Building an Effective Website

Here are simple steps to take to build an effective website.


Online Content Sharing More Popular Among Women, Youth

Source: April 23, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff


44% of Americans say they share or like online content that others have posted on social media and other online sites, according to survey results from Ipsos. While that’s right about the global average of 45%, certain segments of the population show a heightened tendency to share content. For example, within the US, women are about 56% more likely than men to say they share or like what others have posted (53% vs. 34%), while 18-34-year-olds are roughly 30% more likely than the average respondent to do so.

There doesn’t seem to be a clear pattern when sorting by household income level (HHI), although propensity to like or share others’ content is stronger among those with medium (48%) and high (43%) household incomes when compared with those with low incomes (35%).

There is a clear gap, though, between those who are chief income earners (39%) and those who are not (49%), as well as between those who are married (39%) and those who aren’t (51%), and between the employed (40%) and unemployed (50%).

Other Findings:

  • Across the 24 countries surveyed, women are 25% more likely than men to share online content that interests them (50% vs. 40%).
  • Compared to the global average, respondents aged under 35 are 13% more likely to share or like content (51% vs. 45%) , while those aged 50-64 are 20% less likely to do so (36% vs. 45%).
  • Respondents in Argentina (59%), Turkey (58%) and Mexico (57%) show the strongest tendencies to share others’ content, while those in Poland (18%) and Japan (22%) are the least likely to do so.

About the Data: The Ipsos data is based on a weighted sample size of 12,000, from an online survey conducted in late 2012 across 24 countries, with adults aged 18-64 in the US and Canada, and 16-64 in all other countries. The US data is based on a sample size of 500.

Why Are People Seeking Health Info Online?

Source: eMarketer, MAR 18, 2013

Increases in healthcare costs and shift in demographics drive consumers online to find health info

Seeking health info online has reached saturation among internet users. According to a January 2013 study from Kantar Media, 87% of US internet users looked online for health and wellness research in 2012; there are some key trends driving consumers to the web for this information.

An aging population and shifting demographics are playing a major role in uptake of online health seeking. Boomers are turning 65 at a rate of about 8,000 a day, according to AARP. Unlike the “greatest generation” who used the old patient model, boomers are familiar with technology and inclined to research their health options.

Another factor driving people online to research health info is the increased cost of healthcare. Health insurance plans with high deductibles have led to a decline in patients visiting their physician and an increase in patients putting off medical treatments. In an NPR poll last year, three out of four people who were sick said that cost was a “very serious” problem and nearly half said they felt burdened by what they had to pay out of pocket for care.

Gallup poll released in Decemeber 2012 confirmed these findings, with three out of 10 consumers saying they had put off medical treatment due to cost within the last 12 months. Although between 2007 to 2012 that percentage has stayed approximately the same, the general trend since 2004 is a rising number of people who put off medical care.

Since cost is an important issue for users of healthcare websites, many are now seeking resources that can help them estimate how much their medical expenses will cost. A February 2012 Deloitte survey found that 53% of health seekers said they would use a healthcare site that offered them a tool to tell them how much a health plan would pay for certain treatments or sevices. Patients also expressed a strong interest in seeing quality rankings and satisfaction ratings for specific doctors and hospitals.


Advertising, Content Eat Up Biggest Share of Digital Marketing Budgets

Source: March 14, 2013 by MarketingCharts staff


Marketers from companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue are devoting the largest portion of their digital marketing budgets to digital or online advertising (12.5%) and content creation and management (11.6%), per survey results from a Gartner report. Those results reflect the ongoing growth of online ad spend in the US, as well as the continued rise in importance of content marketing. The study also finds that 28% of respondents reduced their traditional advertising budget to fund digital marketing activities, a finding supported by various pieces of research showing such a shift in the media mix. Still, a plurality 41% of respondents say that they are funding their digital marketing activities through the savings they are getting from using digital as opposed to traditional marketing.

