3 Amazing Tips for Building The Best Lead Form

Our Strategy For Asking The Right Questions In The Right Way

Every great marketer understands the importance of a high-performing lead form. Optimized lead forms can make or break your online lead generation and you want users to fill them out so they convert into leads. Sometimes, us marketers get so giddy about great lead forms that we want to fill them out regardless of wanting more information about a product or service. Lead forms are the main way to gather information about your online customers but what does it take to design and optimize a simple form?

When you need to collect personal contact information from your online audience, lead forms are the best way to capture their attention and information. Here are some suggestions on how to create a lead form that converts.

 

#1 Simplicity At Its Finest

Simplicity should be the foundation of your lead form design because nothing will deter a user faster than an overly complicated form on a website or landing page. Your form should look simple and intuitive enough that even the most uneducated user on your page can understand how to fill it out and know what they could receive in exchange for their information.

Business owners often see lead forms as an opportunity to learn everything they can about their audience and tend to overcrowd their forms with too many form fields. First name, last name, address, email, phone, website URL, company name – takes deep breath –  AND job title are all great field options but it’s important to put a limit on the information that you request. Anything more than six form fields can be exhausting for users and you will end up with less information than you ever wanted because users will abandon the form before completing it. Take empathy with your user and think about what they are comfortable sharing instead of thinking about what you need first. If you do need more information about your audience to qualify them as a lead, consider sending them different forms at different times to keep the form from feeling overwhelming.

The best way to simplify your form is to only provide one field at a time and show a progress bar until completion to trick the user into feeling like they are flying through the form with each fill.

 

leadform-progressbar-marketing

 

Our clients have seen their number of form fills skyrocket thanks to using this multi-step form technique and we can’t use it enough on our own landing pages! It may seem counter-intuitive to break down each form fill section individually but to the user, it seems shorter.

 

Multi-step forms trick users by:

  • Removing the intimidating length of the form
  • Reducing psychological friction and creating a more concise first impression
  • Encouraging users to complete the form with progress bars
  • Delaying the ‘sensitive’ asks like email address or phone numbers until the end of the form when the user is more invested in completing the task

 

#2 Beauty Is In The Eye Of Your User

As we mentioned before, an eye-catching form will motivate even the least interested users so give your underwhelming forms a makeover. First impressions matter and you don’t want the main point of conversion to be an eyesore so put serious effort into the design. Forms are an incredibly important point of interaction between you and your audience so in addition to keeping them clean, explore unique colors or button styles to make your form stand out.

One of our favorite forms to admire is from our friends at Flywheel. The short and sweet form plays with bright and subtle colors to keep users engages and they even include a promise that signing up for Flywheel takes 60 seconds or less! The boldness in the design and copy keep the form interesting and encourage users to sign up for a new account.

 

flywheel-leadform-marktieng

 

#3 Use Dynamic Calls To Action

If your someone like me who rolls their eyes at the dreaded “Learn More” or “Click Here”  you really appreciate it when someone creates compelling calls to action in lead forms. Calls to action are meant to literally do what they say, call your users to your desired action. But how are you going to do that with tired “Learn More” and the ubiquitous “Click Here”? The answer is, you can’t and your audience will be too bored to fill out your form and abandon your page.

Have fun with your calls to action and get creative so it makes your users feel accomplished by filling out your form. If you need some help developing creative CTA’s here are twelve of our favorites to help you get started.

 

12 Great Calls To Action

  1. I Deserve A Free Trial!
  2. Reserve My Seat
  3. Download My Value Offer
  4. I Want 40% Off!
  5. See How You Compare
  6. See It In Action
  7. Join The Adventure
  8. Take A Tour
  9. Try It For Free!
  10. Sign Me Up!
  11. Join The Club
  12. Sign Up! (It Takes 10 Seconds Or Less)

 

uranus-Missouri-form

Here’s a cheeky CTA for our friends in Uranus, MO. Check out their website to see more dynamic calls to action.

Venta’s 8 Pillars of SEO

Get the scoop on how agencies do SEO that actually works!

Performing an SEO audit on your website is no joke. Unless you have a keen eye for title tags, URL structure, and proper linking strategies it’s better to leave it to the professionals to tell you how your website is performing online. At Venta Marketing, we rely on our team of SEO experts to guide our clients through the very confusing world of SEO and they usually learn more than they ever thought they would about their business.

We enjoy educating our clients about the ins and outs of SEO because knowledge is power and our client’s campaign is more likely to yield a positive result if they are educated about SEO. So how does a busy team of internet marketers have time to teach their client’s about their website’s strengths, opportunities, and weaknesses? Long story short – we start educating them long before they even sign a contract and even pay us! In the early stages of getting to know a business, our sales team will put together a detailed, but not too lengthy, proposal that includes a dedicated section to SEO and our process. When clients read through this section, also known as the “8 Pillars of SEO Success”, they learn about our multistep process for achieving and maintaining high search rankings.

So how did we come up with the 8 Pillars? Well, we knew that SEO is an ever-evolving aspect of digital marketing, therefore, we needed a process that enables us to adapt to those changes. We have created this campaign iteration cycle to systematically generate the best strategies for our clients and we made it adapt to the changes in the SEO landscape. By regularly executing our 8 Pillars and developing a unique game plan through analysis and strategy development, we are able to keep a pulse on the success of the client’s entire campaign, continue to stay focused on their business goals, and recommend the best possible strategies.

Educating our clients is of the utmost importance so we begin teaching our clients about what to expect during their campaign before they experience working with our agency. By teaching our client’s about our process, we eliminate any surprises, educate them on the technical side of SEO, and build trust with them because they know exactly what we’re doing to their website. Our 8 Pillars are an original, Venta Marketing process and they have proved excellent long-term results for our SEO clients. We have outlined Venta’s 8 Pillars of SEO  below and we hope our process brings you success in improving your search engine rankings.

 

#1 TECHNICAL SEO

Terms To Know

Crawlability – A search engine’s ability to access and crawl content on a web page.

Indexability – A search engine’s ability to analyze and add a web page to its index.

When search engines scan and discover web pages to see if their information is relevant, they use crawlers or bots to index that content. To see how well a web page is crawling and indexing, we check for any issues detected in the informational structure of the website because it plays an important role in crawlability. Even the smallest problems with crawlability and indexing can result in your site losing rankings so we ensure that your website is built on a solid foundation and find additional opportunities for improving the site’s overall performance.

 

#2 KEYWORD AUDIT & ANALYSIS  

Terms To Know

Keywords – A particular word or phrase that serves as a code to the search engine, describing the contents of a web page.

Clients often think they know what customers are searching for but search terms and keywords tell us the unbiased truth. We measure the volume, competition, and relevance of existing keywords because this analysis allows us to determine the optimal target keywords for a business. It’s important to select the right keywords so the campaign aligns with the customer’s search. Defining keywords narrows down the search results, making it easier for customers to find the information they want without searching through the wrong web pages.

 

#3 ON-PAGE TAGGING

Terms To Know

Title Tags: An HTML element that specifies the title of a web page and they are displayed on the SERPs as the clickable part of the result.

META Descriptions:  The snippet of 155 characters or less which summarizes a web page’s content.

Headings: Tags that are part of the HTML coding for a web page and are defined with H1 to H6 tags.

Alt Descriptions: The description of an image, which usually isn’t displayed to the end user, unless the image or asset is undeliverable.

We measure missing or non-optimal SEO Title Tags, META Descriptions, Heading, and Alt Descriptions to know what needs further categorization or detail. We also measure your internal and external linking status to see how Google is evaluating your linking strategy. If your website is lacking internal or external links then we will find relevant pages or content to link to improve your rankings.

 

#4 CONTENT

Terms To Know

Keyword Density: The percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page.

Readability: The ease with which a reader can understand a written text.

Nobody likes to read something that’s confusing, boring, or stuffed with repetitive keywords so we’ll analyze the core pages of your website for quality and quantity of content from a creative and technical perspective. This includes reviewing and recording the length, keyword density, multimedia, and readability of your content. Your web copy should always be relevant and focused on your audience’s needs, the solution to their problems, or the answers to their questions. Great website copy can do wonders for your SEO so we’ll make sure it’s appealing to your readers and Google.

 

#5 USER EXPERIENCE

Terms To Know

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s): A quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of a marketing campaign.

User Experience: The overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or a computer application.

