Gated Content: Is Your Content Worthy of Capturing Leads?
Don’t know what Gated content is? You’re not alone.
What is gated content?
Gated content is information that is valuable enough to a visitor that they are willing to exchange their contact information to access the content. Consider the email address as the key, and the content as the treasure chest. The visitor just can't wait to see what’s inside.
It sounds simple. The lead gains access to valuable content and you continue building the relationship by keeping the conversation going.
It’s really not that simple. In a time where inboxes are saturated with promotional emails, it's difficult for visitors to hand over their precious contact information. Because it’s so difficult to gain and maintain trust, you need to make sure of two things:
1. Your content demonstrates Econ 101
2. You follow-up with the Golden Rule
There’s an exchange of information, for information. The user gives up something in order to receive something at greater or ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing by Online Marketing Team on August 2, 2017
Show Your Story, Gain Customers: How using video can hook more customers
When you think videos on the internet, you think cats. I can’t blame you, it’s what the creators of the internet intended. But what if I told you that video could also be used for marketing on your website? What if you used video to tell a story instead of sell facts and products? Commercials are one thing, hooking the customer and keeping them is another. Video represents a huge chunk of the internet, right around 74%. YouTube itself is the second largest search engine on the internet behind Google. 76% of marketers have said that video has had a direct impact on their business. But, there is a strategy to video and I’m going to break it down by telling you about three different styles of videos. Also, I’ll give some basic “dos and don’ts” when it comes to video on a web page from a marketing standpoint.
The first thing to remember is ...
Posted in: General, Online Advertising by Online Marketing Team on July 20, 2017
What Featured Snippets Mean for Your Ranking: Good for the user, bad for traffic?
What is a featured snippet?
Ironically enough, “What is a featured snippet?” is answered in a featured snippet. A featured snippet is an answer, or summary of an answer, to a user’s query that appears at the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP). It is an outlined box with the answer and a link to the source site. With the answer to your query right there, why click through to the site? This is where it is helpful to the user, but might hurt the click through rate (CTR) of the site.
Studies have shown that 38% of desktop users do not click on results in their SERPs because they found the answer to their query in a featured snippet. On mobile, this number is 57%. That is a significant amount of traffic that could be on your site.
One of the hardest hit categories by the featured snippet is weather related sites. When you ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on July 18, 2017
The Complete Beginner's Guide to Marketing Automation
So, you’ve been sending mass emails to the same email list for months now. This list is beginning to dwindle down because your recipients can’t hit “opt-out” fast enough since they’ve received multiple emails from you with irrelevant content. Now what?
The goal is to have those receiving your emails engage with your brand and eventually purchase from you. However, it is difficult to know if the people on the other end of that email actually want to hear from you. Even if they do, how do you track the rest of their engagement? Did they visit your website after they received your email? What pages are they looking at? What content gets prospects engaged?
I am sure these are questions many of you face. You want to increase conversions and lead generation, but no one has the time to create email after email for prospects who may not even be interested in what you have ...
Posted in: Marketing Automation by Online Marketing Team on June 22, 2017
Foremost Media Online Marketing Specialist Wins First Ever UW-Whitewater Award
Janesville, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Communication Department held an award ceremony on Sunday, April 23, 2017 to recognize Award of Excellence recipients. The department awarded its first ever “Excellence Award for Non-Traditional Students” to Rose Stricker, UW-Whitewater senior and online marketing specialist at Foremost Media, Inc. in Janesville.
The “Excellence Award for Non-Traditional Students” was created by the UW-W Communication Department to recognize scholastic achievement of students who return to college after an extended absence. UW-Whitewater faculty nominated students for the award and Dr. Kathy Brady, Communication Department chair, made the final selection along with Jim Disrude, Communication Department Director of Advising.
Brady explained to the audience on Sunday that non-traditional students are valuable assets for UW-W teachers. Stricker attended Brady’s course in Persuasion. “Rose brought a wealth of knowledge and experience from her employment to the classroom,” Brady said.
