With a new captain in place, Rising Pune Supergiants would look to make amends for a poor last season but have a tough opening battle at hand against two-time former champions Mumbai Indians here tomorrow.Pune decided to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Steve Smith in the leadership role.Under Dhoni, who has only played as skipper in the previous nine Indian Premier League editions, Pune could win just five matches in their debut season last year.While Dhoni would be desperate to prove a point with his blazing blade — a fitting reply for being stripped off captaincy, Smith will look to forget Australia’s 1-2 loss against India in a draining Test series recently.Dhoni might have led the now defunct team Chennai Super Kings exceedingly well in the past but proving his worth as a player with the new franchise is a challenge that the former India captain will be more than keen to conquer.However, all eyes would be on Ben Stokes, who was bought for a whopping Rs 14.5 crore, and his performance with both the bat and ball will be equated with his hefty pay package.Smith and Faf du Plessis both got injured the last time but they would like to make amends in this edition of the cash-rich tournament.The Supergiants will be banking on Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 480 runs at 43.63 with six fifties in the last edition, to come good with the bat again.In the absence of star India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashok Dinda will spearhead the team’s bowling.advertisementThe rather weak Pune bowling attack would have its task cut out against a strong Mumbai batting line-up.Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma’s form at the top will be important, while Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler’s big hits, and veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh’s guile would decide how the team would fare tomorrow.Mumbai are one team that has not been ravaged by injuries. This will allow them to pick from a talented pool of overseas and Indian cricketers, including Mitchell Johnson, Lendl Simmons, Lasith Malinga, who is expected to join the team tomorrow, Mitchell McClenaghan, Parthiv Patel and Jasprit Bumrah among others.Having finished fifth in the previous season, Mumbai would not leave any stone unturned to make the top-four in this edition under new coach Mahela Jayawardene, who has taken over from highly successful Ricky Ponting.Teams (from):Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Jos Buttler, Shreyas Gopal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Asela Gunaratne, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Kulwant Khejroliya, Siddhesh Lad, Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Parthiv Patel, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Punia, Nitish Rana, Ambati Rayudu, Jitesh Sharma, Karn Sharma, Lendl Simmons, Tim Southee, Jagadeesha Suchith, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar.Rising Pune Supergiant: Steven Smith (Capt), MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Ben Stokes, Faf du Plessis, Usman Khawaja, Manoj Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Daniel Christian, Ashok Dinda, Lockie Ferguson, Jaskaran Singh, Saurabh Kumar, Milind Tandon, Jaydev Unadkat, Adam Zampa.
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Author: PR Squared InboundMarketing.com really hit home for me. In a time when we’re constantly reminded of the pending death of newspapers due to the increasingly powerful Web, PR guru Todd Defren Lesson: 1. Translations for Facebook Connect Brand evangelists have surprising potential. Todd Defren Google Sidewiki Influential Marketing Blog Twitter Marketing: It’s More Like Email Than You Think because of the Internet; in addition, with all the biased clutter found on the Web, it’s no wonder that traditional news outlets are still seen as the most reliable editorial source. Therefore, to get that coverage from credible media like the The Vizion Blog Speaking of the clutter on the Web, what if there were someone whose sole job responsibility was to sort through and uncover the best and most worthy content? Rohit discusses this role and what it would entail, calling it “Content Curator,” or someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online. Think Lesson: How to Claim Your Website’s Google Sidewiki Apply traditional marketing tactics to the new ways of the Web. 2. , which can be used to translate websites into any of the languages Facebook supports. Barb’s short article describes the tool, based on the same solution Facebook itself employed to translate its site, which recruited volunteers to help translate the site into more than 65 languages. The tool will display content in a visitor’s native language if they log in using Facebook Connect. This of course means that potentially all websites can be translated into Manifesto For The Content Curator: The Next Big Social Media Job Of The Future? Author: of of pulls us back down to earth to show us that, despite what you may think, media relations shouldn’t be dying along with it. In fact, among the pile of biased content littering the blogosphere, traditional news outlets still stand out as the most faithful, unbiased sources, proving that we should focus on media relations now more than ever before. ‘s Pirate language Author: of Successful techniques from one tool may work for another. Mainstream Media Relations: More Important Than Ever inbound marketing kit You may have to sift through the clutter to find quality content. 