Measuring engagement levels and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) tells us how your campaign is stacking up against your business goals. KPI’s are used to measure performance and demonstrates how effectively a business is accomplishing its marketing plan. We also measure the design, user experience, website traffic levels, bounce rates, time on site, user-origin, and other search ranking factors to see how your website facilitates the user journey. User experience has a direct effect on a website because if a website is built without conversions in mind, then the users will fail to take action.  

 

#6 BACKLINK PROFILE

Terms To Know

Domain Authority: A calculated metric that measures a domain’s power or importance in search engine results.

Backlinks: When someone purposely links to your website from their own.

We measure the quantity and quality of relevant links, backlink volume, and the diversity of backlinks, because as more people link to your web pages and infographics, that tells Google’s algorithms to notice your unique content and make it more or less visible in search results. We also review your anchor text, and spam score, while performing a competitor backlink analysis to see if there are any missed opportunities.  

 

#7 LOCAL VISIBILITY

Terms To Know

NAP: Online names, addresses, and phone numbers.

The accuracy of your online local listings presence is very important because it tells your audience where you are located and how to contact you. Accurate NAPs and positive customer reviews are also a key part of local visibility because reviews can boost your search engine rankings. We also optimize your Google My Business profile and review your website’s local structured data to ensure that everything is accurate and optimized for Google’s algorithm.

 

#8 REPORTING

Our goal is to enable you to be fully engaged in your campaign and always know what we are doing to help grow your business and reach your goals! We will send you monthly reports detailing the status and measure of your goals, leads, conversions, traffic, rankings for industry keywords, local visibility metrics, Search term impressions and clicks. You can expect your reports at the beginning with each month along with insights from your Campaign Manager.

5 Tips For Marketing Your Medical Practice Online

Online marketing solutions specifically designed for doctors and private practice physicians

“Hey Siri! Find dentists near me.”

“Okay Google, what time does Denver Family Pediatrics close today?”

“Alexa. Remind me to call Missouri Heart Center at 9:00 AM tomorrow.”

Five years ago, virtually nobody thought we would be asking robots these kinds of questions. But today, everything has changed when it comes to how patients manage their health.

We are in the midst of a massive shift in the way people research their health issues, find doctors in their network, and engage with practitioners. Technology like AI voice assistants was once used for just sending a text in the car but it is now changing the healthcare industry and the way patients find their doctor. For a medical practice to succeed — let alone, thrive in this age of advancing technology — it requires a digital-first marketing approach. It’s essential to have a strong digital presence across several channels to help potential patients in their micro-moments of need. Doctors and medical marketers need to make sure their online presence is optimized for the intelligent future and leverage their assets in new ways so their practice can adapt to the evolving search ecosystem and online lead generation tools. If doctors fail to adopt the marketing tactics of today, the healthcare industry will continue to transform and leave them behind.

Digital marketing has rapidly become a vital element in marketing medical practices and it’s time to finally address your marketing strategy if you haven’t already. According to Hitwise, 68% of consumers start their mobile health research with a search engine.1 Ensuring that your practice is seen and heard on the web is vital to your success as a business and helps you stay engaged with your patients. A great digital marketing strategy will help you create a strong digital presence and can ultimately help you find an endless stream of new patients.

To make sure that your practice is getting the online visibility it needs to be successful, here are 5 helpful tips for marketing your practice online.

 

healthcare-website

 

Tip #1 Design Your Website For Your Patients

As technology advances the medical field, patients have grown to not only expect but demand access to reliable information about healthcare. To fulfill that need, medical practitioners and marketers must create a purposeful digital environment for patients and give them the ability to educate themselves about their health, schedule an appointment, and easily communicate with their practitioner’s front office.

First impressions matter, your practice’s website should portray professionalism and establish a physicians credibility. 77% of patients have reported to researching prospective doctors online prior to scheduling an appointment, meaning that most of your patients’ first impression will occur before they even step foot inside your office.2 To have a successful website, make sure that your website scores a perfect 10 with our Healthcare Web Design Checklist. Just like in surgery, there is a zero margin for error and the same mentality should be used when objectively evaluating your current website and how it is perceived and used by your patients.

 

Venta’s Healthcare Web Design Checklist

Use Intuitive UX Design

Structure your website around the user’s goals and prioritize your patient’s needs first. Provide users with clear calls to action and an easy to use menu that helps them navigate around the site without getting lost in content. A pretty website is easy to build but great websites help users find answers to their questions with intuitive user paths.

Let Patients Schedule Appointments

Make scheduling appointments convenient for everyone with Gravity Forms and eliminate call to action friction.  

Make Sure It’s Responsive

Your website must be responsive to mobile devices and properly adjust to different screen sizes. Failing to do this will result in penalties from search engines and users will not enjoy your mobile experience.

Test Your Load Speed

Speed is incredibly important and your site should fully load in 10 seconds or less. If your site fails to start loading in 3 seconds or less, users will abandon your web page. Check your load speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Get an SSL Certificate

Search engines are flagging and warning users if your website is insecure and does not have an SSL certificate. Thankfully this is an easy fix and your web hosting provider can offer a free SSL certificate 3 days or less.

Install Google Analytics

Don’t waste your time launching a new website if you’re not going to track its performance. Google Analytics allows you to see how many people visit your website, where they are coming from, how long they stay, what pages they visit and so much more. Start gathering this information and setup simple goals that allow you to track your website’s effectiveness and much more.

Create A Favicon

Favicons, aka the little icon in the address bar of your browser, is a great opportunity to expand your practice’s brand and represent your website.

Show Your Research

People want the facts when it comes to healthcare so make sure that your website content makes you sound like an authority on the subject matter and support it with cited information.  

Optimize Your Content With Keywords

Optimize your web pages with relevant keywords so search engines can index, and understand who you are, what you do, and what your website is about. You can research the right keywords for your practice and find out what your follow doctors are using with free keyword research tools like SpyFu.

Support Your Content With Original Images

Healthcare-related stock images can only get you so far and they will leave your website visitors with a cold, distant impression of your practice. Schedule the occasional photo shoot and capture original images of your staff and patients so your website looks authentic and trustworthy.  

Remove Broken Or Outdated Links

It’s a good idea to scan your website to check that all your links work because they can become outdated over time. You can use a plugin like Broken Link Checker for WordPress websites or any free tools like SEMRush.

Test Your Forms

Forms are a great way to optimize your website and it’s important to test your website’s forms to make sure that they notify you properly. If you have noticed a sudden halt in form submissions, check your website plugin for updates. 

 

apple-gadget-iphone-stethoscope

 

Tip #2 Improve Your Local Visibility

“In Yext’s recent analysis of 1,800 physicians and healthcare facilities across 15,000 listings, it was discovered that nearly one-third (31.5%) lacked an online, local listing. That’s 3.6 times greater than the unlisted percentage of other businesses (8.68%).”3

Today’s world of connected devices, search experiences, voice assistants, and AI has expanded your practice’s digital footprint far beyond your website. The facts about your business — from locations to hours of operation, to procedure information — now live in maps, voice search, conversational UI, knowledge cards, Google My Business, and so many other places that show intelligent and direct answers. All of these things add up to create your local visibility and it’s important to keep this in mind when patients are searching for physicians in their area.

According to Banner Health Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Alexandra Morehouse, “The number one onramp for finding physicians is actually mapping. It may be totally counterintuitive, but what consumers are doing is sitting in front of a browser and plugging in ‘pediatrician near me,’ ‘dermatologist near me,’ or ‘knee replacement near me.’” When patients use this local search method, they can evaluate the convenience factor, read through patient reviews, and assess any other key factors helping them make treatment decisions.

Patients not only want this information immediately but they want to make sure it’s accurate because they want to be well-informed before stepping foot into a doctor’s office. According to Yext, the global leader in location data management, 29% of healthcare facilities are missing accurate phone numbers and this result can lead to frustrated patients.4 The reality is that businesses are constantly changing and it’s crucial to keep your online information up to date. To keep your information current and your patients happy, improve your local visibility with Yext for Healthcare, Yext’s dedicated solution for the healthcare industry.

Let Yext For Healthcare be the source of truth for your local visibility:

  • Improve the patient experience with accurate location data online, across desktop and mobile devices.
  • Attract and retain more patients with a seamless journey from local search to an in-person appointment.
  • Save time and money by eliminating the internal inefficiencies caused by misinformation.
  • Ensure physician specialties, contact information, and facility affiliations are up-to-date.
  • Eliminate duplicative or flawed content that hinders local search performance.

