Blog – Prager Microsystems http://www.pragermicrosystems.com Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:27:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 54739286 The Half-Truths Behind SEO Practices http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/search-engine-optimization/8411/ Fri, 09 Jun 2017 19:15:41 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8411 Search engine optimization is an important part of your business and at Prager, we know the world of SEO can get a little complicated. From Google rankings to social media to content strategies, there are many things that factor into your SEO success - and it's important to know which practices are misleading and which aren't.

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What’s Misleading and What Isn’t?

Search engine optimization is an important part of your business and at Prager, we know the world of SEO can get a little complicated. From Google rankings to social media to content strategies, there are many things that factor into your SEO success – and it’s important to know which practices are misleading and which aren’t.

We recently came across a Forbes article by Jayson DeMers that explains some of the half-truths behind good and bad SEO practices. We thought we’d share:

“Have you ever heard that Google will blacklist you if you stuff too many keywords into your homepage? How about the idea that the more times a piece of content is shared, the higher it will rank in search engines?

These are only misleading half-truths, but many entrepreneurs and search engine optimizers believe them. For the record, keyword stuffing won’t automatically lead to you being blacklisted by Google, and it’s debatable where the line between “keyword stuffing” and “keyword optimizing” even lies.

And social shares may play a role in ranking potential, (correlation studies suggest that they do, though we all know that correlation doesn’t equal causation) but Google has repeatedly denied that they do. Furthermore, there is also strong correlation that content with more social shares also has more inbound links, and inbound links are known to be one of the top two strongest ranking signals; this has been corroborated by Google itself. So, making a claim that “more shares equals higher rankings” is only half-true, and it’s misleading.

So why are these, and other SEO misconceptions, so rampant, both within the industry and outside it?

The Plight of Half-Truths

First, there’s the tendency for “half-truths,” rather than outright myths, to circulate. There are, of course, outright myths and misconceptions, but most of these are relegated to people outside the industry. For example, if you’ve never tried SEO and you haven’t learned much about it, I imagine it’s easy to continue buying into the old stereotype that SEO is a cheap gimmick designed to game the system.

Half-truths permeate the SEO industry because we aren’t working with hard, direct information (in most cases). Google and other search engines keep their algorithms as proprietary secrets, giving us clues about what they consider when ranking results, but not spelling it out for us. Accordingly, when someone presents an idea that sounds plausible, it’s readily accepted as truth.

Take the social media shares claim as an example; earning more shares on your content does increase the likelihood that it’ll earn inbound links (since your content will be visible to more people), but it’s probably not the social shares themselves doing the work.

Is it a good idea to try to get more shares on your content? Of course it is, but it’s probably an even better idea to try to attract more inbound links to that content if your goal is to get it to rank higher in search engines, and getting more social shares on that content is just one of many ways to get more links for it.

Thus, it’s a half-truth that’s easy to accept, based on the contextual clues and instinctive knowledge we have about how search works.

The Pace of the Industry

Misinformation also arises because the SEO industry naturally moves so quickly. Though Google has transitioned from releasing big packets of game-changing updates to its algorithm to adopting a gradual, continual release schedule, the emergence and distribution of new technologies and search trends makes it hard for search optimizers to keep up.

This has a few effects on the spread of misinformation. First, it’s easy for previously valid information to become obsolete. For example, it was once a good idea to make sure the anchor text for your links had exact-match text to the keywords you’re trying to optimize for.

Second, in a desperate bid to be the first person to cover a new update or new search story, people often report on incomplete information. It’s actually a good thing that we circulate information in bits and pieces—that’s what helps us put together the big picture—but if you form an assumption too early, you might end up misunderstanding what’s really going on.

Finally, the pace and nature of the industry means people blog and converse very quickly. If a piece of bad information leaks, it will only take a day or two to circulate throughout the entire community. Fortunately, that also means the community is quick to course-correct itself, but in the short-term, it leaves more people exposed to that bad information.

