#emaginethat

(the blog)

Leah Halbina

Working Moms: Do We Really Have to Choose Between Career and Kids?

It’s a topic that’s been long discussed, debated and avoided. Many career-minded women prepare themselves for the inevitability of having to choose between the job they put hard work and long hours into or giving it all up to raise a family. 

working moms digital agency

It begs the question – Do we really have to choose between career and kids?  

Most recently, AdWeek and She Runs It have partnered to bring us the 2017 Working Mothers of the Year. The initiative honors women who have achieved outstanding business results while also serving as strong role models or mentors at work, at home or within their communities.

“Being a working parent means you have two demanding jobs. The 26 winners of the She Runs It 2017 Working Mothers of the Year Awards know what it means to be caught in the crossfire between the office and home. But they also know what it takes to get it all done. There’s sacrifice, commitment, accomplishment and rewards.”

We wanted to properly recognize working mothers at emagine and to share their individual sacrifice, commitment, accomplishment and rewards. To start, Alicia Hale, VP of Digital Marketing, and her husband, Brennan, recently welcomed a baby boy into the world. 

I sat down with Alicia Hale to talk about how she’s managing it all and why working at emagine is making it all possible.

L: When you found out you were pregnant, in relation to your job, was there any anxiety?

A: From the beginning, I had quite a bit of anxiety. I had anxiety to tell both my boss, and my Department. I wanted to have a plan and especially wanted to be a good role model for my team. I’m an active manager and I spend a lot of time talking and interacting with my team. So, I thought my team might be nervous that I wouldn’t be around as much for a bit. I was wrong though – they were all so excited for me and really supportive. All of the women actually came to my family baby shower and emagine also threw me a work shower as well, which Hannah, from my team, organized.

L: You mentioned there was some anxiety. What was that anxiety related to specifically? How your boss would take it? How your team would take it?   

A: I knew everyone would be looking to me to see how I would handle the entire process. From taking maternity leave to coming back to work. There’s quite a few women here moving their way up the ranks that either just got married or have weddings coming up. The “next step” is usually starting a family, if that’s what they choose. I wanted to set a good example of how it might go for them when they choose to have children.

L: So, you made it through telling your boss and your team. How was it working during your pregnancy? Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen you putting in long hours, always being available for your current clients and for any big pitches.   

A: Thankfully, I was extremely lucky. I was waiting for the hormone changes and exhaustion. But, I didn’t get any of that and I didn’t have to take any time off. I made sure to keep the same exercise and sleep routine and went into work the same hours every day. I think that helped because I didn’t have time to fixate on the negative parts of being pregnant. I know it’s not this way for everyone, by I was lucky to have a fairly easy pregnancy.

L: After Cameron was born, how did you handle jumping back into your groove? 

A: This was a surprising part for me. My pregnancy was smooth so I thought I was going to be able to rebound. I was on a call the day after having Cameron, and that’s when I started to feel it. I decided to take a 2-week leave, while still staying plugged in with my team but giving myself time to properly recover. Then, I rolled right back into working full time- from home, at first.

L: What would you say are the benefits of emagine as a Working Mommy?

A: The most beneficial thing is the flexibility I’m able to have after having Cameron. I’ve been able to work from home since I came back from my leave, and have been working up to doing two full days in the office every week. Without the work from home time, I don’t know that I would have been able to pull all of this off. Huge credit goes to this company for giving me that. People who know me know this isn’t just a job for me. The work I do is a huge part of who I am. I couldn’t imagine not doing what I do and I was lucky enough to not have to choose between doing work that I love, starting a family and spending as much precious time with my son as I can.

At another company, I would have had to go back or lose my job. I would have missed out on the little things with Cameron. At this young age, he’s growing a little more every day, he’s learning new things every day and changing right before my eyes. I’m lucky enough to be with him and experience those growth spurts, laughter, and new discoveries. He just started being able to grasp things and roll over! Knowing what I know now, I can’t imagine missing out on those things. It’s just too important.

It’s especially a benefit for the baby and our relationship. This is the most important time for us to strengthen our bond.

L: We can’t deny the stigma of working moms. How do you think that stigma has affected the workforce?