 

heathcare-yoga-close-up

 

Tip #3 Share Your Expertise Through Vlogs

When a patient isn’t looking for a specific type of physician near them, their online journey typically starts with researching a symptom. The patient will turn to a search engine, like Google or a third-party medical website, such as WebMD, for information on how they’re feeling and what they should do. From there the patient will decide if they need treatment and book an appointment with the physician that appears most trustworthy or knowledgeable to them based on their search results. The most important types of information patients want to know are whether a physician can treat their symptoms with a high level of expertise, accept their insurance, travel to their office location within reason, and see if past patients enjoyed seeing that specific doctor. But what if you could speak to your potential new patient and prove that you’re prepared to handle their symptoms before they book an appointment?

Many doctors are starting to grow their social media presence and actually engage with patients on various multimedia focused platforms like YouTube and Instagram. Why? Because they want to be known as the expert in their field and want to use the highest performing medium available, video. People like Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, have taken advantage of this opportunity in social media and have developed an audience of 1.5 million YouTube subscribers by video blogging, or vlogging, about natural remedies and healthcare. By giving his patients and subscribers trustworthy information about their health through vlogs, Dr. Axe connects with more people and extends his practice’s reach, ultimately resulting in over 17 million website visits a month.

So why should doctors make time to vlog instead of treating patients? Well, we’re not saying that you should prioritize your videos over your patients but it is an important segment of your marketing strategy that you don’t want to overlook. Seeing is engaging and vlogs are an excellent tool for increasing patient engagement and building trust with your audience. It can be challenging to engage patients, and the unique attributes of vlogs overcome some of the barriers to engagement such as high treatment burden and a lack of the sense of community.

Venta Marketing provides a variety of multimedia services because no other medium can share a message quite like a video. With your goals as a priority, we can engage your patients with a unique and interactive video to showcase the best aspects of your practice. We provide the equipment and expertise necessary to script, shoot, edit, produce, and distribute your video effectively in a way that aligns with your goals.

 

Take a look at our past video productions highlighting the abilities and services of our clients.

 

Tip #4 Stay In Touch With Your Patients

It’s hard to believe that in 2019, there are still doctor’s offices that don’t use digital marketing to communicate with their patients. But this is because they do not understand the power of content when it comes to educating potential and existing patients.

The doctors that are embracing the digital age of communication are elevating the standards of physician etiquette by connecting with patients even after treatment has ended. But how are doing this? They are using email marketing strategies to keep the lines of communication open with their patients and turning them into life-long audience members. You may think that your staff doesn’t have the capability of executing an email drip campaign but there are several, powerful and affordable tools that will help you tackle all things email marketing.

As email marketing has become more popular, automation tools have become less expensive, faster, and their tracking is more powerful than ever. Some of our favorite tools, like MailChimp and Emma, will help you create your templates, send and track your opening, bounce, and engagement rates so you know exactly how your patients are interacting with your emails. The success of your email marketing campaign should be broken down in two parts: educating your future patients and maintaining contact with your existing patients. Stay in touch with all of your patients by sending a variety of emails like appointment reminders, updates on healthcare industry news, quarterly office newsletters, and physician staffing announcements. Using automated email communication in local health care practices have many effective uses and it is essential for communicating with the technology savvy patients of today.

Email Marketing Creates More Opportunities For Your Practice By:

  • Maintaining a high level of awareness with both future and existing patients.
  • Automating appointment follow-ups with existing patients.
  • Automating appointment confirmation for new patients.
  • Educating new patients on your procedures and advancements in your practice.
  • Demonstrating care and knowledge through the use of newsletter marketing.

 

mac-computer-desk-doctor

 

Tip #5 Leverage Your Loyal Patients & Their Testimonials

72% of patients say their first step in finding a new doctor is checking online reviews.5

Third-party reviews sites, such as Yelp and Google My Business, have a growing influence on physician reputations and have the ability to attract or deter patients from your practice. According to Todd William, Founder & CEO of Reputation Rhino, “I think it’s clear that the internet wields tremendous influence over people’s choices in all areas of their lives. From where to eat, what to wear, where to travel and who to choose as their doctor. I believe health care professionals must carefully curate their online image with the same thoughtfulness and intentionality as their bedside manner or office decor.” The number of people who use online review sites is growing by the day and that means doctors who have a just a few positive reviews or worse, a negative testimonial, could be missing out on hundreds of new patients each year.

Negative reviews are incredibly difficult to combat and responding to them in a public forum is a tricky science. Patients find a great deal of value in reviews but they see even more value in how a business responds to average or negative reviews. Responding to your reviews with an authentic and timely reply can make all the difference but be careful not to share too much about your patient’s medical history. Your online reviews fall under HIPAA compliance and keeping your patient’s medical history private is of the most importance. It has been said that if you spend 10 minutes a week managing your online reputation then you can reduce your impact of receiving negative reviews by 70%.6 A healthy online presence is crucial for your practice and an available history of positive patient testimonials will show future patients that you are a trustworthy practitioner.

Extending the reach of your positive reviews through video is another great way to find new clients. Videos have some of the highest engagement rates and assembling your raving fans for a testimonial video will create trust and increase awareness with your potential patients. Positive patient reviews that are highly visible through videos can even attract out-of-network patients and help you grow your business.

Interested in improving your online presence? Consider these tips for managing your reputation:

  • You have a lot of patients walking through your doors every day so make time to comb through their reviews regarding treatment on a frequent basis. The most efficient way of doing this is by designating one administrative staff member to monitor and respond to your online reviews on a bi-weekly basis.
  • Respond to every review with an authentic and HIPAA compliant response in a timely manner. If you can’t respond properly in a public facing forum, recommend that you take the conversation offline in your response and deal with the patient’s review privately.
  • Keep the current patient and your future patients top of mind. It’s okay to have semi-rehearsed responses but think about what they would want to read and take empathy with them while addressing the review’s key points.  
  • Consider investing in a CRM designed to support medical professionals and their marketing strategies.

 

Don’t Know Where To Start?

Let us help you! Venta Marketing is redefining what it means to be a digital marketing agency for the healthcare industry by becoming the most trusted digital agency. We help grow our client’s practices and manage their digital properties through honesty, clarity, and boldness. Venta Marketing and our strategic partners help businesses around the globe facilitate better digital interactions that boost brand awareness, drive web traffic, and increase revenue.

 

Start Growing Your Practice With Venta Today! 

 

1 Hitwise, Consumer Insights Report, 2016
2 Becker’s Hospital Review, 2017
3 Yext For Healthcare Annual Report, 2016
4 Yext For Healthcare, 2016
5 How Patients Use Online Reviews,” Gaby Loria, Software Advice
6 How Patients Use Online Reviews,” Gaby Loria, Software Advice

3 Tips For Optimizing Your YouTube Videos & Descriptions

Get More Views With Venta’s Tips For YouTube

When YouTube made its debut back in 2005, very few people realized how quickly the internet’s user population would adopt their video-sharing website. But hindsight is 20/20 and it’s not surprising why the entire world jumped onboard with YouTube so quickly because it was truly designed for everyone.

According to BrandWatch, YouTube currently operates in over 91 countries and caters to 80 different languages, covering 95% of the internet’s population, and the amount of searchable content is literally infinite. There are over 400 hours of content loaded to YouTube every single day and we are on track to consume more than 1 billion, yes we said BILLION, hours of YouTube content per day. So if it isn’t obvious by now, the internet is never going to get bored of watching video content and because of this, marketers are seeing new challenges in advertising.

Online marketers are navigating rather uncharted waters when it comes to placing their products or services in YouTube videos and new marketing techniques are being developed every day. So how can marketers stand out from their competition in an endless sea of evolving YouTube content? The key to getting in front of your customers on YouTube is through optimizing great, organic content to improve your online visibility but it’s not as easy as it sounds.  Making a great video will only get you so far and the key is writing descriptions and titles that help attract the right audience.

It takes some creativity and testing to be ranked among YouTube’s top search results but we’ve decided to help and do our own YouTube research. So don’t just compete with your YouTube competition, leap-frog them with these 3 tips for creating great supporting content on your YouTube channel.

 

apple-desktop-youtube-results

 

#1 Clickable Titles

Any digital content creator knows that a YouTube video’s title is just as important as the video content but what is the secret to creating the best title for your video?

The first thing YouTube asks you to do when you upload a video is to name it, but ask yourself “What’s in a Name?”. It’s important to think of your video’s title as the key to grabbing a viewers attention and the first step in boosting your search rankings. Your video title should provide viewers with a succinct description of the video’s content and use specific keywords because they will play a huge role in your SEO.