Jon Ballard, Foremost Media President, values the work ethic of employees like Stricker ...
Posted in: News by Online Marketing Team on April 24, 2017
Drive The Right Traffic To Your Website: Poor Marketing Could Be Costing You
It’s pretty exciting once you’ve made the decision to invest in a new website or redesign your current one. But simply having a shiny new website isn’t enough to guarantee success. You still need to figure out how to get your existing customers and prospects to visit your new website.
So how do you make sure you’re getting the right traffic to your website?
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is more than simply creating a company Facebook page or Twitter account. It’s about communicating directly with your target demographic on their preferred social media platform in a way they are receptive to. Effective social media marketing helps you create better brand awareness and customer loyalty by providing clients and prospects with content that is relevant to them, establishing your company as an authority in your industry and an indispensable resource for your customers.
Email marketing is a great way to re-engage with your ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on November 28, 2016
Common Mistakes Do-It-Yourself PPC Marketers Frequently Make
If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.
French military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte is credited with that saying and, as history will attest, he probably should’ve left the Battle of Waterloo to someone other than himself.
Most do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) set out to learn a new skill or save themselves some money by doing it on their own instead of hiring a professional. It can seem like a good idea to set up and manage your own pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to save time and money, but doing so is akin to someone with no chemistry background walking into a lab and combining chemicals they think might mix well.
As professional PPC marketers, here are some of the most common mistakes we see do-it-yourself PPC marketers make:
Setting Budgets or Bids Too High or Too Low
When determining which bids and budgets to set for their ad campaigns, many do-it-yourself PPC marketers feel like ...
Posted in: Online Advertising by Online Marketing Team on October 28, 2016
Best Ways to Optimize Your Company's YouTube Channel
Many people assume that Google is the world’s largest search engine, (and they’d be right), and many people would also assume that the second largest search engine in the world is either Bing or Yahoo, except for this time, they’d be wrong.
With over a billion users, the world’s second largest search engine is actually, YouTube.
According to the 2015 Online Video Marketing Survey published by the Web Video Marketing Council , “96% of B2B organizations are engaged in video content marketing.”
As the folks at Search Engine Watch so aptly put it, “It’s no secret that YouTube is a traffic source with almost limitless potential. There’s only one problem: it’s a very crowded place.”
So how do today’s B2B manufacturers get viewers to find and watch their YouTube videos over the competition?
By making sure your company’s YouTube channel utilizes the following best practices, you can increase both the amount of traffic to your YouTube channel and the ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on September 7, 2016
How to Write Content For Your Manufacturing Website to Increase Conversions
As the convenience and popularity of search engines continues to grow, your company’s website is the first impression prospective customers get of your organization. Making sure your company’s website features an appealing design and layout is important, but aren’t the only aspects you need to consider when designing your manufacturing website. After all, your website needs to be more than just appealing. Your website needs to convert.
Today’s manufacturers know that their website needs good content in order to convert, but most aren’t sure of the type of content they should include on their website, or how to write content that generates conversions. To write web content that converts, you must:
Define your call-to-action.
Clearly define the action you want your website visitors to take. Do you want users to fill out and submit a request a quote form, request samples, make a purchase directly from your website, etc.? After defining your conversion action, write content that ...
Posted in: General, Inbound Marketing, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on July 27, 2016
Foremost Media Launches New Website
Foremost Media Launches New Website
Updated online presence showcases customizable website features and functionality
Janesville, Wis. – Foremost Media, Inc., a Janesville website development company, launched its redesigned website this week. The updated version of www.foremostmedia.com reflects new company logo and branding colors, and it serves as a professional showpiece to demonstrate website features to current and prospective clients.
In addition to new graphics and logo, the just-launched website has an updated client portfolio that features several industry categories of current projects completed by Foremost Media. There are over 70 projects on display that serve as starting places for new clients to glean ideas for new development or redesign projects.
