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    The A to Z Glossary of Online Marketing

    Last updated 9 months ago

    When reading about different tactics and strategies you can use to help boost your online marketing, you may run across some terms you may not be familiar with or don’t know exactly what they mean. In order to help you out, here’s a list – from A to Z – of some of the common terms you should know to keep you at the top of your game. 

    Ads: Online ads are paid advertisements that display your message to people searching (text ads), surfing (display ads), and socializing (Facebook and Twitter ads) on the Web.

    Blog: A blog is an online journaling platform that individuals, companies, brands, and organizations use to publish timely, relevant, and search-optimized content such as tutorials, tips, and  more that helps them get found on search engines and engage their audience. 

    Call to action: A call to action is a message on a Web page, form, email, or online advertisement that directs the viewer to take action and is usually paired with a conversion path such as a phone number or contact form. For example, "Call Now," and "Sign Up Today" are common calls to action a business might use.

    Display advertising: Display advertising is a form of online advertising used to build brand awareness by placing advertisements in front of consumers as they surf the Web. By using targeting methods in display advertising, businesses can reach specific audiences based on the types of websites they visit or their geographic area.

    Email marketing: Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses email to distribute, marketing and sales information, special offers, events, a newsletter, or other type of content to a list of prospects and customers who have subscribed to receive emails from the business or brand.

    Feed: A feed is a stream of continuously updated content based on different topics that a reader selects. For example, readers can set RSS Feeds for specific news sites, blogs, and websites and will receive an email or alert on a specific reader when new content is posted on those sites. Also, feeds like the Facebook News Feed are used on social media sites to inform users about the activity and content friends, groups, and brands post on the site. 

    Google+ Local: Google+ Local is an online listing and content hub for local businesses to market their business online. Claimed business profiles on Google+ Local provide consumers with important business information, such as the business name, type of business, reviews and ratings, and map location. Since these profiles rank highly in Google’s organic search results, claiming and optimizing your business on Google+ Local is a simple way to build awareness and drive consumers to your business website.   

    Hashtag: A hashtag is any word or phrase (without spaces) written with a hash sign (#) in front of it, such as #SocialMedia. Hashtags are used to tag the specific word or phrase on social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and most recently Facebook. Users of these platforms can use hashtags to follow conversations around the specific words or phrases, and businesses can use them as part of campaigns or to generate social media buzz about products, services, or events. 

    Impression: An impression is the number of possible views an ad or piece of shared content receives over a given amount of time. An impression typically applies as a standard of measurement for display advertising.

    Journey: When discussed in the terms of a consumer’s buying behavior, a buying journey is the path they take from consideration to purchase. This buying journey includes many steps, both offline and online, such as researching a business and their reputation, visiting websites, interacting with online ads, and communicating with businesses on social media. Understanding your target audiences’ buying journey can help better define a successful online marketing strategy.

    Keyword: Keywords are words or phrases people and businesses use to target search engine advertising or the terms they bid on when buying pay-per-click or search engine advertising. That’s because these are the words or phrases users enter into search engines to generate results.

    Landing page: A landing page is a page on a website that users visit when they click on an online ad or link from a campaign. An optimized landing page is critical to help increase conversions like calls, emails, and contact forms from online ads and should contain offers, products, and services relevant to the online ads that drive users there.

    Mobile website: A mobile website is a website designed for consumers to view on a mobile device like a smartphone.  There are two types of mobile websites. Responsive sites take elements of your website and adjusting them to fit on any mobile screen. Custom sites create a unique website experience for consumers visiting the site on a mobile device.

    Native advertising: Native advertising is any form of advertising or marketing that is designed to fit within the environment it lives. For example, a display ad within a news site that is designed to look similar to the additional stories on the website is one form of a native advertisement. Also, a native post is a post created directly from from the Facebook “Update Status” section and not from a third-party site like Hootsuite or Pinterest.

    Organic search results: Organic search results are the links to content that appear in the main body of the search engine results page. Organic search results are generated based on an algorithm defined by the search engine that determines the relevancy of the content on the Web page.

