Author Archives: Shirish Agarwal

About Shirish Agarwal

Shirish Agarwal is the founder of Flow20 and looks after the PPC and SEO side of things. Shirish also regularly contributes to leading digital marketing publications such as Hubspot, SEMRush, Wordstream and Outbrain. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

August 7, 2013

If your customers are going mobile, shouldn’t you?

In early 2010, Morgan Stanley predicted the mobile web to become bigger than desktop web by 2015. This actually happened in 2011!The growth potential for businesses who make the most of this emerging trend is far from insignificant.

Thanks in part to the growth of tablet devices such as iPad and Kindle, coupled with constant improvements and browsing capabilities of mobile phones,  consumers are using mobile devices for everything from product research and online shopping to helping make decisions on purchases even while in physical stores. According to a Google shopping study done by Ipsos OTX, 77% of tablet users made use of their device for their 2011 holiday shopping. Not surprisingly, a 2011 Google study shows that tablet owners have a higher likelihood of using the device for online shopping than even smartphone users due to the better browsing experience tablet computers provide.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile advertising is taking a significant share of the overall Internet marketing budget and in 2012, 34% of UK marketers are expected to spend between 6% and 10% of their total online marketing budget on mobile advertising alone.

Mobile Advertising is predicted to sore over the next few years.

  • While spending on mobile advertising saw only a slight increase between 2009 and 2010 an unprecedented leap was experienced over the next few years and trend seems to continue.
  • Mobile marketing expenditure is expected to explode by 2014, to an unprecedented £285m. The larger percentage of which will likely be spent on mobile advertising just in the UK.

The expanding popularity of smart phones and tablets is creating a surge of savvy consumers willing and eager to use e-commerce mobile sites for their purchases. This trend opens up a vast new frontier for online businesses. By exploring this promising trend sooner rather than later and before your competitors do, you could significantly increase your marketing ROI You would do well to stretch your horizons and budgets to take advantage of this golden opportunity.

How to Optimize for Mobile Marketing

It is vital, in 2012, for businesses to optimize their website for mobile access in order to optimize their mobile site in these key areas:

  • Speed
  • Image rendering
  • Accessibility

An important point to consider is how you would like to allow mobile users to access your page. You have 3 options:

  • Generating mobile optimized webpages of your current website without any change to URL
  • Using dedicated mobile pages
  • Having a separate sub-domain for the mobile version of your website. For example, mobile.companyname.com

A well created mobile website differs to the desktop version in some ways.  If you are considering having a mobile version of your website created, here are some pointers to bear in mind:

  • Your website’s mobile version doesn’t necessarily include all content from the desktop version.  Think about the user intent and the information your user will most likely need having searched for and found your mobile website. IMDB is a great example of this – when viewing info about a particular movie, for example, the amount of information shown on the mobile version is significantly less and usually only contains the most important bits from the movie such as cast, year of release and so on.
  • Only show the most important information from content categories (ie. Pages). For example, whereas the full version of your website’s Contact page may contain a contact form, your mobile version only needs to show the contact information and opening hours.
  • If your website shows ad, you want to avoid showing these on the mobile version

Page Design for Mobile Marketing

Keep in mind; mobile devices have a different screen layout than do desktops.

  • Design pages for a screen size of 320 by 240 pixels
  • It is difficult for Mobile users to focus on detailed areas of your site’s design
  • Clicking on small links is challenging while running for a connecting train or plane
  • Add alt-tags for pictures; users tend to block downloading images in their web browsers in order to reduce bandwidth consumption.
  • If you have optimized webpages for mobile interface, you can give users a mobile meta-tag such as: mobile optimized. This will alert mobile web browsers that your content does not need to be minimized.

According to Mobile Marketing Association – The extraordinary growth of smart phones in combination with their exceptional user interface will enable people to use conventional websites on their handsets. Direct business-to-consumer apps can be delivered using traditional Web tools as well as Web adaptation tools. As smart phone and tablet saturation permeates online marketing, the mobile user now possesses the technology to access quality content on their mobile devices making this medium quite advantageous for marketers.