A: The truth is that women tend to be the primary caregiver. To maintain female talent, it’s a must for companies to try and give flexibility to women. If they don’t, female employees are going to be less loyal. Who could blame them for having the drive to look for another position at another company if they feel that their job is causing them to miss out on so much of their life? Being an active participant in the company and an active parent in their child’s life is a very appealing benefit.

L: You have great, long-standing relationships with your clients so it’s safe to say they know you very well after years of working together. What has the reaction been on that front? 

A: My clients are very understanding. Most of my clients have worked with my department for anywhere from 2 – 5 years. They just get it. Sometimes they’ll hear Cameron giggling or squealing (trying to get his 2 cents in on their keyword strategy). If they don’t hear him, they’ll even ask about him and ask (or tell) me to go pick him up so they can hear him. I think it’s so cool that my giggling 6-week old baby can cheer up my clients too.

L: Now that you’re a mom, has your outlook on working moms changed?

A: It’s crazy! I’m still not used to the “mom” title. That might take some time. But, now that I’m a mom – a working mom at that! – I have this responsibility to be a role model for my son. As he grows up I think it’s awesome that I can show him that women can have careers and take care of their families- and be good at doing both. That’s powerful.

Final Thoughts from Alicia

Flexibility for working moms to stay in the workforce while raising a family is more than what most people see on the surface – simply keeping my job when I have a baby. For me, it’s about the opportunity to continue doing what I love in a way that’s the best scenario for my son –  without feeling like I have to give up one or the other.

How to Create the Perfect Call-to-Action

Every website has a goal – whether it’s to inform and educate visitors, share valuable information, offer helpful resources – the list is endless. In order to do any of those things, you need to include a compelling call-to-action on your page.

web design

A call-to-action, or CTA, is a word or phrase on your website that’s intended to provoke an immediate response from the visitor. CTAs can be displayed as a button or link, can serve different purposes, and are used in various places on your website.

Two of the most common places to include a CTA are on your website homepage or on a dedicated landing page.

On your website homepage
CTAs on your website might be used to encourage visitors to view additional related content, submit a lead capture form, or learn more about your product or service.

On landing pages
CTAs on your landing pages are optimized to improve the chances of visitors converting on your landing page offer – conversion rate optimized to complete your lead capture form, for example. A high-value piece of content is typically attached to landing pages in exchange for a prospect’s contact information.

No matter the end-goal, there are several tried and true best practices to improve conversion rates:

Include actionable copy

The goal of a CTA is to persuade visitors to click. But, rather than simply hyperlinking the word “click” (because that’s the opposite of persuasive, and would likely kill your conversion rates), you should compel them to do something – something engaging and exciting.

Avoid passive language and long-winded text. Your CTA copy should be short, definitive, and action-oriented so users want to click through. It’s also a good idea to construct your CTA in the first-person to make prospects feel more connected to your offer.

For example, if your goal is to convince visitors to contact you for more information, “Send Me More Info” is more stimulating, and more personal, than “Submit.”

Create an eye-catching design

A CTA should pop. It should stand out from the rest of the content on your page. It shouldn’t take away from your main message, of course, but should be eye-catching enough to grab readers’ attention.

At the same time, though, don’t use a bold, contrasting color just for the sake of using a bold, contrasting color. Your CTA design should remain consistent with your branding. Knowing this, it’s important to keep in mind that “the right” color and design is going to be different for every company.

For example, SAP found that orange CTAs boosted their conversion rate over 32.5%, while Performable found that red CTAs boosted their conversion rate by 21%. It all comes down to discovering what works best for you and your audience.

Make it relevant to your offer

Relevance is pivotal. Nobody likes feeling confused or uncertain when they’ve already formed specific expectations.

Your CTA copy should appropriately reflect your proposal. For example, if you’re offering a white paper download, your CTA copy should make this known. The text you use should tell people exactly what they can expect by clicking your CTA. If there’s any disconnect, you risk confusing and frustrating visitors, and ultimately losing conversions.

Test, refine, and repeat

Finally, A/B testing is critical to every aspect of digital marketing. Try testing one color against another, or one text variation against another.

ContentVerve found a 90% increase in CTR by changing just one word in their CTA button copy.

Do the research, discover best practices, and apply this to your target audience in everything that you do as a digital marketer. You won’t have perfect results right away, but you always have the opportunity to analyze your performance rates, adjust accordingly, and improve.