3. Author: Download our Bill Hartzer Zephrin Lasker Originally published Oct 2, 2009 7:05:00 AM, updated July 18 2013 Take advantage of new technologies, and don’t get left out of the conversation (especially if it’s happening on your own site). Barb Dybwad BusinessWeek By claiming your Google Sidewiki space, website owners ensure their own comments appear at the top of all other comments. Website owners can use this space to promote their site, direct visitors to important pages, and make sure they’re aware of what others are saying about their site. Although only users who download the wiki will see the comments, Bill suggests it as another way to join the conversation. Lesson: but on a much broader scale. , Todd advises us to keep nurturing those media relationships! . Lesson: . I’m a fan. Mashable Alltop Guy Kawasaki As a public relations professional, this week’s top story on Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. By some estimates, in just a few years we will reach a point where all the information on the Internet will double every 72 hours. Does this role already exist in some places, and do we need it? 4. Advertising Age Photo by Annie Mole Inbound Marketing Kit is here, and Bill Hartzer gives you step by step instructions on how to claim yours and why it’s an important thing to do. The Sidewiki is an add-on to the Google toolbar that allows any Web user who downloads it to make comments on any website; the comments are then viewable to anyone else who visits the site and has downloaded the Sidewiki. Lesson: or of NY Times With its new $100 million funding under its belt, Twitter must justify its worth by leveraging the data it knows and translating it into real results and revenue for marketers. Zephrin’s article makes suggestions to Twitter about how to attract advertisers, primarily by capitalizing on lessons learned from email marketing. Zephrin’s thought is that email-like capabilities — such as the ability to segment audiences, access dynamic reporting, test and optimize campaigns in real time, etc. — would be valuable to Twitter advertisers. If Twitter can deliver on these basic capabilities for marketers, they’ll have no trouble pulling in advertisers’ dollars. What do you think? Author: 5. To support the thought that media relations shouldn’t be at death’s door, Todd points out that the number of unique visitors to newspaper websites has grown by 15.8% to 65 million in the past year. While newspapers may be struggling in terms of earning money, their audience is flourishing. Why? Stories can now be spread much faster and more easily of The Facebook just announced the release of its new tool for developers, Rohit Bhargava Don’t start cutting off ties with journalists just yet. Media relations is alive and kicking! Facebook Releases Free Tool for Translating Your Site Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Google Updates New Feature: Search Functionality!Considering Google is the king of search, it’s pretty strange that an internal search function wasn’t available right off the bat. But Google listened to users’ requests, and now the +Search box is available to all, enabling users to search for others’ posts and content within Google+ and on the web. To ensure others’ privacy, the search function returns search results that are either publicly available or that only the searcher can see.Resources for New Google+ UsersIf, up until now, you’ve been unable to access Google+, here’s a great list of resources to help you get on the same page as other users:The Ultimate Google+ Cheat Sheet10 Awesome Google+ Presentations to View Today Websites Using Google’s +1 Button Get 3.5x the Google+ Visits [Data]11 Things You Don’t Know (But Should) About Google+Marketing TakeawayFirst of all, if you hadn’t yet been granted access to Google+, you can now sign up here. Take advantage of the above resources to help you get up-to-speed with all Google+ currently has to offer, and make sure you know the ins and outs of Google+ with your personal account so you can be prepared to tackle business pages once Google launches those.Secondly, start experimenting with Hangouts on Air! This feature already has big potential and implications for businesses. Think online video news announcements and livestreaming to the public, making it very easy to spread your message to a public audience.Lastly, make sure you’re effectively leveraging the +Search functionality. When possible, make sure your posts and links to content are optimized with the keywords for which you want to get found, and be sure