13 Ways for a Small Business to Drive Leads

Standard

Last Dreamforce, I had the awesome opportunity to speak with other marketing leaders about lead generation and digital strategy.

This video (below) shares 13 tips to drive leads for SMB. I’ve also included a quote below from my portion, which focused on how to do digital competitive analysis using SEO tools.

Lead generation presentation

Just because your business is small doesn’t mean you can’t compete with bigger, more established companies. Use re-targeting and geo-targeting to saturate audiences that have hit your website to make you company seem bigger than you really are.

“Spy on your digital competitors.”Rachael Fishman, Sr. Analyst, SEO & Acquisition, Salesforce, @rachaelfishman

SEO Podcast: My Conductor Marketing Podcast

Standard

Hello my favorite internet friends!

I recently had a chance to participate in a podcast about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) featured on Conductor’s Search on Tap channel. I enjoyed talking about organic search, digital strategy and product marketing.

Check it out and please share any feedback in the comments.

My Custom Site Performance Dashboard for Google Analytics

Standard

Custom reporting dashboards provide an efficient way to pull relevant data out of Google Analytics.  Once you take the time to define your target metrics, you can easily access your most important information on one page.   Since Google removed the keyword data from Google Analytics, many of the custom dashboards available on the Internet are outdated.  I created my own, with a mobile focus.  

My dashboard measures several different important metrics for my website, including:

  • Users’ Screen Resolution
  • Mobile Device/Browser Type
  • Page Load Time
  • Social Network Metrics
  • Users’ Location
  • Bounce Rate & Avg Time on Page
Feel free to download and share my Site Analysis Dashboard.  If you choose to use it to track your site’s performance, please share any feedback you may have in the comments below.
Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 10.43.57 PM

Twitter Cards & Site Optimization

Standard

Expanded tweets will increase Twitter user engagement and click through rates, and don’t take too much time to build.  Links to your site will become much more detailed and inviting.

If you are looking into making expanded tweets for your site, you will need to tweak your html a bit to add some meta tags to your code, validate your code and apply for approval.  Use JM Twitter Cards for WordPress customizations.  The plug-in supports changes to Robots.txt files, custom fields and analytics.

There are several different formats to choose from when customizing your Twitter Cards, but  Twitter has up to date support on their developer website to refer to.  You can choose what kind of summary, deep-links, content or photos your Twitter Card content features.  They also have some customizable follow buttons available.

For those interested in generating leads off Twitter, there are also Twitter Cards leading to calls-to-action.  Twitter pre-populates email and handle information for each potential lead.  This feature is available through their ads platform, and appears to require additional support (and budget).

Please don’t expect success posting links on irrelevant Twitter accounts.  If I posted WordPress optimization tips to my personal Twitter account, I would lose followers in a minute.  My private personal account is reserved for travel, health and friends.  Share your site content with relevant communities, or you will just be a hamster running on wheels.

Mobile Responsive Design for Non-Developers

Standard

I compiled information catered for web producers, technical project managers, SEO managers and webmasters to help faciliate a foundational understanding of the latest website trend: Mobile Responsive Design.  I know there are many options for revamping a website, and I am most fond of this one.

What is Mobile Responsive Web Design?

Simply defined, responsive web designs (RWD’s) use CSS3 to resize JavaScript websites to optimally render on various mobile or desktop devices. These frameworks use flexible images and 12 proportion-based grids to design page elements. Everything in the grid layout will dynamically resize to a wide range of screen resolutions and devices. You always tell if you are on a mobile responsive site by horizontally minimizing the window size. If the elements on the page relatively shift or disappear, you are likely on a responsive page.

What is a Flexible Grid?

Flexible (or fluid) grids happen when CSS3 prefixes are used to define regions in a layout.  Elements such as margins, padding, rows, columns and spacing on the page are defined as proportions, not rigid percentages. All sizing becomes relative to other page elements.   Once these prefixes are combined with media queries, everything comes together.

What’s a CSS3 Media Query?

Media queries allow websites to collect information about the device or browser being used to access the website, and then use the information to apply the proper CSS style.  Different browser types or screen resolutions can be conditionally targeted using this list of W3 media queries.

What is Twitter Bootstrap?

The most common responsive styleguide used is Twitter Bootstrap (created by Twitter’s developer team).  Bootstrap is an open-source, front-end toolkit used by developers and designers to support their projects.  It is built on LESS (a cleaner CSS stylesheet language), works with HTML5 and supports custom jQuery plugins.  There are many widgets available on bootstrap, which facilitates rapid prototyping.  Many sites on Twitter Bootstrap tend to look alike, due to the lack of customization abilities.

Bootstrap 2 is designed to be desktop first, mobile also.  Anything we want to render on mobile needs a specific media query, or the desktop version will show.  For example: Bootstrap uses pixels: every nested element or component on the page needs sizing requirements defined to render correctly for each type of screen.  There was recently an update to Bootstrap 3, which changed the style guide to be mobile first.  Problem is, to upgrade to Bootstrap 3, one must rewrite some html.

What is Foundation?

The other front-end RWD in the game is Zurb’s Foundation.  Foundation v5 also runs on a grid system, although the code looks a bit different from Boostrap.  Foundation is mobile first, which means anything not specified with a media query will be considered mobile.  Less people use this framework, so there will inherently be less support, tutorials and user forums available online.  There are a very limited amount of UI elements compared to Bootstrap, which may require more front-end design skills.

Some perks to using Foundation involve a lighter JavaScript footprint.  The framework uses smaller files, which likely will speed up the site.  Foundation also uses Zepto, not jQuery.  This is a more efficient JavaScript library which will decrease load time and bandwidth usage for users.  IE compatibility is an issue with Zepto, so be sure to analyze your traffic when choosing what framework to use.

What risks may I encounter by switching over to one of these?

Site speed is an issue with responsive design.  Minifying JavaScript elements can help solve it, but prepare for some issues when transitioning your site over to this framework.  For my own responsive WordPress site, I was able to decrease load time using W3 total cache.

Designing a website without a static design phase might also present some stylistic issues, so be sure to plan your comps around that.  Design more elements and fewer layouts, reliant on HTML.

Sites presenting large amounts of data tables may also encounter some problems, because large numbers of rows and columns will be a challenge for mobile.  There is no work-around for this yet, but there are several responsive table options available, ready to attach to your markup.

How can I learn more about RWD?

I really enjoy taking Codecademy courses.  I used my free membership to familiarize myself with the fundamentals of HTML5 and CSS.  They offer a short beginner level course aimed to teach the user how to design their own AirBnb page.  I highly recommend taking the course, so you can also learn the fundamentals behind the Bootstrap framework.

GOOD LUCK!