The Best Damn E-Commerce Page

e-commerce

E-Commerce pages are immensely important when it comes to a buyer’s journey. They are where the magic happens.

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Now Hiring: Associate Account Manager

We’re growing!

We are looking for someone in the Indianapolis, IN area with experience working with multiple brands in the digital media marketing space. The ideal candidate will be a highly organized multi-tasker that bleeds digital marketing. You will also need to be a strong communicator who can be client-facing. We are growing quick and need someone that can hit the ground running!

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9 Must-Have WordPress Plugins To Improve Your Website

The world is at your fingertips when operating your website on the WordPress platform. Figuring out what plugins you will need for your new website or updated website can be tricky.

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Content Marketing and SEO Benefits with Infographics

Construction Accidents: The Risks, the Facts, the RepercussionsInfographics are literally information paired with a graphic design element. They’re designed to inform and educate you with a lot of data and statistics, but in a visual way that makes it easier to read and remember.

Infographic searches on Google increased 800% from 2010 to 2012, and likely have increased even more since then. It’s one of the best ways to get information across to a public that largely filters out most of what they read. That’s why data visualization is so crucial.

Infographics are beneficial in marketing for a number of different reasons, one of the most important of which is that they provide great SEO benefits. Infographics are often picked up by other websites or blogs because the content is ready-made and easily shareable.

In addition to increasing brand awareness, this can provide a great boost to your overall search engine optimization (SEO) and link-building strategy due to the link backs you earn. And the rising tide lifts all ships: you will find your core keywords performing better, as well as a huge increase in “long-tail” inbound search terms. The result is often increases in traffic, leads, sales and revenue.

The team at StrataBlue designed the Construction Accidents infographic on the right for one of our clients — the Indiana-based law firm Wilson Kehoe Winingham. Our goal was to educate interested readers about the risks and repercussions associated with working construction jobs.

We’ve been sharing and pitching this infographic strategically all over the Web, and it’s already appeared in places like the Environmental Health & Safety newsletter and on Visual.ly.

StrataBlue’s Senior Graphic Designer, Suzanne McGill, recently gave a talk on infographics marketing at the National Association of Bar Executives Conference. Below are the slides from that talk. Suzanne has a lot to say about what makes an effective infographic.

P.S. Suzanne also designed the infographic. If you’d like to work with her and the rest of the StrataBlue team to educate the public using infographics like this, get in touch.

[slideshare id=39818195&doc=showdonttellinfographicssuzannemcgillstratablue-141002165523-phpapp02]

Understanding Facebook Referral Traffic in Google Analytics – The Link Shim

We’re like white on rice with Google Analytics in our office. Our digital media account managers are consistently measuring our clients’ campaigns — analyzing website traffic and conversions, among other social media-driven KPI data. That’s why it struck us as odd when we began noticing “l.facebook” and “lm.facebook” popping up as traffic referrals to our clients’ websites. We did some research and hope this post helps better explain these two mysterious referrals from Zuckerberg’s empire.

Background on Facebook Link Shim

In 2012, Facebook Security shared a note to better explain the practice of Link Shimming to users. Here are two key takeaways:

  1. The Link Shim was implemented in 2008 to protect users from malicious URLs. For instance, if a malicious advertiser displayed a link on a post or ad and a user clicked it, Facebook would sometimes include a pop-up notification indicating that the page is suspicious.
  2. Another purpose of the Link Shim is to protect a user’s anonymity when visiting websites. Indulge Media explains that users often unknowingly display personal information in their vanity URLs on Facebook. The Link Shim creates anonymity for users visiting websites and allows Google Analytics to track the source of traffic from Facebook.

 

The Facebook Link Shim has played a significant role in Google Analytics and the ROI of social media with regard to where website traffic is coming from. Perhaps you’ve also noticed these same traffic referrals in Google Analytics and wondered what l.facebook.com, m.facebook.com and lm.facebook.com mean, and how they differ from straightforward facebook.com traffic:

Google Analytics

Our 3rd, 6th, 9th and 10th sources of traffic all came from Facebook.

After compiling some research, we’ve come to a few unofficial conclusions about how these different forms of Facebook traffic were actually generated:

  • l.facebook: This is website traffic from a desktop-accessed Facebook post (organic or paid) that was sent through a Link Shim. The “l” stands for “Link Shim.”
  • lm.facebook: The same rule applies as above,only this time users have accessed your website via a mobile device, hence the “m.”