For more information on our Website Design Services and how we can help you grow via the mobile web, email create@flow20.com or call 0208 133 0754.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency why not give Flow20 a try? We can help you with PPC management, Facebook ads, LinkedIn Advertising and Social Media campaigns and even Google Ads training.

Tech milestones of 2011 [Infographic]

2011 has been a big year for some of the biggest tech brands and technologies.  We put this infographic together to take a closer look at the biggest milestones of them all.

Enjoy!

…….

Dominance of Android – 2011 was a big year for Google’s Android OS.  Google purchased the initial developer of the software, Android Inc. in 2005 and launched the OS in 2007. Since then, its market share had steadily grown. In 2011, Android overtook the Apple OS in terms of market share and currently stands at 50.1% compared to Apple’s 30.2% (as of Feb 2012).Google has often been criticised for its inability to gain commercial success of products outside the online realm such as search and email. However, the success of Android proves Google’s ability to make successful products outside of its core offering.

Dominance of iPad – As with the iPod and most Apple products,  iPad has now become the generic term for tablet computer and leads the way not just in terms of market share but level of desirability as well. iPad’s market share at the end of 2011 was 54% (surprisingly, the last 3 months of 2011 saw its market share drop by 7%). When tablet computers were launched in 2010, it was met with resistance and deemed to be nothing more than a fad. Tablet computers now have become very much mainstream and the industry is expected to grow by a whopping 1000% by 2014.  Check out this blogpost for more.

Growth of the Mobile Internet – Late figures released in 2011 suggest that almost 20% of all Internet traffic in the UK is generated via mobiles. 70% of this mobile traffic is generated by iphone alone!

Growing woes of RIM – The once iconic Blackberry brand continues its decline in every possible way.  Towards the end of 2011, its market share was just 13.4%. There were even talks of a possible acquisition, most prominently by Microsoft but nothing happened (yet!). RIM shares lost approx. 70% of its value in 2011.

Rise of ebooks – In 2011, Amazon stated that its sales of ebooks had overtaken those of paperback books.  2011 has also been a solid year for Amazon’s Kindle and many analyst believe to be contributing factor in the recent drop of ipad’s market share.

Launch of Google + – 2011 saw the launch of Google +, Google’s attempt to rival the Social Media giant Facebook and to a lesser extent, twitter. Whilst the overall growth hasn’t lived up to the hype, 2011 saw registrations count to Google + reach almost 40 million. In recent months, this growth has been accelerated ever since Google announced that Google + can help improve search rankings.

Sale of Lovefilm – Amazon has had a stake in Lovefilm for quite some time. However,  in January 2011, Amazon purchased the remaining stakes est. £200m to completely acquire Lovefilm. The reason behind this is widely believed to have a strong foothold in the growing online movie rental business and to rival Netflix’s worldwide expansion plans.

Growing older twitter – 2011 marked the 5th birthday of the micro-blogging site.  The last 3 years has seen twitters popularity increase exponentially and it currently has 140 million active users.  Here’s an interesting article on how the twitter website looked like when it was launched along with some others that are hugely popular today.

Birth of iCloud – The cloud computing phenomenon continues to grow and 2011 saw the launch of iCloud by Apple.  The iCloud is a set of cloud computing apps which also includes iTunes on the cloud. See official press release.

50m WordPressWordPress has grown to become the leading blog and Content Management System available on the web and for good reason. Its ease of use for both, users and developers and the myriad of plugins available have no doubt helped fuel its growth. Not to mention, its free! July 2011 saw the 50 millionth WordPress blog go live.  That number now exceeds 70 million! See official stats site.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency why not give Flow20 a try? We can help you with PPC management, Facebook ads, LinkedIn Advertising and Social Media campaigns and even Google Ads training.

