Website Magazine - Numero 68 (INGLES)


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Website Magazine (versión digital gratis) es una excelente publicación sobre el mundo de Internet.

Fishing For Leads - August 2013

Website Magazine digital issue for August 2013 is now available for you to view online. You’ll resources on customer acquisition, social media marketing, cloud hosting, CRM, and much more.

The demand for finding and acquiring more (and better) customers faster is accelerating every digital day. Discover how to reel in more leads, ensure those leads meet your company's high sales expectations, and do it all faster and cheaper, with strategies and software solutions designed to accelerate your 'Net success.

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Website Magazine - Numero 68 (INGLES)

  1. 1. F R O M T H E E D ITO R Fishing for High-Quality Prospects There are quite a few similarities between lead generation and fishing. A great deal of preparation is required for both, and at times, each requires as much experience, skill and patience. While fishing can be a solitary activity, everyone in a digital enterprise is responsible for hooking leads, whether they’re aware of it or not, from front-line support staff and Web developers to content marketers and advertising managers. A company’s lead generation efforts, however, won’t be truly productive if all the brand does is acquire leads; they must also focus on engaging those future customers and ultimately converting prospects at a rate which exceeds needs, expectations and costs. Essentially, you can’t just hook leads (fish), you have to reel them in, get them on the boat, and then repeat the process. When you do it well, you’ll feed your enterprise for years to come. In this month’s feature article, Website Magazine takes readers on a digital fishing trip for new business leads, teaching them how to acquire new customers from the deep waters of the Web. Our editors are ready to serve as your trusted guides to the best spots on the ‘Net to find customers and educate you on how to “gear up” with best-of-breed software, and of course, how to actually reel in and land high-value prospects, getting them hooked on your brand without scaring away the customers your company really needs to survive. This issue is filled with many more articles valuable to Internet professionals on their journey to Web success. Website Magazine readers will find actionable guidance and detailed information on everyday uses of big data, digital customer service for small | A U G U S T 2013 business, the new reality of social SEO, the fundamentals of product feeds, resources for learning to code, and much more including 50 of the top analytics solutions available today. Enjoy this issue of Website Magazine and make sure to visit us on the Web at to experience our in-depth coverage of emerging trends, best practices and industry news. Best Web Wishes, Peter Prestipino — Editor-in-Chief, Website Magazine SUBSCRIBE TO WEBSITE MAGAZINE Join the largest audience of Web professionals of any Internet industry publication by subscribing for free at Visit these upcoming Internet Industry Trade Shows. DevCON5 July 24-25 New York, NY eTail East August 12-15 Philadelphia, PA Affiliate Summit East August 18-20 Philadelphia, PA SES Sept. 10-13 San Francisco, CA Annual Summit Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Chicago, IL Conversion Conference Sept. 30-Oct. 2 Boston, MA SMX EAST Oct. 1-3 New York, NY
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  3. 3. net briefs Want More Net Briefs? Read more at Website Magazine: Rakuten Feeling Fulfilled With a series of acquisitions, most recently Webgistix, Rakuten is further establishing itself in the U.S. e-commerce market. Hybris Gets SAP-ed Up SAP has acquired hybris, an e-commerce-focused software company that offers a cross-channel platform for mobile, call center, in-store and Web commerce. SALESFORCE TO BE EXACT… What Can’t Google Do? Big-time customer relationship management platform provider (and more, of course) Salesforce made its largest purchase ever in early June when it acquired marketing platform ExactTarget for $2.5 billion (yes, billion). ExactTarget, which specializes in technology for email and social marketing campaigns, will be integrated into the Salesforce Marketing Cloud suite, and may even be the next step in Salesforce’s move toward releasing more technology in the alwaysgrowing e-commerce market. Yahoo’s Google-Esque Makeover | A U G U S T 2013 Google announced plans in early June to release Google Web Designer, a free HTML5 development tool that lets advertisers develop their own creative assets. While, officially, Yahoo’s redesign is meant to emphasize the top search results on a page, it mostly just seems to make Yahoo look more like Google. Facebook Cuts Ads In an effort to simplify its ad offerings, Facebook has decided to cut its ad units from 27 to fewer than half of that. One of the units being axed is Facebook Offers.
  4. 4. Getting paid peanuts for AdSense? Get paid more with Monetize your site with a successful advertiser network by participating in 7Search’s Partner Program. EARN 60% OF WHAT ADVERTISERS ARE PAYING PER KEYWORD! PROGRAMS AVAILABLE: • XML Partnership • Display or Text Ads • Search Box or Search Ad Roll • Referral Program Reach out to a representative today to find out how you can enter into a transparent relationship with 7Search and begin offering valuable, complimentary content on your website. No more peanuts. | A U G U S T 2013 | 1.800.577 .1165 | 1.773.283.0086
  5. 5. w m a p p [ wa tc h ] Analytiks iOS - Chartbeat iOS - The Chartbeat analytics dashboard provides real-time data to business professionals (the ones who really get things done) with simplified insights into the performances of their Web, social and mobile presences, including metrics for top traffic sources, traffic benchmarks, user page and server load times. Add some color to Google Analytics data with the Analytiks application for iOS devices, which converts stats into colorful graphs to make it easy for users to keep an eye on traffic metrics from social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit and Tumblr. Managers have on-the-go access to search data, top country and browser stats, insights on desktop vs. mobile users, bounce-rate data and more. New Relic iOS New Relic offers useful insights for developers, including realtime and historical visibility into application performance, as well as end-user satisfaction ratings. New Relic’s sleek interface and ability to set up push notifications regarding app performance make it an essential all-in-one tool for DevOps teams with existing New Relic credentials. Quicklytics iOS - Google Analytics users can download Quicklytics to check their sites’ most important performance metrics in a simple dashboard for iOS devices. They can also invite their colleagues, as Quicklytics connects to an unlimited number of Google Analytics accounts and websites. In addition, the app provides | A U G U S T 2013 access to more than 80 different reports on visitor, source, content, goal and e-commerce metrics. gAnalytics Android - A favorite among Website Magazine editors, gAnalytics makes it easy to explore key performance metrics. Users can also discover the number of visitors, page views, bounce rates and new visits their sites have received during pre-defined time periods. gAnalytics also supports multiple accounts and languages. Simple Analytics Widget Android - One glance is all users of the Simple Analytics Widget need to review their Google Analytics data directly on their devices’ home screen. The widget displays real-time visitor counts, unique visitors, page views and other stats for each registered website. Plus, these metrics are compared to the same data of the previous week to show changing rates. Users can install as many different widgets and configurations as they want or need. their smartphones. Aside from social media updates and interactions, Viralheat also includes analytics and follower data for connected social media accounts. The app provides access to a variety of the platform’s most popular features, including crosschannel publishing, posts scheduling and the ability to engage with communities in real time. Alerti iOS - Based on the Alerti search engine that constantly scans a variety of sources, including blogs, forums, press, social networks and videos to monitor online reputation, the app now gives account holders these insights while on the go. Alerts are based on keywords and the results are displayed on a single interface, which can be shared and filitered by date, source, tone and more. Viralheat iOS - The Viralheat platform has gone mobile, enabling users to manage multiple Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts from Discover More Applications Within the Mobile World Channel at
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  7. 7. STAT WATCH INTO THE DIGITAL CART! You’d think that e-commerce professionals would be resting on their digital laurels with year-after-year of impressive results, but they’re not. Web retailers are pushing the virtual envelope every chance they get, becoming significant contributors to the global and local economies. 64% of e-commerce shopping carts that were abandoned in Q3 2012 (Source: Monetate). 81% of moms say they would buy and engage more if rewarded with loyalty points on top of the $2.4 trillion of spending they already influence every year as the primary decision-makers of household purchases (Source: PunchTab’s 2013 “Scoring Points With Mom” report). The projected e-commerce spending in the United States this year alone, according to Forrester Research, is a jaw-dropping $262 billion, a 13.4 percent increase over 2012. How did it get there? The best in e-commerce technology, of course, from personalization and retargeting to more nimble and smarter shopping carts. Website Magazine’s editorial staff aggregates and curates interesting research and data like what you’ll find in this month’s STAT WATCH column nearly every day on the Web, publishing the information Internet professionals need to create strategies and executive campaigns and technology initiatives more efficiently. 47% of companies say that the biggest barrier to website personalization is IT roadblocks, with legacy technology (46 percent) falling closely behind, according to Monetate and Econsultancy’s “The Realities of Online Personalization” research. Find more useful data and valuable insights at | A U G U S T 2013 6% of smartphone users conducted their most recent mobile retail search in a brick-and-mortar store, indicating that even though showrooming is a growing concern, it may be overhyped. The ongoing xAd/Telmetrics “U.S. Mobile Pathto-Purchase” study conducted by Nielsen also reported that 77 percent of smartphone retail shoppers ultimately made their purchases in-store versus going online to find a cheaper price. 90% of mobile searches lead to action (e.g. store visit or phone call), with more than half leading to purchases (Source: Vistaprint UK infographic). $53 the average price of items bought on U.S. Web retail sites using iPads, compared to $24 on smartphones and $22 on PCs/laptops, according to RichRelevance’s “2012 Q1 Shopping Insights Mobile Study.” 40% of online shoppers abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load (Source: KISSmetrics, 2012).
