All posts by Whereoware Staff

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.

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!

Behind the Glasses – Emilyann

Each month, we’ll interview one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For November, we get to know Emilyann Key, our Digital Marketing Associate, a little better.

WHO:

What’s your name? Emilyann Key

Job title: Digital Marketing Associate

Background

Favorite food: Sweet potatoes! Everything Bubba Gump can do to shrimp, I can do (read: attempt) with sweet potatoes.

Hidden talents: I do some pretty solid impressions (usually of SNL characters) and fun accents. The New York Times once posited, “She sounds a lot like what’s-her-face.”

If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Tina Fey, but I’d likely be asked to leave the set for asking her too many questions during filming (ironic considering she’s playing me).

My earliest memory: A Norman Rockwell-like still of my view from the ground, when I fell while roller-skating around the house in a Disney princess dress.

Nerd Quiz

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter

iOS or Android: iOS

‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Option C: “Dork”

Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars – I can hold my own if a Wookie call is needed.

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

There’s something insanely cool about working with people who are genuinely interesting, brilliant, and passionate. We can work crazy hard together, learn from each other, and laugh the whole time. This energy fuels our creativity and commitment to quality work.

The culture at Whereoware thrives on challenge. We’re all about seizing opportunity, taking initiative, and innovating, but unlike other companies I’ve seen, it isn’t overtly competitive. There’s an authentic investment in each employee’s professional development and helping individuals achieve their goals.  Whereoware is a great example of how investing in employee development not only enhances internal happiness, but service quality and customer satisfaction. Whereoware both walks the walk and talks the talk.

Web tip – 4 reasons e-commerce marketers need a PIM system

whereowares-pim-system-product-fastlane-increase-traffic-and-conversionsToday’s e-commerce marketers are rockstars. They’re the Swiss Army Knives of sales. The MacGyver’s of marketing. They’re juggling everything – websites, emails, digital catalogs, third-party marketplaces, paid ads, social media, and more, and making it all look effortless.

Under the hood, it’s everything but effortless. Not only are marketers executing campaigns, they’re also working behind the scenes, managing endless data feeds, APIs, automation tools, and CRM systems to power all their digital initiatives.

Clean and reliable data is the foundation of keeping all these balls in the air. Yet, untangling data on a day-to-day basis is one of the trickiest aspects of managing campaigns.

That’s where a Product Information Management (PIM) system helps. Today, we’ll cover PIM system basics and benefits, and four reasons why busy marketers should add a PIM system to their must-have list.

What is a PIM system?

A PIM system is a lifeline to pull you out of spreadsheet hell. You know what I’m talking about – you’ve got all of your product data in an Excel spreadsheet and product images on a USB drive or Dropbox. You’re checking databases for product inventory, hoping your recurring data feeds don’t fail, or importing product data manually.

There are so many moving parts, it’s enough to give the most competent marketer anxiety.

A PIM System replaces all of these moving parts. It places all your product data and assets in one, centralized system. (An example of Whereoware’s PIM system, Product FastLane, is pictured below.) When you’re managing hundreds or thousands of products, the ability to access, search, filter, and update data in one location and then share it across all your digital channels saves time and headaches.

whereowares-pim-system-product-fastlane

Reduce Data Management Costs

whereowares-pim-system-product-fastlane-reduce-data-management-costsToo often, data is stored in disparate locations and is outdated, or incomplete. When this happens, it takes many man hours to track and check the data – time that is better spent brainstorming or executing the next marketing campaign.

When you have multiple team members handling and relying on the same data, things become hairy fast.

A simple and effective PIM system let’s everyone on your team manage and update standardized data in one place. It streamlines collaboration and reduces organizational costs due to lost productivity.

Improve Data Quality and Reduce Risk Across Marketplaces

Similarly, by maintaining a “master” data standard in your PIM system, you know that everywhere you share your products – whether it’s your website, a digital catalog, or a third-party marketplace – product details are consistent and accurate.

