Evaluating ROI For Your Website
The effectiveness of a website can vary greatly depending on the goals and purpose of that site. E-commerce sites for example are fairly easy to evaluate in terms of dollars and cents because at the end of the day you can track how much you have sold verses how much you spent on the site. With marketing or informational sites that calculation becomes a bit harder to track. Foremost Media recommends several key things for each website we build in order to track effectiveness or return on investment:
Clear calls to action on every page of your site are very important. Every page should have a purpose or response you want the user to complete. Register for an event, visiting another page for additional information, subscribing to a newsletter, in a properly designed website these goals should be identified and tracked throughout the site. Then, using web analytics and response forms, ...
Posted in: Online Advertising, Web Development by Jon Ballard on June 1, 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.
Posted in: General, Inbound Marketing, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on May 27, 2015
The Secret to Maximizing Clicks in AdWords: Single Keyword Ad Groups
Managing costs in AdWords can be a difficult task. Most online marketers start out by creating two or three general Ad Groups with several keywords in each group. This can be a great way to start ad campaigns quickly. However, too many keywords in an Ad Group makes it difficult to control costs, conversions, click-through-rates, and other variables. So here's the big secret....The most effective way to reduce cost-per-click and increase conversions is to create single keyword Ad Groups. Single keyword Ad Groups will increase ad relevance, quality score, and conversion rate and decrease your cost-per-click. Here is the quickest way to get started. Find Your Top 5 Keywords The first step to decreasing cost-per-click and controlling your ads is to separate your keywords into several different Ad Groups. It is best to start by separating your highest traffic keywords into their own individual Ad Groups. You can do this by clicking on ...
Posted in: Online Advertising by User on May 8, 2015
How To Use A/B Testing To Improve Your Email Marketing
You know your emails could perform better. You spend hours debating what subject line to use, what wording is best and even whom the email should appear to come from. You take your time constructing the perfect email, and then you painfully hit the send button to await your fate.
Slowly, the results come in. Your open rate and click through rate are both good, but you cannot help but be disappointed. You expected great, not good.
What happened? You followed all the best practices you read about in blog articles. You analyzed every element of the email, what should you have done differently?
With A/B testing you can now focus your efforts on improving your emails with actual data. A/B testing compares two elements against each other to determine which one performs better.
This simple test will take the guesswork out of your email marketing activities and allow continuous improvements to take your emails from good to ...
Posted in: Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation by Jon Ballard on March 3, 2015
Foremost Media, Inc. Takes Home Silver Addy Award In The Category Of Websites Consumer Services
Foremost Media, Inc. takes home Silver Addy Award in the category of Websites Consumer Services - 2015 American Advertising Awards
February 20, 2015 Madison, WI - Foremost Media, Inc. is a Silver Award winner in the 2015 American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) competition for their work with the Tallman Tours Website, Rock County Historical Society.
"It is always great when a client loves the website we have created for them, but there is another level of pride when a company is recognized by their peers for excellent work and creativity,” said Stephen Cardwell, Art Director, Foremost Media, Inc.
The 2015 American Advertising Awards competition evolved through a need to recognize and celebrate originality, innovation and those who are industry leaders pushing the bounds of creative excellence in all forms of advertising.
The American Advertising Federation-Madison is dedicated to the development of the advertising, marketing and communications community in the greater Madison area. Its members represent a wide range ...
Posted in: News by Jon Ballard on February 27, 2015
[Infographic] Where to Look For Your Target Market
Today, most of us are aware of the growing role that Social Media plays in bringing brands and customers closer together. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, online marketing is yet another contender in the battle for your customer's attention. Even if you have a Social Media strategy in place to try to reach your target market, it can still be especially difficult for B2B businesses to know where to start on Social Media. But as Mitch Joel, President of Mirum, wisely points out, "on the internet, you have to be where the customer is". So how can you know where your customers are? (After all, the internet is usually anything but straightforward). By taking a look at our handy new infographic, that's how!
Aptly named, "Where to Look for Your Target Market", it shows which age groups, genders, and industries use sites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter the most. According to ...
Posted in: General, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on February 16, 2015
Do You Look As Good As You Think You Do?
Were you aware that studies show a staggering 40% of visitors will choose a different search result if the first one is not mobile-friendly? And with a majority of people researching and shopping online with a smart phone or tablet, this traffic is significant! Have you taken the time to see how potential customers are viewing your site?
Until now this process has been time consuming to say the least. Typically a staff member would be forced to borrow coworkers' electronics to see how the business website looked on a variety of devices. This is no longer the case!
We have created a responsive tool that allows you to easily view your site on a variety of devices. Check it out!