  8. 8. k enterprise ready Everyday Uses of Big Data Big data has the potential to revolutionize the business world by providing companies with access to massive amounts of actionable information that they never would have been able to get their hands on in the past. By Michael Garrity, Associate Editor At present, the companies that have been able to leverage the power of big data analytics successfully are large enterprises that have massive dedicated IT departments and plenty of resources to throw at the virtual wall of data to mine it for actionable information that can be used to guide business and marketing decisions. Even still, companies have mostly used big data to predict consumer purchase intent and to guide customers | A U G U S T 2013
  9. 9. k enterprise ready through conversion funnels more efficiently. These are practical uses, but don’t begin to scratch the surface of how companies can and will harness big data to grow in the future. Leveraging Big Data for Big Dollars At the end of the day, success depends on how much money a business brings in. It’s no surprise, then, that the first thing most companies try to do with big data is to leverage the information to increase sales without spending more money. Online printing company NextDayFlyers found itself trying to manage more than 100,000 customer records and decided to turn to big data analysis to help “make informed strategic decisions,” with SAS and Micro Strategy being its preferred big data management tools. “Because a large portion of our sales are in the B2B arena, it’s quite useful for us to segment the data based on firmographics,” explains NextDayFlyers CEO and Founder David Handmaker. “This shows us the primary industries we’re serving. When we see purchase patterns, it helps us to determine what new products and services we should be offering. We also analyze the recency, frequency and monetary (RFM) data and look for product affinities, which will help us identify products to cross-sell.” Handmaker added “using the data to identify behavioral transaction information allows us to optimize that customer’s experience with | A U G U S T 2013 3 Practical Strategies for the Data Scientist relevant messaging and Web Get in the lab at treatments.” Service providers are also finding ways to introduce big data into their own products in order to help businesses increase sales. One of these is NetSuite. The popular Web-based business software provider integrates big data into its SuiteCommerce product (specifically its Upsell Manager and Demand Planning capabilities). “Upsell Manager looks at the sales correlations between different items and uses it to recommend other products to similar shoppers,” said Baruch Goldwasser, NetSuite’s director of e-commerce. “Demand Planning looks at sales and fulfillment history by store and warehouse to determine how much inventory should be kept in stock at each, recommend reorder points and preferred stock levels and automatically create purchase orders with the appropriate workflow processes.” Big Data and the Future In addition to improving sales metrics, big data application in the modern marketplace is using information to assess the current state of the organization, as well as predict, identify and fix any inefficiencies. “With big data and prescriptive analytics, Place2Give can
  10. 10. k enterprise ready predict potential pitfalls far enough in advance that charities now “We also use Optimizely very often to do simple variant tests,” have enough lead time to either create a solution to the issue, or said Wilkening. “Although this requires a larger sample, it can still avoid the pitfall altogether,” said Gena Rotstein, the founder and shed light on what is working and what is not working in your CEO of Place2Give, a charity search customer pipeline.” engine. “An example of prescriptive Big Data’s Usability analytics at work is the organizational The next step is trying As you can see, big data is already becoming a assessment, which looks at issues, such focal point for both B2C and B2B organizations. as HR, financial process, volunteerism, to make big data easier The next step is trying to make big data easier governance, etc. When organizational to handle, so it is less intimidating and more assessments from an entire sector of to handle, so it is less accessible to companies of all sizes. charities are compared, ‘holes’ in the sector intimidating and more Chartio is already doing this. This business begin to emerge and become apparent. Depending on the stage of the charity’s accessible to companies dashboard provides a way for companies, which so far includes everyone from Rackspace to evolution, we can use these common of all sizes. PumpOne, to plug their data sources (like Oracle, holes to predict and help the charity as Amazon RDS, Rackspace Cloud Databases, they grow.” Google Analytics, Salesforce and more) into the As with sales processes, many B2B Chartio platform, so they can easily visualize all companies are finding ways to insert big their data. data into their products to help make them more predictive, and Ultimately, this is a much quicker way to set up and explore thus more valuable, to their enterprise customers. important metrics, allowing companies to make smarter decisions Brad Wilkening, a business development engineer at faster. Innovations like these are going to be what inevitably helps DevMynd Software, explains that most of the applications they big data fulfill its true potential. build for their customers integrate with KISSmetrics or MixPanl for pipeline tracking. | A U G U S T 2013
  11. 11. 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 *Website Magazine thanks IRCE for permission for video interviews at the show. | A U G U S T 2013 Jeremy Greenberg, SellerCloud Fred Lizza, Dydacomp Kyle Wilson, SearchSpring
  12. 12. Website Magazine’s Small BuSineSS laB Personal Stories of INVESTING In Customer Service By Mitchell Harper, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Bigcommerce Customer service is an investment, but unlike other equity, it’s nearly guaranteed to return substantial dividends. In my company’s early days, I ran a 10-person customer service team. I quickly found that being honest, genuine and empathetic could turn a two-minute phone call into the highlight of a client’s day. Those personal connections translate to word-ofmouth marketing — satisfied buyers telling friends and colleagues about their positive experiences with your business. Today, I frequently say to clients, partners, media and employees that customer service is a profit center, not a cost center. That may put me in the minority, but the top companies always invest heavily in customer service. Consider Apple, Southwest Airlines, Virgin and American Express as examples. It’s no coincidence that they are some of the world’s most profitable companies. | A U G U S T 2013
  13. 13. Website Magazine’s Small BuSineSS laB One particular example of stellar customer service convinced me that investing in it can be profitable and sustainable. Back in 2011, I signed up for an American Express credit card. Everything went fine; I completed the form, got approved and received my card in the mail. A few weeks later, I decided to cancel the card because I found a better deal, but I had already paid the $395 annual fee. I called the American Express customer service line, was connected to someone in billing and requested to cancel. After being asked whether they could do anything to make me reconsider and politely saying no, the woman on the other end of the phone proceeded to cancel my card. Things went smoothly, and I was ready to end the call when she said, “I notice you’ve paid our $395 annual fee. Let me go ahead and make sure that gets refunded to you in the next few days.” I hadn’t expected a refund, nor did I ask for it, but she offered it without prompting. It was deposited into my account 48 hours later. Now, I canceled my AmEx card, but how many people do you think I’ve told about this positive experience? Besides my friends and colleagues, I’m now sharing this experience in print. AmEx could, of course, attribute part of their marketing spend directly to me signing up for a card, but what did it cost them to have me describe their amazing customer service to my personal and business connections, to say nothing of all of you? Zero. Zilch. Nada. | A U G U S T 2013 Like their competitors, this company could have outsourced its customer service to a remote location with a primary focus on reducing call time and increasing calls taken per rep, per hour, but they didn’t. Instead, each of their customer service reps are trained extremely well (not to mention empowered), and they put the customer experience above everything else, including revenue. Does your business take every opportunity to meet its customers’ needs, or does it fight tooth and nail to stop every refund request? Will your customers tell people that you’re an amazing company or just another self-serving business? It’s easy to outsource absolutely everything with the false belief that saving money will allow you to grow your business faster and increase your margins. But consider the intangible benefits of wordof-mouth. What do your customers say about your products and customer service and support? If you’re not sure, ask them. Send an email survey to your customers using tools like SurveyMonkey, Cvent or Snap Surveys. Best of all, you can always improve if the survey response isn’t what you’d hoped it would be. Here’s an example from business experience: In 2010, my company’s CSAT (Customer SATisfaction) was 82 percent, which meant that 82 out of every 100 clients rated our support Good, Very Good or Excellent. This was OK, but we could do better. Fast forward and our CSAT is 96 percent and climbing. That’s higher than most of the companies I mentioned previously in this
  14. 14. Loyalty Leaders Website Magazine’s Small BuSineSS laB article. I’m not bragging; I just want to prove to you that if you’re dedicated to increasing your customer satisfaction ranking, you’ll find a way. Here are a few things we did to boost our CSAT rating, which you can put to work at your own company, too. 1.Listen more than you talk. You can do this with surveys, focus groups or by including a way for customers to give you feedback after every transaction. We have two ears and only one mouth for a reason. 2.Set CSAT goals at three-, six-, 12- and 24-month intervals. Let’s say your CSAT is currently 63 percent and you want to get it to 85 percent. It might sound like a huge jump, but what if you set achievable goals for the next 24 months and work diligently toward them? Aiming for a 65 percent CSAT within three months, 70 percent within six months and so on, are incremental successes that add up. 3.Be the face of customer service. The company attitude on customer service has to be “the buck stops here.” When a customer isn’t happy, you have to go out of your way to personally contact them and correct the concern. Zappos built a $1 billion business with this simple concept, maybe you can as well. 4.Model other successful brands. Think of the businesses you | A U G U S T 2013 buy from regularly. Which of them impress you consistently with their customer service? What do they do differently from others? Model their ideas, because there’s no point in reinventing the wheel. See what brands are mastering user engagement through social, local and mobile offerings at 5.Surprise customers. What would happen if you thanked a customer for their order with a handwritten note? Your word-of-mouth would sharply increase, because no one else does it. It’s so simple, so why not try? 6.Care. Why do so few business owners care about customer service? If you respect your customers and are sincere in your approach, you will build an amazingly loyal group of customers who will tell everyone they know about you and come to your defense when things sometimes go wrong. In the end, investing in customer service is often the same as investing in marketing. The goal of marketing is to drive targeted leads to your business who then turn into customers and give you money in exchange for your product. By investing in customer service, you can turn one-time purchasers into lifelong customers who bring others with them.
