80 Things to Check Before, During, and After Launching a Website

Admit it: Launching a new website is stressful — even for the most seasoned digital marketers.

Websites are complex. There are so many things that are easily overlooked, like a broken link or a misspelled word. 

And of course, a handful of things could go very, very wrong. Like what if you forget to test an important data capture form and then lose out on generating a bunch of new leads? Or worse, what if you forget to properly set up site redirects, and those valuable search engine visitors get a page not found message?

Instead of worrying about the what ifs, wouldn’t it be much easier to have a comprehensive website checklist to run down before every site launch? One that you could use for enterprise websites, microsites, landing pages, and everything in between?

What You Should Do Before Beginning Your Site Design

Whether this is your first website that is being built from scratch or you are doing a website redesign, there are a few steps that you should take before hiring a web designer or diving in yourself.

1. Analyze your previous website (if applicable).

In order to make good decisions, you must first understand where you’ve been. That starts with your existing website if you have one. Ask yourself: 

  • What is the purpose of a new design or overhaul?
  • What haven’t hasn’t been accomplished with this existing site?
  • How will a new design serve the new organization?

The answers to these questions can help you identify your gaps, which can then inform goal setting for the new site.

2. Crawl your old site (if applicable) and document its structure. 

You can get an idea of your site’s existing structure, pages, and assets by using a crawling tool such as Screaming Frog. This is a necessary step in creating your website development plan because you’ll have a more concrete view of what pages existed before, what redirects are in place, and what the meta data currently looks like.

3. Obtain benchmark data from your previous website (if applicable).

Not only will you want to compare how your new site performs compared to the old, but you’ll also want to continue identifying gaps that will provide data-driven insights to aid your new strategy.

4. Identify your goals for the new design, how you’ll achieve them, and how you’ll measure success.

Once the gaps are fully fleshed out, you can begin crafting your goals for the design. You may come to conclusions such as: 

  • The current site is unwieldy, and we need ease of use. 
  • The current site no longer looks trendy, so we need a visual refresh. 
  • The current site doesn’t perform, so we need a more SEO-friendly structure with a better UX. 

Whatever your goals, you’ll want to understand exactly how a new site will help you achieve them so that you can craft its implementation accordingly.

5. Choose a Solid CMS.

If you’ve never launched a site before, the long list below might intimidate you. However, it actually shouldn’t take too long to run through most of the aspects on this list — especially if you built your website with a solid CMS. 

A CMS, or content management system, often allows you to design a website from a pre-created template, optimize your content for SEO, and edit content after it’s published. If you’ve already built your website, you might have already gained experience with using a CMS. 

But, if you’re still building a website, one way to make going through this checklist less time consuming is by building your pages on a CMS that already does a lot of the work for you.

For example, HubSpot’s CMS that allows you to create and edit content including landing pages and blog posts. It’s features also allow you to organize your content, schedule it, track analytics, and optimize it for SEO. 

Alternatively, you can also test out CMS platforms like WordPress, Wix, or even Drupal.

6. Develop a consistent brand.

Decide on a consistent brand message and tone, one that you’re committed to presenting consistently across. This will make you look more legitimate, credible, and memorable.

  1. Understand your value proposition.
  2. Choose a mission statement, vision statement, and tagline that represents that value as well as your brand identity. 
  3. Choose colors and fonts that convey that identity well. 
  4. Decide on the type of imagery that you’ll use to further convey your messaging.

7. Create your technical SEO strategy.

Take some time to ensure that your website has been given a solid foundation for SEO success. From site architecture and content hierarchy to metadata and XML sitemaps, do not leave any stone unturned.

  1. Perform keyword research and decide what you want to rank for. 
  2. Create a content strategy that satisfies those keywords. 
  3. Understand how your existing pages (if applicable) can be adjusted and which pages will need to be created new. 
  4. Figure out which pages are no longer necessary.
  5. Map out where unnecessary pages can be redirected to (using a 301 redirect).

8. Strategize your conversion paths.

Once you have an understanding of the primary pages that will exist on your site, you’ll need to figure out exactly what actions you want users to take and how you’ll capture their information. This includes thinking through: 

  • What premium top-of-the-funnel offers are needed
  • What bottom-of-the-funnel action will be presented on main pages
  • What forms need to be created
  • What landing pages and thank you pages need to be created
  • How conversions will be tracked
  • What actions will happen after a website visitor converts (email responder, etc.)

9. Set up analytics software.

  1. Choose which analytics platforms you will be using on the new site.
  2. Decide if any previous Analytics tracking scripts will be used or if new accounts/scripts are needed. 
  3. Set up new accounts (if applicable).

What to Check Once You’ve Built Your Site

Once you’ve chosen a CMS and built a site that you’re ready to launch, here’s a list of 80 things to check before, during, and after going live. Feel free to copy, edit, and make your own based on the software you’re using to launch and host your website.

Don’t have time to check all 80? Here’s a list of the most important highlights from each section:

We’ve grouped items based on pre-launch and post-launch, making sure to touch on page content, design, functionality, SEO, branding, analytics, security, and compliance. Keep on reading to make sure you don’t forget a thing before your next launch.

Website Pre-Launch Checklist

Before you launch, it’s important to review all of the content on your website with a fine-tooth comb. Of course, that means page content, but don’t forget about your premium content too. From data-driven content and downloadable documents to rich media such as videos and images, you want to make sure everything is in place, working properly, and looking beautiful.

1. Make sure text is accurate and error free.

  • Site content has been proofread for spelling and grammar.
  • Company contact details are accurate throughout the website.
  • Generic content, such as lorem ipsum, has been properly removed and replaced.
  • All premium content, such as case studies, ebooks, and whitepapers, have been proofread. Spelling and grammar are correct.
  • Copyright date (perhaps in the footer) includes the current year.

2. Replace all placeholder images with final images and designs. 

On occasion, a website designer may use a placeholder image if they didn’t have the correct asset at the time of the page’s creation. It’s up to you to make sure each page is picture-perfect.

3. Ensure copy aligns with the new brand.

  • The text has been copy-edited to ensure consistent brand voice and style. 
  • All company taglines and mission statements are up to date.

4. Check that all styling preferences have been implemented.

  • Paragraphs, headers, lists, and other formatting are correct.
  • Brand colors have been implemented correctly, including link and button colors.

5. Ensure your design is aesthetically pleasing.

  • Scripts are optimized across web pages.
  • Images are optimized across web pages.
  • CSS is optimized across web pages.

6. Ensure that rights to images, fonts, and other content have been properly licensed or cited.

Even if you outsourced the design to a web designer/developer, the responsibility falls on you to ensure there are no copyright licensing issues. Otherwise, you could end up with a hefty infringement settlement on your hands.

7. Test the site for User Experience (UX).

  • Website pages are compatible across browsers.
  • Website pages are compatible across devices.
  • Images, videos, and audio files are in the correct places, formatted and working on all devices.
  • All premium content, such as case studies, ebooks, and whitepapers, are stored in their proper libraries/databases and work properly.
  • Internal links across web pages are working properly. 
  • Social media share icons are associated with the correct accounts.
  • Company logo is linked to the homepage.

8. Check that the conversion paths have been implemented properly.

  • All necessary forms are present. 
  • Landing pages and thank you pages have been implemented. 
  • The correct buttons and calls-to-action (CTAs) are present in the proper locations. 
  • Everything is linked together appropriately.

9. Create your site backup strategy. 

You can prevent loss of data and protect against malware and other damages by properly setting up site security and regular backups. Check that:

  • Backup schedule has been created. 
  • Backup location has been identified. 
  • A plan for implementation is set to be put in motion after launch.

10. Store passwords and credentials in a secure place. 

Many individuals have likely been involved in the website launch up until this point, so ensure that passwords are reset when the time comes and proper password etiquette is followed.

11. Audit the technical SEO implementation for errors. 

  • Pages have unique page titles. 
  • Pages have unique meta descriptions. 
  • Each page has a specific purpose, and pages meant to rank organically are optimized around a single keyword or set of keywords.

Website Post-Launch Checklist

Let’s say you’ve done it. The button has been pushed, the domain is pointing to the new site, and you’re about ready to tell the world…

But wait just one second because you still have things to check for now that your site is officially live.

12. Test the site for user experience again. 

Just in case there was an issue with the implementation, you’ll want to ensure the experience is consistent with what you reviewed before it went live.

  • Ensure your design is rendering as you expected it to across browsers. 
  • Ensure your design is rendering as you expected it to across devices. 
  • Ensure CSS/HTML is properly validated. 
  • CSS styling is rendering properly.
  • Favicon is in place and rendering properly. 
  • Internal links across web pages are working properly.
  • External links across web pages are working properly, and open in a new tab.
  • Social media share icons are working properly.
  • Feeds are working properly (RSS, news, social media).
  • Company logo is linked to the homepage.
  • 404 Redirect pages are in place (page-not-found.aspx).

13. Test your conversion path’s functionality.

Take some time to test and validate all of the different features on your website. Lead generation forms, CRM integration, and any other technology should work flawlessly across your website.

  • Forms are submitting data properly.
  • Thank you message or page displays after form is submitted.
  • Form data is being emailed to a recipient and/or stored in a company database.
  • Auto-responders are working properly (if applicable).

14. Check that integrations with third-party tools are running smoothly.

Integrations such as your CRM, e-commerce software, and/or marketing platform link to your site and help you run your business. If there is a potential issue that can cause data loss, you don’t want to find out way after the fact. 

15. Make a copy of the final website for backup purposes. 

Now that everything is in place and finalized, you want to have a pristine copy of it should you experience data corruption or loss. 

16. Ensure that backups are running properly. 

Now is the time to check the implementation of your backup strategy. Check that ongoing copies of the website are being created and stored on a regular basis.

16. Make sure your site is secure.

  • 24/7 monitoring scripts are installed.
  • There’s a plan in place for updating plugins (if applicable). 
  • Ensure that all applicable parties are aware of your organization’s password etiquette policies.

17. Comply with all applicable laws.

Make sure your website complies with any applicable laws and regulations. Internet law can be sticky, and each industry has its own set of rules to follow. So it’s best to consult with your legal counsel to make sure you aren’t missing anything — this post is not legal guidance. Here are a few you might need to know about:

  • Web pages offer accessibility for users with disabilities (WAI-ARIA).
  • Web pages announce if the website uses cookies (required in some countries).
  • Website is compliant with usage rights for purchased or borrowed code, images, and fonts.
  • Terms and privacy policies are visible to website visitors.
  • Website is PCI compliant (if you’re storing and processing credit cards).

18. Crawl the site to ensure no errors happened on launch. 

Compare the crawl to the previous crawl and see if you find any inconsistencies that were not intentional. You’ll also want to ensure that all pages have the proper search engine indexing settings.

18. Check the technical SEO components for errors.

  • Page titles, meta descriptions, and URLs are all present and match the original technical SEO strategy.
  • Load time for site pages is optimized.
  • A dynamic XML sitemap has been created.
  • The XML sitemap has been submitted to search engines.
  • Page URLs consistently reflect site information architecture.
  • 301 redirects are in place for all old URLs (redirecting old to new pages).
  • rel=”nofollow” tags are in place on applicable links and pages.

19. Optimize your metadata.

  • Metadata is properly in place for any content in an RSS feed.
  • Metadata is properly in place for any social media sharing content.
  • Spelling and grammar are correct in all metadata.
  • Alt tags have been added to every image.

20. Set up analytics.

Make sure your website is set up to capture web data and analytics. This valuable information will allow you to continually improve your website going forward, so you don’t want to forget this stuff.

  • Your website analytics codes and tracking scripts have been inserted on website.
  • Relevant IP addresses have been excluded from analytics tracking.
  • Funnels and goals have been properly created in your analytics software (if applicable).
  • Google Webmaster and Google Analytics accounts have been properly synced.
  • Google Ads accounts have been properly synced (if applicable).

How Do You Announce a New Website Launch?

This (hopefully) wasn’t a vanity project; you did all of this work so far for the benefit of your website visitors, prospects, and existing customers. Your next step is to tell the world about your new site design. Here’s how:

21. Build anticipation with teasers before the site is live. 

A launch of a new product, a launch of a new movie, and — yes — a new site launch all require marketing before the actual release. Think of the last movie you watched in the theater. Did you see the trailer before you decided to buy those movie tickets and popcorn?

Teasers for your website launch can only help to build anticipation and get users wondering what the new experience will be like. This can build buzz and interest once you finally break the news.

22. Create a social media strategy for the announcement. 

Decide what channels you want to promote the news on, how you will make the announcement, and how long the promotion will last. As you craft your messaging, remember to focus on new features and how they benefit your audience. 

23. Identify exciting ways to promote engagement for the new site. 

For users who aren’t as involved in your brand, a new site launch might not seem like a big deal. Your goal, then, is to make it one. Provide an exclusive offer for the first users who visit the site. Or, create a contest that promotes engaging with the site’s new features. Whatever you choose, make sure you make it fun and interesting.

24. Send an email to your existing database. 

You may want to give existing leads and customers a head’s up about the new design, especially if it will cause any confusion when they next visit. You can break the news as a matter of courtesy but also sneak in ways to underscore the value you’re providing.

25. Continue to promote the launch for a month. 

Just because you post about your new website once on social media does not mean that your audience will drop everything to visit the site in droves. Make your launch a big deal, and keep the new functionality top of mind so that your audience is prompted multiple times to check it out.

Resources for Launching Your First Website

Launching a new website can be a tedious task, but you can alleviate some of the stress by using this comprehensive website launch checklist.

If you’re just getting started on your first website, here are a few tools that can help you streamline your process

  • CMS: As mentioned above, a CMS can help you design your website, optimize and publish content, and track your analytics once it’s launched. If you’re looking to test out a few CMS options, start by checking out our 14-day free CMS trial.
  • Blogging Guides: If you’re interested in using your website to publish a blog that could help you boost brand awareness, it can be helpful to start brainstorming topics. Here’s a great guide to how to be a better blogger with tips from our team.
  • Landing Page Templates: A landing page is a great way to highlight a product or resource that your brand is offering. It’s important to know what elements lead to a landing page that will convert. Here’s a guide with examples. Additionally, when using a CMS like HubSpot’s, you can create landing pages from pre-designed templates.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in August 2014, but was updated for comprehensiveness and freshness in May 2020.

Customer Journey Map | 6 Steps to Build It Successfully

A customer journey map helps businesses see their products and processes from a customer’s point of view. Plotting a customer journey map gives business owners and marketing and design teams valuable insight into common points of friction so they can improve customer experience and ultimately make more sales.

In this article, we’ll explore what customer journey mapping is, followed by a complete step-by-step guide to plotting your own map.

What Is a Customer Journey Map?

“Your customers are human… You should understand their challenges and their vernacular, from both a macro and micro level, and then connect the dots back to your product or service.” – Forbes

You are not your customer. What’s intuitive to you may not be intuitive to them. What’s attractive, alluring, and inspiring to you may turn off your target market. It’s not just preference, either. Your behaviors and habits, your limitations and concerns, and your life experience all shape your purchasing decisions. And, chances are, yours do not align with your ideal customers.

Customer journey mapping allows you to become your customer, to walk in their shoes.

You want your customer’s experience to be seamless from start to finish and across multiple channels and touchpoints. Questions will inevitably arise, and you want your customers to find the answers and reassurances they need to commit to a purchase. By tracing the experience step-by-step, your map will help reveal issues with siloes in your business, issues that are specific to your customers, that are not assumed or predicted but grounded in your customer’s unique reality.

The benefits of customer journey mapping include:

  • Identifying where customers interact with your business
  • Determining whether the customer journey is logical
  • Identifying and focusing on different needs at various stages of the buying funnel
  • Revealing gaps between the desired customer experience and the real customer experience
  • Allowing businesses to allocate expenditure on development priorities that matter most

How to Create a Customer Journey Map

Step 1: Determine Your Objectives

Why are you making a customer journey map? What goals are you directing this map towards? What experience will it examine? Which type of customer will it follow?

These objectives will guide the remainder of the plotting process, so be sure to think long and hard about the who, what, and why.

Step 2: Create Customer Personas

“If your brand is like many others, you might not be able to map out that customer journey. And the reason may stem from a deeper problem: You can’t identify the customer.” – AdAge

You cannot track a customer’s movements if you don’t know who they are, what they like, their pain points, and their aspirations. One of the best ways to flesh out your customer personas is to survey and test real-life people that have engaged with your brand.