    PPC (Pay per click): Pay per click, also known as cost per click, is the set amount an advertiser agrees to pay a network or search engine hosting the ad each time a searcher clicks on the ad.

    Quality score: Quality score is a number that can affect the ranking of a link within the SERPs and the cost per click of online ads based on the relevance and usefulness of the link and the keywords associated with it. Optimized text ads with qualified keywords and landing pages that provide value are a few key factors influence your quality score.

    Reputation management: Reputation management is the process of tracking, monitoring, and managing a business, brand, or company's Web presence. Reputation management often includes generating positive content for your business and responding to comments on social media and review sites.

    SERP (Search engine results page): A SERP is a page on a search engine that includes a list of Web pages and search ads generated by the results of a keyword search. 

    Targeting: Targeting is the practice often used in paid search advertising and display advertising to place ads in front of consumers based on many different factors, including their geographic location, online behaviors, terms they have searched for, and websites they have visited. Targeting consumers can help build brand awareness and drive more conversions to a business’ website.  

    URL (Uniform resource locator): A URL is a unique address, such as http://www.reachlocal.com, that identifies a website on the Internet. For a business, a URL should include their business name in order to help ensure that consumers find a business’ website when they search online.

    Viral marketing: Viral marketing is the use of marketing techniques, like entertaining videos, images, and memes, to help a piece of content rapidly spread through online networks such as social media, although there is no guarantee that a piece of content will “go viral.” Viral content is often humorous, surprising, or innovative in some way, which leads to it spreading.

    Web presence: A Web presence is how a company, brand, or organization appears online. Web presence encompasses more than just a website; it also includes a business’ visibility on organic search results, local directories, social media sites, review sites, mobile search results, and display advertisements.

    X-factor: The x-factor is a desirable trait for an online marketing campaign. Campaigns with the x-factor implement smart tactics and become successful sensations that go beyond their originally intended marketing scope.

    YouTube: YouTube is a popular online video site where users can upload videos, share them across social networks, and embed them on webpages and blogs. Since YouTube is owned by Google, videos on the site have a high visibility in Google’s organic search results.

    Zero Moment of Truth: The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is the moment when a consumer decides to start the decision making process online. The Zero Moment of Truth kicks off the path consumers take to buy, including researching a business, services, and products; reading online reviews; and comparing availability, prices, and options.  

    Are there any online marketing terms you’ve heard or read before and wondered what they meant? If so, let us know in a comment! 

    About the Author

    Tara Banda writes about how small business owners can reach local customers through online marketing for the ReachLocal blog. You can connect with her on Twitter.

    What's New on Social Media Sites? Recent Changes You Should Know

    Last updated 9 months ago

    The past few months have brought some interesting and important changes to the world of social media and online marketing. We’re taking a look at the most important updates to the top social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest and how they can impact the way you market your business on those sites.

    Facebook Hashtags

    Taking a page out of the Twitter and Instagram playbooks, Facebook announced earlier this month that it will now support hashtag functionality. Users can add a hashtag to a word or phrase, and the word will become clickable. Then, when a Facebook user clicks on that word or phrase, a news feed will pop up that pulls up public posts that have been tagged with the same word or phrase. This makes it easy for users to discover other similar content or for a group of people to follow the conversation on Facebook around a specific hashtag term, such as a sporting event, campaign, public event, concert, TV program, or promotion. As a business, you will be able to use Facebook hashtags for a variety of purposes, such as promoting your products or services, integrating them into your Facebook campaigns, and more.  Remember not to use too many hashtags, and only use those that are relevant to the post or to your business.

    Twitter Analytics

    Twitter is currently conducting a staged rollout of a native analytics dashboard for a select group of users. If you’re a selected user, this dashboard is accessible by logging into your account on Twitter’s advertising page. From this dashboard, you can see how many times your tweets were retweeted, received replies, or were favorited. You can also see a graph of your mentions, follows, and unfollows. You can also sort your tweets by “Best, Good, or All” and even download the list into a CSV file for offline analysis. If you’re unable able to access Twitter Analytics today, Twitter will eventually make this feature available to all users. You can use these native analytics to learn more about how your tweets, campaigns, and twitter strategies are performing.

