Broadband and Impact on the Business Bottom Line March 2014


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How broadband, web presence and social media impact a business bottom line. Includes recent statistics on e-commerce, mobile e-commerce, social media customer conversion, and key elements that comprise a successful business online presence.

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  • Best practice tip: presenters log in as participants, upgraded by moderator. Log in with full name for this purpose.Good afternoon. My name is Maria Alvarez Stroud, and I work with the University of Wisconsin Extension Center for Community Technology Solutions. I will be moderating today’s webinar on How Broadband can impact the business bottom line.Before we begin the webinar, there are a few housekeeping notes I need to cover: --Your connection to this webinar will work better for you if you use the conference call line option rather than your computer audio. If you are connected by conference phone line, please make sure to mute your phone when you are not speaking. Make sure that the blue phone icon near the Audio/Video panel in the upper left corner is selected.--There will be time for questions after each of today’s presenters, and again at the end of the session. You can ask a question in the lower left hand public chat box of your screen. During Q&A I will read your question back and one or more of our presenters will address the question.Our speakers today are John Wells, Owner of Web Wise Marketing and Design, and Jennifer Smith, Communications and Online Researcher, University Wisconsin Extension Community Technology Solutions. --I will now hand the microphone to Jennifer for her presentation.
  • Thank you, Maria, and thank you for joining us today. Before we begin I’d like to quickly review today’s agenda:
  • Today’s webinar is focusing on business presence online. We’ll be taking a very broad look at what business online presence means; why it’s important for a business to have an online presence; and some major components of a successful online presence. We want to give you a good sense of the landscape of what goes into creating, developing and maintaining a business presence online and why it’s important. In order to show you the larger picture we won’t go into details on HOW all this works, but we will touch on the major elements that are involved including websites, search engine optimization (or, SEO), social media—and we’ll talk about how they all fit together to impact the business bottom line.The first thing I want to cover is: why should a business have an online presence? What is there to gain?
  • I want to begin by sharing some summary data as an example: Minnesota business establishments that use broadband report median annual revenues that are approximately $200,000 higher than businesses that do not use broadband.Nearly 60% of small businesses report that broadband availability is an essential factor in making a decision on their location.Retail sales increased by 6.8% between 2006 & 2011 BUT E-commerce sales grew by 72% during this same time period (2006-2011)E-commerce sales now account for 4.7% of total retail sales, up from 2.9% in 2006But it’s not just B:C or retail sales: In 2011, U.S. manufacturing shipments totaled $4.9 trillion. 49% of that $4.9 trillion was attributable to e-commerce in 2010
  • As you can see by this infographic from a Nielsen survey, purchases through social media are on the rise, and consumers are using social media and websites to research and purchase
  • …this goes both ways, though—as you can see by this slide, businesses can harness social media for customer acquisitionwe’ll talk more a little later about social media and how purchasing statistics are trending.
  • We couldn’t talk about a successful business presence online without talking about mobile devices and their share of the online space. I’m going to throw some more statistics at you, and some of these are really surprising, I think:91% of all people on earth have a mobile phone56% of people own a smart phone50% of mobile phone users use mobile as their primary Internet source72% of tablet owners purchase online from their tablets each weekFinally--It was estimated that by the end of 2013, there were more mobile devices on earth than people Source: Super Monitoring
  • Digging just a little into mobile business and ecommerce, you can see here that with the dramatic rise in mobile devices, more e-commerce will happen through mobile devices. Some recent statistics: 80% of consumers plan to conduct mobile commerce over the next 12 months57% of users would NOT recommend a business with a poorly designed websiteNot having your site optimized for mobile use is like having your business closed one day a week And 41% of people have used mobile devices to browse for a product after seeing it in a show or ad… so all these statistics point to the reasons a business today benefits from being online and from active online presence management
  • Before we go any further I need to introduce you to the term online presence management, which can be defined as the process of presenting and drawing traffic to a personal or professional brand online. This process combines web design and development, search engine optimization, paid and unpaid media, paid marketing, reputation management, directory listings, social media, link sharing, and a number of other avenues to create a long-term positive presence for a person, organization, or business inside search engines and on the web in general.
  • As an example, on the left here you’ll see some of the business needs or issues that might drive an online presence: being found, selling goods/services/ideas/self; distinction in one’s field (branding yourself or your business as the expert; top of mind awareness); stakeholder/consumer updates; buy-in / promotion (word of mouth); customer support issues; crisis communications; reputation management; and so on. On the right, you’ll see a basic outline of how various online and offline tools can be used to address a business need and affect search engine optimization and search engine marketing We’re going to touch on a few of these major toolsof online presence management in the next three sections of our presentation: web development, search engine optimization, and social media. With that, I will hand it back to Maria for any questions.
