| D E C E M B E R 2013
| D E C E M B E R 2013
| D E C E M B E R 2013
F R O M T H E E D ITO R
Innovation Inspiration
“The only way of discovering the limits of the
possible is to venture a lit...
’’

’’

The Authenticated Testimonials
seal lets people know we can
be trusted. And trust has its
advantages such as incre...
net briefs
Twitter to Go Public
In the most unexpected-expected news, Twitter finally filed for its
IPO. And, what better ...
m o b i l e a p p wa tc h

Shopify

Talkboard by Citrix

Run your online and in-store
business through a unified platform ...
| D E C E M B E R 2013
STAT WATCH

IT’S A (STAT) WRAP
2013 is ending and it’s safe to say that this was the
year where consumer shopping, researc...
ENTERPRISE

READY

“Controlled Chaos”
Managing Digital Development While Maintaining Your Sanity

By Tony Rago, Interactiv...
ENTERPRISE

READY
It’s certainly a juggling act, but one that flows much
smoother with certain guidelines and procedures i...
ENTERPRISE

READY
producer must be the decider on new priorities for
the given sprint delivery.
Have morning “scrums”, whi...
| D E C E M B E R 2013
WEBSITE MAGAZINE’S

SMALL BUSINESS LAB

The Whens and Hows of

HIRING A DIGITAL CONSULTANT
By Amberly Dressler, Managing E...
WEBSITE MAGAZINE’S

SMALL BUSINESS LAB
tion specialist at Google. “Many spend their tight
budgets on keywords that are ine...
WEBSITE MAGAZINE’S

SMALL BUSINESS LAB
every B2B platform or software provider also offers white papers, webinars and othe...
See What
They’re Saying
Take a video tour of interesting people and new
stuff for your website. See Website Magazine’s
int...
50

TO P

Performance and Lead Gen Networks
Your Competitors are Using
Performance marketing is a fast paced and
exciting ...
50

Performance and
Lead Gen Networks

TO P

1. ClickBank.com
2. Clicksor.com
3. cj.com
4. Tradedoubler.com
5. LinkShare.c...
mastering

search
Searching for SEO Truth

COMMON MYTHS DISPELLED
By Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor

Despite the increa...
mastering

Hummingbird
Feeder
Discover five semantic markup use-cases
to implement today at
wsm.co/seonectar.

search
betw...
mastering

Guest Blogging 101
Learn how to build credibility and traffic without
damaging your rankings
or reputation at
w...
mastering

search
great content, people will share it. If your content gets shared, it must be great.”
While there might n...
| D E C E M B E R 2013
e-commerce

express
MINING THE TREASURE TROVE OF

RETAIL ANALYTICS
By Allison Howen, Associate Editor

For Internet retail...
e- c o m m erce

express
by dividing the amount of money spent on marketing your brand (including discounts offered,
the t...
e- c o m m erce

express
Churn Rate
If your LTV is low, it could be due to a high
churn rate. By identifying this metric, ...
e- c o m m erce

express
is by quantifying their RFM pattern (recency,
frequency, monetary):

[

(# purchases over past 12...
design

development

jQuery TO MELT YOUR MIND
By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief

There are numerous reasons why jQuery
...
de s i g n &
de v e l o pment

digest
Progression.js
Forms are tricky to design and can be challenging
for users to naviga...
de s i g n &
de v e l o pment

digest
essentially creates a sticky navigation bar (staying
on top of the page as users scr...
de s i g n &
de v e l o pment

digest
powerful and effective means to introducing new
features to existing users. With plu...
| D E C E M B E R 2013
N

By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief

2013 was an epic year for Internet professionals
from an innovation standpoint. W...
Weaved into the discussion are some of the most
exciting emerging technologies, practical digital solutions from software ...
that what they are innovating must be disruptive
to the digital status quo; it must fundamentally be
useful to the potenti...
Development and the
Roots of Innovation
Necessity isn’t just the
mother of invention,
Social
but the mother of
Innovation
...
tion with an authentication algorithm, resulting
in a platform that allows innovators to create useful (and secure) applic...
Slight Permutations in Digital Advertising
Display advertising has seen an incredible resurgence over the last few years a...
from their ads.
Bing introduced
a beta of the Call Extensions ad feature
last year, which was
E-Commerce
limited to smartT...
the revenue performance from organic search and
how pages are converting against pre-set goals.
Search and content marketi...
search queries originate from devices other than
users’ desktop computers.
Understanding that this is a first step toward
...
and preparing their enterprises for success.
At its annual client
summit, eBay introduced a new suite
Innovation
of commer...
Let InternetSupervision’s Virtual
Assistant look after your website.
The virtual assistant is essential for today’s web-ce...
INTERNET ADVERTISING

Last-Minute Ad Tips
To Move The CTR Needle This Holiday Season
By Cleofe Betancourt, Business Develo...
INTERNET ADVERTISING

After quickly dismissing option C (your laughter hurts
people), we can get down to the business of h...
INTERNET ADVERTISING

B). A surfer is more likely to click on your ad if their
randomized experiments with two variants, A...
CONVERSION CONNECTION

Common E-Commerce

By Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners

Many Internet retailers are failing to convert en...
CONVERSION CONNECTION

Slow Page Load Speed
Internet visitors want it yesterday! Any delay
becomes seen as intolerable. Go...
CONVERSION CONNECTION

your desktop site. Make your mobile site an extension of your desktop site and your customers
will ...
CONVERSION CONNECTION

start showing them as star ratings throughout
the site.
Difficult Purchase Process
If customers can...
2013 CALL FOR ENTRIES
DEADLINE DECEMBER 20, 2013

HORIZONINTERACTIVEAWARDS.COM
WEB SITES

Advocacy & Non Profit
Bank / Fin...
EMAIL EXPERIENCE

INSIDE GMAIL
By Chad White, Principal of Marketing Research, ExactTarget

The introduction of Tabs in Go...
EMAIL EXPERIENCE

3. The Promotions tab is shifting engagement
patterns.
There’s growing evidence that Gmail users are
che...
DOMAIN MASTERS

Where to Sell

Domains in 2014
By Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor

The Internet is changing. How compani...
DOMAIN MASTERS

The Changing
Face of the
Domain Name
Aftermarket
See how GoDaddy’s acquisition of Afternic will
disrupt th...
DOMAIN MASTERS

domain trading platform, along with its global
network of domain brokers, makes its well positioned to sup...
HONESTY.

INTEGRITY.

TRUST.

That’s what displaying the ValidatedSiteTM
Seal of Approval does for your website.

• Appear...
SOCIAL MEDIA MAVENS

Getting The Most From

Google’s Ghost Town
By	Allison	Howen,	Associate	Editor

When Google+ first arr...
SOCIAL MEDIA MAVENS

feature and quickly took advantage of it.
been embedded. Rasmussen College, for example, leverages th...
Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)
Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)
Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)
Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)
Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)
Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)
Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)
Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)
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Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)

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Innovation & Web Inspiration
Website Magazine's digital issue for December 2013 is now available for you to view online. In addition to the feature article on "Innovation & Web Inspiration," readers will find practical guidance for hiring a digital consultant, tips for managing the Web development process, and actionable advice on merchant analytics, conversion optimization, advertising through the holidays, dynamic content marketing, selling domains, and much more.


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Website Magazine num.72 (INGLES)