  15. 15. Website Magazine >>>Resource Center FINELY-FOCUSED INFORMATION FROM INDUSTRY SPONSORS Website Magazine’s Resource Center presents white papers and webinars from our sponsors that provide information, specifics, and metrics to help you make decisions for website success. DOWNLOAD FREE AT Responsive, Adaptive, Progressive: Build a Website that Works Great on Smartphones, Tablets and Desktops FREE WEBINAR REGISTER NOW: What’s the best way to quickly develop a website that’s easy to use for your content authors, and provides fast, consistent experience for site visitors? A modern CMS should support your mobile strategy and give you all the tools to do this quickly and easily. Join us for an exclusive webinar and learn how to become a mobile superhero in the eyes of your marketers, and your visitors. LEARN • How to choose the right mobile and content strategy • How to take advantage of the latest technology for the best mobile experience, including responsive frameworks like Twitter Bootstrap, device detection and targeting, RSS and more • How to empower your end users to visually layout and preview pages that respond and adapt to devices automatically • How to boost performance via HTTP compression, progressive enhancement, and CSS/JavaScript aggregation SPEAKERS Bill Cava Chief Evangelist Ektron James Stout Technical Client Services Manager Ektron REGISTER Register Now for this On-Demand Webinar: NOW | A U G U S T 2013 Sponsored by
  16. 16. 50 Analytics Solutions TO P There is no more important endeavor in digital media than that of analytics — seeking them, considering them and leveraging them. Internet professionals frequently use their stand-alone analytics systems and software features to reveal the essential data points that will help drive their businesses in positive directions. The questions they ask and the answers they seek, however, are different for every enterprise. Each digital media professional obtains the information they need to drive strategic decision-making in different ways, requiring, in some cases, varying data types depending on their unique business requirements. Most Website Magazine readers will turn exclusively to analytics View Graphs on the next page solutions for website data, found here. one needs them, are available everywhere. Other readers, who are mobile application It’s the data-driven insights these systems focused, will find one of the emerging provide that must be sought out, considered mobile data analytics solutions, also and leveraged to ensure success in the short addressed in this list, to be instrumental in and long term. tracking that channel’s ROI. Of course, many enterprises are actively finding ways to capitalize on the vast amounts of big data at their disposal too, turning to rapidly growing companies your company growth including Pentaho and when your writing force is LucidWorks, as well as others you’ll discover in Website Magazine’s “25 Big Data Movers and Shakers” at Analytics, in whatever form Imagine scalable. Writing Services for SEO & Internet Marketing Agencies 0 50,000 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 Top 50 Web Rank Fort Myers, FL ● 866-945-7252 Estimated ‘Net Traffic Popularity Jun ‘12 CHARTkey Source: | A U G U S T 2013 for Digital Media Pros Jul ‘12 Aug ‘12 Chartbeat Sep ‘12 Oct ‘12 TIBCO Nov ‘12 Dec ‘12 Distimo Jan ‘13 Feb ‘13 SiteMeter
  17. 17. 50 BIG-DATA 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. TO P 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. VISUAL DATA Analytics Solutions for Digital Media Pros 4. 5. MOBILE DATA 1. 2. 3. 0 50,000 4. 5. WEB DATA 100,000 150,000 200,000 250,000 1. 2. 3. Top 50 Web Rank Estimated ‘Net Traffic Popularity Jun ‘12 CHARTkey Source: Jul ‘12 Aug ‘12 Chartbeat | A U G U S T 2013 Sep ‘12 Oct ‘12 TIBCO Nov ‘12 Dec ‘12 Distimo Jan ‘13 Feb ‘13 SiteMeter 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
  18. 18. 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 L • •C • Complimentary consulting (including help developing a professional privacy policy) alidated 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
  19. 19. mastering search THE NEW REALITY OF SOCIAL SEO By Amberly Dressler, Managing Editor SEO and social media are kind of like the Real Housewives of the ‘Net. They pretend they are friends for the show, but publicly talk behind each other’s backs the first chance they get. Since Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are now an important part of the digital world for consumers, and search engines have taken aggressive steps to weave the social experience into the results pages, it’s time for SEO and social to play nice, and not just in front of the cameras. The new digital reality is that social and search fuel each other, making these initiatives complementary, | A U G U S T 2013 neither more important than the other. Essentially, users will see more of a business’s content in Google’s organic listings if the company increases its Google+ follows. Likewise, enterprises that increase Facebook engagement will likely notice an increase in search impressions on Bing. “The term ‘SEO’ didn’t catch on as quickly or become as sexy as ‘social media,’ but more and more these two areas are coming together, increasingly under the umbrella of content marketing, to answer the major issue of ‘how are brands being found and what’s the best way to be where the audience is?’” said Erin Robbins O’Brien, chief operating officer of GinzaMetrics. The Plot In many companies, however, social and SEO professionals and/or departments are working in silos and fighting for camera time (a.k.a. a chance to
  20. 20. mastering “ Brands responding to this new social-SEO era, where social engagement produces search impressions, are leading the virtual way. ” search prove to stakeholders why their efforts are improving balance sheets). And while those departments fight to establish dominance in their own companies, search engines will boost enterprises with harmonious socialSEO strategies that move toward establishing authority, listening to (and acting on) social signals and increasing “findability” by producing engaging content. Brands responding to this new social-SEO era, where social engagement produces search impressions, are leading the virtual way. The Cast Members Vocus, which offers integrated marketing software, is a practical example of marrying social and search to increase the “share-ability” of social content to improve SEO efforts. Items like clear and concise URLs, tracking parameters and social meta mark-up are all part of the discussion/collaboration at Vocus, according to Scott C. Benson, the senior SEO manager at the marketing software company. With this teamwork, Benson feels they’re doing a much better job of measuring the value of social traffic and each network. “As visitors from Twitter or Facebook arrive at our site, especially our blog, we measure how often they choose to follow us on a social network or share our | A U G U S T 2013 content,” said Benson. “Any social engagement is measured in Google Analytics, and we can create baseline conversion rates to analyze the value of a network. [For example,] if our social media team is dedicating too much time to Pinterest, and our audience isn’t responding, we know to reassess our strategy. The analysis can then shift to what content types attract the most social sharing, which we know is becoming a bigger indicator for Google’s algorithm. While we don’t know the specifics of how social signals impact rankings, we do try to publish content that will attract those shares.” The Twist With the help of Vocus’s social and PR team, Benson’s SEO squad has also been testing promoted tweets and has data that suggests, contrary to the opinion of most social gurus that you can pay for socially engaged traffic — a new twist in the social-SEO relationship (the plot thickens). “The Twitter advertising we’re testing currently has shown that paid traffic is converting (social engagement) at the same, or a slightly higher rate than our natural Twitter traffic,” said Benson. “The idea of paying for truly engaged social traffic conflicts with
  21. 21. mastering search many social marketing experts’ best practices. Yet as our data continues to build, I’m still seeing new visitor traffic percentages remaining higher for the ad traffic than natural Twitter visitors. “So not only are we reaching engaged visitors, but they’re also new to our site. We can begin to market to them using email (if they sign up) or methods like retargeting. It’s a bit of paid media fueling our SEO and social marketing, all tied together with data.” The Reveal Another aspect of this social-SEO scenario united by data is how (and why) companies listen to social signals to enhance their SEO efforts and vice versa. “Whether it’s recommendations, social channels that facilitate brands and audiences finding each other’s content or new apps that deliver ways to interact, social keeps finding more ways to be involved in the conversation,” said O’Brien. Platforms like Eight new media professionals weigh in GinzaMetrics and others at Social-SEO Starter Kit | A U G U S T 2013 help companies monitor these conversations. Brands are even moving away from more traditional SEO tactics (e.g. using unique title tags and rich anchor text) in favor of social-SEO programs that use social signals to help them earn more organic traffic, as was the case with Logicalis, Inc., a global provider of highperformance technology and server virtualization solutions. “We use social media listening tools to identify emerging technology topics and then release content around those topics just as online interest is peaking,” said Lisa Dreher, vice president of marketing for Logicalis U.S. “We also have a disciplined approach that involves members of senior leadership and two agencies collaborating on a daily basis. Each week we issue a ‘social and SEO’ friendly media release that gets picked up by Google News and other online newswires. We support that release with a series of highly targeted Facebook posts, Tweets, LinkedIn updates and blog posts. “We also respect the difference in our audiences and channels. For Facebook, we will sometimes have contests or highlight great work from our employees. With our blog, we focus on short posts about the hottest
  22. 22. mastering search topics in IT in a rapid-fire point/counterpoint format. For LinkedIn, it’s all business, while Twitter is about quick hits around events or new content.” As a result of these social-SEO tactics, Logicalis’s organic search traffic increased 44 percent from 2011 to 2012 (and 2011 search traffic was already a respectable number). The growth continues in 2013, as organic search traffic year to date is already up 16 percent compared to the same period in 2012. SEARCH SHOWCASE Put on your SEO game face by visiting Website Magazine on the ‘Net. | A U G U S T 2013 Find Out the 5 Reasons Your Search Traffic is Declining at The Finale Clearly companies with cohesive social and SEO efforts are seeing positive outcomes. While that cohesion would make for a boring Real Housewives of the ‘Net reunion show, the new reality is that when social and SEO play nice, brands are better for users and search engines. Learn the Truth About Backlinks and SEO at Start Auto Generating Sitemaps with Bing at
