Start with Wix, Switch to WordPress – How to Decide?

If you have stumbled onto this blog, high chances are that you have already built a professional website on Wix or you are in search of a scalable website builder for your business.

We are a full-stack digital agency called ColorWhistle based in India. Our clientele is both local and global. We are helping small and medium scale businesses ramp up their online presence in line with their business objectives.

In regard to this, we would like to highlight a particular case in point:

While we do our best to engage right from the initial stage of website building, we suggested a certain small business client opt for scalable solutions like WordPress rather than Wix or Shopify.

Acting contrary to our advice, incidentally, the business did well online. However, they soon came back to us 8 months later to migrate their new website to the WordPress platform. They wanted better control over their website for enhancing user experience and managing their content online coherently.

Obviously then, we couldn’t say ‘We told you so’ to risk losing the client!

If we are not making enough sense at this point, this YouTuber may help you sort out the difference between Wix vs WordPress using various case scenarios. You may have a quick look before proceeding further in the blog.

Start With Wix: no-code/low-code platform

Wix is good for low investment, who needs a quick online start.

  • Wix supports basic & certain advanced functionalities needed for small-scale business websites
  • Wix’s advanced AI-based algorithm lets you create a multi-page website by simply feeding information into a spreadsheet
  • Wix is free and also comes with a paid subscription for utilizing advanced features
  • Wix sites render well on mobile devices
  • Wix can handle all types of standard websites, such as business sites, portfolios, blogs, websites for personal projects, eCommerce stores, and more

Who Should Use Wix?

Information websites – Hosting information relating to your business verticals is a trending way to connect your customers online. Wix is suitable to build such information websites.

Click here to get inspired by top business websites built using Wix.

Personal branding – Branding is increasingly essential for digital marketing. Wix is great for professionals who want to showcase their personal brands. Building a website that revolves around a personal brand is picking up pace and Wix offers exciting designs & templates to get started almost instantly. You can highlight your portfolio such as taking meetings and even blogging using Wix.

Click here to get inspired by 40+ branding ideas & inspirations.

When To Make A Switch To WordPress?

If your focus is selling products online, avoid Wix.

Further, we have tabulated some important parameters that will help you judge to migrate out of Wix.

Criteria and Comments On Wix

Website Navigation

  • Wix has not been very convenient to manage a larger site, one with typically over 30+ pages.
  • Further, Wix websites have a page limit of 100 (excluding the blog posts)

SEO-Friendly

  • Wix’s SEO capabilities were infamous in the past for not being accurate. However, recent changes in the editor allow you to edit page titles, meta descriptions, and alt tags individually for SEO purposes.
  • Further, Technical SEO may not work properly as it relies on Javascript to display URLs that may not be friendly to search engine crawlers.
  • In the end, SEO depends a lot more on your ability to create outstanding content rather than the website builder.

Storage Space

  • Depending on the pricing plans, users get 500 MB – 50 GB web storage space.
  • A monthly bandwidth of 2GB on basic plans is enough for about 3,000-5,000 visitors per month.

Third-Party Apps Integration

  • A large portion of the third-party apps is typically paid service.
  • For example, a custom form-building application for heightened security and capabilities may cost about $400. Additionally, integrating this form with the site requires an additional 4-5$ a month if you want to exceed a certain amount of forms and/or submissions a month.
  • Another example could be the calendar and testimonial features are not aesthetically pleasing and nor are they as easy to use.
  • Wix platform also doesn’t allow you to add plugins unless they come from the Wix platform. This really limits your ability to grow and customize your site

Site Analytics

  • The tracking system needs some improvements, moreover, for the analytical details, users need to pay extra over and above their subscription plan.

Blogging

  • The improved Wix’s blog tool comes with basic features such as tags, categories, RSS, publish articles on the go using a mobile app, etc., and is SEO-friendly.
  • Where a paid subscription to your blog is possible, the cumbersome commenting feature is a big downside. Adding tables to the blog is also not easy.

*Please note that the comments are cumulative assessments from our agency experience in building professional websites for small, medium & large companies.

As Neil Patel mentioned in one of his blogs, Wix lacks in a few spheres such as:

  • Rigid User Interface: Although Wix is aimed at the mass market, the user interface can be quite tricky especially if you want to customize your site. You will often find yourself having to Google how to complete certain tasks.
  • No migration: Migration to another website platform is difficult. The code of your website is locked-in once you go public. This can cause problems if you need to scale your business quickly. Pick these top CMS solutions for your business presence online.
  • Wix’s strength is also its weakness: Although it has many features, it cannot compete with the quality of niche website builders such as WordPress.

ColorWhistle recommends WordPress for startups and next-stage businesses who want to take advantage of all business functions with scalable features via the big WP community.

As you begin to expand your business, more elements, more users get associated with the management of your website. WordPress is the perfect scalable Content Management Solution (CMS).

With a CMS, you can customize the design of your site, add multimedia in your posts, organize your content by tags and categories, manage multiple users, and much more.

You must know that WordPress is available as two options:

  • WordPress.org – It is a powerful Content Management System that is open-source and is free to download. Essentially, you can re-write, build interactive web apps, opt for self-hosting to scale up & secure your business website. However, it may require you to hire an experienced WordPress Developer.
  • WordPress.com – Just like Wix, it is a drag & drop website builder which hosts a variety of free & paid plugins, themes for enhanced user experience.

Best Things About WordPress

  • With this multi-purpose CMS, you can install WordPress plugins like the free and easy-to-use Elementor page-builder
  • Manage the operational side of content production much easier. This helps in focussed digital marketing
  • Unlike other website builders, WordPress is fully customizable as the site is developed directly with code, as opposed to drag and drop interfaces
  • You can measure and boost your SEO with plugins such as YoastSEO. We encourage you to read our popular blog on the best SEO case study list.
  • It supports numerous media types
  • WordPress CMS is even scalable for enterprise-level websites

Wix To WordPress Migration: simplify it with ColorWhistle!

Gradually, as the needs and goals of your website change, you may be forced to customize a plugin, a theme to better manage and engage your visitors with forms, live chat, brand marketing, or even add custom CSS code to create a sticky navigation menu.

That said, you need the functionality and flexibility of a content management system to grow your business online. The good news is you don’t have to work from scratch. You can move your site to your own self-hosted domain on WordPress.org

Wix

Schedule a call with our Founder, Sankar, to know the nuances of Managed hosting and Self-hosting.

You may further engage yourself with a digital agency to take over your website migration request. In fact, outsourcing such tasks is greatly affordable.

At this point, we encourage you to go through our previous blog on how to work with website outsourcing agencies?

Partnership For WordPress Development & Maintenance

When comparing Wix and WordPress, it’s essential to note that one isn’t better than the other – it’s just that they present two very different approaches to creating and managing a website.

  • Choose Wix for simple front-end purposes.
  • Choose WordPress for content management.

The flexible approach offered by WordPress demands more time & effort to build a website as compared to Wix. Further, the WordPress CMS platform requires regular technical maintenance, if you have opted for a self-hosting option.

However, it can’t overcast the advantages of having a WordPress site for your business – custom hosting & domain, tweaking with the website code, unlimited website navigation, powerful & compatible tools for tracking & analytics.

The flexibility and enormous market for WordPress CMS also expand the scope for upcoming digital agencies to partner with us for their website design, custom web development, branding & digital marketing projects.

Call us at +91 (944).278.9110 or write to us to start migrating to the WordPress platform.

WordPress As Enterprise CMS – Compelling Review Of Reviews

WordPress As Enterprise CMS

We were fortunate enough to retrieve this screenshot of an older website.

Those days required a series of bulkier & lengthier coding to put up similar content online. Soon with the growing popularity of the internet, the online presence of businesses increased drastically. This created a need for a centralized system through which the businesses could generate unlimited content and display it on the web, bypassing complex coding.

This called for the birth of the Content Management System (CMS).

What we are about to discuss here is the ability of WordPress to be an enterprise-ready Content Management System (CMS). And why enterprise businesses are different, depends on the size of their organization and the level of efficiency in their cross-department communications.

As a medium-sized or large business, you may have a sizable product or service inventory. If you are planning to sell them on a global scale, you’ll need websites for different regions, languages, and product/service lines.

Any enterprise marketer would want to focus more on generating quality content around their product/service rather than investing their time in managing technology. It is deemed a futile practice as there are genuine technology partners world-over for outsourcing the development and maintenance of enterprise-level CMS.

There is also a related term called Enterprise Content Management (CMS) which is beyond the scope of this blog. An ECM looks to automate document flow within the organization and not their web content as is the case with a CMS.

Let’s move on.

What To Look For In An Enterprise-Grade CMS?

Banking on our work experience as the preferred digital solutions partner, we have identified a few important criteria for any CMS to serve an enterprise-grade solution. They are tabulated as follows:

Easy Administration

An enterprise-level CMS offers a range of simple and powerful admin tools in a single software package; using which the administrators can track scheduled content, manage notifications, add assets, and tweak plugins without hopping from one program to another.

Workflow Controls

Interdependence is the key to success in corporations. Thus, any CMS ought to have simple workflow controls.

Say, for instance, a marketing team will have writers create content; designers who look after the front-end appearance; editors who check articles and product descriptions before passing them to the company’s legal team for a final check.

An ideal CMS would manage the workflow by providing appropriate permissions to valid profiles.

Multi-Platform Capabilities

Businesses are meant to expand their consumer base over time. Having a flexible website solution upfront will help them launch different mobile applications, web applications, websites as they continue to expand.

To fulfill any of these scenarios, your CMS must be able to handle more than one platform.

Headless Content Management

Bigger organizations, corporations need a headless content management system, essentially, because the workflow here is highly specialized.

Thus, your backend team can constantly generate content – web page text, blog posts, video content, product information, etc. – and store it in a database without actually worrying about the actual presentation. Using a range of applications, all the content in the database will be automatically optimized on tablets, computers, cell phones, and a range of apps.

Built-in Content Templates

Having content templates built-in CMS are great to maintain an effective workflow, say for what you write and create meta descriptions and recommend categories and tags automatically; resize product images to fit your page specs or suggest widgets based on tags.

This leaves your team more time to improve the actual content instead of spending time on optimizing for “search engine crawlers”.

Detailed Analytics

The success of any online marketing campaign depends on how much does your marketing team knows who your potential customers are, where they come from, the type of device they use to access your site, and which parts of your site they like to visit most.

As an Enterprise Marketer, you must consider choosing a CMS with popular analytics tools built-in or the ability to incorporate suitable plug-ins for the same.

Built-in SEO Tools

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the foundation of any online marketing strategy.

The best CMS platforms stay on top of search engine algorithm changes (Google/Bing in most cases) and incorporate easy-to-use tools for content optimization.

Security

Having done all the work right from content generation to content deployment and marketing planning, the least you would want is a security breach.

Enterprise-level CMS platforms must put security first, and they must also have the capacity to patch vulnerabilities quickly when they arise.

WordPress As Enterprise CMS Solution

WordPress is the biggest blue whale in the Internet Ocean.

WordPress powers over 37% of the web as its interface is familiar to content creators who often need little to no training to operate the platform

The evolution of WordPress as an open-source platform from individuals using it as a personal blogging site to opportunistic entrepreneurs using it to create eCommerce sites and big corporations like CNET coming aboard with funding is surreal.

Modern WordPress is a robust, capable website builder and content manager. Major media companies, including Facebook, CNN, New York Post, Slack, Capgemini, TED, Hachette, Spotify, and Microsoft, now choose WordPress as their default digital publishing tool.

While there are several review posts on using WordPress as an Enterprise CMS solution, we thought of going the extra mile by presenting you with a compelling review of reviews based on our client-work experience.

One Manager working in a Tech Enterprise reviewed WP CMS and wrote, “We have about 150 WordPress sites that we manage through a combination of Installatron and InfiniteWP; it’s not difficult to keep your sites secure.”

“We support users with a variety of skill levels; secretaries with no prior web publishing experience are now able to make updates to their department sites, while power users run their blog networks.”

