What To Expect When Selecting Us As Your Digital Agency Partner

 

WE’RE A DIFFERENT KIND OF WEB DESIGN & DIGITAL AGENCY

We’re a small but incredibly agile crew of programmers, UX experts, creatives, and Internet marketing specialists in New York City. We believe that in today’s marketing environment, a business’s most important asset is its website.

All too often, agencies approach web design and SEO separately. But at One & Zero, we believe that rankings are a direct reflection of the website’s build.

It is important to establish your presence across all relevant search engine platforms and to build your site around a broad range of relevant keyword concepts.

Conventional online advertising is short-lived. Sure, you may experience temporary results with it, but your online visibility will evaporate the moment you stop paying.

Our digital agency methodology is based on proven, organic Internet strategies and best practices.

If you choose to work with us, your investment will create long-term results and profits for your company.

OUR METHODOLOGY

Our approach to website design and digital marketing is uncommon because it’s all-inclusive.

This is our end-to-end process:

UNDERSTAND & PLAN

We invest time and attention. To grow your brand online, it takes in-depth research and detailed planning. We carefully:

  • Research all elements that affect your brand.
  • Define your digital strategy roadmap.
  • Establish the core tools required for success.
  • Agree upon the proposal and execution timeline.

MANAGE & MONITOR

One & Zero works with you to manage your community, campaigns and monitor the data/trends to adjust for optimal results. We always:

  • Act as an extension of your team.
  • Manage all your digital activities and tools.
  • Provide key insights on how to stay relevant.
  • Help you build trust with your community.

CONNECT & ENGAGE

We get people talking about and engaging with your brand. The most compelling stories are the ones that get retold. We oversee:

  • Defining your digital sales funnel.
  • Establishing your optimal contact methods.
  • Creating a content plan for all channels.
  • Monitoring & adjust for optimal performance.

MEASURE & REFINE

The Internet marketing landscape is ever changing. One & Zero provides the insights to evolve with it.

  • We measure to determine ROI’s for your KPIs.
  • We track data that defines your customer behavior.
  • We constantly adapt tactics to improve ROI.
  • Every 90 days we review your strategy and realign.

CREATE & DELIVER

We arm our clients with only the tools they need to get the job done.

  • Fully custom and responsive web solutions.
  • SEO best practices and on trend tactics.
  • Content design and campaign execution.
  • SMM design, development and amplification.

DRIVE QUALIFIED TRAFFIC

A lack of traffic is not always the cause of poor lead conversion on your website. Lack of persuasion, personalization and insights are often the main culprits.

We dig deep to find out what your business’s pain points are.

Once we have done our homework, we develop a carefully crafted strategy for integrated Search Experience Optimization in the channels best suited for your brand needs.

CONVERT VISITORS INTO LEADS + CUSTOMERS

Experience Optimization is the core of our approach to improving your conversion rates.

Based on our analysis and discovery of your firm’s competitive strengths we build your web layout to highlight these advantages.

We increase your conversion rate with fantastic and strategic UX, powerful content, intriguing landing pages and calls to action.

How is your site performing?

ESTABLISH BRAND LOYALTY + REPEAT CUSTOMERS

As you probably already know on average 80% of a business profits come from 20% of it customer base. It also takes roughly seven contacts with a prospect before they buy.

Which is why we implement systems that help your business lower acquisition costs and increase lifetime value.

We collaborate with you to develop targeted compelling content at each level of the sales funnel.

OUR AGENCY COMMITMENT TO OUR CLIENTS

We will be 100% upfront about what we are doing, what we need from you, how the project is coming along, and what’s next. We’ll act with integrity at all times, and we’ll always be honest.

We’re committed to your success! What you can expect:

  1. We’ll start with a workshop, so we can get to know you and your goals.
  2. We may ask you to provide media assets, data, or information from you about your company, products and services, and customers.
  3. We’ll set up a platform to exchange communication, timelines, and keep documentation and assets in a central place.
  4. We’ll regularly touch base via email, including messages like this one, which are designed to provide valuable insight about our process as well as digital marketing topics in general.

We value proactiveness and transparency, so we’ve woven that into our process. You’ll always know what’s going on and what we need from you.

OUR APPROACH TO DIGITAL STRATEGY

At One & Zero, we spend a lot of time coming up with a successful digital strategy before we set off to build a website or ad campaign.

Here are some reasons why we devote so much of our time and effort to this:

  1. A digital strategy helps us map out an informed plan based on research and data. There are literally thousands of ways we could approach your project. We want to do it the best way.
  2. When we take the time upfront in this way, we minimize costs and streamline the work, saving you money over time.
  3. Digital strategy is fluid. As we gather insights and data throughout the project, the digital strategy will be adapted. We continuously revisit strategy to make sure it is still effective.
  4. This is truly the most efficient and effective way to approach online marketing.

Our digital strategy process has three parts. Below is an overview of each part of the process.

Research & Discovery

We rely on customer insights and data gathered through research and observation

We also spend time gathering deep insights from you about your company, products, or services. We’ll talk about how you meet your target market’s needs better than your competitors and what sets you apart.

We’ll also review what’s worked for you in the past and what hasn’t.

Customer acquisition strategy

We’re strategic about where we will market your business, how we’ll market it, and who we will reach. Using data and insights gathered in our Research & Discovery phase, we’ll work with you to come up with a winning customer acquisition strategy.