All great titles start with keyword research and a character limit. Very short titles leave viewers confused about the subject matter and longer titles make people lose interest. The perfect title length less than 60 characters and that should include at least 3 keywords or one strong keyword phrase. These keywords are extremely important in your title because they will tell YouTube what your video is about and when it should show up as a search result. Once you’ve nailed down a firm list of keywords play around with different title ideas and test them to see what results in more views.

 

#2 Spectacular Thumbnails

Thumbnails are the face of your video and they provide viewers a first impression before they read the title. Your thumbnail has an incredibly important purpose, serve as the preview for a video and help with channel page optimization. An eye-catching, high-resolution thumbnail and a strong video title can act as mini-billboard for your YouTube content and you should always upload a custom thumbnail image that directly corresponds to the video title. When vague titles and bad thumbnails are used, there’s a disconnect and that will deter viewers from trusting your content and engaging with it.

The best way to create a custom thumbnail is by taking still photos during your shoot so the thumbnail has continuity with your video content. The trick to taking great photos is having great lighting, composition, and color. If your images and video need help in post-production there are plenty of free and paid tools that can adjust the image’s brightness and add effects to it. Tracking the success rate of your thumbnails is also very important because it will show you any changes in viewership coming from search results where thumbnails are important for attracting clicks.

 

To help you take the best thumbnails possible here is our QC checklist for YouTube.

YouTube Thumbnail Quality Control Checklist

  1. Make sure the thumbnail accurately represents the content and supports the title.
  2. Use a high-resolution image that has bright or contrasting colors.
  3. Make sure that your thumbnail isn’t cropped or cutting off any important parts of the thumbnail.
  4. Use expressive subjects – you’re never fully ready for YouTube without a smile 🙂

Check out our tips for avoiding bad thumbnails

 

#3 Dazzling Descriptions

So you want to drive traffic with your YouTube video but what about driving viewers to your channel to explore your other content? That’s where descriptions play their part in the long game of YouTube’s search engine. Descriptions are very important on YouTube because they provide you with 5,000 characters and you can get creative in how you describe your video or support it with relevant links. The first few lines of your description will be shown to viewers in search results so make sure that your descriptions are accurate.

It’s important to make sure that you write great YouTube descriptions from the start because editing the descriptions on your existing videos may affect their placement in search engines. Description changes may result in a drop viewership for several weeks until the video(s) rank again so be careful when making edits! It’s also important to follow YouTube’s terms of service and avoid including misleading information or inappropriate blocks of keywords in your description. This can result in the suspension of your account and crush your chances of ranking well on YouTube.

 

Here are some good and bad examples of YouTube descriptions.

Good Description: “Today, I’m unboxing the iPhone XR and we will take a look at Apple’s newest phone on the market. During this video, you’ll hear my first impressions on how the iPhone feels and functions compared to the iPhone X, and we’ll explore some of the smartphone’s newest features.”

Bad Description: Watch me unbox and use my new smartphone!”

As you can see the keywords, ”iPhoneXR”, “Apple”, and “iPhone X”  appear the description and it outlines exactly what will happen in the video for viewers and search engines. The bad example is too short, vague, and lacks any specific keywords to help YouTube realize that this video is about the iPhone XR specifically. It’s very important to put the most important keywords in your description first then include any other semi-relevant keywords, like “smartphone” that viewers may also search.

 

youtube-app-channel-results

 

Adding social media links to your video description can also help with SEO and direct viewers to more of your original content. You can also get creative with this section and add emoji’s or formatting to create more interest in your other channels. See our example below!  

 

“Today, I’m unboxing the iPhone XR and we will take a look at Apple’s newest phone on the market. During this video, you’ll hear my first impressions on how the iPhone feels and functions compared to the iPhone X, and we’ll explore some of the smartphone’s newest features.”

🔍 See More Unboxings

[Playlist link]

📣 Subscribe To My YouTube Channel!

[Channel link]

 

  • Website URL [link]

 

  • Facebook page  [link]

 

  • Twitter handle [link]

 

  • Instagram handle [link]

 

Pro Tip: Use short link tools like Bitly to abbreviate your YouTube and off-platform links to keep your description section neat & tidy.

 

26 SEO Terms That You Should Know Before You Start A Campaign

Define Your Marketing Strategy With Venta’s SEO Glossary

What do doctors, lawyers, engineers, and digital marketers all have in common? The answer is that each industry has its own unique set of jargon, definitions, and terminology.

In the world of digital marketing, specifically the world of Search Engine Optimization, it is important to know the most important terms that you are likely to hear because SEO can be quite complex. Without a strong understanding of SEO terminology, it can extremely be difficult to navigate the ether and help your business improve its digital footprint. Without this understanding, you will not know how you to react to your data and measure success.

To help you understand the sophisticated world of digital marketing, here are 25 simple SEO terms and definitions that you need to understand before you start your marketing campaign.

 

Algorithm: A program used by search engines to determine what pages should be suggested for a given search query. Algorithms search for web pages that contain the keywords used in the search, then assigns a rank to each page based on several factors, including how many times the search term and keywords appear on the page.

Google’s PageRank is the most important search algorithm to be conscious of because it measures the importance of web pages in their search results. Although PageRank is not the only algorithm used by Google to determine search results, it was the first of its kind and makes up the backbone of the internet’s primary function. The most important thing to know about algorithms is that they require a lot of maintenance and updates to keep up with new content. Google frequently makes secret changes to their algorithms and will announce any major changes to the public as needed. To keep up with Google’s ever-evolving algorithms and receive the latest news, subscribe to Search Engine Journal.

 

Alt Text (Alternative Text): The description of an image, which usually isn’t displayed to the end user, unless the image or asset is undeliverable.

Alt text is extremely important for SEO because search engines can not distinguish one image from another and when executed properly, it is used to describe the associated image. Alt text is also especially important to the visually impaired population because they use special web browser programs to make sense of the image’s content through alt text.

 

Analytics: Free platforms that allow you to manage all website traffic and activity.

Google Analytics has become the most widely used analytics service on the web because it provides users with valuable insight. Nearly all businesses have some kind of online presence so it is important to monitor the success of your website and make sure that it’s infrastructure can facilitate a great SEO strategy. One of the most important metrics to monitor through analytics is Bounce Rate. Your bounce rate will tell you exactly how quickly someone enters and leaves your website. If you see a very high bounce rate that could be indicating that your website is optimized poorly and you need help from an SEO pro!  

 

Backlinks: When someone purposely links to your website from their own.

You can think of backlinks as votes for your website. As more people vote for (link to) your web pages and infographics, that tells Google’s algorithms to notice your unique content and make it more visible in search results. Unlike a democracy, all votes are not created equal and any backlinks from a site that Google registers as “malicious” could have negative effects on your SEO.

 

 

Blog: A discussion or informational website that presents content in chronological order or a themed category.

When the first blogs hit the web they were often written by one person and covered a single subject or provided some sort of social commentary. As the internet’s popularity grew, so did the number of blogs and the variety of original content on the web. By 2010 businesses began to understand the importance of blogging for their business and started using their blog as a vehicle for their content marketing strategy. Today most blogs use a Content Management System such as WordPress and starting a great blog to support your SEO strategy is easier than ever.

 

Black Hat Tactics: SEO tactics that fall outside the industry’s best practices in an attempt to cheat the search engine’s algorithm and falsely improve search rankings.

Black Hat tactics are practices that go against search engine guidelines set by Google. These unethical tactics are used to improve a website’s ranking but typically result in penalties for improper optimization techniques. You can think of these tactics as the dark arts of SEO and it’s important to make sure that your SEO specialist isn’t using any of these techniques. Black hat techniques may include keyword stuffing and cloaking, but we’ll talk about those later in this post.

 

Cloaking: A Black Hat tactic performed by delivering content to the search engine based on the IP address or User-Agent HTTP header which is different than what is actually viewed by the user.

What was once an antiquated doorway page technique has now become a major SEO faux pas. All Black Hat tactics are frowned upon by legitimate SEO experts but cloaking is one of the most serious SEO infractions. When someone cloaks a web page, search engines can be deceived into displaying the incorrect result because the IP address or User-Agency HTTP have been manipulated. We warn you against using this tactic because it carries a virtual death sentence for your site and can ultimately get your business ousted from Google’s search results.

 

Doorway: A web page that is designed specifically to attract and redirect user traffic (excluding spiders) from a search engine.