WordPress As Enterprise Content Hub

The most common issue in any large organization relates to streamlining content production across multiple teams. The content might be siloed across several CMS, and the technology, marketing, and design teams may only be comfortable operating certain platforms.

Here comes an enterprise content hub that removes those barriers, simplifies the content technology stack, and creates a pathway to a more effective content strategy.

Although the above video from Ahrefs explains content hub using HubSpot, we hope that you get an idea of how you can better optimize your content for your audience.

The flexibility of WordPress also makes it an ideal choice for an enterprise content hub. It is also because of the familiarity of interfaces to content creators who could readily operate the platform.

Additionally, WordPress software natively supports the REST API. In terms of security, granular access management is covered by role-based access control and WordPress supports multiple Single Sign On (SSO) solutions. Thanks to the extensive enterprise WordPress ecosystem, extendability options are covered with seamless third-party integrations.

For example, a WordPress Content Hub supporting GraphQL could use either the wp-graphql plugin or proxy requests through an external GraphQL server such as Apollo Server.

You may also like to read>> The importance of API development for businesses

Understanding WordPress Themes & Page Builders

As simple as it is said, websites using WordPress run on themes & page builders.

Further said, a WordPress theme is a collection of code, functionality, and styles that you can install onto your website. Essentially, it is a toolkit to build your website. Its functionalities and styles are modified using the page builders or any other plugin, without having to touch the code.

Watch the video below to know the nitty-gritty of web development on WordPress and its User Experience with customer use cases.

We recommend using Elementor page builder for WordPress website development.

Enterprise WordPress Hosting

Weighing the time and costs involved in planning, building, and maintaining a content management system (CMS) isn’t easy.

One pertinent question always comes up: Do you self-host WordPress on an infrastructure provider, for example, Amazon’s AWS, or do you partner with a managed platform that provides enterprise WordPress hosting?

Below are some of the common responses from executive stakeholders when they were approached with the above question by the team at WP VIP.

“We were hosting on AWS and that created an enormous amount of overhead for us,” a new customer recently told us. “We would rather shift our focus from hosting problems, which is a solved problem, and focus our attention on creating new business value.”

“I’m not sure what WordPress VIP is running, but it put up the absolute fastest scores that I’ve seen by a wide margin. They blew my test rig out of the water.” Kevin Ohashi, Review Signal.

Evaluating WordPress against the earlier discussed criteria for a CMS to be called an enterprise-level solution, we find:

  • For easy administration: WordPress is reasonably easy to use. You can access multisite features, but you’ll need custom theme development.
  • For workflow controls: Planning and managing workflow using the basic WordPress CMS interface can be a tricker. You’ll need to go for a custom plugin development for a reliable workflow solution.
  • For multi-channel integrations: While WordPress itself isn’t a multi-platform CMS, it allows basic optimization for various devices. Again, custom plugins, building web applications can help you overcome some WordPress limitations.
  • For headless content management: You can create a headless WordPress site using JAMstack or React. By using such a setup, you can keep the things that you have been accustomed to. Anyhow, WordPress was not built for the headless setup. If you try to teach a CMS a new trick like going headless, you are going against its core.
  • For SEO: WordPress doesn’t have any onboard analytics tools. However, WordPress has impeccable plugins support for SEO. Businesses choose website development on WordPress for being search engine friendly. Here is another list of top WordPress plugins for digital marketing.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to successful content management. And so, one of the strengths of WordPress as an open-source platform is the flexibility it provides to customize your architecture with third-party integrations.

Refer to this official report by WordPress that surfaces best-in-class, proven technology integrations in key business areas like e-commerce, marketing automation, and business intelligence. All senior leaders can learn more about it to improve the agility of their marketing and operations.

What Marketers Dislike About WP Enterprise CMS?

Taking a cue from one of the user comments in this blog post, WordPress is really just an enterprise-ready CMS and not a full-fledged CMS for enterprise-level applications. As an open-source platform, although WordPress is scalable to larger applications, there are still some concerns about it in the minds of digital marketers.

A verified user on G2 Reviews said, “Although WP platform for blogging has gotten better, I find the website building more difficult, especially loading widgets, and styling the way I want.”

However, the user appreciated WordPress sites for being search engine friendly and therefore, great visibility online.

While Marketers have not outrightly rejected WordPress as their preferred CMS for large-scale operations, they are still concerned about the following issues:

  • Security breaches: Being an open-source platform, WordPress is always providing a potential back door entry for potential hackers.
    However, the risk can be mitigated by engaging a digital agency for timely maintenance of WordPress CMS.
  • No active tech support: It’s hard for you to find tech support for any glitches during the operation of your website.
    One way is to subscribe to WP VIP plans that would cost a bomb while another way is to outsource CMS development & maintenance to an experienced WordPress agency.
  • On-going maintenance is a must: Whenever WordPress rolls out an update, you’re at risk of breaking your template or plugin set. If a WordPress core update conflicts with existing plugins and themes, they won’t work until the third-party developer updates the plugin or theme.

Thus, engage a dedicated WordPress developing and maintenance team.

A certain user in Education Management writes,

“WYSIWYG is incredibly important in web page work — WordPress desperately needs it. Plug-ins make some difference but not enough. Incredibly frustrating work with text. Posts layouts are really simple — which is good and bad. Page design is NOT intuitive OR easy, and constant revisions are a necessity because you can’t SEE what you are doing! Really, NOT a good experience. Don’t know what we would have done without the assistance of a local consultant — so don’t fall for “anyone can do it!”

Partnership For Enterprise CMS Development & Maintenance - Why ColorWhistle Is The Right Choice?

Partnership For Enterprise CMS Development & Maintenance - Why ColorWhistle Is The Right Choice

Image Source: Nature.com

Such an irony! Isn’t it? 

This is just one classic case of corporates, bigger organizations working in silos.

According to Forrester’s customer experience predictions, the majority of customer experience gains in enterprise websites will come from “finding and fixing problems, often in their back-end systems and processes.”

As a website revamp/redesign strategists, enterprise marketers, IT directors, Digital officers, you should be asking these five questions before upgrading your Enterprise Content Platform:

  1. Are there unnecessary steps in your content creation process?
  2. How much time are your developers spending on basic maintenance?
  3. How strong is your site performance?
  4. How easy is it to publish your content across multiple platforms?
  5. Are you paying for anything in your enterprise content platform you don’t need?

Further, businesses should evaluate their options in managing technology – Do they really need to understand and manage the complexities of hosting, security, and upgrades? Is there a better way? Can the platform be a commodity that is managed for you? – that then allows you to engage in higher-value activities that drive revenue, reduce costs or increase market share.

Still unsure? Go ahead and schedule a business call with Sankar, founder of ColorWhistle, to evaluate your CMS options. We will be happy to take you through the process of CMS development and the need for maintenance for your enterprise business.

Although the journal eventually made the article accessible to all for free, it could have avoided the embarrassment caused to itself.

Whom would you blame for this? It could be happening in your organization too.

Call us at +91 (944).278.9110 or write to us to find out the best content management solution for you. We hope to hear from you soon to discuss your business needs!

HubSpot for Travel Sales & Marketing Automation

Improving your travel marketing & sales strategy with a tool like HubSpot will help you meet challenges and allow you to provide personalized services to manage traveler’s expectations.

For instance, your travel agency may receive a lot of inquiries daily. You will send out trip budgets to all those potential customers. Some may not respond immediately or purchase the trips. If you send follow-up e-mails, you can get more responses. According to Woodpecker, the first follow-up email is the most effective, as it brings over 40% of the response rate when compared to the initial email.

If this process is manually done, you have to employ a specific person which will increase expenses. Plus, there may be failure points in a manual process.

One of the major reasons you should consider using a tool like HubSpot is because of its automated follow-up process and amazing CRM features.

In this post, we are going to discuss the HubSpot tool and the tasks you can automate through this platform in order to manage your travel sales & marketing activities.

Ways to Manage your Travel Marketing & Sales With HubSpot

Below are some major automation tasks that can be performed through HubSpot. We have covered only the main ones, there are various other tasks this tool can manage. You can take a look at all the functionalities on the official HubSpot website.

1. Customer Segmentation

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation allows you to group your customers based on certain criteria such as personality, interests, habits, income, and more. It is an easy way to manage and organize your travel agency’s relationship with your customers.

Such types of segmentation will help you organize your contacts who are interested in booking through your travel agency or travel website. You can also keep track of travelers who are interested in the destination packages you offer and other data that can be used to segment your contacts. This way you can personalize your marketing and sales efforts to the needs of specific groups, boost customer loyalty, and conversions.

2. Deal Pipeline

Deal Pipeline

The HubSpot CRM can be used to manage the client pipeline and deals of your travel agency. A deal pipeline will help you identify roadblocks in your selling process and the approximate revenue you are likely to generate.

A deal pipeline will also show your sales team that a travel lead is moving towards the point of closing. By keeping track of the deal pipeline, you will also be able to get a detailed picture of the revenue you have generated in a given period.

Through this travel automation feature, you can keep track of travelers who are interested in your services, create custom deals for clients in specific pipelines, and assign deal owners.

3. Send Website Visitors Limited-Time Offer

Send Website Visitors Limited-Time Offer

Do you want to know if a contact is planning to book a trip through your travel agency? Would you like to reach out to contact to know that booking travel is already on their mind?

You can figure this about by sending limited-time offers. This loss aversion psychological phenomenon could be an excellent tactic to drive sales for your business. Through the HubSpot tool, you can send deals for travel upgrades, entrance into a giveaway, discounted flights, and any other deal that will make a contact make a booking through your travel agency.

4. Focused Sales Drip

Focused Sales Drip

With HubSpot, you can reach out to customers who are interested in purchasing your service. As soon as you figure out a contact who is interested in your travel services, you can add them to your e-mail drip campaign (sequence of e-mails sent to contacts at specific date & time).

By sending such type of focused e-mails, you can score and track the interest rate of the travel services you provide. Through HubSpot, you can also create beautiful e-mails without touching a line of code. This is a win-win situation.

5. Client Cancellation or Change Request

Client Cancellation or Change Request

If you are struggling to handle client cancellation requests or want to set a better process, you can handle it effectively through HubSpot.

This type of automation will keep the team in your travel agency informed about the cancellation and change requests. Your team can reach out to the client and coordinate accordingly.

6. Guest Re-engagement E-mail Series

Guest Re-engagement E-mail Series

HubSpot gives you the option to re-engage with the guests who have not booked a trip with you for quite a while. This feature will allow you to re-engage with inactive clients and send them a deal focusing on the destinations they might like. Re-engagement e-mails also known as win back e-mails will remind users to make a booking through your travel agency.

You can run some of the most popular re-engagement campaigns such as birthdays, surveys, and special promos. With HubSpot, you can send clever campaigns to rekindle the relationship you once had with your clients.

7. Loyalty Program: Add Points After Purchase

Loyalty Program Add Points After Purchase

When a customer makes a booking through your travel agency, you can add points to their loyalty score or encourage them to join your loyalty program. Through HubSpot, you can easily manage this and even maintain a point-based loyalty program.

As a travel agency, you know that it costs less to keep a customer than acquiring a new one. So creating a loyalty program can help to increase retention and save money.

In a Nutshell

The HubSpot tool allows streamlining your marketing & sales operations so you can focus your energy on proving travel expertise. The above ways show how any of your marketing and sales processes can move intricately.

You can also take a look at the travel case studies that will give you an idea of how travel agencies have used HubSpot to grow their business.

If you are still in the planning stages and not sure how to implement such type of automation, you’re in luck. ColorWhistle is a dedicated HubSpot marketing partner.

Our marketing automation specialists can provide your travel company with everything you need Through HubSpot, we can transform how you attract, engage, and delight customers. Get in touch or call us (+1 (919) 234-5140) to discuss more.