The new website’s improved navigation is based on recommendations from the Foremost Media Online Marketing department. Team members gathered user habits from Google Analytics and determined the layout of the navigation links based on the order that users look for content. Art Director, Stephen ...
Posted in: News by Online Marketing Team on July 12, 2016
How To Successfully Redesign Your B2B Manufacturing Website
Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” No one quite understands the truth of this saying more than today’s B2B manufacturers do. After all, they know all the work that goes into taking a product from concept to market.
In many ways, redesigning your website is similar to manufacturing a product. Just like Manufacturing Process Management (MPM), you also need to research, set goals, design, launch, and measure results to make sure your company’s website redesign is successful.
Do Your Research
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” You wouldn’t start manufacturing a product without doing your research first, so don’t start redesigning your company’s website before doing your research. As Jon Ballard, CEO of Foremost Media points out, “Studying your current website analytics provides you with valuable insight into how your existing customers are using your website and how ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on July 6, 2016
Old School SEO Practices That Penalize Your Manufacturing Company
In recent years, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices have changed a lot. Between Google algorithm updates such as Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin, new technologies, and shifting trends in the way prospective customers search for and find information online, it can be difficult for even those highly experienced with SEO to keep up with all the changes, let alone B2B marketers working for today’s manufacturing companies. To help today’s manufacturers understand which SEO tactics they should stop using as part of their overall SEO strategy, here are some of the most common old school SEO practices that are no longer effective.
Low Quality Content
You may’ve already heard that “content is king” in relation to SEO. The more content you have on your website, the more information search engine bots have to determine what your website is about and match it to what prospects are searching for online.
Because of this, a common old school SEO tactic ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on June 1, 2016
LinkedIn Abandons Professional Organizations
I have nothing against individual freelancers in any profession, but the freelancer market is flooded with individuals who misrepresent their skill level and who are unresponsive. This is especially true in the digital marketing space. It seems that LinkedIn doesn't understand this, and prefers users to work with freelancers over professionals.
A week ago I received an invite for the ProFinder beta. According to the invite, this is the way it works:
"Through LinkedInProFinder, potential clients looking for marketers will request services they need. We'll send the relevant requests to you, and you can choose to respond with a lightweight proposal. Best of all, participation in the pilot is totally free."
Suffice it to say, I was excited. I like LinkedIn...a lot. I do a tremendous amount of B2B digital marketing and felt that this could help our team connect with more companies looking for help with their digital marketing and help our existing client's with their ...
Posted in: General, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on May 6, 2016
Essential Design Features For Lead Generation
What’s the purpose of your company’s website? If you’re like many other companies, the answer is simple - to generate leads.
But it takes more than just having a website to convert visitors into leads. If your company’s website doesn’t engage visitors or direct them to take your desired action, it’s not going to generate leads for you. To generate leads, every page of your company’s website needs to have a specific purpose and provide visitors with an exceptional user experience.
To generate leads, your company website should have:
A Professional Design
Most of us already know that first impressions are important, but did you know it takes 0.05 seconds for visitors to decide to stay on your website or leave it.
According to Stanford Web Credibility Research, 75% of visitors use a company’s website to determine how credible the company is.
A recent article from Kinesis reports that “studies of user behavior have found that visual appeal and website ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on April 29, 2016
Responsive Design: The Time Is Now
For many years, tech analysts have predicted mobile usage to overtake PC usage. According to the 2015 GlobalWebIndex® Device Report, 80% of internet users own a smartphone. At only 11% less than the percentage of internet users who own a PC, there's little doubt that the Mobile-First Era is upon us.
Whether your company is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C), more and more internet users are browsing your website using their smartphones or tablet. They're not just using their mobile devices to supplement their desktop browsing, they're browsing on mobile devices almost exclusively instead.
"[As a result, many businesses are beginning to] understand that not being present in results for people searching on their mobile device translates into missing out on a huge slice of the business opportunity."