Some valuable questions could be:

  • How did you hear about our brand?
  • Have you made a purchase with us? What was the deciding factor?
  • How easy do you think our website is to navigate?
  • Have you ever contacted our customer support team? If so, was it helpful?
  • What goals are you trying to achieve with our company? What problems are you trying to solve?
  • What attracts you to our brand?
  • Is there anything we can do to improve your experience?

Research and questionaries will likely leave you with several customer personas, different distinct groups that interact with your brand. Your customer journey map can’t effectively cover them all, so select one or two to focus on.

Step 3: Identify All Touchpoints

Touchpoints are the places on your website and online that your customers can interact with. For example, adding a product to cart, engaging with a social media post, opening an email newsletter, and so on.

You might find that there are fewer touchpoints than you expected – could this mean customers don’t hang around your site long enough to make a decision? Or, there could be more touchpoints than expected – could this mean your site is too complicated and there are too many steps to get to an end goal?

Step 4: Decide on the Type of Map

The type of customer journey map you decide on will depend on your objectives. The main types of maps include:

  • Current state. The most common type of map, the current state map allows you to visualize the actions, thoughts, behaviors, and emotions your customers experience when interacting with your brand right now.
  • Day-in-the-life: This maps your customer’s day from morning to night. It details their habits and activities, whether that includes interacting with your brand or not.
  • Future state. These visualize what you predict will be the actions, thoughts, behaviors, and emotions your customers will experience during future interactions with your brand.

Step 5: Plot the Customer Journey

You know who your customer is, and you have narrowed your focus. Now, it’s time to plot the customer journey step-by-step. At this stage, just focus on actions. What actions are your customers taking, and at what time?

Step 6: Take the Customer Journey

This is the crucial step – put on your customer’s shoes and work your way through the customer journey you plotted in step five. Take note of pain points, moments when you don’t get the information you need or the experience you expected. Analyze actions that feel natural and identify why.

This step allows you to focus on the areas where your customers’ needs are unmet. From there, you can fine-tune your offering to ensure that brand engagements:

  • Provide a valuable, intuitive experience
  • Solve your customers’ problems
  • Promote trust
  • Feel personalized

Follow these steps to create your own customer journey map. Do it well and you’ll find that it not only serves your customers but also delivers value to your business.

The post Customer Journey Map | 6 Steps to Build It Successfully appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Protecting yourself against coronavirus SMS scams

Understandably the coronavirus pandemic has made many people worried about their wellbeing. Though there have been many heart-warming stories amidst the outbreak, unfortunately there has also been a growing number of scams.

Cybercriminals have been capitalising on individuals’ uncertainty and fear, and in the UK alone, there have already been over 500 COVID-19 related scams, totalling £1.6 million in losses. Many of these scams involve messages to recipients under the guise of organisations such as the NHS, WHO and even national government. These messages aim to trick individuals into downloading unsafe applications or include requests for personal information such as bank account details.

What’s more, this isn’t just a problem in the UK. Australia’s Cyber Security Centre recently urged people to remain vigilant, as it reported SMS phishing scams, also known as smishing scams, were on the rise and similar trends have also been identified in East Asia and North America. 

To help tackle the growing issue, the UK government has added both UK_GOV and UKGOV to the list of restricted SMS Sender ID. Ensuring all text messages sent using these sender IDs are automatically stopped by mobile networks, and therefore are not delivered to recipients unless coming from an official channel – please see example message with sender ID highlighted for reference.

This is in addition to measures networks first announced in early 2018, as part of the SMS PhishGuard initiative which introduced an official SMS SenderID Protection Registry. However, as cybercrime researcher Chris Monteiro states – “arguably, the issue is not that spoofing is easy, but that identifying a legitimate message is inherently hard.”

Helping you identify legitimate messages

Phone with padlock, implying security

As alluded above, it’s not always easy to identify a legitimate from a fraudulent message, but the below outlines a few tips which may be useful in situations where you need to make the distinction:

1. Take a moment to consider the sender ID

With the exception of government and charitable groups, businesses and organisations are only able to contact you if you have opted in to receive communications. So, when you receive a message take a moment to consider whether you are expecting the message and if you previously opted in to receive these communications from the sender identified in the sender ID.

2.     Review the message content

It may seem obvious, but often these messages will be written in such a way to try and make the recipient panic and act quickly. Try to stay calm and properly review the message content. Is the tone consistent with other messages you have received from this organisation? Is the message asking for personal information? It’s very unlikely that a business will ask you to convey personal information via SMS. 

3.     Contact the organisation or business directly

If you are still unsure whether the message is legitimate or not, contact the business or organisation directly and ask. A simple phone call can quickly confirm this and put your mind at rest. Just be sure to use details you either already have stored for the organisation, or those you have found online, as details within the message may be fraudulent.

Reporting SMS scam messages

In addition to following the advice above, if you do receive a suspicious SMS message in the UK, you can report it to your network provider by forwarding it to 7726. Reporting these campaigns enables mobile network providers to continually update protective protocols to protect future recipients.

If you have supplied personal information

If you believe you have provided personal information in response to a fraudulent campaign, remain calm, notify your bank and update relevant passwords as soon as possible. Thankfully many organisations can usually identify unusual activity on accounts, but it is always best to be cautious.

At Esendex we understand how important it is to help reduce spam and have always had robust measures in place. All accounts go through a four-step account verification process and we have various safeguards and filters which cover both the content and selected sender ID of all message campaigns. We are committed to working with mobile operators and staying up to date with the latest cybercrime trends to ensure we continue to protect our customers and their businesses.

If you have any concerns, or would like to find out more information please phone one of our friendly advisers on 0117 205 0202

The post Protecting yourself against coronavirus SMS scams appeared first on Textmarketer.

#34: 119 Customer Loyalty Ideas to beat COVID-19

On 20th March 2020, Adam Posner posted a call to action on LinkedIn asking loyalty and business professionals worldwide to collaborate and contribute ‘119 customer loyalty ideas to beat COVID-19′.

By the 7th of April 2020, the target of 119 ideas was achieved and an eBook was compiled featuring expert insights from 63 loyalty experts around the world.

In this episode of “Let’s Talk Loyalty” I interview Adam for his favourite customer loyalty ideas and share my own. A super useful eBook at this unusual time of challenge yet with some emerging opportunities to evolve.

Listen to last week’s episode: #33: Loyalty Insights From Epsilon

If you are reading this and you serve a market that you feel like we are not covering adequately, then please reach out to submissions@thewisemarketer.com. We welcome ambassadors from the professional loyalty marketing and customer loyalty industry that are willing to participate. We can give your “local insights” a “global platform”. Thanks for reading.

The post #34: 119 Customer Loyalty Ideas to beat COVID-19 appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

How to Write the Perfect Page Title With SEO in Mind

In high school, the hardest part of writing an essay for me was coming up with the title.

To be honest, titles are still a struggle for me to this day.

However, writing titles for blog posts or page titles are a part of my day to day as a marketer.

And now I have to think about SEO as well.

If you’re anything like me, it’s helpful to learn best practices you can refer to when you’re writing a title.

Below, let’s learn how to write the perfect page title while keeping SEO in mind.

Page Titles and SEO

A page title is the title tag that tells a search engine like Google what the title of your web page is.

However, a “title tag” is distinct from the “H1” of a page. Your web page can have an H1 that’s different from the title tag, though they’re often the same by default unless changed in the HTML header of the page.

For example, an article title is your H1. If you had a creative idea for an article title, but wanted Google to index a title tag that’s more likely to get clicked, you could edit the title tag to be different from the H1.

When you type in a query on Google, title tags are the titles you see on the search engine results page (SERP).

So, why do you have to keep SEO in mind when you’re writing a page title?

The main reason is because your page title (and other meta tags) signal to the search engine what your page is about. Your page title helps search engine’s determine if your web page satisfies search intent and answers a user’s question.

Now, you might be wondering, “How can I get started?” Below, let’s review the best practices to keep in mind when writing SEO page titles.

Best Practices for Writing SEO Page Titles

1. Be specific.

Every page on your site should have a specific purpose. Think about the page in front of you, and try to describe it.

If you’re using “and” to combine multiple thoughts on this page, it’s time to make some new pages.

When writing the titles for each of these pages, keep the specifics of the page in mind. If this is a page just about “toasters”, the title should include your keywords centered around “toasters”, and not a more generic keyword phrase like “kitchen appliances.”

2. Explain why this page is unique.

Just like every page title should be specific to each page, you should also make sure that each page title is unique across your entire site.

This helps prevent traffic cannibalization, which is when two pages from the same domain are ranking for the same keyword, and therefore stealing traffic from each other. With unique page titles, you’re less likely to create pages that Google believes are serving the same keywords.

If you’re following the first rule and making sure that every page is laser-focused on a single topic, it should be extremely easy to also make sure that each page title is unique.

3. Be compelling.

When you’re looking at a search engine results page, there’s only three things that appear for a visitor – the page title, the page description (bonus points if you’ve got a unique and targeted meta description), and your page’s URL.

Try and treat your page titles like the titles for your blog posts, and make them compelling.

In the example below, HubSpot used a unique and compelling title to tell user’s that the CRM software is free and compatible with small and enterprise businesses.

4. Don’t be repetitive or stuff keywords.

Your page titles shouldn’t include multiple variations of similar keyword phrases.

A great example of a bad page title is “Toaster, toaster oven, kitchen toaster, college toaster, 8 slice toaster, bagel toaster | Chris’ Toaster Emporium”.

Titles like this promote worst practices and often lead to having the same page titles used across most (if not all) of the pages in your site.

Plus, it doesn’t help user’s understand what’s on the page.

5. Pay attention to length.

Google will cut your title off around 70 characters, and you’ll be left with a set of ellipses at the end of the title – and everything you’ve written above the 70 character limit is essentially negated.

In the example below, the blog post title was too long and the user is left unsure of what’s on the page.

Long page title on Google.

6. Don’t put your company name at the front.

In most cases, your website will already rank high for your company name.

Leverage the fact that search engines allocate more weight to the words that appear at the beginning of a page title, and form your titles using your keyword phrases first, and then your company name.

Keep in mind that CMS’s will sometimes add your company name in the front by default. As a content creator, you’ll need to remove them from the HTML header field if you don’t want it to show up on Google.

7. Include your primary keyword.

While you don’t want to stuff your page titles with keywords, it’s still a good idea to include your primary keyword.

If you can, putting it near the front can help search engine’s and user’s determine what your page is about quickly.

If you can’t include your primary keyword, you should try to include some type of variation of your keyword that satisfies search intent.

8. Write for the user.

At the end of the day, your content should be written for the reader, not for the search engine. User experience is far more important than a search engine.

While writing titles can be hard, it doesn’t have to be. Keep these best practices in mind when you’re crafting your next page title.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

19 Lead Nurturing Email Examples You'll Want to Steal

You’ve done it. You provided valuable content to your readers and they’ve converted into leads. Now, it’s time to nurture these leads into opportunities for your sales team.

Trouble is, cutting through the inbox clutter isn’t an easy feat. And many of these folks just aren’t ready to buy yet.

That’s where lead nurturing comes in: It’s a way to stay connected to the leads you collect that aren’t ready to buy from you yet, and build up trust until they are ready.

If you want to learn more about lead nurturing in general, you can check out this guide. But for the sake of this post, we’re going to dive deep into one of the best channels for carrying out your lead nurturing efforts: email.

To help you better understand how to pair the two concepts, check out the lead nurturing email examples below. From ecommerce to product marketing, there’s something for everyone — no matter what industry you operate in. 

Pro tip: Use the following anchor links to jump to examples within the industries that interest you most: Ecommerce, B2B, Retail, Travel, Food & Beverage, Services, Product Marketing.

19 Lead Nurturing Email Examples to Inspire Your Strategy

Here are the top lead nurturing examples that you can refer to and review while developing your emails. 

Ecommerce Lead Nurturing Email Examples

1. Framebridge

Not all lead nurturing emails need to be strictly promotional. Engagement will lead to sales, so it’s important to send recipients something they’ll want to open and read. Framebridge does something in their nurturing emails that works like a charm: education. By teaching the reader a helpful skill, they are providing value in exchange for an ask from their recipient (reading the guide).

It’s also worth mentioning that they only use one clear call-to-action — “Educate Me.” According to WordStream, simply using one call-to-action (CTA) in an email increases clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%.

Source

2. Casper

Your product is only as good as its reviews — in fact, most customers read a review or testimonial before making a purchase. In this traditional abandoned cart email, Casper adds a bit of social proof with a fun customer testimonial.

Casper’s abandoned cart email is clever and to-the-point. It asks the reader if they’d like to revisit a cart they have added to, shows what they were shopping for, and includes two simple CTAs.

casper lead nurturing exampleSource

3. Sephora

For visual products, video is a great method of communicating or explaining. Sephora includes a fun video from an employee with educational content as well as product offerings. They do have a lot of calls-to-action, however, the main focus is to watch the tutorial which is helpful to the reader. A visual email for a visual brand, it grabs your attention and shows off the products in a unique and interesting way.sephora  lead nurturing example


B2B Lead Nurturing Email Examples

4. Litmus

Triggered email messages yield 67.9% higher open rate and 241.3% higher click rates than standard email messages, according to Epsilon. In other words, when you use a person’s behavior — lets say that downloaded content about email workflows — to trigger a relevant email based on that action, it will perform well.

Here’s a great example from Litmus that demonstrates how to use clever, clear copy to provide recipients with a relevant email that adds provides even more value.

litmus  lead nurturing example

Retail Lead Nurturing Email Examples

5. Uncommon Goods

Uncommon Goods shows their products in context and creates a Pinterest-inspired section for each different aesthetic. Each collection has a featured CTA and the email feels more like a curated pinboard than a sales email.

Not to mention, this email is also very mobile-friendly, which can play a big part in the success of an ecommerce lead nurturing email: 56% of email is opened on mobile devices, according to Litmus.

Uncommon Goods Email  lead nurturing example

6. Chubbies

Chubbies is well known for their cheeky marketing and their emails do not disappoint. With over 1.68 million Facebook Likes, they put the social, fun aspect of content first. Their email newsletter serves as a hub for user-generated content, promotions, and all-around humor.

Part information, part fun, this email encourages its reader to enjoy reading it even if they aren’t planning to buy anything in that moment. The copy relates to its audience, the visuals are on-brand, and they offer multiple CTAs (purchase clothing & follow on Snapchat).

s  lead nurturing example

chubbies2.png


Travel Lead Nurturing Email Examples

7. JetBlue

JetBlue has some of the best email copy around. Not only is this email funny, helpful, and full of great puns, but it also reflects JetBlue’s commitment to engaging and retaining customers through email. One of JetBlue’s email objectives is to convert current or past customers into TrueBlue members, as demonstrated below.

(Want to learn how long your emails should be? Check out this helpful blog post that takes audience and message into consideration.)

JetBlue Email lead nurturing example

8. Airbnb

Airbnb’s emails have one goal in mind: give their readers wanderlust.

This email has a clear CTA, highlights beautiful travel destinations, and doesn’t ask too much of the recipient. Not to mention, company anniversaries are always a good opportunity to reach out to subscribers without seeming pushy. It feels personal and curated.

airbnb lead nurturing example


Services Lead Nurturing Email Examples

9. Handy

The combination of clear buttons, information about the service, and a nice photo make this email from Handy feel uncluttered and effective. More specifically, the photo of smiling customers is a smart move for two reasons:

  1. It helps to draw attention to the effect their product has on those who buy it: happiness.
  2. Human photos saw 95% higher conversion than object photos, according to VWO.

Handy Email  lead nurturing example

10. Freelancer

I’m a sucker for a good illustration and Freelancer’s caught my attention immediately. They prove the value of the service through a drawing, then provide a clear ask in the CTA: “Get Started Today.” If you can align images in your email while educating your readers, the message will stick with them for longer and have a higher impact.

Freelancer Email lead nurturing exampleSource

11. Skillshare

At the top of this email, Skillshare includes a nice reminder to its recipients that their trial is about to expire — a smart move that’ll hopefully result in a renewal or purchase.

The reminder is accompanied by some unobtrusive, helpful CTAs for various educational classes. Notice how the simple, stylish boxes stand out as an alternative to a traditional button.