Building An Enterprise Website – An All-In-One Guide For Design, Development, And Marketing

Building an enterprise-level website is different than simply going out and buying a template, dragging blocks onto the page, writing text, and placing images.

Enterprise Website is a step-up version of not just having a presence on the web but also serving as your digital marketing hub: everything should flow from there – capturing leads, producing sales.

In our prolific experience as a trusted technology partner for website development, we have noticed common problems on many enterprise websites. It includes lack of consistency, say in URL structure, design; longer downtimes; lack of meaningful content and by virtue, improper indexing by search engines.

Capital is never an issue with corporations but interdependence may sometimes kill innovation.

Take for instance, what’s more aggravating than attempting to get three people on your team to agree on a content marketing idea? Let’s raise the stakes to 10? Or 20? Plus the entire sales team? And a majority of the C-suite?

The world of enterprise marketing is where scaling content programs becomes more political, corporate silos. You may require more creative discretion, administrative flexibility and cross-department communication in order to overcome such challenges.

Two major categories of thinking are involved while building enterprise websites: Technical (branding, content creation and marketing approaches, inventory management, code incorporation and more) and Governance (inputting and proofing standard across multiple sites).

Here is where we suggest innovation through technology partnerships.

Further, how can Website Revamp/Redesign Strategists, Enterprise Marketers, IT Directors, Digital Officers extract the maximum out of this blog to build an enterprise website?

We have compiled the top trends involved in designing, developing and marketing your enterprise website for your reference.

Design Trends

Designing regular websites demand stunning visuals or original layouts. Whereas for enterprises, there are functional elements of web design that are much more important to consider.

Here is where we suggest you to concentrate more on the User Experience (UX) part rather than User Interface (UI). UX is more of a concept or rather a feeling that promises seamlessness, responsiveness, and the overall premise of the website. On the other hand, UI comprises elements, tools, and digital interfaces directly associated with the design process.

And if it is not addressed sufficiently, the below statistics tell us that:

  • Up to 15% of IT projects are abandoned and at least 50% of a programmer’s time during the project is spent redoing work. If proper measurements, goals, and test processes were implemented upfront, the majority of this wasted time could be prevented.
  • You could be losing out on significant conversion rates if at least 10% of your development budget is not spent on improving usability.

Looks like 2021 will bring dark mode, mixed media, and 3d elements to the forefront with a high focus on page speed and user experience.

Here are some trending UX strategies:

Information Architecture

Mobile-first Design

Decrease Choices

Modern Design Practices

1. Information Architecture

Information architecture refers to the way your content is structured on your site.

Hierarchical

ColorWhistle.com, for instance, uses a primarily hierarchical structure, with broad categories at the top that open up more narrow options as you click through

Sequential

TurboTax, for example, uses this structure which requires users to go step-by-step through a determined path

Matrix

Ecommerce websites will prefer this structure as it allows the users to filter options (so users can sort by date or topic, for example) and click-through as needed

Topic

Wikipedia is organized by subject matter

Chronological

Organized by date and commonly used for blogs or other content-heavy sites.

Audience

Ecommerce websites like clothing retail may benefit by segmenting content by user groups. 

These structures aren’t mutually exclusive, and many enterprises use them together to successfully organize their sites. However,

“Remember that conversion rates decrease with every new page users have to click through…”

2. Mobile-first Design

If your business site doesn’t work well on mobile, 48% of users will not take your business seriously. This will definitely hurt your bottom line.

Also, there is no denying the fact that Google is a market leader in search engines. If Google is penalizing things like large interstitial ads (which can be annoying on desktop but are unbearable on mobile), unplayable videos, or poor site performance, building a well-designed website should support consistent experiences on every screen size (desktop, mobile, tablet), with the same ability to optimize for conversions, measure engagement and structure content.

3. Decrease Choices

Here’s a decade old jam study that shows how too many choices make people less likely to make a decision. It is even more than relevant today as more and more businesses are making their online presence.

The best way to go about is to highlight one or two actions, then put the rest on another page for users who continue to look for more information.

4. Modern Design Practices

Research shows that 75% of website credibility is based on only aesthetics. Also, there’s a common saying that goes around: good design is good business.

Modern design practices follow a conversion-centric design. It involves the use of icons, animations, bright colors, retro fonts (if your business vertical allows) that calls attention to certain elements on the page.

Reading content on your web pages also requires you to follow either a Z-shape or an F-shape pattern.

Modern Design Practices

Image Source: UXplanet

Modern Design Practices 2

Image Source: UXplanet

We are also witnessing some retail websites switching to better UX by moving the account creation process to the end – essentially after the purchase. This facilitates the process without sacrificing the business goal of keeping customers engaged.

You may also find this blog post interesting >> Web design mistakes you must avoid in 2021

Development Trends

Over recent years, Web development, especially frontend web development, has gained quite some complexity.

We have more libraries than ever, more ways of writing (frontend) code, etc. There are more patterns evolving and more alternatives for existing technologies like (React vs Angular vs Vue, REST vs GraphQL, SQL vs NoSQL).
This can be overwhelming! But it can lead to complicated solutions.

Honestly, in this battle of choices, we kind of forgot about the actual goal of web development: building great websites (with great user experiences) for the end-user. Thus, keeping things simple,

  • Move code to the server-side if it makes more sense there.
  • Avoid highly complex client-side solutions if some server-side code allows you to get rid of a problem entirely. The recent announcement of React Server-Side Components fits into that picture.
  • Optimize performance, optimize images on the website, build responsive web pages, and so on.

With a User-centric framework in mind, let’s dig further into the trends in enterprise web development that already begin some time ago.

The Rise of Progressive and Hybrid Web Apps

Ensuring Cybersecurity is a Critical Challenge

Focus on Mobile Page Optimization

Content-as-a-Service Model

The Rise of Low-Code Platforms

Unknown Opportunities & Challenges with 5G Network

Immersive Experiences Gain Popularity

Automation is Here to Stay

1. Rise of Progressive & Hybrid Web Apps

Single Page App is one of the trends of recent years that works inside a browser and does not require page reloading during use. Some frequently used examples are Gmail, Facebook.
A Progressive Web App is almost always a Single Page App.

We consider a Progressive Web Application (PWA) more of a mindset than a technique. PWAs enable websites to load quickly and still work offline. They make things easier for developers than building native applications for every device (Android/iOS).

Twitter, Forbes, and AliExpress are among the many leading companies to have already adopted PWA solutions for their multiple benefits. And, after Pinterest introduced PWA, its core engagement rose by 60% and the time users spent on-site, by 40%.

Building native mobile applications is a much longer process than building a traditional website, especially when you need to include personalization elements.

“If you’re considering a revamp to your desktop web application, you will need to optimize for mobile devices as well. Rather than build two applications, develop your website as a PWA for a better customer experience on mobile.”

2. Cybersecurity Remains to be a Critical Challenge

The global cost of data breaches reached $3.86 billion in 2020. The exuberant digital shift made by businesses during the ongoing pandemic has unintendedly staged a novel cyberattack. Only 45% of companies with full security integration can fix critical vulnerabilities within a day.

Now is also a good time to invest in scaling up your organization’s IT armor against unforeseen cyberattacks. Integrating security solutions like:

  • hashing protocols,
  • machine-learning algorithms for fraud detection,
  • blockchain-based
  • Solutions can mitigate the key security risks.

We would encourage you to read our analysis of the latest WordPress security threats.

>> Further, here is another blog post on best practices to ensure website security.

3. Improving the Functionality on Mobile Devices

Enterprise app development companies often saw the smartphones essentially as additional screens in order to access operational data. At present, there is an emerging trend towards the complete utilization of smartphone characteristics for businesses.

For instance, mobile apps easily interact with all of the integrated services such as GPS-navigation, social networks, notifications, collect data from the different sensors of the smartphone, along with battery life optimization and much more. Furthermore, Banking mobile applications can easily integrate digital wearables for quicker, digital payment options.

While optimization for mobile devices is nothing new, what has changed over these years is the need to ensure data confidentiality and transparency on what type of data is being collected, sent as well as processed.

4. Content-as-a-Service Model

Being able to create content in one location empowers specialist teams to use it for a variety of different channels and outputs. It means a Content Management System (CMS) is to be deployed that stores, manages and delivers content without a front-end delivery layer (headless CMS).

Developers are now free to use APIs to deliver things like products, blog posts or customer reviews to any screen or device, while front-end developers can get to work on how to present that content using any framework they desire. This system empowers enterprises to adopt and offer a content-as-a-service model – a trend that is really taking off.

5. Rise of Low-Code Platforms

How often have you noticed in your organization that when there is a change, and where the scope is more than just simple content changes, it involves a whole team of people to get the job done.

By adopting a low-code approach to enterprise site building this overhead is significantly reduced, creating significant savings in resource, time and money. The core function of low code development platforms is to enable anyone with an idea and little to no coding experience to write their own software.

No-code tools lower the barrier to entry with visual programming interfaces and drag and drop tools for those who have never written a line of code. For instance, Amazon Honeycode can help streamline the process of creating apps for simple tasks or event management and Parabola is an automation platform designated to automate processes via an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface.

6. Venturing into the Unknown Territory of 5G Network

The new 5G network technology market is expected to reach $667.90 billion by 2026.

5G network technology can be best described as a technical enabler for IoT and future emerging tech products as it is 100 times faster than the existing 4G technology. 5G, by comparison, is anticipated to offer lower latency, greater bandwidth availability, and better data security.

This could allow developers to create more powerful apps for better content management through augmented reality, virtual reality, and 4K video streaming. Software developers interested in creating designs and features that enhance business performance will find this technology especially useful.

7. Immersive Experiences Gain Popularity

One of the many things that the ongoing pandemic ushered in is the increasing preference among consumers to shop with augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR).

Enterprises can make use of applications combining the AR, which brings the digital experience to the physical world, and VR, which can create a lifelike immersive experience. It involves a broad range of applications, including:

  • Online shopping: Adoption of try-before-you-buy features powered by immersive tech can be a valuable addition to Ecommerce websites.
  • Training and e-Learning Websites: AR and VR technologies create realistic scenarios in a digital environment, which facilitates a real-time training and learning process.
  • Companies can better highlight the important functioning of their SaaS products with immersive tech.
Immersive Experiences Gain Popularity

Source: Statista

8. Automation is Here to Stay

Natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), Voice-assisted search have gone from theoretical concepts to full use cases in recent years.

Popular use cases include-

“YouTube uses NLP to create subtitles from the audio of a video automatically, or how Google Analytics uses ML to understand better how a website user behaves, or Alexa using VR and ML so we can have a full conversation with a machine.”

Any enterprise owns a huge volume of data. The applicability of automation through predictive analysis is to assist enterprises to understand the data much faster easily. Automation through machine learning can churn out data to identify the potential issues way before time and easily raise red flags.

Newer innovations like voice-assistants may have an audience in enterprises across different verticals. Different voice assistants for enterprises can certainly increase the employees’ productivity by easily performing tasks such as scheduling meetings, tracking to-dos, providing reminders, sending out emails, making phone calls, etc. It can easily be used for offshore customers where there is a particular language gap. Also, the chatbots can easily translate the languages in real-time and close the communication gap.

Future Marketing Needs

Multi-channel marketing, brand awareness and brand diversity are a few of the heavy hitters that make up an effective Enterprise Marketing strategy.

1. Enterprise SEO

In addition to your usual Search Engine Optimization, a dynamic SEO/Enterprise SEO involves creating a single template for multiple web pages. It would further optimize all content at once for search engine crawlers to easily identify and rank your website higher on the SERP.

Watch the video below to make more sense out of implementing Dynamic SEO on your Entreprise Website.

The principles of dynamic SEO can be extended to Local SEO since your enterprise business may involve customers from varied regions. In our opinion, Moz Local is a great tool to get started with local SEO.

Have you read our blog on Google Featured Snippets? It is considered to be one of the growing SEO strategies currently.

2. Innovate Around Ad-Blockers

It is high time that companies innovate their Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns to better target their audience. Latest survey also reveals that 27% of internet users expect to use ad blockers in 2021.