- Smashing Magazine
Which is why digital marketing experts like Dan Bosomworth, Co-Founder and Creative & Strategy Director of First 10 are saying that "it's no longer a case of ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on March 29, 2016
Visual Content The Pros Can't Live Without
It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Few know the truth of that saying or understand that humans are visual creatures better than today's digital marketers. But what does this mean for today's Business-to-business (B2B) companies?
It means, in the words of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, "that the times they are a changin."
According to a recent content preferences survey conducted by Demand Gen Report, 95% of B2B buyers prefer shorter content formats and 86% of B2B buyers want to access and engage with visual content more than lengthy, detailed text content.
The data from the content preferences survey also indicates that visual content is becoming more popular with B2B buyers, specifically infographics, slideshows, and videos. Between 2013 and 2014, the use of infographics, slideshows, and videos increased from 9% to 52%, 21% to 28%, and 8% to 58% respectively.
Most digital marketers recognize the shifting trend in favor of visual content, but many ...
Posted in: General, Online Advertising by Online Marketing Team on February 26, 2016
5 Things To Consider Before Publishing New Content
We've all heard that "content is king", but with so much content vying for the throne, it can be a royal pain to know how often you should publish new content in the realm of content marketing.
According to a recent study by Wyzowl, 75% of content marketers release new content at least once a month, with over half publishing new content each week. But is this really how often you should be publishing new content? After all, what really matters most, quality or frequency?
These are the kinds of questions that keep content marketers awake at night. Rather than continue counting sheep, we'd like to finally put these questions to rest. Here are five things you need to consider when deciding how often you should publish new content.
Consider your purpose
What is your purpose for writing and publishing new content? If your primary purpose for publishing new content is to drive traffic to your website, generate ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on February 5, 2016
SEO Hackers Targeting Wordpress And Blog Engine
Black hat SEO's are notorious for trying to take the easy route to ranking in Google's search engine, even if it means immoral or illegal behavior. There are many ways they do this. Some of which you've probably seen, but never knew why someone would do something like that. For instance, have you ever noticed really strange comments on a blog that seemed like garbled English? You might've rolled your eyes and said, "Wow, that guy really needs to take an English course.", but the reality is that the person who left that comment wasn't a person at all. It was a robot.
Some "black hatters" will create a piece of content using a simple language called "spintax". Spintax allows them to write a piece of content once, and then "spin" it to make variations in the language occur. Usually, this is done by putting in variant synonyms for particular terms in the content. The ...
Posted in: General, Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on February 1, 2016
Google Targets Wix Websites For SEO
If you have ever used a "build your own website" platform, then you have probably heard of Wix. Wix is one of the larger companies in the field, and Google has just dealt a serious blow to them.
In the age of the internet, every company needs a website. This is why companies like Wix and GoDaddy have jumped into website building with "build it yourself" platforms. For some companies, they have been a great tool. You can build your own, albeit limited, website at very little cost (except your time of course). This has been attractive for many that don't want to spend much on a website. However, there are some major problems with these platforms.
The web has become a complex place. In addition to how a website looks, you must now pay attention to its architecture for search engine friendliness. Many of the "build it yourself" website platforms are built on proprietary technology ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on October 28, 2015
Social Media Does Not Help Your SEO
I hear a lot of sales people always telling business owners that social media helps their SEO. Does it? It CAN, but most of the time it won't. Let me explain.
SEO, or search engine optimization, has become very technical in recent years. There are hundreds of ranking factors that search engines use to determine where to rank your website, and social media qualities are not one of them. Google is the largest search engine, and the only one for the most part that ever communicates anything about its ranking signals. Three months ago at SMX Advanced, Gary Illyes from Google told us that social signals are not used at all as a ranking signal and that they would not be for the foreseeable future. In order to understand why this is, we must walk through 5 years of Google History and understand the technical aspects of social media and how it relates to SEO.
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on September 1, 2015
Web Designer VS Web Developer: What's The Difference? [Infographic]
Companies looking for a website or a redesign of their existing site may become confused when the terms "Web Designer" and "Web Developer" get thrown out there.