Establishing a digital sales funnel

Once the customer acquisition strategy is outlined, we can begin putting the digital sales funnel into place. This includes a marketing plan, branding and design, website development, and promotional activities.

What to expect

Digital strategy is our core strength. The reason we put so much effort into understanding the industry, your brand, your competitors, and the target market, is so that we can come up with an approach to online marketing that is effective.

During this process, you can expect to spend some time with us in workshops and insight gathering.

We may need information from you such as customer lists or data, or current and historical advertising spends.

Most of all, expect to be surprised. Our strategic planning process reveals insights about online behavior, target markets, and what’s possible.

Sometimes, our clients get new perspectives on the things that work and don’t work with digital marketing.

We’ll come back to the digital strategy frequently throughout your project or campaign to ensure we’re making decisions strategically.

Website Design & Development Projects  (What to expect)

Websites and landing pages are important to achieving your business goals.

Well-developed websites ensure that potential and existing customers can access information about your products or services conveniently.

Landing pages give potential customers the best possible first impression of your company.

They capture leads or sales.

Together, websites, landing pages, and outreach come together in a marketing funnel.

Here’s a bit of information on the purpose of funnels and how they work to grow your business.

Lead and Sales Funnels

We will create funnels to reach your target markets, introduce them to your company, product, or service, and build a relationship with them that results in strong leads or sales.  

A lead funnel is used to convert strangers into leads. Sales funnels are similar, except that the ultimate goal in a sales funnel is a sale, rather than a lead.

How funnels work (typically):

  1. Your ad on Google, or Facebook contains a link to a landing page. The audience is specific to your target market, but broad in that it includes people who’ve never interacted with your company before.
  2. Someone in your target market sees the ad and clicks on it. This is the first indication of interest.
  3. That person fills out a form to get more information from you. This is the second indication of interest.
  4. They are now a lead for your business. You respond to the request for information (manually or automatically) and begin to nurture that relationship. This is typically where a lead funnel ends.
  5. A sales funnel might continue to nurture this relationship by sending newsletters, limited or special offers, or personal invitations to buy. Sales funnels typically involve more definitive signs of interest such as setting up an appointment or downloading a sample or coupon.

We’ll go into much more detail with you on how your specific funnel(s) will work.

Expectations and Deliverables

Bringing together a website, one or more landing pages, ads, and content marketing involves a coordinated effort.

We will set up a project plan for your website that will contain several milestones and dependencies.

We will discuss the text, photos, video, and other media assets that will be used on your website. We may need to request certain content from you to finish your website.

Additionally, there may be times when we will request your review of content we’ve written for your site.

Completing deliverables on time keeps the project on track with the milestones we’ve set up during the project plan.

SEO 101 (Search Engine Optimization Explained)

What is SEO, really? Everyone talks about it and most people know what it stands for, but many people cannot explain it.

We think it’s important for you to have a good understanding of SEO because the processes and tactics of it make up a big part of digital marketing.

Below, we’ve broken down some core concepts that will shed light on the work that goes into getting great rankings in search engines.

We’ve also included a short, informational video you can watch by Matt Cutts (a top Google engineer) who brilliantly but succinctly breaks down exactly how search works.

Once you understand how search works behind the scenes, it will be easier to see why SEO matters.

On-Page SEO

“On-page” SEO refers to the optimization of elements of a website (or more accurately, a single web page).

This includes text, images, videos, audio files, scripts, and metadata (basically, the code that makes your page show up).

Almost every element on your page can be optimized in some way, and search engines are regularly improving their algorithms to be smarter about how they read and index content.

Therefore, on-page SEO is always evolving.

Off-Page SEO

On the other hand, “off-page” SEO refers to optimization that happens outside of your website.

As you might imagine, off-page SEO involves a ton of different things, including links pointing to your website, directory listings, social media profiles and content, citations (mentions of your business online), reviews, articles, and much more.

Why do these things matter?

It’s very simple, really.

Organic search traffic is an asset to your business.

You don’t have to pay for it, which means that it’s not dependent on your budget, and it continues even when ads stop.

Search engine exposure can give you a competitive edge, too, especially if your competitors have undervalued it (and many have).

How long does it take to rank?

Ranking well in search engines doesn’t happen overnight.

Search engines are valuable resources for users – the intent is to show the most relevant and useful results.

If they were easy to manipulate, they just wouldn’t be reliable eventually.

That means it takes time to communicate to search engines the value of a web page.

You’ll need both on-page SEO and off-page SEO and they have to work together.

Forbes wrote an article on SEO and what timeline you should expect to see results, they stated it can take from 6 to 9 months to begin reaping the benefits of off-page SEO.

We agree, but we’ve often delivered results in half the time.

But once it’s in motion and nurtured, it’s a powerful asset that provides reliable, consistent traffic that you don’t have to pay for.

What does it take?

Along with time, SEO takes a lot of effort.

Many hours of labor go into creating content, outreach to related sites and blogs, building relationships in order to earn guest article opportunities for backlinks, creating citations and listings, and other work.

Once these assets are created, they become valuable investments.

If done well, they actually generate an ROI. They have some degree of permanence, too. Much of the work of SEO cannot easily be undone once it is put into place.

This means you have assets that continue to provide value long after the project is complete.

