that it would rank E-A-T content at the top. This simply means that if your content has Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, you will have more chances of organically ranking on the first page.

As a law firm, you already have ‘expertise’ and ‘authoritativeness’ to improve your online presence through SEO content marketing. Focus on building trust, and you will be at the top in no time.

Social media management for SEO for law firms

Social media marketing is the cheapest way of increasing your law firm’s visibility using SEO. It allows you to expand your reach and influence more consumer segments.

Today, more than 90% of lawyers use LinkedIn for business, while 47% use Facebook. Social media works because 35% of them have generated business either directly or through a referral by simply managing their social media pages.

The most successful social media management is one with high audience engagement. And the quickest way of increasing audience participation is by offering them solutions to their problems.

Once you set up your social media presence, create posts that demonstrate your expertise in the legal field. Remember, E-A-T content applies to social media, as well. If done correctly, social media marketing can double your website traffic.

Know your basics –

How to find an SEO agency for law firms in Ohio

From avoiding keyword stuffing to doing niche keyword research, doing SEO for law firms isn’t easy. So, it is wiser to outsource your SEO activities to marketing agencies in Ohio if you wish to save time.

And while it can be tempting to appoint any agency that offers you the cheapest quotes, remember that 40% of law firms neither get regular reports nor analytics from their marketing agencies. So, they never know how their online presence is being managed.

Furthermore, there is fierce keyword competition in the legal space. To get the best SEO results for law firms, you need to work with a digital marketing agency that can target the right search terms to help you achieve your goals.

Bash Foo is a professional digital marketing agency with years of experience doing SEO for law firms in Ohio. Our team of SEO experts is proficient at creating optimization strategies that deliver the best results every single time. Ring us up and connect with one of our specialists to get a customized SEO plan for law firms today.

 

 


By | Categories Blog | Featured | November 17, 2020

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, a survey has revealed that 50% of holiday shoppers have admitted to losing interest in this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales due to the deals that they’ve been offered over the last six months.

That’s bad news for small businesses that can experience more than a 107% revenue boost over the holiday season. This year, you have to offer your customers deals and make your offers lucrative enough for them to be interested in what you’re saying.

But it’s not all black and white considering 38% of consumers have said that they will make a conscious choice to shop at smaller retailers throughout the holiday season to help cover their losses.

So, if you’re an online store, there’s hope as 65% and 64% of shoppers have decided to buy products online instead of in-store to avoid crowds and to shop from the comfort of their homes, respectively.

More specifically, beverage, food, and clothing brands are in for a treat because consumers, who will be shopping from home, will be inclining toward them more than anything else.

Since “Holiday Season 2020” is nothing like the ones we’ve experienced before, it can be tricky to make marketing decisions during such an important time of the year. So, here’s a comprehensive list of all the holiday digital marketing tips you need to equip yourself for the final event.

Optimize your site for smartphone users

Getting the obvious ones out of the way first, you must focus on making your website mobile-friendly this year. If you haven’t already done it, you’re missing out on 42% of the total business from online shoppers.

online smartphone spend

Source: Adobe

Smartphone use in up by 55% in 2020, and if your site doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds on your prospectives’ screens, you’ll experience high bounce and customer turnover rates, which isn’t ideal in today’s economy.

Make your URL search-friendly

Google recently released a guide on best practices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. One of the pieces of advice that stuck out for SEO experts is how businesses should optimize URLs for the holiday season the right way.

The article advises against using the year in the URL. So, instead of writing /sale/2020/black-friday, consider writing /sale/black-friday. This will help you build link equity.

Link equity or link juice refers to URLs’ being one of the most crucial determinants of your website’s value. They help pass authority to the page they’re associated with. Simply put, the longer you keep using the same link, the higher the authority of the page (in terms of SEO).

Using a permalink will also make it easier for you to get found on Google year after year, which will allow you to make more sales.

Raise your email marketing game

Whoever said email marketing belongs to B2B couldn’t be more wrong because 59% of people admitted to emails being a significant influence on their buying decisions.

Email marketing should be a big part of your digital marketing strategy for the holiday season as it’s the best tool for using all that data you collect through your website.

marketing-emails

Source: SaleCycle

Stats have revealed that more than 40% of Americans subscribe to email lists to receive savings and discounts and 1 in every three subscribers reported having purchased something from the brand whose emails they receive.

If that’s not all, in 2019, 39% of consumers turned to emails from brands to receive information on deals and promotions before they could purchase from them. So, you should definitely be where your audience is.

Narrow down your target audience

It’s incredible what the entire digital space can do for marketing and sales. Today, you can combine all the data from every platform in the world to create a foolproof marketing strategy for your business.

For Black Friday 2020, 52% of Georgia, 51% of Wisconsin, 50% of Illinois, 48% of Virginia, and 47% of New York will be the top spenders in the U.S.

So, instead of spraying and praying, you can specifically target these states for now you know where the highest spending potential is.

Use keywords that your customers are using to look for you

People probably love free shipping more than free gifts. And if you can combine the words fast delivery with free shipping, nothing can stop you from making more sales.

This holiday season, customers expect free or fast shipping, and 64% of them are refusing to pay extra for quick deliveries. And while we can all blame Amazon for spoiling people, we have to play the hand we’re dealt.

use-keywords

Source: Sellbrite

So, if you’re offering free shipping, make sure to highlight the words in your search ads. Optimize your title and meta description with related keywords to increase your click-through-rate.

Target and retarget your ads correctly

Speaking of ads, many businesses often fail at focused advertising. Because not only are they not reaching out to the right kind of people but also that they’re targeting the same people too often.

And that’s enough to creep people out and make them lose interest in your brand because you’re too intrusive.

Since 96% of people leave your website without buying anything, learning the art of retargeting ads is the need of the hour.

Start by taking care of two things; putting a cap on the ad impressions when you’re retargeting your ads and sending the customer a cart abandonment reminder within an hour of leaving to recapture their interest in the product. This will allow you to avoid missing out on easy closes.

Consider partnering up with money-saving apps

Money-saving apps are the new buzz in the market. They’ve been around for some time but have only begun to gain popularity in the past couple of years.

Usually, these apps can be installed as a Chrome extension and be used during checkouts. One fine example of an excellent money-saving app is Honey.

If you haven’t heard of Honey yet, then you probably don’t watch many YouTube videos because the brand has practically roped in every other YouTube influencer for affiliate marketing. As a result, Honey has a vast customer base of 17 million active users.

Automatically finds and applies valid codes during checkouts, customers find shopping using Honey to be more convenient. So, if you can partner with a money-saving app like this, which already has a vast customer network, you can easily take the guesswork out of your marketing and enjoy better sales figures.

Offer free rewards for recurring purchases

Nowadays, every business is trying to build an ecosystem to keep customers coming back. A good loyalty program for automating future purchases is quite feasible for retaining customers.