How to Protect Yourself

If you’re new to the industry, or if you’re a seasoned expert who spends lots of time perusing for new information, there are a handful of measures you can take to prevent the spread and absorption of misinformation:

  • Check your sources. First, make sure to check your sources. If a person at a networking event mentions an SEO tip, for example, consider whether they’ve had any extensive experience in the SEO industry. Someone with a career in SEO is more likely to give you accurate information than a novice. Online, get your news and information from individuals and organizations you trust. There’s no shortage of self-proclaimed industry experts in the SEO world, but not all of them have the same amount of expertise and reputation.
  • Look for hard evidence. Anecdotal evidence may point you in a good general direction; if someone reports that they saw an overall ranking boost after engaging in a specific tactic, that’s not necessarily bad or wrong. However, it’s much better to rely on hard evidence, which is available across multiple companies and applications. Look for statistical analysis, real data points, and most importantly, replicability. Just because it works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for the rest.
  • Cross-reference. If you see a piece of information from one source, even if it’s trustworthy, see if you can find the same information from another source. This is why it’s a good idea to have an extended, rotating list of news authorities in the SEO industry. If one organization reports that there’s a new update that does X, Y, and Z, see if another organization has independent data to confirm that it’s the case.
  • Challenge your assumptions. Finally—and this is good advice for all search optimizers—never let your assumptions go unchecked. Things in the SEO industry change often, and misinformation is common. Make it a point to challenge your beliefs, and try to disprove your own hypotheses. This takes longer, and takes more effort, but it will get you closer to the real truth.

SEO misinformation isn’t going away anytime soon, but the better you equip yourself against it, the more you can resist its effects on your campaign.”

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Common Mistakes in the Writing World http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/content-strategy/writing-mistakes-that-you-just-cant-shake/ Thu, 04 May 2017 15:09:40 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=2070 For some, writing and grammar come naturally and piecing sentences together isn't something you have to think twice about. For others, however, it's a struggle to remember and abide by the rules in the writing world. Below is a list of writing mistakes that tend to be the most popular (and often most confusing) for writers and those trying to be writers.

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Yes, You’ve Probably Made Some of These

For some, writing and grammar come naturally and piecing sentences together isn’t something you have to think twice about. For others, however, it’s a struggle to remember and abide by the rules in the writing world. Below is a list of writing mistakes that tend to be the most popular (and often most confusing) for writers and those trying to be writers:

Who vs. Whom

This distinction is hard when we rarely hear people say “whom” in everyday conversation, but the rule here is “who” is a subjective, which means if you’re referring to the subject in a sentence, you use “who.”

For example: Who is baking the birthday cake?
Here, you’re trying to find the person (the subject) baking the cake.

“Whom,” on the other hand, is an objective, which means if you’re referring to someone other than the subject, you use “whom.”

For example: Whom is Dan baking the birthday cake for?
Here, Dan (the subject) is baking the cake and you’re trying to find the person (the object) receiving it.

Quotation Punctuation

Many people are confused as to whether punctuation should go on the inside or outside of quotation marks. The rule here is that commas and periods always go inside quotation marks. Question marks, however, rely on the subject matter. If the sentence itself is a question, you put the question mark outside of the quotations.

For example: Does Lily like “Of Mice and Men”?

If the sentence is a statement and the content in quotation marks is a question, you put the question mark inside the quotation marks.

For example: He heard Lily ask, “What should I read today?”

Then vs. Than

Even though there’s a very simple rule when it comes to these words, writers still have a hard time remembering the difference. The rule here is you use “than” in a comparison. Any other time, you use “then.”

For example: “I’d rather have chocolate than vanilla” means you’d prefer chocolate instead of vanilla (a comparison). “I’d rather have chocolate then vanilla” means you’d prefer having chocolate first and vanilla second (not a comparison).

Fewer vs. Less

There’s a very simple rule for these words as well. The rule here is if you can count the items, use “fewer.” If you’re talking about something that doesn’t have a numeric value, use “less.”

For example: “Tim has fewer employees than Sarah” vs. “Tim is less successful than Sarah.” Here, you can count the number of apples but you can’t count the number of success.

Adjective Hyphens

Compound words are often used as an adjective to describe something. The common rule here is that if the adjective you’re using comes before the subject, use hyphens.

For example: The well-known comedian died last night.

If the adjective comes after your subject, don’t use hyphens.

For example: The comedian who died last night was well known.