200% increase in registrations – SEO Case Study

Overview

Habilis is a new business providing Lifestyle Management and Virtual Assistant Services to clients across UK, US and Australia. A part of Amnet Systems Ltd (for whom we manage SEO and the website UX),  Habilis  came to us with the goal of helping the company generate brand awareness and increase its revenue via our SEO and Website Copywriting Services.

The brief

Effectively communicate the company’s value proposition to its online users and increase the websites impact and therefore, conversions by effective website text content.
Increase new member registrations online and the level of targeted traffic to website.

Analysis & Action

In order to ensure maximum conversions, it is important for the text content of the website to clearly explain the benefit of the company’s services and how it can add value to the user. As important is to ensure that the message flows seamlessly from one page to the next so as to enhance the user navigation resulting in a positive user experience.
On the SEO side, we helped devise a complete SEO strategy alongwith identification of the important keywords and optimization within Google.
Finally, we helped install processes to generate user feedback which can often give invaluable insights, especially for new websites.

Results

The campaign results have been overwhelmingly positive and within 6 weeks of campaign start, we noticed the following findings:

  • New member registrations increase of over 200% in month 3 of campaign
  • Inbound traffic increase of 70% in month 3
  • Average monthly traffic increase of 45% from month 4 onwards
  • Over 80% positive feedback received from users.

flow20.com provides Search Engine Optimization Services to help business grow. For more information and to find out how we can help your business grow and reach you goals , give us a call on 0208 1500 294 or email create@flow20.com.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency why not give Flow20 a try? We can help you with PPC management, Facebook ads, LinkedIn Advertising and Social Media campaigns and even Google Ads training.

 

 

Website Redesign Case Study – PC Repair Lab

Website Redesign Case Study – PC Repair Lab (http://www.pcrepairlab.co.uk)

Introduction

Based in Leicester, PC Repair Lab provides mobile computer repair services to consumers across the UK.
They came to us in enquiring about how our website re-design service can help their business grow and what flow20.com can do to help.
They knew their site was getting traffic since they were using Google AdWords but not getting the expected level of business from their efforts.
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Analysis

Upon a detailed study of their Google Analytics data we determined that the poor performance of the following metrics may be the cause for their concerns:

  • PC Repair Lab’s website was getting a reasonable no. of visitors compared to other business of similar size and industry but the website-to-enquiry conversion rates were less than 0.5%
  • The website-to-booking conversion rates were around the same mark
  • The website had a Bounce Rate (no. of people who left the website from the landing page, without clicking further on any pages) was high, close to 60%.
  • Our initial study was useful and helped us understand that it wasn’t lack of visitors that contributed to the low ROI but rather the design and the user-experience of their website which was limiting the ease of use by which website visitors should be able to perform their Critical Actions on their website such as request a quote, make a booking and make an enquiry.

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Action  

By analysing the data before we started the work, we were able effectively strategize the
design goals and the end-results the new website should deliver. We set out to create a
new website design for them with the following goals in mind 

  • Strategic and consistent placement of the important Call-to-action’s for the website to improve conversions 
  • Use relevant graphics and text for the new website visitors to help them instantly identify the website’s value proposition,
  • thereby decreasing Bounce Rates  
  • Relevant enquiry forms to encourage those visitors who weren’t ready to buy to increase lead-generation
  • Placement of customer testimonials on homepage to inspire new-visitor trust and confidence 

__________________________________________________________________________

Results

Bounce Rate and Average time spent on site

The following graphs taken from PC Repair Lab’s Google Analytics account demonstrates the positive impact that the
website redesign immediately had, upon launch:Bounce rate and time on site

As you can see from the above graph, Bounce Rates (orange) reduced by approx. 35% and
Average time on site (blue) increased by almost 80%.

Pages per visit and Pageviews

As you can see from the above graph, Pages per visit (orange) increased by almost  45% and Pageviews (blue) increased by a whopping 80%!