So, instead of offering 10% off sitewide upfront, make it a little more interactive. Ask your customers to share feedback on their purchases in exchange for 10% off their next bill.

reward-their-purchase

Source: Milled

For new users, setting up a ‘spin to win’ pop up also works wonders and reduces the bounce rate because the rewards won from the spinning wheel encourage them to check out the site if nothing else.

Remember that getting people to look at your products is as important as closing is. So, if you’re not selling anything, at least make ’em take a look. Because even if you generate a 5% increase in retention through your popups, you can increase your profits by 25%.

Answer FAQs for every product

A 2019 survey by BlackFriday.com revealed that Amazon’s ad was the most-anticipated Black Friday ad in that year — even though it didn’t release an official Black Friday ad, just a list of deals.

There are countless reasons people choose Amazon, but one of the major ones is that Amazon offers a small space for discussions, increasing trust among buyers.

If you don’t have infinite resources like Amazon, this minor addition can help build a community. Moreover, it can also help you increase your domain authority because you’re allowing potential buyers to use your platform to ask questions and get answers.

And why stop there? You can combine the aforementioned loyalty program with the FAQs section and ask customers to answer questions from the FAQs to receive more points/rewards, which they can redeem with their purchases.

See how everything just connects when you’re on the right track?

Seize the opportunity for as long as you can

The final quarter of the year is definitely the most stressful time for the marketing and sales teams. But it also brings in a ton of revenue, so who’s complaining?

Even with the COVID-19 relentlessly breathing down our necks, the purchasing pattern of consumers during the holiday season in 2020 is going to be quite similar to that of every other year, with at least 82% of consumers planning to finish purchasing holiday gifts after Black Friday and 6% reporting they won’t be done shopping until after Christmas.

So, there’s plenty of time to earn. Here’s what we recommend; as soon as you’re done with Black Friday, start making arrangements for Christmas SEO, followed by that for New Year’s. This will allow you to remain relevant throughout the last quarter and rank higher in search results for your desired keywords.

Final thoughts

Although there’s quite a lot of time for businesses to cover up their losses throughout the year, there isn’t enough time to plan and execute effective marketing strategies.

We’re halfway into November, and it’s time to buckle up. So, if you can’t get your head around the holiday season of 2020, allow an agency with 20 plus years of experience in digital marketing to take things off of your plate.

Ring us up and get a custom marketing solution delivered wherever you are. The best part? You won’t have to pay for shipping.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | November 11, 2020

In August, Apple became the most valuable company globally after reaching the $2 trillion mark. To give you a perspective, Samsung has a net worth of $295 million.

But with the complaints about Apple’s lack of innovation on the rise, it makes you wonder why Apple is still so popular and what we can learn from its communication method.

Why people choose Apple

Three words: better user experience.

Today, you can walk into an Apple store to get a repair done, and you’ll be happy even if they charge you a premium fee because you’re getting a quick solution. But the same isn’t the case with Android.

A survey by PCMag revealed 47% of people who switch from Android to iOS do so to experience better customer service. Apple has streamlined a rich user experience – something that sits at the absolute pinnacle when it comes to smartphone satisfaction.

They’ve positioned themselves as being ‘style with substance,’ which basically means that you get the best of both worlds. And that’s the communication they’re sticking to despite creating products that many people believe aren’t worth the hype anymore.

Still, Apple continues to grow because their communication keeps winning even if their products aren’t performing well in some parts of the world.

So, what can we learn from Apple?

Reducing churn rate

If you know anything about email marketing, it’s a tool to reduce the high churn rate, which means retaining customers after the free trial is over. And Apple has been doing that without any emails.

To reduce the churn rate, it’s essential for you to find out two things; why people are leaving and why people are staying.

Apple realized this before they went all-in with their marketing activities. So, when they launched their iPhone, they made sure to highlight the fact that the phone can store thousands of songs just like an iPod – a device that was already a hit among their target audience.

Since people were familiar with iTunes and they loved it, they felt it was easier to transition into an iPhone than leaving the ecosystem and switching to Android.

Familiarity. That’s the main ingredient.

People will always buy things that they know and are comfortable with. So, Apple leverages its existing products’ strengths and markets the hell out of it to keep you tied up.

The new iPhone 12 variants are all about nostalgia. It’s a sum of all of Apple’s most loved parts, i.e., the body of iPhone 5, MagSafe, and mini screen size.

So, before you create any strategy, figure out that familiarity factor in your product or service to get one step closer to making a successful campaign.

Controlling the conversation

The first rule of PR is you must always control the conversation. This allows you to steer the story in the direction of your choice and avoid giving into rumors, which can harm your brand image.

When iPhone X was launched, let’s be honest, nobody liked it. People bullied Apple for copying Android and ditching their signature home button.

But just in 10 months, it became the best selling smartphone in the world, with roughly 60 million units sold.

like-using-the-future

Notice how they raved about the positive reviews from those who have the authority to influence the market?

They even brought in YouTube stars to say nice things about the product and quickly roped in Hollywood to work its magic as they did back when Apple replaced Blackberry in movies. That had never happened before.

If you head over to Apple’s YouTube channel right now, you’ll notice that they’ve turned off the comments under all their videos. They know that we are living in a world of memes. It doesn’t take long for people to joke about product features that can ruin sales.

By switching off the comments, they curb negative PR, which doesn’t hurt their sales much.

Remember what happened to the iPhone 7? People joked about the headphone jack being removed, and now, the whole world wants earbuds. Interestingly, iPhone 7 and 7+ have the highest sales of any iOS devices, with close to 80 million units sold to date.

And if you walk into an Apple store, you might spot the iPhone 7 positioned right next to the recent launches because it still sells like hotcakes.

 

Selling fun over features

The most fundamental principle of successful marketing is that you should always sell usefulness over features.

Gone are the days when people sat through the list of specifications before buying a phone. Now, all they see is how good the camera is.

But since Apple is still innovating, they have a unique way of showcasing their features. Because people care about the camera, in iPhone 12’s official trailer, Apple has led the video with what’s new with the camera.

After grabbing the attention, they move on to more critical features. But they don’t just lay down the features; they show what you can do with them.

Apple always tries to sell fun over features like editing on-the-go. But when they do talk about features, they stick to the details.

details-that-matter

This way, even if they aren’t convincing people to buy from them, they’re creating a desire in them. So, they won’t wait for a second before running to the store when they have the money.

Having a clear target

Even the worst marketing campaigns can work if you have your target audience correctly figured out. So, if you aren’t familiar with your product or service’s accurate buyer persona, allow Apple to teach you.

Apple operates in two market segments:

That’s why they don’t obsess over their price points or get bothered by the memes. They’ve sold a smartphone for $999, and just when you thought they couldn’t go any higher, they are now selling the iPhone 12 Pro Max for $1,099.

Apple isn’t wasting time appeasing people who aren’t their target. They focus on their customer base and speak to them directly. Their communication is clear.

They know that this isn’t a race to the bottom, so they avoid price wars and focus on adequately positioning their value in the market. Because at the end of the day, a convincing value proposition is all that the customers care about.

