Behind the Glasses – Whitney

Each month we get to know one of our fantastic Whereoware employees better. This month, we go Behind the Glasses with Whitney Griffing, our Junior Staff Accountant.
Whitney-btg

WHO

What’s your name? Whitney Griffing
Job title: Junior Staff Accountant

BACKGROUND

Favorite food: Anything plant-based.
Hidden talents: Singing.
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Shailene Woodley
In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: A vaccine that cures zombie-ism.

NERD QUIZ

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
iOS or Android: Android
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Nerd
Star Wars or Star Trek? Chewbacca!

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

The people! Even the busiest and toughest work days are manageable when you enjoy being around the people you work with.

The Ultimate Guide to Personalization Webinar Worksheet + Recording

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our webinar with Episerver: The Ultimate Guide to Personalization.

Tune in to the webinar recording below:

Get the Persona Worksheet below:


SEO Tip – 6 Steps to Local Search Success

To simplify local search engine optimization (SEO), think through every couple’s favorite argument: what should we order for dinner?

Though the battle may be long, ultimately, a cuisine is picked. What’s your next move?
Likely, you hop on your phone, and search: “Italian food near me,” “Thai nearby,” or “Greek restaurant open.”

Local Google Search Italian Food Near Me

In SEO land, that’s called “searching with local intent.” When you’re quickly searching to find dinner before your spouse pitches a fit, you don’t want Google to return a restaurant three states away. You want the restaurant closest to you, preferably one with good reviews.

Google understands that searches with local intent (referencing specific geographic areas or using keywords like “near me,” “nearby,” “open,” “closest,” etc.) value information differently than a researcher seeking historical documentation.

Google’s algorithms are built to identify local intent and deliver location-based information.

Local search is an excellent way to drive foot traffic to your brick and mortar store, restaurant, or service. In fact, SEO Moz extrapolates that there are approximately seven billion unique local searches per month on Google in the United States (which includes about 50%+ of mobile queries). This is a huge volume of search traffic that you could direct towards your business.

Today, we’ll talk through simple ways to optimize your business for local search.

1. Complete contact information on your website

Sounds like no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how frequently websites bury their contact information.

We recommend a single “Contact Us” page on your site that includes your NAP (name, address, phone number), and alternative ways to get in touch, like your email address and links to social media accounts.

Think carefully through your NAP and make sure it won’t change. You’ll need to copy this information verbatim to third party business pages (more on this below), and it must stay consistent.

Your Contact Us page is a great place to embed a Google Map, or link to directions via Google Maps. Also, make sure you include the hours you’re open!

We also recommend adding your contact information to the footer of your website. Website visitors typically scroll or scan quickly through a site seeking information. You want to make it as simple as possible for them to find it, visit you, or reach out with inquiries.

2. Create a page for each location on your website

If your business has more than one physical location, create separate single pages on your site to promote that business. Make sure it includes all your contact information and anything that distinguishes one location from another.

Local Search Optimization for multiple locations

By making each location a different page, it helps Google understand your business, and how all the parts fit together.

3. Update your website with geographically-based keywords

Your website should be optimized for location, in addition to keywords around your products and services.

Add geographically-based keywords to appropriate pages and products on your site, following organic search best practices.

Include your location to page titles (Lexus Dealership | Avalon, NJ | Leo’s Lexus, for example). When appropriate, add location information in header tags and in the body content.

4. Create and maintain business listings

Search engines rank and filter listings based on a ton of ranking factors. Of course, they won’t give us the exact recipe for success, but it’s clear that one strong factor is other websites, applications, social networks, and directories that list your business information and link to your website.

Just like inbound links from other websites increase organic results in SERPs, these factors suggest to Google that your business is reputable and established.

Start with your Google My Business listing. Fill it out completely, adding your NAP exactly as it’s listed on your website (consistency is key), your website URL, your hours of operation, and select from Google’s categories to identify the type of business.
Italian Food Near Me Business Profile
Try not to leave any field blank. When choosing one listing or another, Google prioritizes completed profiles over ones missing information.

If you already have a Google listing, check all the information to make sure it’s still accurate and make any necessary corrections.

Next, complete and update your business profiles on third party sites like:

  • Yelp
  • Zagat
  • Internet Yellow Pages
  • CitySearch
  • Bing Places
  • Apple Maps
  • Yahoo Small Business
  • Facebook business page
  • LinkedIn Business page
  • Location- or industry-specific pages

5. Request reviews

Google knows reviews are important to searchers and will display a business higher in search rankings if it has more positive reviews than an alternative listing. Results show a business’s average star rating and links to these reviews.

Encourage customers to leave you reviews. You can request reviews through email, place a promotion on your social networks, or display a sign in your business window or at checkout.

Equally important, if you get any negative reviews, respond as quickly as possible and try to correct the issue. A prompt, apologetic, and helpful response goes a long way to influence a searcher to overlook a negative review.