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  24. 24. e-commerce express FUNDAMENTALS OF SCORING BIG WITH PRODUCT FEEDS By Michelle M. Wicmandy, Contributor Big retailers have big product feeds. They also have major challenges developing, maintaining and optimizing those vital data sets. To get more out of product feeds and to stay in the retail lead, online merchants of every size need to be armed with basic and advanced tips, know when it’s time to get outside help and understand what to look for in an agency or e-commerce solution when that time comes. First, what are product feeds and why are they valuable? These data-based files contain detailed product information that can be distributed to search engines, comparison shopping sites, and other networks and aggregators where consumers typically purchase online. The rewards can be immense, as product feeds benefit Internet retailers by increasing the opportunities they have for exposure among interested shoppers. Paid Search Account Manager at TopSpot Internet Marketing, Lara Garcia, explains that product IN FOCUS: Competitive Pricing for Feeds Product-feed optimization is now a far more dynamic undertaking thanks to emerging technologies. Feedvisor’s new automated algorithmic repricing solution enables merchants to streamline the pricing (and bidding) process and positively influence their revenue and sales strategy. Learn more at | A U G U S T 2013
  25. 25. e- c o m m erce express feeds enable consumers to see multiple product listings in single searches, without limiting the number of times a store can appear in queries, as well. •Listing out-of-stock products, which can cause feed removal, higher bid costs, ill will and paying out for useless clicks Getting Started with Feeds •Using bait-pricing tactics, as this trick triggers consumer complaints and bounce backs, which send red flags to search engines To get product data feeds into the search engines, companies take data directly from their product database, transfer it into a delimited file and then upload it to the network’s platform/system. Although this approach seems easy, it is often ineffective for merchants. Each feed (search, comparison and affiliate networks) requires different criteria, category names and delivery systems, notes Ian Lurie, Data Feed Best Practices — founder and CEO of Portent, Be Sure to Include: Inc. With all the discrepancy, • An optimized, fully descriptive product name what’s the solution? Web • A product description that goes beyond specs Shop Manager’s Founder and to sell the product CEO, Dana Nevins, suggests, • A category that closely matches the product regardless of search engine, • The real price • The manufacturer’s name to provide the most complete • The URL of a quality product image and accurate product • The individual product’s SKU or UPC information (see sidebar). • The inventory Merchants should also avoid: | A U G U S T 2013 •Adding promotional jargon such as “Free Shipping,” as this may ban the product from a listing •Practicing keyword stuffing or other tactics that search engines perceive as unethical practices The Evolving World of Product Feeds Managing product feeds can quickly become a cumbersome digital project, and one that is growing since, according to Lurie, search engines are transitioning from pure search tools to full-on product aggregators that aim to provide users with more relevant information. This means keeping up with requirements, new features, optimal keywords and more can be too time consuming for one business. “There is a lot of complexity in dealing with not only multiple search engines and multiple formats, but also
  26. 26. e- c o m m erce express frequent changes and updates made to the specifications,” said Nevins. Google’s new product listing ads (PLAs) is one such example where e-commerce professionals need to focus their attention. (Get started and maximize the new feedfocused format at Companies may also find it advantageous to hire an agency to manage product feeds. “Because feeds are digital, they can change easily and frequently and should be based on competitive dynamics,” said Veena Peña, adjunct professor of marketing at Houston Baptist University and consultant to the consumer goods industry. “As competing firms launch products, feeds should also be altered to best address competitive threats. Dedicated agencies have the resources to spot opportunities Managing and respond quickly.” When shopping for an agency-partner, Multiple D Lurie suggests finding one that: ata Feeds Too ma ny o channels a nline shopping nd too little tim These six e-commer e? ce solutions c an help atafeedhe lp | A U G U S T 2013 3. Uses a person to optimize and examine each feed regularly and provide client feedback 4. Analyzes and reports key metrics, such as clicks from product feed listings, sales, conversion rates, bid costs and terms/category placement/impressions 5. Explains how work will be transferred when the clientagency relationship dissolves 6. Discusses its team’s technical expertise concerning exporting data, updating feeds and automation Online merchants leveraging product data feeds should do their due diligence from the beginning through learning and implementing best practices and knowing when it’s time to ask for help. This strong foundation will help retailers manage their campaigns more effective today and tomorrow. 1. Understands the importance of category word choice 2. Knows that product feeds are separate from a product database Michelle Wicmandy is a regular contributor to Website Magazine, a lecturer at the University of Houston Downtown and an executivelevel marketing and business development professional.
  27. 27. Take the Web to the Next Level Today your customers expect your Web presence to be interactive, transactional, a place to get things done. Vertex can help. We make the Web dynamic, functional, and best of all, revenue-generating. Since 1996, Vertex has been designing, building, and managing software applications on the Web – and on the backend, as well. Letting sites do more. Making businesses grow. Custom Web Software Development iPhone, iPad & Android Apps Social Media Applications Custom Word Press Plugins We’ve helped corporate IT and marketing departments deliver applications they didn’t have time or staff to build themselves. We’ve enabled ad agencies to give their customers interactivity their competitors couldn’t. We’ve helped startup companies succeed with the products we’ve built for them. Let us do the same for you and your customers. Contact us for a free quote on your next project. Don’t let your site just sit there. Make it work for you. Responsive Site Content Management Database Application Development Portals & Intranets SEO & Metrics E-Mail Marketing E-Commerce with Site Press® CMS VERTEX | A U G U S T 2013 We make the Web work. 1515 S. Capital of Texas Hwy Suite 400 Austin, Texas 78746 512 / 328 / 3700
  28. 28. design development LEARNING TO CODE CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR ASPIRING DEVELOPERS & DESIGNERS By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief Technology moves fast and if you don’t keep up you’ll be left behind. Fortunately, opportunities abound to keep your virtual skills sharp and your digital design and development career on track and moving forward. Learning to code professionally isn’t for everyone, but knowing how and why applications work or how to fix even something as seemingly inane as a broken image link will provide a more balanced and effective view of your own work, whatever part of the business | A U G U S T 2013 you’re responsible for. Let’s explore some of the different ways Internet professionals can continue their technical education today. GO VIRTUAL AND DO IT ALONE Many developer/designer education resources are a little esoteric, but if you’re looking to get some virtual dirt under your digital fingernails and really learn the basics of how all those pixels move around the page, check out Codecademy. The free site offers aspiring
  29. 29. de s i g n & de v e l o pment digest digital developers an exercise-oriented opportunity to learn Web fundamentals, such as HTML, CSS, jQuery, Javascript, Python, Ruby and PHP, as well as how to connect applications to the digital world through APIs. What makes Codecademy so popular is that it introduces programming concepts and techniques in an interactive way, as users must complete individual lessons (writing code along the way) to proceed through the course. There are many other viable options to consider should you choose to go it alone for your developer education, including Code School, which offers free and paid courses. You should also consider PeepCode and Bloc, the latter promising to turn anyone into a Web developer in Publicity, Compliments an intense, 12-week bootcamp (costing $5,000). Other options to explore include and Money for Designers Udemy, whose individual courses are Let’s get famous, admired and rich more reasonable in price (check out “Learn – at least digitally – with these five PHP Programming From Scratch” for design-based social communities: $147) and Treehouse, whose 1,000-plus video library on websites, programming and app development, coupled with its real-time Code Challenge Engine, make | A U G U S T 2013 it a popular and affordable choice at just $25 a month. LET’S JUST KEEP THIS TRADITIONAL While design, development and programming courses are popping up everywhere, those more traditional in their educational approach have as many, if not more, opportunities. Online learning is growing rapidly as students (regardless of their age) demand flexibility and accessibility that a traditional learning environment can’t always provide. Unlike most online universities, which simply use the Internet to deliver classroom education, Western Governor’s University (WGU) for example, uses an innovative approach to learning called competencybased education. This tactic allows students to take advantage of prior education and experience to move quickly through course material they already know, so they can focus on the things they still need to learn. According to Patrick Partridge, the CMO of Western Governors University, “Students advance by demonstrating their mastery of course material, and there are no set class times. This takes the flexibility of online learning to a new level. In addition, it makes
  30. 30. de s i g n & de v e l o pment digest it possible for students to accelerate their degree programs, saving both time and money. As a result, the average time to complete a bachelor’s degree at WGU is less than three years.” So, what should students look for in these online programs to ensure they receive a quality experience? Partridge advises that before enrolling at any university, it is important to do your homework, making sure that the degree you earn will help meet your career objectives. “If you are already working in your chosen field, this should be easy,” said Partridge. “If you are considering a bachelor’s degree with the goal of moving into a better, higher-paying job or a different field, it is important to choose a degree that employers will recognize as relevant. Ask the right questions. Is the university accredited? What is the university’s background and ownership? How will you learn? What kind of help and support will you have? How much will it cost? How will you pay for your program? Will your degree be respected by employers?” WGU students can pursue bachelor’s degree programs in information technology (from network | A U G U S T 2013 administration to security or software) or choose one of the several master’s degree programs offered. WGU’s is far from the only online school for those interested in the world of design, development and technology., for example, is a well-renowned option with associate programs in graphic design, bachelor’s degrees in mobile development and even master’s-level courses in game design, among others. LEVERAGE INTERNAL EXPERTISE The two prior suggestions for learning about design and development are ideal when workers are motivated to excel on their own, but companies can also take the lead when it comes to training employees, and online learning technologies are quickly taking center stage — none more so than Adobe Connect. The dividends from this investment are proving substantial. Mobile management vendor, MobileIron, for example, adopted Adobe Connect to deliver on-demand training to its sales and support engineers. After building and delivering a platform for its employees, the company expanded the offering as a complimentary service for its customers and partners. In the last 12 months, 5,500 participants