We’d love to help you create your perfect CTA. Reach out today to get started. 

Homepage Messaging Matters For Your Website. Here’s Why.

website homepage messaging web design

As a digital marketer, you know that first impressions matter. People make snap judgments about your products and services based on their initial interaction with your brand. Make sure you’re “wowing” website visitors with a clear homepage experience.

Your homepage is comparable to your company’s online dating profile. It’s where you show off your best qualities and tout what sets you apart from the rest.

You show your products and services in their best light with stunning visuals, an enhanced user experience and intuitive site architecture.  After visiting your homepage for the first time, a user should recognize your brand personality, offerings and mission.

Developing and refining the messaging that’s front and center website’s homepage is no easy task. It requires finesse and strategy.  Here are a few tips to get you started.

Be Clear, Straight to the Point

Think of your favorite brand. Go to their homepage and summarize what they do and who they do it for on a piece of scratch paper.

There’s probably a reason you chose that specific brand. It’s because your experience was memorable and free of confusion. Chances are, their homepage reflects these characteristics and you could immediately extract what they offer and what makes them unique.

Your messaging should eliminate all ambiguity a new user may detect.  In a research report, Dianna Huff and KoMarketing Associates asked, “Which website elements annoy you or cause you click back out?” Not surprisingly, 83% of respondents said it was the lack of message (can’t tell what the company does.)

People are impatient. They need their questions about who you are answered – immediately.  Keep this fact top of mind when rethinking your homepage message strategy.

Give Visitors Immediate Value

It’s not only important to clearly convey what you do. Your homepage messaging should relate back to how your capabilities are relevant to your audience.

Put yourselves in the shoes of your website visitors and ask yourself, “What’s in it for me?” and, “Why should I care?”

If you can answer those questions honestly from your web messaging strategy, then you know you’ve successfully brought value to your potential customers.

Tell Them Why You Do It Better

The chances of operating in an industry completely free of competition are slim to none.  There are companies that offer similar products and services, and visitors to your website are faced with a purchasing decision.

If they can’t distinguish your key differentiators, they’ll likely move on to a conversation with your competition.

What are your unique selling points? Your key differentiators in the market? Price? Warrantees? Experience? Whatever they are, give each of them their rightful place on your homepage.

Now Is The Time to Refine

Consider taking time during Q4 to perform an informal audit of your homepage messaging and leverage our tips to refine it. 

Once you’ve tackled your homepage messaging, you can apply these same principles to deeper sections of your website –  like pages dedicated to services and products.  Slowly but surely, your website will become more customer-centric and memorable.

Will Your Website Be Marked “Not Secure” in Google Search Results?

Recent events related to cyber security are clear indications that we need to protect our websites from vulnerabilities. If you manage your company’s website, you don’t need convincing that it’s imperative to safeguard against potential threats. 

website not secure google search results

HTTP vs. HTTPS websites

It’s standard web security practice for a site to be SSL secure – or HTTPS. Installing an SSL certificate creates a secure (or encrypted) connection between a user’s browser and the site’s server.

In other words, it protects the information visitors to a site might be sharing. This includes confidential information like passwords, personal data, medical data, proprietary information, etc.

This added layer of security creates trust. It gives visitors the assurance that anything they share with isn’t being intercepted and – at the same time – assures website owners that the data transmitted is legitimate.

A no-brainer, right?

Surprisingly, only 25 of the world’s top 100 websites use HTTPS vs. HTTP by default, according to Google’s Transparency Report, HTTPS encryption on the web.

Having a secure website goes far beyond encryption to protect data though. Today, your online marketing efforts can be affected by this single (albeit very important) standard practice.

Google is favoring HTTPS websites

Google has proven its commitment to safe browsing and secure connections by making some major changes in Chrome.

In 2014, Google announced that it would favor sites that use HTTPS over those that don’t in search engine results. That means if your site isn’t SSL secure, you could be ranking lower than your HTTPS competitors. Secure sites received a boost, although it’s a lightweight signal in the grand scheme of their search engine algorithms.

As we look back, this “HTTPS boost” may have been priming us for the 2017 updates.