View Your Site Live
Simply enter your url in the top left, and click the options to see how your site looks to others.
A responsive site has become a necessity for both users and search engines. Contact ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on January 14, 2015
How To Choose The Right Marketing Automation System
The marketing automation industry is booming and with expectations of reaching $1.9 billion by 2020, there is no end in sight. Fast adoption rates have led to an influx of providers touting their systems as the best option for organizations looking to take the leap. With 78% of successful marketers citing marketing automation as being most responsible for improving revenue contribution, the focus is more on the industry as a whole, rather than specific platforms.
Many people assume that the majority of marketing automation systems are the same. Vendors are capitalizing on the lack of knowledge by consumers and overwhelming them with high costs, justified only by an exhausting list of features and statistics that all but guarantee a positive return on their investment. Marketers who believe the system itself will automatically generate more leads, without any additional effort on their end, will end up disappointed. Even the most feature-rich marketing automation system is useless ...
Posted in: Marketing Automation by Jon Ballard on December 19, 2014
Why Your International Website Isn't Optimized For Search
Recently at Foremost Media we have been getting more and more questions about how search engines work as it relates to ranking for international markets. In order to answer the question, it is important to explain how the search engines work, particularly Google.
Google is the most popular search engine Worldwide. So, we will focus on them for this post. If you work inside of the Russian or Chinese markets however, we will want to target different engines in addition to Google. So, contact me if this is the case and we can discuss (contact information below). Now, back to Google. Think of Google as having multiple companies, one for each country it serves. Google.com is the American search engine, whereas Google.de is the German engine, Google.in is the engine for India and so on.
The first thing Google does when reviewing your site is determine which one of their engines you belong in. ...
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development, Website Hosting by Online Marketing Team on December 3, 2014
Google Penalizes Sites That Are Not Mobile-Friendly
In June of 2013, Google began penalizing sites that were not mobile-friendly. This was part of Google's efforts to create the ultimate user experience. Starting this week they are taking things a step further.
"By 2017, 90% of users will be accessing the internet through their phones." Click to Tweet.
Not only is Google penalizing these sites, they just announced they are giving a ranking boost to sites that have put forth the effort to make their sites mobile-friendly, aka responsive. This boost comes in correlation with a mobile-friendly label. When a search is done on Google, at the beginning of the result with have a label if Google has verified the site as mobile-friendly, or responsive. The label looks like this:
In order for a site to be considered mobile--friendly, it must have the following attributes:
It does not use Flash or other software that is not common on mobile devices.
Posted in: General, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on November 21, 2014
This week Microsoft announced a vulnerability that they are comparing to the recent Heart Bleed attack. What they found was that this vulnerability allows hackers to steal private data and information from remote locations. This is the biggest threat to a website's security as they completely bypass the data center security protocols.
Microsoft discovered the problem before any known security breaches took place; however, they expect the potential development of an exploit soon. This increases the urgency to apply the necessary patch as soon as possible, which Microsoft released Tuesday morning.
This patch (update) shuts down the server your site is sitting on and takes roughly 30 minutes to install. Once the site is back up, the server will have continuous work performed for 3 days. We are highly suggesting a content freeze during this time. By a content freeze, we mean that there should not be any updates/edits made to your site.
We do ...
Posted in: Website Hosting by Online Marketing Team on November 14, 2014
State of Wisconsin Online Marketing Grant Available for Manufacturers
If your company has been thinking about expanding your business abroad and you are a Wisconsin-based manufacturer, or have a minimum of 35% of operations (Warehousing, R&D, manufacturing, etc.) here, funds may be available from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) via the International Market Access Grant (IMAG). This grant reimburses companies a maximum of $25,000 (30% reimbursement) for activities associated with new international marketing initiatives. This includes the development of country-specific websites and international search engine optimization or online marketing.
Foremost Media has extensive experience helping US companies expand their business abroad using these country-specific online marketing strategies. In fact, we have done so much work on country specific websites over the past four years that we have opened several hosting facilities in key economic regions including Europe, Asia and Central America.
For more information on Foremost Media multilingual web development and marketing services, or our website design services for manufacturing companies please contact:
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Jon Ballard on November 12, 2014
The Biggest Mistake You're Making On Pinterest
As a business on Pinterest, it can be difficult to determine what is best to pin to your boards. It is important to not only pin content from your own website, but to also repin and interact with your followers. It is not hard to find interesting things to repin on Pinterest, but....are you pinning good content?
Too often pins are linking to misleading content. There is nothing worse for a Pinterest user than trying to find the recipe that is described in a pin and then being sent somewhere else after clicking on the link. Many pins will also describe interesting content in the description, but then link to a site that just tries to get user information.