  31. 31. de s i g n & de v e l o pment digest enrolled in the MobileIron University, taking advantage of the 700 training courses created using Adobe Presenter and Adobe Captivate software. Using Adobe Connect, it was possible for MobileIron University to easily target training to specific audiences and disciplines. Training sessions range from basic product overviews to in-depth technical training courses, which leverage the full multimedia capabilities of Adobe Connect. “MobileIron University is embracing the end-to-end Adobe Connect solution and deep integration with the Adobe eLearning Suite to deliver persistent, top-quality, on-demand training. We see the results in more closed deals and more revenue opportunities,” said Richard Lewis, director of education and training at MobileIron. “We can monitor and measure attendance and participation and track certification for our partners. No other solutions offer the visibility of Adobe Connect.” Online learning is experiencing rapid adoption. As the business and technical worlds become increasingly competitive, Internet professionals will need to keep learning, refining their skills and base of knowledge, not only for the benefit of their current or future employers, but also for their personal career growth. Peter Prestipino is the Editor-In-Chief of Website Magazine. A long-time Internet marketer with more than 14 years of experience, Prestipino is the author of Web 360: The Fundamentals of Web Success ( | A U G U S T 2013 Developer Stuff Website Magazine Editors Like There are numerous resources on the Web for learning programming, but few as straightforward and in-depth as Eloquent JavaScript, written by Marijn Haverbeke. This free online book (also available as an e-book at Amazon) introduces JavaScript programming. Readers will learn to use variables, control structures, functions, as well as more sophisticated JavaScript, including object-oriented programming.
  32. 32. By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” That’s a line from comedian Steven Wright, and depending on how well your online/digital lead generation efforts are performing, you are either famed fisherman Babe Winkelman, or just some idiot with a pole wasting time. | A U G U S T 2013
  33. 33. If more visitors is what you’re after, and who isn’t, then check out Website Magazine’s “Acquisition Super Guide.” Readers will find hundreds of ideas to attract the big fish (along with a few smaller ones too). Take it to the next digital level at Lead generation is one of the hottest topics in digital marketing today, and the funny thing is, it always has been. Ask any Web professional what their top priority is right now (or has ever been) and you’ll likely hear that it is to drive more sales, more conversions, etc. Why would it be anything else? Often, however, Internet professionals confuse the lead generation process with pure “acquisition” efforts alone. A company’s efforts in this regard, however, won’t be truly productive if all the brand does is acquire leads. It’s also important to engage and, ultimately, convert prospects at a rate that exceeds expectations and cost, of course. Essentially, you can’t just hook them, you have to reel them in, get them on the boat and then repeat the process. Business demand for more and better customers (and acquiring them faster, of course) is accelerating each digital day. Internet professionals know that marketing tactics, such as search engine optimization (SEO), digital advertising, social media and email, can be used to generate and produce leads (or at least acquire more website visitors) for the eventual sale of new or existing products and services (be it immediately or over a longer period of time). And most Web workers have a handle on how to ensure those leads meet their company’s high engagement expectations — particularly those | A U G U S T 2013 that have read Website Magazine’s June cover story (Engagement: The Digital Laws of Attraction — Nevertheless, you (and likely your competition) still don’t have enough leads to sustain your enterprise. Despite having the necessary skills, experience, knowledge and resources (let’s call it the gear, the bait and the secret fishing spot), brands are still struggling to generate the necessary leads cheaper, faster and in a more high-volume and quality-driven manner. Why? They’re likely not thinking strategically about nurturing those prospects for the purpose of acquiring lifelong customers. Digital brands simply need to pull it all together, from the marketing and design to the analysis and actual service element. Internet professionals need practical strategies and actionable techniques for each step of the lead generation process and access to best-of-breed software solutions along the way to accelerate their ‘Net success. With any luck, this approach will bring in the big fish that will sustain an enterprise, be recalled fondly in personal memoirs and hung above the corporate fireplace for all to see. In a fast-moving industry like that of Web business, however, that’s often easier said than actually done. TEACH ME TO FISH The Process Matters Lead generation or “lead gen” is essentially the practice of marketing to generate consumer interest or, more
  34. 34. accurately, an “inquiry” into a brand’s products or services. There are myriad reasons why a business might engage in a lead generation campaign, but it ultimately comes down to one thing: making more sales. As Peter Drucker once said, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” To be successful at lead generation it is vital to master the many elements of Web success. For that reason, we’re reverse engineering the lead generation process. In this article, we’ll explore the important foundational elements of CRM solutions first, then, move on to optimizing consumers’ lead generation experience (via design), and finally on to sections where most of the discussion around the lead gen practice already revolves — acquisition and nurturing. Before you engage in and use the tactics, strategies and software referenced and discussed below, assess how your enterprise currently acquires and manages its leads. Are you still storing your customer or prospect data in a spreadsheet application? Are you sending out the same emails to all of your prospects? Are you failing to recruit brand advocates for your referral program or simply not producing any material at all for use in content marketing campaigns and their distribution within search, email and social? If so, stop these negative practices and do your brand a favor by exploring the opportunities and benefits that come first through leveraging a robust, intelligent customer relationship management (CRM) system. GEAR UP: The Role of CRM in Lead Generation When I was a kid, fishing in my grandparent’s pond, I kept the fish I managed to catch in a bucket (don’t worry, this actually does have something to do with digital marketing and Web technology). Now I could have thrown those fish back immediately, or left them in the hot sun for the farm cats to snack on later, but the fishing bucket enabled me to show the haul to my cousins and siblings. It was storage (temporary, of course, because they were eventually returned to the pond) and not unlike the storage CRMs provide. There’s another important similarity between my fishing bucket and today’s state-of-the-art customer relationship management systems: I was able to more closely examine the catch, understand it (if only a little perhaps), and use the insights gained through that exploration and experience to catch even more. That’s exactly what a CRM system can provide your enterprise (the insights, not the fish) when you look at the practice of lead generation differently. The amount of actionable marketing insight available from within a CRM can be staggering. Today’s CRMs enable Internet professionals to deeply understand the preferences and behavior of an audience (a group of prospects or existing customers), as well as their recent buying activity and even their level of social influence (e.g. Twitter followers). When data of this type and nature is accessible, brands are in a better position to convert more of the leads they acquire and turn random Learn more about how to handle the implementation and day-to-day operations of customer relationship management systems in Website Magazine’s “CRM Blueprint 2013” at | A U G U S T 2013
  35. 35. website browsers into loyal, repeating buyers and in far less time, because they know more about them. Ultimately, what CRMs can provide digital enterprises is a measurable opportunity to influence those “fish” that are swimming close to its bait whether they are current or prospective customers. That may be one of the reasons that CRM powerhouse Salesforce is acquiring a digital marketing platform like ExactTarget whose expertise in email makes Salesforce now by far one of the true leaders in the software industry. ExactTarget actually has a full suite of digital marketing solutions — from email and social to analytics and mobile — providing Salesforce users with better digital fishing poles so to speak to fill not just their buckets, but also their plates when dinnertime (a need to close leads) actually comes. CRM systems are vital components to lead generation campaigns, but they don’t (or shouldn’t) work alone. To be truly effective, enterprises must also have a variety of other software solutions integrated with their digital presence to support their sales initiatives. For example, enterprises will need a content management system (CMS) to support users as they visit their Web properties and navigate through the available sales channels. Say that a user arrives and consumes a specific type of content, then another piece of content in the same category and then another. If you’re tracking the consumption behavior of that user in a CRM, you will have near absolute confidence that | A U G U S T 2013 they are very interested in a particular topic. When a sales person has access to that level of interest-based data, converting that visitor to a buyer is far easier. Consider CRM and CMS solutions as terrific fishing buddies, which, when armed with additional software integrations — be that survey and or chat software — make the conversion “pickings” easy. Of course, the more the merrier on our virtual fishing trip. Take for example Insightly, a small business CRM solution featured in Website Magazine’s recent Top 50 list on lead management solutions (see sidebar), which recently announced that its cloud-based application has been integrated with Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook 2013. What this means for digital-minded enterprise is that Insightly users (the small businesses) can manage customer interactions, leads, proposals and more directly from within Office applications as well as Outlook. How easy is that? Running a lead generation campaign without a CRM (or deploying a CRM without the much-needed integrations) is like fishing without bait and without a bucket. Customer relationship management systems make your enterprise better prepared to handle today’s more discriminating user, but our quest for the ultimate user does not end there. FIND YOUR SPOT: In Pursuit of Quality Leads The final touchpoint in a user’s path toward actually becoming a lead is typically through a form, and it is