  1. 1. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  2. 2. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  3. 3. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  4. 4. F R O M T H E E D ITO R Innovation Inspiration “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible,” said Arthur C. Clarke. Pretty inspiring, right? What the English physicist and science fiction author might have meant is that only by pushing the limits of our systems, imaginations and creativity (and sometimes our wallets) is it possible to achieve the impossibly inspirational — which can truly differentiate us individually and separate our enterprises from the hordes of competitors — keeping us relevant in the future. Innovation is a tricky subject. Often confused with invention, what we’re really after here is a better system or ecosystem (not a new one), a modified process or practice (technical or otherwise), that results in a net positive improvement to the bottom line. The Web is the perfect playground for a discussion of innovation, because the pace is undeniably swift and agile — there is nothing in human history quite like it. In our feature article this month, we explore some of the most exciting emerging technologies as well as several practical solutions available today that are setting the pace of innovation, and inspiring Web users across the globe. This edition of Website Magazine will also help Internet professionals round out 2013 in true digital style. Offering up information and insights that will prove immediately useful in their efforts to acquire greater ’Net business success, Website Magazine’s December issue provides readers with practical guidance on managing application development initiatives, a foundation for hiring a digital consultant, and practical and actionable guidance on SEO, e-commerce and Web design. | D E C E M B E R 2013 Readers can also review articles on pay-per-click advertising, common conversion fails, the new tabbed inbox layout in Gmail, content marketing and much, much more. Enjoy this issue of Website Magazine and make sure to visit us on the Web at WebsiteMagazine.com to experience the in-depth coverage of emerging trends, best practices and industry news that matters most to your success as an Internet professional. Best Web Wishes, Peter Prestipino — Editor-in-Chief, Website Magazine Peter@WebsiteMagazine.com NOTED & QUOTED See which companies and executives made this issue actionable and informative with their products or insights by visiting our online Success Corner at wsm.co/nqdec13. Visit Website Magazine at these upcoming Internet Industry Trade Shows. SES Conference & Expo November 4-7 Chicago, IL ad:tech November 6-7 New York, NY SMX November 20-21 Las Vegas, NV Affiliate Summit January 12-14 Las Vegas, NV
  5. 5. ’’ ’’ The Authenticated Testimonials seal lets people know we can be trusted. And trust has its advantages such as increased website conversions & sales. -Alan J. www.SupplyHero.com HOW AUTHENTICATED TESTIMONIALS WORK: • We contact your customers to verify each statement. • Authenticated Testimonials provides a verification seal to display on your website. • Prospects are more inclined to trust and purchase your products or services! | D E C E M B E R 2013 PHONE: 1.866.904.5414 INTERNATIONAL: 1.773.272.0998 AUTHENTICATEDTESTIMONIALS.COM
  6. 6. net briefs Twitter to Go Public In the most unexpected-expected news, Twitter finally filed for its IPO. And, what better way to announce the news and kick off the roadshow than with a tweet? The social network indicated it will be offering up nearly 500 million shares of stock in its initial release mid- November, but many are wondering if the company will suffer the same fate as Facebook after its IPO. According to Twitter, the social network currently has 218 million monthly active users, which have created more than 300 billion tweets since launching the service. As far as revenue is concerned, the filing reveals that Twitter has never been profitable and even lost $69.3 million in the first half of 2013. So will it be boom or bust for Twitter’s IPO? Join other Website Magazine readers, the largest group of Internet professionals, and cast your vote at wsm.co/2013twitterIPO. “G-Commerce”Intentions Google is making available Product Listing Ads (PLAs) for local businesses — and potentially revealing its e-commerce intentions. When users search for products on Google they will now encounter localized, product-centered advertisements on the search results from nearby merchants. Should they click, users will arrive at “local storefronts” (powered by Google) where they can browse store inventory. The company is also innovating on a number of other levels of course — from the release of Hummingbird to the introduction of hashtag search to the gradual retooling of its analytics offering. Stay in the virtual loop on these and all the most important Google developments with Website Magazine’s ’Net Features news stream at wsm.co/NetFeatures. | D E C E M B E R 2013 What YOU Need is More Advertising Channels Web-based services for consumers are entering their monetization phase as both Pinterest and Instagram formally introduced advertising opportunities in the past month. Pinterest announced its ads would be coming to the network in September, but just a month later, the ads are now being tested and can be seen in the digital wild. According to Pinterest, ads will be “tasteful, transparent and relevant” and won’t come in display banner or pop-up form. Instead, ads will be shown as “promoted pins” and found in the network’s search results and category feeds. Promoted pins will work just like regular pins, according to Pinterest, but they will have special “promoted” labels with links. Not to be forgotten, Facebook-owned Instagram also made its ad platform official. Users of the image-based social network will begin to see the occasional image and video advertisement from several popular brands that are currently using the network. Stay up to date on all the digital advertising news important to your enterprise at wsm.co/DigitalAdChannel. App Annie Studies eBooks App Annie is taking on a new vertical, launching two new tools for authors and publishers of eBooks. The tools include analytics and store statistics dashboards, which can be used to gauge the success of specific eBooks as well as to study larger market trends. The Analytics dashboard, for example, enables users to keep track of sales, bookstore rankings, downloads, customer reviews and ratings. Conversely, the Store Stat dashboard provides market insights, such as rankings, ratings and information on featured sections.
  7. 7. m o b i l e a p p wa tc h Shopify Talkboard by Citrix Run your online and in-store business through a unified platform via the iOS-enabled Shopify POS app. Shopify merchants can turn their iPads into POS systems that can accept credit cards, be used to manage online and in-store inventory from the cloud, track sales, send email receipts and more. The Talkboard app by Citrix lets Web professionals get more creative with their collaboration efforts. This free iPad app is essentially a social whiteboard that colleagues can use to brainstorm, take notes, draw diagrams and draft presentations. Plus, the app updates live so everyone can see changes as they happen, making collaborations easier and more efficient. Kashoo Accounting The Kashoo Accounting app is gaining a reputation of being one of the best apps for small businesses. iPad compatible, Kashoo gives users the ability to create and send customized invoices, view customer balances and payment history, track expenses and monitor cash flow, track and report sales tax from any country, and even import accounts and opening balances from Quickbooks. SMBs can try Kashoo free, which includes up to 20 transactions per month, or subscribe to Kashoo for a year for unlimited transactions. | D E C E M B E R 2013 ShiftPlanning Start managing your workforce from the palm of your hand with ShiftPlanning for Android, iOS and Blackberry. The app enables employers to manage schedules and staff, while also allowing employees to view schedules, pick up shifts and clock in or out on their timesheets. In addition, users can communicate with colleagues or with entire departments via private messaging or the app’s message wall.
  8. 8. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  9. 9. STAT WATCH IT’S A (STAT) WRAP 2013 is ending and it’s safe to say that this was the year where consumer shopping, research and social habits really took a digital turn — driving enormous change in what it means for Internet professionals to be successful on the Web. And while final numbers for this year aren’t in at time of print, eMarketer reports online sales will grow more than four times the rate of 3.4 percent that the National Retail Federation forecasted for total retail sales. Not all companies are getting an equal share of the digital pie though. Brands that are making investments in better user experience, from on-site search and navigation to mobile channels and social integrations, are closer to closing the gap between them and major competitors. The gap is big, especially when looking at Amazon’s rapid growth, but innovative approaches and technologies are helping to close it. According to digital and luxury research firm L2, retailers like American Eagle, Brooks Brothers and others, are offering free two-day shipping, for example, to try and match Amazon Prime’s appeal. Competing against bigger retailers is one of the most frequent concerns for small business owners (45 percent), but the impact of the stuttering economy (63 percent) and attracting new customers (58 percent) are bigger worries, according to a 2012 pre-holiday survey from FedEx. Hopefully, that puts your e-commerce initiatives in perspective. | D E C E M B E R 2013 90% UPS and comScore released results from a consumer study that found nearly 90 percent of online shoppers have placed items in their shopping carts but left the site without making purchases. Online consumers indicated that communicating shipping costs and delivery times early in the online shopping experience can help alleviate cart abandonment. 52% Despite consumers’ preference toward gathering information digitally (60 percent use search engines as their primary source for business listings), 52 percent of consumers have visited a closed business after looking up information using services such as search engines, navigation systems and online directories according to Infogroup’s “Real-Time in the Real-World” report. 416 $646 300% On average, subscribers receive 416 commercial email messages a month, according to Return Path who says that more people read emails that deal with their finances or travel than any other category. U.S. consumers intend to spend an average of $646 on gifts this holiday season, according to a recent Accenture survey. Lead management campaigns integrating four or more digital channels will outperform single- or dual-channel campaigns by 300 percent according to Gartner.
  10. 10. ENTERPRISE READY “Controlled Chaos” Managing Digital Development While Maintaining Your Sanity By Tony Rago, Interactive Producer, The Famous Group Successfully managing Web and application development in today’s fast-paced and complex digital world requires a special kind of leader. It’s not enough to simply be organized or a skilled multitasker able to manage the numerous moving parts that go into building digital experiences. Producers also need the quick wits to know how to play off each developer’s unique personality and ego, when to involve the appropriate team members (creative, UX, analytics, quality assurance), and perhaps most importantly, how to best manage client expectations. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  11. 11. ENTERPRISE READY It’s certainly a juggling act, but one that flows much smoother with certain guidelines and procedures in place. It took me many years of Web development experience — first in client implementation and training, then on to quality assurance (QA) testing, through the treacherous world of being a technical support lead and now an interactive producer — to feel comfortable managing the “controlled chaos” that is inherent in digital production. Here is some guidance borne out of many late nights and weekends full of virtual blood, sweat and tears that should help you successfully manage a digital project and maintain your personal sanity. Understand the Overall Roadmap Have a comprehensive plan that takes you from A to Z (a.k.a. the completed project) and know it inside and out. This starts with a statement of work (SOW), which is the backbone for what is being promised to the client at an agreed upon budget. Then create a schedule that outlines the earliest stages of planning, all the way through final testing and delivery. It’s important to keep this schedule updated and continually share it with the client to keep them up to speed. Scheduling software such as Merlin can help you accomplish this task. A realistic schedule is also crucial to creating task assignments that allow you to segment work properly and prevent an overlap of duties. When it comes to tracking and managing the over| D E C E M B E R 2013 all project per the roadmap, forget spreadsheets. Use a central online project management and bug tracking system where everyone on the team can see the statuses of what’s being worked on, who’s handling each task and where each step stands for being QA’ed and signed off. There are many free project management tools available online, as well as those for purchase such as activeCollab. “Sprints” and “Scrums” Run the project as an iterative process, with planned weekly and monthly deliverables. Having tasks planned out will provide the producer with a queue of work items to assign. These can include a mix of legitimate bugs, client requests, and actual work items and tasks from the overall roadmap. Then determine the goals for that given time, and execute and deliver on those for that period. Short bursts of planned activity, known as “sprints”, will set realistic expectations to get the team to a point of comfort and keep the workflow on course. Beware of the dreaded “scope creep”, where features not originally referenced in the SOW are added to the queue. These new requests, which can come from your team or the client, are sometimes necessary as project circumstances change and need to be tightly managed. For every action, there is a reaction, and for every new element added to a project, there should be something else that’s dropped. For each addition, the