SEO Wrap Up

That wraps up the basics of SEO.

There’s a lot to it; getting to the top of a search engine’s results page is no small task.

The good news is that it can be done with a very strategic plan and adequate resources.

If you have any specific questions about SEO, or if any of this information sparked a new idea for your project, let us know. We’re happy to help.

SEM 101 (Search Engine Marketing Explained)

We just convered why SEO is a critical part of any digital marketing strategy because if done well, it can increase the amount of organic, free traffic coming to your website.

In this section, we want to continue the discussion on increasing the amount of traffic to your website. An integral part of digital marketing strategy is SEM, which stands for search engine marketing.

Search engine marketing is similar to SEO in its outcome but different in its approach.

When people talk about SEM, they are usually referring to pay-per-click advertising (aka PPC).

The key players in this industry are Google and Facebook, and that is where we focus as an agency. Google Adwords and Facebook Ads & Boosting are two key ways we draw targeted, timely traffic to your website.

Google Adwords

Just like with SEO, Google’s primary aim is to be relevant and useful. Therefore, Adwords shows only the most relevant ads based on keywords that people type into Google.

A major advantage of SEM over SEO in this way is that Google maximizes exposure to ads by placing them at the top, bottom, and sides of search results.

Those three areas get seen more than other positions. On mobile devices, ads are also shown prominently.

The order in which the ads are shown is based on bidding – how much an advertiser is willing to pay for a click.

The thing is, getting an ad to show up prominently when someone searches for your targeted keywords is easier said than done.

Because of the bidding and search model, advertisers must continually monitor and adjust the bidding in order to ensure the ads are still shown well and are effective.

They must also make sure the selected keywords are ideal for ads.

Here are some of the most important things to know about how Adwords works:

  • People use Google for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes, it’s just to find out something – with no intention to buy anything. Part of getting really good at using Adwords is knowing how to identify intention, and we spend a great deal of time researching keywords and determining the intent behind them.
  • Google is particular about advertisements. The web page and the ad must be relevant to each other, and the web page itself must be very high quality. The more relevant and high quality the URL linked to the ad is, the higher it will be shown and the less it will cost.
  • Anyone can advertise with Google Adwords, but it can be incredibly expensive – and ineffective – if it’s not done right. It takes time and insight to create a very effective and value-driven Adwords campaign. And this is one of the things we do best.

Keep in mind that with PPC, it is not always about the largest budget. It’s about relevance and quality, which takes expert-level management and understanding.

For more about all of this, check out Google’s “How Search Ads Work” video: 

Facebook Ads & Boosting

There are two ways to use Facebook advertising.

  • Standard Ads – One method is to show ads in the News Feed. This method almost mirrors the Google PPC ad method, with the exception of some variations in the way people can interact with the ads.
  • Boosted Posts – The second method is to boost posts that have been published on your Facebook page. Boosting posts gives them a larger audience. They show up just like other posts in a News Feed, except they have the word “Sponsored” in small text above them.

Like Google, Facebook wants to show only the most relevant and high-quality ads to its users.

With Facebook, however, we also have the ability to use very targeted advertising – much more targeted than Google. We can target ads by gender and age, income, behavior, and more.

We can create ads and show them to people who are the most likely to be interested in them.

There’s a fair amount of science behind how Facebook knows what interests people.

In a nutshell, Facebook uses the sum of a user’s activity – their relationships, likes, dislikes, pages they follow, things they talk about, and websites they visit while logged into Facebook – to learn their interests.

Advertisers can then target or exclude people with certain interests and online behaviors.

Research

Before any campaign, we conduct in-depth research on your ideal customers.

Through research, we’re able to develop customer personas that we can use ad targeting methods to reach those specific people, based on their interests, likes, and online behaviors.

Remarketing

Both Google Adwords and Facebook Ads allow advertisers to use remarketing.

Remarketing occurs when an advertiser shows ads to people who have visited the website already, but perhaps haven’t purchased, contacted, or shown interest.

We are able to do a lot of effective, custom advertising through the use of remarketing.

A/B Testing

One of the tactics we use with SEM is A/B Testing, which allows us to measure which ads are more effective, and then do more with them.

A/B Testing takes time and effort, but the outcome is significantly better than without it.

Campaign Optimization

Any advertising campaign should be effective, so we work hard to ensure that ad campaigns are highly optimized.

That means we strive for the lowest possible cost per click, the highest clickthrough rates, and the highest possible conversion rate.

We are constantly monitoring and adjusting campaigns and have a suite of tools and strategies at our disposal.

SEM Wrap Up

SEM and SEO work together to support an effective, optimal digital marketing strategy. SEM’s advantage over SEO is that it takes much less time to see results.

On the flip side, SEO’s advantage over SEM is that its impact is long-lasting and costs less overall. However, in any sound digital marketing strategy, both tactics are maximized for the best results.

Hopefully, this information about SEM answers any questions you’ve had about how it works.

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING 101

Did you know that over a billion people use social media regularly?

Just like a billion other people, we at One & Zero love social media and chances are, you and your customers use it to a large degree.

It plays a big role in today’s digital marketing. That’s why it’s important for brands to create a social strategy: a plan for interacting with customers and talking about the things that matter to them.

The thing is, social isn’t about pushing content at your customers.

