All Posts By

Allie Gellner

Google Launches May 2020 Core Update

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Google’s latest update, “May 2020 Core Update”, has started to roll out across the world. The May 2020 Core Update is the second major update to the search engines algorithm in 2020, with the first one launching in January of 2020. 

Any update to Google’s algorithm is designed to produce widely noticeable effects across search results in all countries and languages. Most sites will see drops or gains in search rankings when a core update rolls out. Changes in search rankings are generally a reflection of content relevancy. If content has gained relevance since the last update, it might be moved higher in the rankings, however, if content has lost relevance, its ranking might drop. Read More

The Best Commercials of Super Bowl LIV

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Go ahead and admit it. You watch the Super Bowl as much for the commercials as the game and at Futurety, we don’t blame you. This year’s Super Bowl is expected to draw in 193.8 million viewers from across the world, making it the perfect opportunity to get your brand in front of a very large and very diverse audience. 

Believe it or not, the average cost for a 30-second ad spot in the Super Bowl is estimated to be $5.6 million, a record high, and account for roughly 50 minutes of screen time throughout the duration of the program. 

With such a large investment, it’s important brands use their time wisely and grab the attention of every single viewer glued to their TV. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite advertisements from this year’s showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.  Read More

Google Says Goodbye to Average Position

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“My company needs to be shown first in a Google result”. 

We’ve all heard that from a client before, right? We’ve all tried to explain it might not be the best metric to measure, right? Well, paid specialists, rejoice! Google is saying goodbye to average position, one of the original search metrics. 

Ad position refers to the ordering of the paid search results, but not the location of the paid search results, meaning you might achieve the number one ad position but that doesn’t necessarily mean your ad is showing up at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).

Why the change, Google? 

Although it is valuable to know how your ads show on the search results page, Google doesn’t believe average position is as useful as it once was. 

In place of average position, Google rolled out four new metrics that can provide a clearer view of your prominence on the page.

  1. Top Impression Rate: Percentage of your total impressions that are coming from the top of the SERP (above organic results)
  2. Absolute Top Impression Rate: Percentage of your total impressions that are coming from the very top of the SERP 
  3. Top Impression Share: Rate at which you’re turning opportunities to appear at the top of the SERP into actual impressions at the top of the SERP
  4. Absolute Top Impression Share: Rate at which you’re turning opportunities to appear at the very top of the SERP into actual impressions at the very top of the SERP

What’s next? 

The bottom line is pay-per-click advertising is an evolving advertising channel and will continue to be for years to come. As Google continues to modify and improve its platform, it’s important that digital marketers understand and adapt to the changes. 

If you’re looking for an expert to help you navigate Google advertising and automated bidding strategies, give us a call. We’re always down to help you make the most of your pay-per-click campaigns. 

How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Tool

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We get questions all the time asking about Marketing Automation tools: Which tools fit with my current tech stack? Is there an all-in-one tool out there for us? Or, which tool fits within our budget? From capabilities to support, to the tool’s ease-of-use and cost, there are several important factors to consider when selecting the right marketing automation tool for your business goals and organization. We’ve provided guidance on several areas you should consider when investing in a marketing automation tool.

  1. Capabilities: Marketing automation tools can range from offering an all-in-one solution that could include a CRM, website tracking, landing page and journey building, attribution, and more. Often times, platforms sell their solution in tiered pricing, which will determine which functionalities are included. We’ve implemented full-service tools, like Hubspot, which includes a built-in CRM, but we’ve also connected an existing CRM (like Salesforce) to a Marketing Automation tool and have the technology work hand-in-hand. Start with evaluating your current tool/software subscription capabilities and pricing, and what holes a Marketing Automation tool will fill.
  2. Integration: It’s important for a Marketing Automation tool to play nicely with your organization’s existing tech set-up. This is a question you will want to ask upfront during the tool demo stage. It’s always nice when an app integration is already available, but when it’s not, it’s common for Marketing Automation tools to have an open API which allows for relatively easy connection from the help of a developer/IT team. From your CRM to CMS to Google Analytics, harmony can be found with your chosen Marketing Automation solution.
  3. Cost: Sometimes it’s easy to want the Ferrari, when a new, reliable Honda Civic will also get you from Point A to Point B. Since ROI is likely top of mind, cost is an integral factor to final tool selection. Enterprise-level solutions, like Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Pardot, will usually run $1,250+/month minimum, which is guided by the contact/lead volume. There are plenty of marketing automation tools, like ActiveCampaign, that are built just for small businesses, which start as low as $150/month.
  4. Support: Depending on your organization’s internal staff capabilities, the level of support available alongside a tool, may be a non-negotiable necessary add-on. Some solutions, like Hubspot (Enterprise), offer a dedicated account strategist to align the tool with your specific business goals. Most of the time, email and/or call support are available depending on the price tiers.

When selecting any new software, it’s important to gather the right stakeholders and spend time thoughtfully considering the potential business impact and what matters most in reaching your business and marketing goals. At Futurety, we specialize in marketing automation tool review, research, implementation and optimization. Have any questions? We’d love to chat! Send us a note today.

Why Links Matter for Your 2019 SEO Strategy

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Looking to increase your organic website traffic in the new year? One of the most important, fundamental strategies you can implement to boost your rank in search listings is link building. It’s so important that even Google has come out and said creating backlinks is one of the most invaluable ranking signals.