A doorway page, also known as a gateway, redirects users to another site and is considered to be another form of cloaking. People often confuse landing pages with doorway pages because these pages fall outside the website’s core structure but the difference lies within usability and content. Doorway pages are typically designed to fool search engines and lack in user experience, best practice optimization, and relevant content. Be wary of anyone who recommends a doorway page instead of a landing page because they are designed to rank for specific keywords only.

 

Domain Authority: A calculated metric that measures a domain’s power or importance in search engine results.

Moz’s domain authority metric is based on three factors: the age of the website, popularity or relevance of the content/links, and size. Domain authority provides online marketers with a metric that gauges the quality of a site through a score between 1-100. But what does this score tell us exactly? The founders of Moz created this metric to estimate how competitive a website is on Google and why it ranks better than other domains. So if your older site receives a score of 60 or higher then your chances of ranking are significantly better than a new site with a score of 30.

 

Curious about your score?

View your Domain Authority with MozBar

 

External Link: A hyperlink that references a domain outside of its own structure.

Linking out to other website content is a great way to help search engines understand what your site is about but make sure that your external links are driving users to high-quality resources. If you link out to several sites containing sub-par content, some search engines may not rank your site as well as you hoped. Linking to quality, editorial content is the key to getting search engines to trust your website and linking to trustworthy material will ultimately improve your overall SEO performance.  

 

Google Ads Keyword Planner: A research tool, created by Google, that estimates the popularity of a specific keyword search term, any related keywords, and any other relevant keywords that Google perceives as relevant to your on-page content.

This keyword research tool helps online marketers identify and select the most relevant keywords for their digital marketing campaigns. Selecting the right keywords for your business from Google’s results isn’t as easy as it sounds but this research tool provides marketers with clarity about what users are searching for. Keyword research tools are especially helpful when looking for new keywords and their bid estimates. Refreshing your keywords every few months will keep your campaign from going stale, help you identify the ones with the highest search volume, and boost your search engine rankings.

 

Start using Google Ads Keyword Planner today!

 

HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language): The standard code or “markup language” for creating web pages and web applications.

You can think of HTML as the native tongue of search engines. HTML was created prior to the Dot-Com Bubble and helped launch many successful, and not so successful, search engines during 1990s. The primary function of HTML is to be a text-based approach that describes how the content in an HTML file is structured and it tells a web browser how to display text, images, and multimedia assets on a webpage. As the internet flourished, HTML evolved and using HTML tags have become part of the backbone of SEO. Properly using HTML title tags, description tags, and header tags will help your web page content be seen and categorized by search engines.

 

Internal Link: A hyperlink from one related page to another within the same website domain.

Internal linking is important to your SEO strategy because these links will create an interconnected web of relevant content that search engines will view as trustworthy. Internal links help establish a hierarchy on your website, which allows you to award more value to the most important pages and posts. Blogs provide the most favorable environment for internal linking because it shows a deeper relationship between content and using this strategy can seriously elevate your SEO.

 

 

Keyword Cannibalization: Excessive use of the same keyword on several web pages within the same site making it difficult for search engines and users to determine how relevant a page is for the searched term.

Keyword cannibalization is one of the most damaging SEO mistakes that people make, and they often don’t realize that they have committed such a grievous error until its too late. Keyword cannibalization occurs when a website is flooded with the same keyword(s) over and over again, confusing search engines, and hurting your SEO. To prevent this from happening, use 301 redirects and relevant variations of the keywords that help Google know which pages are the most valuable.

 

Keyword Stuffing: A web spamming technique that inappropriately loads keywords on a page and inflates keyword density.

Keyword stuffing is one of the oldest forms of Black Hat tactics and SEO experts are glad to see this primitive technique finally start to die out. Back when the web was a Wild West information, keywords were stuffed into content in an attempt to trick search engines and they could even be hidden in plain sight from users by manipulating text colors. Naturally, this led to a crackdown on keyword stuffing and it was quickly penalized by search engines. So why did keyword stuffing become so popular? Well, keyword stuffing can create very impressive results but like all things that are too good to be true, the long-term negative effects outweigh the initial boost in SEO.

 

Local SEO: SEO that specifically optimizes a business’s online visibility in a local area.

Local SEO is extremely important to incorporate in your strategy because it will increase your chances of ranking on the first page of results when users search in a specific area. You can improve your local SEO by targeting keywords that are specific to your business’s location, setting up a Google My Business account, and making sure that all of your online location listings are correct. To help you manage your local visibility, third-party services like Yext have the ability to sync and validate all of your business information in one easy to use tool.  

 

Long Tail Keyword: A longer, more specific search query that consists of at least three words or a phrase.

Long tail keywords are often used to target specific audiences instead of the masses. For example, a search for “red shoes” will populate a very broad result while a long tail search using  “shoes with red soles” will produce results for a specific kind of designer shoe. The majority of all searches are long tails so make sure that you’re using the most specific and popular ones in your web page content to improve your SEO.

 

META Tags: Fragments of text that describe a web page’s content within the HEAD section of an HTML page but they do not appear on the page itself.

You can think of META Tags like invisible nametags for a piece of content until you examine the code further. It is important to have unique META Tags that accurately describe the content so search engines know what your page is about. METAs help create the first impression that users receive about your page within the SERPs so make sure that each one is unique. There are several kinds of META Tags, however there are four kinds that should be on every page: Meta Content, Title Tags, Descriptions, and Viewports.

 

Mobile Optimization: The process of adjusting your website design and content to ensure that visitors can access the site from all devices and view it properly on different screen sizes.

We cannot stress this enough! Mobile optimization is VERY important for SEO because we live in a mobile-first world and your website’s performance is a huge part of SEO. In 2018, Google made an announcement that they will index websites that are mobile-friendly, meaning that they will use the version of the website that properly responds to mobile devices and screen sizes. When websites fail to do this, the images, content, and functionality becomes compromised and renders the site nonfunctional. Although rankings don’t completely hinge on mobile optimization it is very important to have mobile-friendly content for a better user experience.

Test your site today and see how it performs on mobile!

 

Nofollow Link: A command found in the HEAD section of a web page or within individual link code, which instructs bots to not follow any links on the page or the specific link.

Nofollow links are caused by nofollow tags that notify search engines to not count the page’s content or link. The need for nofollow links comes from the chaos that ensued when PageRank made its debut and the internet went crazy with link spamming.  Nofollow links technically provide little SEO value but that doesn’t mean that they’re useless, even though they do not count as a vote in the page’s favor, boost PageRank, or help a page’s placement in the SERPs. Although nofollows aren’t a perfect SEO solution, they get the job done and basically serve as a link condom.

 

Pagerank: Google’s proprietary algorithm, named after co-founder Larry Page, that assigns a score between 0 and 1 based on link popularity, trustworthy content, and other unknown factors.

Pagerank is one of Google’s methods for measuring how important a website is by quantifying how valuable and trustworthy the links are on a page. The patented PageRank formula and scoring are expressed as a rather mysterious numeric value between 0 and 1. A score of 0.5 is the most common score but what does a score of 0.5 mean exactly?  Well, it means that there is a 50% chance of a user clicking on a link and getting directed to that specific page. Any score that is more or less than 0.5 will either increase or decrease the page’s chances of a user clicking on it.

 

Page Authority: A score developed by Moz to predict how well a specific page will perform in the SERPs.

Simply put, page authority measures the predictive ranking strength of a single page on a website. Improving your page authority can become a tricky game because Moz’s algorithm receives constant updates and that can cause your score to change. The number of quality links, root domains, and subdomains from other websites are just some of the factors that are calculated in your page authority. However, it is important to frequently check your page authority performance and see how Moz is predicting the power of your web pages.

 

Redirect: Methods used to change or forward one URL to another when a site is moved to a new domain. 

There are a variety of redirects but they all accomplish more or less of the same function, reroute user traffic and search engines to another destination. The most commonly seen redirects are 301, 302, and META Refresh but how do you know which redirect is the right one for your website? 301 redirects should be used when you need to permanently redirect a user to a new URL. The most common use case of 301s is when a webmaster has purchased a new domain and needs to redirect users from the old URL. Using a permanent 301 will help search engines decipher the new URL from the redirected URL that was typed in. By doing this you will maximize your domain authority and make it that much easier for a search engine to follow along with your content and avoid penalties.

 

 

SEM (Search Engine Marketing): The coined acronym in digital marketing that describes the process associated with researching and optimizing a website within search engines to achieve maximum visibility through paid advertising.