Website design firms generally have dedicated designers that are able to tap into their creative energy to create the overall look and layout of a site. The designer then hands over the design files to a developer who builds everything from the ground up, keeping a website's experience on the cutting edge. Together, web designers and developers are working towards one goal - to produce a clean, fully functioning site that works in all browsers and devices.
To help understand the difference between a Web Designer vs a Web Developer, Foremost Media has created an infographic that breaks it all down.
What are my next Steps?
SEO For Businesses Website Development Conversion Rate Optimization Marketing Automation Digital Success Stories
Posted in: Web Development by Online Marketing Team on August 19, 2015
7 Ways To Optimize Your Link Building And SEO With Twitter
We all know how important links are, especially for commercial websites. The problem is, sometimes we overlook the most obvious places to get them.
Twitter is an incredibly huge platform full of people who share in the same interests. Which means, it is an excellent opportunity for quality link building! Here are the top 7 ways to utilize Twitter for SEO to strengthen your backlink profile.
1) Take advantage of obvious connections.
Twitter makes it easy to find industry leaders and influencers in any market. The key is to observe these people and pay attention to the content they share. Tweet at them and begin to build a conversation. Over time, this turns into a connection and before you know it, a link back to your site! Acquiring links happens by making friends or making news. Utilize current relationships to build quick links and discover who your competitors are.
2) Draw them in with content.
Build a list of ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on August 6, 2015
Titles Still Matter in SEO
Every year, Searchmetrics publishes a correlation study of SEO ranking factors. I am a big fan. I love correlative studies. At the time of writing this post, their 2015 study is not out yet, but here is a link to their 2014 study if interested. I had the chance to hear their findings at SMX West this year. In short, the takeaway from the study was not to worry about title tags anymore. I do not agree.
Once again, I LOVE correlative studies, especially when they are well done, like Searchmetrics'. However, correlation does not always mean causation. Looking at over 15,000 keywords using the top 30 results, they found no correlation between keywords in the title tag and rankings. Your mind immediately jumps to, "title tags no longer matter." This struck me as odd. So, I decided to do some testing. Now, keep in mind that I did this on a small scale and ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on June 15, 2015
Facebook Announces New Bluetooth Beacon Program: Ideal For Local Businesses
Facebook just released the launch of their new Facebook Bluetooth Beacon Program.
In the beginning of 2015, Facebook introduced Place Tips. Local businesses use Place Tips for their brick and mortar locations to market to their visitors. Upon check-in or via activated location settings, visitors receive information from the business.
Restaurants use Place Tips as a great opportunity to display their current menu, signature drinks, reviews and more. Retailers are able to advertise specials, product locations and even business hours to customers as they enter their store. Facebook says local business' Facebook page traffic from Place Tips has been steadily growing from in-store visitors.
Rather than using WiFi, the new Beacon Program will utilize Bluetooth technology to signal the Facebook App on a visitor's phone. Businesses will receive their free beacon in the mail, turn it on and place it in a centralized location. As of right now, Facebook has only introduced this new feature to a ...
Posted in: Social Media by Online Marketing Team on June 10, 2015
Google Releases Mobile Survey
Have you ever come across a satisfaction survey from Google when doing a search? It looks something like this:
Google has been pushing this survey on desktop now for the past few years in hopes of gaining insight as to what searchers expect on their SERP. (Search Engine Results Page). Just recently, they began displaying this survey on mobile searches as well.
The timing of this is not coincidental. Google just finished rolling out their mobile-friendly update, and they are looking for feedback. This is the perfect opportunity for searchers to let Google know if they are happy with the results received on any given mobile device, as well as a gentle reminder to businesses as to just how important a mobile-friendly site really is.
What are my next Steps?
SEO For Businesses Website Development Conversion Rate Optimization Marketing Automation Digital Success Stories
Posted in: General, Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on May 27, 2015