  • How do blogs and social media like Twitterbuild relationships with customers?I will now hand the microphone to John Wells, Web Wise Design and Marketing, for his presentation
  • Good afternoon!This afternoon, we are going to talk about a few basics of good website design. Obviously we’ll talk about design and some of its many facets. We have to include navigation and usability. A site that is not user-friendly doesn’t qualify as having a good design, no matter how great it looks.We’ll touch on keywords and content, including copywriting, but also the visual aspects of well displayed content.Of course, we have to speak about designing for mobile devices, responsive design, HTML5 and standards-compliant code as well. We’ll only briefly talk about Social Integration and its importance, as Jennifer will speak more about Social Media later.Compliance – We simply don’t have time to discuss compliance, other than to say it can’t be ignored. I will just mention the essence of compliance for a website, “A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be provided.” So, let’s talk Design!WebWise Design &
  • Design is arguably the most important aspect of a good website. In today’s world, if you are a business, community, organization, or solo blogger, the first impression you will present to prospect or visitor is via your website. You can’t afford to squander that opportunity. We are going to discuss some general aspects of design. Later, we’ll discuss other considerations when designing for mobile devices as well as desktop viewing. You have only a few Seconds for the Decision to Stay or GoUsers will wait anywhere from as little as 3 seconds to several seconds for a website to load. Your home page should make clear to the visitor what they are viewing – “What is this site? What does it have? What can I do here? Why here and not somewhere else? Does your home page convey the “Big Picture” you want conveyed?Design is subjective by nature – different strokes for different folks – When it comes to colors, other than matching a corporate marketing theme, don’t obsess about color. Certainly don’t obsess about shades of color. Every display device will display those color shades differently due to user settings for contrast, hue, resolution, and quality of the device. I didn’t list it, because by default, everyone designing a website certainly should know their objectives for having the website. Other than that, there is nothing more important than knowing who your audience is. Audience – B2B, B2C, Governmental, Educational, Organization membersAge, gender, education, location, income level, and more when possible.Ideally, you would create personas for different types of website visitorsPage Speed & Load timeThere’s a reason why Google Analytics now includes statistics like Page Load Time, Lookup, and Page Size.Photos – Professional Quality – Even more important for e-commerceTypography Matters & White Space is importantDon’t Make Me Think! – There is a great book by Steve Krug in its 3rd editionEnough searchable text on home page, so your website can be found. If you want little or no text on your home page, and your business, group, or community is not a household name, be prepared to spend a lot of money on PPC advertising.
  • Consistent Navigation – Style and placementDo not move it from page to page Make navigation links obviousDo not use underlines except for linksUser testing before and after launch Cross-browser and multiple OS testing
  • Again, know your audience. Yes, I know I have mentioned that, but if you go home with nothing else than remember the importance of knowing your audience, you will have learned the most important part of good web design.How and what you write depends on your audience, and the keywords they use in searching for the products or services you offer.Keyword researchAre people actually searching for your product/services?Describe the benefits of your product/serviceDon’t just list features, but why they are of value Keywords in Page Title and “meta” descriptionHeader – Ideally, contains keyword(s)Less is often moreSub Headings for readability Short paragraphsBulleted lists
  • Again, know your audience -- I know you are getting tired of hearing that, but it is so very important. Know your current website visitor statistics Device, Operating System, Screen size What are your options? Mobile version of website? I’ll show you an example on the next slide. Responsive Design? XHTML or HTML5 Standards-Compliant websiteBudget ramifications Mobile version is a separate website with additional creation and hosting costs Responsive design in many cases can add 25% to 40% more to cost of designing and creating a website. XHTML or HTML5 Standards-Compliant website – less expensive, and completely acceptable of many businesses and organizations Do you really have to worry about it?Can’t ignore the movement to mobile viewing. The numbers, in this case, don’t lie.Standards compliant websites will display and work reasonably well on most tablets and large phones.I know you have some questions, so I’ll turn it back to Maria for your questions.
  • Here is an example of the before and after versions of a mobile website.I will now hand this over to Maria for questions.
  • What can be done to optimize mobile payments? Does offering PayPal or Google Wallet options increase conversions? (I'm more likely to close the deal on my phone if I don't have to pull out my wallet.)Advantages, disadvantages to having all the same content across devices? Do consumers care?How important are good product descriptions?What role does shipping costs play in cart abandonment?