2017 HTTPS updates in Google Chrome

As of January 2017, with the Chrome 56 update, HTTP (not secure) sites are more clearly and accurately labeled as non-secure based on increasingly stringent criteria (Google Security Blog). A “NOT SECURE” warning is also shown when users enter their information in a form on an HTTP page.

And it doesn’t end there…

Starting October 2017, the HTTP security indicator will change from the neutral exclamation point to the red triangle used for broken HTTPS.

They say this warning is part of a long-term plan to mark all pages served over HTTP as “not secure.” Here’s a peek at what Google has in store for those HTTP pages:
google chrome website security

Changes affect search engine rankings and lead generation

If your website isn’t secure, it’s not just affecting your rankings is search engines anymore. It’s likely going to play a role in users entering data (or not) on your site.

The reasons for properly securing your website are piling up and can’t be ignored much longer.

Alicia Hale, emagine’s VP of Digital Marketing says, “Now is the time to make sure your site is HTTPS. People will be less apt to visit your website if they see that “not secure” message and it’s going to hurt traffic volume.”

If you’re ready for the October update, kudos to you! If not, let us know if you need help setting up an SSL certificate by reaching out to a Web Specialist.

Quick Wins for When Your Website Fails at Lead Generation

Traditionally, websites were used as an online version of your company brochure. A place to read about the company, the leadership team, offerings and easily access contact information. Marketers didn’t intend for websites to add value to the business or impact sales. Simply having a website was enough.

website lead generation

 

Now, digital marketers leverage websites with a sophisticated strategy in mind. The significant impact a website can have on the bottom line is evident.

Constant advancements in technology have catapulted the capabilities of websites. This significant evolution opens doors for marketers. Now, you can have a user-centric, strategic approach.

Even with advancements in web design and development and what your website can do for your business, many marketers aren’t seeing the high-quality leads they expected to generate. The question remains: What do you do when your website fails to generate leads?  

Our post earlier in the week explained the first steps to creating a website that will be a lead generating tool. Three important pieces of a solid foundation include:

•  Understanding buyer behavior
•  Aligning sales and marketing initiatives
•  Determining criteria for a “perfect fit” customer

Once you lay your foundation with these principles, you need make it easier for website visitors to convert. That’s what we want to talk about today. 

Make it easy for website visitors to convert

When a user visits your website, they’re looking to solve a specific problem. They’re looking for a solution and want to know if you’re the answer – quickly and easily. Optimize your website for conversions and minimize roadblocks along the way.

User-centric content
Knowing who you need to create your website for and the challenges you need to address with content can set you apart from competitors in the eyes of today’s independent buyer. Create personalized content with solutions for common pain points and frustrations. Showing visitors that you understand their challenges reassures them that you can help solve their problems.

The value of your content should meet or exceed the value a user places on their contact information. Marketing and promotional-like materials (like brochures or company overviews) don’t warrant a user sharing their contact information. However, educational content (like guides and white papers) do because they’re beneficial to the user’s job.

Remember, users think “Give me something that makes me look smarter to my boss, something that helps me do my job better or faster. Then, I’ll trade my contact information for it.

Optimize and strategically position CTAs
A call-to-action should be enticing. It should stand out and encourage users to click. But, don’t get all CTA-happy on us. Limit the number of CTAs on any given page to truly relevant options – 3 is a good maximum.

Your CTA should be eye-catching, so use creative treatments that don’t blend in with the rest of your website content. Contrasting text and visuals to the rest of the page is important, too. Colors that aren’t used elsewhere, but are still in line with your branding guidelines, will pop and draw attention.

A strong CTA should also explain exactly what a user can expect if they click. Nobody likes guessing games. Use clear, concise and actionable language. For example, “Contact Us” is bland. Instead, use action-oriented, emotive language like “Ask us about your project” or “Talk to an engineer” or something similar that’s more specific and engaging.

If someone needs to guess what they’re clicking on, chances are they won’t click at all. Plus, personalized CTAs convert 42% more visitors into leads than CTAs that aren’t targeted, according to HubSpot.

Cohesive conversion journey
Just like website usability is critical to the overall user experience, usability throughout a conversion journey is important too. If a user comes to your landing page from an online ad, the copy they see should mirror what they saw in the ad. Ideally, this would be the main headline on the landing page.

By doing this, you’re creating a “scent trail” where users immediately see their topic of interest on your page, and can make a quick connection. Whenever possible, present confirmation that they’re in the right place.