  36. 36. to the form where digital marketers, designers and Internet professionals must turn their attention if they want more and better leads faster. Put Form Design in Focus It might seem strange to start at the end point of the actual lead conversion process, but there’s a method to the madness. Forms of the past have been cumbersome to say the least, but as our collective understanding of the optimal digital customer experience matures, they (the forms) are becoming more effective. And when we design the “right experience,” Internet professionals can eventually turn their attention to the more traditional discussion topic related to lead generation — acquisition — with confidence that leakage of quality leads won’t occur (or if it does, certainly with less frequency). Designers have learned over time what is most appealing to sales prospects and the savviest Internet professionals are making quick work of standardizing these vital elements of the conversion process in each digital product they create. Pure, for example, is a set See these powerful software solutions at of small, responsive CSS modules ( that recently caught our attention. Pure can be used as the foundation of a 50 | A U G U S T 2013 website’s (both the layout and styling) native HTML elements and common UI components including grids, buttons, menus and forms. This makes landing page development for the purpose of lead generation a far faster, and more importantly, standardized process. More on the Optimal Form Many digital marketers fervently espouse the benefit of the short form over the long form and while it certainly has its place, some of these suggestions are misguided at best and downright dangerous in some instances. Digital businesses need quality leads and folks, a name and email address just doesn’t cut it in every instance. Short forms tend not to reveal intent, nor do they indicate the quality of said lead (regardless of whether the brand is able to connect an email address to a previous behavior or some social media profile). On the other hand, long forms can dissuade a prospect from ever entering information at all. Isn’t there a better way? The only way to ensure that forms support your enterprise in its quest to obtain more high-quality leads is to adopt a process from that point of contact that helps filter and refine the information available about a user. This ensures when the information is passed to the sales or marketing department, better decisions can be made and time spent can be more productive. For example, the use of qualifying questions makes a big difference in lead generation campaigns in that it
  37. 37. is possible to understand the user better. Such as, when is the user going to be ready to buy or when was the last time they purchased a related product? Or, what is their biggest challenge in purchasing a solution and what benefits do they see or expect to see from using what it is that you’re selling or offering? The answers might seem obvious to you, but it doesn’t take a digital business maven to understand that having this information at the ready proves quite useful in the actual conversion process as brand sales personnel know more about the expectations of users, whether certain leads can be disqualified outright, and increasing in importance, that data can also be used to immediately start remarketing to them. That might seem aggressive, but a quick review of the growth of that now common place tactic proves that even if you aren’t, your competitors likely are engaged in the practice. Creating Optimized Forms for Lead Gen Discover the steps toward developing optimized lead generation forms at Get ‘Em Hooked: Social Acquisition in Focus So far, your lead generation campaign (built with a powerful CRM system on the backend) is optimized to support sales initiatives and the marketing and design team is creating a digital experience conducive to generating the highest quality leads once users arrive on your website. So, what’s next? Keep moving down the funnel, of course. It’s time to talk lead acquisition. Search, advertising and email have been lead generation mainstays for many years, but there’s a new | A U G U S T 2013 pond that Internet professionals are eyeing. The channel where today’s marketers have the greatest hope in generating leads and ultimately driving purchases is through social media. The verdict still seems to be out, however, on whether the investment that’s been made already, and is still made, is really paying off. One thing is for sure though; it’s not for lack of trying. Social networks are responding by optimizing their offerings (Facebook for example just reduced the number of available ad units in an effort to make its programs more accessible) and releasing programs with advertisers of all sizes in mind. Twitter, for example, recently added the Lead Generation Card to its suite of Twitter Cards, which is a collection of programs that enable marketers to bring a richer user experience within an expanded tweet. Users interested in a particular offer can expand a tweet to see a description of the offer and a brand’s call-toaction. Their name, @username, and email address is pre-filled within the card and upon submission by the user the data is shared with the brand advertiser. The best aspect of the program, according to Twitter, is that not only can brands drive deeper connections, but do so at a lower cost-per-lead compared to other marketing approaches. The program is currently only available to managed clients of Twitter but the network expects a global release soon. The lead generation process doesn’t exactly end at the
  38. 38. moment when users click submit, however. In reality, that’s when the real work begins. REEL IT IN SLOW Lead Nurturing with Content If you want to keep the fish –— the leads — you catch or acquire, it’s important to develop them, so their interest grows to a point where they will eventually purchase the product or services provided (without breaking the line). Better yet, keep them coming back to purchase more in the future. Thanks to the variety of marketing automation solutions and their integrations with CRM solutions (see Website Magazine’s “5 Marketing Automation Solutions to Remember” at, Internet professionals are now more efficient and better prepared to handle the broader lead lifecycle than ever before. While these solutions are undeniably powerful additions to the marketing tackle box, much work still needs to be done to actually land (convert) those fish. Once a prospect is on the hook, in the virtual pipeline headed toward conversion, digital marketers must reel in their catch slowly through a process of consistent and relevant relationship and trust building. In the sophisticated CRM landscape of today, nurturing happens/occurs in a variety of digital forms, from email (e.g. the use of auto-responders) to search and advertising (e.g. retargeting), and let’s not forget, social. To navigate these often-murky waters, leveraging | A U G U S T 2013 the value of “content” can set your enterprise on a course not just for more leads but better leads too. Content That Your Leads Need The secret to turning a lead into a white-hot prospect is to provide value and not just run-of-the mill value, but genuine value, what users (your prospects) really, really want and when they really need it. Let’s return to the fishing example for a moment. When I was a kid, we didn’t fish with expensive lures (no shiny jigs or wiggling spinners). Instead, we used the ultimate bait - bologna and corn. That sounds gross, and looking back it was, but something about Enterprises should strive to know as much as they can about their prospects before sending them to their sales team for the close, but which leads are more likely to buy? Enter lead scoring, a common practice in lead generation that prioritizes leads based on their likelihood of purchasing. Review Website Magazine’s “Quick Guide to Basic Lead Scoring with BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timing)” at and discover numerous services to help your enterprise score its leads for optimal selling.
  39. 39. LEAD GEN FACEOFF: Search vs. Advertising vs. Email See the opportunities and challenges of each of these established channels and set your brand on a course for success at that combination worked. Whatever the appeal, it worked better than the most expensive lures. The reason, I believe, was that it was more in line with the expectation and desires of the fish in that pond. The point of that little story is marketers have to give their users something they actually want and really need. And when you do that, you can further customize the acquisition strategy to obtain the right user and close the deal at the perfect time. Ultimately, every content item produced should be unique and compelling, educating the prospect about different aspects of the problem or solution that your enterprise provides a solution for. But this pond runs deep and your content needs to match. For example, many leads may only be interested in solving an immediate problem they are experiencing. In this case, they are only in the “awareness” phase so blog posts, articles and white papers will prove ideal. Consider those prospects just nibbling at the bait on the hook. Once they bite however, the job of a digital marketer is far from complete. Those prospects will hold on tight, dig in as it were and seek out even more information, perhaps in the form of webinars or e-books (maybe even a live chat or two for an initial question). The process continues as they get closer to converting. Content may take the form of actual product demos or a software trial. The point here is that the closer a prospect gets to becoming a converted customer, their preferences | A U G U S T 2013 for content changes, and your responsibility to nurture them should change as well. Mastering Lead Generation “It Was This Big” Lead generation campaigns require support from every corner of the enterprise. They demand funding from the C-Suite, the most artistic and sophisticated efforts of designers, the savviest turns of phrase from copywriters, aggressive promotion by digital marketers, and constant attention from both sales and support personnel. Digital brands needing more customers may already be engaged in lead generation, but if you aren’t getting enough good fish in the bucket, it’s time to start over, think smarter and change how you approach fishing for leads.