You can think of SEM as the promotion of your website through paid marketing tactics. The main driver of SEM is using great keywords from your research and following SEO best practices but it also includes paid listings and other search-engine related services that can increase a website’s digital footprint and boost traffic. Google Ads, formerly known as AdWords, is by far the most popular SEM tool used by online marketers and running ads on their platform, or with their direct competitor Bing Ads, will help your business get in front of new customers on search engines.

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The coined acronym in digital marketing that describes the process for search engine optimization, the process of increasing the number of visitors to a website through free/organic tactics.

When you log on to one of the major search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, you will see the primary search results just below the paid ads when performing a search. These organic results have been placed there because the search engine’s algorithm perceives this result to be the best response to your search query. As the internet becomes more saturated, it’s important to make sure that your business’s website stays afloat and doesn’t get buried in other content. Implementing SEO best practices on your website will ensure that your site is visible to a search engine and your audience. Although it can be tricky, it is the most cost-effective method and SEO can improve your online visibility thus help your website get indexed favorably.  

 

SERPs (Search Engine Results Page): The multi-page list of websites populated in response to a specific word or phrase query on a search engine.

There are three main types of results on a SERP: pages that the search engine has crawled and indexed through SEO, pages that have been manually added to the search engine’s directory, and pages that are part of paid advertising. The highest-ranking results usually link to the information that the search engine deems most useful to your query and the links can become less relevant as you click throughout the pages of listings. Because there is so much information on the web, it is common practice for users to not click past the first few pages of search results so it is everyone’s goal to be on the first page of search results for a specific keyword search. The higher a website ranks, the greater the chance that users will click on their link so it is important to work with savvy website designers and SEO experts that can help your business’s webpages appear at the top of a SERP. 

5 Questions To Ask Your Agency Before Launching A Paid Media Campaign

Launch Your Campaign The Right Way

Whether you like it or not, marketing your business online is a tricky pay to play experiment. Lead generation campaigns require media spend and there should always be dedicated oversight to ensure the success of that campaign. Finding new customers and converting them into paying customers through paid media tactics requires an investment and they are often the most successful type of campaign when managed properly. To ensure that your paid media efforts are meeting your business goals, hire an external marketing agency who can devote their expertise to managing your campaign and budget.

The most common mistake that businesses make is launching a paid media campaign without asking their agency the right questions. It’s imperative that you ask the right questions to ensure your agency is setting the campaign up for success. If your agency can’t give you an answer that satisfies your question then start looking for another agency because you don’t want your campaign spending to spin out of control. Paid media campaigns can get expensive very quickly so it’s important to have peace of mind before you start spending your media dollars.

Here are the five most important questions that you should ask your agency before launching your paid media campaign.

 

#1 “Do you understand my business goals?”

Most digital agencies say that they’re “experts” in lead generation but what does that really mean? To be a true expert in lead generation the agency must be an expert in understanding their client’s problems, needs, and opportunities. Don’t be afraid to have your account manager reconfirm their understanding of your business goals with you before launch. If your business needs to get the phones ringing but your agency is focused on driving traffic to your blog, then you need to have your agency realign the campaign objectives. Make sure that you see every campaign asset and you know exactly how your customer’s journey flows into your pipeline. If the agency doesn’t understand your business model or your objectives, then your campaign is going to fall short of your goals.

It is also important to reconfirm their understanding of the campaign if you ever switch account managers and your lead generation is in a new set of hands. Keeping your business goals top of mind will be essential to your campaign’s success and don’t be afraid to ask your agency the right questions.  

 

#2 “Where are my customers located based on your research?”

Whether you’ve been in businesses for ten weeks or ten years, it’s important to know everything about your customers. Identifying your target audience and their behavior is vital to know how you should engage with them. If you don’t know where your customers are, you need to have your agency perform audience research before the campaign starts.

Unfortunately, most agencies still use the spray and pray method, which means that they will select a random channel and hope that they produce a result. Chances are that you’re not going to see your return on investment that month and will be disappointed with your agency’s strategy.

Great agencies will use tools like Google Analytics, Adwords, and Facebook Insights to perform this research and monitor your existing social activity. The best way to identify your target audience is by looking at your competition. Have your agency analyze the top-performing competitor in your industry and tell you everything you never knew about your potential customer’s online behavior. Asking your agency to share their insight on your target audience and behavior prior to the campaign launch will hold them accountable for their strategy and your budget.

 

setting campaign expectations

Before your campaign launches, ask your agency exactly what you should expect within the first 60 days.

 

#3 “What should I expect from my campaign in the first 60 days?”

The main advantage of working with a marketing agency is the fact that you can hit the ground running with your marketing strategy. Experienced agencies have a defined process that quickly onboard new clients and prepares your campaign for launch. But once the campaign takes off what is a client left to do?

Before your campaign launches, ask your agency exactly what you should expect within the first 60 days post-launch. This will prepare you and let you know how you need to follow their campaign iteration process. Post-launch client tasks may include, weekly reporting review meetings, additional content creation, creative approvals, and more but you won’t know until you ask.

Within the first 30-60 days of running a new campaign you can expect to see some pretty low engagement numbers but this shouldn’t be cause for alarm. Remember, advertising is an investment and it takes time to build awareness before the conversions start rolling in. Too often, clients will get frustrated and want to pull the plug on their campaign without giving it ample time to mature. Finding out what works in advertising is tricky but patience and time are your allies so make sure that your agency keeps you in the loop during the early days of your campaign launch.  

 

#4 “How can I communicate with you if I need to change my ad spend?”

This question is incredibly important to ask before launch because your ad spend is the life-source of your campaign. If there is an error with your payment method and it is declined your campaign will not be able to run, resulting in you missing out on potential leads.  Before your campaign gains momentum, establish a clear process for communication with your account manager around adjusting ad spend or changing payment methods. It’s important for your account manager to monitor your ad spend but it’s up to you to notify them about any changes in payment or budget.

 

#5 “How will I understand my reports and campaign data?”

We saved the most important question for last. Before you launch your campaign, ask your agency to explain their reporting structure to you in detail. This is the best thing that you can do for your business and it will give you more time to familiarize yourself with each metric and ask why each data point matters. No matter the results, receiving your first campaign report can be overwhelming so arm yourself with the knowledge you need to understand their reporting style.

If you’re working with an agency that dumps a mountain of confusing data into an excel sheet each month and calls it a report, then you need to find a new agency. Agencies who perform these data dumps are under-delivering or worse, burying you in data to confuse you into thinking that their strategy is working for your business. Look for experienced agencies that will be transparent about results and extract the most important metrics from your analytics for you. They should provide you with their insight, observations, and a proactive strategy each time you receive a report and walk you through their process. Think of it this way, if you have data without understanding, you just have a bunch of numbers. If you look at your reporting and understand how your campaign is working for your business then you have found a trusted agency partner.

 

Now You’re Ready

It’s important that you feel confident in your agency experience and trust the people responsible for your campaign’s success. When selecting an agency make sure that they have the capability to answer all of your questions and don’t engage in a campaign that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you feel that there’s instability in your campaign management, ask more questions and require answers before your campaign launches.  

 

Looking for answers to your questions? Contact Venta today!

 

Rules of (Increasing) Engagement – With Video

Here Are 5 Way To Use Video On Your Landing Page

You already know that video is an incredibly engaging medium and increases the likelihood of user conversions. You use it in your ads and emails. You use it on your website and social media accounts, and you probably use it on your landing pages. But exactly how valuable are videos on landing pages? According to TechCo, video on landing pages can increase conversions by over 80%! And that’s not all they do. Videos help attract audience members with short attention spans, decrease bounce rates, increase user time on page, and all of this will ultimately help your SEO ranking.

To help you create the best landing page possible here is our guide to using video and multimedia assets for lead generation.

#1 Keep It Above The Fold

Your most engaging content should ALWAYS be placed above the fold of your landing page. This means that your video should be located in the first place your user’s eye lands on when they see the landing page. Allow your video to speak for itself and only use simple messaging or calls to action above the fold to increase conversions. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with too much copy so give your video room to engage your page visitors. The most common place for a landing page video is in the “hero”, the largest portion at the top of the page, but that doesn’t mean this is the only option. Play around with your landing page real estate and AB Test the video’s placement with left and right justifications. Testing video placement and tracking user behavior will allow to see exactly how your audience converts and engages with your content.