The best strategy in such a scenario would be to readjust your advertising budget to suit other, more meaningful campaigns, like subtle influencer marketing or sponsored content. Younger audiences are noted to respond well to such advertising.

3. Social Media Will Become A Channel For Purchase And Not Just Discovery

“Social media platforms like Facebook are making it easier for consumers to go from discovery to purchase without ever having to leave the platform, creating a simple and seamless path to purchase.”

With social commerce continuing to grow into 2021, retail brands will have to adapt to these platforms with new rules, similar to what many did with Amazon.

Further, to project themselves as a responsible brand, companies must reduce social media channels to only the most relevant ones. This must be seen in context with the recent ban around Chinese apps by major world economies.
However, managing multiple channels, multiple audiences, multiple regulation requires the support of marketing automation software systems. We have identified Hubspot, Marketo, and Pardot to be the market leaders in providing enterprise software solutions.

4. Data-Sharing & Concerns On Data-Privacy

You may have heard enough on data sharing and increasing skeptics around data privacy. In fact, your enterprise must be collecting some form of user data for marketing and personal commerce experience.

“Today, it is not just about brands meeting consumers where they are (via targeted marketing); it’s about brands telling them what they want, when they want it.”

In doing so, if brands and retailers are going to continue collecting first-party shopper data, they will need to begin actioning it in meaningful ways, predicting what their shoppers want to see next, and understanding where shoppers are in their buying cycles to predict when they’ll want to buy.

And in doing so, Enterprise Marketers should care about new GDPR rules commissioned by the European Union. No later than the end of this decade will the rules on data privacy get stringent in other prominent parts of the world.

You might have missed reading>> Digital Marketing For SaaS Companies

How Significant Is Your Technology Partnership With A Suitable Digital Agency?

Enterprise web development involves resources, but are not restricted to,

  • UI and UX strategies,
  • database building,
  • content management system,
  • website maintenance,
  • customisation,
  • brand assessment, and
  • analytics configuration.

It is important to cautiously choose a web development agency or a technology partner who can handle the diverse problems and requirements of an enterprise website.

If you are somebody who’s evaluating different vendors, technology partners to help you with building/rebuilding an enterprise website, you might want to not just look at them as only a development shop, or a design shop but having cross channel expertise to effectively implement website projects.

This is because SEO, social media, paid media, content management and marketing, all of these are so integrated with the website that if your technology partner lacks cross-channel expertise in development and maintenance, you may end up having a half-baked website.

Just as important as it is for enterprise websites to revolve around content management, there is also the need for branding. This is especially true for global companies managing local delivery partners.

It’s key that these capabilities are in place when looking at enterprise website builders/technology partners.

Further, we invite you to go through our work deliverables, portfolio, client testimonials and more. You may schedule a business call with the company founder, Sankar and share your requirements for further engagement.

Looking forward to a meaningful partnership!

Why Should Digital Agencies Invest In Digital Marketing Services

Typically, a Digital Agency stands on three pillars: Design, Development & Marketing. Their service ranges from the more generalist such as website design, logo design to web-app development, tech support to search engine optimization, email marketing.

On the other hand, a Digital Marketing Agency will specialize in specific areas; viral campaigns using video/content marketing; knowledge marketing, pay-per-click ad management and banner advertising with Facebook or Google, local search engine optimization and marketing, content marketing, podcasting, and conversion funnel management and much more.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the future trends in digital marketing, highlight the importance of having your in-house digital marketing team, and list down various digital agency vendors to help you with your in-house digital marketing.

Digital Transformation in Digital Marketing World

A digital transformation in marketing refers to the shift from digital complacency (refer table Digital Age 1.0) to the active pursuit of digital excellence (refer table Digital Age 2.0). In other words, it asks businesses to adapt to new market realities.

Pre-Digital
Seller Driven

Rolodex

Events

Telecalls

Billboards

Direct Mail

Bingo Cards

Trade Shows

Golf

Digital Age 1.0
Lead Generation – Marketer Driven

Websites

Webinar

Email Marketing

Web forms fill-in

Digital Age 2.0
Buying Groups – Marketer Driven

Anonymous Research

Decentralized decision-making

Buying Groups

Intent Monitoring

Omni-channel

Account-based Marketing

Work from Home and Always On

GDPR

56%
Consumers

A specific report on the retail food & beverages market found — 56% of consumers have become “brand agnostic,” saying they don’t care if a product is offered under a national brand, store brand, or specialty brand.

Digital Marketing has come a long way since the boom of Information Technology. More and more users are finding products/services of their choice online through Search Engines, Social Media Platforms, Mobile Websites, Voice Searches, Email communications.

As a result, Digital Marketing is embracing the Digital Age 2.0 (as seen in the table). It involves huge dependence on data analytics in finding the best possible way to personalize the experience for prospective customers.

In the next five years, we could see the following trends in digital marketing:

Grooming your In-house Digital Marketing Skills

The age-old debate of training an in-house marketing team or partnering with another agency for marketing assignments continues to have its relevance today.

Being an ever-evolving field, the Digital Marketing space gives way to new avenues. Say, COVID scenario has pushed major brick & mortar stores to embrace the power of digital marketing in order to stay relevant.

Hence, it is an opportunity for Digital Agencies to build their in-house teams to:

    1. Diversify the offered range of services.
    2. Grow expertise within the company, i.e., embrace the Digital Age 2.0 (as mentioned earlier here)
    3. Maintain client-agency privilege, i.e., in order to tap-in a major client, your agency will have to rely on an in-house team.
    4. Sync-in with the digital transformation of the digital marketing world, i.e., as gaps between various marketing strategies are blurring, it is best suited to have in-house expertise for better outcomes.

While a niche-focused agency may have already specialised themselves in building an in-house marketing team, the time is ripe for a full-fledged digital agency to strengthen its in-house marketing expertise – for account-based marketing, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, social media management, branding, ad management, etc.

“Brands like Coca-Cola, BBC, Best Buy have their in-house ad agency namely Content Factory, BBC Creative & Yellow Tag Productions respectively. However, it isn’t necessarily the only agency that these brands work with. Hence, if your agency can ensure them of in-house expertise, you can land-in their business.”

Here is our collection of Digital Marketing case studies that brought amazing results to our clients.

We, further, think that the following traits are necessary to successfully build an in-house digital marketing team:

    • Data analysis.
    • Effective communication.
    • Ability to make decentralised decisions, i.e., any level of associates must be trained to question the basis of any campaign.
    • Staying up-to-date with the latest marketing trends & user privacy concerns.

Even if you have remote workers in your team, you can coordinate better on any marketing assignment with these digital agency outsourcing tools.

Popular Digital Marketing Services To Offer

Also refer, How SEO, Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing and Influencer Marketing are all the same thing.

Moving ahead, here is how Artificial Intelligence is making in-roads in SEO strategies, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Affiliate Marketing. Increasingly, Data Visualization will aid your digital marketing potential. Look at how infographics can propel your content marketing.

Challenges

  • Scouting for specialised talent: Digital Age 2.0 emphasises a lot on responsible marketing through respect for user privacy concerns, highlighting social issues through creative advertisements (as shown below), etc.
Gillette-India-on-Instagram-“We-are-not-afraid-to-express-or-cry-Shave-off-this-stereotype-because-crying-isn-t-a-sign-of-weakness-but-strength-HappyMensDay-to-the…”-png-933×600-

Image Source

  • High competition: While your agency is about to set up its in-house team, it will be up against global competition. It may demand a considerable amount of resources to attract your existing and prospective clients.
  • Security concerns: Digital Marketing involves data analysis. There are a number of legal considerations around collecting and using customer data for digital marketing purposes. Your in-house team will have to comply with the rules regarding privacy and data protection.

Choosing The Right Digital Vendor for Digital Marketing Services

Such vendors eliminate the need for users to carry out repetitive tasks. This goes on to save time for other significant works.

Marketing Automation Vendors offer features that ease email campaigns, social media campaigns, lead management, and more.

45%
Workflow
25%
Higher Revenue
22%
Promoting their Services

“A report from Marketo says that businesses using automated marketing can grow their workflow by 45%, enjoy 25% higher revenue, and spend 22% more time in promoting their services.”

Refer to our analysis of the 9 best Marketing Automation tools to increase your business ROI. Here is one of our case studies on marketing automation using Marketo for White Label B2B Clients.

Account-based Marketing

Such vendors help in nurturing a small set of high-quality leads.

This will prevent:

  • Over-emphasis on campaign vanity metrics such as Social Media likes (which truly doesn’t mean anything)
  • Allow marketing and sales teams to dedicate the right resources to the most promising accounts
  • Jabmo
  • Demandbase
  • Madison Logic
  • Terminus

Understand what account-based marketing is all about by following this link.

Affiliate Marketing

Here is an interesting resource on how affiliate marketing is done

Marketing Cloud

Such vendors can track your entire marketing funnel in one place.

From content recommendations, SEO suggestions, designing Call-To-Action (CTAs) to tracking customer interactions with your campaign.

Search Engine Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Email Marketing

Content Marketing

  • Boostability Inc.
  • WebiMax
  • Sprout Social
  • HootSuite
  • Falcon.io
  • Buffer
  • MailChimp
  • GetResponse
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Contently
  • Outbrain

Now that you may be convinced to develop an in-house digital marketing team, we would also like you to understand how to customize and build your own Digital Marketing packages.

Wrapping Up

‘Everything for everyone, customized’ is the mantra that will evolve the future marketing trends. Technology (AI & ML) will emerge as the core fabric of marketing to analyze customer’s expectations.

We have tried to present you with the best opportunities to build your in-house marketing team, given the fact that a digital agency today cannot sustain only with designing and development services.

As a matter of fact, established brands are very peculiar when it comes to choosing an agency for designing/development whereas upcoming businesses want to focus on their position in Google results rather than any development/designing aspects. But what remains common between these businesses is that they are open to multiple agencies for a broader perspective on the ever-evolving digital marketing space.

Give us a call at +1 (919) 234-5140 or contact us through the webform. We will be more than happy to assist you in setting up the latest Digital Marketing Services.

Comment down below to share your thoughts.

Good luck!

Online Business Trends For 2021- How to build Websites, Increase Sales & Grow With Marketing?

Towards the end of every year, most marketers churn out blog posts predicting the upcoming digital trends.

Such posts either promise a marketer’s paradise or get overhyped towards new tech, say ‘AI in marketing is the ultimate future’. Maybe the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has enhanced customer experience, rationalized marketing, and sales budget; but no one has really seen the future.

So, are we here to do the same?

Not exactly. It is certainly impossible to predict how the future of online business will play under the shadows of the current pandemic.

“For some, the pandemic is a game changer while for others, like YouTube’s CGP Grey, everything will go back to pretty much normal in the long run.”

We would like to see 2021 and beyond outside the influence of the coronavirus. For businesses with websites for online presence, what comes next? There are other year-long trends that will emerge and may affect the online business landscape.

For example, there is still a large digital divide among the global population. At the same time, the current pandemic is forcing every business to have it online. Therefore, marketers cannot blindly run online campaigns. There are different levels of digital literacy, and marketers have to aim high.

Having said that, it will be a very interesting year for Solopreneurs, Startups, Small Businesses, Medium-size Enterprises to Large Businesses who are eyeing a better position in the online market.

Let’s observe the trends in online business for 2021.

How To Start Online Business in 2021?

How To Start Online Business in 2021?

Pillar#1: Think With Marketing First

What To Do?

How To Do?

Customer-Centric Approach

  • Local SEO & Local Directory Listings Over Traditional SEO
  • Focus On Voice Search Marketing
  • Shoppable Social Media Post
  • Depersonalizing Ads
  • Choose Micro-influencers
  • ePrivacy Now Matters
  • Keyword Research Tools
  • Competitor Backlink
  • Analysis Tools
  • Tracking Visitors Tools
  • Market Analysis Tools
  • Content Research Tools
  • Automation Tools

Tech & Agency Partnership

1. Local SEO & Local Directory Listings Over Traditional SEO

While Marketers have focused on classic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies for organic growth, there has been a saturation at the top. However, what has changed over the years is that “near me” searches have increased more than 500% than before. Implementing Local SEO is the solution to take advantage of the rise in this online market.