  40. 40. SOFTWARE EVERYWHERE Straight Up CRM Comparison Building true, quality relationships with customers doesn’t happen overnight. Businesses must nurture their leads to develop high-value interactions in the future. That can seem insurmountable for those with an existing customer base of hundreds, or in some cases, thousands, of people. Luckily, there are plenty of software solutions available for companies of all sizes to make customer relationship management more meaningful and manageable. By Allison Howen, Associate Editor For Constituent Management Mid-Range Mavens Blackbaud CRM is specially designed for nonprofits, as it gives organizations an integrated view of the “constituent” experience with fundraising, prospect research, analytics and multichannel marketing features. Plus, Blackbaud offers Luminate CRM, a cloud-based constituent engagement platform built on the Salesforce platform. Luminate is optimal for organizations, such as hospitals, that not only manage relationships with traditional customers, but also donors for nonprofit efforts. Zoho SugarCRM The Scalable CRM Big-Market Movers The Salesforce Sales Cloud platform is used by some of the world’s most recognized brands to manage customer relationships, however, small businesses can also reap the benefits of this application. “With the cloud model that we have, you can basically pay as you go,” said Tricia Gellman, senior director of small business marketing at “And you can start with a smaller version because we have a couple of different levels in terms of pricing, so it becomes quite flexible for people as they are building their businesses.” Oracle SAP The Social SMB Solution Small-Biz Wonders Nimble makes it easy for small businesses to manage their relationships with customers over a variety of channels by helping companies find customers’ social profiles, view business-to-customer interactions, send messages and manage tasks and events. Plus, the platform includes social listening features and an Apps Marketplace for extended functionality. SEE THROUGH THE CLOUDS Get a more in-depth look at CRM solutions at | A U G U S T 2013 ContactMe Campaigner
  41. 41. SOCIAL MEDIA MAVENS How Facebook Partnerships Boost Custom Audience Targeting Options By Lisa Cucinotta, Social Media Marketing Lead at Resolution Media Beyond Facebook Discover 10 social sites you’re not using, but should at Facebook’s recently announced partnerships with data-gathering firms Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon, as well as the BlueKai data-management platform, make its already-effective Custom Audience ad offering even better at pinpointing the right audience segments. Facebook advertisers can now leverage available data on users’ offline shopping habits, online consumption and other purchasing behaviors. These new targeting capabilities essentially level the playing field, providing companies of all sizes access to the same kinds of data big brands have been using for years to optimize email, direct mail and other digital media initiatives. Social media advertisers can now use more powerful targeting capabilities to reach and engage the audience segments that matter most to them and their bottom lines. The net impact of these data partnerships will likely be more relevant and efficient social media advertising. Brands will also be better equipped to measure their Facebook activities and use them to improve sales. Custom Audiences 101 | A U G U S T 2013 Before making an effort to master the new capabilities, advertisers should first ensure they understand the basic Custom Audiences offering. With Custom Audiences,
  42. 42. SOCIAL MEDIA MAVENS Facebook receives a list of consumer data from an advertiser and anonymously matches the individuals on the list to corresponding Facebook profiles via email addresses and/or phone numbers. A privacy and data-protection process called “hashing” is applied to help ensure Facebook users’ anonymity, but this essentially enables advertisers to reach their own designated audiences through Facebook ads. Advertisers can target Facebook ads to existing customers, loyalty club members, or any other pre-defined group or list of people within their house files. “ Now, third-party data enables marketers to target consumers who would not have been identified by Facebook’s native interest categories. New Functions Facebook’s recently unveiled partnerships also provide new targeting capabilities within Custom Audiences. Brands can now access data relating to both offline purchases and previous shopping habits. Consider the following scenario: ” • BlueKai’s cookie-based integration with Facebook enables brands to deliver ads to Custom Audiences, further targeted through cookie matching by using data that may have been stored over long periods. A car dealer could target those who visited its site a year ago and still demonstrate purchase intent. | A U G U S T 2013 Testing Required Advertisers should test and experiment with Custom Audience capabilities to discover effective ways to win consumer attention and action. The following provides some practical ways to get started: 1) Use third-party data to discover Facebook users’ current interests. Many users do not consistently update their “interests” on Facebook. Now, thirdparty data enables marketers to target consumers who would not have been identified by Facebook’s native interest categories (for instance, an “auto intender” who isn’t a fan of any auto-related Facebook pages). 2) Reach larger pools of consumers. Before this update, Custom Audiences prevented brands from targeting consumers beyond their own lists and databases. Now, advertisers can engage with potential customers actively looking to make a purchase in particular categories. 3) Test new targeted ads in the news feed. Marketers should test their Custom Audience ads as Sponsored Stories and/or Page Posts, not just as Facebook Exchange (FBX) ads in the right rail.
  43. 43. Retailers – Get 25% Off With Code WMPA eTail East Made For Retail By Retailers Newsfeed placement should garner better performance and higher engagement. August 12-15, 2013 4) Keep talking to previous customers. Brands can remain engaged with customers who have made previous purchases and may value ongoing communication with the brand. • Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA • Launched in 1999, eTail East is the Leading Practitioners Conference for the Online and Multi-Channel Retail Industry. 5) Test and monitor the promotion of content tied to keywords in search. With Google heavily weighting social signals as a ranking factor, advertisers may benefit from using these new capabilities to drive Likes and sharing of strategically identified, SEO-relevant pages/content (e.g. a video). This can potentially boost natural search rankings. Since shopping, consumption and purchasing behaviors are now available targeting options, brands of all sizes and verticals are empowered to offer the most relevant and efficient social media advertising seen to date. • “The eTail conference has been the best eCommerce show we have attended by far. The keynote presentations are timely and the breakout sessions are the right size and given mostly by marketers and Internet retail savvy executives. The conference is extremely well run and provides a lot valuable networking opportunities. Best of all we have been able to improve the quality of our eCommerce experience thanks to a numbers of new ideas and strategies that were inspired by the show!...” - Tim Littleton, President & CEO, CHEFS Catalog Working in a Post-Penguin 2.0 Web Learn what’s changing for ‘Net Professionals at Lead Sponsors: Register Today| A U G U S T 2013 Organized By: Call: 1.888.482.6012 or 646.200.7530 Email: Visit:
  44. 44. 3 Strategies for Differentiating the Online Experience By Ian Truscott, VP Product Marketing, SDL Content Management Technologies Division The lingua franca for delivering contemporary websites has changed, and so have today’s business drivers and the expectations of modernday customers. The CMO is now focused on optimizing the customer experience (CX); analyst firms talk about digital experience management (DXM) and customer experience management (CEM/CXM); and customers are embracing anytime, anywhere access with your brand using a variety of devices and social channels. As marketers, we’ve tried to understand these digital opportunities by repeating what we did with print. Industry analyst Tim Walters shared this rather apt quote with me from media theorist Marshall McLuhan, which addresses how television became the disruptive media (in 1960): | A U G U S T 2013
  45. 45. “When any new form comes into the foreground of things, we naturally look at it through the old stereos. We can’t help that. We’re just trying to fit the old things into the new form, instead of asking what the new form is going to do to all the assumptions we had before.” Experts Speak We’ve been doing exactly that with how we market using the Internet. For example, people think of a website as a brochure. In digital marketing, we refer to print publishing processes with terms like publish, approve, archive and syndicate. In the broader marketing ecosystem, we are trying to fit old media disciplines, such as PR, into this model, leaving us struggling as the latest new engagement channel — whether its Pinterest or Google Glass — disrupts our old line of thinking. To help differentiate your online presence in the face of these new forms, consider following these three business practices today. Discover everyday brands using content marketing successfully at | A U G U S T 2013 1. Engage in content marketing Despite what you have just read, there is one thing that has not changed, and that’s something we need to carry over from the old world to the new: your story. The tale of who you are, what your brand and product stands for, who your people are, why you raise money or the services you offer your citizens, is a valuable resource and one that should be marketed. To tell this story, however, you need to consider who you are talking to and how (e.g. device, channel, etc.) they are listening. For example, what if you’re a B2B manufacturer of air conditioning parts and no one is visiting your Pinterest page. What’s the point of having one if it does nothing to enhance your business? Start your digital experience management strategy by stripping away the buzz about the channel, and think about your story. This storytelling approach is enshrined in the discipline of content marketing — the idea that you focus on the content to engage with customers and prospects without selling. As the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) states: “Eighty percent of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. Seventy percent say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company, while 60 percent
  46. 46. say that company content helps them make better product decisions.” Thus, content marketing is not about a single “fire and forget” campaign, but a sustained unveiling of the story over a series of content touchpoints. 2. Practice social media listening Your sustained story needs to be told to a specific audience. And to figure out who this audience is, it’s a great idea to reach for social media as a way (not post). Using social media to listen can help you find your online audience and where they hang out. It can also give you more subtle insights into the language they use, how they describe your industry and products and their sentiments about you and your competitors. All of this provides guidance into the editorial position you should take with your content. It also gives you a measurement baseline to work from, as analysis of this social data can | A U G U S T 2013 reveal commitment to your brand and products. You can revisit this baseline to gain insight into the success of your strategy and the level of audience engagement. 3. Think “One Web” Once you have defined your story and the audience you want to reach, it’s then appropriate to think about delivery tools and tactics. To tell this clear, consistent story across all of your digital channels, you need to manage the content centrally and then dynamically deliver a relevant experience to that unique visitor, for that channel and on that device. This is not about your company running a bolt-on mobile solution, an app or even siloed email or Facebook campaigns — this is content for all touchpoints, and what I mean when I talk about “One Web” thinking. Don’t get caught up in the latest new channel. Instead, focus on what you want to say, and what your customers need to hear, in order for them to reward you with their business, loyalty and advocacy.