Skillshare Email  lead nurturing exampleSource


Food & Beverage Lead Nurturing Email Examples

12. Thrive

When a person hears something, they’ll remember 10% of that content three days later. However, when paired with a relevant image, they will remember 65% of the information three days later. This concept is referred to as the picture superiority effect.

Thrive takes advantage of this theory through their use of product images. They highlight their products in an attractive way, include a good amount of content, and encourage the reader to start shopping.

Thrive Food Email lead nurturing exampleSource

13. Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin Donuts used an announcement for a new item as a way to reach out to its audience. This simple email asks its readers to find the location nearest them, showcases the new drink, and has a secondary CTA to add them on Snapchat. (Speaking of which, check out this guide to Snapchat for business.)

DDPerks Email  lead nurturing example

Product Marketing Lead Nurturing Email Examples

14. InVision App

Newsjacking is defined by HubSpot as “the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success.” By mentioning a current, trending topic into your marketing, you can bring in a new audience and engage with your current users.

InVision monopolized on the “Stranger Things” trend by highlighting its typography in this email and relating it back to the design industry. They also used it as an excuse to teach their newsletter recipients through workshops and training.

invision lead nurturing example

15. Zapier

According to DemandGen, leads that are nurtured with personalized content convert into sales at 20% higher than those who aren’t.

This email is from the CEO of Zapier asking how he can help them get setup proves that they’ve got a handle on the whole personalization thing. This user is being targeted with a name personalization token as well as a trigger indicating that they are yet to setup the product.

For technical products, friendly, helpful emails based on activity can perform extremely well. Notice how they even include a link to their help documentation for added value and clarity.

zapier lead nurturing exampleSource

16. Sprout Social

Sprout Social uses a new feature as a reason to reach out to leads. They teach the audience about this new feature, let them know that their trial is expiring, and provide helpful feature descriptions to inform their decision.

By giving your readers a taste of your new products and services, they will be inspired to learn more, so be sure to also include relevant links and information for them to continue their research.

Sprout Social Email lead nurturing exampleSource

17. Typeform

Writing email copy is difficult. It’s important to be friendly, helpful, and straightforward.

That’s why Typeform really hit the nail on the head with this email. In the example below, you’ll see that they’re not only being relatable and honest, but they are also strategically taking advantage of their user’s inactive status to position the outreach. And the challenge to look at their leaderboard is a nice secondary CTA that doesn’t ask too much.

Typeform Email lead nurturing exampleSource

18. Square

Holiday marketing is a common type of lead nurturing. Both B2B and B2C companies take full advantage of running holiday-themed campaigns throughout the year.

Square leverages the Valentine’s Day holiday to encourage its recipients to take action with their own customers. They provide a helpful and powerful statistic to prove value, and keep it short and sweet.

Square Valentines Email lead nurturing exampleSource

19. Duolingo

Duolingo taps into their users’ affinity for learning by asking them to nominate a favorite teacher for a contest. This is a great way of engaging with your audience while providing a helpful and fun reason to click.

They also make use of two different types of testimonials. They tell the reader to join “350,000 teachers” as well as including two quotes from teachers using the product. What a great use of social proof.

Duolingo lead nurturing example

Now that you’ve been inspired by these great brands and products, learn how to write email copy like a pro and create compelling images.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Simple Link Building Tactics to Grow Brand Authority

It is no secret that link building is one of the most challenging, yet most vital tactics in search engine optimization. Google holds such high regard for high-quality backlinks, because they are the best indicators of whether or not your website is authoritative in the space.

Through basic crowdsourcing, Google can use website data (number of links pointing toward your website) to determine the viability and relevance of your website on certain topics. 

So why is link building so difficult?

Over the years, SEOs from all over the world have been able to manipulate Google’s algorithm through black-hat link building tactics like link farms and link buying. In response, Google has determined what patterns are a result of such tactics and severely punish websites who continue to use these methods. 

As a result, websites must now be creative with how they utilize different strategies that result in a higher volume of backlinks naturally. There are several things to consider, however, when executing link building strategies, including:

  • The difference between unique referring domains and backlinks
  • The importance of link flow
  • The influence of digital PR

Focus on unique referring domains

When you are approaching link building, it can be tempting for your team to chase after as many backlinks as possible, regardless of where they come from. That may be beneficial for the first few links; however, after a while, you will start to see diminishing returns.

The reason why the crowdsourcing analogy is so helpful to explain this is simple: the more that authoritative websites approve of your website’s content, the more Google will recognize your website as authoritative as well. 

If you continue to receive backlinks from the same website over and over, Google may think that you are participating in questionable techniques, and you may be impacted negatively. 

By having a goal of increasing unique referring domains, you naturally go after links from a variety of websites rather, minimizing your risk in getting negatively affected by Google’s algorithm. 

With that being said, there are plenty of websites that use content aggregation methods, like Databox, where you can easily obtain a link. You will not ruin your authority by submitting content through their website because:

  1. Databox is an extremely reputable source of content. 
  2. The number of links that you get in return from them are not high enough for Google to flag them as an issue.

The best advice I can give is to additionally seek other unique link building partners to improve your overall authority even further. 

Why link flow is critical

Link flow is defined as the rate at which new backlinks are flowing into your website. To understand why link flow is important, you must grasp Google’s E-A-T guidelines. E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

To determine authoritativeness and trustworthiness in your industry, create new content that gains high volumes of quality links. This continuous flow of content and links shows Google that:

  1. You are active in your industry and community. 
  2. Other authoritative websites are still cosigning your authority. 

A slow link flow can indicate lost relevance or trustworthiness in your industry or on the internet as a whole. Continue to create relevant content and actively engage your audience in an ongoing attempt to gain quality backlinks. Quality over quantity is the key. 

Influence of digital PR

Digital PR (public relations) is a pillar of digital marketing that focuses on media relations, thought leadership, and relationship marketing. While link building is not the primary (or even secondary) goal of digital PR, it can be a pivotal link building tool.

One of the main focuses of digital PR is brand awareness, which can include outreach to relevant podcasts for a company representative to be a guest or pitching the digital media to cover a new company story. Most of the time, when you, your company, or a subject matter expert at your company is featured on a podcast, is at an event, or is in the media, the website will link back to your website. 

These tactics do not directly affect your SEO goals, but if your website starts gaining backlinks from highly authoritative websites, your ability to rank for more challenging keywords will improve significantly.

It is crucial to have your PR team and web strategy team work hand-in-hand on digital initiatives. For an effective digital PR strategy, you need:

  • A designer to create infographics or other marketing materials
  • A dedicated outreach strategist who is the face of the PR team
  • A web strategist who works hand-in-hand with a link building lens

Some creative teamwork can help improve your digital outcomes drastically.

3 tactics to try on

Because link building can take a large portion of your time, think of creative ideas that are simple to execute on and powerful enough that your return will be worth it. 

I have broken down three data-backed link building tactics that have proven continuously to grow brand authority.  

Thought leadership

Think about all of the blogs, newsletters, or podcasts that you consistently read, listen to, and refer to on a daily basis. For marketing blogs, it’s Marketo, G2, and SEMrush. For general business blogs, it’s Mashable, Business Insider, and Forbes. In tech, it’s TechCrunch, Gizmodo, and ReadWrite.

There is a reason as to why you keep returning to these blogs. Why? They are known to publish content representing high-quality, their content is data-driven, and their pieces are written by experts in their respective industries.

Not only do people constantly refer to them verbally; they backlink to these sites as well. 

Business Insider ranks with an Ahrefs rank of 242 (out of the entire Ahrefs database), with over 114M backlinks from over 458K websites.

TechCrunch ranks with an Ahrefs rank of 294, with other 73.1M backlinks from over 319K websites.

link-building-backlinks-seo

Depending on the industry your company is in, these thought leaders differ vastly. However, one feature is very much consistent: good authoritative content generates a high volume of backlinks with the right audience. It’s not rocket science. 

Unique research

Some companies create reports that cover multiple verticals or sub-verticals. For example, for digital marketing that would be content, social media, SEO, email, advertising, web strategy, and market research. They create unique infographics for each research report and make them highly shareable, with little to no friction.

link-building-backlinks-seo

By putting out the annual report, they generate thousands of backlinks from many websites, in addition to generating unique referring domains.

By creating a report that is widely respected and referenced in your industry, you can generate a large amount of SEO value, in the form of authority, to your website.

Guest posting

Guest posting (or guest blogging) is the process of sharing content with or writing content for another website, with the hopes of gaining a backlink in return. Companies utilize guest posting strategies to produce high-quality content on authoritative publications throughout their industry. Guest posting can also improve companies’ organic reach through SEO, social media, and more. Overall, it helps your brand be more visible and shows that other companies trust you to share your expertise as well. Think about it, they trust you enough to share content on their own website.

In return, the writer typically includes a useful link back to their website to further authoritative value. Depending on the company you write for, they may reserve the right to remove that link whenever they please. If you haven’t already written the content for them, you might have to burden that risk. 

Regardless, guest posting can be helpful in your digital PR efforts and improve brand awareness to audiences that you previously have not had access to. You may gain a link directly from that website, and you also might indirectly gain backlinks from the subsequent readers of their website and blog.

Directive utilizes guest posting as one of their main drivers of referring domain growth (as seen below).

link-building-backlinks-seo

Key takeaways

Link building is, and always will be, one of the more influential ranking factors in search marketing. Google continues to view quality backlinks in high regard and will continue to crack down on inorganic link building schemes that “trick” their algorithm.

Building audiences who continuously consume your content will, at the least, slowly link back to your website. Creating relevant and unique content will organically build links to your website. Creating professional relationships with other websites in the same space and sharing content will continue to build links for your website.

There are other simple link building techniques such as broken link building and brand mention outreach; however, these should not be the centerpiece of your link building strategy. 

Understanding the power of the basics of relationship and content marketing will prove to help you out more than anything else. Take advantage of the relationships you have set, and focus on creating more down the road. Continue to provide value to your target audience and to partners you work with, and link building will be smooth sailing from here on out.

The post Simple Link Building Tactics to Grow Brand Authority appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

How to Scale Content Production That Doesn’t Suck

Soon after Local SEO Guide hired me last year, one of our multi-location retailer clients asked us to produce a few hundred buying guides for all sorts of products they sell.

Bulk napkins, refrigerators, laundry detergent, you name it. My first big project!

The timeline was about one month, on top of overlapping deadlines for other client projects. As the new content guy, I had to figure out how to make this happen without drowning.

But hot damn, that’s a lot of words to research, pay for, edit, format, and internally link in a month.

You’ve experienced some flavor of this, especially if you work for a small, scrappy agency without an existing editorial infrastructure. Sure, you can turn to Upwork, Zerys, or another content writing service to get it done.

But then how do you decide what to spend on great editors? Should they be subject matter experts, or hired guns who handle any topic? How many do you hire?

What if the client doubles or triples the project for your next engagement? Do you have the resources to…scale your content production?

How do you build an in-house content process that can be scaled 10 or 100 times over?

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Alas, scale. Love it or loathe it, “scale” (to me, anyway) just means delivering a proportionally bigger chunk of work while retaining high-quality content.

We’re working in a BERT environment where we don’t really optimize content. I focus on making content readable, logical, and unique enough that it stands out.

I don’t want to write one template, then apply a Find-Replace job across location pages for a national retailer, say. That’s too easy, and Google’s getting smarter about rewarding well-written copy with a purpose.

Call it craft content at scale.

So, how do you ensure you’re still brewing Lagunitas at the scale of Heineken?

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Five key elements to scaling content

To scale up a content writing program that doesn’t suck, follow these basics:

Will this work? I can all but guarantee it. Since December, we’ve published new site copy on hundreds of locally targeted URLs for a multi-location national retailer. Check it out.

How to find writers

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I prefer working with our own roster of writers, as opposed to a third-party service. I’ve found that it’s easier to communicate with them, from project clarifications to fixing snafus.

Writers tend to be more engaged and accountable when they’re working directly with us. In my experience with content farms, I cede an element of communication to the platform that makes it seem transactional, distant, and detached. And for some copywriting, I guess that’s OK.

It takes time to assemble a content team, there are endless job boards and groups out there. Some focus on content marketers, journalists, social media managers, and bloggers. But they’re all in the blast radius of “writing.” Chances are, you’ll find some great people.

Many of Local SEO Guide’s best content writers came from these (free) watering holes:

  • Binders Full of WRITING JOBS Facebook group (I’m not a member – had a colleague post in the group for me)
  • News Nerdery Slack group (heavy on data journalism, but there’s healthy overlap with analytics, SEO, and writing)
  • Twitter
  • Word-of-mouth referrals (from above, former coworkers, editors, friends, etc.)

Ask around, do some lurking, and give someone a chance to succeed. I recommend hiring freelance writers, as opposed to moonlighters with full-time jobs, so you’re not at the bottom of someone’s priority list. (I’ve never been a fan of writing tests—taking them, nor asking others to—but if you go this route, pay them.)

Regardless, building a rapport with whomever you decide to hire will make your job easier. Mutual trust reduces headaches for inevitable hiccups or, uh, pandemics.

For example, the Covid-19 lockdowns emerged in the middle of a sprint to produce 700 pieces of content for a multi-location national retailer (mentioned above). It was among our bigger content projects so far this year.

Many people’s lives were turned upside down—kids suddenly at home, schedules affected, you name it. We were able to contact everyone, figure out where we needed to shift assignments, or plan for late submissions. Wasn’t easy, but we did it.

Be flexible, trustworthy, and give helpful feedback. The writing quality will reflect that.

How to organize your content writing program

No top-secret solution here. We use G Suite’s Google Sheets to track our editorial progress.

Doing a great job? Client suddenly wants to double the copywriting for next month? Add the rows, boom. Scale me up, Scotty.

“What, you don’t use a sophisticated piece of project management software?”

I do for other stuff. Google Sheets works best for obvious reasons:

  • Most people know how to use it and easily access it
  • You can quickly add cells to track client-specific inputs
  • You can have writers submit assignments through Google Forms, which can populate Google Sheet cells with assignments or other info
  • You can create a tracking spreadsheet template, then copy it and tweak it for project-specific needs
  • You can use VLOOKUP functions to feed data to or from other spreadsheets. For example, tracking invoicing payment amounts, populating keyword research, or validating completion to monitor writer progress
  • It can be expanded to accommodate large-scale projects easily
  • Searching and filtering is [chef kiss]
  • It’s free (relatively—aside from G Suite costs)

Camayak vs. Notion vs. Asana vs. Workflowy vs. Google Sheets

There’s slick content project tracking software out there. We’ve looked at Camayak, Notion, Asana, Workflowy, to name a few.

We keep it simple with Sheets.

What I include in our tracking sheets:

  • URL of where content will be published (or proposed path/slug for new pages)
  • Word count
  • Link to relevant keyword/editorial research
  • Writer assigned
  • Editor assigned
  • Cost (per word, flat rate, whatever it is)
  • Status updates from a drop-down menu (using Sheets’ Data Validation options)
  • Date assigned
  • Due date
  • Approval (usually my initials, or another LSGer)
  • Other client-specific notes as needed

Create a basic template and deploy it quickly for new projects.

You’re probably thinking, Whoa, this guy just discovered Sheets. Cool blog.

The point here: Don’t underestimate the value of being elastic to scale, tweak, and implement your content tracking with a simple organization solution.

Questions to ask when scaling up content production

Each project’s content strategy will raise different questions.

For any content creation project, we ask these four questions to orient our strategy. Be honest about the answers with yourself, your stakeholders, your clients, and your freelancers.

If you’re BSing your team members or phoning in the answers, you’ll have big problems with high-scale projects—especially if you’ve produced, published, and promoted the content.

What’s the goal of the content?

Are you looking to grow local search traffic for a national brand? Do you want to drive some type of conversion? Or are you simply looking to educate readers at the top of the funnel?

Figure out your target audience before you do anything, or you will be at sea.

What type of content do we need?

“Content” isn’t just a hand-wavy catch-all term for words. Yes, body copy might require heavy lifting. But content also refers to your keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, headings, slogs, anchor text, photos, infographics, captions and alt-tags, video/audio/podcast transcriptions, and call-to-action copy.

When you produce content, think about everything a user sees: every word, from the H1s to the fine print.

Where will the content be published?

Is there a category path under which your content will live? Or will it be published under the root domain?