Singular/Plural Verbs

If you have both a singular and plural word in your sentence, it can be tricky to know which verb to use. The rule here is if the subject is singular, the verb should be singular. If the subject is plural, the verb should be plural. You may have to take an extra few seconds to figure out which word is really your subject:

For example: “The box of apples was left on her roof.” Here, the box (which is singular) is the subject, so you use “was” and not “were.”

For example: “The staff members don’t like the new coffee.” Here, the members (which is plural) are the subject, so you use “don’t” instead of “doesn’t.”

The Semicolon

Many writers avoid semicolons for fear of using them wrong. The rule here is fairly simple: you use a semicolon to separate two related independent clauses (sentences that can stand on their own). Keep in mind: if there is a conjunction in the middle of two sentences, it can be replaced with a semicolon.

For example: “Tina made fettuccine Alfredo for dinner and the sauce was delicious” can also be “Tina made fettuccine Alfredo for dinner; the sauce was delicious.”

Have another question about writing techniques? Give our digital marketing experts a call. We’d be happy to help!

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The Importance of Social Media in Today’s Marketing World http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/social-media/the-importance-of-social-media-in-todays-marketing-world/ Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:30:59 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8397 Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you've heard about some of the most recent incidents that have been taking social media by storm. From United Airlines' passenger removal to Pepsi's demonstration-centered advertisement, the actions taken by today's brands are subject to immediate praise or criticism via social media.

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There’s No Escaping It

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ve heard about some of the most recent incidents that have been taking social media by storm. From United Airlines’ passenger removal to Pepsi’s demonstration-centered advertisement, the actions taken by today’s brands are subject to immediate praise or criticism via social media.

With millions of active users on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and many of them constantly capturing or sharing content, it doesn’t take long for something to go viral. And if your company is behind viral content that’s less than ideal, things can get pretty rough That’s why it’s essential to understand the importance of social media and the impact it can have in today’s marketing world.

Creating a Brand

Because much of the world revolves around the internet, social media is an opportunity for you to create a specific brand for your company. With every Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn post you write or share, you can establish more and more of your brand, so posting the right things is important.

Using social media to share your latest ads can be a great way to get your name out there and engage with a large audience (given that your ad doesn’t send the wrong message or spark a controversy, of course). These ads also give you a chance to teach social media users more about who your company is and what it does.

If your company has a unique culture or vibe that you want to associate with your brand, social media platforms are ideal for this. Social users love easily-shareable content and if you put a little twist on yours, it’s sure to reach an array of people. Try creating a short video, an entertaining About page, or an employee photo compilation to capture attention and promote sharing.

Engagement & Responses

It’s not enough to simply be present on social media – you also have to engage with your followers. Responding to likes, comments, retweets, and more will show others that you’re actively trying to create connections with your followers. This applies even if you receive negative feedback. The sooner you address a negative comment or complaint, the more respect you’ll gain from your upset customer. Just remember to be polite and make it a point to try to rectify the situation.

In the end, social media is all about being social, so taking an interest in what your followers are doing and saying is a great way to stay engaged and show users that you’re an active company that cares about engagement. If you do run into a bad situation (like United or Pepsi), don’t lash out immediately in defense. Instead, take the time to understand why your content had a negative impact and put yourself in the public’s shoes – what kind of response would you like to hear from a company that made a mistake?

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A Brief History of Digital Marketing http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/general/a-brief-history-of-internet-marketing/ Thu, 06 Apr 2017 13:30:02 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=4224 When the Internet was first introduced, it wasn't meant for advertising - it was a way to exchange emails and information. But it didn't take long for marketers to see why such a tool could help them grow their businesses. Here are some events that kicked it off.

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The Internet Wasn’t Always This Way

When the Internet was first introduced, it wasn’t meant for advertising – it was a way to exchange emails and information. But it didn’t take long for marketers to see why such a tool could help them grow their businesses. Here are some events that kicked it off:

In the Beginning…

After email was invented, it was used mainly by the military and universities, but in 1979, CompuServe (the first major U.S. commercial online service) began offering email and technical support to personal computer users. Throughout the next two decades, email was used to exchange information and transfer data – it wasn’t until the early ’90s that businesses started seeing the marketing benefit in it.

