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Your website could be doing the environment dirty. Here’s how to clean it up.

No trees are seemingly cut down every time you Google something or read a social media post on your phone or laptop.  But websites alone do create emissions—internet usage is responsible for almost four percent of global emissions. That might not seem like a lot, but its equivalent to about the same emissions caused by global air travel. That percentage is predicted to almost double by about 2025 according to a post by Brussels-based energy magazine Energuide. And internet usage is on the rise– as COVID shut down the world last spring pushing many jobs and education online, internet usage went up as high as 40 percent, Yale News reported.

“The pandemic-related switch to digital has important environmental benefits, such as the reduction of travel-related carbon emissions, but the transition to a more digitally-centered world is not as clean as one might think,” Kaveh Madani, the Henry Hart Rice Senior Fellow at the Council on Middle East Studies at Yale’s MacMillan Center who led a study that outlined the internet’s environmental impacts, told Yale News.

The emissions caused by websites comes from the hosting company that ensures that websites are up and running when users search for them, on their server. By working with an environmentally-sound server like GreenGeeks, A2 Hosting, and HostPapa that focuses on renewable energy or lowering their energy usage, websites become more sustainable, Wired UK reported. Something as simple as using fewer images on a webpage also helps lower emissions. Another way to lower emissions is to have simply designed websites with little to no moving images like gifs.

“Images are the single largest contributors to page weight. The more images you use and the larger those image files, the more data needs to be transferred and the more energy is required,” Vineeta Greenwood, account director at design agency Wholegrain Digital told Wired UK.

Another aspect of creating more sustainable websites means raising awareness, or letting servers or customers in need of new web design know that it’s even an option for them. Some major search engines like Google have pledged to lower their tech centers’ water usage and to rely on more sustainable energy to run their search engines and other online products like Gmail and Google Docs.

Baruch Labunski,  CEO of Toronto-based SEO company Rank Secure, explains that when many clients work with the company to have their websites designed, they don’t often think about sustainability. Companies like Rank Secure make a point to have sustainability as part of their process when working with businesses who want help with web design by relying on more sustainable data centers.

Read more: Your website could be doing the environment dirty. Here’s how to clean it up.

Email Marketing Automation Guide

Email marketing automation can help you save time, increase your ROI, and deliver a better experience to your subscribers.

Email marketing automation sends targeted emails to subscribers automatically.

Email marketing automation allows you to continue building a relationship with your subscribers over time.

In addition to saving time, email marketing automation provides a better customer experience and boosts revenue.

This article is for business owners aiming to streamline their email marketing campaigns.

If you’re looking for a way to bring in and convert new leads, email marketing is still one of the best strategies out there. Email marketing allows you to connect with your customers and send them automated, personalized content.

Not only is this marketing strategy an efficient way to connect with your customers, it’s the most cost effective. One study found that every $1 spent on email marketing generated an average ROI of $38. And 78% of marketers have seen an increase in their email engagement over the past year.

Fortunately, email marketing automation is a lot easier to set up than you may think, even if you’re new to email marketing. Once you understand the basics, you’ll be well on your way to providing this benefit to your customers.

What is email marketing automation?

Email marketing involves sending targeted emails to groups of your subscribers. This could be a weekly newsletter, information about your products or services, or just general information about your company.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right email marketing solution for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

With email marketing automation, these emails are sent without your constant involvement. You set up automatic workflows, and when a customer signs up for a free lead magnet or makes a purchase, they will receive an email or a series of emails.

Email marketing automation allows you to continue building a relationship with your subscribers over time. When you plan your campaign, you’ll decide who it targets and your campaign’s purpose.

From there, you’ll decide how many emails to include and how frequently your customers will receive these emails. Once you schedule your campaign, the emails will be delivered automatically.

Read more: Email Marketing Automation Guide

Five Ways To Supercharge Brand Awareness With SEO

Whether you’re a CEO of a large enterprise, marketing director, small business owner or author, you can and should use search engine optimization (SEO) to build your brand. Personal and business names alike can improve their online presence by standing out and gaining recognition.

SEO focuses on improving the user experience for consumers. Your website’s speed, design, content, responsiveness and intent all play a role in your visibility and desirability online. The easier your online presence is to find and access, the faster you can build awareness to draw the right people to your brand.

To supercharge your brand awareness efforts, target the right audience with the right content at the right time and place. How? Through SEO.

Using SEO To Build Brand Awareness

By optimizing critical elements of your website for search, you can boost your rankings and achieve greater brand recognition online. Attract more traffic to your website and convert visitors into leads and engaged consumers.