In its simplest form, link building for search engine optimization (SEO) means getting websites with authority to link to your content because it’s useful, relevant and credible.

Search engines will be focusing on not only the number of links your site has but even the quality. Before diving into a full link building campaign, you need to understand what exactly makes a good link (or a bad link).

We’ve outlined four things to keep in mind while obtaining new links:

  1. Authority of the site: In general, a link from a well-known online publication like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or NPR will have a greater impact than a local blogger.
  2. Authority of the page: One layer deeper than site authority, is the page authority. Links from authoritative pages pass more authority, or PageRank, to your site.
  3. Relevancy of the site: Not only do you want high-quality links, but you also need to be sure the site you’re receiving a link from is relevant to your own. For example, if you’re a local restaurant, you wouldn’t want a link from a site about mechanical engineering.
  4. Link position on the page: You want your link to be embedded in the body of the website. If the link is buried in the footer or sidebar, the link could mean less in the “eyes” of search engines.

Think you’re ready to launch your own link building campaign or still have a few questions? Let’s link up! Contact Futurety today to learn more about our SEO and digital marketing strategy services.

Photo credit: Rawpixel on Unsplash

You’ve Got [Personalized] Mail 📧

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Open up your personal email and you likely have dozens of unread emails promising the best-ever promotions, sales, articles, reports, and more. Dozens of companies are vying for your attention, especially with the upcoming holiday season.

Whether you’re a B2B or B2c company, you’re likely asking yourself, how in the world can our message stand out during such a crowded, busy season?

At Futurety, we’re all about personalization. Each customer has different preferences, purchasing habits, and behavior, so email marketing should be personalized, as much as possible, to break through the inbox. We understand that personalization strategies can vary from something small like including a first name in an email subject line or as large as building out a robust preference center to segment communication preferences.

Here are four key personalization strategies to consider for your 2019 email marketing to break through the noisy inbox.

  1. Website behavior — Did a customer visit your website,  sign up for an account, add two items to their shopping cart and then leave? No problem. A triggered email can be deployed to that customer to remind them of the items they left behind. This could also be a perfect opportunity to use a small promotion to build additional trust.
  2. Purchasing behavior — Just like website behavior, purchasing behavior can be tracked online and offline. This is the perfect opportunity to engage with customers based on their specific and known preferences. If a customer prefers to dine with you over dinner, send them an email when your new seasonal dinner menu rolls out.
  3. Topic interests — For all you B2B companies out there, you can send personalized email based on the content your website visitors are consuming. Did they download a report on the Top 5 Email Marketing Trends of 2019 last week? Send an email 3-5 days later with a similar report on how they can use data to power smarter email marketing. You deliver value based on what you know they need help with.
  4. Time of Day — The time of day an email is deployed can drastically influence open and click-through rates depending on your product, service, and industry. Have a lunch promotion? Deploy the supporting email at 10:30 AM, right around the time the mid-morning hunger kicks in.

According to Experian, brands that personalize promotional marketing emails experience 27% higher unique click rates and 11% higher open rates than those who do not personalize.

So whether you’re a Fortune 100 company with 1 million plus contacts or a startup with a small but mightly list of 1,000 contacts, email personalization has the power to connect deeper, engage further, and convert higher. Smarter marketing is all about next-level customer engagement.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

The Secret Sauce to Next-Level Customer Engagement

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How do customers currently engage with your business? What is the ideal way you would like them to regard your service, offering, or product? The answers to those two questions may differ from each other, maybe not. At Futurety, our team is on a mission to elevate how customers, both B2C and B2B, interact, engage, buy, and talk about your organization or business.

We’ve developed a framework (or pyramid) that divides all audiences into four categories: Casuals, Regulars, Advocates, and Champions.

Next-Level Engagement Audiences
What makes our framework different is that we work to bump each audience up one level (Casuals to Regulars, Regulars to Advocates, and so on). This is done through our data analytics and marketing automation services. To help explain our audience pyramid a bit deeper, let’s imagine your business is a local taco shop a couple of miles from the interstate situated in a nice, quaint town.

Casuals
Your casual audience interacts with your restaurant every once in a while. They’re on the family road trip and stopping by because everyone needs a bathroom break and they just can’t stomach another bout of fast food. You are on their list, but priorities are priorities and you’re not one of theirs, sorry.

Regulars
Your regular audience interacts with you frequently enough to collect usable data (score!). They come in on Fridays, attend the local specials, and bring the family every year during the holidays.

Advocates
Your advocate audience enjoys your spot for themselves but also recommends you to co-workers, family members, the stranger at Starbucks. They bring you up in conversation, convince the office to tend your way, and fall back on your brand even after trying out your competitors just for fun.

Champions
And last, but certainly not least, we have your champion audience at the top. Champions pay to promote you — they sing your praises, buy your T-shirts, and run your 5k. They only interact with other brands when they must. They’re super proud, see themselves as part of your community and help bring every other audience category up to where they’re standing!

How do we level up each audience? Futurety creates and executes a cross-channel strategy with exactly the right messaging and targeting to help our clients stand out in a crowded field. Taking customers to the next level doesn’t just happen in a matter of months either. Understanding business goals, analyzing internal and external data, and current market trends will all contribute to mapping out how to elevate your customers.