And many businesses follow the same rule. For example, Ahrefs charges up to $9,990/year, while Majestic charges up to $3,990/year. Yet, people continue to choose the former because it has a unique value prop that’s still unmatched.

Besides, only 29% of users switch from iOS to Android due to pricing issues, so Apple’s marketing is right on the money.

Getting people talking 

You don’t need to advertise if people are continually talking about your product. Creating a buzz is one of the most important marketing strategies that Apple has mastered. Here’s what Phil Schiller, VP of Worldwide Marketing at Apple, had to say about advertising.

Schiller said Apple decided not to pay for any advertising during a brief period after the device was introduced in January 2007 and when it went on sale later in the year.

“We didn’t need to,” Schiller said. He read from several rave reviews of the iPhone and iPad, explaining that such stories did a better job than advertising to build buzz.

 

Word of mouth publicity is better than any paid marketing. So, if you can convince people to leave positive reviews, you won’t have to spend a dime on paid marketing.

Ditching the jargons

Take a look at this official trailer for all the iPhone 12 launches. There’s nothing that you can’t understand. Not a single dialogue, and you know exactly what you’re going to get.

Because they’ve kept it simple.

And when they do use a technical term like A14 bionic chip, they quickly follow it up with what it means, i.e., it’s the world’s fastest and most powerful chip.

When it comes to marketing, speak your customers’ language. You can’t talk about the eco-friendliness of a barbie when selling the doll to a 5-year-old. Instead, you’ll talk about how you can style it for different occasions to drive sales.

If you see Apple’s website, you’ll notice that they’ve simplified the copy significantly. For example, the copy on the watch section is planned out to make checkout easier for you.

Filled with well-positioned CTAs, the copy is designed to make you understand the technology while telling you what you can do with it, such as gifting the watch to someone for Christmas.

See how they’ve personalized the copy for the holiday season way ahead of time?

Apple knows that their target audience isn’t facing the wrath of COVID-19 as much as the rest of the world is. They’ve still got the purchasing power, and they’ll be looking for present ideas. So, Apple is cashing in on the opportunity the right way.

Leading with the intangible benefits

In 2016, Apple launched MacBook Pro with a touch bar – a feature that makes editing documents and producing tracks more convenient. But when Apple first introduced it, they addressed the intangible benefits more than the tangible ones.

For instance, they used sentences like “the touch bar allows you to interact with your MacBook” or that “it offers a more immediate connection to your content.” And then, they dove into the technicalities of having all your hidden commands in front of you for easy accessibility.

Apple’s entire marketing strategy is designed to spark a user’s desire before they move on to making a sales pitch.

They don’t sell you a 12MP camera. They sell you the experience of capturing, editing, and sharing crystal clear videos in Dolby Vision and clicking beautiful phones in wide, ultra-wide, and selfie mode even in low light.

Even when introducing MagSafe, they led the audience in with the line “everything just clicks” rather than saying something like “charge your phones faster with MagSafe” because intangible benefits drive sales and customer satisfaction.

 

Joining the conversation

It’s not just about controlling but also joining the conversation. Apple is one of the few companies that catch on pretty quickly.

 

The moment the world started inclining towards being more environment-conscious, Apple hopped on the bandwagon. They announced that they would be reducing their use of plastic by not offering adapters with the new phones.

Sounds noble but remember that this is the same company that launched iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, and iPhone 12 mini all in the same year. Those plastic adapters aren’t harming the environment as much as these bulk launches are.

But their communication worked, and people are beginning to adapt to their logic with time. They’re also garnering more sympathy and brownie points for caring for the planet, which will affect their sales numbers.

Building a community

You know what they call Apple enthusiasts, don’t you? Apple fanboys/fangirls.

No matter how condescending it sounds to those on the outside, the Apple fanbase is a loyal one. They stick to their brand year after year without complaining about the lack of features or higher prices.

And every brand needs that to become the most valuable company on the planet.

Countless businesses have been asking people to join their Facebook group for years, but now, they’ve gone one step ahead and created more closed communities on Slack, where they can control the conversation.

These communities have the potential of spending more, generating a buzz around new launches, and becoming influencers for your products. Make this happen, and you’ll never go out of business.

Conclusion

Apple is indeed working with marketing geniuses to deliver campaigns that make people stop whatever they’re doing and listen.

And sometimes, no matter how much you invest, finding the right people can be quite tricky. So, why not speak to an agency that knows what they’re doing. Bash Foo has been creating marketing solutions for the past two decades, and we’re always willing to collaborate with businesses that love meeting goals.

Let’s get in touch and create strategies for your business’ long-term growth right away.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | October 27, 2020

Your website is one of your business’s most powerful tools for attracting new customers and keeping current customers informed when they make online searches. For this reason, your website needs to rank highly on the results pages of the world’s most popular search engine. Ranking highly on Google, though, is easier said than done. But armed with a little knowledge, you can make smart decisions on how to optimize the content on your site so it ranks highly. Here is some information about how Google is changing the search industry, and what you can expect in the future.

1. Google Updates Their Algorithms More Than You May Realize

It’s Google’s job to deliver reliable search results to people looking for information. Because of this, Google has gotten even better at understanding our search terms and the context surrounding them. In the past, Google was able to recognize certain terms but struggled with understanding conversational phrasing. But because of the way people use search engines changes constantly, Google has to be extremely flexible and adaptable to stay on top of the search engine game.

Google uses specialized algorithms to understand, categorize, and rank every webpage on the internet so that it can quickly return accurate results when someone makes a query. Though Google has made some major changes to their algorithms in the past few years, they’re constantly making smaller updates. For businesses, this means that their page rankings may change, but not to worry. Just as Google’s algorithms evolve, so do online search tactics. Staying ahead of the curve on algorithm changes can really give your business a boost.

2. Google’s Algorithms Are Getting Smarter

Google is at the forefront when it comes to machine learning and natural language processing (NLP). These new technologies help computers understand elements of human conversation and can teach them the meaning of new words and phrases. For example, Google introduced an algorithm update in 2019 called BERT. This update was considered by Google to be its most significant change in the previous five years. This algorithm uses NLP to fully understand the meanings of unknown words by using the words and context that surround them. This update was a huge step up for Google and their ability to understand the intent behind searches.

Users around the globe conduct billions of searches every day, and Google gathers useful data from each one of these searches. Machine learning thrives on high-quality data, and Google has an ample source of relevant data from all the searches conducted. Machine learning algorithms analyze trends, words, and phrases that are often used in conjunction, and how certain words relate to one another and then use this to make predictions about the meaning, context, and user intent of searches. Google is getting better at understanding exactly how humans think and speak.

3. Big Changes Are Coming Next Year for Online Search

Earlier this year, Google announced an algorithm slated for next year that focuses on the usability and user experience of websites. While the content of your site is important to how Google ranks you, so is the experience that users have on your website. If your site isn’t quick, responsive, and easy to use, people might get frustrated and leave before they have a chance to find the information they were looking for. Google doesn’t just want to return the most useful and informative results, they want the information to be easy to access as well.