Bounce Rate and Average time spent on site

The following graphs taken from PC Repair Lab’s Google Analytics account demonstrates the positive impact that the website redesign immediately had, upon launch:

As you can see from the above graph, Bounce Rates (orange) reduced by approx. 35% and Average time on site (blue) increased by almost 80%.

Can a website redesign help increase your sales? Why not get in touch by calling 0208 1500 294 or Request a Webdesign Quote.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency why not give Flow20 a try? We can help you with PPC management, Facebook ads, LinkedIn Advertising and Social Media campaigns and even Google Ads training.

Whats going on with Google Maps??

Here’s something interesting:

Whilst trying to check out a location in New York using Google Maps I found two streets, parallel to each other, yet, the time each of the streets were last mapped by Google’s street view car is almost 2 years apart! Doesn’t that seem a little odd to you?

One of the streets has been updated as recently as June 2011 whilst the other was last mapped in April 2009.

I know that certain cities, especially in the US and New York is more often updated than other cities and countries but can’t quite figure out the huge discrepancy in updates for 2 streets next to each other.

Google Street View mystery Location 1

2 parallel New York streets mapped 2 years apart!

Any thoughts?

PS. You can check out which cities and countries are currently being mapped by the Street View car at http://maps.google.com/intl/en/help/maps/streetview/learn/where-is-street-view.html.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency why not give Flow20 a try? We can help you with PPC management, Facebook ads, LinkedIn Advertising and Social Media campaigns and even Google Ads training.

Innovation now lies in the format

Innovation within cinmea is something that has facinated audiences since the development of the first film itself by The Lumiere Brothers. Entitled ‘The arrival of the train at La Ciotat’ this film was simply a train pulling into a station but famously made the audience jump out if their seats in fear of the train would be erupting through the screen . Since then there has been countless amouts of innovation within different aspects in the history of film. Within genres ranging from documentary to animation within not only mainstream cinema but within the advertising world also.

Innovation can take many forms within film, from film technology to filmic techniques within editing and cinematography, to the story or to the extent of how the story is told. A good example of innovation in narrative is Quinton Tarrentino’s 1994 film ‘Pulp Fiction’ that broke traditional cinema narrative conventions by choosing to tell a story in non linear format ( radical at the time as cinema narrative had always been told in chronological order). Over the last century the huge quantaty of films produced has seen nearly every story that could exist being shown to audiences. Fresh ideas now lie in how a story is told as opposed to the story itself. This applies to advertising also  as audiences are now more interested in how it is presented and using what techniques as opposed to the concept itself. The use of computer generated images (CGI) have become increasingly popular with advertising audiences over the last few years due to the rapid increase in capabilities within CGI technologies.

Fusing humour with special effects technologies is also something the advertising world has seen a lot of in the past five years. Toyota in particular made a splash with their advert last year for the Yaris which saw a mix of contemporary music and style of filmmaking (rap video format). With use of a CGI technology by the name of ‘stop motion’ with an additional application of the use of old fashioned  1980’s styled puppets. This combines in the same frame the origin of a technology and its vast progression to its state in present day…commenting on the brand of the Yaris all with a humorous undertone and an edgy format. With online videos being such a new format I wonder if they will reference their beginning stages in several years similar to how the Toyota Yaris advert has done this with the use of stop motion animation and puppetry.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency why not give Flow20 a try? We can help you with PPC management, Facebook ads, LinkedIn Advertising and Social Media campaigns and even Google Ads training.

 

Wikipedia website – What makes it so easy to use?

I use Wikipedia on a daily basis. Often, several times a day and continue to find it as one of the most complete and up to date sources of information. I also find the site extremely easy to use and have been analysing it to figure out just what it is that makes it so user friendly.

So, I thought I would share with you, some of the unique features of Wikipedia and just what it is that makes the website so easy to use.