to make your posts publicly available to make it easier for those outside your direct network to find and access your content.Are you using Google+? What do you think of its newest features? Topics: Originally published Sep 20, 2011 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 If you’re someone who has been anxiously awaiting access to Google+ over the past few months, your wait is now over. This morning, Google announced it has officially released the ability to sign up for Google+ to everyone, with or without an invitation.Google’s move to make the social network completely open to the public is based on a number of new improvements and additional features now available to users, which has propelled Google+ from ‘field trial’ to ‘beta’ status. While most of these new features are focused on improvements to Google+ Hangouts, Google also announced the addition of an internal search function within Google+…finally.New Features in +HangoutsGoogle+’s improvements to Hangouts (Google+’s video chat capability) are the most numerous.Mobile Hangouts: Users with Android 2.3+ devices and front-facing cameras can now can now launch Hangouts directly from their mobile phones.Hangouts on Air: Users can now create publicly broadcasted (and recorded) hangouts, which can include up to 9 video participants and made available to anyone who wants to watch the broadcast live. (Note: Creation of Hangouts on Air is currently limited to a number of broadcasters, but anyone can tune in.)Extra Hangouts Features: Google+ has also added some new features to Hangouts. These extras can serve as add-ons to your video chats and include screensharing, sketching, Google Doc collaboration, and Hangout naming functionalities. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
The following article is an excerpt from our new ebook, How to Use LinkedIn for Business. To download your free copy of the complete ebook, click here.Last month, LinkedIn launched company updates, making LinkedIn Company Pages more important than ever for businesses. Utilizing a company page can help increase your company reach, increase your business’ product awareness, and generate leads on LinkedIn.That’s why it’s critically important to create a page that is blanketed with great information. A LinkedIn company page is the one page amidst those on your various social networks that calls for the most professionalism. Just as a personal profile is professional in its resume-like nature, yet has a touch of personality through Twitter streams and applications, a company page should emit a white-collar persona paired with some company character. With that in mind, here are 5 steps to complete your company page.1. Include Basic InformationGo to Admintools –> Edit. From there, LinkedIn will prompt you to fill in generic information about your company (a lot of which may already be complete from when you added the company page in the first place). Be sure to fine-tune the description portion, as this will be crucial in user understanding of your company.2. Post JobsThe second tab on a company page is “Careers.” This feature allows you to post job openings at your company. While your company may already have various methods of announcing that you’re hiring, what better place to post a job opening than the very network where many professionals live and explore? Let people know you’re looking for fresh meat to help build what is ultimately defined in your company description.3. Include Products/ServicesLinkedIn can help you showcase your business’ various products/services, so be sure to include them on your company page. Heading to the products tab on your company page, click on the “Admin tools” button again to reveal a new drop down menu—this menu changes from tab to tab.You now have the option to “Add a product or service.” Do it. LinkedIn will take you through simple, step-by-step instructions to help you broadcast those services.4. PromoteUnder the initial overview tab, LinkedIn (under Admintools) allows you to promote your company through an ad campaign. This feature is split into 4 simple steps, which LinkedIn takes you through in a very comprehensible manner. A “Common Questions” box also appears to the right of this page, so you can truly understand how the feature works. A LinkedIn ad campaign could help spread the word about your company as you build and integrate inbound marketing efforts into your business platform.5. Measure EverythingWell, everything provided on your company page, anyway. The fourth and final tab on your company page is “Analytics.” Remember that everything you do with internet marketing involves taking the time to see how those efforts are playing out (this will help you determine whether or not those efforts are worth the time.) The analytics tab will allow you to track page views and unique visitors on your overall page, as well as each individual tab. LinkedIn also measures how many clicks your products or services have received as well as the number of members following your company.In addition, LinkedIn gives percentages