  12. 12. ENTERPRISE READY producer must be the decider on new priorities for the given sprint delivery. Have morning “scrums”, which are daily 10-15 minute standup meetings where all members of your team state what they worked on yesterday, what they plan to do today and give a heads up on any potential roadblocks preventing progress. These brief meetings help set expectations for all parties and enable the producer to manage deliverable better. Clarity is king. 10 Project Management Tools for any Internet professional at wsm.co/pgmt10. Manage Client Expectations Mid-project is not the time for surprises. Have frequent and fluid conversations with the client so everyone is on the same page and up to date on status and issues. Establish a working relationship where everyone is on the same team, and the goals for both sides are unified in delivering a finished product that makes everyone happy. Have weekly client status meetings, typically around a delivered product, and keep the schedule current and visible to the client. While not always possible, make an effort to be friends with the client and not just a hired hand. It always helps if there’s a level of comfort between the two parties, allowing for communication to be open and honest. Manage Your Team Properly managing your own team is just as critical as managing the client. A typical development team always consists of varying personality types, each of whom re- | D E C E M B E R 2013 quire a specific approach for managing. Some people need more hand holding while others perform best when allowed to run with it. Either way, managing the personalities is a challenge requiring tact and patience. It’s nice to all be friends, but you all also have a job to do. As with dealing with clients, I typically take the friendly route. When your team knows you care about them, it creates an environment where everyone believes in the end goal and bonds throughout that process to get to the desired result. It usually also makes everyone happier and more productive. However, the producer is the captain of the ship and ultimately must decide the approaches that work best in given situations. Sometimes the nice guy has to be less nice, and it’s important to know when to get strict and not let friendships take advantage of you. One last note: All the rules in the world won’t prepare you for every situation and solve every problem. Just as the creative process involves a certain amount of improvisation to accommodate better ideas that sometimes come out of left field (often at inopportune times), so too does a digital development team’s need to remain agile and flexible enough to make decisions and changes on the fly. Everything is a process, and the more planning and ongoing communication you bring to the project, the greater likelihood you’ll have a fighting chance of completing the work on time and within budget, and with your sanity intact.
  13. 13. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  14. 14. WEBSITE MAGAZINE’S SMALL BUSINESS LAB The Whens and Hows of HIRING A DIGITAL CONSULTANT By Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor There comes a moment in every small business owner’s virtual life, when he or she asks, is it time to hire a digital consultant? The answer, of course, is different for every enterprise, but there are some telltale signs it’s time to make the move and what to look for when one does. Today’s Internet is complex; the sophisticated acquisition, retention and personalization tactics and tools alone can be challenging for even the savviest to wrap their heads around. Adding to this complexity (and cost, of course), are the countless digital touchpoints that are now necessary investments to help grow a business, such as search and social, email and mobile. It’s a fast- | D E C E M B E R 2013 moving, multi-channel world — can a digital consultant help you navigate through it? EXPERTISE Growing a business online can be a significant investment of time, particularly for those small- and mid-size businesses not already versed in certain tech practices; this may be especially true with paid search, as it is deceptively simple to get started but can quickly become complex to manage. “Most small businesses do not have the time to become digital experts, so they go through quite a bit of trial and error while they learn search,” said Kristina Cutura, AdWords consultant and former client education specialist and optimiza-
  15. 15. WEBSITE MAGAZINE’S SMALL BUSINESS LAB tion specialist at Google. “Many spend their tight budgets on keywords that are ineffective while they experiment with different targets. These are valuable small business funds being wasted on strategies that will never work.” For paid search (or any digital initiative really), it’s imperative business owners track the time and cost involved in learning and executing projects, and then compare the return on investment between doing it themselves and what it would cost for someone else to do it. A spa owner, for example, might spend an unknown amount of hours making small changes on his website with a website builder that charges a monthly fee, may find it beneficial to know if a designer can make the same adjustments faster and cheaper. The designer might spend just five minutes making the changes whereas the owner could invest hours only to get ultimately frustrated with formatting mistakes. This is where tracking time comes in. So how much time is this spa owner spending on website design that can be used more efficiently in other areas? Time tracking software like Toggl or Hubstaff can go a long way in identifying where it is actually best spent. | D E C E M B E R 2013 COMMITMENT Hiring a digital consultant sounds like a no-brainer for many small business owners, but cost is typically where plans are stalled. Oftentimes, consultants work on monthly flat fees for all of their work — like social media, content, website management, etc. — and the consultant pays (either out of his monthly fee or on top of his monthly fee) for any help he needs on the site, like design assistance. Of course, this varies by consultant, but knowing price structures in advance will keep both parties happy and productive. When it is time to make the move, no small business owner wants to be in the dark about any areas of his business, which is why many ownerconsultant relationships can go sour if there is not a high level of transparency and equal footing between the two. Even if a small business owner turns over some or all of their digital projects to a consultant, he will still want to commit to educating himself on what it takes to succeed in that specific niche and on the Web in general. Website Magazine is, obviously, a terrific free resource for keeping industry awareness high, but nearly
  16. 16. WEBSITE MAGAZINE’S SMALL BUSINESS LAB every B2B platform or software provider also offers white papers, webinars and other educational material to consider. Website Magazine editors have compiled a dozen of the best of these free reports/guides from 2013 at wsm.co/12resources. Aside from personal learning, small business owners also need to commit to establishing strong rapport with their consultants and that starts from the very beginning of the relationship. RED FLAGS Learn the warning signs that a digital consultant may not be who your business needs (or wants) at wsm.co/7nohire. CONSIDERATION When going into business with anyone, there have to be questions involved. This is why there are things like job interviews. To start a partnership between a business and a consultant off on the right foot, it’s important that both parties do their due diligence. Cutura suggests that small business owners ask consultants how long they’ve been doing this work. “There are many ‘experts’ in the digital space who are just getting started and learning the platform themselves and may be experimenting on your account,” said Cutura. Stakeholders will also want to ask prospective | D E C E M B E R 2013 consultants what types of businesses they are currently working with or have consulted in the past. They’ll ideally want to hire based on experience with related business issues, whatever the general focus of the enterprise being served. LinkedIn is a fantastic resource for small businesses looking to fact check or just do a little more homework on consultants. Learn how to research potential consultants or partners using LinkedIn at wsm.co/consultlinkedin. Lastly, Cutura suggests asking, “How often will you make changes to my account and what types of reports do you provide?” FULL FORCE The best advisors can not only shift through the Web wasteland to identify and leverage truly best-of-breed solutions, but also serve as strategic advocates providing your company with opportunities you may never have been aware of, or had access to. This can level the playing field between your small business and the bigger guys, as well as free up time to grow your company in other ways.
  17. 17. See What They’re Saying Take a video tour of interesting people and new stuff for your website. See Website Magazine’s interviews from Internet Retailer Conference & Expo. George Eberstadt, TurnTo Zach Pitts, Kount Branden Jenkins, NetSuite Ed Stevens, Shopatron Howard Diamond, Rise Interactive Greg Wooten, SecureBuy Scott Allan, Rakuten Parag Mamnani, Webgility Rey Pasinli, Total-Apps Megan Higgins, Pitney Bowes Global Enterprise Ross Haskell, BoldChat Shawn Ellen, Ability Commerce Manish Chowdhary, GoECart Michael Moore, SDL Fredhopper Dennis Shiao, DNN Jake Stein, RJ Metrics Dennis O’Malley, ReadyPulse Tom Pittman, Seller Active Andrew Pearson, Windsor Circle Brian Quinn, Kenshoo Social Ryan Morgan, Hotcakes Charles Meyer, 7Search Visit Website Magazine’s Video Spotlight www.websitemagazine.com/videos *Website Magazine thanks IRCE for permission for video interviews at the show. | D E C E M B E R 2013 Jeremy Greenberg, SellerCloud Fred Lizza, Dydacomp Kyle Wilson, SearchSpring
  18. 18. 50 TO P Performance and Lead Gen Networks Your Competitors are Using Performance marketing is a fast paced and exciting industry, one with all the digital thrills and spills you’d expect when technology, marketing, the creative arts and data science, are combined. When companies and enterprises want to put lead-centered initiatives on center stage in their digital marketing campaigns, they are fortunate in that there are innumerable services and software solutions to make capturing more conversions — in a more effective and efficient way — possible. This edition of Website Magazine features 50 of the top performance marketing vendors, those playing a central role in the space today and perpetually innovating and actively serving those seeking more leads and opportunities to close more sales. The challenge for those entities | D E C E M B E R 2013 involved with the performance marketing industry is that they must ensure that the methods, practices and processes each use helps achieve the desired outcome. Advertisers have to know which designs and promotions will help publishers drive leads, while networks must provide the optimal technologies and exchange environments to manage those leads. Affiliates and publishers have to initiate aggressively in the digital landscape, educate through discussion and demonstrate value to get users to convert. The most sophisticated networks, like those featured here, understand these challenges and their corresponding opportunities and over time, have built platforms to enable their users (publisheraffiliates and advertisers) to influence the customer’s journey to conversion.
  19. 19. 50 Performance and Lead Gen Networks TO P 1. ClickBank.com 2. Clicksor.com 3. cj.com 4. Tradedoubler.com 5. LinkShare.com 6. zanox.com 7. Infolinks.com 8. ShareASale.com 9. BidVertiser.com 10. Chitika.com 11. Affili.net 12. AffiliateWindow.com 13. Avangate.com 14. 7Search.com 15. PeerFly.com 16. Webgains.com 17. MaxBounty.com 18. AdWorkMedia.com 19. Matomy.com 20. eBayPartnerNetwork.com 21. AdscendMedia.com 22. LinkConnector.com 23. AvantLink.com 24. Clickbooth.com 25. LogicalMedia.com | D E C E M B E R 2013 Your Competitors are Using LEARN MORE: Don’t miss out on headlines from these companies and others at Website Magazine’s Affiliate Insider Channel. Make sure to visit us at wsm.co/ai2014. PERFORMANCE IN FOCUS: eBay Partner Network recently announced that in the future, its program pricing for publishers will be based on category-level commission rates (varying for each of its worldwide programs) and would add a bonus for publishers driving transactions from new and reactivated buyers. 26. Kontera.com 27. Adknowledge.com 28. AffiliateFuture.com 29. ClickDealer.com 30. AdMedia.com 31. Advertise.com 32. oneNetworkDirect.com 33. clixGalore.com 34. vCommission.com 35. Offervault.com 36. DiabloMedia.com 37. PayDotCom.com 38. AdSupply.com 39. CommissionSoup.com 40. ValueClick.com 41. FluxAds.com 42. AffiliRed.com 43. CPADNA.com 44. Axill.com 45. LeadPile.com 46. Convert2Media.com 47. MediaWhiz.com 48. RevenueWire.com 49. Adperio.com 50. offerforge.com