Rather, it is about identifying what your customers are talking about and finding ways to add to that conversation.

To give you a sense of why social media is so important to the overall strategy we create to grow your business, we’ve put together a brief overview.

Why does social media matter and how does it help?

Social media is critical to successful digital marketing in so many ways. Here are the most important reasons your brand needs a strong social media strategy.

The competition is engaging in social media: Even if your brand doesn’t utilize social media, your competitors probably do. Social media is the great equalizer in terms of marketing influence, which means new companies that enter the market can use it to easily challenge even strong brands.

Customers use it: Your customers are already using social media almost all day long. This presents an enormous opportunity to reach your customers. Additionally, users of all ages are using it. Older populations are engaging on social platforms as quickly as younger users.

Online brand management is a must: People will take about your business regardless of whether you are actively engaged in social media or not. By engaging in social platforms, you have the opportunity to control how your brand is perceived and influence the sentiment of your industry, brand, products, and services.

What results can social provide?

#1 INFLUENCE

Social media has been proven to influence purchase decisions. The way people interact with and share your content has an impact on their circle of influence.

#2 REACH

The power of social media is the ability for you to use it to reach a wider audience.

While you can buy reach with traditional media, it costs more. Social media isn’t free, but costs less to reach a wider audience than traditional media.

With social, you can give your audience the ability to share your content with their peers, increasing your reach at no additional cost.

#3 INSIGHTS

You can use data gathered across your social media platforms to get a better sense for what your potential customers like to see and share.

The beauty of this is that the insights are in real-time and you can quickly change course if something is not working.

With traditional advertising, these results take time to see, and changes can’t be made as quickly.

Increased search engine rank and traffic through social signals

When people like, retweet, and comment on your social media content, it creates a social signal.

Social signals influence your search engine ranking positively, leading to increased organic traffic over time. Search engines view social signals as proof positive that your content is desirable and relevant.

The second benefit of social signals is that they create visibility for your brand, which is yet another potential avenue for traffic to your website.

Social Media Marketing Wrap Up

Social media strategy is less about if then it is about when and how. What’s great about that is there are so many ways to build an awesome, effective social strategy that has a lasting impact on your brand.

HOW DO WE MEASURE ROI & KPIs?

How do we measure the success of your digital marketing campaign? What metrics do we track?

Ultimately, we understand that you are keenly interested in the return on investment in your campaigns to grow your business.

We are, too, and that’s why we have systems in place to track the results we’re getting and continuously optimize for better performance.

ROI Expectations

PPC Campaigns

Your PPC AdWords Campaign will take some time to deliver results. Generally, we won’t see an immediate return for some products/services. The reason is that it takes time to generate enough data from the campaigns that we can then use to base our decisions and optimize the campaigns accordingly. The longer they run, the more information we can gather and use to your advantage.

Website Search Traffic and Ranking

Ranking a site competitively in Google can take 6-9 months, or longer if it’s a new site. However, we have programs and initiatives in place to see that this happens more quickly. But, we want to ensure you understand the nature of search page rankings so that you can have realistic expectations.

KPIs – Metrics We Track and Why

Website Performance

The following metrics provide insight about how people find and experience your site.

Speed/load time: Impacts ranking and user experience

Referral traffic share, Referring engines: Give us a picture of where your referral traffic is coming from so we can make decisions

Top queries: Indicates which search terms people are using to find your site

Top pages, Exit pages, Landing pages: Tells us which pages are getting the most traffic, along with the pages people see first and last

Session duration: Tells us how long people are staying on your site, which helps us tweak and optimize content

SEO Performance

We keep track of the following metrics to give you a good picture of how our SEO efforts are measuring up.

Work completed: SEO tasks/actions completed for your brand

Keyword advancement, Organic keyword rank: Metrics that track your target keywords and their advancement

Impact on traffic: Tracks changes in traffic as a result of SEO work

Goal completion, leads, sales: Business outcomes that resulted from SEO work

Competitor data: Continuous monitoring of search engine competition

Social Mentions: Tracks brand reputation and mentions

SEM Performance

The metrics tell us how well your ads are working and help us optimize them.

Visitors, Clicks, Sessions, Traffic, and Conversion Rates: Key information we use to gather insights about engagement and activity

CPC, CPA, CTR (Cost Per Click, Acquisition, Click Through Rate): These derived metrics measure costs again important actions and gives us an overall picture of SEM performance

ROI: Return on investment of the SEM campaigns

Return On Investment Wrap Up

Digital marketing is a long term investment that yields major results when optimized and tracked. That’s why we put together systems to monitor and respond to results as they come in.

Conclusion

There are a lot of things to consider when hiring a digital agency to oversee your online marketing campaigns or website design. We hope that this article has been helpful and should you have any questions or need help with growing your business, get in touch with us.

Justin Shaw is the founder and Managing Director of One & Zero we help small businesses and entrepreneurs achieve their peak profit potential online with advanced digital marketing campaigns. Our blog posts include tips and insights for business owners to put into action to improve their online performance.

If you have questions about this article just drop a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!

WEBSITE DESIGN OPTIMIZATION STARTS WITH RESEARCH

How To Perform Research & Analysis To Properly Form Your Website Optimization Strategy.

This is part 2 of a 7 part series on Web Design Optimization. Subscribe to receive our latest tips and news.