When information changes, you update the system one time, instead of manually updating information on every channel, reducing redundancy and rework.

Many PIM systems, like Whereoware’s PIM system Product FastLane, alert you of incomplete data fields, missing links or images, or other data errors, so you fix them right away. This “second checker” will significantly reduce your anxiety, while ensuring your data is accurate on every channel.

product-fastlane-identifies-errors

Share Consistent Data Across Marketplaces

A brand’s e-commerce website isn’t the only place retailers or consumers purchase products anymore.

whereowares-pim-system-product-fastlane-share-products-with-marketplacesMany brands also sell on third-party marketplaces, like Amazon, Wayfair, Zulily, and more. These marketplaces expose a broader audience to a brand’s products, but each one typically requires a different product dataset, formatted a different way.

These third-party data specs can be built into your PIM system, so all you do is map your data fields to their spec with a few clicks. Since it pulls from one data source, you always have consistent, accurate data across marketplaces.

Increase Traffic and Conversions

Your product descriptions and imagery must grab attention and compel action. A PIM system lays everything out for you, from your product details to important search engine optimization (SEO) fields, like meta descriptions, image titles, and more.

If your SEO data is complete, your site’s placement in SERPs improves, and more searchers find your products.

Free yourself of data headaches: get a PIM system

As more marketers develop data-driven marketing strategies, they need tools and processes to make sure the data they rely on is complete, accurate, and quickly accessible. They can’t spend all day creating, checking, and importing data files.

Clean data is one of the most important weapons in a marketer’s arsenal. Take control of your marketing data with a user-friendly Product Information Management (PIM) system.

Like what you hear? Check out Whereoware’s new PIM system – Product FastLane.

Released: Yamaha WaterCraft Group Unveils New Websites

Yamaha WaterCraft Group launched two newly redesigned websites: YamahaBoats.com and YamahaWaveRunners.com. Built by Whereoware, both sites feature a new look and feel, updated branding, enhanced user experience (UX), high resolution product imagery, and streaming video.

yamaha-watercraft-group-responsive-homepages

Since site launch, Yamaha WaveRunners saw an 84% increase in site traffic and a 157% increase in mobile traffic, and Yamaha Boats saw an 92% increase in site traffic and a 181% increase in mobile traffic. (See more screenshots of Yamaha WaveRunners and Yamaha Boats.)

The new websites are modern and clean, letting environmental and lifestyle imagery show off product details. The navigation is updated with a visual dropdown menu to help consumers compare different WaveRunners and Boats at-a-glance by model and length.

With a focus on the end consumer, Yamaha and Whereoware developed an interactive quiz on both homepages to help consumers decide on the best WaveRunner or Boat for their interests, budget, and lifestyle. They further this focus by personalizing messaging, images, and promotions throughout the website, based on user behavior.

For example, if a website visitor fits the “21-foot boat persona,” the homepage slider features a streaming video and environmental images of a 21-foot boat. As they scroll down the page, product images and text change to be more relevant to a consumer shopping for a 21-foot boat. This persona-based personalization continues throughout internal site pages.

Both sites are also personalized to display the visitor’s nearest Yamaha dealer location at the top of the page to make it easy for consumers to visit their local dealership and test drive a model.

Serving the right content to the right person (instead of showing the same static webpages to everyone all the time) helps prospective customers find the Yamaha products, videos, top technologies, and dealer locations they need to make an informed shopping decision.

In their words:

“Our products ignite a passion and a drive for amazing experiences in our customers, and we wanted our digital, mobile and web experience to exude that same energy,” said Bryan Seti, general manager of Yamaha’s Watercraft Group. “Working with Whereoware allowed us to tap into the latest technology and development platforms, along with a world class design and UX team, to bring our products to life in way that replicates the fun and excitement our customers have on the water.”