    Google Plus Dashboard for Business Pages

    Google is rolling out its Google+ Dashboard to all users. This dashboard gives SMBs a way to update company information, including website URLs, store hours, and phone numbers from a single location. This information is then distributed to Google Maps and Google+ pages. Page owners can also use this area to assign page managers, share photos and videos, and start hangouts (video chat) with fans and customers. The dashboard also provides a way to monitor your Google+ page, see “at-a-glance” information about your AdWords Express account, generate special offers through Google Offers, and get insights about your business, such as top searches, sources of driving direction requests, and performance of your posts on Google+.

    LinkedIn: Rich Media   

    LinkedIn is rolling out its rich media feature to users over the course of the next few weeks. What is rich media? It’s images, videos, documents, and presentations – the visual and written content that gives more depth to a LinkedIn profile than words alone. With rich media, LinkedIn members can post pictures, videos, and other content to their individual profiles. Rich media can help the SMB owner reach their personal LinkedIn network through helpful content that promotes their business and industry and engages audience interest. For example, a professional portrait photographer could post work samples to her profile and then promote that post out to her LinkedIn network.

    Pinterest: Rich Pins

    Pinterest recently added a new feature called rich pins, which include more information than a standard Pinterest pin. There are three types of rich pins: recipe, product, and movie pins. Recipe pins include ingredients, cooking times, and serving information. Product pins include real-time pricing, location, and availability information. Movie pins include ratings, cast members, and reviews. SMBs whose products or services fall within these categories are now well positioned to create pins with more information, which can lead to more shares and discoverability by other users on the site.

    Instagram Video

    Video continues to be a popular way to reach consumers and add depth to your marketing content. Now, Instagram has added videos to its photo-sharing platform. SMBs who use Instagram can record videos that are up to 15 seconds in length. Thirteen video filters are also available. Plus, after recording a video, you can select a frame from a video to use as the video cover image. When considering adding video to your marketing plan, think about the kinds of video you can create within the 15-second limit, such as part of an event, an introduction of a new product, or a quick tour of your store. Take advantage of Instagram’s and Facebook’s hashtag support to tag your videos with relevant content. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook, you can choose to post your “Instavideos” to your Facebook page as well.

    Google Maps Update

    The next generation of Google Maps was announced at the Google I/O convention in San Francisco in May and the launch of its app for Android was announced July 10. Although still in phased rollout, Google Maps’ refresh will offer some promising features small businesses will appreciate once the full rollout occurs. For example, information cards will provide helpful information like a company’s business hours, business ratings, and Zagat reviews. And your customers will enjoy road re-routing directions to your business in the event of slow traffic or car accidents near your location.

    Do you plan to use any of these new features in your social media and online marketing? Let us know in the comments section!

     

    Amy Neeley helps small- and medium-size businesses navigate the world of online marketing with information and insights featured on the ReachLocal blog. Connect with her on Twitter.

     

     

    Infographic: The Consumer Buying Journey

    Last updated 9 months ago

    Have you ever considered what the typical buying journey looks like for your target consumers? Understanding this journey can be a critical piece of information you need to develop the best marketing strategy for your business.

    To begin, you need to know elements that define your target consumers, such as their target location, age range, income level, and areas of interest.

    Once you identify your target audience, it’s time to think about the steps they might take when buying from a business like yours. What types of advertising do they see? Where do they go to research your types of products and services? How do they contact you? And after buying from you, how do they communicate and review their experience (whether good or bad)? With these details, you can determine which marketing tactics will help reach consumers at each of these phases in their decision-making process. 

    This infographic illustrates a sample buying journey for a plumber. It follows the consumer’s purchasing decision through each stage of the buying funnel: Discover, Contact, Choose, and Review/Repeat. 

