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Archive for December, 2008

Our Favorite Search Engine Optimization Tools

December 20, 2008 Leave a comment

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral part of any online marketing strategy. Here at DigitalDay, we work with a number of SEO tools to determine the best results for our clients. Particularly, we use tools like Wordtracker, SpyFu, and Google Analytics to closely monitor the most frequently searched keywords, determine the best keywords for paid and organic searches, analyze traffic, and look to see where our clients’ competitors stand.

Wordtracker is a great tool to check for related keywords. I entered “scuba gear” and the site returned suggestions for “snorkel,” “dive equipment,” and “wetsuit” among others. From this point, I can enter any one of these keywords into another field to see how frequently they appear in Wordtracker’s database, which utilizes a metacrawler that queries major search engines for popular keywords.

SpyFu is a useful tool that checks the keywords and pay-per-click (PPC) keywords of any site. It’s helpful in strategizing a successful campaign–if you can see what your client’s competitor is using, you can concentrate on areas that your competitor is overlooking. By making the best use of this information, we can plan an effective organic search and PPC campaign.

Google Analytics, probably one of the most helpful tools (and the only free one) of the bunch, has an array of helpful features. From a basic overview of statistics to in-depth analyses of keywords, traffic sources, and visitor information, Google Analytics is the most comprehensive tool of the bunch.

By using these tools and others, we can formulate custom SEO strategies for our clients and help them attract the audiences they’re looking for.

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Categories: DigitalDay News

Swiss cheese fonts for greener printing?

December 19, 2008 Leave a comment

The effort to go green is growing every day, and we can all do little things to reduce our waste and our energy footprints. But, have you ever considered the environmental ramifications of your fonts?

Well, a Dutch company has created a typeface called EcoFont that claims to reduce the amount of ink (and therefore energy used) in printing by 20%. They do this by literally punching little holes in the characters. At a large size it looks absurd, but the idea is that at a normal print size for office documents, say 12 or 14pt, it’s virtually indistinguishable.

ecofont

Does it really work? I’m a little skeptical that the resolution and precision of the average cheap inkjet or laser printer is fine enough to print a dot/line that can really utilize the holes in the characters. It also remains to be seen if the average office will swap their mainstay Times and Arial fonts for something they have to download and install themselves.

Regardless, I applaud SPRANQ for trying something different, and illuminating how we might make common little tasks more eco-friendly.

Google Checkout Provides Rapid Ecommerce Solution

December 16, 2008 Leave a comment

To help a small business capture some holiday sales without a large investment in a custom online store, DigitalDay designed and developed a professionally branded website and implemented Google Checkout for its client BestVAR.

BestVAR Ecommerce Website

Our developers were able to easily integrate Google’s Shopping Cart into the branded product pages.

BestVAR Product Page

Categories: Client Sites

How to Write Subject Lines for Effective Brand Marketing

December 15, 2008 Leave a comment

The primary goal of email marketing is to induce customers to click into your website. While the content and design of your branded Email is crucial in affecting this, the Subject Line can make or break your email campaign. Marketers have less than 3 seconds to make an impression with the Subject Line before a customer hits “delete.”

1. Leverage the Brand Name
The most important thing your subject line can do is trigger recognition. You want and need people to recognize your company name and think, “I know these guys. I’ve Opted In to this newsletter. Their stuff is always worth reading.” If you have a proven track record of sending quality information and offers to your clientele, including your brand name is a smart way to get your message opened.

According to research conducted by SilverPOP, DigitalDay’s email marketing partner:

“When open rates were evaluated, Silverpop found that emails with branded subject lines generated significantly higher open rates.

  • B-to-C emails with the brand or company name in the subject line enjoyed open rates of 29 percent on average, compared to 22 percent without branding.
  • B-to-B emails showed even more dramatic results. B-to-B emails with the company or brand name in the subject line experienced an average open rate of 32 percent, compared to just 20 percent for messages without branded subject lines.

However, only a little more than half (55 percent) of B-to-B emails and 46 percent of B-to-C messages evaluated included the brand and/or company name in the subject line, which presents a good opportunity for marketers.”

2. Keep it Short, Sweet & Branded
To ensure your customers know the email is from you, put the brand name up front.

Because subject lines are often truncated at around 40 characters — and because email readers usually have their index fingers poised over the delete button – you’re left with about three seconds and approximately six words to make an impression.

Why 40 characters? Because most email applications only show that many characters for incoming email. Forty characters works out to around 6 words (including spaces).

Although many marketing experts suggest sticking to a 40-character subject line they also point out that users of BlackBerrys and other mobile devices can only see 15 characters of a subject line — another reason to have your brand name up front.

Your “Subject Line” and your “From Line” are the only two spaces — at least for those customers who don’t use preview panes — in which you get to distinguish yourself and your brand, so get to the point and do it quickly.

3. Speak to Your Audience
While your emails may be distributed to thousands or millions of recipients, they are received by individuals. Subject lines must recognize this and “speak” to the needs and interests of individual customers, readers or prospects.

As with all your copywriting, you should know who your target market is, who they are as people, what they do, what motivates them, how busy they are.

Personalized e-mail can increase the response you receive by as much as 64% because the recipient assumes you know them — and is therefore more likely to open the email. A subject line like “Barbara, Smucker’s Has Recipes Kids Love” is going to get a much better response than simply “Here Are Some Recipes For Kids.”

Also, be sure to Use Upper Case On The First Letter Of Each Word . . . just like that.

4. Avoid SPAM-Inducing Copy

The subject line content is a major component in the algorithm of many ISP and recipient-level spam filters. In other words, a poorly written Subject Line may not only go unopened, it may never even reach the recipient’s inbox.

  • Make sure that you keep your subject lines completely free from exclamation points!!!
  • Avoid ALL CAPS
  • Avoid the kind of language that sets off people’s spam-sniffers — words like “exclusive”, “free”, “opportunity”, “limited time”, “hurry” and “only”.
  • And, while it’s generally a good thing to use the word “you” in promotional writing, it’s a spam-predictor in subject lines. Few folks use the word “you” in e-mails to friends; lots of spammers use it.

5. Test on Yourself
When writing your Subject Line, do a quick test by sending an email to yourself. Try sending test samples with different subject lines and see which ones work on you. Ask yourself what kind of reaction your email warrants. If you were the customer would delete it, open it, read it or save it.

Subject Line testing shouldn’t be a one off. What works in one month may not work in 3 months time. That’s the nature of the game, so you need to test for each campaign and on an ongoing basis.

Categories: DigitalDay News

Putting Mars in the Holiday Spirit

December 6, 2008 Leave a comment

It’s the time of year here at DigitalDay where we give our client’s sites a refresh for the holidays. In the case of Mars, we brightened up the site with a new header and moved the home-page flash intro to an interior page.

Here’s the Holiday season home page:

wisdom-panel-holiday-refresh

And here’s where we parked the Flash overview:

wisdom-panel-riff-flash

Categories: Client Sites