1. Use content marketing.

Publishing quality, valuable content on your website regularly is one of the most effective ways to increase your rankings on search engines, build brand awareness and attract quality leads to your website. Content marketing can help you build trust with people, educate consumers and inform people of your products and services.

To create a foundation of outstanding content, focus on giving your audience what they need. This may include answering common questions, offering unique perspectives on industry-related topics or crafting engaging pieces that people can’t wait to consume.

Content marketing isn’t limited to blog posts and case studies. You can create everything from e-books and infographics to videos, podcasts, webinars and other creative pieces to engage your audience.

2. Identify relevant keywords.

Optimizing your content with appropriate keywords is an essential part of every great SEO strategy. Identifying relevant phrases and longtail keywords can help you rank for the terms needed to enter the conversation with consumers and meet them where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Ranking near the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific key phrases is also a form of social proof. In other words, it can boost your credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of consumers, as organic rankings are typically more trusted than paid ads.

Remember to optimize every piece of content for search intent (or user intent). Give users what they intend to find when they type specific terms into search engines. This will help boost your conversion rates and keep people onsite longer. Focus on keywords that are navigational, transactional, informational and commercial to satisfy intent. And don’t forget to target branded search terms in addition to industry keywords.

Read more: Five Ways To Supercharge Brand Awareness With SEO

Web Design: 5 Ways Valen Digital Can Help You Improve Your SEO Game and Maximise Results

Do you have a business with a website but hardly any traffic, offering awesome services or products that still struggle to attract customers? If so, you’re not alone!

It’s one thing to have a promising business, but if nobody can find your company online then most of that promise will sadly go to waste. This is where search engine optimisation (SEO) comes in to save the day. When done right, SEO can make your business visible online to your ideal clients and help to convert them. However, due to the industry’s complexity, it’s often worth getting professional help with SEO to achieve best results.

Valen Digital is a marketing agency that specialises in providing innovative SEO marketing strategies and web design solutions to help clients get noticed online and maximise profits. Here are 5 ways in which Valen Digital can help you to up your SEO game:

Research

During this initial stage, Valen Digital will work hard to understand your specific marketing objectives. This way, the team there will know exactly how to tailor various services to you to help get the best results possible for your business.

Once the experts at Valen Digital have identified your business’s unique objectives, they will thoroughly research which keywords are most relevant to your website. This in turn gives them a clear idea of how to refine your website’s content so it conveys the right message to your target audience.

Technical strategy

In this second stage, the SEO specialists at Valen Digital will strive to identify and then rectify any SEO issues with your current site.

The team are more than capable of identifying current technical issues you may be having, after which they will find a way to address these issues. They can also come up with new marketing strategies for you to use to ensure you have the best possible standpoint from an on-page technical perspective.

Content strategy

Next, the Valen Digital team will help you to be found by the right audience – you know, the people who are most likely to be interested in your business and convert to paying customers.

Valen’s specialised content strategy is there to reinforce the relevancy put forward in the previous steps. This combined with new, fully optimised content will attract organic traffic and links from engaging SEO campaigns, making sure your business is visible online to those who matter.

Marketing strategy

Valen Digital’s next mission is to connect you with new audiences by creating key content pieces that reinforce SEO objectives while still following your overall marketing plan.

Read more: Web Design: 5 Ways Valen Digital Can Help You Improve Your SEO Game and Maximise Results

Marketers search for new email marketing technology to meet pandemic challenges

During the pandemic, email marketing budgets remained steady while marketers considered new technology to get the most out of the channel, according to a new report from email optimization company Litmus that surveyed 400 marketers.

Marketers this year are most interested in automation. Of those surveyed, 59% said expanding automation was a priority for 2021. Also, 55% are looking to boost personalization, while 35% are considering enriching customer profiles.

Privacy. This year’s iOS changes, including Apple Mail Privacy Protection, have 43% of marketers saying they will look for new ways to measure their email campaigns. Conversely, 24% say that don’t plan to make any changes.

Also, nearly 20% of marketers will run more A/B testing as a result of the new measurement challenges, while 16% will change automation flows and 10% will message their audience about the Apple updates or privacy issues in general.

Budgets. Just because email marketing budgets didn’t increase notably thus far in the pandemic doesn’t mean there aren’t plans for them to grow in the next year. More than 40% of companies intend to up their spend in the channel in 2022.

