What We Do
The growth of the Internet as a business platform is hardly a secret, but a look at the numbers is still eye opening. Annual e-commerce sales in the U.S. topped $100 billion for the first time in 2004, but that was only the beginning. Within a few years, those sales had more than tripled, growing faster than online sales every year as the online share of the total market increases relentlessly. With the number of Internet users worldwide exceeding 3 billion, these trends are not about to disappear.
Obviously, the opportunity is enormous. However, everyone knows this now, and the day is long gone when a business could launch a website knowing that “If you build it, they will come.” Today, if all you do is build it, they will leave for the greener pastures of another site - that is, if they find you at all. The web has become its own competitive universe, playing by its own rules, constantly evolving and rendering short-term strategies obsolete almost as soon as they appear.
That is where we come in.
Our business is the Web and we do it full-time. We know how to make the Web do what our clients want it to do. We are not just talking about flashy sites or gorgeous graphics, although we can do those, too. Instead, we focus on long-term strategies and we expect your online presence to more than earn its keep now and in the future.
To get there, we combine a variety of powerful tools to build a comprehensive Internet strategy.
People are looking for you right now. Finding you should be as easy as possible. On Google alone, people are doing over 6 billion searches every day. Even a small slice of that search traffic represents a significant audience, but you need to know who these searchers are and how they are trying to find you. Market research finds the people behind the numbers.
We use sophisticated analytical methods to identify this audience, translating the raw data into useful information. We get to know your business by investigating market trends, products, services, pricing, competition and all of the conditions that affect your market. We study differences in gender, demographics, geography, psychology and anything that can tell us more about the people who are trying to find what you have to offer.
In short, we are the matchmakers between you and your potential customers.
To make that match, we focus on a simple question: How do people try to find what they are looking for?
We have learned that there is no simple answer to this seemingly simple question. Real-world behavior often defies expectations.
Simply put, this happens because real people cannot be counted on to make obvious, logical choices when they search. The language they use and the terms they employ are often unpredictable. Their search methods may not even make much sense to someone who lives and breathes a product or service every day.
We approach this problem without preconceptions. We do not care how people “should” be searching. We care about, and study, how people actually search. We focus on the data that comes from in-depth market research. That data allows us to see what is actually happening and how your audience is behaving, and we can then replace guesswork with real-world knowledge. With that objective, data-driven knowledge, we tailor your strategy to fit reality so that your audience finds you quickly and easily, and a successful match is made.
Ethical Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Our planet's digital content has surpassed 4 zettabytes, with each zettabyte equal to a billion terabytes and representing about a million times the information in all the libraries in the Unites States. Google alone, hosting over four billion searches per day, maintains an index of tens of billions of webpages.
To grossly understate the situation, people have a lot to choose from when they search the Web.
When confronted with a page of “natural,” or unpaid, search results and a column of paid advertisements, people click on the ads only 14 percent of the time. We want you in those natural results, the ones that soak up 86 percent of the clicks, and we want you at the top.
SEO is the process of optimizing your position in search results to capture as much of that Internet search traffic as possible, and to do it without relying solely on paying for ads. The process is so valuable that SEO has become an industry itself, but the industry is rife with SEO “secrets” and tricks to fool the search engines. Google, for example, has teams of people dedicated to keeping search honest by detecting tricks as soon as they appear and penalizing people who try to game the system.
We do SEO the way it should be done. We do not depend on fooling a search engine algorithm that is likely to change next week.
Instead, we focus on strategies like keyword research, market research, established, reliable and ethical tactics that perform in the long run and do not leave you wondering if your strategic web investment will stop performing tomorrow. We approach optimization organically as a natural part of your business that should be integrated into your Web presence as a whole, one that will produce a sustainable improvement in your search rankings.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
The social web has come on strong and has continued to grow. At its heart, it is about online conversation and connection. A business needs to be aware of the conversation and to be able to join in and make use of its potential.
SMM is our method of leveraging the increasing power of social media platforms to increase visibility and traffic. SMM begins by uncovering information about your audience as never before possible. We learn what people like or dislike, what trends are developing and how people are responding to you. Armed with that information, you can respond in turn and connect to your audience in new and much more effective ways.
We do not view social media in isolation. Instead, this new platform must mesh seamlessly with the overall goals of your site. Our approach uses the growing power of social media to extend and reinforce your entire campaign of online public relations, fully integrating the social web into your strategy as a whole.
Pay-Per-Click Management (PPC)
Yes, there is still a place for paid advertising, but only if done correctly. PPC yields an excellent return on investment when what you have placed is seen by the right pair of eyes, but targeting ads to those eyes requires more than signing on to Google AdWords, Microsoft adCenter or one of the many other available services. We have learned over time the many ways in which the advertising services encourage customers to spend as much as possible even if the results are mediocre.
We have a better approach.