Meanwhile, other activities that are getting a healthy share of digital marketing budgets include search marketing (including paid search; 10.7%), email marketing (9.6%), analytics (9.5%), and social media marketing (9.4%). CMOs recently projected that social media accounts for 8.4% of their entire marketing budgets, emblematic of a generally bullish outlook they hold on social marketing.

When it comes to the digital activities that contribute most to their success, respondents to the Gartner survey were most likely to tab corporate websites and online advertising (each at 18%) as their most effective activities, followed by commerce experiences (12%) and email marketing (10%). While social media marketing did not get many first-place votes (6%), 43% tabbed this activity as among their top-3 most effective, tying it with online advertising, just behind the corporate website.

Other Findings:

  • Companies spent 10.4% of their 2012 revenues on marketing activities, including salaries, and traditional and digital marketing costs.
  • Digital marketing spending averaged 2.5% of company revenue, and 25% of marketing budgets overall.
  • Respondents estimate that 50% of their search marketing is outsourced. Online advertising (46%) and mobile marketing (45%) are also being heavily outsourced.
  • 7 in 10 companies have a chief marketing technologist, and 80% of those report to marketing.

About the Data: Gartner’s U.S. Digital Marketing Spending report is based on a survey of 253 marketers from U.S.-based companies with more than $500 million in annual revenue (average revenue $5 billion). Respondents were from six industries: Financial services and insurance, high-tech, manufacturing, media, retail, and healthcare. The survey took place in November and December 2012.

Align These 3 Creatives to Drive More Conversions

Source: Search Engine Watch, , March 7, 2013

In the age of big data and analytics, it can be easy to forget that your campaign is ultimately only as good as your creative. Indeed, from a cost to returns ratio, the creative is arguably the most important part of a campaign.

Although more digital advertising companies are appearing on the scene every day, few specialize in creative optimization.

Here’s a look at the three types of creative involved in a typical campaign, and why it’s important to think about all three types as parts of one larger customer experience.

The First Creative: The Display or SEM Ad Unit

The role of the ad is not only to get the user to click, but also to set an expectation of what the click will lead to.

With respect to SEM units, the job of the first creative is to convince users that the landing page will speak directly to their needs. After all, when users are searching online, they’re looking for something very specific.

When it comes to display units, you’ve got to be sure that each placement on your media plan looks unique. But that’s not enough. It’s also critical to study your placements and to develop a creative that is appropriate for each environment.

The Second Creative: The Landing Page

The job of the landing page is to fulfill the promise of the first creative. When users click on an ad and find that they haven’t arrived on the site they were expecting, the conversion rates are much lower. You need to be sure that the appearance and messaging are consistent from the creative to the landing page.

The search landing page has even more work to do in that it has appeal to the site visitor but also be SEO friendly. It has to include the right keywords but also have quality content and relevant information for driving conversions.

If you aren’t seeing the types of conversions you expect, it could be time to look at a landing page optimizer, such as Optimizely.

The Third Creative: The Retargeted Display Unit

If a user clicks on an ad, visits your site, and then leaves without converting, you can now target that user with display ads. This is the third step in the conversion process.

Click-through rates for these targeted units are significantly higher and many retailers now find them crucial for driving their conversions.

As with the first creative, you need to be conscious of the landing page. If your landing page didn’t drive the conversion the first time around, it’s a good sign you should be making adjustments.

Site retargeting is still a relatively new phenomenon, but if there was any question that it’s the future, it was put to rest with the launch of Facebook’s FBX ad exchange last September, which brought retargeting to a massive new audience.

What’s it All Mean?

In short, it means you can’t afford to look at your creative in isolation. You have to think of the entire customer experience. Look at the relationship between your ad unit and the landing page, and also understand when it’s time to increase your conversions by targeting users who don’t convert after the first visit with display ads.

It also, of course, means watching results very closely and A/B testing at every step of the way.