At the very start of a website design optimization project, before all of the excitement about content planning and link building and sales funnels begins, you should do some research. It always starts with research.

Think of it this way: research provides the foundation for your website’s strategy, content, sales funnel, inbound and outbound links, and calls to action.

When you start planning to optimize your website, put together any research you’ve already done about your target customers and clients, your competitors, and your business model. And then be prepared to research a little more.

We can’t say it enough. You can only to get to where you want go if you take some time to research and plan before acting. In this article, we will cover:

  1. 3 things to research in order to optimize your website
  2. How to research the best keyword concepts
  3. The benefits of doing brand analysis and competitive analysis

3 things to research in order to optimize your website

First, how do customers find businesses like yours? People go about their day doing various things.

When they need a product or service that your company provides, how do they find it? Be careful not to assume that all of your customers go straight to Google to find you or your competition.

The biggest disappointment happens when business owners find out that there aren’t as many online searches for their business as they thought.

At the same time, if it turns out that most customers find businesses like yours via word of mouth, for example, value that insight!

Armed with that knowledge, you can properly plan marketing funnels that will actually work. To be clear, your business needs a website, and your website needs to be designed well and optimized phenomenally in order to compete today.

On top of that, studies show that people go online more often than not to either find what they want, or research what they want.

The key is figuring out how people use the Internet to find you or your competitors. Use that insight to plan your strategy.

You also need to understand which customer acquisition strategies work best in your industry.

A customer acquisition strategy is your plan for getting new customers to your website. Every industry is different. The customer acquisition strategies that work best are based on the knowledge of how customers buy. This is why research is essential.

One example of a customer acquisition strategy is targeting customers who are looking for a “guide” related to your industry, and then providing one on your website.

Requiring an email address to get the guide turns prospects into leads.

Finally, determine which content marketing strategies work best in your industry.

Part of solid website design optimization is creating quality content. To get that content in front of the right people, research content marketing strategies and tactics by industry to learn a little about what works best.

Content marketing includes blogging, social media marketing, ebooks, podcasts, white papers, email subscription lists, and other digital resources, including images.

Let the research give you insight into your own strategy. Anytime you create a piece of content, regardless of the type, you can create a marketing plan around it so that your target customers see it and engage with it.

How to research the best keyword concepts

Google and other search engines are very intelligent now. It’s no longer about identifying a single, perfect target keyword.

Now, it’s about framing up the content on your site as a keyword concept, or idea. Think of a keyword concept as a group of keyword phrases that are related to the keyword.

If you’re a florist, a search engine might think of your website as suitable for wedding flowers, funeral flowers, Valentine’s Day bouquets, floral delivery, and more.

You don’t have to target only the word “florist” to show up in search engines for it. Ultimately, search engine algorithms decide what your site is about according to its content.

You can only influence that determination.

There are three primary steps involved with researching the best keyword concepts. Keyword concepts are themes – ideas that revolve around your product or service.

  • DECIDE THE PURPOSE OF YOUR SITE (TRAFFIC OR CONVERSIONS) – When people come to your website, what do you want them to do? It’s okay to want more than one thing here, but focus on the top one or two most important purposes. Also factor in other marketing methods. If you’re a small business and your website is your primary marketing tool, focus on conversions.
  • RESEARCH SEARCH TRENDS AND RELATED SEARCH TRENDS – Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or the Yoast Google Suggest Expander to learn more about how people search. Start with a basic, primary keyword or phrase that defines your business, product, or service. The tool will then provide some ideas based on data – what people have been typing into Google search. Data is critical; it’s okay to target one or two unpopular phrases. But in general, you should optimize around words and phrases people already use.
  • BRAINSTORM, ANALYZE, REWORK, REPEAT (BARR) – The BARR method is simple. It starts by brainstorming your keywords and phrases. Then, you analyze them using tools. Next, you rework your target keyword concepts based on research. Finally, repeat this process. Repeat it over and over again until you have a set of keywords/keyword phrases you can optimize your site around.

Benefits of doing brand analysis and competitive analysis

One major benefit of doing some brand analysis and competitive analysis is that you can eliminate wasted time.

Do the research upfront so that you can spend more time later on other things. If you don’t, you will find that your site either lacks a point of view or is too similar to the competition.

When a new website is very similar to an existing site, search engine algorithms have to make the educated assumption that the older site, which likely has more inbound links, is probably more relevant. Competitive analysis can avoid this.

Learning about your brand and your competitors also helps you stay on target. It’s exciting to plan and launch a new website.

Many business owners want to include as much information as possible. Keep in mind that the website has a purpose and you must focus on its purpose.

Separate the tool (the website) from the brand (your business). If your website’s purpose is to drive more calls, optimize around that intent first. The rest is secondary.

Lastly, focus on brand analysis and competitive analysis so that you can outsmart your competitors. Not enough business owners take the time to write down on paper what their strengths, weakness, threats, and opportunities are in comparison to their competitors.

They don’t really understand what gives them an edge. Be objective when researching competitors so that you do not deceive yourself.

If your competitors are not optimizing for a keyword concept that is powerful, you have an opportunity. Use it to your advantage. For more details on how to perform a competitor analysis, we suggest you check out this guide from Hubspot.