Content alone doesn’t have the same effect as having a robust website taxonomy.

Huh.

In other words, you could have the Best Piece of Content ever. But if the information architecture of a site won’t appropriately display or organize your content pieces, you might be embarking on a fool’s errand. Blobs of text do nothing.

blob fish asking for help, I need structure

Blobs of text do nothing.

You might expect readers to find your great content directly from organic search. The more logically a website is built, the easier it is for search engines to understand how information is organized. Work with your stakeholders to determine the best place to publish.

How will you measure the content?

What does success look like? Do you care about performance at the page level, or site-wide?

Learning about KPIs has been one of the bigger learning curves for me, personally. I spent the last 10 years in newspapers and magazines, where someone else worried about analytics.

As the scale of your content production process increases, the importance of what you measure gets magnified. That sounds heady, but I’m going with it.

It’s not just about lines on a chart. Your clients will make decisions about where to invest in their SEO program depending on how your content performs. Know that you’re measuring what matters.

Create a style guide (or ask your client for one)

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Luckily, most of our clients have editorial or brand guidelines. This saves everyone time, and helps me low-key evaluate which of our freelance writers pay attention to our specs.

Even if your client has a style guide, there might be one-off requests, compliance updates, or other notes from an upstream marketing team.

Best to compile crucial information in an instructions shared document for your content creators.

This serves three purposes:

  1. It’s an editorial blueprint for your writers
  2. It’s a quality control reference
  3. It’s a form of redundancy in your own note-taking. We’ve all searched our inboxes for that thrice-forwarded email about some style note and can’t find it.

Avoid the headache of small errors propagating across hundreds of pages of copy.

Give feedback and iterate

Meme: Office Space boss asking for compelling content

A few pieces of writing advice I always give to freelance writers:

  • Write like your audience is smart and busy
  • Write the way you’d want to be written for
  • Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good

(I didn’t come up with these. Other smarter people did.)

We don’t have a crystal ball here at Local SEO Guide. And you don’t either. That makes it impossible to know what’s a perfect blog, a perfect sentence, and a perfect process.

If the content’s performance sucked, I try to understand why. It sucks to suck. So I improve it for next time, or propose a content refresh.

Give your writers and editors honest, actionable feedback. Offer to give it mid-process instead of at the end, so they can apply your suggestions.

Make improvements to your tracking process, your editorial guidelines, and the questions you ask throughout the content process. It’s not a sign that your methods were bad.

Make small improvements that gradually compound, rather than wholesale changes that move the earth beneath everyone.

Of course, You’ll know how your content program performed when it’s published. The benefits of knowing where to nip-tuck your content production process will become apparent the next time around. I smell another blog post…

The post How to Scale Content Production That Doesn’t Suck appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

How can gyms support their members during the pandemic?

In the UK gyms were among the list of public places closed on 21st March 2020, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Following the government announcement, many were left wondering how they could continue to support their members, while adjusting to this rather different reality.

Typically, gyms and fitness studios are reliant on both physical locations and on-site staff, but thanks to advancements in technology, that doesn’t have to remain the case.

The digital fitness industry has really grown over the past few years, generating $3.6 billion revenue for the US alone in 2019; and although hardly surprising, companies such as Peloton have reported 5 times more fitness app downloads in March, relative to February – in line with increasing lockdown restrictions. But what might be surprising, is that for fitness businesses willing to be flexible and respond to the pandemic digitally, there are some relatively simple solutions to continue supporting your members.  

  1. Stream live workout classes

This may seem obvious, but thankfully, due to advancements in technology you don’t need specialist equipment to stream live – you can do so using a laptop or even a smartphone. What’s more, there are now many free and straightforward applications to support live streaming and below we have listed just a few, all of which at their basic level at least, are free:

  1. Real-time work out videos

Since many individuals are working remotely and some may also be responsible for children, it may be difficult to tune in at a specific time. Therefore, it could be worthwhile creating some real-time work out videos. Your members can then benefit from being able to access this content on demand and are able to see and understand how each exercise is performed correctly. Again, these can be filmed using a laptop or smartphone and there are several user-friendly, video editing softwares available. For a relatively extensive list which includes a quick overview of each application and any associated costs, we recommend this article.

  1. Send personalised workout routines

Be it over social media, email or SMS with a PDF attachment, sending members a personalised written workout can be simple but effective. Not only does this have the advantage that individuals can do the workout in their own time, but by supporting this activity online you can encourage individuals to tag your brand in completion photos, and perhaps even create a leaderboard, to encourage competition and engagement between members.

This is particularly effective for personal trainers. Once considered a luxury for the rich and famous, personal trainers have become increasingly popular over the last few years with 13,770 registered personal trainers in the UK and 80% of those working on a freelance basis. Consequently, the ability for personal trainers to continue to support their clients on a 1:1 basis is more important than ever. However, to stand out from all of the online noise around exercise an effective medium such as SMS is recommended due to it’s 95% open rate and ability to respond quickly and effectively with any concerns or questions. 

Communicating with your members

Ultimately, the most important aspect when introducing any of these new options to your member community, is being sure to effectively communicate the options available and any associated processes they need to follow.

Under normal circumstances, social media may be a fantastic way to communicate with members. But as our news feeds are currently full of stories surrounding the coronavirus outbreak, there is a concern that announcements made on social media, for example, details of your new online classes may be missed. Thus, we recommend using more personalised communication to help ensure your messages are noticed. Channels such as email, phone calls or text messaging are effective mediums to communicate with your members and enable you to discuss your new digital propositions in further detail.

As a business messaging company, we can speak knowledgeably of how gyms and fitness studios can best use and implement SMS into their communication strategy. Consequently, we’ve created a quick guide below of the top use cases.

Send bulk notifications

By utilising bulk SMS, you can communicate with your entire member database in just a few clicks. This can be a great way to notify members that some digital additions are coming soon, so to keep an eye out, or even to send a quick update on any changes to opening hours. What’s more, as SMS boasts a 95% open rate, you can be confident your message will be received by all recipients.

Send time-critical reminders

You might want to send a reminder to all members registered for a live workout, that it will begin in 15 minutes and perhaps even include the link to the class itself. This can be really beneficial – particularly when first introducing this type of activity. And since SMS benefits from 90% of all messages being read within 3 minutes, you can be sure your reminder is delivered and read almost immediately.

Communicate in real-time

Sometimes the information you need to share with your members requires a little more space than is available with a standard SMS. This is where utilising SMS Long Numbers can be useful. It allows recipients to reply to your messages, so you can have a real-time conversation and explain anything which isn’t clear. Thus, ensuring your message is received and enabling you to communicate more detail.

No matter which channel you use, the important thing is that you continue to communicate with your member community. If you would like to discuss further, how SMS could help to support your communication strategy, please email info@textmarketer.co.uk or call 0117 205 0202.

The post How can gyms support their members during the pandemic? appeared first on Textmarketer.

25 Live Video Stats Marketers Need to Know in 2020

In the past year or so, live video has quickly become one of the most popular types of online content, especially on social media.

Not only is Facebook Live thriving, with one in five videos being live streams, but other major platforms like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and — most recently — LinkedIn, have embraced similar features.

Aside from the older social media platforms allowing live streams, some emerging platforms, like Twitch.tv, now cater specifically to live stream viewers.

While people find live streams entertaining because they offer them a chance to see raw, authentic footage, view behind-the-scenes video from their favorite influencers, or interact in live Q&As with industry experts, brands also find this content beneficial for boosting awareness.

For example, many companies have sponsored or hosted the live Q&As I noted above. Alternatively, they’ve also sponsored live product tutorials from social media influencers. Aside from smaller Q&As and tutorials, some brands have even created entire virtual events that rely on live streams.

When it comes to live video, there are many creative opportunities that could allow brands to reach and interact with their audiences. But, because this tactic is still somewhat new, many companies might not know where to start when brainstorming live content.

Like with any new trend, brands might also wonder, “Is streaming live video worth my time, or is this strategy just built on hype?”

To give you a bird’s eye view of the live video landscape, here are 25 stats that you should keep in mind if you’re considering live video.

25 Live Video Stats That Marketers Need to Know

Growth in Live Video

  • In 2019, internet users watch 1.1 billion hours of live video. (StreamElements)
  • The video streaming market is projected to hit 184.3 billion by 2027. (Grand View Research)
  • In 2018, 47% of live streaming video viewers worldwide are streaming more live video compared with the year before. (IAB)
  • Also in 2018, 44% of live video viewers said they watch less live TV “as a result of live streaming.” (IAB)
  • 67% of consumers were streaming live video worldwide by the end of 2018. (IAB)
  • By the end of 2020, live streaming is expected to account for 82% of all internet traffic. (Go-Global)

How Live Streaming Benefits Brands

  • More than 35% of marketers use live video as part of their social media strategy. (Social Media Examiner)
  • 52% of live stream viewers prefer free, ad-supported content over subscription content. (IAB)
  • 82% of people prefer live video from a brand over standard social media posts. (Livestream)
  • 67% of audiences who watch a live stream event will purchase a ticket to a similar event. (Livestream)
  • 80% of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. (Livestream)

Live Streaming Platforms

  • In May 2019, YouTube Live videos were watched for 284 hours. This was a monthly record for YouTube. (StreamElements)
  • Non-gaming content has been a major growth driver for Twitch representing 11% of the hours watched in December 2019 compared to 8% in December 2018. (StreamElements)
  • In Q2 of 2019, Twitch users watch 2.9 trillion hours of live content. (StreamElements)
  • In Q1, Twitter hosted more than 1,200 live-streamed events. (Twitter)

Source

  • 70% of consumers prefer to watch live video on YouTube over other platforms. (Livestream)
  • 60 of the most-viewed YouTube live streams happened in the last two years. (Think With Google)
  • Facebook Live Stream” saw a 330% increase in searches between 2016 and 2018. (Mediakix)
  • One in five Facebook videos is a live broadcast. (Facebook)

Live Stream Audience Behaviors and Content Preferences

  • On average, 1.05 million viewers were on Twitch at any given time in Q4 of 2019. (Statista)
  • 70% of consumers who live stream do so at least once per day. (IAB)
  • 67% of people say the quality of the video they’re watching is the most important factor of a live stream. (Livestream)
  • The most-watched live streams have to do with news coverage, while concerts and live conferences tie in second. (Livestream)
  • 87% of people will watch a live stream if it includes behind-the-scenes content. (Livestream)
  • Almost half of Gen Z watches their favorite shows live on social media. (eMarketer)

Planning Your Live Video Strategy

From the stats above, we can see that live video isn’t going away any time soon.

But, before you start your first live video, you’ll want to plan out your live event ahead of time to ensure that it’s both valuable and professional looking to your audience.

You’ll also want to determine which platform will allow you to reach audiences that most align with your brand. For example, if you’re interested in gaining awareness from a more general audience, Facebook Live might be a great option due to the platform’s age and its number of users. On the other hand, if you want to reach gamers or Gen Z, you might want to test out a Twitch stream.

If you’re interested in creating your own live campaigns, but don’t know where to start, here’s a great guide to help you.

Trying to pick out the right live streaming platform for your brand? Check out this post that directly compares Facebook Live and YouTube. You can also read up on one of the fastest-growing live platforms, Twitch, here.

Working From Home | Daily Routine, Productivity, Procrastination

Adjusting to the new normal in the current climate caused by COVID-19 is a challenge for us all. Huge swathes of the workforce are now working from home and still required to work in effective teams…and as normally as possible…whatever that now means! For many, this is the norm, for others they’ve worked from home on occasion so have a routine in place, but for some this is a brand-new experience. Remote working successfully can be achieved with the right systems and mindsets, so let’s follow on from my last article with a look at how we can work successfully from home, even in these strange and testing time.

As well as many people are now in the position of having to work from home and many are being furloughed, there are others who may have lost some of their livelihood due to the closure of shops, restaurants, and other businesses. Whole industries have ground to a halt, especially those that served – or depended on – travel and tourism.

Of course, there are always opportunities in every situation.  For example, eCommerce is on the up as people are now at home a lot more and cannot buy from regular stores, so it is understandable why more businesses are taking this route.

Living without a full income can be extremely trying, which is why the more ingenious amongst us are looking at new revenue streams from taking their bricks and mortar stores online, whilst remaining in line with government guidelines of using the post offices, to monetizing online programs and courses.

Successfully working from home takes discipline, planning, and real commitment. Many people may relish the opportunity, but it is also understandable if you don’t. Here we’re looking more closely at how to set up for success and make the most of this unusual situation for the benefit of your business or career.

Routine and good habits

It might sound boring and the last thing you need to hear in a time of crisis, but routine can be absolutely key to managing working from home. It can also be key to keeping your mental health in check and ensuring you’re able to effectively keep up with your work. It’s not just about the health of your marketing strategy or your database!

Stick to a regular morning routine

Getting up, getting dressed, washed and brushing your teeth should be a standard beginning to every workday. Keeping this regular routine is key to good mental health and beyond this, it ensures you’re ready if there are meetings to attend and you can’t afford to not be attending if the rest of the office is!

Exercise for your body and mind

Whether you join in with the kids and the new sensation of Joe Wicks or take advantage of your chance to have one run around the block or a short cycle, a bit of exercise goes a long way. Replace what would have been your daily commute with a bit of exercise to ensure you’re awake and ready for the working day.

Check in and be kind

Our mental health is bound to take a bit of a kick when we’re all inside and unable to follow our usual routines. Be sure to spend time checking in with friends, colleagues and others and be ready to listen and help if someone isn’t all right. Kindness is key to making it through this difficult period and understanding that other people’s reactions may be different to yours is important too.

Set aside workspace

Although not every home has room for a dedicated office, it is essential you have space set aside for when you work. Whether it means shutting the bedroom door or taking over the guest room, you need a space away from the family so you can focus on work. You can be sure there will be plenty of BBC Dad moments over the next few weeks, but you can’t afford for there to be too many.  (But just smile and laugh when it does happen…we’re only human!)

Fight procrastination

You might dedicate a small part of your day to LinkedIn engagements and other social media but don’t get dragged in. As soon as you click on one of these sites you can be sure there will be plenty of recommendation of self-improvement webinars you simply must watch or books you should be reading.

Do everything at your own pace and once the workday is done, do things your own way. Whether this is downtime in front of the TV, your short daily walk, a little meditation (the Headspace app is particularly helpful) or even a nap, do something that works for you and helps you keep a level head in these difficult times.

Keep productive

Keeping productive at home is one of the biggest challenges. A productive workday involves following the steps already mentioned but also taking advantage of the tools and software out there to help make your working day easier. The most effective way people are staying productive and checking in with work is through video calls and conferencing.

While we’re not in the same world as a few months ago, poor conference call practices were shown to cost businesses billions by LoopUp and now we’re even more reliant upon them, it’s important to get to grips with the latest methods for keeping on top of work and being connected to your team.

FaceTime and Skype have regularly been used for conference calling for many years, with Google Hangouts also proving popular. However, it has been Zoom which has become the standout tool of the current situation. Zoom has floated a little below the radar for many years, although it has been successfully growing at a speed quicker than we may have imagined.

FT.com reported Zoom shares jumping 6% on the day that Wall Street saw a 3% tumble overall and the company continues to go from strength to strength as it is being used for everything from family reunions to international conferencing between employees around the globe. The key to Zoom’s success and growth seems to fall into three key areas:

  1. Customer-driven experiences are at the heart of all they do
  2. It’s a self-selling product
  3. Investing large amounts in the company is something they are more than committed to doing

Zoom makes it easier than ever before to quickly team up with any number of individuals from your workplace and have regular check-ins to ensure things are going in the right direction.

A word on phishing

While all of us are working from home and are pretty convinced connections are secure, it is important to be vigilant about the risks from IT security.  New phishing scams relating to the COVID19 outbreak are being discovered every day and unscrupulous individuals are bound to continue to try and exploit the crisis.  Keeping your connection as secure as possible may involve looking into more secure firewall products or liaising with your company’s IT department to ensure everything is secure as it can be. Extra vigilance is essential for ensuring online safety as you work.

Internet speeds to improve

UK broadband caps have been lifted so no one should have issues with managing the volume of data/downloads required for your work. However, internet speeds have been put under a huge amount of stress.