Google’s new update, called Google Page Experience will analyze how quickly your web pages load, how quickly your site responds to user input, and how visually stable your site is. Google has created an initiative called Web Vitals to detail the metrics that are most important to ranking:

To prepare for this algorithm change, make sure that your site responds quickly. Pages filled with large, high-quality images can take a long time to load, so it’s important to optimize the images, code, and files on your site.

4. Now Is The Time You Need To Focus On Your SEO Strategy

With big changes on the horizon, it’s important to focus on building a strong SEO strategy now. In fact, using outdated SEO techniques can actually have a negative impact on your overall ranking. Though keywords are still important, focus on a holistic content marketing strategy that includes creating helpful, informative content that your audience is looking for. Following a topic cluster model is an SEO technique that may work for many businesses. It works to let Google know that you’re an expert in your field based on how you structure the links and content on your pages.

Also, make sure that your site is optimized for mobile browsing, as mobile’s share of browsing will only continue to increase in the coming years. Google ranks sites that aren’t designed for mobile use lower, as this can impact the user experience. When planning an SEO strategy, focus on what your audience really wants and needs, and aim to delight them from the first interaction they have on your website.

If you want to get a better handle on which SEO tactics are best for your business, a professional agency may be able to help. At Bash Foo, we have 20 years of experience in digital marketing, and we are happy to help make your marketing goals a reality. Contact us so we can help you find a marketing solution that meets your business’s unique needs.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | October 26, 2020

Search engines are more complex than they used to be. Every year, Google updates the algorithms to better reflect real human search intent and results. Most of us still remember a time when keyword stuffing not only worked, it was considered mandatory to flag the search engine crawlers at all. Now, stuff a keyword inorganically and you’ll win a penalty instead. SEO changes optimal strategies every year, but the one unifying theme of these changes is the human experience.

Search engines are themselves, optimizing to give the searchers the best experiential results. That means not just being the right answer, informative, and reliable as a source – you also need to appeal to the sensory journey of your website visitors to build a presence for search engines. Where do you think Google gets the text and images for every Position-0 snippet? The same place it gets every other search result – existing websites.

 

Formatted and Organized Page Layout

The first place to begin is an organized webpage template.  Organized web pages are easier for web crawlers to explore and more appealing for users. Create a formula for each page, something that aesthetically presents your page content and information. Then match the template or modify it for each page of the website. In this way, your menus, action buttons, conversion assets, and content are all quickly found by the eye and by crawlers cataloging your website for search results.

 

Product Pages with Clear Details

Google has some amazing shopping search results and wants to help searchers find items to buy. In addition to fully integrating your GMB profile, your product pages also need detailed completion. Once again, choose an aesthetic and functional layout for all product pages, then present the same complete data for each or the same data for each category of product.

For example, you might always list material, weight, dimensions, size, fastener type, etc. in the first few lines immediately after your paragraph description. Remember that your title, image, price, and shipping are the four details Google is most likely to harvest and display.

 

Ask and Answer Questions

One of the best ways to earn your content a snippet-spot is to ask questions and answer them using the typical question language. Remember your W’s “Who, What, When, Where, and Why”. Ask these and other typically formatted questions, considering the way that your audience might ask questions that your team can readily answer through service pages, product pages, the help section, and of course, your blog. Pose questions to answer and then answer them in language that web crawlers will immediately recognize as direct, useful, and concise.

 

Hierarchy of Headers

Google loves to answer questions in lists. You may have noticed that the top snippet is often a list answer, and the list doesn’t have to be at the top of your article (though that helps). What search engines really need is a hierarchy of headers. Your title is H1. Your section titles are H2. Sub-paragraph headers should be H3 and below. A list of H2 headers or H3 headers underneath an H2 category are more likely to be picked up and used for quick search engine answer snippets.

 

Use Numbered and Bulleted Lists

Search engines also love lists that are easy to suss out as lists. The use of numbers makes this exceedingly simple for the crawlers to determine when one point follows the next, no matter how many sub-points are in between. Make the use of numbers to sequence any long or listed information.

Concise information is equally appealing, and bullet points have a certain appeal to a very wide user audience. Find creative and simple ways to make use of bullet points. Pre-list your article topics, list instructions, recipe ingredients, or project supplies. Create outlines, frame ideas, and summarize the coming content. Just use useful configurations of bullet-point lists.

 

Short, Informative Paragraphs

Wherever you place information – from blog article to product and service pages – make your paragraphs concise and informative. Search engine crawlers make snippets from quick-answers and digestible in-depth answers. Break up your paragraphs by point and be free with subheaders that tell what each paragraph is about.

 

Content-Labeled Images

Make use of your image metadata. If you want your images to appear as the snippet image on search results or in image searches – you have to tell the crawlers what they’re looking at. Make sure your alt-text and captions are descriptive and simple. Name the people, the setting, the activity, or the subject. Name prominent colors, categories, or uses. Stick to 4 or fewer keywords for your image details, choose the best four.

 

Share Charts and Graphs

Charts and graphs are fantastic for attracting search engine visitors and keeping their attention. Many people rely on charts, infographics, and graphs to understand the massive amount of data we deal with every day. If your team is good at making graphs that explain related concepts, then you have a great tool for building awareness, following, and search engine ranking.

Search engines will often favor a well-built graph with a clearly-marked axis or a key so that searchers get the best possible information on their search. Use the image labeling techniques to ensure that web crawlers know exactly the graph they are looking at. Then build pages around your charts and graphs detailing the data and information surrounding why that data is important.

 

Work with Professional Web Designers

Every business designs its own brand for the website, including everything from web page layout to your images and assets. For most teams, it’s perfectly usual not to have an SEO expert on staff, much less a visual web design artist who can remodel your website’s presence for search engines.  IF you know that your website needs a boost in search result traffic but aren’t sure how to make that happen, you can count on us. As an experienced team of web designers and SEO experts, we’re here to help your website reach that coveted tier-zero snippet territory – not just attracting visitors but also informing them, keeping them, and beginning the conversion process.

Contact us today to consult on your website remodeling plans.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | October 19, 2020

Hiring in the current employment market requires action and finesse. When there are more jobs available than there are skilled professionals to do them, the most courteous and strategic employers win the best talent. Many new recruiting and hiring strategies have been developed in the last ten years in order to respond aptly to the War for Talent. Sure, you could actively compete with your business contemporaries for the best talent. But why compete when you can nurture?

One of the most effective modern recruitment techniques is email nurturing. This is a friendly outreach method that HR professionals can use to build their talent network and fill roles when applicants are lacking. Through email nurturing, you can get in touch with great professionals and build that relationship into winning a great job candidate. Email nurturing is designed to help you turn passive candidates into promising leads.

 

What is Email Nurturing?

Email nurturing is one of the leading ways for HR to reach out to potential job candidates. The nurturing process involves a series of friendly emails that provide candidates with timely information and opportunities. It’s a way of building a conversation and keeping your passive candidates engaged even when there’s no ongoing conversation.