The First Browser

In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee invented the first “web browser” named WorldWideWeb (later renamed Nexus to avoid confusion with the World Wide Web). The idea of a web browser didn’t gain much popularity, however, until 1993 when the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released Mosaic, a graphical web browser that was easier to use and install. After these inventions, the Internet began booming.

B2C E-Commerce

While business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce had been popular since the 1970s, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce didn’t become popular until 1991, when the National Science Foundation (credited for creating the first “Internet”) lifted its restrictions for commercial use of its Internet. Online shopping grew over the next few years and in 1995, the largest online retailer in the world, Amazon, was introduced.

Search Engines

Even though the first search engine was technically invented in 1990 (and called Archie), it wasn’t until 1994 that the first search engine most like today’s search engines was invented. A company called WebCrawler released a search engine that indexed titles and headers of a web page as well as all of its content. Later that year, a search engine called Lycos was released that added to the features of WebCrawler by ranking results based on relevancy.

After Google was invented in 1996, the company launched its AdWords campaign in 2003, which was the first system that marketers could use to serve ads in response to a user’s desires.

Mobile Marketing

In the late 2000s, Apple popularized the development of mobile apps and third-party software with its “i” operating system. Because of this, consumers were able to choose how they wanted to consume their content and businesses began taking advantage of it by marketing their products and services through mobile efforts – a practice that is still growing today.

Our digital marketing agency services clients nationwide and can help you promote your business through mobile marketing. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

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6 Digital Marketing Trends for This Year http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/marketing/8-digital-marketing-trends-for-this-year/ Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:09:35 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8390 As marketing continues to evolve, it's important to keep up with the trends so you can reach as many customers as possible. Here at our digital marketing agency, we're constantly working to keep up with what's new and what's effective. Here are a few trends we've noticed so far this year.

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Is Your Business in the Loop?

As marketing continues to evolve, it’s important to keep up with the trends so you can reach as many customers as possible. Here at our digital marketing agency, we’re constantly working to keep up with what’s new and what’s effective. Here are a few trends we’ve noticed so far this year:

Content Is Still King

No matter what anyone says, content is still king in the digital marketing world. Customers are still looking for relevant, informative content to educate them about the products or services that a business offers. In addition, businesses should still be focusing on fresh content like blogs and social media posts to keep good rankings in search engine results.

People Love Images

The bottom line is: people love to look at things and when it comes to digital marketing, if you have an image attached to your content (especially in social media posts), you’ll have a better chance of capturing someone’s attention and turning them into a customer.

In-Store Marketing Is Relevant

While in-store marketing may not sound digital, it actually can be. Today, 80 percent of millennials use their phones while they’re shopping in a store and 74 percent of them claim they’d be willing to location-based mobile alerts (according to Extreme SEO). This means you can reach out to them via mobile marketing while they’re in the store.

Quality Is Better Than Quantity

Our digital marketing agency has always said this – when it comes to the information you provide your audience, you should be focusing on quality rather than quantity. Not only will quality content reflect better on your reputation, but you’ll also gain a better standing with search engines like Google and Yahoo.

Infographics Aren’t Dead

It’s always hard to tell whether infographics are still relevant or if they’ve gone by the wayside, but according to the Content Marketing Institute, the effectiveness rating for infographics among B2B marketers rose more in 2016 than any other tactic – from 50 percent to 58 percent.

User-Generated Content Is on the Rise

While user-generated content is nothing new, more and more brands have turned to crowd-sourcing to enhance the quality of their content. (You’ll find this especially true on Instagram.) When you have other reputable experts writing about your industry, it increases your credibility and helps broaden your exposure.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Paid Search Campaign http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/paid-search/ways-to-improve-your-paid-search-campaign/ Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:35:23 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=3634 A paid search campaign gives you the opportunity to gain immediate exposure for your business, but there is more involved than just creating ads and waiting for the customers to come pouring in. Consider these tips to improve your paid search campaign.

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A paid search campaign gives you the opportunity to gain immediate exposure for your business, but there is more involved than just creating ads and waiting for the customers to come pouring in. Consider these tips to improve your paid search campaign:

1) Acknowledge user peak times.

To reach the most potential customers, determine the time frame when your users are most likely searching for your products or services. If users search for you between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., make sure your ads are showing then.

2) Use unique words.