About Yamaha WaterCraft Group

Yamaha WaterCraft Group, a division of Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of Yamaha WaveRunners and Boats in the United States. For more information, visit www.YamahaWaveRunners.com and www.YamahaBoats.com.

Email tip – Email Deliverability 101

headshot-dancaro-smallWelcome Dan Caro, Whereoware’s  Senior Director of Marketing Operations. Dan specializes in behavior-based marketing automation strategy, e-commerce marketing, and conversion optimization. Send him a Tweet at @dcaro12Today, Dan’s going to simplify email deliverability for us.

In a nutshell, email deliverability is defined as “getting your email into recipients’ inboxes.”

Email Deliverability 101So what happens if you ignore “deliverability” altogether and just send emails?

Well, your email messages will likely land in junk mail or in a spam folder. It can get worse, depending on your email service provider (ESP).

If you have a poor email deliverability rating and send to Gmail, for example, it could take up to a day or more for your message to deliver.

We put a ton of effort into designing and coding compelling emails. What’s the point if no one ever sees them?

Today, we’ll walk through simple tips to improve email deliverability, so your emails land in recipients’ inbox in a timely manner.

1. Get Started: Identify How to Access Your DNS Settings

Think of Domain Name System (DNS) settings as the backend of your website’s domain name. This is where you change where your website points to and its mailing settings.

DNS settings matter because your domain needs authentication that it’s a safe sender, especially if you send out of an ESP. If you send emails from your own internal servers, you should be fine, but if you are sending from the ESP’s servers, you’ll need to authenticate them by updating your DNS settings.

2. Next, create a subdomain

First, start by creating a subdomain for email. This subdomain is your from address.

For example, Whereoware’s email address convention ends with @whereoware.com. Examples of Whereoware subdomains could be e.whereoware.com or email.whereoware.com. Just take a look in your inbox. You’ll notice lots of brands do this.

Create a subdomain

Creating a subdomain is a precaution, so you can change your organization’s DNS settings (on your main domain like @whereoware.com) without risking a nuclear meltdown. Just kidding, but if anything goes wrong when you’re updating your DNS settings, it can impact your ability to send and receive emails across your entire company.

3. I have a subdomain, what’s next?

Next, if you’re using an ESP, like Silverpop or Mailchimp, you’ll need them to provide you TXT records for DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF ). I know you are all “Wait, was that English?” Let us explain!

A DNS TXT record is text you add to your DNS settings. DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is an authentication system for email to verify domain and sender integrity. Sender Policy Framework is an email validation system to avoid email spoofing and ensure the email is indeed coming from a verified domain.

Both DKIM and SPF are commonly accepted standards used by email receivers and ESPs to ensure the sender address is authentic and not a forgery. (Basically, when you send an email, these standards check that you are who you say you are.) You add these snippets of code to your DNS setting as TXT records. They look like this:

SPF:
e.whereoware.com. TXT “v=spf1 ip4:XXX.XX.XX.XX -all”

DKIM:

XXXXXXXX._domainkey.e.whereoware.com. IN TXT “k=rsa; p=XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”

Below, you’ll see a behind the scenes graphic of our DNS settings, where you add the TXT/SPF record. (This is what you’ll see when you login to your domain’s (or subdomain’s) DNS records and where you make updates to your DNS TXT records.

Updating your DNS TXT records.

4. Where do I get these TXT records?

You’ll request the TXT records from your ESP.

5. I’ve added the TXT records. What now?

Your ESP needs to validate them by checking that you’re passing SPF and DKIM validation tests.

6. Tests passed. Now what? IP Warmup

You did it – now, you can send emails without worrying they’ll end up in the junk mail or spam folder.

Not so fast! If you are sending with a new ESP or server, you’ll need an Internet Protocol (IP) address warmup. An IP address is a numerical label assigned to your email sending server.

An IP warmup is a process of throttling your emails to send to a small amount of recipients and gradually to larger amounts, so you don’t alarm Internet Service Providers (ISPs). (Internet Service Providers provide services for companies and individuals to access and use the internet. Some popular ISPs include Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner.)