Read on to our previous blog for determining your local SEO checklist.

One particular case of the local SEO technique is optimizing listings on local directories. These listings provide valuable information about business working hours (many of which are in constant flux due to COVID-19), services, and geographical location.

Note: Ensure you have a geographically-defined service area within your local listings as this will help your business show up in “near me” searches. This would signal search engines, say Google, that factors-in “relevance” in their search algorithm

Refer to our in-depth coverage on Google My Business listings.

2. Focus on Voice Search Marketing

Technologies can be disruptive. The growing importance of smartphone devices with a voice-assistant feature is one in such direction.

Take a look at the below opinion poll conducted by HubSpot, 2019 on the use of a voice assistant

Focus on Voice Search Marketing

Just over 50% of respondents used voice assistance for online searches. Other experts in Digital Marketing including ColorWhistle see the need for marketing content also to be specifically optimized for voice search queries. This will help boost traffic by staying relevant and more visible to consumers.

Are you new to voice search marketing? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Here is one of our previous posts explaining the impact of voice search and how Marketers can implement it in their SEO strategies.

3. Shoppable Social Media Post

“In fact, the number of things you have to do between seeing stuff online and getting stuff online is decreasing. And any further decrease is welcomed both by a Merchant and a Customer!”

Shoppable Social Media Post

Source

Marketers can now make the best use of social media by selling directly on their platform through shoppable posts – introduced by Instagram, soon followed by YouTube. Engaging with creative designing agencies now becomes even more important to come up with visually-appealing social media posts for any business.

4. Depersonalizing Ads

Yes, we asked you to follow a customer-centric approach to Digital Marketing in 2021.

A study found that despite widespread concerns about consumer privacy, 72% of shoppers will only engage with personalized marketing. This goes on to say that shoppers are unsubscribing from mass email campaigns while choosing personable web pages.

Yet, targeted ads end up showing things that consumers once searched for. Marketers are only wasting money on pushing it.

Look at this experiment run by a Dutch newspaper, Much to the amazement, it turned out that profits from non-targeted advertising were higher than from targeted ones.

“With non-targeted, depersonalized ads, you expose visitors to stuff they weren’t even aware of but still may be interested.” Source

As a digital marketer, you can run an A/B test with and without targeted ads and look if our approach to de-personalize ads works.

5. ePrivacy Now Matters

Over the past two years, two major regulations have had a widespread impact on digital marketers – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from 2018 and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) from 2020.

Marketers will now have to make the following preparations:

    • Stay updated with industry-specific consumer privacy and consent issues
    • Check with your automation platform vendors to discuss how potential privacy changes might impact your pipeline.
    • You can convey the value proposition of data collected to customers. This is a good step to assure customers of their privacy concerns.

Here are some of our interesting resources to read: Industry-focused guide for Digital Marketing:

Pillar#2: Think With Branding

What Can You Do?

Customer Engagement

How To Do?

  • Creative Content Marketing To Spread The Brand Message
  • Build Your Online Reputation
  • Choose Micro-influencers

Partnerships

Contact a Creative Digital Agency or Hire Graphic Designers

Branding will play a vital role in your business growth strategy for 2021 and beyond. It boosts your intangible assets such as Brand awareness, Loyalty & Advocacy; three assets that are priceless in this competitive age of marketing and advertising.

Here is how you should look at branding in 2021 & beyond:

1. Creative Content Marketing

“Brands are expected to focus on content over style in 2021:

Talkwalker report”

  • The report stated that brands will start to reposition themselves, moving away from marketing methodologies to more cause-driven messaging

Read on our previous post to know everything about a successful rebranding.

  • The report said that 2021 is expected to be the year brands and social media channels focus on highlighting the truth and silencing fake news
  • The report showed how memetic messaging or memes marketing is now the way to communicate
  • The report predicts that the positive emotions connected with the “good old days” help boost current emotions and this can be exploited for successful branding

Wondering why strategies centered around Branding & Marketing resemble each other yet they differ a lot? The graphics image below will clear it all!

Branding vs Marketing

Anonymous Source

Get started by building your own brand with Branding/Rebranding Visualization & UseCases.

2. Build Your Online Reputation

Social Media platforms remain to dominate the landscape in building an online reputation for any brand. With features like shoppable posts (as discussed earlier), constant improvement in ad algorithms, social media will remain a vital element of every marketing/branding strategy, especially earned and paid marketing.

If we are talking about building an online reputation, it goes without saying that search engines play a vital role in generating potential leads. Learn more on how to improve branding and lead generation with Local SEO.

3. Choose Micro-influencers

Influencer marketing has gained traction with the rise in social media usage. However, since the online audience has matured enough, in the coming year 2021 and beyond, people will stop distinguishing influencer’s content from normally paid posts and will eventually turn away.

Marketers need to re-jig their strategy and instead get in touch with micro-influencers who have small still relevant reach. They can maintain closer relationships with their followers and maybe a better option than big influencers.

Additionally, brands need to project themselves as more responsible and informative. For this, they can take a leaf out from their old marketing handbook and rope-in specific not-so-popular, small-time online critics/reviewers to recommend their products/services. It still works the best!

Get inspired by 40+ Branding Ideas & Inspirations.

Pillar#3: Think With Sales

What To Do?

Sales In The Changing World / Digital Era

How To Do?

  • Sales Team Enablement – Digital Ready
  • Educate Sales To Listen To Customers Through CRM
  • Sales Automation

“The pandemic hasn’t just caused pivots – it has also caused permanent change.”

1. Sales Team Enablement - Digital Ready

As HubSpot explains, Sales enablement is the iterative process of providing your business’s sales team with the resources they need to close more deals. These resources may include content, tools, knowledge, and information to effectively sell your product or service to customers.

64% of sales leaders who made the transition this year met or exceeded revenue targets, compared to 50% of leaders who had not. Moreover, 68% of sales leaders say they plan to keep or implement a hybrid or fully remote sales model.

“A dedicated sales enablement team is critical to the success of the future sales organization.”

If you are looking for sales enablement services, become our partner.

2. Education Sales To Listen To Customers Through CRMs

Today, prospects spend time interacting with your website and content long before they ever speak to your salesperson. The embedded technology captures everything these prospects do – giving sales representatives an idea of their interests, profile, and challenges beforehand. ( How many times has a sales rep sold you an investment plan that you were looking at the day before? )

Small businesses mostly rely on spreadsheets and outdated data collection. If businesses aren’t embracing the use of Customer Relation Management (CRM) softwares, they are missing out on a lot.

“Most sales leaders, regardless of performance, ranked CRMs and video conferencing software as the most important tools for remote selling.”

3. Sales Automation

“Organizations that embrace AI will see a huge rise in productivity and profits viz. Generating only high-quality leads”

Chatbots can answer simple questions, trigger follow-up emails, evaluate responses, and make simple decisions. Your sales team won’t need to engage with prospects until they are qualified. The lead qualification process will also become more accurate, guaranteeing your sales team only receives the most promising leads. All these are possible only by embracing automation in sales.

Pillar#4: Think With Mobile-First Websites & Automation

More people than ever are online today. Not just online, but desktop computers are not the primary device for internet access. There is a jump of over 222% in mobile traffic over the last 7 years.

Although the analytics was done before the onset of pandemic, Mobile commerce is still expected to surpass 50% or beyond by 2021, according to eMarketer’s Mobile Commerce Roundup.

Therefore, any online business in 2021 and beyond must do “Mobile-first thinking with websites”, i.e., build/optimize their website for mobile devices.

We would encourage you to go through this blog post about the top mobile app trends – Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented Reality (AR) with mobile apps, Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML).

67% of marketing leaders already leverage marketing automation tools.

Technology is starting to catch up with the conversational marketing potential, with more AI-powered solutions, omnichannel conversations with hyper-realistic chatbots are now possible. 2021 will enable conversational marketing’s full potential.

Way Forward - Digital Agency Partnerships

“Tech partnership / digital agency partnership is a way to keep the online business agile & digital-ready for the future!”

So far, we have taken a stock of how an online business in 2021 & beyond should position themselves. They ought to think with marketing first, move on to responsible branding, explore more remote sales options, build more mobile-friendly web applications.

If you need professional help, send a message or call +1 (919) 234-5140 our ColorWhistle team. We are a full-service digital agency also providing Retainers, White-Label outsourcing services.

If you have any more questions, feel free to share it in the comments section below.

SEO For Businesses

Many small business owners continue to resist investing in SEO. SEO has become part of the business marketing reality. What you need to be thinking of is whether to hire in-house SEO expert or outsource your SEO requirement.

With SEO becoming integral to the website design process, the question that invariably a small business owner will face is whether to outsource SEO or have someone do the job in-house.

There was a time when you designed a website and then worked on optimizing it. Today SEO has become an intrinsic part of web development services. A website is being optimized even as it is being designed.

To get a website to the top of search engine rankings is a time and resource consuming process. What is more, it is a continuous process. You need to regularly update content on your website, market your website online, create avenues that increase traffic to your website.

Billions of people are now online. Hundreds of millions of people are using mobile phones to connect to the internet.

You would think that small businesses are scrambling to take advantage of these digital trends to enhance their online presence. Yet, surveys have found that very few small businesses go beyond maintaining a website.

Why Businesses Opt For SEO

Small businesses do not wish to invest in SEO or invest very little. Here are some statistics from a 2015 survey on clutch.co that shows us the SEO investment trends among small businesses:

    • Half of the small businesses surveyed, use SEO. The remaining resist
    • Close to 40% have no plans of investing in SEO
    • 20% of the companies already using SEO, close to 50% allocate less than one-fifth of their marketing budget for digital marketing
    • Larger companies spend less on digital campaigns because they have more marketing options
    • Small businesses prefer online advertising to SEO but again over 40% are unlikely to invest in online advertising either
    • 25% of small businesses using SEO don’t track their SEO efforts

Those who track mostly depend on the following to determine if SEO investment is worthwhile:

    • Referral traffic from search engine
    • Keyword rankings
    • Leads and conversions
    • Those who do not track find it difficult to quantify or even justify their investment in SEO

Why this resistance to SEO?

The biggest factors are perceived cost and an inability to eschew traditional methods of marketing.

Other reasons include SEO’s history of spamming (the old days when any strategy was applied to get to the top of the ranks, before search engines had become more intelligent).

Business owners may not always have the time or the willingness to learn about the strategy of applying SEO.

It is frankly speaking an intangible thing when it is being applied. You can’t see the search engine algorithm; you learn how it works through careful study.

There are no guarantees. Just because a keyword strategy worked for your competitor, it may not work for you.

It is a time intensive process. Only steady, continuous effort will provide results. Unlike advertising on TV, SEO is not a marketing strategy that has immediate effect on consumer behavior.

What business owners need to remember is that it works.

A survey reported on Forbes online found that:

    • 72% business owners who applied SEO strategies felt that it had a direct impact on bottom line
    • Compared to lead conversion from outbound marketing (1.7%), SEO lead conversion was at 14.6%
    • SEO leads are also cheaper to acquire sometimes 61% less expensive that an outbound lead

Before we answer the question of whether SEO should be in-house or outsourced, let’s first understand SEO.

Why is SEO critical?

For the simple reason that more and more people are now accessing information online. A few days ago I had written about user and advertising statistics of Facebook.

You can see that in markets like USA and Canada, majority of people are accessing the web for their information and interaction requirements.

Today, anything from a job opportunity to the latest model of a timepiece can be marketed within moments online. Compared to traditional marketing means, digital marketing allows you global access for a fraction of the cost.