Then why does facebook.com still appear sans “lm.” or “l.”? I make my educated guesses below:

  • m.facebook: The obvious: users have accessed a website through Facebook on a mobile device, most likely using the Facebook Mobile App. However, we are not sure why the “lm.facebook” wouldn’t apply. My guess: with the hundreds of thousands of posts a day on Facebook, maybe the Link Shim tool didn’t scan these posts. Or, maybe it is because the app has its own built-in browser.
  • facebook.com: I speculate that website traffic was directed from a desktop Facebook post or ad. But yet again, I have the same curiosity about Link Shim not scanning these posts. Some SEO experts suggest that this appears in Google Analytics from users browsing under “facebook.com” rather than the secure “https://facebook.com.” This is one mystery we may not know now, but hopefully will in the future. (Stay tuned!)

Your Website Probably Isn’t Malicious

After reading points 1 and 2 under the background of Facebook Link Shimming and learning the origins of l.facebook and lm.facebook, you may be nervous that you’re website page is being deemed “suspicious” by Facebook and deterring visitors from your website. Don’t panic, and keep reading.

The Proof is in the Analytics

Instead of Facebook traffic appearing as “none” or being funneled under “direct” traffic in Google Analytics, Google is now categorizing these traffic sources to help marketers better analyze their various campaigns. It does not mean that your website is “spam city” for visitors.

Interested in learning more on how StrataBlue can optimize social media campaigns to increase your website traffic or other goals? Tweet me at @whatupTUT

Online Reputation Management 101: Monitor & Respond

Let’s be honest: what’s the first thing you do when you get back to your computer after a first date? You Google that person and see if any red flags pop up. You’d be surprised at how often people do this for businesses as well. The first two pages of a search for your business name must be positive mentions – this is vital. Sometimes you’ll think you come up strong, but then a nasty review, a hate site, a disgruntled ex-employee or any number of things could land right on that first page – perhaps even #1. You have to be ready if and when that happens.

To spin this around to a positive, it’s also great to find out about positive news, reviews and blog articles about your brand when they happen – so you can promote them through your website and social media channels. The first step in online reputation management though is to be aware of what is being said, and for that, you need to monitor online conversations.

Monitoring your Reputation

There are great tools out there for keeping an eye on what people are saying about your business so you can head off anything ugly at the pass. A common one people have been using for years is called Google Alerts. Just enter a search query, filter it by result type, language and so on, and choose how often Google will deliver results to you. Then, every time there’s a significant mention of your brand, you’ll get an alert from Google.

The issue with Google Alerts is that it doesn’t work as well as it used to. It often misses important mentions of your brand throughout the Internet and only seems to find a good one here and there. There’s got to be a great alternative service out there, right? Yep. It’s called Mention.com.

The free account only comes with a single alert. Fine if you have a single brand. If you have multiple brands, you can stack them in OR statements, but that generates a huge list with all your brands blended together. The alternative is to upgrade your account to the paid service, which costs $10 / month for 2 alerts and 500 mentions, or $30 a /month for 10 alerts and 100,000 mentions. The valuable mentions that this service provides might be worth that fee to you.

Managing your Reputation

So you’ve been monitoring your brand, and a nasty mention of your brand hits, and hits big – it’s on the first page of search results. What can you do?

Engage the negativity

Many review sites, like Yelp, will give the brand manager an opportunity to reply to the bad review and make his or her case. Though you can’t change or remove the original review, at least you can temper it with your side of the story. If the concerns in the review are legitimate, you have something to fix for the next customer.

Remove the attack post

Some attack sites and complaint boards will allow you to remove the vitriol – for a fee. If this sounds like extortion, there’s a good reason for that. You’ll have to determine for yourself if it’s worth ridding yourself of a bad apple before it rots the bunch.

Search engine results management

And some haters are just gonna hate, no matter what you do. In order to combat these, you’ll need to engage in a little search engine results page management of your own.

SERP, or Search Engine Results Page Management

Is your website search engine optimized so that it ranks at the top for your brand? Great! Consider submitting your company to listing sites that also naturally rank well in Google. Places like CrunchBase, Technorati, YellowPages, the Better Business Bureau, Google My Business, and so on are great places to list your brand, and these listings will often rank very highly in search results. If you don’t already have a Wikipedia page, have someone create one for your business (Wikimedia frowns on you doing this yourself), and make sure it’s factual.

These signposts of brand reputation will eventually crowd out the trolls and leave you with a sterling reputation on Google, which to many potential customers, is the only site that matters.