You may already have a prime spot on Google’s results page, but you still have competitors to beat. The best way to appeal to people is through words. By using unique, to-the-point words, you’ll have a better chance of capturing attention than your competition.

3) Take advantage of seasonality.

If you have a business that is more successful during a certain season, take advantage of it. Create a larger budget for your ads during your most successful time and decrease it during your off time.

4) Choose the right keywords.

Do some keyword research to find out what keywords your audience is searching for and incorporate them into your ad content. The more relevant your keywords, the greater chance you have for your ads to be successful.

5) Test your ads.

When you begin your ad campaign, use A/B testing to find out which ads result in the most leads. Create two ads with the same verbiage, but link them to different pages of your website. Then, determine which is more successful and use that one to draw in business.

At Prager, our digital marketing agency specialists know what kind of ads to write and when to display them, so if you’re looking for paid search management, give us a call.

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A Helpful Web Design Glossary http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/web-design/a-helpful-web-design-glossary/ Wed, 01 Mar 2017 18:28:34 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=4104 Whether you're a designer or someone who just wants to understand their website a little more, there are times you may come across a web design term and have no idea what it means. That's why our digital marketing agency put together this great little glossary of commonly used words in the web design world.

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Whether you’re a designer or someone who just wants to understand their website a little more, there are times you may come across a web design term and have no idea what it means. That’s why our digital marketing agency put together this great little glossary of commonly used words in the web design world:

A

Above the Fold: The part of the web page that is visible on-screen before the user scrolls down.

Analogous Colors: Colors that are directly next to each other on the color wheel. For example: red, red-orange, and orange or blue-green, blue, and purple.

Alt Tag: Otherwise known as an “alt attribute,” an alt tag is simply the text that appears where an image is as the image is downloading.

B

B2B/B2C: A B2B website is one that focuses on selling to other businesses (business to business) while a B2C website focuses on selling to customers (business to customer).

Backend: The code, HTML markup, files and server processes that make the website work.

Breadcrumbs: The navigational path within the website from the homepage to the current page. For example: “Home > Solutions > Social Media”

C

Cloaking: A frowned upon technique where a website shows different content to different users, depending on their IP address.

Content Management System: Otherwise known as CMS, this program gives users a way to edit their website within a browser without having to know HTML.

CSS: Otherwise known as a Cascading Style Sheet, it is a language that determines how the elements of a website look on the page.

D

Dithering: Creating new colors from ones that already exist in an image by interspersing pixels.

Domain Name: A website’s address. For example: pragermicrosystems.com.

E

End User: The person for whom a website is built.

Entry Page: The first page a visitor sees when entering a website. (It doesn’t always have to be the home page.)

F

Favicon: A small icon image (usually a logo) that is associated with a specific website. You’ll see this image in the title bar of the browser.

Frontend: The visual part of a website as opposed to its build elements.

Function: A section of code that can be summoned from another section of code or another page so that the designer doesn’t have to keep repeating it.

G

Ghost Site: A website that is still on the Internet, but isn’t maintained or updated.

Graphics: Another word for images on a website.

H

Host: The company that provides a web server in order for a website to be visible.

HTML: A language used by designers to construct web pages.

HEX Code: A code used in HTML and CSS that refers to a specific color. It usually appears after the pound (#) sign.

I

Image Map: An image on a website that features one or more areas (instead of the entire area) as a link.

Index Page: The page that is served if no page is specified. This page is usually the home page.

IP Address: A series of numbers in blocks that defines a computer connected to the Internet. For example: 231.645.3.76.

K

Kerning: Used in logo design, kerning refers to the gaps between letters. For example: the space between the “n” and the “o” in “no.”

l

Layout: Refers to the way that different elements on a page are arranged and organized.

Lorem Ipsum: A synonym for dummy or placeholder text. It contains scrambled Latin words and begins with “lorem ipsum.”

M

Malware: Malicious software that is designed to infect a system and steal or destroy data.

Markup: Another term for code. (In web design, markup is HTML.)

Mirror Site: A website that holds copies of another website’s files that are usually spread across more than one server to give visitors the fastest download.

N

Named Anchor: A link that links to another area on the same web page. These are often used in FAQs.

Not Found: Usually accompanied with “404 Error,” this means that the page typed into the URL doesn’t exist.