The other aspect of this is that every business that has an online presence is now your competitor. Even in the digital world, to stand above the competition you need excellent strategy. This is where SEO comes in. What SEO essentially does is:

    • Ensure that your website design and content are as per the latest search engine algorithm
    • Appropriate digital marketing strategy is applied to ensure that your website gets clicked by the internet user and not your competitor’s 

The more number of people visit and stay on your website, the better chances your website has of being ranked very high by the search engine.

SEO is not just about Search Engine Rank

One of the common perspectives about SEO is that its sole purpose is to get you on the top 10 of a search engine result page.

True, it is one purpose. But as competition has increased, what happens is that getting to the top is no longer enough.

Your website also needs to be able to attract the internet user enough that they click on your link. More importantly they have to stay with the website long enough to generate business for you.

Therefore the purpose of SEO is to bring in more business for your offline/online ventures by making your website visible to the search engine and also to ensure that you get unique and repeat customers to your website.

Once you have decided that you are willing to invest in SEO for your company’s website, then the next logical question is:

Who should do SEO?

    • Yourself
    • Hire an SEO expert
    • Hire a SEO company

Perhaps the following story will help you decide.

How to do Better SEO?

Get someone to help. You, obviously, won’t have the time unless you plan to stop running the coffee shop and do only SEO.

Really, you think, will it be all that time consuming?

So you try on your own.

You will find out that SEO typically consists of the following strategies:

  1. Technical SEO: Optimize for things like site speed, look for better code-to-text ratio, even optimize your SSL which involves establishing encrypted links between server and client machines.
  2. Onsite SEO: This involves optimizing content at the backend, keyword research and keyword mapping.
  3. Link SEO: This involves developing an authoritative link profile for your website through building backlinks and removing issues that may lead to link penalties. Seldom does one person have complete mastery of all aspects or even the time to work on all three aspects in the same day.

You somehow manage to make time and stick to your own SEO attempt.

You may even get results. But after sometime, your website keeps going down in the rank. You are scrambling to keep pace with changes (who knew a search engine algorithm like Google actually evolves!). You scramble to keep your core business running and shortly thereafter it is very likely that both business and your online work will suffer.

For any business owner learning SEO is hardly a feasible idea. You have come to the conclusion that you need to get someone to do it for you. So choose an experienced small business SEO services to full fill your needs.

SEO: What to Realistically Expect as a Business

Before we get started let’s address that point: no you should not ‘be number one on Google by now’. If any SEO company told you that you would be, then that’s as good a sign as any that you shouldn’t trust that service. No one can guarantee you the top spot on Google, or at least not for competitive search terms.

Something to remember here is that you’ll probably be going up against countless other companies all with the same goals as you. If you sell ‘blank CDs’… well then so do about 1,000 other companies, some of which will have been doing SEO for years and some of which will be spending millions on it. Your chances of getting to number one for ‘blank CDs’ in the next year are pretty slim.

There are ways around this of course. Targeting local phrases like ‘blank CDs Dorset’ for instance can greatly narrow your competition, as can going for more obtuse, long-tail phrases like ‘buy cheap blank CDs and DVDs’. Of course fewer people search for these longer terms but it’s better to be on page one for a less popular term than page 20 for a great one. This is how SEO for small business tends to work.

SEO : Timeline For a Business

Real SEO companies understand this but they also know you need to start earning money as soon as possible. That’s why they will start out with you by helping you to come up with a strategy that will work for you. Perhaps that means cleaning up your site first, perhaps it means spending some money on a PPC campaign, or perhaps it will mean doing social media. The point is though, that these days SEO doesn’t take place in a vacuum but is closely intertwined with SMO, advertising, content marketing and web design. Your SEO company should discuss this strategy with you early on and it should be something that makes sense to you and works with your brand.

This consultation and strategy can take about a month alongside doing keyword research to help you find what the best terms to target are for your company. Thus you could easily go for a month before seeing any tangible work but you should be in regular communication with your SEO provider.

Month two will likely involve the development of content, networking, optimization for your site and pages (basically changing the content and code to better reflect your goals) and maybe some link building/social media. This will likely continue for a few months at least before you start to see noticeable increases in your traffic coming from organic search. And that’s of course dependent on your budget – if you can’t afford much then you should expect results to be much slower.

SEO Approach For Business - Quality Over Quantity

If this all sounds a bit slow going then you might be tempted to instead choose an SEO company that promises to build ’50 links’ in the first month and to write ’10 articles’… all for $200!

That might sound tempting but try to keep in mind that SEO these days is all about quality and all about the long-game. Google has become much more sophisticated in the way its algorithms work and it’s no longer possible to ‘win’ in the search engines through volume alone. Posting lots of links only works if those are good links on high quality websites related to your niche. Likewise those links need to look ‘organic’ (as though they were posted naturally, not by you) and they need to have varied anchors. In other words, you get what you pay for and if you pay for quantity you might actually end up damaging your position in the search engines by looking manipulative.

This goes double for content – so if the content your SEO company is producing isn’t the sort of thing that you would want to read then look elsewhere.

So… how long does SEO take to start working? The answer is that it should start working right away. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be at the top spot on Google right away… or ever. This is not the only metric that should be measured on while hiring an SEO company .

If you’re worried, try talking to your company and looking at the quality of their posts. That’s the real hall mark of good SEO for small business.

Mistakes That Business Make On SEO

SEO is in a state known as ‘permaflux’. What this essentially means is that it is constantly changing, constantly evolving and never remaining in any one condition for long. This means that the best SEO principles that everyone relied on just a few months ago will no longer necessarily apply – and it means that companies need to stay constantly on top of these developments in order to continue with the right strategy that will help to grow their business with no risk of being penalized. No SEO technique is truly ‘futureproof’ so you need to stay adaptable and you need to stay informed.

To illustrate this point, it’s useful to look at some of the techniques that big companies and websites are still using today that are actually counter-intuitive. Read on and we’ll go over five big mistakes that even some of the major players are still making.

tur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Using the Same Anchor Links

An ‘anchor’ is the blue underlined text for any link. So in other words, if you have a link saying ‘click here’ then the anchor is ‘click here’.

Many websites when trying to build their links profile will create guest posts and directory submissions but will repeatedly use the same phrasing – that being one of their keywords or being their brand name. The idea here is to increase the association between their brand and that phrasing thus climbing the ranks of Google.

It’s a nice idea in theory. And it used to work. But unfortunately Google has gotten smart to it and now sees this as obvious manipulation. Remember: Google best trusts the links that it believes are organic and natural, that are posted by real human visitors who enjoyed your website. And when real people link to websites, they don’t do it using the same keywords every single time. They might just use ‘here’ or they might use the website’s actual URL. The only way to avoid penalization these days then is to mimic this natural approach with varied and natural anchor text.

Only Going After Big Sites

Likewise, you should try to make sure your backlinks profile is varied in terms of its origin. If you have a link on a really bad, black-hat site with poor grammar and no relation to your website… that may not actually be the worst thing in the world.

Think about it: how many bad quality links do you think a website like the BBC has? Thousands! This is just part and parcel of having a naturally large links profile. You of course should avoid those sorts of links and you shouldn’t chase them down but the point is that if all your links are on PR5 blogs, this actually ends up looking just as suspicious as far as Google is concerned.

Not Using LSI Keywords

LSI stands for ‘latent semantic indexing’ and is a big buzz word at the moment in SEO. It basically means using synonyms and related words throughout your text in order to better help Google understand the context and subject matter of your posts. This is something you should be doing naturally anyway but the new term has motivated some SEOs and webmasters to finally wake up and take notice of that fact.

Using the same keyword repeatedly is actually destructive. Not only does it hurt the flow of your text but it makes it harder for Google to understand your content. If you keep saying ‘how to cast’ in your text then Google won’t know if you’re talking about fishing or sculpting (it’s a homonym). Thus, you need to use the other related terms (cast a line, cast in clay) in order to give Google the subtext it needs.

This is very important right now if you want to rank well but again it’s only going to get more important going forward. Remember: Google will keep getting smarter. You may be able to trick it now but it will ultimately not pay off in the long term.

Not Writing for the Reader

This is the biggest mistake of all and one that webmasters, business owners and SEOs have been taught repeatedly but never seem to learn. The point of SEO is to write for the reader first with only slight consideration for Google and its algorithms. If you are writing just to insert keywords then you are building your site on very shaky foundations indeed.

If you have any interest at all in internet marketing or pushing your business online, then you will likely have come across a number of popular buzz phrases. These will probably have included such terms as ‘Search Engine Optimization‘, ‘social media marketing‘, ‘content marketing’, ‘influencer marketing’, ‘brandscaping’…

It seems that every five minutes there’s a term to describe some new method of promoting your brand online. It essentially boils down to marketing companies trying to rebrand themselves and that way get more customers. But that’s not to say there isn’t some truth or value behind each of these strategies.

The point instead is just that these methods have been misrepresented as separate and ‘new’ strategies. In fact, all of these methods have been around forever. And all of them should be used in conjunction for maximum effect. They are not separate strategies but instead simply aspects of the same one.

Content Marketing For Businesses

The most obvious synergy here is perhaps between content marketing and SEO. SEO is search engine optimization and it is very largely about creating lots of content so that you give Google more to ‘index’. Google looks at your site to learn what it’s about and to match it to the right search queries – and the more content you have on your site, the more search queries you will be likely to answer. But Google is smart these days and so for this to work, the content must also be really good.

At the same time, SEO works by generating inbound links. Every time a big blog links to your website, Google sees that as a sign that your blog is important – as a testimonial almost.

One great way to get links from high profile sites and blogs is by writing such good content that it encourages inbound links. This is called ‘link bait’.

Content marketing meanwhile is about offering engaging content on your website or blog such that people clamor to read it. By producing consistent quality, you get regular readers and you get ‘organic’ likes, shares and referrals. Eventually you gain more traffic and you build the trust of your visitors to the point that they are willing to buy what you recommend.

In short then, both content marketing and SEO are all about creating lots of very high quality content. In other words, they clearly go hand-in-hand very naturally.

Social Media Content Marketing

The same goes for content marketing and social media marketing. Why? Because the very best thing you can share on your Twitter account or Facebook page in order to get people to come to your site is a very well written article with an eye-grabbing title and image. Likewise, by building social sharing buttons into your site and placing it right on your top posts, you can invite your readers to share your content with other users of social media.

If you don’t have content on your site… what are you going to share on social media?

And of course there’s also the point that your Twitter posts and Facebook posts themselves are content and thus a form of content marketing.

Pros and cons of Outsourcing SEO

Let us look at the pros and cons of leaving SEO to professionals. We’ll then see why outsourcing is a great option to go with.

Pros

In houseOutsourced to Agency
-Cost effective solution; No operational overhead for you
Full control of the processStandard project management practices to ensure strategy is on track
SEO expert is working exclusively for your brandDiverse experience due to working for different businesses and longer exposure to your industry
Selected portions of your SEO strategy can be given to other contractorsMultiple SEO experts work on each project, which means all strategies can be applied to your website
SEO expert can easily collaborate with your marketing and sales teamsAlways up to date because they have to retain clients by giving tangible results
SEO expert can provide inputs to your overall marketing strategy as wellEnsures steady growth of your online business since access to resources is higher
-Trade networks help in sub contracting which makes process even more efficient

Cons

In houseOutsourced to Agency
Expenses will be more because you pay salary and benefitsCost of service reflects quality – cheaper is not always better
Single person may not have expertise on all strategiesDistance from your business can be a problem unless robust communication in place
Slower growth due to lesser resourcesResults from an agency may not always be as expected
Difficult for single person to stay abreast of all trendsDrive to retain clients by giving impressive results can result in questionable strategies being selected.

Outsourcing Statistics For 2020 And Beyond

SEO Outsourcing

Why Should you Outsource your SEO Strategy?

As a business owner your goals are to make your brand the go-to brand for your niche, achieve success while keeping costs low, use available resources efficiently.

