The Cardinal Blog

Inbound Marketing & The New Path to Purchase

Lets face it, sales is getting harder. Consumers now go through about 57 percent of the purchasing process before ever talking to a sales person. The question that most sales teams are asking themselves is, “How do we influence 50 percent of the process and lead the consumer to us?” The answer, at least for most B2B companies is simple: inbound marketing.

 What Does Inbound Marketing Look Like in 2014?

path to purchaseContent marketing and social media have gained a lot of traction for inbound marketing in 2014. According to a survey by Moz, the demand for content creation among marketers increased almost 72 percent at the end of 2013.

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Posted in Blog, Internet Marketing Updates, Marketing Strategy

How Brands Can Use Google Trends for Market Research

Tess Havash

While Google Trends has been around for a while now, there are brands that are still not using the tool to its full potential for market research.  In addition to illustrating a search term’s past, current, and future traffic volume, this tool also provides valuable insight into seasonal trends and regional interest for search terms.

According to Google, there are two kinds of data omitted from Trends graphs:

1. Terms with low search volume: Trends only analyzes data for popular search terms, so terms with low volume won’t appear.

2. Duplicate searches: Trends eliminates repeated queries from a certain user over a short period of time.

Google Trends meme

Google Trends answers a variety of questions:

  • What search terms consumers are using
  • Where the search interest is predominantly coming from
  • Related terms that are popular or gaining popularity
  • How your brand is ranking compared to your competitors

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Five of the Most Common Mistakes in SEM

Joelle Davis

I’ve spent quite some time auditing PPC accounts during my time in search engine marketing and have seen a recurring pattern across multiple incoming accounts. Here’s a list of the top five mistakes I’ve come to see implemented incorrectly across paid search accounts.

conversion tracking meme#1: Conversion Tracking

First, let me clarify something very important: a conversion for the sake of PPC does not necessarily mean the point at which a lead converts into a customer. It can mean anything from an inquiry form fill, phone call, website registration or sale. In order to optimize any PPC account efficiently, it is crucial for conversion tracking to be set up across the account. Without it, marketers are forced to optimize based on clicks and other metrics that do not fully represent the customer’s end behavior.

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Online Reputation Management 101

Patrick Haire

What is reputation management online? Well, the name says it all: it is the practice of monitoring and influencing your reputation on the internet. There are two sides to ORM: reviews & ratings and owning the first page of Google through review sites.

Testimonials

The obvious starting point is online reviews and ratings. A Nielsen study showed that 92 percent of consumers around the world trust earned media, or recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising.  Also, according to Search Engine Land, 85 percent of consumers report that they read online reviews for local businesses.

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The Power of Programmatic: Finding the Right Audience at the Right Price

1996-eco-system

Online display trading in 1996.

A lot has changed since online display advertising first started in 1996. Back then, much like print before it, companies purchased ad placements on online news sites such as the New York Times and CNN. Targeting the right audience was crude, if someone read the food section of the New York Times it was hoped that they would be interested in purchasing Martha Stewart or Cuisinart. Limited targeting options and a small number of publishers meant that display advertising was a primarily a branding mechanism for enterprise level companies looking to dominate the online space. The advent of programmatic trading has changed all this.

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Posted in SEM

8 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Website Redesign

Caity Cogdell

Most companies don’t have the luxury of redesigning their website every six months, so it’s best to be prepared to get the most out of your new design. These suggestions will help you make sure that your new website will serve you well into the future.

1. Start early – it will take longer than you think

By the time you choose a web design company, get your content written, schedule a photo shoot and get the pictures back from the photographer, go through a few rounds of designs, and have the new website developed and tested, even a fairly simple site can take months from concept to launch. If you want your new website to last a long time, invest the time upfront to do things correctly. The last thing you want to do is rush this essential investment and either be stuck applying “band-aid” solutions to major problems or have to start all over again.

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What Facebook Taught Me by Flagging My Account

skylar sperin

Until recently I have had a very open relationship with Facebook. As a social media specialist, I tell Facebook everything, my wants and desires, and he (only because the founder/CEO is a male) delivers.

It all began one morning when I was checking the status of a client’s Facebook ad account. A giant red banner displayed across the top of my monitor reading, “Your ad account has recently been flagged because of unusual activity. For security reasons, any ads you’re running will be paused until you can confirm your account information by contacting Facebook.” Immediately I began to cry uncontrollably (possible exaggeration). It was my worst nightmare. I selected the link provided and continued to fill out a form that signed my life away. That’s right, I had to submit my terrible driver’s license with my entire life story for the situation at hand. McLovin-License

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Don’t Get Carried Away by Google “Pigeon” Update

Nick Mahoney

It seems the minute you’ve gained enough knowledge to work the system, Google decides to throw you for another loop. July 24th marked a big day for SEO companies and local businesses, and just another day for Google. But, rather than just sitting there stagnant cursing Matt Cutts’ name, understand the rules have changed and learn how to adapt.

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Posted in Blog, Internet Marketing Updates, Marketing Strategy, SEO

What to look for in a “Trusted Agency”

Mike Richardson

In today’s world of hiring an agency many clients place emphasis on the value of an agency’s org chart, current client list, the staff that will manage their accounts, so on and so forth.
trust_image

In the past, prospective clients would be wined, dined and entertained by an agency to secure a contract. Most of the time that involved golf outings, tickets to sporting events, an occasional “free vacation” (yeah that even happened to me once) or other means to lock down that monthly retainer. This all happened while building what I call the “trust factor” with the executives and management team on both sides.

Well, times have changed a bit and less emphasis is given to the actual process of building trust with prospective clients. This, like all other things digital today, is partially due to the fact that no one seems to have the time to invest in building trust with the agency upfront.

When a prospect signs on with any agency, whether it’s here at Cardinal Web Solutions, or anywhere else, far too often the “Advisor” part comes as part of the ink on the contract. At that point it becomes a race to build trust along with managing all of the other moving parts.

The “Blanket Approach”

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Posted in Blog

Is Social Selling the Next Big Thing?

Sometimes it seems as though there’s at least one hot new buzz word every month.  While a few have enough relevance to create some sticking power – “man cave,” “inbound marketing” and “internet of things” readily pop into mind – more often than not, I find that these new terms are more bark than bite.

Lately, there’s been quite a bit of barking about “social selling.” Do a quick search on Google and you will find many people talking about “social selling” as a new technique using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with prospects and sell. In all the reading it would seem social selling is a completely new phenomenon created in the last ten years.

My friends over at HootSuite (Full disclosure: I’m a HootSuite Certified Professional) created the definitive guide to social selling. (We know it’s definitive because they conveniently titled it “A Definitive Guide to Social Selling.”) Hootsuite did a great job of downplaying social selling as a completely new strategy, instead emphasizing that, along with inbound marketing, sales 2.0, content marketing, growth hacking, etc.,  the technique is really just an old-fashioned sales process, that technology has rendered dramatically more efficient and scalable.

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