Aztek Blog
Aztek is a web design, web application development, and digital marketing agency in Cleveland, Ohio who blogs about those very same topics.

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Mastering Customer Intent: Two Parts

Every great marketer wants to be able to provide answers and information to an ideal customer in the very moment that customer has a need. These marketers would use digital marketing so effectively, it would sometimes create a need for the customer. How do you, as a business owner or a chief marketing officer, ensure your company is going to be able to give the customer what they need when they need it? You first must understand the visitor's true intent.

Part One: Use Data to Understand Customer Intent

You may have created personas based on demographics rather than intent. For example, if I manufacture and sell boutique baby products, I might target women who are between the ages of 25-40, have at least one child in the house, and have a median household income of $80,000. This sounds fine and dandy, except for the fact that 40 percent of all baby product purchasers are people who don't even have a child in their household (think gift-buying grandparents, friends, etc.). By taking a narrow view approach and targeting by demographic you've effectively alienated 40 percent of your target market! Here are a few other stats that may have you rethinking your approach:

  • 56 percent of sporting goods searchers on mobile are female
  • 45 percent of home improvement searchers on mobile are female
  • 68 percent of skin and body acre influencers, in the last month, are men

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How Performance Metrics Can Boost Your Social Media Campaign

Social media has been buzzing around everyone’s radar for the past fifteen years…and yet, people still aren’t utilizing it to its fullest potential. We’ve all heard how successful digital platforms can be in creating brand awareness and driving traffic to a company’s website. That’s why about 97% of businesses are using social media to market themselves. But what percent of you are using social media effectively and recording measurable results?

Let’s Find Out!

Measuring your efforts and placing key performance indicators (KPIs) to your social media campaigns are easy ways to shape your content with quantitative data. It is important to remember to set goals for each of your campaigns so the appropriate performance metrics can be assigned properly. For example, if you are an e-commerce website trying to generate sales through your social media campaign, you will probably want to focus more on a metric like conversion rate. we realize that social channels may be harder to measure than traditional traffic sources, but don’t worry…that shouldn’t stop you.

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Transform These 3 Digital Marketing "Vanity" Metrics into Valuable Metrics

“You’re so vain, you probably think these metrics are helping you,” to quote the famous Carly Simon song—or something like that. People, it’s time to have a real heart-to-heart about how you’re evaluating the success of your website and digital marketing efforts.

Vanity Metrics

Let’s be honest—when you see that your latest social media post received a few likes (or loves, thumbs ups, etc.), you get excited. That’s not a coincidence. Seeing this “success” literally triggers a dopamine high that makes you feel rewarded. Whoa.

But the reality of feeling rewarded for achieving more likes, shares, impressions, and pageviews is that it can be very misleading. Assuming you’re not collecting advertising revenue, how much does your company make when someone likes your social media post? How about when someone views a page on your website? Ready for the real downer of an answer? Zero.

I call many of these metrics “vanity metrics.” They’re nice to look at and they can make you feel good about your marketing efforts, but they aren’t the best indicators of lead generation, revenue generation, or any underlying goals your business is trying to achieve.

Should they be considered? Yes, absolutely. So let’s look at some of these dopamine-inducing metrics and how to improve your view of them:

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SEO vs. PPC: What Should You Invest In? (3 Rounds)

Should you put your time and money in pay-per-click (PPC) or search engine optimization (SEO)? Which one is better for your business? It's an ongoing dilemma for business owners invested in digital marketing. In this battle of search, I'll uncover which channel is truly the best to invest in.

Round 1: PPC, The Easy to Control

What is great about PPC is the amount of customer data you have at your fingertips. You can nail down the exact search phrase, time, page, lead information and, most importantly, if this lead became a new customer. You can get a definite idea of your return on ad spend (ROAS).

In fact, tracking isn't the only thing in your control. You control specific placements, budgets, time of day, specific ads and pages. And unlike SEO, it's possible to see results quickly. Within a week or two (depending on the industry and other factors), you can start to leads from paid search.

Not convinced on pay per click? Maybe these stats will help:

  • Business make on average $3 in revenue for every $1.60 they spend on AdWords (Source)
  • The first ad position has a click through rate of almost 8% (Source)
  • You can increase your brand awareness by 80% with a PPC ad (Source)

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Why Typos Matter for Content Marketing and How to Catch Them

Content mistakes matter. The lack of an Oxford comma can lead an appellate judge to overturn a ruling for a labor dispute. An incorrectly entered input from Amazon reportedly cost S&P 500 companies $150 million. A single letter swap can even result in you calling your aunt a very naughty word.