By “warming them up,” you establish a good sender reputation for your IP address. Start by sending at a low email volume – like 20 emails per hour – and build from there.

IP warmup is not an exact science, so it’s best to consult your ESP. They’ll know their email servers best and can instruct your best course of action. (If they don’t bring up IP warmup, you should ask about it.)

Is that it?

We’ve covered email deliverability basics, but there’s A LOT more to get into. Deliverability is half science, half art. If you’re sending millions or billions of emails, it can get complicated.

We hope these simple steps will get you started, so your emails arrive in the inbox. Reach out to us if you need help or have any questions!

SEO Tip – How SEO grew revenue 701%

Whereoware Search Manager Jay MarkwoodToday, we welcome a guest post from Whereoware’s Senior Search Manager Jay Markwood. Jay specializes in search engine optimization (SEO) and executes search, display and remarketing campaigns for paid search clients. 

Jay walked us through how he optimized client
Barcode-arena.com’s website for organic search, ultimately growing revenue 701%. See all the steps by downloading the case study, below.

barcode-case-study-graphic



WHO:

Barcode-arena.com is an online retailer of Motorola barcode scanners and peripherals.

CHALLENGE:

Launched in February 2014, Barcode-arena.com’s website experienced steady traffic and revenue growth through mid-2015.

Due to increased competition from other online barcode scanner websites, Barcode-arena.com’s traffic and revenue plateaued in July 2015.

SOLUTION:

Barcode-arena.com brought in Whereoware in early March 2016 to manage their pay-per-click (PPC) accounts and optimize their website for organic search traffic, conversions, and increased market share.

Get the case study to see how Whereoware identified missed opportunities and executed search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, growing revenue 701% and moving Barcode-arena.com to the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs).

Behind the Glasses – Aly

Each month, we interview one of our fab employees here at Whereoware. For October, we get to know Aly Gumprich, our Digital Marketing Associate, a little better.

behind-the-glasses-aly-gumprich

WHO

What’s your name? Aly Gumprich
Job title: Digital Marketing Associate

BACKGROUND

Favorite food: Rockland’s mac n cheese.
Hidden talents: I’m oddly skilled at keeping a straight face and not laughing during a straight face competition.
If there were a movie of my life, I’d be played by: Leslie Knope or Luna Lovegood (the characters).
One item you’d bring with you to a desert island and why:  A button to travel back to reality – and back to the island – at any moment. This way, I’ll always have the perfect escape: a free beach vacation all to myself, anytime!

NERD QUIZ

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook
iOS or Android: iOS
‘Nerd’ or ‘Geek’: Geek Chic, obviously 🙂
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars. Although, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are my go-to favorites.

What’s the best part about working at Whereoware?

The people, culture, and personal and professional growth opportunities. It’s a continuous learning environment that’s challenging, rewarding, and fun to be a part of. The free drinks and snacks are a big plus, too!

B2B + B2C Webinars – 3 Steps to Holiday Readiness

B2B and B2C Holiday Readiness WebinarsIn August, we presented two webinars, 3 Simple Steps to B2B Holiday Readiness, and 3 Simple Steps to B2C Holiday Readiness, to help everyone start planning for the busy holiday sales season.

Well, we received so much great feedback and requests to re-present these webinars, we just couldn’t say no!

Please join us on October 26 and/or October 27, as we re-present everything you need to whip your holiday marketing and website into shape in three simple steps.

blog-button-b2bblog-button-b2c

You’ll get:

1. Simple website updates to convert holiday shoppers
2. Email tactics to boost holiday sales
3. Creative, omni-channel holiday campaign inspiration

When:

B2B Holiday Readiness Webinar: Wednesday, October 26 from 12 to 1 p.m. EST

B2C Holiday Readiness Webinar: Thursday, October 27 from 12 to 1 p.m. EST