for member visits. This tool can be helpful in understanding who your LinkedIn target audience consists of, because the data is split into member visits by industry (marketing, finance, etc.), function (sales, research, etc.), and company (HubSpot, LinkedIn, etc.).Et voilà! You now have a fabulous company profile page—one that can be reached through your wonderful personal page. Now you can start leveraging your company page to be even more beneficial through the use of company updates. Learn how to activate and use company updates here.Is your LinkedIn company page up to snuff?Image Credit: Sheila Scarborough Topics: LinkedIn Company Pages Originally published Nov 7, 2011 11:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Topics: Images Originally published Apr 5, 2012 2:37:00 PM, updated August 26 2017 Facebook’s new “Timeline” design has been mandatory for all Facebook businesses pages for almost a week now, and you may have noticed your cover photo is now taking up some serious real estate. So even if you don’t take the time to use new features like pinning, starring, and milestones, it’s certainly worth taking some time to make your cover photo stunning, creative, functional, or all of the above.But innovation doesn’t just come out of nowhere … you need a creative spark before you can fan the flames!Free Templates: Facebook Cover Photos for BusinessesSo we scoured Facebook looking for some of the coolest cover photos out there we thought would inspire you. Take a look at how these brands are making the most of their new Facebook cover photo real estate. Then get out there and design a cover image that makes your Facebook page fans and visitors “ooh” and “ahh!”1) Sunrise SignsWe love when our customers get really into their marketing, and Sunrise Signs is certainly showing an interest in the new Facebook cover photo capabilities with this fantastic one that showcases exactly what its product does — without words. They also highlight their clients, a great way to show customer love!2) Old SpiceOld Spice has opted for an Eye of the Tiger meets Diehard theme in its cover photo, also known as the punch you in the face approach. Actually, it seems like their spokesman really might jump out of the computer and punch you in the face, considering Old Spice’s clever cover photo/profile image alignment. But if you’ve seen any Old Spice campaigns in the last couple years, it’s completely on point with their brand. And while it might not be your cup of tea, there’s no denying it captures your attention.3) SharpieSharpie’s cover photo is simple and clean, but also really, really captivating. Look at that detail and artistry! It shows fans how to use this everyday product — a Sharpie permanent marker, and a paper cup — in a creative way. Plus, that pop of red draws your eye in, matches the pop of red in Sharpie’s logo, and reminds us Sharpie actually has colored markers!4) OverGo StudioOverGo Studio is another star HubSpot customer/partner, and their Facebook cover photo is effective because it explains what they do to an audience who may need more information about their services. Yes, they’re using words, but it’s not overpowering! The font is bright and crisp, and the lighter blue words in the background let someone who is really studying the photo learn about their service offerings in more detail without overwhelming visitors with copy-overload. They’re another example of an intriguing, yet subtle use of cover photo-profile image alignment.5) UberUber’s Facebook cover photo is effective because it’s both functional and brand-enhancing. The cars on the map show the cities in which they operate, and the old school map reflects the understated, classic, exclusive feeling of its customers’ experience.6) DropboxDropbox’s Facebook cover photo made this list because it is simply adorable. And you know what? Sometimes the best thing you can do in marketing is just make people smile. Just look at that little guy in the plane! This cover photo also aligns with Dropbox’s Twitter background, and helps make a relatively unsexy service (file hosting) more fun and accessible.7) LivestrongWe featured Livestrong’s Facebook cover photo in a previous post about brands that are making great use of the new features on Facebook’s brand pages. Livestrong’s cover photo is simple, but still artistic and strong. It just goes to show that you don’t always need to get fancy — just be visually captivating. And while we’ve seen a lot of brands play around with the alignment of their cover photo and profile image like we just saw with OverGo Studio and Old Spice, Livestrong cleverly carries its cover photo design into the ‘Views and Apps’ section of its page, where it features the Livestrong blog.8) Murder Mystery CompanyThen again, there’s certainly nothing wrong with a little flash in your marketing! HubSpot customer Murder Mystery Company takes you into their dramatic world with their Facebook cover photo, letting you in on the experience of attending one of their murder mystery performances. Plus, it has a little sex