CONCLUSION

Research gives you an advantage when planning your website design optimization project. With it, you stand a chance to sweep the competition by getting in front of your clients and customers first. But without it, you might spend time on a strategy that isn’t well informed, and a site that doesn’t meet their needs. Research takes a little time, but it’s always time well spent.

At One & Zero, we take research seriously and enjoy the process. If you’re interested in working with us or learning more, contact us today.

One & Zero is a Web Design Agency based in New York City. We’d like to invite you to learn more about what we do. For a complimentary consultation on your website’s performance, contact One & Zero today.

11 CRITICAL DESIGN ERRORS THAT A FREE SEO AUDIT REVEALS

Perform A SEO Audit To Improve Your Website Design Optimization.

Is your website performing as well as you thought it would? Are you getting the kind of search engine traffic you need to be successful? Contact us for a completely free SEO audit to see if there are any opportunities to get more targeted, organic search engine traffic.

SEO continues to mystify many people, especially business owners and marketing managers. Inquiring minds want to know: after spending the time and effort to develop a website and media, why isn’t there more traffic from search engines?

What good is a beautiful website that no one sees? We recommend getting a free SEO audit to uncover the answers to those critical questions and offer it to prospective clients.

If you’re tired of scratching your head, trying to understand why so few people are getting to your website, get a free SEO audit. It’ll shed some light on your situation and help you come up things you can do right away to improve your website.

The Truth About Websites With Great SEO

For far too long, people have focused on aesthetics and beauty over function when it comes to websites. Now that search makes up such a bulk of the Internet usage, people are beginning to see the problem with focusing solely on graphic design.

Consider this common scenario: small business owners sometimes pay tens of thousands of dollars for websites that aren’t optimized for either traffic or leads. Six to twelve months later, the struggle for traffic continues. Why?

The answer is that there’s more to digital marketing than incredible graphic design (which we love very much, by the way).

Websites and digital platforms have jobs to do for our businesses, right? So, we should measure their effectiveness just as much as their appeal.

Websites with consistently high rankings need to excel in design, function, and SEO.

FACT: SEARCH ENGINES DON’T SEE WEBSITES LIKE HUMANS DO

search engine optimization

 

Search engines crawl websites, scanning for text, media, and links. Because of the way that works, search engines simply don’t process visual imagery – they would have no way of knowing what the images actually show. You have to tell that to them in the form of text.

This is why a beautiful, visually-appealing website can struggle to get a high search engine ranking just like any other website. Search engines don’t rank beauty. They rank content.

And on the other hand, you might come across a moderately high ranking website for a particular keyword that doesn’t seem at all visually appealing.

One writer put this dilemma into context brilliantly when asked why a beautiful website can suffer in terms of SEO. He said, “Websites that look amazing typically offer little opportunity for on-page optimisation and conversely pages that are well optimised will often compromise the design and user experience.”

If you’re in this situation and you have what appears to be a well-designed website that’s not getting any search engine traffic, you need a free SEO audit.

Many people know audits are valuable in terms of telling us how many links we need to get to compete with our competitors, but SEO audits can and should go beyond that. A solid SEO audit sheds light on design errors that are almost never caught otherwise.

This kind of information is free of charge and beyond valuable.

11 Critical Design Errors Uncovered by a Free SEO Audit

When it comes to SEO, we can separate website design errors into two major categories:

1. The ones you can see

2. The ones you can’t see

Design involves a framework and a user interface. You’ll need to optimize both the framework and the interface.

A free SEO audit, such as the one that we offer, identifies opportunities to improve your site’s design so that you can enjoy the benefits that search engines bring. If you optimize your site well, over time, your website will be an asset that continuously delivers leads that you don’t have to pay for.

ON-PAGE DESIGN ERRORS

#1 Poorly Optimized Headers

Headers are often too long, too short, badly optimized, or ignored altogether. If you’re not sure what a header is, you’re not alone. Technically speaking, headers are used to create sections on a page, much like chapter titles or subtitles in a book.

Headers tell search engines (and humans) about the content. An SEO audit can show you where headers lack optimization and recommend changes.

Poorly optimized headers could mean serious issues for your site because search engines use them to understand and index your content. In some ways, headers communicate to search engines how organized your content is, and that’s important for both humans and search engines.

Without good headers, both visitors and search engines can get confused.

#2 Lack Of Keyword Rich Content

Search engines need a decent amount of information to determine the subject of a web page. The more, the better. Words matter significantly in SEO. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but only if you can see it.

Since search engines can’t see pictures, they rely on words, layout, and signals to read the page. A free SEO audit shows where you’re not using enough of the right words so that you can make immediate and effective changes.

#3 Overuse of Keywords

By this same token, SEO audits show where you might be overusing keywords, too.

Keyword stuffing occurs when a word or phrase is used so much that the content is difficult to read, and search engines use algorithms to identify it. Keywords should be used naturally, as in a conversation.

A free SEO audit will identify potential keyword saturation. Using alternative words or synonyms helps avoid overuse.

#4 Lack of Optimized Media

When you incorporate videos and images into your website, you should optimize them. Many people are not sure how to do that, so they don’t.

Neglecting to optimize media creates a missed opportunity because search engines classify and categorize media in special ways.

People love to see media, but if search engines don’t know what your media is about, they won’t index it the way you’d like.

When you get an SEO audit, the audit will identify videos and images that aren’t optimized well enough.