For example, if your ad offers a free demo or a free consultation, the headline on your landing page should echo that statement. The form, CTA to submit and even a thank you or confirmation email should all connect back to the original ad.

A+ in lead generation

If you’ve found that your website isn’t at the top of its class when it comes to lead generation but a complete overhaul isn’t in your immediate future, try these options to fix some low hanging fruit in the meantime.

If you’re ready to take your website to the next level, please reach out to us today. We’d love to help you get started. 

Building Blocks to a Lead Generating Website

Your website might not be the lead generating, sales tool you hoped and dreamed for. You also might be looking for low hanging fruit and suggestions on what you can do to drive quality leads to sales from your website. To turn your website into a true lead generating, sales tool there’s work to be done offline first.

lead generation b2b website

Understanding Buyer Behavior

Today, B2B buyers are researching future purchases without ever having to speak with a salesperson. According to CEB Marketing Leadership Council’s report, “The Digital Evolution in B2B Marketing,” B2B customers reported to being nearly 60% through the sales process before engaging a sales rep. By 2020, B2B buyers won’t contact vendors until they are 80% of the way through a purchasing decision. (Source: Terminus)

The shift in power from the salesperson to the buyer has left sales teams scrambling to regain power. It’s not about regaining power though. Instead, companies should understand buyer behavior and scramble to create an experience the buyer needs.

As a marketer, you can finally build a website and digital marketing strategy that caters to the needs and wants of your audience. Speak to their challenges, pain points and frustrations and provide content that will help. Buyers are looking for information that can help them solve their problems.

Sales and marketing alignment
This topic has been all the buzz lately, and rightfully so. Lines between sales and marketing are beyond blurred. It can be argued that sales and marketing alignment is where the greatest opportunity for revenue growth exists.

Think about it: Marketing creates, manages and distributes content to attract potential customers. The experience and content needs to help prospects at each phase of the buyer journey. Sales is on the front lines speaking with prospects and hearing their challenges and frustrations. Sharing this information means Marketing can create content and an overall experience that is helpful, advancing prospects through the marketing and sales funnels.

65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects, representing the most common complaint cited by sales teams.
(Source: Kapost, A Marketer’s Guide to Sales Enablement)

Understanding challenges across the full spectrum of the buyer’s journey perfectly positions Marketing teams to execute strategies that have a serious impact on the bottom line.

Determine criteria for a “perfect fit”
An ideal customer will differ from company to company. Ask Sales the criteria for what constitutes a “perfect fit” customer. Criteria might include:

  • Industry they work in
  • Role/position at their company
  • Location
  • Company revenue
  • Pain points, challenges

Knowing who you want to attract to your website makes it a lot easier to do just that. Without knowing the who you’re fishing in the dark, without a pole. Start with optimizing your website for keywords and key phrases that an ideal customer would be searching for.

Once they’ve landed on your website, you’ll need to assist them every step of the way toward converting. Stay tuned for our next blog on what to do when your website fails to generate leads and how you can capitalize on some low hanging fruit.

How Regular Website Maintenance Benefits Your Web Presence

Our recent post on regular website maintenance, “How Rapidly Changing Technology Affects Long-Term Website Maintenance”, outlined ways you can mitigate the risk of falling behind amidst rapidly changing technology.

regular website maintenanceWe can tell you confidently that keeping up with the changing technology will benefit the long-term success of your website. But, just in case you’re still not convinced we wanted to explain how regular website maintenance benefits your web presence and business.

Regularly scheduled updates
If you don’t keep your website up-to-date, pieces of it will undoubtedly stop working. Once one piece goes awry it can affect other elements of your website. It can trigger a domino effect that you’re better off avoiding at all costs. Regularly scheduled updates can fix security issues and bugs. It’s a minimal time investment on your part and can save you from a potential disaster.

Plus, without updates, security monitoring, and proper optimization your website is more prone to security threats.

Design refreshes
If you don’t update the design of your site, it will affect the impression users have of your company. From a technology standpoint though, an outdated design can make your site unusable in certain browsers as they’re updated (and we all know how often browsers are updated).

For example, Flash functionality used to be all the rage and now the most popular browsers are doing away with it all-together.