  20. 20. mastering search Searching for SEO Truth COMMON MYTHS DISPELLED By Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor Despite the increasing maturity of the SEO industry, there are still many unfounded beliefs, practices and tactics that website owners adhere to in an effort to top the search engine result pages (SERPs) and oust their competition. Regardless of how many times these myths, half-truths and lies are repeated, they will never help an enterprise optimize its digital efforts. Let’s debunk four of these fallacies. | D E C E M B E R 2013 MYTH #1: Organic & Paid Search Cannot Play Nice Many website owners fall into two types: those who choose between SEO and paid search advertising/marketing and those looking for the “right” balance of the two. Digital marketing technology company Kenshoo and digital marketing agency Resolution Media explored this topic in a Sept. 2013 white paper, The Search Sandbox: Paid Plays Well with Organic. When analyzing the relationship
  21. 21. mastering Hummingbird Feeder Discover five semantic markup use-cases to implement today at wsm.co/seonectar. search between paid and organic search marketing for a major retail division of Hewlett Packard (HP), Kenshoo found definitive evidence that running paid search alongside organic results provided positive value. “This research puts to rest the controversy over running paid search advertising for brands that have strong organic coverage,” said Aaron Goldman, chief marketing officer at Kenshoo in a company statement. “Our study shows that visitors arriving from paid search are more profitable than those arriving from organic search, even when you take into account traffic acquisition costs.” The report found that paid search drives higher net revenue per visit (NRPV, which is paid search revenue minus the direct media costs from those clicks) than organic search. Plus, even with an organic result at first position, consumers still click and convert on paid listings 39.6 percent of the time. Perhaps even more importantly, Kenshoo reports that paid | D E C E M B E R 2013 search is the only viable option when organic results fall off the first page, garnering 93.1 percent of a keyword’s click share (percentage of total clicks achieved when both a paid search and organic listing appear together). Even if NRPV was equal, having an extra (paid) link on the SERP is more valuable than having just the organic link, according to the search marketing company. By leveraging a paid listing, for example, it takes up space where a competitor’s ad may appear. There is also value in the data that marketers can collect from paid search, such as the originating query or keyword that initiated the ad. Kenshoo recommends companies figure out where the gaps are in their organic search presences and use paid search to fill in those holes. Kenshoo, and other well-informed agencies, subscribe to the truth that smart marketers are those embracing holistic approaches to search engine marketing. They are also likely the ones getting the most out of their investments.
  22. 22. mastering Guest Blogging 101 Learn how to build credibility and traffic without damaging your rankings or reputation at wsm.co/guestpost101. search MYTH #2: SEO is for Search Engines, Not Users Search engines are evolving; and the richer, more dynamic experience they want to provide users is also changing the way companies need to approach on-site optimization today. “SEO is not about gaming the system; it’s about making great content and great sites that provide value, are structurally sound and easily navigable by user and search engines alike, as well as demonstrate viable authority. It’s not easy, but it is absolutely worthwhile,” said Smarter Searches Internet Marketing Director Courtney Herda. The recent Hummingbird update is the perfect example of Google’s affinity toward usercentric search — providing quicker, more relevant information to users. This algorithm change also marks the beginning of a new formal, broader use of semantic markup in the digital age. By using schema.org markup, for example, | D E C E M B E R 2013 websites are essentially providing additional layers of data to enable search engines to associate their sites with user queries. More specifically, since the Hummingbird update addresses how “conversational” or “voice” search queries (that take into account context, location and more) can be more useful for a searcher, site owners must provide an immense amount of information to be included in their results and semantic markup provides the optimal way to do that. MYTH #3: Social is not the New SEO SEO and social is becoming one of the most effective marketing combinations. The only surefire way to leverage the new social-SEO is to create relevant, rich content that consumers want to consume and, of course, share, like, retweet, +1, etc. “There’s a saying that says ‘Correlation does not imply causation’ and this applies to SEO,” said Smarter Searches’ Herda. “If you create
  23. 23. mastering search great content, people will share it. If your content gets shared, it must be great.” While there might not be an absolute direct correlation, it’s not difficult to see that shareworthy content can benefit your total digital presence (wsm.co/sharethis8). Master Search Every Day From Bing image search to hashtag search at Google, Website Magazine’s Mastering Search channel has all of your SEO news in one spot. Check us out at wsm.co/searchnews. MYTH #4: SEOs Are Scammers This industry is closing in on two decades and SEO still doesn’t have a governing body. Companies rely on for-profit companies to tell them what they can and can’t do on their websites — at least if they want to appear atop the SERPs. Over the years, many black and gray hat agencies, consultants, link builders and more have polluted the industry, leading to the common misconception that SEO is a dark art and an industry made up of liars, cheaters, scammers and spammers. Even to this day, according to Herda, it is the most common concern that SMBs have about the practice. The fact is, according to Herda, that legiti- | D E C E M B E R 2013 mate SEO agencies can do great work. Similarly, many of the agencies that have stood the test of time have evolved into integrated marketing agencies, taking holistic and white hat approaches to Web success. “The spirit of SEO is to improve your website so that it ranks better,” said Herda. “When done correctly, this means the user engaging in search is getting a better experience when visiting your site because your site is more relevant to their queries.” The Truth Will Set SEO Free In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting your business higher in the search rankings, but by leveraging a 360-degree strategy to SEO and looking at content creation, social signals, marketing mix and user experience, you’ll be living, working and optimizing in SEO truth.
  24. 24. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  25. 25. e-commerce express MINING THE TREASURE TROVE OF RETAIL ANALYTICS By Allison Howen, Associate Editor For Internet retailers, analytics platforms contain the data needed to obtain all the e-commerce riches in the digital world. When the correct data gems are excavated from these platforms, merchants gain insights into the performance of their digital stores, the satisfaction of their customers and the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, knowledge that can be leveraged. These insights can be used to optimize business strategies and increase revenues. The problem, however, is knowing which metrics really matter | D E C E M B E R 2013 the most and how they can be used to measure the success of a digital enterprise. Cost-Per-Acquisition/Action (CPA) Consumers typically don’t arrive at your site by chance, rather, they have seen or heard about your brand somewhere — whether it be from friends, on social media, in the search results or through display ads. In order to gauge a marketing campaign’s impact, it is vital to calculate the cost of acquiring a customer — wherever they come from. The cost-per-acquisition metric is determined
  26. 26. e- c o m m erce express by dividing the amount of money spent on marketing your brand (including discounts offered, the time and cost of support) by the number of customers who made purchases at your store. For example, if a merchant spends $500 on an ad campaign that brings in 10 purchasing customers, the CPA is $50. [ ($ amount spent on marketing) / (# of purchasing customers) = CPA ] To derive a more accurate picture and gain the most value from CPA data, merchants should analyze the cost of acquiring customers in specific channels, such as social, organic search, paid search, mobile search and display campaigns. By doing this, merchants can identify the channels and campaigns that perform best, and adjust their strategies, including the financial and time resources put into each of these channels, accordingly. Lifetime Value (LTV) After discovering just how much it costs to acquire, the focus should be on keeping customers | D E C E M B E R 2013 rather than acquiring new ones. In order to determine the true value of repeat shoppers, merchants must calculate lifetime value (LTV). The LTV metric not only shows how loyal a customer base is, but also the economic value of customers to a business. Founder and Chairman of MarketLive Ken Burke says that merchants should determine LTV for entire customer bases or specific customer segments. Although there are many ways to calculate the metric, Burke suggests the following formula: [ ] (average number of purchases per year) X (average order value) X (average lifetime of a customer) = LTV The most difficult aspect of working out this equation is defining the average lifetime of a customer segment. Because of this, many merchants assess lifetime customer value in predetermined increments, such as 12, 24 or 36 months. Burke notes that weighting factors should be incorporated into this model, such as the length of time the customer has been on file and the opportunities he has had to purchase.
  27. 27. e- c o m m erce express Churn Rate If your LTV is low, it could be due to a high churn rate. By identifying this metric, merchants can discover how many one-time customers they have. While this performance rate is rather easy to calculate for subscription-based businesses, it is a bit more complicated to generate for traditional e-commerce models. Merchants can start by identifying a cutoff date, so they can consider customers who have not made a purchase in that timeframe — officially, a ‘churn’. The best way to select a cutoff date is to take into consideration data like a site’s repeat purchase rate. For instance, if most loyal customers make repeat purchases within 75 days, any customer who has not made a second purchase within that period is considered “churned”. The formula for determining churn rate: [ (# of one-time customers) / (total # of customers) = Churn Rate ] By identifying churned customers, or customers | D E C E M B E R 2013 who are about to churn, merchants can take steps to win them back. For example, merchants can segment customer groups and email promotions to encourage purchases. Moreover, merchants who notice their churn rates increasing over time can take steps to improve customer loyalty for their digital businesses, whether it be through more personal marketing strategies or implementing more rewarding loyalty programs. Loyalty X Factor Perhaps the most intriguing data gem that can be derived from analytics is the Loyalty X Factor, a mathematic value that represents a specific metric or combination of metrics that correlate with, and influence, higher spending levels and lifetime value. Essentially, the Loyalty X Factor identifies the degree of customer loyalty and what behaviors or channels influence that loyalty. Although there are many ways merchants can use analytics to compute customer loyalty, MarketLive’s Burke believes that the most straightforward way to discover a customer’s level of devotion
  28. 28. e- c o m m erce express is by quantifying their RFM pattern (recency, frequency, monetary): [ (# purchases over past 12 months) X (total sales) / (months since last purchase) = Loyalty X Factor ] versions, increasing their lifetime value as a customer over time. Digging the Data Digging deep into data is the only way to maximize revenue and improve the performance of your digital store. All of these metrics tell a story about your digital enterprise, which is why merchants must know what data to look for and how to use it. To calculate a more robust Loyalty X Factor, Burke says merchants can weight additional events with RFM, such as the number of product categories purchased from, the number of items purchased in an order, ANNOUNCING Website Magazine’s PAY PER LEAD PROGRAM GET GUARANTEED LEADS or non-purchase metrics like Website Magazine’s Pay for Performance Lead Generation delivers cost-efficient page-views, cross-channel inleads while building your brand. Our Resource Center gives your white paper or case teractions, marketing and sostudy unique exposure to visitors using WebsiteMagazine.com. Generate leads from a targeted audience with interest in your product or service as they learn, research cial activity. By weighting and and make purchasing decisions. scoring these types of events, • Delivers cost-efficient leads in response to your white paper or case study merchants can build loyalty • Specify the number of leads you want to generate • Website Magazine promotes your white paper until your lead count is met. scores for their audiences that • Website Magazine incurs the thousands of dollars in marketing costs and you only pay for the lead can help with marketing initiatives. For instance, a merchant worth worth worth worth worth could send a free shipping pro2,780 6,843 12,000 1,695 2,780 motion to all customers within E-BLAST BANNER AD DIRECTORY AD NEWSLETTER ITEM MAGAZINE AD a certain score range in an efCall now 773-628-2779 or email info@websitemagazine.com for more details fort to further influence con$ | D E C E M B E R 2013 $ $ $ $