#5 Problems With Content Layout

Did you know that a web page’s layout impacts search engine optimization?

Headers, images, tables, buttons, calls to action, forms, etc. all matter when it comes to layout. Pop-up advertising or hiding content in difficult to reach places does, too.

Search engines can crawl and index sites more easily when they are organized in ways that make sense.

Here’s one tip: Content at the top of a page tells search engines what it’s about, so placing irrelevant content there OR taking up valuable space with items a search engine can’t crawl is a mistake.

Framework Design Errors

The previous section covered potential design errors that you can actually see with your eyes. That makes up a big part of search engine optimization. But this next list of errors uncovered in an audit makes up an even bigger part.

These framework design errors can impact your potential for search traffic or even eliminate it altogether.

#6 Crawling-Related Issues

Is your website even accessible to search engines? If you’re not sure, because you’ve never gotten any organic traffic, you might have an issue with crawling.

To better understand what we mean by crawling, watch this brief video. An SEO audit should uncover design errors that are either impacting crawling or preventing it.

#7 Problematic iFrames or Other Elements

Sometimes, technology gets in the way of search engine optimization.

Search engines handle certain structural elements, like iframes, differently than straight text and images. While most of this kind of technology helps with laying out elements on a page or displaying special content, it’s not ideal for SEO.

Audits will identify these issues.

#8 Duplicate Content

Duplicate content creates an indexing issue. Most of the time, site owners do not realize their sites have duplicate content.

It happens quite naturally, sometimes. Fortunately, duplicate content issues are easily resolved with tags.

Regarding duplicate content, a statement in a support article on Google.com says that “Google tries hard to index and show pages with distinct information. This filtering means, for instance, that if your site has a “regular” and “printer” version of each article, and neither of these is blocked with a no-index meta tag, we’ll choose one of them to list.”

Two pages don’t have to be 100% identical to be considered duplicate; they only need to be substantially similar. An SEO audit will help you figure out duplicate content creates issues.

#9 Heavy, Slow-Loading Scripts

Have you ever been to a website that takes what feels like forever to load? Where every few seconds (or longer), another element comes onto the screen until they all finally load? That’s a symptom of a script problem.

Scripts make websites do interesting things, like facilitate the searching of databases, play video or animation, or control dynamic content. Unfortunately, too much code can bog down a site and make it difficult to crawl, index, or even use sometimes.

#10 Site and Link Structure Issues

In the first section, we touched on page layout and the organization that you can see with your eyes. Similarly, your website’s underlying structure, including how pages are organized, linked, and categorized, can help or hinder SEO, too.

Audits uncover issues involving how your pages are linked together (or not linked together), which impacts optimization. (For more information, read this informative article from Yoast about Site Structure.)

#11 Meta Tag and MetaData Issues

Last but definitely not least, SEO audits identify issues with meta tags and metadata. The two most important meta tags for search engines are the meta name (title) and the meta description.

Search engines use the meta tags to index the site, and show both in search engine results.

Metadata is a little broader and more technical. Search engines use metadata to get an even better picture of content, and then do cool things with it.

What they do with metadata continues to evolve in very interesting ways. For example, Google now shows local events as part of their search results in a calendar form.

Website owners can use event metadata to help Google find events and show them, resulting in droves of free traffic, potentially. But, the metadata must be there and be accurate in order to take advantage.

While that example goes beyond a typical SEO audit, all quality SEO audits show issues with critically important metadata for search engine results.

Can your site benefit from more search engine traffic? If so, we’d love to show you areas to improve. Click to email us for a Free SEO Audit (no strings attached).

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Common SEO Myth Busted:

MYTH: “Keyword research is unnecessary because I already know my keywords.”

REALITY: This is a myth with devastating consequences. Too often, website owners develop content around keywords that are either insanely difficult to rank for, or so obscure that no one is searching for them. The result of going either direction? No traffic.

Keyword research identifies the phrases you should target because they are the right combination of competitive and specific.

Additionally, you can use keyword research to find words based on commercial intent (looking to buy vs just browsing for information).

The process also identifies long-tail keywords and related searches, both of which are necessary for a complete and success on-page optimization effort.

Bottom line: always conduct solid keyword research when optimizing your website.

One & Zero is a Web Design Agency based in New York City. We’d like to invite you to learn more about what we do. For a complimentary consultation on your website’s performance, contact One & Zero today.

7 WAYS TO IMPROVE CONVERSIONS WITH BETTER WEBSITE CONTENT

Use Our Guide To Dramatically Increase Your Website Conversions Through Providing Your Audience Value.

This is part 5 of our 7 part series on Website Design Optimization, here we cover how to come up with better web content to drive conversions.

If you’re going to do anything, do it well. You’ve probably heard a number of quotes around that line of thinking. It’s the same with your website. If you’re going to have a website for your business, it ought to effectively turn random visitors into leads or even into paying customers or clients. That’s called conversion.

In all likelihood, your website is the hub of your online marketing. Because of that, you probably spend a lot of time on the content that’s on your website. In addition, you expect results from it – you expect conversions. As we talked about in our flagship post on website optimization, one of the major keys to optimization is creating compelling and better website content for your audience.

However, not all content converts well. We know that “only about 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates.” (Econsultancy, 2016) (Source).