appeal — never a bad thing in marketing!9) McDonald’sMcDonald’s uses its Facebook cover photo to give you sense of the company’s history. Nostalgia is a great approach for McDonald’s — it showcases what I think many would agree is a more enchanting time for the fast food industry.10) Jive SoftwareJive Software’s success with its Facebook cover photo is in the details. When you click on the photo, you see that the caption is “The People are the Network.” What a great sentiment for a social business software company’s social media page! It creates a sense of community, and the image tells us that Jive’s customers are the foundation of the company.11) PhotoShelterUnlike Jive Software, HubSpot customer PhotoShelter lets you actually see the faces of people in its cover photo for a more engaging effect. Including pictures of people in your social media is always a great idea, as long as they look natural and not like stock imagery. These photos both reflect the company’s purpose, and put sympathetic faces behind the brand.12) iStockphotoAnother photo site, it’s no surprise iStockphoto has a spectacular Facebook cover photo — they’ve got a whole website full of them! So it’d be foolish for them not to show off the best of their product. If you look closely, the bottom right corner of the photo gives credit to the photographer, and when you click into the photo, it provides a link to the website where you can purchase the photo. Talk about a subtle call-to-action!13) VerizonVerizon gets their customers involved with their Facebook cover photo. Verizon changes the photo every day, replacing it with an image taken by a real customer. Then they add a picture of the customer in a small call-out, include the name of the customer who took the picture, and the name of the device they used. It not only pays tribute to Verizon’s customers, but it also shows off the capabilities of their products.14) ZipcarZipcar got some clever copywriters involved with their Facebook cover photo! They combined a funny, quippy saying with an image that shows where you can go with a Zipcar. And notice that directive in the bottom right corner? It tells fans what to do — get out, and zip!15) Lawyers.comLawyers.com has gotten around the call-to-action restrictions of the new Facebook design by including an image of their latest piece of content. When you click into the photo, they include a link to the post which then takes you to the full piece of content.16) UrbanDaddyUrbanDaddy’s Facebook cover photo is exceptional at reinforcing their brand, but with subtlety. The photo doesn’t tout their product — which is their content — or their offers. It’s all about the person who reads UrbanDaddy, and the lifestyle they embody.17) HubSpotAnd of course, we wanted to give our own Facebook cover photo a little love! We combined the orange our brand is known for with the Boston skyline — it is our Hub, after all!What creative Facebook cover photos have you seen? Share them in the comments so we can all be inspired!Image credit: Sean Rogers1 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack
Extra Resources and Examples:Executives Guide to Enterprise Inbound MarketingFree Guide: An Introduction to Lead Generation 3) Lack of Fresh (and Valuable) ContentToo many enterprises have what I call a brochure-wear website. These are sites that are all pretty pictures and polished product content, but not much else.The thing is, people don’t arrive on your website to hear you talk about yourself. Instead, you need to offer content that is valuable to your audience, whether it be informative, educational, or entertaining. You need content that attracts them to your site and keeps them there.The best websites publish valuable content often, such as whitepapers, ebooks, videos, graphics, blog posts, and more. ShoreTel publishes more thought-leadership content in one quarter than I see most enterprises publish in a year. All of this regularly published content is what helped them increase search traffic 60% and leads more than 36%.In addition to their blog, ShoreTel offers a variety of ebooks:As well as an awesome video library: Topics: 6) Bad at Generating Leads and DemandWe recently learned that the number one most important objective for enterprise marketers this year is to increase new leads and prospects; the second most important objective is brand awareness.What many marketers might not realize is that both of these objectives are universally linked. The more demand you’re able to capture through your website, the more you’re able to improve brand perception and awareness organically.A website that isn’t generating leads or demand isn’t doing its job. The goal of a website isn’t just to sit there and look pretty — it should be an extension of your sales team to help boost new business.ShoreTel offers plenty of opportunities to capture leads by using calls-to-action to direct visitors to dedicated landing pages, which contain a form in order to capture a visitor’s contact information (thus, generating a “lead” or “prospect”). More importantly, ShoreTel