In-house SEO works for you if:

    • Your business is big enough to require a full-time SEO working for you
    • Your website is in a highly competitive sphere and requires constant attention
    • A single SEO strategy works for you
    • You can justify the year-on-year cost (considering that in-house SEO can cost you upwards of $70,000 per year according to this article)
    • As a coffee shop owner in the story, an in-house SEO may not be the best option for you.

Outsourcing SEO works for you when:

    • You need to keep your overheads low
    • You need a multi-pronged SEO strategy
    • You are looking for a cost-effective means of continuous SEO support

For the coffee shop owner in the story, the need is to always stay ahead of the immediate competition which means SEO shouldn’t end up adding significantly to the cost of operations. Thus outsourcing is a great option for the coffee shop owner.

For some small businesses, though, outsourcing to SEO companies within their region, say USA or Canada or Australia may still be an expensive option. So try to outsource your your needs to a best small business SEO company for the better results.

Cost is one of the major reasons that businesses are hesitant to invest in SEO. In such cases, you may look at outsourcing further afield, to say an SEO company in India.

Benefits of Outsourcing SEO to India

One of the reasons why India is such a big outsourcing hub for IT and related services is the sheer size of the technological workforce. Does this, however, make India an ideal outsourcing venue for SEO as well?

Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of outsourcing to India:

ProsCons
Cost: There may be significant cost differences when outsourcing to India. SEO packages in India typically also cover aspects of web design and content management. The cost difference may be as much as 25% in some cases.Differences in language and culture: The approach to business and marketing may differ between cultures. Also even though English is a common business language its application by native speakers and non-native speakers can cause problems.
Value for money: You get high technical expertise for lower pricesMarketing: Technical expertise may not translate to marketing expertise
Work gets done even when your business is closed for the day: Given the time difference, your online presence continues to get optimized even after you head home for the day.Time zone difference and communication: Even with all the technology at our disposal for teleconferencing, there may be some issues with regard to getting communication out on time.

For the coffee shop owner, if the budget is small, an outsourcing partner in India would be ideal.

Ultimately, however, when choosing an outsourcing partner whether in your country on in India, you have to do the due diligence before you award the contract. Discuss in detail with the agency before taking the plunge.

A full-service wordpress website development and SEO services company like ColorWhistle brings not just years of experience but also a strong client list which is testament to its capabilities in this field.

Plus as a full-service agency every aspect of SEO whether technical, onsite or link building, everything gets taken care of at the agency. You also get to enjoy the benefits of comprehensive digital marketing packages as well.

For small business owners around the world whether it is USA, Canada or even India, the need of the hour is to strengthen their online presence. Developing and executing a solid SEO strategy is the way to create a sustained presence at the head of search engine results while ensuring lasting traffic to your website (and therefore business).

The benefits of outsourcing SEO far outweigh the disadvantages of outsourcing. The survey reported on clutch.com also found that a majority of the small businesses that had opted for outsourcing were planning to continue with their chosen SEO vendor.

Like the coffee shop owner in the story, first understand your needs, see what fits in your budget and then decide on whom to outsource to. Most companies, including ColorWhistle, are happy to provide free consultation to help you decide the best course.

Improve Branding and Lead Generation with Local SEO

For a long time now, marketing pundits have advocated business owners, online marketers to follow a “defined-pattern” of sales funnel for attracting online customers. Digital marketers have been achieving appreciable results with this “defined-pattern” which suggests targeted marketing using user browsing data.

A popular model of the sales funnel starts with:

  • The user browsing for products/services with a vague notion.

Digital Marketers are encouraged to deliver relevant content via email marketing, paid advertisements, etc. to lure in such users.

  • The user then moves on to an active interest phase, during which they purposefully pursue an ideal purchase.

Marketers again find themselves a chance to target users’ browsing history and push them to the checkout page.

  • Once the purchase is made, the customer enters a new loyalty phase.

Marketers offer personalised discounts on the next purchase, offer mail subscription for future events, or likewise – and, hopefully, the cycle repeats.

However, the on-going trend in today’s privacy-conscious world may be a cause of worry. It may even warrant a change in the way businesses market themselves online.

“73% of Internet users said they would not be OK with an online search engine, keeping track of their queries even if the data provides personalized results in the future.” – Survey

One may argue on the sample size of the above survey, but with active concerns on online data privacy in most western societies, including the US and EU, marketers now need a smarter approach to balance data-driven marketing and user privacy.

More importantly, businesses need to be positioned, or say, marketed online in a way that they do not seemingly appear to evade one’s privacy (like showing up blogs/paid ads matching their browsing history seconds after an online search). Yet, businesses must always be visible to the user search online.

And, how is that possible?

We recommend Local SEO for responsible branding & lead generation.

“97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.” – Source.

Clearly, not using the online user browsing data would be foolish. In fact, we never argued for it in the first place. Without adequate user analytics, any business may hardly generate any quality leads online.

The best way to position your brand for the desired visibility online would be:

“Mission statement + Data-driven insights = Brand position”

Say, for example,

“We sell designer watches online” + data from Google AdWords Keyword Planner, or statistics on engagement with your social media profiles, indicate especially high search traffic for Swizz designer watches = “We sell watches from Swizz designers online”.

You can make a list of everything you wish you could know to help you decide how to position your brand (say, demographic data of your traffic, or public opinion on social media towards product X, etc.)

With proper brand positioning, you’ll be able to:

  • Convey the brand’s main ideas and values that consumers share.
  • Establish strong contact and trust with your target audience.
  • Create the right connections and triggers so that your potential customers can remember your offer at the right time for them.
  • Make your offer stand out among similar ones.

“Simply put, a brand with a clear positioning becomes more visible in the market. Customers are more likely to understand it, remember it, and purchase from it on any occasion.”

Local & Regional Brands

A regional or local brand is one that reflects the culture of a particular geographic area. The same is often reflected throughout their brand’s visual design (logo, colors, etc) and offerings (menu, product lines, product names, etc).

Regional, or local brands are majorly differentiated on the amount of economic capital, and exposure they attract. But thanks to the growth of online searches, it has provided a level playing field for businesses to position themselves online.

It is estimated that four out of five consumers use online search to find local information. And if any business isn’t optimized for it, it could be missing out on 80% of potential customers!

“It’s high time now that Local brands leverage digital marketing channels to monetise their sales: using Social Media is a welcome step …

Whereas Regional brands can often grow into something bigger and should look to build eCommerce sites.”

Decoding Local SEO and Leveraging it for Branding & Lead Generation

Optimised Local SEO Reults

Typically, a local SEO strategy should include:

“What’s more important is to stay focused on what your local market wants and what they are searching for in search engines.”

We have already discussed local SEO in detail and how it could impact your business in our previous posts. Here are quick links to it:

Local SEO Integration with Social Media

The Deloitte Consumer Review presented an interesting user behavior which suggested:

“Many consumers prefer to turn to independent sources to access information rather than go directly to businesses.”

These independent sources include family and friends, customer reviews, and independent product or service experts. And one place to find them all together is Social Media.

It makes absolute sense for local brands to have a strong social media presence for absolutely low investment. Other than hiring a social media manager, local brands can themselves run their social media profiles with the following strategy:

  • Google algorithm chooses businesses based on relevance, distance, and prominence. Therefore, the first task is to make sure your business name, address, and phone numbers (NAP) are updated and consistent in all web pages and listings.
  • Google has clarified that it doesn’t consider social media interactions (e.g. likes, shares, comments) in ranking web pages, but these can increase a business’s prominence, which is a local ranking factor.
  • Customer feedback and reviews impact local ranking. Google prioritizes businesses with a high number of reviews and high ratings. Encourage your customers to rate your products and services.
  • The keywords in your customer reviews can also help with your local SEO.

Here is an additional read on how social media can improve your SEO results.

Local SEO for eCommerce Sites

Regional brands with their solid presence in physical stores can dominate the online market with eCommerce websites. Local SEO can give eCommerce websites a big boost to attract local site traffic and thereby better lead generation.


A typical strategy would involve:

  • On-Page elements like URL structure, product description, Image metadata, etc. optimized for localised keywords
  • Claim Google My Business Listing to attract local foot traffic
  • Appearing on Google’s local pack

Here is a detailed guide on SEO for eCommerce.

SEO Maintenance for Online Branding & Reputation

Digital Marketer, Neil Patel had remarked in one of his blogs,

“SEO is all about improving user experience — that’s why Google cares about a site’s speed, web design, high-quality content marketing, mobile-friendliness, and so on.”

And so, building SEO strategies to increase brand positioning and lead generation cannot happen overnight. It takes a lot of concerted effort and one has to keep at it consistently for a sustained period of time.

“Most fail to realize that SEO is the word of mouth of the Internet era…”

It doesn’t matter what niche you are operating in, local SEO can and will help your business grow when done right. Why? Because more and more people are using their mobile devices to search for businesses like yours on a local level.

No doubt, this makes “local search” an integral part of your business’s online marketing strategy.

Here is an interesting read from Moz.com on Reputation Management SEO and tactics for doing it effectively.

Top Branding Resources

Looking for the Right Digital Partner?

Modern brands want themselves to be seen as more customer-centric. Local SEO gives them a clear headway to target their customers online without “supposedly” invading the user’s online privacy.

If you are looking to position your brand online and attract leads from a specific geographic location, we can help you with it. At ColorWhistle, we work in a highly-skilled environment to constantly be in-tune with Google’s latest algorithm updates and marketing criteria.

We are also aware that online positioning boils down to the content on your website and throughout your marketing campaigns. Therefore, we invest a lot of our efforts in creating relevant, trustworthy, and informative content to put you in the desired SERPs.

Book your free consultation or call us at +91 (422) 420-2825 to discuss your prospectus. Also, don’t forget to share your thoughts below on how you would like your brand to be positioned online.

Full Service vs Niche focussed Digital Agency – The Difference and Takeaways

John Doe is a small business owner and has just built his own website with a WordPress template. He needs to start with digital marketing with a possible low budget. He also plans to do aggressive digital marketing after 6 months.

Patricia has a small consulting company for six sigma and lean sigma and has a website for almost 8 years without much engagement. The company is in need of a good responsive website and a custom digital marketing package for both maintenance, ad campaigns.

Robert is a cardiologist and runs his own clinic. He realises the importance of having a website and benefits of digital marketing. He is looking to engage with a digital agency to build a new shining website with all the app integrations for doctors and also outsource his digital marketing campaigns.

Sharon owns a consulting company that serves enterprise clients on a large scale. Their website is old and outdated with minimal SEO activity. They are looking to revamp their website with the latest trends. They are even looking to outsource their marketing automation activities due to their huge customer base.

John, Patricia, Robert, Sharon are solution seekers and wish to engage with a suitable digital agency to expand their businesses online.

Finding a Suitable Digital Agency: a Full Service Agency?

A full-service digital marketing agency is akin to a one-stop shop for all online marketing and advertising services, Web development, Designing and Content services. Such agencies, like ColorWhistle, expand tech capabilities across industries – Travel, Hospitality, Education, Healthcare, Realestate, SaaS, API marketplace systems etc. alongside Design, and Marketing services.

Typically, a full-service digital agency offers:

Web Design ServicesLogo Design Services
Mobile UI/UX Design
Graphic Design

Social Media Design
Website Redesign
Web Development ServicesMobile App Development

CMS Website Conversion
Web App Development

Infusionsoft Integration
E-Commerce
Website Development



Infusionsoft Integration
And more …
Digital Marketing ServicesSEO Services

Marketing Automation
PPC Services

Social Media Management
Content Marketing

And more …

One obvious advantage of consulting a full service agency is their ability to integrate various strategies into one and work towards your company’s goals, like increasing Brand awareness, manage Brand reputation, discuss Brand strategies, measure Brand popularity and performance, enhance Brand visibility, sales and revenue.

A Chapter From Our Experience …

Take Sharon, for example. She approached ColorWhistle with an expectation of getting their company’s website updated with the latest SEO trends. She also wanted to integrate the latest marketing automation tools on their website keeping in mind their huge customer base.