Enrique Blanco, CTO at Telefonica in Spain told sources: “In just two days we grew all the traffic we had planned for 2020”; ad statistics are showing similar in many countries, with the demand for the internet outstripping he availability. Ookla reported the average time it took to download videos, emails and files increased due to broadband speeds declining as much as 5% from previous weeks.

Measures are being put in place to improve things and there are individual changes we can make to ensure our speeds are as fast as they can be. It may take a little patience on our parts but with so many changes upon us, it is something else we will soon get to grips with.

Making a success of your work from home time

Working from home may not be something you’d ever choose to do or even done before, but there aren’t any other options right now. With a little discipline and a lot of kindness, we can work together to ensure our workplaces can still exist, just from afar. There’s the opportunity to add a bit of morale-boosting fun through Zoom calls and it’s important to make sure you check in on colleagues, as they should check in on you.

The post Working From Home | Daily Routine, Productivity, Procrastination appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

How care homes can use SMS to keep families updated

On the 2nd April 2020, it was announced that the coronavirus pandemic had officially surpassed 1 million cases globally. As the situation has developed, many countries have introduced social distancing and enforced various closures, including those of schools and restaurants, in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. 

To protect those identified as high risk, for example the elderly, many social restrictions were implemented as early as possible. Though necessary, these restrictions have been difficult for families and friends, especially in cases where relatives are residents within a care home. Often residents will rely on family visits for socialisation and with health concerns weighing on people’s minds, it is even harder for families to be separated from their loved ones. With this in mind communication has never been more essential.

Since nursing homes often house many residents, communication with families can be a challenge. For instance, it is unlikely that staff will have the time to assist with calls for each resident but, thankfully due to technology, there are ways to communicate which are less labour intensive. Using our robust platform, the care home team can send bulk messages to families in just a few simple steps. These messages can then be used in the following ways to help residents and families feel more connected during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Notify families of changes and send relevant updates

While nursing homes aren’t currently allowing visitors, it is vital to keep families reassured and notified of any changes. A simple message with details on any new measures the home has introduced to ensure resident safety, could help keep family concerns to a minimum and potentially save a lot of staff time answering phone calls.

Furthermore, once visits can be reintroduced, you can update all resident families almost immediately by sending a bulk text message that includes information on visiting times. And, if these times differ according to different medical care schedules, you can segment your contact lists as appropriate to ensure each family receives relevant information.

Enable two-way communication

By setting up a virtual mobile number, not only can your organisation send messages directly to recipients, but they can also reply. So, families can reply with a short message which staff can then relay onto residents. This could help families feel more connected and alleviate feelings of loneliness. And as all replies are received into your account inbox, all staff can access messages, so even if there is a shift change, messages can still be passed on in a timely manner.

Send families personalised updates

As well as being able to send ad hoc messages, you can also personalise bulk messages with information like resident names. This small touch could go a long way to making families feel more at ease. Moreover as SMS benefits from a 95% average open rate and 90% of all messages are read within 3 minutes, you can be confident your updates are received and read within minutes, helping families feel more connected. 

At a time like this, communication is crucial and there are many different technologies both families and nursing homes can utilise to make things that little bit easier. 

To learn more and see if this could be a solution for your organisation, simply contact our friendly team on 0117 205 0202 or at info@textmarketer.co.uk

The post How care homes can use SMS to keep families updated appeared first on Textmarketer.

Financial Services Loyalty: Perspective From the Frontlines of COVID-19

We are 6 weeks and counting on the American journey with COVID-19. The impact on business is acute and few have escaped impact from the economic dominoes that have fallen over these past few weeks.

Every industry and every sector of consumer marketing has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We have been hearing lots of news from the restaurant, convenience, airline, and hospitality sectors and each has a unique set of challenges to address. Underpinning all commerce is the payments industry. The banks and credit unions that issue payment cards and operate card rewards programs are also affected as the economy slows due to requirements on consumers to shelter at home and limit activities. 

We had not heard enough from executives on the front lines of the financial services loyalty sector and so we connected with Mike Knoop, CEO ampliFI Loyalty Solutions and Mike Moss, Chief Product Officer, for a discussion about their experiences to this point in the crisis, changes they are making in the card loyalty programs they operate for clients, and what the future might hold. ampliFI Loyalty Solutions (formerly Augeo before a rebranding in January 2020) serves the financial services sector by operating credit & debit card loyalty programs exclusively focused on banks and credit unions nationwide.

Mike Knoop and Mike Moss share insights on the card rewards business, but also offer a glimpse into the changes they have made as an organization to maintain momentum and keep spirits high among their associates. They also share perspective about how some of the changes being made from necessity today may become part of mainstream offers and operations in the future.

Join us for a candid conversation with these two industry leaders.

For those of you in a hurry. Video Timestamps:

  • 1:50 ampliFI Loyalty Solutions & COVID-19 adjustments
  • 5:10 Supporting customers & responding to the pandemic
  • 7:15 Adapting rewards, promotions, & offers
  • 8:20 Focusing on the consumer and the local community
  • 12:45 Temporary shifts becoming permanent solutions?
  • 14:40 Changes in redemption habits/preferences
  • 16:45 Getting personal: the silver lining & coming out of the pandemic stronger

The post Financial Services Loyalty: Perspective From the Frontlines of COVID-19 appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

39 Call-to-Action Examples You Can't Help But Click

Think about all the times you’ve signed up for things in your life. Did you once download Evernote? Dropbox? Spotify? Maybe you’ve even taken a class on General Assembly.

Each one of these signups is likely a result of an effective call-to-action (CTA).

Think about it: If you hadn’t been drawn in by the copy or design of the CTA, or been guided so eloquently through your sign-up process, you would probably use a lot fewer apps and websites than you do now.

It’s really important to guide your visitors through the buying journey using strategic CTAs.

What a CTA Means in Marketing

As a marketer, CTAs are relevant because they encourage your audience to take action on a marketing campaign.

Ultimately, the goal of any marketing campaign is to guide your audience in the buyer’s journey so they eventually make a purchase.

However, each marketing campaign might have a different action for the audience to carry out because there are several tactics you can use to guide your audience in their journey.

Below are a few examples of the types of CTAs you might use in marketing:

Sign up.

In this type of CTA, the audience might be invited to sign up for a free trial, an online course, a future event, or even a software product. It all depends on the CTAs context on an ad or website.

Subscribe.

This CTA doesn’t commit a person to a purchase. Rather, it invites them to receive updates from the company. “Subscribe” CTAs are common to company blogs, for which the business wants to develop a readership.

Try for free.

Nearly every company website has a free trial offer today. Each of them are CTAs of this variety, and they allow people to demo a product before deciding if it’s worth the cost to them.

Get started.

This CTA can drive a variety of behaviors for a company, from a free trial to virtual reality experience.

Learn more.

Sometimes, all you want is to give your potential customers a little more information so they’re prepared to buy something. That’s what this CTA is for.

Join us.

Do you manage an online community. Is your product built on collaboration between users? You might find yourself placing “join us” CTA somewhere on your website.

Learn more about the purposes CTAs can serve in this blog post.

The above types of CTA all serve a designated purpose, but keep in mind the language they use can vary. And today, marketers everywhere have put some creative spins on their calls to action to generate the leads their businesses depend on.

To help you identify what’s effective and what’s not, we’ve listed out 31 examples of CTAs that totally rock. These call-to-action examples are broken out into three categories:

  • Simple and effective CTAs
  • CTAs with great call-to-action phrases
  • CTAs that balance multiple buttons on one page

1. Evernote

CTA: Sign Up

“Remember Everything.” Visitors can immediately understand that message the moment they land on this page. The design on Evernote’s website makes it super simple for users to see quick benefits of using the app and how to actually sign up to use it. Plus, the green color of the main and secondary CTA buttons is the same green as the headline and the Evernote logo, all of which jump off the page.

2. Dropbox

CTA: Sign up for free

Dropbox has always embraced simple design with a lot of negative space. Even the graphics on their homepage are subtle and simple.

Thanks to that simple design and negative space, the blue “Sign up for free” call-to-action button stands out from everything else on the page. Since the CTA and the Dropbox logo are the same color, it’s easy for the visitor to interpret this CTA as “Sign up for Dropbox.” That’s one effective call-to-action.

Example call to action button by Dropbox

3. OfficeVibe

CTA: Subscribe

Here’s a slide-in call-to-action that caught my attention from OfficeVibe. While scrolling through a post on their blog, a banner slid in from the bottom of the page with a call-to-action to subscribe to their blog. The best part? The copy on the slide-in told me I’d be getting tips about how to become a better manager — and the post it appeared on was a post about how to become a better manager. In other words, the offer was something I was already interested in.

Example call to action button by OfficeVibe

Plus, I like how unobtrusive slide-in CTAs are — as opposed to what my colleague Rachel Sprung calls the “stop-everything-and-click-here-pop-up-CTA.” I find these CTAs offer a more lovable experience because they provide more information while still allowing me to continue reading the blog post.

4. Netflix

CTA: Join Free for a Month

One big fear users have before committing to sign up for something? That it’ll be a pain to cancel their subscription if they end up not liking it. Netflix nips that fear in the bud with the “Cancel anytime” copy right above the “Join Free for a Month” CTA. I’d venture a guess that reassurance alone has boosted signups. Also, you’ll notice again that the red color of the primary and secondary CTAs here match Netflix’s logo color.

Example call to action button by Netflix

5. Square

CTA: Get Started

To achieve effective CTA design, you need to consider more than just the button itself. It’s also super important to consider elements like background color, surrounding images, and surrounding text.

Mindful of these additional design components, the folks at Square used a single image to showcase the simplicity of using their product, where the hovering “Get Started” CTA awaits your click. If you look closely, the color of the credit card in the image and the color of the CTA button match, which helps the viewer connect the dots of what to expect if/when they click.

Example call to action button by Square

6. Prezi

CTA: Give Prezi a try

The folks at Prezi are also into the minimalist design look on their website. Other than the green dinosaur and the dark brown coffee, the only other color accompanying the predominantly black-and-white design is a bright blue — the same blue from their main logo. That bright blue is strategically placed on the homepage: the main “Give Prezi a try” CTA, and the secondary “Get Started” CTA, both of which take users to the same pricing page.

Example call to action button by Prezi

7. Full Bundle

CTA: Our Work

Full Bundle is another company that uses negative space to make their primary CTA pop. The white “Our Work” call-to-action stands out against the dark greys of the background. Their choice of CTA is strategic, too. Given that they primarily exist to build out clients’ online presences, it’s important for them to showcase their work — and that’s what most folks are going to their website for.

Example call to action button by Full Bundle

8. Panthera

CTA: Join

The folks at Panthera are looking for users who really care about wild cats around the world and want to join a group of people who feel the same way. To target those people in particular, we love how they use language that would speak to big cat-lovers: “Join the pride today.” The page itself is super simple: an on-page form with two, simple fields, and a button asking folks to (again) “Join.”

Example call to action button by Panthera

9. EPIC

CTA: Let’s start a new project together

The folks at the agency EPIC use their homepage primarily to showcase their work. When you arrive on the page, you’re greeted with animated videos showing some of the work they’ve done for clients, which rotate on a carousel. While there are plenty of other places users might click on their site — including their clients’ websites — the main call-to-action stands out and always contrasts with the video that’s playing in the background.

I love that it features friendly, inclusive language — “Let’s start a new project together” — which gives a hint to users looking for a creative partner that they’re an especially great team to work for.

Example call to action button by EPIC

10. Aquaspresso

CTA: Send Me Specials Now!

The whole point of a call-to-action is to direct your site visitors to a desired course of action — and the best CTAs do so in a way that’s helpful to their visitors. The folks at coffee company Aquaspresso really nailed that balance here with the pop-up CTA on their main blog page.

Here, the desired course of action is for their blog readers to check out what they’re actually selling (and hopefully buy from them). There are many ways they could have done this, including putting out a CTA that urges people to “Check out our most popular products!” or something very direct. But we love what they’ve done instead: Their CTA offers blog readers something much more helpful and subtle — an offer for “today’s specials” in exchange for the reader’s email address.

Adding that the specials are for today only is a great example of a psychological tactic called scarcity, which causes us to assign more value to things we think are scarce. The fear that today’s specials are better than tomorrow’s might make people want to fill it out and claim their offer while they can.

Example call to action button by Aquaspresso

(The call-to-action above was created using HubSpot’s free conversion tool, Leadin. Click here to learn how to easily create CTAs like this one using Leadin.)

11. QuickSprout

CTA: Are you doing your SEO wrong? Enter your URL to find out

No one wants to be wrong. That’s why a call-to-action button like QuickSprout’s slide-in CTA on their blog is so clickworthy. It asks the reader, “Are you doing your SEO wrong?” Well, am I? All I have to do is enter my URL to find out — seems easy enough. It’s language like that that can really entice visitors to click through.

Plus, having the CTA slide in mid-blog post is a great tactic for catching readers before they bounce off the page. Traditionally, many blogs have CTAs at the very bottom of each blog post, but research shows most readers only get 60% of the way through an article. (Click here to learn how to add slide-in CTAs to your blog posts.)

Example call to action button by QuickSprout

12. Grey Goose

CTA: Discover a cocktail tailored to your taste

Here’s a fun, unique call-to-action that can get people clicking. Whereas site visitors might have expected to be directed to product pages or press releases from the homepage, a CTA to “Discover a Cocktail Tailored to Your Taste” is a pleasantly surprising ask. People love personalization, and this CTA kind of feels like an enticing game. The play button icon next to the copy gives a hint that visitors will be taken to a video so they have a better idea of what to expect when they click.

Example call to action button by Grey Goose

13. Treehouse

CTA: Claim Your Free Trial

A lot of company websites out there offer users the opportunity to start a free trial. But the CTA on Treehouse’s website doesn’t just say “Start a Free Trial”; it says “Claim Your Free Trial.”

The difference in wording may seem subtle, but think about how much more personal “Claim Your Free Trial” is. Plus, the word “claim” suggests it may not be available for long, giving users a sense of urgency to get that free trial while they can.

Example call to action button by Treehouse

14. OKCupid

CTA: Continue

OKCupid’s CTA doesn’t seem that impressive at first glance, but its brilliance is in the small details.

The call-to-action button, which is bright green and stands out well on a dark blue background, says, “Continue.” The simplicity of this term gives hope that the signup process is short and casual. To me, this CTA feels more like I’m playing a fun game than filling out a boring form or committing to something that might make me nervous. And it’s all due to the copy.

Example call to action button by OKCupid

15. Blogging.org

CTA: Countdown Clock

Nothing like a ticking timer to make someone want to take action. After spending a short amount of time on blogging.org’s homepage, new visitors are greeted with a pop-up CTA with a “limited time offer,” accompanied by a timer that counts down from two minutes.

As with Aquaspresso’s example in #10, this is a classic use of the psychological tactic called scarcity, which causes us to assign more value to things we think are scarce. Limiting the time someone has to fill out a form makes people want to fill it out and claim their offer while they can.

Curious, what happens when time runs out? So was I. Hilariously, nothing happens. The pop-up CTA remains on the page when the timer gets to zero.

Example call to action button by Blogging.org

16. IMPACT Branding & Design

CTA: What We Do

CTAs can feel really pushy and salesy (yes, that’s a word…) if the wrong language is used. I like IMPACT‘s educational approach, where they challenge visitors to learn what the company does before pushing them to take any further action. This call-to-action is especially intriguing to me because they don’t even use an action verb, yet they still manage to entice people to click.

Impact Branding & Design 'What We Do' call to action button

17. Huemor

CTA: Launch (Do Not Press)

If you went to a website and saw a “Launch” CTA accompanied by the copy “Do Not Press” … what would you do? Let’s be honest: You’d be dying to press it. The use of harmless reverse psychology here is playful, which is very much in keeping with Huemor’s brand voice.

Example call to action button by Huemor

18. Brooks Running

CTA: Find out when we have more

How many times have you hotly pursued a product you love, only to discover it’s sold out? Well, as you might know, it’s no picnic for the seller either. But just because you’ve run out of an item doesn’t mean you should stop promoting it.

Brooks Running uses a clever call to action to ensure their customers don’t bounce from their website just because their favorite shoe is out of stock. In the screenshot below, you can see Brooks touting an awesome-looking shoe with the CTA, “Find out when we have more.” I love how this button turns bad news into an opportunity to retain customers. Without it, Brooks’ customers would likely forget about the shoe and look elsewhere.