6. Mobile-friendliness

Thanks to Mobilegeddon, Google penalizes websites in mobile search results that aren’t user-friendly.

Check if your site is deemed mobile-friendly by Google here. Read more about how to handle Mobilegeddon here.

Take Advantage of Local Search

If your business has a physical location or your services target your surrounding community, optimizing for local search is a must!

As Google’s algorithms get smarter, more and more consumers rely on local search intent and reviews to decide where to spend their money.

Get started with our six local search optimization steps. If you need more hands-on help, contact Whereoware’s search team.

Behind the Glasses – Bryan

Each month we get to know one of our fantastic Whereoware employees better. This month, we go Behind the Glasses with Bryan Sauka, our Marketing Analyst.

Who

What’s your name? Bryan Sauka

Job title: Marketing Analyst

Background

Favorite food: Beiler’s Donuts in Philadelphia, PA.

Hidden talents: I don’t hide my talents…they are all known.

If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Matt Damon’s role from Rounders

One item you would bring with you to a desert island and why: Silence

Nerd Quiz

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook

iOS or Android: iOS

‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Geek

Star Wars or Star Trek: Star Wars

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

The company is always open to new ideas. Whereoware does not say “that’s the way we’ve always done things”. We are always trying to explore new and creative ways to solve problems and we have the talent to execute those ideas.

Mobile Tip – Update on Mobilegeddon

We did it! It’s now 2017 and we survived Google’s mobilegeddon in 2015. How has the transition to mobile first design and thought changed your day to day or your business overall? We first wrote about why responsive is the best mobile friendly design and you can read that here. But have you heard? There’s a new Mobilegeddon for 2017 and here’s what you need to know:

Click-to-Message Ads

Late 2016, Google released a new feature for mobile users in Google Ads – click-to-message. Never heard of it? Maybe you’ve seen it. Some ads now give the option for mobile users to text the company for more information about their products, reservations, or availability. Using a message extension, users can get quick answers via text and never have to physically call for questions or more information.

According to Pew Research Center, 96% of smartphone owners text. With so many mobile users preferring to text instead of calling, allowing this click-to-message options is a smart adaptation by Google. Also, this allows for a “paper trail” for users and companies can refer back to what was said in a conversation, and users who are hearing impaired may prefer to use this option.

(Image from Google)
clicktomessage-ads-mobile

Interstitials

We wrote a blog post about Google + Interstitials before it went into effect and you can read it here. But just to reiterate, as of January 10, 2017, Google will demote any website that uses an interstitial or pop-over when users click on a website link from the search results page while on a mobile device. There are a few exceptions to the rule, such as age limits, country cookie legalities, or small pop-overs that do not take up the entire screen. Improve user experience on mobile and improve ranking within Google by removing or redesigning your pop-overs.

Google Updates iOS App

Google enhanced the user experience of their iOS app with three features:
1) You can now watch YouTube videos right in your feed – no need to open an external page or the separate YouTube app
2) Hotel pricing and booking information is now within the search result page all in one place
3) Restaurant menus can now be viewed instantly in the search results – no need to open an external page

What Does This Mean For You?

Hopefully you have recovered from Mobilegeddon 2015 and have transitioned to a mobile responsive website, but in case you haven’t, we know a thing or two about it and would love to talk to you about it. If you have made the transition, think about how you can improve the mobile user experience with your brand. Whether that be by trying click-to-message capabilities in your ads, optimizing your interstitials and pop-overs for mobile, or something else. See how you can use this time in the beginning of the new year to improve your website experience overall.

Join Our Webinar: The Ultimate Guide to Personalization

Episerver-Webinar

Research shows marketers see an average 20% increase in sales when using personalized web experiences (instead of showing the same website to everyone).

Even better? With more sophisticated machine-learning personalization (triggered on an individual’s behavior), some companies see a 65% increase in units per order.

Don’t miss this comprehensive webinar showing real-life examples to help marketers at every level (beginner to expert) implement effective web personalization.

SAVE YOUR SPOT

WHEN: Thursday, February 16 1-2 PM EST

In this webinar, you’ll:
1. Learn how to identify and create personas
2. Learn how to target personas with specific, personalized website messages
3. Discover how to increase ROI with personalization (from simple to sophisticated)

Bonus: We’ll throw in a FREE persona worksheet.

Speakers:
Liz-C Elizabeth Cordeiro, Senior Digital Account Manager, Whereoware

Ed-KennedyEd Kennedy, Senior Director – Commerce, Episerver

Email Tip – Use Email with In-Store Interactions for an Omni-Channel Experience

As email marketers we sometimes get stuck in the digital world. But brands who have brick and mortar locations can also leverage email for in-store events and in-store only promotions. Having an in-store event and want to drive foot traffic? Send a series of email invites! Is it too close to ship before a holiday? Send an email with a coupon that’s only good in-store. According to CMO, sixty-five percent of U.S. shoppers will browse online and buy in-store during the holidays.