  29. 29. design development jQuery TO MELT YOUR MIND By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief There are numerous reasons why jQuery has become so popular with the design and development set. The CSS3-compliant JavaScript library is compatible across browsers; it’s superfast and it leaves a small footprint. There is excellent documentation and, of course, thousands of ready-to-implement plugins available for nearly every need — from HTML document traversing and event handling to animation and Ajax interactions. | D E C E M B E R 2013 jQuery is one of the most popular topics that editors at Website Magazine write about regularly (check out a few posts and articles on the ’Net at wsm.co/tag-jquery) and in this month’s Design & Development Digest, we’re featuring numerous plugins that will wholly impress — if not melt your digital mind in its entirety — with their awesomeness. If you’re looking for a better way to build forms or present navigation or improve the digital experience, consider these 10 plugins for your next design and digital project.
  30. 30. de s i g n & de v e l o pment digest Progression.js Forms are tricky to design and can be challenging for users to navigate. Many considerations must be made but sometimes all that’s really needed is a little guidance to get users to that essential point of conversion. Progression.js provides an excellent opportunity, offering users progress updates as they complete different form fields. Turn.js If you’re getting tired of presenting Web pages in a blog post or article format, or showcasing products on e-commerce landing pages, and are looking for something a little more flashy (without the Flash) then turn to Turn.js. Using HTML, this plugin makes content look as though it’s a real book or magazine. Turn.js works on iPad and iPhone, allows pages to be loaded dynamically and offers two different transaction effects. Impress.js Impress.js is built to impress. The jQuery plugin enables designers and developers to create websites on what is known as the infinite canvas (the theoretical notion that there are not conventional page limits like size or dimension). The plugin is essentially a presentation framework that uses the power of CSS3 transforms and modern browser transitions. When done well, the effects are impressive to say the least. Users can navigate through the page/site via the arrow keys, the space bar or scroll with a mouse. | D E C E M B E R 2013 Smint.js jQuery has encouraged many designers to rethink the use of navigational elements — one of the most important variables in the website experience. As one-page websites reach critical mass, designers will be looking to optimize this site element, and Smint is an ideal solution. The jQuery plugin
  31. 31. de s i g n & de v e l o pment digest essentially creates a sticky navigation bar (staying on top of the page as users scroll down) and provides menu buttons that let users navigate directly to the section they clicked on. TwentyTwenty tool. The jQuery plugin uses the CSS clip property to trim an image on the left, allowing the image on the right to show through the container as the user manually moves a slider across the complete image with their mouse. FlowType.js Intro.js Navigation is important, but it is typography that Developing guided tours can be challenging from is increasingly capturing the attention of Web dea development perspective, but they serve as a very signers. With the multitude of device and screen sizes however, it’s difficult to know and display the appropriate character limit using CSS3 Media-queries. Interactive SVG Map FlowType comes to the rescue with The Interactive SVG Map takes a its plugin for responsive typograScalable Vector Graphic (SVG) and phy, changing the font size, and lets Web designers add interactivity subsequently the line height, based —and all without Flash. The plugin on a specific element’s width. is re-sizable and is responsive so it is TwentyTwenty If you want to see — or show rather — the difference between two images (an actual before-and-after effect), look no further than Zurb’s | D E C E M B E R 2013 smartphone and tablet (e.g. iPad and iPhone) friendly. Users can zoom and pan on the interactive maps, and designers can customize colors, create tool tips and markers and define URLs.
  32. 32. de s i g n & de v e l o pment digest powerful and effective means to introducing new features to existing users. With plugins like Intro. js, websites can profile an element within the page as users navigate with their mouse or keyboards. The free plugin is open source (even for commercial use) and works in Firefox, Chrome and IE8. Another very viable alternative to guided tours comes from the Chardin.js. The plugin lets designers and developers create overlays that display instructions on any pre-defined page elements. SimplerCart Selling products (either information or physical goods) does not always require a robust e-commerce software system. In the instances when a full-on shopping cart or retail platform is not required, solutions like SimplerCart can easily be integrated into a website or Web page without the need for a database or any programming familiarity at all per say — just copy and paste some HTML and Javascript and you’re done. The plugin currently works with PayPal Express, Google Checkout and Amazon Payments, with Authorize.net expected soon. | D E C E M B E R 2013 Toolbox Favorites jInvertScroll Who says parallax websites have to scroll up and down — why not side by side (horizontal as opposed to vertical)? That’s exactly the functionality that jInvertScroll provides. By including the CSS file, jQuery and the plugin, creating the desired elements that you want to scroll, setting the desired attributes and ordering the layers — you’re off and scrolling. Type ahead Search engines aren’t the only ones that benefit from autocomplete — if you have lots of content, publishers and merchants can too. Autocomplete library Typeahead.js provides a range of features for those requiring advanced search functionality and the ability to display suggested searches as end-users-type.
  33. 33. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  34. 34. N By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief 2013 was an epic year for Internet professionals from an innovation standpoint. We’re moving faster, making better decisions, and collectively and aggressively moving toward the ultimate aim – success in the digital realm. While it can be overwhelming to keep up with the variety of technologies that are bringing digitalfocused enterprises to new heights on the ’Net (and beyond into brick-and-mortar), there are a handful that every business professional interacts with — or will at some point in their careers — and as a result should be at least somewhat familiar with. In this edition of Website Magazine that’s just what you’ll find — an overview of what’s trending and inspiring on the digital innovation front. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  35. 35. Weaved into the discussion are some of the most exciting emerging technologies, practical digital solutions from software vendors and service providers that are setting the pace of innovation, standing (virtually, of course) ready to support your enterprise for its immediate survival and long-term success. If there’s one particular overarching trend it’s this — businesses, digital enterprises in particular, are innovating at a feverish pace — but doing so increasingly with an eye to the big picture, maximizing use of their capital, rethinking the whole notion of “performance”, leveraging existing relationships and moving seamlessly to a more holistic approach to profiting from their endeavors. Innovation & The Function of Business Popular management consultant, educator and author Peter Drucker once famously mused that “business has two functions — marketing and innovation.” While few, myself humbly included, could ever dare call themselves innovators, it doesn’t mean that you/we shouldn’t try. Besides, even if you’re not an innovator, you can always be a marketer. The definition of “innovation” is hotly con- | D E C E M B E R 2013 tested, but think of it this way — you are an innovator and you innovate upon things or processes. That’s different from invention — when something entirely new is created. Where the discussion usually breaks down is not in the defining of the term “innovation,” but rather in the “something” that is changed, altered, evolved, transformed or metamorphosed. A significant breakthrough, an improvement in process or significant modification of anything is innovation — upon what, it really doesn’t matter. Digital entrepreneurs and Internet professionals, those that understand the importance of innovation when it comes to staying on the cusp of digital leadership, must first know the core principles of innovation. They have to concentrate and understand what problem is being solved, be discriminating in their choices of what needs change first, be organized and creative throughout the process, experiment endlessly, listen and analyze qualitative feedback and quantitative data and communicate the vision. That’s not all of course — it’s still fundamentally important to design and implement everything. With all the background work in general, it’s amazing that anything is innovated upon (not invented) at all. Above everything else, the real innovators know
  36. 36. that what they are innovating must be disruptive to the digital status quo; it must fundamentally be useful to the potential audience, and even more, in demand. The solutions you’ll encounter below are those living up to this ideal and our collective expectations, those that can support you on your own quest to digital success. The Innovation Framework One of the areas of technology that has been ripe for innovation over the past decade has been that of Web hosting, data storage and network delivery services in general. The reason there is so little innovation (and thus so boring to so many) is because it’s quite expensive. The hardware and functions it could provide in the past, were far more costly and required greater expertise to operate. Some rather innovative thinkers decided that it was better to leverage software to reduce many of the hardware hurdles that enterprises experience — and the cloud (and content delivery networks and loads of related software solutions) emerged. Now the cloud, while innovative itself (ever-changing) by definition, is also ripe for innovation. Take for example providers such as OnApp, which offers software to power cloud, CDN and | D E C E M B E R 2013 storage services. What’s innovative about OnApp is its “federated approach” explained OnApp’s Chief Commercial Officer Kosten Metreweli. OnApp enables small and mid-size hosts and service providers (including telcos) to tap into a global pool (geographically diverse) of cloud capacity and do so at scale. The result of combining the solution with their customers’ local market knowledge and support is that they create a better, more compelling and more innovative service for their own customers. Los Angeles cloud computing provider Reliam, whose clients include the Grammy Awards, the Oscars and Miss Universe, serves as a powerful example of why solution such as OnApp is appealing. Websites such as MissUniverse.com can receive more than 2 million page views in a single day while events are taking place. OnApp CDN allows Reliam to scale instantly during these traffic spikes, customizing the service to leverage only the locations they need from among 200 global POPs. Reliam has reduced CDN expenditures by 50 percent since moving to OnApp from its previous provider, while still guaranteeing performance — for example, 100 percent uptime even when Miss USA was a top 50 most visited website for an entire day.
  37. 37. Development and the Roots of Innovation Necessity isn’t just the mother of invention, Social but the mother of Innovation innovation as well. Internet in Focus professionals There’s more data in social networks than you and digital enmight think. Discover five trepreneurs insolutions helping Internet professionals like you novate when they extract data and develop are faced with challenges, turmoil, richer user profiles at wsm.co/socialfocus. crisis and time of great change. With those challenges and changes, come opportunities to satisfy needs. Consider the opportunity you have in your daily life to work productively, responsibly and in service to others (and yourself). Rather than stopping at the wall, the barrier to achieve success, you need to exercise your talents and find and develop innovative solutions to whatever is standing in your way — be it process or product. One of the most common walls (challenges) facing Internet professionals of all experience levels these days is the practice of application development. There is likely a good reason that | D E C E M B E R 2013 digital media and the Web in general have captured your attention — you had an idea, an innovation, about doing something your own way, doing something faster or better than someone else or another company. But you hit a wall because you’re not a designer or a developer, right? Fear not, some rather innovative technology solutions have emerged recently (and over the years) that will turn you and your team from dreamers into doers. UBot Studio, for example, recently launched a new version of its software that enables anyone to develop — and more importantly sell (distribute) — applications through its all-in-one design and app delivery system. Unlike other automation software platforms, UBot Studio 5 lets aspiring innovators create executable applications that can be customized to automate any repetitive or routine tasks including those for social media marketing, online advertising, market research, SEO and other functions (more on that below). The new version is built in C++ and incorporates HTML 5, offering an intuitive and highly flexible user interface — complete with drag-and-drop features — to enable their users to create proprietary applications. The platform also provides layered encryption that combines SSL certifica-