An email nurturing campaign might open with an explanation and an invitation to engage. The next email might include more information about the role and the company. The next one might be about benefits and the company culture. All the information you want candidates to know that might influence their decision, you can provide through an engaging email nurturing campaign. In other words, a series of useful and interesting emails about taking the job.

Tools to Enhance Your Email Nurturing

 

Every HR professional knows that tools can reshape a task. Depending on your recruitment style and the size of your company, your email nurture campaign can become much easier with the right software.

CRMs, for example, are great at putting together a profile of information and many are designed to feed that profile into personalized email templates. For HR of a large company, this kind of streamlining can empower your team to reach far more potential candidates per year.

Other tools like Litmus and Grammarly can check your emails for quality and impact, which can help you perfect your strategy before the first emails are out of the gate.

HR Email Nurturing Best Practices

1. Constant Talent Outreach

With email nurturing, you have the opportunity to seek out new talent and you have every reason to constantly grow your talent network. Passive candidates are those who are currently employed and/or satisfied with their situation but who might consider a role in your company if the circumstances were right. Email nurturing makes it possible to connect and build a relationship with hundreds to thousands of professionals so each time you encounter a promising professional online, start nurturing.

2. Open with Honest Flattery

In your first email, your passive candidates will want to know why you’re reaching out in the first place. Many professionals get boring canned invitations to apply for jobs all the time. What makes your email stand out should be open and honest flattery. Why did their profile catch your eye? What credentials, past work, or experiences made you think they would be a good fit for your open roles?

By conveying this, you not only flatter your candidates, you also tell them something about how they might be valued to the company and the nature of the work.

3. Reveal Your Sources

When you reach out, candidates also wonder how you heard of them. Did their LinkedIn profile dazzle you? Or did you get a referral from a past boss or coworker? Revealing this mystery opens the door to a personable and productive conversation where the candidate knows your vector of approach.

4. Ask What the Candidate is Looking For

Don’t just explain what the candidate can do for the company. Modern hiring is all about enticing great talent to choose your company. How do you entice each individual person? By asking. Remember to ask your candidates what they’re looking for in a role and what might persuade them to change roles. No doubt the answer will be useful to you.

5. Collect Templates but Write Personal Messages

Email nurturing templates are incredibly useful. They give you structure, tone, content, and an idea about how to spool out information in a conversational way. But they’re not a campaign on their own. When you’re reaching out to a candidate, this should be a connection between people. Some emails are simple or formulaic enough to automate safely. In most cases, the best communications will be done by planning from templates but making each message personal. Consider the candidate’s history, experience, and responses so far.

6. Relate as a Person

Include details about yourself. No one wants to email with a robot, and email campaigns open that risk. So put a piece of yourself into your messages. Use interesting facts about yourself as ice-breakers and example-answers to your questions. This kind of personability will relax most candidates and they’ll feel freer to share personal details. The important soft-skill details that no one shares with a robot.

7. Know When to Automate

Some emails can and should be automated. Anything you can automate will save you time and increase the speed of a good email nurturing campaign. Good times to automate include out-of-town messages and follow-ups on incomplete applications. Anything that you would genuinely say the same way to everyone can be smoothly automated.

8. Help Candidates to Self-Engage

When considering a new job, most people do a lot of research. So make that smooth and welcoming for passive candidates. Create a web portal that provides all the relevant information a prospective candidate might need. Create a social media funnel for candidates. Get candidates interested in your employer brand and powering their own engagement through activities, research, and conversation.

9. Welcome Referrals and Recommendations

“Is there anyone you’d like to refer?” is a question that every recruiter should be asking everyone they know. It’s an open, friendly invitation, just in case. It’s a great way to turn a few declines into a positive hire down the line. Many people know someone who’s in the industry or looking for a job, but they’d normally never mention it. By asking for referrals and recommendations with each conversation.

10. Invite Feedback

Finally, always invite feedback. Always welcome each contact you make to critique and leave comments. You never know when really useful insight, information, and opportunities can arise. Not to mention the useful survey data.

Contact us for more insights to attract new customers and nurture the customer relationships you have already built.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | October 12, 2020

In the hospitality industry, upsell of hotel reservations has evolved from a business goal into a refined art form. Diners in restaurants allow themselves to be tempted by desserts. Guests book appointments in the spa because they’re enjoying the vacation. And your staff does everything in their power to make these upselling indulgences entirely worth the price.

But in the world of online booking and digital marketing, your upselling efforts have to go beyond the borders of your property. These days, travelers often plan their entire vacations out ahead of time with online bookings and an absolute budget. Even those who make impulse decisions in the hotel are less likely to splurge because they don’t know what to splurge on. Today, we’re here to talk about how to use your digital marketing tactics to encourage your guests to upsell themselves before and even during their stays.

Create an Upsell Bonus List

The first step is to hammer out a standardized list of booking upgrades for guests. In reality, there are thousands of unique things you would do for a guest (and charge them for) if asked. And at least a few dozen listed on a price sheet somewhere in the spa, restaurant, behind the front desk, or printed in each room’s hotel book.

The key here is to make a ‘menu’ that you can both use as a strategy guide and provide to guests who are looking to be upsold. Because in digital marketing, a list of services is more powerful than the suggestion that guests can have everything. Online, everyone looks at the menu first.

Offer Bonuses While Guests are Booking

The first way to use these upsell bonuses is through your online booking UI. This is something guests can’t get through third party booking partners like Hotels.com. The key is to make the interaction casual, simple, and transparent.

After a guest has selected the room they want, offer a drop-down of checkbox options. Do they want a few extra pillows stocked before they arrive? A chilled bottle of champagne waiting in the room? To pre-book a spa treatment on the first night to unwind from the flight?

Next to each option, neatly list the additional price. The more transparent, the better. This allows someone planning their vacation to make the decision with no hesitation. Either they want and can afford the bonus or they don’t. Underneath your first three or four options, include a dropdown that says ‘More…’

This can reveal a long list of upsells that guests might want, ideally separated by category. You might be surprised how effective this method is for pre-upselling guests who book online.

Market Full-Package Booking Deals

The next option is one hotels have been working on for decades: vacation packages. If you can make a package good enough, guests will spring for the all-in-one deal and pay for more than they normally would booking each activity and luxury one at a time. And as with any good hotel policy, the best packages are the ones that give guests every ounce of extra enjoyment from what the upsell included.

You know best what makes a great package experience at your hotel. Classic packages include multiple nights, complimentary room extras (like a bottle of wine), spa treatments, dining or room service, and shuttle tours.

Market these packages through all your digital marketing channels. Feature the potential experiences on social media. Spotlight the packages on your website and, if possible, through your booking platforms. Consider reaching out to travel services to bring your packages to the attention of their clients. And feature your package deals in PPC and banner ads if you use these channels.