Below is an example of a recipe pin that links to the home page of a blog. Pins that link to content like this are confusing and frustrating for users.
As a business on Pinterest, it is important ...
Posted in: Social Media by User on November 12, 2014
Beware of the Poodle!
Two recent security issues in the web world have people talking. The first is The Poodle Attack that goes after SSL 3.0, and the second is the security flaw within Microsoft Office's PowerPoint program. What do these mean for you?
The Poodle Attack
What it is: Hackers have discovered a way into the outdated version of SSLv3. They trick systems into using less security so they are able to gain access to a user's passwords, private data and cookies off their computer.
Who does this affect: This only affects those that are still using the SSL 3.0 version.
Foremost Media clients do not need to worry. We use updated versions of SSLs that are not susceptible to this attack, therefore all of your information remains protected.
Microsoft Security Flaw
What it is: A security flaw within Microsoft Office, particularly in PowerPoint, that allows hackers to gain control of the user's computer. These hackers use an OLE, (Object linking or ...
Posted in: General by Online Marketing Team on October 28, 2014
The First 5 Things Every Business Needs to do on Pinterest
5 Things Your Business Needs to do to get Started on Pinterst
Make sure the you take the following first steps when setting up your Pinterest business account to ensure you are getting the most benefit out of your account.
Set up a business account. Create your Pinterest account and make sure that you are registering as a business; this will provide you with more options to analyze the data and take advantage of the account. Create your business account here.
Add the "Pin It" button to your site. Adding a "Pin It" button to your site will encourage website visitors to pin your products or content to their boards and will help increase exposure.
Verify your site with Pinterest. Once you've set up your Pinterest business account you will have the option to "Verify" your website. This requires you to add a meta tag to ...
Posted in: Social Media by User on October 23, 2014
Panda is Back!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about getting your website found. To do this, we have to be continuously monitoring Google updates and algorithm changes in order to see what the latest ranking factors are. The most recent update was Panda 4.1. How will this affect you?
Released in February of 2011, the original Panda's focus was on targeting sites with low quality or poor content. Prior to this date, SEO companies could put up sites that were keyword stuffing or even contained spun content from another site, and rank for it. This is not the case anymore. Google continuously releases Panda updates in order to rank the sites that are providing the best content.
Google is all about the user experience. In order to provide the best experience, Google displays the highest quality sites first in search results. These sites are viewed as an authority or credible, and provide a solution for the user, i.e. ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on October 10, 2014
[Infographic] What Is Inbound Marketing?
Have you noticed the term "inbound marketing" being thrown around lately? The concept has taken the marketing world by storm. It involves combining a variety of online marketing disciplines into a holistic approach that focuses on attracting, engaging and converting leads.
Interested in learning more? Take a look at our new infographic.
Embed the infographic on your own site!
What is Inbound Marketing Infographic
From: Foremost Media
Posted in: Inbound Marketing by Jon Ballard on September 17, 2014
Recent Google Update Encourages Increased Site Security
Our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) team has become what you could say, Google stalkers. We are constantly researching and studying to find out which signals Google is giving the most authority to, and what updates they are adding to their algorithm. Well, they are back at it again. Google recently announced that they have added an HTTPS ranking signal. What does this mean?
Google has explained that having an SSL Certificate (Secure Socket Layer) applied to a site, which makes it HTTPS, creates a better user experience. When your site is HTTPS, all the information passed back and forth between the clients and your site is encrypted, making all of their information secure.
Up until now, most sites that have had SSL Certificates were eCommerce sites. These sites needed to have secure checkouts and extra security since they were collecting confidential information from visitors. Due to this recent update, Google is now recommending that sites all ...
Posted in: Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on September 4, 2014
8 Mistakes Companies Make When Launching a New Website
Your site has no redirects- In today's day and age, most established companies already have a website. What this means is that most of today's new website launches are actually re-launches or redesigns of the old site. In fact, here at Foremost Media, over 90% of the sites we build are actually rebuilds from the ground up of existing websites. Re-launching a new website has some unique challenges, especially if the site is well established. One of the most overlooked and critical things inexperienced webmasters do when re-launching or re-designing a site is skip the site redirects. Site redirects, or more specifically page redirects, are a way to send both search engines and site visitors to a different or new webpage from the one they originally requested.
So why is a site redirect important to a site re-launch? If your site is well ...
Posted in: Web Development by Jon Ballard on September 4, 2014
The Top 4 Myths in Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is a powerful, but often misunderstood tool. The confusion is generally the fault of software companies with large budgets and influential bloggers who are writing about something they lack experience with, just to gain attention. Here are four of the more common marketing automation myths we have encountered.