When you click on the blue CTA button depicted below, Brooks directs you to a page with a simple code you can text the company. This code prompts Brooks to automatically alert the visitor when the shoe they want is available again.

Brooks Running shoe product availability CTA

19. Humboldt County

CTA: Follow the Magic

Humboldt County’s website is gorgeous on its own: It greets you with a full-screen video of shockingly beautiful footage. But what I really love is the unconventional call-to-action button placed in the bottom center, which features a bunny icon and the words “Follow the Magic.”

It enhances the sort of fantastical feel of the footage, making you feel like you’re about to step into a fairytale.

Humboldt County follow CTA button

What’s more, once you click into that CTA, the website turns into a sort of choose-your-own-adventure game, which is a fun call-to-action path for users and encourages them to spend more time on the site.

Humboldt County adventure CTAs.

20. Uber

CTA: Sign up to drive | Start riding with Uber

Uber’s looking for two, very distinct types of people to sign up on their website: riders and drivers. Both personas are looking for totally different things, and yet, the website ties them together really well with the large video playing in the background showing Uber riders and drivers having a good time in locations all over the world.

I love the copy of the driver CTA at the top, too: It doesn’t get much more straightforward than, “Make money driving your car.” Now that’s speaking people’s language.

Uber double call to action buttons

21. Spotify

CTA: Go Premium | Play Free

As soon as you reach Spotify’s homepage, it’s pretty clear that their main goal is to attract customers who are willing to pay for a premium account, while the CTA for users to sign up for free is very much secondary.

It’s not just the headline that gives this away; it’s also the coloring of their CTA buttons. The “Go Premium” CTA is lime green, making it pop off the page, while the “Play Free” CTA is plain white and blends in with the rest of the copy on the page. This contrast ensures that visitors are drawn to the premium CTA.

Spotify call to action buttons

22. Ugmonk

CTA: Send me the coupons | I’m not interested

Exit CTAs, also known as exit intent pop-ups, are different than normal pop-ups. They detect your users’ behavior and only appear when it seems as though they’re about to leave your site. By intervening in a timely way, these pop-ups serve as a fantastic way of getting your reader’s attention while offering them a reason to stay.

Ugmonk has a great exit CTA, offering two options for users as a final plea before they leave the site. First, they offer a 15% discount on their products, followed by two options: “Yes Please: Send me the coupon” and “No Thanks: I’m not interested.” It’s super helpful that each CTA clarifies what “Yes” and “No” actually mean, and I also like that they didn’t use guilt-tripping language like “No Thanks: I hate nature” like I’ve seen on other websites. Finally, notice that the “Yes Please” button is much brighter and inviting in color than the other option.

Ugmonk call to action buttons

23. Pinterest

CTA: Continue with Facebook | Sign Up

Want to sign up for Pinterest? You have a couple of options: sign up via Facebook or via email. If you have a Facebook account, Pinterest wants you to do that first. How do I know? Aesthetically, I know because the blue Facebook CTA comes first and is much more prominent, colorful, and recognizable due to the branded logo and color. Logically, I know because if you log in through Facebook, Pinterest can pull in Facebook’s API data and get more information about you than if you log in through your email address.

Although this homepage is optimized to bring in new members, you’ll notice a very subtle CTA for folks with Pinterest accounts to log in on the top right.

Pinterest signup call to action button

24. Madewell

CTA: Take me there | What’s next?

Madewell (owned by J.Crew) has always had standout website design, taking what could be a typical ecommerce website to the next level. Their use of CTAs on their homepage is no exception.

When you first arrive on the page, you’re greeted with the headline “I’m Looking For …” followed by a category, like “Clothes That’ll Travel Anywhere.” Below this copy are two options: “Yes, Take Me There” or “Hmm… What’s Next?” The user can choose between the two CTAs to either browse clothes that are good for travel, or be taken to the next type of clothing, where they can play again.

This gamification is a great way to make your site more interesting for users who come across it without having a specific idea of where they want to look.

Madewell clothes shopping call to action buttons

25. Instagram

CTA: Download on the App Store | Get it on Google Play

Since Instagram is a mainly mobile app, you’ll see two black CTAs of equal size: one to download Instagram in Apple’s App Store, and another to download it on Google Play. The reason these CTAs are of equal caliber is because it doesn’t matter if someone downloads the app in the App Store or on Google Play … a download is a download, which is exactly what Instagram is optimizing for. If you already have Instagram, you can also click the CTA to “Log In” if you’d prefer that option, too.

Instagram signup call to action buttons

26. Barkbox

CTA: Get Started | Give a Gift

The two CTAs on Barkbox’s homepage show that the team there knows their customers: While many people visiting their site are signing up for themselves, there are a lot of people out there who want to give Barkbox as a gift. To give those people an easy path to purchase, there are two, equally sized CTAs on the page: “Get Started” and “Give a Gift.”

As an added bonus, there’s an adorable, pop-up call-to-action on the right-hand side of the screen prompting users to leave a message if they’d like. Click into it, and a small dialogue box pops up that reads, “Woof! I’m afraid our pack is not online. Please leave us a message and we’ll bark at you as soon as pawsible.” Talk about delightful copy.

Barkbox call to action buttons

27. t.c. pharma

CTA: Find out more | View products

Turns out Red Bull isn’t its own parent company: It’s owned by Thailand-based t.c. pharma, a company that makes popular energy drinks, electrolyte beverages, and functional drinks and snacks.

Its homepage features two call-to-action buttons of equal size: “Find out more” and “View products” — but it’s clear by the bright yellow color of the first button that they’d rather direct folks to “Find out more.”

t.c. pharma product info call to action buttons

28. General Assembly

CTA: View Full-Time Courses | Subscribe

As you scroll through the General Assembly website, you’ll see CTAs for various courses you may or may not want to sign up for. I’d like to point your attention to the CTA that slides in from the bottom of the page as you’re scrolling, though, which suggests that you subscribe to email updates.

Although this feels like a secondary CTA due to its location and manner, I actually think they try to sneak this in to become more of a primary CTA because it’s so much more colorful and noticeable than the CTAs for individual classes. When you create your own CTAs, try using bolder colors — even ones that clash with your regular stylings — to see if it’s effective at getting people’s attention. (Click here for a tutorial on how to add slide-in CTAs to your webpages.)

General Assembly subscribe call to action button

29. charity: water

CTA: Give by Credit Card | Give by PayPal

Charity: water’s main goal is to get people to donate money for clean water — but they can’t assume that everyone wants to pay the same way.

The CTAs featured on their homepage take a really unique approach to offering up different payment methods by pre-filling $60 into a single line form and including two equally important CTAs to pay via credit card or PayPal. Notice how both CTAs are the same size and design — this is because charity: water likely doesn’t care how you donate, as long as you’re donating.

charity: water donation call to action button

30. Hipmunk

CTA: Flights | Hotels | Cars | Packages

When you land on the Hipmunk site, your main option is to search flights. But notice there are four tabs you can flip through: flights, hotels, cars, and packages.

When you click into one of these options, the form changes so you can fill out more information. To be 100% sure you know what you’re searching for, Hipmunk placed a bright orange CTA at the far right-hand side of the form. On this CTA, you’ll see a recognizable icon of a plane next to the word “Search,” so you know for sure that you’re searching for flights, not hotels. When you’re on the hotels tab, that icon changes to a hotel icon. Same goes with cars and packages.

Hipmunk flights and hotel bookings CTA form

31. MakeMyPersona

CTA: Grab the template! | No thanks

Here’s another example of a great pop-up with multiple calls-to-action — except in this case, you’ll notice the size, color, and design of the users’ two options are very different from one another. In this case, the folks at MakeMyPersona are making the “Grab the template!” CTA much more attractive and clickable than the “No, I’m OK for now, thanks” CTA — which doesn’t even look like a clickable button.

I also like how the “no” option uses polite language. I find brands that don’t guilt-trip users who don’t want to take action to be much, much more lovable.

MakeMyPersona template download call to action button

32. TeuxDeux

CTA: Get Started for Free | Try for Free

Another example of simplistic design, TeuxDeux’s main website features one phrase and two CTA buttons.

That’s it.

Using the company’s colors, the background is just a splash of red and some black.

The CTA buttons stand out against the color and emphasize that you can try the product for free.

I like these CTAs because they show that the company understands its audience. Whenever I’m researching to-do list apps, I always want to try it before I buy it. It’s something that people are very particular about and want to test-drive. TeuxDeux’s CTAs shows that they understand this about their audience.

TeuxDeux CTA example.

33. Betabrand

CTA: Get involved

Betabrand is a clothing company that sells yoga/dress pants for women. Usually, clothing brands tend to use similar CTAs such as “Shop Now.”

However, Betabrand’s homepage CTA is unique in that it involves the audience. Here, users can vote and impact the design of new products.

This is a fun way to get the audience involved and do something different.

Betabrand homepage CTA.

34. Fabletics

CTA: Limited Edition

This Fabletics CTA uses several marketing tactics: scarcity and a holiday.

On the homepage, the brand announces a limited edition collection that’s tied to a holiday (Mother’s Day).

Additionally, the CTA uses a bright color so the CTA stands out on the simple homepage.

Fabletics limited edition CTA.

35. Ashley Stewart

CTA: Shop the Lookbook

Ashley Stewart is a clothing brand catered to plus-sized women. In this CTA, the company uses a fun design to entice website visitors. The entire collage of images looks like a behind-the-scenes camera roll, which is interesting to look at.

Additionally, the CTA copy is straight to the point, which is helpful for visitors who are looking to browse.

Ashley Stewart CTA example.

36. Amazon Music

CTA: 3 months free

This is a great example of several of the elements we’ve talked about in one CTA.

Amazon uses two strategically placed CTAs, colorful, yet simple design, and offers the product for free.

With this CTA, Amazon is promoting one of its own products and services on its homepage instead of other products listed for sale on the site.

The only message they want to get across? That you can try their product, Amazon Music, for free for three whole months. This CTA accomplishes that goal with a simple design.

Amazon Music CTA example.

37. Barnes and Noble

CTA: Shop Now

Barnes and Noble uses a simple CTA to entice visitors to shop a limited collection during the Mother’s Day holiday.

I like this CTA because the landing page design is so cohesive with the branding of the overall company.

Additionally, the graphics and the fonts are all interesting and match the brand’s messaging.

Barnes and Noble CTA.

38. Slack

CTA: Learn More | Contact Us

Slack uses beautiful, simple design on its homepage to entice visitors to click on one of the two CTA buttons.

I like this example because Slack has two CTA buttons for two different audiences. If you’re just getting started in your research, you can click “Learn More.” However, if you’re a repeat visitor and know that you want to talk to a sales person, you can click “Contact Us.”

This is a great example of serving two audiences with your CTAs on your homepage.

Slack home page CTA.

39. Nintendo

CTA: Compare Features

On Nintendo’s website, the company is focused on answering any questions a visitor might have.

In fact, one of the main CTAs is “Compare Features.” With this CTA, Nintendo answers one of their most popular questions because they understand that many visitors are still doing their research before purchasing a product.

Nintendo CTA example.

There you have it. By now, we hope you can see just how important little CTA tweaks can be.

Full Disclosure: We don’t have data to know if these are all scientifically successful, but these examples all follow our best practices. If you decide to recreate these CTAs on your site, please remember to test to see if they work for your audience.

Want more CTA design inspiration? Check out some of our favorite HubSpot call-to-action examples.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in June 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

How to Live Stream Successfully: A Preparation Checklist for Marketers

Raise your hand if you’d rather watch a video to learn something new than read about it.

Go ahead — you’re not alone. 59% of executives say they’d rather watch a video than read text, too. And really, that number makes sense — we are a society of video streamers. (I mean, hello, Netflix.)

But if you’re not sure how to run a live stream event on social media, fear not. We’re here to make sure you don’t just hit the “Live” button on Facebook and stare at the camera like a deer in headlights. Instead, we’ve come up with a comprehensive checklist to help you plan your first — or next — live stream. 

How Live Streaming Works

Live streaming is a way to broadcast your events to an online audience. It’s a digital alternative to something like selling tickets to an in-person event and allows you to reach people near and far with live video.

Brands use live streaming for a few different reasons, but according to a Brandlive survey, 74% of businesses used it to engage with their consumer base. So instead of being the proverbial “man behind the curtain,” you’re allowing viewers to put a face (or faces) to your organization’s name, all in real time.

Live streaming can be used for a number of different event types, as well. Everyone from the White House to fashion houses to chefs have live-streamed videos of economy briefings, runway shows, and cooking demos, respectively. Here at HubSpot, we’ve used it for things like interviews with thought leaders. So feel free to be creative — just make sure you’ve got your bases covered.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Live Streaming

When you’re ready to start learning how to live stream successfully, follow these steps:

1. Plan your live stream like you would any other event.

Think about some of the most popular talk shows. Can you imagine if the guests, sets, lighting, and schedules for something like “The Tonight Show” weren’t planned in advance? To say the least, it might be chaotic.

You’ll want to put the same thought and due diligence into your live stream that you’d put into an in-person event of its kind. And you’ll want to have your goals in mind as you begin to make those plans; those will dictate a lot of the logistics.

Who

Knowing your target audience will determine a few pieces of the planning process. If it includes an international population, that should factor into the date and time of your stream — be sure to think about time zones or holidays that might not be top-of-mind in your home country.

What

Then, think of what category your live stream falls into, and create a title for your event. In case you don’t find any of the above examples fitting to your business, we’ve got some ideas for ways businesses can use live videos.

HubSpot’s Social Media Marketing Manager, Chelsea Hunersen, stresses the importance of thoroughly researching the topic of your live stream in advance.

“Decide important points or stats to hit,” she says. And if you’re going to feature guests, “designate a moderator/host who can make sure these points are hit and can wrap up the conversation if necessary.”

Where

The platform you use (which we’ll get to in a bit) can also be dependent on who you want to view the stream. Different audiences use different channels, so you’ll want to pick the one that’s most likely to draw the crowd you want.

Finally, pick an optimal location from which you’ll broadcast your stream. Consumers have a low tolerance for a bad stream, watching for at most 90 seconds if the connection is spotty or poor-quality, so make sure your setting is conducive to a positive viewing experience. Does it have good lighting? Is it prone to a lot of noise? Is there a chance that your dog walker will barge in yelling, “Who’s a good boy?” loud enough for the entire audience to hear? (Not that that’s happened to me.)

Think of these contingencies, then pick a streaming venue that insulates you from them.

2. Choose your platform.

Here’s where you’ll really need to have your goals in mind since different platforms can achieve different things.

YouTube Live

YouTube Live Events tend to have “two goals,” says Megan Conley, HubSpot’s Content Marketing Strategist. “Registrants and attendees.”

So, if you’re looking to boost revenue — which 75% of marketing professionals are using video to do — YouTube Live is one of the best platforms to use.

Here’s how that works. First, if you don’t have one already, you’ll need to create an account on Google, which you’ll then use to create one on YouTube.

Once that’s done, you can use YouTube’s Live Streaming Events dashboard to schedule a future stream — just click on “Enable live streaming,” if you haven’t already set it up.

YouTube requires a 24-hour buffer between the time that you enable live streaming and your first live. Once that 24-hour period is up, all you have to do is log into your YouTube Studio.

Then, click the “Create” button in the top right corner.

Screenshot of YouTube Create Button

This will prompt a drop-down that asks you to choose between uploading a video or going live. Choose “Go live.”

Screenshot of YouTube's Go Live Button

YouTube will then prompt you to complete some basic info such as its title and what age group the video is made for. You’ll also need to decide if you’re going live right away or scheduling it for a certain time. 

Screenshot of YouTube Live Information

After that, you’ll need to indicate if you want your event to be public or private — here’s where you’ll decide how you want to use your live stream to generate leads.

Screenshot of YouTube Live Privacy Settings

The Unlisted option accomplishes two things:

  1. I’ll be able to generate a link that attendees will get only after they fill out a registration form.
  2. It won’t stream directly onto my YouTube page.

Once you’re done, click “Next” You will be asked to smile to take a thumbnail, so make sure you’re camera-ready. From there, you have the option to “Go Live” or “Share” your content.

Screenshot of YouTube's Share Option

Click “Share,” and that will generate your event’s URL. As I mentioned above, you can keep that behind a landing page where attendees fill out a form to register.