Sky provides a lot of valuable marketing offers that help to generate even more leads that they can then nurture to become sales qualified.The number one issue I find with most enterprise websites is that they only offer bottom-of-the-funnel offers, such as a “Contact Sales” request. These are only good when a visitor is ready to buy. But we all know that the majority of a buyer’s purchasing decision happens before a sales rep even knows about it. A website should contain top-of-the-funnel content (ebooks, infographics, whitepapers, etc.), middle-of-the-funnel content (case studies, demos, etc.), and bottom-of-the-funnel content (product information, contact sales request, etc.) in order to capture demand at every stage of the funnel.You’ll notice a Contact Sales form rests at the bottom of most product pages, because it aligns with the visitor’s stage in the buying cycle.The website also has pop-up Modal Windows:Now, let’s say your business only sells to the Fortune 100, or to a niche audience, and the actual volume of potential traffic and leads are low. Turning your website into an inbound marketing machine will actually help you capture more earned media in the long run, and improve your branding initiatives. That extra boost in engagement and word-of-mouth exposes your brand to more people, and helps turn visitors into fans, and fans into customers. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Extra Resources and Examples:16 Companies from “Boring” Industries Creating Remarkable ContentThe Treasure Chest of Remarkable Content 4) Difficult to Find the Right InformationAccording to the Science of Website Redesign, 76% of consumers say the most important factor in a website’s design is “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want.”Douglas Hughmanick of Paramount Farming Company says:“The most important part of a perfectly designed website is connecting the user with the information they came to find. If your design is easy to navigate and captures the interest of the user, you have likely made good design decisions. This doesn’t mean using the same standard layout every time, but thinking through the objective of your project and the audience you are targeting.”One reason I love ShoreTel Sky’s website is the super-simple, no fluff navigation. The site only features a handful of primary navigation options and a simple one-tier drop-down beneath each link, all simply organized and in plain English. Overall, it’s very effortless to navigate this website and find the information I’m searching for.Even if you have multiple divisions or complex product offerings, there are simple ways to organize your website that makes it easy for the visitor to navigate. In ShoreTel’s case, their VoIP product offering is on a separate website, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. Microsoft is one example of a website with multiple products, most of them as a sub-domain under the primary microsoft.com domain. Extra Resources:53 Examples of Brillant Homepage DesignsHow to Create Beautiful Websites with HubSpot Extra Resources and Examples:Free Mobile Marketing KitHow to Use Facebook for Mobile Marketing Extra Resources:Free Content Creation KitPromote Your Content with a Free Trial of HubSpot 7) GobbledygookI love being in the marketing profession. But there’s one thing that embarrasses me as a marketer and that’s when I see marketing-speak, or what is often referred to as gobbledygook. Terms like “cutting-edge,” “innovative,” and “mission-critical” are littered across many enterprise websites.Gobbledygook exists in a lot of marketing materials and, ironically, it’s only good at reducing your marketability. “When you are talking to your existing and potential customers your job is to use the language that they use,” says David Meerman Scott. “Don’t speak using your own egotistical jargon.” The best websites, like ShoreTel, avoid the jargon and speak like a human instead of like a corporation. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself the primary buyer of a VoIP system. But the language used on ShoreTel’s website is so clearly explained, I fully understand what they sell, how their product works, and why I should buy it. Even if you sell complex products, it’s Marketing’s job to translate that complexity into simplified terms so that even your grandmother has a basic understanding of what you offer. What makes a website truly great? I mean so great that traffic is high and growing, bounce rates are low, and engagement and demand are off the charts.Is it a beautiful, award-winning design? A killer SEO strategy? Its interactive, cutting-edge user experience? Or is it simply tied to the amount of monetary investment? The bigger the budget, the better the website, right?For many enterprise companies, tens to hundreds to millions of dollars are poured into their website each year, on everything from design, content, media, SEO, promotion, and advertising, to hosting, infrastructure, and more. After all, a website is the Grand Central Station of a company’s digital