We work toward efficiency in PPC so that you achieve maximum results at minimum expense. We create campaigns from scratch after doing in-depth research into effective keywords and related factors that influence the success of a campaign. We employ sophisticated analytics to monitor and track your results, and we use that information to refine and improve the campaign so that it meets your goals.
Data Feed Management
Product listings on major comparison shopping engines – Google Shopping, Amazon Product Ads, Bing Shopping, Shopzilla and others – increase your traffic and, as a result, boost your online sales.
We provide data feed management for those sites, and we don't just provide you with a new piece of software and hope for the best, leaving you to manage the entire process yourself.
Instead, we offer a fully managed automated solution. Every 48 hours, via database, web crawl or product export, we extract your inventory in its entirety. We create a rich new feed for each shopping engine. We fill that feed with product information that is both current and detailed, and we ensure that each feed is robust and specific to your industry before being uploaded to the relevant engine. We optimize using thousands of formatting rules.
To us, the fact that we offer “data feed management” means just that. Our responsibility does not end with the installation of a new software tool that leaves you to struggle with the management burden. With our approach, optimized and fully managed for you, that burden is absolutely minimized, freeing you to do the work you want to be doing.
Local Internet Marketing
The Internet is a global phenomenon, but a business or organization with a local physical presence needs a specifically local Web presence as well, and it needs to optimize its ranking in search results when people look for a local provider.
We work with local search engine listings and local directories to establish, maintain and reinforce that local presence so that you stay in the minds of your local customers and so that people easily find you when they are looking for a local service or product.
Strategic Online Branding
As life has moved online, the Internet has increasingly shaped individual and business reputations. The growth of social media has only accelerated the trend, and businesses ignore this phenomenon at their peril.
We monitor search results, social media, blogs, review sites and forums to keep you aware of what is being said about you, but we don’t leave it at that.
After all, your brand is at stake, and that matters a great deal. Online or offline, for an individual, a product or an organization, your identity is represented by that brand. It is the face you show the world, your image and your reputation. It’s made up of all of the associations, thoughts, expectations and feelings of everyone who meets you. It calls for careful handling.
However, a brand does not have to be created deliberately. It will materialize without your intervention from every point of contact between you and the wider world. Clearly, a brand that is allowed to develop by chance is far less likely to be the brand you want than one that is actively managed to meet your goals.
We pay enormous attention to your brand and to the many details that define it. We study the look and feel of your site, the user experience from start to finish, your marketing strategy and tactics, and the style and content of your communications in every sphere. To optimize your brand strategy, we apply the expertise we have gleaned in every area of the online world, including site design, usability improvement, online reputation management and social media optimization.
In brand strategy, we aim for consistency, clarity and connection.
First, we see to it that your brand image is consistent everywhere it appears, in all contexts and across all platforms. We ensure that your brand delivers the message you want to send at every touch point.
Second, we strive for clarity. We get your message noticed. We make it stand out amid the clutter created by thousands of competing messages and we speak to people clearly and meaningfully.
Third, we are devoted to connection. We make sure that your brand complements all your strategies and that your strategies complement your brand. Each piece of the puzzle must make an organic contribution to the whole.
We work to bring you the kind of positive attention that builds your reputation and makes your brand flourish. We work to get your company and its people in the news for all the right reasons. We find what is relevant, to you and to your customers and clients, and we put what is relevant to work for you, capitalizing on meaningful information that offers a positive, organic connection between you and your audience.
With our comprehensive branding strategy, we see to it that all of the pieces work in synergy. As a result, the whole becomes much, much more than the sum of its individual parts.
Viral Content Campaigns
Content goes viral when people spontaneously pass it along to each other until it seems to have a life of its own. Viral content can spread a message or publicize a brand, and it can drive enormous amounts of traffic.
We have studied viral campaigns and we understand their common themes. By applying what we have learned, we can help design and develop viral content that increases exposure exponentially.
Email marketing has been around for many years because, when done correctly, it works. We can help you build a database of email addresses or help you communicate better with an existing list. We have many effective techniques that help increase the proportion of messages that recipients open and read, along with the number that elicit a response from the reader.
Visitors judge your site within four to 10 seconds of landing on your home page, and, if you have not engaged them with your first impression, you will not get a second chance.
We can build a site from scratch or redesign an existing site. We draw visitors in and encourage them to stay through a combination of good design, clarity, ease of navigation and a consistently professional look. As part of the development process, we build wireframes or website blueprints that are extensive and reduce costs and time. We also incorporate elements of your marketing strategy to present a consistent, recognizable face to the world and ensure maximum results.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)
Organizations spend tens of billions of dollars each year to generate Internet traffic, yet only 2 to 3 percent of that traffic is converted into sales. People visit your site, but only a small percentage are buying, filling out your form or doing what you want them to do. This behavior is the bane of thousands of sites. Visitors load a shopping cart and abandon it. They leave the site when asked for shipping preferences during checkout.