O

Orphan: An opening line, word, or short line that appears alone at the end of a page or paragraph.

P

Padding: A term that specifies the space between the border of an element and the element itself.

Pixels: Tiny dots that make up the images you see on a computer screen.

R

Radio Button: A small circle that when selected, turns black. These buttons are usually used in a multiple choice question when there is only one answer.

Ranking: How well a website performs. Rankings usually refer to where on a search engine results page the website is.

Resolution: The number of dots or pixels displayed per inch (DPI) on a computer monitor.

S

Saturation: How bright or bold a color is.

Sitemap: A web page that lists all of the links within that website.

T

Template: A website that can be bought or downloaded and modified instead of one created from scratch.

Text Link: A hyperlink that has text only. These are usually used in advertising.

Thumbnail: A smaller version of a larger image. These are usually used in photo galleries and expand when clicked on.

V

Vanilla: The simplest version of a website or program.

Visit: When one person accesses a website, regardless of how many pages they clicked on or how long they stayed there.

W

White Space: The unused space between the elements on a website. Also called negative space.

Widow: The text at the end of a paragraph that spills onto the next page or column.

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Do People Buy the Brands They Follow on Social Media? http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/social-media/how-social-media-affects-the-brands-people-buy/ Thu, 23 Feb 2017 01:51:26 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8376 Businesses both large and small have caught onto the fact that they need to have a presence on social media. From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram and more, businesses are using these platforms to advertise their products, share their latest news, and reach out to customers.

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Businesses both large and small have caught onto the fact that they need to have a presence on social media. From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram and more, businesses are using these platforms to advertise their products, share their latest news, and reach out to customers. Some major brands like Pepsi, Whole Foods, and Southwest Airlines have millions of followers, but does having millions of followers mean those followers buy your brand?

Age Factor

While people of all ages are active on social media, the way they use it and what they use it for differs. Just last month, Sprout Social polled 1,000 internet users in the baby boomer, Gen-X, and millennial categories. It found that Gen-Xers and millennials are twice as likely to follow a brand on social media compared to baby boomers.

People of different ages also follow brands for different reasons. The poll found that millennials follow for information and for entertainment while Gen-Xers follow for contests and deals. Baby boomers follow for a mix of both information and deals.

Who Buys?

Even though age affects which brands individuals follow, it doesn’t affect whether or not they buy from them. Around 70 percent of Gen-Xers, 60 percent of millennials, and 50 percent of baby boomers say they are likely to buy something from a brand that they follow.

In addition, they’re even more likely to buy when they’ve had a positive interaction with the brand. So if you own a business and are present on social media, make sure you respond to your customers in a timely and friendly manner – it could up your chances of them becoming a customer.

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58 Digital Marketing Statistics That May Surprise You http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/marketing/58-digital-marketing-statistics-that-may-surprise-you/ Fri, 17 Feb 2017 22:16:08 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8372 While traditional marketing is still going strong, digital marketing has grown more and more in popularity over the last several years. In fact, according to Business 2 Community, marketing leaders will spend 76% of their total budget on digital marketing by the year 2021. Here, they share 58 statistics about digital marketing that every marketer should know.

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While traditional marketing is still going strong, digital marketing has grown more and more in popularity over the last several years. In fact, according to Business 2 Community, marketing leaders will spend 76% of their total budget on digital marketing by the year 2021. Here, they share 58 statistics about digital marketing that every marketer should know:

Email Marketing Statistics

Email marketing is one of the most successful online digital marketing platforms. Here are some of the top statistics that will show you just how vital email marketing is to your digital marketing strategy.