Send ‘Upgrade Your Booking’ Email Offers

Another great digital way to upsell your guests is to target guests who have completed their booking but their trip has not started yet. During this time, they have likely been researching more things to do and getting excited (or possibly worried) about their trip. This is the perfect time to send an email offering a few key upgrades to their existing booking.

This essentially gives guests the chance to book more details about their trip after a few days to think about the time they’ll spend there. Guests may have a great deal of fun browsing your bonuses and adding little extras at their leisure, with pressure to choose at the moment of booking the room.

Upsell Guests During Their Stay

Finally, never forget that guests are often easiest to upsell when they’re in the throes of enjoying their holiday. Vacationers often love to splurge and get a little more joy from the vacation and will happily take opportunities for a fun or luxurious upsell. There are a couple of ways to do this that are more reliable than guests taking front-desk suggestions.

There are three places you should absolutely place your list of stay-bonuses and upsell options available to current guests: Your wifi landing page, the smart tv directory channel, and the guest book inside every hotel room. Right next to the room service menu. You may also include these delightful little upsell options on the pamphlets and table signs in other areas of the hotel.

First, you should absolutely print your upsell bonuses list in the guest-book included in each room. Right next to the room service menu. Second, you should include a section about upgrading their stay on the wifi login page, a page that every plugged-in guest will visit at least once during their stay.

Upselling to digital-age guests is only a challenge if you limit your methods to in-person interactions. Your modern professional and traveling students do everything online and through their phones. So the best way to upsell the wonderful hotel experiences you have to offer is to do it through digital marketing. Let us boost your bookings and guest satisfaction with expert hospitality software and the insights you need to succeed. Our team would be honored to upgrade your hotel management experience. Contact us today to find out more and consult on your hotel performance and popularity.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | October 12, 2020

Maintaining a steady stream of sales leads is fundamental when growing a business. All B2B businesses thrive on an ongoing bundle of other companies that have a reason for needing their products or services. This is not an environment where forgotten leads are acceptable.

“The way you position yourself at the beginning of a relationship has a profound impact on where you end up.” – Ron Karr — Marketing Consultant

If a business gets sloppy about garnering and exciting their leads, the company is going to lose revenue. Let’s talk about what that means, exactly.

The Marketing Team

No matter the size of your company, someone, whether it is your staff or your marketing manager, or your marketing team, should be bringing in qualified leads. Dropping the ball in the marketing leg of your business is going to affect your bottom line. According to marketing experts, these industry statistics are occurring for B2B sales:

Obtaining Leads

All B2B entities must begin to distinguish between good leads and bad leads. What B2B marketers need to understand is that quality leads are what to look for, not weak ones. Some ways a business can discern if a prospect is a sales-qualified lead include:

Nurturing Leads

Build relationships with your potential customers. When that client is ready, he or she will choose the business that they already know and trust.

Be Available to Your Customers

In 2018, an infographic published by Invoca showed the inbound call industry generated approximately $4.17 billion. Incoming calls, in other words, can generate revenue.

Low-Quality Leads

If you follow up on 200 “bad” leads monthly and spend 10 minutes with each lead by way of calls and emails, you have wasted over 11 hours. For example, a salesperson brings in a gross profit for a car dealership. It’s possible, however, that ten cars go unsold, and holding costs are approximately $40 a day. The dealership would be losing $28,730 in lost gross income, along with holding costs.

poor quality leads

As is true in most businesses, the lead volume does not equate to lead quality.

Defining a Forgotten Lead and How to Win Them Over

When you consider that the cost of a lead in 2019 was an average of $.05 to $20 a prospect, and for paying customers, selling a product costs about $40 to $3,000, you can understand why leads are expensive and valuable at the same time. But there do exist ways to get those leads involved again.

  1. Consider repackaging your original offer and proposing it to the forgotten prospect.
  2. Remember that it is not unusual for someone who has expressed interest in your product to wait before buying at the first offer.
  3. Make sure your timing is right. If you sell in a place where a professional team of any kind has a home base, you may want to time your sales pitch to occur when the season opens.
  4. Give your leads a deadline or a special offer.
  5. Remind your prospect that the product in which they were interested is about to sell out, and it is time for them to make a move.

The tried and true “bonus” still comes in handy, as well. Some oldies are still goodies, such as:

7. Mix up the actions you take to reach out to customers. If your first email does not increase interest for potential buyers, try something else:

People live busy lives these days. Distractions are a daily occurrence. Some buyers don’t use email or texting. And some individuals just do not pick up the phone or turn on their computer every day.

8. Do something you have never done before. Some examples might include:

9. Touch base with forgotten leads about every six months. You could ask them if they have changed any of their company priorities; if they have met the goals they made for themselves, and query them about their challenges.

No Marketing Department?

If a company does not have a marketing department, how can an enterprise generate its leads and keep those leads interested? It’s good to remember that prospects do not become leads until they have qualified by determining their level of interest and have a positive fit as a potential customer.

If you are on your own when it comes to accruing leads, then you are probably stumped about the ways to get cold clients back. These steps can take place easily:

Now you know your cost per lead.  You must now figure out what amount of Cost Per Lead is best for your company.

Bash Foo

Our company uses digital marketing tools to help those small businesses improve their online reputations affordably and inspirationally. We are also in the business of lead generation services. Your SMB will not need a marketing department because Bash Foo is your digital marketing agency.  You can look forward to more leads, more exposure, and more sales.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | August 25, 2020

If your sales team is having a hard time connecting with sales leads and closing the deal, you are not alone.

There are many reasons why a sales team may not be hitting the mark every time. Your sales team may need additional training on your CRM software, you could have some miscommunication between sales and marketing, or your team is simply overwhelmed with the number of leads coming in.

While hundreds of leads flowing through the funnel is a good problem to have, having a clear grasp on a customer’s journey can make or break the experience when connecting with potential customers. Whatever the reason, BashFoo can help you diagnose and solve the issue by bringing efficiency back into your sales department through sales enablement services.

This new service was born out of an inherent need to relieve overwhelmed sales teams and boost sales within our community. There are many different approaches to sales enablement, but because we play on your team, your existing process and strategy remain top of mind.

What is a Sales Enablement Service?

Sales enablement services is a collaborative tool used to enhance efficiency, process, and understanding within an existing sales department. By uniting the teams and resources necessary, customer-facing professionals are empowered to add value in every customer interaction that aligns with the buyer’s journey.

Through this initiative, our team empowers your sales representatives. Instead of taking over, we improve what currently exists and equip your team with the tools needed to carry on. By resolving these issues, your team has the opportunity to increase revenue, improve client acquisition, and have more selling time on their calendars.

The Process

The best way to understand where the funnel has sprung a leak is to audit the processes, software, desired business outcomes, and assets that are currently performing.

After we have a grasp on the foundation, we begin developing a roadmap with custom tools and tasks to improve your current strategy and reach your goals. This path takes the strategy to maturity.

Supported through a range of services, sales teams are equipped with the information and tools necessary to provide real value in customer interactions.