  • What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Well define it for you, and talk about how and why SEO has changed dramatically, especially in the last two years. No discussion of SEO should happen without discussing keywords, but we’ll also talk about other components of SEO, including ranking factors that Google and other search engines use when displaying search results.
  • Obviously, that is a generalization, but when SEO is done properly, high rankings in Google search results can indeed happen.Just a quick note. I will mention Google frequently. The reason is that it has the largest share of the market by far, 67.5% at the end of 2013. Bing followed with 18.2% and Yahoo at 10.8%. Other than that, most of the time, if you are doing SEO right for Google, you will do fine with the others as well. That said, let’s talk about how and why SEO has changed.
  • Google’s Universal Search Results, along with predictive search, personalization, search history, localization, as well as video and social influences all have changed the playing field considerably. Where once keyword-driven search results would display 10 websites, now those same keyword-driven websites have a lot of competition for placement.In a moment I will show an example of Google’s Universal Search Results.SEO is now really only a subset of Searching Engine Marketing Just having a website is not enough! Off page SEO is nearly as important as on page SEO You Can’t Ignore Social Media (Especially, Google+)We’ll come back to this topic, time permitting, but it is extremely important that you understand, that if you have a website, and you continue to do only on page SEO, you will suffer in Google search rankings.
  • Google’s Universal Search Results Google AdWordsNewsWikipedia (which you will see in many results)Organic Search resultsBlog
  • Example of Google Continued. Organic SearchGoogle+ (erroneously labeled, Tweets)PersonalizationOrganic SearchImages
  • Keywords are critical element of search engine optimization (or SEO) because they directly influence the results generated from a search engine. Keyword Research is the way to identify keywords that should be included in well-written content. Including the correct keywords or phrases is the first step to search engine friendly content and a successful online presence. Failure in this critical step may lead to a waste of time and money. Google sells relevance. The keywords (or search phrases) you believe are important have to be on your web pages, be well-written, strategically placed, and done so in a technically correct manner. If you do not do that, your website will not do well in Google’s SERPs. An easy place to start keyword research is right on Google. As I am sure you have noticed, when you start typing a search query, Google starts displaying, in other words predicting your query. Put those predictions to good use in choosing keywords. Those predictions are based on a lot of factors (as are all Google results these days), but they may be just what you need, especially in getting started. I have listed some other keyword research resources in the slide notes for reference.keyword research doesn’t have to be daunting, but it does need to be done.
  • Predictive search, paired with personalization, the latter of which at times is influenced by localization, is one off the many ways Google search has changed. Never forget, Google sells relevance. The keywords (or search phrases) you believe are important have to be on your web pages, be well-written, strategically placed, and done so in a technically correct manner. If you do not do that, your website simply will not do well in Google’s search results.
  • Since we don’t have time to go into detail about all of the 200 “signals” Google uses when ranking query results, I have provided a couple of excellent resources to use if you really want to get into the factors Google uses to produce the results of our queries.I know this chart is a little hard to read, but it captures well the various factors, paid and unpaid, that go into SEO, including: content online, the code behind your content, the architecture of your website, the links to and from your site, and social interaction, capital and trust. All these factors work together and as you can see by the paragraph key in the lower right corner, some weigh more heavily than others… and some (in red) work against you. There’s a good explanation of all the terms in the full chart, which you can find at the URL below, the right is a link to an excellent description of the Google 200 Ranking Factors—this isn’t an official Google document, but it is a good overview on the factors Google uses to rank pages SEO consists of solid research (audience & keywords), quality copywriting with strategic and technically correct on-page placement, as well as manyoff-page factors, that simply cannot be ignored. I am sure you have questions, so I will now hand this over to Maria.
  • How long will it take to get my site listed in Google’s natural or “Organic” listings? How do I know if I should pay for online advertising? How much will it cost? I don’t click on “Sponsored Listings,” do others click on them?Does using PPC help with organic listings?
  • So, John gave a broad overview of SEO, keywords and search engine indexing, and as he mentioned, we are going to take a brief look now at how social media fits in to that mix. Social media has quickly become increasingly important in the world of creating and managing a successful business presence online, as you saw from the snapshot of statistics in the earlier part of the presentation.  So, I’d like to briefly walk you through how a social media presence uses keywords and other factors to build and enhance an online presence.
  • Keeping in mind how search engines work—that search engines, as John mentioned, sort through all the content in the web, applying different algorithms to sort and rank the content, and hopefully end up selecting and weightingwhat is the most relevant for the person who’s searching. This is where social media and the idea of interactivity can really help a business’ presence and “findability” online. This also goes back to John’s comments about Universal Search results.