Conley says that, generally, this type of live stream is embedded on a thank-you page behind a landing page form. 

If you use the HubSpot COS, all you’ll need is the link, and the system will generate the embed code for you.

Insert Media

Create Embed Code

Just click “insert media,” paste the link you copied from YouTube, and you’re done.

If embedding isn’t an option, you can still just put a link there — the embed code just creates a seamless design that you can place right on your thank-you page. Either way, be sure to use the thank-you page as a place to remind your attendees of the date and time of the event.

There’s also the option to make your YouTube Live Event completely open to the public. That’s a good option, Conley says, for a major event that you “want anyone and everyone to be able to find.” But if you make your stream public, she points out, make sure you use the event to promote gated content you want your audience to download.

“An image CTA would do,” she notes, as would holding up clearly printed short links throughout the stream (Make sure you have those printed out in advance!). In the image above, you’ll also see that you can add a message to your video — you can mention your gated content there, too. 

Facebook

Facebook Live has been making quite a few headlines lately, and businesses stand to benefit from it — Facebook Live videos produce 6 times as many interactions as traditional videos.

Even without pre-registration, you can definitely promote streams on this platform in advance, which we’ll touch on later. In the meantime, if you haven’t used it before, check out my colleague Lindsay Kolowich’s overview of Facebook Live.

The interface for Facebook has recently changed, so you’ll have an easier time live streaming from your mobile Facebook app

Depending on your device, you may see the “Live” option right under the Composer when you open the app. Alternatively, you may need to click “Create Post” at the top of your News Feed, then select the three horizontal dots in the Composer. 

Screenshot of Facebook Composer Live Button

You’ll have a chance to write a comment about your video. Once you’ve done that, you can select “Go Live” in the bottom left corner. 

Screenshot of Facebook Start Live Video

Instagram Live

You can also live stream on Instagram. With Instagram Live, a functionality in the Instagram Stories feature, you’re able to broadcast video streams and save the replay to your Stories. Users are able to engage through likes and comments during the stream. 

This is a great platform for live streaming since Instagram Stories are used by 500 million users per day, and one-third of most-viewed Stories are from businesses. 

Keep in mind that you cannot post to Instagram from your browser, so open the mobile Instagram app to begin your live stream. Then, select the camera icon in the top left corner next to the Instagram logo. 

Screenshot of Instagram Live Camera Icon

At the bottom of the camera viewer is a menu that scrolls horizontally. Select “Live.”

Screenshot of Instagram Live Camera Viewer Live Button

The shutter button will change to a broadcast icon. This will immediately take you live if you tap it, so make sure you’re camera ready. 

Screenshot of Instagram Live Broadcast Button

 

Twitter Live

Twitter’s advantage is that you can easily share and promote content to a large audience, even if you don’t have a large following. In addition, hot topics spread more quickly than other media outlets. 

If you want to hit the ground running and generate buzz, Twitter is a great choice. However, you cannot go live on Twitter from your browser, so open the mobile Twitter app when you’re ready to start your broadcast. 

Once there, open the Tweet composer by clicking the button with the feather and plus sign. 

Screenshot of Instagram Tweet Composer Button

Select the camera icon. 

Screenshot of Twitter Camera Icon

At the bottom of the camera viewer is the choice between “Capture” and “Live.” Choose “Live.” 

Screenshot of Twitter Capture and Live Options

The shutter button will be replaced with a button that says “Go Live.” This will immediately take you live, so make sure that you have everything set up before pressing it. 

Screenshot of Twitter Go Live Button

TikTok

Since 2018, TikTok has had major buzz as the newest big player in the social media game as a platform for short-form videos. While TikTok’s audience trends younger with 41% of users between 16-24 years old, more people and brands are taking to the platform, as evidenced by its place as the fourth most downloaded app in 2018. 

One big drawback is that you can only go live on TikTok if you have 1,000 followers. For accounts where this isn’t a problem, here’s how to broadcast live: 

Open your TikTok mobile app and select the plus sign at the bottom of the screen. 

Then, enter the title of your stream and select “start.” 

It’s that easy!

The live streaming options certainly don’t end there. Major brands have also used platforms like Periscope, Livestream, and Twitch. They all have their own sets of features and advantages, so definitely take the time to look into which one best suits your needs.

3. Choose your equipment.

When it comes to the actual hardware required for your live stream, some of it is fairly intuitive: A camera is pretty standard, for example, or a device with one installed (like a laptop or phone).

But if you do use your phone, Conley says, be sure to use a tripod. “There’s nothing worse than recording a Facebook Live and having your arm start to fall asleep five minutes into the recording,” she advises. “Use a phone tripod to give your live streaming a professional look.”

Consider how professional you want your sound quality to be, too. Your camera might have its own microphone, but if your setting is more prone to noise, body mics might not be a bad idea, either.

And when you’re using an external camera, says Hunersen, you’ll also need some sort of encoding software (Facebook has a great step-by-step guide to that). That’s what converts the camera footage into a format that your streaming platform understands and can broadcast to viewers. The software you use might depend on your budget, but to get started, check out this one from Adobe.

Also, think about setting up a professional backdrop, like one with your logo. That can help to brand your videos and give them some visual consistency, which is a particularly good practice if you plan to do a lot of live streaming in the future.

Want to take that a step further? “Set up a makeshift studio in your office to speed up the prep time for all of your future recordings,” Conley says. “A beautiful, branded backdrop could be just what your Facebook Live needs to help grab the attention of someone quickly scrolling through their News Feed.”

4. Promote your live stream.

Congratulations! You’ve now completed a lot of the major planning and setup for your live stream. Now, how do you get people to watch it?

As we’ve covered, using a landing page is a good way to get enrollment on a platform like Hangouts On Air (or, as of September 12th, YouTube Live). Here’s an example of how we recently used one at HubSpot:

HubSpot_CRO_Hangout.png

There’s a clear CTA here — “View The Video” — which, when clicked, takes the visitor to a registration form. (And check out this rundown of which channels drive the best conversion rates — it’s got some tips on getting people to your landing page in the first place.)

Form-2.png

Once someone fills out the form on your landing page, it should lead them to a thank-you page, where you can share some promotional information about the live stream.

HubSpot’s Co-Marketing Demand Generation Manager, Christine White, suggests creating a “Next Steps” section here with actionable items like “add this event to your calendar” and “check back here on [the date of your event]” to remind viewers that’s where they’ll go to view the live stream.

And once you have contact information for your registrants, Conley reminds us, “you can email the people on that list on the day of, and remind them when it’s going to go live.”

FB_Live_Promo.png

But to promote your Facebook Live stream, says Conley, “It’s really about doing a social image and spreading the word that you are going live at a specific time.”

Don’t rule out using social media to promote live streams on other platforms, too. Some of them, like YouTube, allow you to link your social accounts and push content in multiple places. And if your guests are active on social media, leverage that by including links to their handles in any related content, and ask them to promote the event with their own networks.

5. Do a dry run.

There’s a reason why we do dress rehearsals. When I was in a high school show choir — a humiliating but factual piece of history — it was to make sure I didn’t trip over my dance partner in high-heeled tap shoes.

In the world of live streaming, though, we do dry runs to avoid more technical, but equally embarrassing, missteps. Improv can be hilarious, but not when it means you’re verbally unprepared or your equipment stops working and you don’t have a backup plan.

6. Prep any guest speakers.

Is there anything worse than a moment of awkward, dumbfounded silence?

As part of your dry run, make sure your guests are prepared for any questions they might be asked. Don’t over-rehearse, but do what you can to prevent catching them off-guard.

“It may help to give some questions in advance to a potential guest,” says Hunersen, “but save some follow-up or in-depth questions for on-air, so that you’re able to let them be both prepared and react in the moment.”

7. Test your audio and internet connection.

You might want people to talk about your live stream, but not if all they’re going to say is, “We can’t hear you.” Make sure all of your audio equipment is working both during your dry run and on the day of the stream. Having an extra microphone and batteries on hand probably won’t hurt, either.

Make sure your network can handle a live stream, too. If you’re streaming high quality video, for example, you’ll need both a wire connection and a 3G/4G wireless connection, according to Cleeng.

In other words, make sure your WiFi is working, but also, “grab an ethernet cord,” says Conley. “One thing you can’t help is if your internet connection unexpectedly goes out.”

We know — even the sound of “ethernet” seems terribly old school. But if your WiFi suddenly drops, you’ll be glad you busted that cord out of storage.

8. Set up social media monitoring.

One great thing about live streaming is your audience’s ability to join the conversation and comment in real time. 

Juliana Nicholson, Sr. Marketing Manager at HubSpot, advises to “Have a plan for audience engagement. Know when and how you plan to incorporate audience feedback and Q&As and then clearly communicate that information to your attendees.” This will make it so much easier to encourage participation.

But that’s not all you should do with regard to engagement. If you’ve watched any Facebook Live feed, you’ve seen that the comments roll in fast. So while it’s awesome to invite and answer viewer questions, it can be overwhelming, especially if you personalize your responses.

That’s why it’s a great idea to dedicate someone to monitoring social media, comments, and questions during the live feed.

That task can be made a bit easier with something like a branded hashtag created specifically for this live stream. For platforms with built-in comment feeds, for example, you can ask your viewers to preface any questions with it — that can help qualify what needs to be answered.

You could even take that a step further and use the hashtag throughout the planning process, making sure to include it on your landing page, thank-you page, and promotional messages leading up to the event. That helps to create buzz around the live stream. And if you use HubSpot’s Social Inbox, here’s a great place to take advantage of its monitoring feature, which lets you prioritize and reply to social messages based on things like keywords or hashtags. 

After Your Live Stream

It’s always nice to follow up with your attendees after your live stream has ended. Thank them for their time, give them a head’s up about your next event, and invite them to download a piece of relevant content. If you’ve followed these steps, you’ve probably done a great job of using your live stream to generate leads, so keep up the momentum and nurture them

5 Lessons Learned After One Month of Virtual Events | Field Marketing

It’s no secret that this is a challenging time for field marketers and event marketers. By now, we’re all well aware that we need to pivot from in-person to virtual events – but knowing how to get there and how to achieve your desired result is easier said than done.

For those who specialize in events, trade shows, or field activities, making the pivot from in-person to virtual events is likely unchartered territory. Many of us are figuring it out as we go, experimenting with new technologies, and learning how to fail fast.

We’re over a month into our new reality, and our field marketing team has launched six virtual events. To help as you continue to pivot from in-person to virtual events, I’m sharing the top five lessons we’ve learned so far.

Always Have a Plan B…and a Plan C

Our day-to-day reality is changing fast, and when it comes to events, there are a lot of factors that are outside of our control. What might seem like a fool-proof idea today, could be almost impossible to execute by tomorrow. Having backup plans in place is critical for success.

When we canceled one of our in-person dining experiences, our Plan B was to host the event virtually by having a celebrity chef livestream a fully produced cooking class from a studio kitchen. As part of that experience, we would also send the attendees meal kits to cook along with the chef.

Shortly after launching, the shelter in place orders went into effect in New York City, taking studio production and meal kit assembly off the table. We then had to pivot to Plan C – having the chef film the video herself in her own kitchen, selecting a recipe that focused on pantry staples, and sending gift cards to all attendees to buy the necessary ingredients.

While the meal kits would have been a nice touch and a studio-produced video might have had more polish, the end result still allows us to connect with our customers in a meaningful way.

Shelve the Presentations

If your inbox is anything like mine, you’re receiving multiple webinar invites every day. While I still think webinars are an important tactic and content is (and always will be) king, what we’ve found our customers really want right now is an experience.

In fact, I’ve watched registration for some of our virtual experiences fill up twice as fast as our previous in-person events.

According to Forbes, the scheduling platform Doodle has seen a “296% increase in group meetings for virtual-only happy hours, cocktail hours, wine/beer/drink social events,” and a “100% increase in group meetings booked for virtual-only yoga, dance, exercise, workout, fitness, aerobics, and Pilates sessions.”

Consider swapping your next content-led event for a hands-on virtual experience, like a baking class, wine tasting, or craft workshop. You can still insert your messaging by having an executive speak at the top of the event or asking your sales reps to interact with customers on video or in a live chat.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes

Launching an event that isn’t 100 percent planned might make you nervous, but I’m here to tell you to just do it. You need to move quickly in times of change.

Once you have an “MVP” (minimum viable product), go ahead and launch. Put your event out into the market to see how your customers are receiving the idea. Take note of what’s resonating and what’s not, and use that feedback to continuously adapt.

With some of our initial virtual events, we started small by targeting our “MVP” to a single market. We then gathered the feedback from internal and external stakeholders on how that event was resonating with customers. Once we were able to incorporate some of that feedback, we then expanded our efforts to target a larger, regional audience.

Along those same lines, don’t be afraid to try something different. Times of constraint can breed creativity. Not every idea will result in a home run, but as long as you’re failing fast, you’ll be able to continuously improve.

(Over) Communicate and Collaborate

As our team continues to pivot from in-person to virtual events, we’re noticing that some of our field marketing efforts are overlapping with other teams’ campaigns.

We’ve learned that it’s imperative to collaborate with other marketing teams to ensure we aren’t duplicating efforts. We also know that we share an audience with our entire marketing organization, so we need to be mindful that we aren’t overwhelming our customers with too many offers.

Since most people are working remotely right now, make sure you have the appropriate channels in place to facilitate an open, continuous dialogue with your marketing counterparts, and don’t be afraid to over communicate. This could look like a group chat forum or a daily standup via video conference.

In our case, we’ve increased communications in our internal Slack channel with our demand generation team. This has allowed us to quickly relay event dates, share marketing lists, and communicate updates as events evolve.

Test Everything

Without onsite IT support or your typical office setup, prepping technology for a virtual event can be a daunting task. While testing our new platforms, we’ve found numerous issues that could have derailed our events if left undiscovered.

If your event involves external speakers, I cannot stress enough the importance of testing. Test the technology on your own first, and once you have a feel for it, loop in your internal colleagues to simulate the actual experience. Finally, invite your outside speakers for testing.

This might seem like a lot of testing for one event, but making sure everyone is comfortable with the technology will ensure everything runs smoothly on the day of the event.

To learn more about how our field marketing team is making the pivot from in-person to virtual events, listen to Adobe’s Head of Commercial Field Marketing and our Senior Field Marketing Strategist share Marketo’s overall strategy in the on-demand webinar From In-person to Digital: Shifting Your Event Strategy.

The post 5 Lessons Learned After One Month of Virtual Events | Field Marketing appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.

Is SEO Really Recession-Proof?

I have seen a lot of “It’s the best time to invest in SEO!” chatter on the socials. The Rt value of that message is definitely >1 in this industry, and it is certainly in my interest to believe it. But is it true or just the usual self-serving rap boast by a profession that thinks itself the most gangsta in all of digital marketing? Oh sorry, that’s the affiliate marketers…

In 2008, at the height of the Vampire Squid craze, my consulting business grew by something like 25%. I was a solo practitioner at the time with a modest number of clients, so all it took was a few new ones to grow like that. I assume it was a good investment for our clients (some are actually still with us!), but is past performance an indication of the future?

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PPC IS NOT PPE?

We have certainly seen many clients pause their PPC campaigns. The ease of setting them up works in reverse after all. One of the reasons we have not as an agency embraced PPC is that it can make clients feel like you had your hand in their pocket every day.

But SEO is such a longer-term game than PPC, or even Social (which can require brands to spend time actually building some kind of relationship with customers), so why would companies that are furloughing and laying off employees invest in something that is not going to show immediate results?

      1. For many businesses there are no immediate results to be had.
        It’s hard to buy demand that isn’t there, but what about demand down the road? Last week we got contacted by a small hotel in Baja. They have no business now, but were planning on adding more rooms by the end of the year and knew they would need their SEO issues solved by the time the economy came back if they wanted to make it. Same with the event venue in Brooklyn that was under construction when shelter-in-place started. If you are in “about to open” mode, SEO is one of the few digital marketing investments that makes sense at the moment. It’s a bet on the future (which tends to be a good bet, even if the odds of an actual future keep getting lower).

      2. Now you really don’t want to screw up your SEO
        When most things in your business are not going great, the last thing you want to do is to make them worse. As those of us who have been plying the SEO trade for way too long know there are many more ways to destroy your organic traffic than there are to grow it. We are seeing a lot of businesses using the current slowdown as an opportunity to redesign, replatform, rebrand, etc.