Above The Fold vs. Below The Fold

 

#2 AB Test Your Video Content

To further your understanding of your user’s behavior, try testing your video content and messaging. This experience will deepen your understanding of what you think your message tells the user versus what the customer actually responds to. To create the best video environment for testing, avoid using fluffy content in your video that confuses the user. Make your message and calls to action specific, explain your process or services with simple animations to keep them engaged, and use language that everyone can understand. Once you have created the core content of your video that’s when you can begin to experiment with your flexible messaging.

 

#3 Avoid Bad Thumbnails

No, I’m not talking about your manicure. I’m talking about your video’s thumbnail image, aka the static image that previews your video before it starts playing. Think of the thumbnail as the window to your video, it gives your audience their first impression of your unique multimedia asset. If the image you selected is unflattering towards the main subject, disruptive to the rest of the landing page, or it just looks bad, reconsider using that thumbnail and find an alternative. You can also perform AB Testing on your thumbnails to see what results in more video clicks. Thumbnails are just as important as the rest of your video so make sure that you select the best thumbnail to attract viewers.

 

Great video thumbnails on YouTube

Here are some great examples of thumbnails on YouTube.

 

Create stunning thumbnails with Adobe Spark

#4 The Power Of One vs. The Power Of Two

Using more than one multimedia asset on your landing page is rather unconventional but marketers are seeing positive results with this technique. For years people thought that one video should stand alone on a landing page but people are now beginning to explore other possibilities. Adding an additional video to your landing page, somewhere below the fold or towards the bottom, will continue to engage page visitors and the video will help you avoid adding too much content.

The size of your second video is also very important because you do not want to it compete for your user’s attention with your first video. Make your second video smaller and place it under the fold or at the bottom near the secondary lead form. The content of your second video should also differentiate itself from the first. Your video above the fold should include the most important information about your business, service, or offerings while your second video should contain the information or emotions that help validate the desired actions of your customers. If adding a second video asset to your landing page sounds overwhelming, stick with one and allow that video to shine.

 

Want to see it for yourself?

Click here to see landing pages with multiple videos!

#5 Keep It Short & Sweet

Landing page visitors want one thing. Answers to their questions. To answer their questions in the most engaging way possible use video to convey your solutions. But don’t ramble on about the benefits of your service or products because your video should always be 90 seconds or less. 90 seconds?! Yes, that sounds brief in theory but in video that is actually a substantial amount of time to inform your user without boring them. Longer videos that lack clarity will obliterate your chances of conversion so keep things brief, informative, and direct. After all, if you need to share more information with your customer try adding that secondary video below the fold!

Need a video for your landing page? Talk to a multimedia specialist today!

3 Tips For Selecting A Digital Marketing Agency For Your Startup

Creating a powerful digital marketing presence for startups

Congratulations! You have dreamt big, persuaded investors, procured funding, slept very little and launched your startup business. You deserve a round of applause – nay, you deserve something better. You deserve to work with a results-driven marketing agency that will launch your new startup into the stratosphere!

Startup marketing is unique because of the limited resources, whether it’s time, money or manpower. You have to be sure that every detail is well-planned and flawlessly executed so your investors continue to give you their support. To make things even more challenging, traditional marketing strategies don’t always work for startups and you may need to rely on other resources to get the job done.

In this fast-paced startup industry, you need to establish your brand and have a robust digital marketing strategy at the ready. Everything you do to build your online presence counts toward your brand awareness and this will touch every corner of your lead generation strategy. Creating a marketing strategy with a digital-first approach is the most powerful tool a startup owner can wield because this strategy will direct your decision making, help you find customers, and eventually impact your bottom line. When you are perceived as established and trustworthy by your target audience you can nurture customers to conversion and show your investors that you’re the real deal.

So How Do You Choose The Right Digital Marketing Agency For Your Startup?

It can be overwhelming when selecting the right agency and you may have reservations about how they can serve your growing business. To make that decision easier we have outlined the most important criteria for your search. 

 

#1 Experience Matters

Startup marketing can be a confusing science that requires a lot of patience and a variety of resources. Even the greatest ideas have floundered due to trusting external resources that lack strategy and original thinking. Other startups have gone under thanks to poor management and relying on resources that were too good to be true. So who can you trust to take your startup to the next level!?

Leveraging an agency as an external marketing resource for startups has been called, “One the biggest marketing power moves ever made in the past 10 years” and we have a hard time arguing that statement. An agency’s experience should directly benefit your business and they want you to use their talents to your advantage. Your agency should also know the ins and outs of marketing a startup because they’ve been helped others thrive and know exactly what it takes to have the proper visibility online. 

Always consider what each agency is known for and if they have experience working with startups. Agencies who primarily work with enterprise level clients might not fit your budget or offer the experience that you’re looking for. Consider what is most important to your business and see if an agency’s experience matches up to your standards. For example, if you want to run multiple customer acquisition campaigns, you shouldn’t settle for a small agency that doesn’t provide you with the analytics to see the campaign performance.

 

Here are 5 agencies that do phenomenal startup marketing!

 

Meet with your agency

Startup owners often like to meet with their agency in person.

 

#2 Meet With Them In Person

Realtors are right. It always comes down to location, location, location. If it is important for you to have meetings with your agency then make sure that you’re searching for an agency that is in proximity to you. Startup owners often like to meet in person with their agency so they can get to know the team and understand exactly what is going on. If the agency isn’t local or at least willing to travel to meet with you, then you might want to keep looking.

 

#3 Look For A History Of Success

You can always determine an agency’s success story by the number of testimonials and reviews on their website or social media. The most successful digital marketing agencies always have a strong track record of success with clients who are excited to talk about their positive experience.

If an agency has several great client testimonials, then it’s safe to say that they have a track record of success. If they only have a few average or less than wonderful reviews, chances are they’re still growing and have a lot to learn. If you find that the agency you’re looking to work with has more negative reviews than positive ones, keep looking and don’t put your business at risk. Don’t be afraid to ask for additional references when selecting the right agency and specifically ask to speak with their startup clients.

You can find reviews for most agencies by simply Googling their name and reading their Facebook reviews. You can also find third-party review sites that provide details about our agency culture and how our employees feel about their work environment.

At the end of the day, know that agencies are just like people and they come in all shapes and sizes so it’s hard to know exactly what makes up the “perfect” marketing agency for startups. We hope that our tips for hiring the best startup marketing agency will help you make the right decision!

 

Ready to launch your startup into the stratosphere?

Get started with Venta today!

Classroom to Career: My Experience Interning for a Marketing Agency

Learning in the classroom and the conference room

During my time as an intern at Venta Marketing, the most trusted digital marketing agency, I have learned many valuable skills through my projects, clients, and supervisors. Each day is a new assignment and I am tasked with finding strategic solutions as the Project Management Intern. While balancing my courses at the University of Missouri, I spend at least 20 hours a week learning from the experts in digital marketing and responsive website design. Spending my time at Venta has allowed me to put my studies into practice and gain valuable life experience. Interning at a marketing agency has provided me with the tools and experiences that will advance my career path and my skills as a Project Manager.

What’s Better Than A Teacher? A Mentor!

To become a Project Manager you must start in the classroom. Your college courses should include a variety of marketing, business, and technology classes but this doesn’t mean that you’ll learn everything in a lecture hall. While a degree is necessary, the most valuable lessons are taught by great mentors. Your classroom material will cover the basics of creating project schedules, marketing plans, brand guidelines, social media campaigns, and more but your agency is where you can implement the real strategy. Much of what I have learned has been on the job and learning from experienced Project Managers has allowed me to know how to identify strategic solutions for clients.

Finding a great mentor outside of the classroom may take a few tries but I recommend finding someone that pushes you outside your comfort zone. That’s where the real growth happens and solving the most complex problems with my mentor helps me do a better job for my future clients.

My mentor is our Website Design & Development Project Manager, Catt. I receive all of my projects, assignments, and feedback from her each week and I often shadow her to see how she’s managing projects. One of her strongest traits is the ability to create To-Do lists and make sure each task is following the project guidelines. Catt constantly emphasizes how important it is to communicate with each client and reassure them that their project is going to be a success. She is always ready to answer my questions and teach me the necessary skills to complete my own tasks while balancing the needs of every client. Catt makes it possible for Venta to pride itself on giving quality results and she pushes each team member to give their all.

It’s Going To Be Hard Sometimes.