Because we know that small business owners need help with conversions, One & Zero provides a Complimentary Consultation To Improve Performance and Conversions. No strings attached. Take a minute to reach out to us to see how we can help.

In this article, we’re going to cover 7 simple but effective ways to improve conversions on your site:

1. Promote a strong value proposition

2. Use video to convince and convert

3. Quote statistics in your messaging

4. Define the problem

5. Do what works for others

6. Be timely and relevant

7. Make relevant recommendations

 7 Ways to Improve Conversions With Better Website Content

1. Promote A Strong Value Proposition

If your new tool, product, or service can change someone’s life and you have the numbers to prove it, talk about it in your content. Don’t shy away from boasting the numbers if you have them. Stating specific results in your marketing can be a game changer.

Here’s an example of how a lot of business owners talk about the benefits of their product.

“Our money saving app helps many moms and dads like you cut costs in grocery bills all year long.”

Notice the generalities – no specific numbers or expectations, really. This is a safe thing to do because it avoids exaggeration.

But here’s the thing: if your numbers are true, you won’t be exaggerating. If you’ve been keeping up with your customers and know the results they are getting, you have real data you can use to backup your claims. As a result, your content will be stronger and your message will be far more compelling.

Imagine that the company above had real, raw data about the results their customers are getting. Here is one way the same exact thing – cutting costs on groceries – could be said in a more compelling way:

“Our money saving app has helped over 150 customers cut $200 off their grocery bill every single month since its launch.”

Even if you don’t have specific numbers (money, time, percentages, etc.) you can still create compelling value propositions.

2. Use Video To Convince And Convert

Video is one of the best ways to engage an audience and get them to buy. Not to mention, there are statistics that prove it. “Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.” (Aberdeen, 2015) (Source)

If you want to grow your own revenue by 49% or more, incorporate video as often as possible into your content. Use these tools strategically – as part of storytelling or connecting with your audience authentically.

In an article published on Inc.com earlier this year, columnist Molly Reynolds listed four essentials ways to use video content marketing. More than just suggestions, these are proven effective strategies:

  • Identify your true audience
  • Invite your audience on the journey
  • Create a distinct voice
  • Syndicate your content

Using video as one of the ways to improve conversions is going to force you to think differently about marketing than you have in the past. Marketing in 2017 and beyond is going to be much more about making an authentic connection with your audience – it’s not about hiding behind anonymous content that tries to be all things to all people.

Today, you have to get real with your customers and clients and connect with them, and video is simply one of the best ways to do that, so keep that in mind when you look to create material that’s going to stand out.

3. Quote Statistics In Your Messaging

Use statistics to convince your audience to engage with you. Statistics tell a story in a compelling way. You can create all kinds of emotions with statistics – urgency, shock or surprise, happiness and excitement, sadness, and even anger.

Emotions motivate people do things. The purpose of your website content is to motivate people to buy your products and services.

The statistics you use don’t have to be yours. You don’t have to go out and gather primary data based on your own market research. You can research easy-to-find statistics in your industry and use them to influence.

Just be ethical, truthful, and maintain trust with your audience. Never use statistics to manipulate when you could instead use them to motivate your audience to buy.

4. Define The Problem

One of the best ways to improve conversions is to make sure you’re defining your customer’s problem. This is what creates a connection with your customer.

In order to be relevant, your content needs to reach people and the best way to do that is to define the problem right up front, and then talk about your solution to it.

Think about your customers’ or clients’ biggest needs. What are they trying to accomplish? Whatever that is, make it crystal clear on your website that that’s the problem you solve for them, and how.

5. Do What Works For Others

You should be creating a strategy for your content so that you don’t have to make it up as you go along. Great marketers use research and data in order to develop strategies that work.

Look around and see what your competitors are doing. Or, just look at similar businesses that are not direct competitors. See how they are getting conversions and then learn from those tactics.

6. Be Timely And Relevant

If you have an Ecommerce site, you should pay very close attention to key events in your customer’s lives that you can market around.

Use an editorial calendar so that your content is both timely and relevant to your customer. You don’t want to miss important holidays or local events that could boost your conversions if you were to offer something around those times.

Key events and holidays can also give you content ideas.

7. Make Relevant Recommendations

You may not have heard of a “recommendation engine,” but you’ve probably experienced one. The most commonly recognized ones are those used by Amazon and Google.

When you go to Amazon the second, third, fourth, fifth times and beyond, you will begin to see “Recommendations” based on items you’ve viewed before.

They can be eerily on target, too. Recommendation engines are clever systems you can implement – and especially useful in Ecommerce design – to convert more visitors.

It’s a way of targeting your content so the experience is completely personalized, and personalization and connection are the keys to conversion.

Conclusion

You don’t have to be an excellent writer or an acclaimed videographer. When it comes to ways to improve conversions, you just have to be strategic and creative.

Every part of your website matters, from the menus to the metadata. Moreover, your content – how you connect with your audience – matters most.

SEO can get your website the traffic you need, but once they’re on the site, it’s up to the content to do the work of conversion.

Creating high converting and better website content takes time, effort, and strategy. We can help you boost conversions with compelling content that is designed to create authentic connections with your website visitors. Contact One & Zero today to find out more about our work.

One & Zero is a Web Design Agency based in New York City. We’d like to invite you to learn more about what we do. For a complimentary consultation on your website’s performance, contact One & Zero today.