  38. 38. tion with an authentication algorithm, resulting in a platform that allows innovators to create useful (and secure) applications that are unreadable/ unusable until validated through a new customer licensing and distribution dashboard. “There is a growing need for technology to help streamline the marketing process as it increasingly becomes more complex and this is an area that a lot of businesses and professionals see as a huge opportunity,” said Seth Turin, president of Seth Turin Media, Inc. “Our response is the introduction of UBot Studio 5, which helps marketers turn their ideas into solutions that they can easily, safely and securely distribute to their clients. At the same time, the platform’s easy-to-use WYSIWYG interface removes barriers, making the tasks involved in creating applications — which are normally linear — much more intuitive.” UBot Studio also provides a way for its users to create custom user interfaces for the bots and compiled files. A user simply selects the UI element he wants to add his interface, dragging it to the interface, positioning it and finally customizing each element (color, font, content, etc.). Users can even see previews before finalizing their projects. There are, of course, many other innovative | D E C E M B E R 2013 technology solutions worthy of note. One would be remiss to not mention, from a pure design perspective, what role solutions like Adobe’s Creative Suite are offering up. Adobe is currently unmatched, but it’s not preventing some rather big companies from giving it a go on the innovation challenge. Google Web Designer, just released in beta, is far less robust than even Adobe’s early versions, but it does lower the hurdles to ideas and innovations considerably. The free, downloadable application enables users to create HTML5based designs and even motion graphics (see “How to Create Ads in Google Web Designer” at wsm.co/gwebdes) for Web use across any device. By offering full code control, Google is enabling a broader segment of Internet professionals to take control, solve their own problems and, therefore, innovate. There’s some direct benefit for Google’s innovation though. The Web Designer solution makes it possible to publish the ads that are created to platforms including DoubleClick Studio or AdMob. It’s interesting to see how easily innovations in one market, so greatly influence the success of other industries, companies or individuals. That’s no more so the case than in design.
  39. 39. Slight Permutations in Digital Advertising Display advertising has seen an incredible resurgence over the last few years and in great part due to the increasing sophistication of design, as well as the near meteoric increase in usage of the Web and technology in general. There are more connected humans today than yesterday; there are more websites and, of course, more inventory to display ads. The developments and innovations made in the retargeting and behavioral-based display market are important (and you can read more about them in Website Magazine’s new “Quick Guide to Retargeting and Display” at wsm.co/targetguide), but they don’t mean much without the right creative, in the right format, size and shape. Internet, where we’re going, there are no 468x60 banners. AOL, for example, recently released a set of new ad formats that many hope will provide advertisers and publishers with bumps in performance. The new products include a “reactive” wallpaper (or takeover) unit that transforms as users scroll, a “persistent” loft unit that travels down a Web page and opens up to display video or other multimedia elements, a multi-screen unit built with HTML5 and another proprietary format, which is a version of the IAB’s Mobile Rising Star unit. | D E C E M B E R 2013 What’s so important about the AOL release, and those of the IAB as well, is that they are innovative and force advertisers and publishers to rethink the concept of advertising altogether. It might be a challenge (unless you’re working with one of those aforementioned tools) but the rewards are immense. Another reason that display advertising, and all digital advertising in general, is so prominent in the virtual lives of Internet professionals today, is because we as users can simply do more with it. AOL’s new persistent loft unit serves as a good example. Opening up when interacted with by the user, the ad unit has the ability to show videos or dynamic content. Users are coming to expect this sort of immediate gratification of their curiosity, satisfying their desire for information, education or simply entertainment. And companies, including Microsoft and its Bing search engine, know all too well that the faster they help others (e.g. consumers) solve problems and reach their digital destinations, good things can happen. In a “why didn’t we do this before” moment, Bing announced recently that it will be introducing a click-to-call feature on paid listings that is powered by Skype, enabling advertisers to connect with customers through phone calls directly
  40. 40. from their ads. Bing introduced a beta of the Call Extensions ad feature last year, which was E-Commerce limited to smartTech To Know phones. The The e-commerce technology space is diverse, ofproject yielded fering solutions to fit every some positive need and demand of even the most discriminating results for adbuyer of Web-based servertisers (higher vices for retailers. See 50 of the top companies that are ad click-through rates, more phone leading the digital way at calls and better engagement accordwsm.co/50ecomm. ing to Bing) and was formally introduced just in time for the holidays. The Call Extensions feature enables advertisers to show their phone numbers along with their ads on smartphones, PCs and tablets, and do so on a cost-per-click basis. Advertisers, marketers and their data analysts and business management will also be able to access performance metrics/reports to understand impressions, call volume, and spend data at the campaign, ad group and individual call extension level. Analytics of this nature are exceedingly important, because it’s one of the only ways available to ensure the strategic decisions made are | D E C E M B E R 2013 good ones moving forward. But they aren’t the only ones. Analytical Variations Many of the great innovations of our age are a result of some epic shift, a change that sends Internet professionals into a digital tizzy. The most recent change of this nature comes from Google, which (over a course of roughly two years) has now moved to fully encrypted search. The result is that search engines no longer share keyword-level data about the users visit. That’s caused some discomfort for many solution providers. There are platforms however, such as BrightEdge and GinzaMetrics, that are releasing products that hope to lessen the associated anxiety (which has been at fever pitch of late) and encourage SEOs in particular to rethink the very definition of digital success. BrightEdge, for example, released its new Page Reporting feature, which allows marketers to transition from keyword-dependent SEO to what BrightEdge is calling a “content-centric” model. The company believes the approach will give marketers the insights they need about the performance of Web page visits, conversions and revenue that results from organic traffic, displaying
  41. 41. the revenue performance from organic search and how pages are converting against pre-set goals. Search and content marketing platform GinzaMetrics is another solution innovating in the face of continual search updates. “Four major trends are converging to present new challenges to online marketers: secure search, semantic search, device proliferation and the growing influence of content marketing,” said Ray Grieselhuber, GinzaMetrics CEO. “All four of these trends ultimately result in a better experience for Internet users. It also means, however, that marketers need a technology platform that responds to these trends in order to reach those users most effectively.” With its newly created Content Insights report, GinzaMetrics’ users can view page-level data pulled from their existing third-party analytics solutions (Google Analytics, Adobe SiteCatalyst, etc.). Analytics data is taken for each page, then correlated to the most relevant keywords for that specific page based on a user’s target keyword settings and GinzaMetrics’ own algorithm. This allows GinzaMetrics to display page data, utilize page traffic to infer how much traffic a specific keyword is driving and project monthly traffic based on search volume and click-through-rat curve. | D E C E M B E R 2013 A content-centric search algorithm from Google has placed a growing need on understanding which content is performing well, what keywords and topics are driving traffic, what page content drives conversion and how to utilize this data to optimize pages now as well as know what content to create moving forward. GinzaMetrics’ hybrid solution provides this data to users and allows them to drill down into pages and keywords to uncover recommendations that can help teams further optimize content and campaigns. Integrated with Content Insights is Social Signals, a feature of the platform that helps users uncover how social signal interactions may influence search rankings. A user can view Facebook shares, likes and posts; Google +1s; and Twitter tweets and retweets for content across a site and sorted by target keyword. GinzaMetrics’ competitor analysis feature also allows users to view social signal data for selected competitors for comparison. Another noteworthy feature is the device filtering layer. Users can now select a device type including desktop, mobile, or tablet, and view page level data based on their selection. The company is looking to expand device and mobile integrations across the platform as a growing number of
  42. 42. search queries originate from devices other than users’ desktop computers. Understanding that this is a first step toward ensuring that search and marketing professionals can continue to promote findability of their brand online, GinzaMetrics is set to release additional features this year that tackle Hummingbird and secure search head-on. Analytics, of course, isn’t limited to SEO performance or advertising; nearly everything is measured on today’s Web properties and that’s causing some trouble for Internet professionals that they likely never imagined when they set out on the path toward ’Net success. For example, Adobe recently released new dynamic tag management capabilities for its Adobe Marketing Cloud that the company suggests will speed up the process for tagging content that needs to be measured and optimized on websites. The technology itself results from an acquisition Adobe made in July of 2013. Satellite, formerly part of interactive agency Search Discovery, will help Adobe’s Marketing Cloud users to consolidate code for different marketing and advertising services (as well as analytics) that are implemented by websites to monitor how content is being used. | D E C E M B E R 2013 Dynamic tag management is unique in that it not only solves standard tag management problems such as code deployment, data management and rule building, but also provides the capabilities to map these activities directly to marketing scenarios and user experiences. The functionality is substantially more robust than what is commonly known as a universal tag, which is essentially nothing more than a tag container. Dynamic tag management essentially includes logic that determines what action should be taken on a page to measure the “right” data about a particular interaction, making it easier for marketers to develop digital marketing strategies and implement them without any IT support. Epic E-Commerce Shifts Internet retailers aren’t known to be aggressive when it comes to innovation. It can take years for a company to decide to replatform, and they take great precautions with their brands and budgets when promoting their services, serving their customers and reaching for revenue opportunities. What’s unique about the e-commerce environment today is that merchants are closing in on the technology, catching up as it were with some of the most innovative solutions on the market
  43. 43. and preparing their enterprises for success. At its annual client summit, eBay introduced a new suite Innovation of commerceEverywhere focused techWebsite Magazine readers, one of the largest collecnologies for tives of Internet professioneBay Enterals on the ‘Net, are always on the lookout for the most prise that aim innovative digital solutions to help merchants to accelerate their success. Stay in the loop with the focus on omnichannel operations Software Everywhere chanand marketing solutions. The “Exnel, available at change Platform” offers retailers wsm.co/softwaretoday. back-end capabilities, including distributed order management, omnichannel inventory management, payment processing, fraud management and reporting. The Exchange Platform is pre-integrated, not surprisingly, with Magento, eBay Marketplaces and PayPal. eBay Enterprise’s Interfaces and Tools module also serves as the front-end, a commerce storefront solution for retailers to create “...experiences across devices, locations, users, geographies and brands,” said Chris Saridakis, president of eBay Enterprise. | D E C E M B E R 2013 “Retailers and brands understand the importance of having industry-leading capabilities across their entire value chain to support a new retail environment where consumers demand consistent, seamless and personalized experiences anywhere, at any time,” said Saridakis. “We’ve been singularly focused on being a strategic growth partner to our clients, and our new suite of modular commerce technologies will give our clients a competitive edge in this rapidly changing retail landscape.” There’s no denying that companies like eBay are innovating and fulfilling the expectations of their users (and stockholders) but there are hundreds of fascinating digital, e-commerce focused software and service companies that are working as hard or harder and deserve an equal amount of attention from Internet professionals. Let’s INNOVATE! Easier said than done, right? To develop an innovative product or solution, everything must be working in perfect virtual harmony, moving you faster and more efficiently toward the ultimate aim — success in the digital realm.