  47. 47. Website Magazine’s Summer Reading List The summer months present a perfect time to recapture your ‘Net enthusiasm. Here’s what’s on Website Magazine’s summer reading list in 2013 — find the rest on the Web at Digital State: Youtility: How the Internet is Changing Everything Author Simon Pont’s new book, Digital State, features commentaries from a range of global experts that each offer an answer to the important question: “What is the digital state?” Pont and his panel of experts, whose knowledge varies from marketing and information technology to legal and media research, explore how technology, society and culture are impacted by the digital revolution and consider its future implications. Discover how the digital state affects modern marketing, what’s causing the explosion of social media dependency and how technology is being used to change the world. | A U G U S T 2013 Why Smart Marketing is about Help Not Hype authored by Jay Baer, discover a new approach to cut through the marketing clutter by adhering to the philosophy that if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life. Taking Back Retail: Transforming Traditional Retailers into Digital Retailers Written by co-founders of portable, andrew apostola and simon Goodrich explore everything from online video to Facebook commerce and how technology can drive retail success. Pinterest for Business: a Complete, Updated Guide for Ultimate Success author Karen Leland shares basic and advanced techniques to curate content and make pinterest pages and pins stand out on the Web’s fastest growing social media site.
  48. 48. Master the Web Fundamentals Web 360: Fundamentals of Web Success is the one-and-only guide to mastering all the elements critical to Web success. Here’s what subscribers are saying about Web360: “A must-read for any level of Internet marketer.” “Very impressed with both the journal as well as the no-nonsense book.” “So much insightful information I had to reread the book, highlighting all over the place.” To learn more, visit | A U G U S T 2013
  49. 49. WEB HOSTING PANEL WEBSITES IN THE CLOUD Getting Started with Windows Azure By Peter Prestipino, Editor-In-Chief The cloud can seem rather mysterious, but it certainly does not have to be. What most Internet professionals need is some practical and actionable guidance on how they can actually use popular cloud services, including Windows Azure or Amazon Web Services, to host websites. | A U G U S T 2013
  50. 50. Web Hosting Panel There are, of course, slight differences in each of the popular cloud platforms, so in order to create as valuable and comprehensive resource for Internet professionals as possible, this article focuses on running a specific app (WordPress) in the cloud on Windows Azure. The first step, obviously, is to sign up for the service, which in our case took just a few minutes. Windows Azure currently offers three free months to test out the platform (albeit with some limitations), making it a good opportunity to get your cloud feet wet, so to speak. There’s a lot an Internet professional can do in the cloud, from running virtual machines to creating backend services for apps running in Azure, but we’re interested in running a website in the cloud, right? Azure fortunately provides an opportunity to select from a number of applications including such popular content management systems and blogging platforms like Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Kentico, DotNetNuke, Lemoon, Orchard and | A U G U S T 2013 Run Websites in the Amazon Cloud Windows Azure certainly isn’t the only cloud offering for Internet professionals; Amazon’s EC2 also makes the process rather simple. Discover the necessary steps to get your WordPress or other software systems running in the Amazon cloud at Umbraco, and even some e-commerce systems like nopCommerce and Commerce Kickstart. Once the type of application you want to run has been selected, it’s time to configure that application on Azure. That’s as easy as selecting a URL (changing the DNS configuration comes later) and selecting a region. It’s also possible to run a database in the Azure cloud so should you have the desire and knowledge to create and use your own Azure-hosted database, at this point you’ll have an option to either select your own or go with the default MySQL database. After the initial database setup is complete, Azure will automatically provision the account and install WordPress (or whatever software you’ve selected). The whole process takes less than a minute. Visiting the URL previously defined from the Azure control panel will direct to an installation completion process for WordPress where administrative usernames/passwords will need to be created. Once that step is finished, the WordPress site is live for the whole Web world to see. Since you’ll likely want to use your own domain name for your WordPress blog (or any of the deployed software applications selected) a few additional steps are necessary — namely, modifying DNS records
  51. 51. WEB HOSTING PANEL including CNAME or ANAME at your domain registrar. Azure provides detailed guidance on the configuration process, which outlines the specific requirements and steps. Essentially, setting a custom domain name on a website site is only available for the shared and reserved modes (not free) for websites running in Windows Azure. Much like a traditional hosting account, Azure provides a control panel for your cloud account from which you can monitor CPU time, HTTP Server errors and requests in different time periods for the running applications. You can also modify some general settings, such as the capacity and number of instances running, making it rather easy to scale a website for additional throughput and availability. Getting a WordPress website up and running in the Azure cloud was exceedingly simple. There, is of course, much more that will go into the management of that website on the Azure cloud, but thanks to a rather intuitive interface (see image) and a very well-documented support system, getting started in the cloud is quite simple and should be on the to-do list of things for Internet professionals to explore. | A U G U S T 2013
  52. 52. AFFILIATE INSIDER MANAGING LONG-TAIL PERFORMANCE Why Long-Tail Publishers are Key, How Advertisers Can Win Their Attention By Matt Swan, Client Strategist at Affiliate Window There are two opposing attitudes that characterize advertisers’ current sentiments about the composition of their affiliate programs. On one side, brands with mature programs are becoming less comfortable with their reliance on just a handful of big-name publishers for the vast majority of sales and are eager for their long tail to contribute more. On the other, they believe that in order to achieve or exceed performance targets, it is easier to increase sales from the top volume-drivers than it is to spend resources engaging affiliates from the long tail. Both sentiments are understandable. Why have an affiliate program with thousands of partners if only a small proportion are producing significant enough sales volumes to justify the resources allocated to the channel? Nevertheless, research shows that if you add sales from all of the long tail, it often equals that of one high-performing affiliate publisher. The question for advertisers becomes how to tap into this volume. | A U G U S T 2013
  53. 53. AFFILIATE INSIDER Rethinking Long Tail Does Your Performance Marketing Program Need a Tune-Up? Running an affiliate program is a lot like running your website. Simply having one doesn’t mean you will suddenly see a huge amount of business from it. Read more at Let’s look at examples of two programs, both in the fashion retail sector, and examine what has made their strategies for engaging and optimizing the long tail successful. The common factor is that they rethought their long-tail strategies. The long tail needs to be regarded differently and judged against different metrics than those used on top performers. Rather than looking at the proportion of overall sales the long tail contribute, it is more appropriate to review month-over-month growth in sales from the long tail, as time is a neutral benchmark, opposed to total percentage. Secondly, long-tail engagement is a long-term project, so any strategy needs to be divided between quick-win tactics and a commitment to ongoing optimization. Short Term Let’s begin with an analysis of the low-converting affiliates on these retail programs. Seeing that many of the partners were content-rich and relevant sites that represented a good brand fit for the advertiser, efforts were focused on helping these long-tail affiliates improve their conversion rates. Several quick-win tactics proved beneficial. The first step involved effective communication: finding out precisely what these affiliates needed. | A U G U S T 2013 Advertisers should expect long-tail sites to be more demanding in their content and creative requirements. Clear guidelines on what can be said on their sites helps to maintain compliance, while flexibility in producing creative in unusual sizes or formats gave them the necessary tools to start promoting successfully. Going one-step further, co-branded creative is still incredibly under-utilized in the affiliate channel for long-tail sites, despite its effectiveness. Efforts to win publishers over as brand champions, for example with free products in return for writing reviews or by offering prizes of gift vouchers in return for the best affiliate content each month, have also proven to be successful quick-win tactics for other advertisers in the past. These campaigns resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of revenue-driving long-tail affiliates on one of the retail programs from 7 percent to 11 percent over a four-month period immediately following the program launch. Another saw a threefold increase in active affiliates from just 3 percent of the affiliate mix to 9 percent. Finally, it is worth remembering that long-tail partners are strong generators of traffic, as well as sales. Long Term Mobilizing the affiliate long tail requires long-term
  54. 54. AFFILIATE INSIDER “…a successful strategy will be proven by gradual, year-on-year improvements rather than the rapid volume uplifts.” commitment and unfortunately the same tactics may not work for each affiliate in this group. A lack of short-term influence is characteristic of the long tail. Instead of the peaks that characterize top volumedrivers, growth amongst the long tail will be much less pronounced. These affiliates are slower burners, and a successful strategy will be proven by gradual, yearon-year improvements rather than the rapid volume uplifts characteristic of the top performers as marketing campaigns (e.g. newsletters) are initiated. Understanding this, it’s key to implement an ongoing strategy of long-tail optimization for all. This can involve encouraging ongoing affiliate engagement through rollouts of an affiliate portal, an affiliate toolkit for banner and copy requirements and special promotions to deepen long-tail affiliates’ engagement with the brands. Coupling this with continued recruitment (focusing on key content sites) and an ongoing analysis of where such sites could be given assistance in converting their traffic, are the essential tools for long-tail engagement. | A U G U S T 2013 20-Plus Free Keyword Tools to Know There are plenty of useful keyword research tools on the Web that you can use RIGHT NOW that won’t cost a cent. Discover them at
  55. 55. 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 to see all available plans. Toll Free: 866-558-5780 international: 773-272-0906 • 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