1. The software does all of the work
Just because it is called marketing automation, does not mean it happens all by itself. The system still requires a skilled marketer behind the wheel effectively developing the strategy. The system is merely a tool the marketer can use for efficiently accomplishing their goals of lead generation and nurturing. The data and insight provided by the system allows companies to optimize their processes on an ongoing basis. This requires someone who is analytical enough to sift through the data and creative enough to develop a plan of action based on the information.
2. It is only for email marketing
Posted in: Marketing Automation by Jon Ballard on September 2, 2014
Are You Marketing Effectively Throughout The Buying Process?
The goal of inbound marketing is to attract your ideal visitors and ultimately convert them into delighted customers.
It is imperative that you create buyer personas to make sure you are not only attracting qualified leads, but that you are also creating content that engages them. In order to move them from leads to customers, you need a thorough understanding of the buying process.
There are five stages to the buying process, and as inbound marketers, we need to have a deep understanding of each stage. The relevancy of the content to the buyer persona is largely dependent on what stage they are currently at in the buying process. Understanding what stage they are in, will allow us to move them along in the buying process and eventually convert them into customers.
The buying process is not anything new. John Dewey first introduced the concept in 1910. The stages are as follows:
1. Problem/Need Recognition
2. Information Search
Posted in: Inbound Marketing by Jon Ballard on August 13, 2014
DNN Web Hosting Comparison: White Paper
We are frequently asked what makes our hosting different from other hosting companies like GoDaddy. Why are the hosting costs different? Why should you choose Foremost Media over the others?
Foremost Media hosts our sites in a Tier 4 data center. Mainstream hosting providers, like GoDaddy, host in a Tier 3 data center.
Foremost Media's primary data center is a Tier 4 data center located near Omaha, Nebraska. This facility is free from natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and power shortages that plague other data centers throughout the world. Our secondary sites include a Tier 4 facility in the UK and one in Florida. Each of these data centers feature:
Carrier Access -Four local SONET fibers provide redundant carrier/neutral fiber access (AT&T, Level 3, Qwest, and COX)
Internet Access-Route Science manages redundant, Tier 1 internet bandwidth with fully redundant, Carrier-class Cisco core routing and switching
Posted in: Website Hosting by Aaron Jach on July 28, 2014
Don’t Waste Your Money on Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation is a powerful tool that when used properly can take your marketing to the next level by improving all of your online marketing efforts. The primary reason why many organizations are unable to see a dramatic increase their profitability and higher conversion rates with a marketing automation system is they lack the necessary internal resources to operate the system in its full capacity.
Essentially, marketing automation is technology that allows you to more effectively utilize multiple marketing channels and automate repetitive tasks in order to convert visitors into leads and nurture them through the buying process. This allows the sales department to focus on leads that have already been qualified and are currently in the purchasing stage of the buying process.
The majority of B2B buying processes are complex. Customers are not making a purchase decision upon their initial interaction with an organization. Instead, they are self-educating themselves by researching and comparing options ...
Posted in: Marketing Automation by Jon Ballard on July 7, 2014
Are You Getting The Most From Your Pinterest Account?
Pinterest is quickly becoming more and more popular for businesses. If your business is on Pinterest make sure that you are getting the most out of your efforts. When users look at Pins on Pinterest they can click on the image and be taken to a link. Too many businesses are making the mistake of sending these users to a link with nothing more than that image (ex. goo.gl/aQlPq6).
If you are posting company photos to your Pinterest page, make sure that you are linking them to your website to get the most website traffic out of your social media efforts. Here’s how:
Log in to your Pinterest account.
Click on your profile name in the upper right-hand corner.
Click on your company/profile name in the top corner.
Select the board that you want to edit ...
Posted in: Social Media by Online Marketing Team on May 5, 2014
B2B Tips For Twitter
In order to have a legitimate online presence, you need to have a social media strategy in place. One of the most popular social platforms is Twitter. They are reported to have over 115 million users every month! How can you make sure your business is getting the most out of this monster social network?
For starters, schedule out Tweets, and do not be afraid to share control of the account. Assign a few employees to regularly post on Twitter. This gives your followers various perspectives, as well as guarantees your account to remain fresh and active.
Search for business phrases industry specific to you and join in on conversations. This is a great way to grow your brand and potentially join in on industry events as well. The more recognized your name, the more you are seen as an authority in your field.
Twitter is also a great place to learn about your customers. Look for ...
Posted in: News by Aaron Jach on May 2, 2014