Typos are bound to happen when you write. The key is to find and fix them before what you write hits the web. Just imagine that you're a small business adding their location to their site. Well, instead of Butte, your company now resides in Butt, Montana. It's a simple mistake that will never pop up in spell check, grammar check, or whatever check, but it's still going to make you look like an ass.

Why Does the Quality of My Content Matter?

There are a few reasons. One is that sloppy content can take your users right out of the intended reading experience. Not only can misspellings or other mistakes be distracting, they can also lead the reader to believe that this business doesn't pay attention to detail or doesn't care how they're perceived online. That's not a good look for a business.

Another big reason is because Google says so. The all-powerful rulers of searchlandia name quality content as one of their top ranking factors. When Google's Quality Rater Guidelines leaked back in 2014, the document placed an emphasis on professionally-written content. Sloppy sentences and the occasional spelling mistake just won't do for human testers, which can hurt how well your pages rank for valuable keywords.

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6 Ways Expectations Make or Break Website Redesign Projects

Expectations are key for a successful website redesign project. These expectations affect how a client or agency feels about the other and directly influence the outcome.

In this video, we identify our top 6 agency/client expectations,  explain how they actually shake out in real life, and discuss how to handle them. By understanding these, you're on your way to a more efficient, successful (and fun) website redesign project. 

Are you familiar with these 6 expectations?

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Google Rankings Explained: Why Are My Rankings Going Up and Down?

We consistently receive one excellent question from almost every one of our clients: "Why are my Google rankings going up and down?" There are many forces at play here, but let's take a deeper look to explain Google rankings (and how to influence it).

Out of Your Control: Google Algorithm Changes

Ah yes, the "algorithm." According to trusted sources (thanks Moz), it can change between 500-600 times each year. That means about twice a day, the way Google ranks and displays search engine results changes. Sometimes in very minor ways, sometimes in very major ways.

As companies and as marketers, we have no control over these algorithm updates. They are meant to give searchers the best possible results, and therefore, Google does not publish the secret sauce for how to rank #1.

Here are just a few of the changes we've seen recently:

All of these constant changes affect how your organization's keywords are ranking.

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Content Marketing Articles We Love (in March)

The incredible thing about the internet is that there always seems to be resources at your fingertips. The trick is wading through it all to find what's valuable. To help with this, we have decided to do a monthly round up of articles, blogs, videos, etc. that relate to content marketing, strategy, SEO, and anything else we find interesting.

Here are some of the resources we found valuable this past month:

Article: How to get your content & marketing sorted, in 3 deliberate Acts by Sharon Tanton

What we liked: The way the article is broken up is a perfect way to explain how to plan for content strategy. There is a lot that goes into a content strategy, but many times the amount of both time and work is overlooked. The author does an excellent job of breaking down how the overall process should go. We like the suggestion to start with a strategy, after all, a content-first approach makes projects go much smoother. As the author mentions, knowing what your audience wants and needs makes figuring out what content to create much simpler.

We also like the no-nonsense approach to this process. There will be bumps along the way when restructuring. Or in some cases, like completely overhauling a website, it's important to take those bumps in stride and know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Favorite quote: "There are many obstacles during this construction phase. After all the work putting together the strategy and the plan, it’s easy to get sucked back into business as usual. Don’t get waylaid in Procrastination Lane. Be prepared for hold ups in Nightmare Team Mews. A new digital platform is a change project, so be prepared for a bumpy ride."

Incorporating the value: The article is focused on having a process for content, which is something we can't argue with. This article follows a similar path that we do here at Aztek, while some companies may choose to proceed down this path themselves, we love helping clients down this road and working together.

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5 Advantages of Digital Marketing For Business Owners

2017 is the year that digital marketing spend will surpass TV advertising spend. In fact, based on an eMarketer study, digital represents 36.8% of US total media ad spend last year.

Because of this, you've already started some investment in digital. You have a website, maybe even a blog that you post on every few months, you've set up some social media accounts, you've dabbled in paid search and search engine optimization, but weren't sure how to quantify results. You know you're only scratching the surface. You want to answer these questions with confidence before you invest:

  • How much business is coming from your website?
  • How much potential business could you capture from your website?

Fortunately, that data is available through digital. Unfortunately, you might not have been set up to get this data. While return on investment is the most important reason to put your money in any marketing channel, remember this: do you know the tangible return of a print ad, radio commercial, etc.? That's because there are other advantages of those mediums.

Here are 5 advantages of digital marketing, including capturing ROI, so you can fully understand the investment.

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How to Improve Your Online Presence (3 Essential Elements)

Is your online presence reaching its full potential? In order to maximize your performance online, you must be doing these three things well:

  • Content
  • Marketing
  • Tracking

These do not function independently of each other, and they must be done to the highest level. There are many articles out there and methodologies that argue one over the other, but we really consider all three equally important.

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