  • Gmail alone has over 1 billion users, and it is expected to grow to 3 billion users by 2020 (Statista).
  • The number of active email accounts worldwide was roughly 4.1 billion in 2014 and is expected to increase to nearly 5.6 billion towards the end of 2019 (Statista).
  • The New York Times has over 30 email newsletters, with around a 70% open rate, and brand-new newsletters dedicated to unique audiences like college students and runners (Digiday).
  • The most popular days to send emails are Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but since these days are so popular, you may have a better chance at an open rate if you send them on Mondays and Fridays instead (CoSchedule).
  • Open rates are highest, around 24%, from the hours of 6pm-11pm, or after work (Campaign Monitor).
  • Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened (Experian).
  • The average professional sends and receives 121 emails a day (The Radicati Group).
  • 2% of emails now contain an emoji in the subject line, which may help with conversion (Salesforce).
  • 80% of survey respondents said email etiquette played an important role in their decision to interact with a stranger (Marketing Land).
  • People over the age of 45 (nearly 70%) were more receptive to humor in a subject line than a younger audience (Marketing Land).
  • 80% of respondents indicated grammatical errors were one of the biggest email faux pas. Next on the list included: profanity, irregular fonts, capitalized subject lines, excessive punctuation, and lack of subject line, which 70% of respondents said was unacceptable (Marketing Land).

Mobile Marketing Statistics

Mobile device use is increasing every day and, as such, optimizing your marketing efforts for mobile should be a top priority. Here are some of the most interesting stats that will urge you to take a second look at your mobile strategy this year.

  • The number of unique monthly searches is over 100 billion, and over half of those come from a mobile device (DMR).
  • 80% of internet users own a smartphone (Smart Insights).
  • By the end of 2013, 41% of email marketing emails were being opened on mobile devices (Campaign Monitor).
  • 31% of marketers say they open at least half of their emails on a mobile device. This means subject lines need to accommodate smartphones. (2015 State of Marketing Report).
  • Only 47% of B2C brands are fully optimizing their snippet text for easy reading on mobile devices (Salesforce Marketing Cloud).
  • Nearly 80% of time spent on social media platforms happens on mobile devices (Marketing Land).
  • Over 50% of smartphone users grab their phone immediately after waking up in the morning (Express Pigeon).
  • In 2014, companies that optimize for mobile devices increased by 22% (Adestra).
  • 71% of marketers say mobile marketing is core to their business (Salesforce).
  • 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site if they had a problem accessing it, and 40% will go to a competitor instead (McKinsey & Company).

Social Media Marketing Statistics

Social media is changing the face of the marketing culture in several ways. With social media, it’s easier to collect useful data on consumers, build a visible and popular brand, and sell products on various social media platforms. The following statistics will boggle your mind and help you understand the importance of having a successful social strategy this year.

  • Facebook has over 1.66 billion monthly smartphone users (DMR).
  • More hashtags are appearing in subject lines to connect email marketing to social activity. This may affect open rates, but it can help boost social media engagement. (Salesforce).
  • 32% of teenagers say Instagram is the most important social network, and 81% of Millennials check Twitter at least once a day (Pew Research Center).
  • 22% of the world’s population uses Facebook with North America being in first place and Africa coming in last. (Statista).
  • YouTube, on mobile alone, reaches more 18-34 and 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the US (YouTube).
  • Out of all marketing avenues, social and advertising are claiming the top positions for increased spending within the next 12 months (Salesforce).
  • 59% of Americans with social media accounts say that social customer service makes it easier to get issues resolved and questions answered (Hootsuite).
  • 28% of Americans with a social media account would rather engage with a brand on social media than go to a physical location (Hootsuite).

Display Advertising Statistics

When it comes to digital marketing, you can’t leave one of the oldest forms of online advertising out of the equation—display ads.

  • The average person now spends more time online than with all other media outlets combined (Branding Bricks).
  • Total spending on internet advertising is said to grow 12.9% next year as the internet is now the largest medium for advertising (MediaPost).
  • 54% of survey respondents said they didn’t trust banner ads (Banner Snack).
  • Additionally, 58% of users say they don’t click on ads, because they aren’t relevant, and 57% are concerned about security and privacy (Market Wired).
  • 33% of internet users can’t stand display ads (Page Fair).
  • The average clickthrough rate of display ads is %0.06 (Display Benchmark Tool).
  • 198 million active internet users around the world use an ad block software (Page Fair).
  • 98% of advertisers are wasting money on display ads (Unbounce).
  • Native ads are a more productive investment than banner ads considering they are viewed 53% more than banner ads (Dedicated Media).
  • Retargeting campaigns can result in a high ROI (Retargeter).
  • And, users who are retargeted are 70% more likely to actually convert (Digital Information World).
  • Native ads that also include rich media can boost conversions by 60% (Adweek).