As a part of their strategy, ColorWhistle invested in the following service:

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Marketing

Together we chose Marketo, Getresponse, Salesforce & Zappier to automate lead generation, campaigns and email marketing successfully with that tool.

If working with a niche agency was an option available with Sharon, she would have had to collaborate with four separate agencies.

Having said that, it would have not only required a tremendous amount of time and effort from her team, but would also miss out on controlling a coordinated strategy for increasing their leads and revenue.

And ofcourse, full service agencies also allows for bundling of services with cost-effective budget just like Sharon’s –

Full Services Agencies

Finding a Suitable Digital Agency: a Niche Service Agency?

As self-explanatory as it can be, niche agencies focus on certain select services. They are otherwise known as specialised agencies that offer focussed Pay Per Click (PPC) management and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) for select niche groups. Or on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and PPC services for selected industries. Or even a specialised Content Marketing (SMM) agency. Such niche agencies are more preferred for localised marketing.

Such agencies mean more to companies and managers who know what they want and look for a specialised resource that they probably lack within their team. Niche agencies are insignificant for companies who want to outsource their entire marketing department for obvious lack of scalability.

Some notable examples of top niche service digital agencies are:

Should You Work with one Full Service Agency or with Multiple Niche Agencies?

To evaluate your possible responses, it would be best to test your requirements against the following criteria:

#1 Scalable solutions for long-term benefits

Consider a niche service agency, ie. say specialising in SEO services or may be content marketing. If you asked them to help you with an upcoming PPC campaign, they would shy away from doing it. They lack multi-operational skills. In comparison to a niche marketing agency, a full-service web agency will readily assist with your immediate PPC campaign needs.

#2 Effective communication is the key to success

Getting services from one niche agency may not be a problem for your in-house teams but coordination issues rise with multiple niche agencies. This will generally result in lost time, miscommunication, and low-performing services. A full-service agency is otherwise a one-stop-shop solution for multiple digital agency services.

#3 When in-house teams look for specialised inputs

Niche agencies spend years gaining useful insights in their area of operation. Hence companies can take advantage of having lower-cost internal resources full-time, while also gaining the flexibility and skill diversification from these niche agencies when needed.

In a report, it has been found that nearly 70% of in-house marketing team partners with an agency.

In such cases, the comparative advantage for a full service agency is less significant.

Full Service Digital AgencyNiche Service Digital Agency
Best suited for Marketing and Technology Solution needsBest suited for Technology Solutions - Website Redesign, Building Website and Web App development services

Good for local SEO marketing.
Mostly preferred by Small and Medium sized businesses and even professionals.Mostly preferred by Medium sized businesses as they understand the nitty gritty of working with Digital Agency services
Companies/Individuals prefer such agencies it to “outsource” their requirementsCompanies prefer such agencies for “remote staffing” needs

And here is a good read to understand the difference between Outsourcing and Remote Staffing, if not known already.

And now, if you have come to know that a full-service digital agency is the best option for your business, contact us online to learn how our custom strategies can help your company grow further!

ColorWhistle has served 700+ clients across the region, so whether you need lead generation services in Indiana, PPC services in Houston, Website redesigning services in the UK, App development services in France, UI/UX designing services in India or social media marketing in Philadelphia, we’ve got you covered!

Major Takeaways

John, Patricia, Robert and Sharon will prefer full-service agencies over multiple niche agencies. It is based on a simple fact that it would be more cost-effective to outsource the entire marketing department or technical maintenance to a reliable full service agency.

However, at some point of their business operation, there would arise a specific and specialised need, say micro-targeting their lead generations, ad campaigns, website redesign only. Hiring a niche agency then would be much more reliable and cost-effective.

But the game for big-sized companies / enterprises is a little different. They operate on a huge scale and volume. It is sometimes not possible for a full-service agency to match up to their requirements.

A hybrid vendor selection model can provide a better solution. Here, full-service agencies partner with niche agencies and vice versa to serve a bigger company. It offers various working strategies for the company to implement on the go.

Additionally, here is our detailed ebook to help you plan and build your own customized digital marketing package or get a better knowledge of what to expect when you get help from a digital marketing agency.

Future of Digital Agency Services – Beyond COVID Times

“The world economy did not come down to a standstill on its own but was pushed into a slowdown by the health crisis. This means that there is an immediate scope for rise in demand…”

It is not as if the world has not faced economic recession in the recent past. The Dot com bubble crisis, 2008 financial crisis did show us a way around. However, drawing parallels from these events may not reflect well on the present situation.

Did the nature of work for Digital Services Agency really change post-COVID?

“59% of people would like to keep working remotely as much as possible even after COVID-19 lockdowns were lifted…” – Gallup Survey

Yes, the nature of work is demanding a change – more remote team operations, agile planning, increased digital adoption among small businesses, more personalized marketing. With the coming of the pandemic, digital agencies must quickly adapt themselves to the changing business trends.

Upcoming Challenges for Agencies

As evident from the chart given below, lower demand for websites is no longer a challenge for digital agencies. That is to say, demand is consistent. However, most agencies feel the pinch with increasing competition in the digital marketing agency space. Other major challenges in the new normal include adapting to new technology (Marketing automation through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning), maintaining stricter privacy standards (General Data Protection Regulation in case of Europe) & talent management.

Agency-Covid-Challenges

#1 Mitigating Increased Competition

“Digital agency services partnership with another agency works very well – Whitelabel, Profit Margin, Less Burn.”

Digital marketing became huge after the pandemic and now the long-term contracts, retainer services are certainly possible.

A retainer service is a mutual agreement between a business and an agency, most sought when the project deadline and cost is unclear. The agencies agree to receive a fixed regular payment until the completion of the project.

With this, businesses are benefitted through:

  • Predictable costs
  • Priority service by the agencies
  • Decisions are “bus proof” (The bus factor is a measurement of the risk resulting from information and capabilities not being shared among team members)

Whereas, agencies can now provide:

  • Better and focused services as agencies will no longer worry about seeking new business
  • Better allocation of resources as the agencies will have an idea about future campaigns

Digital Agencies can play a more consulting role in the coming days.

With the rise in digital adoption for businesses, Agencies may now shift to a more consulting role rather than just implementing tools for businesses. It is possible through leveraging the search data.

For instance, they can analyze search data to understand the customer journey and what people are asking about a certain business. The analysis can be passed on to customer support and their new frequently asked questions materials.

Budding Agencies can look for channel partners to speed up their implementations. However it is important to choose the right and experienced Digital Agency.

ColorWhistle recently became a HubSpot Solutions Partner. It enables us to provide implementation services on HubSpot products.

#2 Adapting to New Technology

“The COVID-19 pandemic may just position e-commerce as a norm for every and any business soon. This time you can invest in content warehousing, building communities and strong SEO for the ecommerce domains.”
BrandEquity.com

Digital adoption in Europe jumped from 81% to 95% as a result of the COVID-19 crisis—a rise that would have taken two to three years in most industries at pre-pandemic growth rates.

While we talk about digital transformation, the positive side about COVID-19 is the real impact on behaviour change. This may warrant agencies to shift the focus from digital marketing to customer personalization.

This commercial from Google India stresses the importance of how customer personalization can grow your small business online.

How can Remote Teams Upskill for the Challenges?

“Remote working can help organizations move at a faster clip as companies tap into new labor pools and specialized remote expertise…“
Mckinsey

It is not that companies are not aware of remote work options. Where work outsourcing is the trick of the trade, setting up in-house remote teams are seen only as a contingency measure. But with the coming of pandemic, remote work operations will soon, if not already, become a necessity.

To run a full remote team successfully, the managers need to be mindful of creating effective processes around remote work such as remote hiring, virtual meetings, implementing digital productivity tools for communication, tasks & scheduling.

There are several digital solutions available to check the progress of remote teams. These solutions can be in the form of a project management tool, team collaboration tools, cloud storage service, productivity tools, feedback tools, work-life balance tools. Some useful tools could be: Process street, Asana, Trello, Basecamp, BitBucket, GSuite, etc.

Marketing-Tools

Process street: Process Street is the new online office for your team’s process documents, and the best place to track your business’ activity. One can create process templates, run instances as checklists, assign tasks to the team and track their progress from the one-screen dashboard.

Here is a quick YouTube Explainer Video on Process.st

Asana / Trello / Basecamp: These are similar project planning to team communication and collaboration tools and best suited to manage remote teams.

BitBucket: Bitbucket is a Git repository management solution. It gives you a central place to manage git repositories, collaborate on your source code and guide you through the development flow.

GSuite: Google Workspace is ideal for individual or small businesses. It includes a host of applications for communication, storage, content creation/editing, source codes, security and management. Some of its products are Gmail, Docs, Google Drive, Apps Script, Admin, Work Insights.

It is much like a web-based version-control and collaboration platform for software developers.

Read this article for more useful remote work tools.

“87% of executives feel that they are experiencing skill gaps in the workforce or expected them within a few years. But less than half of respondents had a clear sense of how to address the problem.”
McKinsey Global Survey

The pandemic has only accelerated the question of addressing the problem, if not added a newer dimension- upskill for full remote operations.

As remote working allows companies to tap into new labor pools like individuals on a career-break and specialized remote expertise like freelancers, the managers must also consider creating an inclusive work culture by effective use of emotional intelligence. In which case should employees be upskilled for the challenges: adapting to required skills, workflows and lifestyles.

Here are some tactics we think could help:

Increased video-based online teaching and courses may help the remote team to upskill for the challenge – here companies can repurpose their existing training as well, say

  • Lengthy trainings can be broken down into short video modules held on a weekly basis
  • Webinars can be turned into micro-learning sessions
  • Content can be made into infographics
  • Compliance trainings can be turned into gamified learning

Communication: Making use of instant messaging apps like Slack, Zoom, GMeet, Skype over emails – for team collaboration is a good practice.

Work hours: Working smarter, not harder should guide the working ethics of remote employees. And which is why it is important to ensure employees aren’t working (or getting pinged) around the clock. Using Slack or Google’s working hour on Calenders is a good way to start with.

Networking: Having “remote water cooler sessions” over Zoom where remote employees are encouraged to “drop by and say hi” is a cool idea to start with.

HubSpot’s Plan of Full Remote Operations

“Transition from 200+ fully remote employees during the pre-crisis time to having 100% full remote operations in the new normal has been a smooth journey for HubSpot, thanks to its visionary leadership.”

HubSpot is putting out a new vision of hybrid work culture in the “new normal”. Following which the company has embraced the challenges of managing full remote team operations. Beginning from January 2021, its employees will get to choose from more convenient options to work from home.

Remote work culture is certainly not a new concept. It’s proxy – “Gig Economy” has been in prominence in recent times. Many companies employed independent individuals, freelancers, remote workers to carry out tasks at their level. However, fewer solution providers like HubSpot had successfully extended the culture of remote team operations to an enterprise level. The fact that the vast majority of their customer interactions took place virtually in the past, had helped the company to quickly adapt to the impacts of the pandemic outbreak.

Considering the rise of business activities in the new normal, it will be good practice for upcoming digital agencies and other businesses to replicate what HubSpot has achieved through its full remote operations.

Summing It Up

Let’s be clear. The terms outsourcing and remote staffing are used interchangeably, but in reality, each term means something slightly different. Our intent here is to educate our readers on the opportunities that one can unleash with remote work and to share our insights on the changes that the present health crisis has imposed upon the digital agency services, especially Digital marketing that became huge during the pandemic.

Remote work isn’t just the future of work, it’s the present. But not every organization can readily adapt themselves to in-house remote team operations. And which is why we strongly advise digital agencies to work on their long-term contracts, retainer services. The time is also ripe for budding digital agencies to explore a channel partner for whitelabel, high profit margins and burn less capital by utilizing valuable business insights from an experienced digital partner.

We hope you had a good read! Keep following this space for more updates.
You can further call us at +1 (919) 234-5140 or drop a line or just comment down below to share your thoughts.

lets-talk