  44. 44. Let InternetSupervision’s Virtual Assistant look after your website. The virtual assistant is essential for today’s web-centric business. They monitor your website and online ad campaigns giving security that everything is working the way it should be. InternetSupervisionTM is as serious about your business as you are Get Internet & Website Monitoring today! Plans start at no cost and can be fully customized for up to $15.00 per month. *Visit InternetSupervision.com to see all available plans. Toll Free: 866-558-5780 international: 773-272-0906 info@internetsupervision.comR | DECEMBE 2013 • Monitor unlimited services • Customize how frequently you want your website checked • Receive voice or text notifications • Access AdSupervision PPC Campaign pausing • Receive unlimited email notifications
  45. 45. INTERNET ADVERTISING Last-Minute Ad Tips To Move The CTR Needle This Holiday Season By Cleofe Betancourt, Business Development Strategist, 7Search Let’s face facts. We have made it to the December issue of Website Magazine and you find yourself here reading an article providing tips for improving the click through rate (CTR) on your PPC advertising campaigns. This can only lead me to one of three conclusions: a) You are late to the party and looking to launch your last-minute holiday campaigns before it is too late. b) Your campaigns have been running this season but could use a boost to help get you over the hump. c) This author piqued your interest with his exotic nam and intriguing headline. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  46. 46. INTERNET ADVERTISING After quickly dismissing option C (your laughter hurts people), we can get down to the business of helping to improve your CTR with these actionable tips. Before beginning, I would like to issue the following disclaimer: We are not going to reinvent the wheel fearless reader! Oftentimes, the process of creating online campaigns becomes so daunting that we fail to consider how the ad would impact us if we were the potential purchaser. Common sense can often win the day in both ad copy and landing page design, which are the two key elements we are touching on here. PPC Tips to Try • Be exclusive. Don’t be afraid to play up the uniqueness and/or scarcity of your offer. A surfer looking at your offer on the SERP needs to make an emotional connection with your campaign in less than five seconds. Your listings face that reality each time they are viewed. Eye-catching phrases | D E C E M B E R 2013 like “Save X% off regular price” or “Free Next Day Shipping” might seem cliché, but used in combination with a targeted landing page, can provide a significant boost to your CTR. You can boost perceived scarcity further by including an expiration date within your ad copy (see image A). No one wants to miss a great deal; capitalize on that. A • Name drop as if your (PPC) life depends on it. It is always a good idea to take full advantage of built-in brand B value whenever you can. Mentioning a well-known brand in your copy adds an additional layer of relevance in the eyes of your potential customer. Even if the brand you are promoting is not as well known as major competitors, utilizing the brand name in your copy, compared to a broader term, can improve performance. • Don’t fight the science! Experiment with A/B testing. A/B testing is a methodology in advertising of using
  47. 47. INTERNET ADVERTISING B). A surfer is more likely to click on your ad if their randomized experiments with two variants, A and B, search query appears in it, due to a perceived greater relwhich are the control and treatment in the controlled evance to the query. Use this to your advantage to drive experiment — at least that’s how Wikipedia describes higher CTRs. it. Put plainly, craft two versions of your ad copy and run them for a specified period. • Consider the mobile diMajor League Bidding Since these are last-minute lemma. Is your website optiWrigleyvilleSports.com sells Chicago Cubs merchantips for your holiday cammized to capitalize on mobile dise, making its Online Marketing Manager Eric Caspaigns, time is of the essence. visitors? While this may be tellucci all too familiar with competing against large Run for 3-5 days, at most, in less of an issue for newer enterprises, like MLB Shop. For him, and others, PPC is becoming more competitive. A few years ago, the big order to accrue enough data landing pages, older sites companies would bid on a few keywords. Now, he says, to pick a winner. With your may not display properly on it’s obvious they have put more efforts into PPC and bid on winning ad identified, create the small screen. Not sure if more specific, long-tailed keywords, as well. It forces Castellucci and his team to be more creative in their strategies a new ad, testing additional this applies to you? Then it and more aggressive in their bidding. One way Wrigleyville elements and repeat the likely does. Exclude mobile Sports stands out from the digital crowd is by using its experiment. Your goal should traffic sources to make sure brick-and-mortar location to its advantage. By pointing out it has a store directly across from Wrigley Field, it is able be to take the best aspects of more of your advertising to build credibility among Web surfers. Castellucci shares the winning ad and continue dollars are targeted toward more PPC tips and insights at wsm.co/homerunppc. growing them through addisources that have traditiontional trials. ally worked for you. • Make the connection between their search and your offer. Use the keyword or a Dynamic Keyword Insert (DKI) in your ad title and/or description. Most ad platforms offer some sort of DKI to ensure that the searched keyword appears in the ad title or description (see image | D E C E M B E R 2013 Remember the words of Mark Twain, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” Following these best practices is sure to get those cash registers, or in this case payment processors, ringing this holiday season.
  48. 48. CONVERSION CONNECTION Common E-Commerce By Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners Many Internet retailers are failing to convert enough visitors into customers. However, much of the time, the reasons are foreseeable. How does your site stack up against this list of common problems? | D E C E M B E R 2013
  49. 49. CONVERSION CONNECTION Slow Page Load Speed Internet visitors want it yesterday! Any delay becomes seen as intolerable. Google is on a mission to speed up the Internet, because they have seen that even small increases in page load speed can affect conversion. Your page load speed not only influences your search rankings, but also has a direct impact on the conversion rate of visitors who land on your site. Often, just tweaking some of your Web server settings can result in dramatic gains. Taking the time to set up a content delivery network (CDN) properly, purchasing the proper amount of hosting power and bandwidth, and optimizing assets like images and videos can also pay dividends. Pay attention to your coding and programming. Reducing the number of database calls to the minimum required in server-side code like PHP, Python or Ruby, or optimizing client-side code like HTML, CSS and JavaScript can all make major improvements in your page load speed (or at least the time it takes for the page to start rendering). | D E C E M B E R 2013 Lack of Visual Continuity between Mobile and Desktop Mobile sites are fundamentally different from desktop websites. You have less space to do the important stuff. It’s necessary to reduce, but not to change the experience. The content on your mobile site should be highlights and essentials from your desktop site. It should be information chopped down to the specifics that visitors might be looking for: a price, a phone number or click to call, a few features and benefits and a purchase button. It should be limited information but not different information. But even though mobile is increasingly a popular choice for key activities, it would be a mistake to think that mobile is always used alone. In fact, in the “always-on” world that we live in, people often bounce between devices and regularly use more than one device simultaneously. So there must be continuity among their experiences. The style, colors, headlines and branding elements should all stay the same. Logical aspects like product categories and content hierarchy should remain consistent so that your mobile site is intuitive to people who have already shopped
  50. 50. CONVERSION CONNECTION your desktop site. Make your mobile site an extension of your desktop site and your customers will thank you with their hard-earned money. On-The-Go Conversions See five e-commerce solutions that enable merchants to capitalize on the mobile market at wsm.co/modwebapps. Excluding International Visitors It’s 2 a.m. — do you know where your website traffic is coming from? Some of it’s not from your time zone, or even your country. You must recognize and honor cultural differences and provide appropriate checkout and onsite experiences. If you have significant international traffic, you should make sure that the checkout is specific to their country and no weird “Americanisms” creep in. On checkout forms, for example, rather than asking for a state, you should be requesting state/ province. For zip code, request zip/postal code. By speaking to visitors on their terms, you make them feel at home on your site. Some countries don’t even have states or provinces. So if you require a state or province in checkout, you will literally block the sale. Including a “No State or Province” option or disabling the state/province section when applicable countries are selected | D E C E M B E R 2013 keeps the conversion funnel flowing. Better yet, auto detect the origin of your visitor and show them a country-specific experience whenever possible. Display prices in their local currency and offer text translation. Making your site accessible and even comfortable to international visitors opens up your business to an entire world of customers. Negative Bias from Initial Reviewers If one person doesn’t like chocolate ice cream, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. The next person might love it. So don’t let a single bad review ruin a product (and your bottom line). If the first review posted on a product page is a one-star review, and you show the rating upstream in your site (on search results or category pages), fewer people will consider buying it after a quick visual scan of the star-rating images. Avoid creating an average review score for a product with only a few reviews. You can still post the text of the review on the product page, but let it be in the context that it’s just one person’s opinion. Wait until you have several reviews before you
  51. 51. CONVERSION CONNECTION start showing them as star ratings throughout the site. Difficult Purchase Process If customers can’t figure out how to buy your product — they won’t. It’s critical to have an easy, intuitive purchase process. So the purchase button needs to be easy to find. Calls-to-action need to be: • Appropriately labeled (telling you accurately what will happen when you click) • Big enough to click on mobile (we use our thumbs a lot and need bigger areas) • Few in number (too many buttons on your cart page are a sure way to kill conversion) • Obvious (prominent and unique compared to other visual elements) After passing the checks listed above, it’s time to think about your shopping cart. Customers need an intuitive way to check out. Frequent online shoppers have become accustomed to a shopping cart button in the top right-hand corner of the page, but it’s important that the button stands out and is visible on all devices, especially | D E C E M B E R 2013 on mobile. If you don’t have a site that offers responsive design, your visit cart button may be extra difficult to find for mobile customers. One solution to this is to add an overlay after an item has been added to the cart that gives the option to start the checkout process or keep shopping. Routing All Mobile Traffic to the Mobile Home Page Congratulations, you have finally created a fantastic dedicated site for mobile! But it’s too early to celebrate if you are sending all redirected visitors to your mobile homepage. Don’t route all mobile visitors to m.yoursite.com. Instead, take the extra time to route visitors to the specific internal landing page requested. For instance, if someone tries to click on a link to a specific product on a mobile device, they don’t want to be sent back to your home page to find it from there. They want to go directly to that page. It’s better to hold off on your mobile site launch until you have made sure that deep-linking is working properly. Correct this checklist of conversion fails, and your digital cash register will ring more often!
