web-scraping

What is Web Scraping & Why Do You Need It?

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If you’ve never heard of web scraping, you’re in for a treat. Website scraping is one of the oldest growth hacking techniques there is – before growth hacking was a “thing”. So what is it and why do you need to it? Read on for the answers. What Is It? Web scraping is when you extract data from a website for a specific reason. For example, you can use it build up a sales pipeline in order to find out what your competitors pricing is. It may be an “age-old” process, but it’s a great way to grow a business. This practice is widely used in digital campaigns but it has a rocky past. If you’re using bots to scan pages or copy important data, you may be taking information that you shouldn’t be. There was a famous case between eBay and Bidder’s Edge that put the legalities of web scraping in the limelight. Bidder’s Edge was a “data aggregator for auction sites” and eBay was one of its main pricing sources. But, it eventually got to the point where Bidder’s Edge was using so much data that it caused eBay’s servers to crash. Although the actual website scraping itself was okay, Bidder’s Edge was liable since it disrupted eBay’s servers. Now, though, there are some rules in place for this practice. Some things to watch out for are copyrights, violating privacy laws or terms of use, and hindering the host’s server. How To Use Website Scraping The most common form of website scraping is setting up a robot.txt file. A robot.txt file tells a web crawler what to look for on a specific page. For example, if you are an electronics resellers and a new iPhone was just released, you can tell the file to go to other stores…

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customer-complaints

How To Handle Customer Complaints Like A Pro

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No small business or large company wants to have bad customer service. And yet, there are countless businesses that aren’t at the top of their customer service game. Even if you are a business with impeccable customer service, you are bound to get at least one customer complaint at some point. While it can be a total downer, there is a way to handle it correctly without launching into a sea of self-doubt. Here’s how. Look Past the Negativity If you’re just starting your business, it can be scary! You’ve invested so much time, effort, and money into an uncertain venture. So when a customer complaint comes in, you may take it personally – like you have failed. But, complaints are quite the opposite. Customer complaints are actually a way to improve your business. While not every customer can articulate a complaint in an artful way, take any complaint with a grain of salt. These customers are providing information on how you can improve your business as well as your customer service tactics. Rather than view complaints as a sign of failure, view them as an opportunity. Try meeting with your team and listing every complaint you’ve received. That way, you can figure out ways to either address those problems in the future or come up with ways to respectfully resolve the issues. Having a tried and true customer service plan in place will reduce the number of chances you or a team member feels totally lost or upset while dealing with a complaint. Find a Balance Most likely, your positive comments will far outweigh your negative comments. While we tend to focus and harp on negative reviews, don’t pass over the positive ones. Not every happy customer will post a comment, especially if they are completely satisfied with the…

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google-analytics

Custom Google Analytics Reports You Can Actually Use

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As a business owner, you’ve probably heard of a little thing called Google Analytics. Google Analytics (or GA) collects data such as referral traffic, paid search traffic, social traffic, and more to help you track where your visitors are coming from and what they’re doing. But these default reports just barely scratch the surface of what Google Analytics has to offer. In fact, if you just use the defaults and regular configurations, you’re only utilizing 30% of what Google Analytics has to offer. Let’s talk about the other 70%: Google Analytics Custom Reports. Like its name, a custom GA report is one that you create and customize based on the information you need. You can create your own report or you can utilize the reports from the Google Solutions Gallery – which allows you to access to custom reports created by others. Here are five GA custom reports created by the experts that you can either import into your own account or re-create to customize further. Site Speed Metrics by Browser & Browser Version This site performance custom reports allows you to identify browsers or versions of browsers that have slow load times. You’ll want to keep a close eye on how long before the page is actually usable, known as the average document interactive time. Make sure your site is loading quickly to keep your bounce rate low – especially since slow sites are a conversion killer. Metrics by Day of Week Name & Name This custom report is great for finding out when an online store or site is most active. This is especially helpful if you’re planning to run a promotion or flash sale. It’ll show you the day of the week and even hour of the day when your customers are most active on your site….