Jump – to / Quick navigation menu

Each Wikipedia  entry page has a vertical sub-menu towards the left of the page, immediately after the introductory paragraphs. The great feature about this is that it not only gives you an instant overview of all the types of information available on that page about the subject but clicking on any item within the sub-menu also makes the page scroll down to that part of the information within the page.  For subjects for which Wikipedia has quite a lot of information, this is especially useful and a great way to save time and quickly find the information you are looking for.

The location of this sub-menu is also quite logical – positioned after the opening paragraphs. I imagine that most users find the information they are looking for within the opening paragraphs and for those who want to delve deeper within the subject, they can use the sub menu to find their way through.

Annotations

Approx. 96% of information within Wikipedia pages is cited with the relevant source of reference via a superscript number in straight brackets which isn’t uncommon. However, clicking on a numbered reference immidiately scrolls the page towards the bottom to that source citation. What’s especially useful is that the source highlights in blue making it immediately clear  which source of reference you clicked on. This is very useful and almost essential in a site like Wikipedia which in many cases cites hundreds of references in a single article.

Images

Finally, every image listed is marked with a little “window in window” sign to indicate that clicking on an image opens it in a new page, within the same browser window. Strictly speaking, I think this signs actually indicates that clicking on the image will open a new page in a new browser window, I suppose this icon is still useful to the group of beginners and intermediate Internet users.

If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency why not give Flow20 a try? We can help you with PPC management, Facebook ads, LinkedIn Advertising and Social Media campaigns and even Google Ads training.

Checkout Checklist – If your checkout process doesn’t have this, you’re loosing customers

Checkout abandonment is a challenge for most ecommerce websites. According to a recent study by SeeWhy, an average of 71% of potential customers abandon the checkout process thereby never making the purchase they initially set out to do.  This can be for a number of reasons – finding the checkout process difficult to use/understand,  changing their mind during the transaction and some never really planned to make the purchase in the first place, to name a few.  Whilst there’s not a lot you can do to reduce the instances for the second and third type of abandonment, there’s a lot you can do to reduce shopping car casualties resulting in serious buyers giving up on completing the transaction because they found your website’s checkout process difficult to use.

Progress indicator –  Let the users know where in the checkout process they are, what’s required of them and what is remaining to be done. By having a clearly marked and descriptive progress bar (ideally, somewhere at the top, placed horizontally), users will be more prepared to do what your website needs them to.

Make making changes easy – the shopping cart should display every single item clearly (think product name, any attributes, quantity, size, colour, as applicable) and as importantly, should allow them to change any aspect of it easily.  Simplest thing to do here would be to make the product name a hyperlink apart from the quantity which should be changeable within the cart itself. Having a simple ‘Change’ text and function can also give additional assurance to users that they are making an informed purchase and at will

Peace of mind – if the product comes with any sort of warranty, can be exchanged or returned for a refund, emphasise this during the checkout pages to give users an additional sense of security.

Third party accreditation – If your e-commerce site has third party SSL , then make this prominent during checkout. This will give users the confidence that their personal and financial details will be kept safe and can significantly decrease your website’s checkout abandonment rates.

Save for later – Allow users to save their cart contents and return to your website at a later time to complete the purchase.  We live in a world of distractions where we’re constantly bombarded with various things that require our “immediate” attention. Allowing users to save their cart means they’ll be more inclined to return after having made the initial commitment of having spent the time to browse your site and add items to cart. Yes, there’s a chance that some may never return, however, based on our experience of having built 00’s of online shops, I can tell you that over a 30 day period, this feature can in fact increase overall conversion rates.  You can also have a simple auto responder email set up where the user is automatically emailed within x days if they haven’t returned to checkout.

Require minimum commitment – Allow your users to checkout without having to register.  Jared Spool’s “The $300 million button” article demonstrates how one company increased sales by 45% resulting in $300 million of additional sales generated.

After sales service – If your product comes with after sales service or support, make this clear.  There may be instances depending on the product you are selling that this may not apply to you.  However, you can still show to your users that you are here to help even after the sale is made. For example, a fashion retailer may offer free advice or styling tips to use the product just purchased.   Online shoppers are much more sophisticated now and there’s a good chance that they’re making an informed buying decision in which case they may not need the support anyway. However, knowing you’re there helps give them an additional sense of security and satisfaction with their purchase.

