ForeFront Takes on Toronto’s InboundCon 2015

Takeaways from Powered By Search’s Annual Canadian Inbound Marketing Convention

In a world full of empty marketing meetings and stale business cliches, valuable conventions packed with actionable ideas have become few and far between – which is how ForeFront Web found itself in Toronto, a grand total of 430 miles away. For the second year in a row, InboundCon, presented by Powered by Search, put together a single-day showcase of lead generation, search engine optimization and web design – free of all the unnecessary frills and cringe-worthy buzzwords that have become oh-so-common in the digital marketing community.

Take a Look at Some of the Best Marketing Tips & Practices We Walked Away With

Reward Your Top Performers

Your company is six months into its stellar SEO & digital marketing campaign – maybe even a year. It’s time for a review. Check out your Google Analytics acquisition page and see what avenues are performing best. Who’s getting you the most traffic? Check the behavior flow. Which channel is delivering the “best” traffic?

Now it’s time to trim the fat, but what are we to do with that fat? We turn it into grease, bake a delicious cake with it and feed it to the best performing channels. Take the 10% of your marketing budget dedicated to the bottom performer and feed it to the best.

Notes from How to Become a Marketing Super-Freak by Dev Basu

Setting Up for SEO Success – Early

We, at ForeFront, thoroughly enjoy discussing all the ins and outs of both on-page and off-page SEO. Backlinks make us salivate. Keyword research is our number 1 hobby. Market forecasting has become a sixth sense. But none of these factors mean a damn if we haven’t set ourselves up properly. While no one knows the exact recipe for the Google secret sauce, SEO specialists have learned that the little things matter.

5 Factors to Not Overlook for SEO

  • Use Smart Fields to give a better experience and make users feel special.
  • Opt for the better hosting services. If the host does some shady stuff on any other site on the same server, it could impact you negatively.
  • Have a bunch of smaller images? Convert them to SVG files to save load time.
  • Regularly use Google Page Speed Insights to evaluate your load speed compared to top competitors.
  • On mobile, make sure your links are 40 pixels apart. Trust us – your fingers aren’t fat! The developer just put the links too close together.

Notes from Getting Your In-House SEO in Order by Jon Henshaw of Raven Tools

Keep an Eye on the Competition

Google loves a fancy new website, but what happens when the allure of the fresh pages goes down and the site’s optimization keeps it afloat at the top of organic search? That’s for you to find out!

  • Check the meta titles and descriptions. Are they keyword savvy or are they simply the first few sentences of the page?
  • Take a gander at the blog section. Are they regularly posting? If so, better step up your original content game. Time to get some shares and shake up your site – if you haven’t been already.
  • Look for their social media sites. Are they active? If so, are they getting shares, retweets, followers and overall traction? Start talking to the folks who share their content and links. Go a step further and look at the audiences of bloggers that share popular content from the sites you follow. BuzzSumo is a great tool for tracking these metrics.
  • Bait the enemy. Create an industry resource page and offer to give a link to anyone who can provide valuable, related services to your audience. If the competition bites, it means they are A) proactively scoping you as competition and B) they’re searching for backlink opportunities. You have a solid competitor in your area. You better dedicate a little more effort to your own backlink endeavors.

Notes from Link Building Ninja Tips, Small Changes, Big Improvements from Jon Cooper

The Psychology of Web Design: Control the Audience

When done well, manipulative web design can look like magic. Some web developers take the Criss Angel route, full of effective flash and flair, while others take the David Blaine avenue, one consisting of wiser, more down-to-Earth tactics. Either way, this stuff is amazing.

When laying out your website, escape your own mind. Bi-locate yourself. Become the user first. What does a member of your target audience look for first? Is this what will capture their initial interest? If so, step back into the developer realm of existence. Where do you want the viewer to go next?

When done with the right words and design, you can choose the navigation path for your user based on what you want him or her to do. A good designer will create a website that takes the user down the preferred path for optimal conversion. Personalize those calls to actions with geo-targetting. Again, use those Smart Fields to “mind freak” your users, but also make them feel like you care. If you have a pay wall or “premium” content, consider testing password-protected landing pages versus CTA overlays for this gated information.

Notes from How to Turn Your Resource Center Into a Lead Gen Machine by Yoav Schwartz

Evolution: Testing Various Conversion Tactics

Alright, stop. Collaborate and listen. Obtaining conversions is the main mission of any website. While the term “conversion” is subjective to your company’s core objectives, the point is that you’re trying to get a viewer to do something – call, learn, submit, click, email, buy, etc. So why are you burying your calls to action? Why are designers spending hours trying to determine what color a button should be?

The days of subtle modifications are over. Drastic A-B testing is all the rage. Any improvements or drop in conversions because of a button color change could easily be negligible. You know those impulsive design decisions and thoughts that come to you in the shower, but escape you when you’re in the office? Write them down immediately. Put them into a spreadsheet of things to try out. Test the results. Don’t be afraid to make a motion. But don’t move just for the sake of motion. Make sure your changes are researched and backed with reason. Growth Hackers delivers a daily dose of amazing trial & error ideas for any website. Check them out, build your list & get to testing.

Notes from The 12 Step Landing Page Rehab Program by Oli Gardner

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