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5 Ways To Stay Ahead Of The Marketing Curve

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Marketing is ever-changing. But one thing will never change, we live in a customer-based world. Consumers have their choice and it’s up to brands to ensure their business stays ahead of the curve. Successful brands are those that tailor to their customers – and one way to do that is by utilizing marketing strategies that keep you ahead of the game. Here are five of them. Keep it Personalized and Look at the Data With all the competition out there, brands need a way to stay out. Since customers want to know you actually care about them, creating a personalized experience can help you stand out. In fact, personalized calls to action convert 42 percent more than non-personalized ones. Gathering and studying data is a great way to find topics that matter to your audience. You can track their spending habits, follow their journey, and learn their general interests. Utilize personal data to see how they enter your site, where they go after your site, and when they actually become a customer. Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents Technological and customer demands are quickly outperforming human marketers. The amount of data may reach 40,000 exabytes by 2020 but the human brain can only hold about 1 million gigabytes. Today’s technology can help uncover information about user behavior but the key to using that information will be artificial intelligence. Although AI can never take the place of marketers – and their human creativity – it can help optimize and streamline the process. AI will make it easier for brands to create digital strategies and analyzing data. Find areas where AI can help – like triggering e-mail campaigns – but don’t use it too much or it will turn customers off. SEO and Content Convergence Content and SEO go hand in hand. They…

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7 Tips For Effective Email Marketing

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that email marketing is a necessity when it comes to connecting with your audience and keeping them in the loop. But not all businesses are successful when it comes to email marketing. So, we’ve rounded up seven tips to help you make the most of your email marketing. Treat Your Customers Like Friends How do you greet your friends and family in an e-mail? You probably personally acknowledge them or give them a warm greeting. Well, why not treat your customers like that? Customers don’t want to be just another face in the crowd – they want to be seen as human beings. Simply including personalization in your e-mails – and rather than send out one mass e-mail, set up segments based on feedback or customer preferences. Follow Their Journey Similar to segmenting based on customer preferences, following their journey is just as important. Customer’s behavior will tell you what they’re looking for. For example, do they open particular e-mails more than others? Do they click through to your website on certain e-mails? Combine this with demographics and you can customize a sales funnel based on your customer type. Always Optimize Never let your e-mail campaigns get stagnant. Always split test your campaigns to see how efficiently they’re running and what you can do better. You can constantly tweak and refine future campaigns to ensure they are working for your business, not against it. Give Them Space While it’s true that if customers sign up for your e-mail list they probably want to hear from you – but that doesn’t necessarily mean all the time. Just because you ran a successful campaign doesn’t mean you should immediate follow with another campaign. Allow time between campaigns to give your customers a break….

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Why Your Business Needs A YouTube Channel

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Have you ever caught yourself on a YouTube binge? They’re similar to Netflix binges, but instead of watching the same series for hours, you hop on YouTube to look up one thing and end up somewhere completely different. While personal binges can be a sign of procrastination, those binges can be an instrumental marketing tool for your business. If your business isn’t on YouTube or if you simply aren’t utilizing the platform, it’s time to start. Here’s why your business needs a YouTube channel. It Establishes Authority Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine? If you’re not using this social channel, you’re missing out on gaining viewers and followers. When used efficiently, video marketing helps build trust and establish authority. Consumers are bored with static or physical ads – they want more. Uploading video content – like tips and tricks or strategies specific to your industry or brand – builds authority and trust with your audience. How-tos and quick tips are the perfect way to help your brand be seen as an expert on the topic. It’s More Engaging If the popularity of Netflix binges is any indication, people love watching videos now more than ever. Videos are a way to provide a more personal feel than traditional print marketing. Like other social channels, YouTube lets users comment on videos, allowing them to communicate directly with the brand or company. Businesses are then able to reply to comments, ask questions, and generally engage with their consumers. YouTube essentially humanizes a business and makes them more approachable and helpful. It Builds Trust and Credibility Trust is absolutely everything when it comes to gaining – and keeping – customers. Customers that don’t trust you won’t buy from you. Uploading quality content to YouTube helps build a relationship with…

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Your Ultimate Guide To Marketing on Snapchat

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Snapchat is currently all the rage and there is no sign of it slowing down. While many people use it for personal purposes, there is a huge opportunity for businesses who use this platform to connect with their audience. Since it can be intimidating and confusing to some marketers, we’re here to help! Why You Should Market On Snapchat Snapchat is very valuable to businesses – for those who use it right. Let’s look at some of the statistics. There are an estimated 200 million monthly users on the platform who send at least 700 million photos or videos every day. There are nearly 100 daily users and Snapchat reaches over 10% of the United States digital population. It has more users than Twitter and to top it all off – over 75% of its users are online shoppers. Furthermore, Snapchat has less competition than other social platforms. While every brand has a presence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, Snapchat still has relatively low competition. It’s different than other platforms – it allows you to reach your audience in a new, more authentic way with a new type of content. And, it allows you to connect to new audiences – especially if your product caters to the younger demographic – especially millennials. How To Market On Snapchat Snapchat has a lot of fun features – photos, videos, and stories – along with editing options like drawing tools, emojis, and texts. While Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook allow users to like and comment on posts – Snapchat allows you connect with your audience on a more personal level. You can show them behind the scenes videos, snaps of new products, and bring a more “real-life” aspect to your brand. Some tips for effectively marketing on Snapchat is offering coupon codes to your…