    Are you effectively reaching consumers at each phase of the buying funnel? To learn how to apply the consumer buying journey framework to your business, download the ebook How Consumers Buy Today: Harnessing the Buying Journey to Get More Customers.

    3 Steps To Building A 5-Star Online Reputation [Infographic]

    Last updated 9 months ago

    When a consumer searches for your business online, do they see positive reviews with 4- to 5-star ratings or several complaints from unsatisfied customers? If they see the latter, you might be losing potential customers because of your online reputation.

    Luckily, there are steps you can take to help improve your business’ reputation online. Just keep in mind that building a positive reputation takes time and effort, especially if you have negative reviews working against you. Start by following the steps in this infographic, and you will be on your way to building a better online reputation. 

    Want to learn more about how to monitor, manage, and build a positive reputation online? Download our ebook, “Navigating Your Online Reputation.” 

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    Get More Opens: 15 Email Subject Line Formulas that Work

    Last updated 9 months ago

    One of the most important parts of any marketing email is often the part that most people spend the least amount of time crafting – the subject line. But this short amount of copy is the first hurdle that stands between you and your recipient. So, in order to make your email marketing program more effective, it’s important to craft the right subject line. No matter the content of your email, keep your subject lines short (50 characters or fewer) and be specific, always telling the reader what they will get by opening your email.

    Try these 15 email subject line formulas to get your email opened. 

    Ask Readers to Take Action

    To get a target consumer or customer to take action, it’s important to include action verbs in your subject line. Similar to a call to action on your website or advertising, your subject line should create a sense of urgency and provide a benefit to the reader. For instance, a subject line like “Get a Sneak Peek of Our Summer Menu Items” is more actionable than simply “River Grill Summer Menu Items.” This formula can work well for timely news such as upcoming events, product launches, or special promotions.

    1) Meet the Chef of [Business Name] on [Date/Time]

    2) Try Out [Product/Service] at [Discount]

    3) Refer a Friend and Get [Special Offer

    Create an Announcement or Invitation

    If you want your potential or current clients to feel like you care about them, send them an email invitation or special announcement. Whether you’re holding an event or announcing a new product, service, or store location, using words like “Invitation” or “Announcement” can grab your readers’ attention. Try these formulas for creating excitement with your audience.

    4) You’re Invited to [Company Name] Annual [Event Name]

    5) Announcing [Company Name] Brand New [Product/Service]

    6) [Company Name] Invites You to a [Product/Service] Open House

    Localize Your Content

    Consumers want to know about what’s going on in their neighborhood. So, let them know you’re in their area by including the location in your subject line. If you’re located in or serve more than one location, segment your emails based on city or ZIP code to ensure the right audience gets your emails. For example, if you have a new apartment complex in a specific neighborhood in Dallas, you can send an email just to prospects in that area inviting them to take a tour. 

    7) Join Us for the Grand Opening of Our [Location] Store

    8) Check Out [Company Name]’s Newest Store in [Location]

    9) [Location] Residents: Get [Discount] When You Book [Service]

    Provide Helpful Content

    It’s important not to just send sales-related emails to your prospects and customers. You should also be sending them useful content, such as helpful tips in your industry or best practices for using your product or service. For instance, if you’re a home remodeling business, you could send an email with tips for choosing a paint color.

    10) Your Guide to [Industry-Related Topic]

    11) How To Get the Most Out of [Product/Service]

    12) 5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your [Product/Service]

    Send a Company Newsletter

    One way to get the open from your audience is by sending regular emails with all of your company news, events, and helpful information. If you opt to send a newsletter, use the same subject line formula every time so your readers will become familiar with the cadence and content of your emails. This enables you to build a relationship with clients and prospects, which can impact the likelihood they will open your sales and marketing emails. An analysis conducted by MailChimp showed that emails that contained the company name were more frequently opened than those that didn’t. 

    13) [Company Name] Newsletter - [Date]

    14) Pulse on [Company Name]

    15) [Company Name] Newsflash

    What subject line formulas have worked well for your business? Let us know in the comments!

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