Investing in website maintenance saves you money
A common argument against investing in web maintenance is that it’s too expensive and not completely necessary. Most people would rather fall mercy to the ticking time bomb that is their website without regular maintenance. 

We’re debunking that argument. In reality, it’s cheaper and quicker to regularly make small updates your site than it is to make big leaps or patch huge issues. What seems like a small version update to you is actually a larger undertaking with a heftier price tag than if the updates were implemented regularly.

On the customer-centric side of the argument, without updates, refreshments and improvements, you’re missing out on new features that website visitors might expect. WordPress, for example, is constantly adding brand new or user requested features, which could make your site easier to use, faster, or more responsive. 

Still not convinced? Need help convincing your manager or leadership team? We’d love to help your cause – because it’s our cause too. Contact us to speak with a Client Success Manager.

How Rapidly Changing Technology Affects Long-Term Website Maintenance

An all-too-common scenario is a company launching their beautiful, new website only to be lacking the maintenance, support and infrastructure that comes with a modern day web presence.

rapidly changing technology website maintenance

This includes:

  • Web support for how-to’s and general questions
  • Strategic website maintenance
  • Monitoring bugs/issues
  • Platform updates, CMS upgrades and security patches (routine to emergency changes)
  • Design enhancements
  • New functionality

Keeping up with user expectations isn’t a nice to have anymore – it’s a necessity. Plus, regularly scheduled website maintenance can help minimize the total cost of ownership overtime. It’s a win-win.

What you can do to keep up

Technology doesn’t stand still and the web is constantly evolving. This affects how your website maintenance plan. Competitors are taking steps to keep up, so don’t be left in the dust. 

Today, website maintenance requires near-constant attention. We’ve outlined ways you can mitigate the risk of falling behind.

Site/page speed optimization
Page speed can also be described as page load time, or the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page. Site speed is the cumulative speed for a sample of pages on your site.

Think about a website you visited and how frustrating it was when it took “forever” to load. We immediately form a (negative) opinion about that company. We’ve created an instant-gratification society and people want what they want. Now. Even a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. That’s insane, but all the more reason to pay closer attention to your site’s speed.

It’s been proven that speed affects user experience with  47% of consumers expecting a web page to load in 2 seconds or less and 40% abandoning a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load (KISSmetrics).

It’s also worth optimizing site speed due to Google’s algorithm factoring it into search engine rankings. If a site loads slow, the chance someone is moving on to the next site is higher. That means the quality score Google attributes to that site is diminished and Google isn’t going to serve up results that aren’t high-quality. The end result? Your site gets pushed down in rankings and is much less visible to your target audience.

Here’s some ways to improve site speed:

  • Enable compression
  • Optimizing your code
  • Reducing redirects
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Improve server response time
  • Optimizing assets (images, videos, PDFs)

Improve functionality based on web analytics
With the amount of data at your fingertips, it’s a no-brainer to adopt a data-driven approach to everything you do with your website and digital marketing. That means tracking web analytics that show what users are doing on your site and how they’re using it. Reviewing performance and understanding how people are (or aren’t) leveraging your website can help you make informed decisions on functionality that should be added, adjusted or removed.

Hosting & security monitoring
Giving your website a safe place to live and monitoring that environment 24/7 is critical to the success of it. Imagine your website goes down – every minute your website isn’t live is a missed opportunity to make a great first impression with a potential buyer. This monitoring should include routine, nightly backups for easy restores and monitoring to ensure your site is, first and foremost, live and that there are no bugs or security issues.

Regular updates
This includes updates to your CMS, custom plugins and any other pieces of your site that aren’t part of the core updates. Updates are arguably the most important if you want to keep your site current and relevant. For your website to perform optimally, the technology under the hood needs to be running the latest versions.

Design refreshes
A site that has stale imagery or one that’s using outdated branding isn’t going to leave users with the best impression of your company. If your site is using outdated design principles, consider undergoing a design refresh. It’s been said that a disorganized, chaotic external image is reflective of a disorganized, chaotic internal structure. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not work with a company I perceive as disorganized or chaotic.

Build a relationship with your web maintenance partner
No matter who you’re working with for web hosting, support or maintenance, there should be a strategic roadmap in place that documents planned activities that will keep your online presence fresh, secure and relevant. Building a close relationship with your partner and keeping them in the loop helps them make recommendations proactively – instead of knee-jerk, reactive and last minute suggestions.

