Social Media for Lead Generation

More and more brands report that they use social media to generate leads and new business. Here are current best practices for using social media to boost business.

Use Multiple Social Platforms

Every social channel you use increases the potential for reach and effectiveness. Integrating and interconnecting those platforms also enhances connection with audiences online. Be sure to leverage all the platforms used by your target customers and clients.

Be Engaging

It’s not enough to post content and links to your website. Post interesting content that is useful to your customer. Bonus points for doing that in a fun way. Visuals and video are still great ways to capture attention if they are done well.

Be Interactive

Connect with customers on social beyond your own accounts. Comment and share their posts. Join groups and share ideas and help that aren’t direct sells. Businesses that effectively create positive impressions and beneficial relationships online are positioned to gain customers and reinforce relationships with existing customers.

 

How Google Ranks Page Experience

Google has defined a new set of metrics to measure the speed and user experience of websites. These metrics will be used in the Google search algorithm to rank sites based on the page experience they offer. This update is expected to happen in May 2021.

What Is Page Experience?

Google’s ideal is that users click a link in search results and the corresponding page appears instantly. Even with high speed internet connections and fast devices, loading a web page is still not that instantaneous.

Loading times are only part of page experience. According to Google, “Great page experiences enable people to get more done and engage more deeply; in contrast, a bad page experience could stand in the way of a person being able to find the valuable information on a page.”

Web Vitals Defined

Google Web Vitals are a set of metrics to help determine opportunities to improve the experience of sites. Within those new metrics is a subset of metrics called Core Web Vitals. These are intended to be real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience.

Each Core Web Vital looks at a specific piece of the page experience to rate the perceived experience of a site. Core Web Vitals are available in all Google tools that measure page experience.

Core Web Vitals are:

  • Loading
  • Interactivity
  • Visual stability

These focal points correspond with three new metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP):  how long it takes for the largest visible content element to load.
  • First Input Delay (FID): how long it takes for a browser to respond to an interaction first triggered by the user (such as clicking a button)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): the percentage of the screen affected by movement — i.e. do things jump around on screen?

Page Experience and Search Rank

Google is going to use these metrics combined with existing experience ranking factors to rank page. Other factors include:

  • Content quality
  • Mobile-friendliness: is your site optimized for mobile?
  • HTTPS: is your site using a secure connection?
  • Interstitial use: does your site stay away from pop-ups?

Email Marketing Checklist

Email marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing tactics to nurture a relationship with your clients and prospects. Inboxes are crowded places, but research still demonstrates that email gets the best engagement and return on investment.

Here I offer a checklist of best practices for effective email marketing.

Build Your Own List

Build a list of clients and prospects by collecting information from your contacts list, social media, in-person networking, etc. DO NOT buy a list. Email from someone or a brand you did not ask for is spam and is counter to the goal of creating meaningful connections.

Spend the Most Time on the Subject Line

The subject line determines whether the recipient opens or deletes the message. It is the most critical part of your email. Keep subject lines short and clear. Highlight what the reader will get by reading your message. (What’s in it for them.)

Preview Text

Many email clients also include preview text in the inbox. Don’t just default to the first few lines of the email. Write preview text that summarizes the value of the email to the reader.

Use a Consistent “From”

Define the “from” and be consistent. You want people to recognize all your messages as coming from the same place. Whenever possible, make the from a person rather than the business. That’s more personal.

Body

Keep emails short! Research shows that 200 words or less is ideal. Be sure to put the most important information first. Assume your reader won’t get far into the message.

Emails should have one goal or focus. Don’t allow any distractions from the goal. All links in the email should drive toward the goal.

Write in plain language, using simple words, and short sentences and paragraphs.

Call-to-Action

Include one call-to-action per email. Multiple CTAs in an email dilute your message and goal.

The CTA is usually a clickable button. Make sure the CTA is clear. The transition from the email to the CTA should be seamless and easy to understand.

Send Strategically

In general, best practice is to send emails between 9 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Pay attention to your metrics to see if your audience behavior differs.

Monitor and Adjust

Monitor all responses to your messages. Pay attention to comments, engagement and click metrics. Refine your approach based on the insights you gain.