There is also a shift within email marketing to move the efforts in-house, the study indicates. For instance, 41% of companies plan to hire more email marketers, and 52% expect to decrease the use of agencies, consultants and freelancers.

Relevance. Close to two-thirds of marketers say that they change the tone of their email messages in response to world events.

Specifically with regards to diversity, 27% of companies have sent an email detailing their stance on DE&I. Most of those who haven’t don’t plan to. Only 7% say they haven’t yet, but expect to send out this kind of email.

Why we care. The MarTech Replacement Survey showed a similar interest in boosting email capabilities over the same period. The Litmus survey suggests that even though there was a great need to innovate, budgets were still lacking to make a serious investment in transformation. More optimism about 2022 will likely carry this momentum, as a good many marketers will have more options and funding to make serious changes to their email stack.

Read more: Marketers search for new email marketing technology to meet pandemic challenges

SEO vs Google Ads – ultimate guide to understanding the two

You might be wondering what the difference is between SEO vs Google Ads. You’ve heard that one is more important than the other, but you’re not sure which one it is SEO vs. Google Ads are both great digital marketing strategies for your business.

It is important to understand the difference between the two to make an informed decision about which one will work best for your company’s needs. This blog post will help you understand SEO vs Google Ads, so you can decide how to spend your marketing budget!

What is SEO, and how it works?

To solve your SEO vs Google ads confusion, we’ll start by explaining what SEO stands for – search engine optimization. Search engine optimization and search results pages help boost your website’s ranking in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo!

To rank higher in search engines for keywords related to your business or industry of expertise, many things need to happen, including having quality content with tags on all site pages, link building from authoritative websites within the same industry, and others outside of the industry.

SEO focuses on target key phrases and keywords that target audiences for your site are looking for. Through keyword research, you’re helping your website to rank higher in the search engine results.

By using the right and relevant keywords, you’re directing traffic to your website. While using SEO involves website optimization, content creation, and establishing your company’s goals, you also need to track progress over time.

You need to monitor and check what contents are working and what is not.

Also, if you’re aiming to rank faster or have a specific target time, SEO won’t do that for you.

However, it’s a guarantee that SEO can give you a long-term solution between SEO vs Google Ads. Looking for a long-term solution might work best for you, depending on your business, quality score, google analytics, and marketing models.

In explaining SEO vs Google Ads, it’s important to understand how SEO can help optimize your website’s conversions. These conversions are the actions fulfilled by someone who visited your site.

Read more: SEO vs Google Ads – ultimate guide to understanding the two

7 WEB Design Tips to Improve you site

Most users will only read 20% of the content on your page. If your website is too busy and without a precise message or call to action, people will bounce.

Lack of traffic or high bounce rate on your website could be a result of poor website design. There are a few things that can help you improve your website and web presence but if done incorrectly could impair your Google ranking and conversation rate.

That’s why it’s common practice to delegate this responsibility to a web design agency. They use the best web design practices to bring the goal and vision for your website to life. Here are some web design tips on how to improve your website:

Make Your Site Load Faster

Most web users have a very short attention span. Hence, users get discouraged and move on easily, when you have a website with a slow load time. It’s something you’ve probably mindlessly on other people’s websites. To not have this happen to your website should ideally load within three secs. Here are some ways you could declutter your website and decrease your bounce rate:

Optimize Images

Reduce plugins

Clear Up Framework and Themes

Use a CDN (content delivery network)

Use SSI (server side Include)

Condense your website’s code (i.e HTML, CSS, and JavaScript)

Optimize the Homepage

Choose a great Hosting Platform

Ensure Your Website is Responsive

Responsiveness of a site is the degree of flexibility of that website on whatever device it’s been accessed on. This is especially important because an increasing amount of users now access the web through mobile phones and tabs rather than laptops and computers.

So, make sure your website is responsive. That means your site should contain the contents and information but a different display; that changes automatically depending on the user’s screen size.

Read more: 7 WEB Design Tips to Improve you site

How Spotify almost had its email marketing shut down because of spam traps

Spotify is one of the world’s largest online music streaming services and sends billions of marketing emails to its users every year. However, in December 2020 the team responsible for email campaigns was contacted by Twilio SendGrid – the platform it uses to manage email marketing – and was told that it was close to being shut down.

Why? Because Spotify didn’t realize that it was sending millions of emails to what are known as ‘spam traps’: bad actors that are looking to harm Spotify’s systems. Matt Gioe, Engineering Manager at Spotify, and the person heading up the email campaign office, was speaking at Twilio’s Signal event this week, where he warned other organizations that they need to get to grips with both the art and science of email, in order to avoid a similar situation.