I hope you find this useful. If you’ve got a tip of your own that has helped make a tangible difference to your bottom line, I would love to hear about it.

Need a high ROI digital marketing agency? We’re not only a PPC management company but we also do Facebook ads, LinkedIn, SEO, Google Ads training and all of Social Media.

SEO Tips for optimizing your Ecommerce website content

A while ago, I had written about how you don’t want to copy/paste manufacturer’s description on products on your online shop.

I have compiled a list of some more things that you can easily do towards your Ecommerce site which will not only help it differentiate itself from the competition but also improve its rankings within the Search Engines.

Create killer product descriptions – If you’re selling mass-produced  it can be difficult to stand out. One way you can do this is by supplementing your products with ultra useful product descriptions that will tip the conversion scales in your favour. Thinking about questions that customers frequently ask about the product and including this can help more shoppers make an informed decision. You can also consider adding a ‘Ask a question’ feature similar to eBay where the answers can be made visible for everyone’s benefit.  You could also add a Reviews section for the product. The main advantage of the last 2 features is that once they are setup, its a relatively easy way to be generating content on an ongoing basis.

Simply put, the more original and useful content each of your product pages have, the better it is not just for a prospect but for search engines.

Update  your site often – If you want your website to fare better in search rankings, getting Search Engines to index your site frequently is a start. One way to do this is by publishing and updating content often. Unfortunately, doing this is a challenge for many online retailers since product pages don’t evolve much once they go online. One way to overcome this by using automated tools such as Reviews or Ask a question suggested above.  Once a feature like this has been built into the site, it requires little maintenance and allows for product pages to be populated with information constantly.

Forget Keyword Density (KD) – Until some time ago, the ratio of the keyword you are targeting to the overall keyword count mattered. Now, not only is this less important but Google recommends using synonyms to keep the language style natural.  When crafting product descriptions, think of all the possible terms a user may use to search for the product instead of focusing on just the one or two. For lower competition and niche products, this has the additional benefit of increasing your chances of getting better rankings for a wider range of search queries.

Cite external references – If there’s independent research available out there that supports certain product claims made by you or the manufacturer, cite these as references. This will inspire user confidence and increase the “depth” of your product pages which Google loves to see.

Use meta descriptions – Last but not least, don’t forget to update the meta description for each product. Since this doesn’t have much of an effect on SEO, you have the room to be creative. A well written or eye-catching meta description can increase the Click-through rates within the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Need a high ROI digital marketing agency? We’re not only a PPC management company but we also do Facebook ads, LinkedIn, SEO, Google Ads training and all of Social Media.

So many choices…which one suits my company..

So you have decided to create a video to represent your company in order to hold the attention of visitors to your website. Now it is time to choose the right video for you …but where to begin. There are various choices of what online video format you can choose and each one has many benefits over the others.

A company showreel will display your companies identity, professionalism and past work but then again a welcome video will make your website more direct and personable. Video testimonials from past clients will make your brand more appealing for new clients but an advert will give detailed information on what you offer in a very viewer friendly format… so how to make this decision? …well firstly,  If your budget will only allow you to make one marketing video it is important to look at the main goals you would like to achieve from this video. In order to do this it is important to look over your companies identity and past marketing stratergies to find the best suited type of corporate video for your company. If your website is lacking a personable quality you may want to go down the corporate showreel or welcome video route. If you have a product or service that needs more exposure this may require an advert, informercial or webvert. If you would like to build brand presence in your specific area possibly an innovative viral video is in order. Success of your video will greatly depend on choosing the right type of video for your brand so it is important to look into these videos when making your choice.

Need a high ROI digital marketing agency? We’re not only a PPC management company but we also do Facebook ads, LinkedIn, SEO, Google Ads training and all of Social Media.