  • At this point in time, a successful business presence online will incorporate multiple elements that host content, which generates SEO, which drives indexing, which makes online presence successful. … but it has to be content that’s relevant to the user. We are now in an age when, according to Nielsen research, 92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing. The same study found that less than half of all customers consider traditional paid advertising to be credible—that’s a decrease of more than 20 percent since 2009!So, the idea is to get people engaged with your product or service or brand; get them talking, reviewing, sharing—in essence, get them to become an arm of your marketing department.
  • …and it’s not enough to just create content; people have to see that content, too, and it has to be relevant to them. It’s like the story of being in the woods with a group of your competitors when you run into an ill-tempered bear. When the chase begins, everyone is trying to outrun the bear. Only you personally don’t need to outrun the bear--you just need to outrun your competitors. The bear gets whoever falls behind.
  • The whole point of using keywords to develop content across multiple channels of course is to make sure your business, product or service is found the way you want it to be found and ideally, to drive sales (or meet whatever goals you’ve set).  Creating content that people want to use and share again comes down to thinking like your customers or as John said, knowing your audienceAnd bear in mind that content without an even stronger content distribution strategy won’t do you a whole lot of good. This can be hard for businesses and brands to understand. They want to control the content and messagingon their own platforms…but great content wants to be free. So in a nutshell,The more content you have, the more types of content you have, the more places you share that content and the more you allow others to share that content, the better your chances that users find your content, share your content, and ultimately boost your page rank. This is how your social media presence helps your overall business presence online.
  • To shore up that point, let me give you a few other relevant statistics here:  81% of U.S. online consumers’ purchase decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts versus 78% who are influenced by the posts of the brands they follow on social media. (Market Force)77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. (Nielsen)But… note this: Even in the face of empirical evidence that proves the effectiveness of word of mouth marketing, 72% of marketers still don’t recognize and leverage the value of customer referrals. Recognizing this right now is your business outrunning your competitors in front of the bear.  Source: Force)
  • Remember the slide at the beginning of the webinar that showed some of the common issues or needs a business might want to address using online tools? Here it is again on the left, with some possible tools on the right. The list of tools constantly changes, so it’s not really about the tool itself, it’s about how you use various tools to meet your business need. I just wanted to give you some specific examples of what types of tools businesses are commonly using to meet their needs right now.
  • So what kind of results can you expect to see from your social media presence? Will your bottom line increase immediately? Probably not. I’m telling you this because there are often misleading expectations measuring whether your social media efforts are working. What your business is doing online through social media is essentially word of mouth marketing. This means that you will measure your results or return on investment (ROI) with different metrics than you would, for example, in a storefront retail sale.So, let’s pick this apart a little. How WILL you measure ROI on your social media time? What does success mean in social media? Look at this chart above: in the “old market” image on the left—a storefront—purchases are made right up front. The one time you saw the customer was at the point of purchase.Online, you’re not just seeing customers at the point of purchase;you are seeing customers who are engaged in every stage of the conversion process: researching a product, checking reviews, comparing prices, and asking their friends about products, for example. This means you can use your customers’ interactive data all along the conversion pipeline to boost your SEO advantage, but it also means that you can’t expect an immediate 1:1 return on investment (“I’m online, therefore you will become a paying customer immediately.”)
  • So—we’ve fire-hosed you with a lot of information today about why a business should be online, A little about what goes into creating and maintaining a successful online presence, And how businesses can benefit from that successful online presence. This, of course, isn’t comprehensive, but we hope we’ve given you a sense of how your online presence can successfully impact your business bottom line. What that, I’ll hand it over to Maria for questions.
  • How would I even know where to start with social media? Should I start with Facebook? Or a Blog on my website? Are there advantages or disadvantages to having all the same content across multiple social media platforms? Do consumers care? Can I use what I put on Facebook on my web page? Can I post the same thing to Twitter and to Facebook to save time? -----------------------------------Before we close out this webinar, I would like to note the following: This webinar will be available as an online archived file at (noted on the slide)Presenter contact information will also be noted on our website and they welcome any follow up questions or comments you may haveThe next webinar will be April 3 1-2.30PM Central Standard Time. The topic is: What About Rural BroadbandSeeing no further questions, On behalf of the UW Extension Center for Community Technology Solutions, we would like to thank you for attending today’s webinar. This concludes today’s webinar.