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How to Brand Yourself Like a Pro

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Have you ever heard that a personal brand is just as important as a company brand? Well, it’s true. Having a personal brand is just as – if not more – important than having a company one. They help you attract customers by simply being yourself – but it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, time, and few tips and tricks – but when done correctly, it can benefit your company immensely. Build A Blog And Find Your Voice These days, it’s nearly impossible to have a personal brand without a blog. Creating a blog allows customers to see the person behind the business and gives a glimpse into your own life – making your company more trustworthy. It’s not always easy to blog consistently, but if you commit to blogging even just once a week, it’ll help you fine-tune your voice, and help grow your business. Create Valuable Content Taking it a step further from blogging, creating other valuable content will help attract customers and grow your business. An infographic – a visual aid that is easily digestible and delivers a message or a podcast – is a highly popular form of content that allows audiences to listen to you on the go. Or, you can create a vlog – also known as a short video. Vlogs allow you to become the (literal) face of the brand and is a fun way to get in front of your audience. An eBook is also a great way to entice new customers. You can offer them a free eBook as a thank you for signing up for your e-mail list, for example. Utilize SEO Similar to optimizing content for your company, optimizing content for your personal brand is just as important. If your company specializes in digital marketing consulting in…

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What You Should Know Before You Rebrand

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Are you feeling like it’s time to rebrand? Maybe your current brand isn’t bringing in the results you’d like or you just think it’s time for a revamp. Either way, rebranding is not easy. Here are some tips and tricks for launching a success one. A New Name Doesn’t Fix Everything Changing the name of your business doesn’t mean everything will automatically be fixed – it’s only one component. You don’t necessarily need to change your business name to rebrand, but if you do, be prepared for an initial loss in customers and organic traffic. Make sure you know your overall rebranding strategy inside and out – use customer insight along with concrete data. Redefine your target audience and find a look and feel of a website that fits that consumer. It may take longer than expected, but it’ll worth it. Make Sure Your Team Has As Much Information As Possible When you are ready to share the news with your team, arm them with as much as information as you can. Make sure they know why you are rebranding – and the sooner the better. You’ll want to make sure everyone is prepared! You’ll Never Be 100 Percent Ready As with most things in life, nothing is ever 100 percent ready – or perfect. There will always be new bumps in the road and constant need for improvements and changes. But don’t let that stop you and don’t let it drag out your rebrand. You can even try setting a firm date to launch by – even if you aren’t 100 percent ready. Consider Partnering Up With Someone Recognizable If you are planning to hire a creative director or brand strategist, partnering with someone of influence can help establish brand recognition. It’s beneficial to both you and the person…

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Why Reviews Are So Important For Your Business

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If you’re like most online shoppers, you’ve probably read at least one review before clicking that “add to cart” button. While product descriptions are great for telling you what the item is and what it does, reviews tell what it actually is and what is actually does. If you aren’t already utilizing reviews on your website, now is the time to start – and we’re here to tell you why. Whether you are a service-based or product-based business, reviews are critical and help provide shoppers with the security they need to make a purchase. And while it’s no fun to get a negative review, both negative and positive reviews give your website instant credibility. The Facts According to a recent study, nearly 75 percent of shoppers trusted a local business more if they read positive reviews. And, 90 percent of consumers said that positive online influenced their decision to purchase – and nearly 90 percent weren’t discouraged by a past negative review. Helping Your Business While reviews are beneficial to customers, they also help online retailers or businesses. With all the information out there on the internet, your brand must stand out. Visual reviews – such as those that feature stars and colors – are more eye catching than plain ones. Feedback from customers also help retailers and brand owners’ insight into how their products or services are working. Maybe the stitching is off on an article of clothing or a product isn’t working within a service package. Take that feedback into account – even negative feedback – and use them to constantly improve your product. Enlist the Help of Experts While feedback from customers is a great way to influencer potential customers’ decisions, reviews from experts will also help. Feedback from experts helps give consumers another perspective and will certainly…

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