universe. According to a 2013 study by Gartner, total spend on “digital marketing” by large companies is now over $500B annually [Tweet This Stat]. Other firms estimate we spend $130B just on our websites. That’s 19% more than we spend on digital advertising (Google Adwords, Facebook and Twitter ads, etc.).I wonder, though — is that money well-spent? Or could most of it be going — well — right down the toilet.As an enterprise marketer and everyday consumer, I’ve seen my fair share of corporate websites. Most of them are, sadly, uninspiring, uninteresting, or just outright forgettable.Then one day I stumbled upon a website of a HubSpot customer where I thought, “Wow, this is a great website.” And trust me, I don’t say that very often. But as a marketer, I tend to appreciate and recognize a job well done. Granted, no website is perfect. But this one does a lot of things right.The website I’m referring to is from (big reveal) ShoreTel Sky, seen below.What’s so great about this website, you ask? I’ll get to that in a minute.You see, despite more than $130B being invested in our websites each year, shockingly, 72% of websites graded through MarketingGrader receive a failing score of 59 or lower. What gives?Here are seven reasons why most enterprise websites fall short, and why ShoreTel is a great example of doing it right:1) No Clear Description or Calls-to-ActionMany websites fail to answer “Who I am,” “What I do,” and/or “What can you (the visitor) do here.”If you’re a well-known brand or company (i.e. Coca Cola) you can probably get away with not having to describe who you are and what you do; but the reality is, many enterprise businesses still need to answer these questions so that each visitor knows they are in the “right place.” Steven Krugg sums it up best in his best-selling book, Don’t Make Me Think. If visitors can’t identify what it is you do or where to go to find what they need within seconds, they won’t stick around long.ShoreTel does a fantastic job of this on their homepage — describing who they are and what they provide — and their sub-page descriptions are great, too.Additionally, ShoreTel’s site guides visitors to the next step with calls-to-action (CTAs) that clearly stand out with the right use of size, color, and verbiage. The CTAs are placed both above and below the fold, yet don’t interfere with the browsing experience.The site also has a “sticky” top bar that contains one primary CTA. Extra Resources:10-Step Checklist for Your Next Website RedesignFree Website & Marketing Assessment Extra Resources:How to Build Calls-to-Action with HubSpot Software101 Examples of Effective Calls-to-Action Originally published Mar 3, 2014 2:15:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 5) Not Mobile OptimizedBy the end of 2014, more people will access the web via mobile devices than PC. Still, 46% of mobile users have difficulty interacting with websites — so it makes sense that 62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile increase sales. So if you haven’t gone mobile yet like these guys, now’s the time. Website Design BONUS: Hear the secret behind ShoreTel Sky’s success.Learn how ShoreTel increased organic search traffic 60%, leads 36%, and qualified leads 110% here, or watch the short video below:I know ShoreTel isn’t the only great enterprise website out there — which other websites should we be looking at as examples? 2) Cluttered DesignAmerican statistician and professor Edward Tufte once said, “Clutter and confusion are failures of design, not attributes of information.”Often, marketers tend to over-complicate their websites with too many elements or far too much information. After all, it’s more difficult to take away than it is to add. And that, dear marketers, is what causes clutter. In fact, some of the most effective websites are also the simplest.ShoreTel Sky is a refreshing balance of whitespace and content. You’ll notice almost every element serves a purpose.Here are a few ways this website achieves a clutter-free aesthetic:Simple, two-column layoutClear headlines, sub-headlines, and body copyGreat sentence and paragraph spacingLots of whitespaceOnly four primary colors and great contrastGreat use of icons and graphicsEven we’ve been redesigning our site pages to focus on simpler design. See examples here and here.
Originally published Nov 25, 2014 12:00:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 Great marketers are always on their toes, keeping up with the news, anticipating and adapting changes as they happen. SEO is no exception: According to Moz, Google changes its algorithm 500-600 times per year. With so many updates happening so often, even the most diligent marketers can miss an important release or two.To make sure you’re all caught up with the latest and greatest in SEO, check out the infographic below created by Neil Patel of Quick Sprout. It’ll walk you through the major changes SEO has undergone in the context of mindset, keywords, content, and link building.932Save Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 932Save Technical SEO