  • Broadband and Impact on the Business Bottom Line March 2014

    1. 1. Community Technology Solutions presents Broadband: Impact on the Business Bottom Line Phone numbers for this meeting are: Toll: 847-413-3722 Toll Free: 866-244-1377 Passcode: 7560325# | | Twitter @WI_Broadband
    2. 2. Agenda PART 1: Importance of a web presence A few statistics to start us off PART 2: A few basics of good web site design Or, why just being online isn’t good enough PART 3: What is SEO And, what does it have to do with my online presence? PART 4: What about Social Media? How Social Media fits into the mix
    3. 3. PART 1: Importance of a web presence Why should business have an online presence? What makes an online presence strong?
    4. 4. Why should a business be online? • • • • • Higher media annual revenues Increasing e-commerce sales Word of mouth advertising Customer relations Customer acquisition Sources: Source:
    5. 5. Purchasing through Social Media
    6. 6. Customer Acquisition through Social Media
    7. 7. The Mobile Revolution
    8. 8. E-Commerce and Mobile
    9. 9. Online Presence Management The process of presenting and drawing traffic to a personal or professional brand online; could include web sites, search engine optimization, paid or unpaid advertising and marketing, social media and more.
    10. 10. Issues  B:B, B:C, B:G  Being found (online or offline)  Selling goods/services/ideas/self  Distinction in field (expert, top of mind, trusted, etc.)  Stakeholder/consumer updates  Buy-in, promotion  Customer support  Crisis Communications  Reputation Management Business Need=Issue Tools Online/Offline Consistency SEO/SEM
    11. 11. Questions?
    12. 12. PART 2: A few basics of good website design • • • • • • Design Navigation/Usability Keywords/content Mobile/responsive Social integration Compliance
    13. 13. Design • You have only Seconds for Decision to Stay or Go • Who is Your Audience – You must know! • Page Speed (Load time) – see point #1 • Professional-Quality Photos • Typography Matters & White Space is important • Don’t Make Me Think!
    14. 14. Navigation/Usability • Consistent Navigation – style and placement • Make navigation links obvious • Do not use underlines except for links • User testing before launch • Don’t forget cross-browser & OS testing
    15. 15. Keywords/Content • Again, know your audience. • Keyword research – align with your objective • Describe the benefits of your product/service • Page Title and “meta” description • Header (H1) • Sub Headings, Short Paragraphs, Bulleted Lists
    16. 16. Mobile Optimization and/or Responsive Design • Again, know your audience • Know your current website visitor statistics • What are your options? – Mobile version of website? – Responsive Design? – XHTML or HTML5 Standards-Compliant website • Budget ramifications
    17. 17. Questions?
    18. 18. PART 3: What is SEO? • Definition • SEO has Changed -- How and Why • Keywords and SEO • Additional components of SEO • Ranking Factors
    19. 19. What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) can be defined as the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine's unpaid ("organic") or paid (advertising) search results.
    20. 20. How and Why SEO has Changed • Google’s Universal Search Results • Just having a website is not enough! • You Can No Longer Ignore Social Media (Especially, Google+)
    21. 21. Google’s Universal Search Results
    22. 22. Google’s Universal Search Results
    23. 23. Keywords and SEO • Keywords research is critical to SEO • Content must include well-placed keywords • Google’s use of keywords in ranking has changed • Keyword search need not be daunting.
    24. 24. Predictive Search
    25. 25. Ranking Factors
    26. 26. Questions?
    27. 27. PART 4: What About Social Media? Social media can loosely be defined as interaction among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.
    28. 28. So, what about social media? Social site 1: content Social site 2: content Business Indexing Social site 3: content SEO Generation
    29. 29. Sometimes you eat the bear… Sometimes the bear eats you.
    30. 30. Creating a buzz
    31. 31. …and a few more stats • 81% : U.S. online consumers’ purchase decisions influenced by their friends’ social media posts • 77% : consumers more likely to buy a new product after learning about it from friends or family. • 72% : marketers that still don’t recognize and leverage the value of customer referrals
    32. 32. …like what? Issues  B:B, B:C, B:G  Being found (online or offline)  Selling goods/services/ideas/self  Distinction in field (expert, top of mind, trusted, etc.)  Stakeholder/consumer updates  Buy-in, promotion  Customer support  Crisis Communications  Reputation Management • • • • • • • LinkedIN Blogs User forums Review sites Video / photo hosting eNewsletters …
    33. 33. So, when do I see results?
    34. 34. Summary
    35. 35. Questions? Archive: WebWise Design & Marketing UW-Extension Community Technology Solutions 855-306-8050