Here are some examples of sales enablement services offered by our team:

Enablement is not a one and done solution. It requires constant diligence and implementation to achieve the desired results. Every initiative must begin with a strategy and be supported by leadership teams for continued success.

We aren’t here to reinvent the wheel. We are here to rotate the squeaky ones. If your team is continually struggling to close deals and you are coming up short on your business goals, reach out to us to learn more about our sales enablement services.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | August 1, 2020

Email marketing is an effective strategy for building relationships with new and existing customers. Brands around the world are taking advantage of email automation to generate new leads and convert existing leads into customers. A powerful method of email marketing is a drip campaign.

A drip campaign is a series of automated emails sent to subscribers based on a pre-determined timeline or in response to a specific action. A drip campaign can be used to nurture new leads, welcome new subscribers, or re-engage with inactive users. It’s also an effective way to remind customers about your products and services.

Advantages of Drip Campaigns

Automated drip campaigns are simple to set up and manage, and they give your prospects timely, relevant content. The benefits of drip campaigns include:

Automation

Drip campaigns are a great way to save time. Once you’ve set up your sequence of messages, they will do the rest of the work for you. You’ll consistently stay in touch with your customers, without the risk of leads slipping through the cracks. A well-executed drip campaign will nurture your leads and build relationships, leaving you more time to focus on sales.

Segmentation

Segmenting your drip campaign allows you to reach out to specific groups of customers with highly targeted messages. Each potential customer can receive the exact information they need based on where they are in your sales funnel. You can easily add or update content to ensure your leads receive timely information. Your messages will be relevant and personal, leading to higher open rates and higher conversions.

Lead Nurturing

Drip campaigns take the heavy lifting out of lead nurturing. Not all potential customers will engage right away. They may wish to know more about your products or your company before making a purchase. That’s why it’s essential to stay in contact with customers and build relationships. A drip email campaign allows you to explain the benefits of your products, answer common questions, and address any potential concerns your prospect may have. This will keep your products in your customers’ minds and build trust.

Building Brand Awareness

A series of relevant emails will keep prospective customers connected to your brand. When a prospect is ready to make a purchase, they’ll think of your company. An effective drip campaign will increase brand awareness and build relationships with new prospective clients.

Applications and Examples

Drip campaigns encompass several types of messages. Here are some of the most common.

Welcome

When a prospect joins your company’s mailing list, the first message they’ll receive is a welcome email. Effective welcome emails are personalized with the prospect’s name, a welcome message, and information about your services or products. A welcome email lets your customers know that you appreciate their interest. It also allows you to showcase what you have to offer and what they can expect from your company. It’s a chance to make a great first impression while the customer is newly interested.

Onboarding

A welcome email is often followed by an onboarding email, which lets your customer become further acquainted with your company and what it has to offer. For example, if a user signs up for a free trial, an onboarding message may explain the next steps to take and the benefits available to paid users.

Re-Engagement

Re-engagement messages are sent to your subscribers who haven’t engaged with your company for a long time. There are several reasons a potential customer may no longer engage. They may have an issue with your website, or no longer be interested in your products. A re-engagement campaign attempts to reconnect with users and win them back.

Special Promotion

Everyone loves to get a good deal. Set up a drip campaign to offer your prospects a free trial, a temporary discount, or a promo code. Running an exclusive offer for your email subscribers is a great way to boost engagement and sales. It will keep your customers interested in your products—and your mailing list.

Keys to an Effective Drip Campaign

A successful email campaign can convert leads into new customers. However, if it’s not done well, it will only annoy your prospects, leading them to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Follow these best practices for a successful drip campaign.

Segment Your Mailing List

Sending the same email to your entire mailing list is not an effective tactic. To increase engagement and ROI, make sure your messages are relevant to your users and where they are in the sales funnel. A brand-new lead may need to learn more about your company and your products. Long-standing customers may respond to discounts and exclusive offers.

Provide Quality Content

Users are more likely to engage with relevant, high-quality content. Keep these tips in mind for effective emails.

Don’t Flood Your Users’ Inboxes

An effective email campaign should keep your users engaged, but also leave them wanting more. Sending too many messages too soon is likely to irritate your leads. Many customers will unsubscribe if they feel inundated with emails. A good guideline is to avoid sending your prospects more than one email per day. This should keep your leads engaged without making them feel overwhelmed.

Perform A/B Testing

A/B testing involves testing a new design against an original design to determine which one performs better. You can A/B test any aspect of your emails: subject lines, images, copy, or calls to action. With ongoing A/B testing, you’ll continuously improve your drip campaign.

A well-executed drip campaign will keep your prospects engaged throughout the entire customer journey. For more insights into drip campaigns and marketing automation, contact us today.

 


By | Categories Blog | Featured | July 20, 2020

The business world is changing. Amid the coronavirus pandemic with stay-at-home orders across the globe, it’s no surprise that businesses are evolving and adapting as well. Right now, the e-commerce industries are at an all-time high. Many smaller teams are near bursting with new work fulfilling orders and providing customer service to hundreds, sometimes thousands of new customers.

This, in the long run, is a good kind of problem. If your e-commerce brand is riding the wave or about to jump in, there are tons of new customers shopping online right now. The key is to keep them after the initial surge. And that means customer retention tactics.

Today, we’re here to share a few corona-timely tips for e-commerce brands planning to keep their new customer-base for the long haul.

 

Absolute Transparency on Stock and Delivery Dates

Right now, the number-one thing that online shoppers need is transparency. They need to know what you have in stock and what is out-of-stock on the day they’re ordering. And of what’s out-of-stock, what will be back in stock in the next few days.

With so many delayed and re-prioritized orders, customers also need to know approximately when to expect their orders. Print shipment times on the product pages themselves or add a shipping UI element to your shopping cart widget.

Most importantly, share stock and delivery details before checkout. Error messages and month-long waits displayed at checkout are the opposite of customer retention.

 

Broadcast Your Safety Measures

Change your homepage and a few other key pages with a COVID-Policies banner. Let your customers, new and old, know that your business is aware of the situation and is actively taking steps to keep them safe. Share a few points on how you are making those efforts, like clean boxes, plastic-wrapped products, and glove-and-mask gear for the staff.

Then share a few safety tips and well-wishes to help your customers take care of themselves while they way for your order.

This kind of broadcast shows that you know what’s up and are a safe brand to trust during the pandemic.

 

Boost Your Customer Services

If your customer base is exploding, so too should your customer service efforts. While you may suddenly have ten-times your usual customer service request pace, every single customer expects your best quality of care. If your team is overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to hire a dozen new chat and phone techs who can work remotely from home. Thousands of professionals are out of work right now or with indefinitely canceled hours, and they could use the work as much as you could use the customer service team to provide all those additional soothing phonecalls when deliveries are delayed on the road.

 

Make the Digital-Transition Easy

Use your website and app (if you have one) to smooth the virtual shopping experience. Many new e-commerce customers are the people who have been holding out for in-person stores while society, as a whole, switches to Amazon and its kin. They are now having to face online shopping, sometimes for the first time, and may need a little hand-holding.