  52. 52. 2013 CALL FOR ENTRIES DEADLINE DECEMBER 20, 2013 HORIZONINTERACTIVEAWARDS.COM WEB SITES Advocacy & Non Profit Bank / Finance Consumer Information Corporate / B2B E-Commerce / Shopping Entertainment Industry Games Government Agency Health / Human Services Legal Magazine / News / Blog Responsive Design Restaurant / Food Industry School / University Self Promotion / Portfolio Towns & Municipalities Training / E-Learning Travel & Touris m VIDEO Broadcast Commercial Instructional Motion Graphics / Effects Promotional Video Short Film / Documentary Viral Video ADVERTISING Email Marketing / Newsletter Integrated Campaign Online ads MOBILE APPS Advertisement Branding Campaign Brochure Poster Business Education Entertainment Game Magazine / News Productivity Utility INTERACTIVE EMAIL PRINT Kiosk / Public Exhibit / Museum E-Card Newsletter Promotional Recognizing Excellence in Interactive Media Production SM The Horizon Interactive Awards, now in its 12th season, is a prestigious international competition recognizing outstanding achievement among interactive media producers. The competition awards the best web sites, videos, print media, mobile applications and online advertising. Enter now for your chance to be honored as one of this year’s “best of the best.” | D E C E M B E R 2013
  53. 53. EMAIL EXPERIENCE INSIDE GMAIL By Chad White, Principal of Marketing Research, ExactTarget The introduction of Tabs in Google’s Gmail has generated concern among email senders about how the new filtering feature will affect open rates. Here are five reasons why those concerns are overblown: 1. Tabs only affect a small percentage of your subscribers. On average, less than 2 percent of email opens occur on Tabsupported Gmail clients, according to Litmus. Gmail’s new inbox mostly affects the shrinking number of desktop users, not the growing number of mobile users. 2. Highly engaged subscribers — which generate the most email revenue — have been positively impacted by Tabs. According to Return Path, these subscribers are opening more promotional emails and inbox placement rates increased slightly after rollout of Tabs. Most of the decline in opens has been among less engaged subscribers. | D E C E M B E R 2013
  54. 54. EMAIL EXPERIENCE 3. The Promotions tab is shifting engagement patterns. There’s growing evidence that Gmail users are checking their Promotion tabs once every day or so and then engaging heavily with the emails in that tab. That may mean that Tab users are less responsive to unexpected or unannounced flash sales, for instance, but they are engaging with the Tab consistently. 4. The Promotions tab is a virtual mall. Having your emails in the Promotions tab will be a net positive for most brands. When subscribers go to that tab, they’re in a buying mood — or at least more in a buying mood than when they’re interacting with emails from their friends and family in their Primary tabs. When users go to the Promotions tab, they expect to find promotional emails and that’s what they get. This allows them to focus and get in a shopping mode. Just visiting the Promotions tab is a signal of buying intent, in the same way that visiting the mall is. 5. Consumers are still adjusting to Tabs. While Gmail announced the roll out of their new inbox interface in May, it is still being rolled out. | D E C E M B E R 2013 Gmail users are in an adjustment period. Some will end up turning off Tabs while others will move email streams around until they get senders’ emails into the tabs that are most convenient for them. The behavior that we’re seeing right now is really unsettled and does not represent the new baseline. The long-term effects are also unknown. Marketers could very well reap additional benefits from users that keep Tabs enabled, but that will not become evident for some time. For instance, since promotional emails won’t be competing directly with emails from their friends and family, Tabs users may become more likely to stay subscribed to promotional emails longer, producing a more accurate subscriber lifetime value. For the same reason, Tabs users may be more inclined to sign up for promotional emails in the first place, so list growth could benefit. Gmail Tabs should be embraced as a welcomed change. We’ve seen similar inbox changes before — like Gmail’s Priority Inbox and Hotmail’s Sweep functionality — and none of them impacted email’s return on investment, which is still stellar. In general, email marketers should applaud any development that improves the email experience for users.
  55. 55. DOMAIN MASTERS Where to Sell Domains in 2014 By Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor The Internet is changing. How companies select and leverage domain names will evolve drastically as the adoption of new gTLDs (generic top-level domains) increases. And despite the initial confusion these new Web addresses are likely to cause, 62 percent of those surveyed for a Sedo report believe the adoption will ultimately be successful. For those interested in buying and selling domain names for profit, these new gTLDs could be an untapped revenue generator. First, let’s explore some of the reasons why these new Web | D E C E M B E R 2013 addresses can shake up the industry. “We’re going to see the market flooded with hundreds of new domain extensions in the coming months and years, and our data shows that investors and corporations are evidently warming up to the idea of using different extensions,” said Tobias Flaitz, Sedo’s CEO in a company statement. “It will take time and effort before we see mass adoption of new TLDs, and Sedo is contributing its part to raise awareness through global marketing, sales efforts and partnerships with applicants. The fact that more extensions
  56. 56. DOMAIN MASTERS The Changing Face of the Domain Name Aftermarket See how GoDaddy’s acquisition of Afternic will disrupt the industry (in a good way) at wsm.co/goafternic. than ever are being traded and successfully used for business is a promising development.” In the past, companies have been restricted to 22 TLDs, including .com, .org and others. Now, hundreds of extensions will be released, so brands can choose from .map, .book, .deals, .vegas, .report, .ads, etc. Almost a dozen gTLDs could be released each week. Most expect that .com will still be favored by most businesses, but the new gTLDs can help them secure more memorable website addresses. A lot of the success of these new extensions, especially for selling them, will come down to awareness and, of course, demand. There is a bigger supply of extensions, so it will definitely dilute the market. The popular consensus, however, is that there will be “buzz” extensions that are highly in demand, and thus, profitable while most of the inventory might be useful to buy but not to sell. That’s why it’s fun to be a domainer, right? You have to play the digital lotto to win, so where are the best places on the Interwebs to sell domains today? | D E C E M B E R 2013 GoDaddy GoDaddy Auctions is a massive marketplace for buyers and sellers of domain names, allowing anyone to list their domains for a flat $4.99 annual fee. Domain registrants can auction their domain names and potential buyers can bid on them, make offers or buy them on the spot, depending on the listing type. Sellers can also use various features to increase the exposure of their auction listings, and receive free instant appraisals of their domain names. The auction platform is backed by GoDaddy systems and support, which includes 24/7 customer assistance. Sedo Domain name and website marketplace, Sedo is a domain name and website marketplace and domain-parking provider responsible for more than 40,000 sales each year. Sedo’s international auction capabilities and
  57. 57. DOMAIN MASTERS domain trading platform, along with its global network of domain brokers, makes its well positioned to support the introduction of the new gTLDs. Sedo also offers domain appraisals and secure purchase, transfer and escrow. Flippa Professionals can sell online property at Flippa in two ways: at public auction or in private sales. Flippa considers itself to be like a matchmaking site for online property buyers and sellers: they put the two together, and help them work out if one wants what the other party has to offer. Their involvement ends when the auction or sale is completed. Read Editor-In-Chief Peter Prestipino’s report on his own successful sale through Flippa at wsm.co/eicflippa. Do you have compliments or criticisms of selling domains on GoDaddy, Sedo, Flippa or Afternic? Tweet us @WebsiteMagazine. | D E C E M B E R 2013 STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION 1. Publication title: Website Magazine. 2. Publication No. 1942-0633 3. Filing date: October 1, 2013. 4. Issue frequency: Four times per year with 8 special issues (January, March, April, June, July, September, October, and December). 5. No. of issues published annually: 12. 6. Annual subscription price $44.95. 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: 999 E. Touhy Ave., Ste 590, Des Plaines, IL 60018. 8. Complete mailing address of headquarters or general business office of publisher: 999 E. Touhy Ave., Ste 590, Des Plaines, IL 60018. 9. Full names and mailing addresses of general manager, editor, and managing editor: David Ruiz, 999 E. Touhy Ave., Suite 590, Des Plaines, IL 60018; Peter Prestipino, 999 E. Touhy Ave., Suite 590, Des Plaines, IL 60018; Amberly Dressler, 999 E. Touhy Ave., Suite 590, Des Plaines, IL 60018. 10. Owner: Website Services Inc., Dante Monteverde, 999 E. Touhy Ave., Suite 590, Des Plaines, IL 60018. 11. None. 12. Not applicable. 13. Publication title: Website Magazine. 14. Issue date for circulation data below: December 2013. 15. Extent and nature of circulation: Average No. Copies No. Copies of Single Each Issue During Issue Published Preceding 12 Months Nearest to Filing Date A. Total No. copies (net press run) 47,181 53,853 41,826 49,821 B. Paid or Requested Distribution 1. Outside-county paid/requested mail subscriptions 2. In-county paid/requested mail subscriptions - 0 3. Sales through dealers and carriers, street vendors, counter sales, and other paid or requested distribution outside USPS 1,929 2,232 4. Requested copies distributed by other mail classes through the USPS - 0 43,754 52,053 2,191 0 C. Total paid and/or requested circulation D. Nonrequested distribution 1.Outside-county nonrequested copies stated on PS Form 3541 2. In-county nonrequested copies included on PS Form 3541 3. Nonrequested copies distributed through the USPS by other classes of mail 4. Nonrequested copies distributed outside the mail E. Total nonrequested distribution F. Total distribution G. Copies not distributed H. Total I. Percent paid and/or requested circulation - 0 79 18 1,008 1,400 3,278 1,418 47,033 53,471 148 382 47,181 53,853 93% 97% 16. This statement of ownership will be printed in December issue of this publication 17. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. Signature and title: David Ruiz, General Manager, October 1, 2013
  58. 58. HONESTY. INTEGRITY. TRUST. That’s what displaying the ValidatedSiteTM Seal of Approval does for your website. • Appear FREE in our directory of Trusted Sites Toll-Free: 1.800.581.2024 International: 1.773.458.2105 | D E C E M B E R 2013 L •C • Complimentary consulting (including help developing a professional privacy policy) alidatedSite IC • • Increase sales, sign-ups...conversions! FY • Improve immediate and long-term image & trustworthiness E I EWE D V BY R Establish trustworthiness and provide assurance that your online business has been authenticated by an outside verification team of professionals. K T O V E RI 10% OFF THE TOTAL COST OF THE FIRST YEAR PROMO CODE: HONESTY
  59. 59. SOCIAL MEDIA MAVENS Getting The Most From Google’s Ghost Town By Allison Howen, Associate Editor When Google+ first arrived on the social scene, everyone wanted an invitation. Its membership numbers soared once it opened to the public, and when the network’s business profiles finally arrived, enterprising Internet professionals acted quickly to claim their places. The initial newness has worn off though and most brands have all but abandoned their Google+ presence in favor of networks with established audiences and higher levels of engagement. Google+ may be a virtual ghost town compared to the likes of Facebook or Twitter, but the net- | D E C E M B E R 2013 work actually offers several unique and businessfriendly features to help companies create active and engaged communities while gaining a whole lot more than “likes” in the future. Google+ Hangouts One of the features that sets Google+ apart from other social networks is its ‘Hangout’ offering, which enables users to engage in group conversations, host Q&A sessions or virtual conferences or launch products live with ‘Hangouts on Air’. In fact, Hangouts On Air are broadcast not only on Google+, but can also be distributed on YouTube and websites where they have
  60. 60. SOCIAL MEDIA MAVENS feature and quickly took advantage of it. been embedded. Rasmussen College, for example, leverages this feature to connect with both “Communities are a great opportunity for current and future students. businesses to interact with their target markets,” said “The Hangout feature is Yvonne Miaoulis, marketing great for allowing businesses manager at Baroan Techto be seen and continue to nologies. “We made a comprove themselves as subject munity for Bergen County matter experts within their businesses that serves as a industry,” said Grant Tilus, platform for us to provide inbound marketing specialist potential prospects with for Rasmussen College. “It is helpful information and also a simple way to create viresources about their local sually engaging video content areas. Google+ is still young without the need for big bud“Google+ is still young enough enough that a business can gets or time commitments.” that a business can be the first be the first to create a niche to create a niche community that will grow as more compacommunity that will grow Google+ Communities nies join” as more companies join Similar to Facebook Groups, -Yvonne Miaoulis, Baroan Technologies Google+. There are only 25 Google+ offers a ‘Communimembers in our community ties’ feature, which empowers right now, but I have no interest-based communities doubt that number will increase exponentially to gather and interact. IT service provider in the next year.” Baroan Technologies saw the potential in this | D E C E M B E R 2013

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