See How Outrageous Interiors Did It

Outrageous Interiors is a B2C gift & home and furniture client of Whereoware who used email to promote an in-store event. Customers were invited to participate in an in-store event from October 25 to 31, 2016. To win, the customer had to visit each of their four stores (all located in GA) and collect a pumpkin at each store. The first person to do this would win $250 gift certificate and all other winner would win $100.OI-Email-LP

First an email went out on October 24, one day before the event start with the event details and highlighting the $250 gift certificate reward. The email linked to a landing page with more details and store information.OutrageousInteriors-Winner-Email

 

Within the first two hours of the event kicking off on October 25, Outrageous Interiors had a winner. An email announcing the winner went out the same day and reminded other participants they still had three days left.

 

Host In-Store Events

Host an in-store shopping party to drive brand awareness and sales. Invite your customers through email, have them RSVP (if your brand is more exclusive), and encourage them to bring a friend or two! This is a great tactic for e-commerce retailers who also have brick and mortar stores. See some of our favorite examples below:

DSW InStore EventIkea Instore Event

Target Location

If you have address data for your customers or even just a zip or postal code, use this to target customers by inviting them to events happening at a store nearest to them or personalize your email to include “Visit Your Local Store” so they can easily take advantage of in-store promotions. In the Rent the Runway example below, the customer received this specific email because they have previously been to that store location or are located within the Washington DC Metro region. In the West Elm example, the email calls out the nearest store to the customer in the header.

WestElm-LocalStoreRTR-PromPrepParty

You can also use targeted location data to alert customers of anything, like Williams Sonoma did to announce a store closing.

WilliamsSonoma-TysonsStoreClosing

Email Receipts for In-Store Transactions

Instead of printing off a receipt, offer the option to have the receipt for the purchased to be emailed to the customer. More retailers are now offering this from their POS machines so the relationship with the customer can be tracked on and off-line. Below are examples of how Paper Source and Home Depot are sending e-receipts for in-store purchases.

HomeDepot-Reciept

What Can I Do?

Send an email to invite customers to an in-store event, announce store information to current customers, and re-engage after an in-store interaction. You can track open rates, the transition from initial email to landing page with more information is seamless, plus it’s cost effective. City-specific events (state dinners or inaugural balls in DC or tailgating events during college football season), prom season, and the holidays are great themes to drive customers and potential new customers (their friends + family) to interact with your brand and participate in a contest or promotion. Think up some ideas you can now execute in the new year!

Web tip – 5 ways to increase retailer registrations on your website



It’s hard enough to convert traffic on your e-commerce website, but many of our B2B wholesale clients face an additional hurdle: they require customers (retailers) to register with them to shop their website.

A non-registered website visitor can view products, though sometimes even those are hidden, but won’t see product information or certain product details. The registration process allows wholesale companies to vet retailers, without displaying wholesale prices to consumers.

Once the retailer registers and is approved, they receive a login and access to the full website – prices, product details, and frequently, highly customized retailer portals.

The plot thickens! When that same B2B wholesale company unveils a new website, oftentimes their retailers must re-register to gain access to the site. This is a common best practice to protect retailer privacy data. These wholesalers must compel retailers to register not once, but twice!

Having built hundreds of wholesale websites, we know a thing or two about motivating retailers to register. Today, we’ll cover five simple, effective ways to increase registrations on your website.

Can’t miss Invite and Benefits

This is a no-brainer, but make sure you tell retailers to register. The invitation or reminder to register must be easy to find, so place the messaging or call-to-action in a can’t miss location on your site or email.

Continue reading Web tip – 5 ways to increase retailer registrations on your website

Behind the glasses – Mitch

Each month we get to know one of our fantastic Whereoware employees better. This month, we go Behind the Glasses with Mitch Phillips, our Digital Marketing Associate.

Who

What’s your name? Mitch Phillips

Job title: Digital Marketing Associate

Background

Favorite food: Parmesan cheese. I asked if we could get a parmesan dispenser put in by the water fountain, but apparently that’s not in the budget. Time to start a GoFundMe.

Hidden talents: My fashion. I once wore a striped shirt with plaid shorts in high school and everyone was taking pictures of me.

If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Michael Cera

In a zombie apocalypse, my weapon of choice would be: Can Zombies jump? If not, I’m definitely putting Legos in the hallway. Good luck walking through that.

Nerd Quiz

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter during football season; neither during election season.

iOS or Android: iOS – if I text you and a green bubble comes up…

‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Dweeb

Star Wars or Star Trek: THERE’S A DIFFERENCE?!?

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

The challenging work environment. I’m constantly tasked with things that push my creative boundaries and help me learn new things, whether it’s design, handling data, or coding new emails or landing pages. The people are great too. Everyone here is very smart and fun to be around!