At emagine, our Client Success team works collaboratively with our clients so we know future plans for the company. If we’re kept in the know, we’ll be able to consult on suggestions for the website that align with strategic initiatives.

We’re always looking to build relationships with marketers at companies who are committed to keeping up with the evolving technology landscape. If that’s you, contact us today to learn more about our web hosting, support and maintenance services.

Long-Tail Keyword Approach to Pharmaceutical SEO Strategies

A top priority for most pharmaceutical companies is to drive traffic to their website. A steady flow of traffic is a mark of success leading to increased revenues, right? But, what if that traffic isn’t converting and adding to your bottom line?

pharmaceutical seo digital marketing

More traffic isn’t what paves the way to awareness and growth. There is a not-so-little secret way you can have more control over the type of traffic you attract. Enter Search Engine Optimization.

But, you might still be asking –

“Why should I spend my time, energy, and money on SEO when I already get traffic to my website?” 

It’s a fair and common question. But not so fast…

All Web Traffic Is Good Traffic, Right?

Not all traffic is the “right” traffic. Visitors won’t convert if they’re not a good match. Think about the type of visitors coming to your website.

•  Do they meet the criteria for your target audience?

•  What are their chances of converting?

If your answers weren’t “yes” and “high” then the volume of traffic doesn’t mean anything in the end. If you’re attracting unqualified leads then, yes, your time, energy and money is wasted.

If you want to stop wasting your time, energy and money and instead increase conversions, focus on lead quality before lead volume.

Your aim is to attract only the leads that have the highest chance of buying from you, working with you, or working for you. Even if it means targeting a smaller volume.

You may be saying “You don’t get it. We need more leads!” We do get it. That’s why we focus on quality to get you more of the right leads. The most frustrating situation for sales and marketing teams is when low-quality leads are sent to sales. In the end, it’s wasted time for both teams – and an uncomfortable conversation. 

You want the quality first, then quantity.

Attracting qualified web leads?

You might be “meeting” your goals for traffic each month. But, how many of those visits have generated revenue? How many have turned into customers? Fifty high-quality leads have more value than 1,000 unqualified leads.

Ensuring high-quality traffic with a focused, strategic SEO plan means you can narrow your efforts to gain visits from the physicians, patients, caregivers and researchers that are most likely to add to your bottom line.

SEO strategy to reflect user intent

There are two different routes for your keyword strategy: a generic, broad approach or a long tail keyword approach. One of these focuses on optimizing for a smaller set of keywords that are extremely relevant to your business and reflect the intent of the user more precisely. Let’s break it down.

Generic keywords
Generic keywords are typically one word terms and harder to rank for because the competition level is higher – more websites are also trying to rank for the keyword. These keywords tend to have higher search volume but they don’t necessarily reflect the user’s intent, why that person is searching for that specific word.

Long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are multi-word phrases and more effective because they’re highly relevant to your business. They’re more descriptive and easier to rank for in search engines because the competition level is lower. With long tail keywords, you can more precisely interpret user intent.

Long-tail SEO approach

Let’s say your company develops and markets a drug for the treatment of multiple myeloma. You want to attract people to your website who are looking for a company who does exactly what you do – physicians, patients, caregivers. This is indicative of the industry shift from a mass-market to a target-market approach to increase revenue.  

Optimizing for a generic keyword would focus on “multiple myeloma.” But, this doesn’t mean someone who lands on your website after searching for “multiple myeloma” is a patient exploring treatment option. It also doesn’t mean it’s a physician researching clinical outcomes. Or a researcher who wants to contribute to your portfolio of drugs.  

Potential scenarios? It could be someone simply Googling multiple myeloma to learn more about the disease itself. It could even be a competitor typing in “multiple myeloma” to see if they show up in search results.

Luckily for you, this competitor would still be focusing on generic terms.

Instead, shift your SEO efforts to a long tail variation that more precisely relates to your drug. If you want quality you’ll have more success optimizing for “medicine to treat multiple myeloma.” We can instantly recognize the user’s intent here. 

With so much competition online, attracting the perfect fit visitor can be challenging. But, an SEO strategy that uses long tail keywords will give you an advantage.