        There’s a reason this is the hero image for our SEO for Website Redesigns page:

        And this is the hero image for our SEO for Domain Name Changes page:

      3. Not Being Prepared For The Future Is How We Got Here In The First Place
        If you are the kind of business leader who guts your ability to fight pandemics two years before you have the worst pandemic in the past century, you may not care about what your business will look like two years from now. But if you are used to spending a large part of your marketing budget buying customers via clicks, you now are in the midst of a grand experiment about how powerless you are when that budget goes away.

        SEO, for all its frustrations as a reliable marketing channel, is one of the few that keeps paying off over the long term, like compounding interest. Hopefully we may all be able to emerge from our shelters this summer, but it seems highly likely next winter we could be in a similar situation. Even though the economy has slowed down, people are still buying stuff, just not as much of it. In times of lower demand and limited ad budgets, it’s probably not a bad idea to be ranking at the top of Google for your $ terms. And that takes time.

I am not saying everyone should plow what’s left of their marketing funds into SEO. And rereading this, it does seem like I am a bit too proud of all them Benjamins flapping around back there. I don’t know whether or not SEO is recession proof. But what the great master himself said nearly four years ago is still true today:

And for those of you interested in chatting about doing SEO during a recession, please join BayAreaSearch.org’s free webinar on April 30th. Details at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bayareasearchorgs-april-seo-virtual-meetup-on-zoom-tickets-102230269488

The post Is SEO Really Recession-Proof? appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

A note from our CEO, Richard Hanscott

Our ability to change has perhaps never been so important. Every organisation is having to think fast and make changes to cope with the severe challenges that the coronavirus pandemic has created. I am reaching out today to reiterate our commitment to you, our customers, and to provide a few examples of different industry responses to this situation and how we are helping to keep their customers engaged.

While this remains a developing situation, Text Marketer continues to operate as normal. We are fortunate to be a cloud-based business with a strong Business Continuity Plan, and as such, we have been able to quickly change the way we work in response to the situation. This means that all of our staff can work effectively and safely from home, while providing you with the quality service that you expect and deserve.  

We believe that the role of communication is more essential now than it has ever been. Everything that has gone before has now changed and people are having to adapt to this new normal. The role that your business can play in this new life, very much depends on your ability to communicate. While many businesses are understandably focused on continuity, this moment is also about innovation. To adapt to an unprecedented and highly changeable environment, businesses need to be thinking in new and different ways – communicate in formats that they have never before considered. 

Over the past few weeks we have worked with a wide range of businesses to communicate with their customers. To share not only that these businesses are still trading, but how they have innovated and changed to continue to provide value to their customers. 

“We believe that the role of communication is more essential now than it has ever been”

RICHARD HANSCOTT – CHIEF EXECUTIVE, TEXT MARKETER

With a drop in footfall and enforced store closures many retailers have concentrated on driving traffic to their online stores and adapting their delivery processes to be in-line with government regulations and keep all of their customers safe. 

An example includes retailers sending a text message to customers to alert them that a product on their customers’ wishlist has come back into stock or that a new delivery date has become available. This kind of personalised messaging helps to support customers in a more unique way, than if the retailer were to post the updates on social media for example. The message could get lost in the noise on a social platform and also presents more steps to purchase for the customer. By using a text message, the retailer can be sure that they’re targeting the right customer, with the right message at the right time and hopefully ensure they are more likely to convert.

With the mandatory closure of all restaurants, pubs and cafes the hospitality industry have had to move quickly to feed the nation with delicious, freshly cooked meals, delivered safely to the doorstep. Sending customers a personalised message to explain that their favourite restaurant now provides home deliveries has been critical.

A fantastic example of these businesses using SMS is around safe and secure delivery. A text message can be sent to alert the customer that their takeaway is just 5 minutes away and inform them that the delivery driver will ring their doorbell and leave their order on their doorstep. This ensures that the customer remains fully informed. Text messages have an average open rate of 95%, meaning that the customer will be alerted almost immediately to their food’s imminent arrival. 

With schools being closed for the majority of the nation’s children, the communication between educators and parents has never been more important. The variety of ways in which teachers have continued to communicate and support students and parents has been vital to ensure that education can continue at home.

An example includes teachers sending an SMS survey to parents, to understand how the students are getting on with their homework, ensure the student’s mental health isn’t suffering and enable them to make tailored communications with the student going-forwards. This is often sent on a Friday to help design the following week’s lesson plan. Sending the survey by text means that teachers can quickly receive feedback, with an average 90% response rate. 

We hope that these examples can provide some inspiration, support and confidence in your own business and understand how you too can continue to navigate this changing situation. 

Before signing off, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our real-life heroes in the NHS. Never has our healthcare system needed more help than right now and we are grateful to be able to support their work, if even in a small way. As such, we are offering all healthcare providers, sending emergency communications, 1000 free message credits and full account management support. So if this affects you, please contact us and we will work alongside you to get your messages up and running. 

I reiterate that we are here for you all and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our many communication experts info@textmarketer.co.uk.

Stay safe

Richard Hanscott

CEO, Text Marketer

The post A note from our CEO, Richard Hanscott appeared first on Textmarketer.

#32: AAdvantage and American Airlines – Caring for Loyal Customers Through Challenging Times

As President of the AAdvantage Program and Vice President of Customer Loyalty and Insights at American Airlines, Bridget Blaise-Shamai leads a team of over 700 loyalty and customer service professionals running one of the world’s most popular loyalty programs.

Founded in 1981, the American Airlines Advantage program boasts almost 40 years of expertise with a clear intention to continually delight customers — even during this current quarantine when so many of us cannot travel.

Bridget (who I am delighted has Irish heritage) shares how American Airlines is focusing on destination inspiration, exciting options to enjoy ground-based rewards, as well as innovative “lifetime status” opportunities in order to keep customers engaged. Plus some of the key lessons she and her team have learned along the way.

[Editor’s Note: If you are reading this and you serve a market that you feel like we are not covering adequately, then please reach out to submissions@thewisemarketer.com. We welcome ambassadors from the professional loyalty marketing / customer loyalty industry that are willing to participate. We can give your “local insights” a “global platform”. Thanks for reading.]

Last week’s episode: #31: Innovative Ideas and Emerging Tech in Loyalty

The post #32: AAdvantage and American Airlines – Caring for Loyal Customers Through Challenging Times appeared first on The Wise Marketer – Featured News on Customer Loyalty and Reward Programs.

How Responsive Web Design Works

It’s no secret that more and more people are accessing the internet using their mobile devices in addition to or in place of desktop computers. In fact, there are almost 7 billion mobile users worldwide. (For reference, the world population is currently 7.7 billion. That’s a lot of mobile activity.)

But what they’re doing on those mobile devices is even more compelling for marketers like us.

40% of consumers use their mobile device to conduct research prior to making an in-person purchase. More than half routinely make purchases using their smartphones, and 55% of shoppers make mobile purchases after finding products on social media.

As a result, companies that have responsive websites generate more leads and maintain an increasing competitive advantage over companies that don’t.

But what exactly is responsive website design, how does it work, and why should you make the switch? This guide sets out to answer those questions, offer some compelling statistics, and teach you the key features of responsive design all marketers should know about. Let’s get started.

 

Responsive web design is no longer a suggestion — it’s a critical investment to build your brand awareness, diversify your user experience (UX), and convert more site visitors. 

It also saves your business valuable time. You can’t possibly design a separate website for each potential device your visitors may use — not to mention future technologies. Responsive web design ensures your website is compatible with all devices and screens to ensure a delightful experience … both modern-day devices and those yet to be invented.

Let’s dig more into why responsive design is so important nowadays.

 

Why Responsive Web Design is Important

Responsive design allows you to reach a broader, more engaged audience wherever and however they choose to browse.

More importantly, a lack of responsive web design can do the opposite — it can alienate your website from customers looking for an engaging mobile experience. In fact, research shows that you can lose up to 90% of your potential customers due to a poor mobile-friendly experience.

That’s a lot of customers — and revenue.

Let’s unpack three major benefits of responsive web design.

1. Responsive web design helps consumers discover your website.

A lot of people access Google on their mobile devices — 63%, in fact. Google also penalizes websites that don’t offer a responsive design. Its mobile-first indexing can actually impact how your website ranks and can cause it to be bumped down on search engine results pages (SERPs) in favor of websites that offer consumers a mobile-friendly design.

So, if the majority of your audience is searching on their smartphone (as the above statistic says), and your website doesn’t feature a responsive design, customers may not find your website at all.

2. Responsive web design keeps shoppers on your website longer.

Website bounce rates on smartphones are almost 40% (compared to only 27% for tablets). Also, a web page that loads in five seconds or less guarantees 70% longer viewing sessions. 

Mobile users expect quick, high-quality website experiences (so does Google) — expectations that you can meet with a responsive website design. (Use our Website Grader to see how your site performs.)

3. Responsive web design builds positive brand recognition and trust with consumers.

Finally, 57% of consumers say they’re not likely to recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile website. The same report shows that more than half of online shoppers who are disappointed by a business’s online presence are likely to think negatively about the business itself. 

Responsive website design delights online shoppers, encourages them to recommend your business, and brings them back to buy more.

 

How to Make a Responsive Web Design

It is possible to make your own responsive website using CSS and HTML. But this is like taking lengthy backroads when an expressway is available. In this case, the expressway would be a content management system (CMS) or a website builder. 

A CMS is a software that allows you to build your website without knowing how to code — and that includes knowing how to code for responsive design. Site builders are similar tools, but they give up some functionality offered by a CMS in exchange for ease of use and lower pricing.

Responsive web design can be achieved using either a CMS or site builder that facilitate responsive designs. Here are a few common choices.

1. CMS Hub

CMS Hub is a fully-hosted, fully-integrated CMS. It connects to your other HubSpot tools so you can present a unified marketing, sales, service, and site browsing experience for your visitors, customers, and employees.

In terms of your site building experience, CMS Hub offers pre-built website themes that are also mobile-optimized to meet your visitors and customers wherever and however they’re browsing.

how to make a responsive web design cms hub

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2. WordPress

WordPress is the world’s most popular CMS and maintains this superlative by offering one of the most straightforward website builders — the Gutenberg editor.

WordPress offers thousands of themes and templates to start with, including numerous templates with responsive design. (Find more responsive WordPress themes here and here, too.)

how to make a responsive web design wordpress

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Note: Once you’ve set up a theme for your WordPress website, engage and convert your visitors with free forms, live chat, email marketing, and analytics by adding HubSpot’s WordPress plugin.

3. Squarespace

Squarespace is a popular site builder that offers gorgeous site designs and creative tools. 

Squarespace offers 60 mobile-optimized templates from which you can choose to quickly build your site. Within the Squarespace editor, you can also transition from desktop to tablet to mobile view to ensure your designs seamlessly respond to different devices.

how to make a responsive web design squarespace

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4. Wix

Wix is another site builder that offers free and paid website subscriptions. It provides an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor, free hosting, and security features.

All Wix templates provide a mobile-optimized experience for visitors. Like Squarespace, the Wix editor allows you to see how your website looks on multiple devices.

how to make a responsive web design wix

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In addition to creating a responsive web design using one of the above CMS tools or site builders, read this blog post to learn how to optimize your website for mobile use, too. 

 

Responsive Web Design Best Practices

With an intuitive CMS or site builder, responsive design is easy. But even if you’re using the very best CMS, it can’t compensate for mobile-friendly content and media — that part is up to you. Let’s talk about some responsive web design best practices to help you create the most mobile-friendly web experience for your visitors and customers.

1. Don’t neglect your buttons.

What do you want site visitors to do when they land on your website? Take action, right? This could be by clicking a call-to-action (CTA) like Learn More, Download, or even Buy.

How do site visitors interact with these buttons when on your desktop site? If these CTAs pop up, scroll, or are located at the bottom of your web page, you may need to reevaluate how mobile visitors can access these.

For example, let’s say you offer a main CTA like Get HubSpot Free at the top of your desktop site where visitors can see if from every page.

responsive web design best practices hubspot

When you view your mobile site, however, it doesn’t fit into the header. Instead of removing it altogether, consider moving the button or including it in your hamburger menu (the three lines in the top corner), where visitors can still see and click it.

responsive design best practices hubspot mobile

In addition, consider the size of clickable areas on your mobile site. Unlike a desktop, where visitors can use a mouse cursor to click buttons and links, they’re using fingers to navigate your website on their smartphone or tablet.

It’s recommended that clickable elements on mobile devices be at least 48 pixels in height. This includes buttons, form fields, inline links, and menu navigation.

2. Use scalable vector graphics.

If your website includes illustrations or icons, they should be formatted as scalable vector graphics (SVGs).

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SVGs can be scaled infinitely, unlike other media formats like JPGs and PNGs. This ensures your website provides a high-quality browsing experience for users on any device. They also help your site load faster — which we’ve already discussed is a good thing for user experience and SERP rankings.

3. Make sure your images scale.

Illustrations and icons aren’t the only media type changing size on varying devices. Your images have to scale, too. 

For example, desktop websites may require images at 1200 pixels, whereas mobile websites may need those at 400 pixels. Using the larger resolution on all devices can slow down your page speed, so that approach isn’t recommended.

responsive web design best practices scalable images

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Instead, consider uploading different image resolutions and designating which image you want to display on each device. This is typically achieved by assigning different “media” tags to specific “source” objects (e.g. tablet or mobile) in your website code.

Note: HubSpot enables automatic image resizing on content — yet another reason to build your responsive website on CMS Hub!

4. Consider your typography.

A font that looks gorgeous on your desktop site may not read so well on a mobile device that’s a quarter of the size. If visitors can’t read your website, they certainly won’t click on or buy anything. 

responsive web design best practices typography

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Alternatively, revolving your website fonts around the mobile experience can leave your desktop users with ugly words that are too big and clash with your branding.

Here’s our best advice for typography on responsive web design:

  • 16pt body type is the rule of thumb for desktop and mobile web content.

  • Avoid uber thin fonts that fade away on smaller screens.

  • Make sure all headings are clearly larger than body and subheading content.

  • Use contrasting colors for your typography so it doesn’t fade into your website background colors.

5. Take advantage of device features.

While prospects and customers can’t call you over their computers, they definitely can on their smartphones. Consider changing your “Chat Now!” CTA to “Call Now!” and include your business phone number in lieu of email.

Additionally, if your business has a mobile application, prompt site visitors to open your app from your website — something they might not be able to do on their computers.

6. Test your website often.

As always, test your responsive website on different devices and browsers. Check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see how your site performs.

This handy tool by Matt Kersley will also provide a peek at your website on different sized devices. You can, of course, use your own mobile devices, too.

 

Responsive Web Design Templates

The best way to ensure your website has a responsive design is to start with a responsive web design template. Below are five gorgeous templates available on HubSpot Asset Marketplace that will give your site visitors a mobile-friendly browsing experience.

Get access to thousands of templates with HubSpot Marketing Professional.

1. DjanGo Responsive Design Template

Price: $200

django responsive web design template

The DjanGo template is a fully-customizable and responsive site template. Its modern, minimalist design allows visitors to focus on your site content and product information. 

2. Prodigy Responsive Design Template

Price: Free

prodigy responsive web design template

The Prodigy template is a clean website template that reaches your audience with bright media and multiple CTAs. It automatically converts its design to fit any device used by your site visitors.

3. Quantum Responsive Design Template

Price: $75

quantum responsive web design template

The Quantum template is a multi-purpose theme that captures your audience with bold headings and a video background. Customize your site with a variety of page layouts and custom modules.

4. Kalahari Responsive Design Template

Price: $199

kalahari responsive web design template

The Kalahari template is a responsive theme that offers dynamic navigation and customization at the page level. Use this template to convert your audience with bright, standout CTAs.

5. Startup Framework Responsive Design Template

Price: Free

startup framework responsive web design template

The Startup Framework template is a unique website template with bold typography and bright graphics. Build it natively within HubSpot’s content editor and choose from thousands of icons and dozens of custom modules.

Respond to Your Audience with Responsive Design

With so many consumers shopping and browsing on their mobile devices, responsive design is an absolute must-have. Without it, you could be missing out on leads, customers, and revenue.

Use these tools, templates, and best practices to get started with responsive web design today.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2014 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.