The problem was brought to Spotify’s attention in December 2020, during the company’s largest campaign of the year, Holiday 2020. During this time Spotify sends approximately 1 billion emails to 170 email subscribers across 92 countries over roughly a 30 day period. It was in the middle of this huge campaign that Twilio SendGrid got in touch. Gioe said:

I received a series of pretty frantic emails, messages and phone calls from three Twilio employees, two of them who I’ve worked with before, and one that I’d actually never heard of.

It turns out this third person was Len Shneyder, who is the VP of Industry Relations at Twilio. Len wanted me to know…that if I don’t do something, I’m going to get shut down…and by me, he really meant Spotify, and by Spotify he meant all of Spotify’s emails. So this is pretty terrifying.

This kind of came out of the blue. This was actually my first marketing campaign that I’d ever worked on. But you can imagine that I was not having a great day.

Read more: How Spotify almost had its email marketing shut down because of spam traps

How To Check The Return On Investment Of Your Search Engine Optimization

Normally, you can measure the return on an investment (ROI) by taking the gain generated by the investment and subtracting its cost. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, in the search engine optimization (SEO) world, it’s a bit less straightforward.

That’s because it can be hard to pinpoint exactly how much of your sales or leads are generated by SEO alone. It’s also hard to track exactly which costs have gone into designing and implementing your SEO strategy.

Given this difficulty, I’ve gone ahead and outlined my formula for calculating and monitoring the ROI of an SEO campaign. As the owner of two full-service digital marketing agencies, I’ve tracked SEO performance across countless client campaigns for over a decade. After years of success in the field, I thought I’d share my basic strategy for SEO analytics and monitoring.

Where ROI Meets SEO For E-Commerce

For those who specialize in e-commerce, there are specific ways you can track and manage your SEO performance. Thanks to Google Analytics (yes, including the free version), you can do this fairly simply. Below, I’ve outlined the basic steps involved.

First, open your Google Analytics account and navigate to the “ADMIN” panel within the left-hand sidebar. From there, navigate to the “VIEW” tab and select “e-Commerce settings” and finally “Enable Enhanced e-Commerce Reporting.”

Whether you use Shopify or WooCommerce, your next step is to initialize tracking on these platforms so the data can be communicated to Google Analytics. Here’s a thorough guide on how to do that. Once complete, you’ll be able to view a variety of key metrics, such as:

Read more: How To Check The Return On Investment Of Your Search Engine Optimization

5 Simple Strategies to Update & Automate Your Email Marketing

Utilizing the latest email marketing strategies is a great way to expand the reach of your business and help you connect with a wide range of customers. You also want to stay in touch with those prospects who didn’t purchase your offer…yet. They might need a little more convincing that you know your stuff and email marketing is an easy way to get inside their inbox and appeal to them. Looking at ways to improve your email marketing strategy is essential to your success.

Implement these simple strategies to improve your email marketing efforts.

#1 Tweak Your Messages

Many entrepreneurs use various types of email sequences to help them maximize sales during a live launch. However, you can reuse these messages by simply performing a few tweaks to the original email. Performing these tweaks is a great way for you to save time while also improving your marketing reach. Ultimately, tweaking your messages only requires a little bit of work to your existing emails.

#2 Check Out Your Email Marketing Metrics

Another way to improve your marketing strategy is to check your metrics consistently. This is also one area that many entrepreneurs overlook or just don’t take the time to do. This information can play a key role in helping you determine the highest performing emails. Metrics can include a variety of information, such as click-through rates, open rates, and purchases. You can use these metrics to learn effective marketing strategies to help you maximize your consumer base. If you never, or rarely, look at your numbers any tweaking you do could be the proverbial ‘shot in the dark.’

#3 Craft New Emails

Taking the additional time to craft new emails is well worth the effort in helping you to expand the reach of your business. Writing new emails is especially effective if you are running a special promotion or giving away a free item. You can also reuse older messages to help your business grow and reach many more customers with only a minimal amount of effort.

#4 Create a Sense of Urgency

One of the best ways to reach new customers is to create a sense of urgency within each email. For example, you can offer a limited special offer that is only available for a few days. You can also use various elements, like a countdown timer, or programs, like Deadline Funnel, to help you include urgency in your emails. This simple marketing technique is highly effective in improving your sales rate since subscribers won’t want to miss your deal.

Read more: 5 Simple Strategies to Update & Automate Your Email Marketing