Quality vs. quantity  

Remember, it’s not all about the volume of traffic. First, start with quality. Once you’re seeing the right traffic, then you can expand on a solid foundation to drive more, qualified traffic that is more likely to convert and become a customer.

Adopting this philosophy in your SEO efforts will leave the question “why bother with SEO?” in the dust.  

If you’re struggling to see the leads you want from your SEO efforts, let’s talk about your strategy and how we can start driving high-quality traffic to your website. Reach out to us today.

Sustaining Patient Centric Marketing in a Digital World

A few years ago, patient centricity was all the buzz – and to some extent, it still is. The concept remains popular among all healthcare stakeholders – pharmaceutical, payers, regulators, providers, patient advocates. 

 

But, what does patient centricity really mean? Has this buzzword been adopted as an organizational initiative internally? How is it communicated externally? And how does it translate to digital marketing?

patient centric pharma biotech web design

Healthcare is the most intimate, private aspect of our lives. It requires a human connection, empathy, and sympathy. So, while stakeholders certainly play a role in the journey, patients are ultimately the end user, and the end goal is to improve their outcomes.

With the technological world taking over, though, we need to adjust accordingly and find ways to still deliver a personalized, intimate experience to patients – just on the digital stage. This means anything you communicate needs to be patient-centric, showcasing improved outcomes and lower readmission rates as outlined in “Participative Medicine – The Basics of Patient Engagement” from Mark Stevens, Chief Commercial Officer at Publicis Health.

A study from DIA, a professional community and knowledge exchange for global healthcare product developed, found that 65% of pharma and biotech companies have budgeted and are investing in patient-centric initiatives in drug development. In drug development specifically, “reported benefits [of patient-centric initiatives] include reduced screen failure rates, faster patient recruitment, improved subject retention, reduced protocol amendments, and a greater number of patient relevant endpoints.”

The proof is in the pudding. An effective marketing strategy that’s patient-focused and provides human-to-human communication is attainable.

Here are four patient-centric initiatives, each with a examples of execution by way of your website and/or digital marketing.

Examples of Patient-Centric Initiatives

1. Patient advisory panels and focus groups

Patients in general should have a place to go when they have questions, concerns or just want to learn more. Patients who are giving their time should be given a token of thanks too. So, as they sit on advisory panels and participate in focus groups, listen to their needs and challenges. Give them a dedicated place to find everything they need – educational and support materials related to their biggest obstacles, answers to questions, an outlet for open communication, etc. They’re helping you, so be considerate of what they need in return.

2. Social media and online engagement

On social media, keep it real. The conditions you research and develop drugs for affect patients and caregivers every single day. They have frustrations, they feel hopeless, and they might be desperate for answers. So ask the right questions, be open to their questions, and continue to let them know their voice is being heard.

3. Patient counseling and education

Technology allows us to be available in ways, and at times, that were never possible in the past. Patient education can happen right on your website with functionality like online chat or feedback systems. This let patients know there’s someone who cares about their issues, questions, or concerns and is available to get them the answers they need.

Your website can be patient-centric in other ways too. A site architecture and navigation that’s easy to navigate and minimizes roadblocks is ideal. In addition, design and creative treatments that are calming and soothing show you have patients’ best interests in mind.

Rule of thumb – put yourself in the shoes of a patient and strive to make their lives easier.

4. Advocacy group support and involvement

When it comes to combatting a disease and improving the lives of people living with certain diseases, conditions, or disabilities, patient advocacy organizations are the ones working toward progress. Provide these groups with a place online to congregate and easily access support materials to carry out their mission. This can be either on your main website or a microsite dedicated to their mission.

Sharing educational resources and support materials can reiterate commitment to improving the lives of patients and caregivers alike.

Connecting the dots

Most companies have attempted patient-centric initiatives, but only a 1/3 have reported any success. Which begs the question: Where is the disconnect?

These days, everything is online. If your patient-centric initiatives aren’t accurately represented on your website, social media platforms, or through your digital advertising efforts, then they’re not making much of a difference.

First, define what patient-centricity means for your organization. Then, connecting the dots between offline and online initiatives is a first step to bridging the gap.

If you have ways you’ve seen success, share them in the comments section below. If you’re looking for help, contact us to start connecting the dots.

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