I’d be lying to you if I told you that every day of your internship is rainbows and sunshine. Project Managers deal with managing people, projects, and the process so there are a million opportunities for everything to wrong at all times. The most important lesson I’ve learned at Venta is learning how to develop a thorough process so every project can be a success. Will there be hiccups? Oh yes. Will there be delays? I guarantee it! But it’s about how you and your process react to those moments of uncertainty. A great process will allow you to recover from anything and even save your project before it needs help.

To stay positive during the challenging times, I find joy in the projects that are running smoothly. One of our most successful projects was creating a website for Uranus, Missouri, a quirky tourist destination located in the central part of our state. The site included a variety of dynamic elements, such as animations in their blog posts and even a rocket ship that follows users around the screen. While facilitating our client’s business needs, I helped manage our designers who created a retro-Americana website theme that lends itself to the pop-art inspired calls to action. On the technical side, the website required numerous page formats to facilitate specific on-page content. It required heavy content migration, editing the events calendar, maneuvering blog posts to display in chronological order, and displaying videos and pictures in their designated location. The project was one of my favorites because it was fun to make each page a surprise. The most valuable experience I’ve had was learning the importance of making sure each project meets or exceeds the client’s expectations.

Escape To Uranus with Venta Marketing!

 

Refining My Agency’s Process

My main focus for the semester was a project that required me to sort out our shared Google Drive. Over the years, agency documents had been copied, misplaced, and unfinished. It was organized chaos and the lack of organization in the system took extra time for our team to find their needed documents. Over several weeks, I reviewed and removed useless folders and documents, archived unfinished and old files, and sorted everything by clients, use case, and department. It was a lengthy process but my actions cleared a path for our employees to find their files faster and work more efficiently. Now that the Google Drive is much more organized we have set a new precedent for all future files and elevated the level of efficiency. Even if it’s saving our team a few seconds each day, I can tell that my contribution has made a significant difference across all departments.

I Learned More Than I Thought I Would

Working for Venta has been such an incredible experience. I have learned more than I ever could have imagined and I am thankful for the people I work with. Each member of our team brings a special skill to the project and together, we ensure that the client’s vision will become a reality. I am lucky to have a group of wonderful people that encourage me and I love celebrating our accomplishments together. I look forward to starting my day at the agency, knowing I will gain more knowledge and feel that I am adding value to the company. Venta always says that we want to be the most trusted digital agency and I am reminded of that every day.

 

Interested in starting your career or internship at Venta Marketing? Sign up for opportunity notificiations today! 

 

Tools That Will Change Your Business & The Way You Sell

Harness the power of Unbounce and convert more of your paid and website traffic with landing pages

For far too long, UX designers and digital marketers have separated themselves into two different worlds. When it comes to creating landing pages, designers typically prioritize functionality over the campaign’s messaging and content. Meanwhile, marketers are focused on conversions and growing sales numbers through unique calls to action. This divide can ultimately hurt your lead generation so to avoid this obstacle, your business can create a seamless process with Unbounce, the leader in landing page design and development.

Driven by great user experience and built by digital marketing experts, Unbounce is the premier platform for creating conversion-friendly landing pages. The name “Unbounce” literally means to improve the user’s experience and reverse the high bounce rates that come with using poorly performing landing pages. Unbounce’s intelligent platform is widely used by digital marketers because it powers millions of conversions for businesses every year. Unbounce will allow your team to quickly create, launch, and test high-converting landing pages without the hassle of debating design over development.

While many people believe that they just need to spend more money to receive more traffic, Unbounce found that if you reduce the bounce rate through optimization, your conversion rate is more likely to rise. Although these two factors are not always directly linked, reducing your bounce rate can keep more people on your landing page and further expose them to your marketing. Simply buying more traffic can’t guarantee an increase in ROI so if you are paying for advertising but your conversion rates are falling short then it’s time to take a look at how Unbounce’s strategies can change the way you do business.  

But before we dive into the specifics of how you can improve your landing pages with Unbounce, let’s review the benefits of using landing pages for online lead generation.

 

A Final Destination

The main benefit of using landing pages is being able to have a focused and targeted online destination for your customers. Websites are often crowded and can create a lot of distraction, thus interrupting or breaking the customer’s path to conversion. When you send someone to a website with over 50 pages of content, it’s nearly impossible to track their journey to conversion. By limiting the on page distractions you are more likely to convert prospects into leads with a well-defined destination and will be able to track leads through on-page analytics. Once you have found repeated success in your ads and landing pages, you can let them do the work for you and relax while the leads roll in.

 

Increasing Conversions

When you separate your campaigns from your main website, you can become solely focused on converting leads instead of educating your audience. Your conversion rates will be able to show who is clicking and exactly where they are taking action with a simple, goal-oriented landing page experience. According to statistical research by Marketo, landing pages are used by 68% of B2B businesses to acquire leads and 52% of companies are using performance testing on a regular basis. This data shows us that incorporating landing pages into your marketing strategy should be a priority and when you consider that most paid search campaigns send visitors to a specific lead form anyway, it would be silly of you to not use a landing page.

 

A/B Testing

Depending on your budget, you may have multiple sources of traffic like email campaigns, links, and display ads driving leads to your landing pages. By using landing pages as the destination for these traffic sources, you can easily test individual landing page variations for each audience segment. The A/B testing technique will allow you to identify the conversion triggers and refine each user path with undeniable data. A/B testing is considered to be one of the best features of landing page production tools because you can test to find the perfect mix of marketing and design. Lucky for you, Unbounce facilitates landing page production so A/B testing can be easily incorporated into your marketing process.

Now that you’re ready to enhance your online lead generation with landing pages, let’s review the basics of Unbounce’s best practices and see how they will help you elevate your landing page strategy.

 

Unbounce Fundamentals 

1. Be Relevant

2. Stay Consistent

3. Remain Focused

 

 

The Fundamentals

The fundamentals of great landing page design boil down to three things, provide relevant information, have a consistent message, and keep the user focused on the main call to action. If your landing page is an unholy mess of information and disjointed messaging your users are going to bounce harder than a basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands. Resist the urge to send potential customers on an exploratory journey through your landing page and identify one goal, one message, one call to action for each landing page.

In keeping with Unbounce’s fundamentals, the landing page design, messaging, and tone should be consistent with the expectations your user had from the moment they clicked on your ad. When dealing with potential new customers, you need to be articulate and answer their questions without boring them. As you create content for your ads and landing pages, take a step back and refine them to ensure that users digest the most important copy first. No one likes a lecturer so it’s paramount to get right to the point without skipping over any meaningful information.

 

The Fold – Above? Below? Who Really Knows?! 

The “above the fold” concept is as old as printing words itself but it remains an important and frequently debated part of website design. Across all digital mediums, the fold relates to where the scrollbar meets the bottom of the top portion of the device’s screen. The importance of placing calls to action above the fold has been debated over time but the fold still requires understanding and consideration from all marketers wanting to deliver an engaging experience.

In Unbounce’s opinion, to ensure that visitors convert, the call to action should be placed above the fold and restated at intervals further down the page. If you are required to produce a longer, more detailed landing page, try and place your calls to action in natural breaks throughout the content sections. Understanding the dimensions of each device is also very important when placing calls to action above the fold but thanks to Unbounce, your landing pages will be mobile-friendly and automatically responds to different screen sizes. By creating responsive landing page templates with above the fold calls to action, Unbounce will help your business eliminate user friction and increase the chances of a conversion.

 

The Power of Video

All landing pages, especially long ones, should experiment with video and different types of multimedia. Unbounce’s customers consistently see positive results with inserting video on their landing pages, producing longer time on page averages and conversions. Because landing page visitors spend more time watching engaging videos, your persuasive messaging is more likely to resonate with them and produce results.

According to HubSpot, 65% of marketers who were not using video before 2018 planned on incorporating more multimedia assets into their marketing campaigns within the year. Just like written content, it’s about quality over quantity so make sure that your landing pages only have one featured piece of multimedia content. Refrain from overloading your landing page with too many videos and don’t be afraid to invest in quality video production.

 

If you need more information about high-quality video production, visit our Multimedia Services page and see how Venta Marketing can improve your landing page assets.

 

You’re Ready!

As you can see, the reasons for dedicating a portion of your marketing budget to the production of landing pages significantly outweighs the alternative. The sooner you start building, testing, and optimizing landing pages with Unbounce, the sooner you can start collecting your return on investment. Now that you know how Unbounce can have a positive impact on your landing page strategy it’s time to put your budget where your leads are. Take control of your lead generation today and try one of Unbounce’s landing page templates for yourself!