Sites invested in lead generation wrestle with the same issues. You’ve done all the work required to bring a potential client to your page, no small feat in itself, but at the moment of truth, with a simple form on the screen in front of him, your visitor finds it all too easy to leave the page and look for greener pastures elsewhere.
There are innumerable ways in which sites fail to turn their visitors into customers, and that failure is a fundamental lapse that must be addressed for a site to succeed. If the overriding goal of your site is the very conversion of visitors into customers, how do you increase the all-important conversion rate?
We answer that question by attacking it from multiple angles. We start by examining the site in detail, from the ground up, and studying how users navigate the site. We pay special attention to problem areas that are disclosed only by a fresh look at the site’s inner workings, and we test our hypotheses against real-world user behavior.
Once we understand all the issues, we implement CRO to improve the entire process, from the time a visitor first lands on your site to the moment when he makes a purchase. We conduct extensive usability testing and improvement, and we apply split and multivariate testing, e-commerce simplification and more, making changes as needed and continuing to analyze and improve the process in response to real-world results.
In essence, whether you’re dealing with products or services, your website is an arm of your sales force, and there’s no doubt that some salespeople are more skilled than others. There are those who can close any sale and leave everyone with a good feeling about the experience, ready to do business again. There are others, sadly, who lose potential customers time and again. Websites work in this same way, and conversion rate is what separates the winning sites from the also-rans. With effective CRO, we make a site into a great sales tool.
Video increases the length of time visitors stay on your site by approximately 45 percent and simultaneously increases your conversion rate.
We can help you design, develop and produce compelling video that gets those results for your website, and we focus on video that is especially valuable as an integral part of your marketing plan.
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that display advertising is as old as the Internet itself.
Today, display advertising may not be at the forefront of "cool" technology, but it remains an effective tool in the right hands. First, though, old approaches must be brought up to speed.
We apply current best practices and advanced tactics to unlock the potential of display ads. We know how to use new techniques to cut through “banner blindness,” the tendency of the audience to stop seeing banners at all. We have a full complement of tools at our disposal, and we use them to make your advertising work by adhering to the principle that you can engage users with content they find relevant and interesting. We can adapt existing content to deliver your message more effectively, or we can provide fresh, compelling content that’s entirely new. We understand “native” advertising, content that capitalizes on its context, and its enormous potential whether deployed within a single platform or across multiple platforms.
Our goal is to get you noticed by the right audience and for the right reasons. We tailor ad placements to fit your strategy and your goals. We then make sure that those ads bring visitors smoothly to a useful page that, in turn, encourages your visitors to take the actions you wish them to take.
We take a fresh approach that makes your ads stand out and connects them with your audience in new ways.
Peak Performance Coaching
For all the importance we place on organizations, technologies and brands, they are only as good as the people behind them. The human element is the element that truly determines success or failure. Its value is not always easy to quantify, but we have no trouble distinguishing between the peaks and valleys of human performance. We can see them in others, and we can certainly see – and feel – them in ourselves.
Each of the services we offer matters, and each can contribute to your success. Even with the best tools, however, exceptional results do not come from resources alone. Instead, the very best results come from a combination of the resources themselves and the resourcefulness of the people implementing them. In light of that, we have not neglected the critical human side of the performance equation.
We offer performance and executive coaching with a goal that can be stated quite simply: the ability to consistently perform at your peak in all parts of your life, both business and personal. While the goal can be stated simply, reaching that goal can be a challenge, especially if you are trying to get there by yourself. The help of the right coach is often what you need to break through to the next level.
Coaching, in this context, is no luxury. The top performers in every field, whether it is sports, the arts, business or any other human endeavor, know this very well. A coach brings an outside perspective that can see things that are not always apparent from the inside. He can discern the limiting patterns that affect us all, and the right coach finds the plan that gets you past those limits. The right coach gets you where you want to go.
That's what a coach is for, and we've found that anyone can benefit.
We combine proven multi-dimensional strategies that cover all of the many factors affecting performance. It does not matter if those factors are physical, emotional, psychological or intellectual. They all play their parts, and we cover all bases. We identify what may be keeping you from reaching the next level, and we help you to get obstacles, big or small, out of your way.
Our clients expect significant results, and we deliver, but coaching is not always about making major changes. A small refinement in your game, a simple “tweak,” can often pay big dividends. An NFL quarterback doesn’t forget how to throw a football from one season to the next. He doesn't have to be rebuilt from the ground up every fall. Still, he has his own coach whose job it is to monitor the quarterback's throwing motion. Bad habits may have crept in. A foot may be placed an inch from where it should be. A finger may be off by a millimeter or two. The quarterback may not see it himself, but it's the coach's job to know what's happening and to know what to do about it, all so that the player can perform at his peak.
That's our job. For our clients, we bring the fresh perspective that's so hard to find on your own. We help you reach the next level. Regardless of where you are – both personally and professionally – our coaching will make peak performance a natural and attainable part of your life.