Content Marketing Statistics

Content marketing continues to evolve as an effective piece of the digital marketing puzzle. As such, becoming familiar with trends, patterns, and top statistics can help guide your content strategy. Here are some surprising statistics that every marketer will enjoy.

  • Blog posts are getting more visual and longer with the average post length being about 1050 words (Orbit Media Solutions).
  • However, the average blog reader only spends 37 seconds reading a blog post (NewsCred Insights).
  • 33% of marketers average 2 to 5 blog posts a month (LookBook HQ).
  • 70% of B2B marketers are planning to create more content in 2017 (Content Marketing Institute).
  • 75% of marketers are using interactive content this next year, while 24% have plans for it to remain the same, and only 1% are planning a decrease in the use of this type of content (Content Marketing Institute).
  • Almost 60% of marketers reuse content 2 to 5 times (LookBook HQ).
  • 69% of companies say their video budget is increasing (Ascend2).
  • The demand for Infographics increased 800% last year (Unbounce).
  • 81% of marketers plan to increase their use of written content (Social Media Examiner).
  • 28% of marketers want to learn more about podcasting (Social Media Examiner).

Customer Satisfaction Statistics

It’s futile to talk about the top digital marketing statistics without highlighting the importance of number one reason for marketing in the first place—customer satisfaction. The following statistics will give you insight into the marketer and consumer relationship.

  • Loyal customers are x as likely to try a new offering, 5 times as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, and 4x as likely to refer someone (Temkin Group).
  • Customer satisfaction is the number 1 indicator of marketing success for the second year in a row (Salesforce).
  • Churn can increase by up to 15% if companies fail to respond to customers via social media (Gartner).
  • Modern marketers are making customer engagement one of the highest priorities, just second to brand awareness (Salesforce).
  • 73% of consumers say friendly customer service representatives can make them fall in love with a brand (RightNow).
  • By the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key differentiator (Walker).
  • Top marketing teams are committed to the customer journey. In fact, 65% of marketers agree that the more a marketer has committed to the customer journey as part of the overall business strategy, the better they will perform as a marketer (Salesforce).
  • 87% of customers say brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent customer experience (Kampyle).
  • 70% of marketers agree that focusing on customer journey has lead to an increase in revenue growth (Salesforce).

When it comes to digital marketing, the experts at Prager know what’s best for your business. Give us a call today to get started with web design, social media, email marketing, and more.

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The Elements of a Good Business Logo http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/blog/marketing/the-elements-of-a-good-business-logo/ Thu, 02 Feb 2017 18:10:03 +0000 http://www.pragermicrosystems.com/?p=8364 A logo is one of the most important visual elements of your business - it’s what can make you instantly recognizable to anyone, in any place. But a logo can’t just be anything – it has to be something eye-catching and memorable. As any reputable digital marketing company knows, it should also have these things.

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A logo is one of the most important visual elements of your business – it’s what can make you instantly recognizable to anyone, in any place. But a logo can’t just be anything – it has to be something eye-catching and memorable. As any reputable digital marketing company knows, it should also have these things:

Simplicity

A simple logo is one that anyone can easily remember – one that you would recognize if it flashed in front of you for a second. If it has font, the font is readable; the colors are clean and the shape is clear. A great example is the Nike logo – a simple “checkmark” that everyone can immediately tie to an athletic corporation.

Flexibility

You know your logo is flexible when it can be recognized in black and white (and any printed color besides the original). You should also be able to read it when it’s shrunk down to a small size or blown up to a large size. Your logo should also look good when printed in reverse (meaning the logo is light and the background is dark).

Timelessness

A good logo doesn’t go “out of style” – it’s one that can stay relevant for decades. If you’re trying to decide on a logo for your company, don’t think about what’s trending right now. Think about how you can make it “classic” (like the Coca Cola logo which has been around since 1885).

Relevance

Think about your target audience before you create your logo. This way, you can make it relevant and appropriate for your business. If your audience is mainly women, you may not want to use something “manly” like a football. A good example is the Toys “R” Us logo – it has a backwards “R” because they sell products for children.

Need a good logo? We’re experts when it comes to design, so give us a call today! We can help you design one that suits your business perfectly.

*photo courtesy of thermnagency.com

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