A smooth interface that walks customers through the process is excellent for rookies and will help you stand out as easy-to-use for experienced e-commerce shoppers.

 

Provide Confirmation and Live Tracking

Often, customer retention is supported by the consumer’s love of tracking their orders and watching delivery drivers arrive through online widgets. With the lockdown in full swing, this can be a shopper’s only way to be involved in their shopping. When an order is submitted, send a confirmation email. This should include a receipt, a link to the product page, and an estimate for shipping dates. Let customers know when the product will ship and when to expect it. Use this as your baseline for customer order information.

From there, keep customers updated with live shipment tracking. If you have a graphical website widget for delivery progress, all the better. Most importantly, help customers help themselves. When they can see that their package was waylaid at the Fex-Ex facility, they’re more likely to wait patiently and less likely to call in a tizzy.

 

Compassion and Patience in Problem-Solving

Rest assured, some customers will call in a tizzy. Now is a stressful time for the population at large, and if they vent a little stress on the customer service line, it should be okay. Coach your team to face frustration and even anger with compassion and patience. To understand that everyone is scared right now, and sometimes that means accidentally yelling or getting mad when they don’t mean to.

Have patience and teach your team to sound compassionate in chat and over the phone. Give your customers, even the distraught ones, the benefit of the doubt in these troubling times. Your customers will remember it when sanity returns to them.

 

Become a Go-To Online Source

Finally, if you desire excellent customer retention online, become their go-to source. Make your site and their customer experience so great that customers want to come back for your product instead of heading to the store if/when the stores open again. Ensure your platform or products are more appealing than the competition, and that your service is more helpful and customer-centric.

You can also enhance your go-to source power by expanding your inventory to be more complete. Become a one-stop-shop for your niche and/or include products that are often bought together with your core inventory. If you have a spectacular shopping and customer experience combined with a satisfactory one-stop inventory selection, then customers are far more likely to choose your brand over all others.

The new market conditions have turned everything on its head, and a savvy business knows how to make the most out of change. COVID-19 has become a challenge, but it’s one that we are overcoming with the power of well-designed eCommerce solutions and a cloud network that is unstoppable. With these tactics, your e-commerce brand can not just earn new customers during the COVID pandemic, but also keep them after the crisis has passed. Contact us today for more invaluable e-commerce insights.


By | Categories Blog | Featured | July 16, 2020

Your Customer Relationship Management software or CRM can help you make and keep good customers. It can help you understand the patterns in customer behavior and better serve each customer when they come back. It can even help you turn leads into new customers by noting their behaviors and making a guiding CRM entry even before leads have created an account for themselves or completed their first purchase.

Leaving leads on the table is always something to avoid. It’s known that not all leads will convert, but there’s no need to waste perfectly good leads when all they need is a little nurturing. Your CRM is an excellent tool for this, but just like customer care, you must know how to use it. The CRM is, essentially, a Rolodex of information that can then be used to your advantage. So here’s how to use it to pick up those dropped leads and inspire increasingly more conversions over time.

 

Collect Pre-Account Data

There are two distinct differences between leads and customers. First, they haven’t completed a purchase. Second, they haven’t made an account yet. Don’t let this stop you from creating a tentative CRM entry just for curious leads. When a new IP or device connects, begin collecting potentially useful information. This could be a lead, a journalist, a potential business partner, or a browser-bot. You won’t know unless you look. Watch their browsing activities and keep track of any data entered or chat conversations had before account creation.

You can do this by automatically generating a temporary CRM entry. The entry then collects user-activity data to analyze and determine the nature of your visitors. If they are leads, then automated or directed nurturing can begin. The information collected can be used to guide the nurturing process instead of opening cold.

 

Chatbot Greeting

One of the best ways to collect that preliminary CRM data is with a chatbot. Chatbots can talk to everyone, never getting bored, or tired, and always close-able for browsing customers. People like to be greeted by a friendly self-docking chatbot. A cheerful greeting gives your website a friendly vibe and immediately provides a route for customer service.

Those who choose to engage with the chatbot are both more likely to be leads and will provide useful early information. A chatbot can be asked for help with selection or for basic information, but even better, they open the conversation. A chatbot turns the website into an interactive experience by reaching out and greeting each lead.

 

Intent-Based Guided Selection

Another option is to offer your leads a guided selection that also builds their CRM data. Guided selection is essentially an online personal shopper, narrowing down the options to help leads find what they want. Intent-based guided selection helps leads to shop based on their intentions. Turn your first-time-visitor UI into a helpful guided experience.

Ask your leads what they’re shopping for and offer them categories from which to choose. Refine your search filters and natural store organization to walk leads through the funnel. This is a form of gentle interaction, and their choices will inform your CRM of future product preferences.

 

Helpful Automatic Detection

Another great way to put your CRM to work is with detection-based data. For many brands and services, you can make life easier for new leads to convert by detecting certain things about their circumstances. Location, for example, could help you guide leads toward products that would deliver quickly to them. If you offer online content, you might detect the visitor’s connection speed and offer them media forms that will perform best for them.

This kind of automatic detection fills your CRM with data, which is then used to improve the experience of your leads. Leads notice when you go the extra mile and are often swayed by websites and apps that are intuitively easy to use.

 

Taste Product Quiz

Taste quizzes are a fun reminder of adolescence, but they’re also essential in some industries for helping leads choose their first products. Taste influences choice in clothing, furniture, art, and so much more. Your CRM is also where customer preferences in taste will be stored. Why wait? One of the best ways to simultaneously claim leads and get a feel for their future tastes is a quick product-based taste quiz.

Select collections of your product that represent taste-groups. These might be specific branded collections or just items of similar style and color scheme. Use clever, visual questions for leads to answer by clicking on each product collection. Now they’ve had a delightful tour of your goods, explored how those goods apply to their tastes, and informed your CRM of products they’ll be more interested in to complete the first and future purchases.

 

Guided & Transparent Checkout

Want to save leads? Make checkout easy and extremely transparent. Many people will test-checkout to see what the delivery times and final fees will look like. Others will simply be stopped and abandon a cart if checkout has too many steps. You need a streamlined, smooth checkout that shares all the information and practically hands the first products to your leads.

If necessary, use detection. Make sure your forms are compatible with their browser auto-fill. Have handy quick-check fields to prevent submission errors. Use every trick that your CRM and software has to offer to make checkout a thoughtless experience.

At the same time, make sure your checkout is transparent. Delivery costs, taxes,  arrival date, and discounts should all be displayed on the cart page and throughout the checkout process.

Your CRM can be an essential part of lead conversion if you know how to use it. A lead doesn’t even need to make an account for your CRM to collect information and use it to influence their conversion. From automated engagement to guided selection, a good CRM is an excellent tool for both casual shoppers and transitioning key accounts to the sales team. If you’d like more professional CRM tips or directed implementation strategies, contact us today! The Bash Foo team pros are ready to hone your CRM claim those leads on the table.